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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 39




As I mentioned in last weeks column, my wife and I were off to Italy for a few days and I had said that, on my return, I would get stuck in to the monstrous 1/32 Revell Eurofighter Typhoon. The best laid plans....................



Anyway, we managed to get back into the UK by the skin of our teeth with the volcanic ash cloud threatening to close much of Europe down again. An addition to my personal baggage was a nasty cold that I had picked up along the way - well I suppose it is actually flu' - isn't it only women who get colds but us fellers get flu' - not that we ever complain of course! However, soldiering on under a terrific strain, I did manage to get all the parts (and there are such a lot) of the Typhoon out of the box for a thorough wash in warm soapy water and allowed them to dry naturally in the sun no less. Sun in May? Whatever next.



As the weather was very clement in my neck of the woods, and while my 'washing' was drying in the garden, I thought it would be an opportune time to get some of that Halfords White Plastic Primer onto the Sea Fury T20 airframe. This had been recommended to me by master truck modeller, Neale Parsons, who has been using it for some time on his resin cabs. There are two types - White and Grey. The reason I am using white is because it forms the ideal reflective base for the colours of Red and Yellow which are the colours of my chosen version of the T20 - the German target towing tug of the DLB.



Never having used the stuff before, I practised on some spare plastic until I had judged the optimum distance between the object and rattle can. I then misted a few coats on to the T20 noticing that the paint was virtually self levelling and actually appeared to shrink itself around the airframe leaving no orange peel effect at all.



I allowed the airframe to cure overnight and then used my Micromesh 12000 in very soapy water to gently rub over the airframe. The result was very satisfying in that the surface is now as smooth as the proverbial baby's bottom. In fact the aircraft looks very good in white and perhaps it will be a shame to do some pre-shading - but I think I'll get over it! Initial reaction to the Halfords White Plastic Primer is 'good, very good'.



Those of you who have read my articles before may have come across my ramblings about the fact that me and Klear (or Future) do not happen to get along very well when it comes to spraying the stuff as I never seem to be able to maintain consistency in the finish. At the recent Southern Expo show I came across some other modellers of a similar mindset and it occurred to me that we ought to form a society - perhaps "Klear Ain't Us" would be appropriate. I hasten to reiterate here that I am only referring to the use of Klear through an airbrush. Brushing with a hairy stick is OK, but I prefer to airbrush where possible.



I have been looking around for alternatives and have tried most makes - you name it and I have probably tried it. Except that I hadn't tried Tamiya X22 clear varnish. I tried to get hold of one of their rattle cans of the clear - TS13, I believe, but the cans have been recalled due to a labelling problem. I had just finished painting the five propeller blades for the T20, and as I had managed to get hold of a small bottle of X22, I decided to try out the stuff on the props to see how it behaved.



I thinned the clear with 50% Tamiya Acrylic Thinners and shot the mixture through my Iwata TR1, misting on a few coats until a satisfactory gloss was achieved. I have photographed one of the blades and the shine is very good. It is a bit orange peely, but I will wait 24 hours for the X22 to cure and then gently rub the blades down with Micromesh and soapy water to see what final finish I can achieve. Have I found something that I can actually get on with? Initial thoughts? Very good - so far, time will tell.



This will have to be a very short column this week as I am on domestic duties for a few days. We have some Antipodean friends arriving on part of their European tour and we will be taking them around some of the sights of Kent. I wonder if I can get away with a tour of the modelling room? Just kidding dear!



As an amusing? aside, and before the X22 coating of the T20 propeller blades had taken place, I had Micromeshed the blades using my normal mix of very soapy shampoo water. This makes everything very slippery of course, so I normally take the parts across the landing to the bathroom in order to wash them in the sink under clear running water to cleanse them of the soapy liquid. As I placed them on the sink top, and before I could get the plug in place, a blade pinged out of my fingers, spun in arc at eye level and then, just like one of Robin Hood's very accurate arrows, disappeared down the plug hole without touching the sides. I retrieved it from the 'trap' OK but as Terry Wogan used to say, "Is it me"?



More next week.