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Old 03-18-2018, 06:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Code 3

Hi everyone, Iím a new poster on the forum and tried searching for this topic so apologies if thereís a thread Iíve missed. Iím a collector of the Corgi Aviation Archive range and particularly like the Tornado GR1/GR4, of which I have 8 or 9 models. Iím interested in Code 3 and wondered if anyone could advise on how these are created and the best models to choose as a starting point?

Iíd like an early batch 1 TTTE (Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment) Tornado GR1 airframe and Iím thinking ZA320, which wore the tail code B-01.

The closest model in terms of grey/green camouflage is AA33610 (ZA367), however the TTTE jets were fairly basic Tornados that were not fitted with a refuelling probe or laser range finder and marked target seeker (LRMTS). For that reason AA33603 (ZA326) might be a better starting point as it doesnít have a refuelling probe, though it does have the LRMTS. (Not sure if these items can be removed on a diecast model?) However, AA33693 is a raspberry ripple jet and would require a complete repaint.

I donít know how far itís possible to go with a Code 3. Is it normal for a Code 3 model to be stripped down and completely repainted or would it be more appropriate to find one thatís a close match in terms of colour and adjust unit markings accordingly?

If the latter, is it possible to remove things like refuelling probes and LRMTS or are they integral within the diecast mould? All my models are currently in storage so Iíve not been able to pull them out to see whatís what.

Thanks for any advice you may have!
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Old 03-18-2018, 09:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Code 3

Welcome to the forum. Sorry I can't help you with your question. When I saw 'Code 3',I thought you meant the company that use to make a very nice line of fire equipment vehicles. Mostly 1:64 scale. I have a Chicago O'Hare truck from that line.
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Old 03-18-2018, 09:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Simply put those are the two choices you have. Find a donor model you are happy with that is similar to the one you want and just remove the markings using an non acetone nail varnish remover and then put the ones on there that you want. Secondly you can completely strip down the model you have and repaint using primer then airbrushing. Obviously this takes a lot more patience, skill and time, but then you get the exact model you want. With Corgi's Tornadoes all the ordinance should be removable. You could ask around and see if anyone will help you out if you don't have the skills, but that'll cost you a pretty penny to do.

Also you'll obviously have to have the decals for the Squadron and plane you're trying to recreate, but there's plenty of sites to check out to see if they're available. Hannants in the UK is a good place to start. If they're not available, again you can get people to make them for you,but that'll cost decent money to do as well.

Last edited by Grizz; 03-18-2018 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 03-18-2018, 11:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kitty Hawk 1903 View Post
Welcome to the forum. Sorry I can't help you with your question. When I saw 'Code 3',I thought you meant the company that use to make a very nice line of fire equipment vehicles. Mostly 1:64 scale. I have a Chicago O'Hare truck from that line.
Man did they make some awesome models. They did that special edition Backdraft set of Engine 17 & Truck 46 - would have killed to get my hands on that set. Favorite movie growing up.
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Man did they make some awesome models. They did that special edition Backdraft set of Engine 17 & Truck 46 - would have killed to get my hands on that set. Favorite movie growing up.
I have the Squad 51 from the 70's show 'Emergency'. I hope I can scoop the Ward Le France engine from the same show.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've not done any earlier examples but did quite a few GR.4s with final liveries using 'Ellamy' as the base, stripped off the decals, resprayed the tails/spines etc applied decals, sprayed over with a topcoat of varnish. These were really simple conversions and not really worthy of the title Code 3 tbh, not compared to the work when i have to strip other models down.
For what you're looking at i think you probably need to stripping it down tbh. The LRMTS look removable to me but will probably leave a mark or a hole, the refueling probe looks potentially removable, but looks like a total respray job if it does come off.
If you're comfortable with an airbrush its more work but will yield a better model
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kitty Hawk 1903 View Post
Welcome to the forum. Sorry I can't help you with your question. When I saw 'Code 3',I thought you meant the company that use to make a very nice line of fire equipment vehicles. Mostly 1:64 scale. I have a Chicago O'Hare truck from that line.
Hi David, thanks for your responses and I should have made the heading less vague but forgot after Iíd written the post! Iím not a vehicle collector (yet!) but the fire trucks sound superb and Iíll definitely take a look.
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Grizz View Post
Simply put those are the two choices you have. Find a donor model you are happy with that is similar to the one you want and just remove the markings using an non acetone nail varnish remover and then put the ones on there that you want. Secondly you can completely strip down the model you have and repaint using primer then airbrushing. Obviously this takes a lot more patience, skill and time, but then you get the exact model you want. With Corgi's Tornadoes all the ordinance should be removable. You could ask around and see if anyone will help you out if you don't have the skills, but that'll cost you a pretty penny to do.

Also you'll obviously have to have the decals for the Squadron and plane you're trying to recreate, but there's plenty of sites to check out to see if they're available. Hannants in the UK is a good place to start. If they're not available, again you can get people to make them for you,but that'll cost decent money to do as well.
Great information, thanks massively! I didnít realise the decals could be easily be removed. Iíve heard complaints about Corgi using decals and not pad printing on more recent models, which could stand in my favour! Iíll definitely wait until Iíve found a suitable donor that isnít in great condition that I can practice on rather than defacing a mint model. In due course if it goes haywire Iíll have it fixed. I definitely donít have the skills at the moment so will probably seek help, price dependent, and find an old wreck to practice on in the meantime. Thanks for the tip re Hannants. Iím flexible with airframe numbers so hopefully theyíll be able to accommodate one. Thanks again!
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jay.. View Post
I've not done any earlier examples but did quite a few GR.4s with final liveries using 'Ellamy' as the base, stripped off the decals, resprayed the tails/spines etc applied decals, sprayed over with a topcoat of varnish. These were really simple conversions and not really worthy of the title Code 3 tbh, not compared to the work when i have to strip other models down.
For what you're looking at i think you probably need to stripping it down tbh. The LRMTS look removable to me but will probably leave a mark or a hole, the refueling probe looks potentially removable, but looks like a total respray job if it does come off.
If you're comfortable with an airbrush its more work but will yield a better model
Thanks for the helpful advice Jay! I think youíre right about the LRMTS coming off but will indeed leave a hole. Since the camo Tornado GR1 is such a rare model these days (I have one but havenít seen many others), perhaps the best option would be to find a damaged/worn raspberry ripple thatís in very non-mint condition as a starting point, as thatís already less the refuelling probe.

In the meantime they grey GR4 Ellamy model that you mentioned is one Iím also planning to customise to get ZD842/105, an all grey GR4T. All it would need is removal of the nose art, addition of ďXVĒ insignia on the fin, and switching serials and fleet code. Iím pretty sure this isnít one Corgi will release any time soon, being a fairly uninteresting trainer, and would be a more straightforward one to start with.

Out of interest: for a skilled Code 3 modeller taking an airframe back to its base, then repriming and airbrushing, presumably itís possible to achieve a finish as good as the Corgi factory?

Thanks again!
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by vulcan652 View Post
In the meantime they grey GR4 Ellamy model that you mentioned is one Iím also planning to customise to get ZD842/105, an all grey GR4T. All it would need is removal of the nose art, addition of ďXVĒ insignia on the fin, and switching serials and fleet code. Iím pretty sure this isnít one Corgi will release any time soon, being a fairly uninteresting trainer, and would be a more straightforward one to start with.

Out of interest: for a skilled Code 3 modeller taking an airframe back to its base, then repriming and airbrushing, presumably itís possible to achieve a finish as good as the Corgi factory?

Thanks again!
You never know with Corgi what surprises they'll come up with, they are masters at oddball releases. The future release of 15 Squadron ZA459 MacRoberts Reply anniversary scheme looks quite nice but obviously is not the livery you're wanting.
As for getting a model the same finish, the answer is dependent really. Firstly the skills and experience of the person making it. A first attempt usually isn't as good as one thats made further down the line. I look back on some of my early attempts and want to do them again. Secondly paint, enamel sprays give a slightly better finish than acrylics impo. Some acrylics can be 'grainy' if not mixed to the right consistency, but acrylics have faster drying times, don't have to have ventilated spaces to use, easier to clean and dry/cure faster. But there are many that support each camp, its personal choice. Personally i'm an acrylic user.
Manufacturers use tampos (AA27203 Vulcan aside!) and are better than decals generally. Decals vary, there are some very thick ones out there, no matter how much Micro Sol you use they'll never sink or melt. Decals will generally have a 'raised' profile, some more pronounced than others dependent on the manufacturer, but many are good and are hardly noticeable. Always use Micro Sol when applying and ensure that a final coat of varnish is applied to the model to stop the decals peeling off due to high humidity etc, also most decals are glossy so will be noticeable on a matt or satin finish model if not varnished over
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:45 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by vulcan652 View Post
Out of interest: for a skilled Code 3 modeller taking an airframe back to its base, then repriming and airbrushing, presumably itís possible to achieve a finish as good as the Corgi factory?
Yes it is possible but as Jay mentioned, really dependent on the skill of the "modeller". It's very likely one would need an air brush to get the paint finish as smooth as possible.

As for the recent Corgi decals, Corgi didn't or it wasn't possible to apply them properly hence they crack and come off. Decals need to be applied over a gloss varnish and then sealed with another varnish as per the process mentioned by Jay.

The key thing is practice and you can use old cheap plastic model kits to see how your air brushing goes.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yes it is possible but as Jay mentioned, really dependent on the skill of the "modeller". It's very likely one would need an air brush to get the paint finish as smooth as possible.

As for the recent Corgi decals, Corgi didn't or it wasn't possible to apply them properly hence they crack and come off. Decals need to be applied over a gloss varnish and then sealed with another varnish as per the process mentioned by Jay.

The key thing is practice and you can use old cheap plastic model kits to see how your air brushing goes.
Super, thank you! Iíve not used an airbrush for a long time but itís a must for this project as a smooth finish is key. Time to invest! As for sealing the decals, it sounds like the process is the same as for plastic kits. Iíll take your advice and practice on some cheap ones before taking the plunge on a diecast offering.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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You never know with Corgi what surprises they'll come up with, they are masters at oddball releases. The future release of 15 Squadron ZA459 MacRoberts Reply anniversary scheme looks quite nice but obviously is not the livery you're wanting.
As for getting a model the same finish, the answer is dependent really. Firstly the skills and experience of the person making it. A first attempt usually isn't as good as one thats made further down the line. I look back on some of my early attempts and want to do them again. Secondly paint, enamel sprays give a slightly better finish than acrylics impo. Some acrylics can be 'grainy' if not mixed to the right consistency, but acrylics have faster drying times, don't have to have ventilated spaces to use, easier to clean and dry/cure faster. But there are many that support each camp, its personal choice. Personally i'm an acrylic user.
Manufacturers use tampos (AA27203 Vulcan aside!) and are better than decals generally. Decals vary, there are some very thick ones out there, no matter how much Micro Sol you use they'll never sink or melt. Decals will generally have a 'raised' profile, some more pronounced than others dependent on the manufacturer, but many are good and are hardly noticeable. Always use Micro Sol when applying and ensure that a final coat of varnish is applied to the model to stop the decals peeling off due to high humidity etc, also most decals are glossy so will be noticeable on a matt or satin finish model if not varnished over
Very true that Corgi are masters of oddball releases!! Theyíve certainly brought out some surprises over the years. I actually have the MacRoberts jet and the other 15 Sqn special on pre-order. Both look nice and, having grown up with the Tornado especially, Iím collecting each new release. This is the reason Iím also interested in Code 3 (otherwise, other than the Vulcan, Iím so far happy with off the shelf releases for most types). The advice is very helpful, thanks again, and sounds like the process of priming and painting a diecast model is very much the same as a plastic one. For some reason I thought itíd be different or require more steps. Same goes for the decals. I can cope with a slightly glossy or raised finish on decals as long as theyíre neat and donít peel off. Sounds like the correct varnishing should take care of that, and now itís a case of practicing and choosing the appropriate donor!
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Its the same process with diecast as with plastic kits, Priming/painting/varnishing. Theres an art to airbrushing as you know, and choosing the right airbrush and compressor is important
Dont forget that the decals can peel off in high humidity, i know theres not a great amount of it in this country but in heated houses it can happen and thats one good reason to varnish and seal them in. That glossiness that the decals have can draw attention to the fact they are decals so i'd always advise that final coat of varnish
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Or buy the 1/200 version....

https://www.jetwaymodels.com/1200-he...do-d-9591.html
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