On to the finishing stage! First up are the decals after a gloss coat. The decals are designed by Canuck Models and printed by Cartograph. While generally printed nicely, the red bands that go around the bottom fuselage were slightly out of register. Pity.
These went on beautifully and are really easy to use although I think slightly oversized when I compared to references. As usual with aggressor aircraft, markings are limited with a general lack of stencils. Not that I’m complaining.
Kinetic’s markings callout was vague in some parts (black line pointing into a black area…. really, Kinetic?) So I ended up referring to reference photos instead. Based on these photos, Kinetic also missed out on some markings on the bottom. I wasn’t able to figure out where marking B15 went on so I left it off.
Once cured and given another gloss coat, I began the weathering process with raw umber oil wash for the panel lines.
Unfortunately, the wash brought up a molding mistake on the port wing: there’s ONE missing rivet. Yeesh. Now I can’t unsee it but I decided to move on.
Photo references show that these aircraft are maintained very well so I went with a cleaner finish.
There are minor wear and exhaust streaks on the bottom of the stabilizers and fuselage.
After a day of curing, I flat coated and gave the kit another half day to cure. For final assembly. I installed the pylons, sway braces, fuel tanks, gear doors, wheels, wingtip lights, various pitot tubes and antennas that line the Alpha Jet. These were attached with either CA or PVA glue. Predictably, all of these parts required minor trimming and adjustments to fit and the sway braces in particular didn’t fit right. The fuel tanks don’t hang right to my eye.
The ejection seats are finally installed and these fit quite securely without cement.
Just some final painting of the various antennas, pitot tubes, canopy actuators and wingtip lights and I can finally call this done!