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Kitty Hawk 1/48 Bell AH-1Z Viper

I just finished this kit – the Kitty Hawk 1/48 Bell AH-1Z Viper. I am very impressed with this kit. The fit is flawless, the surface details are precise and the overall build was easy. It also comes with some nice PE, including seatbelts. The only thing I would like to have seen would have been a bit more detail in the main and tail rotor mechanisms.

The only modification I made was the Gatling Gun. The kit barrels are plastic and I broke two of them removing them from the trees. I just replaced them with brass tubing – easy fix.

All my models can be viewed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157603606379755

I used AK Real Colors Acrylic Lacquers for the first time:
Lower RC253 FS36495
Upper RC249 FS36270
Blades RC252 FS36375

These paints are my new favourite. They dry to a semi-gloss finish which accepts decals and a wash with no need for a clear gloss coat. The paints are thicker than Tamiya (my normal brand) which makes them go further – I thinned them with 60% lacquer thinner / 40% paint. They flow extremely well and there was no trace of sandpaper finish despite some nasty little corners on the kit – mainly between the wings and the engine nacelles. There was also no trace of splattering – I often have this problem with Tamiya paints when I use a soft mask (Lepages blue-tank) – these AK paints made very subtle soft edges with he soft mask. The blue-tack did not leave any dark staining which is sometimes a problem with a flat paint like Tamiya. The closest comparison I can make is with Gunze aqueous which I love but which I cannot buy in Canada. One big advantage the AK paints have is that they are color matched to various airforces, aircraft, FS and other Mil-Specs. I find I often have to mix Tamiya paints to get the colors I want so these AK paints will save some money (in my LHS, the two brands are the same price.) I highly recommend these paints.

3 additional images. Click to enlarge.


4 responses to Kitty Hawk 1/48 Bell AH-1Z Viper

  1. Nicely done! That’s one venomous Viper!

  2. Beautifully done! Good Viper, Richard.

  3. I really like that scheme! Very nice. And thanks for describing the AK paints – being new to airbrushing, I’m still looking around for my default, go-to paint brand…

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