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Chuck540Z3

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  1. Amazing brush work! A couple of suggestions if I may. For the panels behind the cockpit that you have noted fit very well, they will look even better if you use some Extra Thin Tamiya cement to close the small gap between them. Let capillary action of the seam pull the cement into the gap and then just let it dry. For the very front of the engine where those two pins attach to the front assembly that holds the glycol tank, spend extra time making sure to dry fit everything so that the pins slide in easily and the fit is very tight. This will likely involve removing all paint and sanding down the pins slightly so that there is no gap between the base of the pin and the front assembly. If you get this fit wrong, the side pieces won't fit properly and then all cowlings won't either, so it is a very important step to get right. Keep up the great work!
  2. Thanks guys. Here's a couple more of a more subtle effect on a 1/32 CF-18B....
  3. Thanks a lot guys. This technique obviously takes a bit of practice, but after a few times it becomes very easy and almost routine. The key reason to salt weather is "randomness", because no matter how good you may be with an airbrush, nothing can create the blotchy look of weathered paint quite like a random distribution of a salt mask. One thing I didn't mention much above is that after you've taken off the salt, you often have to re-paint some areas and remove paint from others. How much, is totally up to you, so I often re-touch things many times with my airbrush until it just "looks right". Here's some examples below of Before/After pics..... Before.. After.... Before.... After, but a bit too harsh....... Final Version with re-painting some of the green and earth with light coats after decals. This also gives you a chance to maybe paint over some of the decals to give them a bit of a weathered look. The exhaust stains go on last..... Small parts can be done the same way..... Before.... After......
  4. Absolutely STUNNING Honza! Based upon your other work to date, I'm not at all surprised.
  5. Thanks. Here's a couple more of my F-4J, which really show the effects of salt weathering....
  6. Hey Guys, if you want some tips on how I do my "Salt Weathering", I've posted it here under "Tools and Tips- Painting": http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=57027
  7. Here is my step by step process of salt weathering. I know that many of you have done this before and you have your own methods, but I’ve done this on my last 5 builds and I now have the time down to 1 1/2 hours from start to finish. For most salt weathering, make sure that you have a good coat of Future on a dry painted surface beforehand. I prefer Model Master enamel paint rather than using acrylics, because the advantage of enamels over a good base coat of Future is that you can easily remove paint you don’t want later with solvent. With acrylics, you’re sort of stuck with what you get, since removing acrylic paint after it dries can be very tricky. Here’s a pic of the tools you will need to do the deed. You need a large flat surface that I recommend you cover with newspaper, a spray bottle filled with warm water, sea salt in a grinder, regular table salt in a shaker, a hair dryer and of course your air brush. For this build I did everything in my spray booth, but I’ve also done this on my kitchen counter fairly successfully, much to my wife’s chagrin. Prior to getting started, I mixed up some enamel paint in a variety of colors. For the Medium Gray color on the top of the fuselage, I mixed up some of this color with a little bit of white to lighten the color, then I thinned it at least double what I normally would so that it was more of a wash than actual paint. I then added a few drops of lacquer thinner to give it some “heat” so that it would adhere and dry more quickly than normal. Weathering on the top that is exposed to salt spray and sun usually results in faded colors, so I want something lighter than the base color for contrast, but still with the same color hues. For the sides and bottom, I used thinned Dark Ghost Gray without any white paint to lighten it, since I found it to be very light already against the darker pre-shaded base coat. Since the bottom doesn’t see much sun and the color is already very light, you want the blotchy look without lightening it too much. I also mixed some “grime” in the form of Burnt Umber mixed with Flat Black, again thinned a lot with paint thinner and a few drops of lacquer thinner. One thing to note about these Model Master flat gray enamel paints is that they dry very quickly already, so they are perfect for this salt weathering process where drying time is important. With drying accelerants like lacquer thinner and a hair dryer, they behave almost like acrylics for drying time. Other enamel paint may have different drying characteristics, so experiment with them first before you take the plunge. The other issue is masking off areas where you don’t want paint, like the black skunk stripe and engine shrouds in this build. I have masked these areas off in prior builds, but the Tamiya tape I use does not react too favorably to water. When removed from these dark areas it leaves a whitish haze to the Future coat below that does not go away with drying. After hitting it with more Future and Windex, the haze will go away, so not all is lost if you do this. For this build I want a little weathering on this paint, because it looks more natural than pristine gloss black and I can remove any offensive paint with solvent later. The cockpit, of course, needs to be protected, so the tape stays on no matter what happens to protect it from both paint and salt water. When you’ve gathered all this stuff up and you’re ready to start, I’m sure you will be a little apprehensive about potentially destroying 6 months of work. Ok, you’re going to be TERRIFIED! , so remember this: Your model is made of plastic and it is covered with water proof paint and a coat of Future, so almost everything you do from this point on can be reversed- sort of. No guts, no glory, so let’s get started! Starting on the top surface, spray down your model with warm water so that it’s wet enough to start dripping off. Then take your salt grinder and deposit salt crystals all over it in a fairly even distribution. These salt crystals are irregularly shaped already and as they dissolve with the warm water, they will create a nice random distribution of a mask…… For the sides, I like to use finer crystals of salt, so the plain old salt shaker works best for this to give finer detail, but you need to hold your model sideways so that the salt and water don’t fall off Don’t worry about getting salt into places you don’t want. This will all disappear when you rinse it off…… Now get out your hair dryer and dry the salt crystals as they form little pools of salt. Keep the heat and blower setting to low, because you don’t want to cook your model or blow all the salt off before it has a chance to dry. When everything is fairly dry (5-8 minutes), put the thinned gray paint into your air brush and get started. I like to use very low spray pressures of about 10 psi so that I can control where the paint will go. Obviously you should be trying to paint all of the surfaces that have the color you’re using while avoiding black paint, wheel wells, engine shrouds and the radome which doesn’t usually weather like the rest of the aircraft. I spray just enough paint to get a light haze over all the salt crystals, then I get out the hair dryer again and dry the model for about 5 more minutes. All paint should be fairly dry to the touch at this point. If you’re not in a hurry, you can let it dry longer, then wash off the salt crystals under the kitchen tap, re-apply some more salt, dry the model and spray on the next color (if any). Since these 1/32 birds are so big and I’m impatient, I simply tilt the model at 45 degrees and re-spray the salt crystals with the spray bottle, so that the salt is redistributed as it runs longitudinally downward towards the newspaper. When everything has moved around a bit, I dry it again with the hair dryer….. I then spray the dark grime mix I’ve created, mostly along panel lines but also a few random spots. This gives the model a randomly looking dirty look, quite different than the last paint wash which was light colored. Don’t overdo this or it will turn out too dark. When the top is dry, flip the model over and do the bottom the same way, with light colored paint wash first, re-spray the salt, then do the darker color last. This is also the time when I spray the sides, because it’s almost the same color as the bottom. Before I go to the darker paint, I flip the model over and hit the air bladders under the wings with the light colored paint to replicate what I’ve seen in pics. I also spray a bit here and there on the upper part, “just ‘cause”. What you want is a totally random and multicolored weathering effect, just like the real deal. When all this is finished and the model is dry for about ½ hour, I go to my kitchen sink and place the model carefully under the tap and rinse it with warm water. Again, make sure the water isn’t too hot or you’ll regret it. It’s impossible to not get certain areas like the cockpit wet, but try to avoid them as you rinse your model thoroughly. When you think you’ve got all the salt crystals off, place your model somewhere on a soft cloth (or building box like mine) and dry it again with the hair dryer. This is when you’ll really notice the work you’ve accomplished. The mottled effect of the salt mask really comes out as the model dries. If there’s some spots you’ve missed or don’t like, you can rub them off with solvent and then re-apply the salt and try the whole thing again. The enamel paint is dry enough to handle, but it’s still fragile enough that you don’t want to rub it too hard with your hands. After I’m done with the painting and re-painting, I let the model dry for another half hour, then I get out the Q-tips and small pieces of paper towel soaked in solvent and start removing paint from those areas where I don’t want the paint wash. Paint is carefully removed from decals, black paint and other areas very easily at this stage. You might even leave some of it on certain decals to replicate weathering of these features. If you wait until the next day, it will be a lot harder, so time is important while the paint hasn’t had a chance to cure. When you’re happy with the distribution of paint, rub the whole thing down with wet paper towel to remove the “edges” created by the salt boundaries. Now some pics of the salt weathering results. If you think some areas are too “much”, another coat of Future will smooth things out and make the weathering more subtle. For my recent Lancaster build, I didn’t use Future before salt weathering because I wanted a chipped metal effect more than a blotchy look. To do this I painted the entire aircraft with Alclad steel, let it dry a few days, applied pre-shading and the salt as above, then did the camo-masking with raised paper to get the feathered effect between the 2 colors. Once this dried after about 10 minutes, I washed it off, touched up some areas with more paint, then applied Future and decals. After decaling, I re-sprayed some thinned and lightened paint over them to dull them up a bit and voila! A war weary Lancaster!.... Even the bombs get the salt treatment…. Thanks for your interest.
  8. Thanks Guys! Actually, I do have a fairly comprehensive write-up on my "Salt Weathering Technique" that I could post here. Where would be the best place to post it?
  9. Very interesting stuff. I'll ask my uncle if he did, but after 65 years, I don't like our chances since he is now 87.
  10. Right you guys are- not all 101 Lancs were ABC equipped. According to my uncle's log book and Battle Orders below from March 9, 1945, it shows the aircraft that had the eighth man (hence ABC) and the one's that didn't. You can see that "X", "U" and "T", etc. did, but my uncle's "V2" did not. Their crew did, however, fly their first 4 missions in SR-X, so they did have an eight man on at least some of their missions. See above concerning ABC Lanc's. My uncle's aircraft was, indeed, V2 most of the time and not the "V" I depict in my build. I had a tough time deciding what code to use, because I wanted the Lanc to look as close to the aircraft pic showing the nose art as possible, which obviously doesn't have the "2" beside the "V", nor the chin aerial of an ABC version. I thought it would be easier to just leave the "2" off than try to explain why it was now suddenly there.
  11. Hi guys, As mentioned in my 1/48 Tamiya Lancaster entry, here's the 1/32 Tamiya F-14B build I made last year just before the Lanc. This bird took me about 8 months to create out of the following, above and beyond the Tamiya kit: -Aires and Teknics resin and photo-etch cockpit sets (using the best of both). -Eduard seat detail and placards sets. -Cross Delta structural reinforcements set. -Wolfpack F-14D airframe conversion set. -Tamiya F-16 GE-110 burner cans X 2. -TACTS pod from a Hasagawa A-4E Aggressor kit -CATM-9 missile from an Academy F-18C kit -Wolfpack Late type wheel set. -Fightertown decals, #101 circa 2004. -Phoenix metal Pitot tube & AOA sensor. Although the Trumpeter F-14D kit has come out since I completed this build, I don't think it replicates the overall scale and proportions of the Tomcat quite like the Tamiya kit does, notwithstanding it's well documented problems like raised panel lines, etc. With lots of work and many scratch-built add-ons, I think it looks like a pretty accurate Tomcat. One word about Squadron 101 though (SAME squadron number as my uncle's Lanc!), is that a lot of the bomb pylons and other ordnance normally found on other F-14 squadrons is missing, mostly because these 'Cat's flew naked as a training squadron and were therefore faster than regular Tomcats on aircraft carriers. Also, Bu No 163222 crashed shortly after it's re-paint in 2004, hence the fresh black paint against the typically weathered TPS gray paint. "Turn and Burn Baby!".... I have few more shots of specific angles and parts (including many build pics) if anybody wants them. Thanks for your interest.
  12. Thanks a LOT Guys! I'm now back now from a short vacation and all these kind comments are most welcome! Like all model builds, there are some high points and some that aren't so hot. I think the painting went very well, but I'm not happy with the thick home made decals of the nose art. This is the compromise we all must make when creating a "one off" for somebody else I guess, but my uncle is thrilled, so I won't worry about whether or not it is of competition quality or not. I've never entered a competition anyway, so no downside there. Again, thanks, and I'll submit another here of my F-14B Tomcat. Now this one might be ready for my first competition.
  13. I thought the same thing, but AFTER I finished, a guy in Montreal sent me the pic below of the same Lanc. I would have changed the lettering to include the dots after "Vickie", because somebody pointed out to me that this means "V" in Morse Code.
  14. Thanks again guys! There's quite a story behind how I found the serial number and code for the Lanc, mostly due to the efforts of another Brit forum, the Lancaster-Archive. I found several websites dedicated to both the Lancaster and Bomber Command, that also helped me on my 6 month journey. If there's any interest, I could post a bunch of this, but unfortunately I'm getting on a plane for a 10 day vacation this morning, so I'll save it for later- aqain if there's any interest. I also have some other builds you guys might be interested in, like my last 1/32 Tamiya F-14B build, although it isn't very British. Here's a couple of pics of that effort....
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