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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 6





I am beginning to feel that the self imposed 12 month learning curve is working. In my opinion, the models I am making are gradually improving but I hope readers don’t think I have ‘cheated’ on my 1/72 small model régime as some have been large. For example, last week I wrote about my build of the 1/72 Revell Lancaster, and that’s a fair sized model.


However, as briefly mentioned last week, my small model of choice for month nine was the 1/72 Tamiya Chance Vought Corsair F4U-1D. As usual (in my very limited experience) the fit was excellent, in fact I cannot recall having to use filler on any Tamiya kit so far. It built quickly and in no time at all everything was ready for the painting exercise - once dreaded, but now being looked forward to! Progress indeed. This was also to be my first attempt at weathering.


Having spoken to ace builders at shows, my calculations proved that the majority had preferred to use enamel paints. I realise that much in modelling is subjective - whatever ‘floats your boat’ - so I decided to give enamels a go. One advantage is less clogging at the needle due to slower drying times over acrylics. Anyway, I researched the full sized aircraft colour reference and found the equivalent in Humbrol matt enamel 77 Navy Blue. Using Humbrol enamel thinners my aim was to use a number of very thin coats until I had the desired finish. (How different from my disastrous first spraying attempts!)


As the full sized aircraft was based in the Pacific, I was after a very faded and weather beaten finish, and having worked with aircraft in the Middle East, I know what ‘sand blasting’ can do to modern aircraft finishes, let alone WWII paint technology.



After a couple of full colour thinned coats, I lightened the colour just a tad with white enamel, to give a more faded tone. I was pleased with the result and the paint went on very nicely. The main and tail undercarriage legs were sprayed with Alclad aluminium as were the wheel hubs.



I ensured that ample coats Klear/Future were applied so that I did not experience the same decal silvering as on my Lancaster. The Tamiya decals went on beautifully and the model was sealed with a couple of water thinned coats of Gunze Sangyo clear matt - and it looked the part. However it did not have the weather beaten finish I was looking for. I found a light sand coloured acrylic, diluted this to almost ‘clear’ and then gently sprayed the whole aircraft to take away the ‘very new’ edge. Oil paint washes on the undercarriage, engine and selected airframe parts plus a little brushed dark grey pastel completed the job. Shame I initially glued the undercarriage legs incorrectly - wheels facing inwards! Now rectified, but Doh! How did I do that?


More next week.


Peter Buckingham.

Part 7