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  1. I love everything you have done there, the difference in realism imho is huge between this finish and a solid block of Alclad colour. We 'weather' normal camo paint so for me the same ideas should apply to bring scale realism. Looking at real NMF F-104 pics, I don't think the grain is very obvious in most photos on the panels compared to other types such as a NMF Mirage III, so not going all out and adding the more prominent scratches all over is the best call. Top work. David
  2. Thanks Chuck for the info! I know what you mean about the HGW rivets. I bought some a few years back (ironically for the prominently raised ones on the F-104's rear exhaust area) and was a little disappointed in how 'shallow' they are, practically as flat as a decal, which for this purpose works perfectly. Having played with them a little bit, getting that many on your F-104 without having obvious rivet gaps where they didn't stick is impressive alone. Spot shooting X-22 over the needed areas sounds like a good idea too, will do! Cheers, David
  3. Just superb Chuck! The rivets are an undoubted success in my book, particularly in how they change appearance upon angle and lighting. How delicate did you go with the application of Microsol on the Alclad/X-22 surface? It looks like the clear barrier did the job perfectly. I'm going to do my Alclad job like this so any info on that is very helpful. Anyhow, what decal film?! I look forward to what magic you will work with these metallic washes . David
  4. Lovely finish Chuck, reassuring now that when you touch the model nothing comes off anymore! Hmm, just spitballing here, would it be possible to airbrush an ultra-thin chrome filter over the near finished model once the decals/washes are on? The aim being to bring back a little bit of the true metallic reflection. I know after trying it you can thin the Alclad High-Shine paints with Gunze Levelling thinner and put on super thin 'metallic filters' (like 95/5 thinner to paint) but I'm not sure how it would go with Tamiya Lacquer thinner, that stuff is hotter than the Gunze levelling thinner. You
  5. Lovely work, the camo looks brilliant! The Astra decals can be a little tricky in places (even if you have a great gloss layer like that), I think I even went with the nuclear option on one or two decals with tiny strokes of Tamiya extra thin to eliminate the silvering. Anyways I look froward to seeing it finished! David
  6. Phwoar, outrageous finish! Well done Chuck, you nailed it! A top effort in getting all the rivets on, better yet, getting them all so well spaced and placed, I admire the patience needed for that and think it goes a long way. I look forward to the next steps. David
  7. Thanks Chuck, if any of it helps I'm happy. Yep, there is not so much difference in shade, I would say the polished aluminium is a bit brighter/whiter, straight out of the bottle a little too much for a model. I've not tested the Gauzy stuff yet, but agreed on when airbrushing a clear, the X-22 is the best all rounder. David
  8. Thanks for posting this info Chuck, a lot of interesting testing there! I've done a big reply here but some testing I have been doing maybe useful and interesting to you below. How old is your bottle of Polished Aluminium (PA)? I ask because these 'High-Shine' types 'go off' after a few years or less and spray less reflective and more granular. I've had to buy 2-3 bottles of PA these last years because of this problem, I find after a year or so they become useless for the highly reflective job. I'm not sure if it's a temp thing as I store my paints also outside in my garage in neg
  9. Thanks guys for the kind words! Taking some life like photos sure helps the models come alive compared to what they look like in reality I assure you! Cheers, David
  10. Superb and equally informative modelling Chuck, that gloss black base is just unbelievable straight out of the AB with no polishing! I've used the 'Hi-Shine' Alclads a few times now and by trail and error I found leaving some for a long cure, over a week or even two, made them much more bullet proof and resistant to masking, no marks whatsoever to which I was pleasantly surprised. Mind, this was with the most durable shades, Polished Aluminium and Polished Steel and over a softer gloss black Humbrol enamel base (the Alclad bonds with the slow curing enamel apparently) and not hard
  11. Excellent update Chuck. The worked panel lines look much better imho and your front canopy fix is the way to go, the additional replaced rivets has made the join look just like the real thing, things to note for my future F-104s there. Thinking back I actually ordered a new canopy sprue from Italeri after cracking mine which IIRC may have been due to 'pinching' it to fit the forward fuselage, they are brittle though these Italeri canopies. The slight ribbed texture on the centre aft panel should come up just right under metallic paint as you say, everything is 10x more obvious.
  12. Beautiful work Fanes, that Baltic weathered finish is incredible! I will try this one my next Starfighter. David
  13. Thank you chaps for the kind words, glad you like them! David
  14. Hi Don, thank you! The Astra decals are super accurate having used them on 4-5 F-104s of various scales now, I could not find a fault in any of them, amazing research and time gone into those, way better in accuracy than the Italeri ones from the box. IIRC they may be a tad bit thicker than some decals and you need a stronger type decal softener to make sure they really bed down into the panel lines. I certainly won't build any German F-104 without them. Thanks Chuck, glad you like them! I have these below on file showing some of the extra details aro
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