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  MPC 1/72: F4D Skyray

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Propwash

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PostSubject: MPC 1/72: F4D Skyray   Sat Feb 25 2017, 01:26

Here's a kit that's a bit different from what I usually put together. It is a thirty year old kit (box and instructions marked 1983), which I understand is a re-release of an Airfix kit, of the McDonnell Douglas F4D Skyray.

The Skyray was the first carrier launched US Navy and Marine fighter interceptor / ground attack aircraft to break the speed of sound in level flight. It was never in combat and had a relatively short service life from 1956 to 1964.

I purchased the kit on Ebay and, as can be seen in the final pic (of the model and box), the kit had a rough life in storage. But I was happy to see all the parts were still bagged. The decals were dirty but I was able to clean them fairly well and their color appeared to be okay.

The instructions were pretty straightforward. The plastic parts were nicely molded and had minimal flash that needed cleaning. I decided to make the model as a fighter interceptor without the ground attack ordnance. The cockpit has absolutely no detail nor even a decal for the control panel. I did what I could and painted the dash with some black blobs to look like instruments. They don't look to bad unless you get real close. Wink Overall fit of the parts were pretty good with only the cockpit canopy presenting a problem in which a lot of trimming was involved.

There are two colors of paint I absolutely hate to use - white and yellow. For me they are very difficult to use and require several coats when using a brush. This is where my weekend project slowed to a crawl while I painted away. Eventually the model was finished and didn't look to bad (although I admit it does look a bit thick in places - feel free to offer any technical assistance I might try in my next build).

Now came the decals which were the biggest headache. I guess thirty years in the box made them lose all adhesion and made them a tad brittle (quite understandable - I would be the same way I'm sure Wink ). So I had to do a lot of work in getting them placed somewhat correctly with minimal moving around. Because they peeled away from the model, almost as quickly as they were applied, I made a solution of white glue and water which I brushed on them to help hold them down. I don't know if I'll regret doing that, but it seems to have worked fine. After all dried it was a coupled of good shots of Dull Coat and it was on display.

I really like the look of some of these first gen jets and the Skyray is no exception. If you have any suggestions on technique please offer them. Thanks!









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pmmaker

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PostSubject: Re: MPC 1/72: F4D Skyray   Sat Feb 25 2017, 08:47

Beautiful model and build Bret.  I've always loved this plane and having built several, this particular kit.  While it is a bit long in the tooth, it is still a very nice kit (Airfix or MPC - they are both th same kit) for the relatively affordable price they go for.  Your results are outstanding, especially considering you had to work with white paint! affraid

The scheme is stunning and the choice of air-to-air weapons was a good one.  I've seen a real Skyray on static display at the New England Air Museum and it's not a very large aircraft.

At to using white paint, I generally use an airbrush or spray can to apply several thin coats.  This gives me the nice, rich color I want along with the smooth, even surface I need.  

On the rare occasions where I've hand painted the white, my success was based on two elements: paint thickness, and repeated applications.  

When brush painting, I want my paint (acrylic or oil-based enamel) to be thinned down to the same consistency of milk.  This thin, watered down paint allows for thin, smooth repeated coats of paint.  I use narrow strokes to avoid overlapping and with each subsequent coat, i vary the brush width so I don't get places that have repeated thicker overcoats.  Also important, rather than blobbing on the paint to overpower the base surface color, I prefer to "build" up the white with repeated thin coats of white.  This gives you a richer, deeper white and a smoother surface.

pmmaker

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PostSubject: Re: MPC 1/72: F4D Skyray   Sat Feb 25 2017, 09:11

As a early jet age Navy fan, I really love this plane! Great build. It is a very handsome paint job too. I have the same plane in Tamyia form...just have to build it. Your work will get me going on that!

Here is a favorite pic of mine. I have built two of the planes in the shot, but not the Skyray


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Propwash

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PostSubject: Re: MPC 1/72: F4D Skyray   Sat Feb 25 2017, 23:48

Thank you both for your comments. Smile

PMM: As you mention I've now taken to using an aerosol can of white paint whenever possible. But for small areas, where a brush is better suited, I will try thinning down the white as you suggest and rely on multiple coats to get proper coverage. One of these days I will actually use the airbrush I bought! I've not seen a Skyray so am surprised it is a small aircraft.

Tom: I'm glad you love the early jets like I do. I wanted to bid on an Emhar Demon kit today but life conspired against me and I lost out. That's a great pic you included in your post and I would like to build both of the other aircraft shown.
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PostSubject: Re: MPC 1/72: F4D Skyray   Sun Feb 26 2017, 07:24

Propwash,

The Skyray isn't exactly tiny, but it's not a huge plane either.  When you compare it to an F-4 or an F-14, it's quite a bit smaller.  It is definitely bigger than a Corsair or a Hellcat or even a small civilian plane. And it does have the brute strengh of a military fighter jet.

When I paint white on small parts like landing gear and missiles, I generally go with two coats of white paint.  For these parts, I want my paint a bit thicker.  The base coat is rather thin, the second coat is usually a bit thicker.  My advice on my previous was for when you have to paint those large areas that are clearly visible.

pmmaker

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Propwash

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PostSubject: Re: MPC 1/72: F4D Skyray   Sun Feb 26 2017, 13:20

Thanks PMM. I appreciate the clarification on painting with white. I assume I would use the same technique painting with yellow (white and yellow paints are not my friends)?

As it so happens I am changing my die cast displays to my 1/72 jets. After reading your description of the size of the Skyray, I see it is (if the 1/72 scales are correct) roughly the same as an F-16 - which I have seen in person. Good to know. Thanks!
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Migrant

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PostSubject: Re: MPC 1/72: F4D Skyray   Wed Mar 08 2017, 09:35

My go-to white is Tamiya White Fine Surface Primer, which comes in an aerosol can. Although I usually decant it and apply it with an airbrush, even out of the rattle-can it goes on beautifully smooth (actually it goes on very wet and looks like it will be way too thick, but within minutes it levels out, shrinks and dries to a satin, solid white finish). Even though it's a primer I use it for my regular white finishes, gloss-coating it if the finish calls for it. It's brilliant stuff.

(Beautiful Skyray, BTW. I've also built this MPC kit and really liked it).

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PostSubject: Re: MPC 1/72: F4D Skyray   Thu Mar 09 2017, 09:14

Here's my attempt at the same MPC (ex-Airfix) kit. I re-scribed it (one of the easiest aircraft to re-scribe because of the large, flat wing area), replaced the gear doors and added a bit of cockpit detail, although it's not really visible once the canopy is on. I was a bit disappointed with the clarity of the clear part in this kit, even a coat of Future didn't help. PW's build doesn't seem to suffer from this though.

Being incapable of resisting any colour scheme that contains dayglo orange I finished it in this NATF test scheme. The orange was Gunze Mr Color lacquer, the white is the aforementioned Tamiya primer.










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Last edited by Migrant on Sun Jul 02 2017, 10:57; edited 2 times in total
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ACpilot

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PostSubject: Re: MPC 1/72: F4D Skyray   Thu Mar 09 2017, 09:48

Very nice builds.

Since my modelling skills are non existant - I'll have to live with my Altaya diecast version of VF-162 "The Hunters" I purchased five years ago.

Dan
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PostSubject: Re: MPC 1/72: F4D Skyray   Thu Mar 09 2017, 14:17

Propwash wrote:
Here's a kit that's a bit different from what I usually put together. It is a thirty year old kit (box and instructions marked 1983), which I understand is a re-release of an Airfix kit, of the McDonnell Douglas F4D Skyray.
The Skyray was the first carrier launched US Navy and Marine fighter interceptor / ground attack aircraft to break the speed of sound in level flight. It was never in combat and had a relatively short service life from 1956 to 1964.


I really like these old kits and aircraft from this era especially. Well done and keep these coming.

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Propwash

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PostSubject: Re: MPC 1/72: F4D Skyray   Fri Mar 10 2017, 00:32

Thank you all for adding to this thread. yeah

Migrant: I'm really twisted as I love those day-glo schemes too. You wouldn't guess your build was from the same kit. Awesome. And I really need to learn how to rescribe models. I purchased a special tool for doing so and all I manage to do is make trenches in the plastic where there shouldn't be any!

ACP: I still like the Altaya version of the Skyray. I would probably just do a little (and I mean little) detail work with some paint, but it is a nice rendition (imho).
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PostSubject: Re: MPC 1/72: F4D Skyray   Fri Mar 10 2017, 06:00

Every single one of these would be welcome in my collection just as they are!  I had a 72nd scale Tamiya Skyray sitting there looking at me, but several months ago I sold it off - bad call on my part!

I love each of your models gentlemen.  From kits to die-cast, the Skyray is a striking plane with those beautiful lines and large delta wing.

pmmaker

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