Today was painting day. I hate it when I get to this part of the build. I always worry that after getting the kit basically completed that there is so much that can go wrong in the painting and decal stages. The core of the model was done, the joints were filled as needed, and everything was prepared for painting. Sub-assemblies, such as the underwing tanks, the gear doors, and so on were also prepared for painting. I had previously planned to use Chipping Fluid to add chipping to this model, but I decided I wanted to represent a plane that was newer.
I used some masks by a company called New Ware. I had never used them before, but they seem to come out with masks for a lot of older models, such as the Revell F-86D. The masks for the forward part of the canopy were slightly big and needed a little trimming. There was a mask for the intricate outline of the radome, which fit perfectly. The masks for the wheels didn’t work very well for me. The masks are made of very thin paper tape, similar to Eduard, but the masks for the wheels were not very wide. They were so limp that I found it impossible to get them nudged into a circle that matched the hub of the wheel. After destroying two of the masks, along with a lot of really creative language, I decided I would just hand-paint the hubs. I don’t think it was a problem with the masks, rather there was some “operator error” involved.
1. I think the masks are laughing at me.
I began the painting process by painting the black radome and anti-glare panel on the nose. I then lightened the black and highlighted the panel lines on the nose. I am usually too subtle here, but I think the highlighting may be a little too light here, but I will take care of that later in the build.
For the bottom of the plane, I used Tamiya Superfine Gray Primer sprayed directly from the can. After it was dry, I applied a slightly darker color to the panel lines to accent the panels.
For the topside, I used Tamiya Dark Sea Gray lightened with some white for the initial application of the gray color. I then added a little blue gray and sprayed a random pattern over the first application, following by a very thin application of the original color to blend everything together. I was looking for a slightly splotchy tone that would depict some sun fading.
1. Initial application of gray
After the gray dried, I applied the green color using Tamiya Japanese Dark Green. I decided to try applying the dark paint first, then followed by a splotchy application of the lightened color. I thinned the lightened color considerably and didn’t quite get the appearance I was looking for. I added a little yellow to the mix and repeated the application, this time getting an appearance closer to what I wanted.
At this point, I removed all of the masking and checked the application for problems. So far everything looks OK, but I like to let it dry overnight and then check the paint again. I still need to mask the recesses and tracks for the leading edge slats and paint them. Everything I can find looks like this area was natural metal. I also need to mask the gear wells and paint them green primer. Then it will be time for some clear gloss to prepare for the decals. Yeah!
I also took a shot at painting the anti-collision beacon that sits on a panel behind the ejection seat. All of the photos I could find of this beacon showed it to be red with what appeared to be a coating of something that gave it a touch of yellow. I mixed red and yellow Tamiya clear paints and painted an initial coat on the light. I followed this with a light coat of clear red. Not great, but I think it will look OK. I can’t quite imagine what it was like to fly at night with this beacon illuminated right behind the pilot. I would think you would get all kinds of reflections off the canopy, but obviously it worked because they flew for years in this configuration.
That’s it for today. I hope everyone is staying safe during this trying time. Things are getting a little scary here in Texas, but my wife and I are doing our best to hide out. Cheers till next time.