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chuck540z3 last won the day on June 5

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About chuck540z3

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 08/18/1954

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    Calgary, Alberta

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  1. June 18/19 Finally, I’m really painting. A first coat of paint reveals flaws and with gloss black, they are amplified at least 3 times over a flat finish. I always start painting on the bottom, just in case I have airbrush or paint issues, but in this case, Tamiya Gloss Black lacquer (TS-14) sprayed beautifully. This paint was decanted from the rattle can then thinned with about 40% of Tamiya lacquer thinner. I expected a few flaws underneath, because this is where the kit parts do not fit very well, but I did not expect to still see so many seam lines and other flaws. The rear, however, came out looking great. With that shiny coat of X-22 over the Archer rivets, it almost looks like metal already with the smooth reflection. Back to the drawing board….. And another coat of paint. Much better now. A close up to show that those seams lines are now filled and other flaws repaired. There are so many surfaces that from this angle, it almost looks wrinkled. In the background, I’ve been busy cleaning up, assembling and painting other parts that will be attached later for ease of handling. The landing gear, doors and hardware are ready for final assembly. And here’s my first shot at painting the exhausts, which have gone from this: To this, using Alclad Stainless Steel. For the inside, I used Alclad Steel, followed by a dusting of rust to replicate reference pics. Although I’m getting near the end of this build, I still have a lot to do. Missiles, the main fuel tank and dozens of tiny bits still need to be attended to. I’m a bit nervous about decaling, because I normally shoot a good sealing coat of X-22 over the decals to seal them in and reduce decal film edges. On this nice gloss black finish, X-22 might make the finish look too artificial. I guess time will tell! Cheers, Chuck
  2. Super sweet precision. It must be fun creating the polished metal look with real metal and I note that you must be buffing it between steps. Awesome. Cheers, Chuck
  3. Again, as many others have said, I'm not sure which pic is your model or the real deal. Superb modeling as always Peter. Cheers, Chuck
  4. Hi Paulo, My F-15C coincidentally came in second to a very nice F-15I built by a very friendly guy who introduced himself as Yuri, who apparently follows my builds and knows about all of them. Now THAT was Gold to me! Congrats again Yuri if you read this post. As an aside, Fine Scale Modeler will be publishing the F-15C build in a book or special issue this fall, while I think the Spitfire will be in a regular magazine issue about the same time. Back to the current build. I’m getting really excited because I’m going to be painting soon. Painting the sub assemblies is re-teaching me how to paint Gloss Black. Have a super smooth finish to begin with and expect lots of crap to stick to the paint, which is very frustrating no matter what I do to avoid it. Glossy finishes create static electricity, which attract anything in the air, especially in our dry climate. I also just painted the landing gear. For all the pain of this kit, the landing gear is superb, with the usual pin mark and seam issues. Cheers, Chuck
  5. Thank you. You can do an entire model with these rivets, but I would recommend filling the “divots” first, for two reasons. First, you want a smooth surface underneath the rivet to adhere to and second, you can place rivets wherever you want without the need to cover the existing ones like I did. I used them extensively on my A-10C build shown above and they really look the part, but they also take many, many hours to apply then seal to hide the carrier film. If you want to improve the kit and create something unique, I’d say go for it! Cheers, Chuck
  6. June 8/19 A good modeling day, as you will soon see. As I hit the backstretch of this build, there’s lots of picky small parts to deal with, so it’s time to get them out of the way. In almost all of the pics I have of my subject, the landing gear doors and air brakes are in the closed position, so it’s very tempting to leave them that way, creating less work. Other references, however, show these doors open when on the ground, other than the front gear door which is almost always closed. I decided to let the kit parts tell me what to do, which turned out to be fairly easy. Despite all the shortcoming of this kit, the landing gear, gear wells and gear doors are excellent with a lot of interesting fine detail, so I’m leaving them open. Unfortunately, there are a lot of pin marks to deal with, which are fairly easy to fix most of the time, but when they are in a tight recessed area and raised, they can be a real paint to fix. Case in point, the air brakes. How the heck do you get rid of that!? Even the outside of the brake on the right has sink marks that need to be smoothed out. Using a Dremel tool with dental burr, I ground the raised pin mark down, then filled the recesses with putty and tried to sand them down the best I could in such a small space. This is never smooth, so I used an old trick I’ve been using for years, by filling the recess with Future/Pledge as a micro-filler that you don’t need to sand later, to smooth things out. The outside of the brake was sanded down to remove the sink marks, then the rivets were re-punched. After painting, it looks much better. The top pin mark is not as sharp due to all the commotion in that small area, but you will likely not see it on the finished model. Now a bit of a screw-up. Reviewing some tips given in the SIG on LSP, I was certain that my subject didn’t have chaff/flare dispensers, so I removed the panel detail on the belly earlier. Gear door B21 has more of this same detail to accommodate the dispenser fairing B37 on the left in the pic below, so I removed it as well. As luck would have it, my subject DOES have this chaff/flare dispenser, so I should have left everything alone! Not a big deal I guess, but getting detailed pics of F-5’s from underneath is hard, especially for my particular jet. In any case, we have 3 deep pin marks on the inside part of the door on the right to remove. After. Much better after filling and paint. The main landing gear doors are quite nice, with not much clean-up required. Note that I glued the arms to the landing gear now, to create a stronger bond with less chance of glue marks later. I used the Black Box cockpit canopy rails rather than the kit parts, because they are much more detailed and they have the hinges that connect to the recesses in the cockpit sill. They were painted on the outside first, to ensure sufficient paint on the top of each rail which can be seen through the canopy glass from above. The rear canopy assembly that was assembled earlier is only dry fitted to make sure clearances were OK. The front canopy frame which is brass photo-etch has nothing solid to attach to, so I glued on a thin styrene strip to the canopy, then glued the frame to the inside of the strip with CA glue, trimming the bottom of the PE to accommodate the canopy rails. Both gluing operations are very risky to avoid ruining the clear plastic, so be careful! Note: The mirrors, which are not even on the kit instructions, should be folded twice in a recessed position as shown. Many builds of this kit have them hanging down in a straight line with no bends. There is a large vent on the port side of the canopy that bends inward, which is too small on the Black Box part, so I used the kit version instead. Much better- and that join is real and covered by a junction cover I will add later. Note that I'm using Eduard pre-cut paint masks (JX-221) which fit perfectly. The remainder of the canopy glass will covered later. All this work was done over the last few days, but today I attended the Western Canadian Regional Model Contest, where I entered my 1/32 Spitfire and F-15C Eagle Aggressor. Over 500 models were entered in all sorts of categories, but about 35% or more were aircraft. For some reason that I don’t understand, the Eagle came in second, with a Silver in its Advanced Jet Category, but I learned a long ago that model contests are fickle and outcomes are not always predictable. My Spitfire fared much better among more competition in the Advanced Prop Category, winning Gold and a special award for best Canadian aircraft. Pretty cool and my thanks to the organizers and volunteers who put on this bi-annual event. It’s very rewarding to be recognized by your peers, who understand the challenges of our hobby. Cheers, Chuck
  7. Thanks Paulo. I was going to go with Stainless Steel anyway, but sometimes the rear can look shinier than in the pic above. Here's the general look I'm going to try to replicate, which goes with the very glossy paint finish. I can't wait to start spraying! Cheers, Chuck
  8. One Word: BLOKUS! It's cheap, easy to learn and transport- and is very good at exercising your brain. When on vacation my wife and I play it almost every day and no two games have ever been the same. Just buy it! Blokus at Amazon Cheers, Chuck
  9. Smoking great paint and decal work! Chuck
  10. Thanks Jari. I have lots of pics of F-5's and some of those panel lines are all over the map. Also, the unpainted titanium line usually goes to the front of the vertical double rivets like this Swiss jet. This brings up a good point that I discovered a few months ago when gluing the top to the bottom of the fuselage. The purple panel lines should be deleted, while the blue ones added. Most of the horizontal purple line is the join of the two halves, which is correct aft of the stabilator spindle, but too high towards the front to the diagonal panel line. There's a few other small vertical lines that I can't find on references, so they should be removed as well. Unfortunately, I placed a dark wash in most of them before I filled them with CA glue, so they still show up on my pics above. Cheers, Chuck
  11. Thanks Paulo, One problem with following my work is that summer is here and that's when my modeling mojo is lukewarm to nonexistent, so it could still be months before this jet is finished. Still, I usually do peck away at this and that, so it might be sooner than that. We'll see. As shown above and one more time after a second good coat of X-22, the Archer decal rivets are the ticket to achieve a fairly realistic raised rivet look. After paint and Alclad, this area should look terrific and maybe a focal point of the model. These rivets are just about bullet proof now, so handling is no longer a significant risk to knocking a few of them off. Again, the engine nozzles are only dry fit... Cheers, Chuck
  12. Thank you Paulo for this tip and also for pushing me. The ailerons would still look wrong without your kind input a few weeks ago, so I appreciate any input you can offer. Anything else? This model is now at its long run for completion. Cheers, Chuck
  13. Thanks everyone! Since there seems be some interest in a tutorial on applying Archer Rivets, here’s what I do. First the basics as mentioned above, which are my opinion alone and not necessarily those of others, including Archer. Archer Decal Rivet properties: 1) The wider the decal film, the stronger the chain of rivets, but the higher the chance that it will show under paint, no matter how much decal softener you use. Checking other builds using this product, you will see what I mean. 2) The narrower the decal film, the more fragile the chain of rivets, which often break apart, but it will not show as easily under paint. 3) Rivets applied to curved surfaces should be done in short chains, for ease of handling. 4) Even single rivets can be applied successfully, so if you bump off one or two, repairs are easy. 5) Like most decals, these rivets come off the backing better with very warm water. 6) If you don’t like what you’ve done, the rivets can easily be removed with a finger nail and you can start over. 7) Archer rivets come in many different sizes and spacing, so I like to have a variety of them on hand. 8) The raised rivets are not always perfectly round, but after paint, you’ll never notice the small imperfections. 9) As long as you keep the decal segment wet, you can move it around for a very long time. Even after using Microsol decal softener, you’ve got more time to play with it than a regular decal. 10) These rivets are quite expensive at ~ $22/sheet! Application: 1) The surface should be super smooth and clean of any debris and oil from your skin. 2) Cut a long and thin strip of rivets off the sheet, then into shorter chains to be applied individually. If you’ve got a flat surface free of detail or curves, you can apply segments of an inch or more. Curves and detail require shorter segments. 3) Soak the segment in very warm water like any decal, for at least 5 seconds, then place it next to where you want to apply it for another 30 seconds or more. 4) Using a soft paintbrush, push one edge of the decal film off the backing, let it attach to the surface of the plastic, then push the rest of the decal off the backing. For longer segments, you can push one end off the backing by sliding it in one direction, then grab the backing and pull it off, leaving the entire segment behind on the plastic. If it breaks, don’t worry about it. You’ve got lots of time to get everything back together. 5) Using Microset (or plain water), re-wet the segment so that it floats, then move it into place. Using a paper tissue, pull the water away from the edge of the segment without touching it. 6) When you’re happy with the decal placement, using another soft brush dedicated to decal softener, apply some Microsol in very small dabs to tack it down. If the decal moves, you’ve still got at least 30-40 seconds to move it around without fear of destroying it. 7) For the next decal segment, apply it as above, but somewhere else! If you try to apply the next segment next to the one drying with Microsol, you will likely move it and create a mess. 8) When the first segment has dried a bit (~ 5 minutes), liberally apply more Microsol to it over the entire decal. Unlike regular decals, you can’t wreck it by applying too much softener. 9) In a bit of an assembly-line process, apply new decal segments while applying more Microsol to others, keeping new ones away from old ones. 10) If you knock a single rivet or two off, don’t worry. Just cut off a replacement and apply it in the gap. The strength of the rivet to plastic bond is mostly under the rivet and not beside it. 11) When you are done and everything looks pretty good, add yet another coat of Microsol to everything, all over again. You want to nuke the decal film into oblivion as much as possible. 12) When everything is clean and dry, I like to apply a good coat or two of Tamiya X-22 acrylic clear gloss to seal the rivets to the plastic, but also to smooth out the fine lines of the remaining decal film. I like to use about 2/3’s X-22 and 1/3 Tamiya lacquer thinner, which sprays very fine. Future/Pledge works just as well, but is softer than X-22 and harder to sand later if you have any imperfections. 13) Paint as usual. I use Archer Rivets on just about every one of my builds lately, because there are almost always raised rivets somewhere that are not represented on the kit plastic. Other than the extensive rivet detail on my A-10C above, here's another application of subtle detail on my F-15C Eagle build. Note the Archer rivets on the front of the titanium panels and also reinforcements on the tail booms, according to reference pics I have of the real deal. After paint.... For those interested in buying Archer Rivets, they can be found here, along with a host of other modeling products: Archer Fine Transfers HTH, Chuck
  14. Quick follow up because I just sprayed X-22 on everything to smooth things out. BEFORE: AFTER: I'll let this dry for a few days, sand out the tiny flaws, then give it another coat to create a nice smooth finish for bare metal painting. Cheers, Chuck
  15. May 29/19 After 1 month, I'm finally back with an update. It may not look like much, but this next step took me about 20 hours of picky, detailed work! The engine on the F-5 has a zillion fine rivets, both on the rear nozzles and the titanium panels just forward. This is what it looks like on a Swiss real deal.... There are two types of rear nozzles supplied with the kit. One set has fine recessed rivets and comes in two halves, creating a big seam, while the kit also supplies some one piece resin replacements, which I used. As you can see, they are cast kind of rough, the raised rivets are huge and there's an unfortunate casting block right where you don't want it, on the lip of the nozzle on the right. They also seem to have been cast crooked, but I found that the shallow lip goes on the outside, while the thicker lip goes on the inside. Of course the instructions say nothing about it! Here I have sanded off the monster rivets on the left. The rear of the nozzles should have two thin circles of metal, separated by a gap. To improve this look, I sanded the outside thinner, while carefully sanding the gap within. It's not perfect, but from a few inches away, it looks not bad. The titanium panels just forward of the nozzles have recessed rivets, which look OK, but I can make them better. As mentioned above, I have used Archer resin raised rivets many times before, so I've learned a few things about this great product as follows: 1) The wider the decal film, the stronger the chain of rivets, but the higher the chance that it will show under paint, no matter how much decal softener you use. 2) The narrower the decal film, the more fragile the chain of rivets, which often break apart, but it will not show as easily under paint. 3) Rivets applied to curved surfaces should be done in short chains, for ease of handling. 4) Even single rivets can be applied successfully, so if you bump off one or two, repairs are easy. With the above in mind, I found some Archer rivets that were about the same spacing as the kit rivets, but just slightly larger, so they would still adhere without filling the recessed ones. I found that chains of only 5 worked best, because they were easy to apply, but also compensated for the slight differences in rivet spacing. These are found in #AR 88015, with thin strips of rivets cut as shown. After many, many hours of work, they look pretty good. Not perfect by any means, partly because the kit spacing isn't perfect either, but when these areas are painted the same color, the small imperfections should almost disappear. Engine nozzles and V-shaped antennae on the sides are only dry fitted with masking fluid "glue". Top And don't forget the bottom, because it is covered with raised rivets as well in roughly this pattern from references. I see that I've missed a 3 rivet pattern on the top and bottom of the antennae at the front, so consider that fixed. Next step is to spray these rivets and panels with clear acrylic X-22, to seal them, toughen them and help hide the decal film. After paint, all you should see is raised rivets and no film. On to the fiddly stuff, like landing gear, gear well doors, etc. Not my favorite part of any build, but very important nonetheless. Cheers, Chuck
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