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Mitsubishi Betty G4M1 Type 11

April 3, 2020 · in Aviation · · 17 ≡

Based on various references I gathered and document I read, I learned that the paint quality in Japan during WWII was really low. As a result, Japanese fighters and bombers looked quickly quite skinned.

That was a perfect chipping exercise, plus for this model, I used only decals for the identification (K-310), the rest was done with patience and masking. So the tricky part here was to be able to match the chipping on the various paint layers and try to avoid inconsistencies of having a top layer none chipped when the bottom layer was (hope my sentence makes sense ;-P).

For the bare aluminum base coat, I used AK-Interactive Extreme Metal followed by a satin varnish. Metallic paints remain quite fragile; it is imperative to protect them with varnish to avoid bad sleep and nightmares.

Then I used the chipping fluid from Ammo Mig followed with a coat of classic paints. And I repeated the process for all paint layers.

I also tried to simulate the skin stress, but after all the painting work and chipping the effect has completely disappeared (sic!).

I lot of scratch builds in the cockpit, but quite difficult to see once finally assembled. But I know it is there 😉

I applied color filters with a mix of Abteilung 502 oil paints. And then used ochre to simulate the typical red soil you can find in many places in the Southern Pacific. (my white pants still remember it :-D)

This is definitely not the most detailed kit from Tamiya, but I really learned a lot about painting the freehand camo and managing chipping effects.

Reader reactions:
9  Awesome

17 additional images. Click to enlarge.

17 responses

  1. Perfect weathering, Alex, but also the rest of the build is excellent. I've got a long way to go regarding weathering, but your quality work inspires me to push on!
    All the best and stay safe!

  2. Anyone who builds this kit deserves my respect, not because it’s a hard to build kit, au contrarie (hey since when Tamiya has difficult kits right?) but the whole weathering behind the real planes is a daunting task.
    I like a lot of things about your Betty (cockpit, the underside weathering and such) though to my taste the chipping looks a bit to much. Congrats Alex!

    • Hi Pedro,

      Normally Tamiya kits are comfortable to build, super accurate, and crispy sprues. My only reserve would be the lack of details on particular elements for 1/48 kits. Then room for scratch building ;-).

      I like to explore with technics, and to go over the top is also a way to learn in order to understand the limits. Since the beginning, I wanted to make this kit super chipped based on various pictures and references I found on the internet. Hehe! agree with you, a bit too much, but it was a lot of fun to do it 😀

  3. Great weathering, absolutely fabulous!

  4. Great looking finish!
    I'm completely chicken when it comes to this degree of weathering-
    (I've been told the the hinomaru, however, were maintained at a higher level as it was a national symbol. I may be wrong).

  5. I am not really into weathering due to fear of failure of keeping it realistic and that I am too eager to move onto the next build. I do appreciate the effort you have put into this.

    • Yes! It could be quite intimidating. That is why you have to start it where you feel the most comfortable and where it would be the less visible. Then gaining in confidence, you can continue layer by layer.
      It is also good to have a "guinea pig" where you can try effects. I have a cheap model from Eduard dedicated to it.

  6. Amazing work, looks great!

  7. That is one battered-looking Betty - true to the photographic evidence I have seen of paint wear on Japanese types. I also like the work you have done on the cockpit interior. Nice instrument panel and throttle quadrant. The Betty has a very large greenhouse so detailing stands out. I am working on a G4M myself. Good to have your fine version as a reference.

    • I am glad my model will serve as a reference.
      Please feel free to ask me some additional pics if it would help.
      Cannot wait to see your version 🙂

  8. Looks great! I haven't gotten bold enough to go that far yet - but soon...!

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