Okay, for once a week with good progress and without a SNAFU. Painting has moved along at a good pace and the model is ready for a clearcoat.
I had on really good day last Tuesday. It was a holiday where I work (Cesar Chavez Day) and I was home alone, so I took advantage of it! I started by masking off certain panels on the kit (based on a mixture of historical references and what I had seen on other models) and hitting them with Alclad Dark Aluminum:
I then masked off some other more random panels and used Alclad White Aluminum just to break up the NMF into panels:
Next I did the masking for the red. The nose was a bit of a challenge since making a straight line around a nose without compound curves was much more a matter of art than science. I made a really thin strip of Tamiya masking tape so that it could curve with the contours of the nose and make a straight line:
I then added thicker strips of masking tape in segments behind this small strip. I finished the red and had to call it a day at that point. I tried to post-shade the red, but adding white to the red made a God-awful pink, so I went back over it with the straight red. The result is a half-ass shading effect. I may try to do something with it, we’ll see… Also, the red wingtips may or may not be historically correct. I’ve seen this plane depicted in several paintings and several models/diecast replicas and seen it either way. The decal set I bought says they weren’t there, but also has a disclaimer that states that the squadron’s Mustangs were second-hand and were repainted between missions, so variations were possible.
I put some more time in last Friday and did the olive drab anti-glare panel on the nose, the white trim tabs on the tail and the yellow ID stripes on the wings and prop tips.
On previous models, like my Thunderbolt, I painted the striped area white, masked it with a strip of tape, then painted the darker olive drab over it. But since I was doing NMF, and that starts with BLACK, I wasn’t about to try to paint either red, yellow or white over it. In my experience, none of those colors cover another color worth a damn. So, I decided to make the whole model NMF and paint the lighter colors over it. In fact, if you look closely at the above picture, you can see I masked off the trim tabs on the tail and left them aluminum since it would be too hard to paint the white over the red.
So, to make the stripes on the wings, and make sure they were straight, I first made masking tape strips to be “place holders” for the stripes:
Once I got them into position and was happy with them, I butted other pieces of masking tape onto their edges:
Then I could peel away the center piece of masking tape and have a masked-off stripe that was straight and parallel.
So now paint is done and decals will be next. I almost got the clearcoat done yesterday, but my daughter had other plans. Plans that didn’t involve her taking a nap…