Refinish a Foam Jet Ep 3 – Freewing F-14 Tomcat Paint, Markings, & Panel Lines

Making the Flir Cat…Tomcat nose art FTW!

In my previous articles, we talked about the refinish process and making a highly detailed cockpit for the Freewing F-14.  Now, it’s time for paint!  I will say, I have a love/hate relationship with painting models.  Most of the time, I love it, but when there are issues that arise, that’s when I hate it, haha!  However, being patient, having the right materials and ensuring the proper preparation is done can usually keep those issues to a minimum, but sometimes you just have to improvise.  In this case, the vinyl markings I had made decided to curl up and not want to stick to the airframe which had me thinking all of the markings would need to be completely replaced.  As it turned out, at the suggestion of a friend, a little low temp heat with an iron cured the issue (saving huge time and aggravation) and all was right with the world again!

In painting a model, one must first choose a paint scheme of course and this not something I take lightly. :p  I knew that I wanted to do something different and rarely modeled and that I also wanted to do a later low viz Navy scheme because it would be fun to weather (they got crazy dirty).  In my research, I found a scheme from VF-103 dawning a unique and rare nose art carrying the moniker of “Flir Cat.”  As it turned out, this aircraft was used in 1995 to prove out the LANTIRN pod integration and was the first to drop bombs from the Tomcat platform which paved the way for the F-14 “BombCat” which proved quite effective.  That’s not to mention too that the aircraft was flown in part by Capt. Dale “Snort” Snodgrass (highest flight time Tomcat pilot ever) as a part of the testing which provided additional appeal.  So, it was decided, Flir Cat she will be!

A quick note regarding the Flir Cat nose art.  While nose art was a regular occurrence on bombers in WWII, it’s since become a rare thing to see, especially on the more modern fighter jets.  The Flir Cat artwork itself was designed and painted by artist PEL during his service in the Navy in the mid 90’s.  He chose the artwork color scheme from each side based off of graffiti color palettes of the day and had to use different colors on each side for the lettering due to having an insufficient quantity of paint for both sides (hence the two different colors of font left to right).

 

THE PAINT PROCESS

A good paint job starts with a good foundation which is what is done during the refinish and primer process.  Once  the desired smoothness and finish was achieved through the primer/sand/primer process, the model was wet sanded with 600 grit sand paper in Continue reading

Freewing MiG-29 Twin 80mm EDF Assembly & Flight Review

Greetings Comrades, We’re Gettin’ Miggy with it!

When one thinks of the late generation Russian fighters, the SU-27 is at the top of many lists.  However, for me, the MiG-29 is the one that has fascinated me more.  I think because it was a relatively new fighter in Russian service when I was a kid which created a certain ere of mystery surrounding it.  Plus, as a design, it has a nice look that I’ve also kind of liked.

So, seeing the new Freewing MiG-29 come to market in its ever so unique Slovak digital camouflage trim scheme, I was very intrigued.  Given the large size and the scale features, it looked like an extremely nice airplane and I’m happy to report it lives up the expectations!  The airplane looks and flies great and has a great scale presence in the air that’s so distinctive.

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

Not surprisingly, the Freewing MiG-29 came in quite a large box which was packed well and efficiently.  Unboxing the model, you truly start to get a sense of the size as well as the quality of the finish (it’s quite smooth).  Everything is broken down into the major components, so assembly was quick and painless.  Note that for receiver, I’m using a Spektrum AR8010T 8 channel receiver.

The assembly of the MiG-29 starts with gluing the separate nose piece in place along with the 4 plastic clips along the seam.  I used foam tac to do that which worked great.  There is also a forward wood plate that gets screwed into place that provides a Continue reading

Freewing F-4D Phantom II 90mm EDF Assembly, Refinish, & Flight Review

Phreewing’s “Rhino,” TRCG Target Drone Edition…

Well, in full disclosure, this article started close to two years ago now after purchasing the Freewing F-4 Phantom in the second batch of releases.  So why did take so long?…well, it’s a myriad of things really.  First of all, I’m a glutton for punishment.  I liked the airplane so much and being unable to leave well enough alone (not to mention with some kind ribbing from my friends) I just had to do a full refinish on the airplane.  Well, shortly after filling all of the panel lines, we sold our house and moved into a new one which put a halt to most modeling for a few months.  After the move, I actually almost sold the airplane because after all that, I had a tough time just getting back to it.  Well, not to be defeated, I decided it was necessary to finish up the project and I have since acquired a bunch of flights on the airplane with both 6s and 8s power.  And so, here we are!

The funny thing is, since finishing the project (after almost selling it), I’ve been kind of on an F-4 Phantom kick having reviewed the E-flite F-4 and then also acquiring a mostly built Jet Hangar Hobbies 1/10 scale F-4 to accompany my other half built JHH F-4 Phantom sitting in my storage racks…what can I say, a collector never stops collecting! 😉

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

The assembly of the Freewing F-4 Phantom II was quite straight forward as a whole.  No major issues were noted and the fit of everything was good.  The fuselage comes in two pieces, so the first step is to glue the back end onto the airplane and frrom there the tails and wings are installed.  The anhedral tails slide onto knurled shafts and are held in place with a screw on each tail.  So, it is recommended to ensure that Continue reading

Freewing Me 262 Schwalbe Assembly & Flight Review

Schwalbe there for you!

The Me 262 is an airplane that I have had a fascination with since I was a kid.  To envision the world’s first operational jet fighter and the mark that the airplane made on aviation history certainly made my mind run circles.  That’s not to mention, the look of design was not only appealing but also futuristic for the time that it was made!  There was so much ingenuity occurring during WWII on both sides this airplane was one of many advances which changed and accelerated aviation in ways that I don’t think we’ll ever see again.

So, needless to say, as a fanboy of the Me 262, I had always liked the looks of the Freewing Me 262.  Frankly though, I wasn’t a fan of the original pastel gray paint scheme and having flown one, the power systems worked but left room for improvement.  Well, enter the Freewing Me 262 Version 2 with the correct colors and upgraded power systems and I absolutely couldn’t resist picking one up…and I tell you what it was worth the wait as this V2 is a great looking and absolutely wonderful machine to fly!

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

What truly struck me with this V2 airplane was the paint scheme and pulling the airplane from the box, the paint was beautifully applied and the colors were spot on.  The paint Continue reading