With model painted and decals applied another important stage of model building has been achieved. Now it is time to start weathering process as well as continuing with assembly, painting and wearing away of all subassemblies. I always do it in two ways and this model is no different. I really like this approach - firstly I am saving on time as weathering process takes a lot of it and needs many stages of which some require to put model away before continuing, secondly I just adore this moment when aging of the model is finished and all subassemblies are ready and I can start to add everything together. After that it is just a matter of adding final touches and blending it all.
Here we have three main components which are: wheels for which I used Eduard Tempest Mk V wheels late #648421 resin counter parts, landing gear struts - here again I used Eduard Tempest Mk V undercarriage #648446 bronze aftermarket set and lastly landing gear bay doors for which I used original plastic parts.
After removing parts from the casting blocks I sanded the mating surface and then flattened them to imitate weight on wheels effect. Next I drilled small holes on the flattened surface so that I can stick the wheels on to the toothpicks for ease of painting. I started with the grey primer - Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500. Next rims were airbrushed with black GX2, then Silver was applied as a base colour and lastly transparent gloss layer of GX112 to protect the work done so far. Then I masked the rims with the masking tape and tires received layer of Tire Black and then were airbrushed with transparent gloss layer of GX112.
Weathering wise this was the first time when I had tires which were tread-less, so it seemed a bit of a challenge to me to make it look interesting, but I think I managed to do so. I started with the application of Earth and Pacific Dust wash mix on to the tread surface - I did it with a brush and then after few minutes I cleaned it up with a cotton pad. This gave me base layer of dirt in that area. For the sides of the tires I firstly applied (with a brush) Earth and then US Modern Vehicle wash. Next I airbrushed layer of clear semi gloss H102 to protect everything done so far.
As soon as it was dry I followed with second application of Earth and a couple of minutes later I added North Africa Dust effect on top of that and then 10 minutes later I cleaned an excess with cotton pad.
Now it was time for pigments - I used here Arfield Dust and then a bit of Light Dust. After that a tread area stared to look really nice and interesting. For the sides I applied one more layer - this time it was Dust effect. Then I airbrushed layer of clear mat H103.
I removed masks from the hubs. Then I painted small details with acrylics.
Lastly I imitated splashes of mud and dirt by dubbing the brush into the product and then pulling the bristles back releasing them to project small specks of colour on the surface - I used here Earth and North Africa Dust.
Tire of the rear wheel was weathered a bit differently. Tempest has anit-shimmy grooved wheel and looking at the photos it looks a bit differently when used comparing to the standard tires - main difference in weathering was that I applied quite thick layer of US Modern Vehicle and some of the steps were skipped due to the size of the element.
The landing gear bays - I started with priming using same product as for the wheels. Next interior of the landing gear bay doors were pre-shaded with mix of Grey Green and Black, then I airbrushed thin layers of Grey Green as a base colour. Exterior was airbrushed with RAF Medium Sea Grey (RC289). Next I airbrushed clear gloss layer of GX112. Chipping followed with Mat Aluminium and Rubber & Tires inside with application of Dark Green wash on top. Outside I used mix of Ocean Grey and Traffic White for chipping (first using brush then sponge) and mix of Dark Sea Blue and Neutral for wash.
To introduce dirt and grime especially visible on the sides closer to the surface of the airfield I used products from streaking line: Starship Grime (both sides) and Grime on the interior side only. When it was dry I wanted to introduce more wear and tear so I applied layer of Neutral Brown and Shadow for Desert Brown washes on the exterior side - I just added them with the brush and removed excess with clean brushes. Next everything was airbrushed with flat clean layer of XP07. Then I used weathering pencils - Sand around edges and protruding elements on the interior side and Dark Grey on the outside. Next I created mix of Ocean Grey and Traffic White and brush painted protruding elements on the exterior side of the bays. Next everything was airbrushed with satin layer of XP08.
After market parts (main landing gear struts) first received layer of Metal Primer. Next all parts were primed with Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500 and then received black base of GX2. Then I applied Silver as a base colour. Next I applied Landing Gear effect and the sponge chipping followed with Polished Metal colour. Everything was protected with Hataka clear satin XP08. As soon as it was dry I applied Engine and Turbine effect over particular elements of the struts. Then another effect (Dust) was added on the bottom of the struts.
Having all elements ready it was time to put everything together. Struts were glued to the landing gear bay doors with epoxy glue to be sure that the joint is strong enough. Next I dry fitted the wheels and temporarily attached whole assembly to the landing gear bays slot to check how it all works together - everything turned out well!
Then I imitated splashes of mud and dirt in the same way as it was done for the wheels.
Lastly I applied Landing Gear wash over the bottom areas of Landing gear bay doors and struts.
Firstly I was surprised that Eduard put hardpoint parts together with tanks themselves on the clear sprue - well the mystery was partially solved, though a bit too late. Nevertheless the hardpoint parts turned out to be very fragile and I managed to damage them while cutting them out but hey - there is an easy fix, just use Extra Thin Cement glue and problem solved, which I did. A minute later I started to look through the photos in my reference book and it turned out pretty quickly that an interesting thing about hardpoints in Hawker Tempest is that they are made from semi-transparent material and that is why Eduard put those parts on the clear sprue. If you ask me about tanks parts, to be honest I do not know why Eduard decided to put then in the same sprue.
Getting back to the hardpoints - the harm was already done. Using Thin Cement on clear parts causes fogging of the surface around the joint which is absolutely not a problem when you paint it afterwards. Unfortunately here it should stay transparent which I didn't know at that time. To remedy the problem I soaked those parts in the Gauzy Agent. This is a high quality product developed to enhance, repair, and achieve extremely realistic transparent glass-like finishes on clear plastic parts. After a few repetitions hardpoints started to look good enough. Application of decals and slight weathering eliminated problem entirely.
External tanks are two parts affair. After gluing it together I had to remove joint line. I used for that Mr. Dissolved Putty which I then sanded. After priming the surface it turned out that there are still places to be fixed so I repeated the operation once more and primed it again with Mr. Surfacer 1200 - this time everything was perfect. Next I did pre-shading with Rubber Black colour and then applied base colour of RAF Medium Sea Grey (RC289). Then I decided to try new product - that is Alclad Kler Kote Gloss - it gives amazingly shiny and even finish, though I have to learn how to use it properly. In case of the external tanks it just did not want to entirely dry - maybe I applied to many coats or they were too thick. I will have to play with more before using it again.
Next stage was decals application - there were just a few of those including the ones on the hardpoints. Weathering wise I started with chipping for which I used Rubber & Tires first using brush and then sponge. Next I applied wash (same mix as for the fuselage underside) in the front and at the bottom of the tanks and then every thing was protected with clear satin layer of XP08.
Next I used Streaking Grime, Streaking Grime for Winter Vehicles and Black wash to introduce distinctive pattern of mottled stains which tend to appear on the surfaces which see regular handling and maintenance. Blue Dirt wash was applied around hardpoint to tank connection to introduce a bit of dirt there. Next I used Medium Brown Streaking Brusher to simulate wear and tear at the bottom of the tanks - first I applied the product by drawing quite thick line with the applicator. As soon as it was dry to the touch I started to blend it in using clean brushes with just a bit of Odourless Thinner. Then I airbrushed flat clean layer of XP07. In the next stage of weathering I used weathering pencils to introduce even more scratches and paint chips (Dark grey, Dust/Rainmarks on the top parts and then rust shades Medium Rust, Dark Rust and Light Rust on the bottom). Layer of satin clear followed. Lastly I introduced some spills with Starship Streaking product.
I started with the hub. First primer - Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500. Next GX1 was airbrushed as a white base to archive more vivid and saturated Red colour which followed. Interior is rather invisible but for the sake of completeness I airbrushed Grey Green colour there and then clear gloss layer of GX112 followed. Weathering started with chipping with acrylics. First Silver was used, then mix of red and white and lastly Rubber & Tires. All colours were first applied with a brush and additionally with the sponge at the tip of the hub.
Next in similar fashion as it was done for the external tanks I added pattern of mottled stains just using different colours. To simulate accumulated dirt at the bottom of the hub I applied Grime and Cold Dirty Grey Streaking Brushers. Next I airbrushed flat clean layer of XP07. Then weathering pencils were used to add additional scratches and finally I applied layer of XP08.
Saying that painting of blades was not pleasant this time would be un understatement. Few things went badly during the first trial.
I started with application of primer Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500, then black basing followed with GX2. Next I airbrushed layer of Silver paint and on top of that Scratches fluid from AK. As soon as it was dry I painted blades with base colour of NATO Black and as soon as it was dry to the touch I followed with chipping using water, clean brush and toothpick. An hour or two later I masked blades to prepare for painting of the tips - I used narrow Tamiya masking tape for that. Next I airbrushed white GX1 colour first and then Yellow - so far so good.
First problem occurred when I started removing the masking tape - unfortunately in several places I removed it together with the black base. Most probably I should have waited longer before applying the tape on to the surface of the blades. Well - it happens. I decided to correct the problem and carefully airbrushed again NATO Black where it was needed. Result was good enough so I proceeded with layer of Alclad Kler Kote Gloss and here disaster stroke - on two blades the base paint just started to bulge in some places and that was something I could not easily fix. I am not sure what caused such reaction. I will have to try to reproduce it and figure out what happened. At that moment I decided that enough is enough. It was time to use Paint Stripper for the first time. Quickly it turned out that I used too much. It is a very hot product so plastic started to react with it and I ended up with bare plastic though with rough surface. I let it dry thoroughly over night. Next day I sanded blades starting with 400 grid paper, finishing with 5000 polishing pads. In the end it looked like new - perfect!
I repeated the process except for Alclad Kler Kote Gloss I used GX112 and I gave a bit more time between application of chipping fluid and base colour and then waited longer before applying masking tape. This time everything worked perfectly and I could continue with weathering.
First I added scratches to the tips of the blades and then vertically on the rest of the surface using small brush and Rubber & Tires colour. Next I added bit more chipping to the tips with Mat Aluminium. Next I added subtle marks of streaked dirt using Rainmarks effects. First I brush painted few subtle lines on the blades and then blended it as much as necessary with a few passes using weathering brush slightly moistened in enamel thinner. Everything was secured with layer of XP08. Next I added Streaking Grime in an irregular way and blended it with soft clean brush. I airbrushed mat clear layer - XP07. With weathering pencils I added additional scratches. Next layer of satin XP08 followed. Then using different Streaking Brushers I added additional dirt around aft part of the propeller. Lastly I added splashes of mud and dirt in the same way as it was done for wheels and landing gear bay doors.
That is all for now. As I am finishing this blog entry, weathering of the Hawker Tempest is entering final stages so you can expect another post in coming weeks.
Below gallery of finished sub-assemblies so check it out if you like. If you have any comments or questions please leave it in the section below. Thanks!