My goal for this kit was to see if I had the concentration back to do this kind of thing, and see if there would be any kind of spark to light my modeling fire again.. concentration has never really been a problem during this build even if I sometimes worked an hour with no break, and boy has the fire been lighted!
This blog won’t be a step by step description of what I did. I want to focus on the many things I learned during this build and some of the decisions I took.
I think I’ve read somewhere about cutting open the box since the Revell boxes are a bit goofy. Sprues are easier to access and possibly a slightly smaller chance of some parts falling of of them prematurely.
I made an account on scalemodeller.com. They have box reviews, building reports, some good beginners tips that are very useful to me, and a collection of reference pics. I decided I would go for the silver in box livery.. obviously I don’t feel comfortable yet going too far from the box versions! But my target was to let reference photos be a factor.
Above is the actual airframe the kit tries to portray. Eventhough Revell shows this model to have the clipped wings configuration I could not take that out of this picture and I aimed to go for the full wing version. The real question in this picture seems to be: are those stains above the engine outlet actual camo or is it just smeared on grease to avoid the pilot being blinded in this baremetal ‘livery’? Since I was not sure and all kits of the MJ250 show the same camo being used, I decided to be my conservative self and go with that.
At this time I did not yet have an airbrush but instead I used a small roller. While the result is better than using a brush probably, one thing I learned is this build is don’t paint before you’re done with the big glue operations! I guess I just really wanted to see what it would look like in the alluminium color.. that little kid that touched his Starfighter model before the paint was dry is still very much hiding in me I guess!
Another thing I learned: take those seams seriously! I just didn’t allow the time for some parts to dry together after glueing, and I did not bother to remove the seams before applying paint. The result probably could have been a lot better:
But the moment it all really came crashing down..
What happened here?? Well, first of all I did not properly dry fit the outer wing edges, so there were some incredibly big gaps between the wing, the ailerons and the wingtips.. so far nothing more than typical noob mistake resulting in a less-than-perfect endresult.
But, ambitious as I am I decided I wanted to try and fix this! I got myself some Revell Plasta and smeared away! Before I started I even considered taking the throw-away kit I made 3 years ago and trying the stuff on it before ruining this one.. But is there such a thing as ‘getthereitus’ for modelbuilers? It really must have struck me at this point, because when I smeared way too much on with my finger and all the nice little details were melted away before my eyes I panicked and tried to remove the stuff with water and sand it away.. neither worked obviously. To finally get to the ghastly sight like shown above (I can’t bare to look at it again!) it takes a totally freaked out noob that takes his little cup of alluminium paint and tries to make the horror go away.. resulting in the obvious ‘refrigerator drawing result’ as I would call it.
This was the first moment I started thinking about buying a second version of this kit, or perhaps a completely different kit. In the end I did both! But for now, I decided to make the best of what I still had and go for the clipped wing version. But..
Taking the full wingtips off also needs some care. The right side didn’t pose much problems but the left wing was glued together much tighter.. I already applied paint remover here by the way, to see how much was left of the details. At this point I had already resigned myself to this becoming a full on experimenting kit, so I decided to just have fun with the build and leave the perfectionism for a next one. I tried some milliput putty and the result was not perfect but still was a slight improvement.. and good practice!
At this time I had also bought my first airbrush, and I tried the camo at the front.
Again, this was good practice. The end result shows my mixture wasn’t too great (ofcourse I am still experimenting with this) But my next camo I will definitly approach differently. I will first spray one complete color, then spray the other part over that.. And I hope I am not being too ambitious here or reaching to far above my abilities, but my plan is to do it freehanded.. if it fails I will have to let it dry and start again and hopefully I’ll get it right before all the details are buried under a thick layer of paint.
So, in the end another big thing to learn was don’t attach anything to the main body before absolutely necessary. When the landing gear cracked during the airbrushing of the camo I had already bought my second kit, and then went back again to buy this exact same kit again. So, I’ll have plenty of work to do for the next couple of weeks!
Also: all scratches will be visible once you apply paint, and will be even worse once I start working with weathering. I didn’t realize this as much as I should have, and some of the parts look horrible now.