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  1. Like
    MarioS got a reaction from MARU5137 in Tamiya F-15C Kicked Up A Notch- Dec 1/17: DONE!   
    Very amazing detailed painting their Chuck as everyone's mentioned above.
    I've been watching these emails come in my phone all day, I've got about 20 or so just from “Kicked Up A Notch†and have just had a chance now to have a look at my computer… nice.
    Plus, as you've mentioned the detail under that paintwork does stand out especially now with those bigger photos you've showing.
  2. Like
    MarioS reacted to chuck540z3 in Tamiya F-15C Kicked Up A Notch- Dec 1/17: DONE!   
    With some pre-planning and sanding, the gun door fits very well.

    I placed some fine brass mesh on the inside of the vent before painting.

    Although I can now finally see the light at the end of the tunnel of this project, I still have a lot of work to do.  Next up will be the painting of the rear titanium panels, the wing pylons and other stuff that hangs underneath and of course decaling.  I just noticed that I now have 56 followers, so thank you for your continued interest- and patience- in this long, long build!
  3. Like
    MarioS reacted to chuck540z3 in Tamiya F-15C Kicked Up A Notch- Dec 1/17: DONE!   
    You stuff the model into the plastic bag and cut slits where you need to paint, further masking off the edges of the bag.  Seal the bag carefully, otherwise you can create a wind tunnel within causing all sorts of overspray within the bag.

    This shows the overspray on the outside of the bag-  where it belongs!

    This painting process can take several different iterations to get all the small details painted properly.  I'll be doing another round when I paint the titanium panels at the rear later.

    The Results!  I still have more details to paint like the flare and chaff dispensers, etc., but this shows how smooth the paint is before further sanding and gloss coat.  Some of the rivet detail was redone to bring it back, but about 90% of this fine detail is untouched.  The colors do not photograph very accurately, but to the naked eye they look very close to the real deal.  For instance, the dark blue looks lighter than it really should due to light reflection off the smooth surface.


    Minute details still show through





  4. Like
    MarioS reacted to chuck540z3 in Tamiya F-15C Kicked Up A Notch- Dec 1/17: DONE!   
    Alright Already!  
    July 10/17
    Hi Guys,
    Thank you all very much for your kind encouragement.
    After about a month since my last update- and 15 months since I started this model, I have a big update today, with the majority of the camo-painting finished.  This took much longer than I anticipated, with at least 40-50 trips to my paint booth (I'm not kidding), mostly for touch-ups. Thankfully I have generated a pretty efficient routine of painting and air brush clean-up that can take as little as 5 minutes, otherwise this painting phase would be torture.
    Before I start, as I have read about many times here in the last few days, I am also trying another photo hosting site other than Photobucket.  Like most of you, I have had many issues with PB over the years and I have stuck with it, mostly because I hate change and with a little fighting, I could achieve more or less what I wanted.  The maximum size of 1024 pixels across has been my biggest gripe since almost everyone has big monitors these days, but PB has been getting slower and slower over the years and I often lose what I have recently uploaded and I have to hunt around to find my pics.  What is really frustrating is that I have always been a paying customer in order to minimize pop-up ads, so I have a right to complain.  Apparently I'm one of the “lucky†ones since I was paying $30/yr, so my image hosting is safe until December, 2018, when they plan on jacking up my fees to $72/yr (Plus 50 Plan).  Not going to happen.   If PB worked OK I might consider it, but it is already inferior to the free sites, so why pay for crap?  Anyway, I'm trying “ImageShack†right now which costs about $40/yr, which has the look and feel of PB years ago when it worked properly, so let's see how it goes with up to 1,600 pixels wide, which is the size I always create after editing.  Yes, I tried “imgurâ€, which is free but I find clunky and “Smugmugâ€, which is a bit complicated and is meant more for pro photographers.
    Here's a last minute item that is often missed:  Navigation lights.  I have found that most of the clear plastic lights that come with kits don't fit very well, which is likely why many finished models have clunky lights on them.  Nobody wants to sand a nicely painted wing to accommodate a last minute kit item like a light, so it's better to fit them now before painting.  With a sanding stick and some dry fitting, I got them to fit fairly well so that they will be easy drop-ins later.


    Before I did any painting I did a little research on two key things: 
    1.  What is the camo pattern exactly and how is it applied?
    2.  What are the exact colors?
    For #1, I have at least 200 pics of Aggressor Eagles, most of which I took myself.  I was surprised to find that the overall camo pattern is “standard†for all of them, with subtle changes to demarcation lines, especially on the vertical stabilizers.  For my subject, AF 80-0010, I was having some difficulty connecting the demarcation lines from pic to pic until I realized that this jet was re-painted at least once, so the camo pattern was different, depending on the year of the pic, much like the antennae top and bottom that changed over time.  I also found that the paint was clearly applied “free-handâ€, with lots of fuzz of overlapping paint and fairly choppy outlines.  Once I discovered this, I chose the paint patterns I liked the most, combined with a few personal tweaks that made painting a bit easier.
    Number #2 was much more complicated.  The two key colors are FS 35109 for the dark blue, which Model Master makes (# 2031) and FS 35450 for the light blue, which MM does not make, nor does most of the other paint manufacturers.  Some decal instructions call for MM #2131, which is USSR Flanker Med. Blue, which is wrong with a greenish tinge, but it's a good start to mix from.  After a lot of trial and error and comparing my results to my pics of the real deal, I came up with the following formulae that I finally used on my model.  Note that I used a LOT of flat white, otherwise the colors were way too intense.  For reference, 4X and 3X means 4 parts of one color and 3 parts of another.  Also, the Grey is for the leading edges of the control surfaces and the fuel tanks, which is a standard modern F-15 color:
    Radome         FS 36176         Dark F-15 Grey           2036   8X
                           FS 37925         Flat White                   2142   1X
    Dark Blue       FS 35109         Blue                             2031   5X
                           FS 37925         Flat White                   2142   3X
    Light Blue      (FS 35450)       Flanker Med. Blue       2131   6X
                           FS35183          Bright Blue                  2032   1X
                           FS37925          Flat White                   2142   4X
    Grey               FS36251          Navy Agg. Grey          1794   8X
                           FS 37925         Flat White                   2142  1X
    If you mix your colors like I did above, make sure to make extra paint, because you might not be able to match it later for touch-ups. 
    Here's a few reference shots to show you how the jets are painted and what the various colors look like in real life.





    Now some pics of the painting procedure.  Please excuse the cluttered background which are parts of my small photo-booth that has worked very well so far for part assemblies under 12â€.  At 24â€, this Big Bird has grown out of its photographic nest!  Getting the white balance and colors correct was tricky too.
    Since the demarcation lines are a bit fuzzy, I used the old poster putty trick to form the lines and allow the paint to be slightly dispersed along the boundaries.  First I sprayed the light blue, with no masking of the dark blue areas since overspray can be easily removed with solvent.

    This was followed by the dark blue, where I did mask off the light blue to avoid overspray.   While some might spray the entire model light blue then just spray dark blue over the light blue where required, I wanted to avoid paint build up.  Each color took two coats of paint thinned more than normal, to lay down flat, wet and avoid “orange peel†lumping.

    After many, many back and forth trips to the paint booth to fix demarcation lines, overspray and other imperfections, I used another old modeling trick to paint the details:  Kitchen trash bag masking.  After masking off the areas you want painted….

  5. Like
    MarioS got a reaction from mpk in Alternatives for Photobucket   
    Ok, so when you say you've been setting up galleries I guess you're meaning you've got the main album as for example F-15 and then within that you got multiple albums for different categories for example 1 for your own photos and 1 for your build photos and 1 more for your reference photos that you're using on the forum is that what you can do?
      See with Imgur you can't do that you've got to have a different album for everything on the main page which becomes pretty busy and cluttered.  If U put everything there you could end up having hundreds of albums all on the main page
  6. Like
    MarioS reacted to mpk in Alternatives for Photobucket   
    I have been setting up galleries within Imageshack all day. It's very easy.
  7. Like
    MarioS got a reaction from mpk in Alternatives for Photobucket   
    Hey Brian,
    Nice setup you got there at Smugmug, I clicked on your link a few hours ago and it took me to your front page but have you done anything to it since then? because I've just tried to click on it again and now it's telling me Page Not Found
    I've been using Imgur for the last 6 months and one thing I don't like about it is you can't do albums within an album so I was wondering can you with Smugmug or Imageshack as you can with PB
  8. Like
    MarioS got a reaction from Uncarina in Trumpeter 1/32 MiG-29A - first Pics   
    Can't wait till this great looking aircraft comes out; I've put one on order at Hannants some time ago when they first listed it. There are so many great looking schemes out there that I may need (want) to buy two, as Zero77 said.
    Looking forward to having a look at (and buy) this new Caracal Models 1/32 MiG-29 sheet.
    But what I wouldn't mind is the opportunity also to do it in a Slovak Air Force scheme. I would have to say this is one of the best looking MiG's out there.
    Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think there's a 1/32 scale decals sheet for these markings. What a great opportunity for a decal company maybe Caracal Models to tackle it (Yes?), a decal sheet for the digital camo plus the tiger's head and with alternative option to do a Peel Away Stencil sheet for the camo if you choose to want to paint it on, I'll buy one! (or two).


  9. Like
    MarioS got a reaction from chuck540z3 in Tamiya F-15C Kicked Up A Notch- Dec 1/17: DONE!   
    Great Execution on the gun barrel, Chuck
    Looking Good!
  10. Like
    MarioS reacted to Marcel111 in F-16A & F-16C Aggressor Double Build - The Double is Done!   
    Here is the opening of my next project: An F-16 Aggressor double-build. Here are the subjects I will create
    F-16A NSAWC in blue/gray camo

    (Image labelled for noncommercial reuse)
    I will be building a pretty current-state version of "55".
    F-16C Alaska Aggressor in gray/black splinter camo

    (Image labelled for noncommercial reuse)
    Kits and AM stuff to me used:
    · Tamiya F-16C Block 32 (the Thunderbirds kit)
    · Tamiya F-16C Block 50 intake sprue
    · Aires GE Exhaust
    · Avionix Block 30 cockpit (the Aires cockpit is badly wrong)
    · Crossdelta stiffener plates
    · Two Bobs Alaska Aggressors decal sheet
    My strategy is to build both kits in parallel from tip through exhaust, including cockpit, but stop the parallel action before assembling wings and vertical tail. At that point I may focus on the one airframe, all the while doing bits and pieces for the other where it makes sense (e.g. I will build all ACMI pods together).
    Hope to have you along for the ride!
  11. Like
    MarioS got a reaction from paul fisher in 1/32 A-10 Forward Fuselage   
    No problem Paul please take your time when you can get around to it that be great a few more months is not gonna make a difference I mean we've been waiting 16 years without a A-10 forward fuselage Fix 
  12. Like
    MarioS reacted to paul fisher in 1/32 A-10 Forward Fuselage   
    Hi Folks! Please, I am thrilled  that the A-10 project has such great support, but I have a project I must finish first :

  13. Like
    MarioS reacted to Marcel111 in F-4S, VMFA-112, Heater-Ferris Scheme - Final Pics Coming Through...   
    She is done! Must say I am pleased with the result, it's one of the better models in my display cabinet.
    I snapped a few pics this afternoon, will take some better pics in the next few days.


    Yeah, I really do like how those rockets turned out...


    I haven't shown a whole lot of detail work. I did that in my last Phantom build (Chico over on ARC), plus there are some great detail threads out there already, Like Chuck's F-4E on ARC. But I did add quite a few bits and pieces, here is the helmet-mounted cueing system.

    There's the map. You can also see the cueing system through the front canopy glass.


    Note that small pipe on the intake sidewall.


    Last action of the build was to affix the small blade antenna on the spine (scratched from plastic card).

    Rear-end details...

    Tank fins fixed to those fold-out thingies...

    More to follow.
  14. Like
    MarioS reacted to Lucio Martino in Tamiya F-15C Kicked Up A Notch- Dec 1/17: DONE!   
    "I have no more parts"
    It was about six year ago that I read this sentence. Times fly. That day, browsing ARC Forums, I found your Hornet. I was very impressed by your skills. But in my over thirty years of love for our hobby I never thought of ending a build with these words.
    How many of us can say the same?
    Since that moment, checking your in-progress work has become one of the sweetest moment of my evenings.
    Of all your build, the one I like the best is your Phantom. There was a special kind of magic. Something ever un-matched by any other in-progress work in any other forum. Maybe it was so because a Phantom is always a Phantom. Maybe it was so because of the interaction with Scott Wilson.
    The build that I like the less is your Thunderbolt. It has been an amazing effort. I learned a lot. But, at the same time, it was an exercise in willpower. No joy. Often I thougth you would lose your enthusiasm and leave the hobby.
    And then the Eagle. Well, for me, your Eagle build is another fabulous journey. Once again, nobody shares our hobby like you do. Your pictures, and your posts are always very well written.
    So, please keep us posted. Does not matter if you not have a big update. At this point your are family. It will always a pleasure to take a look at your work (and at your travels). It is always a pleasure to read your posts.
    (Apologies for my English)
  15. Like
    MarioS reacted to Marcel111 in F-4S, VMFA-112, Heater-Ferris Scheme - Final Pics Coming Through...   
    I spent quite a bit of time redoing the windscreen and canopy framing... not sure how realistic to this particular F-4 that really is but with the Tamiya clear parts being glued onto the framing without consideration of the cleanup and glue, I have had to do this on both my Chico and now this build. The seats are also in (already built these back when I did my Chico build).
    Under magnification:

    View from top:


    Overall view:

    Happy Friday guys!
  16. Like
    MarioS got a reaction from Marcel111 in F-4S, VMFA-112, Heater-Ferris Scheme - Final Pics Coming Through...   
    Yes I agree great looking plane and nice build as well that you've got there, and I like that paint scheme you've picked plus that map; centre of attention when you look in the cockpit... Love It!
  17. Like
    MarioS reacted to Marcel111 in F-4S, VMFA-112, Heater-Ferris Scheme - Final Pics Coming Through...   
    Thanks guys! Hardly getting any modelling time in, life is just too busy. 
    Have made some progress though, the most noteworthy of which is getting the J-79s in. A pretty nerve-wracking procedure imo, the exhausts need to be placed perfectly without scratching the nice Alclad finish and most importantly, with the constant risk of the nozzles breaking from the afterburner sections as they are prodded to fit. And of course there should be (virtually) no gaps at the exhaust/airframe interface. Fortunately, these Sierra Hotel resin beauties are perfectly made, the fit is just spot-on.

    And symmetrical too...

    Note heat-discoloration of probe...


    If you are wondering what that thing is to the upper left of the above pic, here is a close-up:

    I really don't like the way my rear IP turned out so I am fiddling around with strategically placing a map.
  18. Like
    MarioS got a reaction from chuck540z3 in Tamiya F-15C Kicked Up A Notch- Dec 1/17: DONE!   
    I'll second that, amazing and INCREDIBLE work you're doing there chuck your OCD is definitely getting worse on every build you do 
    In another words the models are getting better and better
  19. Like
    MarioS reacted to chuck540z3 in Tamiya F-15C Kicked Up A Notch- Dec 1/17: DONE!   
    April 28/17
    Continuing with my OCD attention to the detail of the vertical stabs  , I have finally finished them.  I am REALLY glad that I did this earlier than normal, because the sanding and modifications required me to flip the model over and over and if the front fuselage and other stuff was attached already as per the instructions, it would have been a real struggle and I likely would have broken something.
    Adding to the pics of the real deal I have already shown above, here are a few more details that may be missed.
    There is a reinforcement strap on the tail booms of almost every F-15C I can find.  Curiously, my jet doesn't have it (yet) in the pics I took years ago, but since most do and I find it interesting, I want to add them.

    Here is the biggest flaw with the kit vertical stabs.  The seam line is set way too low and the real panel line above it is very subtle.  VERY few builds of this kit have corrected this error, because I can't find one that did.

    A close-up of the rear reveals a tab on the rear panel that has 2 rows of rivets at the bottom of the tab.

    The inside of the stab to fuselage join, shows a definite panel line.  After all, this is the area where the titanium panels are.  Within the titanium panels at the rear, a small panel is almost always painted, like this pic of my jet.  Another detail often missed....

    Here is where I left off several days ago.

    Today, after a TON of work and sanding!  Again, all filler is clear CA glue, so the join can still be seen before painting.

    Note the Archer resin rivets are not spaced evenly, because the real deal aren't either.  Likely a model contest deduction? 

    Every square inch of this model is sanded smooth with 1,000 grit sandpaper.  Kit plastic often looks smooth enough, but it is rarely smooth enough for a flawless paint job later, especially if you're spraying Alclad.

    After sanding, the plastic should shine like it was already sprayed with something.

    One very important thing that I forgot to mention earlier, is to sand the trailing edges of the wings, ailerons, stabilators, vertical stabs and rudders to a very thin edge.  It's hard to get them thin enough to look like the real deal, because the plastic would be too fragile, but you can get them pretty close.

    That's it for now boys.  Next up will be the attachment of the front fuselage, so the end of this build is finally within sight!
  20. Like
    MarioS reacted to Mark Jackson in 1/32 F/A-18C fully armed   
    Go on then - ask what "Swished" is.  
  21. Like
    MarioS reacted to Mark Jackson in 1/32 F/A-18C fully armed   
    I've decided to start another big Hornet from Academy which is a quality kit which you can have faith in.  No open panels or bays, just armed to the teeth.  

    I've built several Hornets over the years and every time you open the box you can't help but feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of parts - the sprues just keep going on and on.  I work by removing all the parts that I can and store them either in the main box or plastic craft boxes.  Some parts I leave on the sprue so I can identify the number; some of the landing gear parts definitely need to be kept like this until assembly. 

    When you work like this you are left with just the parts that you actually need and the build seems far less daunting.  There are several large sprues containing unused weapons which have been stored for spares.

    The only after-market parts that will be used are the Eduard exterior fret, canopy mask, Eagle Strike decals and an Aires resin SJU-5/6 seat as this Hornet will be an early block "C".

  22. Like
    MarioS got a reaction from ClumsyDude in RAAF 20th anniversary hornet - the perils of polishing 23/12   
    That's looking good Jim,
    How appropriate you got your flags down just in time for Anzac day tomorrow I must say 10 out of 10 this Aussie Hornet is really going to look good when you've finished it!
  23. Like
    MarioS reacted to ClumsyDude in RAAF 20th anniversary hornet - the perils of polishing 23/12   
    And so the touch up process begins. I am now through 5-6 or my 9 masks on each side ... with probably another 4-5 touch up sessions to go on each tail.
    First, a couple of sets of blue touch ups ...

    Then touching up the red:

    And this morning, the first touch up on the white. I have only done it on the one you can see on the right, and only on the words ... much more to go. But, starting to look like it should ... in another month I reckon I'll be there!

    Thanks for following.
    PS does it make me crazy that I think this is better than decals? I do have decals in the stash for this bird ...
  24. Like
    MarioS got a reaction from Uncarina in A thread for posting images of beautiful aeroplanes.   
    Great thread Dale and also great bunch of planes/photos here; one of my favourites is the B-17.
    Here's my contribution some old, some new, some painted and some mine.
    Another old favourite is the F-14 one of the photos that I've put up here, there are so many photos on the net but I think this one says it all just Can't Stop Looking At It

  25. Like
    MarioS reacted to chuck540z3 in Tamiya F-15C Kicked Up A Notch- Dec 1/17: DONE!   
    Hi Buddy,
    Most sewing needles are admittedly too narrow and sharp, but if you go to a sewing store (my wife is a big time quilter), you can find almost any type of needle you want. I use a fat needle with a shallow taper, which creates the initial perforation and then I can control the width of the rivet detail based upon the depth of the needle penetration. I hope this makes sense.
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