Transitioning to the painting phase

A session-long mishap

As expected, I started priming the diver-dinghy one Thursday afternoon with my trusty airbrush. I spent a good half an hour covering almost half of the model. The more I thought about it the stupider it felt, especially in this scale, with the coverage of the device. I had this brewing in my mind at work for almost five minutes and then I left for home, taking a short detour to Hobby Point and a rattle canful of Tamiya's white primer on my person.

Yes, I decided to pay for the convenience of priming the massive model quicker and with less stressing about the result. Who cares that the propellant smells unpleasant and that I'd have to be spraying in the chilly balkony.

The photo should show that the surface isn't perfect, but I didn't see it as a problem, as most of the model was already primed before the white layers. The target pattern is, according to the box art, a dark gray bottom and a lighter top part, without any shape-breaking patterns or anything fancy. Of course I've heard the suggestion "paint it yellow" more than a couple of times and I am the first to admit that a Dunkelgelb sub could be a hilarious idea. I believe I'm going to put that idea on the shelf and be boring and keep the gray wolf of the seas -theme.

Tape on, tape off

I spent a good amount of time applying tape masks on the boat. Luckily I had managed to set up my schedules so that I had about 40 minutes one afternoon. Applying the tapes (and all associated subtasks) took half an hour and I was left with 10 mins to paint a layer of grey (VMA 71050 Light Grey) and to clean things up. Rushing kills you and so on.

The result was pretty decent, I'd say. Of course I was left with some underpainted spots for a new session, but that happens. It could've been worse.

I had a bit less of time the following day and I could only prepare things for the next afternoon: I applied a good pile of cheap sticky notes (awful PostIt-note copies) to protect the upper hull and the conning tower from overspray. Maybe this would work.

The best of the dark waters

Out of two paint options at hand I chose Dark Sea Grey (VMA 71048). During my first painting session I started with the extreme ends, so that they'd be cured when I attacked the middle and especially the mid-bottom of the model. As said, I started from the nose all around, then did the tail end likewise and then proceeded to cover the center while leaving the lowest parts of the center area untouched so I could leave the model lying on its display stand.

For some reason the paint seemed to cover much better while it was wet. After a couple of hours I took a new look at my doings and saw that especially the center sides were much spottier than the ends. No matter, I was going to paint more in any case. The most important thing in my mental plan was to have the ends dry so that I could easily leave the center parts hanging in the air.

Perhaps I was too cautious but the second session ate an incredible amount of time, but I did think that the fine-looking result justified the extra time. Especially as I later compared this newly painted side to the unfixed flipside.

After the third darker painting round this section was finally done for the time being. Genially I had taken all the dark grey pics from the same side of the model. We (software) engineers are so very smart!

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