The construction phase went quite smoothly but as we shall see, I had a few problems after that…
First up is a base coat of black.
The engine area was painted in Vallejo Metal Color Pale Burnt Metal and the nozzles with Vallejo Metal Color Exhaust Manifold. These were then masked off with the nozzles left off till final assembly.
Next is the marble coat using white.
Painting white acrylics has always been hit and miss for me. Just look at the runs and pooling I got when I sprayed with Mecha Color Grey White.
Using white also emphasizes the shoddy work I did with gap filling so I had to go back in to fix them.
In the end I went with Game Color Dead White instead which, for me, is still one of the easier white acrylic paints to use. But because it’s so opaque, the marbling effect was all covered up.
The painting of the bottom went much smoother. Note to self: the top should only be painted after all color experimentation is done on the bottom.
I then masked off the white sections to prepare for the blue.
The Hasegawa instructions for the F-8E called for FS15050 for the blue. I had a very old bottle of Model Master Acryl Blue Angel Blue in my stash which was a match. However, it looks to have gone bad and resulted in a bad finish. It looks like the pigment has separated from the thinner somehow.
So now I have to strip the paint. I went ahead by first sanding with 600 grit sandpaper and then 1000 grit. To further smoothen the surface, I buffed everything with a sanding sponge.
I then masked off the area again, primed in black again, marble coated in white again, then proceeded to custom mix a version of the blue using eyeball 1.0 as my guide. The result was a mix of Game Air Magic Blue, Model Air Red and Model Color Deep Yellow (in a 5:2:1 ratio if I remembered correctly). I also masked off and painted the nose Tamiya Black.
I then painted the gearbays with Vallejo Metal COlot Pale Burnt Metal. I then glossed the whole kit to prepare for decals.
I only used the unicorn logo and the ’00’ nose number from the Hasegawa F-8E kit. The stencils were all from the F-5E kit. To my eye, the decals look inaccurate and overscaled for the real-life subjects but they went on with no problems. Since Kazama’s F-5 is fictional I just picked whichever stencils looked good. I also handpainted the gun barrels on the nose and the lights at this point.
Next is the panel wash using the usual AK Abteilung Starship Filth for the white areas and AK Abteilung Neutral Grey for the blue areas. The effect of the gray is quite subtle but I think suits it better than using the almost black Starship Filth wash. I decided not to do further weathering and after a day of curing I misted a satin coat over the kit. Note that I had already attached the AIM-9s onto the wingtip rails…
And that was because I dropped the kit on two separate occasions, and on each time, one of the wingtips broke off. On both rails, the point of breakage was where I drilled a hole for the pin on the missile to be inserted. Looking back at it I realized I made a mistake in locating the holes forward of the wing. I should have drilled the holes where the rails are connected to the wings instead which would be stronger. In any case, I fixed what I could by filling the break line and repainted. The breaks are still very obvious to my eye though.
Next I removed the masking around the canopy and was glad that neither of the two drops had jolted anything loose inside the cockpit. Very minor cleanup on the clear parts were needed but nothing too bad.
The landing gear is next and for the most part they all fit positively with the help of sprue goo and cement. The only problem I have were the air brakes forward of the main gear. The doors are molded with hinges but the bays themselves are not designed to have room for them. So I carefully trimmed the hinges off and butt-joined them to the bays. I also attached the nozzles.
Shin Kazama is finally (almost) ready for action!
I then slowly attached the stores starting with the centerlien tank and working outwards. I then added a drop of Future on each of the lights before finally attaching the nose probe.
Shin Kazama is finally ready for action!