1/72 Airfix MiG 15 bis – Build Log

17th February 2014

Well I finally got around to getting some metalizer down, here’s an update on how it went…

Previously I had a bit of tidying up to do on the canopy join to the fuselage, and also I wanted to scribe a join line between the front and rear sections of the canopy…

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My first attempt at scribing the line on the canopy involved tracing the shape of the join and cutting the curve into Dymo tape to act as a guide for scribing. But that idea rapidly went down the toilet as the dymo tape just wouldn’t stick over the complex shape of the canopy firmly enough to be reliable. So in the end I used a scalpel to scribe the seam in by hand/eye.

With the canopy area complete it was time for some proper primer action…

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The only iffy bit was where the nose ring attached, there were some really fine seam lines showing here, so I gave it a couple of coats of Mr Surfacer 500 and left it overnight to cure before wet sanding it.

With that done it was time for some Mr Metal Color!

The main colour was Mr Metal Color Chrome Silver MC211. This was sprayed at around 10PSI with an H&S Evo using a 0.2mm needle.

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I also did some panel ‘bleaching’ using Mr Metal Color Aluminium MC218, also sprayed at 10PSI, and did some shading on the panel lines with Mr Metal Color Stainless Steel MC213 (I needed to up the pressure to 20PSI for the Stainless Steel as it sputtered at too low a pressure).

It’s worth noting that the bleaching and shading doesn’t show up in the photos very well. Also that it is difficult to get the Metalizer paint to spray finely, as it is so grainy you can’t really spray a fine line with it, so you end up trying to shade with quite a wide spray pattern.

Also of note, a few weeks back I did a test to see if you can use traditional pre-shading with Mr Metal Color. Short story is you cant. Mr Color Metalizer is so opaque that it just obliterates pre-shading.

I also decided to change the colour of some of the panels on the fuselage and wings. The relevant areas were masked with heavily de-tacked Tamiya tape…

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The masking tape needs to be de-tacked until it barely sticks at all otherwise you risk lifting the paint, or more likely leaving sticky residue on the paint. Certainly don’t burnish the tape down onto the bare metalizer. The tackiness of the tape needs to be about 20% the strength of the glue on a post-it note.

In the above photo you can see some nice tonal variation on some of the panels on the wing in the left of the photo. Unfortunately this didn’t survive buffing as I think I sprayed the darker tones way too thin and they basically rubbed off with buffing. Not to worry but next time I’d build up a thicker coat for changed panel tones.

Next up was a jolly good buffing…

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Most of the above buffing was done with cotton buds and paper kitchen towels. You can see some streaking on the wings, this was done by vigorously buffing the streaks in with a cotton bud.

As I said, and as you can see, the panels I changed the tones of all reverted back to the base colour and the bleaching/shading got seriously toned down. I think that’s a good thing though as it helps to give a subtle overall tonal variation rather than a stark contrast. Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it 😉

Next job was to paint the nose-ring in red in readiness for some clear coat (Model Master Metalizer Sealer).

Off came the masking tape from the nose…

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I don’t have any really thin masking tape so I cut a 1mm strip of Tamiya tape so that I could mask off the main line of the nose ring…

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The intake was temporarily stuffed with white tack, and the rest of the nose masked off and sprayed – Tamiya flat red for this…

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Nose painted and unmasked, I gave the wheel wells a quick coat of homebrew ink wash. For the ink wash I used plain old tap water (about 10ml) with 4 drops of Windsor & Newton Acrylic flow improver with a really good dash of black Rotring ink.

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The above photo shows quite nicely the streaking on the wings that was achieved by polishing the Metalizer with a cotton bud.

With the base coats complete it was time to seal it all in. I used Model Master Metalizer Sealer for this in the hope that it wouldn’t dull down the metal finish too much.

It was sprayed neat (again H&S Evo airbrush with 0.2mm needle), about 18PSI…

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The above photos show how it looks after a couple of light coats of Model Master Metalizer Sealer. It definitely dulled down the metal finish a bit, but not too badly. It’s difficult to show the difference in photos (well it is for me at least 😉 but the effect that the sealer has is to make the finish look more like silver paint than metal.

In order to try and preserve as much of a metal look as I can I’m only going to use Model Master Sealer for the entire build. That includes as a base coat for decals, as a sealer for decals and again as a sealer for any weathering I apply.

Having said that, time for some decals…

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There are some great big numbers that go on the nose – the “384” decals… These have lots of clear backing as you can see, so rather than have that dominate the front of the model I decided to cut around the “384” with a scalpel. That way I could just attach the numbers without any of the clear backing spoiling the metal finish.

Here’s some pics of the finished decals, which I have to say went down a treat! They were set with Micro Sol and they reacted really well to it and settled down well.

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As you can see it’s a bit squeaky clean, and way too clean for my grubby tastes so it needed to be made a bit more second hand…

Another coat of Model Master Metalizer Sealer was applied to seal in the decals ready for weathering…

I made up a home-brew ink wash, same as for the wheel wells but this time not so much ink so as to make a thinner wash.

A liberal coat was applied and left to dry…

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Once dry the ink wash was carefully removed using cotton buds with the *slightest* amount of moisture. It took quite a while to remove the wash being careful not to remove too much. I left quite a bit of wash on there and by stroking it in the direction of air flow added to the streaking effects…

I also took this opportunity to add some more streaking and staining using a Tamiya weathering kit. Mainly burnt red and oil effects were applied…

After that came another coat of Model Master Metalizer Sealer.

The black anti-slip walkway decals were looking way too pristine and shiny at this stage, so I savagely de-tacked some Tamiya tape and masked them off ready for a coat of Humbrol Matt Cote.

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And here she is with the walkways matted down, weathering wash on and streaking/staining finished…

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For the cockpit framework I obtained a 0.3mm fine silver marker and applied some fake rivets around the canopy (they are actually screw heads on the real Mig)…

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Next update will be unmasking the canopy, finishing off all the undercarriage, fitting the guns and onto the final reveal

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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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