I decided to give Lifecolor UA035 Flat Light Gull Gray a go and it turned out to be a more ‘correct’ shade of FS36440.
Layering over the previous warmer shade of gray probably changed the color somewhat but it’s OK as long it looks more ‘right’ to my eyeball 1.0.
Since the Crusader marking I’m doing requires a black nose, I masked and sprayed Vallejo Air Black Grey at this time.
I then used the remaining paint on the exhaust. I’ve noticed that the Vallejo metallic colors look better on top of a dark base color. The exhaust was sprayed with 073 Black Metal. If I ever do this kit again, I’ll leave off the air scoops until final assembly. It’s quite hard to mask around.
Next up is finetuning the camouflage and fixing overspray. The demarcation for camouflage is not a solid line but it’s not as soft as what I did freehand. So it’s out with my blutack again. I made sure to spray at a 45 degree angle so the demarcation is more solid. However, a close-up look will show the line is not totally solid. I think it should be OK for 1/72 scale. I’ve also read that the camouflage is touched up by hand with spray can while out at sea so the demarcation not being straight and neat is correct.
Then it’s time for all the small items. Typical of modern subjects, there are quite a few of them.
The wheel hubs were sprayed white and the tires are (very carefully) handpainted in black grey.
The edges of the gear doors and air brake are red in Navy aircraft. I colored them with a permanent red marker.
The IRST ball on the windshield is added at this time. I had to cut off the male peg though for it to fit properly. Did I mention it’s REALLY tiny?
Lastly the a tiny light is attached to the starboard MLG door and the housing quickly handpainted white. The arrestor hook barber pole pattern is a decal which thankfully snuggled down with a healthy dose of Mark Softer. It was then glued into the housing.
So after carefully removing all the masking tape, I had to check if the kit is a tail-sitter. The instructions doesn’t say it requires nose weight but they can be wrong sometimes. Lucky for me, the kit stands by itself perfectly fine. I think I’ll add some weight in every kit I do from now on though. Just in case…