15th March 2014 – Setting up the office
What with pressures of work and all that I’ve had limited time to get started on the Hunter :'( But I’ve done a bit here and there and have got some photos to add to the build log…
The first problem I encountered was one of scale:
Having been working mainly at 1/72 scale, I’m not used to having a box of bits as big as my entire work area 🙂
So my first job was to tape up the box, and cut open one end so I can have the box sitting vertically under the desk, out of the way but still get-attable.
There were two choices of ejection seat in the kit, the version I’m building has the Martin Baker 3H. The seat is nicely detailed and comprises a few separate parts.
It went together nicely too, very little finishing off required here.
With the seat assembled it was time for a dry fit. (gotta say glueing is one of my favourite parts of modelling – shame it accounts for a small part of the process 😉 )
So far the fit of this kit is great, everything goers together with a minimum of gaps.
I haven’t shown photos of the cockpit parts yet, but I decided to dry fit them together and glue (tack) them together in situ. Because the rear bulkhead butts up against the floor of the cockpit it would be impossible to get it glued in exactly the right position outside the fuselage. Doing it this way guarantees it’s set in the right position.
Though the quality of the mouldings is good, there are a few badly placed ejector pin marks. Here’s a few on the fuselage side walls that’ll need to be taken care of.
With the seat assembled, and also some of the cockpit walls, floors and bits and bobs glued it was time to give everything a coat of Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black.
Top centre in the photo below is the ejector seat rail assembly. I decided to get the cockpit painted before gluing this otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get behind it to paint the rear bulkhead.
The XF-1 looked a bit too, well, black? I gave the parts a dust over here and there with Tamiya XF-69 Nato Black to break up the monotony of the colour.
Skipping ahead a bit, I dry brushed the cockpit parts with medium grey, and then a touch of silver (Mr Metal Color Stainless Steel actually). Also I picked out a few pipes and cables on the rear bulkhead.
With that done it was time to glue the ejection seat rail in place. Once again time for a dry fit so I can make sure I get the rail assembly in the right place.
As it happened, the seat rail needs to be slightly mis-aligned at the bottom in order to create a really nice fit into the spine at the top. It doesn’t matter that the rail kicks out a bit at the bottom because it will have a Martin Baker 3H covering it entirely 🙂 Again, if I’d glued the rail assembly based on how it best fitted onto the cockpit floor I’d have probably ended up with a gap where it meets the spine…
After a bit more dry brushing (Tamiya flat white for the instruments, knobs and buttons) I got to the state below.
I was really happy with the results, but it looked way too tired and faded. I’m all up for the second hand look but I want her to look like she’s seen a lot of service, and not so much like she’s sat as a gate guardian for the past 30 years 😉
I gave the cockpit parts a spray of Humbrol Satin Cote and it served to darken down the effect and make it look more like black paintwork that’s in need of a touch up.
Something else I’ve been experimenting with as well, is using different types of clear coats (Matt, Satin, Gloss) to create effects of texture and tonal variation. Some parts of the cockpit got a highlight with Humbrol Gloss Cote.
An example of the different clear finishes is shown below…
The front fairing has had two stripes of gloss cote applied, this gives a matt finish vertically down the centre, with a slightly satin finish towards the edges.
And again from another angle you can see how the gloss cote catches the light and changes the tone of the paint work. It looks even better in real life in the light…
For the dry brushing I always find Tamiya Acrylic a bit tricky to work with as it dries so blimmin fast. I either have too much on the brush and end up painting stripes over my lovely paintwork, or nothing happens at all.
So I had a go at dry brushing with oils. On the dash and side consoles I had already dry brushed them with Tamiya flat white acrylic, and went over them again with titanium white oils.
It didn’t work all that well as the oils were too greasy and tended to colour the background a bit as well as the raised parts of the model.
You might be able to see below there is a white tinge to the background of the dashboard.
I gave the background of the dashboard a wash over with a fairly strong ink wash to tame down the white and bring back a bit of contrast… The photo below doesn’t really capture the difference but it looked much better in reality.
Next up, time for a bit of PVA glue to give the dials a bit of shine. For this I just use plain old school glue applied with a cocktail stick…
And with the PVA dried, time for some detailing…
I found this extremely addictive, so much so that tomorrow I’m off out to buy a 1/12 scale F16 Cockpit model that Italeri do. My local toy shop has one in stock that I’ve been thinking about for some time, doing the Hunter cockpit has made my mind up – I’m deffo up for some more button painting 😉
The buttons and switches are all hand painted with a fine brush. For this I found that Tamiya Acrylics are complete pants for brush painting. They just dry too fast and don’t respond well to brushing.
So instead I did all of the fine detailing with my trusty old set of Humbrol Enamels. Gotta say Humbrol Enamel is absolutely beautiful stuff to paint with when you’re doing fine stuff, it’s the perfect consistency when neat, it covers well and stays wet for just long enough to get it nicely in place.
The enamels have won a reprieve in my paint stash now!!!
Right, on with he seat… Initially I was going to go with the moulded seatbelts and just paint them. But to be honest I got on much better with doing the cockpit than I first thought so decided to show them the coarse end of a Flory Models skinny sanding stick and let them begone.
I’ll make up a harness from something suitable later…
The seats were given a coat of Humbrol Gloss Cote, mainly to make them look a bit different to the rest of the black of the cockpit.
Rivets were picked out using a fine brush with Mr Metal Color Aluminium. The anodised brackets near the top of the seat by the red label were done with Tamiya Titanium Gold (makes a great colour to reproduce that anodised gold colour).
The red label was painted with Tamiya Flat red acrylic (a right pain to get it to go on), the white writing brushed on with good old Humbrol matt white enamel.
For the green seat cover and parachute on the top of the seat I used oils. They are great for this sort of thing as you can blend them in situ until you get the look you want. The downside is that they take 3 days to dry :'( But I’ll deffo use them again for effects such as this.
And here’s another view of the cockpit – gotta say I’m really happy how it turned out! I like doing cockpits now 🙂
I still need to paint and install the control column, and the fuselage side walls are total plain and will need a bit of titivation. But that will be a job for the next update 🙂