Airfix Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Build in 1/72 Scale Part III

This Fort will be in a Natural Metal finish, which is notoriously unforgiving.  Even the smallest of scratches will show through, so care must be taken at each step of finishing.  I always start with a coat of Mr. Surfacer 1000 to check for flaws.  If a super reflective finish is called for this can be buffed and polished to a high sheen before priming.
The model is shot with Alclad black primer.  The shinier it is now, the shinier the NMF finish will be when done.  My subject will be worn and weathered, so I didn’t buff out the primer any more than it sprayed out of the airbrush.  It’s still pretty shiny though!
Even though I was careful it is hard to get a perfect finish, especially on larger aircraft.  Dust and fibers can mar the finish, and in this case there is a flaw in the surface texture under the primer which shows through as a smudge.  The fix is to turn any flaws into accent panels, which you need to simulate the differing tones of Aluminum visible on NMF aircraft anyway.  Here the offending panel has been masked off.
Some defects like dust can be removed by sanding down to the primer and re-shooting the NMF paint.  Flaws in the underlying plastic can be a little more persistent.  In this case I sanded down to the primer and applied another coat of Mr. Surfacer before shooting the Alclad.
The smudge is gone, replaced by an accent panel.  This can be done until you run out of either flaws or patience, and repeated for as many different panels as you desire.
The result after painting.  Alclad Bright Candy Base is the basic color.  The streaking effect is the result of applying the paint in the direction of airflow.  The control surfaces are painted in Alclad Aluminum to simulate the Aluminum paint applied to fabric covered surfaces.
The red Group identification panes are applied with Testors Insignia Red.  It wasn’t until this point that I noticed I had made a pretty serious error.
See it?  The nose side panels are clear inserts.  There is one on each side, and I managed to get mine reversed.  They are not symmetrical, the cheek guns are staggered and the one on the port side is supposed to be closer to the nose.  Definitely not the proper time to find the problem, but nothing left to do now but fix it!

Part IV here: