Black is one of those colors that are notoriously difficult to paint. It is such a light sink that it tends to obscure detail, which forces some to overweather the subject in order to pop the detail once again. My problems with it have been, as usual, a bit off the beaten path. The last couple of models I shot with black (a couple of Hawks and the bottom of a Wellesley) have exhibited a strange tendency. It’s hard to explain – and I didn’t take enough pictures at the time – but the surface almost looked like the paint had not covered well. It was thin and blotchy, but not because there wasn’t enough paint applied. After much consideration, I think I’ve decided that it was due to surface impurities on the plastic; most likely mold release agent that I didn’t adequate wash off. I tried to fix that problem with today’s paint job.
Because there was a lot of black to paint. As it happens, the Hawk T2 was all ready to go at the same time the Gnat was ready for its black tailfin. And I decided to bit the proverbial bullet and mask off the new Airfix Swordfish for the black spine that I had somehow forgotten to take care of when it was in its paint cycle. That was nerve-wracking; painting a fully-assembled and otherwise painted biplane without getting any overspray or pulled up silver paint due to the masking. But miraculously, with the exception of one small bit of overspray on one fuselage side that I should be able to cover with brush painting, it went okay. Well, did break off the rudder while unmasking, but that part has a tenuous physical connection at best. I’ll just glue it back on and it should be ready for decaling and then >ugh!< rigging.
I also put a first coat of the International Orange panels onto the B-50. It came out a bit grainy, so I will probably go through the exercise of buffing and respraying those areas.