Headway is back to my usual glacial pace now that I am back at work but none the less I have been able to get a bit done over the past couple of weeks. These days I have to squeeze in modelling time between work, commuting, family, developing products for return2kitform.com and somewhere in there I manage to get a few minutes sleep. After dragging my arse out of bed and slurping down some coffee I usually find myself (if I can be bothered) at the bench from 0430-0500 for a few precious moments to chip away at this build. Occasionally I will be able to build on weekends but those have been busy too lately so that is why I haven’t got much done.
Packed with Decals
What I have managed to do is get the FAST packs pretty much finished with all the decals applied. At this point I am not sure who is more mad, the bloke that decided that 106 decals were needed on what is essentially 6 parts or me the fool who followed the instructions to the letter (or number as it were). None the less after I emptied the decal shotgun and uncrossed my eyes I find the end result pleasing. There might be one or two missing but at this point I don’t really care and I don’t think anyone will notice. I rolled the dice and skipped the much vaunted gloss-coat-before-decals and got straight down to business with Hasegawa’s trademark thick decals and bottle of Mr Mark Softer. There is a bit of silvering that I have to deal with but I will circle back around to that after I do a bit of reading on how I can fix it.
All the parts were clear coated with Tamiya XF-86 and finished with a lightly misted on a coat of the base colour to tie everything in and tone down the shading. After that all of the engine bells were CA glued on after they had sprayed in various shades of Testors Metalizers and had a bit of MIG Productions Fantasy Pigments Stainless Alloy rubbed on the edges. After that they I shaded the metallic with thinned Tamiya XF-69 NATO Black.
It was while gluing these on that I somehow managed to put a dirty great thumbprint of CA glue on one of the leg packs. There was nothing for it but to #fixthatshit and luckily my load bearing digit had managed to miss all of the dozen decals on that part. So a quick sand of the effected area had me ready for repainting. But of course I was all out of the base colour so needed to mix some more. Which lead to the discovery that I was all out of XF-14 JA Grey. As you can imagine I was impressed with the situation that I found myself in with the nearest hobby shop 40 minutes away. But a quick call to a mate meant that I could pick up a pot on my way home the next day and I was back in business. While mostly finished the FAST packs are not 100% and I will probably do a bit more weathering once the kit has been fully assembled.
Gunning For Progress
Satisfied that this build was well on its way I set my sights on the gun pod. Time invested in early sub assembly meant that all I had to do was address a few nasty seams highlighted after I primed with SMS Black Primer. The base colour is Tamiya XF-53 shaded by adding a few drops of XF-80 as white is rare as hen’s teeth at the moment (thanks COVID). I tried experimenting with hairspray and salt again but no matter how I try I just can not get HS to work properly. But he salt worked well enough to add a but of tonal variation. Thankfully Mr Decals must have been out to lunch during this step as there was only 4 marking to apply making this part much quicker.
The VF-1 Valkyrie's GU-11 gun pod was inspired by the SUU-23 gun pod used on the F-4 Phantom
I am trying to keep motivation up on this build by getting all of the fiddly annoying stuff out of the way first. Back when I was building the VF-0B Toad Popper I found myself really struggling to finish up the bombs, missiles and landing gear. This time I am hoping that getting all of that stuff out of the way first means I can just assemble all the pre finished parts onto the painted fuselage and not have to suffer the grind. Will this plan work? Time will tell. At any rate the 6 RMS-1 missiles are next inline as are the landing gear with I will be sprucing up a bit.
This next bit is going to be a challenging but it will be a great chance to try out some detailing techniques before zeroing in on the fun bit.