1/48 Tamiya Bf109E-3 - How not to...

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by Slam, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. Slam

    Slam Member

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    After flogging myself over some kitbash or other I decided I needed a quick slammer to cleanse my aching head. What could be better than a Tamiya kit, eh? That's what I thought when I embarked on this build. I shall attempt to rise above my PTSD long enough to show you how NOT to build this lovely little gem.

    Here's the finished product, all prim and proper. Almost prissy, in fact. Port side (sorry for the messed-up aspect ratio, but I took this with my iPhone):

    [​IMG]

    And starboard side. Looks harmless enough, yes?

    [​IMG]

    And to prove I had the best of intentions, here's the cockpit. All I added were some belts and a couple of placards. Yes, yes, I KNOW the belts come through the seat-back, but I wasn't prepared to drill a square hole. That would have opened the door to bouts of AMS - gotta nip it in the bud!

    [​IMG]

    Since building these kits is almost a non-event, I didn't bother photographing it. I just forged ahead...
     
  2. Slam

    Slam Member

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    ...and forged and forged. I'd found artwork of a Moelders 109 I thought might look good. Well, it DID look good on a computer screen until I tried to copy it onto the model. It looked awful in 3D, in fact, but I was determined to press on! I used the kit's Cartograf decals and, almost without exception, they either silvered or shattered. So I sanded everything off and ended up with this:

    [​IMG]

    I even managed to break off both stabs.

    [​IMG]

    I could hear my garbage can's stomach rumbling but just couldn't bring myself to throw out almost 5 hours, 38 minutes and 22 seconds' worth of work on a $20 model. (That's inverse hyperbole, isn't it?) So I sighed a heavy sigh and poured the contents back into the box from whence it came. And thought about it...
     
  3. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 2: The Pheonix riseth.....

    A true inspiration to those who give up too easily. Nice one Simon.
     
  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  5. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Carry on Slam. I've got several that I've stripped the paint off of and are now awaiting a new life.

    Geo
     
  6. Slam

    Slam Member

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    Hi, fubar57 - usually I use oven cleaner but in this case I didn't want to have to remask the canopy so I sanded instead. Like that saved me any work...

    Yes, Andy. Chapter 2...

    I had just been working on a JV44 FW190D-9 that took A LOT of masking, so I'd become a little bloody-minded about that chore. Plus, my Tamiya tape was whimpering in a drawer somewhere (coward!). After a good hard think I decided to find how quickly I could dash off a paint job on this little 109. Rule: no tape or hard masking allowed. I take my fun seriously.

    I'd found some photos of early E-3s with the RLM65 wrapped around the leading edges of the wings, and according to Tamiya's box art I could do the wings' uppers with straight, easy lines. I plugged in a Goon Show and got to work.

    Damn the torpedoes and on with the RLM02!

    [​IMG]

    I held a business card on the surface as a mask - all straight lines. Does that look like RLM70 or 71? I think RLM70. Nice and dark.

    [​IMG]

    Now THAT was fun! And I was back on track. For the moment...
     
  7. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    I say....! Jolly good show old chap!

    Carry on!
     
  8. Slam

    Slam Member

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    Righto, chum! Will do.

    I broke out my trusty Badger double-action magic wand and shot the RLM65 (well, my interpretation of RLM65) and finished up with Future. I hate Future because I can't trust it but I haven't found a better alternative. The underside I'd left alone, warts and all, and I misted my light blue over it to kill some of the not-so-subtle wash I'd slopped on. I swabbed overspray off the decals that survived with a cotton bud dipped in thinner.

    I had some Pre-Cambrian era Almark decals that I used just to get them out of the spares box, and grabbed a couple of white 7's from a Hasegawa sheet. They went down fine and I breathed a (premature) sigh of relief. The artwork I latched onto showed a white 8, but I didn't have a white 8, now, did I? So I assumed where there was an 8 there must be a 7...and the model got a 7.

    I washed with a raw umber shade I made by mixing Testor's Pla flat black and military brown. Remember those paints from when you were a kid? This is when things once again took a downturn. The wash behaved like a spoiled teenage girl and I managed to pull up the paint in a couple of places. By now, 3 Goon Shows had gone by...

    [​IMG]

    To make matters worse, the wash stained the clear film on the decals!!

    [​IMG]

    I'm pretty sure German ailerons weren't grey-plastic-colored...

    [​IMG]

    And neither were their fuselages.

    [​IMG]

    Now I was more determined than ever to finish.
     
  9. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    A story of perseverance. I've also learned from reactive washes the hard way.
     
  10. javlin

    javlin Well-Known Member

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    Ahhh the demons keep coming....... ;)
     
  11. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Darn you Murphy, darn you to h*ll....!
     
  12. Slam

    Slam Member

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    #12 Slam, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
    The thing that chaps my derriere is the behaviour of that Future. What, leave it to dry for a month? It's supposed to protect the paint from the Medieval treatment to come!

    I let it dry another day and then slopped (yes, I mean that) some flat black paint onto the cowl guns and into various nooks and crannies. Don't be alarmed at what you see in this pic. All has not yet fallen into ruin.

    [​IMG]

    Since the paint is slopping around, why not get that open space revealed by the slats being dropped?

    [​IMG]

    I got a break! The Future protected the finish while I removed my slops with a Q-Tip dipped in thinner. Almost looks like I knew what I was doing.

    [​IMG]

    Worked on the cowl too. I like to know I can make BIG mistakes and clean up later. The vents in that supercharger intake look presentable now.

    [​IMG]

    Waste not, want not. As I cleaned up the mess of black paint from things like the guns, I flipped the bird over and reapplied it in the form of leaks and such. A self-licking lollipop.

    [​IMG]

    I carefully touched up the places where the paint had pulled up, then I shot a gallon or two of Dullcote over the model, just to ensure my mistakes would last a lifetime. She's starting to look like a warplane now.

    [​IMG]

    I found this entirely acceptable, considering what I'd set out to accomplish.

    [​IMG]

    I went to bed and dreamed flights of fancy.
     
  13. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Nice work so far!
     
  14. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I've been scared of using Testors Dullcoat over Future. Sometimes it worked but it didn't once and I've stopped since. I now go with the basis rule of sticking with acrylics over acrylics to be safe but glad it worked out for you.
     
  15. Slam

    Slam Member

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    I used to use hardware-store varnish (not the Varathane, as it's got too much plastic in it and decals hate it) because it worked well and was impervious to ANYTHING I did to it. Made a great gloss. But, of course, it's slightly amber-colored and darkens with age, so what starts out as a slight color shift on application turns into something worse as time goes on. I've also used Metalizer Sealer but it gets weird under washes too. So I'm stuck with Future. For now.

    As for Dullcotte, I thin it 50/50 with hardware-store thinner and hose it on. Never had a problem. I never use lacquer thinner with it. Irony...

    On with the fiesta!

    I grind up graphite for powder stains and mash the powder into the finish with a sawn-off brush:

    [​IMG]

    Then blend the muck with a Q-Tip (better touch up that gun):

    [​IMG]

    I use a makeup brush to apply pastel powder for exhaust stains.

    [​IMG]

    I wasn't careful or subtle, which was a mistake I paid for later. I stopped when I made sure I'd really overdone it.

    [​IMG]

    Then I got busy with the fuselage and the wings. Rather than making brush strokes to apply the panel-line highlights, I tap a brush loaded with powder along the lines. I get this:

    [​IMG]

    Then I blend with Q-Tips, brushes and my fingertip until things look more like this:

    [​IMG]

    Since I was having so much fun, I did the wings while I was at it.

    [​IMG]

    I removed most of the powder, and was left with this look:

    [​IMG]

    Port side mostly done, but I still had some overdoing to do...

    [​IMG]

    Prismacolor paint chips. That exhaust stain is just too much. In spite of what one may believe, you actually CAN'T remove the powder if you do as I had done. Once it's burnished into the paint, you're stuck with it.

    [​IMG]

    But I was still having fun and I had plenty of Goon Shows left. So I did the starboard side. Now, if you know 109s, you'll know the starboard exhaust stain is much larger than the port one. On the port side the supercharger intake kinda gets in the way. So what did I do? I made the starboard one SMALLER.

    [​IMG]

    In other news, I got my camera today and if all goes well I'll be able to do some glamour shots of this turkey for you. Gimme a couple of days...
     
  16. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Lookin' good Slam. I've just noticed an acrylic floor product in the local COOP. I'll pick it up this week and give it a test drive. I've never seen it on the shelf before and I'm pretty sure it's not associated with FutureĀ© though I have been known to be wrong.

    Geo
     
  17. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Well you seem to be knocking your work but you shouldn't. I think it looks great though I tend to do my panel lines a bit subtler except around the engine which saw all manner of grimy fingers and such. You have me wanting to do an early scheme 109 now!
     
  18. Slam

    Slam Member

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    #18 Slam, Sep 5, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
    Cheers, Andy, and thanks for the shot in the arm. I know that when I'm on, I'm ON (October FSM has my portfolio in it and the models look killer), but I also really strive for balance, which for me means that for every couple of "serious" builds I do, I have to crank out a slammer. And we all enjoy watching a graceful goose augur into the pond once in a while. Sometimes we even like being that goose. I think it appeals to our humanity. Okay, enough philosophy...

    I agree - subtlety is critical. Which you understand (I know; I've seen your work in the flesh). But sometimes I just need to throw caution to the wind and go for it. Comic relief.

    Hey, fubar, let us know if that stuff works! Plenty of Co-Ops around here.
     
  19. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Smashing work Slam..!
    Well worth a beer (of decent quality of course) or two, after a job well done!

    ....better get on with my own (one of four 1/32 E's) E-4, all 13's! 8)
     
  20. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    With all here. :thumbright:
     
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