Thursday, 31 January 2013

Airfix's Curtis Helldiver WIP #1

 When I brought this kit, I was hoping it was a more recent tooling from Airfix, but this was dashed when I saw it was from the 1960's. I must say, this kit is a bit crude with its raised panel lines, lack of interior detail and misaligning fuselage joints. Even the folding wings had big gaps whether they were folded or in the down position. Hence why I only do a little bit of work on this model at a time.

The time span for this project so far must be heading for eighteen months, I have to force myself to do things on it. When I assembled the fuselage, it was time to get the "Green Stuff" out to match up the two halves where they joined. As well as the height difference, there was plenty of gaps that needed to be filled around the cockpit and wing sections. My original plan, was to build this model with the wings folded, but due to the lack of detail and the gaps on the horrible hinges, I opted to have the wings down making it easier to clean up the joints. So, I now are close to painting the model and the fuselage is now in primer. There is just a few little bits to clean up and spray with primer, then I can start on some colour. Hopefully, I will end up with a reasonable model when finished!

"End Of An Era" XH131 WIP #1

Before I get started on any modelling tonight, let me just do the postings I did not get time to do last night.

With the pleasing progress of XH134 and the model being at the painting stage now, it was time to take XH131 to work with me to get it started. I had a couple of spare hours whilst sitting on a loading bay at work, so out with my little toolbox and the PR9 kit. It is surprising how much you can get done in a couple of hours when sitting in a lorry cab on loading bays, but any delicate work is out of the question though!

Yesterdays start was quite pleasing. The cockpit interior was constructed ready for painting, not that there is much to be done or can be seen. I also got the main wings assembled minus the ailerons and engine intakes, these will be added during the next session on this model. So, at the minute, there is not much to write about for now. 

What I would like to say, as this is the third Airfix 1/72nd Canberra PR9 I have started now, the pace will be quicker then the first two. Mind you, the first one was build two years ago now so some of the things I did with that one have been forgotten. But so far, no major issues with these two. I also have three 1/48th scale Canberra's from Airfix in my stockpile, a PR9, a B (I)8 and a B(I)2. I hope they go together as nice as these 1/72nd scale ones do, but they will be detailed up with etch and resin. Forgot, there is one of the old Matchbox PR9's sitting there to. I think that one might need a bit more work then the Airfix ones!

So here are a few photos of the work done on XH131 so far.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

"End Of An Era" XH134 WIP #2

Progress on XH134 has been surprisingly rapid for me. It is hard to think that I am just over a week into this project and I am almost ready to start painting the model.

At the end of the last post of this project, I was talking about the amount of nose weight that was needed for these Canberra's. Yes, you do need this amount of weight. Once the tailplanes and rudder were added, the balance was completely changed and the said 45 grammes of weight is required. For nose weight, I am using up some old white metal ingots I have had lying around for many years now. The weight I measured out would not fit into the space where Airfix said to put it, so you will see in the photos below how I placed the white metal in the fuselage.

The fuselage is now ready for painting. After a couple of coats of primer, it highlighted the remaining joint lines and blemishes that needed to be finished off. So these were dealt with tonight with some Tipex and wet sanded. I hope this will be it but I will not see until tomorrow when I give the model another coat of primer.

One thing I did notice tonight was that a panel line did not continue pass the observation window on one side of the fuselage. This line does on the other side, so I will need to check some photos of the 1:1 aircraft and correct if needed. It is a shame I did not realise this when I built XH135, so this might need to be corrected to.

So, the next stage is to touch up the primer on the fuselage, then primer all of the remaining parts and start painting them.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

"End Of An Era" XH134 WIP #1

This is the second aircraft in the project after the already finished XH135. At the end of her active service, XH134 received a specially commissioned tail-art for its retirement scheme as seen in the above photo. Last year, I acquired the two decals sets of this artwork, in both 1/72nd and 1/48th scales.

The base kit is the Airfix 1/72nd scale Canberra PR9 which is being built straight out of the box. Work started a few days ago whilst I was at work and over the last few days, I had assembled the cockpit interior, wings and rudder whilst at work. Last night, the interior was painted and final assembly of this was done. I have left the pilots seat off for now to avoid any obstruction when masking the cockpit opening for painting, this will be added during final assembly of the model.

Once the paint had dried, I started to assemble the main fuselage. First, the small window glazing was added to the nose section and glued in place with some Micro Krystal Klear. Whilst these were drying, The upper cockpit section of the fuselage was glued to the interior and left to dry. At this stage of the construction, Airfix say to add 45 grammes of nose weight above the nose gear bay. So I broke up some white metal ingots I have to the required weight, 45 grammes is quite a big lump of white metal and I was having doubts about this amount. So I finished assembling the fuselage up to the point of adding the bomb/camera bays section of fuselage.

I taped the main wings to the fuselage and balanced the model on a small block of foam at the main undercarriage bays. Next, I laid the pieces of white metal ingots on top of the fuselage above the position where the instructions say to place it. My calculation is that we do not need to use 45 grammes of nose weight for this model, 30 should be okay. I will do a couple of more test with weight today before coming to a decision and adding it.

So, the next steps today. Finish with the nose weight tests, glue them in place, add the underside of the fuselage, add nose section and clean up any joints and gaps in the fuselage. There is also a few injection pin depressions on the main wings that need to be dealt with to before gluing them in place.

"End Of An Era" Project

"End Of An Era"
BAe Canberra PR9 39 Sqdn Retirement

In 2006, the RAF 39 Sqdn retired their three BAe Canberra PR9's from service after returning from their final deployment overseas. These three PR9's were the last remaining Canberra's in service with the RAF, but it was also the end of 39 Squadron to.

A couple of years ago, I built the Airfix 1/72nd scale Canberra PR9 kit as I had picked up some aftermarket decals for aircraft number XH135 to do various schemes used from the 1980's. One took my attention, the half Hemp and half ATRF Grey finish, which became the project back then. 

BAe Canberra PR9 XH135 

BAe Canberra PR9 XH135

BAe Canberra PR9 XH135

I have always wanted to complete the line-up of the three aircraft and this is now happening. Last year, I picked up two sets of aftermarket decals for XH134's scheme with the commemorative tail-art in both 1/72nd and 1/48th scales. The 1/48th scale aircraft will be a later project with plenty of extra added detail. So over the last few months, I have purchased two more Airfix 1/72nd scale PR9's to complete the line up. So, a few days ago, I started building XH134 whilst at work. Once this is at the stage where I cannot carry on with it at work and it has to be continued at home, I will start on XH131 at work and continue with XH134 at home. I will start the WIP posts for XH134 later today.

Monday, 21 January 2013

96 Chevrolet Blazer Finished

Another one cleared off the "To Finish" shelf, the 96 Blazer is done.

Over the last few days, I finished painting the final parts for the Blazer and completed the engine bay, then added the roof bars, grill guard and spare wheel rack. I had also noticed that the slight twist in the front screen area of the body, did not correct itself after the screen was glued in place. It must have moved before the glue dried and resulted in a gap between the "A" pillar and glazing. so this has put a dampener on this project.

My mate Richard kept saying to me, "Don't weather it!", so to upset him, I did! After masking the wiper sweeps on the windscreen, I started to add lumps of mud along the lower areas of the front bumper and side of the body. I did this using my method of mixing earth coloured paint with scenic scatter and then just place it where required on the model. This first stage can be seen in the two photos below.

Once the paint and scatter mix is dry, next I painted some splashes of the mud colour around the wheel arches, front bumper and underneath the model. When I was happy with the look, it was time to move onto the next stage. At this point, you might look at the model and think "Those splashes of mud are not right!". Do not worry, the mistakes can be airbrushed away!

So, after thinning some of the mud colour, it is time to finish off adding the mud to the model. With automotive models, I usually start giving the underside a blow over before starting on the main areas of dirt build-up around the wheel arches and front of the body. When I am satisfied with that, I progress onto the rest of the body giving a lighter dusting on the higher areas of the body then the lower extremes. After a look at the model on the spraying stand and doing some finishing touches, the windscreen is de-masked once dry. Result, one muddy Chevy Blazer!

To see how I create my mud effect, click on the link below and it will take you to the "How To" page on my website.

Whilst I have been sitting writing this closing post for this project, I got thinking to myself that the engine was too clean for a 4X4 that is being used like this. So, a little bit more dirtying up is required with engine grime, oil and mud to finish it off. Images of this extra work will be seen on my website in the gallery section once photos are taken and added to the site.

P-47M Thunderbolt "Wolfpack" Extra

The Thunderbolt is finished, but there was just one little piece of extra detail I wanted to add. The kit came with the decals to build the bare metal aircraft number 421175, this had some nose art which said "Zemkes Wolfpack, 56th Fighter Group". As I was not using these decals, I decided to still incorporate them in with the build.

So this is what was done. I scratch-built a large sign that could be stood in front of the aircraft, this was made from some plasticard and plastistrut. When it was painted and cleared, the decals were then added to the front of the sign along with the badge commemorating over 1000 enemy aircraft destroyed. Another coat of clear was blown over the front to protect the decals and there you are, one sign.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

96 Chevrolet Blazer WIP #2

Well, it has been a surprise how quick things have progressed on the Blazer, I should have got this out of the box and finished it ages ago. So, it is now a week since I re-started this project and in my calculation, I am over 90% done. This is just a quick finish project, so no extra detailing, etc. is going to be done, just muddy it up a bit. So this is it as of last night.

I finished painting the dashboard then fitted the dials and clear cover for them. Once the steering column was glued in place and dried, the whole dash assembly was glued into position to the interior tub. 

I told my mate Richard, I was going to weather this one up and said not to. There was a cry of "NNOOOO!!!" when I forward this photo to him. Richard, there's more mud to come yet!

Here is the body being test fitted to the chassis to see how it all sits. There is a very slight twist in the chassis, but nothing to worry about. I do not think it is really noticeable, bu if it is, I will just put it down to "driver's side suspension sag"!

Now, all that is left to be done is to paint the spare wheel rack, front grill guard, roof bars and engine the remaining engine parts. 

Then "MORE MUD"!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

96 Chevrolet Blazer WIP #1

Well, here we go again, another "On-hold" project resurrected to the workbench.This is one of the projects I mentioned in my last post, the 1996 Chevy Blazer. I think this was just over halfway through the build when I put it aside after I had some problems with the original paint job on the body. Originally, I was painting this the same green as my Corvette C6, but something went wrong after I sprayed the basecoat and it pitted. So I had to rub the bodyshell down for re-painting. It was at this point I packed it away in the box and left it on the shelf for the last 12 months.

So, over the last couple of days, I have re-primed the bodyshell, sprayed it with Tamiya's Champagne Gold and tonight given it a couple of coat of Tamiya clear. Also tonight, I have finished off the chassis to the point of mounting it under the body and interior. The next thing is to finish painting the interior, it needs another coat. The last coat was brush painted, so I will do the next coat via my airbrush, it will be quicker this way to.

This is just going to be a quick build without any extra detail being added to it. And I might just dirty the Blazer up a little to, we can't have a clean 4X4 can we now! So, out with the airbrush and lets paint the interior.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

What's Next?

This is a dilemma I have every time I finish a project, "What do I do next?".

I suppose this is the dilemma that most modellers go through at the end of each build. 

"Do I start a new project or do I finish a project on hold?"

Well, over the last year, I have finished a few projects that have just been sitting there waiting to be completed. These were the Intruder Tanker, the Grumman Hellcat and the F-86 Sabre, all of which were over a year in their build. My StuG III project was started at the IPMS Nationals at Telford in 2011 and the P-47M was only started in April last year. But as it stands now, there are about nine different projects still on hold for various reasons. Plus there is the Dr Who Tardis model from Airfix that I am building for my grandson, I must get some work done on that soon!

So what do I do? I have toyed with starting on one of my WWII bombers, but which one! There is a Bell UH-1 I am thinking about for a forum competition, or one of my other many kits. You will see here my dilemma in the following photo.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. To the left there is an Airfix 1/24th "Mossey", a Tamiya 1/32nd Tomcat and various other armour, aircraft and car kits buried in this cupboard. And the is two other storage areas with even more kits in them.

So, for now I am going to concentrate on two ongoing builds for now. One is my 96 Chevy Blazer and the other is an Airfix 1/72nd scale Helldiver. These have mainly painting and final building to be done on them. Mind you, there is two Airfix 1/72nd Canberra PR9's I need to start to complete my tribute to 39 Sqdn.

Decisions, decisions!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

P-47M Thunderbolt "Wolfpack" Finished

Well, she's finished at last.

After nine months work, with a few off though, the Thunderbolt is done and dusted. This has been a pleasure to build this kit, no hiccups or major problems along the way and I am pleased with the outcome. If you want to build a 1/32nd scale "Jug", then I can recommend this Hasegawa kit. It's not over engineered and ideal for a first attempt into build an aircraft in this scale. But remember its size, the wingspan is nearly 40 cms (approx 15 inches) and about 35 cms long (approx 13.5 inches), so it is a big WWII Warbird.

So here are a few photos I have taken on my phone for now. Better ones will be taken soon for my website,

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Website Update

Finally I have got around to adding my StuG III Ausf.F "Reloading In Russia" model onto my website gallery area. A link to view the photos and details about the build is below.

StuG III Ausf.F "Reloading In Russia"