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1/48 Monogram B-58 Hustler

Here’s one that I built last year. This thing was an absolute nightmare to paint. The kit has raised panel lines so I sanded them off and re-scribed them all back in. Next, came the assembly, and being an old kit, some of the pieces didn’t line up so those had to be re-contured, sanded, filled, sanded and polished. The entire model was polished with 20,000 grit that’s used in fiber-optic cable manufacturing. This resulted in an almost mirror-like finish that didn’t like to take on paint very much. Friction by the paint particles moving through the dry summer air created a static charge that resulted in most parts of the model acquiring a nice thick coat of dried paint dust that had to be constantly wiped off. I used Alclad black primer. After the primer dried for a week, I polished that down with grits ranging from 8,000 to 20,000. I then proceeded to apply Aclad Chrome. More paint dust. I was so disgusted by the results that I washed the entire model with Mr Color paint thinner and started the entire process over. I did this a total of 4 times until I was satisfied. I think that because the model was so highly polished, the paint didn’t stick to it very well. Entire sections of paint came off when I removed the masking tape from some areas resulting in having to restart the entire process. I can’t tell you how many times this model was painted. I don’t like clear coats on natural metal finishes because they end up look like paint instead of metal. The model can only be handled with gloves because the oils in fingerprints damage the paint. You’ll notice dust on the model because I was afraid to wipe it off for the photos. I’m very happy with my B-58 and it won best in the Natural Metal Finish category at the Evergreen Museum competition last year in McMinnville, OR last year. A museum wanted to purchase it from me, but I didn’t sell it.

3 additional images. Click to enlarge.

20 responses to 1/48 Monogram B-58 Hustler

  1. Conversely, I rather enjoyed building my Hustler a few years back. I didn’t go for real “shiny” look, as I tend to think the finishes were rather subdued on the real aircraft. I did it in “one take” (and probably should have taken more than just one pic outside), using MM ‘buffable’ metailizers in the rattle cans. Yours looks good, though – mine is here:

  2. This particular aircraft was shiny. Once again, it depends on which aircraft you’re modeling. There are plenty or references out there that show highly polished aircraft as well as some that were a little more oxidized. They weren’t all “subdued”. For instance, the examples I have seen like the one at the Pima air museum outside of Tuscon, do not have the wheel wells painted green. They are natural metal or gray. Perhaps there are some that were painted green.

  3. George, sounds like a real hard slog, but it turned out beautifully. Other than yours and Craigs, one I’ve never seen built, though they were selling like hotcakes, when they came out.
    One of those planes that looks like its going, even when standing still.

  4. Two thumbs up George. Finishing this kit is an accomplishment, filling in the seams or making the seams appear seam less for metalizer is frosting on the cake. Appreciate your efforts and your natural talents for sticking with it.

  5. You got to love modeling !, or at least have the stamina to hang in there, and not throw it against the wall sometimes. Nice work here, George., Your patients has paid off well.
    I’ve actually had good luck with Alclad by not using any primer. I know that goes against a lot of the rules, but I get nice a glass like finish as long as I don’t put it on too thick. Once dried, I can use Tamiya tape all over the base color without lifting the paint. We should compare idea’s !

  6. Outstanding build!! Just beautiful, and the NMF is second to none.
    Four Thumbs up!! ??? Is that possible??

  7. Very nice work, George.

  8. Excellent build quality. You have made an ancient kit look like it was released THIS century.

  9. Wonderful finish on a big bird George.

  10. Next time, use the new Vallejo acrylic metal colors. The primer takes about 30 minutes to dry, the paints take about the same, they don’t come up (but I always recommend low-tack drafting tape for these kinds of projects), and they look as good as #$%$#@!! Alclad (my least-favorite paint in the universe).

    Nice work on this, a monument to obtuseness and stubbornness. 🙂

  11. Great looking Hustler! Makes me want to take a stab at my Testors 1/72 version, sans the Alclad! Your effort to get the NMF finish looking good is commendable – that’s my least favorite finish to attempt, so I generally avoid NMF-finished aircraft!

  12. Wow! It’s beautiful! I’m making one for a year now 🙂 – o.k in small steps – and this is a huge and difficult project so I lift my hat! I remember my DH88 model when I had to make repaint completely for theree times. Sometimes only stubborness will do 😀

  13. Sounds like a nightmare but worth it in the end!
    I’ve never successfully masked alcad without it coming off. I always put a very thin layer of clear down but I know exactly what you mean, it does take away a bit of the natural metal finish.

  14. Thanks, everybody. I appreciate the comments.

  15. dude, this came out really cool! all your hard work and effort paid off! 🙂

  16. I have seen different build logs about this model and am about to embark on mine. Yours turned out exceptionally nice. Hat’s off to the effort as well, what a trial but the end result is well worth the journey. I hope mine turns out as nice as yours.

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