30th April 2014
On a mission to complete the front end now…
The instrument panel had been previously pre-shaded, sprayed with Tamiya XF66 and then a coat of Klear.
Next job was to mask up the instrument panel ready for some black. To do this I cut Tamiya tape into very thin strips and applied them between the instruments until the background was covered. For the round instruments, I cut a circle out of Tamiya tape using a round scribing template the same size as the instrument and a No.11 scalpel blade, threw away the circle and used the outside part that was left to mask around the round dials.
Once masked the instrument panel got a coat of Tamiya Flat Black XF1, with a bit of XF69 nato black sprayed here and there to break up the monotony of the black.
Since the masking was done as a square around each instrument, and given that the square instruments have rounded corners I was left with a bit of touching up to do on the corners. For this I used Tamiya XF66 with a tiny drop of Windsor & Newton Flow Improver – this was to try and keep the Acrylic wet for long enough to brush it on. This worked quite well, but the problem was that I probably got too much flow improver in the mix and when I touched the brush to the model the paint shot off like Tamiya Extra Thin all around the joins.
Anyway, I got away with it but lesson learned for next time – not too much flow improver!!!
In the photo below you can see the grey instrument panel surface looks a little grubby, this is just the Matt XF66 brushed onto the XF66 that had been coated with Klear. It’ll get another coat of Klear before decaling and the grubby patches will blend in…
So here we are with the instrument panel having had another coat of Klear and the decals applied. The decals went down very easily and they fitted perfectly in the holes.
I had to cut up the white decal you can see top centre that goes around the knobs, it didn’t quite line up otherwise but a minor mod to do.
Bottom left of the instrument panel is what looks like an MFD (Multi Function Display), in this version of the Viper it was actually just an Alpha-numeric display. This came with a smoked clear part to form its screen. I glued this in with PVA and then prayed that it actually dried clear!
The other instruments and dials all got a good blob of PVA to form the glass.
Three small knobs are required for the console in the top centre of the instrument panel, they are absolutely tiny so in order to clean them up I CA glued them onto some sprue.
And here they are fettled and polished ready for paint.
Just a simple matter to cut them off with a scalpel when done.
Here’s a few shots of the finished front end…
Some of the bits look a bit squeaky clean. I don’t want this cockpit to look like it was assembled on Scrapheap Challenge, but also I don’t want it to look too showroom either. I’m going to get the whole thing built up so I can look at it as a whole and then go around toning down and weathering everything (just a little) until it all looks like part of the same model…