Category: On the Bench

WIP : Wave 1/20 Rapoon Pt. 2 – Painting & Finishing

Time to finish this kit. Seamlines aren’t hidden and need to be addressed.

The areas in shadow were pre-painted in black before assembly.

Black base as usual to begin.

Marble coating with white. Nothing too precise though.

I went with a ground-oriented color scheme with red pauldrons.

The joint covers were handpainted in medium gray.

To replicate older chips, I added chipping at this stage with a sponge.

Decals on after a coat of gloss. These are a mix of the kit markings and a ‘noseart’ girl decal from a Modelkasten sheet.

The panel lines were then given a wash of diluted raw umber oil paint.

Next up is fading and adding streaks using Mig AMMO oil brushers.

I first faded the surface with white. I randomly dotted the surface and using a damp flat paintbrush blended the white into the surface.

I did the same with yellow and blue. This helps to reduce the contrast between the decals and the main kit. It also adds variations to the finish.

Starship Filth was used for smudges and streaks.

I decided to go for more fading on the feet with Dusty Earth.

This also adds a dust looking tint on the legs. More work will need to be done after pinning the kit to the base.

The base is similar to what I’ve done for my Gustav build but I added cork to the base so it’s easier to pin the Rapoon. I added a bit of an incline so it looks like the Rapoon is running upwards.

Besides adding a pin on the sole I also attached the leg to the cork using hot glue.

For the ground surface I used Vallejo Thick Mud – Light Brown.

I then pressed Woodland Scenics pebbles and sand in random spots.

Once dry I painted everything AK Interactive Black Grey, Model Color German Camo Medium Brown, then AK Interactive Dust.

I then added Citadel washes with their odd names but they are basically, red brown, dark brown and black.

I then randomly drybrushed with Game Color Bonewhite and AK Interactive Dust.

I mixed the 2 shades of grass tufts I have and added with PVA glue in random spots.

Then it was time to dust the feet with a 4 shade concoction.

I dusted both the feet and the base itself so the colors will match closer.

And I’m done! As usual, it took longer than usual due to inertia on my part.

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

WIP : Hasegawa 1/72 F-14A+ Kai Tomcat Pt. 2 – Construction

This is actually my 4th go at the ‘new’ mold Hasegawa F-14 kit. The less said about the first 3 disasters the better. Anyway I hope to break the cycle with this one. The kit includes all the parts for the various iterations of the F-14 through its 30 years of service so I’ll be basing the configuration of the F-14A+ Kai on what I can see on the screencaps. Here we go…

My copy of the kit has old-ish decals so I decided to go with the PE control panels instead.

These are just a tiny bit too wide and the recesses for the boarding steps on the left fuselage get in the way of the control panels from fitting flush.

I added some plastic plates to raise the angle of the control panels so they clear the recesses.

The boarding steps required a bit of sanding to fit flush. The NACA-style gun vents are… not great.

After carefully trimming the flash, sprue marks and thinning the parts, I managed to get them to fit OK. The corners on both NACA door parts aren’t sharp though so will need to be addressed.

I used plastic plates as guides so the 2 parts align properly.

Like almost all my Macross kits, I will be building this kit gear up. I decided to ‘close’ each of the gear doors before putting both fuselage halves together.

Again, plastic plates are used on the inside to use as alignment guides.

A dryfit shows a gap in between the doors. Something to fix later.

A lot of plate work for alignment.

I dryfit the nose section to the fuselage and like all 3 of my previous failures, there is a small gap right where the 2 parts join. I used to simply slap on a lot of putty and sand everything away. I’ll see if there’s another way to fix this.

I attached the wing glove vanes closed. These will need to be blanked off after both halves of the fuselage come together.

Before the 2 halves can fit together though, parts of the molded on main gear well need to be trimmed off.

The kit comes with the F-14A/B wing glove ECM fairings molded on. These need to be trimmed off.

The screencap shows however that the other fairing is present on both sides so these were attached.

The top and bottom speed brakes were trimmed and fitted into the aft fuselage.

Once fitted together I added the beaver tail. The F-14A+ Kai uses the modern version with the ECM bump and fuel dump pipe.

I decided to drill out the the fuel dump pipe. The hole is wider in real life but I’m afraid my limited dexterity won’t be able to pull it off.

This is proving to be a long build. Yay.

Build Log
Part 1 – Cockpit | Part 2 – Construction

WIP : Tamiya 1/72 F-16CM Fighting Falcon Pt.4 – Finishing

While waiting for the gloss coat to cure, I decided to tackle the exhaust. After a base of black and painting the inside white, the outside is painted with Vallejo Model Color Pale Burnt Metal.

I then masked off the exhaust petals with both 1mm masking tape and liquid mask. Yes each individual petal. The edge was masked off with vinyl masking tape.

Using Vallejo Metal Color Jet Exhaust, 20 minutes of masking and 20 seconds of painting later…

The small square shaped edges were then handpainted with the same color. After a gloss coat and a wash this should look nice enough.

I wanted to model the F-16 with the WW tailcode so the only option I have is the kit decal. These are quite thick but went on OK. It took a while for them to react to Mark Softer though. The tail marking also seem to be slightly oversized.

For a modern aircraft, the F-16 has relatively few stencils and I went ahead and added about 95% of them.

The top of the tailfin needed to be painted to match the fin flash.

So I handpainted Game Color Fiery Red and Model Color Deep Yellow over a base of white.

I decided to attach the intake lights at this point and once everything has cured and given a quick wipe down, I sprayed another coat of gloss to seal everything in. By this point, it had dawned on to me that the Mecha Color Medium Grey I used looks to be darker that what FS36270 should be. Unfortunately it’s too late to go back to fix it now.

The fuel tanks and weapons were also decaled and I think the stencils definitely add some ‘pop’ to the missiles and pods.

I went with using Raw Umber oil paint for the panel line wash.

The effect is subtle. I think next time I’ll need it to be closer to a black color.

I dotted white oil paint on the light gray color to try to lighten it a bit.

Once dried, I blended it with a damp paint brush.

I noticed in pictures that the area in front of the exhaust on the bottom tends to be dirtier than usual so I added some patchy filtering using raw umber here.

The landing gear are then attached. For 1/72 I think the details look great. Certainly more detailed than Hasegawa.

I then attached the rail, the ALQ-184 and the Sniper pod. The rail requires some shimming although I think it’s because I messed up the plate below it during construction.

I then attached all the pylons under the wings.

Working from inside to outside I attached the fuel tank, AGM-88 and AIM-9 using Gator Glue on the port wing. I worked slowly giving each store to cure a bit before attaching the next one.

With the same sequence, I attached the fuel tank, CBU-105 and AIM-9 for the starboard wing. I attached the wingtip AIM-120s only after all the other stores have been given some time to set.

I then removed the masking tape over the canopy. I notice that besides the belts, the details I added on the seat can’t really be seen. Hah!

I then attached the pitot tube and the nose antenna last. These were handpainted once in place. I also added a drop of Future onto the intake navigation lights to give them a shine.

It took a while with final assembly but I’m done!

Build Log
Part 1 – Construction | Part 2 – Construction | Part 3 – Painting | Part 4 – Finishing

WIP : Hasegawa 1/72 F-14A+ Kai Tomcat Pt. 1 – Cockpit

I’ve always wanted to build the F-14 that appeared in the Macross Zero OAV. Based on some research it looks like this particular boxing of the 1988 molds has all the necessary parts to depict an almost 100% replica of the F-14A+ Kai. The Tomcat that appears in the anime is officially designated F-14A+ Kai and is basically an F-14D that has an F-14A cockpit. It’s armed with 2x AIM-9 Sidewinders and 6x AIM-120 AMRAAMs and flew without external tanks during it’s appearance in episode 1.

Hasegawa did release an official F-14A+ Kai kit of their own. But that kit is based on the 1977 molds so it’s simplified and has raised panel lines. Hasegawa also didn’t bother with the details of the F-14A+ Kai as it builds into a bog standard F-14A. I never did manage to get my hands on the Hasegawa Macross Zero F-14 but after I managed to track down an aftermarket set of 1/72 decals off eBay, I decided it was time to build my own more accurate version.

I try to build my Macross kits wheels up so the first thing I tried is to cram 2 pilots into the kit. The pilots come from the Hasegawa US Pilot/Ground Crew Set. I’ll need to modify the pilots to be more ‘accurate’.

I used both epoxy putty and 0.25mm plastic plate to upgrade the helmet. The oversized pauldrons are also replicated with plastic plate.

After some sanding and shaping, I think my mods look OK. They should look fine once painted and under the canopy.

After re-checking references, I realized I got the shape of the pauldrons wrong so I went back to fix them. I also cut the pilot’s lower legs off so it’s be easier to fit the cramped cockpit.

I trimmed the pauldrons, res-primed then re-checked the figure. Good to go!

On a whim, I decided to test-fit the pilots into the cockpit. The RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) fits OK but the pilot didn’t fit correctly: in fact, the instrument coaming touches the pilot. It looks like Hasegawa got the dimensions wrong here and it’s both disappointing and surprising.

So I took it as a challenge and try to open up some space. Looking at the front cockpit, the back panel is very thick.

I replaced this panel with 0.25mm plastic plate.

The coaming requires thinning on the inside before it fit properly.

In the RIO’s cockpit, there’s a big gap between its coaming and the instrument panel. I added plastic plate to cover this up.

The kit includes both GRU-7 and NACES ejection seats. The F-14A+ Kai uses the GRU-7 ejection seat but compared to the NACES, it takes up more space which amplifies the limited space inside the front cockpit.

With the NACES seat, it’s better now but the pilot still seats too low: his view is blocked by the coaming.

I cut off the molded straps and the canopy breakers then added the GRU-7 ejection handles on the NACES seat. At this point, I’m very happy that this F-14 is a fictional variant.

added plastic plates on the seat to raise the pilot. I also sanded the bottom of the coaming to slightly lower its height.

The coaming looks too big and bulky for 1/72 scale.

To make it look more to scale, I thinned the edge of the coaming.

Another test-fit and I think it looks much better now.

I also thinned the pilot’s back slightly so he sits closer to the seat.

It’s a lot of work just to cram 2 pilots into the cockpit but at least it worked out.

Build Log
Part 1 – Cockpit | Part 2 – Construction

WIP : Tamiya 1/72 F-16CM Fighting Falcon Pt.3 – Painting

After fixing the few gaps, it’s time to put some color on this kit!

First, the stealth coat with Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black.

Then a marble coating with Tamiya XF-12 IJN Gray.

The instruction sheet made a mistake in calling out 3 gray tones for the camouflage. By 2010, this jet only has 2 gray tones: FS36118 and FS36270. I went with Mig AMMO Medium Gunship Grey for FS36118. The nose is actually uncolored and change color naturally so any shade of medium gray would have worked and be ‘accurate’. I went with Model Air Aggressor Grey.

I then masked off the nose and the darker gray for the lighter gray color. It’s usually SOP to paint the lighter colors first then go progressively darker. I did it the other way around this time as it will be easier.

For FS36270, I went with Vallejo Mecha Color Medium Grey which after researching matches the FS color.

The bottom is one solid shade of medium gray.

Using the XF-12 as a marble coat gives off a subtler effect than using a pure white color. I also cut the colors with Vallejo Glaze Medium that reduced their opacity.

The weapons were given a base coat of XF-1 Flat Black. I decided to paint the bands instead of relying on decals so I sprayed XF-2 Flat White for them.

I handpainted the bands with Game Color Bloody Red, Model Color Deep Yellow and German Cam Med Brown then masked these off with 0.7mm masking tape and 0.4mm tape for the red band on the AGM-88’s rear section.

The CBU-105s were painted Model Air USA Olive Drab (FS34079) for the body and Mecha Color Medium Grey for the tails. The AIM-120 and AIM-9Xs were painted Mig AMMO Light Compass Ghost Grey (FS36375). Other details lile the fins and seeker heads were handpainted. While it looks white in photos, the AGM-88 is actually a very light shade of FS36622. I thought my bottle of AK Camouflage Grey was too ‘gray’ so I replaced it with Model Air Insignia White instead.

The stores, rails, pylons and ALQ-184 were all the same color as the bottom of the F-16: FS36270 ie. Vallejo Mecha Color Medium Grey. The Sniper pod however is Mig AMMO Medium Gunship Grey (FS36118). Not pictured is the Model Air Insignia White I handpainted the HTS pod’s tip with.

With a deep breath, primary painting is done. Time to finish this thing!

Build Log
Part 1 – Construction | Part 2 – Construction | Part 3 – Painting | Part 4 – Finishing

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