Tips and Tricks for Jet Cockpits

I am more of a Second World War prop airplane builder but I sometimes dabble where I am not supposed to. I have recently started a build of the lauded 1/48 Tamiya Tomcat. Unfortunately, most of my Cockpit Finishing Techniques had to be thrown out of the window. That is not necessarily a bad thing because learning new tricks is what this hobby is all about.

As I build the Tamiya Tomcat I want to see just how good the model is as it comes in the box. I had some apprehension about the detail of the cockpit but I should not have worried. Not only is it well detailed, the good designers at Tamiya made the sidewalls separate from the cockpit tub so that we can easily paint the details in the cockpit. This allows builders to easily mask, paint, detail and finish the panels.

The F-14 sidewalls and instrument panel are mainly a sky grey colour but they also have instruments and ‘instrument panels’ painted in black. Normally I would mask around these things, spray black and do a drybrush. However, if I did that, there would be a glaring issue with the cockpit – the ‘separation’ of the black panels. So I tested a theory of using panel line wash to colour these panel lines.

And it worked:

I’ve uploaded the first in a build series for the Tamiya F-14 Tomcat. To view it you can click here or see it below:

Last Thing

I am trying something new with this build series. I’m designing it so that each video follows the build sequence but also gives a least one tip on building or finishing. The next video will feature the construction of the fuselage, which is always straightforward but will also give some tips on finishing jet exhausts – which should be fun. So stay tuned.

I hope you enjoy and if you have any tips or suggestions, or you simply want to tell me all about your first Top Gun experience – there is no judgment here. You are amongst friends.

4 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks for Jet Cockpits

Add yours

  1. I like your videos.

    I found them relaxing to watch since there is nothing stressful by watching them like horror movies as I am not the one building it.

    Stress is always a big part of building something.

    Keep them coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a trick you’re probably familiar with. Instead of paint to do the *really* small details like knobs and switches I use color pencils. For gentle or friction wear (as well as panel edges) I use a silver pencil (that’s what I used on my P-38F’s wear patterns on top of the wing). Silver pencils are also great for chipping the edges of fuselage panels. VERY controllable and serve up a nice effect. .

    Liked by 2 people

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