In Part IV, the French Jug got its stripes (and its Olive Drab):
Now, it’s time for the main markings.
When I first set out to build a French Jug, I had my sights set on a completely different P-47 that I was going to tackle in 1/48. Then I came across C9*I and was smitten. But…there are no markings available for C9*I, so I contacted Joe at Scale Precision Paint Masks. After some back and forth, we determined that the mission stencils were just too small to reproduce as paint masks, so I opted to upscale to 1/32.
That seems like forever ago, but now it’s finally time to break out the masks and go to work…
Step 1: Apply Masks
Applying vinyl paint masks is rather easy. Just lift them from their backing and place them on the model. The difficulty comes in getting them aligned just so, but you can lift and replace them over and over again. Once the mask is in place, burnish the edges down to prevent paint from bleeding under. Though…if you’re spraying that much paint at the mask edges, you’re doing something wrong anyway.
Step 2: Paint
Once everything is masked off, it’s time to paint! In this first stage of the masking process, I had to paint the fuselage and tail codes, as well as the yellow outer rings of the French roundels. So I started with a highly thinned Gunze C69 Offwhite, followed by C4 Yellow. Everything was looking awesome until I went to remove the masks.
Step 3: RAGE
That’s right. Paint lift. Frustrating, crazy paint lift all over the place. And not just paint. The Mr Surfacer 1200 primer lifted off the plastic.
I’ve had some minor problems with Mr. Surfacer 1200 and lifting from plastic before, something that’s never happened once with Model Master gray enamel primer or another, less obvious primer – Tamiya’s AS-12 Bare Metal Silver.
I will be using either of those on future builds.
Step 4: Masks, Round Two
While I formulated a plan to deal with the paint lift, I went ahead and started working on the rest of the roundels, since until they’re done I’m stuck anyway.
The red went down well enough, except for the lower starboard insignia, which suffered even more lift.
Step 5: Masks, Round Three
While laying down the masks for the red portions of the roundels, I realized that the cowl text “Sch HURTIN” was oversized, and after a few back-and-forths with Joe at Scale Precision had a corrected smaller version sent my way, as well as some new ultra-low-tack masks for the roundels.
The letters in the cowl text were tiny and a bit of a frustration to work loose from the outline mask, but once they were, everything sprayed down beautifully.
The low-tack roundel masks also went down quite well – no lifting this time – but they proved to be ridiculously low-tack. As in, a post-it note was enough to lift them. Still, they got the job done.
Step 6: Masks, Round Four
The last step in masking the roundels was the blue dot that sits at the center. Nothin’ to it.
With the roundels finally completed, I could shift my focus to cleaning up the paint lift.
Step 7: Repair the Damaged Roundel
Most of the paint lifting occurred around, rather than on, the roundels. Not so the roundel on the underside of the starboard wing. Here, the lifting was particularly nasty.
To fix things up, I first masked off the white and blue inner circles, and shot some white and then yellow.
I then took masked the yellow outer ring and shot the red.
It’s not perfect, but eh…after the weathering this thing is going to get I doubt it will be a big deal.
Step 8: Fixing the Lift
The low-tack replacement masks were a godsend here. Honestly, as I mentioned above, they’re a bit too low-tack, but they absolutely eliminated any risk of paint lift.
Once I had everything masked, I hit the lift areas with some Gunze C2 Black.
Then some Alclad Aluminum.
The original idea I had was to use some liquid frisket to mask off some of the Alclad to simulate chipping, but, to use the scientific terminology, it looked like ass. So I just painted over with olive drab (and neutral gray on the bottom).
And with that, the arduous masking experience finally wrapped up. Now I can focus on the stencils, weathering, and final put-together of this Jug that’s taken so friggin’ long to come together. Stay tuned.