Tuesday, August 14

Build Guide Pt IV: Gary Finishes his Eduard 48th scale Vought F-8E Crusader 'Limited Edition'

Gary has finished his "Limited Edition" boxing of Eduard's F-8E Crusader in 48th scale - Our story shows you how he did the final weathering and finishing touches on this - the last of the gunfighters in 48th scale. It's a good read...

Build Guide: Vought F-8E Crusader 'Limited Edition'
From: Eduard Model Accessories
Kit No# ED11110
1:48th Scale
Hasegawa kit with added goodies from Eduard in resin, Masks & Photo Etch
Decal Sheet with five options from Furball Aero.
Price: $89 on the Eduard Website
Product Link
Price:¥6,400/ $59.11 USD/ €52.78 from HLJ

In-Boxed: 48th scale Vought F-8E Crusader 'Limited Edition'
Build Guide Pt I: 48th scale Vought F-8E Crusader 'Limited Edition'
Today: Build Guide Pt IV: Weathering & Finishing Eduard's 48th scale Vought F-8E Crusader 'Limited Edition'
With the main painting complete it was time for a coat of gloss clear (Tamiya X-22 thinned with lacquer thinners). This protects the paint for the enamel wash and oil weathering to follow. Of course, decaling happens before this but I was on a roll and forgot to take photos of the decaling before I got stuck into the panel washing. I have fallen in love with the MiG Ammo pre-mixed range of panel line washes. These are enamel based and come in about 20 different colours, more than enough for your panel washing needs.
I leave the panel line wash about an hour to dry (but cure) and then remove the excess using a dry paper towel and/or cotton bud. You have up to about 24hrs to be able to remove the excess without the need for thinners, which is very handy.
Don't forget to get the panel lines and rivets over your decals. Nothing looks stranger than decals that seem to float above the surface of the model because panel lines stop at their edges. Also, notice how the darker panel lines already are tending to tone down the previous painting shading I did. It all needs to work together to look right in the end.
The decals provided in the Eduard Limited Edition boxing are designed by Furball Aero and printed by Cartograph. You could not ask for a better combination of accuracy and quality and as expected the decals all performed perfectly. The fit was spot on with even the tiniest of stencils behaving themselves. The bare metal exhaust section has been painted with Alclad Stainless Steel and Blue-Black panel lines wash used (only on this area).
Even the tricky curves of the F-8 intake were no match for the Furball decals. The two-part decal fitted perfectly with some Micro Sol solution needed to get them to snuggle down into the various lumps and bumps. Due to my heavy-handedness, I did tear one of the red decals and can confirm that Mr Color C327 Red is a perfect match for touch-ups.
With the decaling complete and the first round of panel washes in place, it was time to try some new techniques. I wanted to make the surface of the Crusader look suitably grotty and so I now turned to another MiG Ammo product I have recently picked up, the Oilbrusher. As best I can tell the Oilbrusher is basically the same as other oil paints but packaged in a more convenient way for us modellers. They come with a built-in brush and a self-sealing bottle to minimise mess. 

I applied several dots of the 'Starship Filth' colour on the surface of the model and used a brush loaded with white spirit to move the oil paint over the surface of the model. I found this gave me much better control than mixing the oil with thinner and applying as a wash. The result I was after being a very light covering of a grimy colour, remembering that anything applied over white will quickly overwhelm the base colour if too heavy. After this dried (overnight) I loaded a brush with some heavily diluted black oil paint and then flicked it using a toothpick randomly over the surface to simulate oil spots. Less is more with this technique I have found (especially on aircraft which don't get as dirty as their armour cousins).
For the backend (aft of the main wheel well) I wanted to get seriously down and dirty. I had seen an interesting technique described by Daniel Zamarbide (of AK Interactive) in his FAQ book which used the airbrush to blow paint onto the model surface. Basically, you mix up the desired colour (in this case I used one of the pre-mixed MiG enamel panel washes) and load up a paintbrush. Hold this over the model surface and then point your airbrush and blow the paint off the brush in the direction you want to simulate oil stains in the airflow. I experimented with a combination of paint thinning and air pressure and found you could get quite a variation on the model surface. I think the result here is probably a little heavy-handed but ok for my first time.
Oil paints were also used on the upper surfaces but not as heavily as underneath. I have learned that its very easy to overdo this technique and it's going to take me a while to get comfortable with it. One thing to remember is that you can use white spirits and a cotton bud to remove the oil if it's too overpowering.
Furball includes a set of their super convenient "canopy seal" decals in the kit. Aircraft often use putty around the canopy windscreen and canopy as a seal. This is often a different colour and on the Crusader is a lemon yellow colour as shown here. I applied the decal after I removed the paint mask. As usual, the fit was spot on. Also, notice the staining around the gun muzzles. This was airbrushed using heavily thinned Tamiya Flat Black. Stains like these were quite distinct on Vietnam era F-8's, particularly the USMC squadrons who used guns as during ground attacks.
With weathering mostly done I could begin the final assembly starting with the main gear. Due to my earlier prep work, the gear struts simply slotted in and were secured with two-part epoxy glue. I use this type of glue as it gives an extremely strong bond and several minutes of adjustment time (unlike super glue).
The Eduard resin exhaust (648302) was now installed in the rear fuselage and the cooling intakes (648301) glued to the upper fuselage. I kept the shading on the cooling intakes different to the fuselage sections to once again provide a contrast.
A final look at the cockpit interior before I installed the Aerobonus pilot with the seat. I think that the Eduard pre-painted PE works well if the main colour of the cockpit is black as seen here. When they try and match any other colour I find the results are not as convincing. You can also see the Furball canopy decals from another angle.
Once the wings were fully weathered (I could have possibly gone harder here) the pylons with their Mk.82 bombs are installed. The whole wing assembly was now mated to the fuselage and secured with epoxy glue (to allow some alignment time).
It was not only the aircraft that got the weathering treatment of course. I once again used many of Daniels techniques to weather the Mk.82 bombs and the Zuni rocket pods using pigments to simulate a dirty and faded finish. The RBF tags are the Eduard fabric style and hang way more convincingly than the earlier PE versions. The bomb graffiti was taken from an old sheet I had from Gekko Graphics. I added the bomb fuse wires using 0.125mm copper wire and chips and scratches (on the pylon and bombs) were added using an HB pencil (with a very sharp tip).
Here is a selection of closer detail photos of the finished model. I am very happy with how it all turned out, especially since many of the new techniques I tried were out of my comfort zone. I always remind myself of the old saying 'you can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs' :)

FINAL THOUGHTS - Eduard's 1:48 F-8E Crusader 'Limited Edition' (ED11110)
For some time now Eduard has been reboxing Hasegawa kits, adding a bunch of resin & photo-etch goodies and marketing them as 'Limited Edition'. They come at a premium price and for the most part, I personally have not been tempted by these kits, mainly because I had the original Hasegawa releases with heaps of add-ons already. When the F-8E Crusader boxing came along I paid attention as I have always liked the Crusader and figured that doing a build & review would be a great way to motivate me to finally get one finished.
I was immediately attracted to the heavily worn and bombed up finish of the Da Nang-based US Marine F-8E's and given the Furball decal sheet that Eduard includes in the box includes a VMF(AW)235 'Death Angels' option I had my plan. Along the way, I used a bunch of extra add-ons (like an Aerobonus Pilot, some Eduard Mk.82's etc) above and beyond what was included and I took the opportunity to stretch myself by trying out many new weathering techniques.
The Hasegawa kit has always built into a very convincing model of the 'Last of the Gunfighters' and for those of you have never picked one up the Eduard boxing may be a good option. In my opinion, it has enough extra's to justify the 'Limited Edition' asking price and will probably remain the best option in 1:48th for some time to come.
Gary Wickham

This kit is still available on the Eduard website if you are interested. Thanks to them for sending this kit to Gary for him to build and review.

If you like Gary's models then please do go to his website www.Scalespot.com for a whole lot more of that...