12th September 2015
With the bulk of the painting done, it’s time to really hit into the last remaining nick-nacks and finishing touches. To be honest once you get the fuselage painted and weathered on this kit, you still have the equivalent of a small 1/72 kit’s worth of parts to sort out. I’ve been doing what seems like nothing but undercarriage and drop tanks on and off for the past two weeks and progress has been a little slower than I’d have liked…
For this update though I’m kicking things off with a technique that is new to me, Metal Foiling.
I have to say a big thanks to Tristan Reidford and Martin Whittle for their handy tips and tricks when it comes to applying metal foil – cheers for pointing me in the right direction chaps 🙂
The end of the tail pipe on the Hunter is finished in bare polished aluminium, a perfect candidate for metal foil, so rather than reach for the masking tape and metaliser paint, instead I’m reaching for the Baco-foil.
For the foiling, the main key to success is with Micro Metal Foil Adhesive by Microscale Industries, which can be applied to plain old kitchen foil to turn it into self adhesive foil that can be applied to your model.
Here I’ve got some plain old kitchen foil and have sprayed the shiny side of it with Micro Metal Foil Adhesive mixed 50/50 with tap water to thin it for spraying.
Once sprayed the glue will have a milky appearance, leave it to dry and when the milkiness has gone it’s ready to use.
Here’s the section I intend to foil, there is a small amount of texture to the paint so I’m going to polish the surface before I start.
Masking tape has been applied to prevent damage to the paintwork to the left of the tail pipe ring.
The tail pipe ring has received a good polish with progressively finer sanding sticks and polishers to make sure there is no texture to the paint that will show through the foil.
Time to start foiling…
I cut a strip of foil much bigger than was needed, you can easily cut it to size later.
The first thing to do was to gently apply the foil in the center top of the tail pipe ring, the idea being to work away from that point to meet in the middle at the bottom. As it turned out I should have started and finished foiling on the side where there is a panel line across the tail pipe ring, that way I could have hidden the join in the foil where the seam is. Never mind, will be a lesson for next time…
I found the easiest way to proceed was to gently burnish down the foil using the side of a wooden cocktail stick. Gently coaxing the foil into place as you go…
As I got more and more around the curve I cut slits in the foil to prevent it bunching up too much.
Until I reached the bottom where the two end of the foil meet up. As I said, I’d have been better off coming to an end on a panel line on the side of the tail pipe ring, but as it is I will have a small join underneath.
With the foil in place I cut around the panel line of the tail pipe ring with a brand new scalpel blade (you always need to use a razor sharp blade when cutting the foil), the excess foil was simply peeled away.
Moving onto the rear, I wanted to see if I could persuade the foil to conform around the rear of the ring.
I gently burnished the foil over the edge with the side of a cocktail stick, working around in several passes, working the foil over the edge as I went.
I found that you can stretch the foil to conform to shapes quite well if you take your time and don’t rush it.
After a few passes, the foil is nicely conformed around the edge of the ring, and has been burnished into the end of the tail ring.
A quick run around the inner edge of the end of the tail pipe ring with a sharp scalpel blade and the foiling is complete…
Gotta say I’m really happy with the results and will definitely be using this technique a lot more in the future. It’s not necessarily better that NMF paints in all scenarios, but it does add an extra tool to the arsenal and certainly creates a great looking finish.
Next job was to paint, weather and decal the 100 gallon drop tanks.
Here the drop tanks have been primed with Tamiya flat grey, and polished over with a bit of old T-Shirt to remove any grittiness from the texture.
I’m going to paint them with Alclad Steel to provide a base for the NMF (Natural Metal Finish) on the underside (not brave enough to attempt to foil these 😉
Here are the drop tanks after a coat of Alclad Steel.
Next I add some highlight using Alclad Dark Aluminium. Again, this is going to be a base coat for the next stage.
And the next stage of the NMF, a thin coat of Mr Metal Color Buffable Metaliser (Aluminium).
The reason for so many coats of NMF is that I want to heavily buff the metaliser to the point that it rubs through and exposes the Alclad. The idea being that giving the metaliser some distress will help to create an interesting effect and texture to the finish.
Here are the drop tanks after the metaliser has had some serious abuse and buffing.
Next I get to play with another new toy – 2mm bendy Tamiya tape!
I’ve been waiting for this to arrive for ages now, and have the ideal job for it – masking up the drop tanks.
The Tamiya tape for curves is made of PVC and is indeed very bendy. It forms razor sharp curves and sticks well too. I’m looking forward to using it in the future for masking sharp camo.
The upper surfaces of the drop tanks were pre-shaded with Tamiya flat black, and when dry I gave it a single coat of MIG Absolute Chipping.
I have tried MIG Absolute Chipping in the past and didn’t have much luck with it. In the past I have sprayed it on, but this time I applied a single thick coat with a flat brush.
Interestingly the Absolute Chipping solution caused a really nice “corrosion” effect on the NMF. As you can see below there is a white mottling that has appeared, this would look really good as part of the weathering – shame it won’t be seen under the gray paint. But for future reference it would make a great way to achieve mottling.
The tanks were sprayed with Tamiya XF-82 Ocean Gray 2 (RAF), then bleached out by adding a small amount of flat white to the grey and picking out highlights.
I also added some vertical distress to the paint by adding more white to the paint mix and spraying about 10mm from the tank with a quick upward flicking action to cut very fine sharp lines into the paint.
Once the grey had dried, it was time to see whether the chipping solution had worked. The technique with MIG Absolute Chipping is to brush another good coat of the solution onto the paint, and then apply the chipping effect with a stiff brush and/or toothpick.
This time around it worked well, the paint chipped away quite easily and the process could be controlled nicely. The trick with Absolute Chipping definitely seems to be to apply it with a brush and not spray it on.
With the chipping complete some post-shading was applied to the Aluminium underside to match up with the pre-shading under the grey. For the post shading I used Tamiya Smoke (X-19).
A little Smoke was also applied to the grey to create even more tonal variation.
After a good coat of Klear and being left for a few hours to dry, the decals were applied.
Once the decals had dried they were weathered by lightly wet sanding them with a fine sanding sponge. A few of them had dings and scrapes applied with the tip of a scalpel blade.
Final job for the drop tanks will be a coat of Flory Dark Dirt wash, and then a coat of Humbrol Matt Cote t seal it all in and flatten the finish.
Next job was to look at the shell case ejector chutes and the fuel dump pipe. The ejector chutes are short tubes that protrude beside the Sabrinas, and are used to make sure that spent shell cases are escorted safely away from the underside of the aircraft when firing the guns. The Fuel dump pipe is situated at the rear of the fuselage and is used for dumping fuel.
The kit parts are ‘orrible so I decided to scratch up some custom parts that will have a little more finesse.
For this I bought a pack of electrical bootlace ferules via Ebay. Bootlace ferrules are like the shiny plastic covering you get on the end of your shoe laces, except made from thin brass tube, and are designed to be placed over the end of a multi-strand cable and crimped into place. Because they have extremely thin walls they will be perfect replacements for the kit case ejectors and fuel dump pipe. They will also be handy in the future for other projects that require thin wall tubing.
To make the ejector tubes, the ferrules need to be cut. The easiest way I found to do this was by rolling the ferrule firmly under a scalpel, backwards and forwards until you cut through. It only takes a few seconds to cut through the tubing like this and you get a clean cut.
Next the cut end of the tube was chamfered using a fine sanding stick. Tricky to hold the ferrule and sand it as they are so small, but persistence pays off here…
In the photo below you can see the cut bootlace ferrule on the right next to the ‘orrible kit part on the left.
Here we are with all four case ejector tubes cut, and the longer fuel dump pipe in laying in front.
The flared base of the ferrules is a perfect fit into the recess in the fuselage. Here’s a shot of the case ejectors having been painted silver and PVA glued in place.
Likewise with the fuel dump pipe at the rear…