Finally, after sitting on the shelf on hold, the Curtis Helldiver is finished.
As the paint went down on the model, things looked better for the Helldiver despite the feelings I was having towards the kit in the earlier stages of the build. Then as the decals started to go down, I started o look forwards to completing this model. The first photos below were taken during and at the end of adding the decals to the model. There was nothing complicated with the design of this scheme, just the amount of small stencilling decals that needed to be put on it. I started on Saturday evening and then finished it on Sunday morning.
The remainder of Sunday was spent on final assembly and detail painting to the model. There was a few location holes that needed to be enlarged to accommodate the large pins for the parts fitting in there, thank God for the modern tool manufacturing we have these days. I pushed on into the evening with my sights set to finish the Helldiver before the wife called me down from my workshop and this target was reached. After starting the model about eighteen months earlier, construction was complete!
As usual, when I build a model, whether it is an aircraft or armour, it is my normal practice to have the subject as an in-service example. This means it will not be clean, but dirty. Even though it did look nice all clean and shiny, this was a working aircraft and not a museum piece. So weathering commenced tonight using a couple of different shades of thinned paint through the airbrush First I started with a dirty brown colour for the general dirt along the panel lines and a light covering all over. This was followed by doing behind the exhaust, around engine cowls and control surface joints with a soot colour. I finished off by giving the whole model a light dusting from a distance to use up the soot paint in the airbrush.
After my initial feelings at the start to the result at the end of the build, it went from a low to surprisingly a high! From memory, the tooling date was 1967 I think, so it is a very old kit and not up to the modern day standards. Most of the problems were either fixed or disguised, but one could not be sorted out because it was not discovered until the end. This was where the front cockpit screen fits to the fuselage. The glazed parts bottom edge is curved, whilst the position where it fits into on the cockpit opening on the fuselage is more squared shape. Maybe I should have done a test fitting of this part before I started to paint the model, hence this little mishap at the end of the build. Otherwise, for forty odd year tooling and all of the problems related to the kits age, it has resulted in a nice little model, but not too close up!