avatar_John Howling Mouse

BMF F-6F Hellcat

Started by John Howling Mouse, March 09, 2010, 07:33:55 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

John Howling Mouse

For all I know, this may have been a scheme for Hellcats during WW2.  But, here goes...

This is the 1:48 Otaki (Later Arii) kit.  Phenomenal: simple, robust, finely detailed (might even be accurate?).  Assembly went together without a hitch---these old kits were way ahead of their time.

Primered everything up with Krylon spraycan white sandable primer and masked off everything that was to remain white. 

Here, you can see the walkways painted and lightly textured (as the flat paint dries, I stiple it with a stiff brush).

Styrene in my blood and an impressive void in my cranium.

John Howling Mouse

After the Polly-Scale D&H Avon Blue was airbrushed on and the masks removed, I had some nice invasion stripes.

Styrene in my blood and an impressive void in my cranium.

John Howling Mouse

Then, the real fun begins.  Using my patented "Foolproof BMF" process, the re-masked model is sprayed overall with Tamiya's Light Gun Metal lacquer from the can.  This provides a suitably deep metallic base for subsequent panel separation painting.

The initial Light Gun Metal coat is masked off with various bits and pieces of Tamiya tape:

And the masked model is re-sprayed with very light coats of Tamiya Silver Leaf (spraycan lacquer).  At this point, I'm trying to approximate a shade of silver that will
look good  next to the Light Gun Metal panels which have been masked off.  Not too much nor too little contrast.

Here's what it looks like once I pull of the masks.  The contrast is purposely a bit too pronounced.  Keep watching.

The magic happens when I overspray everything with Tamiya's Transparent Silver.  Literally, a clear coat with metallic silver speckles.  This is the "foolproof" part.  You can spray
without fear of washing out the contrast.  After about three light coats, I've achieved the subtle yet still noticeable contrast b/w the various panels.  My favorite thing about this technique is how effortless it is.  If I can do it, and get these results, anyone can.  It is a very forgiving technique.  The truly enjoyable feature is how the various panels pop out, then disappear, as you walk around the model.

Styrene in my blood and an impressive void in my cranium.

John Howling Mouse

Here is the finished bird, somewhere in the Pacific in 1946 (in my Whifstory, the first atomic bombs were dismal failures and the war in the Pacific raged on).

I printed my own decals to go with some Monogram standard US markings.  The "Chilly" nickname is mine but the nose-art was some clip-art polar bear.  Because I printed my decals on clear film, I had to go back and paint in the white on the polar bear markings by hand with a 000 brush.  Yeah, I could have simply back-painted the white on first for the outline of the figure but how much of an absurd challenge would that have been?

This pilot, "Polair" Paul Laird, will be showing up with a similar inspired scheme on other aircraft, including a DC-3 I'm presently working on for the "Let It Snow" Group-Build.  Following the Korean War, in which Paul Laird flew an F-86 with the same markings as this Hellcat, he founded a small but profitable northern air charter/cargo airline based in his hometown of Anchorage, Alaska.

Sit back, grab a coffee, and check out the walk-around tour of the completed BMF Hellcat.  I hope you like it as much as I've enjoyed sharing it with you.

Styrene in my blood and an impressive void in my cranium.


Instant classic! Love the BMF The markings, the back story, even the nose art is great! And I believe it could fool a JMN  :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:
"Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality." -Jules de Gaultier

"My model is right! It's the real world that's wrong!" -global warming scientist

An armor guy, who builds airplanes almost exclusively, that he converts to space fighters-- all while admiring ship models.


That is simply gorgeous!  :wub:
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."
 - Morpheus in Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

"I dunno, I'm making this up as I go."
 - Indiana Jones '

Ed S

BEAUTIFUL!    :thumbsup:   :thumbsup:

Great model and the tutorial on BMF was most appreciated.  I noticed the dirty footprints on the wing walkways:  brilliant details.

We don't just embrace insanity here.  We feel it up, french kiss it and then buy it a drink.


Thanks for the detailed explanation of the process, so complicated this deserves many clapping hands :thumbsup:
[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]


Beauty! 'nuff said.  :thumbsup:


Brian da Basher

Absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, Mr Howling Mouse! I love the look of that Authentic Alberta BMF! Sharing your magic tricks on how you achieved it is an added bonus!

I'm going to go back and look at this beauty just to drool some more!
:wub: :wub:
Brian da Basher


We so need the jaw drop smilie for that one.  Simply beautiful, and very much appreciated on the NMF tutorial.  I've been living in fear of several of my kits for that exact reason.  Many, many thanks.  :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:


Sentinel Chicken

Wow. Just wow. That looks so much like it could have been. Or was. Or should have been. Something along those lines.....

Army of One

Awesome.....just awesome.....spanking tutorial.....love your method of stippling on the walkway.......and the footprints......I will not take up the needles just yet......I will keep trying!!!! I must...6'05 n over 18st rugby player.....I simply won't knit!!!!



My gob is well and truely smacked  :blink: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:
Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.