15th June 2014
I got a little burned out on this build after the last update, nothing major just started feeling things were getting a bit tedious what with each and every part of the kit needing serious TLC before it could be finished.
So rather than risk rushing things I took a week out from it (to do my 1/144 tornado) and am back with full mojo ready to get her finished off. The last thing I’d want to do at this stage is make a stupid mistake through rushing it 🙂
With that, here’s a shot of the final bits remaining to be finished off and attached…
I reckon undercarriage and weapons has to be my least favourite part of a build, it’s like getting to the bottom of the chocolate box and all you have left is Coffee Creams.
For the drop tanks I’m going for a “triple chip” weathering system. I know that sounds more like a type of ice cream so my apologies if I’ve made you hungry…
For the triple chip I’m going to spray the tanks with metaliser to look like aluminium. Then they’ll get a coat of yellow chromate type primer which I will chip back to the metal. Finally they’ll get a top coat of Extra Dark Sea Grey which will also be chipped revealing a mix of primer and bare metal.
This is the look I’m going for (very second hand).
After the hairspray had dried I gave it a coat of primer. This is a mix of 50% Tamiya Cockpit Green (XF-71) and 50% Tamiya Yellow Green (XF-4). To be honest it would have been better as 70% Yellow Green and 30% Cockpit Green – but its close enough seeing as most of it will be obliterated…
When dry (after about 30 minutes) I wetted the tanks with tap water and started chipping with a cocktail stick and stiff brush. Again I didn’t get enough hairspray down so the primer stuck to the metaliser somewhat.
Next I applied more hairspray (a lot of hairspray this time), hard to describe how much but enough to support a stout Mohican is probably the measure of it.
This time the chipping was much easier. Actually too easy, most of what you see below was done by gentle brushing with a stiff brush. But this is exactly what I was after.
Next up was the Sidewinders. On the SHAR they managed to get hold of the AIM 9L which gave them the ability to lock on from a frontal aspect as opposed to the earlier version they were using that was rear only.
Even the Sidewinders needed a fair bit of titivation. Raised panel lines, ejector pin marks and seams needed to be taken care of before painting.
One thing I have been toying with for a couple of weeks is adding some light streaking to the fuselage.
What I really wanted to achieve was some streaking from the wing vortex generators. I want the SHAR to look a bit like it’s sitting on a rainy sleety deck under a grey sky waiting for the off. With this in mind I wanted to simulate water runs and general wet weather on the fuselage rather than dirt and smoke. Although I also couldn’t resist a certain amount of dirt on there 😉
I played around with pigments. White chalk pastel dust looked great until it was clear coated at which point it just vanished. Same with white Mig Pigment. I tried fixing it with alcohol (but that just gave me a head-ache and made me want to sing songs about goblins), also tried fixing with white spirit but that didn’t work. I didn’t try Mig Fixative – maybe will get some in the future.
So what I settled on was to airbrush the streaking on with Humbrol Matt Cote.
The surface of the SHAR is very glossy (as it was during the Falklands conflict), so Matt varnish could be used to provide weathering effects. The downside is that it’s a bit of a one-way street and if it goes wrong it is harder to put right. As opposed to using pigments where you can blend them as you go and if you get it wrong they can be (pretty much) wiped off and started again.
I managed to knock it back a bit by going over it with Klear, micromeshing it back a bit (4000 mesh) and also blending it in with a little XF-24 Dark Grey (well thinned).
Being in the final stages of completion it was time to sort out another little problem…
After a bit of head scratching I decided to drill a hole in the front wheel well under the rear of the seat, and feed in a bit of plastic coated Kynar wire.
Well, that almost wraps it up for this one chaps!
The gear is now on, and only the Sidewinders, Pitot Tube and a few Antennae still need finishing.
The next post on this one will be the final reveal.