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ESzczesniak

Blue Angles A-4 - How Glossy

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Posted (edited)

I am asking for a dangerous thing on the internet...opinions.  I've have a Hasegawa Blue Angles A-4F decaled and ready for the final clear coat before final assembly.  In general I have been a believer of "scaled" gloss on models. High gloss gull gray over white makes a model F-14 look toy like.  But I'm not sure if this feeling is carrying over to a show bird like the Blue Angels for me.  She seems to be looking very good in her high gloss with the decals on.

 

In terms of options, I have many.  I can do a glass like high gloss 2k clear from the car model world, simple Tamiya X-22 (although I'm fighting this a little with Gunze paints in the base color), MRP or Tamiya's semi gloss, or even Alclad semi matte.

 

So let me hear your opinions!  For sure, I'll be painting the wheel wells and inside flaps a semi gloss, tires flat, etc.  But what about the main finish? 

Edited by ESzczesniak

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Gloooooossssssyyyyyyy! 😄  They are pretty shiny, even in scale. Think of a model car finish.

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A veteran modeler friend of mine and I were talking about this very thing today. Darren is right. The BAs and T-birds both have very glossy jets. Youre right though. Piling on gloss coats somehow just looks odd. My preferred method Is using gloss enamel applied in very light coats with wet sanding between coats. The final coat or two I thin to a very translucent consistency. I then apply this so it goes on wet but in a light coat. I apply decals etc then had rub with a very fine polish. This yields a more scale gloss finish that looks natural. BA blue  is actually a variety of blue paints depending on era and type. I’ve experimented with different blues including so-called “BA Blue” by Model Master and Humbrol. Mr Color also makes one in laquer. I think all of these are matches for FS 15050. To me this blue seems too dark on a 1/48 scale model. My color of choice is Model Master True  Blue. Under incandescent light it seems to have the necessary brightness and “blueness” if you will. Some folk might want a darker blue on the A-4 but to me this particular blue gives the illusion of the real thing under Indoor light. Great topic I think.

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Posted (edited)

On Tommy Thomason's blog, he has BA Blue, bought from commercial aircraft paints, that didn't correspond to a specific FS color, as closer to FS 15052 for the A-4s and beyond (LINK to blog). Tommy's source states that the '74 team was slightly darker. He includes a link to compare 15050 with 15052: LINK

 

There's a thread somewhere here on ARC where forum denizen Whitey matched the F/A-18s to FS 15052. He says Gunze H322 (or C322 for the Mr Hobby lacquer) Phthalo Cyanine Blue is a perfect match to FS 15052. Xtracolor 163 is also a match.

 

Someone has been selling parts recovered from an F-4J crash site on eBay, recently. I tried to contact the seller to see if I could send them some FS 15050 and 15052 paint cards to compare with their part, but never got a response. Here are a couple of pics found through Google search for reference that might be of some help with the A-4 blue. Note that they switched to a brighter yellow starting with the A-4.

blue-angels-crash-artifact-f4j-153086_1_ 

blue-angels-f4j-wing-skin-artifact_1_b85

 

Ben

Edited by Ben Brown

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14 hours ago, Darren Roberts said:

Gloooooossssssyyyyyyy! 😄  They are pretty shiny, even in scale. Think of a model car finish.

 

Thank you, I think that has been my thought as well.  I think I may steer away from the 2k clear.  They're brilliant, but are thick and feel in a lot of panel lines.  I'm afraid that can add to the toy like appearance.  I used to use Alclad Aqua Gloss, but I don't get the most brilliant glosses (perfect for decalling), and it's always a little soft making it hard to polish.  So I guess I need to solve my fight with Tamiya X-22 and get her done. 

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Ben is right. I went o the BA change of command last fall. I talked to the paint shop and the current colors are from a commercial paint company in Mobile, AL. mixed especially for the BAs. They do rattle cans for the Blues touch ups as well. Their former commander, Eric Doyle is the director of the E model conversion. He flew the first one down to Whiting from Cecil in the past several days. The picture I saw looked like the same blue as the Cs but it was on a cloudy day. That blue changes so much in different lighting.

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I do some stuff with the Blues every year during winter training, so I'm up close to the aircraft. Glossy, but not over the top.

I wouldn't go too heavy on the gloss coat. You can see here, shiny, but not overly glossy.

 

 

4373957053_053ba72913_o.jpg

4373957575_f0b33b7db2_o.jpg

4373962873_559c6b7fc2_o.jpg

 

Edited by code20photog

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