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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hasegawa Martin B-26C "Thumper 2"

Next on the completion list for this week is a model that has been in process for a loooong time, and even spent some months on the Shelf of Shame. Not from any problems in construction, but (you knew this already) painting issues. A couple of years back, I was having severe problems with coverage on Alclad metal paints. It seemed that a number of bottles I got at around the same time were all carrier and no pigment, and would not adhere to the surface of the model. I still suspect a bad batch or incorrect chemical mix, and the fact that others seem to be having similar issues recently might support that. I imagine these are people who bought the same batch(es) I did, but just don't use them as quickly as I do.

In any case, the result on this model was not all Alclad's fault. Some of the trouble came from insufficient surface prep on my part. I don't like using a black primer - it seems to make the resulting NMF seem too chrome-like for my taste - and a myriad of small sanding scratches made themselves apparent. I fiddled about with it for ages before just putting the thing aside in consternation.

When I decided to reactivate my hobby status this winter, one of the goals was to get some of the stalled projects off the Shelf of Shame. Everybody makes this vow periodically, but I've gotten a couple of them moving, with plans to jumpstart a few other projects as well (Bv-222, Super Connie, Tu-16, 707). High on this list was the Hasegawa B-26. It was entirely built and had a coat of Alclad on it already, but as mentioned above it needed some work before it would be ready for decals.

I buffed the surface out some more, and reshot the Alclad Aluminum, using a new bottle that appeared to have enough pigment. The result was an improvement, though it still isn't something I would want going to a contest. But as I have said, my goal at this point is to get back in practice so that the ring rust gets knocked off. And the only way to practice is to actually build and finish something.

The decals, for "Thumper 2" of the 441 BS, 320 BG, USAF. Flown by Chris Steir in 1944. The markings were on an Iliad Decals sheet of B-26s. Looking back, I should have used one of the olive drab and neutral gray versions when I reactivated the model, but that is just hindsight.

This is completed aircraft #442 (#5 of the year), completed in January of 2016.


  1. Very nice work. The NMF looks like aluminum that has been "out and bout". Which I think is more realistic than a chrome/shinny look. The Regular Finishes: aluminum, duraluminum, dark aluminum are fine with a base coat of any regular primer (just polished for best looking finish). It's the High Shine Finishes: polished aluminum, chrome, airframe aluminum etc. that need the Black base coat. Regardless, Good Job on this one.

  2. Many thanks. I can't say I intended it that way, but it does look a bit well-used. I got lucky one other time with a Vista Fairey Fulmar - the matte sealer coat dried very cloudy. But it made the thing look like it was weathered and faded from the sun. God clearly smiles on the incompetent occasionally...