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MQ-8B Fire Scout - Brengun, 1/32


Starfighter
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Well, I'm obviously not (yet) dead, so I started yet another project earlier this year. My finger was hovering over the "buy now" button since Brengun's 32nd scale hit the market - but it's anything but inexpensive. When I found one for around 70€, I finally pulled the trigger. Anticipation was high when the little box finally arrived. 

 

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The part count is reasonable; the fuselage consists of one large center casting and separate parts for the nose, dog house and the tail section. A perfect little kit for a quick, fun build. Or so It thought at least. 

 

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My anticipation was quickly curbed when I looked at the surface quality of the components. The surfaces are not smooth and riddled with fine cracks. The groove lines are flat and the raised details are not what I'd call "crisp". On above photos, some of the groove lines were already rescribed. The fit of the nose section would turn out to be a significant problem as well. The close-up photo gives you an idea of the surface quality. 

 

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I had no other choice than to remove around 1mm fron the lower "chin" section and to significantly sant the nose section in order to obtain a smooth transition between nose and fuselage. This destroyed most of the raised surface detail in that area. At this point, I discovered a certain similarity with a well-known Disney character:

 

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So, instead of messing around with surface detail, I decided to take a little shortcut:

 

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And that's another finished model in 2022. Final pics in the RFI section! 

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Well... shortcuts aren't my thing I guess. What followed was a long period of repetitive sanding, puttying, spot priming and rebuilding rebuilding raised surface detail. 

 

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Once the overall surface quality was close to being acceptable, new fasteners were cut on my Silhouette Portrait using Oramask. 

 

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Raised fasteners were restored using individually applied raised rivet decals from Micro Mark. 

 

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Then, it was time for the fun part of the build (was about time!) - painting! A coat of Mr Surfacer Black was applied to provide a base for the MRP paints to be used. Note that some areas still look uneven - this was addressed later on. 

 

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 :speak_cool:

 

Have one in the stash too. Got it for a few cent less than 70 Euros, so I guess this is a good price, giiven the sheer mass of resin.  The surface of my kit does not look too bad either:

 

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Parts fit? We shall see. All of my bullet shaped resin fuselages had some fit problems between the large parts, i. e. different diameters. Sometimes you need more or less sanding, sometimes a disk of styrene between the parts does the trick to achieve a smooth transition.

 

Nice and clean work so far! Hope to see this one live at Lingen next year! :goodjob:

 

Regards

- dutik

 

 

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I defintitely hope you are right, Steve! 

 

Preshading was next. As usual, I have combined "soft" mottling, masking individual panels and mottling templates in several areas. 

 

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I still wasn't happy with surface quality at this point, so I decided to sand the surfaces again with some high-grit sandpaper. This does not only smoothen the surface but creates very random patterns which come in handy during the final painting stage. 

 

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The resulting finish is extremely subtle; my mobile phone (which isn't the worst) actually isn't able to capture the texture. 

 

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The walkway texture on the sponsons was made using AK "Asphalt" texture paste. With the grey paint applied, more air bubbles becam apparent. Those were closed with Mr Surfacer. Also note the less than neat transitioin between the boom and the large blade antenna. I have sanded it again and closed the gaps using Mr Surfacer. 

 

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Next, I applied the decals and added a first wash. The decals are nicely printed but rather thick. 

 

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The exhaust stain was applied by airbrush using highly diluted Tamiya Smoke which was also used for the weathering around heavily used fasteners.

 

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The decals were then sealed with a coat of VMS matt varnish. A warm grey wash was applied first, followed by drybrushing with dirty white oil paint to accentuate the raised details. The thick decal carrier film is still visible below the first coat of varnish (and VMS is rather thick!). Spoiler: it completely disappeared under the second coat. 

 

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All of the larger fasteners were then individually painted with a 00 brush. The big golden fasteners on the nose section are a nice touch. Oramask is actually a perfect material for such intricate raised surface detail. One only must hope the vinyl won't shrink below the paint over time. 

 

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Weathering consists of my usual mix of oil paints, airbrush and water based weathering pencils. The off-center position of the sensor package in front of the dog house drove me nuts when applying the squadron badge decal by the way... 

 

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I am currently working on the super declicate main and rear rotors and the remaining small parts. Smart as I am, I also forgot to fit two more intake scoops on top of the NACA ducts which have to be added. Once the model has been finished, I'd like to build a little diorama or vignette for it. 

Edited by Starfighter
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1 minute ago, thierry laurent said:

Great job!!! And tempting project. I thought about getting the same kit at several times but as Takom just announced the release of the same topic, I think I will wait for it.

 

Cheers Thierry! The only problem with the Takom kit is it being Tamiya box scale... but I think I'll get one of those as well. The Brengun kit is too expensive for the quality offered IMO - but it is an interesting subject for sure. 

 

Your Zulu parts aren't forgotten by the way! 

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It's an interesting looking aircraft for sure. Final assembly is taking a lot of time again. I have tried something new (for me) on the FLIR - I have applied 0,35mm soldering balls to the recessed  fastener detail to simulate the bright silver fasteners on the real thing. As the should be flush with the surface, I pushed them flat after wards - pic of that will follow.

 

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