So after hearing Chuck and a lot of other modelers talking about Tamiya's X-22 gloss if figured I would give it a try and it's fantastic. I think it's the best I have tried for sure. I used Mr. Color leveling thinner to thin it and I think getting the 50/50 mix correct is important. I thinned it a bit much when painting the bottom which didn't turn out as glossy as the top. I ended up respraying the bottom with the correct mix and all was well.
I also have the F-4 stencils from both AOA Decals and Cam. AOA's decals are by far the most detailed set I have seen on any aircraft. In fact, it's daunting with the amount of stencil required for F-4J. The F-4 had several different ejection seat triangles stencils and the Cam set had the ones that were on my aircraft. I used those and the 'danger' part of the intake decal. It took me a week working a few hours at a time to get this thing stenciled up. My only complaint, and it's a minor one, is that every single stencil marking is a separate decal. There are as much as 7 separate stencil decals on one square inch of the model which added to the time consuming process. Time consuming or not, these are just amazing and a must have if you are doing a F-4B or J. Thanks for making these AOA!
I only have a few old photos of the aircraft I'm building and some of them show a fairly weathered bird. I think because this was on a ship really dirtied it up a bit more than what I saw with other Vietnam era F-4's. Because of that, I'm assuming a lot of the stencils were wore down although it seemed they were still visible on a lot of weathered aircraft. I decided I would use all the stencils provided but sanded them down to give it the worn look. It tool a lot of time to do since you have to go slow and use a soft grit sandpaper so as not to rip them down completely. I think it came out ok for the most part.
I think this angle give you an idea of how smooth and glossy the X-22 is.
Some wing stencils before sanding. P.S. You will notice that there is a crack where the intake meets the airframe . Apparently I didn't get enough superglue there so I had to fix that. Always gotta be something!
After sanding, what do you guys think?
The kit decals were terrible, it was like trying to decal with wax paper they were so thick and would't go down. Even after spraying them with decal sealer they still broke apart a bit. The canopy decals for the names were even worse.
Luckily I was able to save it since this was all I had.
Sorry for the crappy photos guys and I totally forgot to take pics of the bottom. My good camera is down and this thing is so big it's hard to photograph. I forgot to mention that I painted the intake leading edges aluminum. The instructions say red but it looked like metal to me in the limited photos I have, most of which are black and white. I could be totally wrong on this one.
Some of you with a keen eye would notice I changed the tail number from 01 to 02. I was originally going to build 01 but I got confused when I drew the masks and it was a lot easier to change the tail number rather than repaint all the others. Brandon Wood actually caught that little detail! The original 01 aircraft was shot down by a sam missile after it shot down two enemy migs. The pilots had borrowed aircraft 01 so the kill markings were applied to their aircraft 02. Does anyone know if the kill markings were applied while they were deployed or when they returned stateside? Seems I remember reading they were applied while deployed but I can't find the source again.
Thanks for stopping by fellas...