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Build/paint order for swing-wings


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I got myself a 1/72 Tomcat, any tips on when/how I should paint the wings, given I want them to move when it's all done? I typically try to build as much as possible before painting, because I hate the mess you can get into trying to fit and glue painted parts. But in this case I'm not sure. I was going to build it all, prime, move the wings, prime missed areas, paint, move wings, paint missed spots. Is that the best way?

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There was a post on here some time back, where a guy cut slots on wing, so he could build plane up and pop wings in after, can't remember who though sorry 

Found it I've messaged you 

Edited by goose
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Your only option if you want to move the wings is to paint them before everything else. When they are in place you can mask them and paint the rest, as you say placing them in the open position will give the best access to the rest of the airframe. Said that, some areas of the fuselage may require painting before gluing the wing in place.

Personally however I suggest to keep the wings in one position as moving them may result in damage to the paint.

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17 hours ago, goose said:

There was a post on here some time back, where a guy cut slots on wing, so he could build plane up and pop wings in after, can't remember who though sorry 

Found it I've messaged you 

I did this for both F-14, Tornado and the F-111 (Airfix and Revell). It was just about sawing "channels" to the holes so I could push the wings  in place into the fuselage. Make sure its underdimension so the wings stays in place...

 

Cheers / André

Edited by Andre B
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I'm not sure I want to test my skills with a saw and take the risk of either the wings not staying in, or me breaking the pin on the assembled fuselage when pushing them. I've gone ahead and painted the wings separately for now, I guess I'll go all the way and decal + varnish, then continue the rest of the build.

 

I'm aware of risk of paint scraping, but I'm not planning to swing the wings multiple times a day. Probably the aircraft will end up displayed full swept to save space, but it's nice to have that theoretical ability to adjust them in future!

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Hello Vlad,

 

I built the Trumpeter 1/48 scale SU-24M with "movable wings". As others have explained I too finished the wings and some areas around the wing glove first. As I was using Humbrol enamels and a paint brush no masking was necessary. Moving the wings don't harm the finished surface. I guess the risk is there if you use acrylic paints.

 

Cheers,

Antti

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10 hours ago, Antti_K said:

Hello Vlad,

 

I built the Trumpeter 1/48 scale SU-24M with "movable wings". As others have explained I too finished the wings and some areas around the wing glove first. As I was using Humbrol enamels and a paint brush no masking was necessary. Moving the wings don't harm the finished surface. I guess the risk is there if you use acrylic paints.

 

Cheers,

Antti

 

I do use acrylics, but I find they're quite sturdy when primed and varnished. I too brush paint, but I spray the primer (Halfords). I was tempted to prime the fuselage halves before assembly but I loath scraping primer off join lines and sanding primed joints, so I think masking the wings is still the lesser evil in this case. This is also because I'm using white primer, which will not be painted over in many areas as the underside is white.

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  • 2 months later...

Late to this party so apologies.

 

My technique on Tornados is to:

Paint the wing the desired colour, in the case of Tornados Sea Greay.

Then "de-tack" the masking tape by sticking it on to a surface first a couple of times and then masking the inner wing.

Next I build the kit up.

Once the fuselage / wing gloves are done I sweep the wings forward and back and draw on the tape very carefully to mark the area to be kept grey.

Then using a new blade cut along the outer pencil line and remove the excess tape, leaving the sweep area grey.

 

Once finished the final coat, gloss, decalling and matt coats I then remove the tape from the inner wing, this is the reason for "de-tacking" it as you can carefully pull it out of the wing glove , if it tears as long as it's not visible from out side that is okay.

 

tn_0610ff75-5847-4dba-8c0b-e3165e5d283c.

 

tn_84a7513b-45e5-4dfc-b90e-b00418f97cc9.

 

tn_b010890a-3cad-4b3b-b359-bc2f018f9b04.

 

In the case of mine I added the wing seals after painting, but the process is the same if I were to have swingy wings.

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@At Sea thanks but not sure I understood 100%. So you basically paint the wings and mask the inboard portion, then build the kit with the wings gloves over the masking tape? Then pull the tape out at the end?

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Yes, exactly that.  But I don't paint the whole wing, off the aircraft, only the sweep section. 

 

It means that the camouflage, weathering etc can be all done to the whole airframe at the same time and make life easier.

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I remember reading a few decades ago where the builder did all the wing painting prior to assembly. He then used regular copy paper to make a sleeve for the wings prior to adding them to the assembly. When he was ready for decal application he just removed the masks and was on his way.

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For my first  1/72 Tomcat I did a combination. Finished wings separately (weathering and varnish included), built model, slid masking tape half under the wing glove then sleeved the rest of the wing in normal paper, held on with masking tape. I wouldn't trust a paper sleeve going under the wing glove, that wasn't held down in some way.

 

For the Tomcat at least, I don't see much benefit in painting the inside portion if the wing then mask and assemble. Since there's no camouflage, this is more likely to cause an ugly edge in the paintwork than doing the whole wing in one go.

 

Got a 1/144 Tomcat going now, with the small size I'm very likely to repeat the "whole wing first" technique.

 

The only thing I'm debating now is if maybe it's worth assembling the fuselage without the wings in some temporary fashion (E.g. blu-tac), paint all of that, take apart, reassemble with pre-painted wings. Will save a lot of masking and some fiddling with painting the fuselage directly below/behind the wing.

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