Twenty-two years in the making!

Pardon the long post.  I had to tell the story!

We all have that one kit we start, put away, take back out, put away again, etc. until they are done.  Mine was a DML Fw-190A-8/R11, the Nachtjager version, and it took 22 years.

I bought this wonderful kit in 1997 at our now-defunct Bridgetown hobbies.  The hobby show closed a number of years back and is now a place to buy weed.  I think it cost me $27.00.  I took it home and with the help of a Verlinden Fw-190 detail set started it right away.

The Verlinden set has a bunch of great details.  Tail and fuselage hatches, wing guns, cockpit details, and a way to cut a hatch on the kit and show what appears to be a partial look at the engine.   I didn’t want to have a partial engine and started a quest to find a 1/48 scale BMW-801 and found one in the CMK variety.  The one thing I would discover later is that the CMK kit does not have exhaust pipes.  (More on this later)

This first part of the kit through building the cockpit, hatches, and adding the wings went pretty quick.  A tip here is that for DML Fw-190s you should glue the top halves of the wings to the fuselage first and then add the lower wing.  It goes together without the need for gap filing much better.

So now I reach my first dilemma which causes me to put the kit away for a while, how do I mount the engine.  The CMK kit provides a wonderful engine ring mount but no supports back to the main body of the aircraft.  Once I got the kit back out I developed my own which are the results of these previous post.

I basically studied drawings of the kit and out of brass tube soldered my own engine mounts.  Thes next 4 links go back to 2013 and my effort to make engine mounts.

https://dlloseke.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/fw-190a-8r-11-engine-mounts-2/

https://dlloseke.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/brass-soldering/

https://dlloseke.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/fw-190-engine-mount-is-soldered/

https://dlloseke.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/fw-190-engine-mount-ready-to-finish/

Now that I had an engine and I had engine mounts the next dilemma, no exhaust pipes on the CMK kit.  The Fw-190 went on the shelf while I tried to figure out a good source for exhausts or drawings.

Then in the last couple of years, Eduard has released a set of Fw-190 kits that included engines with exhausts.  Purchasing one of these kits to copy the exhausts caused me to get the kit back out and then  I discovered Rexx exhausts for the Fw-190 and sought to procure a set of these.  They were designed to copy the Eduard exhausts and I thought I had my problems all solved.

I was wrong!  As I started working with the engine to place it on the mounts, on the aircraft, so that I could assign the exhaust I begin to sense that either the engine or the aircraft was out of scale; the engine was too big for the front of the DML kit.  Given the original plan was to cut away most of the forward panels on the aircraft I was seeing the engine would not even fit within the few panels I had remaining.

 

Now, 22 years from the start of the kit, I had to make a command decision.  I would finish the kit without the engine.  But what to do with all of the Verlinden pieces in place and the other panels I had cut open?

I used the back of the CMK engine and made a stump of an engine to go on my engine mounts, then cemented the front of the engine compartment onto the fuselage with the stump in it.  I ran some wires from the fuselage to the stump to represent control wires top make the space under the fuselage guns look a bit busier.

After adding the front of the aircraft back on I proceeded to complete the kit.  It was airbrushed with Vallejo acrylics, weathered with and oil dot weathering, and grubbed up with pastels.

I had to place the DML decals in the window to remove a bit of their yellowing but was totally amazed how well the 20+-year-old decals went on the kit and settled down with a bit of Solvaset.

I am very pleased I got this kit done.  It is a busy kit, lots of things open, and most of it open for many years!

Next I am  going to build the Eduard kit with a Brassin engine set so we will have our Fw-190 with an open BMW-801

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H-19 in Antarctic Markings

Completed another Antarctic helicopter using the great decals from Max Decals.  The first kit can be reviewed here;

Huey is Done

This kit is from the Italeri 1/72 Sikorsky H-19B Chickasaw using the Eduard photo-etch set.  The Eduard set is nice and provides a ton of parts for the interior and exterior however very little of the interior will be seen.  (But it was still fun to build!)

Interior cockpit followed the normal photo-etched seat belts and instrument panel plus some other fiddly bits.  As you will see in completed photos this really added a nice look to the cockpit since it sits up really high and is visible.  The cabin etch provided a complete left wall and ceiling, plus the stuff to model the passenger netting.  It all looked pretty good until I closed it up; very little can be seen – but I know it’s there.

Because of the cabin etch a little bit of work was needed to get the whole thing to close up.  Once done and the tail boom attached we discover we have a putty queen on our hands.  Not a lot of work but had to be done.

After she went together and was sanded up a shot of primer and a coat of Floquil International Orange.  I still have a few bottles of that great old stuff around.  Covers like a dream!

After dried, a couple of coats of future and the decals went on great and settled down with a bit of Solvaset.  When I did the Huey in the previous Antarctic build I painted it with an International Orange Acrylic and didn’t think I needed future/Solvaset and had some silvering in the decals.  These looked perfect after a coat of Testors Dullcoat.

I have one more Antarctic copter to do from this decal set, the Italeri H-34.  I put it in the todo pile but I need an Fw-190 fix; maybe after that.  It will make it a trio of Antarctic copters.  These Max Decals are recommended!

 

H-21 Flying Banana Complete

Finished the first kit of 2019, an Italeri H-21.  I’m glad this came out in 1/48 scale as it, with the H-13, were helicopters of my youth.

At the start of the year, I had some lofty goal to build two per month.  What was I thinking?!  Going to have to play catch-up now!

The kit overall will take some work to turn it into an AMS masterpiece.  There were a number of fit problems all around; the canopy to the fuselage, the cockpit in the fuselage, and the engine and bulkheads.  Other than sanding the fuselage seams I didn’t put too much work into the fit.  The place the rear rotor attaches also looks like it had something wrong with the molding.

After assembling the kit it was sprayed with my favorite lacquer primer from the can which produces a dark grey finish.  To try something different I then took some thinned Vallejo white primer and pre-highlighted sections of the kit.  I then sprayed the kit Vallejo Russian Green (it looked the best to me for a 50’s Army color)  and you can see the results of the pre-shading worked pretty well.

The decals went on great over a coat of Future and settled down very well to Solvaset.  I put most of the stencils on as the yellow just looked right on Olive Drab.   I had to cut the main stars and bars as I put the rear landing gear on first to paint them with the kit but the S&B go on under the rear gear mounts.  Oops!

A raw umber overall wash and when dried a coat of Testors Dullcoat to finish her off!

One other warning.  I broke four of the six rotors.  They are very fragile.  Managed to drill them out and add brass tubing to support but handle with care.

Fun to finally add a 1/48 chopper to my collection, one that I used to see at the airshows at Lowery AFB in Denver growing up!

 

Italeri H-21C in 1/48 scale build

The Flying Banana.  Yet another heavier than air machine from my youth.  I used to think that the twin rotors were so cool compared to the other helicopters of the day.

Receive this from my daughter for Christmas.  She and my wife have been great making Christmas special with a kit or two

I am building this out of the box.  The kit, although well designed, is simple.  Italeri has provided a few perks like photo etch seatbelts and some grating and engine bay details but generally, the overall insides are simple.  Given all the space exposed, there is a real opportunity for making a really cool super-detailed model of this kit but that’s not in the cards for me for this one.  There are other kits to get to.

The cockpit and insides build up pretty quickly after some painting.  There is a boatload of ejector pin towers and recesses that would need to be dealt with to make this a super kit.

The engine compartment is also visible on the real aircraft so Italeri provides a rudimentary engine and bulkheads for the rear of the helicopter including a grating on the top and doors that can be positioned open on the bottom.  Again, a canvas for the AMS modeler.

Here is the interior mostly put together.

Before I can put the interior together I need to put the 9 oval windows in from the inside and I want them masked.  I tried first to put a piece of masking tape over the hole where the windows go and then cut out the mask shape but the results are too jagged.  Instead, I use my favorite window masking agent, Parafilm.  Cut a small piece of Parafilm, stretch it out, apply it to the window then carefully trim off the excess.

I will then mount the windows and after painting the Parafilm will just peel off.  It’s magical!

Next up, sealing her up!

Desert Done

Happy Old Year!

I finished the two desert aircraft just under the 2018 clock.  This makes only five models for me this year, off my normal of about 7 – 8.

The Hasegawa Cardoor Typhoon was finished in a rare desert scheme which required I paint a Skyblue “Y” and find other decals.  The serial number isn’t correct for this Typhoon and I was too cheap to go buy the decals needed to just have the serial number.  I think the British desert scheme turned out very nicely.  Vallejo paints with a final overcoat of Testors Dull coat after oil dot weathering and pastels.

The A-20 is the AMT kit built as a “-C”.  The markings are based on those found in an A-20 book I have and finally replicated by FCM in their new decal sheet.  Paints are all Model Master with the exception of a jar of Floquil Military Colors (Desert Sand) I have had on the shelf for 10+ years waiting to do this scheme.

Here are the photos of the Typhoon and A-20.

What I learned in these builds….

  • the Blu-tack I use to help with the camouflage demarcation reacts and leaves a residue with Vallejo paints.  It can be removed carefully with mineral spirits.  The mineral spirit wash also lightens the Vallejo – might be a good weathering tool in the future.
  • I probably should have penciled in the desert sand over splotches on the A-20 as this would have kept them tighter and more like the original.
  • Primer straight from the can is best instead of trying to decant it to the airbrush.

Finally, here is the other part of the 2018 set of completions.  See you next year;

   

Desert Pink on A-20 Havoc

In conjunction with the Typhoon (previous post), I have been working on painting a desert A-20 Havoc.

The camouflage and markings are what I once heard called reverse lend-lease.  When the US got into the war we took back a few of the A-20s we gave to the British.

The camo starts with the standard British Euro bomber colors.  This is in contrast to the normal British desert colors used on the Typhoon in the previous post.  Instead of Middle Stone / Dark Earth / Azure used on the desert aircraft, the initial colors are Dark Green / Dark Earth / Medium Sea Gray.

When the US took back the A-20s for use in the desert they quickly applied their markings and did a hurry-up camo job to get it desert ready.

The decals from FCM (48051) represent the British marking with US stars and serial numbers painted over the British roundels.  The US then oversprayed the whole aircraft with desert sand including parts of the roundels.  The markings represent the markings on the old Revell 1/72 A-20 and I have been waiting to do this in 1/48 for a long time.  I’m glad FCM created the decals as I was prepared to roll my own and I have even had a jar of desert pink on hand that was never opened until now.

 

I spent a couple of hours this afternoon overspraying the A-20.  After it dries we will be onto a coat of future and weathering.

Hasegawa Typhoon Desert Scheme Painted

I finished painting the Typhoon.   I’ve been trying to push the end of the year builds so anything that might show up under the tree can be fair game to get started.

I used a combination of things I haven’t tried before; Blu-tack for masking the color boundaries and Vallejo Model Air paint.

The blu-tack is rolled out into long strings and flattened.  It is then pressed onto the aircraft as a masking guide for the paint.  As you paint along the edge of the blu-tack it forms a soft edge camo separation from the other colors.  I used this very effectively on an F-21 Kfir I built a few years back.  You can see the article here

https://dlloseke.wordpress.com/2015/03/15/f-21-painted-and-glossed/

This time the results were not as easy as the blu-tack and the Vallejo reacted by leaving a lot of residues which discolored the Vallejo.  You can see the process and the results in these photos…

After fiddling around with it I found good old mineral spirits were able to take the residue away but also removed a small amount of paint which showed through to primer where the paint was thin.

As a good side effect (which I’ll remember) is rubbing down the Vallejo paint job with mineral spirits gave it a nice faded look.  I might use this as a weathering step in the future.

The kit is now ready for a shot of future and decals.