Well, another week has passed and a little more progress has been made. I sealed the decals in Tamiya X-22 Gloss cut with Mr. Color 400 Self Leveling Thinner 1:1. Just amazing stuff. Then I used a home made enamel base wash of a generic oil Lamp Black thinned with Turpenoid, and gave the entire aircraft a coating of it. After it had dried for 10 min or so, I wiped off 90% of it with a damp cotton cloth making sure that I went very easy over any panel lines and always at a 45 degree or greater angle. this way I stood a better chance of not sucking up the panel line wash.
This accomplished two weathering phases. 1st as I said, all the panel lines received a wash, and since they're so shallow and petite, black worked perfectly. The 2nd weathering phase was to create a slight oxidation look to the paint which was well maintained, but if it flew, it had some wear and tear to it. the result is just enough to knock down the new paint look.
I let this cure for a good 48 hrs., then I applied a Matt clear coat using Testors Dullcoat cut with Mr. Color 400 Self Leveling Thinner but at a 2:3 ratio. I applied a tack coat, then two wet coats, and let it dry for 24 hrs. Then I very lightly rubbed down the surface with a #4000 Micro Mesh pad and plenty of water. The surface is now silky smooth, and the decals look more like the were painted on.
I removed the windscreen masks and the cockpit masks, glued on the wing tip tanks, that will need a touch of adjusting, and then took some pictures.
Gotta say that she's finally starting to really look the part of a Texas 111 FIS ANG T-33A.