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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 20

IN PURSUIT OF PERFECTION

 

 

 

The C17 was having a rest before the painting processes started as I needed to find the correct colour for the US 'lifter' fleet. After some research on the web, I discovered that Tamiya produced a grey acrylic XF53 'Neutral Grey' which equated to the USAF reference for this aircraft. 

 

 

The Revell LS8 glider had come together very quickly once the airbrakes had been fabricated. The painting began with a coat of Alclad Grey Primer/Microfiller which, once dry was smoothed down with 12000 grade wet and dry using soapy water. This was followed by very thinned coats of Tamiya white matt acrylic (20/80 paint/thinner) to build up a good base for the white gloss. The same rubbing down process was used between each of the 6 coats. Tamiya white gloss acrylic was then thinned as before and, although very boring, I painted 7 coats, again using the same rubbing down procedure between each coat. As you can imagine, this took a fair amount of time but I think the depth of the white finish was well worth it.

 

 

 

For those interested, and those of you who are perhaps worried about losing panel detail to coats of paint, provided the paint is thinned as I have described, there was no apparent loss of detail on the LS8.

 

 

 

It was now time for the minimal number of decals, and as my model depicted the RAFGSA aircraft at Keevil, two small roundels were provided for either side of the fuselage which I think looks the part! As the airframe was already high gloss, I used no Klear as a base for the decals. In fact I have broken all the modelling 'rules' by not later sealing the decals with Klear.

 

 

The only jobs to do now were to unmask the cockpit, fit the cockpit microphone I had made out of brass rod, fit the undercarriage and wheel well covers, and fit the canopy. Unfortunately, the only down side to my kit was a very small round blemish in the clear canopy plastic which couldn't be removed by polishing. However, once all this had been done, the LS8 was finished and I was very pleased with the result. This kit is well worth the money and makes into a very elegant, big, model.

 

 

 

Right! It was time to attack the C17 again. The previously Alclad Aluminium sprayed sections of the engine and the one off panel on the starboard side of the fuselage had been masked with Tamiya tape, and on using the walkaround pictures as a reference for this aircraft, I carefully used 'dollops' of white PVA to model the lumps and bumps of the various aerials and detection equipment on the top of the fuselage. Once this had dried, I sprayed the whole airframe with my favourite primer, Alclad Grey Primer/Microfiller. Surprisingly there were no corrections to be made so I pressed on with the top coats of Tamiya XF53 Neutral Grey heavily thinned as usual. The paint went on very well using just three coats.

 

 

Once this had dried out overnight and rubbed down with 12000 grade paper, I started the part of the finish I dread - spraying Klear gloss varnish. I can never seem to find any 'continuity' with this medium. I always use it neat, but the results are never the same. However, after three coats I had a nice glossy surface upon which the decals could be applied - and there are quite a few decals. Revell decals, I have found, go on reasonably well with a little help of Micro Sol/Set. In fact the only thing I don't like about Revell kits are the boxes! Why, oh why, can't they make the boxes with separate lids instead of the end opening type? It is so much easier to find what you are looking for in a box with a proper lid. Grumpy rant over.

 

 

Decals done, I sprayed my clear matt finish of choice, Gunze Sangyo matt clear, and it was time to fit the undercarriage units which proved a tad tricky trying to ensure all the 14 wheels were 'square' to the base but with care it isn't a big problem.Time to unmask the cockpit windows and use dabs of Micro Kristal Klear for the small fuselage lower windows and the tailplane lights. The passenger steps were glued into position and I made two new sets of hand rails for them from thin gauge brass rod as I thought the plastic ones were overscale.

 

 

It was time to do some minimal weathering. Using the magnificent Tamiya Smoke I thinly sprayed the engine fan blades to give the some 'depth' to the Alclad Aluminium and also to the rear part of the engines as well. Using very thinned Tamiya matt black, I put some shadow detail on the wing roots, tailplane and engine mounts. And that was it, job done.

 

 

More next week.         

 

Peter Buckingham.                          

 
 
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