While the fuselage was being assembled and prepared for the painting stage I took care of all other smaller elements. I like to have it ready before weathering of the model begins - such approach gives me this grate joy that as soon as the weathering is complete I can connected all parts together and what I am left with is finishing touches.
Stuka had a fixed landing gear which makes it very simple to replicate in scale. Indeed - whole main gear consists of three parts and the wheel itself (which is moulded as two part thing). I made it a bit more complicated for myself as I decided to use wheels from Quickboost Ju 87 uncovered wheels II set - though original plastic wheels from the kit are very good including bulge to show the weight the resign counterparts quality is even better and in addition to that the bulge itself takes into consideration that the wheels are positioned slightly at an angle to the ground.
Additionally as resin wheel is one part affair there is no additional work need to remove the seem after matting two halves together and rescribbing the tread, though I had to come up with the idea on how to mount them inside wheels spats. Original plastic wheel had small hole moulded on each side in the very centre of the element which then was placed onto the small rod which was protruding from the inside of left and right cover for the upper part of the wheel. Additionally the original wheel had a special physical marker which allowed to position the wheel so that the bulge was perfectly aligned with the surface on which the aircraft is standing. To adjust the resin counterparts I drilled a hole in the very centre of it, so that I could insert there a brass tube cut to proper length with the diameter allowing it to be placed over the aforementioned rods. The additional effect of this is that now the wheels can be freely rotated which brings me the possibility to align them properly the very end of the build.
Wheels were primed with Mr. Surfacer 1500 Grey. Than I painted them using Tamiya Black plus a bit of White. Then I airbrushed the tire with Ammo mig Earth Effect mixed with Ammo mig Pacific Dust PLW. After waiting a few minutes I removed an excess with clean cloth. Next I sprayed Mr Colour GX 114 gloss clear coat as a protection layer. Another layer applied on the tread was Ammo mig North Africa Dust and once more Ammo mig Earth Effect but this time with the brush trying to apply it directly into the crevices of the tread pattern - each of the effects in different places to differentiate the dirt. Next step was to apply Landing Dust Effect from AK Interactive around the tyre below the tread pattern. Another step wast to apply a Track wash from Ammo mig by dubbing the brush in it and then using toothpick to deposit it on the wheels to imitate splatter marks effect. Last step was to dry brush tread pattern with Ammo mig Rubber & Tires and apply Aqueous flat matt clear coat. Having tires ready I masked them and airbrushed the inner rims with Tamiya Black with a bit of White, then masked were removed and I applied Ammo mig Earth Effect around the rim followed by different kinds of pigments. Finally the rim was airbrushed with semi gloss clear coat layer.
Having wheels ready, I airbrushed insides of the spats with interior colour Mig acrylic German Grev Beige (A MIG-0028), then I assembled the spats and mounted wheels inside. Next wheels were masked with Tamiya tape and airbrushed base colour. Decals followed with gloss clear coat on top. Weathering started with Oil Brushers to introduce colour fading. Next I applied washes using different techniques to simulate further colour fading, staining and usage.
Propeller and Spinner
With propeller and spinner I decided to go with resin counterparts as well - I used Quickboost QB48 787, Ju 87B Stuka VS-11 propeller w/tool set. I started with removing all the elements from casting blocks and filed them. Next I cleaned them up with IPA and airbrushed Mr Surfacer 1500 gray as an undercoat. Late models of B-2 and R-2 had a wooden blades so they had to be painted and weather differently than spinner - let’s start with the latter one.
After priming with Mr Surfacer 1500 gray I applied AK xtreme metal duraluminium - this would be colour of the chips. Next I sprayed AMMO Mig Chipping Fluid (Scratches Effect) and of top of that base colours - bottom of the hub with RLM 70 and tip with Tamiya Green, then I moistened the hub with the water and used different kind of brushes to activate the layer below allowing paint to flake off.
Then I sprayed Tamiya Smoke on the edge of the blades housings on the hub followed by flat clear coat layer of Mr. Colour GX 114 which allowed me to use AK pencils for imitation for further scratches. Next I followed with Aqueous Semi Gloss layer and sponge chipping with Vallejo Aluminium. To represent splashes of dirt I used enamel products from AMMO Mig applied with large stiff brush by dabbing it in the product and then pulling the bristles back with the toothpick. Next I used Streaking brushers to add additional dirt around crevices and recreated subtle staining of the camouflaged colours using mottled spots technique. At the very end I used Green Brown PLW from AMMO Mig for the panel lines and airbrushed final coat of Mr. Colour flat clear.
I started with Mr. Surfacer 1500 Grey. To simulate wooden blades I airbrushed Red Brown Tamiya paint as an undercoat, then scratches effect from AMMO Mig and base coat of RLM 70. As soon as the paint was dry to the touch I moistened it with the water and used stiff brush to flake it off on and close to leading edges of the blades. Next I used oil brushers to imitate fading and abrasions of the base colour. Next I airbrushed flat clear coat to prepare the surface for the application of AK pencils to add scratches. Next semi gloss clear coat layer followed and on top of that I used Rainmark Effects from AMMO mig - this reproduced subtle marks of streaked dirt which form when flying through the clouds or in rainy weather. Another step was to use Streaking Brushers to emphasise discoloration of the base paint. Lastly I applied AK Engine Turbine wash by flicking the product from the stiff brush with the toothpick.
Canopy consists of three parts. I decided to go with the open one to better show cockpit interior. Such choice required careful thinking on how to paint the middle part - will get to that shortly. Front part was easy - just mask it using Ju87R-2/B-2 Stuka EXPERT kabuki masks, prime with Mr. Surfacer 1500 Grey, airbrush internal frames with Mig acrylic German Grev Beige (A MIG-0028) and mate to main fuselage. Camouflage colours will be applied together with main fusale painting process.
For the rear part, first I assembled armoured MG 15 mount - I used here PE parts from Eduard set and glued it to the frame. Then I masked the glazing. As the late production of Ju 87 B-2/R-2 introduced additional plates added to the lower corner of the rear canopy I had to modify some masks which did not take it into consideration. Next I added all not prepainted PE parts inside of the canopy and then I followed with priming, interior color and then camouflage colour outside. Weathering was kept simple - jus some scratches in different colours with ammo Mig acrylics, on top of that I used Streaking Brushers to simulate usage and dirt. Next I started removing masks and this is when disaster struck. The masks for top glazing where only partial due the curvature of the surface, so I used Liquid Mask by vallejo to fill in the glazing inside of the mask. While removing the liquid, to my surprise it turned out that it somehow reacted with the plastic itself - kind of bit into it and it looked like it would be not possible to remove it without destroying the glazing. First reaction was that I would have to somehow acquire replacement part, but I gave myself a while to calm down and think. I decided that I would try to remedy the situation - I started with removal of the liquid mask using a toothpick - I had to use a lot of force which caused many deep scratches on the surface but at least I got rid of it. Next I applied Gauzy Glass Coat Agent on the cracked glazing - that helped a lot. I repeated this step 2 times more and after that I decided I can live with the end result. Last step was trying to find out what really happened - I had used Liquid Mask for glazing before without any problems. The only thing I came up with was that I dipped whole part in the Gauzy Glass Coat Agent at the very beginning as it had some scratches and then not waited long enough before applying liquid mask over it, or maybe I should not apply liquid mask on top of Gauzy specific at all? This is something I will have to test for sure in the future.
The middle section was a simple affair though I had to think carefully about painting. Heaving decided on the open canopy I had to use middle part of glazing (provided with the model) which is shorter than the part required for the closed canopy - this is the case as in the real life the front section of the middle part is moved backwards overlapping the rear section, and that leads (in the model) to the situation where some of the internal frames of the plastic are really the external ones overlapped by the front section of the glazing. Without careful thinking on what colour to paint where I would ended up with the interior color visible on some of the frames looking from outside of the canopy. Having this part masked and primed, I started with airbrushing camouflage colours appropriately on the internal frames, then interior colour and gloss clear coat. Next step was to apply camouflage colours on the exterior framing followed by gloss clear coat as well. Weathering was done in a similar fashion to the rear part described above. At the very end I added PE parts from the Eduard set.
Next blog entry will be all about painting, weathering and finalising the model. Till then!