The kit decals went on OK. Some are robust and took handling and adjusting well but others did tear and some careful re-alignment was needed.
I also made a big mistake in putting the SMS logo on the wrong side of the tailfins. I had to carefully re-hydrate them to move them to the correct side. In the process I managed to strip the black color on one of the tailfins. So I carefully sanded and buffed the area, masked off the existing decals, then re-sprayed black. It looks OK now.
The whole point of going with Ozma Lee’s VF-25S colors is the very cool skull logo on the back of his VF-25. Thankfully Hasegawa designed it in 3 parts. Due to their intricate design, I went with decals for the yellow and black chevrons. The other yellow markings were masked and sprayed. The 2 shades of yellow don’t quite match but I’ll live with it.
Once the decals have cured, the kit was wiped down, dusted and sprayed with another gloss coat to prepare for the panel wash and weathering.
Weathering begins with a panel wash using Mig AMMO Deep Brown wash. Is it better than the usual oil paint sludge? Not really. But it’s ready to use out of the bottle.
I’m not neat about it at all. What matters more is that the wash gets into all the panel lines.
After 30 minutes or so, I wipe down the kit with a paper towel lightly dampened with odorless turpentine.
I tried my best to wipe from the front to back direction. This follows the direction of airflow (er… yeah even though these things usually fly in a vacuum).
Next I added filters, discoloration, faded the decals and streaks using the same brown wash in addition to white and black oil paints. The efforts are more obvious in the light gray areas.
I made sure to add streaks on the wing actuators.
The overall markings and (especially) the skull doesn’t look as stark now.
Final assembly of the parts is next and I can call this done.
Looks patchy after a few rounds of gray to check for seamlines. But it’s finally ready to paint.
First is the base of Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black cut with lacquer thinner.
The VF-25S is in a 2 tone gray camo. I used MIG AMMO Light Gray for the lighter gray.
I’m guessing because the mecha were all CGI animated in the TV series the designers could get away with more stylized camouflage designs. That translates to having to do a lot more masking though. In any case, I first used 1.5mm and vinyl masking tape to trace the curves, then the usual masking tape to backfill the rest.
The darker shade of gray using Model Air Aggressor Gray was then sprayed on.
The colors were added in thin coats so the black base shows through. The result is a patchy look that I think looks good for an operational machine.
The masking tape are then removed and checked for any spot fixing required. Luckily there was only a few this time. Once that’s done, it was time for decals. I begin with a gloss coat.
While waiting for the gloss coat to cure, I assembled the thrusters. For some unknown reason the various components were snapfitted together. These will be installed during final assembly.
Finishing this kit is next!
Over the last few days I’ve been helping my friend with a commercial project using 1/87 scale figures. Due to its commercial nature, I can’t show the final figures and pictures.
I can however, show this one figure I modified from a mountain climber into a guy in a bathrobe. It’s a rejected figure that I spent the most effort on. Oh well. 😀 Anyway, the idea was a man in a bathrobe stepping onto a weighing scale.
I trimmed the jacket and leggings, added parts of the robe with epoxy putty, chopped and swapped in a bare head and added painted on slippers. Then the whole figure was repainted. In the end though, a different figure concept was used.
And lastly, some non-spoilery behind-the-scenes photos I took…
Building up a Hasegawa Macross kit is easier than a typical aircraft kit in that they can be built up in subassemblies like a mecha kit. However, some planning is needed to make this work out so I begin by cutting and dryfitting the major parts together. As usual with Hasegawa, the fit is very good though tolerances are tight in some parts.
Since I’m building Ozma’s VF-25S, I went with the single seat cockpit. The ejection seat is nicely detailed although hidden once the Ozma figure is attached.
As with any aircraft kit, the pilot and cockpit needs to be painted and finished first.
With the instrument coamings installed, the cockpit is tight place to be and very little can be seen. The main console itself is a decal.
Hasegawa designs the wings to be movable but I went ahead to cement them in deployed position instead.
The exhausts are very detailed and also movable. I’ll be prepping these separately and only installing in the final stage.
As usual with my Macross kits, I want to build them in-flight whenever possible. The pole is a hollow brass rod secured with a glob of epoxy putty.
The kit came together quickly. Gaps and seamlines are part and parcel of building a kit, but with careful (and multiple) dry-fits, it’s possible to minimize them.
I spray gray color on all all the joint areas to check for gaps and seamlines. The gray color makes any issues easier to see. Luckily for me, there were only a few areas that require fixing.
The canopy was masked and given a coat of Mr. Masking Sol R. The liquid mask will fill any gap I miss with the masking tape and more importantly, it will also hold everything in place. I didn’t use the liquid mask in my previous build and the masking tape lifted and caused some overspray. Lesson learned, I’m not going to skip this step anymore.
Once dry, I’ll attach the canopy to the kit with Gator Glue and then it’s time to proceed to painting.
Time to finish this thing. The markings come from Scale Nutz, a defunct decal company based in Singapore. The sheet comes with full stencils for 1 aircraft but enough unit numbers to build any of the Hawk 109 and 209s in TNI-AU service in either squadron. I went with TT-1203 from Skadron 12 for this one. The decals were easy to use and reacted very well to Mark Softer.
Once cured and another gloss coat over the markings, I gave the kit a panel wash using Mig AMMO Deep Brown Panel Line Wash. The TNI-AU maintains their Hawks quite well so I didn’t do other weathering besides this panel wash. Once that has dried I gave the kit an overall flat coat.
Once the flat has cured, it was time to do final assembly. First up are the landing gear, gear doors, external fuel tanks and antennas. The pins on the antennas were all oversized so some trimming were required. The main gear struts were just about 2mm too short so the fit isn’t perfect there.
I was missing the blade antenna on top so I shaped one using 0.5mm plastic card. The clear part that goes into the recess on the spine was also oversized and I pinged it into my room when trying to trim it down. In the end I cut out a small circle from the clear part tree and used that instead.
Last off was the canopy masking and turns out there was some overspray inside the canopy. I popped this off, cleaned the inside, then re-attached.
This one’s definitely not my best finish with all the minor problems popping up. But at least it’s done.