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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Fiddling about (DC-3, Barracuda, P-47)

I spent some time last afternoon putting the engines and nacelles together for the “Arctic Rose” DC-3. This will allow me to paint the gear bays ZC Green (the back of the engine compartment is one wall of the wheel well). I will likely hold off on this until the cockpits for the XP-79 and the two-seat trainer conversion P-47E can catch up. Another task coming up for the DC-3 is to mask for the wing and tail de-icer strips. I also need to clean up some clumsy masking on the tail. 

The EADS Barracuda was sanded to clean up the engine intake seam. A few antennae were also added. It is now ready for its overall coat of Dark Blue Grey (Xtracolour X126). Once I’m satisfied with the surface on it, I’ll have to start on the surprisingly complex landing gear. The plastic in the kit is somewhat brittle, so this may be a challenge.

I continued to unmask propeller tips. Three for P-47s and one for a Hurricane. I also masked the tips for the DC-3.

I also masked up the tail and wing leading edges on one P-47 in preparation for a coat of Olive Drab. At the same time, I’ll paint the assembled Clark tow tractor and its trailer. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Painting (P-47 and Barracuda)

Another early morning paint session. I shot a first coat of Olive Drab on a P-47 and the Clark tow tractor and trailer. The paint seemed a bit too thin and will likely require a second surface coat. It also bubbled in a couple of spots, needing some buffing out.

I also put a coat of Dark Blue Grey (Xtracolour X126) onto the EADS Barracuda. It too came out a bit rough and will require buffing. I also finished up all the prop tips so that won’t hold up any model completions. In fact, there are three that are going in for decals and their matte sealer coats shortly. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Construction (masking, XP-79, Barracuda)

After the last painting session, much of the workbench time was devoted to attaching landing gear to models that were approaching their final stages. Along with this, a lot of tires were painted the usual Euro 1 Gray that I’ve found works well for that job. More routine stuff, like masking for Insignia Yellow prop tips, was accomplished as well. Boring stuff, but it still has to be done to get to the finish line.

A bit of Mr Surfacer was added to the intake seam on the EADS Barracuda. The seam wasn’t as bad as the rear exhaust parts, but it is on the top of the aircraft and I wanted to make sure it was clean before I start working on overall paint.

Three new models entered the construction queue since some are finally starting to exit out the other end, making for space on the workbench. I’ve started getting the cockpit together for the RS Models XP-79, and working with the David Brown VIG1 tractor from the Airfix Bomber Resupply set and the Clark tow tractor from a Hasegawa set.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Painting (P-47s and props)

Today’s painting session consisted mostly of mundane tasks, though I did get a final NMF / White Aluminum coat onto one of the P-47s that are in progress.

While the Alclad was loaded into the brush, I took the opportunity to get all of the P-47s’ landing gear, wheel hubs, tail wheels, and one prop hub painted. Also, since the Barracuda has metallic landing gear, they were taken care of also.

I belatedly discovered that two of the P-47s I was working on had White wing leading edges. I should have known this, since they both also have White tails, but the decal sheet drawings I was working from only showed it on the upper view. Not a huge deal; I just masked the leading edge off, covered the rest of the model with paper towels, and shot some ModelMaster Gloss White. It would have been more convenient if I had done this while painting the tails, but at least it wasn’t a catastrophic failure. At least, not what passes for a major failure in MY paint booth…

I also got a coat of Sky onto a Hurricane’s prop spinner, and repaired that same Hurricane’s landing gear doors. The Azure Blue didn’t cover terribly well and needed reinforcement.

Finally, I used a rattle can of Panzer Grey to get a first coat onto props for the P-47s, Hurricane, and DC-3. Next will come masking the prop tips and giving them a shot of Insignia Yellow.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Hasegawa fuel tank transport carriage, Airfix 4k bomb, Hasegawa Ford military tractor

Not satisfied with last week’s twofer completion, today we have a threefer. Two are simple models, but the third was relatively complex for its size.

The first completion is from a Hasegawa air support set. It is a transport carriage for the 370 gallon tank that hangs off of an F-4. I poked around for the appropriate tank, but I really have relatively few F-4 kits. If I should run across one at a later date I will reshoot the photo in order to be able to show the cart in actual use.

The second completion is the companion to the previous RAF 8k bomb. This is its smaller brother, an RAF 4k bomb. Same canister shape, same segmented construction, but a smaller diameter casing. It is shown loaded onto a previously completed transport. 

Finally comes a Ford military tractor from the Vietnam era. This too has its origins in the Hasegawa support set. It is clearly an older Hasegawa tooling, with detail on the sparse side, but construction is easy enough. If you want to do anything to the interior you’ll probably want to paint it overall Olive Drab with the cab ceiling separate, do the detail painting, and then attach the roof. The white reflector stripes do not come as decals in the kit, so I had to take some Xtradecal white stripes and cut them to size. It was a hit and miss affair, especially since those stripes come with an overall carrier film, which makes cutting and getting them actually on the model a chore. The other decals are, as you would expect, tiny indeed, but the usual SuperSet/Sol process made them behave.

These are completed vehicles #3 and #4, and completed ordnance #8 (5 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 4 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in May of 2017.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Academy Republic P-47 bubbletop

Today’s completion is the latest in a long string of Republic P-47 Thunderbolts. I have completed something like 25+ of them already, and have decals on hand for 3 or 4 times more than that. One sheet I recently picked up was Kits-World 72-052, which has markings for “Eight Nifties”. I like Kits World decals; they work well and always feature some sort of nose art.

This particular P-47 was flown by Clyde Knisley while he was with the 510 Fighter Squadron (405 Fighter Group) in the ETO. He was killed in January of 1945 when flak set this aircraft on fire and he baled out at too low an altitude.

The kit is the Academy razorback. The Tamiya kit is better engineered and a delight to build, but the unit price is double that of the Academy version. As I’ve said before, if you’re going to build only one P-47, use the Tamiya. If you intend to put together a lineup to show off nose art, the Academy kit is more than adequate.

The biggest problem I had, as you can see from the photos, was the canopy. A bit too much glue to seal it to the fuselage, which caused some minor frosting around the bottom. I have since invested in a bottle of Pledge Floorcare acrylic clear finish, which will hopefully prevent this sort of issue in the future.

For the blue stripes, I used Xtracolour Oxford Blue (since I had that color loaded into the brush for the recent Bae Hawk T2). The metal finish is Alclad White Aluminum. I’m all out of any sort of wire, so the antenna line from mast to tail will need to be added at a later date.

This is completed aircraft #472 (5 aircraft, 1 ordnance, 2 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in April of 2017.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Painting (DC-3, P-47s, Hurricane, Barracuda)

I swear that late spring of 2017 is going to become known for associating harsh weather with airbrushing sessions. Today, the northwest had another series of fairly severe squalls going through, pelting us with heavy rain and the occasional hailstorm. Normally, the rain is light but steady, but this spring we’ve gotten a lot of the heavier stuff.

But, like the post office, “neither rain nor sleet” etc when it comes to airbrushing. I’ve got some serious momentum going, and do not want to fall back into last year’s indolent ways.

The first color through was Insignia Red. This went onto the wingtips and tail of a DC-3 (the future “Arctic Rose”) and the cowl flaps of a P-47. This particular cowl is a colorful piece all by itself, with Yellow, Olive Drab, White and Red all required.

Next came some Olive Drab, which found its way onto an antiglare strip for a P-47 and the upper surfaces of yet another P-47. On the few aircraft that I do multiples of, they tend to be built in clusters. In the near future another small group of Thunderbolts will find their way through, along with another short series of Hurricanes and even Me-163s.

I used an Eduard masking set for camo on the Yugoslavian Hurricane. Last time the Middle Stone coat went down, and this time featured the Dark Earth camo. This concludes the fuselage painting for this one. Next comes a Sky spinner and the Aluminum landing gear. In fact, I have about 6 different kits that require landing gear painting, so next session will heavily feature Alclad paint.

Finally, the EADS Barracuda drone needed its wheel bays and doors painted in a Dark Grey. I just used a generic USAF grey for this one. I’m so used to modern aircraft having white gear and bays that it is a good thing I checked the instruction sheet on this one. I also needed to check some seam work so I used the grey as a faux primer. A bit more work to be done but not as serious as I had expected.