On The Bench 249: John Klein’s Viper Mk II part 2
I masked off the cockpit and used Rustoleum Painter’s Touch grey primer to prepare the surface for paint. I primed the fuselage and engine exhaust assembly separately to save time making and painting the exhaust later.
I pre-shaded certain areas with Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black and then over coated this with Tamiya XF-2 Gloss White for the fuselage and Model Master Acryl 4676 Jet Exhaust for the engine cans. The fuselage and recessed areas between the engine canes were masked and painted gloss white and Model Master 4677 Flat Aluminum, respectively.
After this had dried thoroughly, I attached the engine exhaust assembly to the fuselage and masked off the areas which would receive the red “go faster” stripes. I painted these on with Tamiya X-7 Gloss Red. The recessed engine panels were masked off and painted with Model Master 4679 Steel, as were the landing gear assemblies. The exposed engine plumbing and wiring were picked out with various metallic paints. Heat staining on exposed parts of the top engine was simulated with Tamiya X-23 Clear Blue and X-24 Clear Yellow, over coated with Tamiya X-19 Smoke. The canopy framework was masked off and painted Flat Aluminum, as well. The model was sprayed with Future in preparation for the decals.
The decals included with this kit are very fragile and must be handled with extreme care. Micor-Sol eats right though them (I lost one stencil decal learning this) but Micro-Set worked just fine. Another problem which many modelers have noticed is that the individual yellow wing insignia decals are printed without a white backing layer. This causes them to be rendered opaque when applied over the red wing stripes. I attempted to work around this problem by cutting the insignia portion out of the red “go faster” stripe decal which is provided as an option on the decal sheet; this was more-or-less satisfactory except that the insignia now has a sort of roundel-like appearance. Only two pilot nameplates and corresponding tail numbers are included on the decal sheet; I printed my own nameplate decal onto clear decal film and then sealed the decal with Krylon Crystal Clear prior to application. The tail number (2042NC) is a hybrid of the two tail numbers included on the decal sheet (2220NC & 7242NC), cut apart and applied in pieces to create a new number. The rest of the decals went on without incident and were sealed-in with another coat of Future.
After an overall wash with black oil paint and mineral spirits, I applied various pin washes of burnt sienna and black oils. The insignia decal on the port wing got stuck to the glue residue of the previous, transparent decal and got mangled beyond repair during application. To disguise this, I scribed some scratches and battle damage into the wing’s surface, emphasized the damage with a silver coloured pencil and using pigment powder and airbrushed dark streaks to simulate a “near miss”. Pigment powders were also used on various areas off the fuselage to give a used appearance. I airbrushed light grey streaks leading back from the RCS ports to simulate propellant residue. After the weathering had set, it was sealed in with Liqutex Matte Varnish thinned with Testors Universal Thinner.
This was a very enjoyable kit to build. The instructions are a bit confusing at times and the decals are a bit of an uphill climb but the end result is very satisfying; a highly recommended build for any BSG enthusiast.