Unlike my previous builds, I need to paint the exhaust area around the Su-30 first. As these will be metallic colors, I’ll need a glossy base. I begin with spraying a base layer of Tamiya X-18 Gloss Black.
Reference photos show that the exhaust area is a myriad of shades of dark metal colors. I first went with Vallejo Metal Color Steel. I also sprayed this color on some of the square panels.
I then carefully masked off all the Steel-colored panels.
The next color is Vallejo Metal Color Exhaust Manifold. This is a warmer tone than the first color I used.
This area was also then masked off and I sprayed Vallejo Jet Exhaust as the third color.
I have to then masked the whole section off and hope that the three shades I chose will look alright in the end. There should actually be more variation in tones. This will be addressed in the weathering stage.
The exhaust nozzle was two shades: Vallejo Metal Color Jet Exhaust and Vallejo Metal Color Steel that I tinted with Vallejo Model Color Transparent Blue to get the burnt exhaust look.
It was then time to start painting the main body. I first attached the horizontal stabilizers. Each stab has a hole in it that I can’t figure out what the purpose was for. The instructions also don’t indicate a function for them so I filled them with melted sprue.
It’s time to put paint onto styrene. I’ve kept the tailfins off to be painted separately figuring it’ll be easier that way.
The base coat of black is my usual Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black.
Then the usual marble coat of XF-2 Flat White was done. Note that the left wing’s marble coat is more finely done than the rest of the kit. That’s because my index/trigger finger got tired. Hah!
First order of business is to paint the nose. This is FS36118 so I went with Model Color Dark Seagreen. This was then masked off.
The TNI-AU paints their Flankers in a 2-tone gray camouflage. The lighter gray is FS36375. For this I used Mig AMMO Light Compass Ghost Gray. I sprayed the color very thinly so the marble coat underneath still shows.
For the darker camouflage color, masking will be required so I decided to attach the tailfins at this point.
The tab on the tailfin that slots into the er… slot on the fuselage is quite short and I had to use the cement very carefully so as to not melt the paint surrounding the joint. The end result was that the tailfins didn’t fit as solidly as I’d like. /Ominous music…
At this point, I noticed that there was a noticeable gap between the bottom of the tailfin and the stabs. Looking at reference photos, the back section at the bottom of the tailfin looks to serve as actuators for the stabs so they should be connected.
Each stab is the same on both sides so I tried flipping the left and right stabs to check the fit to the tailfins and they looked much better with less gaps between the stab and the actuator section. I just added cement and held the stabs in the correct positions until the cement cured.
Checking the color callouts, I noted that the tip of the tailfins are also FS36118. The leading edge of the starboard tailfin also has a section with FS36118 which the port tailfin didn’t. ‘Conveniently’, the starboard tailfin snapped off at this point which let me paint easier. How considerate!