After first starting this kit waaaay back at the start of November, three months later, it’s finally ready for paint. And with the wife and kids out of town for the weekend, I decided to buckle down and get it done in hopes of just maybe having this build wrapped in time for ModelFiesta on February 16th.
To my mind, the best primer is still a tossup between Model Master gray enamel primer (bottle not rattlecan) and Mr. Surfacer 1200. Of course, enamel requires more curing time, and with a weekend to work in, I wanted to move fast. So Mr. Surfacer it was, smoothed down nicely by high-grit polishing sandpaper and micromesh.
Are You Yeller?
Next came the various stripes. C9*I was festooned with a yellow tail band, yellow wing bands, and yellow wingtips. So, counterintuitively, I started with Gunze C2 Black.
This made a very nice base for a haphazard white that would underpin the yellow. I used my go-to white, Gunze C69 Offwhite. The stuff sprays beautifully and isn’t quite as vibrant as other whites.
This was topped with some Gunze Yellow. Sure it looks kinda patchy here, but that’s intentional.
The reason is simple. If you look at just one color, your eyes are fairly sensitive to micro changes in contrast. But when you add additional colors around it – like olive drab – and break the surface up with markings and whatnot, your eyes lose that sensitivity, so even a really patchy yellow looks way more cohesive at the end of the painting. You’ll see!
After giving the yellow a night to cure, I masked it off with Tamiya tape. 10mm for the tail band, and 15-ish millimeters for the wing bands.
Then, lacking my go-to Gunze Black (I’d run out), I opted for the darkest gray I had on hand, Gunze Engine Gray, and used some Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black to pre-shade panel and rivet lines.
Next I turned to RLM 70 Black Green and RAF Dark Green to add some streak-shading and disrupt things. This was done with my Grex Genesis XN by streaking the airbrush close to the surface in rapid sweeps.
After the shading I tackled the underside with Gunze Neutral Gray.
And then moved on to the upper surfaces, which were sprayed with Gunze C12 Olive Drab.
As mentioned above, the addition of multiple colors really crushes down the local contrast of each one…those yellows don’t look anywhere near as patchy with the olive drab flanking to either side (nor does the olive drab look as patchy…).
And that, as they say, is that for the main painting of this big Jug. But the airbrush isn’t done yet. In the next section, I’ll be using paint masks to tackle the major markings of C9*I.