When I last wrote about the Hobby Boss A-6E it was ready for paining. Since then I got the chance to see one close up in real life at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. I was able to take a few decent reference photos which will come in handy for the build.
Speaking of...on to the build.
I plan on making a worn version of the A-6E. For the painting and weathering phase I'm assuming this aircraft has been on an aircraft carrier at sea for several months, exposed to the harsh elements of the open ocean. The paint will be faded, there will be some grime on it, etc.
I started by priming with Vallejo primer. Once this was dry I decided to try pre-shading the panel lines. In all of my past builds I have skipped this step. I never really saw the point, especially after painting and weathering. I was curious to see what the end results would look like though, so I tried it out on this model.
Its not the neatest, but it'll do.
I painted the underside Tamiya XF-2 flat white. Because I'm going for a used look I made sure the paint wasn't applied perfectly evenly.
I masked off the bottom half of the A-6E, as well as the other areas that should stay white and painted the top Vallejo sky grey.
I removed the masking and checked my work. There was some bleeding in one or two areas. these were easily cleaned up by hand.
It is important to let the Vallejo paint dry for at least 24 hours before masking over it. Vallejo paints tend to be very soft and take a while to cure so be patient, the results are usually worth it.
The top of the aircraft has three black stripes. I masked off the areas to be painted and airbrushed them using Tamiya flat black.
The nose and the leading edge of the wings in the version I am building are painted a beige color. I masked off those areas and used Vallejo beige.
I removed the making tape and checked my work so far.
I'm pretty happy with the results. There are a few more areas to paint, and I need to paint and assemble the radar unit in the nose cone, not to mention assemble and paint the nose cone itself. I also need to build and paint the cockpit ladders, landing gear, and landing gear bay doors.
After all that is complete, I will gloss coat the model and apply the thousands of small decals. Shoudl be fun.