Desert in the Winter

Time to start a couple of desert aircraft.

Time is ticking for completing kits this year and although I’m not a really focused by quantity I haven’t built very many this year so we’ll do a couple of kits mostly out of the box.  I’m going to try and keep the AMS (Advanced Modelers Syndrome) down a bit.

I’ve always wanted to do the camouflage on the old Revell A-20 kit, the reverse lend-lease aircraft that was in British desert camo with stars painted over the British Roundels and the aircraft oversprayed with desert pink.  I’ve has a bottle of fresh desert pink paint for over 15 years waiting for the day.

With the release of the new FCM decals for the A-20, I can finally take my AMT A-20C and create this in 1/48 scale.  Note that there is a picture in the Douglas Havoc and Boston book (Crowood Aviation Series: ISBN 1 86126 670 7) on page 122 showing the US aircraft on this sheet together.

I am building the A-20 right out of the box (with the exception of the exhausts – for another post).  Cockpit, bombers position, and rear gunner areas will be presentable as I plan to keep the canopies closed and you won’t see much.

The AMT kit has a separate nose front so that the same kit can support the A-20B/C/G/J versions.  I have cemented the nose to the fuselage half rather than following the instructions which had you cement the nose halves together first.  This is recommended as it really helped align the bombers positions in the aircraft.

Interiors are painted Floquil British interior green from an old bottle I’ve also had hanging around for many years.  (I miss those colors).  Details were hand painted and we are about ready to start closing up the fuselage.

I’ve also started the Hasegawa car door Typhoon.  Apparently there were only three Typhoons used as test aircraft in the desert theater and I plan to mark up one of them with those markings.  There are a few decals sheets out there with those markings but I might see if I can cobble together the correct markings from spare decals on hand.

The cockpit is simple and ready to implant in the Typhoon’s fuselage as well.

Next, closing them up!

 

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Marine Corsair

Finally, another kit completed this year.  That makes 3 this year.  Normally I build 7 – 8 per year but my Boy Scout hours and other things have kept my modeling hours short.

I finished a Tamiya F4U-2 on the heels of the Monogram TBD I documented in a previous post.  This kit had some interesting challenges.

I built this kit once before many moons ago and it went together like a dream.  I decided to use a True Details resin cockpit on this kit and in my mind, it wasn’t that much of an improvement over the kit parts, and the trouble I had putting it in even detracted a bit from the overall completion.

Here are some comparisons between the kit and resin.  Other than the built-in seatbelts in the resin (which are out of scale), I think the Tamiya cockpit had crisper detail.

I also had a wild hair about using hairspray to do the chipping.  This had worked wonderfully on a previous build (see https://dlloseke.wordpress.com/2017/09/09/hasegawa-hurricane-mk-iic-night-hurricane/ ) but I had a couple of problems with this.

First, the original build was a single color aircraft.  To use the hairspray you paint the kit the chipping color (silver here) and then cover it with hairspray.  You then paint a water-based paint (I use Vallejo) and by wetting the paint before it is fully dry use a stiff paintbrush or toothpick to remove the chips (the hairspray “melts” under the top coat and allows the paint to be removed.

With the tricolor of the Corsair, I had to create multiple layers of paint which then were harder to remove.  Spraying the Vallejo too heavy in certain areas caused the hiarspray to melt under the wetness of the paint.  I think I overdid the chipping.

Two other issues; 1) if you are not careful the brush will remove a big chunk of paint all at once – oops, and 2) the Vallejo Sea Blue color did not cover the silver very well in thin coats which gave me more of a dark metallic blue top coat than the weathered flat sea blue I was trying for.

Finally, after decals,  the kit received an oil dot filter coat of paint and then my standard raw umber panel line was to grub it up.  Once dry that was followed by various pastel highlights to finish the weathering.

I enjoyed the Tamiya kit!

Next up, on to the desert!  Maybe I can get a couple more done before the end of the year!

Wow, it’s November!

My last post was in June.  I just finished the TBD that I started early summer.  Normally I finish 7 or 8 kits per year, this year two so far.  I have to get moving here over the next month and 1/2.

Per my last post I am building an old Monogram TBD I found in a bag on eBay.  It turned out to be pretty good kit considering it’s age.  I didn’t put too much work into it other than rescribing the fuselage panel lines.  The extra work was around the corrugated wing panels which requires some fancy work on the leading edge with a round file between the raised detail to get rid of the seam.

The new thing to try was a concerted effort at pre-shading. The corrugated wing panels called out for it.  After decanting some primer from a spray can and using the airbrush to prime I used a dark grey to fill in the depressions around the ribbing as well as highlighting other areas.  Remember the pre-shading is designed to provide contrast when the paint is put on the model.  Here’s a view of pre-shading…

I used Vallejo Model Air to cover the model.  For this particular model the paint went on very well and the pre-shading highlights turned out great.

Decals were the Starfighter “TBD-1 Devastators in War Paint” and represent Ensign Gay’s famous aircraft in the battle of Midway.

A quick raw umber wash to dirty it up a bit and we are done.

Now to get crackin’ and get a few more done by the end of the year.

Monogram TBD-1 Raw Bits

Another old Monogram kit.  I just joined the Monogram group on facebook and wanted to post a few pictures of Monogram kits I have built.  It was then I  realized just how many Monogram kits I have built, recently.  I built ALL of the 1/48 Century series, F-4, F4U-5, P-61, Fw-190, Bf-110 and the list goes on.  I love all of the new high tech kits, they have the detail we only dreamed of 40 years ago, but sitting down with one of the classics is still good.

I started the TBD-1.  Although the detail is not anywhere near the crisp detail of today it’s not too bad, and the kit is engineered to go together pretty well.  I was impressed cleaning up parts for painting that there were very few ejector marks on the visible area I neede to account for.  Pretty clean kit.

It’s going to be a little challenge getting around the rivets and corrugated wing relief but that’s the fun of building an old kit from the box.

Here are a few shots of the kit.

Dave

Boys in Blue

NEXT!  They always told us not to say that to the next customer waiting at the airport as it made it seem like a fast food place.

But anyhow, Huey is finished its time to move on to the next project while the fire is in the belly.  I’ve been waiting to tryout a set of Vallejo US Navy colors my son bought me for Christmas and am opening up the Tamiya Birdcage Corsair and a bagged Monogram TBD-1.

The plan at this point is to build the TBD-1 out of the box.  I still need to purchase a set of decals for it but I see the Starfighter decals are available in places including eBay

The Corsair will be off of the Owl Decals Marine night fighters.  I have fallen in love with Owl Decals and have used them in a number of previous night fighter projects.  You can find those looking through my earlier blogs.

I’ll build it using the True Details cockpit detail set.

This Corsair kit has a bit of history.  Many years ago my wonderful daughter was 3 years old when she figured out how to get into daddy’s model display.  I know she knew how much I liked the models I built and wanted to play with them too.   It took me a few minutes to realize that what I heard was the sound of breaking styrene.  When I break a model I always say “They started out in pieces, we are just helping them return to their natural state”  I just had help this time

She got the Tamiya Fw-190A3, the Hasegawa F-14, and the Tamiya Corsair.  I have now built another Fw-190, this is the Corsair replacement (after 16 years), and the Tomcat is on the to do pile.  Then there will be harmony again in the styrene world.

I spent most of the weekend working around the house and the time I did get to work on the kits was sawing detail pieces out of resin blocks.  I was reminded that when I  was young I could have put the whole kit together in the time it takes me to prep a set of resin and etch for a kit.

Huey is done

I don’t make very many helicopter models.  Built this Huey to try out the Antarctic decals I had for many 1/72 scale copters and started with the Huey.

A couple of uh-ohs during decaling;

  • drop the copter and had to fix the fuselage split at the nose and polish it up and spray it again.
  • grabbed the back end while one of the number decals was still soft from the decal set
  • the only decals I didn’t use Solvaset on silvered really bad (NAVY on doors).  I guess the use of a gloss acrylic paint didn’t stay that glossy

The copter was painted, decalled, and overcoated with Testor’s dullcoat.  The orange actually looks pretty good all said and done.  It was a real pain putting in all of those windows and one fell out while I was trying to remove the masking which made for some fun.

Other than a quick burnt umber wash there was no weathering done on this.

I was going to start the H-19 next in same antarctic colors but I had some much fun I’m going back to 1/48 scale for a couple of kits (Tamiya Corsair and Monogram Devastator).  I’ve been dying to try out my Vallejo US Navy colors.

Huey, Dewy, And Louie (Well Huey…)

Finished the two main colors of the Huey over the Mother’s Day weekend (in and amongst Mom slave day – another post maybe!)

I am building a set of 1/72 Antarctic helicopters, the Huey is first.  Markings will be based on the set of Max Decals.  The sheet covers quite a number of 1/72 Antarctic helo markings.

After sanding out all of the gaps I sprayed black, taped her up, and got ready to spray Model Master Acrylic International Orange.  That is when I realized the tail rotor warning decals did not come with the yellow band and I had to apply that too!

Despite thining, the Model Master paint wound up going on a little thick to cover up the Mr. Surfacer I used to level the gaps.  I debated whether to prime or not and got in a hurry and didn’t prime.  The result was a thicker coat than I wanted and a few spots the tape pulled the paint up (which has not happened to me in a long time).

The overall orange looks pretty good however and I’ll be onto decaling and weathering right after a bit of touch up.