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!

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