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Cold War (1950-1974)
Discuss the aircraft modeling subjects during the Cold War period.
Hosted by Tim Hatton
Italeri 1/32 Mirage IIIc
spaarndammer
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Noord-Holland, Netherlands
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Posted: Saturday, March 12, 2016 - 12:25 AM UTC
Great work on the Mirage Steve, this must be quite a big model. I like your attention to detail, like the upgrade of the exhaust.



Jelger
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 12:59 AM UTC
Hi Jelger

Yes, she's quite big in 1/32. That's the challenge and the fun! Thanks for noticing the attention to detail. I'm hoping to add just enough to satisfy the eye and my sense of proportion.

Thanks very much for looking in and leaving a message.

All the best

Steve
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 01:06 AM UTC
Everything we do in modelling is about creating illusions. Generally we try and make the small and plastic look like the large and metal. And itís creating the illusion of metal that I find the hardest. I had one go at the jet exhaust using Mr Hobby buffable paint. It looks metallic and quite convincing, but its just too shiny for my taste.



Thereís another technique Iím going to try before going back to the metalizers, and thatís a black and white pre-shade. Iím hoping a light coat of metalizer over the simple tones will give more variety and depth. Then Iíll add some streaks with oils to simulate the soot and burnt metal. I sprayed on Tamiya gloss black and then added a fairly heavy and crude contrast with gloss white. Once its dry I'll go back to the metalizer.



While Iím waiting for the paint to dry on the pre-shading Iíve assembled part of the landing gear bays. They fit together simply with only a small misalignment of interior detail to worry about. A test fit into the lower fuselage showed some sanding will be needed for a flush fit.



Its a slow and fiddly mix of painting and building right now, but I have a feeling its going to be worth it.

This track has no connection at all with fighter jets but it is sung in French, so thereís a vague connection to the build. Frankly its so beautiful that I just wanted to share the joy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf42IP__ipw

Happy modelling guys.

Steve
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 01:41 AM UTC
Steve,
I've never seen that black and white technique used before. I've seen everything from raw plastic to just clearcoat, and every color you can think of, but never a combination of colors. It should prove to be quite interesting. Witht that color pattern, the white should be the dullest shade and slowly getting brighter as you go towards the back.
Joel
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Monday, March 21, 2016 - 01:39 AM UTC
Blimey it seems to have taken me ages to do this stage, but finally Iíve arrived at this.



The pre-shade has been swamped by the final colour. Joel, its my fault - over zealous airbrushing syndrome. However with some soot streaking added in oils, and the scratch built details painted, the final look is good enough given that it will be mostly hidden inside the fuselage. Iíll do a little dry brushing with chrome to highlight the edges and then thatís the end of the engine and exhaust.

Next up - painting the interior of the jet intakes, and worrying about the rough finish on the wings and fuselage. I fear Iím going to have to spend a good deal of time sanding this down and then possibly re-scribing panel lines and rivets. If I don't then the natural metal finish is going to emphasise the blemishes and the exterior will look wrong even to my impressionist eyes. Does anyone have any tips to avoid the full sanding horror or is it just a case of getting on with it?

As ever thanks for keeping me company guys, and all hints and tips are gratefully accepted.

Have a good day.

Steve.
GazzaS
#424
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Posted: Monday, March 21, 2016 - 01:53 AM UTC
Steve,
The end of your motor looks great! I'm in 'scribe-hell' at the moment myself. Thank goodness I don't need to do rivets!

Glad to see another update!

Gaz
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Monday, March 21, 2016 - 03:10 AM UTC
Hi Gary

Thanks very much indeed.

I sympathise with the scribing hell. I'm trying to avoid it but I fear I simply have to face facts. Have you watched Paul Budzik's video on scribing? It's an inspiration and also a reassurance that at least someone is taking the art way beyond simply enhancing detail. Check it out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqLXyWqkBoQ

Good luck with the scribers.

Steve
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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Posted: Monday, March 21, 2016 - 05:18 AM UTC
Steve,
You're being way to hard on yourself. The exhaust really looks great.

If you really need to sand the exterior surfaces, then I'd start with nothing courser then 600 under running water. Then 4,000, 6,000, 8,000, & finally 12,000. The running water will keep the paper and pads clean to avoid excess scratching. The surfaces should be smooth and shiny at this point, but if you need to or want to go the last mile, then polish the surface with Meguire's Scratch X 2.0. You'll be amazed at the finish you'll achieve.
Joel
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Monday, March 21, 2016 - 04:12 PM UTC
Hi Joel

Thanks very much for the sanding tip. I have to invest in some of the finer grade sand paper, so I'll push on with other stuff while I wait.

Thanks also for your comment about the exhaust. The end result is different from the one I imagined, but when I look again it is going to do the job nicely I think.

Have a great day.

Steve
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2016 - 03:14 AM UTC
Assembling this kit reminds me of my marriage; everything seems to be a fight. I must admit Iíve been tempted to follow the same path and separate once or twice. Itís been especially tempting since, on a whim, I bought Kineticís new SU-33D. Inside the box is a finely crafted, well moulded, exquisitely detailed kit. Sometimes you shouldn't let your eyes wander.

However, there is also satisfaction to be had in improving a kit, and so the SU-33ís siren calls are being ignored. Iím pushing on with the Mirage. With a natural metal finish planned, sooner or later I was going to have to tackle the rough surface. I took Joelís advice and set about gently sanding. Armed with my favourite sander - Tamiya sanding sponges - I stared at 600 grit and worked my way up to 3000, wet sanding all the time. After rescribing the panel lines the surface looks like this.





It still looks a tiny bit rough but it feels smooth to the touch. The gloss black undercoat will reveal if I got it right or not.

While I was working with the sanders I decided to remove an ugly casting mark on the top of each side of the fuselage. Thereís a seam and a difference in the depth of plastic either side (is that a Sukhoi I hear calling). First I scraped the higher side level with the lower using a scalpel blade, and then I used progressively finer sanding sponge to blend and smooth the areas. The pronounced line has gone, but thereís still a dip in the plastic. Im going to live with it as it can only bee seen at some angles. Hereís the before and after.





Having covered myself and my bench in a slushy mix of water and grey plastic dust, it was time to switch focus and assemble the air intake interiors. Iíd already undercoated them ready for assembly, and the gloss black had revealed more of that rough surface. A quick attack with fresh sanding sponge smoothed out the bumps.





Finally, I filled, sanded and airbrushed the area behind where the intakes sit. I used Vallejo Metal Colour Magnesium. It will hardly be seen but it will be awkward to paint later so I decided to get it done now. The Magnesium will enhance the shadows in areas I can't reach once the intakes are attached.





With the paint and dust clearing I can see Iím ready to join the two fuselage halves. Now that feels like real progress and an exciting step forward. Ms Sukhoi can stay under wraps for a while. Madame Mirage might be older, but she still has allure.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0Skao81GIQ
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2016 - 06:07 PM UTC
Steve,
I'm really impressed at the overall sanding, and polishing. What a major difference. You'll be more then glad you did it when it comes time to apply the NMF.

Nice job on that step. I was just wondering if it should actually have been there.

Joel
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2016 - 07:59 PM UTC
Hi Joel

Thanks very much. I have some finer grit sanders on order so hopefully the final result will be worth all the work.

I wondered about that seam line too, but its a production fault in the kit. Here's a link to a photo of the real thing. There are panel lines but no nasty lip.

http://ckclub31.ipmsfrance.org/wa/Mir3c/

Thanks again for the advice.

Have a great day.

Steve
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2016 - 08:29 PM UTC
Excitement tinged with a little anxiety. Itís how I feel about joining the fuselage halves. I haven't tackled something this big since I was kid, and back then gaping holes didn't seem to matter.

Locating the air intakes and getting the two halves aligned is fiddly, so I took it slowly and cemented pieces gradually, checking for alignment and fit as I went along. Starting with the rear bulkhead, I joined one intake to fuselage, then adjusted the forward part near the cockpit.



Once set I joined the fuselage halves together with tape, located the bulkhead correctly and glued it in place. Next the tape was removed and slowly Tamiya Extra Thin glue was worked along the upper fuselage, gluing and holding in small sections. Et voilaÖ!





The small area in front of the cockpit isn't glued yet. I wanted to keep some flexibility to help me work the cockpit interior into place.

A test fit of the underside and the cockpit revealed that the alignment is good, but thereís still work to do to get everything lined up without gaps. Thatíll be the next step. In the meantime I used super glue to fix the forward air intakes to the fuselage (simply because it doesn't attack the paint like Extra Thin). I also discovered it's possible to slide the engine through the rear bulkhead. This part is PE, so while I had the super-sticky-stuff out, I glued that in place too.









Thereís some filling and sanding to do as the edge of the parts aren't straight and leave gaps, but its not too bad.



Wow. Sheís starting to look a little like a jet fighter. Time to treat myself to a chocolate egg.


Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - 12:05 AM UTC
Outstanding amount of progress.
Joel
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - 02:10 AM UTC
Joel, thanks very much. Getting the two fuselage halves together felt great.

Before the cockpit goes in I tackled the seam line where the fuselage halves join. I wanted to do this first to avoid filling the cockpit tub with dust. My favourite method of filling deeper and easier to reach gaps is to use the old school, sprue melted in Extra Thin. It adheres well to the plastic, finds all the little gaps, and dries with the same consistency as the surrounding plastic. All that makes the sanding easier. Before reaching for the filler I gave the spine a rough sand to identify the dips and gaps.



Then it was on with the home brew putty. The downside of this technique is the drying time. I leave 24 hours, and maybe I am cautious, but trying to sand this concoction before it is properly dry will end in disaster.



The sanding started with 600 grit Tamiya sanding sponge, then went on to 3000 grit, and finally I used a newly arrived Ultimate Modelling Product buffer. Wow, those things work miracles and the buffer brought the plastic to a glossy shine. Its better now that the original moulding.



I gave the fuselage a quick go over too. Double wow.



A quick review in natural light this morning revealed a couple of places that need refilling. Theyíve just been done and the fuselage is set aside to dry again.

While the filler dries I started work on the undercarriage. At least i think its undercarriage. Italeri provide two long blobs of plastic with some nasty burring. The rear struts are going to need as much t.l.c. as the ejector seat, and a fair bit of scratch building to get them looking interesting. Phase one is clean up of course. For al those of you working on Tamiya 1/32 scale aircraft, Ďclean upí is the processes of removing flash, burring and generally sloppy moulding. Whatís flash? Oh never mind. Hereís a peek.



That area of very rough plastic looks like something broke off, but when I checked the other strut and then the instructions, it hasn't. Its how Italeri offer it to us.

Happy modelling guys.
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
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Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - 09:00 PM UTC
Steve,
When I 1st saw that close up picture of the landing gear strut (well, that's what I really thought it was), it reminded me of what we were usually treated to back in the 70s & 80s when all the molds were cut by machinists. We tended to see a lot of those wicked seam lines, with an assortment of extra bumps of plastic for the pin ejectors to hit, and blobs of plastic to attach them to the sprue tree. We just accepted it as the norm, and did our best to deal with it.

But in today's day & age with computer CAD programs and molds generated by computers, I would think that especially in 1/32 scale, those wonderful folks at Italeri could have invested more time, and certainly more effort, to produce a higher quality replica of the landing gear struts.

Joel
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - 02:59 AM UTC
Hi Joel

Yes, there are some really badly moulded pieces, and in 2016 there's no real excuses except cutting corners to make a profit. Its a shame because there are some nice details in this kit, but really Italeri need to raise their game if they want to keep customers coming back. I'll think long and hard before getting another that's for sure.

Back to the sanders!

S
GazzaS
#424
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Queensland, Australia
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Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - 06:20 AM UTC
That was a landing gear strut?? I thought Steve was showing us a drumstick that was picked clean and sprayed Tamiya dark yellow.

Where are my dang glasses?

Gaz
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - 04:14 PM UTC
Hey Gaz

You could be right. Maybe the designer popped out for a KFC and got confused?????

Happy landings.

Steve
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
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Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - 08:09 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hey Gaz

You could be right. Maybe the designer popped out for a KFC and got confused?????

Happy landings.

Steve



Steve,
So the parts come as a Southern Fried option now

Joel
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Monday, April 04, 2016 - 12:39 AM UTC
Hey Joel

Oh yes! The have definitely been in the deep fat frier - see below!

Hmmm, suddenly I feel hungry.

Steve
SteveAndrews
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Posted: Monday, April 04, 2016 - 12:52 AM UTC
With the fuselage halves joined, its time to finally fit the cockpit tub in place. It slipped in just fine, but the curves didn't match the fuselage so a good deal of filling was needed. After basic work with Milliput, then some layers of Mr Surfacer 500 followed by a bit of sanding we arrive here:



Meanwhile Iíve been scratch building detail on the blobs, er, I mean the chicken legs, no... the landing gear. The struts themselves are slowly getting details added. Plastic card and thick aluminium foil allied with a sharp blade and a good deal of patience are the main tools of the trade. I've also raided the spares box. As usual the aim here is the give and impression of the real thing and provide some cues for painting later. This is part way through. Thereís piping and other items still to add to make it look busy and engineered, and some final tidy up to do.





Brackets and hinges are being cleaned up ready for assembly too. There is some truly horrible flash on these parts. It easier to strip them back to the basic shape and build up the detail again than it is to try and preserve what detail is there (that is if you can tell what is detail and what is flash). Hereís a cleaned bracket versus one straight off the sprue.



Despite the fact that Iím doing the manufacturer's job for them, its fun and satisfying to see detail emerging from little bits of plastic and metal.

Zen and the art of model making. Ohm shanti!

Cue pop fusion track with beautiful singer, and a terrible video including Indian Camels (!) and perspiration.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouIss1cBghk
GazzaS
#424
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Queensland, Australia
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Posted: Monday, April 04, 2016 - 01:56 AM UTC
Steve,
Those few little bits of scratch-building really transform the drumstick into something that looks machined. Well done! That is a scary amount of flash in your comparison frame.

Gaz
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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KitMaker: 629 posts
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Posted: Monday, April 04, 2016 - 02:34 PM UTC
Hey Gaz

Yup, somewhere amongst the blobs there's the potential to build real parts. I almost set about scratch building each of the rear landing legs, but in the end chose the path of least resistance.

Those two hinges will fit on a finger tip, so the clean up is difficult and fiddly, but its also strangely satisfying.

I should have mentioned 4 x magnifying glasses in my list of essentials.

Have a great day.

Steve
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
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Posted: Friday, April 08, 2016 - 06:27 PM UTC
Steve,
Nice custom fit of the cockpit, as it looks like it now fits like a glove.

I went back and reread your polishing technique with those Ultimate sticks, and I must say I'm really impressed. I've been using Micro Mesh pads from 4,000 through 12,000, and they're starting to show their age and will need replacement. I've had issues with their square shape from time to time, so the Ultimate sticks may be the answer. Will have to see if my usual resources carries them.

Joel