Friday, 22 September 2017

Airfix 1/48 Hurricane Mk I

I removed the masking tape that was holding the model together and it looked like this;

The leading edges and roots look much better now. The gaps at the back where the sections were removed were filled and for this I used Milliput as you can smooth it out with water and it saves destroying any surface detail;

When the Milliput has set I still need to clean the joints but it's much better than when I first started. The joint between the nose and lower wing is greatly improved too and with a bit of luck all the joints will disappear under a coat of paint....I hope....

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Airfix 1/48 Hurricane Mk I

A couple of days ago I fitted the lower wing to the fuselage then the upper wings after some good advice from a modelling buddy and left it to set. Now I had heard that the wing roots could be a poor fit on some Airfix kits but not on others so guess who has the kit with the dodgy wing roots?

Now it might be my fault OR it could be a fault with the moulding but after my experiences with the Airfix Dakota wing roots my money would be on the moulding process. To me it *looks* like there has been some slight shrinkage around the curves of the inner lower wing, maybe being due to the part coming out of the tool too early (I saw this a lot in my time at a plastics factory).
Anyway this problem needs addressing so after a think and a cup of tea I decided to hack out a section either side of the lower wing;

These sections will be glued back in flush with the leading edges, at least this way the gap will be at the back and easier to fill without destroying any surface detail (that's the plan anyway).
This also gave me the opportunity to reset the joint between the lower wing and nose as there was a noticeable mismatch between the two, hopefully it will now be flush;

A bit of a setback but with a bit of luck I will be able to make the joints disappear, anyway this HAS to be better than what I started with.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Airfix 1/48 Hurricane Mk I

The cockpit is now painted so I was able to glue the fuselage together. When dry it will be filled and cleaned up before the lower wing with the cockpit assembly is fitted;

The seat belts are by HGW and they do look good however it is VERY easy to split them in two when threading them through the buckles and bending them to the contours of the seat. Next time I'll use two layers of masking tape cut into strips and then paint them, that way I won't have to try and colour match the belts like I did with these in places.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Life Miniatures German tank commander bust

While I was in an airbrushing mood I masked off the face of this bust and sprayed the hat with a matt varnish as you may remember the Vallejo paint dried with a sheen that just kills the look;

All I need to do is paint the panzer badge, add the headphones and I can call this bit done.

Airfix 1/48 Hurricane Mk 1

I sprayed the cockpit green/grey today using Tamiya XF-71 however I put some light grey and a lot of white in the mix as straight out of the jar the colour is too dark for RAF aircraft;

I probably could have gone even lighter as pin washes will darken the base colour but I'm happy with it. I'll get on with the detail painting later, add the seat belts and apply a pin wash then I can get the fuselage glued together.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Airfix Hurricane Mk I

After priming the interior with Vallejo Surface Primer I tried another new product from them for the cockpit, floor and wheel wells, this time it was their Metal Colour (77-701 aluminium).
Again I tried this on my test piece and straightaway it looked very promising so I sprayed it on the Hurricane. This stuff does not require any thinning as it will spray straight from the bottle and it covers very well, the only downside for me is that the tip of the needle clogged quite quickly but that's always been an issue with me and acrylics. Next time I'll use acrylic retardant to see if that helps, anyway here's what I got with using the paint;

The next job will be to mask off the fuselage framing and cockpit sides as these, the rear bulkhead and seat will be sprayed with Tamiya XF-71 Interior Green/Grey. When completely painted I will be fitting some HGW Model seat belts then the whole cockpit will be weathered with washes and dry brushing.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Prime time for the Takom Leopard and Airfix Hurricane

Now that the Leopard had dried out and the Hurricane is up to the stage of being painted internally I primed both models using Vallejo's black Surface Primer. It's the first time I've used this stuff on current projects as I've only done tests on an old model but I do like it, I usually use Games Workshop rattle cans for priming but as I have to use it outside I'm at the mercy of the British weather so to have a good primer I can use through an airbrush is a big bonus.
The only downside is that being acrylic based I found I had to clean the needle a couple of times due to the build up of paint and at one point I had to clean the airbrush out as paint was starting to block the nozzle, however I can live with that if it means I can get stuff primed quicker rather than having to wait for a break in the weather. Also I shall try it again with acrylic retardant to see it that makes a difference;

 Oh and the Vallejo primer doesn't smell bad either so it's pretty family-friendly.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Airfix 1/48 Hurricane Mk I

I've added some more details to the cockpit, I just need to add the rudder pedals and I can get it painted. Although Eduard supply seatbelts in the Zoom set I've ordered some from HGW as these are actually made of fabric and will conform to the seat better, etch belts are too stiff (unless you anneal them over an open flame first);

I could go wild with the detail but for what you will be able to see I think there's enough in there. I did want to keep the floor and cockpit sides separate for painting but due to the way Airfix have designed it I had to glue it all together.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Airfix 1/48 Hurricane Mk I

With the Leopard drying out after a bath, I had an empty bench;

This will not do so after being inspired by my flight alongside a Hawker Hurricane a couple of weeks ago I decided to make a start on the new tool Airfix 1/48 kit. Now I know I say this all the time but I shall try and keep the amount of detailing to a minimum with this kit, just concentrating on the cockpit as this is always the focus of attention on any aircraft model. Etch will be confined to an Eduard Zoom set and I have Eduard Brassin wheels and exhausts AND THAT'S IT! :o)
Assembly starts with the cockpit and to give Airfix their due it's quite good although the zoom set will add to it, especially the instrument panel. The kit seat has been replaced with the etched one and this was soldered together rather than glued;

In the interior of the landing lights Airfix had moulded the end of one rib on the end of the wing spar but after consulting my references there should be two rib ends in each. Using sheet styrene I made new ribs and hollowed out the ends as per the real aircraft;

I also extended the wing spar. As to whether you will actually see this is another matter but I know it's there :o)
By the way I mentioned that I flew alongside a Hurricane;

That was a very special day and one that will stay with me for a long time.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Takom Leopard C2

I've finally finished the build of this one so it will get a wash down and when dry it's off to the paint shop.

The Leopard I want to depict didn't have the turret mounted MG fitted so the mount and ammo box holder were scratch-built from thin styrene sheet, the white thing on the turret basket is to represent the bag that is attached underneath, the tow cables are from RMG and just needed shortening by 20mm to fit and will be removed before painting.
This was my first Takom kit and it wasn't that bad really, as you can see I have tweaked the model in places but that is nothing unusual with me. I keep trying to build stuff straight out of the box but I just can't help myself!
One thing I did keep to was the use of the etch supplied in the kit only, other brass bits you see are made from sheets of brass I have in stock. Essential things you need to get for this kit are the resin exhausts, tow cables, aerials, mantlet plugs and smoke dischargers which are all available from Leopard Club here;

Leopard Club

The barrel is an item from Orange Hobby (the fiddly etch was covered in an earlier post) and although I did get the Leopard Club barrel for the 1A5, in the end I just used the boresight mirror for the end of the barrel as some of the resin parts were not concentric. The Orange Hobby item I got is actually for a Leopard 1A3 and apparently they do a barrel for the 1A5 but at the time it was not available.
The model will be washed in warm soapy water to get all the dust and crap off it, when thoroughly dry it will be primed and painted.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Takom Leopard C2

After knocking off the jerry can racks I decided to make new ones using brass completely instead of plastic as the others just fell apart. Superglue was pretty useless in the first place due to the very small mating areas so this time I thought I would have a go at soldering.
Brass sheet was cut to size for the bases (10m x 5mm) with the corners rounded off and the strip around them (1mm). Using Blu-Tak to hold things in place some flux was applied to the areas to be soldered;

I had trouble getting the solder off the coil onto my soldering iron but after a suggestion by my good modelling buddy Markus Lack I flattened out some solder and cut it into small strips for greater control (which worked beautifully);

The parts were cleaned up using a fibre glass pen and some wet and dry paper then glued to the back of the turret;
Hopefully these will look better under a coat of paint.
I suppose I should have done this in the first place as superglue never really works that well with brass and plastic, especially when you have such small areas to work with. With a bit of luck I won't knock these off again :o)

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Takom Leopard C2

I've stuck on a few more parts, YAY! On the vehicle I want to model the jerrycan holders on the rear of the turret basket are empty so I attempted to make new ones from scratch using styrene strip and thin brass sheet;

They didn't look too bad until today when I broke them off. I'll rework them but use brass for the bases instead of plastic and instead of using cyano I'll solder the sides on for strength.
The barrel is now ready to fit and although I purchased a Leopard Club item I found the separate resin pieces that make up the barrel were not concentric so I'm sticking with the Orange Hobby item I bought originally. I did use the bore sight mirror and mount from the Leopard Club barrel and stuck it to the end of the Orange Hobby one as it saved me making one from scratch;
The tie down loops on the turret basket are moulded solid in the kit so these were removed and new ones made using thin copper wire;
15amp fuse wire was used for the top and bottom rails on the platforms either side of the turret basket. I *was* going to use the kit parts but I managed to break a couple when removing them from the sprue, the same for the grab handles on the turret sides.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Takom Leopard C2

I was going to use the kit barrel and add some detail to it but decided on using an aftermarket item instead from Orange Hobby that I had got for my Meng Leopard 1A5, also there is no rifling inside the kit barrel ;
As you can see it comes with two small frets of etch metal....omfg it is TINY! After the best part of 1 1/2 hours I managed to put the first two straps around the barrel;

Very frustrating! After a good couple of hours I managed to get the rest of the etch on, the four clamps proving verrrrrry tricky as the folds required were small and very awkward to do, luckily there are two etch sheets as it was very easy to lose some parts to the carpet monster;

Regarding the four clamps I replaced the rods that connect each end with sprue as the etch is obviously flat. The Orange Hobby barrel is actually for a Leopard 1A3 so I need to make the boresight mirror and mount for the end of the barrel from scratch, I would have used the kit one but it's too small.