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Trumpeter F4F-3 build with rivets FINISHED!

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5 hours ago, LSP_Ray said:

That sight looks awesome, Woody! I take it this a/c was the early dk blue grey over lt blue grey? Or did they re-paint in tri-color on the CV?


No tri-color. Was overall Light Gull Gray, repainted Intermediate Blue over Light Gull Gray as far as I can tell. I'm following the instructions that come with the Yellow Wings sheet of Wake Island Wildcats but I don't have them in front of me.


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8 hours ago, Archer Fine Transfers said:


No tri-color. Was overall Light Gull Gray, repainted Intermediate Blue over Light Gull Gray as far as I can tell. I'm following the instructions that come with the Yellow Wings sheet of Wake Island Wildcats but I don't have them in front of me.


Ok, cool! I should take another look at that sheet.

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Got a coat of paint on. Will need some touch up that'll probably take longer than it did to get this on, but this is what I have so far.











Rib stitching is a bit too prominent, but that can be fixed.


One of the most important things I’ve learned so far is that some of our products could be improved, and they will. I've got several new products in the pipeline.

Until next time.

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Got the stickers on today. 


I’ve been toying with the idea of coming out with dry transfers for aircraft so I put these together for my build to get some practical experience. The first thing I found out is when rubbing them down directly they bridge the recessed rivets and panel lines. That can be remedied by taking a cut down paint brush to push the transfer into the recesses, but that can’t be Plan A, so I put the national insignias on “wet” using our wet media paper which is simply an absorbent paper with a water activated release agent. Using Micro Set under and Micro Sol on top of the transfer the test were encouraging, but the problem I ran into with the large insignias was positioning. By the time i got them into position I’m sure most of the Micro Set was gone so I’m going to have to wait till tomorrow to see how they turned out.


The small insignias were also applied wet with no problem at all. The black codes and data were applied dry and easily snuggled down around the rivets.


The photos are misleading in one aspect, the red is not that bright.


Try to ignore the lousy paint finish. I just ordered a selection of Mission Models paints in hopes of being rescued from "acrylic hell."





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I really like dry transfers, especially for stencils. Years ago, at a contest, I saw a F-4 on which the builder had used Verlinden dry transfers for all the stencils. The F-4 next to it had standard, wet decal stencils. Dramatic difference. I am glad to see that you are broadening your expertise and targeting it on dry transfer markings.  


The Wildcat looks terrific. Really enjoyable to follow this WIP.







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My original intent was to build it as though it had just landed on Wake Island, fresh off the carrier, things went bad when I applied a couple coats of Future in preparation for a simple panel line wash. This rough surface that’s painfully obvious in this close-up didn’t look this bad in person.






Although the panel lines in the wings took the wash, the paint job is so rough the panel line wash wouldn’t lay in the fuselage panel lines, it just spread to the surrounding areas. I tried carefully cleaning it off but it would have taken me forever and I only had two days to get it ready to enter in a contest. So then I had the bright idea to mix up a sludge was thinking that since that’s water based I can force dry it and wipe off the excess with a damp paper towel.




But that turned out to be a bigger mess than I was trying to fix. What you are looking at here is what I got AFTER trying to wipe the excess off with a wet paper towel. At this point I was ready to give up and if I hadn’t had so much work in it I couldn’t bear the though, but I was out of ideas. I considered repainting the area but I decided against it and walked away and I’m glad I did.




Since I couldn’t screw it up anymore than I already had, I decided to scrub it with detergent and a brush that I cut the bristles off, leaving just short bristles like a miniature scrub brush. Luckily, it worked and it cleaned up pretty good. I could have tried to get every last bit off but I was concerned that I’d start pulling up the paint but since this on the bottom I quit while there was still hope.






I took some of my sludge wash, force dried it and “dry brushed” it over all the panel lines and rivets and it actually looked kind of okay so I hit it with satin clear which camouflaged the lousy paint finish, but it looked kind of boring. 




Then I remembered that back in day that pastels were popular for weathering. The process is pretty simple. I used a very pale gray chalk (not oil pastels), scraped off some powder and dabbed it around inside each panel. Then I took my air brush and blew off the excess.




Next step is to blend it in so there are no obvious edges.




Then finish blending to smooth everything out.




Notice the difference between the areas on the fuselage with the pastels just forward of the wing trailing edge and the fuselage aft of the trailing edge. Also notice that I lost big chunks of black paint when I pulled the tape off the cockpit area. It’s Thursday evening and I’m running out of gas, but I peeled of the rest of the paint and repainted it.


You can make any color you want.
Extremely easy to apply.
Easy to control.


The effect is determined by how coarse the surface is. A dry coat of flat clear is necessary.
You can’t spray clear over it. Being a dry powder, the liquid paint sucks it up spreading it and all your effort disappears.
The only way to remove it is to use water.


Friday was crunch day and all that was left was removing all the masking, attach the wheels, do the antenna wire and touch up a couple spots. I didn't have time to do any chipping or other weathering and at this point I figured good enough is good enough. By some strange twist of fate everything went smoothly and she was ready for the contest. 





It actually looked pretty good so instead of putting it on the “For Display Only” table I entered it. There were 10 other entries and my poor little Wildcat sat off in the corner, a bug among giants.




First place in my category. You could have knocked me over with a feather.


What a strange trip this has been but I learned a LOT, like I need to up my painting game big time! It was rewarding to know that I was able to salvage the mess I made with the wash because of something I learned the last time I finished a model 23 years ago.


Frankly, I’m a little embarrassed to share some of these pictures, but I promised myself that, come hell or high water, I would share the entire build, warts and all. 


When I get time, I’ll share more pictures on the finished model in the Ready for Inspection forum. 
















Thanks for watching. 
Next on the bench is a Revel FW-190 F-8 which I actually started before this one.

Edited by Archer Fine Transfers
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