Frank's Scale Model Aircraft Art!

F.M Fouga 1/48 Zephyr CM 175!

This is the version I'm building here! On the version in the picture above, the  exterior surfaces have been painted with a rather dull silver lacquer. I have instead shown here in this model, a "what if" version with  brighter aluminum surfaces!

Now I must thank Karen Coughlin who has generously supplied the decal set used here. It seems that there may have been several batches of the FM kit produced. The kit I have has an alternate decal set, but the plans show both versions. 


Finished Cockpit. Instrument panel made up from etched frets laid on top of white painted panels, held in place with future. Instrument dials scratched in with a needle afterward.

Assembled and ready for paint! Even with constructing an assembly jig and using the kit supplied spacing bar, I still got the angle between the stabilizers wrong! I'll settle for the way it is now!

MM Glossy Black Enamel now applied. When considering a NMF, surface preparation is very important as the slightest surface imperfection will show up and ruin the effect. During assembly I wet sand each of the components sequentially with 400, 600, 800, 1000, and 1500 wet/dry sand paper. I used to go all the way to 12,000 mesh, however, I discovered that too smooth a surface is not good for paint adhesion. 

The MM Glossy Black enamel, when properly applied, produces a very satisfactory glossy finish that still looks wet after drying even when applied on the 1500 surface. I use CA glue for all assembly and it results in invisible seams and joints. When a little filler is needed I use Apoxie Sculpt. This is a two part system which can be nicely faired in with wet Micro Cotton Buds. During assembly I re-sand all joints to smooth them out and to eliminate all traces of CA that remain around the joint on the various surfaces.

When I reach the point that I'm satisfied  that the assembly is as complete as needed, and ready for paint, I then wash the surfaces in a big plastic bowl with warm water and Cascade dishwasher detergent, followed by a water rinse. I allow 24 hrs for the model to dry prior to proceeding!

Next I wipe all external surfaces with Alcohol, using  micro fiber cloths! One last treatment prior to airbrushing the paint is to use the Airbrush to blow any remaining dust off the surfaces.

 with Zylene) to be the best for a primer under Alclad! For applying the  the primer I use my Harder & Steenbeck Infinity airbrush with the 0.40 nozzle and 15 psi. I apply this first on to the plastic as a mist coat waiting 5-8 minutes between coats. Then each successive coat I apply a little heavier ( no more than 4 coats total-- this time just three coats were required) until on the last coat I am seeing a very wet (not runny) look. When that  dries, it will still look just as shinny as it did when wet! I let this dry for about 7 days prior to applying the Alclad!

Note the "holding" handle. This is fabricated from two "Skewers" and a piece of basswood.  The pointed tips of the skewers are coated first with a little CA, then inserted into the exhaust openings (hoping that the now invisible skewer ends have attached themselves to something internal. The exhaust openings are then packed with a little bit of tissue to plug up the remaining openings and add support to the assembly.

Alclad Airframe Aluminum now added! After several hours drying time, a light buffing with a soft tissue helps bring out the "Luster"!!

Addition of Alclad shades now completed! Those include, Steel, Stainless Steel, Dark Aluminum, Duralumin, White Aluminum, and Jet Exhaust.

Masked and added Gunze Clear Red.

Last views of the cockpit before closing up with the canopies!

The Fouga Zephyr has a different canopy system than that of the Magister. The Magister canopies pop upward to open, whereas on the Zephyr, they slide back to open. When on an Aircraft Carrier, they can be locked in the open position for take off.


My 49th+ Build!

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These webpages are Copywrited 1997- 2008, belong to, and have been constructed by, J. Frank Loch - Amateur Astronomer & Scale Model Builder. No part of these pages may be used for any purpose with out my written permission. They are dedicated to the memory of Grayce Loch - (1931-1999)