Monday, 11 June 2012

F6F-3 Hellcat Finished

Well, after about eighteen months on this project on and off, I have finally finished my Hellcat. Over the last month I made a push to complete her and try out some new weathering techniques, with a very pleasing result. 

Eduard has come up trumps with this kit, she went together without any trouble and was a total joy to build throughout the project. The model was built straight out of the box, including the etched detailing set that Eduard supply in the kit. There was a few of the tiny levers in the cockpit that I left off, as they would not really be seen and were very awkward to fit them. Another little gripe I had was the Browning machine guns, you have to fit them as you assemble the two wing halves and the result is they get snapped off during the remaining build. So I had to make two new barrels out of plastic rod once the model was painted and weathered.

The main paint I used on this model was Mr Hobby's acrylic paint as to the kits instructions. I have slowly been building up my range of these paints and finding them great to work with. Once the base colours were down, I gave the model a couple of coats of Johnson's Klear before applying the decals over a few nights. These were sealed with a couple of coats of matt varnish from the Xtracrylix range. I noticed that the pre-shading was not showing up through the blue colours and the decals, so I decided to go over these areas again. After some experiments with various paints which resulted with the airbrush clogging up, I tried a wash mix using oil paints and turpentine. This did not clog up my airbrush and dry to a matt finish on the model. 

The rest of the weathering was done with a small piece of sponge dipped in Aluminium paint and dabbed around the fuselage to create a chipped paint effect. The main exhaust areas were first given a few brush strokes of soot coloured paint and then finished off with some Carrs weathering powders. The powders were also used for the smoke streaks off the machine guns and on the undercarriage legs and bays. Grime around the engine, fuel stains on the filler flaps and oil leak streaks were done using washes from the AK Interactive range. To finish off, I gave the model a light airbrushing using one of my own dirt wash paint mixes I made myself.

Now, how do I finish this blog off! If you haven't already got this kit in your collection, then get one. For a model to build straight out of the box, Eduard hit the spot perfect here. I will get another one of these kit sometime soon, especially now as there is some great aftermarkets items to go with this kit. These include a fully detailed engine so you can display it with the cowling removed and a set of folded wings just for this kit. Remember, there are five different options of aircraft in this kit, so a great excuse to buy five of these kits! And get in trouble with the wife.....

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