1/72 Airfix MiG 15 bis – Build Log

26th January 2014

This weekend was mainly involved playing around with Mr Metal Color Buffable Metalizers, and a bit of filling and sanding…

I’ve been really getting into Perfect Plastic Putty recently in place of the Humbrol Model Filler I had been using. Prefect putty stays workable longer and is water soluble which makes it easier to work with. On the Mig I filled the wing joins and fuselage seams with Perfect Putty…

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The only thing with the Perfect Putty is it is quite coarse grained, and I usually end up with quite a few voids and holes after sanding. So after sanding it I ran a couple of coats of Mr Surfacer 500 over the seams and sanded again. You can see the Mr Surfacer in the photo below as the darker grey filler…

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The Mr Surfacer dries very hard and the best way I’ve found to sand it is to use a Flory Models sanding sponge (skinny black polisher) and use the fine side wet. To wet it I use a tub of water and dip the sanding sponge into the water, then sand the filler with the wet sponge. The water stops the sanding sponge from clogging up and allows a very fine finish.

I still got a few pits remaining after the first pass of Mr Surfacer so am going back for a second pass to sort out any remaining divots. I would be too picky if just using a normal paint finish, but where this will be Natural Metal Finish I’m not taking any chances 😉

As I mentioned during the unboxing, the canopy had a fine hairline crack in it. I contacted Airfix and they said that they don’t have the exact replacement part but would ship me an equivalent free of charge. Hat’s off to them for sending me a replacement canopy within 2 days, but unfortunately it’s a bit naff (old skool) compared with the newer (cracked) one.

The replacement one is top left in the photo below:

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So I decided to carry on and use the damaged canopy as it’s miles better quality… Here’s a close up of the crack circled in red:

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It’s not a horrendous crack, but it does go all the way through so my main worry was that it would spread, or the whole canopy would crack when fitting and masking.

To give it a bit of strength a good old dip in the Klear should do the trick:

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And after dipping:

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While the canopy dries, I put it inside a Mr Metal Color packaging container on a bit of paper kitchen towel. This stops any dust landing on the canopy while it dries and the towel helps wick away the klear…

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After drying overnight the dipped canopy looks pretty good. The crack is less evident and hopefully the Klear will strengthen the damaged area…

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So onto the Mr Color Metalizer experimentation…

Last week I ordered up some more Mr Metal Colors from Models-R-Go… Gotta say fast delivery and they even chucked in 3 pipettes free of charge – really appreciate that guys if you’re reading this – definitely something you need when using metalizers and a very nice gesture – thanks 🙂

As I mentioned, the MiG is a bit of a testbed in preparation for my 1/48 Lightning build… I haven’t done an NMF before so want to have a play around with metalizers before I go for the Lightning. Since I already have some Mr Metal Color I decided to use that instead of Alclads.

Here’s a comparison of the Iron Colours in their un-buffed form:

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And here they are after a bit of buffing:

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For contrast, the surrounding colour is MC213 Stainless Steel.

The iron colours are perfect for heat affected metal such as exhausts, jet pipes, gun barrels etc…

And here’s a comparison of the more silvery colours – again first off in their un-buffed state:

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Incidentally the above was sprayed using an H&S Evo with a 0.2mm needle, all the paints were sprayed neat.

The best pressure I found for this was around 10 PSI. I tried it at 20 and 30 PSI, but the finish was much better at really low pressure. This will vary if you use a different airbrush.

Also of note, I always give the airbrush a deep clean with cellulose thinners before spraying metalizers because even the smallest amount of crud can cause the metalizer to choke up or sputter.

And here’s the above colours after a buff…

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So in terms of colours, I was going to use Stainless Steel as my main colour for the fuselage, but now will go with Chrome Silver for the main colour and intend to do some panels in Stainless Steel and Aluminium. And will also use Aluminium for highlighting (bleaching) parts of the fuselage.

I found that the Aluminium, whilst the brightest shade of metal, doesn’t buff as shiny as the Chrome Silver. Aluminium is lighter in shade, but ends up duller that the Chrome Silver (if that makes sense).

Also by way of contrast, here’s a section of Chrome Silver with a patch of Aluminium sprayed over it…

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I also had a good play with clear coats, but have to say I don’t have any definitive results here – I will share what I found anyway…

Here’s a section that was sprayed with Chrome Silver, the left half was coated with Model Master Metalizer Sealer, the right half was sprayed with Pledge Wax (Klear).

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Both clear coats dulled the metal finish a bit, but the Klear turned the finish to that of silver paint.

It’s not easy to see in the photo, but the two red arrows show the border between the finishes, the left side is definitely more metallic (reflective) than the right.

Here’s another test I did – first of all a coat of Aluminium:

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Then I masked off vertical sections and applied a different clear coat over each vertical section. In between each type of clear coat I left the finish bare.

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In the above test, the Klear actually looked better that Model Master Metalizer Sealer and Humbrol Gloss Cote. (I actually like the Humbrol enamel clear cotes so thought I’d include one in the test.

All the clear coats made the metal finish look a little milky and gave them a dulled down blue-ish tinge. Where the Klear totally dulled down the finish in the previous test, in this one it didn’t seem to look too bad.

Note that the Light scuffed up finish on the far left above is just un-buffed aluminium and not relate to the sealer.

So in summary regarding the clear coats, I’m not entirely sure which was the best as I got mixed results. I reckon the Model master sealer will perform the best on a real scenario where you have compound curves and more interesting surfaces, the last test was a quite small plain section of metaliser paint so probably not the best test.

If I have the time I might do some more clear coat tests on a more representative section of paint, but for now I will probably go with Model Master Sealer initially and will use Humbrol Gloss Cote for the final protective layers…

Thanks for visiting!

I write this blog for fun, to share what I've learned, and to share my builds with you. If you like what you see here please leave a comment, and head over to facebook and like my page!

Cheers - Rich



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