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F-84G Thunderbird - Complete!


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Well I'm waiting on parts for the corsair and they're coming from Belgium so...time to start what I'll call a slow roller. heading into summer and the family has lots planned so I'll work a little at a time on this one. It's going to be out of the box. Although you know I'm already struggling with that decision :-) The major work here will be foiling. I've gone over all Foiler and Out2gtcha post on this technique, I've done some practice work, I've collected all the tools (even have my mason jar for bleach). I chose this one , probably obviously, because it has the straight wing and I'm hoping that makes things easier this first time with foil. I started on the cockpit last night. Here's a quick shot of the model and the work so far...


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Working through some assembly details for now. The cockpit was a little more work than anticipated. HB has the IP right against the throttle and several knobs on the side panels end up hidden behind the IP due to this. Soooo, I cut the fuselage halves from the sprue and test fit it all together so I could trim the IP...but they fooled me and even after cutting it shorter there was no interference to the fit lol. 

You guys know me by now, it has to have a pilot lol I made a chute for him out of clay. Checked the fit to the pedals while I was at it. Can you believe, 1st time I’ve not had to cut his feet off!
While parts on the cockpit dried I pulled out the wings to have a go at the wheel wells.
which brings up a detail about skinning this with aluminum foil...do I open up enough gap here to roll the foil over the edges of the wheel weel and the doors?
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Just working on the basics so really not much to see until now. I've got the cockpit just about ready to close out. The pilot is based on the Tamiya 1/48 Thunderbird kit. I used that same info for the cockpit painting. What HB did hasn't been accurate compared to any cockpit pictures of a G that I've found so far. Since I am doing it 100% OOB though I painted it up to match what I've found in the E/F/G as it seems to be an unknown :ph34r:. I have to put the HUD on and a few little bobbles around it, then put the stars on the helmet.

Before doing that though, take a look at this and let me know if there's anything I should do before putting the final varnish on it?

I did a wash on my last one and it seemed to come out a little dark. For a Thunderbird that's kept pretty clean I'm not sure what might look best. Any suggestions would be great.








Lastly, here's a few shots of the canopy and HUD. This is turning out tremendous so far. Should be perfect for foiling. Here it is with a coat of Future on it.



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Thanks Gazz, makes me feel like it’s coming together!


lots of progress today trying to get the halves together.

Here’s the exhaust. Done with AKI pigments - desert dust, burnt umber, and jet exhaust.



And that was the last thing I needed before assembling the halves.



Here’s another use for those eyelash brushes chuck promotes so highly...tapered end to plug the gun muzzles



and then again to smooth out the intake and get rid of the step in the kit part,


Edited by themongoose
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Thanks Ron!

Not too many parts to put together now. I’ve been doing the little stuff along the way so today i worked on sanding. Decided to start foiling with some basic shapes. To prep I’m using a ceramic tile as my flat nonstick surface :D. Bare metal foil adhsive, bondo spreader, flat brush, scissors and straight razor blades.



clean parts with a lint cloth...my lesson learned, return to my auto painting days and the phrase, when you think you’ve got it clean, clean it again!



Dang it’s hard to get a good picture of a reflective surface with an iphone. Take a look ver these. For those of you who’ve “been there, done that, bought the hat” could you let me know what issues you see and how I might improve?

Here I found that i needed to start setting the foli from the other direction first. When i redid it I started burnishing from right to left. This made it so the foil laid into the step without “tenting” over the edge. See how i tore it at the bottom of the groove...



Here’s a few shots of the part







And finally, here’s a little experiment I’m trying. The trailing adges are sooooo thick. I looked at sanding then but alot of fine detail along the edges would be lost and I don’t think it will look nearly as nice if I have to redo it. So I took the foil out over the edge a bit and then sealed it. It seems to make a pretty nice, sharp edge. Will have to see if it deforms over time and with handling. Up close it’s got a little step to it but from an arms length away I don’t think you can tell. What do you think?





Edited by themongoose
It was so much better when we had a preview
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  • themongoose changed the title to F-84G Thunderbird - Foiling In-Progress
  • 1 month later...

Had some spare time tonight so i thought I’d try out the bleach technique to get some different tones to my foil. Haha, what a hoot that was! Honestly I read the part about not letting it sit too long. An hour is toooo long. In this first photo image these pieces of foil were twice as tall. The 2nd picture is that lower half drained from the mason jar...






Here is a shot comparing foil treated with bleach, pennies, and fishing weights vs foil treated with just the bleach diluted 50/50 with water to get some yellow hues.



maybe this weekend I’ll get to foiling the wings. I need to find the post on how to spray the adhesive with an airbrush first. Having fun!


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Mix the bleach 50/50 with water like you did and increase the pennies a bit. It also may help to chop up the lead too.


As to spraying the adhesive , I've found the best way is to use MS foil adhesive, cut it about 50/50 with water or alcohol before shooting it with the air brush.

Make sure you thoroughly clean the surface to be sprayed, as any oils will cause the thinned foil glue to bead up on the surface. You still may get some beading of the glue on the surface when you spray, but a little bit shouldn't hurt.  


 I would also make a point of including a full and thorough cleaning of your air brush with lacquer thinner ideally (91% alcohol will also work, but do not use 70%) *right* after you spray. If you miss a cleaning after spraying foil glue thru the AB, you may have a very big problem on your hands. The glue can dry in the smallest of crevices, and shooting foil glue through an AB requires a much more in depth cleaning I found than after shooting paint.

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34 minutes ago, Out2gtcha said:

As to spraying the adhesive , I've found the best way is to use MS foil adhesive, cut it about 50/50 with water or alcohol before shooting it with the air brush.

Make sure you thoroughly clean the surface to be sprayed, as any oils will cause the thinned foil glue to bead up on the surface. You still may get some beading of the glue on the surface when you spray, but a little bit shouldn't hurt. 


Hey Brian, I'd bet it's the water that's beading. Adding a drop of dishsoap to break the surface tension might help.  :shrug:



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Wonderful start to this one! Personally I found that spraying the foil gets by far the best consistent result. I cut the glue with 50/50 with 90% alcohol and sprayed two light coats on each piece of foil, allowing the first one to dry before doing the second. Always sprayed across the foil in two different directions. I did try using water, but also got some beading, plus it took too long to dry. Had no issues using alcohol - story of my life really! I also never had any problem with the glue drying in the airbrush. I used my double action brush and had the glue sitting in there for typically up to an hour before shooting alcohol through it and refilling. I'd fully strip it at the end of each session.  


For burnishing, artist paper blending stumps are great. I also used rounded toothpicks for the fine details. Always start from the centre and work out. Using the paper pencils allows you to use their edge to work the foil over the edge of the piece without tearing. For those pieces like ailerons I used two methods. The best was foiling both sides using one piece of foil by placing the piece on the foil along the sharp edge and working it over both sides of the part. Took some practice! The other way was simply taking the foil over the sharp edge to the first panel line on the second side, trimming it and then doing the rest of the second side. Easier, but not quite as nice. 


You're right though - keeping everything clean is the biggest thing. 90% alcohol is your friend. Using vaseline to protect the panels beside the one you're working with is the next biggest thing.


Enjoy! Very therapeutic.





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  • themongoose changed the title to F-84G Thunderbird - Complete!

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