Last few things to complete. And as usual, a minor disaster…
I sprayed the exhaust in Alclad Jet Exhaust and I found the color abit too dark. Given another go, I think I’d have gone for gun metal color. I attached the exhaust petals with cement and carelessly got the cement onto the Alclad. Sigh… paint got removed.
I can’t handbrush Alclad so in the end, I decided to handpaint gun metal on the exhaust housings and layer on Future over it. It’s not too bad if you don’t look closely. 😀 I do like the contrast between the exhaust housing and the petals though.
Next up is the base which is a 4’x6′ chipboard from Art Friend in Singapore. It’s a simple matter of spraying it flat black from a rattle can and a flat coat over it. Then it’s a brass rod into a hole I drilled through the base.
And I’m done! These are temporary pictures while I take better photos.
Yes it took awhile. But at least it looks decent enough.
The end is in sight!
After leaving the kit to dry for more than 24 hours, I sprayed on a semi gloss coat of Future mixed with some Tamiya flat base (to of course, flatten the finish). Note near the wingtip a somewhat big glob of black oilpaint which I missed out when I was doing the wash. I guess I’ll just explain it away as space debris impact. 😛
Then what remains are the minor details that need to be colored/attached. First up the wingtip and tailfin lights. Red on the left, blue on the right. For this, I painted a base color of silver then brushed on Tamiya clear red and blue. I then topped this off with undiluted Future to shine them up.
The nose is actually bristled with lenses of various shapes and sizes. The instructions call for them to be clear green which I decided to tint them with smoke instead. These are handbrushed with Tamiya smoke and given a coat Future also. To keep track of them I wrote down their part number on a plastic card and used it as a part handler.
The holes where these clear parts go were painted silver and they were attached with PVA glue. The parts fit very tightly in the nose and I actually managed to split the nose open which I had to carefully cement back together.
There are 1 clear lens on each wing.
Then it was time to remove the masking around the canopy. Moment of truth time for most aircraft projects because it tends to make or break the project.
Turns out, I had to use the hobby knife and toothpick to clean up the canopy frame which ended up hazing some of the clear parts. To fix this, I brushed on Future to see if I can shine them up again.
And I’m 95% done! Only the antenna, belly gun barrels, exhausts and base remain! 😀
DAMN! Missed some painting. For lack of a better word, the chevrons on the engine housings need to be painted. The instructions called for a silver color but I chose black gray instead. There are also what looks like gun barrels on each side of the housing that needs to be painted.
The shape of the chevron was pretty complicated so I ended up using masking tape, paper to cover the decals and liquid mask. The it’s a matter of airbrushing black gray.
Next is time for weathering. Having managed to find a bottle of odorless turpentine, I decided to give the kit an oil wash of Paynes Gray on the panels. It also ended up giving the kit an overall filter which blended the camouflage together in my eye. Nice.
For the bottom, the resulting wash was very subtle. It’s only obvious at certain angles, otherwise it’s pretty much invisible. I used a combination of straight Paynes Gray and a lightened version of it. This being the first time I’m trying to ‘wash’ a black surface’, the result is not what I have expected, but it turned out all right.
Time to gloss up the kit to prepare for decals! For the top, I sprayed on Krylon Preserve it!. It however didn’t layer on very smoothly. It’s smooth to the touch, but it doesn’t LOOK smooth… strange…
I decided to try using Future Floor Polish for the bottom. Now I’ve never had good experiences airbrushing Future (it spatters when used straight from the bottle) so I’ve relegated it to glossing up clear parts by dipping. However, I’ve read that you can thin it 50/50 with Isopropynol Alcohol. So what now? Using my 0.2 airbrush, it did go on very well. Being quite thin, it also did not pool at all. Nice.
A total of 48 hours was needed for both layers to cure properly before decaling can commence. Hasegawa decals have a reputation of being thick and this one’s no different. Although I have to say the small warning markings are easier to handle because of that.
I had a choice of 3 different noseart. I picked the babe who’s most naked
So after having a talk with some buddies, I decided to repaint the bottom color of the VF-22S. I originally used Gunship Gray. I replaced this with Vallejo Model Air Black Grey which is basically FS37031. Now it matches the line art more.
I think I like this better! 🙂