Thursday, July 27, 2017

1/144 Maurice Farman Shorthorn in the painting queue

I've been making progress on the model of the Maurice Farman Shorthorn that I acquired from I wanted it to build a collection of models of the planes used in Mesopotamia during the Great War. The Shorthorn was used in 1915-1918 in various capacities, though it was phased on to training/utility duties at the end of it's service. A slow and stable craft, it's small payload and lack of speed limited it's useful combat life once the Turks began receiving capable fighters like the Fokker Eindekker. But for Mesopotamia, you make do with what you have, so here we go.

The model was printed in Black Strong and Flexible (BSF). Shapeways did a good job on the print and the surface grain was what I expect from BSF. Of course, as with White Strong and Flexible, the first step is still surface preparation to reduce that surface grain. My standard method is to apply several coats of Krylon acrylic gloss matt to the model. I don't like one heavy coat as the varnish can pool on the surface. So repeated thinner coats will eventual yield a surface that is relatively smooth.  The below picture depicts the upper wing and shows the surface texture after painting and a top coat of gloss. 

The Shorthorn with the paint job completed. 

The wings of fuselage were painted in several coats of paint. The base coat was a Folk Art craft paint color called linen. This was over-painted with coats of Vallejo game color 'bone white').  The struts are painted in a medium brown. (I used a craft paint color called 'Teddy Bear Brown'). The metal joints in the skids and the metal around the engine were painted with Vallejo Sky Grey.

Early war markings looked very different than the roundels we see in the mid and late war periods. Initially, the RFC and RNAS used the Union Jack flag as a marking. When it was discovered that it was confused with the Maltese Cross from a distance, the RFC and the RNAS moved to the classic blue-white-red roundel. But for this early war 'leftover' pressed into service, I wanted to retain those early markings. The Union Jacks are decals from I-94 Enterprises.

This shot shows the flag applied to the side of the fuselage. 

Here's a close up. You can see the surface grain of the Black Strong and Flexible material on the side of the fuselage. It's tough to get good coverage on a vertical surface.  You can also see the detail on the landing skid. The sky grey paint is used to depict the metal joints connecting the braces. 

Good shot of the port side of the model.  Once thing I notice at this distance is I've failed to paint the wheels. 

Remember when I mentioned how hard it is to paint the vertical surfaces? You can see this if you look closely at the struts.  There's still some graininess present. Fortunately, at typical war game table scales, this is not noticeable.