Time for another quick update on the Vampire, the main colour is going on nicely, for this I am using a mix of Vallejo Green Black with a couple of extra drops of black to darken a little more. Its going on quite nice so another light coat or two and I should be done and ready to paint the red pinstripes and the tail panels.
I thought I would pop up a post about a new airbrush I picked up a month or so ago, I usually use an Iwata brush for my work with acrylics but I wanted to have a play about with some lacquer based paint so decided rather than running it through my Iwata just to order a budget airbrush off Amazon for my experiments with the new paint. I had a look and ordered this Agora-tec dual action 0.2mm for the princely sum of £23.95 delivered! I was expecting the brush to be some cheap chinese generic and not much good at this price but I have been pleasantly surprised.
Firstly the brush shipped from Germany not China, and secondly it turns out this is a really nice brush. The nozzle is stainless steel rather than brass and the only thing I have done to it is buff the needle to polish the tip and its given me some great results. I am amazed at how fine I can get the detail with this brush too.
It has an adjustable needle stop and an airflow adjuster on the brush making fine tuning for detail a little easier and if you look in the images above it can produce some really fine lines/detail. The above pics were taken using a premixed Revell Aqua Acrylic that I had just used for large coverage through a 0.35mm needle on a different brush, this has been sprayed on to a sheet of standard white copier paper and I hadn’t adjusted the thinning/air pressure at all, you can get a much more even line if you spend the time to set it up properly.
Another quick shot of the F-5A from Tiger Hobbies. Flat Black’s applied, and the pic shows her waiting for decals. I actually made a start on them last night and they’re pretty good. The wing walkway outline broke up a bit but the stencils have all been easy to work with, they’re maybe using carrier film thats a touch thick for my liking but in general they’re pretty good. So much so I might actually keep the Turkish option to use on another F-5 I have planned.
Airbrushes and my new Neo by Iwata
So my new Airbrush arrived this week. As I have mentioned before I hadn’t really done much in the way of airbrushing in the past but over the last few weeks I have done much practising with the generic dual action one that came with my compressor kit. I have to say I thought the generic was an excellent airbrush and certainly probably more than adequate for most modelling requirements, however I decided I was going to treat myself and ordered a Neo by Iwata.
The Neo arrived well packaged, thick card box that put me in mind of iPhone packaging with the brush, nozzle spanner and small cup sitting nestled inside a High density foam insert. On unboxing the brush and comparing the brushes side by side you can see from the image above with the large cup attached to the Neo there is very little in it size wise between the two.
The detachable cup on the Neo is a nice touch and will certainly make cleaning and easier affair. There is quite a difference in weight between the two brushes too, with the Neo being a lot lighter in the hand.
I hooked the brush up to my compressor and straight away noticed the difference, the Neo atomised the paint into a much finer mist that strangely still seemed more dense than that produced by my generic brush, and the coat went down much more even.
Even the action on the brush seemed almost more responsive, it really doesn’t take much movement on the trigger to go from a fine line to a full wide coverage mist and the brush is capable of emptying even the larger of the two cups in what seems like only a couple of seconds.
The one thing that the Generic does have that the Neo doesn’t is the adjuster on the end of the brush that sets a limit to how far back you can pull the trigger and increase the flow. I have to say as a newbie to airbrushing I did find this feature particularly useful on the generic, but with the Neo I will have no where to hide and will simply have to learn better brush control.
Having realised my mistake with not fitting the cockpit I decided to continue practicing with airbrush and put the darker Grey on after masking with blu-tak (didn’t have any play dough and besides blu-tak doesn’t smell funny haha). I think the result was OK considering I had never done this before.
Once I had finished playing with the airbrush I decided it was time to actually get back to this build and cracked the assembly open and fitted the cockpit.
So it really didn’t take long for me to make my first mistake when building this kit. As is almost always recommended for model aircraft I started with the cockpit. Sub assembly wasnt without issue due to the poor quality of the moulding with my kit, some parts clearly hadn’t had enough plastic resin injected into them and were actually incomplete!
But the whole point of this kit was too blow off the cobwebs and I knew I was going to make many errors on the way so I wasnt too fussed. The parts were assembled and detail painted.
As I mentioned its been a fair few years since I have built a kit, and I pretty much have always been a brush painter. The last kit I built which was an F-117 I did play about with a couple of cheap airbrushes running on cans of propellant as a tool for mass coverage but thats about it. Well being at the Model Show and seeing peoples results from using an airbrush and I was a convert.
I managed to convince my better half to buy me a small compressor and airbrush (more about which can be found in the equipment section soon) so of course I needed a booth with extractor naturally. Well it all pretty much arrived at the the same time.
So I’ve taken my time getting here but here was mistake number one, all my
new toys arrived and I was just itching to give them all a go so no sooner was I home from work that everything was unboxed, set up and ready to go. I cemented the fuselage together (ignoring the horrific fit and step between the two halves) and got to airbrushing on a primer and then the base grey coat.
It wasn’t until after this though that I noticed, sitting on the desk in front of the new spray booth and the freshly painted carcass of the F-5, was the cockpit sub assembly, you can actually see it in the photo above, sitting next to the craft knife on the right. In my rush I had forgotten all about it and had to crack the fuselage back open to install it!