This D.520 was my entry into last November’s Flory Models forum weekend turkey shoot, and ever since I finished it, it has bugged me. Each time I look in my display cabinet it sticks out like a sore thumb. My paint job was, shall we say, not the best, and the decals were bloody awful, being silvered and not conforming one bit to the panel lines.
So last week I decided to do something about it. Something radical. I would strip the whole kit back to bare plastic and do it all again.
The basics are covered on the Flory site but it involves using neat IPA to take the paint off, and strip the kit back to plastic.
Note of caution. Use your least favourite brush for this, because you will ruin it. So, pour some IPA into a convenient container, have a fresh roll of kitchen towel to hand, and start by rubbing the kit with the brush in small circles. Best to do one small area at a time, because the IPA evaporates fairly quickly.
The decals themselves needed something a bit stronger, so I used Tamia X20A to soften them, then very gently slid a scalpel underneath them to lift them off.
Keep wiping the area you are working on with kitchen towel, to prevent the softened paint from re-drying.
It’s a slow, laborious job, and you will make an unholy mess!
Once you have gone over the whole kit, and removed the bulk of the paint, rub it down thoroughly with kitchen towel dampened with IPA to remove any residue. Then wipe it down again with more towel, this time with fresh water.
Hark at me, I actually sound like I know what I’m talking about!
Now we have a naked kit!
Since I have more time than I did during the turkey shoot I took the opportunity to add some rivet detail.
Now to start again. I liked how I got the chipping effect on my Raiden, so I thought I’d repeat the technique, but tone it down a bit. This isn’t a Japanese aircraft after all.
So, primer first, followed by Vallejo aluminium, then a coat of klear over the areas to be chipped. I guess this is very similar to the hairspray technique?
Now the complicated bit, the camo. According to research, the RAF had standardised camo patterns, which meant, mostly, aircraft were painted to a universal standard. Not so the French. Colour layouts were left to the individual units, often to the individual painters, meaning no two aircraft were entirely the same.
Now, the easy thing about the RAF is that most patterns were two colours. The French used three. There’s no way in heck I can keep three colours in my head, so I needed a guide. I tried a pencil first, but it didn’t show up, so I cut some masking tape into very thin strips, then curled them into my own interpretation of a French painter’s scheme! Note, they are only there as a guide for the following white-tac sausages, and so don’t need to be perfectly flat or curved. I also marked each section, so I knew which colour was going to go where.
So here’s the plan of attack. Roll up some white-tac sausages, chose which colour to do first, and place them to the OUT-side of the guide line. Then remove the guide line and colour marker.
Then mask up the rest. I started by trying to carefully tailor each bit of towel to each covered area, but quickly got both bored and frustrated with that, so settled on cutting random squares, and putting them down like a sort of mosaic, or patchwork quilt. This one stage, from rolling the white-tac to ready for paint took the best part of two hours alone!
First colour down. Two more to go. Why do the French have to have such complex camo schemes? Who was that numbskull who keeps banging on about the lack of French bombers again?!
Unmasked, ad this is more-or-less what I wanted to achieve, the pre-shading still intact. The first time I painted the whole kit in the first colour, then masked off the second, then the third colour, meaning by the third one the pre-shading was totally lost.
Next colour, and this time the white-tac goes to the IN-side of where the guide line was. Most important here to make sure the brown is clearly seen all around, to ensure a small overlap. Failure to do so would mean patches of primer between each colour.
Masked again. I was getting quicker by this stage, only about an hour. The kitchen towel sticks to the tac after a fashion, but I helped it with little snibblets of tape.
Two down, one to go. I was also trying my hand at post-shading, or bleaching. Unfortunately, I think I got too great a contrast between the base colours and the shade. Too much white. Also I was not accurate enough with the airbrush, meaning I was not always in the centre of the panels. Not so much Phil Flory as Mr Blobby. Still, it’s another lesson in the school of life, I’ll just have to practise more.
Once more into the breach, dear friends!
Final colour laid down. I did some light chipping, picking at the gun bay access panels and a few other places with a cocktail stick, and rubbing the wing leading edges and fuselage sides with a damp paintbrush. One feature of the design of the D.520 is that the cockpit is well behind the wing trailing edge. To me, this means that the wing root would not get nearly so much wear as the pilot entered and exited the plane as other fighters, so I left this alone.
A coat of Klear, ready for decalling.