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P-47D 'Bubbletop' 397th FS "The Jabo Angels"


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This morning i went ahead and primed the entire kit with Tamiya grey primer from a can.

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I was happy and managed to get a good even finish on it. In the past when using this primer i have found that it easily pools and runs for me; most likely operator error, but i was careful to give only even steady fast passes with it.

I decided to look at how my metallic paint would spray and had intended to use my fiesler storch test bed. However, by the time i'd got my spray booth out and compressor up and running, along with the prep; i ended up not only spraying the test kit but also the P-47.

To be fair the test was more a rolling programme for production.

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I used AK's Xtreme metal Matte Aluminium and sprayed it straight from the jar. Its exceptionally fine and sprayed very well. It may be that i need to respray a second coat but I've not really examined it thoroughly, having only just done it.

I believe, or may stand to be corrected, that this paint is also polishable once dry; so will be interesting to see how that looks.

comments, criticism, tips and tricks always accepted.

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Small update .....

Ive moved onto the masking phase of the paint work ! This is certainly a test of my modest skills and experience.

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The anti glare strip was masked using tamiya tape the paper and sprayed with a thinned down XF-62 Olive drab. Was very happy with the out come but i managed to knick the paintwork on the forward part of the fuselage ! 'arrrrgh, sausage fingers and tweezers !!

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Ive now masked off the blue cowling band and flash ready for paint. Certainly a test of patience and i found i had to pre cut the tamiya tape using a coin as a guide to achieve the curve. My flexible tape couldn't make such an extreme bend.

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Im hoping this weekend to have the blue finished, along with black identification bands and yellow top to the tail.

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that's some nice masking you've done!!!

another trick with the masking is to use very thin strips for curves, the thinner the better as you'll be quite surprised how tight you can make those curves. but yo way is just as good, nice and simple and easy to get matching curves!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not much of an update this week what with work and other commitments.

I have managed to get the blue sprayed.

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As can be seen, when i removed the masking tape, i had not masked tightly enough ! This seems to be a trend with my airbrushing, having committed similar "crimes" on previous builds.

So it was out with a fine brush to correct it. I also slightly edged my curves on the engine cowling.

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Looks much better and the painting moves on. Heavy week at work but hopefully i should get some yellow on the fin

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That colour scheme looks really nice, you've done a great job with the airbrush.

I seem to have the same problem at times with my masking as well, but the touch up job is excellent!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Had a heavy couple of weeks at work so progress ground to a halt for a while; however a little bit more done.

Identification bands and the yellow top to the fin. These were all masked and sprayed. I did suffer i small amount of paint bleed under the masking tape, particularly where elevators and rudder join and deeper panel lines. The worst occurrence can be seen on the third picture whereby i somehow managed to tag some black paint under my masking ! arrggh !

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Ive subsequently touched up the silver, by brush,and mostly hidden the errant black paint although it was never going to be as smooth as with the airbrush.

Ive also sealed everything with a good coat of pledge. Once its had plenty of time to dry, it will be on with the engine cowling and probably decals prior to weathering

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Thanks Stix !

Couple of pictures at the end of play tonight. Engine attached and coat of pledge ready for decaling. I may re coat the gloss as the wing still feel fairly rough. The blue looks great now it has a satin finish and its all aligned nicely. I chose the cowling flaps open option, having viewed photos.

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she does look really nice!!!

I do like the top photo of the three, the wing has a nice uneven look to it, which to me looks much better, natural, than a completely even "silver" look.

She's going to look great with the decals on!

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As the GB deadline approaches, and spurred on by some wonderful builds, I've moved onto my decaling.

Im using a combination of the supplied tamiya decals and the aftermarket ones for the 397th Fighter Squadron.

I dived in with the large under wing decals, supplied in three pieces, and it became apparent that it was going to take some time!

I,ve only managed the left side of the fuselage, but really happy with how she's starting to look. Ive used both micro sol and set with each decal, some requiring a soaking to make them adhere around elevator actuators etc.

so far ....

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Not sure if this classifies my build as aviation porn ??!!

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Hopefully more over the weekend

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Quick update.

The decaling was completed and then all sealed with pledge. Ive now moved on and given it an all over clay based wash to hopefully accentuate the panel lines. In the past I've liberally coated the entire kit in the wash and then used kitchen towel to scrub it back to the original colour. This time around i used a fine brush, wet the area i was coating and used capillary action for the wash to run into recessed areas. Hopefully this way the lines may not appear too bold.

Its all been left to dry thoroughly before i wipe of excess.

Couple of pics showing the wash ....

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The end is definitely in sight, with only a few days to go !

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That is looking superb,what a terrific colour scheme. Can't wait to see this finished.

Cheers Allan

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Wash done. Undercarriage complete. Prop sorted.

Tyers to do, along with the centreline tank and I'm almost done. Fingers crossed it will be finished pictures in the gallery at the close of play tomorrow.

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Couple of pictures above to show the wash effect which i think breaks the aluminium up nicely.

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