Ain’t it interesting how quickly the plans can change? I was planning to paint the big MiG by now and look what I did instead – build the landing gear struts and wheels.

MiG31-94

Wheels come in two parts (+ 2 wheel rims) – this is of course nice, as you don’t have to worry about painting the rims, but on the other hand it means that the tires won’t have any thread detail. I wasn’t really keen on scribing those, as I don’t have proper tools, but I’ve decided to create optical illusion instead. Wheels were first painted in Flat Black. Then I cut Tamiya masking tape into really thin strips and applied it to the tires. Don’t worry about slightly messy job – you will soon see why.

MiG31-95

Masked wheels were then sprayed with Tire Black, followed by some Grey on the top of tires.

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Unmasked result – not bad, but a little bit too much of contrast for my taste.

MiG31-97

Solution? Using fine grit sanding stick, remove the upper grey paint until it’s barely visible. The result – a well worn tire with hints of tire threads.

MiG31-98

Before and after.

MiG31-99

Landing gear struts are very nice, but they come in two halves and the resulting seams are tricky to clean up. As I finally managed to remedy that, various wires were attached to the struts, using 0.1mm and 0.3mm lead wire. Struts were painted in Lt. Ghost Grey and details picked out with different metallic and grey shades. A mix of Black and Brown wash followed.

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Cleaning the excess wash and sealing it with Semi-matt coat, the wash brought out the shadows on all edges (and there are many!) and added a bit of grime at some places.

MiG31-101

Tires were further weathered with dark brown pigments on the vertical sides, while rims got washed and stained with black pigments. Everything was then sealed with Alclad Flat coat.

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