It’s airbrush time! Long awaited, but finally here! As I mentioned before in the previous chapters, I wanted to depict the box art version for my model.
After staring at photos and corresponding with some friend -modelers from Belgium, I did not get any wiser about the NATO colors. Some photos of Belgian F-84Fs had dissimilar tints of grays and greens than others when several if not all planes went thru maintenance a few times and got a new paintjob or touch-up with slightly different shades of the same FS.
Then there is “weather fading”, flight wear and tear and sun spoil (from the few days a year the sun actually shines in Belgium). All these factors play a big role in the life of a factory new color scheme.
Since I opted for the Belgian demo and show Thunderstreak I concentrated on those photos and tried to match the colors as close as possible. Since I like Vallejo acrylics and am very familiar with the brand, I selected about 6 numbers that I thought would do the trick by mixing and matching what I deemed somewhat “correct” for my project.
But before I could load my gun with paint pellets, there is the dreaded task of canopy masking. For that I used model masking tape but regular painters making tape will work just as fine. I placed the tape somewhat nonchalantly, trying to match up at least one edge of the canopy.
Then I “pushed” it into the corners of the edges with the back of a scalpel blade until I obtained a crisp crease line that the sharp end of my blade could line up with. Then slowly and gently, I started to cut following the edge of the canopy.
Once that was done, I glued the canopy pieces in place. If you decide to close the canopy like I did, make sure that all seams are “air tight”. Nothing is more catastrophic when the spray of your paint gets somewhere through the cracks and dust the interior. Or worse, the inside of the canopy!
I contemplated of leaving the canopy off until after the airbrushing but then you run the risk of not being able to line up the clear pieces without blemishing the paint and or spilling glue. Again, this is only when you choose to close the canopy completely.
Other than that, we are ready! Next time, I will have some data on the paint mix and application of paint and decals. We’re almost there! Don’t go away!
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