Continuing from where we left on our previous installment, in the second part of this little model’s build log, its painting and finishing will be discussed. It will be completed displaying the livery of aircraft 511, belonging to Tayeset 101 “First Fighter” of the Israeli Air Force.
The cockpit was painted using Vallejo Acrylics, quickly picking up the details in the plastic parts. The nose cone was also painted at this stage as I find it easy to mask it, rather than masking the whole aircraft to paint the nose.
The canopy was masked before being glue over the cockpit. In this small scale, it is important to make the frames very thin, other wise it will immediately detract from the prototypical look of the real aircraft. The masking was carried out using thin masking stripes and masking fluid.
The exhaust nozzle and the landing gear wells were painted and masked with masking tape and masking putty, preparing the model for the application of the camouflage colors.
The first camouflage color to be applied was the lower fuselage grey. The improvised stands visible in the following photo allowed for all parts to be painted without touching them, making it easier to get a smooth and unblemished paint application.
The sand color was applied over the upper surface, after masking the lower fuselage.
After deciding to airbrush the remaining colors freehand, the camouflage borders were marked over the fuselage, using a pencil. It is easy to erase this line and redo them if we are not happy with their arrangement.
The green and the earth colors were applied , following the drawn lines but inevitably, it resulted in a wide color gradient at the color borders.
In order to make the color transition more “to scale” (i.e. narrowing the color gradient at the borders), the camouflage colors were touched-up around the color borders keeping the airbrush very close to the model surface.
After removing the masked areas (excluding the canopy masks) small touch-ups were done to repair any area where paint might have creep under the masks.
The decals used in this model came from a variety of sources (all were leftovers from other models) and their quality was very inconsistent. Some showed silvering no matter what setting fluid I used (I have tried Micro Set, Mr Mark Setter, Humbrol Decal Coat and Vallejo Decal Fix without success). To minimize this defect, I resorted to a trick a modeller friend once showed me: apply minute amounts of Tamiya’s Extra Thin Cement to the areas of the decal showing silvering (thank you Paulo Lopes). You can do small cuts on the decal so the glue can sip under the decal more easily, but beware, apply the glue with the brush almost dry, other wise you can severely damage the decal or even the model.
After some more detail painting and touch-ups, it was ready for final details and weathering.
Weathering was kept subtle, lightly marking all panel lines with a 0.3mm technical pencil and using Vallejo’s Grey Model Wash (mixed with Slow Dry) to mark the borders of control surfaces and to add some grime in the landing gear wells. Ammo washes were also used to add grime to some areas of the lower fuselage, applied heavily diluted, keeping the effect very subtle.
Adding the wheels, remaining ordnance and the landing gear well doors completed the model, which proved to be another very rewarding build. I hope you find useful tips over this build, to use on your own scale modelling projects.