So the first thing about the model is the size of the parts that make it a lot easier to deal with. To be honest, when this is built I have no idea where to put it as it will be pretty big.
I know with aircraft models you need to complete the cockpit, as well as getting it painted before moving on. So here is the first stage putting the seats and flight controls together and giving then an undercoat in black. I also sprayed the inside of the body shell where the cockpit is located.
So next I painted in the seats and did a dry brush of aluminium over the instrument panels to pull out the detail. Then made the first parts of the tail rotor assembly and glued it in place. Lastly, I lined up the body and glued the outer shell together, with a little bit of masking tape to hold it while the glue sets.
So when the tape came off there was quite a ridge where the two halves joined. I sanded that with a file and used a craft knife on it to get rid of it. I have lost some of the details of the panel lines and rivets. These I will have to add back later. Also above the cockpit, the join is very uneven. So I have used a little bit of filler for that. Going to let that dry overnight and clean it up tomorrow.
I stopped off at my local model shop and picked up some olive Humbrol paint and some white matt enamel paint for weathering. Been looking at a few reference shots and the weathering/staining of the Apache AH-64A seems to be white. In the meantime, the build continues.
I have stuck most of the body together but it hasn’t fitted together that well. Back out with the filler and time to get all those little gaps plugged. I have also started to build the radar sensor, some of the weapons and the main propellor as I will paint these separately.
I have some very fine sandpaper that is 2500 grit and up, it is just too fine for this filler so I have ordered a pack of 5 sheets ranging for 400 to 1500 grit. In the meantime, I will finish building all the weapons. Also ordered some extra thin cement from Tamiya. I have the quick setting one but for some of these parts it hasn’t been practical and I’ve used the Humbrol glue with the thicker brush. This though has meant I have had some glue runoff that will need to be cleaned up before priming.
So now on to the fun parts. Undercoat done and then a quick coat of Tamiya Olive Drab. I have tried to mottle the paint a little to have a more natural finish. Take a look below and see what you think.
The mottling technique is going to need some practice but it is a little different.
Now here is where disaster struck. I found an old airbrush that I thought would be great for varnishing. Oh, how wrong I was! It put so much varnish on the model. So much of the detail was compromised. I removed the pot of varnish and tried to blow some of the varnish off before it set. It has left an awful finish, as you can see below. All I could do was let the rest set and then go at it with some fine sanding sticks being careful not to destroy the rivets.
Started on the weathering stage now, trying to disguise the varnish cock up. I have seen in reference shots, bleaching and pale marks on the body and panel lines. So I am using some white oil paint and white spirit to try to recreate that look.
Without thinking I have done most of the weathering before applying the decals, so now another coat of satin varnish and then stick on the decal and really hope for the best at the moment.
Nearly finished and fitting the final clear parts, so I’m trying glue ‘n’ glaze to make a small clear part. I’m going to leave it overnight and see how it turns out in the morning, so fingers crossed.
Now that the light has been made all that is left for me is a little bit more weathering and then step away and call it completed.
What did we learn? Well, I need to lighten the base paint a lot as it darkens so much with the washes. The join line needs to be taken care of a lot better. The canopy needs to be fitted earlier and I made a real mess of the tail rotor, finally, the armament needs to be painted before being fitted to the model. Considering this is my first aircraft after getting back into the hobby I am pretty happy. Now to learn from those mistakes!