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chuck540z3

Tamiya F-15C Kicked Up A Notch- Dec 1/17: DONE!

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Chuck, what did you use for the wire mesh for the gun vents? I got chicken wire, but its too big compared to what you've got on yours and mine looks out of scale.  Also where can I pick it up/order it from?

 

Thanks 

 

Dan

 

P.S. One of these days I'll get some photos onto imageshack and post em, but I've been following your tips here and its helped a lot, I have some differences (notably riveting the entire fuselage).  Once the gun/bay are done, its a time to sand/smooth all the rivets, add the raised rivets to the vertical stabilizers and couple other spot, a few details here and there, masking, and its ready to prime....but then comes the exhausts and landing gear.

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Chuck, what did you use for the wire mesh for the gun vents? I got chicken wire, but its too big compared to what you've got on yours and mine looks out of scale.  Also where can I pick it up/order it from?

 

Thanks 

 

Dan

 

P.S. One of these days I'll get some photos onto imageshack and post em, but I've been following your tips here and its helped a lot, I have some differences (notably riveting the entire fuselage).  Once the gun/bay are done, its a time to sand/smooth all the rivets, add the raised rivets to the vertical stabilizers and couple other spot, a few details here and there, masking, and its ready to prime....but then comes the exhausts and landing gear.

 

 

Fine brass mesh from either a reusable coffee filter or the mesh sold by The Model Car Garage at the link below.  It's the very same stuff.

 

https://www.modelcargarage.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=54&idcategory=13

 

 

Cheers,

Chuck

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Chuck has generously allowed me to republish his decal tutorial as an article on the website, which is now available at the link below:

 

http://www.largescaleplanes.com/articles/article.php?aid=3241

 

Thanks, Chuck!

 

Kev

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Beautiful work, Chuck!

 

I usually just end up airbrushing the slime lights, I find the decals renditions to be almost always off in color and airbrushing doesn't take all that much longer.

 

Enjoy your vacation,

 

Marcel

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Hi Chuck,

Great tutorial on decaling, very helpful. Just a couple of  questions, do you use the same techniques for applying decals over natural metal finish like on your mustang build or do you do anything different? I've always wondered if the decal film would show up more on NMF builds or not. Do you still put another coat of gloss clear over the decals on NMF builds as well, and then a flat coat?

 

Thanks,

Rick

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Chuck has generously allowed me to republish his decal tutorial as an article on the website, which is now available at the link below:

 

http://www.largescaleplanes.com/articles/article.php?aid=3241

 

Thanks, Chuck!

 

Kev

 

 

Thanks Kev!  It's nice to have this thing archived- and appreciated, since I always forget where I posted past tutorials.

 

 

Hi Chuck,

Great tutorial on decaling, very helpful. Just a couple of  questions, do you use the same techniques for applying decals over natural metal finish like on your mustang build or do you do anything different? I've always wondered if the decal film would show up more on NMF builds or not. Do you still put another coat of gloss clear over the decals on NMF builds as well, and then a flat coat?

 

Thanks,

Rick

 

Thanks Rick.

 

Another good question.  Generally speaking, I try to avoid spraying any clear coat on Alclad metallic finishes, because no matter what you use, a clear coat of any kind will knock down the shine.  That's why this Eagle build has no clear coat on the rear titanium panels.  Small stencils can be applied directly to the Alclad without a clearcoat, but you must use Microsol sparingly.  Some high shine Alclad finishes like Chrome, Polished Aluminum, Airframe Aluminum, etc. are all alcohol based and very fragile, because they don't “bite†the primer coat like the other Alclad lacquer products and decal solutions are not recommended according to the Alclad website.

 

For larger decals you really have no choice but to spray a high gloss clear coat, to achieve the very same thing as a regular paint finish.  While the metallic finish does not need to be shinier than it is already to apply decals, it should be protected, especially if it's a high gloss finish.  The final "spot coat" of clear coat seals the edges of the decals and smooths out the edges, reducing their ability to reflect light.

 

Here are some examples.  For my Mustang build, I was trying to create a war weary fighter that was a bit on the dull side, so the reduction of shine was not a big factor.  For this project I used Alclad's lacquer clear coat, ALC 310.  Avoid the acrylic Alclad Aqua Gloss, ALC 600, because it's crap that is hard to spray and takes a long time to dry.  After the decals were dry, I sealed them in with the clear coat, followed by a dull coat.

 

 

iKm9X7.jpg

 

eFyaQc.jpg

 

 

For my P-38L, I was trying to replicate a museum hanger queen, that was polished and very shiny.  Thanks to a tip from Kevin, I used Tamiya's acrylic X-22, which is now my go-to gloss finish for everything.  It sprays easily with a bit of Tamiya lacquer thinner, dries quickly and also dries very hard. 

 

 

6CWphb.jpg

 

 

There's a fairly wide carrier film behind this big stencil, but you can't see it with a good coat of X-22 sealing in the edges.

 

 

x0jq5c.jpg

 

 

Hope that helps.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

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Very nice Chuck!

 

Great tutorial as well! As you know, I'm terrified of decals - I'll go to all ends to use as few as possible.. always leaning towards painted-on only, BUT Some of your tricks I can definitely use on the few decals i'm forced to use, so thank you!.

 

Justin

Edited by FunkyZeit

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Very nice Chuck!

 

Great tutorial as well! As you know, I'm terrified of decals - I'll go to all ends to use as few as possible.. always leaning towards painted-on only, BUT Some of your tricks I can definitely use on the few decals i'm forced to use, so thank you!.

 

Justin

 

 

Hi Justin!

 

To tell you and others the honest truth, the application of decals terrifies me as well, despite my experience and bag of tricks.  When you spend over a year on a build like I always do (currently at 20 mths on this build- and counting), one bad decal can ruin several hundred hours of work.  Even if you don't enter your model in a contest, that bad decal or two will stare you down every time you look at it.  That is why I recommend having two sets of decals on hand, just in case you need to make repairs or nuke a bad decal.  Some decals don't react to Microsol very well and some just won't lay down without silvering, no matter what you do.

 

For example, those big "WW" tail code decals on the vertical stabilizers gave me grief, entirely because they are a composite decal of black over a white background and to further complicate things, the two layers are offset, so there is a ridge within the decal before you even slide it off the backing.  This Afterburner set has both 1/48 and 1/32 decals on the sheet and for the 1/48 scale "WW" decals, they have the two layers separate, which is how they should have been also printed in 1/32.  They ran out of room on the sheet, I guess.  Anyway, when you apply Microsol to the composite decal, the black outside part wrinkles normally while the deeper white portion only wrinkles a bit, so when the two layers dry, they leave remnant wrinkles that won't go away on their own.  I fought with one decal and totally removed the other and after several hours of cussing, all is well now, but it was a stressful struggle and my least enjoyable part of this build.

 

Now I'm sure there's some modelers out there who can claim they had no problems on any of the decals on their last project, so they don't understand the fuss.  If they did, I doubt it was on a big 1/32 scale jet with over 100 decals from tiny to large to deal with.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3

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Hey Chuck thanks so much for posting the decal tutorial. Very informative and as they say you are never too old to learn some things. I have saved it to reread and digest your words. It was interesting reading about the trouble with the layered decal. Only had to do that a couple of times and they worked out pretty good. One was a CE sheet for a Mosquito from 418 Sqn and I forget the other one. Probably went ok since it was 1/48 and not that large tail marking you were working with.

 

Let me be honest here. In my modelling I can hardly wait to get to the painting and decalling. it is that darn building and filling and sanding that gets in the way  :) 

 

I love the decalling part of building as I think this tells me I am near completion. Of course like you I do fret when the decals do not behave how you would like but you have to adapt and try and fix the problem right? I have had trouble with many decals but they were mostly the ones that came in the kit. My worst experience was using the ESCI decals in a 1/48 F-4 Phantom. The set I was using actually exploded when I put them in the water. No salvaging that. I had to get a replacement set and that too blew up when I tried a small one on the new sheet. This was when I found out how valuable MS decal film was. What a life saver!! Or is that model saver? No matter but it did teach me not to put on the biggest decal first and start with a small one. I am also scared of decals silvering as that is one of my pet peeves. I hate silvering with a passion. I used to use Tamiya X-22 but I think I was not using the right mix as I did not have a great deal of success with it. Now I think I will revisit it as I am using Future now but your results speak for themselves.

 

Also, what bugs me is the accuracy of the decals. In a lot of cases the markings are just wrong both in shape and colours. I remember a Superscale sheet of a CF-18A Hornet in 1/48th. The markings were grey but the wrong shade. The font for the numbers and Canada titles were wrong and the maple leaf was the 1965 style with the stylized maple leaf. Needless to say I never picked up that sheet. Thank goodness that now we have some decal producers with some quality products out there who actually care about their product. It is a good time to be an aircraft modeller these days. :thumbsup:

 

Thanks too for giving me some credit for sending you the decals but it is my pleasure to help you out as we are all in this hobby together and if I can help I will certainly do so.

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Thanks Kev!  It's nice to have this thing archived- and appreciated, since I always forget where I posted past tutorials.

 

 

 

Thanks Rick.

 

Another good question.  Generally speaking, I try to avoid spraying any clear coat on Alclad metallic finishes, because no matter what you use, a clear coat of any kind will knock down the shine.  That's why this Eagle build has no clear coat on the rear titanium panels.  Small stencils can be applied directly to the Alclad without a clearcoat, but you must use Microsol sparingly.  Some high shine Alclad finishes like Chrome, Polished Aluminum, Airframe Aluminum, etc. are all alcohol based and very fragile, because they don't “bite†the primer coat like the other Alclad lacquer products and decal solutions are not recommended according to the Alclad website.

 

For larger decals you really have no choice but to spray a high gloss clear coat, to achieve the very same thing as a regular paint finish.  While the metallic finish does not need to be shinier than it is already to apply decals, it should be protected, especially if it's a high gloss finish.  The final "spot coat" of clear coat seals the edges of the decals and smooths out the edges, reducing their ability to reflect light.

 

Here are some examples.  For my Mustang build, I was trying to create a war weary fighter that was a bit on the dull side, so the reduction of shine was not a big factor.  For this project I used Alclad's lacquer clear coat, ALC 310.  Avoid the acrylic Alclad Aqua Gloss, ALC 600, because it's crap that is hard to spray and takes a long time to dry.  After the decals were dry, I sealed them in with the clear coat, followed by a dull coat.

 

 

iKm9X7.jpg

 

eFyaQc.jpg

 

 

For my P-38L, I was trying to replicate a museum hanger queen, that was polished and very shiny.  Thanks to a tip from Kevin, I used Tamiya's acrylic X-22, which is now my go-to gloss finish for everything.  It sprays easily with a bit of Tamiya lacquer thinner, dries quickly and also dries very hard. 

 

 

6CWphb.jpg

 

 

There's a fairly wide carrier film behind this big stencil, but you can't see it with a good coat of X-22 sealing in the edges.

 

 

x0jq5c.jpg

 

 

Hope that helps.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Great tips Chuck. Thanks for the tutorial!

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I used to use Tamiya X-22 but I think I was not using the right mix as I did not have a great deal of success with it. Now I think I will revisit it as I am using Future now but your results speak for themselves.

 

 

Thanks too for giving me some credit for sending you the decals but it is my pleasure to help you out as we are all in this hobby together and if I can help I will certainly do so.

 

 

Thanks Guys, especially you Chris.  When I had to rip off that big tail code decal I was SO glad that I had your back-up decal sheet!  I think you mentioned that you have two more of those Afterburner decal sheets.  Did I mention they are selling on ebay for $60US and more?  :whistle:  With the Speed Hunter decal sheets now available, you might consider dumping them, now that you have at least 2 other 1/48 scale decal sheets.

 

It took me awhile to get used to using X-22 and I found that the key is to thin the stuff with Tamiya's own "lacquer thinner" (yellow cap) and make sure you use an airbrush with a fairly wide needle, say 0.3 mm or larger.  If it isn't thinned or is sprayed with a fine needle, it tends to clog and sputter.  While Future still works very well and I have had great success with it in the past, X-22 dries to a much harder finish and can be sanded after only an hour or two of drying.  Still, you should let it dry for at least 24 hours before handling it with your bare fingers.

 

 

Mini-update:

 

As we all have to do with our model builds now and then, I had to "punt" last night and the gun door is now closed permanently.  Although I spent countless hours assembling the brass gun, detailing the gun breech and painting, I still faced the following problems:

 

1)  The kit parts, even with quite a bit of modification including new gun barrels, are not very well cast and at best are neutral to the overall build.  With my overcritical eye, they distracted from the build rather than enhanced it, so why was I showing it at all- especially at a future model contest where it might pull down the overall quality of the model?

 

2)  The brass gun barrels are very heavy and despite my attempts to secure them to the breech of the gun and the forward circular opening without glue showing, it was very fragile and merely flipping the model on it's back could cause the barrels to break free.  There is very little support for anything heavier than plastic in the gun door area.

 

3)  The focal point of this build is the cockpit area which I think does enhance the model quite a bit, so why have a distraction right next to it?

 

4)  The front of the guns, which you can still see, look terrific and are much better than the kit parts, even if they were drilled out.

 

None of the above came as a surprise to me as I assembled the gun area, since I've been concerned about it for some time.    Sooooo, the brass barrels are now VERY secure within the gun door area, because I oozed plenty of thick CA glue all over them and the gun door is now closed.  Nobody but you and I will ever know and I'm more relieved than upset that this detail is now buried, presumably forever. ;)

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3

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Nov 9/17

 

Hey boys!  

 

I said earlier that I wouldn't post any pics until I'm totally done after a few weeks vacation, but I just HAVE to share a few pics of the final stages of assembly, after a good evening of progress.

 

Ever take off the masking tape from the windscreen and canopy with your fingers crossed, praying that nothing bad sprayed underneath on the clear plastic?  Whew!  All good this time...

 

 

n3WeG4.jpg

 

 

That Tamiya vinyl tape worked terrific as a windscreen and canopy frame moulding.

 

 

yVhPdQ.jpg

 

 

You've seen these engines too many times before, but not against painted plastic!

 

 

N2aysb.jpg

 

Those decals on the engines are not silvered, because they are opaque placards instead.  On this metallic surface, I trimmed off all carrier film and used Microsol only on the decal, being careful not to get any on the Alclad.  From this sharp angle, you can barely see the edge of one of the "No Step" decals on the left. You can't get rid of all signs of every decal, but you can still make sure they aren't silvered.

 

I really like how those Archer raised rivets turned out on the titanium surface and the vertical stabilizers.

 

zuKj4W.jpg

 

 

And the bottom.  Not bad.  Again, those "No Push" decals on the engine are opaque placards, but I still needed Microsol to suck them down onto the grooves underneath.

 

 

HayB4o.jpg

 

 

That is ALL!

 

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3

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Guest Maxim

Excellent work Chuck! The best F-15 I've  seen built!

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