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Cold War (1950-1974)
Discuss the aircraft modeling subjects during the Cold War period.
Saab AJ 37 Viggen (Special Hobby)
Västra Götaland, Sweden
Joined: February 23, 2005
KitMaker: 815 posts
AeroScale: 624 posts
Posted: Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 03:31 AM UTC
Hello, folks!

Good models of Saab aircraft in 1/48 was once a rarity. Luckily, this has changed radically during the last few years, and we are now blessed with a wide range of these beauties. Having recently built the J 29F and the J 21A from Pilot Replicas, I was ready for the Viggen!

I started with a nice pilot figure from Pilot Replicas, painted with colors from Citadel.

I love adding figures to my aircraft models. The only downside is that they become uneligable for the "Model of the Month" competition here at Aeroscale... Them rules are tough!

There is a lot of aftermarket stuff to the Tarangus/SH viggens. Some of it, I believe is "necessary", while other is not. The RAT is always visible on landed aircraft, but is not included in the kit. It was not easy to fit the Maestro RAT (which I believe was originally intended for the old ESCI/Airfix kit) in the fuselage, but after a lot of sawing, sanding, cursing and carving...

Viggen had a massive engine, and the exhaust area is highly visible. In my view, the detail level of the kit parts is top notch and more than sufficient for me.

I used the kit seat, but with some small adjustments. I also added PE from Maestro (there is a small fret included in the kit, which is reasonably good) for the seat and cockpit.

The fit of the kit is generally very good (and at some times excellent). One has to be very careful though, since it is not the "standard two fuselage halves", but rather an intricate assebly where fit and presure needs to be applied at different points at the same time. Think first. Test fit. Think again. Pray a little (it doesn't hurt). And then go!

I managed to accomplish a decent fit in most areas. Please note that the spine should be shortened a little (not mentionned in the instructions, but there is a groove in the spine part where the cut should be made). Another after market item that I believe is "necessary" is new canards. Firstly, the kit canards have the wrong shape, and secondly, the flaps are always lowered on parked aircraft. The fit of Maeastro canards was not perfect but they look ok after CA-glue filling. I read that CMK has just released their version, but I don't know if they are better.

I've used a black primer (Mig "One Shot"), which I am getting quite fond of. It really smothens out to a very thin layer. I am trying out Mr Paint's range for the Swedish Airforce, and so far, I am totally impressed!

Weapons are not included. The massive rocket pods are from Maestro.

On to the infamous Viggen camouflage! I started with the dark green, since this covers most of the aircraft...

... and then started masking and adding colour after colour. Even with the Maestro Paint mask, it was an awsome task to try and align all the bits of tape in the right places...

At the end, it looked something like this!

No longer could I see where one piece of tape ended or where the next piece started. My eyes where sore and my mouth tasted like Kabuki tape... Suddenly, I noticed a piece of tape that had fallen off, and I had no clue whatsoever where to put it... I attached it randomly and went to bed, dreaming of beatiful monochrome aircraft...

But the next morning... Ta-da!!!

Having made quite a few touch-ups, she looked like this.

Very nice, but way to "perfect". The camo needs softening, blending, bleaching and dirtying in order to look realistic. This is what I'm aiming for...

I was hoping to try out a ready made filter (such as the AK Interactive NATO-filter), but no such filters at the local dealer. So I had to try some other methods that I had never tried before. First some oil dots...

A little scary, given all the work I had with the camo. But from here, there was no return. Only option was "Full speed ahead"!!!

Damn them seagulls!!!

This is the result of the first filter. Not easy to detect in the particular light...

... but a closer look shows that the colours have definitely faded.

Next step was to try out pastels (another first for me)...

Just like being back at kindergarten...

rubbing it in with my fingers... delectably dirty work!

Starting slowly to obtain the effect that I was hoping for. Here's a comparison with the untreated flap.

More wheathering will be applied, but only after the decals. Any input, tips and ideas will be greatly welcomed!

Cheers! // PolarBear
Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Joined: August 09, 2009
KitMaker: 965 posts
AeroScale: 863 posts
Posted: Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 08:29 AM UTC
I also have a soft spot for Saab aircraft and after finishing 2 Draken and a Tunnan the Lansen is close to the finish line.
The Viggen is one of the Saab family which is still missing in my stash. Your splinter camo on it looks awesome. The only quarterscale Viggen I know comes from Esci. Your weathering on it looks scary for me, especially that filter. But in the end I'm sure it will turn out the way you want and like it. I'm more a fan of that "museum like finish", so my Saab family don't have any weathering.

Staff MemberNews Reporter
England - North West, United Kingdom
Joined: October 15, 2009
KitMaker: 1,459 posts
AeroScale: 1,383 posts
Posted: Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 10:35 AM UTC
Looking good Björn. You have done a great job replicating the camouflage and glad to see you are having a go at toning the colour down. I like the last image showing the contrast between the fresh paint look and the weathered look. Keep up the good work and please let us have a look at the final finish
Victoria, Australia
Joined: June 09, 2009
KitMaker: 5,290 posts
AeroScale: 3,370 posts
Posted: Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 01:41 PM UTC
Love the paint job, and a great tutorial on using various techniques to weather it. Great work so far, looking forward to more updates.

Cheers, D
Ontario, Canada
Joined: July 22, 2012
KitMaker: 597 posts
AeroScale: 591 posts
Posted: Friday, April 21, 2017 - 06:02 AM UTC
Wow, gorgeous build!
Västra Götaland, Sweden
Joined: February 23, 2005
KitMaker: 815 posts
AeroScale: 624 posts
Posted: Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 01:15 AM UTC
Thanks for all the comments. I have now started with the decals, which really makes this bird look the thing. I plan to do one more "layer" of filter and pastel wheathering once the decals and panellines are in place, and then seak it up with a protective coat of matt varnish.

I decided to go with an early Viggen based at the F6 base in Karlsborg. The reason for this was mainly some reference photos that really reveils both the beauty and the brutality of this aircraft. Here is one:

My model is going to carry a similar weapon load, albeit I'll use the rocket pod instead of the gun pod. The attack version of Viggen did not carry sidewinders on the outer pylons until the 1990's (the AJS version), so I'm probably not going to add those.

Cheers // PolarBear