Wednesday 27 June 2018

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 008 - GEORGE ELEFTHERIOU

Here's my entry for the contest. Tamiya in 1/48.
 I would like to say a few words about this kit and the challenges it presented from a beginner modeler's perspective like the one I am. I wouldn't normally bother with an old kit (like I did here) but since Tamiya decided to re-issue the same old crap with their beautiful Kurogane and modelers still struggle with it, I feel a detailed review is in order.
"Wind Sword" and "Toryu" already commented that it's a 1/50 (at least some parts) kit with most panel lines raised and only a few (the wing cannon access panels and around the cowling) engraved. The fit is okay at most places except for the wing root area. Any effort to fix the gaps will probably result in loosing the raised panel lines. I used fuselage halves from 2 different kits and they didn't fit exactly resulting in more sanding and more raised panel lines lost.
The cockpit is very basic. The application of the decal set for the instrument panel was bizarre. Tamiya instructions call for the decal to be cut in two and then applied to each fuselage half.
No reason to do that. Just cut the decal in the shape of the instrument panel, (don't remove the decal in water, leave it on the paper) and stick it directly on one fuselage half .
But the worst of all is the canopy which is given in 3 separate pieces. The front and middle fit okay but the rear is a joke and the result is a very weird looking canopy. Choosing to have the canopy open will result in showing the poor cockpit. I checked various on-line videos showing canopy masking techniques and tried a couple, especially the "masking tape - mechanical pencil - cut masking tape to shape" but nothing worked due to very shallow canopy frame lines. I opted for gradually masking one frame line at a time for the middle and rear parts and toothpick for the front. The masking worked well, the toothpick less so, again due to shallow frame lines.
The landing gear is not bad but the wheel covers are way too thick and trimmed mine to satisfaction. I used stretched sprue for the break line; I should have used fishing line which is more flexible to curve. Didn't bother to follow the instruction to glue the landing gear in the "correct angle".
The wing cannons and pitot tube are really silly but a minor frustration.
The decal set now. 
Depending on the age of the particular kit you may get hinomaru in different reds. In the old set above their more bright red, in the newer set below (the ones I used on my model) they are much darker. In my opinion neither shades of red are satisfying.
The Tamiya decals (even the new ones) and the old "Aeromaster" and "Super Scale" (more below) give hinomaru surrounded by white squares. Check here why this is inaccurate. In any case the Tamiya hinomaru decals I used are too thick, that's why the radio access panel on the port side of the fuselage is not visible.
As you can see the Tamiya decal set does not help with the various red or white lines on the wings of the Hayate. I used the ones provided by the "Aeromaster" set which was designed for the Tamiya kit although they are not complete (various panel lines are missing) and I ended up having different yellow for the IFF stripes (which I painted) and different for the panels. Furthermore, one part of the radio line is connected to the fuselage right where the starboard hinomaru is. So you will have to pierce the decal and pass the line through. I forgot this detail and didn't want to risk ruining the decal, so the line was wrongly placed on the fuselage beyond the hinomaru.  
The propeller is another area where the decal set is a let-down. Tamiya provides decals for only the interior yellow marks. I painted the rest of the yellow lines but I ended up with different yellows. The instructions call for the rear of the propeller blades to be painted red brown. AFAIK the propeller blades were green front and back. Hasegawa recommends MrColor #319.
I didn't have this paint around so I lightened up MrColor #129 (Dark Green Nakajima). I'm not at all unhappy with the result.
I painted my model using Hasegawa's instructions, top MrColor #304, bottom MrColor #128.


The antiglare is MrColor #125.

For the cockpit I tried to understand what "aircraft colour & paint guru" Nick Millman says in his blog but I got more confused than enlightened (my fault ofcourse) so I painted the cockpit with MrColor #130.
I'm happy with the result and the cockpit interior is barely visible so I won't lose any sleep if the color is not accurate. I did the wheel wells silver. In all the photos they look bright, so definitely not aotake. They could be the same with the wing underside color or maybe not.

I wanted to do the "90" "Hayate" of the 102 Sentai as seen in the photo HERE. There are no decals for this specific aircraft in 1/48. Lifelike in their first "Hayate" set do give 102 Sentai tail marking with red over white surround. The white surround could be used but then you will have to find a number "90" from somewhere else. Also it is doubtful the decals would fit the Tamiya kit and I don't see any reason to waste such fine decals on the Tamiya kit; better to be put them to use with the Hasegawa kit. And so, for the very first time, I decided to paint and mask the tail marking. I printed the photo, D. Chouinard sent over artwork but somehow the correct shape of the tail marking with the pointy rear ends didn't register in my head and instead I did the "official" version. I found number "90" decals from the old Nichimo IJAAF "Akatonbo" kit in 1/48 but were too thin and the white "90" doesn't stand out as it should. So, I'm fairly happy with my first homemade tail markings but, damn, I screwed up the correct shape. That should teach me not to work on 6 different "Hayate" model projects and an article at the same time.

Monday 25 June 2018

Cable Fairings - A Solution by Michael Thurow

When I read Michael Furry's build report of his E8N Dave and about the lack of streamlined cable fairings a method came to mind that I devised many years ago for an E13A model.
   I use paper strips that I form into a cone and cut to the required shape and size as per attached pictures (sorry for the picture quality and the poor fit to the cable - I quickly modelled this example just a moment ago and it took me about 10 minutes). I employed a variation of this method on the leg of the P-26 that I currently build.  I think the result (see photo) is quite convincing.
  The technique is very flexible, allowing for different sizes and shapes, flat or round, with large or small openings. Covered with several layers of plastic and/or instant glue the tiny pieces become reasonably hard and can even be sanded.
- Michael Thurow -


Sunday 24 June 2018

Nakajima E8N1 "Dave" By Michael Furry WIP#3

Progress on the E8N1 Dave continues. This kit is very well engineered in terms of parts fit and simplicity of construction but requires planning and forethought, especially when deciding how to rig the model. Hasegawa did not provide any locators for the rigging wires. To further complicate the matter, the rigging wires on the wings have airfoil shaped fairings where they attach to the wings. I spent quite a bit of time trying various methods to replicate this, all of which ended in failure. I finally solved the problem by using the teardrop fairings from a Classic Airframes SuperMarine Walrus. While these are not technically accurate, they offer a type of fairing that is passable. My good friend Charlie Swank made a mold and cast two sets of these fairings for me. The next challenge was placing the teardrops in the proper locations. Remember, rigging locations do not exist on the kit. I used Arawasi International Extra #2 which features an excellent article on the Dave. 
Using drawings, photos, and a bit of estimation, I marked off the locations in pencil and then attached them using Future Floor Wax. The next step is to drill the holes to accept the rigging wires. Looking closely, you can see the pencil marks for the holes.

On the rear fuselage I added the rudder control cable exit fairings. I sliced these cone shaped fairings off of the lower rudder of a 1/48 Otaki Ki-44. The control horns on the lower rudder were made by cutting apart the life boat davits from a DML 1/700 guided missile destroyer. The tie down/handling ring on the lower rear fuselage was made from a piece of steel wire. The tiny holes on the fin and lower rear fuselage are for the tail rigging wires. As stated before, locators for the rigging are nonexistent. Fortunately Arawasi International Extra #2  has excellent 1/48 drawings to help locate these.
- Michael Furry -

Friday 22 June 2018

IPMS West Norfolk - Downham Market Show

Three of us journeyed to Downham Market on Sunday for the annual model show put on by IPMS West Norfolk. Peter James, Peter Terry and I supported the table. It was a good day out and Peter Terry brought along a new Sword kit of the Grumman TBM-3W 'Guppy', the AEW version of the Avenger with markings for USN, JMSDF Japan and RCN Canada. It looks to be a nice build.
- Gary Wenko -

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Sweet 1/144 A6M2 by Bill Weckel

This is my Sweet 1/144 A6M2 with carrier deck. I was an absolute joy to build with detail that rivals many previous 1/72 (and even some 1/48) Zeke kits and parts fit like anything that Tamiy is currently producing. Any deficiencies you see are mine and mine alone – the major one being the canopy frames. Sweet provides decals for the framing but they are so tiny and fragile that they disintegrated with my first attempt to handle them. As I was going to a model contest the following morning, I had to improvise quickly. I cut some stripes of Tamiya tape, sprayed them, and applied. The results are crude, but it is all I had time to do. I was so impressed with this little kit that I ended up buying two more and will probably mask and spray the canopy framing, one frame at a time, on the next go around. It will be a lot of work but I think it’s probably the only way to get a really good, delicate framing job accomplished. What I am happy with is the flight deck. Again, I used Tamiya tape cut to the length and width of each plank. I masked and sprayed three different shades of tan, then gave the whole thing a “consolidating” coat of paint to pull it all together and make the variation more subtle. This was tedious work but I’m pleased with the outcome. Finally, I added some tie-downs and a VHF radio antenna using stretched sprue. Markings are for a Hiryu aircraft. If I recall correctly, the the aotake is “Old Cement” from Pactra railroad colors.
Bill Weckel

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 008 - MIKHAIL AGEENKO

This one is the old 1/72 Hasegawa model with Aeromaster decal “Special Attack Squadrons”.
Model was completed 10 or so years ago…
Ki-84 Kou, 57th Shinbu-tai, flown by staff sgt. Yamashita Takayuki (from Kumamoto), May 17, 1945, Shimodate AB/Ibaraki Prefecture.
- Mikhail Ageenko -