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Hasagawa VF-1D 1:72 Kit Build


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Its been a long time between posts!

Given the lack of activity on my other project, I thought it might be a good kick up the proverbial to at least post something resembling progress. This one's been creeping along for a few years now. Yikes, that's not a good thing...

As most of you guys out there building kits would know, sometimes it's a good thing to have several projects on the go. If you get bored or stuck with one, you can jump to another until inspiration or drive hits to return. This has been one of those builds for me. When I get stuck on another build, I always seem to come back to this one.

This is the Hasegawa 1:72 scale VF-1D Valkyrie, with the “Special Edition” Cartograph decals and photoetch. The decals are very nice to work with and the photoetch is questionable in some places (Verniers) but nice to have for others (exhaust detail and cockpit controls). The real reason I snatched it up was the crazy price HLJ had on it for a limited time a few years back.

I used to think this colour scheme was awful. An orange aircraft? Seriously? It grew on my somehow and after seeing a great many training aircraft in the real world with a similar colour scheme (and not just in Japan) as well as Red Dog's recent twin Eurofighter builds with that crazy orangy/brown primer livery, I'm liking it more and more. I'll be referring back to his build for some weathering ideas once this is finished.

As with most other kits, I started with the cockpit. The raised detail on the instrument panels is great and it's a nice cozy fit for two. There were a few issues with accuracy, as anyone who'd grown up with the Robotech/Macross cartoons would be aware, there were some differences to what is depicted in the kit. Namely:

-No HUD in the kit

-No center stick

-No controls at all on the armrest/sidewalls

This is less an issue with the kit as it is one with the model of the Valkyrie that Hasegawa chose to depict.






The gun pod was next on the build list and it went together with very little issue. I used Mr Surfacer 500 on the seams and most of it sanded away during the usual seam sanding session. The parts are very well engineered – crisp, shaped perfectly, and fit remarkably together. So far, at least.




Yep, the preshading is pretty much invisible. Oops...

Next up was assembling the front fuselage/nose. Here's where I ran into a few fit issues. I was able to address all of these with Mr Surfacer though, so they were nothing compared to some nightmare kits I've come across. I also ran into some alignment issues in getting the cockpit properly centered into the fuselage. There were a few gaps here and there that I didn't catch during my dry-fit sessions. So close inspection will reveal unpainted plastic in some areas. My excuse is that I started this a few years ago and I've since grown as a modeller. And I'm sticking to that excuse.

(no pics yet of this process)

Moving on to the rear “pancake” wingbox section – this is where the engineering takes a bit of a “what now?” sort of diversion. There is an ingenious swing wing setup that works well, albeit a bit sticky in places (I believe the gear teeth are not perfectly shaped). This is fun to build and well thought out. The “holes” to either side don't make any sense though. I guess it has to do with how thick you want to mold the part, and these areas would actually be quite dense. Either way, Hasegawa provide covers for these holes that fit reasonably well, but unfortunately are identical parts for either side and both have nasty ejector pin marks that need to be taken care of. Luckily, it's a flat part with no surface detail and a cinch to take care of. I say covers are provided, but only in the rear section. The area ahead of the pivot gets no treatment at all and there's an ugly hole that will be visible unless the wings are swept completely forward. Some scratch building was employed here. I started with a very thin strip of cut styrene, glued to the wall of the hole, to create a ledge to glue my custom covers to. All that was left was to create a rough shape from thin styrene sheet, then sand it to an exact fit, use this to cut out some copies in the sheet, and I'm now set for numerous kits in the future.

Once the whole surface was puttied (I used Tamiya basic putty for this stage, as there was enough that Mr Surfacer would have needed multiple applications), sanded, Mr Surfacer applied to fill in the smaller imperfections, sanded again, and a test coat of the base colour applied by brush, I realised a bit of a problem – dark filler under a light base coat is going to be ugly. I think I'll need to use a good, white primer. I have some Mr Base 1000 White in a bottle that I'll try. As I recall it covers really well and is easy to apply with an airbrush.




Another poetic license item that Hasegawa puts into their 72 scale Valks is a hinge line on the stabs. This is to allow the "backpack folding" feature to actually work in real life. I don't like it though and decided to putty over it with Mr Surfacer. Another detail that Hasegawa adds is all the rivets. I think these are cool though. Besides, I can't imagine filling these in and not the panel lines by mistake!



One small concern with the idea of primering over the darker putty marks – lost surface detail. The panel lines and rivet detail are so fine, I'm not sure primer plus base coat is going to allow any of those details to show through. My planned solution is to apply the primer in areas like the inside of the wingbox/back of the fuselage, where there is very little detail and leave the rest of the plastic alone.

With that plan in mind, I thought I'd play with some pre-shading applied in the form of a wash. This is not normally how I do things but given this is a training/special paint scheme sort of aircraft, and it's likely to be very well maintained and actually a bit glossy, I figured there wouldn't be a whole lot of weathering. Besides, the colours are so light/bright, any typical preshading methods would just make it look dirty.

The other reason I decided to try this approach was that I had some left over gunship gray that I'd used for a few areas earlier (the instructions call for “dark sea gray” and FS36118 or Gunship Gray is a good substitute) . When I went to use my typical “mix the paint in a paint mixing tray, along with some Tamiya thinner, then when finished, clean it up with windex” approach, I saw how dark the windex “wash” had become and thought I'd see if it'd make a good pin wash solution. It worked so well I think I might try it from now on.

So the plan is to pre-shade the panel lines and rivet details only, then overcoat with the base “tan” colour, which will hopefully, subtly show through the lines without it being too stark. If I don't like it, out comes the windex and a toothbrush and I can start over. I'm not sure the orange colour will work the same way but I'm willing to give it a shot.



Thats where I'm up to now. There's a fair bit left to build, and I have no illusions that it'll be done quickly but I can't help feeling like this is my “most likely to finish first” candidate at the moment.

Still left to do though is a tricky modification that I've never really seen anyone do. The Hasegawa small scale Valks (They now have a 1:48 offering that looks amazing) all suffer from this really obvious “droopy leg syndrome” that really puts me off. The side profile really shows this – you can see the engine nozzles/feet actually point towards the ground, which does two things. Firstly, it exposes the tail sections undersides and leaves this really obvious gap between the vertical stabs and engine nacelles. Secondly, it makes the tops of the nacelles horizontal, relative to the ground but forces all the panel lines and lettering on the sides into this weird angle.

But enough complaining. My proposed solution is to change the angle of the mounts inside the nacelles/legs, so that they sit at the proper angle. This will be tricky, as the wing box sits directly on these parts, which means the angle and the hight of the nacelles/legs will need to be adjusted. It's possible I'll find another issue with this as well, and that the whole thing may in fact be too difficult for me to want to tackle.

Here's a quick comparison of the 1:72 vs the 1:48 kit's side profiles:



Edited by mickyg
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I'll be interested to see how you tackle this issue. I've had the same thought.


Yes, me too! I want to correct this too, whenever I get to my next 1/72 VF.

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm feeling a bit sheepish about not posting over here more frequently. I've been hanging out over at Zone-Five a lot lately, ever since getting into some other plastic model kits of modern aircraft. That site is by far one of the most helpful and knowledgable when it comes to real world aircraft. I'm working on a couple of F-16s at the moment and it's been good to get some advice from guys who have worked on the real thing.

Only when it comes to sci-fi stuff, I don't get a lot of feedback. Over here, it's great to hear something almost every day. :D

The drooping leg syndrome: I figure that connections is just the slot in the thigh, right? If I can relocate that slot to the proper place and angle, it should be pretty easy. I've played around with the side profile pics on my computer and it looks like I'll have to lower the leg by a few mm to make sure it fits under the wingbox/back extensions, and then angle them back up. The only drawback I can see is that the wings may foul on the legs when overswept. But I'm not sure this will really be the case and if it is, I'm not sure I much care.

@ Benson - I usually use an airbrush and dark colors to pre-shade. I'm not great at it but getting better with each attempt. I've got an Iwata HP-C+ that I'm starting to get the hang of. On this model though, given that it's so clean and the colors are so much lighter than the typical grays you find on real world aircraft, I thought I'd do something a bit more subtle. So I'm actually using just thinned Tamiya and Gunze acrylics. And by thinned, I mean heavily. A squirt of windex with a drop of paint off the toothpick I use to stir it, is all we're talking about. I find I can build up the colour if I need to but usually one "wash" is all that's needed. I'm also experimenting a touch with "painting" some panels and areas outside the rivets to break up the solid color a bit.

I have no idea if this will work becuase I haven't applied the base color via airbrush yet. My only experiments so far have been brush painting the beige onto some areas I'd puttied over previously. You could see right through it.

We'll see I guess. Like I said, windex and a toothbrush if I don't like it.

I've managed a meager bit of progress over the last week. Mostly due to my lazy method of using acrylics and windex to pre-shade/wash and the use of a light basecoat. The jury is out on whether or not this will actually achieve decent results - given I haven't applied a base coat yet. If it fails, we'll chalk it up to experimentation. And like I said before, a toothbrush and windex is all I need to start over again.



There's some obvious bleed of the wash where the brush strokes have gotten outside the details. This is both intentional, as well as unavoidable. For the lines, I could theoretically keep the wash inside. The rivets though, well I'm not about to hit each one individually! The intentional side I mentioned is so I can see if the bleed shows up under the base coat. I'll hit the built up paint with fine sandpaper so as not to show ridges of paint under the base coat but otherwise, I think the "smudges" if you will, will likely contribute to some subtle variation in color. That's the theory at least. :)

I've also spent a lot of effort on filling ejector pin marks. The kit is littered with them! The ones inside the intakes are the worst to work with as there's taper that doesn't make sanding easy. My Tamiya basic type putty has been good for this. I've been applying it with a toothpick but find it dries a little too quickly on the toothpick. That means it sticks more and more to the toothpick and not to the part and I invariably end up becoming less and less precise as I apply it. The fix is to probably apply it carefully every time, and wipe off the excess on a paper towell as I go. Live and learn.

Freshly applied (and not enough, I might add - discovered after it had dried):


And one I did earlier, which is now sanded and just about ready for paint (you can see areas of putty marks that are there due to sloppy application. The putty has melted the plastic and has "sunk" a bit into the part):


The next image is the "arms" or tunnel between the nacelles/legs. The parts fit is very good alignment wise, but there's a fair bit of seam cleanup that'll need to be done. It's not obvious in these pictures (I'm back to using my point and shoot as the SLR is proving too much effort to bother with at work, where I've been doing the majority of the work on this kit) but the seam is quite prominently raised and not terribly flat. I think sanding will be all that's required, with perhaps a bit of Mr Surfacer.


And the final image, which I could use some help with, is a warped wing. Since the wings are two parts (upper and lower) are there any tricks to getting this to flatten out?


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Windex has ammonia and a few other ingredients that make for a great thinner for a lot of acrylic paints. Not all, but for tamiya and gunze, it's a good thinner and a fantastic stripper. And since acrylic paints don't eat into the plastic, stripping them with windex gets you a perfectly clean slate. You can't do that with enamels or lacquers. The downside is durability. Enamels and lacquers are far less prone to scratches and wear and tear. For a model, I'm happy to live with the trade offs. My VF-25G hasn't got a scratch on it and actually seems reasonably durable and it was done almost entirely with Gunze Aquous paints. Mind you, I don't transform it or play with it.

Hope that sorta answers your question. :)

Edited by mickyg
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Any time!

Not that it's related to this particular topic, but I've been debating my "splinter NSAWC custom VF-1S" toy I've been working on for what seems like forever and I've just about come to the conclusion that it's not the right platform for acrylic paints to be used. I've put a lot of time and effort into it but when it's finished, I'll likely be afraid to transform it! Had I used lacquers on it, I think I'd have been much less concerned.

Besides, I bought a nice VF-1A Hasegawa "Sonic Birds" edition that might work better for the NSAWC bird. I could just do up the toy as a an "accurate" VF-1S Fokker type, with an old '80s high viz light gray scheme. It'd likely show scratches far less obviously.

I'll see what I think after I'm done with the next few items on my plate.

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming (glad this is my thread so I don't feel bad about derailing it!)...

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Wouldn't dream of forsaking you guys! :) I didn't leave, just wasn't posting much. I still visit at least once a week, just to see what's going on, even when I was completely quiet.

Edited by mickyg
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...You can't do that with enamels or lacquers...

I'm not sure about lacquers, but for enamels you can use Easy-Off or most other brands of oven cleaners if you ever need to strip the paint off a model without harming the plastic; the downside is that the stuff will have you gagging in coughing fits if you inhale it and will prune your firgertips' skin, so gloves are a must and a respirator helps... it does work great, though. You still need to use mineral spirits to thin the paint, however.

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I had an old academy A-10 kit I put together nearly eleven years ago and it was also the first time I'd used my paasche vl airbrush. Both attempts were awful! So about a year ago I attempted to fix up all the errors, including the paint. When I started that kit, I had never heard of tamiya or acrylic paints for serious modelling. So I used testors enamels. Mostly in the square jars (so not model master).

I used the oven cleaner option and was amazed that the paint actually came off! But it wasn't anywhere near as easy or convenient as windex is for acrylics.

So while I agree with you, there are certainly levels of ease in modelling, and for me, at this point in my experience, acrylics are my paint of choice.

YMMV of course.

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Had some real progress this weekend (Queen's birthday long weekend) with some more assembly and airbrushing. Lots of positives an a few negatives. I'll post up some pics but the short summary is that I hate ejector pin marks and love my airbrush!

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As mentioned above, made some real progress these last few days. Here's what I've accomlished:

First, I assembled the intakes (not pictured). I hate the ejector pin marks as a rule (as already mentioned) but they're far worse on complex shapes like the intakes, where you have a flat profile that changes to a curve. It means your sanding stick has to somehow match the profile and mine doesn't. So essentially I rubbed the putty with all sorts of edges and points on my stick, completely removing the wet/dry sandpaper in the process. i think I got the putty removed to but the whole process was an absolute PITA!

On to a more pleasant experience - the arms. These went together pretty easily, as mentioned in a previous post but they had some odd raised/depressed areas along the seam so i puttied those up quite aggresively, using a bit of scrap styrene "spatula" (made from a stick found in snack size nutella packs - who knew?) to smooth it on.


And after a fair bit of sanding:


That was the end of the first day of the weekend. I had doubts about being able to paint over the putty, given how dark the gray is. I figured the beige paint would be too light and too translucent. So yesterday I had a chance to test the theory, with a nice day outside and a few hours to play, I got the airbrush out.

This is the first time I've done any spraying in a very long time so I was a bit rusty. For the most part I did OK but I fogot how tempermental the paint can be and how thin it needs to be before you attempt to paint with it. The result was paint that came out in these tiny little pellets (I may as well have been spraying sticky sand). I attempted to use it in this state early on and the results show a very orange peely texture. I added an almost 50/50 mixture of thinner to paint before it started behaving itself.

Here's that arm again with a couple coats of paint:


Next up was the inside, exposed part of the wing box:


As you can see, the coverage wasn't actually that bad. In some light you can still barely see the darker putty marks but I think it sort of adds to the variation in color that is characteristic of a real paint job.

Moving on to the panel line "pre-shading" wash I did, here's the result after a few passes of the beige (you can also see the rather obvious orange peel texture of the paint, which I hope to knock down with some light sanding):



Also worth noting is that the color match to the plastic is pretty decent. This is just the manual's recommended "radome" plus white mix. The difference is actually more marked in the photos than what my eye sees.

Moving on to the wing:


What surprised me here is the amount of control I had with the airbrush. Those tiny panels I was able to paint by themselves with low pressure and very little paint. Did I mention I love my Iwata? :)

Tail (note the almost invisible fold seam line at the rudder - I only painted the rudder, the rest is bare plastic with my wash still intact):




Nose/Fuselage, showing the lack of visible putty in the top of the nose, where it would otherwise by obvious (my kit's fit here was not great and required a lot of filler on the top and bottom, front and back of the fuselage, and the misalignment on the instrument coaming is probably going to annoy the heck out of me...):


NAnd then I moved on to the grays. I'd previously attempted brush painting the "Dark Sea Gray" (Which is a british paint color, that FS 36118 does a good job of mimicking) areas and had been dissatisfied with the brush strokes and poor opacity of the paint. Airbrushing was a completely different story. I think I used two or three toothpick drops (I use toothpics to mix the jars of paint) and about as much thinner, maybe a bit more. The coverage was surprisingly good and with a gravity fed airbrush, paint waste was pretty much nil. That amount of paint got the intake shutters, the hand "doors" and upper bypass intakes (are they really bypass, I wonder?) all painted. I also sprayed a light dusting onto the cockpit coaming, as I thought the flat black was a bit too stark (you can probably see that above).



That last picture shows how I didn't really care much about overspray. The right side shows what a little bit of light, wet sanding with 1200 grit paper does. I've left a touch of overspray on the top of the part, as I think it might show through and provide a bit of subtle shading under the orange paint it'll get.

Here's the part after sanding both sides:


And everything mocked up:


Lastly, I thought it'd be fun to try out the orange on the legs. The mix is just orange and yellow. I was thinking the beige plastic might give the orange a muted appearance and had considered a white undercoat. The following images will show that that's nowhere near necessary!

What surprised me is the translucent quality of the orange. Anything underneath is definitely going to show through. So I think my preshade/wash is going to be a bit much.

I was also surprised at how thin I needed to get the glossy orange to spray without the "sand" effect. Probably a 2 parts thinner to 1 part paint. The first foreground pic is the improperly thinned paint, the background one (and second pic) is the properly thinned one. I'll remove all the paint, as this was just experimenting. I'll also mask off the beige before I paint the orange "for real" as the minimal overspray will be quite obvious on this colour (as seen on the legs already).



Just a question out there for anyone reading my posts (thanks, by the way) - I tend to write lengthy posts that are pic heavy and wordy. Does this put anyone off? And be honest, we're all friends here. ;)

Would it be better to put smaller pics that you can click into my posts? Would it be more readable if I broke it up into smaller posts? Let me know, I'm willing to adjust and make stuff easier to follow.



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Just a question out there for anyone reading my posts (thanks, by the way) - I tend to write lengthy posts that are pic heavy and wordy. Does this put anyone off? And be honest, we're all friends here. ;)

Would it be better to put smaller pics that you can click into my posts? Would it be more readable if I broke it up into smaller posts? Let me know, I'm willing to adjust and make stuff easier to follow.



It's better lengthy post for WIP's. The more detailed, the way you share your experience, the better.

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Agreed, I get detailed when I do stuff too, and while it's a little much for some people to read, there are others who appreciate the fine details. :)

I'm potentially going to start using my own airbrush soon, so your tips on mixing/thinning will come in very handy for me, especially since I'm planning on using all the Tamiya acrylics I ordered (I also ordered a big bottle of their own thinner as well, but I might just stock up on windex as well).

I'm expecially looking forward to seeing how you address the droopy leg syndrome, since that's what brought me to a halt building my own 1/72 VF-1J kit a while back (well, that, and the 1/48 kits :p).

I am surprised about that hinge line in the tail though.. Is that present on all the 1/72 VF-1s? I'm pretty sure they moved it appropriately low on the tail for the 1/48 kits, but I haven't lookd in a while.

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I love details! Especially when I don't have time to build myself, I can live vicariously through you, thanks.

I wouldn't really use Windex to thin down the paint, I use Windex to strip or clean my airbrush of Tamiya acrylic only. I personally think the Tamiya thinner is really designed for airbrush use (its really not that expensive considering how many hours of effort you put into this babies), I believe there are thinners in it that retards the drying process a bit (as acylics tend to dry quickly) which helps in creating that perfectly smoothed self-levelled effect. There should be no textural or "orange-peel" effect at all - if so the paint is either too thick, or the air pressure too high - the worst is when you get a "sand-paper" effect! I've seen Windex breakdown the pigmentation/binders within the Tamiya acrylic if you use too much of it (you see the pigment bits come out of the paint). Plus if its too heavily laden with Windex, it could attack any underlying layer of Tamiya Acrylic you would be painting over. There is no hard and fast rules for ratios of paint to thinner - in fact I find it various according to colour and whether its matte/flat, glossy or metallic paint - however its always between 1:2 and 1:1. Glossy lighter colours need to be thicker as it doesn't cover as well, while matte/flat paints tend to dry too quickly and needs more thinners, and Metallic colours tend to be heavier and needs more thinner to spray nicely through the airbrush. So its kind of a black art to this - but generally, it should have the consistency of milk - that will get you into the right ballpark.

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Thanks for the feedback guys! I'll keep with the same format. I might dial down the quality on my pics though - they're at something like 300dpi and quality is about 8 out of 10 (using Canon DPP for all my raw to jpeg conversion with my SLR and the point and shoot just inherits the settings). Makes for about a half mb per image and when there's an average of 6 per page, that's a big download!

Chronocidal - that hinge line is present on every single 1/72 scale VF-1 as far as I'm aware. Also present is the lack of a central stick and the HUD of the TV valks. Hasegawa must've figured the DYRL style was what would sell and that's what got released (IMHO). The 1/48 kits (I'm super jealous you've got one, by the way) did away with the hinge line, as this was really just poetic license. I'm not sure about the center stick but seem to remember seeing a HUD for TV style versions.

On that hinge for second - I don't hate it. It actually makes a lot of sense as it allows the stabs to fold down flat instead of one on the top of the other. It's always bugged me that you get this asymetrical look of the stabs "stacked" in the backpack. But, it's not canon and when you look at how thin the stabs are, there's just no way they'd work and have any rigidity, so I got rid of them. Of course I'm debating mechanical possibilities on a jet that transforms into a robot, so anything is up for personal opinion! :)

WM - It's always an honor to see you pop by my build threads. You're actually a huge part of why I build, why I post here, why I post with the detail that I do, why got back into Macross, and most importantly, why I'm motivated to push myself to do better with every attempt at building! So your feedback is hugely appreciated.

Now, to address something you've mentioned, because I don't want to lead anyone astray here - my thinner of choice is not Windex. I use it in a pinch on occasion and it's my go to for washing my brushes (both bristle and air varieties) as well as removing paint from my models, but I don't usually use it by itself to thin my paints. I found for the "Lifecolor" brand I occasionally use, it destroys the paint (pigments seperate, like WM Cheng mentioned above) and it doesn't matter what proportion you use. I expect it might be the same for vallejo or Model master Acryl paints (though I have no experience with either). So always test first!

What I tend to use, up until recently, is the Tamiya branded thinner in varying proportions and have really no complaints about it. I have started experimenting with various mixtures of thinning solutions though and this attempt was the first I'd used it in the airbrush. I was getting annoyed at how quickly the acrylics dry when hand brushing and thought perhaps a retarder would help. The Tamiya Acrylic thinner is OK but not slow enough, for my liking. Plus, I was trying to get away on the cheap with dry-brushing. I can't use acrylics because they dry to fast. I figured if I added a retarder, perhaps I'd be able to use my multitude of acrylics I already own. I don't have many enamels so this seemed a good idea. So I bought a bottle of artist's acrylic retarder. It came in such a massive quantity that I doubt I'll ever be able to use it all. I have no idea if it'll work but my mixture ended up as this:

5 parts Windex

5 parts Tamiya Thinner

1 part acrylic retarder

For all the airbrushing I've done so far, this is the thinner I'm using. I have no idea if it's any good as the previous posts show a completely inconsistent painting experience, due to experimenting with how much thinner I added on the fly. The first attempts were definitely terrible but that's because my paints weren't thinned enough. The tails/stabs, and arms were done with the proper consistency and the final coat over everthing else was done with the properly thinned paint too. It seems OK.

The orange was a similar deal. As all of this was a big experiment, there are things I'll do differently next time. Firstly, I'll start with a 1:1 mix, and spray on some test plastic and add thinner until I'm happy with the consistency, before applying it to the real part. Second, I'll definitely strip off the orange I alread applied. There's no amount of sanding that'll fix that monstrous, bumpy painted surface!

I faired a lot better on the beige, it sanded back nicely and the coverage is still decent enough that I can probably do another light misting and call it done before a clear coat. I did get a strange effect on one of the arms this morning though - after wet sanding with 1200, followed by 2000, I noticed some bubbles under the paint that definitely hadn't been there prior to sanding. I think it was just water. I sanded, got interrupted, and placed the part, sanded side down on a paper towell, so it was sitting on a damp surface. Perhaps this caused the bubbles? Or maybe it's the retarder/windex/thinner concoction? Who knows? But I'll have to start again on this part as it's now looking a bit pitted and terrible. Definitely odd...

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Thanks Mickyg

I love to see your work too! My guess its the Windex - just take it out of the equation - don't use that stuff for anything but cleaning and stripping.

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I'll do that, just in case. Though I think it's actually the fact that I don't recall washing the part after I sanded it back. Given that I don't remember, there's a really good chance it didn't happen. I think the damp towell just wicked moisture back through the dust, under the paint, which caused the bubbling. That, and no other part exhibited any issues.

But next time, I'll eliminate the windex.

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I haven't experimented with a drying retardant yet. That may have made my VF-25F a lot simpler. :lol: Biggest problem with that was the way the acrylic paints would dry so quickly that if I made more than one pass with the brush, I'd wind up peeling up the paint from the first stroke.

Eventually I think what worked was to just thin the paint with water by dipping the brush in it, and then just flood the area. The water would let me get an even (but very thin) coat, and then I'd wait for the water to evaporate, and repeat until I got a good coat. Pretty sure that only worked because I live in the desert though.. the water evaporates really fast here.

Bottom line is really that I just need to get up the nerve to dig out the airbrush and experiment.:p

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The retarder was specifically because I wanted to be lazy and brush paint! I have found that unless it's dead flat colours, brush painting just doesn't seem to work for me. The coats are always uneven and brush strokes, even when I'm not peeling up the previous layer, seem to be annoyingly common.

The airbrush is absolutely the answer to all this but it's a real pain for me to use. The reasons are numerous but probably the most obvious for me are the noise, and the setup/cleanup. I got around both of those this time by putting the compressor outside a sliding glass door, and doing the painting indoors for a change. The compressor is a smallish one but unreasonably loud. My garage is right outside my kid's room and the best time to work is when they're sleeping. Doesn't exactly make for a good combination. I painted in my kitchen this time around, with the exhaust fan over my stove top grabbing any overspray or fumes. Seems to have worked well, as I didn't get any complaints from my wife about alchohol smells.

By the way, I'm on to number 2 in the kiddo department. I've got a son, who turns 4 next week, and a daughter who's just over 7 months now. Two makes for a more interesting balance between life and hobby but I'm not complaining. Much. ;)

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Grats on the growing family :D

And yeah, I know airbrushing setup and cleanup are a pain.. I grew up making model planes with my dad, and I can count on one hand the number of times we actually got something painted with an airbrush. I would always build stuff far faster than we could keep up with, so I had to pick and choose carefully which kits I wanted fully painted. I mostly didn't care, since I built them to zoom around anyway. ^_^

What I plan to do eventually is build a paint booth of sorts. Most likely, it'll be a large cardboard box, but I might use a large plastic bin. I'll just set it up near a window, setup my compressor, and do all my spraying in the kitchen. It's too hot where I am to do much outdoors. Fortunately, the compressor I picked up is a nice quiet one, so I mostly just have to deal with fumes. If I stick to acrylics, it shouldn't be too bad, but I'll definitely keep a window open.

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I hate griping about airbrush setup/cleanup cause it probably couldn't be easier. With acrylics, I generally mix the thinner and paint in the airbrush cup and cleanup is normally nothing more than flushing with windex. So it's not that bad. But it's certainly more involved than a paint mixing tray and some paper towels on my kitchen counter top.

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Thanks man. ;)

Just remember, I'm a noob too and there's a very real chance anything you learn from me will be wrong! Have a look around at the masters on these forums (and others) and hopefully you'll be able to see some common approaches. That's usually a safe bet that those things work. But what I love about this hobby is that there's no one "right" way to do anything. There are lots of ways you can accomplish the same goal and some obviously just work a bit better than others.

Is that you in your avatar pic?

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Wow! Congrats on the coming kid, how do you ever get to build with a 4yr old?! I've basically stopped any and all my hobbies since my daughter was born 5yrs ago. My life has been on hold (and yeah, I AM COMPLAINING... everyday!) - but I see it that eventually in 6yrs, she won't think I'm cool anymore - then I'll get back to my life - I take cool daddy for as long as I can. It's basically toy collecting for the next few years (and model hoarding;-)

Invest in a Sil-Air compressor - that's what I got after I threw away my ghetto refrigerator compressor 15yrs ago. It's near silent and has an air reservoir tank that it mostly uses from, the compressor only kicks in to fill it back up - you get really smooth airflow (no puttering at all) and its near silent (even with the compressor going to fill the tank up). I think they're a bit on the expensive side, but they last and its the last compressor you'll ever need.

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Thanks! Not "coming kid" though - she's here as of 7 months ago! So yeah, a 4 year old and a 7 month old both. The time I get to work on my models is extremely limited, trust me. I'm lucky to get an hour a week. And it's either when they're napping in the middle of the afternoon, or later in the evening, again, when they're asleep. When my son sees the models, he's fascinated but he's not old enough to be able to keep from touching everything. I'm sure he'll get worse before he gets old enough to fully appreciate words like "breakable" and "fragile" and "expensive." So right now, the only time I get a chance to work is when neither of them are around to interrupt. And when I'm not cooking, or helping out with other chores around the house. Did I mention I don't have enough time for this hobby at all and I'm just "faking" it? ;)

As for the air compressor - that's gonna have to be a long way down the list. The current one was a bit of a comprimise. I was able to get it because it was from birthday money from my dad and I told my wife it could double as a tire filler if we got a flat. It's done that a few times so I guess I wasn't far off in my description.

But the other reason is my lack of funds. My other hobby is photography. I've got an SLR so every time my "Hobby funds" balance gets up to something reasonable, it disappears with the purchase of some new "gotta have" accessory for my camera.

Right now, there are a few model kits I'd love to have, and none of them are terribly expensive, but I can't afford them. An air compressor is unlikely as long as the current one continues to work. And it does. Still, one to add to the wish list.

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Well, just give it a couple years, and your son might find all sorts of interest in models himself. Not saying it will happen, but if you get them started early, you'll have a partner in your craft before long. Maybe the quickest way to distract/instruct him would be getting him something to work on himself while you work. :)

I was one of those oddball kids who never stuck anything in my mouth, so I was getting into things like models and Legos around age 4. Didn't get to painting or gluing anything myself for years, but I had a blast just rubber-banding my dad's 1/48 kits together. Some time around age 5, I started building those old Monogram/Revell snap kits. My dad would clip the parts off for me (or I'd just snap them off the sprue myself), and I'd go at it while he sanded and painted his own stuff.

I may have broken something along the way, but the early education in taking care of delicate things definitely played a role in how long my childhood toys lasted... I mean, most of what I played with as a kid is still boxed up in my parents' house. :lol:

Edited by Chronocidal
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That's awesome! My childhood wasn't terribly different. I didnt do the everything goes in thing either. My parents tell me I was into puzzles at a very young age. Then it was Lego. I never had duplo but I can't remember how old I was when I started with Lego. Maybe 5? At any rate, I played with those all through childhood and right into my 20s even! But my main "toy" was always transformers (well until the build quality got so bad I couldn't justify the cost anymore - might've been 10, so late '80s is when that stopped).

What were we talking about again? :p

Oh yes, early childhood development and my own son...

My first model kits were done on my own. I recall a b-24 kit as a Christmas gift that i managed to assemble (but not paint) before a cousin probably destroyed it. There would have been a few others I built too. But the first kit I remember assembling with my dad was a double kit of the F-15 and MiG-25. Some sort of air superiority kit from one of the big model companies. Couldn't tell you what brand it was or even the scale. But they we're definitely fond memories and ones I'd love to make with my son someday. I was probably 9 so there's a bit of time to get started early.

I just mentioned to my wife earlier that I wished I'd bought him a 1:144 something that he could build alongside me. She just rolled we eyes and said something about him breaking it. She's not a keen supporter of the hobby. Thinks it's silly to build something you just look at. So getting her on board would be nice.

Edited by mickyg
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I hate posting on my iPhone! You go back and find all these ridiculously misspelled or just wrong words. And you get one edit it would appear.

Benson, not sure that comment about us being literate applies to me today!

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If you want to start him early, I know that I got one of the 1/200 Monogram snap-tite Space Shuttles around age 5, and that was a good intro. These days they even put stickers instead of actual decals, so you can pretty much cut loose the pieces, and let them run wild. I'd say Legos are a better starting point though, since those are an easier intro to things like step-by-step instructions.

Anyway, I need to get my kits restarted, they've been sitting too long. :lol: I've got an old A-4E kit that's just begging for some Blue Angels markings, but I might have to make my own.

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