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SH Tempest Mk V "Kicked Up A Notch". November 24: Finished!

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October 19/20



With all the major components of this build complete, it’s now time to prep the model for painting.  After a lot of bad experiences with leaking masks and tiny parts that don’t fit, I now have a method that reduces the occurrence and stress of these events happening again.  Not much that I will show will be new to you and they are old tricks that I have learned from others, but you may find something here that could be helpful on your next project.


The first step has been done already.  During assembly, I have painted within the front intake and the wheel wells, including the edges of same, so they can all be masked off.  With tiny and fragile lead wiring in the wheel wells, I filled that cavities with good old wet Kleenex to provide a backing for masking tape.  Foam can work as well, but cutting the foam is hard to do accurately and it might interfere with the wiring.






After the Kleenex has dried a bit, next is the application of masking tape along the edges to provide a sharp demarcation line, with additional tape over the interior on top of the tissue.  This is followed by a liberal coat of liquid mask to fill any remaining gaps, but also to provide a solid mass to hold all the little bits of tape together so they don’t peel back later.  More on masking solutions below.






This model comes with vinyl masks for the wing lights, but for some strange reason not for the central fuselage light.






This is where this tire and wheel masking set from Maketar comes in really handy, because it can be used for a lot more than wheels.  There are literally hundreds of different circular vinyl masks in each set and finding the perfect one is always easy.  As you can see, I’ve used a few already and the one on the left covers that fuselage light perfectly.  While you guys with Silhouette vinyl cutters can make your own masks, this set cost only about $20 and will last for years.  I also bought their set for masking bombs with curved shapes.






Now a little info on 3 liquid masking solutions I use:  Mr Masking Sol R, Mr Masking Sol Neo and Microscale Micromask.  The only big difference I can see with the 2 versions of Mr Masking Sol is that the Neo is much thicker than the R and slightly a different color, but it may be that the Neo is just a newer version?  In any case, there are significant differences between these products when compared to Micromask as shown below:


                                             Mr Masking Sol                Micromask


Viscosity                              Thick                                    Thin

Color                                    Green                                  Blue

Dilution with water               Yes                                       Yes

before drying

Dilution with water                No                                        Yes

after drying

Adhesion                              Good                                   Strong

Ease of application               Fair                                     Excellent

Ease of removal                   Excellent                             Fair to poor


As a result of the above properties, I use both liquid masks for different tasks.  If you mask tiny areas with complex detail, don’t use Micromask because removal is very tough, but thankfully, Micromask can be dissolved with water after it dries if you need to remove residue.  Mr Masking Sol on the other hand, comes off easily, but once it has dried it will not dissolve with water.   For my future paint chipping, I will be using Mr Masking Sol.






Now a bit of a walkaround on other masked areas. 

The rear landing gear well was super easy with just tape and a bit of liquid mask.






Same with the cockpit area, but those canopy rails required some thin application of tape and Micromask.  After painting everything gloss black, the rear area behind the seat will be sprayed with dull coat, then masked off again.






The intake, gun holes and exhaust were all pre-painted, so they were covered accordingly.  This is where Mr Masking Sol is perfect, because it can be removed from the gun holes and complex parts of the radiator, likely in one piece.  Micromask would stick to all these parts too much and removal would be difficult.






Those wingtip and other lights have a sharp edge of thin tape and liquid mask for the balance.  Gluing the lights on beforehand and dealing with glue and gap issues early, will make a much better presentation on the final model.






Part of painting preparation is the location of small parts like aerials, pitot tubes and other small items, especially when they don’t fit very well to begin with.  The boarding step I39 requires a square hole to be created which is simple enough, but the blade antenna I9 requires an oval hole to be created which you wouldn’t want to be doing after painting.






The pitot tube I43 needs a hole drilled as well.







Now a very interesting discovery I made that I bet is not very well known.  The super thin radio antenna is from the Photo-etch fret, using a tiny base (PE16) and mast (PE18).  For ease of installation at the end of the build, I drilled a hole into the fuselage top behind the canopy for this antenna, but where should it be located exactly?  The instructions are very vague and have a location in the middle, roughly between the canopy and the tail.






Reviewing many pics of Tempests and even Typhoons, I found that when viewed from the rear, the antenna is definitely offset to the starboard side.






So I did the same.  This antenna is just dry fit into the hole, so angle will be adjusted later.






Where exactly?  Checking many photographs, it looks like it should be on the second set of rivets behind the canopy in the fully open position, and slightly inward of the longitudinal panel line on the right side.






Another smaller “discovery”, although not as noticeable.  A few days ago I had a PM discussion with Peter Castle (airscale), who was trying to help me with the canopy gasket detail behind the cockpit.  Using this pic of a Typhoon, it’s clear that the center rail is still within the canopy cross member mechanism when the cockpit is open. 






The central kit rail appears to be a bit too short and there is no cross member on the kit parts.






The rail does not extend to the very rear of the canopy frame when opened, however, as shown in this pic, so adding an rail extension is not necessary.  The solution is to make a cross member that goes on either side of the rail on the inside, which I will do later.






So that’s about it before I apply the first coat of gloss black lacquer to the upper surfaces, followed by dull aluminum.  This initial part of painting is really stressful to me when I first start it, but I find it fun thereafter as I add paint layers and tweak what I’m doing.  Stay tuned!





Edited by chuck540z3
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2 hours ago, Troy Molitor said:

Well done Chuck.  Looking forward to some color applied.  


How about gloss black!? 



As I have mentioned too many times, I like to use Tamiya Gloss Black Lacquer (TS-14) as a base whenever I can, for two main reasons:



1)  It reveals every single tiny flaw, so I can fix them early

2)  It provides a primer coat for Alclad paints to stick to



This paint also attracts dust like crazy, both before and after painting due to the glossy finish and static electricity it creates, especially in our dry climate during winter.  A modeling friend of mine said that the Car Guys who paint glossy finishes all the time, like to place a wet towel underneath where they are painting to reduce static electricity, so I thought I would give it a shot.  Using a new polyester car towel, I sprayed it down just enough to get it damp without soaking it, then placed the model on top of it.






I can say that this experiment was a great success.  While some crap still wound up on the model (and continues to be attracted to it as you can see on the left wing), I bet this was reduced by 75% when compared to my prior gloss black (or gloss yellow) painting attempts.  Here I have also painted two “mules” to experiment with paint chipping before I commit to the model.






For this first coat of paint, you want it thick enough to cover, but still thin enough that it doesn’t fill any detail, which is why it’s a bit patchy.  After repairing newly revealed flaws, you will need to shoot another coat of paint anyway.


All of that rivet detail I enhanced appears to have been worth it.






But there are still some inevitable flaws that you could never see on bare plastic.






I will let this paint dry for at least a day before handling it.  After repairs, I will spray another touch-up coat, followed by Alclad Aluminum.  I only do this on the upper surfaces, because chipping from below is rarely seen and quite honestly isn’t worth the hassle.








Edited by chuck540z3
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  • chuck540z3 changed the title to SH Tempest Mk V "Kicked Up A Notch". October 19: First Paint
23 minutes ago, scvrobeson said:

Awfully pretty in gloss black.  Maybe do it like your F-5 and make it an aggressor Tempest.




Ha!  It is a shame to paint over it sometimes.  Here are a few prior examples that were black for only a short time.  Note the moulding flaws next to the aileron.









Edited by chuck540z3
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Thanks Guys!


Funny, I was afraid to start painting (as always), but once I start, it's addictive!  The first coat of gloss black was mostly to reveal flaws, blemishes, seam remnants, etc.  Despite my prior attempts to eliminate same, this model still had plenty of them, so it was back to sanding!  That big one on the wing I showed above, but I also had a long seam-line on the top of the fuselage, along with the usual crap and other small boo-boos.






After removing all the dust, it was back to the spray booth.  All better now.






A few close-ups...












After this dries for another day, I'll hit it with some Alclad Aluminum. 







Edited by chuck540z3
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  • chuck540z3 changed the title to SH Tempest Mk V "Kicked Up A Notch". October 20: Paint Repairs

Beautiful gloss black finishes...ever thought of doing a Vandy-1 Phantom or Tomcat?:)  Great tip on the damp microfibre towel - will try that.  And I take it you're decanting the TS-14 and shooting through your airbrush?



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  • chuck540z3 changed the title to SH Tempest Mk V "Kicked Up A Notch". November 24: Finished!

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