Fisher 1/32 Ryan STM / PT-20

By Hubert Boillot

Here is my completed Fisher Ryan ST-M / PT-20. This kit is a first for me in many respects:

So it has enabled me to come-out of my modelling doldrums, regain my mojo, and overcome my psychological block on painting and using an airbrush. I have always preferred detailing and buidling over painting, but I this site has taught me that great kits result of good painting more than detailing. I will now feel more confident / less wary of painting in my future kits. And I am now sold over to the benefits of acrylics in airbrushing, but not yet for brush painting.

However, given that I learnt or re-learnt a number of things in building this kit, it did not come out as good as I dreamt of. But I have learned many things in the process that I feel worth sharing with you all:

  1. Archer rivets are very good. When used with Micro Sol / Micro Set or the likes, the carrier film completely disappears. They will take foiling well, BUT, if you mess-up the foiling, they will tear off with the foil when you remove it. So they have to be sealed under a coat of paint if you want to foil them over.
  2. Being in the beginning reluctant to do any airbrushing, I used a Tamiya TS rattle can for the sealing overcoat. With hindsight, I should have used the airbrush and would have achieved a thinner coat, and therefore better definition of the details and rivets.
  3. Tamiya TS rattle cans paint react with alcohol : when redoing foiling and cleaning-up the Microscale Metal-foil Adhesive, alcohol is the best way to do so, but will not work well with an undercoat of paint coming out of Tamiya rattle-cans. Another reason not to use them to seal rivets.
  4. Foiling is easier and less daunting than one imagines. It is really worth giving it a try, as, in the end, nothing looks more like metal than metal.
  5. When going over compound surfaces, small areas are better than big ones, and thick foil, that will stretch under the burnishing tool, much better than thin foil that will tear-off.
  6. Wood dowels, toothpicks and brush handles are great burnishing tools for foiling.
  7. Spread the glue onto the part rather than the foil. This way, you can control more accurately which area will be foiled.
  8. Monofilament is great for rigging. I could have used Eazyline, but found out that the benefit of taut monofilament is that it contributes to structural strength of the kit, just like on the real aircraft. Tensioning monofilament can be achieved by passing near or under it an incandescent match or toothpick. After one or two « snaps », you'll learn how not to overdo it.
  9. A working jig is an absolute must for manipulating and building kits. I made mine in a few minutes using foamed cardboard, and that was certainly the best thing I did (and another first) in all my modelling life.

Now back to the kit. It is straight from the box, with the following tweaks:

Finally, a list of some products I used and found great and very useful:

The WIP thread can be found in the forums.

© Hubert Boillot 2015

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This article was published on Monday, July 20 2015; Last modified on Wednesday, July 22 2015