Sunday, 22 March 2015

Airfix 1/72 Tomahawk IIA - Part 7

I've completed the basic colour scheme on the underside of my Tomahawk and now have to remove the masking tape ready to start the job of re-masking in order to spray the top-side. This gives me a glimpse of those undercarriage wells and I'm pretty pleased with how they look - the BluTack masking worked and I got a nice clean finish...

My main worry now is the Hataka paint, but it's now a case of having paid for it and started using it I best muddle through to the end with it. I'm pretty sure the problems I had with the underside coat was an issue of dilution, I have a suspicion that the Hataka paint needs to be mixed thinner - to aid flow through the airbrush - but then needs several coats to build up the required finish. We shall see.

Update: Had a lovely reply from Hataka themselves to a query I made on their Facebook page. They directed me to a review of their paints on the AeroScale web site which includes comparisons and suggestions regarding dilution and compatible thinners: AeroScale Tool Review - Hataka Acrylic Paints.
AML's reference sheet for their 26 Sqdn. decal set.
Back to the masking tape (I must get a selection of different sizes to fit the different nooks and crannies that need to be covered plus some wide tape for the big areas). Obviously I'm reversing the masking in that I am covering the underside that I have painted in order to spray the upper-side. I'm trying to 'underlap' by masking nearly up to the line where the Sky colour finishes but I leave a tiny bit of Sky (about half a mil) so I can over paint it with the Dark Earth to give a nice smooth demarcation between colours.

OK, that looks nice enough - aside from the inevitable tiny hairs - where do they come from? Still I carefully removed them and think I can touch in these tiny blemishes. The Dark Earth colour looks a bit on the light side - in my opinion - but checking through colour reference photos it seems to come within the margin of acceptable RAF early war camo-brown. In any case I will be weathering this model so starting a little on the light side isn't a bad thing as it will tone down once the weathering is applied.

Now to mask for the RAF Dark Green. I'm going for a hard-edged cam pattern - I think that is correct - using masking tape rather than Blu Tack (which gives a softer edge)...

Half the Tomahawk masked, phew!
I just judged the green pattern by eye rather than doing it 'properly' by enlarging the AML colour pattern sheet up to 1/72 scale and then using that as a template with which I could cut the patterns accurately. I think there is wiggle room as regards authenticity and my interpretation will be close enough.

Dropped Hataka paints: I'm afraid I simply lost confidence in the Hataka paints, mainly as they simply refused to play nicely with my airbrush. I had repeated blockages despite trying a few different thinners and so have now reverted to Vallejo paints. The 'Dark Earth' was Humbrol's and the Dark Green I am about to apply is Vallejo's Model Air No. 12.

I was very pleased with the results of my airbrushing as I haven't done a lot of camouflage painting as yet and this is my very first RAF camo scheme. The decision to paint the sky fuselage band first and then mask it was a good choice as it came out really well.

Another positive was that the addition of the RAF Dark Green has toned down the Dark Earth - which I was worried might be too light - and the overall effect is a relatively acceptable interpretation of the RAF's early WW2 camouflage scheme. I think once I spray on a satin varnish it will be a quite satisfactory job.

Well, that didn't turn out to be the disaster that I was worried it might be! I think I may even have made some progress in my modelling. In fact I think I will go and reward myself with a nice mug of tea and a ginger nut. :)

Next: Touching up and repairs before varnishing prior to adding the decals.

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