Brilliant Fluids

Monday 2005-10-31

Patience has paid off! In stead of stripping the front fender from the terrible italeri decals, I left it as is, and started searching the web for solutions. I read some brilliant tips on the forms at, and went to the local model shop and bought some Microscale SET and SOL decal solutions.

Actually, de bottle labled “SOL” proved to be the most useful. After you applied the decal, and it is all dry (like my carbon fender struts), you gently apply the SOL fluid to the decal with a soft brush. As you may have guessed, SOL stands for “solution” and that’s what it does, it dissolves the decal slightly. The decal becomes so soft you can push and stretch it with the soft brush. Don’t overdo it, if the decal won’t go any further just let it dry, and try again tommorow. Sometimes it takes 2 to 3 tries.

The funny thing is that when the SOL fluid is applied, your decal may start to wrinkle. Ignore this. Just let it dry for a few hours (don’t touch it!) and it will straighten out. Really great stuf!

The SET fluid smells like vinigar, and you are supposed to apply it to the model before you put the decal on. I have tried it, but I haven’t seen the benefits of it yet. Maybe the SET fluid de-greases the surface a bit, but since I keep the surfaces clean anyway, it won’t do much for me I guess. I have a lot more twisty and lumpy carbon parts to do, so maybe I’ll get back at this…

Exhausts Airbrushed

Tuesday 2005-10-25

After a lot of masking, lot of paint-mixing, and very little airbrushing, this is the result of my airbrush adventure to make the exhaust pipes look more realistic. I smuggled a bit, because normally exhausts are welded out of several bended pipes, to get the desired curve. The welds are allways on a spot where two bends meet. In this case, the welds are on random positions, and because I don’t have a very acurate airbrush (rigid needle), they are seperated a bit more than normally. By doing it like this I can make the 3 gradients I wanted from metal to dark bronze-like oxidated metal.

It may be not competely realistic, but it sure beats my normal pencil-only paintjobs! For the observant reader: Yes, that’s another yucki Italeri decal on the engine side cover which is supposed to look like a carbon part with slots in it. The thick Italery decal can not follow the detail of the slots. I still haven’t got the micro set fluid which could solve this (from hear-say). More on that later this week I guess, when I have time to stop by the local modelling shop to see if they have it in store.

I also notice that it seems to be harder to get the larger models more realistic. Small models are easier because at some point, you simply can’t add more detail, and it will look good. I built my first ducati in less time, without an airbrush, and it looks quite nice. I think I’ll stick with the smaller models from now on. Shorter build time, takes up less storage space, are (very) cheap and fun to do.

Terrible Italeri Decals

Wednesday 2005-10-19

So here I am, building my Ducati Monster S4 Fogerty 1:9 scale model, and I discover that the decals that are contained in the kit are pretty worthless. After 30 minutes of fiddling with the decal, the results of the carbon fender supports is terrible. As you can see on the left. Please note that the fender is about 5 centimeters long, so the decal does not have to fold in tight bends to cover the fender support. Right now I am leaving it at this, and wil try to get my hands on some Microscale Micro Set to see if I can make the decal soft enough to do what I want. If not, I’ll just paint all the carbon parts with semi-glos black. Maybe it will not be realistic, but at least it looks better than the strangely wrinkled carbon stickers

Airbrushing is becomming easier every day. The gloss paints are really comming out right, despite some small dust particles which allways show up when you don’t need them. I have no plans on polishing the paint as some perfectionists do, it looks way better than using a brush to smear paint into the detailing of the parts. I’ll just place this model next to a hand-painted one for the contrast ;-).

I spent the rest of the evening masking up the engine parts with masking tape to be able to make the exhaust pipes a slightly darker color. I will try to make the pipes darker at the cilinders, slightly changing to a lighter metal color on the colder parts. Maybe I’ll even manage to get the welding joints looking realistic, who knows. It’s a lot of work, masking the engine, exhaust pipes and welding joints in the pipes took me more than 2 hours. I’ll paint them in probably 4 different colors, so it will take some time before the engine parts are finished.

Ducati Desmodesi Supersport

Sunday 2005-10-16

A few weeks ago I completed a small model of a Ducati race bike. I did do some modelling some years ago, but it gradualy lost my interest. Then, a friend of mine came along and brought this small model of a motobike because I just got my motorbike driverslicense. He didn’t expect I’d really build it, but I did, and I think the result is pretty decent, considering it’s size.

And yes, it was really a model. Here you can see some parts during the build.

I really got the taste building bikes, so I bought a 1:9 scale Italeri model of a Ducati Monster S4 Fogerty. I will upload images during the build in the next few days/weeks. I also found my old airbrush, and made an adapter to connect it to my compressor. The compressor has a 24 liters airtank, and a pressure reducing device so I can make the pressure going into the brush between 1 and 8 bar. It really works great, and I have allready painted the frame, the tank and the engine of the Ducati Monster with it. More pictures to come!

Here is a picture of the adapter. On the right, there is a large (1/4″) connector to connect the compressor airhose to. On the left, there is a small connector to which a Badger or Revell airhose can be connected which leads to the airbrush. I got the small connector by destroying the Badger aircan connector.