Due to how the gearbay doors work on the real F-1, this kit requires the landing gear to be installed from the beginning. At first, I was worried that I would break them during the painting stage. However, it allowed me to a make sure that they fit properly and strongly. The landing gear were painted after everything was attached.
Painting begins with the primer which, as usual is Mr Finishing Black Surfacer thinned with Mr Levelling Thinner.
I decided to experiment with a darker marble coat which in this case was a dark gray. Note that filled only the panels with the dark gray and left the panel lines black.
The color scheme begins with Mr Hobby Aqueous Light Brown over the whole kit.
The second color painted is the darker green with Mr Hobby Aqueous Dark Green. The demarcations were done using blutack rolled into long strips.
Like this. This was the masking done for the third color, the lighter green.
I used Mr Hobby Aqueous Green FS34079 but it turned out to be the wrong color.
So I re-applied the blutack and found the correct lighter green: Mr Hobby Aqueous Light Green.
For the bottom, Platz called for FS36231 Dark Gull Gray but that was too dark compared to reference photos. Checking Hasegawa’s instructions for their 1/48 F-1, they called for FS16640. The closest match I have for this was Mr Hobby Aqueous Light Gull Gray.
I used Tamiya Gloss Black for the nose and anti-glare panel.
Due to the amount of stencils I decided to play it safe and gave the whole kit a gloss coat. There were a lot of stencils, but Platz has conveniently grouped the ones that were closed together into bigger decals.
The decals went on easily: they were thin, could withstand handling and reacted well to Mark Fitter and Mark Softer.
I’m not sure if I would have bothered if the decals weren’t designed the way they were.
It took four sessions but the result looks very good. I gave it a few days to cure and also fix some inevitable silvering by cutting the decals along panel lines then adding more Mark Softer.
After a satin coat, I gave the kit a panel wash using diluted Flory Models Dark Dirt Wash. A diluted wash resulted in a milder overall effect.
Final assembly was next and I began with attaching the wheels. These were given 24 hours to cure while upside down to make sure they dried solid. The gear doors and air brakes on the bottom were next and these were attached with sprue goo. I also handpainted the lights on the tailfin, wingtips and bottom of the nose at this point. These were Mig AMMO Crystal orange and Model Color Transparent Red and Blue over a silver base.
The canopy masking was then removed and with a little scraping needed with a toothpick, it looked good! Best of all, the rattling ejection seat wasn’t a big issue at all.
Due to attaching using a basic pin and hole method, the horizontal stabilizers took a bit of time to get them to sit right but once those were on, I only had the weapons left to do.
Working from inside out as usual, I attached the centerline fuel tank, then the ASM-1s and lastly the AIM-9s. Note that to make them easier to attach, I added 0.5mm brass pins.
Last on was the nose probe and I can call this done.
It took almost forever but I really like how it has turned out.