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Posted (edited)

My new project, a Bandai 1/72 scale A-Wing, I'm wanting to do this in a 'retro' style borrowing as George Lucas did ideas and colours from WWII fighter planes and early jet fighters. Just getting going and putting together the cockpit in a Spitfire-esque 'cockpit green' mainly because I love the colour. I'm also using Flickr for the first time so please shout out if the pictures look shonky.

 

I took @AndyRM101 advice and bought a cheapy Optivisor from eBay and very expensive W&N No 7 brush - game changer, so much easier to paint detail.

 

A-Wing cockpit

I'm really pleased with how this has come out - its tiny but under the Optivisor I've realised a bit sparse and could have done with a few extra details - I'll maybe get a PE set next time out.

 

A-Wing cockpit

 

A few pictures with my $3 (delivered!) macro lens for the iPhone. Its not great but its not awful - should remember to blow off everything before a picture as the dust shows like nobodies business under this large magnification.

 

A-Wing cockpit

 

Really enjoyed putting the cockpit together and painting it up. Don't worry about the 'nobbly' bits on the chair - I put a blob of liquid mask on so once I add the pilot I'll be able to glue him down easily.

 

Couple of questions to those that know more than me.

1. Can I improve the look of the cockpit with a brown wash?

2. If I do add a wash - given its such a small area can I get away with not clear coating, applying a wash, then flat coating but just doing the wash on top of the (matt) paint work?

 

Cheers.  

 

 

Edited by BrotherMole
testing flickr

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Hi Brother,

 

I rather like where you're going with this; I mainly build aircraft and like many, love the Spitfire.  As to your questions, I think that a medium-dark gray green would do well for washing in some shadows.  Brown would work but I think it might tend to just look like dirt rather than shadows.  On your second question,  I would say "maybe," IF you have a lot of experience with doing washes, etc.  The main reason I do clear coats before and after washes is to create a barrier between the paint and the wash.  What is the barrier for?  It prevents the wash from lifting the paint.  The only time you can comfortably not use a wash is if the wash medium is different from the base paint.  For example, I use solvent based paints and washes.  If I throw a heavy wash of thinned artist's oils over my base paint, the wash will eat into the paint and in extreme cases pull it loose and make one big mess.  One solution, then, is to use a clear gloss acrylic coat over the paint.  Acrylics are not solvent based (in general), so it forms a barrier to the artist's oils.  I can do washes in oil without worrying about it messing up the base paint.  If you use acrylic paints and washes, the reverse is true and a clear coat of solvent-based paint can be used.  On the other hand, you should be able to use something like the artist's oils over a base acrylic paint with no problem at all.

 

All that said, I highly recommend trying your paint and washes on a piece of test plastic or a left-over kit piece first.  Then you'll know for sure if you need the clear coats or not.  Most of the time, if I just jump into a technique on my current model project, I screw it up.  Far easier to test on something else, figure out how it will work, and then using it on a model is much easier and a lot less hassle.  More often than not, speed in the process leads me into deep trouble.

 

HTH, Jim

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Nice work on the cockpit, it's all very neat and tidy!

 

Dust is a pain, especially in the small scales. I found a few things useful - blowing it off with an airbrush, dusting with the Tamiya dusting brush (a worthwhile purchase) and picking up stubborn bits with blu-tak-on-a-stick.

 

Cheers,

 

Will

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That's a great project. Are you going with an RAF green/brown camo or something different?

 

On the washes, I'd agree with Jim's comments. You could get away without a clear coat since you've used acrylics, but enamel washes can sometimes be hard to clean up on a matt finish and they can stain the paint. A satin clear coat would allow the wash to flow better, and be easier to clean up, but there shouldn't be any need to matt it down again afterwards. A gloss clear coat probably would need a matt coat at the end to restore the finish.

 

Andy

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, AndyRM101 said:

That's a great project. Are you going with an RAF green/brown camo or something different?

 

On the washes, I'd agree with Jim's comments. You could get away without a clear coat since you've used acrylics, but enamel washes can sometimes be hard to clean up on a matt finish and they can stain the paint. A satin clear coat would allow the wash to flow better, and be easier to clean up, but there shouldn't be any need to matt it down again afterwards. A gloss clear coat probably would need a matt coat at the end to restore the finish.

 

Andy

 

A satin coat I hadn't thought of that - I'll have to get some in for next time. In the end I was too eager to press ahead and so I skipped the cockpit wash (I know slacker) so I could keep building what I have now is this:

Main body

 

Buried under the tape and alien blue ooze is this chap (sorry the iPhone hates photographing anything this small):

 

The pilot

 

He's ok but figure painting is certainly my weakest area.

 

Regarding the paint scheme - I'm not doing RAF camo but hoping (if it doesn't look too hopeless) to do a P51 mustang/F86 Sabre, natural metal finish thing.

Edited by BrotherMole

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A little bit more progress. First up a paint test, which mostly worked, the Vallejo Metal Colors look the part and I think I'll be going in the main for the dull aluminium (closest to camera), however you can see where the chipping fluid has stained the main aluminium colour as it has seeped under the masking tape. I'm assuming the only way round this is to clear coat before masking and chipping the stripe I want to add? If I have this hopelessly wrong, someone please tell me.Ta.

 

The other plastic strip is regular aluminium that I tried 'messing with' by dropping water on and scratching to see if that could create convincing 'worn' aluminium body colour.

 

IMG_3457

 

Next step has been to prime the main body parts in gloss black before the metallics.

 

I'm not too sure about the Vallejo Metal Color Surface Primer - it didn't cover well and so needed several coats - at one point I stoped and cleaned the airbrush, then gave it 20 mins before carrying on but as can be seen here, the result is not great - it looks both glossy and grainy... Perhaps I should spray one more 'wet' coat? Rub it down and spray again - I'd be grateful for any tips.

 

 If I was doing it again I would try putting down a coat of Stynylrez first, then the gloss primer and see if that helps give a better finish/surface for the metallics. 

 

IMG_3458

 

Thanks for looking.

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I like the blue stripe! The primer does look grainy and that'll show under the metal - I'd definitely rub it down after it cures. I don't know if the metal primer is the same as normal Vallejo primer (polyurethane) but I found that hard to sand. Other people swear by it though.

 

For the chipping fluid seepage, have you tried activating it with water and washing it away?

 

Will

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Will Vale said:

I like the blue stripe! The primer does look grainy and that'll show under the metal - I'd definitely rub it down after it cures. I don't know if the metal primer is the same as normal Vallejo primer (polyurethane) but I found that hard to sand. Other people swear by it though.

 

For the chipping fluid seepage, have you tried activating it with water and washing it away?

 

Will

Thanks Will. 

 

A few things I have realised, it's been as wet as I've ever known it in Brisbane - raining for four or five days straight (London style rain), humidity of ~80% as a result - running the aircon on 'dry' for an hour isn't enough to make it possible to paint - I think it needs more like three hours to bring the humidity down in the kitchen where I paint.

 

I think the 'grainy' primer was as a result of this high humidity, mostly because 12 hours later it wasn't dry... Three hours under the aircon unit on 'dry' seemed to do the trick and it actually looked a lot smoother and better at this point. Having heard the same stories about the difficulty of sanding Vallejo primer I decided to go with what I had on the basis that it looked 'not great but ok'.

 

I left the aircon on 'dry' for several hours before airbrushing so to give everything the best chance to work as normal. I gently misted on my coats of Vallejo 'Dull Aluminium', slowly building up the colour, it was only when I stopped did I realise I had this:

 

IMG_3460

 

a metallic grey body that it looked ok (in truth it actually looked better in person) but ultimately looked more like an Audi A80 rather than a Sabre F86. The 'Dull Aluminium' had lived up to its name - it looks great (and dull) on smaller pieces (like my paint test) but over a large area it looks like silver mixed with grey i.e. rubbish.

 

Four hours later (under the aircon to dry) I sprayed it again with Vallejo 'Aluminium' - again misty coat building up to this:

 

IMG_3463

Much better. Much more aluminiumumy...

 

Now before I hit this with a Vallejo gloss clear coat made for their 'metal color' range before doing the stripe and chipping it, can you explain what 'activating it with water and washing it away' means? As a total noobie I'm happy to learn a new trick. Cheers.

 

 

Edited by BrotherMole

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That looks pretty good!

 

I just meant that the chipping fluid is basically a water-washable varnish, like hairspray. So in theory if it seeps you should be able to wet it and clean off the stain? You'd have to be careful not to damage your masked edge, but you could give it a go on the test piece and see if it works?

 

Will

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Will Vale said:

So in theory if it seeps you should be able to wet it and clean off the stain...

 

So for those still eagerly following along at home...

 

The theory is good but it didn't work in practice - the stain lifted a little but the paint also started to liquify. Its not awful but lets say I'm glad its on a test piece and not my model. Also worth noting it was sprayed days ago so perhaps the window of opportunity to fix it in this way was also a couple of days ago.

 

To be safe I'm going to put down a clear coat before I start masking and chipping.

Edited by BrotherMole

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The second version of the metallic looks great. I'm surprised at how dull the dull aluminium is; I'll be avoiding that shade in the future. I know from experience that the regular aluminium always looks better in person that it does in photos.

Oh, and I think you're doing the right thing by adding the clear coat before masking. Better safe than sorry.

 

Andy

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Thanks Andy. The dull aluminium is a useful shade (think aluminium ladders and it's spot on) but not so good for a big area and a natural metal finish. 

Been a bit busy with work and holidays but hoping to get back into this on the weekend. 

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Back on track and making progress with the A-Wing.

 

As discussed above I put down a coat of Vallejo's 'Metal Color' Gloss to protect the paint before moving on with the stripes/chipping. The VMC gloss seems ok but I can't help think that it did (ever so slightly) knock the shinny aluminium back a bit. Having said that going ahead without it would have been neigh-on impossible and I suspect I would have wrecked the NMF trying to add (and chip) painted stripes without a protective clear-coat.

 

masking and chipping

Getting ready for paint - I'm beginning to realise that masking is a skill in-of itself; getting the stripes to 'break' around the cockpit was more tricky than I thought...

 

After masking I sprayed a coat of AK scratch effect fluid and then painted the stripes.

 

masking and chipping

The 'electric' blue stripes. I keep coming back to Vallejo 'Game Air' for the 'feature' colour on my models, half the 'game air' range seems to be these super strong colours that look great (in moderation). The tiny missing bits are where I had a little paint creep under the masking tape and I cleaned it up with a smidge of thinner - no problem as it'll blend into the chipping that I'm doing next. 

 

masking and chipping

 

Chipping complete. I'm not that happy with it - the chips are too big. I put the chipping fluid down waited for it to dry (15 mins) sprayed the blue, waited for that to dry (45 mins) and then went at it with a chopped down old brush and a cocktail stick. There seems to be no warning between no chips and big bit coming off.

 

Am I doing something wrong? Should I try Vallejo's chipping fluid? Any tips to get 'pretty' (in-scale) chips? All suggestions gratefully received.

 

masking and chipping

 

Looking at it I really felt it needed something more than just shinny ally and blue as a colour scheme, so I put just a little orange on one of the of the rear wings. Only did one as I'm trying to get that asymmetrical look that the studio models have.

The exhaust was done in VMC 'jet exhaust' - it looks as graining as anything here but really doesn't look like that in person, not sure why it has photographed that way - possibly something to do with using a phone for the pics maybe?

 

And so this is what I have now...

masking and chipping

 

Nearly there - I need to do the panel lines, add a filters -or two- to few panels to break up the aluminium and add a bit of tonal variation; and add bit of weathering, hopefully a few grimy oil streaks will help bring it together.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

 

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The chipping looks great to me. Having said that, I've had similar issues with AK chipping fluid in the past, and is the reason I mainly stick with hairspray. The problem I have with the AK fluid is it has a higher surface tension than hairspray and as a result tends to bead on the model surface, rather than give an even coat. When you then come to do the chipping, the top coat of paint tends to chip heavily where the droplets of chipping fluid had beaded, and hardly at all in the other areas, leading to lots of large chips.

Funnily enough, I was experimenting with the AK fluid earlier today, to see if I could get better results with it. I cut it with water that had been mixed with a tiny drop of washing up liquid (just a small blob on the end of a brush), with a ratio of about 60/40 chipping fluid to water. The detergent helped break the surface tension, and the fluid sprayed on much more evenly than it does strait from the bottle.

I gave the sample in the photo below two medium coats of the fluid, left it about 10-15 minutes to dry, then sprayed a top coat of AMMO pale green. I kept the top coat as thin as I could, misting it on in successive passes until I got the coverage I wanted. If you spray it on too heavily or too wet, it'll activate the chipping fluid, and the paint will start to craze (an effect that can actually be useful sometimes). I left the paint to dry for about half an hour, then lightly wet the surface and started to rub it with a soft brush

 

33464563944_9059f6929d_b.jpg

 

I've not tried the fluids from Vallejo or AMMO, but they're all essentially the same thing, so adding a bit of water and detergent to them would probably be helpful too.

 

Andy

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Thanks Andy - I'll try cutting it 60/40 and see how I go. I really like how yours has come out very smart - is that part of an AT-AT by chance?

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The A wing is looking great, im not expert but once you add some washes and some grime it will all blend in and look even better. Keep at it.

 

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1 hour ago, BrotherMole said:

is that part of an AT-AT by chance?

 

No, nothing exciting. Just the cargo bed from an ancient Italeri C-119. The AT-AT's not turned up yet.

 

Andy

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Made some good progress over the weekend. The weathering is pretty much done, just need to finish the base and add the canopy and guns.

 

Weathering complete

 

Masking was a bit shonky - hopefully the canopy will cover the worst of this.

 

Weathering complete

 

Pretty pleased with how the filter looks on some of the panel - just need to experiment a bit more to get a nice smooth coverage.

 

Weathering complete

 

Must, must remember to blow the dust off before taking pictures... Little decal do add a bit of extra visual interest.

 

Weathering complete

 

Thanks for looking.

 

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It's really starting to come together now. I like the fact you've kept a silver stripe down the centre of the nose. Looks a lot more visually interesting than having the whole centre section in blue. The tinted panels add some nice contrast as well.

 

Andy

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