After a relatively quick build I was ready for painting. I started whit the superstructure, giving it a coat of white paint. For this build I used mostly Vallejo paints, so a Model Air White was used. I hand painted the decks using a Tamiya paint, using XF-5 flat green. I tried out Tamiya's paint retarder for hand painting, and I must say it made the job much easier.
The hull has three colors, red, black, and a darker red. For the anti-fouling paint on the bottom I used Vallejo Model Air Scarlet Red. I let this dry for a day before masking off the bottom of the hull and painting the upper part black.
Once the black was dry I masked off the sides and painted the top of the hull Vallejo Red. The colors were overall a shade or two lighter that I wanted in the final product, but I wasn't worried about that because it would darken up a bit after a few clear coats and some weathering.
To finish off the superstructure I masked off the area needed to be painted yellow with tape and Maskol.
There were a few touch-ups to do on the super structure before gluing it to the hull.
Now that everything was glued in place it was time for decals. I gloss coated with Pledge and applied the decals. Although the kit is called the Colombo Express, it comes with the markings for all six ships in its class. I went with the Tsingtao Express. Decals went on with no problems. I set them using Solvaset.
Because the model is in 1/700 scale I kept weathering to a minimum. Weathering can look very extreme in this scale. I used a Tamiya Panel Line accent to bring out the details on the structure. I mixed up an oil wash and coated the deck with it. Finally, I used the same oil paint mix to add some rust streaking on the hull.
I'll be building the containers over the next few weeks, so look for a final gallery then, but for now here is the completed ship.