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Sea Vixen FAW.1x2

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15 hours ago, hendie said:

Ouch Bad luck with the masking/serial issue Tony.  Been there, done that.   It seems we are all having paint issues of one type or another these days.


Wot he said.


19 hours ago, TheBaron said:

I stripped the entire white side of the airframe back to its bare bones


Big decision, well made. Must be why you get paid the big bucks :D  Sooo glad you didn’t convert it to an unmanned drone and test fly it across the room into the wall…


19 hours ago, TheBaron said:

I was sorely tempted to leave it in its stripped 'Sea Vixen by Anselm Kiefer' state


Mrs F would have dragged me to see it.  Anslem Kiefer exhibitions/work I have been taken to…..


Of course other artists are available :D




(Fiona Banner 2010 Tate Britain)



19 hours ago, TheBaron said:

I'm pretty sure that the plot line of this serial is the real reason that @Fritag keeps disappearing up to Shetland, where the locals refer to him as 'The Colonel'...


I’ll watch anything wot’s got Celia Imrie in it…. 


Anyways - don’t most holidays have something of the ‘hammer house of horrors’ feel to em? Or p’raps I’ve just a tendency to catastrophize the whole holiday packing thing…..


Anyways - More importantly - great save Tony.  She’s already looking striking and that minor serial blip ain’t nuffin to a man of your calibre :D









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Not that I dislike preserving Jagwarrs, even the Jaguar Motor company green thing at Brunty, but displaying her as a dead prey animal on the deck is awful.


I recall Debs had similar opinions.


Now what I call art is




B looming lovely Tony



Edit to add:



Mmmmm Celia...

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24 minutes ago, Fritag said:

(Fiona Banner 2010 Tate Britain)


I can just imagine the debrief from that flight .................. something like " need to keep a better eye on HAGL, roll, yaw and pitch, and navigation was a bit off, but apart from that, very nice finish Friday".


I see the artist did a Harrier nosing in also. Would like to have seen those.



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On 19/09/2021 at 13:15, TheBaron said:

I mustn't forget to that there's a PE demister

I read that as "I mustn't forget there's a PieMinister"    Now I want Pie! 🙃  🥧

Sorry to see the paint woes but the final look is amazing! love the juxtapose of black and white. ( reminds me a little of JAZZ aftershave in the 80s )  I might nick that scheme when I do mine. ( still waiting for you to finish yours first mind. )    Splendid and awe inspiring work as always. As you were dear heart.  ♥️



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Did you know that The Professionals was dubbed to screen on German television as Die Profis, thus transforming every episode into a taciturn metaphysical struggle....

They should have gone for Klaus Kinski doing Bodie's voice I feel.


Speaking of professionals:

On 19/09/2021 at 20:02, Pete in Lincs said:

Er, you're in Ireland? Hello?

Fifty Shades of Grey Drizzle no less (and I'm watching it fall outside the window as I type...).

On 19/09/2021 at 20:20, keefr22 said:

Don't bother re-doing the serial Tony, just stick the finished model to a base and no-one will ever see it....!!

D'you reckon the tail boom's'll fit keith?


On 19/09/2021 at 20:34, LorenSharp said:

At least you didn't resort to The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. There might have been much gnashing of teeth.

That witticism was good enough for Jehovah!

On 20/09/2021 at 06:51, giemme said:

I'm sure you'll manage the fixes brilliantly 

The weight of expectation is a terrible thing Giorgio! 😁

On 20/09/2021 at 08:51, Fritag said:

Mrs F would have dragged me to see it.  Anslem Kiefer exhibitions/work I have been taken to…..


Of course other artists are available :D



They say any exhibition you walk away from is a good one...


On 20/09/2021 at 08:51, Fritag said:

Anyways - don’t most holidays have something of the ‘hammer house of horrors’ feel to em?

That and your visits to Whitby force me to conclude that you were indeed the only Goth  pilot to see RAF service in a Jaguar Steve. #onwingsofdarkness :winkgrin:

On 20/09/2021 at 09:00, perdu said:

Edit to add:



Mmmmm Celia...

Has anyone ever built a Celia Imrie figure on the forum yet Bill? :laugh:


On 20/09/2021 at 08:51, Fritag said:

(Fiona Banner 2010 Tate Britain)


On 20/09/2021 at 09:15, Terry1954 said:

I see the artist did a Harrier nosing in also. Would like to have seen those.

Is the related to Bruce Banner? :hmmm:It would explain her ability to tip aircraft upside down....

On 20/09/2021 at 18:42, The Spadgent said:

( reminds me a little of JAZZ aftershave in the 80s )

Brilliant Johnny - I'd entirely forgotten that. :rofl:

The only other thing it made me think of was that perhaps Visage were heavily influenced by trials livery....!


On 20/09/2021 at 19:51, Spookytooth said:

Oh, the perils of painting Tony.

Never a truer word Simon, never a truer word.... 😄


I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time of late tidying and redoing things to do with colour so - despite getting sidetracked by another technique - I spent any spare time this week determinedly finishing off all those remaining jobs. The first big item was to rectify damage to the wing numbers and to straighten the demarcation line along the belly of the aircraft so once that was done, it was down to polishing the repainted white side of the aircraft to match the visual off the black. I wasn't sure how much of the 'variable polish' effect that I'd achieved on the bare airframe would reappear under paint but was pleasantly surprised by what emerged after the use of 2500 W&D, followed by a fabric polishing head on the Dremel:




One specific thing I noticed that I'd missed earlier was the presence of a white maintenance access panel inboard of the outer pylon on the port wing:


Some fiddly masking (I'm petrified of breaking off a pylon at this late stage of proceedings) and a few tremulous snorts of Vallejo white and it was done:


I though initially that this panel shape was that generic lozenge shape you frequently see for panels of this kind but mercifully I noted when designing the mask that it was in fact more of an asymmetric angled design when viewed face on. Dealing with this panel in fact got me thinking about what level of detail I wanted to go down to when it comes to limning surface details on the aircraft. Having deliberately eschewed the idea of incising panel lines onto this scale of airframe at the design stage in Fusion, I have found that working with this one aircraft for so long, that there were a specific handful of features that seem to me to contribute to the visual character of the aircraft, so with this in mind, I designed a series of small masks in order to use some very fine pencil as a way off marking a handful of features on the aircraft, to white, the undercarriage doors and the prominent access panels on th tails fins:


Never having tried this before - and leary of pulling of any paint at this stage of affairs - it was a bit of a gamble that turned out to be just the kind of effect that I'd hoped for:


The shot above shows the fresh pencil in its raw state where (much like I feel many panel line mouldings are on aircraft at this scale) it contrasts too strongly with the colour scheme. The shot below shows the fin masks priot to pencil work:

51519294176_78188ea573_b.jpgThe trick with this method to stop it looking too much like a diagram and more like the continuously varying tonalities that you see on the real thing, so some gentle buffing in random places with a soft rubber, followed by a unifying buff with 8000 grade Micromesh really helps to blend the features into the whole, as seen here on the stbd fin:


A thin - in this case 0.3mm - pencil is also a must.


Some similar ministrations also on the tail cone and RAT panels:


With the top of the aircraft also later to receive the red panel marking decals,  they should I think combine with everything else give a good expression of structural  'busyness' of those upper works. It's tempting of course to think of applying such procedures to every single panel in an act of completist obsession but frankly life's too short. As long as I look back at the beast and think it captured the essential characteristics of the aircraft, I'll be content. What's the one obvios feature I forgot? Yep. The line of the wingfold - which'll get done next time. it's always the bleeding obvious I miss isn't it? 😆


The stores too got some polishing attention with the effect that I was after being 'shiny but well-used':


I must say that the Vallejo Premium white shines up very nicely indeed and seems to grip the underlying primer very well.


With those tasks complete, a final all over rub down and then some thin varnish coats to provide a decal-friendly surface:




I read somewhere (possibly in the encyclopedic Buttler volume) that these aircraft had a satin finish so had previously grabbed the satin version of  W&N Galeria on a previous trip to Dublin back in August:


Having followed @CedB's method of doing a 50:50 dilution with their matt stuff on a previous build I used the same method here, with results looking very close to the surface qualities seen in reference photographs:


That's the week up to date then and I can't pretend I'm not relieved to have finally pushed through those jobs onto the next stage of decalling which - if this week is like the last - will be next weekend.


I hope you're all safe and doing well.

Until next time.











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Superb finish Tony     (true confusions time, I typed  f i n i s h but when my fingers had done with the keyboard the result read f i s h... 


Still superb no matter which interpretation my dumb headed dunderfingers produced...)

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Looks absolutely lovely Tony on this striking scheme,  can I ask as an enamel paint user, I bought some of the varnish you have used too although mine is matt, I have enjoyed using it over a coat of Klear.  

What are you using to thin it?  I have used some old Tamiya Acrylic thinners I still have from my disastrous attempt to brush them on   paints long since thrown .  

I wondered if there was a better thinner to use?



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1 hour ago, TheBaron said:

I hope you're all safe and doing well.

Thanks Tony, looking great so far. Exceptional stuff here going on. We have elections today. on a nice warm Sunday. So I went out for a walk this morning and visited my usual voting room nearby in the LWL- psycatric clinik.  Exactly my sense of humor:whistle: . In roundabout a quarter of an hour I know the "more ore less" exact results, if I have recovered enough again:fool:. One thing is sure, that Mutti Merkel will have gone forever now at 6 pm. So, we shall see what and who comes.

Cheers Benedikt

Ps. I loved Die Profis on german TV as a youngster as now.

But not with KK as a voice. Thanks god.


Edited by bbudde
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Great choice Tony. Pencil.was definitely the way to go paneling on this one.  

It's always been a source of great wonder to me how someone as deranged, both mentally and visually, as Klaus could produce something as beautiful as Natasha. The world's a strange place.


This build is absolutely stunning, I can only imagine how good the engines on display version is going to be



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Magnificent!  It just makes me want to break out the Airfix / AlleyCat 1/48 version of this specific airframe that is somewhere in my future… but with P-37F, P-51B, P-51D, and Ark Royal already stalled because of my 2021 health-fest 9along with some other longer-term residents of the Shelf of Doom that I’m hoping people might have forgotten…) I really should show a little restraint!


But it’s gorgeous.

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I'll get this quick update in for moral purposes if nothing else as yet another hectic week (given extra bite by a coolant leak on the car which led to having the timing belt replaced today as well) is topped off by an endless gyre of domestic chores this weekend. There has been some progress on the aircraft, just not as much as I would like to have seen.


Notes from the Corresponding Society first though a always:

On 26/09/2021 at 16:03, canberra kid said:

Hi Tony

I know I've been notable by my absence during this marvel, but I'd just like to say OUT FLIPPIN' STANDDING!!

Pleased you like it John as iirc this project grew out of a discussion between yourself, James and me about what exactly XJ481 might have had in its nose. 😀

On 26/09/2021 at 16:09, perdu said:

Superb finish Tony

All that care at the painting stage only to deliberately go and make it look irregular at the polishing stage. Funny old game this Bill isn't it? 😄

On 26/09/2021 at 16:20, bigbadbadge said:

ooks absolutely lovely Tony on this striking scheme, 

Pro tip Chris: never, ever take on a paint job that involves painting a diagonal line across a series of compound curves of differing radii. :rofl:

On 26/09/2021 at 16:50, bbudde said:

But not with KK as a voice. Thanks god.


On 26/09/2021 at 17:13, Terry1954 said:

Looking better with every update Tony, and I do like that idea of the fine pencil on pre-cut templates to produce subtle panel lines. Wizard stuff!


On 26/09/2021 at 18:18, Brandy said:

Those pencil panel lines work extremely well, I'll have to keep that in the idea stash!



On 26/09/2021 at 18:48, LorenSharp said:

Thin pencil lines are the best thing for highlighting white. it's not as messy as pastels and if you don't like it, erase it and do again.

Ta Terry, Ian, Loren. 👍

I'd been mulling the idea over for ages before getting up the nerve to try it. Definitely a case of less is more on the visual strengths and good templates to draw around.

On 26/09/2021 at 17:41, hendie said:

This build is absolutely stunning, I can only imagine how good the engines on display version is going to be

I've been experimenting with airbrushing alcohol inks recently and quite impressed with them as an alternative paint medium. Jacquard's pinata silver in particular produces a nice generic metal base (easily equalling anything I've done in the past with Alclad in terms of surface quality) that can be tinted as required to give varying metal (dis)colouration/lustres. Experiments are ongoing, plus I've a spare Avon print I'll sacrifice to the Metal Gods in order to work out a viable process/sequence for producing the required material appearances.

On 26/09/2021 at 19:07, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

I really should show a little restraint!

I'm afraid that I can be of no help to you in this regard where Sea Vixens are involved Crisp. 😁

On 26/09/2021 at 19:08, Pete in Lincs said:

I've used the pencil panel method myself in the past, good innit?

10-4 mon ami. Meant to say as well Pete that I'll probably have a small pile of Vixen test print parts left over at the end of this saga if they would be of any use in Kriegerland?

On 26/09/2021 at 21:50, giemme said:

This is one impressive paint job - pencil panel lines included! I'm in awe! :worthy: :clap:

Praise indeed from you Giorgio. Sincere thanks my friend.

On 27/09/2021 at 19:46, Cookenbacher said:

Love that pencil work Tony.

There would have been a heck of a lot of rubbing out and swearing if it hadn't performed well enough Cookie! 😄

For precision at this scale I used an HB pencil lead as anything of a softer grade wouldn't have let you stroke the lines in thinly enough,


I'd been dodging this job for ages but finally summoned the gumption to cut the canopy out of its vacform base:


I used a spare (unsanded/polished) buck under  the canopy whilst trimming it free with a craft knife but despite this stopping it flexing too much during cutting, you can see there'll need to be some paint repairs along the cut line; on the outside though, the inner black paintwork of the framing survived unscathed:


By some time around Wednesday I also had the decal sheet for XJ481 finalized in Illustrator:


That's obviously not a full set that you'd expect to see on a squadron Vixen but represents all that I can see visible in various period photographs of the aircraft in the b/w Martel scheme.


@hendie shamefully accused me some time back of being a careful and methodological worker, so just to give the lie to this scurrilous libel, working out those maintenance panel markings to scale was purely trial and error with sellotape and scissors:


Aaand cue Vision On music....


The Expert's Choice clear decal film performed beautifully for this task, giving some really nice nice crisp line renditions at the 'high' output setting from Illustrator:


This photo shows them after having been treated with Microscale's LDF as per the instructions supplied with the decal sheets. I was surprised that the EC people say to spray the LDF on when in fact the bottle of stuff I had was far too thick and viscous to ever airbrush. Having sought advice from experienced users n various sites across the web, I diluted it 50:50 with cellulose thinner and it then airbrushed on absolutely fine in one light, followed by one heavier coat (once the first had dried).


Being a cautious cove in such matters I'd printed a spare set of these stickers to check the aesthetics on the - by now thoroughly battered - test print Vixen:


The above shot shows that panel decal when freshly applied when it looked kind of ok: by the 4th application of Micro Sol though it had really conformed very nicely indeed to both fuselage shape and and hollows in the surface of same:


A few light coats of the Galeria satin and you can see that on the rough unpolished primer surface here the usual 'silvering' issues are quite visible:


I'm hopeful however that against the shinier surfaces of the actual aircraft, this disparity should be less apparent to the eye.


Wish this was more dramatic than it is but there you go, being a useful citizen getting in the way of feckless unbounded modelling one again. A cruel world my brothers. 😁


I'll be busy this evening as my youngest has his girlfriend round to dinner and I rather rashly agreed to knock up a load of Chimichangas but want to see if I can get the cockpit fittings finished and the canopy on at least tomorrow.


Keep the peace, the faith and well.

More anon.





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That's some progress indeed, Tony :clap: The canopy looks spot on, and so do the stickers - this reminded me that I have a still untouched set of clear decal sheets for laser printer I need to experiment with.... :hmmm:



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5 hours ago, TheBaron said:

Meant to say as well Pete that I'll probably have a small pile of Vixen test print parts left over at the end of this saga if they would be of any use in Kriegerland?

Donations are always gratefully received, postage etc costs will be reimbursed. I've seen you print some lovely shapes on here.

My last spaceship had two Buccaneer slipper tanks incorporated, so any thing goes in kreigerland, as can be seen on the latest build.

The canopy looks lovely, and there are some very complicated shapes on that decal sheet, but I think you've nailed it.

As for the Vision On Music, as kids we used to watch that programme religiously. It was well ahead of it's time in concept, and put great ideas into you heads.

Plus, it eventually led to Wallace and Gromit, which I still love!

Chimichangas! Mmmmmmmmm


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