14th September 2015
Ok, we’re really cooking on gas now…
I’m getting close to calling the Hunter done now, just some final weathering and touch-ups to do, and fitting the final bits and bobs.
For weathering, one of my favourite effects is chalk pastel streaking (and not the type you do at a football match and end up wearing nothing but a strategic Bobby’s helmet!).
To do chalk pastel weathering you need to use the hard chalk pastels, not the soft oil based ones. I got this set of eBay for not too much money, and it contains a nice collection of useful tones for modelling. Many of the sets of pastels have bright primary colours which aren’t too much use for weathering aircraft. This Earth Colours set has some useful colours in it.
Having said that I mostly end up using the black stick on the right.
In the photo below I’m going to apply a streak of dirt that appears to come from the vent circled in red. Chalk pastels work best on a matt finish, so at this stage the entire model has had a coat of Humbrol Matt Cote. If you try to apply chalk pastels to a gloss finish, most of it won’t stick.
Chalk pastels are really easy to use. Simply scrape a knife blade along the side of a stick of pastel and gather the resulting dust in a suitable container.
Then simply gather some of the dust on a suitable brush, and brush the dust onto your model where you want the streaking or smoke effect to be.
Here’s a shot of the vent after having some chalk pastel dust brushed next to it.
You need to be very careful not to be too predictable with the streaking (no-one expects streaking at a Womens Institute cake baking contest for instance), so make sure you don’t do too many streaks and make sure they aren’t too symmetrical or too uniform. I usually end up over-doing it, but it’s easy to recover by simply rubbing the dust off and manipulating it by rubbing with a finger.
When you’re finished, seal in the streaking with a lightly dusted coat of your favourite clear coat.
Meanwhile, progress has been made on the wheels.
Here the wheels, gear doors, pylons and airbrake have had a coat of Mr Metal Color buffable metaliser Aluminium sprayed on and have been given a good buff to create some nice tonal variation.
The wheels have been sprayed and buffed, ready to have the tyres painted in.
To paint the tyres I’m using Tamiya Rubber Black (XF-85). This has been very heavily thinned and by carefully applying it to the side walls of the tyre you can get it to wick around the rim as shown below.
This allows you to create a very sharp line around the rim without actually touching it with a brush.
Here’s the tyres with the rims picked out, the rest of the tyre will be sprayed.
To mask the wheels I cut circles of Tamiya tape using a circle template as a guide to cut around. It’s not ideal as the scalpel blade tends to bite into the plastic template, one day I will get a metal one (or a circle cutter). But this will do for my purposes…
With the wheel hubs masked off, the tyres got a coat of Rubber Black sprayed onto them…
And to add a bit of texture I sprayed the treads of the tyres with Tamiya German Grey (XF-63). This makes the part of the tyre that contacts the runway lighter than the sidewalls giving the appearance of wear. This wasn’t masked, just keep the airbrush pointing directly at the tread so that the spray misses the sides of the tyre. I’ll give the treads a bit of a black wash later to accentuate them.
Here are the wheels after unmasking. All that’s left for them is to apply some Indian ink wash to the wheel hubs to grubby them up a bit.
The gear doors and pylons got a coat of Klear, then the decals were applied and sealed in with Humbrol Matt Cote.
And then onto the fettling of the undercarriage. This was a pretty dull job where you just have to sit and sand and scrape until it all looks right. I’m also fettling the (huge) pitot tube as can bee seen at the top of the photo below…
With the undercarriage fettled it’s time to spray up the hydraulics with some Alclad Chrome.
Prior to this I sprayed the hydraulic areas with Humbrol Gloss Black Enamel. I prefer this to the Alclad black enamel primer because I find the Alclad primer a bit thick. Humbrol black gloss gives a mega smooth shiny finish.
The enamel primer was left for 2 days to cure before moving onto the Alclad. The Alclad is a very “hot” paint and I didn’t want to risk it affecting the black primer.
Spraying neat Alclad Chrome at about 10 PSI from 3-4 inches, two light coats were applied.
I’m really happy with the end results, nice and shiny. In fact that pitot tube looks too shiny, that’ll need to be dulled down a bit.
With the chroming done, it was time to mask up the chromed areas ready for it all to get a coat of Mr Metal colour buffable Aluminium (MC218)…
And then onto assembling the gear. For a relatively cheap kit the gear builds up quite nicely OOB (Out of the box).
I’m not going nuts on detailing here as on the 1960’s vintage F.MK.6’s pretty much everything below the water line was silver anyway.
Here’s the starboard gear leg in position. It’s a tricky fit as it doesn’t positively locate in place, rather it sits in a recess and is kind of propped up by the actuator. It’s a case of balance it all in place and get it tacked in with some Tamiya extra thin glue. Hold it in place for a minute or two while the glue grabs and you’re good to go.
A word of caution: Don’t so what I did below and fit the drop tanks before you attach all the gear doors. After this photo I had to fit two other gear door sections on the main leg and the drop tank got completely in the way. Far easier to fit the pylons and drop tanks *after* fitting the gear!
Moving onto the front gear…
The rear gear door for the front gear is slightly tricky, consisting of the door and two linkages. The linkages don’t positively attach to the gear door so some more balancing will be in order!
The front gear door simply glues in place via its two mounting lugs. No problem there.
The instructions say to fit the front gear leg before you assemble the fuselage. I chose to fit it after completing the kit. If you simply trim off one of the side mounting pips it’s relatively easy to manoeuvre the gear leg into position and secure it with plenty of glue.
Fitting the rear gear door was slightly tricky due to the fact that you have to balance it all together while gluing.
For this I fitted the linkages to the gear leg using small blobs of white-tack…
And then positioned the door with a linger blob of white-tack (being careful not to burnish the white tack onto any decals – don’t want it to rip anything up when it is removed). Silly putty might have been better for this as it’s not as sticky as white tack, but I don’t have any silly putty.
With everything “jigged” into place, it’s an easy mate to apply a few dabs of Tamiya extra thin onto the ends of the linkages and the bit where the gear door touches the gear leg.
I left this to dry for an hour or two before proceeding.
Once the glue had dried, the white tack was removed from the front of the linkages and they were then glued in place.
After an hour or so (to make sure the glue is totally solid) the white tack was removed and the front gear is complete…
And by the powers of the internet, and before your very eyes – time travel!
Yes, the next few steps actually happened before the previous ones, not because I am Jeff Goldblum and have invented a time travelling booth, but because I have re-jigged the order of the photographs a bit so I could keep the undercarriage photos together 😉
Fitment of the pylons.
For some reason the locating pips on the pylons bear no resemblance to the corresponding holes in the wings. With a slight feeling of terror I double checked the drawings and I was attempting to fit them in the correct place. I did wonder for a few moments whether they should have been fitted in the outermost position. But no, it looks like a good old manufacturing cock-up.
No problem, simply a case of cutting off the front pip.
I also cleaned the paint from the mating surface to give the glue a better chance of biting.
And the same for where the pylon will go, I scraped the paint away before gluing. This is a bit of an old habit going back to my childhood when the Britfix never really stuck very well on top of Humbrol matt enamel. But it’s not a bad idea here as buffable metalisers create quite a weak powdery joint, so at least I know here I’m gluing plastic to plastic.
Finishing some of the other jobs, I added a blob of PVA glue to the canopy release break glass. That will dry nice and clear and look better than the kit glass.
And also time to fix another Frank Spencer moment…
While I was foiling the tail pipe, I managed to knock off the port horizontal stabiliser. I had CA glued the stabiliser in place and had it positioned absolutely spot on. What I hadn’t done was to also apply some extra thin glue to weld it on there. End result, one good knock with the hand and off it popped.
You wouldn’t believe how cack handed my attempts to glue it back on became! I popped a bit more CA glue on it and fitted it back in place, the glue wouldn’t take.
I cleaned up the joint, applied CA glue, held it in position and hit it with the activator spray. End result – firmly attached at the wrong angle.
After several more attempts at getting the thing to glue on in the right position I finally got it right, and was greeted by that “slimy thumb” feeling of dread when I realised the activator spray had softened the Humbrol Matt Cote :'(
Not only that but the activator spray had caused all kinds of ‘orrible water marks which are raised and you can feel them with your finger.
The problem with the stabilisers is that the attachment tabs are very small and they don’t engage positively in the tail. So you end up with the stabilisers being quite wobbly in the slots – hence the need to fit them with CA glue and hit them with activator to tack them in position.
Needless to say, once I got the port stabiliser back in position it got a good dose of Tamiya Extra Thin to weld it in place.
To repair the damage I sanded the water marks out with a wet polishing sponge and touched up with grey and green as required. Not a problem really and will add some more “on purpose” weathering effects to the surface 😉
When it comes to things left to do I’m really left with the “Coffee Cremes” at the bottom of the tin now (or Turkish Delights if you like Coffee Cremes)…
The wingtip navigation lights got a brush coat of their respective colours…
On the underside are two DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) antennas. The rear antenna is the Rx (receiving) antenna and the forward one is the Tx (transmit) antenna.
I wasn’t sure why they had such thick bases as in the reference photos they don’t have bases on them.
Then I realised the large bases on the antennago *inside* the holes in the fuselage. As it was the holes were a bit small so I drilled them out using a 2mm drill.
The sensors are usually a kind of yellow colour (from the photos they look like they are of fibre-glass type construction?).
I don’t want paint on the bases where they will be glued, so I stuck the sensors onto some Tamiya tape wound sticky side out on a sanding stick, and applied a bit of Maskol to the bases.
Tamiya XF-4 Yellow Green was a pretty good colour for them, and a little bit of white was also airbrushed on to add some highlights.
I also dry brushed a little black onto the trailing edges, though it’s hard to see in the photos. In real life they don’t look quite as bright yellow as this.
And the painted sensors fitted into position.
By the way, this is definitely one of those jobs you do *after* the undercarriage is on, otherwise the sensors would just be begging to get snapped off.
Another of the last jobs is the canopy painting…
Here I’ve masked off the canopy frame using some of that amazing curvy Tamiya tape to mask the front curve – brilliant stuff, and it cuts as sharp as a razor.
And here’s the canopy fully masked.
Note that it is also masked inside so that I can paint the inside frame because the canopy will be in the open position.
The inside is sprayed with Tamiya Nato Black (XF-69), and the outside of the frame with Tamiya RAF Dark Green 2 (XF-81).
The Hunter canopy has yellow dots decaled around its edge. They remind me of “In case of emergency, cut along dotted line ✂”…
Since the canopy frame at the front of the canopy is very thin I used a scalpel to trim off all the carrier film from the edges of the decals.
Here’s the decaled canopy, as you can see the decals on the front of the canopy are exactly the same width as the frame – any excess carrier film would have created problems there!
And that just about wraps it up for the Mighty Hunter build log…
Just a few bits of weathering to do and I’ll be ready to do the final reveal photos…
I’ve really enjoyed this build even though at times it has been challenging. However any challenges were all of my own making as this is an absolutely lovely kit for the money. The F.Mk.6 is tricky to find these days as it was re-released as the FGA.Mk.9. But it’s still essentially the same kit and for around £27 it’s a bargain. I actually saw an FGA.Mk.9 in the “Endless Models” summer sale in Salisbury for £19.99 the other week (Sept 2015). So for the money this is a great kit, nicely moulded, nice detailing, no real problems and it’s big!
Thanks for following along, it’s been a pleasure to build and please feel free to leave comments or ask questions below: