A change in plans - again

I changed my mind yet again in the middle of a project. Surprise of all surprises. Anyway, I decided to use a couple of the decals from the set so I applied a layer of gloss varnish (Vallejo 70510) just about all around, just skipping the tail ends of the wings.


I actually ended up using all the decals, but somehow one of the bottom Balkenkreuz got partially ruined (the tips pointing towards the hull). Don't ask me how that happened. Other than that the damn things went on decently, even the two-piece swastikas.


As you may have noticed, I had left some details unpainted, maybe a bit sillily. I just hadn't remembered to do those before I went applying the gloss varnish. So I painted the wingtips red (VMA 71085 Ferrari Red) and then used that to the rocket's nozzle as the instructions dictated. Then I painted the steering vanes black (VMA 71073 Black).  Then I deviated to my own direction by painting the edges of the rocket's nozzle metallic (VMC 70863 Gunmetal Grey) because they looked better - or made more sense to me - that way.

With a matt coat

I took a few photos after the matt varnish layer (Vallejo 70520) had dried, from various angles. I thought that I should've washed it at some point, but as I hadn't thought of it then it clearly wasn't that important.

Finally I set the missile on its launch pad to pose a bit. As a whole I thought it was a bit underwhelming compared to something hefty, a heavy launching facility or something (the Meillerwagen would've given a nicer base for this). Or maybe my image came from the flat backgroudn of the cutting mat that really didn't work as a substitute for a forest clearing or something.


Camouflaging an early IRBM

Choosing the camo colours

I decided to use the RLM colours that the instructions suggested but the pattern I pulled from my own hat. I checked my paints and picked two that looked just like what was needed: grey, grey violet and Dunkelgelb for the launch pad.

The first draft: top surface

I started by airbrushing the grey violet (VMA 71128 Grey Violet (~RLM75)) liberally around the model in nicely wide bands, on the top half of the missile. Then I switched to the lighter grey paint (VMA 71103 (~RLM84)) and filled the gaps and redefined some lines to look a bit more pleasing to my own unartistic eye. As a whole it looked pretty functional.

While observing my own work I thought that the fuzzy lines just didn't sit well with me. So I decided to take another go at the pattern and for that I'd mask the edges to get some nicely sharp, clear borders. If that one didn't look good I could always revert my changes with little effort.

Securing some lines and refining them

The next evening I sat down to cut strips of masking tape and did what looked good to me.

Then I airbrushed the edges with the grey violet. After the paint had dried enough I tore off the masking tape and observed the results. Somehow this splinter pattern did look better to me.

Then the base with the same idea

To speed the process up a bit I started by airbrushing the whole bottom half with the lighter of the two paints. This way I'd also avoid getting any silly strips of primer showing between badly or stupidly laid masks.


I guessed what sort of shrapnel shapes would be nice and then applied the masking tape strips semirandomly all around. I tried to make the splinters a bit more irregular on this side but still to keep to the main lines of the top half.  All this was very quickly done, I just laid tape here and there at weird angles and without paying too much attention to any of that. Of course, in my rush I forgot to take any photos of that stage.

And then the rest

Then I charged my airbrush and painted over the uncovered surfaces. Pretty quick and simple stuff.

As soon as the paint had dried I tore the masking tape strips off to see the results. I also removed the canopy masks to avoid any unnecessary stickings. It looked amusing.

The launch pad

While doing everything else I painted the launch pad with the suggested dark yellow (VMA 71025 Tank Dark Yellow) that had a pretty clogged up nozzle. I squeezed it a bit too strongly and guess if the top rocketed into the paint cup and then splashed paint all around, including my face and hands. Funnily and luckily enough I didn't make a mess in the house (wall, floors or furniture) because I could've ended up getting some displeased feedback.

Thanks to my nonsense the first application came up a bit short. But  no worries, I was just doing this by hand while the airbrushed bits were drying. I really didn't think I'd gotten this flimsy setup masked and done without spending a mindbending amount of time and effort.

At this point I realized I had ran out of Vallejo's Dunkelgelb. After a bit of digging I found a jarful of somehow different, in my opinion much sandier-coloured Tamiya's paint (XF-15 Dark Yellow). I didn't feel like fighting with that and the airbrush so I repainted the whole launch pad by hand.

Then I painted some bits (those suggested by the instructions) black. I deviated with some other models I saw in the net and used more Dunkelgelb and less black. Those support bits I also messified up a bit with black but for a proper sootage I would have to look elsewhere.


The A9's canopy and general priming

The deathtrap

Sometime earlier I bragged that I had painted the cockpit's interior and a bit of the outside. Before priming the first (the bottom) half of the missile I mengeled the vacuformed canopy piece off its material piece and whiteglued it on. Somehow, at this point, the missile looked quite a bit more like a Beagle Boys' vehicle than a German Wunderwaffe.

Snow white and her one metric ton payload

As usual I did the priming in two stages. Even though I feel that this bottleful of Vallejo's white primer is not that good I used it as I'm both too lazy and cheap to buy more before I'm done with this one. Priming is not spectacular work so I was mostly pondering on how I'd paint the model whenever I had the time to get to it. I decided to use the RLM colours that I had bought for my Fw-190 project. It'd work out just nicely, I thought.

Of course I had to try if the missile actually fit the launch pad or not. Yes, it did and it looked... interesting. I had feared that it wouldn't fit and even if it did, it'd fall down more or less immediately. For a change I was wrong.