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Qatari Sea King w/ Exocets --FINISHED and loaded for bear....


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i am intensely following your work in progress on the Qatari Sea King as I have plans to do a similar exocet totting version and also a Commando version.For the floatation and stuff on the sponsons I will be using extras from the Cyberhobby S61 kit. The stumbling block to the whole project is of course the absence of any Qatari Sea King decals. I sincerely hope you'll have the intention of making a business by selling the excellent Qatari decal sheet because I really need one of those.

Before I forget,my Commando version will be painted in the early scheme of sand/dark earth and azure blue.Honestly,for the Sea King I can't simply figure out which green the Westland guys are using to paint the helis (sky,israeli light green....?)Anyway I will keenly be looking forward for the latest updates on your build!

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I think you have done a great job on the Exocet launchers and their attachments, very convincing. It's a real pity i wasn't allowed to use my camera out there or I could have solved some of the questions you have had, but if I had I would probably still be out there but in much less comfortable surroundings!

Keep up the great work.

Craig.

As much as we modellers all want that "perfect photo." when the uniformed gentlemen say "no pictures," its best not to try their patience.

Did the wiring harnesses for the launchers this afternoon [no pics yet], and they don't look half bad.

i am intensely following your work in progress on the Qatari Sea King as I have plans to do a similar exocet totting version and also a Commando version.For the floatation and stuff on the sponsons I will be using extras from the Cyberhobby S61 kit. The stumbling block to the whole project is of course the absence of any Qatari Sea King decals. I sincerely hope you'll have the intention of making a business by selling the excellent Qatari decal sheet because I really need one of those.

Before I forget,my Commando version will be painted in the early scheme of sand/dark earth and azure blue.Honestly,for the Sea King I can't simply figure out which green the Westland guys are using to paint the helis (sky,israeli light green....?)Anyway I will keenly be looking forward for the latest updates on your build!

Good luck with your projects! I almost went with the sand/dark earth scheme myself, but the Mk. 3s with the missiles have the paler schemes. As to the colors for them, I couldn't begin to guess what the "factory" paint is. Having studied pretty much every online photo I can find, while the tone and hue of the pale sand color seems remarkably consistent no matter what the lighting conditions, the other color is a bit vexing. In some shots it looks like pale green, in others (often of the same aircraft) it looks gray with a distinctly bluish tinge (almost like late-WW2 RLM 76 or 78). I'll probably go with the latter, since it seems most often the case with QA33, the bird I'm modelling. I usually mix my own colors from Tamiya acrylics, but I haven't gotten to the point of working up formulas yet.

I appreciate your interest.

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I posted this in the aircraft reference section as a general heads-up, but I'll post it here as well if any of the folks following this thread want to have a crack at making their own decals.

Below is a link to a downloadable file (on Dropbox) of the "stencil" style QEAF fuselage inscription (in Arabic) that I made up in MS Paint. It's a TIF file, so it can be opened in Paint or any other graphics program of your choice. I paste mine into a Word or OpenOffice document to resize them as needed*, then print that out onto inkjet decal paper.

The link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2f5vlnoc6ut8mdm/Qatar%20Emiri%20Air%20Force%20inscription.tif?dl=0

*For the QEAF Sea Kings in 1/72, the inscription should be 25mm long.

Hope this proves helpful.

Edited by thorfinn
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Quick update. Preliminary construction pretty much done, getting on toward painting. Last hurdle was cutting back the kit's composite rotor blades to the metal style. Member andyf117, in his beautiful RAF HAR.3 build earlier this year, thoughtfully provided a photo of his rotor mod that I used as a guide---thanks, Andy! Anyway, blade shanks modified, a bit of droop added, and some "representative" wiring/hydraulic line detail added (most of which will be covered by the rotor cap):

GEDC8063R_zpsqq33sw1s.jpg

Still have paint tests to do for colors, though it hit me that MM Acrylic Gray primer (which is my primer of choice, anyway) may actually be a good match for the gray camouflage tone. We'll see.

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Nice job on the rotors and the rotor head, the real thing looks like an explosion in a spaghetti factory and would be nigh on impossible to replicate 100% accurately, I think what you have achieved is very good indeed.

I look forward to seeing your colour tests as, like you say, those Qatari colours are quite difficult to pin down.

Craig.

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Missiles/pylons pretty much done, with homemade missile markings and launcher stencil decals applied. (Flat clearcoat not yet applied.) Wiring harnesses just waiting to be "plugged in" when launchers are mounted to the fuselage brackets.

GEDC8071R_zps546rff14.jpg

Have a good weekend, all.

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Time for paint!

Since the colors all seem to be non-standard, I broke out my Tamiya acrylics and began mixing. The tan and gray fuselage colors were relatively easy to come up with, but the underside blue was a bit tricky. Photos show a "true" blue with a slight shift toward grey, but no visible shift toward a green range. I started out with flat white (XF-2) and X-14 Sky Blue, which came very close, but yielded a bright-chroma "powder" blue, which just looked wrong. I added tiny bits of a varieties of Tamiya greys, but these all tended to go greenish--sometimes surprisingly so. So I went back to my basic (distantly-remembered) color theory, and added a trace of red instead, and this did the trick. It shifted the color ever so slightly back toward purple, which visually equated to a slight greyish cast. A small sample of the blue paint tests:

GEDC8076R_zpszqb0r2la.jpg

And the final paint colors (note that the paint formulas shown are not quite correct for the paint samples):

GEDC8077R_zpsxdcza6pt.jpg

The camouflage pattern used by the QEAF Commandos are essentially "mirrored" from side to side, but with slight variations from airframe to airframe. I blew a plan view up to 1/72 scale and sketched the pattern for my bird from available photos, then covered the drawings with clear plastic tape:

GEDC8079R_zpshxdnmsvf.jpg

I then laid down semi-transparent masking tape and cut my masks. The masks are just a starting point--given that the tape is 2D, and the surface is 3D--so a bit of tweaking was necessary with bits of tape, Silly Putty, and (after the masking had been removed) brush touch-ups.

GEDC8081R_zpsh72gbiu8.jpg

Anyway, this was what I was going for:

qa-33_1_zpske1iivld.jpg

qa-32_1_zps92e2eb0b.jpg

And this is what I came up with. (Obviously before any washes, drybrushing, filters, detail painting and so forth):

GEDC8097RCOMP_zpsnlnovooh.jpg

That's it for now. Thanks to all who are following along.

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That scheme is so stunning I feel the need to paint every model I ever make in the same colours

wow

As you're working from photographs what you have is great, no pair of pictures ever agrees on colour

bill

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Moving slowly along, time for weathering.

I started by drybrushing each color individually with slightly darker and lighter tints of the basecoat. This is less about weathering as such, more to help to give a sort of "scale" effect to the scheme by breaking up the monochrome of each color. After a coat of overall gloss, I then applied a series of light washes to try to accent the panel lines. However, I found that much of the molded panel detail is subtle enough that under paint it doesn't really channel the wash as effectively as I would have liked. So I fell back on Plan B, and added a bit of panel definition with pencil. I then applied exhaust and antiglare black areas through a combination of masking, decal stock and some hand-brushed touchups. {Also starting to add step indicators and so on.]

GEDC8107R_zpstdifhsbt.jpg

GEDC8112R_zpsdbxwoj2a.jpg

(Note the compulsively clean and well-organized work area.... :winkgrin:)

As far as real weathering, most photos of the QEAF birds show what might be called a "scrupulously cared for but hard-used" effect. They're clean and well-tended, but a combination of aging airframes and the harsh desert environment means they seem rarely to look "showroom new," but for me that's part of the appeal. Here's a typical view, courtesy of Planespotters.net:

http://img.planespotters.net/photo/255000/original/QA33-Qatar-Emiri-Air-Force-Westland-WS-61-Sea-King_PlanespottersNet_255949.jpg

That photo clearly illustrates a pretty common look with the QEAF Commandos, namely that from the sponsons forward the paintwork looks almost new and untouched, whereas the rear fuselage (particularly areas aft of the exhausts) look quite weathered, sometimes discolored, and with distinctive panel lines visible. That sort of schizophrenic look is what I'm going for.

I chose drybrushing with artists oils to replicate the panel lines in particular, since it would give me the greatest subtlety and control, and offer ease of removal if something looked overdone or just weird. Here's what I've got so far [looking rather more subtle in the photos than in real life, for some reason];

GEDC8118R_zps85qi9awj.jpg

GEDC8117R_zpszclp1xvd.jpg

The second photo shows the area which will be behind/under the hoist, which on the real aircraft is darkened and discolored quite prominently by the nearby exhaust.

I'll put it away for a day or so, then look at it with "new eyes" to see whether it's what I'm after, Any comments or criticisms welcome.

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Thanks Giorgio, Colin, Tony, and all of you who "liked" the previous post.

Looks absolutely superb.

I think the colours you have used are spot on and the weathering looks pretty good too, like you say they are a bit grubby at the back but the fronts are usually quite clean.

Craig.

Thanks, Craig. No photos yet, but I went back and "dialed down" the smudgy panel lines on the starboard side a bit, and have started adding decals. All my little stencils and such came out quite nicely in-scale, and look as unobtrusive as they should. It's pretty slow-going since all the colored (coloured?) ones are printed on white decal paper and must be closely trimmed before application. (Thank the modeling gods for my Optivisor knock-off!) Actually, the enforced slow pace is good, because it keeps me from rushing through the fun part too quickly and making stupid mistakes. (Not that I've ever actually done that before.... :whistle: )

Hope to be able to get more pics up in the next few days. Thanks to all for following along.

UPDATE 8 September ***********************************

Here's the revision of the panel weathering. I took it back from this:

GEDC8118R_zps85qi9awj.jpg

...to this:

GEDC8121R_zps4icguaxt.jpg

A little more subtle works better, I think. Here are both sides, with a few more of the decals on:

GEDC8122RCOMBO_zpsaoc4lppn.jpg

Onward and upward!

Edited by thorfinn
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Thanks very much, Gents.

Most of the decals are on now (no pics yet), but I'll give it a couple of days of re-looking at photos to make sure I haven't overlooked something obvious, then give it a clearcoat and remove the masking to see what touchups are required. The QEAF birds seem to have a slight gleam overall, not really a gloss, so I'll have to play with the clear mix a bit to get a finish that looks suitable. Still have the rotors and wheels to paint as well. In the meantime, I've started attaching various bits and bobs, doing detail-painting and such. Not sure how much I'll get done this week, but the finish line is at least in sight. Thanks for hanging in there!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ta-da!

Finally got everything together to my liking. Added the final details (and reattached a few that suffered some small-scale impacts).

Here we go:

01-GEDC8159RC_zpsk5tw69jv.jpg

02-GEDC8148RC_zpsrwx9n8z4.jpg

03-GEDC8180RC_zpsmwvb7xe8.jpg

04-GEDC8164RC_zpsm4bzl9mk.jpg

05-GEDC8161RC_zpstkbkt2mb.jpg

06-GEDC8162RC_zps6tfb9bhs.jpg

07-GEDC8169RC_zpsie6vsznn.jpg

08-GEDC8158RC_zpsuemgc08f.jpg

I have to confess it came out better than I would have expected, really pleased with the results.

More photos here, with a Doha Air Base background.

Thanks to all who have endured the build. It's always a bit more fun to have supportive souls both challenging and encouraging.

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