This is my attempt
at Tamiya's excellent F-16 model finished in Turkish Air Force scheme. I am back
to modeling after many years, and I am starting to learn how to use an airbursh,
preshading, postshading, clear coats, washes, and everything else. It took me a
long time to finish this as I can work on modeling only very sporadically.
The kit was built
out of the box except for the decals. From my references, I can tell the
IIF "bird slicer" antenna is not what TUAF uses and my model is
missing the parachute housing on the vertical tail. As I gain more experience, I
hope to be more true to such details with after-market products and scratch
builds. Construction was pretty good with clean sprue trees and excellent part
fits. Almost no putty is required on this beautifully engineered model.
Nonetheless, it does take some time to put together the entire model. I used
bristles from an old toothbrush for the static dischargers on the wings and
horizontal stabilizers, which I think adds more detail to the model. The only
thing I could not resolve is the front of the canopy not sitting completely on
the body leaving a gap. Oh well...
I first primed the
entire model and preshaded the panel lines using Tamiya flat black. The model
was then painted with MM enamels (36118, 36270 and 36375) with no scale effect
(i.e., no white added). In my opinion, 36270 came out too dark so perhaps I will
change my strategy next time. I used future as an undercoat for decaling and
washes, and used pollyscale flat coat for the final clear coat. I finally used
post-shading using Tamiya Smoke to darken some panel lines that are extremely
pronounced on F-16s. I like the fact that the Tamiya smoke I used for
postshading is somewhat glossy and creates a nice depth when the flat finish is
taken into account.
Speaking of flat
coats... Is it only me or has anyone experienced a 'haze' created by pollyscale
flat? For some reason, despite my thinning, there seems to be a white haze
lingering over the model due to the flat coat. I thin pollyscale with Tamiya
acrylic thinner about 50% and I mix it really well. Then, I apply it in multiple
very thin coats. For some reason, I get the haze and it is bothering me. I tried
using distilled water to thin pollyscale flat coat with horrible results so I
have moved away from that. Perhaps I should use Windex or wiper fluid for
thinning? Could it be pollyscale not liking the Tamiya thinner? If things don't
work out the way I want, I may go back to Testors Dullcoat (I had success with
it in the past but after one horrible experience, I quit using it), or use the
future/Tamiya flat combo. Any suggestions? Feel free to e-mail me.
I used West Decal's TUAF decals that I purchased last summer. The clear parts of
the original decal set were extremely yellowish. But, thanks to some tip I had
read online, I left the decal set under direct sunlight for about 15 days and it
worked perfectly! All the yellow was gone. I also modified and printed my own
few decals using Kaan Gok's graphics file for TUAF F-16 I had found online a
while ago. I like TUAF aircraft, which often necessitates custom printed
decals. Unfortunately one of my biggest obstacles in modeling is a lack of
printer that can print white ink (ALPS discontinued as far as I know); I have
not had great success with white decal paper thus far. Thus, even though pilot
names are printed in white on TUAF F-16's right under the canopy, I had to go
with gray. Incidentally, my childhood dream was to become a fighter pilot, which
never happened. So I am living that fantasy in scale modeling by rendering
myself as the pilot.
disappointment with the model is my choice of using Hasegawa's decal for the
refueling marker. The decal was too thick and despite all the Microscale
products I used, it still shows significant silvering. Tamiya decals are awesome
but one thing I discovered is that you should use Microsol only after the decal
has completely cured. Otherwise, Microsol seems to be too aggressive and causes
the decal to curl up onto itself, which sometimes is unrecoverable.
images below to see larger images
I learned a few things and
reinforced my need to acquire some new modeling skills. First, I need to
do a better job masking my canopies. A 'fresh', sharp Xacto blade is a
must if you use Tamiya tape for masking. I need to find a better way to
paint tires. I use flat black using a brush which sometimes results in an
uneven finish. To blend everything, I use a shoe shiner brush, but that
results in a semi-gloss to gloss finish. I may have to do some flat
coating to my tires next time. I may need to add white to the main colors
to give some scale effect. Especially 36270 came out too dark. I also need
to find a better way to rescribe curved/cylindrical components like
external fuel tanks. Currently, I cannot seem to get a straight line even
though I am using a thick dynamo tape as a guide. Any suggestions here?
Just to let you know, the rest of the model does not need any major
rescribing. Panel lines are already excellent. Only the sections you lose
to sanding have to be rescribed. Finally, I think I can do a better job
weathering with pastels. I am not too happy with the current results.
For the modeling and
photography in general, I am very much inspired by the incredible models and
shots found at http://www.naritafamily.com/
I am new to photography and only have a Canon PowerShot A620 and have no
experience with lighting. I am slowly setting up some fixtures and light
softeners etc. using some online resources, but have long ways to go.
images below to see larger images