Tamiya 1:48 KAWANISHI N1K1-Ja SHIDEN TYPE 11 (George)
N1K1 from the 402nd Fighter Squadron, 341st Fighter Group. This is a very nice kit with great fit and low parts count. When I opened the kit I set myself a challenge; finish a kit in under a month. If you discount the 10 minutes it took me to attach the aerial this morning, the build took 15 days. Why oh why does it take me 3 - 4 months to do others?
Innards painted with Tamiya XF-58 Olive Green lightened with XF-4 Yellow Green and an Eduard pre-painted seat harness set was added. While the paint was drying I joined up the wing parts and drilled out the wing guns. There were minor gaps along the wing roots which, to be honest, were thinner than the engraved panel lines beside them so I left them. There was a fine gap on the lower wing/fuselage join. This was only on one half which is odd as the rest of the fuselage lined up. Thin plastic card was used to fill. I sprayed the wing I.D. bands with Vallejo Model Air White and then their Gold Yellow. A Google search doesn't seem to show the later available anymore in the Model Air group of paints. This was left to set-up for at least 24 hours before masking. Bottom done with Vallejo Metal Color 77.706 White Aluminum and again I let it set for 24 hours before masking. There is a small pattern under the stabilizers and to mask this off, I enlarged the instructions, laid a piece off Oramask 810 over the instruction area I wanted to use as a mask, cut it out, removed it from the paper and stuck it to the model. This stuff is pretty low tack but I removed a bit more. I sprayed the top coat done using Tamiya XF-11 J.N. Green and as is my wont, started to immediately remove the masking. Not one bit of Vallejo was harmed in the process. I noticed a bit later than I didn't have full coverage on the left side so the next day I remasked and reshot. Once again no paint lift from Vallejo. I've read builds where people have used Liquitex Gloss for a clear coat so I bought some and figured I was use it for my first time of spraying clears. My biggest fear of spraying clear coat is "when do I know when the airbrush is cleaned out" so I triple cleaned it. A few observations here about Liquitex. It sprays great when cut with 25% water and dries fast. I noticed I had pebbling so I'll put this down to fast drying and the fact that I was spraying about 6-8" away. Next time I'll get closer and go slower. The decals...those freakin' Tamiya decals. I used everything in my arsenal including Walther's Solvaset to try and get them to lay down in the panel lines and nada. The last attempt was to pool Walther's on the wing decals and walk away. I went down the next morning and the decals stood proud. Finally I got some paper towel, soaked it in scalding water and pressed firmly into the decals...success. The next day I went down to put some more decals on on noticed that the previous decals, for the most part, had raised out of the panels lines and I raised the white flag. I clear coated the decals and then weathered with Tamiya XF-16. When dry I ran some Tamiya Grey Panel Liner along the panel lines. Watching videos about this technique shows various wait times up to half an hour before removing the excess but I remove it almost immediately with good results, about a half a wing or fuselage at a time. I let this dry overnight and then flat coated with Microscale Flat. The aerial was done using Uschi van der Rosten Super-fine thread