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The Great LSM Twins Group Build ends July 3, 2024 ×

Tamiya F-4J Blue Angels build


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I’ve been sitting on wanting to build this for probably 15 years now.   Figured I’m not getting any younger, so I started this on Dec. 1 last year.  As usual, the build was a joy. This is Tamiya F4-J #4 for me, one being a B conversion.  
I still have 2 more in the stash. One is the Marine version I’ll probably build OOB. Other will be the VX-4 Bicentennial Eagle scheme.  
One of the major hurdles building a Blue Angels aircraft is the BA blue color.  All the BAB colors from all the major suppliers is correct for very early builds like way back in the days of flying the Cougars.  
I bought every brand of paint in BAB I could find or anything close and started this project by patchwork painting an old 1/48 Phantom I used as a paint mule.  My closest pick was Tamiya TS-15 blue.  Of course Tamiya doesn’t offer a match of TS-15 in their LP lineup.  
Time to decant the spray bomb, and this is where the difficulty started.  
I tried airbrushing light coats building up, tried adding clear, tried adding leveling thinner, tried polishing after the paint dried. Nothing worked except hosing it on heavy and wet like it comes out of the spray can.  No way I could have done this with my Iwata.  Yea, I tried. I used the Grex with a fan attachment tip.  
Best results were painting heavy and wet, let it sit 48 hours then wet sand with 1200 grit and respray with two more heavy and wet coats.  
Cant wait to do that F-18 now! 
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Yea, I know.  I put the U.S.Navy decals about a 1/4” too low.  Didn’t discover this until after the fact looking at the real airplanes on line.  This is the second time I burned myself referring to the decal sheet and not looking at photos of the real thing.

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