To prep for the second gray color, I masked off the pattern with Tamiya Masking Tape for Curves. The TNI-AU uses solid demarcations for their camouflage so the tape would be OK.
However, the tape just won’t do sharp curves so I ended up going back to using blutack for these.
The second gray color is FS36173. The closet match I have was Tamiya XF53 Neutral Grey.
The paint went on very smoothly thinned with Lifecolor Airbrush Thinner.
I then upped the opacity of the lighter gray tone by going over freehand with Mig AMMO Light Compass Ghost Grey again.
The lighter gray areas are now less splotchy and matches better with the darker gray sections.
While the kit was curing, I also tackled painting the landing gear. Interestingly, the inside of all the gear doors are red. I painted these with Model Air Red. The wheel hubs meanwhile are in this typical bluish green color. I painted these Mig AMMO Interior Turquoise Green. It took some masking and freehand painting to get to the nose gear hubs. Trumpeter only calls for a light gray for the landing gear struts so I just went with Mecha Color White Grey over a base of black.
At this point, I carefully attached the starboard tailfin back in place. I really should have just attached them before painting. The bond would have been stronger for sure. Oh well.
Next are the details like a plate on the back of the fuselage and the area around the gun port. It turns out that the gun port’s panel lines are different than reference photos. I chose to follow the reference photos for this case.
The plate on the spine (it’s not a refueling door) was painted Vallejo Metal Color Jet Exhaust while the gun port area was given a coat of Mig AMMO Flat Aluminium.
The refueling probe details are handpainted.
Instead of decals, I decided to mask and spray all the markings on the missiles. The KH-31P in particular took a bit of creative masking for the colors.
By this point in time, it was obvious that I couldn’t make the 17 August deadline so I decided to spend a bit more effort getting the whole thing to look right and finish it by September instead. With more time on my hands, I went back in and did various paint touch-ups.