Thursday, November 10

Construction Review Pt III: Hawker Tempest Mk.II (Late) from Eduard in 1/48th scale...

To get the best out of Eduards excellent new-tooled kits, you have to get to grips with their decals with that special carrier film peel away feature. At one time dismayed at this new system, Gary Wickham has practised his technique & can guide you through his process. See how to put the icing on their Tempest II in Part III of his build guide...

Hawker Tempest Mk.II (Late)
From Eduard Model Accessories
Kit No #82125
1/48th scale
Kit Includes: 
Coloured photo-etched parts
Painting masks
Decals for six versions in the box
Price: $60 USD from the Eduard Website
Previous parts of this build:

Today - Gary finishes the kit...
After my testing of the new Eduard decals, I concluded that when applying them to the model surface they can (and should) be treated as any other decals. To this end I soaked them in warm water for about 15secs and then when they released from the backing paper slid them onto a generous coat of MicroScale Micro Sol. After a few seconds, the decal starts to soften and wrinkle at the edges, as shown here. This is normal and is no cause for alarm. At this point, you can clearly see the carrier film, which extends beyond the edge of the roundel and serial code.
As the decal softens, it settles over the surface detail, be it raised or recessed. Depending on the decal colors and how thick they are I often find it helpful to gently coax the decal into panel lines. For this I have found the best tool to be a sharpened tooth pick which I run along the panel line. You can see here that the decal has pulled down into many, but not all, of the recessed rivets. At this point, the carrier film is still visible around the outside of the roundel. If you are happy that the clear carrier is hidden sufficiently, then you could leave the decal alone and move onto the next step in your build. For me, I wanted to push ahead and see if that carrier film could now be removed completely, leaving only the decal itself.
First step in removing the carrier film is to flood the decal with mineral spirits. Here is Australia we call this form of gentle solvent "White Spirit" and it can be purchased in art supply stores or even in larger quantities via hardware shops. Do not use any stronger solvent for this (avoid thinners of any kind) or you risk eating through the paint and decal. The solvent seems to go to work softening only the carrier film pretty much straight away. I found that leaving it sit on the decal surface for about 1 minute was more than adequate to begin the removal.
I found that the best place to start to gently push the decal is from an edge, pushing inwards. For roundels, work all the around the circumference, pushing the wet cotton bud inwards, and you will see the gooey carrier film start to roll up. Once it starts, I found it comes away very easily, so you don't need to push hard or use sharp tools like tweezers.
Eventually you will have collected all the carrier film into a small ball which can now be picked up and disposed of. Wipe over the decal one last time to soak up any excess solvent but be careful not to linger too long or push to hard because the decal ink is exposed now and is quite fragile.
If you start to see any ink or color from the decal appear on your cotton bud, stop immediately, lest you damage the decal. All that is left now is to leave the surface to dry (I left the solvent overnight to evaporate).
As a second example, here is the national insignia on the tail. The same technique was used as per the wing roundel where we start by flooding the dried decal surface with mineral spirits.
I once again pushed the carrier film, starting from the left side working across to the right, gathering the softened carrier material as I went.
After a final wipe with a dry paper towel (I use the cheap paper serviettes as these tend to be a little softer than the absorbent paper towels) the decal is ready for a clear coat to protect it from the upcoming panel line wash and weathering.
The same technique was used on ALL the decals on the model, including the myriad of stencils. In some cases, a little of the stencil lettering did come away, but not enough for me to consider this technique a failure. After a while I developed a feel for how much pressure and how quickly to use the cotton bud. The decals were next sealed with a coat of Mr.COLOR GX100 Super Clear III to ensure the ink was protected moving forward.
Panel washing is one of my favourite points in a model build because it's where the model starts to gain some character. Up until now, it's all been very sterile and precise. The panel wash and weathering washes are far more organic, and I tend to follow my gut far more from this point onwards. My favourite panel line wash is the Tamiya Panel Line Access Color range and to get the various shades I like mean I blend two or more colours from the Tamiya range, most commonly Dark Brown and Black. To remove the dried panel wash, I once again turn to white spirits (so you can see why I buy it in 4 litre bottles !!)
As I wanted to show this Tempest as well worn, I had previously applied a coat of Aluminium to the cowling lip and wing roots. Over this was applied a light coat of water based hairspray, which was now used to remove realistic chips of the camouflaged paint. For this I like to use a wooden toothpick to help simulate scratching. This is not a perfect science and you never really know how the paint will flake off, but that's part of the idea, as it's meant to look random (like in real life).
The very fine surface detail on these Eduard kits responds perfectly to the panel wash process. The detail becomes visible without becoming overpowering. At the moment, the model looks interesting but still a bit bland for what I was after.
In my last few builds, I have taken a liking to the Mr.COLOR Weathering Color range. I find they are easy to use and give a similar result as artist oils for blending. First step is to apply the color straight out of the bottle onto the parts of the model you want to show weathering. Access to good photos of your subject are helpful here, but not essential as we can always make educated guesses. I leave the weathering color for about 30mins by which time it is not cured but also not longer wet.
Now I use a soft bristle brush (same you would use for detail painting) and dip it into the mineral "white" spirits. Using a dabbing or stabbing motion, the brush is used to loosen the pigment and blend it into the places you need it. Like most artistic endeavours, this takes a bit of practise to achieve the level of control we want and when you inevitably make mistakes, just wipe it all off with a clean cotton bud and start again. I like to use at least two different shades of pigment on top of each other to get some visual variety to the finish.
Once happy with the weathering on top and bottom, it's time to seal it all in with a coat of flat clear. For this I have found Mr.COLOR GX114 Super Smooth Clear to be brilliant. Lacquer based clears tend to dry fast and hard and in this case it really is super smooth. The paint masks can also now be removed, and any problems fixed before pressing on.
Various shades of Mr.Color Weathering was used on the undercarriage doors and the tyres themselves to achieve a grimy finish. Nothing looks more suspicious than perfectly clean black tyres on a dirty aircraft. I even remembered this time to sand some flat spots on the wheels, just enough so they don't look funny.
The spinner is the same Azure Blue as the underside on the Pakistani Tempests. The propellers have been painted in Tamiya XF-85 Rubber Black and a light chipping applied using a kitchen scourer, which work well as it provides nicely random scratches. The grime on the spinner is once again Mr.Color Weathering blended in with a brush.
The Tempests could be fitted with wing drop tanks and a pair of these are included in the kit by Eduard. The real tanks used a clear acrylic material on the pylon and to simulate this Eduard have molded the tanks in clear plastic.
The undercarriage is one of the last items I tend attach. Eduard are very good at engineering the gear strut and attachment point in the wing to result in a solid fit with the correct alignment. Once the strut was secured and dry, I fitted the wheels and rotated them to get the flat spot in the right place. The 3D printed resin landing flaps are attached using CA glue. Thankfully, the white chevrons lined up perfectly between the flaps and wings (not that I ever had any doubt).­čśů
The last few delicate parts are finally attached. The pitot tube on the port wingtip was fabricated using steel tube (to replace the kit plastic part which broke off the wing back at the start of the build).
For the exhaust staining, I used a very thin mix of Tamiya XF-1 Black and XF-9 Hull Red. For this I thin using pure IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) rather than normal thinners as this allows the acrylic pigment to build up slowly when so heavily thinned.
As I was patting myself on the back for how nice the walkway chipping looked, it occurred to me that on Hawker aircraft, such as the Typhoon and Tempest, the pilot boarded from the starboard and not port side. Doh, one for next time :(
Overall, I'm really happy with how the model turned out, and that I was able to capture the look I had in my mind when I first started the build. The Tempest Mk.II was (and still is) one of the most attractive propeller-driven aircraft ever built.
CONCLUSION - Eduard 1:48 Tempest Mk.II Late (82125)
Another excellent kit by Eduard. I've pretty much now convinced myself that you really don't need to fill up your shopping cart with all the resin, 3D and photo-etch extras that Eduard make for these kits when what they provide you in the box is already so good.
The main thing I learned in this build was how to reliably and consistently deal with their new removable carrier film decals. I love the idea of getting rid of any and all carrier film once the decal is on the model. However, if doing so has significant risks to damage or destruction of said decals, then that is a worry. In both my Tempest builds, I managed to remove all the carrier film with only minor (self inflicted) problems, all of which were overcome. So I'd say that's a success and certainly something I'll be doing on future Eduard builds.

The finished kit in close up detail
I see that Eduard have now released the Ultimate version of their Tempest II kit, with ten marking options and a a pictorial book about service Tempest Mk.IIs in RAF Royal Indian Air Force and Royal Pakistan Air Force written by Chris Thomas. I really don't need anymore Tempests but this one sounds too good to miss.
 
A wider walk-around of the whole kite...

Gary Wickham

Check out the Eduard Website for more information on all of their releases...
You can see more of Gary's model making on his website Scalespot.com
ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS - Eduard 1:48 Tempest Mk.II Late (82125)