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KH T-6/Harvard Kicked Up A Notch: Apr 14/20: Finished!

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Thanks Guys!


6 hours ago, mozart said:

Looking good Chuck, as others have said, very bright, almost need :coolio:.  Interestingly the wartime finish from the factory for the anti-glare nose panel was a very dark green but you’re doing the CWHM Harvard which is obviously black.  I’m sure you also know that the props were finished silver on the front face and black on the rear.


Thanks you Max and yes, I've actually painted it already, but I painted it grey like this one.






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Posted (edited)

Can hardly wait to see it fully cooked Chuck...and Camel Yellow is the right paint,used it many times and found it's durability a real plus.

very impressed with all the "extras"you've added .Stellar job.


Edited by williamj

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Posted (edited)

Outstanding finish Chuck!


If you could, remind us of what you use to thin the decanted Tamiya Spray Paint. Tamiya Lacquer Thinner?

Edited by allthumbs

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Guys!


On 3/30/2020 at 1:44 AM, allthumbs said:

Outstanding finish Chuck!


If you could, remind us of what you use to thin the decanted Tamiya Spray Paint. Tamiya Lacquer Thinner?


Thanks and yes, with the yellow cap.  However, this yellow paint is so translucent I used hardly any.



March 30/20


It’s finally time to apply the decals, which absolutely terrified me for four reasons:


1)  The only decals available for my subject are the kit ones and I don’t have back-ups, just in case I ruined one.

2)  The Kitty Hawk decals in my last build of an F-5E were terrible.  Registration was off and they were very thick.

3)  If I do ruin a decal, sometimes you have to sand it off down to the paint.  With my F-5E, this was easy with the gloss black finish.  With this bright yellow bird, however, repainting would be a nightmare.

4)  I could not find painting masks that were the right size and font for my subject.  With insignias and flags, I needed to use some decals anyway.


I fixed #1 when I bought a new kit to get canopy replacements, so that was a bit of a relief, but more on that in a bit.  I also think I’m pretty good at decals and I’ve even written an article on the application of same.  I’ve made every decaling mistake possible and found many solutions, for those who might be interested here:



How To Apply Decals



The decal sheet that comes with this kit looks a bit weird.  Rather than an outline of film around each decal, there’s an irregularly shaped thick blob of some clear material that almost looks like a plastic cover, as found on HGW wet transfer decals.  It is very hard to photograph, but here’s what they look like in my kit replacement.






Now here’s what I received in my first kit.  Again, it’s hard to photograph, but every single colored decal is flawed with a very rough finish.






Thankfully the black lettering sheet was fine, but the other issue with all of the decals is that once you place them, you only have seconds to move it around or you’re done, so you better get it right quickly.  I already knew about this, which had been noted in other builds of this kit, like LSP_Kevin’s.  So, getting back to my decaling article above, what kind of decals are these?  They are good and also bad, depending on what set you wind up with in your kit.  The smooth ones in my kit replacement are generally quite thin and good, but the ones in my original kit are rough to begin with and stay rough, which creates new challenges.


I started on the bottom of the model like I always do, to give me a feel for the decals before I apply them to the top, where they can always be seen.  Unfortunately, the only decals on the bottom are also the hardest ones to do, because the “RCAF” lettering is so big and has lots of decal film.  If you tried to apply this decal as one piece you would be doomed, due to the very short amount of time you have to move the decal into place.  The best way to handle this is to cut the decal into the individual letters, removing as much decal film as possible.  I also applied a thin strip of masking tape as a reference point, to keep the letters in alignment.  When I applied each decal, I used lots of plain water and avoided Microset, since I didn’t want any softening of the decal until I had it in place.  Once I was happy with the decal placement and removed excess water, I applied a thin coat of Microsol- and then walked away for at least 10 minutes!  If you fool around with an adjacent decal while one is drying with Microsol, you are asking for big trouble, so I did some household chores for my wife and decaled at the same time.  Everybody was happy!






Here is the lettering after everything has dried and I applied a good coat of Tamiya X-22 to seal the decals in.  You would be hard pressed to paint lettering this crisply and yes, it is on the correct wing.  On other Harvards the “RCAF” is sometimes on the right wing instead, but this aircraft had it on the left wing, where the registration lettering “CF-UUU” now resides instead.






Now a neat little trick I figured out, that I will use again.  I always like to decal on a horizontal surface, so doing the sides of a model can be a pain with the model on my lap or a desk chair like I used in my article.  Looking around the house, it struck me that a suitcase on wheels, with a bath towel shoved into an opening at the top, provided the perfect platform for this task.  It holds the model securely; the towel protects the paint and I can move it around easily.  Cool!






As I did on the bottom, I cut out each individual letter and aligned everything on the side before I applied my first decal.






I then applied a number of decals that were not near each other, gave a coat of Microsol and again walked away for 10 minutes.















Now a bit of a walkaround, after the decals had dried overnight and sealed in with X-22.









Two and three piece decals are always tricky and cause the most problems with Microsol.  You want the decal to settle into panel line and rivet detail, but you also don’t want to use too much Microsol, because the surface of the decal shrinks and reacts to it more than the backing underneath it (which is a different color).  Here I have some rivet detail coming through, but the white is also starting to discolor with the blue underneath.  Time to stop!






The other side again….






And a quick view of the front, where I have now painted the heat shroud where the exhaust will hang with Alclad Steel and Stainless Steel






Now some true confessions.  For the most part, the decals from the replacement kit performed very well and I didn’t have many issues, but as usual, I had to replace two of them and repair another with parts of another decal, so it was a bit of a struggle at times.  My strong suggestion is that if you use the kit decals, try to have a back-up set, which can be found from those who did not use them.  I also wished I had placed one or two small decals slightly differently, but this aircraft has been repainted at least 5 times, so references are all over the place anyway.


With the decals now done I’m on the backstretch of this build, but I still have many more things to do with the landing gear, antennae, tiny lights, prop, engine/exhaust installation and that damn canopy!





Edited by chuck540z3

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