Well, this will be the final WIP post for XH134 as the build process has just completed today. I made a push this week whilst I had the week off work and succeeded today. All that is required for this aircraft now is the access ladders to be made up then painted and the pilot climbing them.
Yesterday evening, I added some extra weight in the forward camera bay. This has helped a bit but then once the ladder and pilot figure are added to the fuselage, a little more weight will be at the front of the model. I am going to have to rethink this on XH131 when work continues on her, will have to find a way to get more weight in that forward camera bay.
Back to XH134. Since the last posting, the model received a couple of coats of matt clear before the final assembly and detail painting was finished. The final jobs that were done on the model was adding the aerial wire from the tail to the cockpit. I had pre-drilled a hole in the top of the tail ready to accept the nylon thread that I am using for the aerial. A drop of superglue was put inside the hole then the thread was poked in there and left to dry. Some more glue was put around the opening to ensure the thread did not pull out.
Once dry, the other end of the thread was glue to the pylon next to the cockpit. This took a few attempts as it kept slipping off the pylon before the glue set. The last thing to do was glue the canopy in the open position ready. Job done, XH134 completed and ready for take off!
Now that XH134 has been finished, I decided to line up XH134 and XH135 on my workbench (after I cleared it up a bit), then placed XH131 at the far end to get a better impression on how they will all look once XH131 is finished. The base I have ordered will be collected on Wednesday evening and will need to be painted. A few more figures will be added to the scene along with a couple of vehicles. I just cannot wait to see the completed scene.
Progression on XH134 has been better then I thought it was going to be last Monday. Even with popping out to the shops again on Tuesday for some more shopping. Then on Wednesday we first travelling down to Hemel Hempstead to go swimming, only to find an extremely long queue to get in, so we decided to go to the pool in Bedford instead. And Thursday afternoon was spent with our daughter and the other three grandchildren around. But, I still got a lot of the Canberra done!
My first job was to mask up the undercarriage bays and flap recesses before painting them white along with the undercarriage gear and the inside surfaces of the bay doors and flaps. These first received a coat of white Vallejo primer and once left to dry for a couple of hours, a couple of coats of Tamiya matt white wa blown over.
After the model was de-masked left to dry overnight, I thinned some Tamiya matt yellow and using a bow pen, I started to draw out the walkway guides on both of the main wings. Ideally, I would like to find an ink which is the right shade of yellow so I could use my drawing pens for this job. Or I should even try to find some decals of various size lines in different colours. But as usual, I keep forgetting to do this. I finished off this stage by giving the model a couple of coats of Xtracrylix gloss clear ready for the decals to go down.
These are the decals being used for this model. The main ones is the sheet that came with the kit of which I will be using the common stencils and the 2006 style stencils for the kits XH135 option. The other is the Model Alliance "Retirement Scheme" decal set which consists of the tail-art, all of the associated badges, aircraft number and roundels.
Now, this is where I made a silly mistake, again! I did exactly the same thing when I built XH135, I forgot to use the roundels from the aftermarket decal sheet. I was busy thinking about something else whilst applying the decals to the model. I tried to remove one of the roundels from under the wing, but it would not lift away and I did not want to risk damaging the paintwork on the model. SO they have had to stay, again! Once all of the decals were done, I gave the model another coat of the gloss clear to seal the decals. This was when I also noticed that the Airfix kit decals did not sit properly on the model. The same thing happened on my first Canberra where it looks like the decals has lifted slightly. But you do not see any sight of this until you spray some clear onto it. It does not say who supplies the decals for this kit, but it has happened on both of my 1/72nd scale PR9's and I bet it happens on the third one to.
Now, lets bring it all up to last night. Before I airbrushed any matt clear, I wanted to get all of the undercarriage gear, bay doors and flaps fitted onto the model. So first I painted the various aerials, camera bays, tyres and other little details on the fuselage. Next I assembled the front undercarriage then glued that in place with the bay doors. Once these were dry, I progresses onto the main gear gluing the first in place before doing the next one. As these were drying, the remaining doors for the main undercarriage were glued in place then left to dry. Now, with adding a little over the recommended nose weight, you would think this will sit just right. But no, it is still a little tail heavy! So I dropped the pilots seat into the cockpit and placed the canopies over the opening, and this helped a little, but it lift the nose at the slightest touch. So the plan is to add a little more weight in the front camera bay, these were not used on these three Canberra's at this period, so they are panelled over. All that is left to do on this model is as follows. Add the flaps to the wings, give the model a couple of coats of matt clear, paint the engine inlets and exhaust, add the extra weight in the front camera bay, add the pilots seat the canopies and add the aerial between the tail and cockpit.
Last night I finished off by placing both XH135 and XH134 on top of my tool cabinet to take a photo of them side by side. Once XH131 is finished, they will look very good all lined up on their base. When on display, these models will have a few more figures standing around plus a tug, AP unit and a Bedford MK refueller. The plan is for it to look like they are getting ready to head off to one of their last displays during July 2006 before being decommissioned from RAF service.
I was having a sort out of some boxes a few weeks back and I found this.
I built this Pontiac Firebird about thirty years ago when I was a teenager. The kit was a Revell 1/16th scale 1979 Pontiac Firebird 6.6 litre produced in 1980. Believe it or not, it was a snap together kit to, but I glued it though.
I think it is great to look back at the old models you've build, especially when you were young to remember where you started. This was brush painted with enamel paints, I did know about airbrushing then. The gold pinstripes were hand painted with a brush and that was basically it.
It needs a good clean up, the interior is covered with dust and the only damage is the driver side mirror being missing. Otherwise everything is there. Now I just need to work out how to dismantle this to clean the inside!
Finding this Firebird took me back and I can remember building this on the dining table covered with newspaper at my parents house. I am glad this never got binned like a lot of my other models I built before this one. I even found some old armour models that were built in my early teens a few months earlier and all of them are still available to buy now.
You just cannot beat nostalgia and great memories!
Coming up in the next two months is Milton Keynes Scale Model Club's show, ModelKraft. After last years show was hit by snow, the club decided to move the show to a new date later in the year, from February to April.
The show consists of two large halls with traders, clubs and SIG's, with a further upper floor level with more clubs and SIG's stands. Visiting the show again this year, will be members from IPMS Brno and hopefully doing some demonstrations again on their modelling techniques. Just outside of the main hall, is the Competition Room where all who visit can enter their model into various classes, including Junior sections for the under 16's. Also at the show there will be full catering facilities and disabled access between the halls and floors.
So put the date of Sunday 21st April into your diaries and spend the day at one of the largest model shows in England. Easy access from the motorway M1 at junction 14, just 5 minutes drive away and the same from the A5 trunk road. Free parking for those who drive at the centre and the route to the site signposted from the M1 and A5.
This morning I unmasked XH134 after the colour scheme of the fuselage was completed last night. The first Canberra of the trio (XH135), was half the Hemp and Light Grey scheme, and half the ARTF Grey scheme during the removal process. XH134 has the all over Hemp/Light Grey scheme with the Dark Grey tail for the retirement scheme tail art.
Over Thursday and Friday evenings, I started to mask up the fuselage to paint the RAF Hemp colour.First, the curved edges under the wings and engine were cut from some wide Tamiya tape and stuck in place on the model. Next I used some various widths of low tack blue tape to finish the edges of the grey areas.
Once all of the edges were masked up, then the remaining areas underneath the model were masked up ready for painting. It is surprising how much tape gets used up on a model this size, not looking forward to doing the 1/48th scale Canberra's I have, or any of the large scale aircraft in my stash!
After the under side was masked up, the tail needed to be masked next. First I laid out the edge with some 1mm tape followed by some 2mm tape. The tail was finished off with the wide blue tape. Next job, paint her!
Painting did not progress until last night, Saturday was spent doing swimming lessons, painting the secret project (which went wrong for some strange reason) then running around after our daughter and grandchildren. So light coats of the RAF Hemp started to go down until I got it to the stage I wanted it to be. I let more of the pre-shading show though on the upper wing surfaces then on the fuselage, it would be more prominent here.
So, onto this morning. After running out of time last night, de-masking was left until today. As usual, there is that dread that when you remove the tape, will it pull off any of the paint surrounding it or will there be any bleeding under the masking. No need to fear, once all of the tape was off, it was all okay. All of the curved masked line were just perfect and there was no bleeding anywhere. I was a Happy Bunny!
Now I need to do just a little more masking on this one. The cockpit canopy parts need painting, flap openings, undercarriage bays and all of the relevant parts associated with these areas. I hope by the end of this week, there may be some decals down on the model and even some final assembly, but lets just wait and see! For those who are just wondering about the masking tapes that I use, these are as follows. My draw consists of Tamiya tapes in 6mm, 10mm, 18mm and 40mm rolls. The thin blue tape is from Jammydog and is in 1mm, 2mm and 3mm widths. The wide blue tape is from B&Q, it is their own branded low tack tape. It pays to get the 50 metre roll rather then the 25 metre roll. Also there are some rolls from Aizu (Japanese firm) in sizes starting from 0.4mm and normal 25mm low tack decorating masking tape. This is backed up with a bottle of Micro Mask to. Anyway, a little step back to Sunday morning. I needed to stock up on some paints and enamel thinners, so a trip up to Milton Keynes to visit Model Zone up there. Kyran came along to so he could buy either some toys or games for the Wii. We met up with my mate Richard and progressed to the shops and found some of the paints I needed. But this is where is goes tits up! I started to look on the "Sales" shelves and what did I see. An Airfix 1/48th scale Canberra PR9 kit for £9.99. Not one but three of them! It was like handing sweets to a kid, I just had to get another one of them, or should I get two? No, I just got the one PR9, and an Airfix 1/72nd Bell P-39 Airacobra (it was only £1.99). So beware of model shop tempting you with irresistable bargains on their shelves!
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!
Well, it is amazing what a bit of paint can do to transform a bad kit! Over the last couple of days, I have finally got some paint onto the Helldiver. This might not end up being too bad a model when finished after a little bit of weathering. I used the same three colours as were used on my Hellcat, Mr Hobby's H316 USN White, H56 Intermediate Blue and H54 Navy Blue. First the White went down and then masked with some Blutac and tape before blowing over with the Intermediate Blue. After leaving overnight, I masked in the same method before spraying the Navy Blue. Once dry, the masking was removed before hand painting the Interior Green in the cockpit, bomb bay and undercarriage bays. Now I am going to start on the remaining parts to get them painted before I clear the fuselage for the decals. I have now decided to get this one finished as it has been sitting around for long enough. So onwards with the Helldiver.
Halfway through another week and work has continued slowly on what is now four projects, the two Canberra's, the Helldiver and one which will be revealed at a later date. Now back to XH134. In the last post on this project, the main fuselage was ready for painting. Before the main colours went down, I pre-shaded the panel lines on the model to save me the task of doing it after painting. For this I use a fairly thin dirty black colour mixed from some Tamiya paints. The first colour to go down was the grey on the tail, I was going to use Xtracrylix XA1003 Medium Sea Grey, but I did not have this in my stock. So the match I had was Tamiya's XF-53 Neutral Grey and a couple of light coats then left to dry before masking. Next, the underside was painted using Xtracrylix XA1015 Light Aircraft Grey in a few light coats. All of the flaps and undercarriage bay doors all received a couple of coats of the same colour to. The next stage will be to mask up the fuselage for spraying the RAF Hemp colour then this will be followed by masking the areas around the undercarriage bays and flaps for painting the white. And this is the progress on the Canberra for now.
When I first built this model, there was a couple of mistakes that were made when I built it and one thing I was not happy with. The thing I was not happy with was the aerial. For this I used a length of wire which I could not get taut and it kept wobbling about. The first mistake I made was to not put enough nose weight in the model, hence using the tail support on the model. The second and biggest mistake, was to position all of the control surfaces in various positions. I later found out these all self central themselves when not in use.
So, when I started the "End Of An Era" project with the next two aircraft, I decided to do a little revamp of XH135 and correct the mistakes or improve on them. After carefully removing the cockpit canopy, it was cleaned up and had the paint touched up on it. Next, I remove the wire used for the aerial and replaced it with some invisible smoke thread. This is much thinner then the wire and I could get it taut, resulting with a much improved look.
The plastic tail support prop had been repaired a couple of times over the last couple of years, in truth, it was not strong enough for the job. So, I cut the base off and made a new prop up from a length of brass tube and rod. A hole was cut in the base then the tube was glued into that. The rod was cut longer then needed and glued inside the tube and then cut so it went at least 5-10 mm inside the fuselage. Once painted, this was glued in position in the tail of the fuselage and left to dry.
The final thing to sort out was the control surfaces. I could not remove them from the model without damaging it, so I needed to come up with another plan. I had some etched ladders for the Canberra's, so I decided to add some figures to the model. I had some Hasegawa US Pilot and Ground Crew figures, so a couple of these were altered to fit inside the cockpit and stand on the ladder. Another figure has also been done that will be checking the flaps on the model once the base is done.
Now here are a few photos of the improvements I have made to the Canberra XH135.