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!

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.

Hasegawa Hurricane Mk. IIc – Night Hurricane – Hairspray chipping method

I built three single seat black aircraft and used them to test paint chipping techniques.  This one is the Hasegawa Hurricane Mk. IIC Night Hurricane and my chipping method of choice was to use hairspray over aluminum Alclad before black paint.

The kit was built straight out of the box and went together well.  The way the wing is engineered to support different versions caused some filling and sanding around the optional parts and where the wing connected to the fuselage.

The cockpit was a pretty good representation of the complexity of the real thing however since the canopy is molded as one piece you won’t see much inside anyway.

The model was then primed with primer from a can (see previous posts) and once dry the kit was sprayed with Alclad primer in areas I planned to chip.  Note I didn’t cover the entire kit with aluminum which forced me to remember where the silver was so later when over sprayed with black paint I knew where to chip.  I also covered parts of the fabric covered areas with the original interior color since I guessed that this area wouldn’t chip silver since it wasn’t metal.

  

The model was then given a coat of cheap hairspray.  Everything I read online about this method suggests using the cheapest hairspray because it is not generally perfumed – no additives.  This hairspray was bought in the travel section at my local store ( because I’m cheap and didn’t need a big can!)  I decanted the hairspray and put it on with my airbrush.

After the hairspray cured for a couple of days I over coated it with Vallejo ModelAir Black.  You need to use an acrylic (water washable) paint for this to work and once painted you only have a few hours to work before the paint gets hard.  I waited 2 hours and as I found out the black paint was still pretty soft after two hours (this was a surprising but good thing).

IMPORTANT NOTE:  You need to put the paint on in a number of light coats and let them set between coats.  In a few places on the model where I painted a part off the model and tried to put one coat on the paint wound up cracking ever so slightly.  I believe this was because the “wet” of the acrylic melted the hairspray and caused it to flow a bit while the paint was setting.

So where is the silver?  Using my iPad to took pictures of the kit before black so I could remember the areas over-sprayed aluminum thus avoiding over-spraying the whole kit with aluminum and knowing where to chip.

After the paint had set a couple of hours I took a wide soft brush and using water coated a few sections of the black paint.  I was expecting the paint to set for a bit and then I would need to use my implements of destruction I had standing by to take it off.  What surprised me was in putting on more water the paint suddenly started coming off quickly and in big chunks.

So from this point, as I placed water carefully on the black paint, I could use the paint brush to slowly and randomly take paint off the silver areas.  I also used this fiberglass brush my artist daughter gave me to chip away at panel lines since it provided a good wide stiff straight line from which to take paint off.

Overall I’m really pleased with the result and will look forward to tuning the skill.  This also worked really well chipping the propeller and I could see using it in other areas where you might want to highlight two color changes (color over primer).

The one thing to look out for in my case is the paint really melted and came off fast.  Although it didn’t really come off, it just kind of melted and flowed together in different areas.  If I look closely I can see where the paint looks a bit thicker where it bunched up.

Decals were off an OWL Nightfighter Experts (#48014)  sheet.  I love OWL decals, they come off the paper quickly and go on really thin.

 

What did I learn;

  • Hairspray work very well for chipping
  • Overcoat colors need to have many thin coats as to not melt the hairspray
  • Paint can come off (or maybe move) in big areas if you are not careful

 

Hasegawa Bf-109E Night Fighter – Micro-Mask chipping

I built three single seat black aircraft and used them to test paint chipping techniques.  This one is the Hasegawa Bf-109E Night Fighter and my chipping method of choice was to use micro masking solution over aluminum Alclad before black paint.

The kit was built straight from the box.  I’ve built a 1/48 Hasegawa Bf-109E before (previous Hasegawa Bf-109E post) and remembered to be careful at the wing-root fit.  There was still a bit of sanding and filling needed to make things perfect.

  

I use mostly these sanding sticks I buy really cheap at the local mega-store.  The nail file works great for working the putty as it has many different grits and I often will follow up with a nail polisher that has three really fine grits and can make the plastic and putty shine!

I then primed the kit from a rattle can primer.  I have used the Dupli-Color “Fillable and Sandable” primer out of the can with good success.  At $7 a can it’s a lot cheaper than the primers for scale models.  On this pass, I tried the Rust-oleum and it made for a rough finish on the kit as seen in the earlier photo.  I might try to decant and thin it on another kit but I think I’ll stick to the Dupli-color.

After priming the kit was sprayed with Alclad Aluminum in spots I wanted to show chipping and after drying Micro Mask was applied in chipping patterns over the silver.

The aircraft was then sprayed with black enamel paint from Scalecoats and weathered with increasingly lightened and thinned paint (added gray to black) to produce a streaking effect that can be seen well in the photo.   We are ready to chip!

What turned out very wrong in this test was the Micro Mask was put on so thin it actually leveled under the paint and that made it very difficult to see where I needed to peel it away.  I started using a wooden stick to try to scrape the mask away and it either wouldn’t budge or I couldn’t find it.  What occurred then was I wound up literally scraping the paint off and left deep gouges in the paint where there should have been chipping.

     

Had this not been a test build I would have attempted to take the paint off and repainted the plane.  Instead, I recovered by over spraying the damaged paint and roughly scrapping it off while still wet.  Not the best looking up close but not too shabby on the model shelf.

The model was finished off with a nice set of OWL decals (I really like their thinness and way they perform) and overshot with Testors Dullcoat.

What did I learn;

  • Put the Micro Mask on thicker.  (I know, tough being a cheapskate!)
  • The weather streaking looks very nice.  I used the same cup of paint in the airbrush and added a touch more gray paint and a drop of thinner before each run of streaking
  • Test fire the primer before you commit to three models!