Thursday 21 May 2020

PL-01 - A very bland basecoat

The PL-01 has received it's basecoat, which is basically also the final coat.

Because the result looks very bland, I want to go a step further. I've always struggled to avoid monochromaticity, although I find the word itself simply fascinating. It's worth 30 points in Scrabble, NOT counting any multipliers.
It's easier when you have some kind of camouflage scheme, but harder - I think - on a single-colour object, especially when it's a big flat surface.

My inspiration for colour modulation comes from Mig Jimenez. Not that he has the pattent on the technique, but he explains it nicely in this short how-to, even though I will only apply a variation of it. I also have a DVD where it is explained, but 10 years later, I'm sure there's a ton of similar stuff on Youtube now.

In the picture below, taken with simple daylight coming from the window behind, it is clear that panels 1, 2 and 3 appear to have a different shade of the base coat. I will be trying to artificially enhance this for a better result. Or make it worse, who knows.

I took the model outside for some exaggerated examples, so I can study which panels catch more of the sun's rays than others. Wish me luck!

Wednesday 20 May 2020

PL-01 - Transparent parts

I like using liquid latex for masking weird shapes. Today, I masked the lenses and what-nots on the transparent pieces.

My go-to Humbrol Maskol hadn't been used in many years and the entire bottle had turned to rubber (go figure!). Buying Maskol online (or something resembling it) always costs you more shipping costs than the actual product is worth, but the local party shop also has liquid latex, albeit for a different application. The shop clerk was interested to see the result :-).

I have - in the mean time - replenished my Maskol supply from a model train store I just happened to pass in Aachen (Germany).

Tuesday 19 May 2020

PL-01 - rubber parts

The PL-01 will be one big blob of the same colour. There are no pioneer tools or spare track-links on the outside, because it wants a low profile.
For some tonal variation, I painted the rubber part of the road-wheels and the rubber track-pads on all the tracks .... well, rubber, of course. (Vallejo Panzer Aces 306 - Dark rubber)

It's a tedious job, and the contrast with the base colour isn't very high. What's worse, most of it will be completely invisible under the sideskirts.

However, if I don't paint them, I'll always feel like something's missing.

Monday 18 May 2020

PL-01 - Track assembly

Takom's PL-01 comes with link-and-length tracks, which I usually find annoying as hell. You need to glue them all together on top of the road-wheels, but then it becomes harder to properly paint the tracks and said road wheels separately.
If you paint everything in advance, glueing the individual links is next to impossible without compromising your paint job.

Takom was very nice to provide an assembly jig (the black track-shaped pieces on the picture below).
They double up as alignment-tool for the road-wheel arms (how considerate) AND assembly jig for the tracks. The plastic is of course made from something that will NOT react to the glue with which you are assembling the tracks.

Sunday 17 May 2020

Falcon - Finished!

Now that all the decals are in place, it was a simple matter of installing the fuel tanks, missiles and canopy.

I'm very happy with the result. I intended to place it inside a small display case on a strip of tarmac, but that will be a different project.

Kit: F-16 MLu (Mid-Life upgrade)
Scale: 1/72
Manufacturer: Revell (#04612)
Price: around €10 (second-hand)
Number of parts: 98
Time spent: 18 hours
Project completion time: exactly 1 year

Paint: (Vallejo)
  • Black primer
  • Pale grey blue (71.046) - belly
  • Intermediate blue (71.005) - topside (partial)
  • Various shades of grey (lost track)
Other products:
  • Alclad II klear kote (semi-gloss before decals and matte afterwards)
  • Formula '560' Canopy glue (for glueing transparent parts)
Findings or issues?
It was a pretty straightforward build, no fit issues that I recall. The small antennae at the rear tend to "disappear" but that's just my clumsiness.
It would have been finished a year ago had it not been for me losing interest in applying 200 decals.

Friday 15 May 2020

Falcon - 199 decals later

Yes, I counted them : 199 decals on this little bird.

It took the better part of 7 hours to get them all in place. It's the main reason why the project ended up on the backburner late may of last year, but I'm glad I found renewed motivation to finish it.

Initial tests without a semi-gloss coat weren't good, but that was remedied. All other decals behaved well, with some application of Micro-Sol and -Set. The stripes on the sidewinders were the hardest to convince to sit still, but we were victorious in the end.

I added a final matte coat to remove (most of) the sheen on the surface.

Sunday 10 May 2020

PL-01 Polish concept tank

In Summer 2018, I learned about the existence of the PL-01, a Polish concept tank. It was announced at MSPO 2013 (International Defense Industry Exhibition in Poland).

As I am wont to do, I fell in love with the subject. I doubt it has much to do with my SO being Polish, but that may have played a role when a link to the article crossed my path.

The second picture - from a slightly elevated angle - captures best the sleak, almost futuristic design that caught my eye.

One of the more impressive features would be the infra-red, adaptive camouflage by BAE systems.

I can't find much news - in the 7 years since it's announcement - of it entering production. The concept remains little more than a mockup tank (I believe on top of a CV-90), but that doesn't change it's visual appeal to me.

Anyway, after the PL-01 showed up on my radar, I went looking for more information, particularly scale models but couldn't find any.
I had to wait another year (july 2019), when I learned Takom had tackled the subject and would be releasing it. I found a Polish webshop accepting pre-orders and off we were.

Delivery got delayed a few times, but in oktober it finally arrived.