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Tamiya 1:48 F-117A Grey Dragon +++ Finished +++


Jasonb13

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Well, it's a week later, and after a lot more sanding and filling and sanding etc. etc., I did another spray of primer, and it's better, but still not really good enough. I really seem (sorry for the pun!) to be struggling with getting this right...

 

 

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In the end it comes down to this. Is it acceptable ? Is anyone going to be looking at the bottom real close ? Personally I think it looks good, but in the end it is your model/build so only you can decide when to check it off the list as done/good. 

 

Dennis

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Thanks lads...

 

I know what you mean Dennis, but in my last few builds I've been trying to avoid my usual 'that'll do' response and be more patient and hopefully get better results, rather than just accepting something that's not quite right.

 

So the next step is Super Glue, here's how it looks now...

 

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Will attack it with more sandpaper soon. Unless it gets worse, this is definitely the last attempt! 🤞 I'm getting aware that the finish date is getting closer, and I still have to paint and decal.

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Good effort!

You probably know the " perfect plastic putty"? Easy to work with, should solver your issues if still present!

Edited by exdraken
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Thanks, that was the first filler I used on it. I've since learned though that for the size of the seam I had, something like Milliput was the first place to start, and then Perfect Plastic Putty if needed afterwards.

 

Anyhow, I finally got the Superglue sanded away, and here's how it looks now:

 

 

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It's not perfect, the seam hasn't gone away, but let's face it, at this stage the only way it's going to get better is if

 

a) I buy a new kit and

b) get someone else to build it for me

 

So, I'm calling the sanding/filling/priming marathon done.

 

Next up is masking, going to try to replicate the masking on the airframe so that some of the sections will still be black after I've painted the two-tone grey. I think I'll probably mask some random sections of the underside as well. I don't have any pictures of any black sections of the underside for the Grey Dragon (I don't have any pictures for the underside of the Grey Dragon at all really!), but I think it would look a little weird if the top has black parts and the bottom doesn't. So more masking tape to be applied, and then I can start actual painting!

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I realised that it would be easier to paint the rest of the exhausts before painting the fuselage, so I did that, and I can then mask them off before painting. And now I've started on masking the bits I need to mask to recreate the black sections in the picture. I've started with the easier ones, the 'sawtooth' edged ones will be more 'fun'! :)

 

 

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Another little update. Masking continues. Am working on a way to give good Sawtooth masks. I finally found a use for the 45 degree line on the cutting mat:

 

 

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Which gives straight and uniform results, though it's a little time consuming...

 

 

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Am already working on a quicker and easier way to do it, which might result in long 'strips' of sawtooth, rather than individual teeth. Getting there!

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If I was just doing the Grey Dragon scheme I wouldn't have to do these masks at all! It deciding to do the black sections in the pic I found that's causing this work. I do think it should add to the finished build, hopefully! 

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Looking good!

Masking can be boring... Wonder if there are any pre cut sets out there for the 117? I bought any extensive one for th F-35.... then they started to paint them more uniformally ;)

 

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There are probably some mask sets out there, which might give me some sawtooth, but I doubt there are sets made for the specific pic I have, which seems to be a once-off. I don't mind though, while time consuming it's easy enough work.

 

A member of my club used those masks for his F-35. Lots of work, but stunning result!

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Great work so far. It’s coming on nicely. For seems, I use perfect plastic putty, and after application smooth with a wet finger, then when dry various grades of sanding sticks up to the highest grade. It’s just another black art of modelling. 

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Yeah, a black art I’ve never been good at! 😀

 

Finally got the masking finished, here’s how it looks now...

 

 

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I’m pretty happy with that, provided that it looks decent after painting! I dry-fitted the Elevons as they have some masking too so it helped line up the masking on the wings.

 

Unfortunately while I was masking I heard a little click and realised the seam had cracked on one of the wings. No big deal really, I put some thin glue in the seam and pushed it closed, and I’ll just sand away the excess that oozed out and give it a quick spray of primer. Then I should be ready to put on the first coat of the lighter grey. Will be nice to finally get some paint on it!

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Thanks Jabba. Am aware that that's only just over 5 weeks left, so I need to get a move on. Still have to paint it, varnish and decal it and weather it, as well as put all the little bits on. At least all those little bits are painted and ready. It's at the end of the build that you realise that starting with the smaller bits really is advantage. At the moment I'm tempted to not do a panel line wash, as the F-117a had filled lines and the panel lines weren't obvious at all. I already decided not to try to fill all the panel lines (it might be more accurate, but would look weird on a model!) so I think just not accentuating the panels while do the job. Save me some time too! :)

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Finally got some grey on! :) Had an hour or two today, so I got the first coat done on the underside, here's how it looks:

 

 

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Also got the first coat on the elevons, bomb bay doors and undercarriage doors, as well as the base of the tails. Great to finally be painting, and for a first coat I'm happy enough with it. Hopefully I don't obliterate it all with the second coat and I keep the tonal variation, while blending it in a bit more.

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And now I have the upper fuselage first coat done, and the tails as well...

 

 

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Not as sure about that, I'm tired and I probably shouldn't have done it tonight. Anyhow, next step is the blend coat which will hopefully, well, blend the light grey while keeping some subtle tonal variations. Then I have to figure out how to mask the fuselage to do the darker grey. I'll probably use white-tak and tape from the white tape covering the light grey. Am slowly getting there, but still LOTS more to do...

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Slow progress continues! Got the lower fuselage finished. Still have to do the second coat on the upper fuselage, and then second darker grey on the upper fuselage too. At the frequency I get to the bench, I'm still not certain if I'll get this finished or not...

 

 

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Thanks Jabba! Am hoping I might get the light grey finished this weekend. Gonna then use white-tak to help reduce over spray before I start doing the darker grey. Have to be very careful on the tails, the dark grey is sprayed just large enough for the tail markings, and nothing more. So I've photocopied the decals and plan to cut them out and stick them on temporarily to figure out how much to spray!

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Finally got the light grey done, time to move on to the darker grey. Here's the masking on the tails using the photocopied decals. With luck I'll get the tails done tomorrow evening, before moving on to the airframe later in the week...

 

 

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As it happens, the masking with white-tak and tape turned out to be a pain, and didn't work great either (it was too hard to tell how good the coverage was, you'll find out why in a minute) so I've decided to just do the rest of the camo freehand and be as careful as I can about overspray.

 

That said, I might not have to worry about it! I got the camo on the port wing done. But you'll have to trust me, it's barely visible...

 

 

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I'm all for being subtle, but I had thought there'd be a bit more contrast! I'm now hoping that the gloss/matt varnish will bring it out more, but without bringing out any issues! For example, I've no idea how neat the demarcation line is, it's too hard to see! :)

 

Hoping to get the rest of the camo done tomorrow, we'll see...

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I'm taking advantage of being home on my own today, and I finally got all the black covered! Camo is done, still not much of a contrast, but you can kinda see it in this pic:

 

 

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Am so happy to finally have the painting done. Next up is a gloss coat, in preparation for the decals. I also found the Tamiya Decal instructions online (they weren't in the kit when I got it 2nd hand) and thankfully they show me where all the Two Bobs Grey Dragon decals should go, I was a bit lost for some of the smaller stencils etc.

 

With luck I'll have the gloss coat finished today and the decals can be started tomorrow. Then, when they're all on, I'm going to seal them with a matt coat, as I'm not doing a panel wash I have no need for a second gloss coat. Then I get to take all the masking off and see how many touch-ups I have to do. Normally I'd take any masking off before the gloss coat, but I liked the idea of the black sections having a different texture as well as colour (in real life I assume they were either non-painted sections, or painted with anti-radar stuff sections) so I'm leaving them masked until the varnishes are done.

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