Build project explanation:
As usual in the Hasegawa models, they are beautifully made although they may lack some detail in certain areas which I tried to cover a little. I have detailed a little bit more the landing gears by using plastic (from Evergreen) and decided to make the hydraulic lines with plastic as well using the technique of the flame and pulling from both ends to obtain a very thin plastic line. I used this technique because I find that it is easier to shape and glue than the metallic wires.
As Hasegawa’s landing gear doors are a bit too thick for this scale, I decided to make them a little bit thinner again by using plastic sheet of Evergreen.
If you are a newbie like me using oils, I would like to point out two tips that hopefully can be useful for you. While paneling the lines for example of the wings, the surface must be shinny, or at least have some sort of smooth surface, if it is matt, the thinned oils will penetrate the paint making impossible to remove the excess and thus do the needed corrections.
You can thin the oil paints with turpentine and then, with a very sharp and smooth brush, you can introduce the thinned oil paint little by little in the lines allowing the paint to run through the several lines.
To release some excess of paint or make adjustments, you can use the turpentine with an ears stick for example and clean the surface.
For those areas of dirt, the same technique is applied, in some cases you can apply a few dots of oil paint (not thinned) and then with a smooth wide brush soaked with turpentine and then dried a little bit, you can then dilute the paint making a directional movement to try to replicate the original aircraft dirt.
It is important that when building a model, photos of the 1/1 model can be used for reference.
RibHobby decals review:
The Ribhobby decals representing the Air China livery for the 777 are of good quality, they are used as most kit decals do, however I find room for improvement and this may be applied to other aftermarket decals too:
– Intensity of colors in details:
What I personally don’t like of the decals for small details with intensity of colors is the way they represent some lines creating an unrealistic effect which in some cases resembles of the diecast models.
Black lines should not be 100% black, you do not see a black line for the cargo doors in the real airplane and you would see even less in an 1/200 scale model, so doing the lines in a light grey color would be good enough in my opinion, as most airplanes aren’t painted black.
This same issue can be applied for the red lines, red should be less saturated and brighter/thinner otherwise in areas like the roof, it is too noticeable.
In the first photo, you can see that in order to tone down the black lines of the cargo doors, I masked the rest of the decal (very very gently so that they cannot break after removing the masking tape) and airbrushed a light coat of the same color used for the underside of the fuselage.
Regardless of the quality of the decals which is very good, the blue lines do not match 100% exactly (which is often a common thing in the airliners world) so some adjustments with paint have to be done, I have found that Vallejo’s Intense blue 70.925 is a very close match to the blue used in Ribhobby’s Air China decals.
Other mistakes in this set of decals:
These decals give you the chance to represent the 777-200 or the 777-300ER, but this set of decals only include four doors for each side as well as four ledges (for the 777-200), but they lack the fifth door for each side to make the 777-300ER version thus I had to make the fifth door by myself, may not be a big problem, but for instance, I wasn’t able to use the original kit door decals as a replacement because in my box they were damaged and also there were white lines in the AC livery which are impossible to print with a normal printer.
Also, the decal artwork and placement template represent the Star Alliance logo (number 0) but these are not included in the set.
It is a pity the Star Alliance logos aren’t included, because my inkjet printer is not so capable of printing small details, I had to leave out the “Star Alliance” letters under the logo.
If these decals would have included these things, it would have been a nice set. These decals are to be used together with the original kit decals (for example, the wings emergency exit arrows, the black stripes of the wings) in my case the decals were damaged by water in the store (with the consequent cheaper offer) but luckily I was able to use all of these I needed except the 5th doors.
At least the positive point of the decals is that the details of the fuselage are also included as well as the cargo doors, which toning them down with an airbrush can allow for a better realism.