Monday, November 9, 2009

Dr. David's Photo Hunter Update #3

OK, since the last update I've been able to make a small amount of progress, albeit in tiny steps. Three half day conferences/meetings last week and two major deadlines over the weekend certainly slowed things down. On the flip side, horrendous weather in Annapolis led me to skip the Navy (US Naval Academy) football game and gave me back a full day to handle the other stuff and a little modeling. (The Mids won a nail-biter even without my on-scene exhortations).

The little steps of progress included securing the seat and control stick in the cockpit, getting the windscreen and canopy affixed with white glue (remembering to paint a small area under the rear of the canopy in interior black), and completing the final dressing of the wing to fuselage joints.

The next bigger, and more tedious step, involved masking the canopy with strips and rectangles of Tamiya masking tape. Once that was done, I applied a quick shot of interior black to the canopy to provide the color for the "inside" framing, followed by an overall topsurface coat of Model Master Dark Sea Gray.

After that dried overnight, the camouflage pattern was delineated with very thin strips cut from Tamiya tape. The inside edges of the areas to remain gray were defined with small squares cut from the same tape. Yes, it's tedious, but I find its the best way to secure the complex curves with minimal overspray and bleedthrough errors. The photo shows the outlining and the first few squares of tape on the nose.

The gray areas were then filled in with larger squares of 3M blue tape.

Once the camo pattern was defined and masked, I carefully inspected for gaps in the tape under a bright light. A quick rub with a Polly Scale Plastic Prep impregnated cloth prepared me to spray the ModelMaster RAF Dark Green. Depite thorough stirring, this had a distinctive gloss finish on application. Though not a problem in light of the upcoming gloss coat for decaling, I worry a little about its drying time with that sheen, but I used lacquer thinner to dilute it and I have a two-and-a-half day business trip to let it cure. I'm a little concerned about leaving the masking in place that long, but any handling now would be a disaster.

Undersurface colored applied with Tamiya Silver Leaf - as anticipated, a dream to work with. Perhaps a tad bright, but I will be dulling it down.

The topside camo unmasked beautifully.

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