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Examining the masking sets and starting the painting process

Welcome back to my blog. This time I will examine the TopNotch masking sets and describe how I started the painting process.

This model will be the first for which I will not use decals for the markings. For such a big model painted on markings are a must. It is also necessary to use masks for the camouflage, because it has sharp edges.

I came across TopNotch, which offer masks for the camouflage and markings for the Dambuster-Aircraft flown by Guy Gibson:

and this is the set for the camouflage:

The masks are very thin and they are made from vinyl. They are cut very well and Shawn from TopNotch also added some additional masks as reserve.

The masks for the fin-flashes are not correct (square instead of rectangle and too big) and are only included twice, although you need four. I contacted Shawn who really offered me great service by providing correct masks in more than needed quantities in very short term. Thanks again, Shawn!

One thing for which there is room for improvement are the drawings how to place the masks. They are too small and not correct in all details.

You also have to take care to test the alignment of the camouflage of the fuselage to the wings. I will come back to this point in one of the next posts.

The camouflage and markings are perfectly described in the beautiful Dambuster-book already mentioned. I used them as reference:

The painting of such a big model isn‘t as easy as it is for smaller models due to the big surfaces which have to be painted. In order to achieve a realistic look I had to use some new painting-techniques. I will come back to this in a future post.

I had to invest a lot of time in puttying, sanding, rescribing and riveting.

Here are some pics of the fuselage glued together and puttied:

and a picture of the canopy glued to the cockpit and painted black:

After having finished all the rework I primed the model with Mr. Surfacer 1200:

I corrected the faults which became visible

and then sanded the surface smooth with my 12000 grid sanding-cloth.

Following this I started with the preshading.

The preshading is also necessary even for the black surfaces because RAF Night is more a very dark blue-grey. For the preshading I used flat black from Gunze mixed with 50% Mr. Color Leveling Thinner. There are a lot of panellines to be preshaded. I used the 0,2mm nozzle and my reliable Harder and Steenbeck Infinity-Airbrush for application.

Here are some pics of the preshaded fuselage and tail:

I forgot to take fotos of the preshaded rudders 🥴...

The preshading of the black part of the fuselage was done after the painting of the upper surfaces.

The last step before applying the first paint was to sand the model again with my 12000 grid sanding-cloth to achieve a perfect basis. This was all for today. In the next post I will show you how I applied the dark earth camouflage-paint and the painting masks for the camouflage of the tail and fuselage.

Have a nice weekend and see you soon again in my blog.

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