A-20 Havoc just putty in my hand

This is  a continuation from a previous post which can be referenced here https://wp.me/p3DBTC-iP

The A-20 build continues.  I am at the point where I need to fill the seams and prime.  Although this kit went together well there were a few areas the needed attention

In order to get the nose section to fit the rear section, I needed to glue each respective nose piece to its side of the fuselage.  This allows you to align the parts together.

The trade-off is that the nose section no longer closes completely and the transparency on the front which cements to the nose section is suddenly not wide enough.  Using a medical clamp I had to squeeze the nose section just ever so slightly and then cemented the canopy on and it mostly fit.

I use Milliput medium grade putty.  Mix the two pieces together, apply, take a cotton swab with water and smooth it out, and some light sanding at the end.  The application with the cotton swab has made it very easy to get the putty into the places it needs to be without having to do a lot of sanding later.  If you look at where the vertical joins the horizontal in this picture you can see a light bit of putty pressed in and smoothed over with a cotton swab.

Finally had to put the gear together before I could add the nacelles which will require some masking over the gear when painting.  The gear is very intricate and looks nice once the nacelles are on.  There isn’t much else inside the nacelles unless you want to pop for Eduards A-20 interior set.

Next lots of transparency masking.

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Assembly Havoc

Finally with a weekend to do some modeling I also started assembling the AMT A-20C.  Not quite the shake and bake of the 1/48 Hasegawa in the previous post.

This one will need more gaps filled but overall the fuselage assembly didn’t cause me a lot of concern.

The biggest issue I need to hurdle is where the front end meets the bombardier’s glass.  As you can see from the photos  I have a gap to fill on top and there will be some sanding/filling required for the side joints.  You can see that the glass has less width than the fuselage it will join and I will need to work out thinning the side to get it closer to the glass.

In this build, the strategy was to add the nose sections to their respective sides and then glue the fuselage together.  The next time I do this (I still have an A-20J to build) the right way might be to get the glass and side aligned together then put it onto the fuselage.  I would think sanding and filling the nose to fuselage joint would be easier than the glass joint.

On the bottom, the bomb-bay doors are molded as closed.  You have to cut them open to display the bomb-bay door open.

There is a faux bomb-bay with partial bombs I could have used but I just want to close her up.  The fit of the bomb bay doors into the fuselage required I glue a small piece of plastic onto the front of the bomb bay to hold the front of the doors, lest they have a tendency to fall into the bomb bay.  I wonder if I didn’t get the nose wheel well far enough back as that may have been how the kit designers expected the front of the door to be supported on.

You can see that there will be some filling and sanding that needs to be done in the next steps.

Hasegawa Spitfire Mk. Vb Night Fighter – Salt Chipping Technique

I built three single seat black aircraft and used them to test paint chipping techniques.  This one is the Hasegawa Spitfire Vb Night Fighter and my chipping method of choice was to use salt masking over aluminum Alclad before black paint.

Much like the Bf-109E in the previous post this kit was built straight from the box.  The kit went together well with very little fitting, sanding, and filling required.

This kit like the other two was given a coat of primer straight from the can.  You can see here how rough that turned out to be.  My previous post discusses the primer choices.  You can also see where I didn’t quite sand out the wing root – needed to be fixed.

After priming, areas of Alclad aluminum were sprayed on the kit.  I like using Alcad because it’s thin and it’s tough.

The kit is then coated a small area at a time (preferably where the Alclad is!) with water and Morton Kosher salt is sprinkled on the water.  Wherever the water is the salt sticks.  While still relatively wet the salt can be pushed around with the same brush I used to apply the water.  I applied more heavily in the areas of the wing root as you can see in the shot.

The aircraft is then given a coat of black paint.  I used the same Scalecoat used in the previous post as well as following on with streaking using ever lightened colors of black to produce a weathered look.

The salt is then brushed away with a stiff brush and ta-da paint chipping.  After a coat of Future floor polish, the decals were then applied.  I normally use Solvaset decal solvent on my decals and I really sweated this one out as you can see it wrinkled the marking up and it wasn’t un-wrinkling very fast.  It took a lot of Solvaset to make the decal finally sit down.  I think the Solvaset slightly remelts the Future and the Future sets back up before the decal has worked through the setting process.

I think I could have done a better job at arranging the salt crystals to make it look more organized.  As put on the chipping was rather random except for the wing root area.  But after a blast of Testors dullcoat, the kit actually came out looking quite nice.

What did I learn;

  • The salt method is easy to see where to put the salt on silver.  The next method documented (hairspray)requires you remember where the Alclad is or paint it all Alclad)
  • Organize the salt better, maybe along panel lines.  The salt works pretty good and produces pretty good results (see hairspray in next post!)
  • Find a different way to set Hasegawa decals.  The Solvaset works well on the OWL decals I have been using but might be a bit too strong for the Future/Stock decal mix
  • Drop using Rust-oleum primer

Thanks for your interest!

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!

Monogram Kingfisher done (waiting for water)

Finally pushed through the Kingfisher.  Once you get the model basically done it amazes me how much other stuff still needs to get added, painted, attached, etc. until the kits considered done.  And I always forget something (still need to paint the nav light – okay it’s not done!).  Here are some shots.

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The model is in it’s future resting place after I add sand and water to the inside of the diorama box.  But I think I’ll put it aside for a few days and get back to the summer of Messerschmitt.  One Eduard and one Monogram kit are just about ready for painting.  After having to fill and sand the Monogram kit I realized I was going to have to rescribe the fuselage, didn’t quite get away.  I think I can still leave the wings with original raised lines.  I want to see how the two kits compare when completed.

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Kinetic F-21 mostly assembled – seam cleanup on aisle 9

As predicted, once the cockpit was painted and ready for the kit assembly went quick.

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We are into the putty and seam management phase of the project.  Most the seam of this kit are pretty good.  The covers over the air inlets have been my biggest issue.  I tried putting them together carefully but one of them set up wierd and will require some putty and sanding, I hope I can preserve the detail.

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That is the worst.  the wings went to the fuselage pretty good.  I used an old trick I learned on the DML Fw-190 kits; you first fit and glue the upper wing pieces to the fuselage and manange that so there are no gaps, then you glue the lower wing unit on and glue the upper and lower wings together.  This give you a better shot at no gaps on the upper wings and the act of stretching the upper wings to attach correctly to the lower wing can pull the fuselage apart ever so slightly and help with the dihedral.

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I’ve added the milliput putty I use to a few spot.  I mix both parts, use a metal spatula to apply, then smooth with a wet Q-tip and take off any excess.  This works better than plastering the thing up and then sanding for an hour later.

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We should be ready for sanding and cleanup tomorrow and start painting moving into the week.  I still have to add the canopy and wing flaps before painting.

As a funny note, I got into a hurry and upon gling the wing I realized I forgot the engine front at the end of the intakes so you can see straight through.  A long brass rod pushed into a hole in the back of the engine face and placed way into the kit fixed that.  Whew!

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F-84 primed and ready for NMF

Spent the evening preparing the F-84 for a NMF finish.

First, oversprayed the area I sanded with Mr. Surfacer 1000.  If you’ve never used this it’s sort of a filler for sanding marks and it provides enough surface thickness to fill in light sanded areas.  I then cover the whole aircraft with a thin coat of Alclads grey primer.  As you can see from this shot it does a good job getting the surface ready for the finish; no sanding marks are left

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If you didn’t have the first picture I’d challenge you to see where that odd side panel was glued in and sanded.

The circular nose intake finished up really well too and the rest of the evening was spent masking the canopy.  This one was a tough one, lots of panels.  It seem this “bubble” canopy has more panels than the P-61 I just finished.  I usually use Parafilm but thought I would try vinyl tape and micro mask this time.

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Tomorrow a light overall sanding and last surface check then start painting Alclad.