Since my current Fw-190D build is on temporary hold while i wait for delivery of a replacement kit, I thought I'd pick up where I left off on this build. And by pick up I mean actually start it! It'll be three or four days before the other kit arrives,, which is too long to sit on my duff twiddling my fingers anyway.
And, as is often the case, construction begins with the pilot’s office, and in particular, the instrument panel. Here I’m using Eduard’s very nice pre-painted p.e. set, something that saves a lot of fiddely hand painting. The kit’s own panel is the clear plastic item at the top left. I sanded down the bumps and lumps prior to painting and put it to one side for the moment.
I thought I’d try an experiment in colour modulation, and used grey primer for the side panels and floor, but black primer for the fuselage sides. This, I hoped, would give a shadow effect.
A small selection of colours for the detailing!
The floor, incorrectly as it happens, done in interior green, with details picked out in Vallejo aluminium and dry brushed with Citadel dry necron compound. I did use this stuff on my first couple of builds, but didn’t get on with it terribly well back then, but I’ve since got more of a hang of it, and now I find it gives very pleasing results for interior weathering.
Instrument panel assembled. The p.e. is a three-layer affair, and gives a nice depth. The dials are given a dot of pva glue to give a glassy effect.
The recon camera assembled, and painted Tamiya sea blue, which is in fact very close to black. The lens, at this point, is just aluminium, but I wanted to give it more depth with some sort of colour.
Question is, which colour? I have three different Vallejo transparents, but individually none of them looked right.
So I mixed them up a bit. At the top is blue/red, the middle is blue/green and at the bottom is red/green.
I decided blue/green looked closest to what a camera lens might look like up close, so I picked it out with a cocktail stick, then added another drop of pva glue for the glass effect.
Side panels, battery tray and camera tray detailed up.
Side panels attached to fuselage sides. On reflection I think my experiment didn’t work too well, the contrast being a little too stark, but it’s always good to try new things.
Back to the cockpit floor, and after reading another member’s P-51 build I learned the floor is actually wooden, meaning I had painted mine incorrectly! And here came one of those happy accidents. I’m not that good at wood grain effects yet, not with oils anyway, so I thought I’d use regular Tamiya paints. I started with Tamiya red brown, then when that was dry, dry-brushed it with deck tan. But that just looked hopeless, the colours again being too far apart, and nothing like realistic. So, in a huff, I decided to just paint over it again with the red brown and leave it at that. But as I passed the airbrush over the floor I noticed the deck tan streaks were acting like pre-shading. I kept the coat light, and, after some more detail painting, this was the result.
I am really, really pleased with that!
Time to start packing the fuselage. The interior has to be built up in layers, paying very close attention to the written part of the instructions, as the diagrams are very vague as to positioning.
There’s all sorts of opportunities for misalignment when joining up the two sides, so great care must be taken to keep each section perfectly level.
Next, the p.e. seat harnesses. I do like these pre-painted ones.
Now came time to close up the fuselage halves, and hope everything lines up, including the tail wheel, which also had to go in at this stage. With a bit of a wiggle here and there it did. Oddly, the panel, seat and roll cage go in after the sides are married together.
The panel went in with a bit of careful sanding of the p.e. parts, which slightly overlapped the plastic, then the seat and roll cage. As usual I took lots of pics, because this is the last anyone will see of all that detail!
Fettling the joins next, then the wings on.