Work on my P-23 Karas has been progressing through the week.
I masked off the cockpit and sprayed the Hataka Silver paint that came with my painting set. This was my first experience painting with Hataka paints. The bottle says "air brush ready", so I sprayed directly without adding any thinner. The paint was extremely thin and transparent. I built up a few layers to get the silver on the lines, but I felt it was so thin it would get under the masking. Indeed, as you will see in later photos some of the canopy masking started to lift suggesting just that.
I thought the coverage issue with the silver might have been related to no primer. Of course I could not paint the primer as my "inside color", but I thought it would be best to prime the aircraft for the exterior colors. I used Tamiya primer.
The next day I applied the Polish Blue-Gray underside color. I went straight from the bottle but in this case it was too thick. With my airbrush more than 1/2 open I sprayed the paint but was really just laying down splotches of paint. I mixed in some thinner in desperation, no measurement, just squirted it in. This got the paint flowing as expected, but made it too thin I think. It was hard to get coverage and was easy to pool the paint. In the photo you can see where the paint has pooled up somewhat.
Another annoying thing is the Hataka thinner keeps bubbling up and leaving a film behind when I clean with it,
So I let it go and dry. When I came back 2 hours later the coat looked even. There is a slight orange peel affect, but I blame that on the initial paint that was too thick.
A close inspection showed that the primer grey is showing in spots. Looking at the tail wings, You can see inside the panels where the paint pooled around the raised panel lines. Not really visible in the photo is a spot where coverage was too thin and did not coat well (bottom arrow).
After drying for 24 hours, I painted the top coat. I taped off the underside. I used a low tack painters tape. As you can see plenty of tape on the bottom. This includes some sharp demarcation lines around the main wings. Polish aircraft fuselages where painted the top color and only the wings were blue.
I mixed the paints over several days quite vigorously. I even left them upside down to try to get the pigment off the bottom. It mostly worked, but as you can see the groove in the bottom is a different shade than the flat area meaning all the pigment did not mix even with an agitator in the bottle.
This paint set provides 2 shades of Polish Khaki, light and dark. It is suggested the Polish recon & bomber aircraft were painted a darker khaki than fighters. I don't believe that was true. Instead I used the dark khaki as a base coat and will apply the lighter shade over the dark leaving some visible as weathering. I applied some thinner to the paint and once again it was too thin and translucent. Basically like squirting dirty water on the plane. I added more paint to the cup to thicken it, which was too much. A little more thinner, too squirty again. A bit more paint. Finally it seemed to spray OK. For coverage I had to coat the model 3 times. I am used to enamel doing a single coat. Eventually I got the model covered but it seemed more like a wrestling match than a paint job. I personally don't feel the color would be right as a final coat on Polish aircraft. The colors are always shown in drawings much lighter.
My trials with the paint - 2) Straight out of the bottle - barely covers. 1) More paint after the more thinner. Better coverage but still translucent. - added more paint. 3) The paint spattered like this a lot on the model.
You would think that the translucent nature of this paint would be good for some counter shading, but again coverage was hard. Normally my single action airbrush is barely open to do this work, but now the paint would dry almost instantly and clog the brush. Eventually I was open about 1/3 (basically a fire hose when I do enamels) to get even some coverage on the panels. I patiently did every panel twice to get coverage. Then I did back and forth swipes in the direction of the airflow to oevercoat all the wings. I eventually ended up with this, with some dark coat visible around panel lines but the core in the lighter tone.
The tape test was a success. Sharp lines and no peeled paint. That included around the landing gear and fuselage.
I applied a coat of Future floor polish as a gloss coat. This worked well and did not pool on the paint. I used my Techmod (Polish company) decals to mark my Karas in a pre-war 1938 paint scheme.
Before you ask - I had my glasses on when I applied the top wing markings. Polish aircraft had the top markings offset so you could not line up and shoot between the markings and hit the cockpit. I don't know if that ever worked, but it is a signature feature of Polish WWII aircraft.
I will apply some panel line wash later today and seal. I should be able to get a flat coat on tomorrow AM and remove the masking.I am travelling next week so I don't want to leave the masking on. This build will have to be finished next weekend.