Revell 1/72 Me 262 A-1a – Paint Scheme: German Desert Spotted

I was a moron and I forgot to take any pictures of my model when building until I had painted the base coat and put on the masking tape; because of this, I will be dedicating this post to how I did the camouflage and what I learned along the way. I am using these pictures as reference for the pattern and I ended up making a combination of the two patterns. I know that the camo pattern is not historically accurate, I just wanted to do something a bit different. For reference, I use a Paasche Model H Single Action aurbrush.

Step Zero – Before I started documenting:

There were some problems with this model, particularly, the female fuselage was warped, but it corrected itself once it was glued on. One minor issue was that the holes for most of the antennae were never fully cleared, so I ran into issues putting them on and ended up scrapping them. I did not want to bother with trying to clear them with an Exacto and risk either hurting myself or the model. The cockpit was painted prior to attaching it to the plane, but I put it in the plane backwards. By the time I realized my mistake, the glue had set and it had to be carefully cut out with an Exacto and reattached. Thankfully, the wings were not on, in which case I would have been screwed.  I covered the cockpit with a piece of trimmed masking tape and painted on the light gray base coat, but I am not entirely pleased with it because I think it is a bit too dark.

Step One – Protecting areas with tape:

This step was probably the easiest, I taped up every area I did not want to get paint on with at least one strip of making tape. I would then place more tape on the overhanging sticky parts so there was no open adhesive and they were thick enough not to get caught on a pair of scissors. After that, I trimmed them down with a small pair of scissors.

Step Two – Painting the upper base coat and camo:

After deep cleaning the airbrush numerous times, we had previously made the fatal mistake of trying to spray Vallejo Model Color paints thinned with rubbing alcohol, all blockages were cleared and we used a Vallejo Model Color “Desert”(?) thinned with water for the tan secondary coat. For the pattern color, I used Vallejo Model Color “Flat Earth” with a drop of “Flat Black”, thinned with water. For each dot, I had the nozzle almost completely choked back on the needle and lightly tapped the trigger. I would clean the nozzle of dry tip every 2-3 dots.

Step Three – Weathering and Detailing:

At the point that I did this, I did not know about applying a protective layer before applying the weathering, so I applied it directly on the acrylic. I originally used an oil paint thinned with thinner, but that removed the acrylic on some test pieces that were attached to the sprue. I ended up carefully using highly water thinned “Flat Black” and a “Flat Earth” w/ a drop of “Natural Steel” acrylic paints to weather certain areas. I used Vallejo “Natural Steel” for the engines and the guns and I used “Flat Earth” for the cockpit seat. There was a casting/packaging issue with one of the engine nacelles that lead to it twisting and bending part of the plastic. Rather that trying to fill it or re-bend it to the right shape, I left it as is, filed away some paint, and weathered it to appear slightly damaged. I tried to also make a small hydraulic leak on the bottom by the right gear and one by the right horizontal stabilizer, but I am not fully pleased with it. I used a Vallejo “flat white” to dry brush the cockpit instruments to bring out colors.

Step Five – Finishing the camo and final thoughts:

I had a very hard time attaching the cockpit using “plastic weld” solvent “glue”, as can be seen at the edges of the cockpit. I have since learned that Testors makes model cement for clear parts that should fix most of my issues. I used some of the leftover base coat color and the camo color to touch up areas. I have also since learned several things about weathering, mainly to apply a protective coat, that you use opposing types of paints (you use oils or enamels if your base coat is acrylic), and that you need to be careful when you are removing it so you don’t rub off any paint. I will probably do decals later, but I am waiting to do those for when my hands are more steady and I am more confident in my ability. I would greatly appreciate any feedback or tips you could give me.

The X-Carve: 2-ish Months Later

NOTE: This article was meant to go live mid March, but medical issues delayed that until now.

It has been 2 months since we built the X-Carve. It has been a very eventful couple of months, We have both done a lot and learned a lot since then.

What we learned along the way:

  • It is always best to go stock before adding anything to it, even if what you are doing has tons of evidence behind it.
    • The “30 Minute Stiffening Mod”, despite the 75+ posts about it, lead to our rails being improperly spaced and caused our V-Wheels to jump while carving, which lead to issues with machine drift. Removing the mod fixed the jumping, for the most part. Now we just need to really clean the V-Wheels and Rails. We are also going to adjust how tight the wheels are to the rails to see if that affects anything.
  • The G-Shield seating is very delicate.
    • We have run into several issues where just bumping a cable or the power supply/enclosure will unmount the board. While this is easy to fix,  we did end up removing the strip of wood on the front of the shelf because we found that lifting the supply to put it back in after reseating the board can unseat it.
  • Your X-Carve will not cut perfectly flat to the stock wasteboard.
    • Because this is still a DIY kit, there has to be some room for error. We have never cut anything, especially something that is milling close to the bottom of the material, without having a secondary wasteboard under it. One solution for a “perfectly even cut” is to resurface the Inventables wasteboard or to create your own resurfaced secondary wasteboard.
  • Adjusting the potentiometers is inevitable.
    • Within the first 3 weeks, we found the need to adjust the potentiometers. We were not having a huge amount of issues, but they were still one thing we had not done and it helped somewhat.
  • Threadlock is important, especially on the pulley set screws.
    • The set screws on the X-Carriage pulley did not hold and got stripped. This lead to the stepper motor shaft slipping and causing machine drift. We ended up having to buy these longer set screws and Threadlock.
  • The Inventables Community is Indispensable!
    • The Inventables Community is a great resource for when you need help or inspiration. They have almost always been able to help me fix any issues that I have encountered with the machine. They are very helpful and knowledgeable

Some of what I have created:

  • Carpe Diem Wood Text Sign to hang over our doorway. This was made using Poplar and a dark stain.
  • LED Signs for to put on a desk or a shelf.

What I am currently making (as of March 12th, 2016):

  • I am testing ArtResin inlays for coasters I am making for my brother. I am using scrap test pieces that are in various stages of production.

What is Next (as of March 12th, 2016):

  • Adjust and clean the V-Wheels/Rails.
  • Finishing all of my brother’s coasters.
  • Trying my hand at prop making by replicating the Oblivion Iron Dagger.
  • Working on some picture engravings.
  • Finding more projects to do.

If you are interested in a wood sign or an LED sign, here is the Etsy store. Once I finish my brother’s coasters, I will add custom coasters as an product to the Etsy store. I am also going to work on picture engravings.

EDIT 6/3/16: The coasters are completed, here is the store page.

Minicraft 1/144 P-51D “Old Crow” – Paint Scheme: German Captured Aluminum & Yellow

This is my brother and I’s first model and our first time using an airbrush and we would greatly appreciate any feedback that you could give us.

Step Zero – Taking note of the instructions and the sprue:

This is the most important part just because how the instructions flow, how many parts there are, and how the parts fit together dictate how you will proceed. We noted that the landing gears were too tiny for us to reliably glue in and we also noted that we would have to paint the prop and the spinner on the sprue due to how fragile they were. None of the parts appeared warped, malformed, or had any other issues.

Step One – Painting the aluminum base coat:

We decided, with how the model goes together and how few and small the parts were, we were going to airbrush the base coat of aluminum onto the parts before we remove them from the sprue. For the aluminum we airbrushed “Aluminum Chrome Trim” enamel paint to achieve that freshly cleaned/polished sheen that you see on some P-51s. We used a “Flat Black” enamel for the propeller and a “Gloss Yellow” acrylic for the spinner, it was the only yellow on hand.

Step Two – Gluing it together:

This is probably the most time consuming part of the project just due to the amount of time it takes to ensure everything is secure and how finicky all the parts can be to put together. The single hardest part was the Horizontal Stabilizer, the “pin/slot” was as thick as a fingernail and they kept falling out.

Step Three – Painting the secondary color and the cockpit:

Although you cannot see it since it is too late, these pictures were taken right after painting, I covered everything I did not one to be yellow with a layer of painters tape. We airbrushed the exposed skin parts with a “Glossy Yellow” acrylic and mixed 1-2 cc “Flat Green” enamel with 1-2 drops of “Flat Black” enamel and we used a small detail brush for the interior. We did run into some issues where the paint pooled in some areas and the tape did not adhere fully.

Step Four – Finish the model and final thoughts

I had to touch up a few spots of paint and I notice where we went in too hard with the air-brush. Using sprue scraps, I created a little display stand. The paint scheme is partially based on this P-51 that was captured by the Germans, but we decided against the green cap and the marking. We did not do the marking because of how small the model is, smaller than my palm.

We were originally going to start working on a Revell 1/48 F-16, but we have observed that 1/144 was easy to do because there were not many parts, but painting, detailing, and such was very hard. From what we can tell, 1/48 is easy to paint because of how big the parts are, but there are a lot of them and it appears to be too complex for our current ability. Our next model will be a 1/72 Revell ME 262 A-1a.