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1/72 Hasegawa VF-0S Step-by-step...


wm cheng
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Here's a close up of the rubber pad again with lots of water I gently sand the seam away. (Okay, I've been caught, the red sandpaper is not from the Tamiya pack, its actually a much coarser one around 600 girt :p - I was lazy and started out really coarse (this lessens the time required to eliminate the seam)) but if you're not careful you can put some deep scratches into the clear canopy.

I've been doing this so often I kind of have a feel for how gentle to go - so I do not recommend using this coarse of grit unless you know what you are doing. I would recommend starting out with the Tamiya stuff at 1200 grit. It just means you sand a bit longer and lots of water. You want the fine particles of plastic to be constantly flushed away by the water.

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This is what it looks like after the 600 grit sanding, no seam, but a foggy fuzzy patch - don't worry, as you work up the grade of sandpaper the fogginess will start to become more translucent. Work you way up through the grades to 2000 grit. Remember the key here is gentle and keep the paper wet/moist.

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This is a good test, I would take the canopy and turn it up side down, and dunk it into some water. Here you see the fogginess of the sanding (only on the outside - luckily there is no seam on the inside of the canopy)

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Here you can see where the water hits the canopy, it completely fills in all the microscopic scratches that the 2000 grit paper made and it becomes completely clear again. Now at this point, if you still see any scratches underwater, then you should go back and go through the sandpaper grades again and work your way up to the 2000 grit paper to remove those scatches. If you can see something underwater, then even the coat of future later will not be able to hide such a deep scratch in the surface of the plastic.

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This next step is often skipped by some of the more experienced modellers out there - but I always follow this one step further and would recommend it too anyone who ask my opinion. If the water test shows a clear canopy, one can just take it out, dry it and dunk it into future floorpolish and let it dry - it should dry perfectly (the way it looks underwater). But skipping this step relies on the future filling in all those microscopic scratches that results in the fogginess. What I do, is use Tamiya rubbing/polishing compound. It looks like toothpaste, and I just squirt some onto the canopy and take a paper towel and rub/polish it down with this compound.

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Here's a shot with the paper towel while I'm polishing it, you can see that if gives the overall piece a nice shine, it can take out some minor scuffing of the part while it was in the box shifting around.

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Here is the piece perfect before the future floor polish dunk. You can see that some compound got trapped in the recessed line of the canopy frame, just take some water and a gentle toothbrush and you can get that out. I like this extra step because it allows you too check (in a dry state) that you did indeed take all the scratches out. This is not a long process, it took me 5-10 minutes from beginning to end (but I've been doing this for a while now :D but I wouldn't spend more than 30min on it - then you're just being too precious :lol: )

This is a great way to remove any scratches, paint, spilt glue (as long as the damage isn't too deep) or solvent fingerprints on clear canopies. Its restored canopies that have fogged due to excess crazy glue as well.

Argh! I just noticed that the forward windscreen also has a seam - oh, well just rinse and repeat! :p

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I then drilled a small pilot hole and epoxied the metal rod (paper clip) in place. My biggest worry is that there isn't enough surface area for the epoxy to make a strong bond with the metal rod, there will be a lot of torque at this little point. We'll see in 5 minutes :p

Meanwhile, I'll decal up the pilot and control panels.

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Lookin' nice! Btw, can you go further as to how you decal the pilot and the control panels, where you get the decals for them? Also, I found a Testors spray system set in a local store here and I was wondering, do recommend that if for now I don't want to invest on an airbrush system? Here's an example of what I'm refering to.

Testors Spray System

Edited by Angel's Fury
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I don't know much about that spray system - but like most things, you get what you paid! I'd just hold off and save up for a real airbrush - you won't be sorry.

Here's a shot of the cockpit pieced together for now, I brushed on a flat coat on the pilot and clear gloss coat on his helmut.

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I love the decals that Hasegawa provides, they fit really well, I had to use a bit of MicroSOL decal solvent to get the helmut piece to conform to he curved helmut.

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I used a lot of MicroSOL decal solvent for the forward control panel so that it would lie tight against the raised details. I might dab a bit of Tamiya smoke over the CRT displays, they are a bit bright. I love the fact that Hasegawa even provided a HUD display decal!! I brushed on future over top of the decal after it was dried.

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Well on to the seats, I looked around for a suitable diameter wire for the overhead emergency pull handles. This was the closest I could find. Its some spare electrical wiring I had lying around, which I'll strip and use just the inside solid core.

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I drilled two little pilot holes to locate the wire with a small pin vise. This is my first attempt at it - its too big. Unfortunately the diameter of the wire is a bit big also, but my next guage down was too fine - and I don't want to go out to just buy a new diameter wire for this - I'll play with bending the wires smaller.

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I got took a screen capture of this shot - it shows that the handles are not circular like the F-14s, they are angular.

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Here's a shot with the canopy in place - notice that I bent it into a tighter radius and into an angular triangle shape. I had to make sure that I could still close the canopy.

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Here's a shot with it painted yellow. A usually use a black gundam marker or a fine pigment type pen to draw the black stripes on. On such a small scale 1/72, its best to just draw vertical lines (or as straight of a vertical line as your steady hands will allow :p ). I don't bother with the spiral pattern unless its at least 1/48 scale.

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Now, I wanted to do something about those circular discs near the head rest. The molding didn't come out too sharp - and they seem to be fairly prominent in most of the anime shots and are definetly unique to this plane. Plus the supplied red dot decal by Hasegawa just ain't right - its orange in most of the anime. I decided to use one of these discs that came in a wave option parts that I got from HLJ a long time ago (you can see its the mini U-vernier kit). These guys are great, they are cheap (200 yens or something) and really adds extra detail to the model.

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here they are on a piece of masking tape (so that I don't lose them, they are so small after all) and I painted them with orange.

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I'd thought I start to put some "gak" in the back behind the seat to make it look more technical. Thanks David for the heads up - I will try to restrain myself :p These parts are left over bits from an old 1/48 scale Apache helecopter (monogram I believe) that was being mined for spare parts anyways. (FYI the pilot for the 1/48 Apache makes a really good rebel pilot for the AMT X-Wing with minimal modifications) I tried to keep it to the edges.

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I brush painted them grey to blend into the cockpit - I don't want them to stand out - just a little texture when you're looking directly in. I brushed a little metallic grey over top to pick out some highlights.

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Hmm, it looks like it should work - it makes sense... but unfortunately it doesn't really work. When I try to pivot the canopy down, the metal rod just gets ripped out of the canopy. There isn't enough of a surface for the epoxy to hold onto, and there is just too much torque when the canopy is pivoting. The rod and ball of epoxy just comes off - luckily without damage to the canopy. It can't hinge, but it may be able to be stuck in at an angle for ether open or closed. I am going to try to cut the rod shorter and glue in a piece behind the two sheets that will allow the rod to ether go in straight (closed) or at an angle (open position).

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Angel's Fury: the "sprayers" don't work at all. Trust me. However, I find this very easy:

http://www.testors.com/catalog_item.asp?itemNbr=2207

Also available in a box with a can of propellant from Wal-Mart for $18. Not the 30-40 buck set, this is different (and simpler). Well worth trying out just to see how airbrushes work. Now, due to lack of precise controls it won't be doing free-hand feathered camo or narrow stripes, but if you simply want a nice smooth coat of paint over something, it'll certainly do that well.

The main thing is, being "even more external than an external-mix" airbrush, it's super-easy to clean. Especially with acrylics. The brush itself usually gets nothing on it, it's all in the jars/caps.

I use it basically like I would a good spray-can, but able to use ANY color paint.

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