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107 posts

Dad kept saying “there’s no TV this Christmas!”.  But as the day grew closer, the TV was still there and working.  Christmas day and Santa had left a huge box at the end of the bed.  I wiped the sleep from my eyes, got hold of the present, unwrapped it … the 1/24 Messerschmitt bf109E!  Inside the box, Airfix paints, glue and brushes.  Dad was right, I didn’t watch any TV that Christmas!


107 posts

Firstly, it's worth saying that I do wash parts before I start assembly as I find this definately aids paint adhesion during the build.

I used the little pots given with for the interior, spinner and propellor which I'd thinned with tap water.  Two coats were necessary for opacity, and I was satisfied with the finish.  

I bought a tub of Humbrol Acrylic 90 for the undersides and a bottle of Acrylic thinners.  I thinned and stirred the paint and popped a 5p coin into the pot to aid agitation when shaking prior to use. 

Having shaken the paint for 5 minutes I applied two thin coats separated by 24 hours between brushed applications to the undersides and was very happy with the finish - it was above my expectation.  I used a chisel edged no.2 brush.  The picture shows the eveness of the finish in terms of texture and opacity:

I'd placed some clear cellophane in the wheel wells during wing assembly to act as a mask when painting the undersurfaces - this can still be seen.  It'll be removed later. 

The two light brown stripes on the inner mainplane surfaces are masking tapes aid in the upper surface camoflague demarcation.

I was genuinely surprised at the finish achieved.  Next up, the camoflagued upperside.  I'll report when done.


107 posts

Vanessa makes a good observation about the wide range of colours used by the Japanese air arms in WWI.  I'd read of the Rufe appearing in a dark lilac colour over pale grey, and I'm sure a lot of us are aware of the impact that the harsh Pacific environment had on the poor quality paint finishes used by the Japanese.


The red/brown primer used on some naval aircraft could, when painted over with the light grey seen during the early stages of the Pacific war is said by some to have imparted a pinkish sheen.  But given the controversal nature of debate over Japanese paint finishes, this accompanies advice, no less technical/historically based that aircraft featured any number of shades of grey tweeked with brown, green, red etc tinges!


But I must say, the Rufe I painted lilac, whilst a favourite with my mum, never struck me as being that warlike!


107 posts

OK, so there are more modern kits of WWI aircraft available all offering a challenge in assembly, but the simple Airfix kits of which the Brisfit is an example are generally easier though remain challenging in their own right. 


A solid kit this one, and the key to it's sucessful competion is getting the interplane struts lined up and angled properly!  What I do/did is/was to place a chunk of blue tack between the upper forward fuselage and place the upper wing on that, and pop in the struts, gluing the bottoms and waiting for them to dry then removing the blue-tacked upper and cementing it to the fitted struts.


I found/find the technique generally simple and effective on these older, as well as some of the newer, models.


The Airfix RE8, still fairly easy to get hold of, has the same 'look' as the Bristol Scout ie 'chunky' and the two go well together - and I'm sure that they date from the late 1950s!  Closer to the date the aircraft were used in combat than today back to the date they first appeared as models!  The Airfix Albatross makes quite a nice, competent little model too - an aggressor to the two RFC/RAF aircraft mentioned.


The WWI aircraft kits look ripe for re-branding as Airfix Classics in time!


107 posts

Remember getting this on release and it was quite nice.  Wouldn't be that out of place as a re-issue. 


Would it be outrageous to propose that it come under the 'Airfix Classic' header and as it appeared as a series 1 model, a price akin to the WWI figures would be great [£4.99 in September 2018].


107 posts

I've picked up via eBay a number of older kits that'll initially get stashed away:

Matchbox Prowler - like the simplicity of Matchbox kits, and this one seems to be so.  Overly prominent engraved panel lines adorn the exterior, but that's never bothered me.  Transfers look unusable, but Matchbox examples are very resiliant and haven't let me down yet!

Airfix Mystere - never got this as a kid, saw a few come up on eBay, and waiting for the first few to approach their auction deadline, got it cheaper than I'd planned for.  Nice and solid, simple kit.  Transfers appear unusable, but I've coaxed many worse examples into use!

Hasegawa Cougar - good surface detail even if the panel lines are raised.  Not a problem with Hasegawa kits as the fit is generally very good which cuts done on aggressive sanding.  Like the Mystere, three came up and I waited for the first two to near close of bidding before making an offer.

Revell Tornado F3 (1/48) - I'd read that this was a good kit and having the GR4 decided to buy the F3.  Quite a number on offer, and I got mine at a good price.  Like the GR4, this looks an impressive kit but assembly will be testing I'm sure.


107 posts

Well - quite a cross section.  But the message is trial and error to find a solution that suits!

I have dug out an Airfix Spitfire and shall assemble SFTB using only acrylics.  I've taken account of the effect that thining with water seems to have, and have taken to adding less and less - this avoids the 'thick coat' syndrome I find typical of acrylic paint and lessens the 'run off' tendancy where the acylic doesn't like to stay where it's first applied! 

Although only the small parts and cockpit interior walls have been painted, it was becomming clear that large areas would be a challenge.  I have decided that an overall acrylic primer may help overcome the difficulties I anticipate with acrylic paint coverage being challenging.  Not sure how application of the second camoflague colour [dark green on earth brown and the fuselage demarcation between the upper surface colours and the sky lower surface] will go on two counts: firstly whether the green to be applied over the brown will 'retreat' rather than stay where its applied and secondly how many coats will be necessary with the aim being to minimise any 'height differential' between the base brown and the camoflague green.

I'll report back as I progress, although as a brush painter I do like using enamels!



107 posts

I saw the HO/OO WWI figures on sale at my local LMS and immediately bought the German and French sets.  It brought back memories of 'marble wargames' way back when.....


The figures were a bit flashy, but this was easily removed with a new craft blade.  I plan to grab a set of American 'Doughboys', produced wearing their broad brimmed hats and not the French helmets that they actually fought in!


Well done Airfix.  I've seen from this site the other 'Classic' releases and hope very much that these sell well and encourage others to buy, maintaining the initiative.


I'd be interested to hear what others think of this step generally, and of the HO/OO WWI figures in particular.


107 posts

I use enamels although I had used Tamiya Acrylics some years ago.  I have used Humbrol Acrylics on small parts eg tyres on aircraft kits.  I also used Citadel colours on my sons figures, and generally I found these to be good.

However, when I see reviews on various sites where the modeller has used acrylics on larger areas eg aircraft camoflage/vehicle exteriors, it's clear that the paint covers poorly and finishes, given some are of multiple coats, are not smooth and don't feature a consistent sheen ie part shiny matt finishes and part matt gloss finishes.

Recently I watched  a YouTube video produced by Airfix showing how the Spitfire Mk.I gift set could be finished using the acrylics supplied.  The video advises that the acylic should be thinned with water and a very thin first coat applied followed by subsequent coats, also thinned.  The result looks quite nice and not at all the lumpy, inconsistent finishes I've seen elsewhere.

But I'm still dubious, especially as a brush painter. 

I realise that techniques differ between modellers and that advice can be difficult to both give and interpret, but must acrylic paint be thinned and applied as an 'undercoat' prior to final painting?  What about when a comoflague colour needs to be applied over a previously applied finish - I pressume the thinned coat/then less thinned finishing coat technique applies?  Should the type of brush used be considered eg sable/manmade etc.

I could see the thin coat/less thin coat(s) being especially challenging where detail/small areas eg canopy framing is the subject, as I would anticipate that the initial coat of very thin acrylic would not adhere well to the plastic.

I shall force myself to have another go, but would be interested to hear opinions/general pointers experiences of others.




107 posts

As an ex-regular and [more recently] TA soldier, there were quite marked differences in the green applied to wheeled/tracked vehicles with more recent types eg the DROPs vehicles being a shade of their own.

Things may have changed a bit since I last served {2000), but then vehicles were painted according to role.  Those for front-line service were black/green camoflague, and those not serving in a front-line role being all over green.

The black varried from a jet black to a dark grey.  The green generally being quite a light shade, but definately green not olive/olive drab.  Infantry vehicles were generally maintained at unit level.  For this purpose, tinned paint for touching up/finishing rebuilds or repair varied in hue depending on how well the paint was mixed prior to application by spray or brush.  Again there could be and were a wide range of black/green colours as seen on vehicles at unit level!

I suspect that the only time vehicles matched the specified colour schemes was at the time of issue, for example when my Infantry unit converted to one of the Royal Logistics Corps operating DROPs, the DROPs wagons were of a uniform colour for each of the 15 vehicles in the Troop [a kind of grey/green].  Rovers and support vehicles carried over from their infantry role were left camoflagued.

Interestingly tanks I came across always seemed well finished and there was little variation in the colours seen.  

So you have a wide range of colour schemes available even though these schemes were uniformy specified!  And often, variations were apparent on individual vehicles reflecting eg the extent to which touch-up paint had been correctly 'stirred' before use.  And of course, there was always a marked difference between brushed and sprayed paint.

I suspect that, as for aircraft, models are more likely to comply with colour specifications than the real thing.

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