Did the upper hull and wing decals first. One decal on the tail fin broke in two as did one of the scalloped decals on one of the wings but I was able to match the edges up precisely so you can't even see where the breaks occurred:
The big BOP decal that always makes me nervous was successfully applied. Having it printed in three sections really was a stroke of genius on the part of Round 2. It makes it a lot easier to apply the decal without wrinkling and tearing it; it also makes it much easier to squeeze out any trapped water. I took the advice from the instructions and cut the nacelle parts of the wing decal loose too to apply them last:
After applying Tamiya pastel chalks for some minor weathering I sealed with Dullcote. Still need to attach the bussard domes and unmask the rear of the nacelles. I also made an arm with a power plug at the tip for use during photography sessions.
Just a little exhaust soot on the wings from firing her atomic missiles:
You may note in these photos an unfortunate casualty of applying two coats of gloss for decaling and a few more coats of matte for weathering and sealing was the loss of the reflectivity of the paneling under the final grey layer which I really liked. I don't know if using a frisket with rectangles cut out to use in brushing on some Future would look as good or not. The nice thing about the subtle silver panels under the overlying grey color was just that, it was underneath not on top which would be the case if I added some paneling back using Future. Also the Future would not be nearly as subtle. I'll have to think about that; the paneling is still discernible however muted it may be.
Well using Future to restore some of the paneling effect worked the trick. After brush painting panels all over the ship I thought the glossiness was a bit too strong so I sanded lightly with a fine grade polishing film (something finer than 600 grit) to take some of the shine off. Then I oversprayed with Dullcote. It turned out really well. The panels still glint when holding the model at an angle under a light but when looked at straight on in medium room light they are almost invisible. All in all I am quite pleased with the results. It's nice and subtle; I think light sanding and overspraying with a matte finish really kept the glossy Future panels from being too strong.
I'll start taking photos tomorrow. In the meantime, I thought you guys might like to see the square brass mounting tube I'll be using for some of the photos. It inserts into a square brass tube I mounted in the aft of the ship on the port side just for taking photos from the stern angle.