Revell 1:48 AH-64 Apache – Paint Scheme: Green W/ Minor Weathering and Damage

This kit was the most irritating model to put together. I had numerous issues with parts being warped, not fitting, or having terrible seams. I have tried my best to fix them, but it does not look great. As a result, this will be a short blog post because almost all of my effort was towards fixing issues with the kit.

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

The the instructions were surprisingly clear on what needed to be done, but the sprues were warped I sprayed the sprues with gray primer.

Step One – Assembling and Painting:

I ran into numerous issues with parts not fitting together properly and, when the did, there were usually really bad seams. I painted the base of the cockpit a dark green, the panels and the chair black, and dry brushed the panels with white. To practice controlling my hand shaking, I hand painted the cockpit frame. I airbrushed the rest of the helicopter that dark green. I hand painted the rotors black.

Step Two – Weathering and Final Thoughts:

By this point, I had spent 3-4 days and my back had been getting increasingly more painful as I worked on it. I used a black wash on the vents. I used a pin vice to make bullet ricochets like it had been ambushed on one side with  some small arms fire. I dry brushed some aluminum paint on the areas to make that effect more apparent. This most certainly isnt my best work, but I am proud of the cockpit frame, given that it is hand painted, and I decided to avoid buying Revell models in the future, unless they are the only ones who make a specific model.

 

Monogram 1:72 P-82G Twin Mustang – Paint Scheme: FQ-377 W/ Minor Weathering

This was a fairly easy and fairly quick kit to put together, though it does have a few fit issues. It comes with 2 variants, the P-82F and P-82G.

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

The the instructions were mostly clear on where everything went, but I wish that there were a few images depicting how certain things were supposed to go together , like the fuselage and cockpits. There were 2 different variants to chose from, the P-82F variant with that had a large radar nacelle and a P-82G that had a rocket rack. I opted to make the “G” variant, but only put on the drop tanks, not the rockets or bombs. I sprayed white primer on the parts while still on the sprue.

Step One – Assembling everything:

Everything fit into place nicely, but I could never get  the landing gear doors to have a strong enough connection, the plastic connection was just too thin.

Step Two – Painting:

I taped off the cockpit any overspray. A large portion of the the aluminum flakes and acryilc, about 1/4th of the bottle, had dried and basically thickened beyond use at the bottom of the bottle, but I thinned it with some airbrush thinner and. It came back, at least most of it, and after a quick stir it was fine in my airbrush. I sprayed the entire body first with the aluminum, then I taped off the parts that needed to be red. I forgot to tape off the part where the Boom ID String  goes, so I had to hand paint that part with some aluminum after I was done. I also hand painted the dark green section in front of the cockpit. I sprayed it with a gloss top coat then put on the decals. I then glued on the painted landing gears. After the decals had dried, I sealed them in with another gloss coat. I do need to pick up a paintable jar of flat top coat, because some parts, like the green panels, should be a flat color.

Step Three – Weathering and Final Thoughts:

I decided to only do minor weathering on this model. I used a thick mud wash for the wheels, a thin black wash for the exhaust and the grime, and a thin lighter brown wash for hydraulic fluid and to give some parts depth. I liked this model and overall there were no major issues when building it.

 

Revell 1:48 P-38J – Paint Scheme: Damaged Bare Aluminum

This is actually the first model kit I bought, but I put it off until I had done several models and I had more practice under my belt. This kit, unfortunately, has several issues.

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

The the instructions were very fairly clear and they had 3 different variants to chose from, the Night Fighter, The Fighter Bomber, and the “Standard” P-38 flown by Richard Bong. This is the largest build I have done, but it only has about a half dozen more pieces than the Churchill Tank. I sprayed everything with a grey primer.

Step One – Assembling the cockpit:

This was pretty easy to do. The instructions were clear on what needed to be done for everything to come together, however there were a couple alignment issues which became a problem later on while building. I painted the interior corrosion coating, then the electronics, then finally the pilot. The pilot took a fair bit of time for something you don’t really see at the end.

Step Two – Assembling the core wing and fuselage:

First I glued in the cockpit and the landing gear bay. Next I glued together the wing, but the plastic was somewhat warped, so I had to anchor several points with tape while I glued everything.

Step Three – Assembling the engines, the elevator, and weapons:

I first put together the two engine nacelles, but I kept the engine cowling and prop off so they would be easier to paint. I then assembled the weapons and painted them. The nacelles were somewhat warped, but nothing that could not be overcome.

Step Four – Painting:

I taped off the cockpit and the guns to prevent any overspray. . I initially tried to airbrush aluminum onto the gray primer, but the dark primer was too overpowering and I was not getting the color I was looking for. I opted to spray it again with white primer. However, I did not mix the primer enough and I ended up with a grainy texture on part of it, more on that later though. I decided because I could not get rid of that texture without losing all of the raised panel lines, which also proved to be a problem when painting. The raised lines prevented the tape from sticking correctly and I got overspray on some parts. I decided that I was going to use this model to practice hand painting, so I hand painted invasion stripes and the dark panels, with the aid of tape. A section of the right wing had really bad paint issues, so I opted to remove it and paint it dark like it was damaged. I opted for a similar paint scheme to Richard Bong’s P-38, but with invasion stripes. I also decided not to do decals, partly because of the paint issues, but also because I wanted to focus on practicing painting. The cockpit canopy was probably the hardest thing to put on because it didnt fit and the plastic was so thin that it could barely grab onto the cement OR the solvent.

Step Five – Weathering:

I noticed that most of the graininess was focused on the right wing, so I decided, in an attempt to help cover up the paint issues, to weather it like it had been shot in its right wing and the engine was blown. I started with a thin black wash for the general damage, I then dry brushed on some aluminum acrylic, then a thicker black wash for the heavier parts and crevices, then a brown medium viscosity wash to give it some depth.

Step Six – Final Thoughts:

This model has its share of problems, but I didn’t help with the paint issue. It is an alright P-38 kit, but there are better ones out there for sure. This kit had several fit and seam issues. I had fun doing the weathering and painting, but I would not make this kit again.

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.

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.