Monday, April 12, 2010

Spitfire HF VII in 1/72. Part 4 of 6

The white painted wingtips are now masked in preparation for the black stripes to be painted.

Here again, with part 4 of what is now a 6 part article. I have revised the installment numbers as I forgot to include the first installment written and posted last year. I have also expanded the series to include a 6th installment, as there are a lot of in-progress photos to share. There was a little delay in getting this blog posting finished and online. There was a model contest yesterday in lovely Stockton, California this past Sunday. I had a few things to get done before the contest, including repairs on a 1/48th scale Fw-190A-6 that has been fighting me for the last 8 months, so the blog was put on hold for a few days.

I am back in the saddle again now, and blogging like there is no tomorrow. Of course there IS a tomorrow, but not after December 21st, 2012. That is the day that the Mayans have determined that the world will come to an end. As my son, Cooper, who is 16, said to a friend of his on this subject "If the Mayans were so smart and prescient, where the hell are they now?"

I believe that by the end of the second installment, the airframe was about ready for paint. So, after the usual masking off of the cockpit, tailwheel bay, and canopy, the airframe was wiped down with rubbing alcohol in preparation for painting.

The outer wing panels were sprayed with Tamiya Flat White thinned with Gunze Mr. Color thinner. This is the thinner made for thinning the Gunze lacquer line. It works very well with Tamiya paints. It gives the it some bite into the plastic that thinning with alcohol does not. The white areas were masked off and scale black was applied with my Paasche H.
This view shows the scale black applied over the masked off white stripes.

Once the paint had dried (it dries really fast, and you could probably mask over it after 10-15 minutes, but I wait half an hour to be safe), The masking was removed, revealing the Starkey stripes. I was pleased with how they came out, although a small amount of touchup was required for a few spots. The stripes were now carefully masked over in preparation for the camouflage to be applied.

Before that could happen, two more colors had to be applied. The rear fuselage band and spinner on late war British aircraft were painted Sky Type S, S being for smooth finishes. Smooth was another word for satin or not matt. I like to paint my fuselage bands, so I sprayed the area with my custom mix using Tamiya. Mix 1 part Tamiya Flat Sky (which is miles too dark to be British Sky) with 1.5 parts Tamiya Flat White. This will be a good match to the Sky code letters on the decal sheet. The band was then masked off using Tamiya tape. Finally, the yellow wing leading edge was sprayed Yellow. British Yellow has a slight orange cast to it. When dry, this was also masked off.
Operation Starkey stripes revealed. Leading edge yellow stripe has also been applied.
Note the rear fuselage has been sprayed with Sky Type S. The rear fuselage band will be masked off before camo painting begins.

The undersides were painted with a custom mixed Medium Sea Grey color from Tamiya paints. I tend to use Tamiya for almost all my exterior painting. I added a drop of black to the MSG mix and post shaded the undersurfaces. I then went back with a slightly lightened version of the MSG and added some spotty breakup to the basic color. This adds a certain visual interest, but keep it subtle. Taking it to extremes results in cartoony looking paintjobs. The undersurfaces were then masked off, and the upper surfaces were sprayed with a custom mix of Ocean Grey. Tamiya now makes all three British late war RAF camo colors. These are numbered XF-81, 82, and 83. They look good, but the Dark Green may be a little light to my eye.

Upper surface colors have been applied. Post shading and breakup pass will add visual interest to the model.

Using my trusty Paasche H airbrush, I applied the dark green disruptive pattern freehand, using drawings and photos as a guide. Sometimes I lightly draw the basic pattern on the model with pencil. The color is once again custom mixed from Tamiya paints. Once the basic pattern is applied, I go back with Ocean Grey and tighten up any overspray. The secret is to lower the paint volume and get in really close. You have to keep the brush moving to keep paint from pooling, but with practice, it is not terribly difficult to get a realistic tight hand sprayed demarcation between colors with a single action airbrush, even in 1/72nd scale. I go back one final time with Dark Green and touch it up a bit more. It takes a bit longer, but I'd rather be painting than spending time cutting tedious masks and spacing them out with Blu-tac or rolled up tape or whatever.

In the 5th installment, I will finish up the post shading and breakup of the uppersurfaces. Gloss coat, decals, and final assembly will also be covered. The 6th installment will feature shots of the finished model.

Hope you are enjoying the build as much as I did.

Happy modelling! Roy

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