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Giorgio N

Luftforsvaret F-104G (Hasegawa 1/72 with Vingtor decals) - Completed

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Here's my entry for this STGB, the Hasegawa 1/72 F-104G built in the colours of the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

Bit of history: Norway originally ordered RF-104Gs, receiving the first in 1963. These aircrafts were Lochkeed built and MAP funded. The original idea was to acquire enough aircrafts to equip two squadrons but at some point it was decided that the cheaper F-5 would have been bought in parallel, as thanks to the lower price it would have been possible to equip more units with this type. So the RF-104Gs (and the accompanying two-seaters TF-104G) only equipped one unit: 331 Squadron.

While the aircrafts were RFs. they had all the combat capabilities of the G and really they were almost immediately returned to the G standard. A number of other aircrafts were obtained during the years to replace other lost in accidents, including a few built by Canadair (mind, Canadair built Gs, not CF-104s...) and second hand trainers. In 1981 331 Sqn. left the Starfighter and then received the F-16. As these aircrafts were funded by MAP; they were USAF property and after their service in Norway they were returned to the US, from where they were delivered to the Turkish Air Force.

In the meantime Norway had equipped a second unit with second hand CF-104s, modified to G standard by Scottish Aviation. These aircrafts served with 334 Sqn. til  1982.

I won't go into the details of the various differences between the F-104G and the CF-104, but one aspect is important to note: the Gs of 331 Sqn. initially served in natural metal and later received a light grey scheme while the CF-104 of 334 Sqn. wore a green over light grey scheme.

This colour detail brings me to the reason I'm building one of 331 Sqn. aircrafts: I've always found the original markings of 331 Sqn. to look great on a natural metal F-104! Actually I consider the tricolour flash of this unit as one of the best looking marking around, so much that I've already built a model of one of their F-16s and I'm planning to build a Sabre of the same unit at some point. So I've been looking for ways to build one of these aircrafts for quite a while. Initially I considered painting the flash directly on the model, but I wasn't sure of my ability. Then I found an old Esci decal sheet with the right markings, maybe useable for the flash but not for the rest. When I found a nice Flying Colours sheet of Norwegian roundels I thought I was on the right path as I had good roundels, the flash on the Esci sheet was Okish and I had in the meantime learnt how to print good black codes on decal film. Then during a discussion on this same forum I mentioned this subject and a fellow modeller contacted me mentioning that a friend of him had a Vingtor decal sheet for sale.. the deal was closed very quickly and I finally had all I needed to build my 331 Sqn. F-104 !

 

Now to the plastic ! In 1/72 scale the very best kit is the Hasegawa "new mould". This kit is not really new as it's over 25 year old, however I call it this way to differentiate from the old late '60s mould, that was also reboxed by Frog. The old one was a crude and inaccurate kit, the new one is a great little gem of a kit. Not only it's a good kit, it also includes parts for a proper F-104G in the right boxes, while others include parts for the Japanese J and the Canadian CF. This series of kits is also the only one with the Italeri 1/32 kit to supply the correct parts for a proper F-104S.

The one I'll be building is a G that I bought together with a two-seater from a fellow Britmodeller (sorry, can't remember who he was), for this reason it came here with no box:

 

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I'll post pictures of the sprue later, what I want to show now is the fabled Vingtor sheet:

 

faa67ce1-baf4-4d75-a13a-2dd352c0a4bb.JPG

 

This sheet allows the modeller to build any single or two-seater aircraft from 331 Sqn. I believe that two aircrafts could be built from the decals on the sheet. The instructions are very thorough and show a number of small differences between aircrafts at different times. Decals are printed by Cartograf so should be of high quality, they sure look very well printed and I expect no drams in applying them.

I've yet to decide which aircraft I'll build, it will sure be a natural metal one (Canadair built aircrafts were in light grey from the start). I've been doing some tests on a couple fo cheap kits to get a decent NM finish on this aircraft, hopefully the final result will be worth the effort.

I'll build the kit mainly OOB, however I may add a couple of bits I have in the stash: a Pavla Lockheed C2 ejection seat and a Master Model turned brass pitot tube

 

Edited by Giorgio N

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Very nice choice Giorgio, a natural metal F-104 with nice colourful Norwegian markings, fantastic!

I wish Vingtor would re-visit some of their earlier sheets such as this one.

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Agree, the F-104 sheets for examples seem to be very sought after, a new set may have a good success. Oh well, Nils of Vingtor also posts here, maybe he will read our requests and come to our rescue ! :D

 

With the STGB officially started, I could have done a lot over the weekend... however Saturday was devoted to visiting a modern art event with Sunday spent at a local militaria show...  yes, I do have more than one interest ! Well, at least the Militaria show also resulted in some interesting modelling related purchases as a book dealer had D&S, Naval Fighters and In Actions for €10 for 3 books, and another guy had the recent Zvezda Su-33 for 25% below the usual price (if only I had found this earlier I could have taken part in the Flanker STGB). That I also came home with 2 SA80 magazine pouches and other similar stuff is related to yet another interest of mine but better not digress to much here...

As a result of the various actvities, I did quite little on the F-104, of which I'll post some pics later. Now though it's at least time for the obligatory sprue shots

 

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Nothing really unusual here, as I guess this kit will feature quite heavily in this GB, these sprue will be familiar to most. This box was for German F-104Gs only, a box that was only issued for a short time while the box also including the parts for the S is still in the current catalogue. I didn't take pictures of the clear parts but this was only because they are securely stored in some foam, and I don't want to remove them until needed. As the kit has no box it would be easy to lose them.

 

Of some more interest are the aftermarket parts I'll use:

 

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The Pavla seat and the Master pitot tube are nothing unusual, however the Highflight afterburner is. I knew nothing of this company but then I recently found a couple of their sets at a local model show and bought them (the other is a an exhaust set for the F-4E/J). The detail on the nozzle is very nice, sure way better than what the hasegawa part offers (mind, this is not bad at all for an injected plastic part from an almost 30 year old kit). The hasegawa duct however is longer and more accurate, so what I'll do is attach the Highflight nozzle at the end of the hasegawa duct

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Started attacking the plastic, and unfortunately I started making a mess of the cockpit tub. All my fault, in any case I ended up with the side consolles separated from the floor. No big deal as it can be sorted, problem is that this way it's much harder to get a positive fit of all parts. While this resulted in extra work and some swearing, it also allowed me to locate the consoles a bit higher than suggested by Hasegawa, so getting a better fit of the instrument panel against the coaming. Final result is not bad at all

 

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Mind, the picture is much larger than the real thing...

I was very happy with how the instrument panel turned out, for this I tried a new technique made possible by the fact that Hasegawa moulded this in clear plastic: I coated the whole part in Klear, then painted the grey areas trying to leave the panel faces clear. Thiis was easy to do on the larger instruments, impossible on the smaller ones. Then I painted the frames of the main instruments in very dark grey (I never use pure black for this). The smaller instruments were reproduced with black paint and a couple of decals from the kit sheet (panel and consoles are moulded with raised details but are also evailable as decals). For the larger instruments I glued the decal on the rear of the clear panel... this resulted in a very faint view of the instruments dials through the clear plastic, not really sharp as with a PE part but not bad. The same was done for the radar scope, I left this clear and then painted a very dark red behind the panel.

 

While everything was drying on the right fuselage half, I added the panel with the gun opening on the left half. Hasegawa supplies both this panel and one with the gun faired close, a configuration seen for example on the F-104S and on those F and CF-104 used for nuclear strike missions.

 

765551c6-5a5a-457b-bb58-509bbd509f29.JPG

 

Fit wasn't really that good and there will be some filler needed, not really good news for a model that will carry a natural metal finish...

Also of note is how I marked in red the antennas not required on my aircraft. The conical antenna on the spine is for the 104S-ASA only, while the ones below the gun are for the CF

 

 

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Thanks, I'm very happy with the cockpit, of course had I not made a couple mistakes I'd have completed the job earlier but the hobby would not be the same if everything went according to plans.. :D

 

Anyway, no time for recriminations ! With the right console and the floor in place, it was easy enough to add the left consolle, so completing the cockpit tub. Some careful painting and the addition of the throttle from plastic rod gives quite a good result:

 

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Small rant: I often hear regarding instrument panels that decals are still the best option in 1/72 scale. Sorry to disagree, as the hase F-104 shows, it's possible to have raised details that are prominent enough to be easy to paint and can lead to great results. And this on a kit that in Japan costs around £7-8.. I don't have a particularly steady hand and I struggle to see well from very close, yet I believe I managed to get a convincing enough cockpit using almost only parts from the box. IMHO offering both a flat panel for the decals and one with raised detail would make every modeller happy !

 

Rant closed, it's time to prepare the front fuselage to be closed. I've built 3 hasegawa F-104s before this one, plus a couple Esci ones, yet I keep forgetting if these kits need ballast to avoid tailsitting. As I'll be using a resin exhaust, I've decided to add some weight just in case, should this not be needed it will not have any detrimental effect...

 

75f9dfe9-fca4-49a8-8d41-94c00f6f7671.JPG

 

Next step, closing the front fuselage halves ! After which it will be time to start working on the rear fuselage parts

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Front fuselage is closed, pictures to follow when the glue is properly set.

In the meantime I started working on the rear fuselage. The first thing to do is the remove the small teardrop fairing marked in red in the picture below:

 

acb54ecd-bed7-4381-85c2-f9caed87e827.JPG

 

This is part of the F-104S Sparrow related equipment, so it's absent from the G. Hasegawa correctly indicate to remove the fairing in the instructions, that they moulded this detail is a sign of the attention they put to the details of all the different variants.

 

The rear fuselage halves can't be glued before having prepared the afterburner section. As I had decided to use the resin nozzle, It was necessary to shorten the kit parts, as the aftermarket part is longer than the Hasegawa one (this because it includes the section containing the petal actuating mechanisms). Here are the two halves of the afterburner duct, one cut to the new length and the other still in its original shape

 

cc0cc443-75e7-44c4-a16a-a5eae96a7637.JPG

 

One unusual detail of the J79 engine is that the afterburner duct is generally in a light blue-green colour. Hasegawa suggests using British Sky, personally I decided to mix some chrome from the Vallejo air range with a light blue-green. The final effect is a bit too metallic, but with a black wash this effect should be toned down a bit. Beside the duct parts (now both of the correct length) is the last stage of the turbine, painted with Citadel's gun metal followed by a black wash

 

f1f40ec7-e118-49e3-9d5f-9b6ef115ed72.JPG

 

With the afterburner duct inserted in the rear fuselage, the nozzle can be left til the end as it will sit in contact with the duct rear end. This is very handy as allows painting the nozzle separately from the model with no need for masking

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Not strictly related to the Norwegian F-104G, but I should mention that the postman delivered a Monogram F-104C this morning. Should I manage to move quick enough on the G, I may try building the C as well for the STGB. For the time being though, better keep working on the G ! My track record with group builds has been pretty poor recently, I'd like to complete one at last !

Edited by Giorgio N

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Good morning Giorgio

You have done a Very good job on the cockpit :clap2:

Best regards

Patrice

 

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On 10/11/2017 at 10:04 AM, TEMPESTMK5 said:

Good morning Giorgio

You have done a Very good job on the cockpit :clap2:

Best regards

Patrice

 

 

On 11/11/2017 at 5:43 AM, Cookenbacher said:

Off to a great start Giorgio, and that instrument panel is impressive.

 

Thanks guys, glad you like it !

 

While a large part of the Britmodeller population enjoied the show in Telford, in my corner of the world I managed to spend a couple days home and made good use of this.

In my previous post I mentioned that the front fuselage assembly was almost ready and now it is !

With the afterburner duct completed, the rear fuselage could also be prepared and here are both parts ready to be glued together.

The front half gave me no problem, however the rear fuselage is a different story: with all the Hasegawa Starighters I've built before, the lower end of the rear fuselage simply didn't want to fit properly. Assembly always resulted in some small misalignment of the two halves with quite a lot of sanding required. This time was no exception, although I made as slightly better job compared to the previous build of the same kit. Now some sanding generally wouldn't be that much of a deal, however this area on the kit features a lot of surface detail in the form of a multitude of recessed rivets... ah, rivets ! This is the area of this kit that has been most highely criticized ! On the real F-104 the rivets on the rear fuselage are nowhere as visible as Hasegawa moulded them and the modeller has to decide what to do. Some disappeared on the lower rear fuselage, so it makes sense to just erase them all from those couple of panels. I may remove them all and sort the problem, at the same time with an NM finish they have to be properly removed as otherwise any blemish on the plastic will be visible under the final finish. At the moment I'm considering removing only the ones in areas that have been affected by the sanding and leave the rest. I may tone them down applying a thick coat of primer, we'll see.

 

f6f2e672-c26c-489b-8da6-2f7215da4b98.JPG

 

The way Hasegawa split the fuselage can result in some tricky assembly. With some care however it's possible to line front and rear halves so that only a minimum of sanding is required. I think I made a decent job here, there was only a very small ridge to sand and now the two halves are nicely flush with each other at the top.

 

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And then came the even trickier part.. the intakes. These are nicely represented by Hasegawa but it's not easy to fit them without problems. Again I think I did a decent job this time, but I still ended with some gaps on the lower fuselage. I also had to apply a bit of filler at the rear end of the intakes on the top, fortunately only a very small amount

 

d739f682-48c6-4dcb-8aca-f27173d813b8.JPG

 

With the fuselage assembled I then had to sort a couple of problems. FIrst was the tip of the radome. This on the Starfighter is very sharp and unfortunately sometime this area gets damaged during the assembly. The plastic in this area is very thin and can easily break, more so when softened by the glue. Maybe it's just me, in any case I've had this problem before and had it again this time. As I'm using the Master pitot tube, I test-fit this and noticed how the tube base was smaller in diameter than the plastic. How to sort the problem ? I inserted in the radome a brass tube with the same internal diameter of the plug of the Master part, then I used epoxy filler to build the radome tip. The filler was one of those metal fillers sold in DIY stores, in the end it's just like Milliput, a bit more robust but not as fine. The filler sticked to the brass and the plastic perfectly and was sanded to achieve a nice sharp point with the tip truncated at the very same diameter at which the pitot tube will start. Of course I'm not adding the pitot tube now, it would break during the rest of the assembly

The second problem was that I realised that I had forgotten to add a base for the sight... Hasegawa would want the modeller to attach this part directly on the canvas cover on the coaming but on the real 104 things are a bit different so I added some plasticard to provide a base, drilled to represent the projector lens. And here I realised that I forgot to modify the shape of the coaming... the central part should be shorter than the side ones, will not do anything about it now, I don't want to damage the rest of the cockpit.

With those couple problems attended to, it was time to glue the wings on and these fit perfectly

 

c7004277-569f-4413-943a-0134523c3778.JPG

 

Not bad ! From this picture it's clear to understand why in Italy the 104 was known as "spillone", meaning big needle.

 

Last but not least, I prepared the nozzle. As said before, I'm using a Highflight resin part here. I painted the part with a dark grey mixed with some metallic paint, then applied a wash with some black oil paint and drybrushed the actuators with some gun metal. Just for comparison I painted the kit part in the same way and here they are, resin on the left and Hasegawa on the right

 

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Really the Hasegawa part is not bad, the rear ring is not moulded but in any case this is not visible on the F-104 as sits inside the fuselage (different story on the F-4B/C/D where it's very visible). Hasegawa offers some inner detail, something that few companies do even today. Using the kit part would be perfectly valid for most builds. The inner detial on the resin part however is totally different, way nicer. Not unexpected of course.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Giorgio N

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Very nice work Giorgio, and very quick too.

You are putting the rest of us to shame, now that Telford is over I will have to pull my finger out and get started on my F-104J.

 

Craig.

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44 minutes ago, modelling minion said:

Very nice work Giorgio, and very quick too.

You are putting the rest of us to shame, now that Telford is over I will have to pull my finger out and get started on my F-104J.

 

Craig.

 

Thanks Craig, hope I can keep the momentum.... however let's wait til painting starts ! That's where I often get stuck and end up with yet another model on the shelf of shame... :lol:

Will try not to this time, I'd really like to complete this one.

 

39 minutes ago, Cookenbacher said:

Thanks for all the advice specific to this kit Giorgio, you're off to a great start.

Glad that my experience can be of help to others ! It's a nice kit, but as most others there are a few areas that need some attention.

 

A couple more pictures for today....With all the talk about the cockpit, I totally forgot to show the ejection seat ! This is from Pavla, it's moulded with the seat pad and the relative belts, not necessarily correct, in any case it looks good and is cheap too. With some painting and the addition of an ejection handle between the pilot's legs it looks like this:

 

d7c261cb-ee01-43dd-98aa-a772c5a06bb4.JPG

 

Ok, the handle can't really be seen, it's very thin, maybe too thin. In any case the seat looks good in the pit

 

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Of note is also the clear part representing the sight. Close to this is a leftover from the Eduard PE sheet that I used on an Esci kit a couple years ago, that IIRC represents the sight camera (not sure, will have to check. I could have used another sheet and take from there the proper frame for the sight but let's say I'm happy with a more OOB fit for this one. A small thing to sort out will be that light grey spot from the seat headrest. This is the result of grabbing the seat with tweezers to insert it in the pit, as soon as the glue is set I'll touch this up with a small brush

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Good evening Giorgio

 Very good job so far  and thank you for the advice ..

I must finish my 2 current builds before taking part in this Gb ..

 

Best regards

Patrice

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On 13/11/2017 at 6:37 PM, TEMPESTMK5 said:

Good evening Giorgio

 Very good job so far  and thank you for the advice ..

I must finish my 2 current builds before taking part in this Gb ..

 

Best regards

Patrice

 

Thanks Patrice ! Looking forward to your builds !

 

Some more progress: with the cockpit completed it was time to glue the clear parts in place. Well, not all of them as I'm leaving the central opening part for later. In order to paint however I've temporarily fixed this in place using the same Vallejo masking fluid I've used for the rear section. And now airbrush time !

 

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Now you may think that I've started by panting the wings white etc... well, yes and no. What I sprayed on wings, horizontal tailplanes and nose cone is only primer. White primer from Vallejo.. This will be followed by a coat of white on the top of the wings, followed by grey FS 16473 on the bottome of the same wings and the nose cone. The tailplanes are not glued to the rest of the model and I've yet to decide the colour I'll use. Norwegian F-104s had tailplanes in a number of colours, including some in a dark grey. As I've not decided on my specific aircraft yet I'll paint the tailplanes after the decision is taken.

The reason I've only primed some parts is that the rest of the fuselage will be painted in a natural metal scheme using Vallejo's metal paints. These give their best when used over a smooth black finish, that will be achieved using Vallejo's black primer. For this reason I'm priming and then painting those areas not in NM, these will then be masked before applying the black primer onto which I'll spray the metal paint.

 

One small detail that some may have noticed: I've added a couple of plastic strips under the fuselage. These represent part of the ventral catamaran that Hasegawa dd not reproduce. The NATO catamaran had two small connection braces between the rails, in the same way as the Japanese type. Hasegawa did not supply these and would want the modeller to glue the rails directly onto the fuselage... problem is that there is a vent right under the pylons of the rail ! And hasegawa suggests to drill a hole right in the middle of the vent... not good. The parts for the Japanese catamaran are only included in the F-104J/CF-104 box, I had to sort by using plastic rectangular section rod. I also have to add that the ventral area of the F-104G is a bit busier than Hasegawa represented, I pondered the option of adding some more detail but this would have been mostly hidden by the catamaran so I didn't bother.

One area where however something will have to be done is behind and beside the front gear well, where hasegawa totally forgot one little detail: the gun cooling grilles ! I have two options here, scribe them or design and print a decal. I may well opt for the second solution, not as realistic but sure easier to implement

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Fantastic work Giorgio and as usual your choice of subject is really interesting to me. The method to strongly and cleanly place the pitot tube until later is a smart one, for sure I will use that in the future as every time, without fail, I have broken my pitot during an F-104 build at some point!

 

The rear rivets are an interesting one to tackle. I've built a few of these 1/72 F-104s so I know it can be tricky around the underside seam as the plastic is so thin there and the fit not so great, to sand a lot in these areas (especially with my touch) to remove filler placed in the rivets could make the plastic too thin on the undersides (never mind replacing them and risking puncture/damage of the thin surface) and it is one reason why I eventually left mine in place in the end, plus I actually quite like the life they bring to the surface. My point being, which I want to try on the 1/48 or 1/72 kit one day, is maybe adding a texture to the rear fueslage. Sanding directly along the lines of vertical rivets could not only reduce them and make a better scale appearance but also introduce a very slightly rippled texture which is noticeable in many photographs including painted aircraft. Or, first sand the whole rear to reduce the rivet depth somewhat, then sand more on the vertical rivet lines (using Tamiya curve tape to guide/protect) in order to reduce further to scale and introduce texture. Of course I wouldn't want to recommend anything to damage this very nice model in progress (especially when I haven't even tried it myself yet to see if it works) but just a random speculative idea for future F-104s, though given it is 1/72 introducing a surface texture may do more good than bad for the final appearance. I'm not sure, maybe in 1/48 and up you can get away with it and I think I will give it a go in the future. 

 

Also, can I ask how you are able to decide the exact colour of the tail for a particular RNoAF F-104? Do you have a good reference book/online source or is it on the Vingtor instructions (which I assume are excellent)?

 

Keep up the great work, I look forward to the NMF

 

Cheers,

 

David

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Thanks David, a lot of interesting ideas in your post !

Adding dsome texture would be a great thing, not easy but worth the try. As you say the plastic though is quite thin and some care will be needed to avoid damage.

At the moment I've decided to retain rivets apart from the central panel where some disappeared "thanks" to the sanding. I'd rather have no rivet in this panel rather than having some and not others. Not easy to achieve though, at the moment I'm trying adding some more primer on the rivets only and then sanding with a Tamiya abrasive sponge. I'll find out soon if this is succesful.

The Vingtor sheet has some indications for some of the tails, I'm now almost decided on FN-T, with a dark grey  tailplane. Of course the best way to know is to check pictures, fortunately this feature is quite visible

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Model finally completely primed ! All areas not previously primed in white were primed with Vallejo black primer. I've only recently started using these primers and I have to say I like them a lot. They can be airbrushed straight from the bottle and the finish seems very robust.

 

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Now the difficult part can start... I'm leaning towards a finish bright enough but not too shiny. In this way I can limit myself to applying a relatively limited range of shades. NM F-104s in any case show quite a lot of panel variation in the tail area and these will have to be reproduced. The panel immediately behind the radome is also generally shinier than others while some panels on the undersides tend to be a bit darker. There's a lot of masking waiting for me in the next few days...

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Now you're talking, Giorgio! - 1/72 - tick :), Hasegawa - tick ;) and Vingtor - tick ;)

 

Looking good!

 

Martin

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Nice choice of subject Giorgio and a good introduction of it.

Looking forward to the metal finish!

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On 21/11/2017 at 4:14 PM, RidgeRunner said:

Now you're talking, Giorgio! - 1/72 - tick :), Hasegawa - tick ;) and Vingtor - tick ;)

 

Looking good!

 

Martin

 

5 hours ago, Lex77 said:

Nice choice of subject Giorgio and a good introduction of it.

Looking forward to the metal finish!

 

Thanks guys ! I've now started painting all the natural metal shades, this is what will make or break this build...

The paints I've chosen are Vallejo's recent Metal Color range. These are acrylics prethinned for use with an airbrush. I don't have the whole set so I may have to mix the ones I have to get some more shades, in any case I've done this before and know it works. My previous tests with these paints have been very positive, hopefully I'll get a decent finish on the 104.

I made a start on the rear fuselage where all NM F-104s show a few darker and lighter shades. Many grey F-104s also retain this area in natural metal, getting this right is a good start. First shades to go on were the darker ones on the fuselage and fin and the lighter one around the fuselage. Pictures unfortunately don't really show well the finish, I should take more pictures in daylight. Couldn't use a flash as this reflected on the metal paint with bad results. Really, you have to take my word for it as pictures don't really show much.. :lol:

 

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I'm quite happy with those few areas where I've completed the job. The fin cap will require a second coat and then it will be time to go with the lighter tones. There's a lot of painting still to be done before the scheme is complete...

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Great start, Giorgio. Your application of these colours bodes very well for the rest of the airframe - it looks like a masterful effort is underway. I look forward to your next instalment (but, in all seriousness, there's no hurry - I just enjoy these updates).

 

Andrew.

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Thanks Andrew, your words seem to have brought good luck as the finish on the rest of the airframe is indeed quite nice. This is what I have at the moment, this time with picture taken in outdoor light (although on a cloudy northern Italian morning)

 

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Well, what can I say.. it's shiny ! I've used around 6 different shades til now, I may add another couple ones on a few panels, particularly on the intakes.

A few comments on Vallejo's Metal Colors I used here: they are nice, very nice. Sometime a bit tricky with my airbrush, as I have to use a very low pressure to get the best results, but the finish is worth the trouble. Oh, and they are very tough ! This model has received a lot of temporary masking with tape and yet I've not had any proplem with paint lifting., Part of the merit may lay in the primer, in any case paint lifting is a potential problem that I'm happy to not have suffered from.

One last word on these paints: it says on the bottle that they dry in 5 minutes and indeed they are dry in a very short time. Personally I leave them for at least a hour before masking though, just in case. Such a short drying time has allowed me to add several shades very quickly. With enamels I'd have had to wait a day for each shade of metal...

 

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Quick update... watching the pictures made me realise that the dark panel on the tail is too dark. Or better, that panel can get that dark but in most pictures it's lighter, so it was masking tape again and a quick respray. I've also managed to add some different shades on the intake auxiliary doors using Vallejo's model air metallics and a brush, I'm now really thinking of stopping here with the metallics.

Not that there arent's other areas to paint.... Starfighters had a number of antennas under fibreglass panels that were generally left unpainted. There's a large panel in light grey on both sides of the fin, there there are panels in a light brown behind the canopy with another on the ventral fin and one under the fuselage. All these will have to be painted before applying the decals

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