I followed Tim’s advice for masking the curved ends for the striped parts. First, I scanned the painting instructions, opened the scan in Adobe Illustrator and resized it to be the same length as the model, then drew the curved lines over it. After deleting the scan again, I had just the lines left, which I printed out and then cut out so I had a template to use for cutting the masking tape. Once that was done, I filled in the other bits with more tape:
Then I sprayed first the tail white, followed by the upper surfaces with Hataka gris-bleu foncé (“dark grey-blue”):
Note I had forgotten to mask the red on the tail when I took the first picture, so I had to do that real quick with the white already in my airbrush
I’ve decided to paint the upper bits first, rather than the paler lower sides, because this way I can get a neat lower edge to the camouflage, where all the patches line up, by having them go down a bit too far and then spraying the underside colour over them to make a straight line.
The masking would have been much simpler if I hadn’t been goaded into doing the striped plane … But this should be the only masking, as the camouflage pattern will be sprayed freehand, and the lower wing and fuselage colour almost certainly will be too.
After drawing the camouflage pattern on the plane, I sprayed first the dark brown:
This may be an odd colour to start with, but I noticed two places where the green appears to have overlapped the brown, or at least, the brown went “around” a green patch, so I decided to do it in this order.
Next, I used the khaki colour, but it was far too brown for my liking, so I put the green from the Hataka set in my airbrush instead, and sprayed over the two khaki patches I had already done. This is anything but dark green, though, and very transparent. I had to go over the green twice and in places three times to get it to cover the pencil marks.
Next, I went back to the grey base colour, because the dark brown especially had a lot more overspray than I liked. Spraying a little more of the grey over that largely fixed the problem:
Then the paler grey on the underside, though it’s hardly lighter than the grey on the top:
Before taking off the masking, I had to also paint the blue stripe on the rudder, so a quick bit of masking and some work with a brush:
The blue, by the way, is Vallejo IDF Blue, which looks a decent match for the blue used in the decals of this kit.
Thanks Though to be honest, I didn’t find it that difficult, largely because on the tail, all the stripes are the same width so they are fairly easy to get right. The nose was more work, though, as the shape is far more complex. By the way, there are no decals for these stripes in the kit — only for the French tricolour on the rudder. The all-yellow option would definitely have been easier, though.
It took a bit longer, but comparing the colour to the Humbrol mixes quoted is proving a little difficult: the main one is yellow + green + blue, while the alternative is tan + green + white, so it’s hard to say what those come out as without actually trying them — and I don’t have most of the colours mentioned. I think I’ll stick with the green as it is.
Markings on now. They are very good, they come off the backing sheet easily and they’re very thin, with almost no carrier film visible (using Micro Set and Sol), though the white is a bit transparent — you can see the white stripe on the fuselage through the white of the roundel there, because they’re separate decals.
I took a good look comparing the model to the photos as I see them on my iPad, and it’s not quite as bright on the real thing Still brighter than I would expect in this kind of camouflage, but better than it seems from the photos. I’m also hoping that the next step, shading the panel lines, might help a bit