Hasegawa 1/72 F-20 Tigershark: Mistake? Nah… Happy Accident!

Have you ever started out to do one thing on a model, and ended up doing another- and learned something new? That’s what happened on this small scale Hasegawa F-20.

The kit is great- darn near perfect fit. If the kit has any vices, I haven’t found them yet. It went from parts on the sprue to ready to paint in about an hour’s time total.

I have some decals for a ROCAF F-5E, and thought they would look good on this bird. I figured that if Taiwan had bought the F-20, they would have looked similar to the F-5Es they would have replaced.

The decal instructions showed a scheme of medium gray and light gray. I wanted the edges to be obscure, not sharp like if it was masked. But freehanding camo patterns like this is difficult for me in this scale.

I started off giving the whole airframe a coat of Tamiya XF-19, and then freehanded the darker blotches with XF-66. Of course, there was some overspray, so I used heavily thinned XF-19 to clean up the edges. When I was finished, the edges weren’t quite as “vague” as I wanted, and the contrast between the two colors was far more than I wanted. I decided to repaint it again with XF-19, using the highly thinned paint in my airbrush.

And that’s when my mistake turned into a happy accident.

As I sprayed on the thinned XF-19, the colors began to blend, and suddenly I had exactly the look I was going for. Enough contrast to see two colors, but just hazy enough to not be really distinct. I misted the color over the rest of the airframe until I was happy with it.

Kinda cool. As Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith would say, “I love it when a plan comes together.” 🙂

Next up are the decals!

By Jon Bius

Jon Bius is a scale modeler, building models in a variety of genres, including Gunpla, Maschinen Krieger, Star Wars and other scifi. Through his blog and video channel, Jon shares the tools and techniques he uses to produce results than anyone can achieve - and have fun doing so!

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