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Desert Storm PROWLER (Hasegawa 1/72 EA-6B with Super Bug resin cockpit)

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  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Desert Storm PROWLER (Hasegawa 1/72 EA-6B with Super Bug resin cockpit)
Posted by gregbale on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 8:09 PM

This was my oldest 'stalled' project--or 'shelf queen'--having been started in 2014, assembled to about 90% completion (including canopy on, masked and primed)...then stopped for reasons I can't begin to remember.

The inspiration dates back to a color photo of the same a/c in the late lamented World Air Power Journal, published shortly after the conclusion of the Gulf War. VAQ-137 'Rooks' were part of CVW-1 flying from USS America (CV-66) during Desert Storm, the only EA-6B squadron to operate from both the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. In addition to regular ECM missions, the squadron's aircraft fired 30 AGM-88 HARM missiles in support of Coalition Forces. #622 was credited with 7 of those launches.

Super Scale did a sheet of three Desert Storm Prowlers in 1/72 scale shortly thereafter, and fortunately this aircraft was one of those covered.

After breaking out the kit several weeks ago and getting going again, the project was pretty smooth sailing. Various mixes of Tamiya acrylics did nicely for the patchy/weathered and spot-repainted look common to USN aircraft in the 'all gray' modern era. The Super Scale decals were slightly over-large in places, but for being close to twenty years old, went on like a dream with not a single crack, split or dissolve. (Whew!)

Only aftermarket used was the Super Bug resin cockpit (which was gorgeous and easy to use, with probably the best-cast seats I've ever seen) and a pair of HARMs from the old Italeri US/NATO ordnance set (w/scratch-built launch rails).

My only real difficulty arose after removing the ancient masking, which had ever-so-slightly etched the clear surfaces in spots to a fine haze, and left rough and crackly frame lines. (I know, I know...I actually do know better than to leave it on for so long!) A little judicious buffing and some Future took care of the haze. As to the frames...fortunately one of my 'old dog' tricks--learned the hard way through the years--is to spray up some decal stock in the various colors I use, against this very possibility. I managed to cut strips and restore the frames to something close to decent without too much trauma.

The canopy actually has a slight copper/smoke tint applied, though it doesn't show up that well in the finished shots. Photos of the original a/c depicted show the 'real' tint to be fairly inconspicuous, just appearing to darken the canopies a bit. I followed that pattern, not wanting to obscure the lovely interior, since she was to be finished and displayed as 'buttoned up.'

Last note: I must have scavenged the kit's drop tanks for some other project, at some point. The loadout depicted should have a fuel tank on the port inboard pylon; until I can find a replacement, I added an extra ALQ-99 pod on that station, just to 'fill it out' for the pics.

Enjoy!

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    February, 2011
Posted by knox on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 8:29 PM

That, is a very sweet build good sir!

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 10:00 PM

Well done, Greg, and well photographed.

John

To see build logs of my models, go here: http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.htm

  

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Boise ID area
Posted by modelcrazy on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 10:19 PM

Looks fantastic Greg.

Steve

  • Member since
    April, 2015
Posted by Mopar Madness on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 11:12 PM

Wow Greg, that’s one sweet bird!

Chad

God, Family, Models...

At the plate: 1/48 ICM Fw 126

On deck: 1/72 Airfix Lightning

In the hole: 1/72 Airfix Hunting Percival 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Lacey, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 11:28 PM

That is simply gorgeous, Greg! Bravo, sir.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 11:33 PM

Nice work.  And great pics.  I've done an intruder but need to add a prowler to the shelves.  Love it

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, June 06, 2019 8:45 AM

Thanks, guys!

It always feels good to rescue a project from self-imposed oblivion! Propeller

It's a shame it appears Super Bug is now defunct. It was a great detail set.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, June 06, 2019 9:15 AM

What a cool aircraft. Had never seen nor heard of it.

Amongst other things, I'm blown away by the job you did on what is an otherwise pretty boring paint scheme. This model is as far opposite of boring as possible.

Man, how I'd love to be able to pull of a paint job like that on a monochromatic paint scheme like this.

Beautiful, Greg.

-Greg

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, June 06, 2019 9:27 AM

Looks great!  Great photography too!

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Far Northern CA
Posted by mrmike on Thursday, June 06, 2019 10:17 AM

Out of the park, Greg!

  • Member since
    August, 2015
  • From: the redlands Fl
Posted by crown r n7 on Thursday, June 06, 2019 11:17 AM

Well done !!

Nick.

  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Thursday, June 06, 2019 11:29 AM

Don Stauffer said:


"Looks great!  Great photography too!"

 


John (jeaton01) said:


"Well done, Greg, and well photographed."

 


I say:


+1!!!!

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, June 06, 2019 10:45 PM

Thanks again, to all, for the kind words.

Greg
Amongst other things, I'm blown away by the job you did on what is an otherwise pretty boring paint scheme. This model is as far opposite of boring as possible. Man, how I'd love to be able to pull of a paint job like that on a monochromatic paint scheme like this.

Greg, I think the fact that the paint scheme seemed so daunting may be why the project ground to a halt in the first place!

I was lucky enough to have three fairly decent color shots of the specific a/c, from different angles, and taken at more-or-less the same time...which gave me a good feel for the real colors involved. The bad news was that, when I set out to try to 'chart' that paintwork before attempting to recreate it, things rapidly went off the rails. The 'official' scheme gives three colors; by the time my 'photo' count got up to what looked like about seven different shades...I decided another tack was in order.

I finally settled on a sort of mix-as-you-go process of a light and a dark shade for each of the three specified colors. I'd spray the 'light' version in the 'official' pattern...then use the 'dark' version to pick out panel lines or full panels, shadowed areas or what looked like re-paint or touch-ups on the real thing. Since all three grays were in a similar tonal range, it was mainly just adding an extra few drops of white or a drop of dark gray to the mix. This also meant there was very little 'shock and horror' to be had if I over-emphasized something, since the colors were close enough that nothing really stood out like the proverbial skunk in church. If there was a glitch...and there were a few...the 'next' tone sprayed could either hide it or even it out.

After the spraying, I did a little spot-dry-brushing here and there to hit details I missed and to add to the general 'patchy' look of the airframe.

As complicated as the above sounds, it really wasn't; it was two spraying sessions of roughly twenty minutes each (underside colors for one, top-side colors for the other). The only things I needed to 'hard' mask were the circle at the tip of the radome and the radome's aft edge; the rest was done freehand or using my old-favorite torn 3x5 cards (for a nice 'fuzzy' edge) as floating masks.

I'd like to be able to claim that all of the above was a carefully-thought-out plan...but it was all sort of 'winging' it (albeit based on a few decades of airbrushing experience). I'm a little surprised and very happy that it turned out so reasonably well. Having good photos to refer to helped a lot!

[And on the subject of referrng to photos...it's funny the things you see in photos that you miss in hours of staring right at the object in question. Seeing the posted thread photos, I noticed I'd gotten the angle of the refuelling probe quite a ways off. I applied a drop of Tamiya Thin and gently 'bent' it a bit, to the (more-or-less) correct angle.]

Sorry to be so long-winded...but I guess I wanted to share my surprise over how relatively simple it was to actually do, compared to how absurdly complicated it seemed to be before-hand. Sometimes sheer persistence does win out over art! Big Smile

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, June 07, 2019 9:17 AM

gregbale

 

[And on the subject of referrng to photos...it's funny the things you see in photos that you miss in hours of staring right at the object in question. Seeing the posted thread photos, I noticed I'd gotten the angle of the refuelling probe quite a ways off. I applied a drop of Tamiya Thin and gently 'bent' it a bit, to the (more-or-less) correct angle.]

 Big Smile

 

I know what you mean about what you see in photos that you did not see when you shot them.  I like to shoot in sunlight- one time I had set up in backyard, with a small backdrop.  Did not notice a big weed draped over the backdrop!  And my finishes do not look as great in the photos, probably because I shoot pretty close up, at a distance my eye does not focus at.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

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