1:72 Avia NS-92A, aircraft "42" of the חֵיל הָאֲוִיר (Kheil Ha’Avir, Israeli Air Force) 119 tajeset; Tel Nov, August 1955 (Whif/modified Heller kit) - WiP
Painting and markings:
Again a rather conservative choice – and finally a good opportunity to apply the paint scheme that IDF Meteor night fighters wore in the Fifties: the brown/blue standard camouflage on the upper surfaces, but uniform dark grey undersides without roundels.
The authentic upper colors for this scheme are RAL 5008 (Blaugrau) and RAL 8000 (Grüngrau), for which I used a 1:1 mix of Humbrol 77 and 79 (77 alone comes close, but is simply too bluish/greenish) and Testors 1702 (Field Drab, FS 30118; this color comes very close to the RAL tone and is just a bit darker). About the dark grey for the underside I am uncertain, but IMHO RAL 7021 (Schwarzgrau, actually the German early WWII Panzergrau) is the most likely color, so I used Testors 2094.
The upper surfaces were, after a black ink wash, heavily sun-bleached through post-shading with considerably lighter mixes of the basic tones. Due to the kit’s raised panel lines and surface details, these were emphasized through light dry-brushing with light grey and silver. The black panels around the gun muzzles emphasize the contrast between the rather murky upper colors and the dark grey underside (created with decal sheet material).
The cockpit interior was painted with Revell 9 (Tar Black), as well as the landing gear wells. The landing gear struts were painted with Humbrol 240 (RLM 02), which was also used for a replacement starboard engine, since a very similar tone was the original overall color of the S-92s in Czech service. On the portside engine, the intake section was painted in aluminum, also simulating a replacement part.
In order to emphasize the radome’s material, fiber glass, the nose was painted in a sand brown tone and then heavily bleached/treated with streaky, dry-brushed lighter tones, simulation the semi-translucent material as well as wear/tear and general material deterioration under harsh desert sun. It stands out well from the dark aircraft, but a black radome did not appear plausible to me, IMHO a black nose would have reminded too much of the Meteor night fighter?
Markings were kept minimal, just IDF roundels on the flanks and on the wings’ upper surfaces, plus the tactical codes and small, red squadron badges (which is not authentic, though) on the fin. The only individual addition are two kill markings under the cockpit’s port side. The red walkway markings on the inner wings were created with generic decal strips.
Some more weathering was done around the gun ports, leading edges and the cockpit opening, and finally the model was sealed with matt acrylic varnish (Italeri).