Roden Be 12 Nightfighter

After a taste of WWI with the Fokker Dr1 in the previous post, I decided to step into the world of biplanes with a Be 12 I purchased off of eBay.

It has been an interesting experience.

First, this was the second time I bought a kit off eBay that looked complete until I went to build it many moons after the purchase.  In this case, I observed that part of the landing gear struts was missing.  A previous owner, maybe not even the guy I purchased it from, sought to tear a small hole in the plastic bag and take 1/2 of each of the landing gear struts off.  I can’t imagine what for, but they would have had to cut the back part of each strut off the whole piece to take it.  Odd!

The kit is very detailed and consists of very soft plastic.  Any flexing of one of the soft parts could cause it to fail.  However, the kit had a lot of detail in some of its small parts and comes with a range of bombs and WWI rockets to use.  There were a lot of parts left over and I think Roden must have made these kits for a multiple of variants.

The cockpit is sparse and the instructions overall are very hard to determine just where parts go and what their orientation is.  I would recommend that anyone building this kit to have some form of reference to determine just what some of the parts are for.  Or course, this might just be my ignorance of WWI biplanes and how they operate.

The parts went together mostly well without too many gaps, the nose section being the exception.

You must be careful aligning since there are no pins or guides.  I actually moved to using superglue instead of Tamiya thin cement since the plastic was so soft the thin cement didn’t form a very good welded bond.

The lower wing fits into the fuselage and there are two small plastic sections that separate the fuselage from the lower wing, molded into the part.  One of these continuously failed (broke) and I needed to be very careful moving the fuselage/lower wing unit around as not to cause the lower wing to flex too much and break off.  It didn’t get secured until I finally got the top wing onto the part (more later).  Had I knew this beforehand I would have replaced the plastic connectors with tubing.

After building the kit (leaving the top wing off until last) I painted the top with Testors Marine Green (seemed close enough) and the bottoms with Humbrol linen, and the decals applied after a coat of future.  The decals did not respond at all to setting solutions and in most cases left very clear areas.

An oil dot weathering was then applied (blue, white, tan on top – brown below) and after a good coat of Testors Dullcoat things started looking a lot better.  I was pleased with the way the oil dot weathering diffused the solid green topcoat and the streaking on the linen color looked good.  I was pleased the decals blended more into the surface.

The next step was rigging.  I have built a bunch of sailing ship models all with complex rigging but this was to challenge for me.  I read an online article about drilling a hole through the lowering for each line and after fastening to the top wing, passing the line through the hole and attaching a weight (in my case a clothespin) to it to hold it in place while the drop of glue you put in the hole dries.  I added ALL of the lines to the top with before we put the wing on.

After rigging was set I created a small jig that matched the holes in the top wing with for the struts to the fuselage pattern, added the struts to the jig with a bit of white glue, and glued and aligned the struts and left them to dry.  The upper wing was then added to the fuselage struts, set to dry for a day,  and then the remaining struts to the lower wing were put into place.  All VERY delicately!

Rigging was then finished and some of the rigging holes were touched up.  Final parts like guns were then added and done!

This was a learning build.  I learned that the next biplane I build should have fewer rigging lines! I was amazed at what a complex kit this was and I have a lot of respect for those WWI biplane builders.  But I am very satisfied with how it turned out, especially the paint job.  Now back to those more modern types for a bit!

DML Fokker Dr.1

First build started and finished in 2020.  The DML Fokker Dr.1 is a pretty simple build and after the Ju-88 of the previous, quite small in comparison.

The tiny fuselage and cockpit are very simple and went together well.   Although a two sets of photo etch are included in the kit, it is very hard stainless steel and getting the harnesses to bend was difficult.

 

Before assembly I painted the aircraft in the Fokker streaked pattern.  To do this I painted the whole of the fuselage and wings Vallejo Model Master RML 78.  I don’t know if this is exact but it looked pretty close to the blue I wanted.

After that, a good solid coat of Future floor polish was put on the surfaces and after it dried a few days I used Model Master enamel “Marine Corps Green” to do the streaking.  A wide brush with a bit of paint of which I would dip the paintbrush in odor free mineral spirits and carefully streak the paint.  Too much, the spirits took off the excess.  I was pretty impressed by how easy it was.

Tail plane and places for the decals were then painted, decals on, and we started assembly.  I used the Eagle Strike Fokker Dr.1 Aces (48102) for markings.

The instructions for the top of the middle wing, where all of the guns go, was very unclear.  So I just put things in around where I thought they should go.

Overall a pretty easy stress free build for the first multi-wing aircraft I have built in a long time.

 

ProModeler Ju-88A

Please see the previous post for information on the Aires aftermarket cockpit add-on.  We begin construction from there.

After getting the cockpit completed I went to finish the rest of the kit.  I mostly followed the instructions with the exception of adding the glass and delicate things like antennas until after painting.

The kit requires you put together the engine nacelles with the landing gear inside.  No way to add the internal parts of the gear until after painting but I was able to leave off the end of the gear so it was easy to mask.

The other item left off was the front of the engine nacelles.  I did this so you can leave off the exhausts until after painting.  The big holes in the front of the nacelles also make good finger holes for holding the model while finishing!

The kit required some filling and sanding.  Especially at the wing tips which are separate parts.

The ailerons were also molded separate but I warn you don’t try to  model them up or down as the aileron hinges in the bottom of the wing won’t fit.

I wanted to do the desert markings with these neat squiggles in two different colors.

I have been successful before using blue tack as a masking device.  The idea is to paint the squiggle color, roll the blue tack into thin ropes, apply to the model, and spray over it.  Here is an example of a Bf-110 I did using this method.  It worked pretty sweet and  saved me from free-handing it.

In the case of the Ju-88, I don’t know what the issue was but I  suspect the blue tack sticks really good to Vallejo paint and I had a lot of trouble cleaning off the blue tack, to the point I  was destroying some of the painting.  If you look at the second photo  here you can see the embedded blue tack.

So I bit the bullet and started over.  I decided to pre-highlight the color starting with dark gray primer and then using an airbrush I gave areas a thinned coat of Vallego white primer.  I figured this was a desert craft and the resulting colors would need to be lightened somewhat.

This Ju-88 has quite the squiggle (Wellenmuster) camo on the bottom of the aircraft.  To complete this I purchased a set of fillable pens that I could put some of my Vallejo RLM70 into and basically draw the camo on the bottom.  Not perfect but pretty okay and it is on the bottom!  I think next time I  would try the .7mm pens instead of the 2mm tip.

Freehanding the camo on the upper was a bit of a challenge as I was having airbrush issues.  However, they were soon resolved and I am happy with the result.

After decaling and a coat of future we grubbed her up and added all of the other parts.  Shes a big girl on the shelf.

Since I have about another 4 of these 1/48 Ju-88s I learned a lot about putting them together.  Overall a decent kit with lots of details.  Add the Aires details and you have a winner.

 

 

 

Aires Ju-88A resin-etch set

I started the ProModeler Ju-88A around Christmas time so much of the work here was around the first of the year.

The parts replace the kit components in a very nice fit.  The set was painted with a variety of paint, mostly centered around Vallejo ModelAir.  After airbrushing with a slighly lightened mix of RLM66 I added a bit more white and highlighted some of the features.

After putting the cockpit together, including a nice set of harnesses, I fitted the cockpit section together and tested the fit.  The set required some size reduction using the old trusty belt sander but once cleaned up fit like a glove into the kit parts.

Normally to improve fit I would attach the sides of the front section to the sides of the rear section and  then glue the completed sides together but on this kit it made more sense to capture the cockpit details in a completed front section and then glue it to a completed rear section as I needed to make sure all of the front parts, including canopies, fit well.

There are other details in the set like the guns that will be added later once the kit is completed.  But overall I enjoyed building the cockpit.

I’ll cover the kit construction in the next installment.

 

Eduard Fw-190A-6 with Brassin completed

The Fw-190A-6 kit is complete.  I really enjoyed building my first Eduard Fw-190.  The kit is well engineered.

I purchased this directly from Eduard, it was an Overtree release.  The kit also came with photo-etch for the  A-6 and was a great deal.  The kit didn’t come with decals, I used the  H-Models #48032 Wilde Sau set which was missing the white outline from one of the numbers on one side for the aircraft I selected.   The instructions were found on the Eduard site.

I added their Brassin kit for the front of the aircraft; forward guns and engine.  I have always desired an Fw-190 with open engine hatches and the engine was a jewel and a model in itself.  My only issue (as noted in the previous post) was that the Brassin set I used was “technically” for the A-5 and I had a few issues in getting it to fit.  The bulkhead behind the engine was too narrow and the engine was too far forward requiring some adjustment on the engine mounts to bring it in closer the bulkhead.

It could just be my modeling skills.

Eduard also provides two canopies, one for closed and one for open, which is narrower.  In the real aircraft as the canopy was opened the canopy bent slightly to follow the outline of the fuselage.  I had to use the closed canopy for the open because I stepped on the closed piece getting up from the paint booth.  You can see where it sticks out a bit on the right side of the aircraft picture.

Painted with Vallejo Model Air.  These paints always seem a bit dark to me so I always lighten them up with a bit of white.  Its a bit hard to see the demarcation between the colors.

The set looked very good all painted up and in the kit, and after decaling and weathering I am happy with the completed kit!

This is most likely the final 2019 build.

Eduard Brassin for Fw-190

I am slowly progressing on the Eduard Fw-190.  One of greatest values of resin parts is the detail you can achieve without scratch modeling.  One of the greatest hassles is that everything needs to go together and sometimes the resin doesn’t quite fit.

This is the case with the Eduard Brassin set for the Fw-190.  The bulkhead under the fuselage guns is not wide enough requiring I do SOME MODELING!?  I don’t know if the issues is that I am using the Fw-190A-5 set for an Fw-190A6 but I am aware that the A-5 and A-6 had the same fuselage (the wing was redesigned for the A6).  However, I wonder how the Eduard Fw-190A5 kit stacks next to the Fw-190A6.

Anyway, some modeling was needed to extend the width of the bulkhead so that it will fit.  I confirmed before I began that the wings attach almost perfectly to the fuselage which gives me sense the kit is the right size and the resin is wrong.

BTW Eduard provides a very ingenious method to ensure the fuselage is spread correctly for the wings by using the front of the cockpit insert as a spreader.  Good job Eduard!

Previously with my DML/Dragon Fw-190s I would have to glue the upper wings to the fuselage first and then use gluing the upper to lower as a way to spread the fuselage and avoid a wing root gap.  Not the case this time!

Despite all this, the Brassin parts are very nice!

Here are some in-process shots.  The white styrene shows the difference in the width between the kit part and the brassin part.

 

 

New Fw-190 Nachtjaeger Underway

After just completing the 22 year Fw-190 build to deliver an Fw-190A8 Nachjaeger I jumped into the Eduard A-6 kit.  Although the DML Fw-190 standup quite well I am blown away by the amount of built-in detail on the Eduard kit.

I bought the Eduard kit on a special they had a few years back, purchased the kit as an Overtrees purchase and the special contained a set of pre-painted photo-etch for the cockpit.  Even though the Eduard kit has a BMW801 radial and nose guns I fell into my temptation and bought the Eduard  Brassin set for the A-5 which contains engine and guns.  The amount of detail in the Brassin set is remarkable and I first set about building these components.  Here are a few pictures of the completed engine and the rest of the set painted.

I enjoyed putting together the engine.  The way it is designed and the instructions worked quite well.  In the previous posts, I talked about building the CMK BMW 801 kit to fit the DML kit and it had a lot more that I would have had to scratch build; the Eduard Brassin has it all.

Next steps are to complete the cockpit and to start putting pieces of the kit together.

Dave

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

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!

 

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;