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Monday, June 25, 2012

Mauler and Fury

Construction is the headline story for today. I’m getting to the point where much of the action will soon be in the paint booth, since I must have 8 or 9 mostly-assembled kits in various spots on the workbench. But today is all building.

It mostly focused on the two postwar US naval fighters that I started last week. Both were kitted by Siga: the Martin Mauler and the North American FJ-1 Fury. These are both fairly traditional short-run kits: wide gates, chunky parts, and plastic that looks like it was made from melted down forks from the KGB cafeteria. Fit was pretty ghastly in some instances, and there will be a lot of cleanup and seam repair before they see paint.

The Mauler is a particularly solid model, with thick parts. Not one you’d take home to mother (assuming mother is a fanatical USN postwar modeller who only likes easy kits) but it’s not like we have a Tamiya Mauler to compare it with. You would be wise to sand the mating fuselage parts on a piece of sandpaper attached to a board, just like you would a vacuform. And be prepared to exercise your basic modelling skills to clean up the assembled kit.

Both of these kits will be in Gloss Sea Blue, with an orange Reserve band around the rear fuselage. I’ll likely follow these up in the summer with a couple of Emhar kits, the FJ-4 Fury and F3H Demon. I’ve heard that the Emhar kits were originally Matchbox designs that were unreleased when the company went toes-up. They are certainly consistent with the later Matchbox efforts like the T-2. And there are Xtradecal sheets for both of the types, so I won’t have to go with kit decals.

The final bit of major construction was getting the bits of a partially completed PV-1 Ventura together. Basically, the fuselage was already sealed up, so I attached the wings and tail, then masked and attached the clear bits. No idea which markings I’ll choose, but I do have an old Carpena sheet with Free French markings and a one-color paint scheme, which my native laziness always prefers. This of course is part of the twin Lockheed series. I will eventually need to source a Lodestar kit, since it turns out that the only one of the MPM/Italeri series that I seem to have bought is the Hudson – from which I believe you can get a Super Electra since they provide the solid nose. But the Special Hobby Lodestar does provide a new lengthened fuselage and Draw Decals does some airliner markings for it. So it looks like the series has now become: Electra, Electra Junior, Super Electra, Hudson, Lodestar, PV-1 Ventura and PV-2 Harpoon.

And here is a photo of the partially built RoG Halifax, with the Freightdog improvement set radiator fronts and intakes. One prop is precariously balanced on an engine as well. It's not a great photo, but I hope it helps you to visualize what the changes that Colin has worked up do to improve the model.

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