Friday, June 17

Paint & finishing review Pt II: 1/72nd scale Schnellboot S-38 (1942) from Fore Hobby

Adam O'Brien has already given us his construction review of Fore Hobby's 72nd scale Schnellboot S-38. Today we see how the most detailed kit in its class comes up under some beautiful painting & weathering to match historical photos of the type in part II of his story...
Construction review Pt I:
Schnellboot S-38 1942

From: Fore Hobby
Kit Number: #1001
1/72nd Scale
New tooled kit
19 sprues + hull, Photo-etch, masks & thread for rigging.
Approximately 48cm in length when completed.
Price: $83 USD from Hobbylink Japan
Previous part of this story:

Some of you might remember in Part I, that I had finished the extensive build of the kit, added some detail and refined some others. Today we will continue on to paint & weather the kit.

How it started, now on to how it's going...
The hull and other sub-assemblies of the model were first given an overall primer coat of Mr.Hobby’s Mr.Finishing Surfacer 1500 Black. I applied the primer directly from the rattle can. This has been my go-to primer for many years as it sprays beautifully, self-levels and dries to a nice, no grain, sheen finish. Once dry, I lightly sprayed from the top-down, a misted coat of Mr.Finishing Surfacer White – as pre-shading to the deck and hull sides.
The smaller parts were given the same treatment...
On the option I chose, the front deck features diagonal red stripes as an air-recognition device. These stripes were carefully masked off using 6mm Tamiya masking tape. I just-so happens that the required stripes worked out to be 6mm wide! 
Tamiya Flat Red was then applied with a few light layers from the airbrush.
To achieve the light grey superstructure and hull sides, I oversprayed (lightly) a heavily thinned, misted coat of Gaianotes #072 Neutral Grey II. Basically, just adding a darker tone to the white primer. The deck was then sprayed its field grey-green colour. Here, I used a 50/50 mixture of Gaianotes #202 olive green and #027 dark green. As the model was 90% constructed at this stage, I carefully applied the colour freehand with the airbrush. This, of course, resulted in some over-spray on the light grey areas – which required some touch-up. The timber areas of the deck were hand painted with Vallejo Cork Brown (later to be overlaid with various timber brown oils.)

During this phase of applying the basic colours to the model, I both lightened and darkened the base colours used to achieve some variation in the tones. 
This process creates some “pre-weathering” that I use as a guide to direct where to apply oils to enhance the effect, and to break-up any areas of monotonous single tones.
Weathering proper began (and ended) with oils. Essentially, all weathering on the model was achieved with my Old Holland oils–thinned with VMS oil expert solution. The basic colour used all over the model was a medium/dark cold grey mixture (ie: no reds or browns in the mix). Generally, I will start by applying a thick coat of the base weathering colour, which I move around and thin out with a (dry) brush. Certain areas also are thinned quite a lot with a brush lightly moistened with artist’s white spirit. The first “test-bed” for both the dark grey colour and its intensity was the ship's bridge.
Once I was happy with the basic weathering colour, I started on the hull itself. This ended up being a very long process, as I worked in small areas at a time so as to get the right intensity of colour before it became difficult to remove. I split each side of the hull into 3 parts – applying the oils and blending them into weathering patterns that both gave some interest to the blank hull, and matched the look of a series of reference photos I found on the ‘net. An example of this look -
It was from this reference photo that I determined the weathering strength and look would be.
From this point, all final weathering was done in small stages, again with my medium/dark cold grey colour.
The timber deck areas were initially painted by hand with Vallejo Cork Brown. From this base, I mixed a series of lighter and darker browns from my stock of Old Holland oils. These were painted in rough “planks” to give some interest and variation to the bland single brown base. These areas were further enhanced with a very dark brown wash between the planks and around the perimeter of the “timber” areas. The torpedoes were oversprayed with Tamiya lacquer LP-11 Silver. The tips were painted LP-19 Gun Metal. The scratching seen around the front of the torpedo was achieved with some light sponge-chipping with Vallejo silver.
The following photos show the finished model in full. No special weathering techniques were used on this model, simply some pre-weathering with different tones of the base colours, then an extensive use of oils to add some much-needed contrast and interest to a rather large model.

The completed kit...
My advice to anyone about to tackle this model? Patience is the key. Take it in small doses, take your time, and you will be rewarded with a very impressive model to add to your collection.

Adam O'Brien

Thanks to Fore Hobby for sending us this kit to build and review for you - This kit is now available in hobby shops, the cheapest we found was at Hobbylink Japan at this link...