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      lichtjahre


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      Post #77730, posted on 03-03-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Dear fellow modellers,

      Iíd like to share with you the building process of my Lufthansa A350 D-AIXN GŲttingen in the new Lufthansa livery. The 1:144 model is from Revell.

      Personally, I am not in love with the A350. For my taste the tail looks too small in proportion to the rest of the plane and the raccoon nose only looks cool from front because there it resembles the Space Shuttle.

      What I instead like about the A350 is its sheer and impressive size and I desperately wanted to add a modern jet in the new Lufthansa livery to my collection. I disliked the new Lufthansa livery in the beginning but with time it grew on me. Today I have to confess that I like it. Itís simple but pretty elegant, although itís not unique at all. I had the opportunity to photograph D-AIXN on a test flight prior to her delivery flight from the Airbus factory in Hamburg Finkenwerder, so it was just natural to represent this particular aircraft. Here she is taking off from Finkenwerder, still as F-WZGW, cn 292.
      Moreover, I flew on D-AIXA in its old colors from MUC-INC and was very impressed how silent and comfortable this plane is.



      So I started what I was hoping to be a fun project in between my builds of classic Boeing and Douglas jets and Russian airliners. However, it turned out it wasnít because of the unexpected fairly low kit quality. Revell it seems, is by far not among the precision model makers anymore. However, their A350 is still better than their 747-8i. But thatís a story on its own. To make my A350 as realistic as I could, I spiced up the model significantly using a plethora of decals, among them the great kit decals supplied by Daco, passenger and cockpit windows as well as 3D cargo door supports from Wernerís Authentic Airliner Decals, and finally the awesome detail set gratefully provided by Guillem from Rocast Models. Thank you guys for your outstanding decals! The WiFi antenna is also from Rocast.
      The A350s from Lufthansa are all very clean so few weathering is applied to the model.

      Before digging into the build, letís have a look at the finished model.









      As I said, the sheer size of this aircraft amazes me, and so I photographed her in comparison with my DACO 737-300, the Authentic Airliners MD-11 and the yet unfinished Revell 747-8i.





      So letís get started with the building process.
      I am not a fan of open windows so I filled them with fast drying putty. For this I use Tamiya Kabuki taped over the windows from the outside. I filled the windows with putty from the inside. Pressing the putty into the open windows and against the tape already provides a fairly smooth outer surface. Once dry also taped Kabuki on the inside for extra stability. Next I painted the interior of the aircraft black in order the have it opaque when seen against the light.




      I was not caring for the cockpit because in my eyes authentic cockpit decals look way more realistic here. I do like transparent plastic windows as well, but the construction of the Revell windshield was not favorable for that technique as plenty of putty was required there. The cockpit glass to fuselage joint one of the major flaws of the kit. It simply does not fit. Next I assembled the front and main gear box. Regarding the front gear box I was seriously thinking if the guys from Revell had ever built their own model. It requires the gear leg to be inserted prior to the assembly of the fuselage halves. Seriously? Such a delicate piece of plastic would never survive the building process. So I had to reconstruct the gear and cut off the front leg. By doing so I was able to rotate the gear into the gear box and sealed it with tape. There it could rest safely until required. I inserted a wooden stick of the right diameter into the front fuselage to not end up with a tail sitter and also I like if I feel weight when lifting the plane. I fixed the wood against the main gear box and put together the fuselage.




      After that I sealed the fuselage joints with another thin layer of super glue. Next I filled the seams with putty and cared for the passenger and cockpit windows.






      To not damage any panel lines I taped Tamiya Kabuki over all panel lines and carefully applied layers of liquid Mr. Surfacer 500 putty with a paint brush until all uneven surfaces were sealed. Same I did with the fuselage seams. All windows and the cockpit was easy going. However, when wet sanding the fuselage seams, especially on the upper fuselage, the nightmare begun. You can see how uneven the surface ended up and I had to repeat that process five times. In my view, this is not modern quality standard for airliner models. All lost panel lines were rescribed. Finally, I thought I had a smooth surface and went on primering the fuselage and the wings. By the way, the wings went together perfectly and needed only minor amounts of putty and sanding. A big plus for this part of the kit. Well, after a thin layer of Tamiya Grey Fine Surface Primer from the spray can I sorted out, that the surface including the windows wasnít perfect at all. So I applied a brushed layer of paint to even out the surface.




      This was the point where I almost abandoned the kit and the fun turned into frustration. I donít know what went wrong but the upper fuselage rejected all my efforts to become smooth. Finally, after way too may trial and error sessions it turned to looking good, although you would surely think I completely messed up the model once and forever. It looked ugly to say the least.






      I somehow made it over this point and continued. A grey surface primer followed by four thin layers of spray can Tamiya White Fine Surface Primer. I wet sanded the result with 8000 and 16000 grit paper and polished it just a bit with a toilet paper. Just enough for that metallic surface shine. Est voila! It look well!






      Maybe itís just me. I like building plastic models but that was too much. Thatís why I enjoy Authentic Airliner resin models because you just skip over all this hassle and begin right here with a perfect fuselage. No window holes, no non-fitting seamsÖbut no complains, I wanted an A350!
      I primered the wings with Tamiya Grey Fine Surface Primer and applied a coat of spray can Tamiya AS20 Insignia White, hoping that this off-white would look correct. AS20 is the color of the US Navy 737-8 Poseidon aircraft which are off-white/ very light grey. This is the result.



      However, compared to the A350 wings this color was still too greyish. Airbus is not painting their wings white, neither on their A350 nor on the A320N/A321N. Lufthansa used to fly white wings. Still all their new Airbus aircraft feature off-white light grey wings. Weird enough. Talking to folks at Airbus they told me that the A350/A320Ns series wing color is called Matterhorn white and is in fact an extremely light grey. So I mixed my own Matterhorn white using pure white with drops of light grey until I was satisfied and airbrushed the wings. As you can see from the finished model, the wings look grey or white depending on the light conditions. The Lufthansa 747-8i feature pure white wings. If you compare both models side by side you will notice that itís hard to see the difference. So I was satisfied with my wing color.




      So finally the fun part started by taping and painting the blue tail. Taping a straight line on a curved fuselage is tricky. Logically, the tape has to be applied as a curve. The Airbus house color features the same forward demarcation. I photo-copied the decal dry fitted it to test its precision. I additionally marked the demarcation at panel line crossings with a lead pencil.





      After cutting down the copied decal and marking the correct demarcation with a lead pencil I started taping the tail and fuselage using White Tamiya 3 mm Curve Tape and Yellow Kabuki tape. The white tape sits beneath the yellow tape.






      I chose Humbrol 104 to be very close to the new Lufthansa blue. It a matt color that becomes nicely satin when wet sanded and polished. I would have enjoyed to leave it that way, however, the white and very glossy Lufthansa Crane decal required a gloss varnish sprayed over the satin blue. I was very happy with the result and the jet slowly started to look attractive. Next I painted the APU metal and silver.





      Thatís basically it regarding the paint job on the fuselage. That beast is white all over! However, the amount of stencils and markings on that plane is mind-blowing and happily Werner from Authentic Airliner Decals and Guillem from Rocast Models provide outstanding decals to represent that craze of detail. They added to the good quality Lufthansa kit decals by DACO. I am sealing the decals piece by piece with Alclad2 Aqua Gloss. I brush the liquid that is as fluid like water over the decals so that the Aqua Gloss can penetrate under the decal and immediately wipe away access liquid with toilet paper.




      The decaling went on smoothly and was great fun. Especially the raccoon nose was a pleasure to work with.





      The part breakdown of the engines is good and they belonged to the better part of the kit. I painted the intakes, fans, blades, hot section and exhaust separately according to original photos. For weathering I am using a plethora of make-up products, pastel paints, enamel and acrylic paints, about 12 different shades of silver, metal and exhaust colors, mostly from Xtracolor, Tamiya and Humbrol, soft and hard lead pencils and cotton swabs. The make-up and pastel paints I also seal with Alclad2 Aqua Gloss and my toilet paper drying method avoid high shine. I always weather according to original detail photos of the parts and replicate their patterns. So this is how the engines were painted. The intake interior is decaled using the Rocast decals.




      The assembly of the engines was smooth and only minor putty and sanding was required. The hot section and intakes were masked prior to painting the engines white and pylons Matterhorn white-grey.





      The finalized engines look like this.



      This was the part breakdown at that time with only the gear and details like antennas missing.



      Finally it was time for the gear. The gear was easy to assemble, had good details and was easy to super-detail including light weathering. The wheels were airbrushed with Xtracolor Tire Black and the wheel hubs were masked using yellow Kabuki Maketar Paint Mask Circles of the Utility Series.




      And here she is, D-AIXN:











      The images are 1500px wide and if you wish to see them big you can right click the images and select "view image".

      It took me about six hours to piece together this documentation and it was fun to do so. It would be awesome to receive some feedback if such a documentation is useful overall. If useful, I could supply them for other models as well. In that case, it would be great to learn from you all where I could improve the building manual or where more or less detail is wished for.

      I am also very happy if you have suggestions or techniques that I could use on my next models.
      Improving is always the biggest fun.

      Enjoy modelling, many thanks for looking and reading,

      Cheers,
      Christian

      Christian Klepp
      Lightyears Landscape Photography
      Where Geoscience Meets Art
      www.christianklepp.com

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      planecrazy


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      Post #77731, posted on 03-03-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Thanks for the very thorough write up Christian. I have built one Revell A350 in Finnair colors (F-DCAL). I used the original issue kit with Airbus decals. My initial impression from 2016 was much more favorable than yours. The engines are superb and I thought the fit and finish of the model was the best I had experienced in recent memory. With Lufthansa new livery release now the third A350 kit from Revell Germany, is it possible the mold is beginning to wear out? I couldn't agree more about the nose gear challenges. I've lost count the number of times the nose gear has been damaged on other builds as well As you are probably aware, your pics didn't show up.

      Bill

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      Post #77733, posted on 03-03-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      The photos are being blocked because they are not on https. I will upload them here. Give me a few minutes please.

      What a nice model! Great job!

      Regards,

      ahmed

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      Post #77736, posted on 03-03-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Impressive work. Very nice model, I have learned some things from your technique. I built this kit some years ago but with clear cabin windows. I find it difficult to get a nice finish with clear windows, your decaling is superb.

      George
      Auckland
      New Zealand

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      cesare747


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      Post #77738, posted on 03-03-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Wow 😳
      Fantastic work, love the details on the landing gear !

      All the best,
      Cesar
      MIA

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      Post #77740, posted on 03-04-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Amazing job, looks Fantastic


      Andre
      KBCT

      Positive Climb....

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      lichtjahre


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      Post #77741, posted on 03-04-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Many thanks Ahmed!
      I wasnt aware of the https issue because I was able to see the images right away.
      In the future I will upload them to my https site.
      Thanks a lot for relocating them!

      Cheers,

      Christian

      Christian Klepp
      Lightyears Landscape Photography
      Where Geoscience Meets Art
      www.christianklepp.com

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      Post #77742, posted on 03-04-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      What a Beautiful build ✨👍

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      airlinerart1


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      Post #77743, posted on 03-04-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Wow stunning model.

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      Reccephantoms


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      Post #77744, posted on 03-04-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Thank you for taking the time and effort to upload this fantastic build article. This is the type of "how-to" that makes this site well worth visiting. It will be most useful once I get around to the Revell A350. The model looks amazing!
      Bob

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      Post #77748, posted on 03-04-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Good work, glad to see this bird get across the finish line! I enjoy reading writeups like yours, always good to see how other modelers deal with the struggles of different kits in different ways.

      The detail on the gear is superb, that's definitely an area where I need to up my game. I might try some of your weathering techniques as well on the queen I'm building, but I keep chickening out on that part.

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      Post #77752, posted on 03-05-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Quote
      lichtjahre :
      Many thanks Ahmed!
      I wasnt aware of the https issue because I was able to see the images right away.
      In the future I will upload them to my https site.
      Thanks a lot for relocating them!

      Cheers,

      Christian



      You're welcome, Christian! Thank you for writing a great article.

      Regards,

      ahmed

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      lichtjahre


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      Post #77753, posted on 03-05-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Thanks Bill, Ahmed, George, Cesar, Andre, Mark, Rolando, Bob and Merlin for your positive comments.
      So I will continue posting articles, the next one will likely be the Authentic Airliners A310 which is about 90% finished.
      In the pipeline are some Russian Jets from Zvezda as well.

      Cheers,
      Christian

      Christian Klepp
      Lightyears Landscape Photography
      Where Geoscience Meets Art
      www.christianklepp.com

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      planecrazy


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      Post #77755, posted on 03-05-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      You're welcome Christian. I'll look forward to your next build/post for sure.

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      Post #77756, posted on 03-05-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Thanks Christian, again beautiful build, keep the 'tutorials' coming.
      Looking forward to see the report on the a310.

      All the best,
      Cesar
      MIA

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      Post #77760, posted on 03-06-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Hi Christian
      I love your build and your explanation of techniques used, particularly the masking of the rear fuselage and tail. Also your explanation of 'matterhorn white' is very helpful.
      I feel really sorry for you about the problems you had with the fuselage. I've built 2 Revell A350s (Cathay and Singapore) and in my view they were amongst the best Revell airliner kits I've built.
      I agree with you that the A350 is a very comfortable aircraft, I flew UK to Australia and back on Singapore A350s (in economy) and the whole experience was good. I love Lufthansa too, my last USA trip was FRA-SFO on an A380 and return IAD-FRA on a B747-8i - both great aircraft with great crews and service.
      Having seen your build I think I'll be adding a Lufthansa A350 to my 'to do' list.
      Thanks for your post.
      Cheers
      Tim

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      Post #77794, posted on 03-10-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Thank you Tim,
      I guess you and Bill are right about the mold wearing out causing the troubles I had.
      Its probably a good idea to be fast when new molds are released to get the best out of it and to make life easier.
      Lesson learned )

      Many thanks again for all your comments, I really appreciate that!

      Cheers,

      Christian

      Christian Klepp
      Lightyears Landscape Photography
      Where Geoscience Meets Art
      www.christianklepp.com

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      Post #77949, posted on 04-07-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Love this, very helpful! Thanks!

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      Post #77951, posted on 04-08-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Lovely built. I am impressed with the details and the finishing. Definitely an inspiration for my modelling. Thank you for sharing!

      Julien

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      Post #77987, posted on 04-14-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Christian


      Really awesome build!!!! Very impressive and really great that you did this tutorial. I have an A-350 that Iím going to do in Iberia colors so Iíll follow your step by step process. Great to see these builds as it helps me with my builds. Iím no where near the level of talent of you all on this site but am working on improving as always. Hope to see more of your builds and the step by step process. Thanks for posting these. All you need now to go with the plane is a nice Lowenbrau or Paulaner.

      Mark