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Vikings, F-104G x 2

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Hi guys.

I decided to do a change of direction for my GB entry. My F-111 motivation kinda just vanished this past month (funny how this happens sometimes in modelling) and I found myself picking up some Italeri Starfighters I had in the stash. I wasn't planning on doing a WIP or entering them for this GB due to my other threads but I kept on picking them up and building them a little more until I got really into gear with the project. I only started 3 weeks or so back but have managed to get a decent amount done owing to the kit.

So I'll be building a pair of MFG2 F-104G aircraft, operational airframes but also borrowed for the odd display as part of the Viking team. Some pictures here to show what I am going for:




As I started on a rather adhoc basis I didn't take any photos of the initial box contents (can take them of what is left if anyone wants) and the a few of the WIP photos are a little random but I'll show what has been done so far. Big first update I guess :)

I tired to limit the AM for the project as two 1/32 kits plus DACO decals etc..has blown my modelling budget but a few little items will be squeezed in.

I also hope to do some comparisons in this build with the Hasegawa 1/32 kit I built a month back, in short this kit is miles better and overall very nice to work with!

There are some downsides however that I have tried to sort out somewhat. Namely some rather crude details and matchbox type panel lines.


Two big wide panel lines were filled with stretched spruce on either side, you could probably fit a scale beer can in them!


Then some overall sanding to the fuselages. It wasn't as drastic as it looks, not too much to destroy any of the nice shapes (more on those vs Hasegawa kit later on) but enough to try and reduce the panel line depth.


All the airbrakes and access panels were closed up ( I like them clean :) ), not the best fit but sorted with plasticard and super glue.



The lights in the above pic fitted pretty poor too (others too around the airframe) and have required filling with superglue to get a nice scale surface. The aim was to get to the paint stage as soon as possible for the main airframe so no work on the engine/exhaust, gears etc..has been done yet. With this in mind I had the main fuselage all sorted over a weekend, Starfighters seem to build up pretty quick for sure.

Before closing the fuselage I slipped in the cockpits. Both are from the box with some things added and with many little things still to be added later on. After building my Hasegawa kit I didn't really feel it necessary for a resin pit as when the largish seat is in place you just don't see much bar that and the IP panel. I wasn't sure what colour the floor should be, I have read it is black but couldn't see in on any online photos. :shrug:


The wings then attached. The flaps needed a little plastic shim for correct spacing and also a little contouring was needed at the fuselage-flap junction for a better shape.


After some good layers of Tamiya primer I got the surface details like so. I'm happy with them now, some are still a little deep and sloppy but life's too short to fill and rescribe two 1/32 kits!



The lights will have to be polished back up. They are just coloured plastic in real life so I'll use Tamiya clears for the final colours.


Next I moved back to the cockpit. Both aircraft are MFG2 birds that had the chaff/flare system upgrade in the early eighties so the control panel box was placed on the rear bulkhead. Other bits and bobs added the the front and rear too. The gap between the etch canopy sills will be covered by the Brassin seat structure and after test fitting all looks pretty neat when done.


And last night sprayed the initial colours on ready to start painting up. When washing the models some water managed to get into the cockpit and lifted some paint, so touch ups will be needed :).


Canopy interiors sprayed and the struts on the front frame in progress. One canopy will definitely be open and one probably closed for contrast between the two. I really hate masking canopies! Only have to do the rubber seals and then the main frames now :wacko:


I originally planned on using the kit seats then adding some detail, it comes like this (missing the rather naff supplied PE pelts)


Not the most ideal in 1:32 scale plus it isn't correct for a later German airframe, it should look like this with the different head box: http://www.jetartaviation.co.uk/wp-content/gallery/ejection-seats/f-104-starfighter-gq7a.jpg

I began modifying it to look more like it should but ended up with something roughly 1/40 scale that looks a bit dodgy really when inside the pit. I decided to quit whilst behind and get the Eduard Brassin seats, these will also need modifying but at least they will be well detailed and the correct size. These will be done towards the end however.


One airframe will have the flaps down, canopy open and quite clean and for contrast the other will be all shut up with a good compliment of FOD guards and RBF gear. This is quite a lot on a Starfighter and luckily creative models had 80% or so discounts on the nice fabric RBF tags so I grabbed two packs given how many I'll use. Think I paid a fiver for them which is a bargain in this scale it seems.


And to conclude the first update here are the pair with most of the main airframes made up,


I have a fews weeks off so expect some swift progress on these!

Thanks for looking in and hope you enjoy some more Starfighters in this GB, wouldn't be an 80's NATO vs Warsaw Pact GB without them imho :)



Edited by mirageiv
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Best of luck with these two. My favourite scheme for the Starfighter so will be watching your progress with interest :coolio:

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Thank you and glad to have you along guys! Col, this scheme is also my favourite for the F-104!

I did say I'll really motor with this build over next weeks and today I managed to get the cockpits painted and canopies on.

Here is a good reference picture for some of the things I attempted to recreate, http://www.airfighters.com/photo/22760/M/Germany-Navy/Lockheed-F-104G-Starfighter/26-82/. I added the black folder on the rear Bulkhead which was quite common and also a book and some papers on the front coaming for the jet with the open canopy. Still lots of detail bits to add but I leave them until the end to avoid damage.




When test fitting the canopy I noticed something looked a little off with the rear section. To me it seems Italeri has the rear canopy lower frame joined to the kit where the white sealant strip should be, to which the lower canopy frame should be below that. If left as is the white sealant strip on the rear canopy will look much too high when compared to the white sealant strip on the centre canopy, these pics kind of shows what I mean.


model- The two parallel strips are where the white sealant strip will be as Italeri want it, and the too large space between them. The bottom arrow points to the new line I'll scribe representing the lower rear canopy frame.L1070685_zpssgr9fhgb.jpg

So I will fill the canopy and scribe a new line for the rear one, 1 or so mm below what Italeri has it, looks much better to my eye then.

Proceeding with fitting the canopy I got this gap at the rear, should have built it up with a plastic shim before I glued it :rolleyes: . Oh well, so I filled it with super glue and plasticard and began the risky business of sanding the canopy.


The rear section is now seamless all round and now I can rescribe the corrected lines. I only partially polished it back to check all the joins were ok, I will now have to spend a while resting its shine.



The best part of doing a duo build is I get to do this all again, oh joy! ^_^



Edited by mirageiv
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Nice work David and quick too!! The detailing and correction work you're doing is fantastic, I'll have to remember this build for when I do my F-104.

I wish my builds would be as fast a yours, I must admit those "trenches" for panel lines look very similar to those on my Sukhoi's! :D

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Thank you guys for the comments!

Rich- These kits really have motored on, probably about 3-4 weeks to get to this stage, but I've not even looked at any of the sub assemblies yet (quite a few) so I think most of the time will go in there plus your models are fantastically detailed, mine just approximations :). The pics actually seem to show the original panel lines in a quite a nice light but in the flesh honestly some parts of the model appear to be in an almost diecast model fashion. Russian birds I think can get away with things like these! :)

I put the lower RAL9006 on today. It is a hard paint to get right imo and it looks a little too shiny in places atm but the gloss/weathering/matt stages should sort that out with a bit of luck. I only weathered it a little as the whole pre/post shading thing doesn't seem right for this colour (and looking at refs), I had better results of weathering it with oils on previous builds so I'll go that way here too.


Now I'll mix a batch up of Basaltgrau for the uppers. Thing is I'm not sure which 'hue' to go for, sometimes its looks really quite blue and other times not too dissimilar to Dark Sea Grey.

For example, a blue-grey: http://www.airfighters.com/photo/123900/M/Germany-Navy/Lockheed-F-104G-Starfighter/25-02/

or simply a grey: http://www.airfighters.com/photo/134961/M/Germany-Navy/Lockheed-F-104G-Starfighter/26-66/

I'm thinking of just matching the colour to this 'blue-hue' photo and go with it: http://www.airfighters.com/photo/22760/M/Germany-Navy/Lockheed-F-104G-Starfighter/26-82/

I've tried XF-24 with a little white and some blue seems to get close to the above picture.

Thanks for looking in,


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A nice finish with the paint job.

Looking at those photos that colour does really change with the light and and the degree of shine to the surface.

For me (only in my opinion) I'd be going with 26+82, it looks to be a more typical finish...if that makes sense. In the next photo on in that series it's a bit lighter, a change in the light conditions or camera setting? But the hue is still very much the same, plus you get a very good idea of what the surface of the paint is like and the general finish.

In the other two photos, one the finish looks really new and still a bit shiny, the other the light is very bright and the angle makes the colour appear to be quite a bit lighter.

I do like this scheme as it's the one I'm planning for the one i'm doing for the F-104 STGB.

Keep up the amazing work, I'm really enjoying this build :popcorn: .........and pinching all you tips as well! :whistle:

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Hi Rich ,many thanks for the input and I agree the next pic along is the best one to go for. I'm going to decide the pair of airframes to use as there are quite a few photos of these eighties jets around the web and then match it exactly (as best I can anyways), maybe those in that particular photo.

Mixing colours usually gets me into trouble tbh, one minute I think it looks good then I look at another photo and think I've got it way off, then do a full circle to the original colour :hmmm::winkgrin: . The only 'official' match I can find is Xtracolor's version but it looks too grey with no blue hue imho so not much alternative to mixing.

Will show the results in the next few days :)

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Hi guys, I splashed some paint on these the past few days and predictably I ended up spaying and masking it twice as I got the colours all wrong the first go :doh: .

First I redid the undersides as they just looked too metallic and due to how Alclad paints reflect the below surface, sometimes it looked ok but at other angles it just looked like a shiney dark grey primer, not right at all. I mixed a light grey and silver colour together to get something closer to reality,


The bays have been sprayed aluminium which shows the contrast between the metallic feel of them both.


Then onto the Basaltgrau topsides. Tbh this caused me a few headaches as it just looks so different in various photos, from almost intermediate blue to a dark sea grey. In those particular photos linked in the prior posts it is really quite blue, too blue and dark compared to 90% of photos out there which is what I mixed my first attempt too, I think it was the lighting in those photos or camera settings. After de masking it all it just looked wrong so I went with Revell's version of Basaltgrau but also mixed in some grey-blue for a small blue hue. Though its not apparent in these photos in natural light it looks ok, or at least as close as I can get it. These particular jets were quite weathered so I tried to replicate the 'Baltic look' to the camo. Maybe Ideally I would try the salt method in the future to really break up the surface.

Tried to get something like this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rac819/13690642883/


I'll have a good weathering session on them to really bring the surface to life after the decals are on.


The attachment for the tails is designed (I think) to be movable by Italeri, only problem is the little fillet going into the tip of the rudder needs extending if you want the tail in the dropped position. They were found in various positions so one will be dropped the other with a slight pitch up. Looking at the photos some of the paint has already worn off (some Revell enamels aren't the most durable unless properly cured), will see to that before the gloss.


The nose is painted in light grey, Revell does a good match and despite it looking rather white in the photo, it looks the right shade of grey in the flesh. There are some little clean light grey marks on the nose which I saw on photos of these jets, maybe where things were hung off the nose I'm not sure.

Also the little plate fitted to the IR sensor was added, still needs painting grey yet though.


I'll let that cure out for a few days then apply the gloss layers. In the meantime I'll get cracking on everything else :)

Thanks for looking,


Edited by mirageiv
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that paint job is fantastic!!I think the top colour looks about right and the finish and patchiness is spot on!!!

Don't even think about the "salt" method, I've found it to be very hit and miss and it can have disastrous results when using acrylic paints.......as I found out! To get that finish in the photo I'd be tempted to spent some additional time on the preshading. Using blacks and greys, even white, to highlight and shade different areas and panels first, then mist on coats of the main colour over top you should be able to get a very realistic finish you're after.

But I really can't fault the finish you have at the moment, it's near perfect!

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Thank you PLC1966 and Rich. Unfortunately I never got to see them but anything that sets car alarms off at airshows grabs my attention for sure :)

Rich- Thank you, the pics don't really convey the absolute colour or the shading particularly well if I'm honest, having some troubles with my camera where it tends to saturate everything at the moment but will be getting it fixed soon, so I guess take them for an approximation. Given I will be taking the RFI pics outside (too big for both inside :)) I kept wandering outside my garage to check the contrast of the shading and colours in direct sunlight light which really highlighted some things more than the pictures show. Crazy how much this shade of grey changes appearance in different lighting, at least I unintentionally managed to do that :).

Thanks for the heads up on the salt technique, I nearly did it on these using Tamiya acrylics so dodged a bullet there! I'd always be a bit apprehensive on washing the model too incase water got in side the canopies, will have a play with it sometime I guess on not so valuable models.

For the shading (should have taken pictures) I go across the whole airframe with dots and squiggles, some along panels but mostly random, of very light and dark grey, then go over with thin coats of the final colour. Then go over the top with different shades of grey to break it some more inside panels, around them etc.. then a final blend coat. I think I may have gone over it a little too much for the final blend coat if I'm honest but then again in the natural light the shading does come out a lot more. When you get round to your F-104 build I'm looking forward to how you tackle the colours and shading!

I did this 1/72 version a month back where I went for a heavily weathered one and left the shading much more obvious. The colour is too light imo really but in 1/72 scale I kinda got away with the whole scale effect thing.


It looked grey inside( against the same blue background), then outside a lot more blue. Hopefully I'll get the same result with the big ones, wish I recorded the mix I used for this one however!


Sorry to ramble on about Basaltgrau :blink:^_^

Thanks guys,


Edited by mirageiv
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WOW she is very impressive and you'd easily thinks she was at least 1/48th if not larger!!

Light and how it changes a colour depending on a source is a huge issue and something as simple as the light bulb you use can have a huge effect.

I've got to finish my Su's yet and they are now taking forever! :D

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Thank you Rich! So right about the light, I took a picture outside in slightly overcast conditions here in the UK to show the differences. The blue comes through now and hopefully isn't too dissimilar (at least in my eyes) to this photo of the planes I will build: http://www.airliners.net/photo/Germany-Navy/Lockheed-%28MBB%29-F-104G-Starfighter/533036/L



They look almost a different colour to the indoor pics in the previous post :blink::hmmm:

Really look forward to your Su's! They will be my reference whenever I get round to mine for sure.


Edited by mirageiv
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