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  1. What a great result on an interesting subject. You can almost smell the castor oil and feel chipping paint. It's worth noting too that while a lot of Yaks were shot down after only a few sorties, there were several aces that kept their mounts going for much longer. I could also imagine some examples looking a lot more war-weary than the ones that had their pictures taken.
  2. That is some amazing craftsmanship, especially on such a small plane!
  3. Fast forward quite a bit, with a move and life getting in the way, I managed to finish most of the painting. I used a 60/40 fairly thin mix of Gunze 308 & leveling thinner in a few misty coats to try and see the pre-shading. It sort of worked on the wings and underside, but I ended up making some mistakes on the main body and respraying it, so much of that pre-shading work was lost. Th rear metallic part was done with AK Titanium and Xtreme metal thinner. This may have worked out better with a glossy black primer underneath, but it's not particularly shiny on the real aircraft either. I then tried to do the final detail by hand with masking, but the paint was way too thin and crept under the mask, so I ended up correcting by hand. The other side went a lot better without any masking. The darker grey is all Gunze 306, except the radome, which is a lighter mix of the two. I was a bit wary of using a mr hobby gloss coat, so reading on here about future Klear and it's more current incarnation as "Pledge" I decided to give that a go. Dipped an old canopy part into it that really did come out very clean and shiny. I sprayed it without thinning and it seemed to do be stick to the surface ok, but it didn't quite result in a flat smooth coat. What was matt before, still looks pretty matt, just maybe a tad smoother. Anyway, no harm done and I'll apply decals next, but maybe try a gloss clear coat next time.
  4. Hi all, Years ago I got this kit simply to nick and paint some ASRAAMS for a diecast Typhoon. Since then there's been a better release. I had a few kits for spare parts like that. In the end though, I figured this is as good a kit as any to learn the trade and it wouldn't be heart-wrenching if it were to go horribly wrong. (or so I thought) The last kit I ever built was this Hasegawa 1/48 Phantom 25 years ago. Back then I used enamels without any primer, thinner, painted everything by hand and had only just figured out how to use masking tape properly. After applying decals I didn't realize the need to varnish. It strangely actually turned out somewhat ok, but suffice it to say, nothing from back in the day really survived. So now I figured I would invest in the right tools to do things properly. I started this up 2 years ago, while I was living in China, where Tamiya and mr. Hobby stuff was much more available than anything else, so I mostly ended up using a mix of Gunze and Tamiya enamels for hand painting. Bought a compressor and Tamiya airbrush (liked the interchangeable cup) and had at it. The nozzle is 3mm, which I thought might be a good compromise for small and larger areas. Started off by priming everything with a 50/50 mix of mr. Surfacer 1200 and Gunze leveling thinner while it was still on the sprues. In hindsight, I would have been better off assembling everything first and maybe spraying a slightly thicker primer on the seam lines. The tamiya putty was a bit nasty, I much preferred the water soluble vallejo stuff. It filled all the nooks and crannies fine, but it still meant a lot of sanding to improve the fit. I ended up hand painting some mr. Surfacer 500 on some seams and then sanding them down, but the result was not great as I ended up with it a bit too thick in places and sanding away some detail too. Cockpit turned out ok. Tried mr. Mark setter and Mark softer for the first time too. I didn't realize just quite how floppy it would make the decals. It looks great when it conforms to the surface, but I had a hell of a time moving it into place properly. Suffice it to say, I had to learn to apply it after it was in the right place and even then only very gently. Then hand painted the pilot with Tamiya enamels based on reference pics. Only the helmet is Gunze 306. I then tried to varnish it with a matt mr. hobby Topcoat, which resulted in some pretty bad grey streaks. I thought initially it may be a reaction to the enamel paints, but it was all over the cockpit too. I still can't quite explain it, it may just have been sitting too long. I repainted some of it and just installed the cockpit as is. Next I did the canopy interior. I wanted to see if it could be done, but making a mask for both interior and exterior took forever. Next time, I just buy some masks and only spray the outside in layers. After that, started the main assembly. The exhausts were all done in Gunze burnt iron, while I tried to pre-shade the main body with Gunze flat black.
  5. Hi all, It's good to meet you, I'm a half British/Belgian ex-pat working in Singapore. Have been passionate about aviation since I was a small boy and learned to fly privately a few years ago. For about 10 years I've been collecting diecast aircraft and post reviews on Modelhangar on occasion. Even if it may not be quite as good as a very well finished model, (no weathering and usually visible seamlines) it save a lot of time and frustration and usually allows multiple display options. The collection is considerable now, almost completely 1:72 and containing mostly aircraft with combat history from all eras as well as tanks and some space models. However, there are some things I like to collect that are unlikely to see a good diecast release. Hence, in order to obtain some more obscure aircraft, I picked up modeling again after I built my last model at 16, now 25 years ago... Have lurked here often and have learned much. Would like to share some builds and learn more from all of you too.
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