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Hello,

 

I am a long-time viewer who started really building kits just this year. I've learned a lot by reading articles on this site and excited to finally put the knowledge to good use. I started quite a few kits over the past decade, but largely stalled at the painting stage since I had to paint outside due to fumes (or so I thought). I started out using Gunze paints given their excellent reputation, but my only permanent work space was at my indoor desk, so I would only attempt to paint about 4-5 times per year (given time constraints and weather). All this changed in February when my wife encouraged me to consider alternatives to lacquers for the sake of my health and the environment (not unreasonable...). I discovered Mission Model paints and decided to give them a try. I came away very impressed! I discovered this website: https://modelpaintsol.com/ and read their tutorials on spraying Mission Models paints. I adopted their recommended technique of creating a custom thinner called "CP30" my creating a 70:30 mix of Mission Models thinner with Mission Models Clear Primer. Then I use this mix like I would Gunze and Mr Leveling thinner; typically mixing 70:30 "CP30" to paint for spraying with 1-2 drops of Vallejo airbrush flow improver. This allows me to spray very fine lines with little to no tip dry and the paint dries smoothly with a semi-gloss sheen. I allows me to freehand demarcation lines and black base without difficulties. Some paints can be temperamental (like Gunze as well), but Mission Models are very nearly as spray friendly as lacquers without the deadly fumes. This has transformed my modeling experience since I can now spray at my work desk and the airbrush has become another routine tool, no special conditions required. I also really like how Mission Model paints brush as well, very similar yo Vallejo and I can use the same paint for airbrushing and detail painting. Very handy!

 

With these big improvements, i have completed 3 kits (start to finish) since February with my prior average completion time running around 8 years (!) with just one kit completed prior to this year (finished in 2014 after starting in 2006). My latest kit is the Hobby 2000 A-4M kit. This is Fujimi sprues packaged with Cartograf decals and vinyl paint masks making it a very appealing package. Overall, it is a good kit that I very much enjoyed. The principal drawback is that the Fujimi kit, while quite good, is about 30 years old and this shows in the engineering and fit. The kit I finished before this was the Eduard 1:72 MiG-21MF and the difference in fit was dramatic. The A-4M looks quite simple in the instructions and major assembly was done 2 evenings after finishing the cockpit (quite nice for a 1980s kit), but several weeks were then spent addressing seams and rescribing detail. So much so that I started the Eduard MiG-21 kit after starting the A-4M and finished it well before (that kit flies together!). Luckily, the fit of the wing-root on the A-4M was quite good, but the front fuselage, intakes, and dorsal hump took a lot of work to blend well. Things came together OK in the end, but not as nice as I would have liked. Also, the airbrakes are much easier to pose open and dropping the flaps (normal finding on parked A-4s) took a fair bit of clean up on the fuselage. Lastly, the canopy was just not as clear as hoped despite a fair bit of sanding and polishing. The one-piece closed canopy had a visible bubble in it and was unusable; I'm wondering if some molding issue accounted for the lack of canopy clarity in general? Looks OK, but not great. Also, the vinyl paint masks were very user friendly to place, but left a fair bit of residue that I managed to remove with a microbrush and isopropyl alcohol, not my favorite task.

 

Painting was Mission Models for everything, but metal parts (Vallejo Metal Colors) and matte varnish (AK Ultra Matte). Weathering TPS aircraft is enjoyable and Mission Model paints stand up very well to enamel washes and oil paints that were used for the weathering. Here is the A-4M and feedback is welcome since I'm still figuring out how to do stuff. :)

 

DSC01074

 

 

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DSC01103

 

DSC01095 DSC01091 DSC01087

 

DSC01079

 

 

-Nick

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Hello and :post1: from Lincolnshire.

That is a fantastic start to your membership. I hope you enjoy your time here. I'm sure you will find this to be the best place for modellers. Looking forward to seeing the MiG.

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Welcome to the forums!

 

Your Skyhawk is an absolute beauty.  I really like the subtlety you have achieved with the TPS and weathering.  Excellent work and I look forward to seeing more of your output.

 

Only started building this year - wow!

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Excellent build. If this is only your first year back then wow! Puts my efforts to shame. I love the realistic weathering that you've achieved and the tips on the mission models paints is very interesting.

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Welcome, that's one very nice looking Skyhawk. You might not have a huge amount of experience, but you can't tell that from this model, it's better than I could do.

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7 hours ago, Harry Callahan said:

Welcome

 

so you want telling us, you just start modelling in this year?

I had finished one prior kit over many years and have assembled around 7-8 kits over the past 14 years, but only one got to the painting stage. I have been experimenting with the airbrush for many years (bought my first one in 2006), but wasn't proficient since I sprayed very infrequently and didn't address my workflow/ergonomics. So things like mixing paints was difficult and messy. My attempts at airbrushing really didn't look good at all! However, last summer I decided that either I would figure out how to do this stuff or give-up the work bench and stash since I wasn't completing anything. During the fall, I did some reading and bought disposable mixing cups and pipettes so that I didn't have to worry about cleaning them (very fume intensive with lacquers) and watched a lot of airbrushing videos/tutorials. Come early winter (California winter - 14-18 deg C), I did some test spraying with my Gunze paints and then decided to paint a 1/72 Tamiya A6M2 that was assembled and unpainted. It was a little rough in places, but came together well and reached completion (only the second one since 2006!). I then grabbed another assembled kit (1/72 Draken) and painted it realizing that only spraying during daylight, outside and with good weather would really limit my progress (my work schedule doesn't give me much free time either). However, the Draken looked much better than the A6M2 and I was getting the hang of things. I was thinking about creating an outdoor work space, but it would cost a fair bit and take time. I was discussing my progress with my wife who isn't a fan of me using lacquers and she recommended that I at least try out some alternatives that are low fume. She was aware of several new products for house painting that performed like enamels or lacquers but rated as "ultra-low VOC" so I figured may be something new had hit the market using similar tech.

 

I found Mission Models from an internet search, but facilitated by their advertisements on the Eduard newsletters (guess that strategy works sometimes :) ). I decided to give it a go on an unassembled kit (Meng F-102) where I would improve my construction skills and try out the new Mission Model paints. While I had assembled some kits, I found that my seams where not good enough once paint was being applied, so I would incorporate these improvements into a start to finish build. That build only took me 2 months and I found that Mission Models (after some experimentation and tuning) allowed me to do everything that I was doing with Gunze, but inside at my work desk.

 

So I have experience with cockpit painting and assembly, but painting and weathering are both new to me. That said, there are so many excellent resources for learning these days, such as this forum and youtube that one can get the hang of things quickly. :)

 

Here is also a quick pic of the MiG-21 as requested: 

 

 

DSC00963

 

-Nick

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well if thats true what do you telling us, then we can call you a nature talent, other modellers needs to built 20 to 40 models until they have the skill like you, so your model is very impressive

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10 hours ago, Harry Callahan said:

well if thats true what do you telling us, then we can call you a nature talent, other modellers needs to built 20 to 40 models until they have the skill like you, so your model is very impressive

Well, it is probably more accurate to say that I was a remarkably unproductive modeler for the first 10ish yeas of my time in the hobby. :)

 

However, while I wasn't completing any builds, I was learning about techniques and learning how to dissect pictures for weathering patterns and the like. I think this really flattens the learning curve and gives the modeler a much stronger sense of what they need to do to complete the work. That said, I really appreciate your kind words. :) 

 

Best,

 

Nick

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Very cool, love that!

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