In this second installment, we will continue with this minute F-15 build, concentrating on the camouflage painting (including a little video, showing how to freehand airbrush the camouflage colors). The aircraft I choose to depict is portrayed in a profile published in the excellent “F-15I Ra’am in IAF service” book, from Isradecal (the profile is in page 31). So, lets start applying paint!
Revell did a nice job with this model as its panel lines are quite crisp (although a bit to wide for the scale) and I wanted to conserve them as crisp as possible, as it helps with the application of washes. So my idea was to use the minimum number of paint coats, trying to get a consistently thin paint film. After a thin coat of primer, the first colors were applied on the nose cone and the fuselage underside.
With these colors dry, the tedious task of masking the underside starts, finally followed by the camouflage colors. Hopefully, the following video will show how I mask, sketched the camouflage areas and paint then freehand, trying to keep the soft color transition areas as tight as possible.
I prefer to apply the camouflage freehand as I have difficulties in achieving a consistent color transition when using other techniques such as floating masks or poster putty rolls (for these techniques, in order to maintain a consistent color transition, you need to keep the airbrush perpendicular to the used mask and in these very small models I find it very hard, as the overspray easily gets under the neighboring masks). Here is the final result of the camouflage application.
The engine area was masked and some metallic colors were applied to the area, with the nozzles and other small parts being painted separately. The wheels were firstly airbrushed with a semi-gloss offwhite color (from Mr. Color), with the tires brush painted with a dark grey color (from Vallejo‘s range). The use of different types of paint can help to keep our work clean, as one can easily clean up any excess Vallejo Model Color paint with a toothpick, when applied over a tougher paint. With this approach, it is easy to cleanly paint these small wheels and ordnance.
As our camouflage colors paint film is very smooth, keeping with the idea of restricting the thickness of the applied paint film, no clear coat was applied prior to decal application. The decals were applied with the help of Mr. Mark solutions (Setter and Softer) and mostly conformed to the model’s surface (there are a few areas where the decal film did not sink in completely in the panel lines, that I missed – a further application of Mr. Mark Softer would have solved the problem). To complete this stage, in order to provide a homogeneous surface for the weathering steps, a thin coat of satin varnish was applied.
The weathering process started with marking all panel lines, but in a very subtle way, as I find that most of my previous attempts were way to strong. So for this model I mixed acrylic washes slightly darker than the camouflage color (so I mixed a wash for each applied color). You can check how I apply these acrylic washes in a previous post (the second part of my 1:144 Typhoon FGR.4 build). To make the control surfaces more evident, they were marked with a Dark Grey enamel wash from AMMO‘s range of PLW. I avoided using a black wash because, again, I did not like most of my previous results using such a dark color for this purpose.
I was very pleased with the result, but the colors were still to bland and to add some variation to each color, oil colors were mixed, in a slightly lighter shade and stippled onto each color, blending it with a dry brush, trying to replicate subtle color fading. This resulted in an almost not noticeable fading that add a bit of interest to camouflage scheme.
To complete the model, I added some dirt and oil runs on the fuselage underside, mainly around the main gear doors and engine area. These were done using several enamel colors from AMMO, blending them so the result is not very strong. I further feathered these effects airbrushing them over with very diluted mix of Tamiya XF-1 and XF-52, killing some of the glossiness of the used enamel paints.
And that completed the model. I hope you like the obtained result and that this post could provide you with some tips or ideas for your own modelling projects.
Now I just need to complete its shelter…