Fujimi 1/72 B7A1 “Grace” – Training colors
Having just viewed Milan’s beautifully done Grace, and having not posted in some time (still racking up hours decalling my MiG-31…), I decided to yank this out of my display case and post it, just to have a couple versions of the Grace to view.
I built this before I started including pilots in every build, so even though it’s wheels up, it looks like a drone! I also didn’t really do any weathering, chipping, oil staining or such, other than my first attempt at a wash with oils (more on that below).
I have an old Hasegawa Rita in my stash, and the box art shows it in this orange training color. Before attempting that on a canvas that large, I wanted to try it on a smaller aircraft, and had this Fujimi kit in my stash, with box art also showing the trainer orange scheme.
It took me awhile to find an orange I wanted to use – ended up being Humbrol. This is my first (and probably last) attempt with Humbrol paint, as I brush paint and didn’t like the consistency, nor having to fiddle with those obnoxious (or is the correct term “bloody”) tins!
Once the orange was on, I wanted to tone it down a bit. I’d read about using oil dot filtering and oil washes, so thought I’d get some brown oil paint and mineral spirits and have a go.
For a first attempt, I’m not overly embarrassed! I did learn a bit working with oils – how quickly they start to get “hard to work” even loading the brush with fresh mineral spirits. The effect came off much heavier than I’d intended, but at least it doesn’t look like it just rolled off the factory floor. I also noticed that using mineral spirits leaves a different sheen on the surface. It’s really a subtle semi-gloss look, and if gloss is the intended finish for 1/72 scale, I think it works. However, if you really want to stay flat, you need to apply a dullcoat to take the sheen back down.
Even though this is only about 4 years old, I consider it one of my “older” builds, and I’m now spending more time on the finish to get a more realistic appearance.
The result of the project: I’m still undecided on finishing my Rita in orange! It seems the Japanese didn’t have a lot of variety in their aircraft finishes, but I don’t really want several shelves with aircraft looking all the same (see my J2M3 for another attempt to get away from that), so perhaps I’ll get bold and try it again. If on the Rita though, I will spray (rattle cans) if I can find the right shade.
Please feel free to suggest any hints/tips etc. that could make me a better modeler! You won’t hurt my feelings! (by the way – I’ve decided to include this postscript in all my posts. I’ve noticed that occasionally, someone will make a comment that on the surface can seem critical, but it really is an attempt to pass on experience and advice. I LOVE learning from others, and enjoy reading those particular comments!)
7 additional images. Click to enlarge.