3rd September 2015
With the decaling now complete, it’s time to begin the serious weathering.
As usual I’m going with the Flory Dark Dirt wash which will be used to provide overall grime effects and to act as a panel line wash.
I always like this stage because after applying a liberal coat of wash, the model looks absolutely ruined!
With the wash applied, it’s simply a case of leaving it to dry for an hour or so before wiping it off with a soft dry paper towel.
You can see below that the Dark Dirt wash has a nice brown tinge to it which adds a bit of colour to the dirt. If the wash was purely black the wash would make the overall finish look a bit monochrome.
For the wheel wells I’ve used Citadel Nuln Oil wash to add a bit of contrast and grubbiness…
I really like the Citadel washes (shades as they call them) because you can use them straight out of the pot, so you get consistent results. Also they are acrylic based and are quite tough when dry and don’t need any form of clear coat.
With the Flory wash nice and dry, the first job was to gently rub most of it off using a dry paper towel. Being very careful not to apply too much elbow grease over the decals as they can be easily torn off even after several coats of Klear.
I don’t want the Hunter to look dirty (like it is caked in mud and dust), I just want it to look second hand – nice and tired, maybe a bit battle weary.
I’m really pleased with the way the wash has gone on the wing root below (not the seam, but the panels next to it). I’m going to try to remove a bit more of the wash without losing that nice mottled grubbiness.
The first pass is to remove the bulk of the wash with a dry paper towel, then you can fine tune the grime levels by wiping with a slightly damp paper towel. When I say damp, you want the bare minimum of moisture on the towel otherwise you’ll just remove the wash.
The wash will clump up in corners such as wing roots and around protuberances such as the Sabrina’s. For this I use a soft wide brush, slightly moistened. Using the moistened brush you can carefully re-hydrate the wash in the corners and manipulate it so that it doesn’t look too heavy.
If you look at the 3 and 8 below, you can see a grubby tide mark around the carrier film surrounding the decal. Using the soft wide brush I go around the decals removing the dirt from around them.
Once the weathering wash has been tamed to your liking, it can be sealed in with a coat of Klear. However, the clear coat will darken the wash which can lead to unpredictable (and permanent) results. What I do before applying the clear coat is lightly spray the model with plain old tap water, this has the effect of darkening the wash allowing you to see any areas that might present problems when the clear coat is applied.
Below (circled in red) you can see some grubby streaks that didn’t show up until they were lightly sprayed with water. These can be cleaned up before the clear coat goes on.
Also give the model a really good final scan with the Mk.1 eyeball to check for any hidden clumps of wash that may be hiding in crevices or underneath hard to see areas. It’s very easy to overlook these and they are difficult to deal with once they are under a coat of Klear.
All in all I reckon removing the wash and tuning to my liking takes about 1-2 hours. I don’t rush this stage and treat it like an artistic exercise, not just an exercise in wiping off the wash.
Here’s a photo of the remaining bits that need to be painted in order to complete the build.
Note: The bag of silver tubes on the right are some electrical crimps that I bought on eBay to use as replacements for the cartridge ejector pipes and fuel dump pipe. More on those later…
I left this until last because I wasn’t entirely sure whether to model her with the airbrake open or closed. After checking my references it seems that the Hunter airbrake is always closed when on the ground (I’m modelling her gear down) – so I decided to go with the closed position.
That actuator lug and other detail will need to go…
I use this at least once on every build, and it is one of those tools that makes light work of something that would otherwise be a bit of a pain.
A few seconds chiselling soon removed the unwanted detail.
Nothing exiting here other than the lower section comes in two halves and is a poor fit. I had to drill out the peg hole in one half and sand a bit off the top so that I could get the two halves to align properly. As you can see below the main thing is that the two pips that the wheel clips onto are positioned exactly opposite each other.
All in all the glass is nice and thin, but the rear canopy section had some nasty texturing as you can see below.
That will need to be sanded and polished.
To act as a sanding shield I cut a few strips of Dymo tape and attached them to either side. That way the sanders can run up to the edge of the Dymo tape without damaging the moulding. If I used Tamiya tape to try to protect the moulding it would probably end up being worn through with a risk of the moulding beneath getting damaged.
I continued with this until the entire surface of the canopy had a uniform dull finish with no shiny flecks or spots on it.
One last thing for the canopy… I noticed that the lower frames had some fairly heavy sanding marks from when I cleaned them up after removing them from the sprue. I’m going to sand out the sanding marks, but before that a layer of Tamiya tape is applied to the shiny bit to protect it while sanding.
The tyres in this kit are nothing to write home about, so I decided to scribe in some treads.
The tyres have a fairly half hearted attempt at treads moulded into them, so I used these as a guide for the Tamiya scriber. Gently running the scribing tool around the moulded grooves allowed me to deepen them to look much more convincing.
Where the lines had a tendency to go a bit wavy in places, they could be straightened out by using a gentle rocking sawing motion with the razor saw.
The original tyre is on the left, the re-scribed one on the right.
Here the outer moulded lines could be scribed around.
With the Dymo guide in place, it was a case of gently running the scribing tool around the edge of the tape until a groove was formed.
What I’m aiming for with this next layer of dirt is to achieve the kind of vertical dirt lines you see on aircraft which are caused by water running down the outside of the fuselage dragging the dirt with it.
To achieve this I used the brush shown below which has very stiff ‘orrible bristles. I believe it came as part of an oil painting set, but could also double as a very small yard broom.
Using the ‘orrible brush, the Dark Dirt was dry-brushed vertically along the fuselage. This involved getting some wash on the brush, them wiping most of it off onto a paper towel and then flicking the brush lightly up and down along the fuselage.
As you can see below, the effect is quite subtle with vertical dirt marks being visible if you look where the silver finish meets the camo.
That lot will get another coat of Klear, and then it’ll be time for a coat of Humbrol Matt Cote before I move onto streaking and smoke effects with chalk pastels and AK weathering solutions.