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mirageiv

RNoAF F-16s Part 1-- A and B

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Thanks guys!

 

Finally some painting. 

 

A little bit of 'preshading' with various greys. Everyone has an opinion on preshading, good or bad. For me, I just look at the real subject in question and try to replicate it. If preshading helps me get there, I do it. I didn't bother being really accurate or fine with the airbrush, just a general variation. 

 

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Next the grey. Norwegian F-16s were (and are) painted in FS26270, Neutral grey (or called Haze grey for Ships). As mentioned earlier the panel lines on this kit are very fine, not so deep either so I wanted to use a thin acrylic paint. I use Gunze or Tamiya for this, however Gunze's H306 FS26270 looked too purple, with a bit of an odd hue to it. I tried mixing some Tamiya paint and modifying the Gunze colour and got it pretty darn close (I'm usually hopeless at mixing colours) but I went for the safe bet and used Modelmaster enamel FS 36270 in the end given their reputation for FS accuracy. 

 

I mixed maybe 15-20% white in for the scale, the colour looked way too dark on a 1/72 model straight from the bottle imho. I can't say it sprayed as nice as Gunze but I was happy enough with the results, I think I'll use my own Tamiya mix on the F-16B though as I found any fine spraying a real pain. After an initial layer a did post shading with various shades of the base colour. I micromeshed the painted surface a little so hopefully I won't have to apply so much gloss for the decals and persevere the panel lines a bit more, the paint was really flat. 

 

Not the best light here atm so sorry the pictures are not so great, I increased the contrast a little on the following pictures to show more of what it looks like in reality as not much of the weathering was coming through on the photos. As a reminder, this is what I'm hoping to achieve: https://www.airliners.net/photo/Norway-Air-Force/General-Dynamics-Fokker-F-16A-Fighting-Falcon-401/231790/L?qsp=eJwtjLEOwjAMRP/FMwxREEgd%2BQE6sDBaidtEhCZyLEFU9d9xo253905vBZcXoZ88WyEYoBKyC3CCgoyfCsMKGDnFZYcXY29W2ZvaN7NXCtPZXHWpmeXetHsUGkOWPDOWQP6lvoM/2BPrBavr/lmVRgPx2DPY3eRjLQm7igRjgm37A2VANV4%3D

 

So very colourful!  The markings and weapons should improve things I hope. 

 

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I've overdone it for the particular RNoAF F-16 I'm building because the varnish layers will tone it down, always a tricky step to gauge how stark it should be (and I often get it wrong), fingers crossed it looks ok later on.

 

Next will be the decals and ordinance painting, oh and the lovely Aires exhaust, a real treat in this scale hopefully I can do it justice.

 

Thanks for looking,

 

David

 

Edited by mirageiv

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Hi guys,

 

I have been working mostly on the B conversion these past weeks, I don't think I'll attempt this again tbh! A lot of work for a 1/72 model. Much easier to convert the Tamiya 1/48 small mouth intake kit for sure.

 

L1160130

 

Most of the main construction is done, I just need to add the final bits such as the tail, flaps etc..then I think I can get on painting, finally. 

 

I decided the model looked better without an intake cover so I tackled the mess that is the Revell intake interior. Those who have built the kit or the very similar Hasegawa 1/48 intake may know a good deal of work is needed for a nice seamless interior. The intake isn't full length, now that would be some work which I'm not prepared to do in this scale (you would barely see any of it anyways), but looks good enough giving 1.5 inches or so of depth then disappearing into a black rear blanking plate on the inside. I thought about putting in a compressor fan here but it didn't look right to me, as the depth is only quite shallow it was visible rather easily, where as on the real thing or Tamiya's 1/48 kits, you have to really look deep into the intake to see it.  The heating probe was made from shaped stretched sprue and painted with various Alclads as the kit item is quite clunky. The micro brush stroke of Tamiya thin used to glue the probe at the base of the intake left a little mark which is quite visable in this close up photo, fortunately in real life it isn't so and even more a small warning decal will be placed immediately in front to hopefully fully obscure it. 

 

L1160102

 

Then the Revell small mouth intake was mated with much test fitting and alteration to the Tamiya kit. I'm not looking forward to masking the RAM around the lip!

 

L1160133

 

 

I decided for an open canopy and added the prominent canopy seal around the cockpit, this does need  a little clean up and repaint around here I think, some sanding dust has made it's way around the place. Also where the Revell B parts were mated to the Tamiya fuselage some panel work was finished. I placed in the early style gun flash too after removing the later one already installed (references showed it had the early one at this time), that was rather difficult on a closed up fuselage! Just needs a final blend in and rescribe. The cockpit is not yet complete, plenty of things left off for protection during handling. 

 

 

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A close up of the rescribing corrections of the A/B rear fuselage panels. Some nav lights were drilled and made with clear sprue but they are hidden under primer atm. 

 

L1160131

 

 

Back to the F-16A I did a little more work on the painting by masking off a few panels and spraying lighter/darker shades, just copying the airliners image of the aircraft I am building linked in previous post 26. Also a light gloss layer with Tamiya clear, the panels are really too fine to start putting really wet/heavy layers for a proper shine, hopefully should be good enough for decals. This also toned down the paint work somewhat, but I wasn't overly bothered in the end as the more I look at the image of the real thing the more I think oils and light airbrush weathering for grime post decals is the way to go, it really isn't particularly dirty. 

 

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The decals provide stencils that incorporate mesh and grill detail for some of the exhaust ports and other areas which could be improved on, so I masked and sprayed these with Alclads. Now I'll mask over them again and carefully cut the orange stencils to go around, then remove the masks after the final matt varnish layers. I will add some hydraulic lines to the gear legs and visible bits but mostly leave the bays, I'm not overly bothered about detailed gear bays in 1/72 tbh that are mostly hidden. 

 

L1160128

 

 

On to the stores. The Tamiya tanks are very nice but I added some stretched sprue to the engraved lines as in real life they are mostly raised welds. I was concerned before primer they might be obviously overscale but after some paint they look ok, the sprue was so thin in this scale that some of it melted into the panel line too much but I'm happy enough. 

 

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I've painted them with Colourcoats Light Ghost Gray FS26375 and some initial grime with heavily thinned Tamiya greys. This is the first time I've used Colourcoat enamel and I was impressed, with Xtracolor the best enamels I've used I think. The Gunze Aqueous version of FS26375 (H308) looked way off to my eye, too dark and this annoying, hard to remove via mixing, purple hue. This seems to be a general theme in Gunze's FS colours, or at least with all my pots, when I compare them to proper FS matched paints such as ModelMaster or Colourcoats they are really quite different. I could get some pics if anyone is interested in a comparison.

 

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Some more little details added to Revell tanks. The centre tanks will get a good deal more weathering after the decals go on, given they are so close to the ground they often get very dirty, even on the relatively pristine Norwegian F-16s. 

 

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For the F-16A I plan on making it exactly how it was at Karup in June 1985 (linked airliners picture in post 26) with a mixed load of Aim-9L and Aim-9P missiles. I began working on the Tamiya kit supplied Aim-9Ls as they looked very nice on the sprues, then after a good deal of work I got a little frustrated with the ejector pins, raised seams,locating lugs and fit. For me the thing is just too small to really sand and blend it all properly without making a dogs dinner of it. 

 

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It took a good evening of modelling to try and sort out just one missile, then I attempted to fit the fins and found an ugly rear too,

 

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Well bugger that I thought! :D I gave in and got some Eduard Brassin missiles instead, frankly life is too short for sorting 4 of those out! The Eduard ones come with some nice seeker covers also that I would have had to make up so a real sanity/time saver there. 

 

Oh how I wish Brassin (or somebody!) made some Mk.3 Penguins. 

 

AFAIK the only Penguins available in 1/72 of those from a Hasegawa weapons set, the problem is they aren't particularly great either. I first cut off all the fins/wings, removed the incorrect raised detail and filled the panel lines and oversized locating holes. Then rescribed more correct ones, re attached the sharpened fins in the correct place and have began making the seeker cover caps, they are still a WIP but nearly there, just a few more details to add. The launchers provided were also way off, luckily Revell F-16 centre fuel tank pylons looked and measured out nearly identical to the real launchers so I used them as a basis, flipped them upside down then added some braces and cable fairings on the sides. 

 

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The real missile and launcher,

 

agm-119_140.jpg

 

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Close enough! I'd like to make another RNoAF F-16 with Penguins in 1/32 scale using the Academy Sufa kit, so I'll have to scratch those but having done this at least I know I should be able to do it when the time comes. I contemplated putting 4 on the model then realised that would be too much work, still a heavy weight training fit of 3 x tanks, 2 x Penguins and 2 x Aim-9Ls should look pretty mean. 

 

I'm holding off putting decals on the 'A' until I bring the 'B' up to the same point which shouldn't be long, the same colours will be going through the airbrush after all. I hope you are enjoying the progress (in between the bits of moaning) :)

 

David. 

 

 

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Thanks guys, happy you like the somewhat minor details! I'm no F-16 expert but given they are conversions from the late Block Tamiya kit I thought it would be worthwhile to show most if not all of the little (and big) differences between the Blocks that I'm aware of. I hope one day Tamiya does us F-16 fans a favour and releases A/B/D models eventually, they have had long enough now surely!

 

Cheers,

 

David 

Edited by mirageiv

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The F-16B finally ready for some paint :frantic:, just need to somehow mask the intake RAM demarcation. 

 

L1160170

 

I've seemingly amassed two billion other items ready for paint also, the airbrush will be busy this week for sure!

 

See you next time with a more colourful update :) ,

 

David.

Edited by mirageiv

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Thank you Cookie, glad you like the progress!

 

Well, the F-16B has received some paint. I ditched using Testors enamel Fs26270 as I did for the F-16A because of how poor I found the paint to spray, constant blockages and fine stuff was nearly impossible through a 0.2mm. After reading a little online it seems Testors enamels can go off much like Alclads and become rather troublesome to spray. Considering when I purchased the paint from my local shop it was covered in dust, it's probably safe say that was quite an old bottle I'd got! 

 

So instead I used my own mix of Tamiya and Gunze acrylics with the ratio something like:  XF-19-65%, XF-53-20%, H306-10%, X-2-5%, + plus a few drops of H317. I'm usually absolutely hopeless at mixing my own colours up but this time I got lucky and was really pleased with the match. The recipe is a guideline as I slightly lost track instead of an absolute exact mix and maybe I added some more white. In the future I will use it again for Norwegian F-16s I think, or try MRP and make life easier! 

 

Some more preshading of various greys was done with Tamiya acrylics and Levelling Thinner. To be honest after painting a few thin layers of the main grey I wasn't overly pleased with the result (too much mottle for a Norwegian F-16) so I covered it up quite a lot and made it more subtle with numerous thin layers and then mostly post shaded the paint for a faded look using a pic of the aircraft I'm building as a guide. I sprayed the intake RAM lip paint first then masked in prep for the main paint, it would have been much more difficult to do the other way.

 

 

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So the paint fading is quite subtle overall but it looks correct to my eye when comparing it with pictures of the real thing. Further post shading and weathering will be done after the decals go on before the oil wash. The two little holes drilled either side on the nose are for the Master AOA probes, unbelievably tiny in 1/72!

 

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 Some replaced panels sprayed with fresher paint were masked off, I went a little too stark here due to the guessing game of how the varnish and weathering layers will tone down and blend colours. Most of the fading is post shaded but the original mottle does come through in places albeit it is very subtle. The contrast between the tank and the airframe is a good check to see if the colour mix was in the ballpark though this pictures does exaggerate it a tad. 

 

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The wings, tails and fin leading edge's were painted with a dirty yellow-grey (Tamiya dark yellow/medium grey mix) to replicate the yellowish protective tape that was beginning to be applied at this time. Some photos it looks more yellow, others quite weathered in so I went with a subtle shade so it isn't overly obvious on a 1/72 model. Some minor details were also added to the fin tip, which reminds me I still have to make the little clear lights that go here and on the wing tips after cutting off the solid plastic ones. 

 

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Then two thin layers of Tamiya X-22 Clear with Levelling thinner gave a decent enough gloss that doesn't distort the subtle shading so much, I'm conscious of multiple varnish layers hiding it so they are all going on quite thin.

 

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I had hoped to show some of the ordinance painted up because they will be quite colourful and will bring some life to these models but unfortunatley I need to repaint them after deciding the colours were a bit off really, anyways in the next update I hope :) .  

 

Thanks for looking,

 

David

 

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On 12/15/2018 at 3:24 PM, Courageous said:

Fantastic paintwork with your 'marbling'. Looking very nice.

 

Stuart

 

Thank you for the kind words Stuart, glad you are enjoying the thread!

 

Well just a quick update today folks, I've been putting the decals on between Christmas madness from about 7 different sources to get as close as I can to the dedicated long OOP Vingtor sheet. As pointed out the F-16A I'm building is '293' during an exercise held at Karup, June 1985. The only two photos I have of this particular aircraft at this time are linked below from F-16.net:

 

1- http://www.f-16.net/g3/f-16-photos/album37/album09/293_001

2- http://www.f-16.net/g3/f-16-photos/album37/album09/agk

 

A noticeable feature about this aircraft that I haven't seen on any other RNoAF F-16 is the heavy wear on the 332 Skv flash on the tail. I'm not sure whether is was a poor quality marking or this aircraft went really fast on a sortie to strip it off. I've tried to replicate it by cutting up the decal, I thought about painting it but proceeding with such precise chipping would be pretty difficult in this scale. 

 

 

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Given I've never seen this on any other RNoAF I think it is more of an anomaly than anything else and even particular to the starboard side so I just applied a straight decal for the port side. I cannot confirm this as I've not been able to find a port side picture so I just hope it is right, the asymmetry at least makes it a bit more interesting imho

 

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Now I do have a bit of a problem here and could use some advice which is why I really posted this. Some of the decals I'm using are on the thick and very old side and have a noticeable carrier film when viewed at certain angles or up close.

 

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On the extreme close up above are the old Modeldecal numbers, I've cut most of the film off but as you can see it is still pretty apparent (likewise for several others). I've read about polishing decal film edges away with sanding sticks and I will try this for the first time here, just I don't know which clear layer is the best for this. 

 

I have Aqua Gloss, original Klear/Future and Mr. Color Gloss Clear in the jar from my shelf (also Tamiya X-22 but it can take weeks to dry before polishing so that is out).  If someone has done this before could you recommend which one is the best to use here from the three listed? I ask because I only have one set of decals and no spares (the Modeldecal sheet is long OOP) and cannot afford to mess it up really. My thoughts are maybe the Mr. Color being the best bet because it will cure and take sanding pretty quick being Lacquer based, though over acrylic Tamiya X-22 gloss layer, which is over an enamel Testors paint, maybe I might get a nasty reaction as I spray a heavy layer on. Aqua gloss is the safest best probably but any help or advice here would be much appreciated!

 

Thanks for looking,

 

David.

 

 

edit-I could do some tests on old decals which is plan B but if someone has already done the leg work and knows the best varnish for this it will save some time :) !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by mirageiv

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What a finish David, so intricate and realistic.

 

I haven't tried it myself, but here are some links about removing decal carrier film that I've found while researching the subject after also running into this problem:

 

 

 

 

 

Edited: I had linked the thread you had already started on the subject!

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22 hours ago, Cookenbacher said:

What a finish David, so intricate and realistic.

 

I haven't tried it myself, but here are some links about removing decal carrier film that I've found while researching the subject after also running into this problem:

 

 

 

 

 

Edited: I had linked the thread you had already started on the subject!

 

 

Thank you for your help Cookie and the kind words! Indeed, I forgot I had made a topic on this and came across it shortly after the post, should have searched better first :) ! I tried the suggestions, using both Aqua Gloss and Tamiya Clear, but could not really make it work 100% tbh. I found before I fully eliminated the 'step' of the decal film edge, I began sanding through the decal artwork itself. I sprayed some rather heavy clear layers (I thought too heavy at the time) to provide enough of a barrier, but I guess still not enough. The main problem I found was that the panel lines are so fine on this Tamiya kit, too much clear just swallows up the panel lines and they will not take a wash so I couldn't go heavy enough I guess. I think in larger scales or a kit with more pronounced surface details I think I could manage this technique with some work. In the end I sanded the decal film as much as I dared before I started damaging the decal artwork itself then stopped there, luckily after the weathering and flat/satin varnish the film is now mostly hidden unless viewed super close like the tail pic in the prior post. I will test out the enamel thinner method on future builds if the required decals play ball, it looks quite interesting if I can make it work. 

 

I've made good progress on the F-16B after focusing solely on one model (my build rate is glacial doing two simultaneously) and it is nearly complete, I'm finishing off adding the small details and assembling all the parts. I decided to close the canopy after all to preserve the distinctive lines the big bubble canopy gives the 'B' model. This involved filling, sanding, repainting and new decals (spares to the rescue) of the forward fuselage but I'm glad I did it in the end. (Sorry for the not so great photos and that front pitot needs repainting a better colour-not gold!)

 

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The landing gear required modification to backdate also. I had planned on using the Revell nose gear as I'd used the intake and front bay but after test fitting I found quite a discrepancy with the Tamiya main legs in height, in fact the whole Revell kit's gear set up is maybe 2mm lower in height than Tamiya's. This may not sound much but in 1/72 the whole 'sit' of the model looked wrong, so new mounting points among other things were made to fully adapt all the Tamiya landing gear, some hydraulic lines were added also. The wheels come from Reskit as no kit bar Hasegawa or Esci contains the original type, they are very nice for the scale. 

 

L1160602 copy

 

If you go back to the first few posts of the thread I mentioned how I had to sand the Revell canopy to remove small scratches, bubbles and other defects (Revell's older 1/72 kit clear canopies do seem very hit and miss). I also did it to remove distortion and thinned the clear plastic quite a lot, but still at certain angles a little distortion is present as shown in the photo above. In this scale though I'm more than happy it is just nice and clear to show the details inside. There is an aftermarket F-16B Vacform canopy out there but it is designed for the Hasegawa kit, however the Revell canopy is roughly 3-4mm longer than Hasegawa's so I had no choice to improve the Revell one. 

 

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After the decals (which came from 5-6 different sources) a highly thinned layer of the base colour was sprayed over some of the brighter decals to tone them down and then a light oil panel wash was done with a final satin-matt varnish. After this, further specific weathering (looking at lots of photos) with very thinned oils was completed around various panels to convey not so obvious grime accumulation on the surface. A few oil dots also helped here in the aim to bring a bit of life without overdoing it, these two post varnish weathering steps additionally broke up the overall satin varnish for a bit more realism making some areas more matt and others a tad glossier. I wouldn't pick a Norwegian F-16 for a fun weathering project but there are a few out there that did get quite a bit dirtier than what I've done here for '691' here. The rivets on the canopy frames were helpfully supplied by one of the DACO decal sheets but the black canopy seal was masked, a tad difficult in this scale! :) 

 

I'll get some proper photos soon of the completed model (it is proving surprising difficult to assemble without knocking bits off!), thank you for looking in.

 

David

 

 

 

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Amazing work David, I just don't see how it could be done any better - looks like a 1:1 pic of the real thing from every angle.

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Thank you Cookie for your (too!) kind words again, always happy if you like the models! 

 

I finished the B here: 

 

 

L1160708

 

 

Thank you to those who commented/liked the thread and I hope you like the F-16B. I'm going to take a break for a bit before finishing the other F-16s, I think I need to do something different tbh as the motivation has temporarily worn off a tad for these.

 

Cheers,

 

David. 

Edited by mirageiv

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