With the main scheme laid down, I moved on to gloss “Wilma Jeanne” ahead of decal work and immediately ran into problems.
I’ve never been able to find a clear gloss that I without reservation love. And yes, I’ve tried almost all of them. Tamiya X-22 doesn’t get the job done. Gunze C46 and GX100 clears eat through underlying paint. Vallejo and Future aren’t consistent enough to trust. Alclad’s Aqua Clear is the same, and their Gloss Klear Kote takes approximately 1.8 years to dry.
Ultimately, I used Tamiya X-22 as the least-bad option. The result? Silvering on the wing stencils and wingwalk lines! Sweet!
Now, I didn’t apply all of the decals at this point.
My thinking? The U4 obviously had an existence before the U.S. forces overran Augsburg, and it would already be somewhat weathered before the captured markings were applied.
Thus…on to weathering!
I’ve done salt weathering a few times now, notably on my Dewoitine D.520, and it seemed a perfect technique to bring out of the 262.
With a spray bottle, I soaked the build in warm water cut with just a bit of dish soap to kill the surface tension and let it flow across the entire plane. I then applied salt from one of those salt grinders that allows you to control the coarseness.
The warm water partially dissolves the salt crystals for a nice, random pattern.
Once the salt dried, I used a very, very thin mix of Gunze RLM 02 and Offwhite as a filter. Whatever paint you use, be sure to test it first. Fogging or clouding isn’t a concern, since it vanishes under the next clear coat, but some paints (I’m looking at you, Tamiya) seem to absorb the salt and end up with permanent discolorations. I’ve found that Model Master enamels an Gunze lacquers work well.
I found the effect a bit too pronounced for my liking, so I went back with a filter of RLM 81, again heavily thinned, and blended the weathering back into the main scheme.
Next, I sprayed the olive drab used to cover up the German insignia and swastikas.
Then applied the “Wilma Jeanne” nose script and USAAF insigina (taken from a P-38 decal sheet) shot a protective coat of Gunze Semi-Gloss Clear, then got to work on the Flory Dark Dirt wash. The stuff beaded like crazy at first ,but as it dried I was able to spread it more and more.
After wiping the Flory wash away with damp paper towels, then removing the paper towel lint, I moved on to the final stuff – the Alclad Matte clear coat, the landing gear, canopy, oil stains and minor chipping, installing the big 50mm gun, and stringing up the aerial wire. If that all sounds rushed – it was. This all happened in the night or two before ModelFiesta.
But with those last steps, the Me 262 was finished.