Thanks, Marco! Since this is a weathering-heavy subject, I took a page out of the AK Interactive "USN Legendary Jets" e-book regarding weathering techniques. This workflow is based on pre-shading, something I have never attempted as I have always been a diehard post-shader. I started off by priming the whole helo with Model Master Enamel Black as this whole process looked like it would be very hard on the undercoat so that is why I went with enamel. The next step involved wetting the model with water and applying rock salt chip masks. After the rock salt was applied, I allowed it to dry and then added another pre-shade of Ammo FS36622 Gray, which is almost white. Once that had dried I applied another layer of rock salt chip masks and let that dry. I then went back over the entire helo with Vallejo FS36375 Light Ghost Gray which is actually an element of the final camo coat (a ways to go for that, though).
After all that cured up I knocked all the salt off and was left with areas of black and pale gray showing through. I then wet sanded the whole model with 3000 sanding pads to remove any further salt grains and rough salt areas. Now it was time for the panel/panel line pre-shading. For that I used Model Master Enamel Black, Ammo Sea Blue and LifeColor Deck Blue and highlighted all the panel lines and darkened some other panels. I will let that set up and then apply the top-coats of FS35237 Medium Gray and FS36375 Light Ghost Gray and see what I end up with.
"Brothers and their fathers join their hands and make a chain. The shadow of the Wicker Man is rising up again."---------Iron Maiden, "The Wicker Man."
Well, I made some good progress on the Whiskey (the Cobra version, that is ) As outlined before I used a pre-shading technique from the AK USN Navy Jet e-book and generally speaking I was not very blown away by the result. Being an avid post-shader, I thought I would lose control over most of the weathering underneath and that is what happened. I did like the chip mask portion of the process using the rock salt masks and that did lend a kind of mottled effect, which is prevalent on modern USN and USMC subjects. However, I did get the camo applied and the weathering applied and most of what you are seeing is post shading. USMC Whiskeys use FS35237 on the upper portions of the helo and FS36375 for the lower 2/3rd of the airframe. I then went back and post-shaded with a very lightened shade of the FS36375 to bleach out some spots. I went back to my old standby of Tamiya Smoke and post shaded all the panel lines and recesses with a #1 airbrush tip to darken up those areas. I then went back and added oil washes of Raw Umber, Burnt Umber and Raw Sienna to dirty things up a bit. I added a pic of a Whiskey in-theater and as you can see they are very weather-beaten. I also added some Ochre Oil Washes underneath to depict sand exposure. Long and the short of it, I ended up with the finish that I wanted, just didn't get there with the AK method and ended up using my old standby techniques. Almost ready for some gloss coat and decals and then I will work on the subassemblies.