Build your first flying scale Jet - Chapter 10 - Lining the trough and adding the markings

To protect the jet trough from the hot exhaust gasses, it needs to be lined with something non-flammable. I use this self-adhesive aluminium foil, as sold by Halfords for car repairs.

The foil was cut roughly to shape with scissors, leaving the backing paper on until test fitting had been carried out. The foil should be left oversize at the sides of the trough.

After peeling off the backing paper, the curved piece of foil was carefully slid underneath the motor tube, and then smoothed with a finger onto the paper trough lining.

The excess foil was trimmed off with a sharp scalpel blade, and the edges burnished down.

The markings were produced as home-made decals, some of which are shown here. The roundels were created using a graphics program (you don't need anything sophisticated for this) and the tail rings and nose artwork were scanned from magazine artwork and cleaned up digitally.

You can buy various types of blank decal sheet designed to suit different printers. These were printed using a thermal wax transfer printer which will happily print onto standard decal film. The Getti Tonanti lettering was printed on white decal film, the others onto clear film. Decal film to suit ink jet printers is readily available - you will find various suppliers if you do an internet search.

When I do the printing, I tend to print individual items onto a sheet of normal A4 paper, then tape a small piece of decal film (round the edges) over the image and then run the paper through the printer again, so this time the image prints onto the decal paper.

The artwork for the front nose shield was used as a guide to cut out the necessary white background from white decal sheet. This was then applied to the nose in the correct position.

This picture also shows the anti glare panel, which was masked using thin masking tape strips and brush painted with matt black enamel. One tip here - If you decant some of the paint into a tin lid or something, and leave it a few minutes before you do the painting so it starts to thicken, then it is much more likely not to run under the edges of the tape. Brushing along the tape edge rather than towards it will also help.

After letting the white panel dry, the printed black decal was placed over the top.

The roundels on the rear fuselage also need a white background, and these were cut from white decal sheet using a compass cutter. There is no need to cut right through the paper, just the top layer.

Here the white disc has been applied to the fuselage.

When the roundel was applied over the disc, it became obvious I should have cut them a little smaller, as a thin outline remained visible. Bother. Nothing much I could do about it now though. The Olympic rings decal has been applied to the fin - the gloss finish mant that the decal film remained invisible.

For the distintive black panel on the spine, I chose to outline this using thin strips cut from black painted decal sheet. This saves masking and means you can play with the shape till it looks right.

When the decals were dry, the interior was brush-painted with matt black enamel.

The light grey panel at the top of the fin was another piece of painted decal. When it was dry, the edges were touched up with light grey enamel paint.

Before appying the nose lettering, silver was painted onto the decal around the individual letters, rather than cutting each letter out and applying separately. The decal was cut out and applied - you can see the brush-painted silver blends quite well with the airbrushed fuselage.

My printer unfortunately has a lot of trouble doing a decent bright red, and I decided I couldn't live with the orange/red colour. After some deliberation, I decided to cut out individual replacement letters from gloss red painted decal sheet. As a pattern I used the lettering artwork, as shown here.

You can see the dramatic difference in colour with the new letter G. Unfortunately, the black shadow at the front now looks distinctly orange in tone!

Every letter has now had a red decal letter placed over the top, and some of the black shadows overpainted by hand with matt black enamel. I hope the improvement in appearance is obvious. The remaining black sections were next carefully painted over using a fine brush.

So, here we are at last - the finished model ready for test flights. Final additions were the rear serial decals and the small black panels on the fin tip leading edge. These latter were done in a similar way to the fuselage spine panel, using a thin decal outline filled in by brush later.

Rudder and aileron outlines were from thin printed decal lines.

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