Written by 1:56 pm On the Bench

WIP : Hasegawa 1/72 F-2A Pt.2 – Painting & Finishing

Since I’m attaching the pylons from the beginning, I painted them first with the area around the sway braces being handpainted.

The pins were all slightly oversized so I had to make the holes larger for the pylons to fit.

The F-2 color scheme is an overall FS35109 medium blue with FS35045 dark blue highlights. Fine Molds also makes the F-2 kit and since it’s newer, I checked its color callouts against Hasegawa’s and they were different. Looking at the colors in the bottle, the Fine Molds callouts look more accurate and a paint test backs this up.

More importantly I think, is for the dark blue to match the decals since I have to paint the canopy frame with this color. The result is slightly lighter but I think it’s close enough without resorting to mixing paint.

Like the F-16, the F-2 also has a black trim on some parts of the canopy which I try to replicate. The black areas were then masked off with additional masking tape.

The nose was painted first with Model Air Light Gull Gray and masked off once given a day to cure.

The light blue is AK Real Color Aggressor Blue FS35109 while the canopy frame is painted AK Real Color Dark Sea Blue.

Once done I handpainted all the details like the IFF bird slicers, the RWR nose blister and the AOA tubes.

But wait. There are actually a lot of other details that needed to be dealt with!

This includes the bottom too.

The landing gear and stores were also painted and I’m now ready for the hard part: the decals.

As usual I start with the tail and this bird has a big tailart that covers almost the whole tailfin. While it’s listed as sized to fit the Hasegawa kit the decal is actually slightly larger than the tailfin itself. While it works well with Mark Softer, I still ended up having to carefully trim some of the decal edges.

Another issue popped up when I was dealing with the decals around the nose: as you can see, the holes for the IFF bird slicers are addressed by DXM Decals but they didn’t deal with the RWR nose blisters.

So I had to cut up the decal and fit around the RWR blister. Any resulting gaps were patched up with the spare rectangle that DXM provides on the sheet.

Another problem area is the spine where the decals are provided as long length-wise halves.

These I cut into a few large pieces and align them on the kit.

But note the gap between them. I thought the decals were supposed to fit around the antennas when the fact was that DXM should have made cutouts for them. I noted this after looking at reference photos where the spine’s markings didn’t reach that far down the sides. In any case, what’s done is done and I patched the gap up with the spare decals.

At this point the main gear door actuators finally broke on me and I decided to attach them back only during final assembly.

After a few nights of work the digital camouflage is finally done.

Then it was time for the stencils which DXM had designed as separate decals. As usual with JASDF subjects, there are a lot of them. Luckily most were designed to be applied as groups.

Decaling took a few nights. There were a lot of them but thankfully they were thin but strong and worked very well with Mark Softer. What wasn’t so great was the quality of the instructions: it was clearly printed on inkjet printers so they were low resolution and therefore it’s hard to see the details. Some decals were also missing their numbers.

After the decals were done I went ahead and gave the panel lines a wash with Abteilung Starship FIlth. These I carefully cleaned off with turpentine to keep the finish looking ‘new’ and then misted satin all over the kit to knock the shine down.

I then removed the canopy masking and to my horror, the Deluxe Material Looks Like Glass reacted with the Tamiya masking tape. It looks like the masking tape lifted the gloss coat that hadn’t cured properly. This was even though the instructions say it cures hard in two to three hours. I believe I actually gave it five hours to cure.

I also found a tear in the decal that needed patching up. Lucky I still had spares left.

I then tried to fix the problem of the canopy. In the end I used Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner and a lot of cotton buds to slowly remove the patchy Looks Like Glass. I then went back to my old bottle of Future Floor Polish and handbrushed it onto the canopy to give it some shine. It’s not perfect (I can still see some smudges) but I decided to move on.

The center fuel tank and landing gear were then attached without much issue. I just had to be patient to make sure they aligned properly.

With that done I can now call this build finished. Not happy with the last minute disaster with the canopy but that can’t really be helped.

Such a striking scheme!

Build Log
Pt.1 – Construction | Pt. 2 – Painting & Finishing

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