When we last left the Jug, the French markings had been applied and the paint lift from the masks had been corrected.
So let’s move into the long, arduous process of finishing this bastard off.
Gloss coat and stencils
I’ve had an absolute bear of a time with gloss clear coats of late. Future never seems to work for me. Vallejo’s gloss varnish has worked well in the past, and also nearly ruined builds. Gunze Super Clear eats the underlying paint, and Tamiya discontinued the only gloss I’ve ever truly liked, TS-13.
After many test sprays with many different glosses, I finally found a Krylon clear gloss varnish that worked quite well when decanted and shot through the airbrush.
With a good gloss coat, the Trumpeter stencils went down quite well, with no silvering.
Once they cured, they were sealed, and then the fun began…
This is the same salt process I’ve used on several recent builds. Spray the entire aircraft with warm water cut with a dash of dish soap to kill off the surface tension, then grind salt all over it and dry it with a hair dryer. Once it’s set, spray it with a very thin gray/tan mix, wash the salt off, re-salt it, and spray it again with a thin, grimy brown/black mix.
After the rinse off, the “first time you see it, it’s terrifying” salt fogging showed up. And was quickly knocked down with a misting of Gunze Semi-Gloss.
With the salt weathering done, the next item on the plate was oil dot fading.
Oil Dot Fading
The idea behind oil dot fading is a simple one. It provides localized color modulation that can add visual depth and interest to monochromatic slabs (and it can also, oddly, help unify polychromatic camoflage schemes).
Start the process by dabbing tiny dots of oil paint all over the place in a randomized pattern. I’ve found that a toothpick works well for this task. Then, dip a smallish, round brush into thinner (I prefer Mona Lisa Odorless Thinner), wick most of it away on a paper towel, and start working the oil in. It’ll look hideous at this stage, but it’s supposed to.
I found it worked best to start with the lighter oils – transparent white and yellow ochre – and then move on to the darks once the lights were worked in.
After the initial work-in, I took out an Aqualon Wisp brush, again dampened with thinner, and pulled back along the direction of airflow (and on the fuselage, gravity) to create some streaking.
Everything was then blended together with a broad, flat, dry brush.
The end result is a subtle color modulation.
Final Weathering and Assembly
After giving the oil a night to set up, I hit the Jug with Flory Dark Dirt wash. As usual applied in sludge-fashion, then wiped off with damp paper towels.
This left a TON of paper towel lint all over the aircraft. A dryer sheet was used to wipe it off and neutralize static cling. Then I applied Alclad’s clear flat to deaden everything down.
From here I was able to start adding chipping effects with my trusty Prismacolor silver pencil, as well as a few oil and grease stains courtesy of MIG Oil & Grease Stains.
Next up came the landing gear, using SAC metal struts and Barracuda’s excellent new 1/32 block tread wheels, plus the gear doors, nav lights and pitot tube.
Finally, the thing was put on its feet, the blast tubes were (finally) installed, and after 118 long days on the bench, the French Jug was done.
Thank you so much if you’ve followed along this far…this was certainly a torturous, but highly educational, build!