I have – I wouldn’t call it a philosophy, exactly – but I have a perspective when it comes to building models.
With every kit, something, somehow, goes wrong. .
And minimizing or overcoming the mishaps is every bit as crucial to turning out a worthwhile model as painting, assembly, decals and weathering.
Well, the poor Mosquito has had its mishap.
Back to the Future
After the Mosquito was painted, I sprayed it down with Future to prep for the decals. Now…Future is a self-leveling acrylic finish. Supposedly. I’ve had issues with it before, and when I sprayed it on the Mosquito, making sure to lay it on nice and wet, it cured in a slightly gritty finish.
Not good for decals, which like things smooth.
I busted out the buffing stick, but this didn’t seem to go well, so I decided what the hell, I’ll give a few decals a go and see what’s what.
Since Tamiya’s decals are generally rubbish, I picked up a Decals Carpena sheet depicting another all-black NF Mk.II and went to town. But these decals didn’t lay down well, either, and the placement sheet felt just ridiculously vague.
And on top of that, the Micro-Set setting solution started eating through the black paint. Uh…what?
Frustrated, I set the Mosquito aside for the night. Inspecting the decals they next morning, they looked like crap, and I made a decision to strip them off and just use the Tamiya markings for the 157th squadron instead.
I’ve read that decal removal is as easy as soaking the decals under warm water. Yeah, no. This is the second plane I’ve stripped decals from, and neither has been so simple.
The soaking does nothing. And since I painted the Mosquito with acrylics, the warm water actually began eating into the finish. By the end, I just said screw it, busted out the 600 grit sandpaper, and ground the decals off. I was going to have to repaint anyway, so who cares?
Once the decals were removed, I wet sanded the rough spots left by the Future with 2ooo-grit sandpaper, then resprayed the major panel lines with Vallejo Model Air Black. This was my first time using Model Air, which is specially formulated for airbrush use, and I have to admit mixed feelings. The stuff clogs in the airbrush like nobody’s business, but when it’s spraying, it sprays beautifully. I very obviously need to play with thinning and ratios, but I do like this stuff quite a bit.
After re-pre-shading, I went back over with a mix of Model Air Black Grey and Black. Clogging issues robbed me of some finesse, and I think I might have wiped out more of the pre-shading than intended, but I still got a nice, smooth finish. Better, I think, than what I got with the Vallejo Model Color.
Here’s the before:
And the after…
So now I’m right back where I was at the end of the last build report! This time, I’ll be skipping Future in favor of Tamiya Clear Gloss – the rattlecan variety.
Stay tuned for markings and weathering and such!