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

Airfix 1:72 Fouga Magister


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This build thread is on behalf of the boy, who won this kit at Cosford for third place with his Matchbox Skyservant. Airfix donated the prizes for the junior class I think.

It's a pretty good kit, almost unbelievably good considering it's dated 1975; it looks much more modern despite the odd rivet and raised panel line. Plastic is the current Airfix soft grey stuff, decals by Cartograf are superb. As with most current Airfix kits, box design pretty much says "buy me and build me now", although in this case he had a paint by numbers Puffin and a wooden F1 car to finish first:


As with the Skyservant, I'm doing any scalpel work if required, the boy is doing the rest, although rather than me doing one part and him copying it, he's doing it all this time. First off, cockpit assembly:


...quickly followed by searching for his first lost microscopic part, ahhhh:


Then a spot of painting:



Pilots faces need dotting in and their visors painting, then the fuselage can be glued together permanently:


I think this thread will probably consist of a few main updates and some final images rather than much more detail TBH.

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So the pilots are finished (flesh tone faces and hands, and black visors). If I put a blob of each colour on an onld credit card, he quite happily corrects any smudges as he goes. I then gave him some weathering powder to play with, which improved the look of the cockpit. I think the instant results of that simple process went down well. Pilots then secured with PVA:


He's now giving assembly advice to his sister, who is making impressive process with the Matchbox Gnat. The truth is she doesn't need any advice, having mastered cutting sprues, sanding and applying glue using a liquid cement dispenser within about an hour...


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awesome!  This is a great way to share the fun


Sure is.


I remember building the Matchbox Gnat with my Dad. Happy days. They seem to love the painting, although tonight only child v2 rev.0  wanted to do a spot of work, so no progresss on the Magister. I assumed that a 5 year old would not have the dexterity to paint faces/helmets/boots to any degree of accuracy, but it seems I was wrong.





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Ruddervator mass balance quadrants added - very tricky:


...but trickier still were the twin pitot tubes just in front of the windscreen (one for each cockpit). Also attached the dorsal antenna and some small intakes around the engine fairings. Next job is painting the undersides.

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I assumed the undersides were light grey, but on closer examination, they are indicated as silver. Dammit. Since it's impossible to get a decent finish by brush painting, and since I had the airbrush out for the Spitfire paint repair, I thought I might as well give the boy a go at it. After fitting the mask to his face, and the masking tape to the cockpit, he soon got the hang of it:



Paint was Vallejo Air Aluminium, straight form the bottle.

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Undercarriage fitted tonight. No real problems with fitting it, but following the instructions/orientation of parts still seems a bit of a struggle. Still, the instructions appear to be the originals from 1975, and to be fair they aren't too clear:


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Great builds. Your kids must be commended on partaking of the noble art of modelling.


Really reminds me of a time when I build for me and didn't worry about what others thought. 

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Great builds. Your kids must be commended on partaking of the noble art of modelling.


Really reminds me of a time when I build for me and didn't worry about what others thought. 


Thanks James. Yup, I remember a time when it was unacceptable to me not to finish a kit within an evening...but I enjoyed it just as much.

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Camo in progress, just the dark green to add. I gave him a Zoukei Mura brush to try - I'd forgotten how much difference a decent brush makes vs. a Hobbycraft special. I mixed the paints for him using Vallejo Model Colour plus thinners plus Retarder medium to give him a fighting chance of getting a level-ish finish before it dried:


It looks pretty good so far. I'll be interested to see how the wavy demarcation turns out after cutting the masking tape with dressmaking scissors.

Daughter's Gnat is finished:

I helped her mostly with decal placement and fitting the pitot tube. I also PVA'd the stand socket into the fuselage.

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So he's done the dark green today - Two coats of Vallejo Air Black Green, again with retarder:


...and the wheels:


Moment of truth for the dressmaking masking:


Not bad result:


Still undecided about how to paint the canopy. I'm thinking freehand, or painted Tamiya tape.

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Fitted the wheels:


painted and fitted the periscope:



masked and painted the intake edges red. Old hand at masking these days...


and got half the decals on:



Just the other decals to go, then the dreaded canopy frames; we tried freehand painting them...not good. Not good at all nono.gif So I sliced some masking tape strips up and he painted them in the three camo colours. I tried one and it looks OK, so we'll see how the rest goes.

I've got some spare "little lenses" so I think they would improve the nose light and maybe the tip tank lamps too. then that'll be it finished.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Final decals on - I suggested only using the main ones, but he wanted to do the whole lot. Took several sessions but he got there:


Ended up using painted Tamiya tape for the canopy, which worked well enough. Then after spraying with Humbrol Matt, I found a clear "little Lens" for the nose light; maybe a bit big, but effective enough:


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