Tuesday, October 30

A Starfire thing - our build of the F-94C Pt.2

Our 1/48th Kittyhawk F-94C Starfire build with our man Eth at the wheel is progressing along at quite  pace – in this part Ethelian shows us a little more about his teqniques he uses in achieving a great natural metal finish on his jet.

Painting: Not the most enjoyable thing that we do to models, for me, but it is a necessary chore. As the Starfire had a natural metal finish it is important to prepare well, otherwise any scratch, sanding mark, finger print or grease will ruin the finish.

So the first step in the procedure is to polish the model until we can see our faces in it. This is doubly important with the Starfire as Kittyhawk have presented us with a surface finish that resembles “orange peel”. The easiest way to remove this would be to sand the whole model, however that would lead to some serious scribing work to replace all the lost surface detail. Re-scribing panel lines etc is something i have come to loath and is only under taken as a last resort. As an alternative to the whole sanding re-scribing route, Alclad Black Microfiller and Primer was sprayed through my Iwata Hp-CS airbrush, with the pressure set at 12psi.
This was applied in thin coats, allowing each one to dry before applying the next. This is an excellent primer and micro filler which also provide a good under coat to the following layers of Alclad.
When the primer was completely dry it was sanded and polished using the Mastercaster range. As little primer as possible was removed during this stage, however, inevitable, some was removed so a quick respray ensued and then more polishing.

When i was happy with the finish of the surface it was on to the next stage, the application of the Alclad.
Firstly, the Starfire was sprayed all over with Alclad Airframe Aluminium. This was applied in three or four very thin coats. By applying thin coats, and letting each coat dry, it is possible to avoid any runs in the paint. It is always best to set the compressor to between 10-12 psi when spraying Alclad, although this may differ considering what airbrush/compressor set up you have.
Now because we are trying to implement a bare metal finish here we need to break up the finish to create a realistic look to the Starfire and not a “toy-like” appearance. To achieve this various shades of Alclad Aluminium were used as well as Alclad Chrome. The chrome was applied around the rear of the Starfire as well as just behind the nose.
Finally, when all the work with the Alclad paint was finished the Starfire was set aside for twenty four hours and then the forward edges of the wings, the anti-glare panel and the nose were sprayed LifeColor Gloss Black (LC52).
With the gloss black now dry the surface of the Starfire was polished again providing as smooth as possible a surface for the gloss coat.
Having run out of Future i have been using Pledge Multi Surface Wax, this can be found in the UK at Sainsbury’s. This can be used exactly like Future, there is no need to thin it, it should be sprayed on in thin coats at a low psi, around 10-12.
When i was happy with the finish the Starfire was set aside for 48 hours so the Pledge could harden in preparation for the decals.


Keep checking back to see what this little kit turned up like – it looks quite promising ( and quick for such a good result as well!

Kittyhawk sells this kit through their distributors worldwide…thanks to them for this kit