Painting stage puts a new airbrush to the test

The 1:72 scale Airfix Spitfire is taking shape, with the wings and fuselage assembled, gaps filled and primed. It took a bit of care to reinstate some the recessed panel lines that bridged the fuselage joints - inevitably removed during filling and sanding - but a fine scriber tool did the trick. In truth, there were only a few small gaps to treat, mostly along the 'bonnet' top and under the aircraft's 'chin'. 

After the grey primer, the entire model was pre-shaded with Tamiya Flat Black, worked into all the recesses. This is quite a laborious task but it proved effective and was also a perfect way to try out my new Iwata Custom Micron CM-C Plus airbrush. I've been after one of these tools for years and I haven't been disappointed - it's a corker. With a 0.23mm nozzle, it can achieve very fine lines with ease (relatively speaking!) and is a real joy to use. Mind you, paint thinning needs to be done carefully, especially acrylics as the superfine nozzle can clog easily as the paint dries. Using an acrylic retarder medium (such as Vallejo's) makes a difference, although Tamiya's acrylics, with the high alcohol content, are much better suited, as are enamels.

After the pre-shading, the sky grey was applied to the underside, which was then masked before the brown camouflage base was applied. Once this is dry, I'll mask up for the green 'camo' squiggles. This is the bit I enjoy the most, as the bits of plastic start to take on a lifelike appearance, making all the hours of hard work worthwhile...

Instead of applying a single shade of brown, I've mixed up a few different tints and applied them strategically to suggest areas of highlights, lowlights and faded streaks. The same was done with the grey underbelly and the green will follow suit. It all serves to bring extra life to the model.
The Iwata Custom Micron CM-C Plus has proved itself to be a real gem - well worth the investment. Look out for a full review in Model Rail magazine soon.


  1. George have you ever used the Vallejo Model Air paints? Specially formulated for direct use in airbrushes.

  2. Hi Gene,
    Not the Model Air formula, no. I've only used the regular Vallejo paints so far. I've heard good things about it though.

  3. Ok…give them a try if you ever have the chance…very precise eye-dropper bottles so no wastage and generally sprayable without any thinning or messing about with, lovely coverage, so very easy to quickly switch between colours. I find them very enjoyable to use.


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