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Alex last won the day on June 3

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  1. Oh and yes, the pitot tube is half broken off. I'm going to make a better one out of metal. Which I should have just done from the outset.
  2. Decals. Mostly stencils. The black-lettered stencils in the HAF-specific decal sheet are (annoyingly) printed in medium gray, so that the completely disappear on the mid-gray camo color, and are very faint on the other two. Would look nice on a white airframe. So, I mostly went and found the analogous ones from the Z-M set and used those instead (also for red ones, as the Z-M printing was crisper). From the HAF sheet I ended up only using some of the safety markings that are HAF-specific, and of course the 40th anniversary tail art (which was the whole point of this exercise). The the next phase of the saga of this model... It has been my intention to "fade" the red and black text stencils some (I wand then faded, not invisible the way the HAF sheet ones were...) by overpainting with thinned camo colors. I tried a bit of this on the underside, and found that for some (not all, who knows why) of the decals the thin overpainting lightened up the decal film, making it very obvious. Not good. So I stopped, and decided that I needed to move on to the next step, which is a gloss clear acrylic coat (Tamiya). I've done that on the underside, and will do the topsides when that's dry. I will then try another pass at "fading" the stencils in a limited part of the underside of the plane. If my thinned MRP sits OK on top of the Tamiya clear, then I'm good, and will just need to re-clear-coat over it prior to enamel PLW. If it does not look good, then the stencils are staying as they are. We are closing on our new house at the end of November, and as soon as that happens I've got at least 3 months worth of painting, fixing, and remodeling work queued up to do before I can justify spending time on airplane models again. So this bad boy HAS TO be done before then...
  3. Fabulous paint work so far. This is shaping up to be an epic model when completed!
  4. Last update for a while here, as I'm off on a short vacation. Painted the insignia and the red stripe that these planes have across the top of the fuselage (the purpose of which is not entirely clear to me).
  5. Probably not, and I may well do that, as I have some general touchup painting to do anyway.
  6. Yes, and I'm still not sure that they are exactly right. If you look at this shot in good direct sunlight, I think the blue still ought to be lighter and "bluer" - I could have added some white to it as well. Live and learn.
  7. Base camo layer is complete. It's not amazingly good by any stretch, and it took a long time and several rounds of touch-ups to get even to this point. But, it definitely retains the subtle tonal variation that the black-base method is supposed to produce. I think what will (hopefully) save it is that I'm going to do quite a bit of weathering over the top, so some of the flaws will tend to get hidden. One learning from the process is that I seriously over-bought paint. Thinking that MRP tends to go quickly since you use it undiluted, I bought two bottles of each of the main camo colors. Ended up using less than half a bottle of each. Fortunately the grays at least are pretty common FS code camo colors, so I'll end up using them on other projects. Also on the paint front, I did end up adding some blue tint (in the form of MRP French Blue) to the blue camo shade. Even with the addition I think it barely looks as blue as the photos of the actual planes do. So I'm glad I tweaked it.
  8. Looking forward to following this project! I’m a big fan of what ICM has been doing lately. The unique subject just adds icing to the cake.
  9. I’m really tempted to try out that Tamiya kit once I’m done with my Z-M Phantom. This is probably how the Phantom obsession starts…
  10. Light gray first Topsides One disturbing thing about this method is the oily snail tracks that the Blu-tack snakes leave behind. Fortunately they come right off with Goo Gone I am being careful to wipe off the Goo Gone with a clean, dry tissue and then wipe down with a wet tissue to pick up any Goo Gone residue. Really don't need anything interfering with paint adhesion now. I'm going to let this all harden off for a few hours then at least make a start on the blue tonight.
  11. Pretty in Black Started with mottling on the bottom. Partway through the top - this required lots of focus, and I think I probably should have used more diluted paint than my normal mix. Live and learn. Done. There are two small patches where I slipped and got too much paint on. They'll need judicious sanding. Otherwise I think it went OK for my first attempt at this method.
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