1/32 Zoukei-Mura Ho229- Painting the Airframe Frame
Now that the engines are built and painted (that took 3 weeks), I started working on the fabulously complicated tubular frame. Parts for this assembly are beautifully molded, but like all injection kits, this has seams (mold lines) as well. The good news is that the lines are all very delicate. The bad news is there are a lot of them, and some are easy to miss. I used a #11 scalpel blade to carefully scrape the lines away followed by some light sanding with a 2000 grit stick here and there. This took hours and hours of tedious work, but in the end it was worth it.
Here's the bottom portion of the frame that consists of 10 or 12 parts. Gluing this much together made painting a little more difficult as it was a bit cumbersome getting to all the little hidden areas. I primed with Mr Paint White Primer and followed that with a custom mixture of Dark Gull Gray, Basic Black, and a touch of Su-33 Dark Blue. The instructions call for a medium toned green-gray, but the few color references I saw seem to show a German Gray.
This is the front landing gear strut. It's HUGE!. I painted it with the basic gray that I mixed, then hit the top surfaces with a the same gray lightened with a touch of white. My plan is to try a little Chiaroscuro to simulate light hitting the plane from an oblique angle. Areas along the bottom will be in shadow so they'll be painted a little darker.
The Ho229 was mostly plywood. I've simulated that here by painting the primed parts with MR Color sand lightened with a little white. I then used artists oil paint (Burnt Sienna) thinned with a few drops of enamel thinner to paint the wood grain using a stiff wide brush. This took a little experimentation before I got it right. The trick for me was to brush a little thinner onto the part before the paint. This moistened the surface and allowed the oils to brush smoothly and evenly. I'll mask them off and spray the gray bits later.
These parts got the same wood grain treatment on the flat portions. I masked them off using liquid masking solution (another tedious process), and painted them using the same techniques as previously described. The darker areas will be sprayed tonight and the masks removed. Stay tuned.
The back side. You can see the green mask on the leading edge.
I couldn't ait to see what this will look like. I temporarily mounted the engines in place. As you can see, one engine will be left open. The frame will be weathered to match the engines.