Airbrushing & Finishing
Thin paint puts a tiger on this tank-hunter
Super finish on a superdetailed Hind AARON SKINNER
As if it wasn’t enough for Hugo Garcia of Edinburg, Texas, to paint Trumpeter’s 1/35 scale Mi-24V in a stunning Tiger Meet scheme, he decided it needed more detail. “I scratchbuilt the main gearbox and fire extinguisher system along with the AL-9V auxiliary power unit,” he says. He also opened all hatches and avionics compartments and scratchbuilt all the interior components.
The main gearbox started as a ½-inch PVC pipe and various sizes of styrene rod. He added the wiring and plumbing using various diameter lead wires and scratchbuilt the oil coolers and added details. He formed the APU on a lathe from solid aluminum rod. “I superdetailed the engines by adding plumbing and wires made from various sizes of lead wire,” he says.
The Wings & Wheels Publications Hind in Detail (ISBN 978-80-86416-13-7) guided the works with helpful reference photos of the Hind inside and out.
Hugo painted the Mi-24 with Testors Model Master enamels. “I have been using these paints for many years and find them very easy to thin,” he says. Typically, he mixes 2 parts thinner and 1 part paint in disposable 1-ounce cups.
He airbrushes the enamels with a doubleaction Paasche VL powered by a Craftsman 2-gallon dual-tank compressor. “I have been using the Paasche VL for at least 40 years,” Hugo says.
As with all his models, he primed the Hind with a Model Master gray to ensure the surface was smooth and free of imperfections, such as unfilled gaps or excess glue.
To paint the body, Hugh set the pressure at 15 psi and sprayed two coats of FS36375 Light Ghost Gray (No. 1728).
After those layers had dried for four hours, he mixed 1 part FS36118 Gunship Gray
(No. 1723) with 3 parts thinner to ensure it flowed smoothly. He proceeded to airbrush the tiger stripes freehand at 18 psi, repeating each stripe to build up the desired density.