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Azur - 1/72 - Vautour II N


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With the Sea King done (still need to update the build report with final images) and the A-26B done as well (here too some update of the build report is due) I'm off to my next build.

The Hasegawa Typhoon is still stuck - looking for a missing part (PART J4, right side panel, front of cockpit is missing - if you have a spare J4, or can send me a photo with scale I will be very very happy)


So - next build will be a new one. As my father's 77th birthday is coming up, I had an idea.


My father was a mechanic with Squadron 119, IAF back in the end of the 50's and beginning of the 60's. He spent time working on the squadron's Vautour II N's. One day he was showing the cockpit to one of the new mechanics recently assigned to the squadron. The new guy was sitting in the front seat while my father was perched on the ladder showing him the different dials and knobs. At one point he was pointing to the Landing Gear lever telling the guy - 'You see this - never ever touch this one' and while saying that - accidentally moved it. All of a sudden this hissing noise was very noticeable and the front MLG started to retract. Luckily there was only a small amount of hydraulic pressure in the system and the MLG only retracted part of the way and not completely. As it happens with many aviation related mishaps - there were a number of malfunctions that contributed to this event - hydraulic pressure left in the system, rear MLG (the Vautour had 2 MLGs one behind the other) had a faulty WOW switch (that switch should have shut down hydraulics on the ground completely). The only damage to the plane was due to a tow bar that was connected to the front MLG and raise up as the MLG collapsed - to hit the front of the A/C. My dads punishment was to be re-assigned to the depot maintenance team - to help them fix the A/C.

So, my idea was to build a Vautour II N as a birthday present. I had this idea quite a while ago so I already have the Azur 1/72 - the only one I can find.


Its the IDF package - so I have markings of his squadron:




I knew it a short run and I'm just returning to the hobby - this is why the project was not started for his 73/74/75/76th birthday :)

I was not sure if I'm ready for a short run, and following the Sea King I was not eager for another 1/72 - but he is not getting younger.


So I started some two weeks ago.


VnLGFR3m.jpg?1  nrQshNGm.jpg


I'm sure its not the worst short run you can find, and it does have resin and PE, but - its a pain.

Plastic is soft. Gate are HUGE and looks like someone had gone into a lot of effort to make sure they are located at the worst possible location on the parts. Part breakdown is also something that induces a lot of 4-letter-words.



I could not find a spare canopy or a vacuform one - so the kit will be presented with the cockpit closed.  A bit of a shame considering the story above - but considering the detail level of the cockpit - not that bad.


I started with the cockpit - no pins, for most parts - no location guides and hardly any useful information on where exactly to locate parts - A short run !@#@#$@$

Cockpit painted with Tamiya X-18 Semi-Gloss Black, Seats with Mr. Color 320 Green FS34092 which I eye balled from ref. pictures. Harness were painted Tamyia X-14 Sky blue - also eye balled from ref. images.






The engine nucleus has a small balancing wheel -  the wheel well part is too short and leaves a hole which I filled with putty.



Wheel well doors have hinges - small, not identical and easily broken - I had to re-manufacture one. I cut a thin piece of a spruce (the oval one on the left) then cut it in half and cut some parts to create a kind of crescent. I opted to skip the micro sized resin hinges of the side doors.

Of course all hinges have to glues with minimal to no location guides - did I say Short RUN @#@#$@#.




Good reference is not that easy to come by - but I think the IAF birds had a yellow chromate paint for wheel wells. I used Model Master 4851 Yellow Zinc



Wheels were glues (no that easy with this plastic) and painted black. I then used a new technique I learned for painting the hubs. After studying the structure of the wheel and the ref pictures (the rim between the tyre and core is painted silver/aluminum) I covered the black part with Microscale Micro Mask. Doing so I used the surface tension of the liquid mask to hug the rim.


0qRO646m.jpg  cbl8C7tm.jpg


The different parts that comprise the cockpit and front MLG wheel well have to be glues ONLY AFTER a massive dry fit exercise- otherwise there is no chance to nail the exact location.



So - that's it for now.

Comment, war stories about this kits (or others) are welcomed as always.








Edited by Ran
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Patric - thanks. My Dad's first question was also about the speed brakes.

Do you have any pictures on how you went about adding the open speed brakes?. Looking at your build I'm not sure I'm up to that level of mastery but I sure would like to see how you did it



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Well blow me down.. I was just thinking about my next build and whether to do my first WIP, and top of the list was the Special Hobby (essentially the Azur kit) IDF Vautour IIA that I have.🤔


You've just gone and saved me a job of a) choosing my next build, and b)  whether to do a WIP of a Vautour in 1/72nd. Being a lazy person at heart, all I can say is Cheers! :cheers:


So now I can sit back and watch you do your build. Thank you. 


The air brakes ARE mighty irritating and now I see everyone else doing them I suppose I'll have to do them on mine as well. Thank you for the images of yours @VG 33


I've also poured over a fair few IDF Vautour pictures, sadly most of them B&W. Looking at the air brake interior, initial deliveries of the Vautour in bare metal appear to have a light tone to the inside of the fuselage, but once they get painted in the two tone blue/brown upper the tone on the inside of the fuselage appears to be much darker, more like the way the blue appears in the B&W images(but not the same). It could be the way the light falls on it, or it could be they were painted a darker colour once they'd received their first turn through the IDF paintshop. Of course to make things more confusing, the odd picture in flight that I see with the brakes open on a camouflaged aircraft, the backside of the actual extended air brake appears lighter in tone. 😵


So who knows what the real colour should be. Maybe need to ask someone who worked on them to see if they remember. 😀


Anyway. Thanks again @Ran and good luck. :thumbsup:

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19 minutes ago, VG 33 said:


That should be some yellow






I agree that as delivered they would be as you say.


I'm positing the possibility from some of the darker tones I've seen on a few photos of Israeli airframes displaying a side(ish) profile, that after they had been through the IDF paintshop a few times, the colour could very well have changed. I was looking at one image of post Six Day War camo IDF Vautour in flight. Angled shot, from the left and just behind in flight. The airframe well lit by the sun along its whole length. If the inside of the air brake was yellow on this particular airframe, the tone (even on a B&W image) should be closer to the IAF sand colour, but instead, it reflects light much similar to the tan colour. What that colour is, I can't say, but it doesn't look like yellow. Images of the newly delivered aircraft in all metal, reflect light and show a tone that I would expect from a yellow in a B&W image. So, again no arguments there. :thumbsup:


Sadly, all images I've seen of IAF museum airframes appear to be parked with the air brakes closed, so boo to that.  😄


It's a shame somebody doesn't know someone who may have worked on the aircraft who maybe, just might remember any changes like that during the Vautour's service in the IAF.  :whistle: 😉

But it doesn't matter really in the end, I just was hoping it might shed some light on it for my future build, which will be in the grey-blue/brown pre-67 scheme. Presuming I open them up and don't just stick a spare pilot figure in it and pretend the engines are running. 🤣


On with the build and saving me the effort of a WIP (thank you again), without me derailing this one too much! (I only did it coz I'm super interested) :yahoo:

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@VG33 Thank you very much for the pictures. This certainly tickled my AMS nerve. I now have to think if I'm up to it vs. the time limit and the chance to ruin the model and its NMF. This is gonna be a tough one 😜


I did ask my father and he recalls the interior was indeed painted with Yellow Zinc Chromate that was a standard base paint used as an anti corrosion base layer. Interior parts where not covered with cammo paint and left yellow.





Edited by Ran
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11 hours ago, Ran said:


I did ask my father and he recalls the interior was indeed painted with Yellow Zinc Chromate that was a standard base paint used as an anti corrosion base layer. Interior parts where not covered with cammo paint and left yellow.






Cheers Ran. :thumbsup:

I have this book, Vultures over Israel by Shlomo Aloni, and it's very interesting, but very B&W. When I finally get my time machine running, I'm going back to the 50's with a thousand rolls of colour film and lab to hand to the IAF so they can help us all in the future with a few more colour images of their aircraft and escapades.  😎

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A quick update.


So far I'm successful battling the "air-brakes AMS". I'm afraid I'll ruin the plastic and will have to source a new kit - with shipping times very long and costly.


Pushing forward:





Yellow stripes done with Mig Oilbrusher Ammo Yellow.




Landing gear:


Note the bend on the upper part - making it ready to the crouching stance I'm looking to depict.

While at it I noticed I put the small braces in the MLG wheel bay in the wrong position (instructions are notional at best)



That's it














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Absolutely brilliant work on this, RAN. None of the assembled and painted parts looks as if it's from a short run kit, you've got such super detail and finish. Great back story as well, excellent tribute for your dad (and his incident). Good luck with the air brakes. 

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Slowly pushing forward.


The trick with the masking fluid and the wheel hubs worked - well sort of. The masking did allow for nice silver painting of the hubs BUT removing the mask also removed parts of the black / tire paint. It looks like the kit's plastic demands a primer and painting directly on plastic is of no good. I had to touch up the wheels with a paintbrush 😤


Putting together the engine nucleus was a real pain as there are NO pins or other location marks. Plastic is brittle, the resin part does not fit well and the structure does not allow pressure to be easily applied on the parts.






These will require some putty and smoothing work before NMF paint.


I also started with the fuselage as well - not looking forward to this at all.

Cockpit/Front LG bay and then Rear LG bay. Fit is not that good. Paint does not stick to the plastic (will need major primer stage before NMF).






That's it - for a quick non-weekend bench time








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Pushing further along this short-run build.


Painted the engine exhausts - after having to scratch two of the four small PE parts. I cut some of the PE fret itself and used Tamyia X10 Gun Metal. Found out these can be added after closing the engine pods - which help a lot with getting that NMF look.

(Sorry about the quality of the picture)


The engine nucleus was a teaser and closing the fuselage itself was a nightmare - as expected. No pins or any other location aid what so ever.

Attaching the cockpit to one side of the fuselage WITHOUT any location pins/structures did not go that well and proved lethal to the prospect of the two fuselage parts matching easily. This resulted in the following:



The windshield contributed it own part to the mess. 😤


I had to add some shims:



and then cut them, add some putty (my trusted Perfect Plastic Putty) and file, file, file.


The rudder was damaged in the box (one part of the fuselage had a clip upper rudder) and I had to add the missing part with styrene sheets and cut/file them to size.

6fah3jgm.jpg  B2TGDvJm.jpg


The bottom part kind of looks OK:



Started with the canopy masking - a PITA of its own kind in 1/72:



That's it for the weekend.

Comments are welcomed as always.





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This build is certainly going much harder then a regular kit.


I continues with masking the (small) canopy. I should have gotten a mask 😵




Went on to some more .... shimming 😤


With the shim up the spine behind the cockpit, the problems with aligning the cockpit and the darn glare shield - no wonder the canopy was sitting all wrong.

So, another first for me, shimming the canopy base:





Next I glued the engine nucleus to the wing - another nightmare of a short run kit - there is practically no way to do that with all the parts if perfect alignment.






My best friend for this build - Perfect Plastic Putty - was very handy here as well. Had gone through several putty-filling-cleaning-cursing cycles :)


It was time now to glue the wings - I had to hold them in my hands and squeeze in just the right angle in order to minimize the gap at the wing root - for quite a while. No combination of clips/rubber/clamp would to the work. The mono-bloc tail planes were no stroll in the park either with just a microscopic pin as locator turned hinge.

Did I say short run? @@#$@#$






Starting to look like an airplane.


Time to start painting !!

I'm trying to use this guys advise on NMF - Natural Metal Finish in 9 EASY steps - scale modeling tutorial


Started with fixing a way to hold the model - a model on a (2) squewers:



I really liked the tip to use "hot' primer as the plastic of this kit is brittle and the paints I used so far were very easy to chip off.


I cleaned with alcohol and then sprayed Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500 black. I had to thin it a little with Mr. Leveling thinner in order to shot:





Following the black base I re-shot the Model Master 4851 Yellow Zinc Chromate and after some study of pictures (and the IsraDecal site) selected Tamiya XF-66 Light Gray for the radome, spine and some other parts.




And that was it for a week/end full of bench time.


Comments are welcomed as usuall











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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a short bench time this weekend and it was dedicated to pre-painting.


Started with masking the Gray painted parts:





This exercise expose all these panel lines that DO NOT align between fuselage parts - a short run indeed.


This was followed by Alclad II ALC 309 Black Primer & microfiller:



After an hour or so, I polished it a bit with Kimtech Wipes.


Do not have time this week end to continue - hope it wont catch too much dust.


That's it for today.





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  • 1 month later...



It's been about a month since the last post - and the build has entered a period where there was little time and Mojo to do both modeling and writing. I went with the modeling of course.


But now its done and it's time to update this build log before staring a new one.


The last updated concluded with the kit covered in black primer. 


The next step was Alclad ALC-101 Aluminum, done in two steps:


bSCsypzm.jpg Kz2P4Ozm.jpg


VQ66GvGm.jpg JMsY6lem.jpg


I also installed the PE fences on the wings which I forgot to do before starting with the Alclad. I first primed them with Black primer and after gluing them - shot some more ALC-101.


In an effort to break the monotony of the ALC-101 Aluminum, I masked some part as preparation to shooting some other Alclad. Specifically I masked the big air brakes - as a replacement for scratch building them in an open position ;) 



I had to go through several fixing stages - to fix stuff like this:



I tired first ALC-103 Dark Aluminium but it was too similar to the ALC-101 Aluminium and then tried ALC-102 Duraluminuim and settled for that. 



The effect is much more subtle then I expected and only visible in some lighting conditions but all in all I was happy with the final results:




I then sprayed Model Master Sealer for Metalizer to seal the Alclad and serve as a base for decals and washes. 


In the next step I tried to used Florry Wash - but it was a mess. I was not able to clean without erasing the panel lines. 



I then tried a different mixtures - Some Tamiya Black, water and future (got the idea from a video by Brett Green)

This worked better, not perfect but better, and can be seen on the final pictures. It also worked as a wash for the landing gear bays.



Decals next. Worked OK with little micro set:



Next challenge were the landing gear legs:

Put the main ones first.  As per the story in the background of this build - the front one should be someone retracted - I had to squash it a bit and spend a lot of glue + some CE to make sure it will still be strong. Surprisingly enough - sticking the little support wheels was easy while maintaining all four legs touching the ground. Did that one at a time and letting the glue(s) cure for hours before continuing to the next one. Note the posture of the front MLG.


Attaching the LG doors was also fun (NOT):



Final touches included some more decals on the LG doors, pitot sensors and two antennas. 

This summed up to work on the kit !
In the next post - some stuff I added later on and some thought and after thoughts on this build. 


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As this build was a "theme" one - see the story at the top - I needed some items to complete it:

1. A Box

2. A tow bar - the one that actually broke rib #4

3. A choke


The box I sourced from ebay - a Trumpeter 09808 box. I tried the smaller one but it was too small for the big Vautour. The 09808 is a bit too big - but it had to do.

I wanted to spice the box a bit and added some pictures of Sqd. 119 Vautour II N's on the flight line. Their posture (high front MLG) will be part of the 'story'.

This one will go on the back of the box:



And this one - a tarmac with a decoration will be the base.

The decoration reads:

"What ever your - NEVER touch this level while on the ground!"
  ..... poo-poo !

Through Day, Night and Fog - Sqd. 119 (This was the squadrons tag line)

The squadron logo and IAF logo are also there.




The original story involved a tow bar. I though on how to go about that and found this while searching the net. 

It a resin French Air Force tow bar:



It was a bit expansive and would have taken too long to get here so I tried to scratch build something inspired by the overall form.

I embarked on a small adventures armed with a bunch of styrene tubes

JOZ0dbkm.jpg lh4qsKKm.jpg



oG04NC2m.jpg P89odTGm.jpg 


I added some 1/72 small wheels from the spares box and then brush painted with XtraCrylix XA1011 RAF Trainer Yellow and washed heavily with the reminder of the Tamiya+Future+Water wash. Yellow is such a PITA @$@#





The tow bar will later be bent - to match the story.

I also scratched a choke and painted with the same Yellow - no images though.


Next step was to crack open the photo booth I got a while ago and shoot some pictures of the finished model.


EYSi4J1l.jpg aOhRxuZl.jpg


4yEkIOEl.jpg ACo4Kljl.jpg




This was followed by arranging everything and gluing in place (using PVA):











I call this done. 

I've showed it to my father on his last visit - he was very happy and recalled more details and went about telling his story to my kids.

I still need to think of a way to transport it to his place (an hour drive) in one piece.


Well... - this was a ride. Some firsts and lessons learned:

1. Short run kits - will shorten your life. I'm truly not up to tasks like this in terms of my skills yet. A good lesson as I have a couple of short run's in the stash that will have to wait.

2. Shimming, shimming all over the place.

3. Dry fitting and checking the instructions 2-3-4 steps ahead will save some hours and curses.

4. A good Alclad job starts well ahead of painting. I'm not up to it yet. Need to improve on my surface preparation and seem work.

5. 1/72 should be avoided at my age/eyesight/carpenter hands. That's too bad as about 20% of my stash are 1/72 ;) 

6. Being able to resist AMS and NOT scratch build the air brakes was really a good move. You can do it !!

7. I had lot's of fun scratching the tow bar.

8. Diorama, even the simplest one, can make a big difference.

9, MM Sealer for Metalizer worked like charm over Alcald. Thanks Metodi at MM Scale Models channel - see his NMF video. 

10. Florry wash did not - but the Tamiya+Future+water wash did. Thanks Brett!

11. Mig Oilbrusher Ammo Yellow proved useful for small details.


That's it

Comments are welcomed as always. 



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