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Posted (edited)

We join this work in progress...  in progress (I started before joining BM).  Last year I did a Hasagawa F-104 from about 1986 (ugh, terrible kit) and used a decal set from Belcher Bits to make it a gray/green camo, low viz CF-104.  In the course of doing that, I decided I really liked the early NMF CF-104s and the decal set included decals from that era.  So I bought this kit.  For the most part I've had good experiences with Hasagawa kits.  This one.... isn't quite one of them so far.

 

The build has stalled out; I'd hoped it would be an easy build, maybe a couple of weeks, but it's been over a month because I'm procrastinating fixing the seam between the front half and back half :(, and because I still can't quite figure out how I want to apply the Alclad (This build also is part of my on-going quest of getting a realistic natural metal finish.  More on that later though). 

 

Now, here is where I've gotten so far:

ixA3HXN.jpg

 

"she doesn't look like much, but she's got it where it counts!" Well, maybe. The detail is top notch, and by and large the fit is really nice, with a couple major exceptions. First, the panel containing the cannon was a separate piece and didn't fit well, so I had to use super glue to fill in the gaps and sand it flush.  Second, there is a front half and a back half, and when I glued them together, there was overlap.  it didn't matter how I positioned them, there was overlap somewhere:

 

ZrsRQxw.jpg

 

It may not look like much, but I'm going to have to bust out the files to get that flush!

 

Another gripe is that the plastic looks like it sunk a bit, so at the seams on the bottom, it is a little concave.  Luckily it's only on the bottom because I filled and smoothed it out to the best of my ability, but I'm not crazy about how it turned out.

 

The cockpit had the option to paint the instrument panel or apply a decal.  I decided to paint it:

 

YwQTYgc.jpg

 

The panel was painted Dark Gull Gray with black, olive green and red in appropriate places.  I just used a magnifying glass and a tiny brush. The side panels are black with Testors Steel dry-brushed on.  My reference photos showed a dark grime around the outer parts of the head rest and seat cushions, so I tried to replicate that by using tamiya weathering pastels around the edges.

 

PTOyi1v.jpg

 

I've already painted the wings (Mr. Color, white on top, Light Blue on the bottom) and black-based them, using Mr. Surfacer 1500 black as a primer and then marbling on the white (or blue) and then misting on the color to blend it all together.

 

FQYiaz7.jpg

 

It's a little too subtle in the picture, but looks about right in real life.  I also did the fuel tanks and horizontal stabilizer, which were all red.  I had a hard time matching the red: I thought it should be Chevy engine red, but that was too orange.  So I put a light coat of Ford engine red and that seemed to match the decals OK.  I also black based these:

 

ylNs699.jpg

 

I had to paint and assemble the main gears.  These I primered with Tamiya gloss black spray, and put a coat of Alclad Polished aluminum on, followed by a very light coat of Alclad aluminum to cut the shine down a bit.  I coated that with Alclad Aqua Gloss, then used a wash of black oil paint in paint thinner to bring out the details.  When this had dried, I sealed it with Testors Metallizer sealer.

 

rKyxmmz.jpg

 

I've found that Alclad will pull up with tape once in a while, so I try to do all the other colors first and mask them before doing the alclad.  That's why the nose, intakes, and red rectangles before the intakes are masked in these pictures.

Finally, I did the metal in the back part of the fuselage, because it looks different from the rest of the body:

 

2nivgcH.jpg

 

Same routine here as with the main gear bay: Black gloss, followed by Alclad stainless steel. On the left in this picture is the stainless steel.  The darker part to the right, I put a very light over coat of Alclad steel and the lighter looking part has a light coat of Alclad dark aluminum.  I think the light part is too light, so I may have to look at that again.

 

Next steps: Mask the metal in back, mask the gear bays, and fix that seam in the middle (ugh).  Then it will be time to Alclad this bad boy!

 

 

Edited by opus999
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I have one of these myself, so I'm naturally interested in how you manage the join in the middle. Is it not possible to join the sides prior to getting the, uh, four halves together?

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1 minute ago, Procopius said:

I have one of these myself, so I'm naturally interested in how you manage the join in the middle. Is it not possible to join the sides prior to getting the, uh, four halves together?

It was a serious pain! I wish I had pictures from before, but basically you put the two halves of the front together (two quarters? ugh, my head hurts!), then the two halves of the back together, leaving you with a front assembly and a back assembly. The instructions have you put the intake scoops on the front assembly first, then join the two assemblies together.  Doing some dry fitting, I found there was a lot of play in the scoop, so there could have been a good sized gap between the two assemblies at the scoop if I wasn't careful. So, when I glued the scoop on the front assembly, I used the table surface to make sure everything was square.

 

Trouble is, when I joined the front and back assemblies, I found that you could rotate them just a bit, so I had to be very careful to get everything aligned right, but as you can see there was still some overlap on one side.  I suppose, in retrospect, I might have tried putting the scoops on after gluing the front and back assemblies together.  Maybe then I might have been able to avoid the overlap shown in the picture.  But maybe not.

 

I filed that overlap down tonight and it didn't take as long as I thought to get rid of it. I sanded it using progressively finer sand paper down to 8000 grit and rescribed the panel lines a bit.  It looks pretty good. 

 

I hope this makes sense; It's a little hard to describe.  Good luck!

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Managed to get a half-hour yesterday to base coat:

 

7yM8GVn.jpg

 

So, I hope to write a post or series of posts about all the stuff I've learned about Alclad (aka, my quest for the most realistic NMF), but in the meantime, I'll just say that I have a seemingly endless battle with gloss paint! This is the first time I've tried the current technique on a model (I've practiced on scrap).  Basically, I decanted Testors gloss enamel black and mixed it in a 2:1 ratio with Mr. Color levelling thinner (that is 2 parts paint, 1 part thinner). I airbrushed it on, and (as usual) there were areas that looked rough from fine overspray. So once the whole model was painted, I sprayed on straight Mr. color levelling thinner so that the whole surface was wet.  I waited a few minutes and did it a second time.

 

Am I worried about  it seeping under the masking tape?  You bet! I guess I'll burn that bridge when I get to it. When I checked it today, the finish was very smooth, but oddly, it was slightly less glossy than the tail, where I hadn't sprayed the thinner over coat. I don't think it will be noticeable in the finished product.

 

Plus, the seam joining the back and front halves looked pretty good. Of course, NMF shows every darn flaw, so I'm reserving judgement on that until the end... :)

 

Now I get to the part that has perplexed me and held this project up: What should the finish look like? Early CF-104s were highly reflective.  Here's an example from wikimedia commons (By Richard Vandervord - http://www.airliners.net/photo/Canada---Air/Lockheed-(Canadair)-CF-104/1233818/L/, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41351799):

sgrc7Wr.jpg

 

In most of the pictures I've found of these early canadian starfighters, the finish looks worn in a way that's hard to describe.  Like it's scuffed or hammered or something like that. It still has a near-mirror like finish, but has a worn quality to it.  Now, I could just shoot straight Alclad polished aluminum and get a mirror finish, but it would look too clean -- especially with the tonal variation I put into the wings and tanks. Doogsmodels had a great video about producing a weathered metal finish by marbleing Mr. Color Engine gray over Alclad RAF High Speed Silver and then putting Airframe Aluminum over that.  I tried it and it was an impressively realistic finish, but the reflection it gave off was pretty diffuse -- not very mirror like (Hopefully I'll get those pictures up soon). I'm thinking of other approaches, but I'll need to test them out first on scrap because they could go painfully awry.  A couple Ideas I have are to marble engine gray over black as a base coat, or try marbleing the polished aluminum.  Or, maybe I could imitate real life and scuff the paint (something tells me that won't go well, though).

 

So... that's where I'm at so far....

 

 

 

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Its oxidized aluminum thats why it looks like that. Aluminum doesn't corrode it oxidizes, so it gets a faded look. Thats why they were polished constantly in the USAF. After a few years by about 1959-60 they got smart and painted the planes aluminum. 

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14 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Its oxidized aluminum thats why it looks like that. Aluminum doesn't corrode it oxidizes, so it gets a faded look. Thats why they were polished constantly in the USAF. After a few years by about 1959-60 they got smart and painted the planes aluminum. 

Ahh... of course! I've seen some that oxidized to be quite dull.  I guess I should've realized that the look I was seeing was the first stages of that oxidation happening.

 

It's still a pretty tough nut to crack.  I'm not sure how I'm going to get a realistic look.  I've got a lot of ideas to try out though. 

 

Thanks for the input!

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This is coming along nicely. It also is a painful reminder that I need to get my 1/48 CF-104D restarted.

 

Martian

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A little alclad testing under my belt -- and I might be closer to a solution.  First, here is a picture of my test on an A-7 wing of doogsmodel's weathered metal technique (described in my previous post).  Very promising, but just not quite right for the CF-104 (note, on the left I'd coated it with Alclad's aqua gloss and the right side is untreated.  In real life, the left side looks terrible!):

eHsK7kw.jpg

 

My next idea was to marble the polished aluminum on the gloss black and then put an even coat of polished aluminum on the whole thing:

w65poN1.jpg?1

 

This is on an F-84 wing -- When I get some time I'll start a WIP for F-84 too. Again, I think this looks better in real life, not quite as much contrast between the dark and light.  Marbling the polished aluminum was a pain! I'd hoped I could get a finer line with the airbrush, but it really wants to spider leg pretty badly.

 

The next idea was to marble Mr. Color engine gray on the black and coat with polished aluminum. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and test an idea I had about using Mr. Surfacer 1500 black covered with Aqua Gloss as a base for polished aluminum.  So, I primered with Mr. Surfacer, marbled the Engine Gray on and had to apply 3 coats of Aqua Gloss with a hand brush to get the gloss I was looking for.  Here's how it looked before the polished aluminum went on:

 

b5mP71l.jpg?1

 

The good news is, I think I got a better finish than my various attempts at spraying a black gloss on.  The bad news is, I had little bits of junk in my brush that ended in the finish (and are visible in the picture), even though I thoroughly washed the brush before hand.  Those will stand out like sore thumbs when the Alclad goes on.  Here's a picture of how it turned out after the alclad went on (note, the bottom wing is the black/engine gray/aqua gloss test and the top wing is the marbled polished aluminum):

3mcIArE.jpg?1

 

This was kind of a bust.  You can barely make out the tonal variation in real life.  In the picture you can see it a little bit. Definitely not the route I'm going to take.  On the bright side, the Mr. Surfacer/Aqua gloss combination as a base for Polished Aluminum worked great (except for the bits of dust...). 

 

So... I'm pretty certain that I will use the marbled polish aluminum technique. It seemed that I could put a very thick coat over the marbleing and not completely erase it, which gives me a lot of leeway if I want to tone down the effect.

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4 hours ago, Martian Hale said:

This is coming along nicely. It also is a painful reminder that I need to get my 1/48 CF-104D restarted.

 

Martian

Is it going to be Natural Metal Finish?  Can't wait to see a CF-104 in 1/48!

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Ugh... Just checked the black paint and it's still tacky.  I thought this was a possibility when I coated it with Mr. Levelling thinner. I hope it hardens up by this weekend so I can work on it, otherwise I'll be turning my attention to my F-84.

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12 hours ago, opus999 said:

Is it going to be Natural Metal Finish?  Can't wait to see a CF-104 in 1/48!

It will be NMF with red tip tanks and tail lane.

 

Martian

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Checked the black paint tonight and it seems pretty close to completely dry.  I may be able to paint over the weekend. If I can find a few minutes tonight I'm going to try a couple more ideas for the Alclad. 

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Posted (edited)

I was able to get the Alclad on this weekend! On Friday I had a couple more ideas about how to make it look worn.  I thought of trying to marble on various clear coats over the Alclad.  I tried Testors metalizer sealer, testors enamel clear and decanted dull coat.  The first two had no effect, the dull coat looked terrible. I then thought to put an extremely light marble coat of dull coat over the gloss black base and put the Alclad over that. It turned out very promising, so I stripped the paint off my test pieces and tried again. Here's the Tamiya Gloss Black base (I wish I could get it this smooth when I put it through my airbrush!:swear:)

0x7eBrc.jpg

 

Here's the dull coat marble coat.  Well, it's more of a "scribble" coat.

 

Px3cjjd.jpg?1

 

The dull coat has to be super thin, otherwise it looks terrible in the finished product. It's like a film of dull coat. This is the finished product.  It's very subtle and hard to capture on camera:

pbxzdLs.jpg

 

It looks much more convincing in real life. This was the approach I decided to go with and applied the dull coat in the same manner on my CF-104.  The only place I could get a good picture of it was the tail:

dHtPhxD.jpg

 

Some panels that were supposed to be darker I masked, then after applying a couple of coats of the Polished Aluminum, I took the masking off and added a couple more coats of the polished aluminum.  Because the paint is  translucent, the panels that were masked let more of the black through and appear darker.  It's a nice effect.  One of the areas I did this was the center panel of the tail fin. After painting with polished aluminum, I masked to paint some panels with a dusting of regular Aluminum:

aVwZeko.jpg?1

 

Then masked others for Dark Aluminum.  All these were based on dozens of photos I've collected for reference.

XdyiDxw.jpg

 

At last the moment I've waited for for a month now!  Taking all of the masking off.  It turned out really nice, with only two little fixes I need to make.

4jXVn8Y.jpg?1

 

It's hard to see the areas that were dull coat underneath, but in real life it makes a subtle effect of wear.  I'm glad I did it because otherwise it would look too clean next to the wings. Next time I might try to make the marbling a little bit more tightly packed.  Right now they're loose scribbles.

 

And, because I can't wait, I dry fit one of the wings and the fuel tanks on.  Can't wait to glue it together!

48kT7eD.jpg?1

 

Next up: after a 24-hour wait, I'll hand brush Alclad Aqua Gloss on it to seal it in preparation for decals.

 

 

Edited by opus999

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On 14/03/2018 at 4:40 PM, Martian Hale said:

It will be NMF with red tip tanks and tail lane.

 

Martian

Thats clever Martian, how dod you know that .............. :wonder:

 

This is coming along so well, I love it. Your skill with NMF is re-iterating how patient and methodical you have to be to get it looking so good. This is an excellent technique lesson, that looks like its going to result in a very fine model.

 

Keep it coming!

 

Cheers

 

Terry

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2 hours ago, Terry1954 said:

 

That's clever Martian, how did you know that .............. :wonder:

Err, because I am building it?

 

Martian

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10 minutes ago, Martian Hale said:

Err, because I am building it?

 

Martian

Ooops! Misread the thread. I know realise Opus999 comment was referring to your earlier comment.

 

I'm getting old you know ........ :think:

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This picture may seem a little redundant with the last, but I was able to gloss coat the fuselage Wednesday night.  I painted Alclad aqua gloss on it with a hand brush, and here is the result (with dry-fit wings, etc. on it):

y0QXEji.jpg

 

I've found Aqua Gloss to be the best clear coat for any of the mirror-like (or near mirror-like) finishes. Still, every time I apply it, I have to convince myself that I haven't ruined it.  The Aqua Gloss doesn't cut down the "shine" (or lustre or reflectivity... I'm not sure what to call it), but it imparts a very slight "artificial" look.  I think its because our brains know what reflective metal looks like and when there's a thin overcoat that is providing some of the reflection (a very sharp reflection, but only a hair above the actual metal), our brains get confused and it seems artificial.

 

Is it that dramatic? not really, I think I worry too much about it and blow it all out of proportion in my head.  I mean, when I walk into my son's room and look at the F-86 I did using the same technique, it looks totally normal.  I'm just being a worry wart. :worry: (here's the F-86):

lLGJ9SI.jpg

 

Wow! I've got a friday off with no one else at home!  I'm going to try and make some real progress on this CF-104 today.

 

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Grrr.... Now I've got the roundels on, it makes the red bits look very rust colored. So now I'm afraid I'm going to have to paint them again.

 

eli2Lcb.jpg?1

 

It's not quite as bad in this picture, but in person, it's more noticeable.  I thought I had the red pretty close, but once the decals got on the plane the red seemed to get much brighter (maybe because of the white on the wing as opposed to the gray/blue decal paper).  So now I've got to try and figure out the red to use.  Maybe just a straight up red? Repainting the tanks and horizontal stabilizer won't be a huge deal, but the squares on the side of the plane will be problematic because there are decals next to them. Masking and decals never go well together.

 

I also managed to wipe out a decal.  I bumped it while it was still soft from the solvent.  You can see it on the wing in this picture.  It's one of the "no step" stencils.  I have tons of those, but none the same size. :swear:

 

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Posted (edited)

Don't have any pictures to show, but I found that plain ol' testors red matched the maple leaf and ensign in the decals best.  So, I painted gloss black enamel on the horizontal stabilizer and fuel tanks in preparation for the new red paint.  Haven't masked and painted the red on the fuselage yet.

 

The weekend is fading fast, so I don't know if I'll get to do anymore on this this weekend.  I'm going to be out of town next weekend, so it could be a couple weeks before my next update (unless I luck out with a free weeknight... :fingerscrossed:)

Edited by opus999
forgot to add something

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1 hour ago, Martian Hale said:

It looks pretty good to me as it  is.

 

Martian

Thanks!

 

It looks a lot better in the pictures.  In real life the maple leaves in the roundels make the tanks look a lot more orange than in the picture.

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26 minutes ago, Crimea River said:

Great looking build. Not sure you are aware but there are loads of excellent CF-104 reference pics here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/236405679823718/photos/

 

Helped me a lot with my build.

 

Andy

Wow!  That's terrific!  I wonder why google never coughed that up?  I wish I had that resource when I was working on my low-viz CF-104.  After looking at the photos there, I think I'm on the right track with my new red color I'm putting on it right now.  The other red was just too orange. Thanks!

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Got a little time last night to paint my new red on the sides of the fuselage and the top of the horizontal stabilizer.  I'm much happier with this color, and it matches the color in most of the pictures on the facebook page that @Crimea River pointed me to!

 

qQEGnaI.jpg

 

When I look at the pictures on this page, it's hard to see the difference, but in real life it's obviously a lot better!

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