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Bare Metal Aircraft Colors (A.MIG.7216) AMMO by Mig Jiménez Bare metal colours are a fairly personal choice and some folks swear by a brand that other folks swear at. AMMO have come up with set of acrylic metal colours that will be useful for some of the latest releases, as well as old faithfuls. They arrive in a clear clamshell box with four colours inside, all of which are in 17ml dropper bottles that have yellow caps and mixing balls inside to help distribute the pigment. Like most AMMO paints they separate quite quickly when left unagitated, but a quick shake will soon bring them back to the correct shade. Included in the pack are the following colours, although this is slightly at variance with the website, which substitutes Polished Metal for the included Burnt Iron that was found in my set: A.MIG-045 Gun Metal, A.MIG-194 Matt Aluminium, A.MIG-195 Silver, A.MIG-187 Burnt Iron The paint dispenses readily from the droppers, and once thinned either with water, AMMO thinners or my preferred one-size-fits-all Ultimate Thinners, sprays nicely through my 0.2mm Mr Hobby airbrush, so it should cope with all the larger sizes with ease. It goes down nicely, and has a fine pigment size, so won't appear toy-like when it hits the photo-booth, as you can see from the examples applied to the spare fuselage half from the recent Eduard Royal Class Fw.190A kit. I didn't mask anything up, as I was keen to crack on, so you'll have to forgive the hazy transitions between the colours as I was having issues with my own skills. The Burnt Iron appears more metallic and has a more reddish tint in the flesh than on the photo, but as I was trying to capture the full range from dark to light, it appears a little dark and not quite so burned in the picture. The instructions on the bottle advise leaving the paint to dry for a day, but it was touch-dry within 10 minutes, although I wouldn't recommend handling that early normally. The next day I performed a gloss varnish test with an acrylic varnish, and the colours stayed bright and didn't react one bit. It's a subjective thing, but if anything I feel that it slightly improved the lustre of the bright metallics, and brought out the reddish tone in the Burnt Iron. Conclusion An excellent starter set of metallic shades from the Ammo range, despite the slight confusion on what's included. They go down well without covering detail, are robust once dry, and stay metallic under gloss varnish. That ticks all the boxes for airbrushing, which is by far the best method for applying metallic if you have the facilities. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
This model represents a machine flown by Sgt. Maj. Kyushiro Ohtake, who flew four years in China and has the distinction of being sole pilot of the 25th Sentai to survive WWII. The Type 1 Army Fighter Ki-43 Hayabusa (Peregrine Falcon; also known by Allied reporting name 'Oscar") is in some ways a Japanese analogue to the Curtiss P-40, a type it engaged frequently in its combat service. Both machines were designed as expressions of an out of date concept of air fighting to which air service leaders remained deeply attached; both were built in large numbers, and kept in service for many years, even though they verged on obsolescence already when they went into production; both achieved solid service records which owed more to the quality of their pilots than their quality as fighting machines. The Imperial Japanese Army requested a replacement for Nakajima's earlier Type 97 within months of that fighter's going into production. The new design was to be faster, have a longer range, incorporate a retracting landing gear, and yet be every bit as manouverable as the earlier fighter .This Nakajima managed, albeit with a bit of fudging. Wing loading was kept down with incredibly tight weight management, but in the end horizontal manouverability could only be kept comperable to the earlier type by installation of 'combat flaps', which, at some cost to speed, greatly reduced turn radius. The paring of every structural element to lighten weight in the prototype led to damage at the wing roots of early examples once they were in service, and required a program of repair and revisions to further production. Even so, the Type 1 remained a very fragile machine. Later examples did receive some armor for the pilot, and 'bladder' style self-sealing fuel tanks, which helped somewhat. Armament was originally just the old Great War standard of two 7.7mm machine-guns, tucked under the upper decking; soon, one of these typically was replaced by a 12.7mm gun (referred to as an automatic cannon in Japanese parlance) which fired explosive rounds. Inadequate armament and a fragile structure left the pilot of a Type 1 only the recourse of extreme nimbleness. He had to avoid being hit at all costs, and could not count on delivering a solid blow when he had a firing position. Sgt. Maj. Kyushiro Ohtake was nineteen years old when he was assigned out of flight school to the 10th Independent Chutai in China, which was redesignated the 25th Sentai in November, 1942. The unit flew against the 14th Air Force, mostly from Hankow. Kyushiro Ohtake gained a name for himself as a man with keen eyesight, often first to sight enemy aircraft. He is credited with anywhere from 10 to 15 U.S. or Chinese aircraft destroyed, but Japanese tallies are odd and hard to set accurately; victories were ascribed to the unit, or even to the aircraft, rather than the individual pilot in official reports. But his reputation, as well as his survival for four years, suggest he was good at the work. At the very end of the war, the remnant of 25th Sentai was withdrawn to Korea, and two days before the war ended, Sgt. Maj. Kyushiro Ohtake was severely injured when his fighter was set ablaze over Seoul. He survived bailing out, but never fully recovered, and died of the lingering effects of his wounds in 1951. This model is based on a very widely circulated photograph of Sgt. Maj. Kyushiro Ohtake's machine. I have seen it captioned as being taken at dates ranging from 1943 to 1945, and as being taken at places ranging from Hankow to Nanking. I have no opinion on the matter, beyond that it was taken on a sunny day. I believe the original finish was a sort of 'snake-weave' in green, applied in the field over bare metal without any surface preparation, as was the practice of the IJAAF in the mid-war period. Some profiles show this machine with only bare metal on the fuselage in the region of the cockpit, but I think this is a misreading of the intense glare in the photograph at that area. The machine is probably a Ki-43-2, with a more powerful supercharged engine and slightly heavier structure, likely bearing the mixed armament of one 7.7mm and one 12.7mm. The finish is achieved by first covering the model in foil, then dabbing dark green paint on this, rubbing it down when dry with a 3000 grit polishing pad, and repeating the process. Fabric areas are painted a pale grey basic color, and the green left more dense, as paint adhesion was better on these. Markings are improvised: a white stripe and a narrower red stripe over it, dry transfer numbers on clear film applied, then the five 'adjusted' by brush to come closer to the picture's font. The model is the old 1/72 Hasegawa kit, in a training unit boxing. It was rescued from the 'cupboard of doom' after several years residence there. I intended it to be an OOB standard build, and varied from this only to replace a couple of items, a tail wheel broken off and lost heaven only knows when, and a radio mast that broke removing it from the sprue. The plastic seems to have gotten a bit brittle with age, the kit was old already when I got it. There were bad sink-marks on the trailing edge of the upper surface, which I eliminated by a combination of filling with CA gel, and serious sanding with cutting grit emery. In any case, as the panel lines were raised, I would have had to scribe the thing anyway. It is a nice old kit, and I would like to take a run at another one or two of them. I cannot praise the fit highly enough. I would swear you could almost have assembled the wings to the fuselage as a snap-fit, without even glue, let alone fillers, and the same with the cowling pieces and tail pieces. Note to the eagle-eyed: I have noticed since taking the pictures I omitted to attach the pitot tube in my hurry to have the thing done. Also, a little more embarrassing, I did not put the pilot's headrest/armor in before attaching the canopy. I don't do a lot of enclosed cockpits, and need to be in a 'zone' to tackle them. The moment was right, and I neglected to get the detail in first. For what it is worth, the canopy fit on this old kit was very, very good. I have also learned that I ought to have brought the yellow ID stripes closer to the wing roots.
Hi All, Third post for tonight I present to you a mirror finish English Electric Lightning belonging to the Royal Saudi Airforce. This was a Eduard Limited Edition Boxing of the Airfix kit, which is an absolutely superb kit with some lovely resin and photoetch in there as well. To get the finish I polished the bare plastic of the kit down to 12,000 grit with micromesh until the plastic itself was extremely glossy. I then primed the bare plastic with Tamiya rattle can gloss black and shot Alclad polished aluminium over the black base coat. The intake ring is sprayed with Alclad Chrome. Unfortunately the clear of the decals showed up on the finish, but I was so happy with the mirror like finish I didn't let this bother me too much. I should have removed the carrier film from around the decals. I also could not do a panel line wash on the finish, as it would just bead up on the surface. All comments welcome. Cheers, Arthur.