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Kit'n'Kaboodle

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Wings, engine nacelles, tail and miscellaneous: 1/48 Hobby Boss Me-262 A1a.

Body: cheap Chinese toy from the Sealife Centre, Great Yarmouth.

Glues: Zap-a-Gap, PVA.

Fillers: Revell plastic putty, Perfect Plastic Putty, Mr Surfacer, Vallejo putty.

Paints:  Vallejo acrylics.

Weathering: Ammo Mig, Flory.

Finish: Ammo Mig satin.

Base: photo-frame from poundland, blue card, Vallejo acrylics airbrushed in 'swirly' patterns.
Stand: 1.2mm clear plastic card.


I didn’t post the build thread for this madcap idea first for the simple reason I had no idea if I could even pull this off.  I didn’t want to start a thread, then screw it all up and not be able to complete it, for whatever reason.  Even thought it was meant to be a bit of a joke, something light-hearted, I soon realised it was also going to be something of a challenge.  For instance, what adhesive do you use to attach hard styrene plastic to soft, pliable rubber?  Will acrylic paint work on the shark’s body?  What colours do I use?  And besides, who gives away the punchline to a joke at the beginning?!

Fortunately, I did manage it, and so here’s how it happened! 

It all started when I posted this pic on the Flory Models forum a few weeks ago. 

  Shark me 262.jpg 

It was a light-hearted post, about Google-imaging for shark-mouth paint schemes, but it lit a spark in the back of my mind that just wouldn’t let go.  Have you ever had an itch that you just had to scratch? 

So, with military precision, I devised a cunning plan, starting with some driving.  Arriving first at the Sealife centre at Great Yarmouth, I had a quick look around the exhibits, admiring the crabs and rays, then went into the gift shop.  I already knew the dimensions of the average 1/48 Me-262, so it was just a matter of finding a cheap shark toy that came close.

Meet Bruce!

  20190102_142652.jpg 

Dimensions were practically perfect.

  20190102_142714.jpg 

“We’re gonna need a bigger boat!”

  20190102_142704.jpg 

From Sealife it is only about a ten-minute drive to the Lowestoft branch of Hannants, where I picked up one of Hobby Boss’s 1/48 Me-262’s

  20190102_142306.jpg 

Next morning, I had a good look at what I had bought, starting with Bruce.

There’s a lot of molding seams to remove, plus some sort of a plug under his chin that’ll need sorting.

  20190102_142726.jpg 

Flory sanding sticks made reasonably quick work of the seams.

  20190102_212022.jpg  20190102_212031.jpg 

Shark fin soup, anyone?

  20190103_130837.jpg 

Prepped for surgery.  Nurse, the scalpel!

  20190103_200629.jpg 

Nope, no fishing boats or bikini-clad bathers in here!

  20190103_200941.jpg 



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Next I started on the kit.  For the price, £14.95, it really is an excellent kit, with fantastic surface detail and loads of interior.  Thinking of their 1/32 Liberator, Hobby Boss seem to give excellent value for money with all their kits.  Here there is a well-appointed cockpit and a fully displayable gun bay.  All of it, sadly, to be wasted.

I attached the upper and lower wing halves with no fuss.  Fit is perfect.  The nav lights, though, were just scribed lines, so I cut them out with the plan of making some, using clear PVA glue.

 
20190103_165915.jpg 

20190103_165924.jpg 

 

It seems the kit has no option of assembly with the wheels up, because the fit of the doors was pretty poor.  I’m not criticising the kit here, because I may be straying from the designer’s original intentions, but there is a lot of gappage going on.

  20190103_200534.jpg 

Turning to the tail, I reasoned that since I would not have the benefit of the molded sockets on the kit’s own fuselage, I would need to devise a stronger and more secure method of attachment.  This I did by using a 1mm drill and a couple of panel pins.  The pins will pass through Bruce’s tail fin, and help keep the tail-planes aligned.

 
20190103_200552.jpg 

 

Next I assembled the engine nacelles, according to the instructions.  Paint was Vallejo RLM grey for the front and Mr Metal colour burnt iron for the rear.  Why H.B. bothered with all that nice internal ribbing I have no idea, because once it’s all assembled you can’t see a single scrap of it.

  20190103_141450.jpg 

A quick dry fit showed that, proportionally, it was going to work.  Will still need some more trimming, but we’re getting there.

 
20190104_143005.jpg 

 

Bruce needed to be offensive, and not in a rude way, so I cut the cannon ports from the kit’s nose panel, then trimmed and filed them to suit.  Man, was that a test of my optivisor!

 
20190109_102124.jpg 

Once cleaned up they were super-glued to his nose.

  20190110_203727.jpg 

Then I wondered about the cockpit, the canopy and who was going to pilot Bruce.  Normally I don’t bother with aircrew, since I can’t paint a figure to save my life, but an idea hit me, and I had to run with it.

The pilot arrives for his pre-flight (dive?) inspection!

 
20190110_145341.jpg 

Unfortunately, SpongeBob’s head was a bit too fat to fit under the canopy.

 
20190110_145402.jpg 

So, a bit of surgery and some filling, and now he fits a bit better.  And who would have thought that Citadel’s Caledor blue would be an exact, perfect match for the Bob’s Lego blue?  Incidentally, Citadel paints can be airbrushed if thinned with Tamiya X20A.

 
20190111_195647.jpg 

Back to Bruce.  He needed a bit of nip and tuck under his chin.  Revell plastic putty worked surprisingly well here.

 
20190110_192457.jpg 

Bruce would like to remind all the members of the Flory family of the importance of proper dental hygiene!

 
20190110_192518.jpg 



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Attaching the canopy came next, which raised a bit of a dilemma.  Proportionally, it should sit further forward, to match the real aircraft, but placing it there meant it wouldn’t sit on the hump, which seemed like the logical place from an anatomical point of view.  In the end I opted for the path of least resistance, meaning an easier cut and a lot less filling and blending, and placed it on the hump.  I cut a section from each of the two fuselage halves to make the back of the canopy flow into Bruce’s spine.  Filling is still going to be a bit of a challenge here.

 
20190112_195733.jpg  20190112_195739.jpg 

The final scene from Jaws came to mind, prompting another idea.  So I fashioned a scuba tank from a shaped piece of runner and a scrap of spare p.e.

 
20190112_195925.jpg 


Meantime, the kit, such as it is, is about done, with the engine nacelles attached to the wings.  The fit of this kit so far has been excellent, with very little filler needed.

 

20190112_202056.jpg   

Now I have never felt inclined to build dioramas.  They’re something I greatly admire from others, and love to look at, but not build myself.  However, Bruce couldn’t just sit on his nacelles.  I needed some sort of base, or stand.

So I started with a square of the thin blue card I use for photo backdrops, then chose some Vallejo paints that sort of looked ocean-ish in colour.  Then I went for it with the airbrush, trying to create waves!

 
20190112_205041.jpg 

I think it worked.  It actually looks better in real life than the photos.

Base was a cheapo photo-frame from Poundland.

 
20190113_105741.jpg 

The stand came next, first mocked up out of cardboard.

 
20190117_112225.jpg 

The templates were then used to mark out the shapes on 1.2mm clear card.  These I then randomly airbrushed with Vallejo clear blue on one side, and clear green on the other, matching the random swirls on the base.

 
20190117_153320.jpg 

Tamiya extra-thin seemed to work at first, but the joints quickly proved to be too weak, so they were reinforced with tiny drops of c.a.  A locating spigot was fashioned out of a short length of clear runner.

20190118_095631.jpg 



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Stand completed, I turned to attaching the canopy.  Surgery was performed, the dorsal fin was removed and put to one side and the canopy grafted into place.

Then a minor disaster.  The canopy cracked across the rear section.  I attempted a repair with c.a. but the damage can be seen.  That’s why I didn’t do any close-up shots of that side of the canopy in the reveal thread.

 
20190115_094401.jpg 

The next problem was Bruce’s body flexing slightly when being handled, causing the filler to crack.  To overcome this I cut lengths of runner and c.a’d them inside, to reinforce his ribs!

 
20190115_095014.jpg 

Bob had to go in next, and I had to place him blind, as the canopy was masked, and I couldn’t see exactly where he was in relation to the interior.  As it happened, I wasted all that time on Bob, as I had previously sprayed the interior of the canopy with transparent blue, which apparently isn’t as transparent as I thought.  Bob can’t be seen!  [frown]

Then came the marrying of kit to shark!

 
20190115_194741.jpg 

Because of Bruce’s portly comportment there was some considerable gaps between his belly and the wings.  To fill these, and add greater strength to the joints, I used sections of runner c.a. in place.

All together now… Da-DUM.  Da-DUM.  Da-DUM-da-DUM-da-DUM, Da-da-da-DUM!!

 
20190115_194750.jpg 

Turns out Bruce’s spine doesn’t run down the centre of his body-mass, meaning the cockpit is off-centre.  Oh well.

 
20190115_194758.jpg 

See that big red and green splodge?  That’s where I had a little episode with superglue attaching me to my work.  Took a lot of sanding to remove the evidence.  No, not my finger!

 
20190115_194820.jpg 

Then came hours of fun, filling, sanding, filling and sanding!

 
20190116_113052.jpg 

20190116_113059.jpg 

20190116_113106.jpg 

Next came the tail assembly.  I drilled through Bruce’s fin, (Don’t worry, I gave him an anaesthetic first!) then superglued the tail into place.

 

20190118_190526.jpg 

20190118_190530.jpg 

 

Because of the way his fin sits at a jaunty angle, the tail looks kind of awkward…

 
20190118_190549.jpg 

I’m not sure how this would work aerodynamically!

 
20190118_190616.jpg 

The dorsal fin, now sewn back into place!


20190118_193238.jpg 

 

A quick mock-up, to check flight angles.  Feeling quite pleased with myself at this point.


20190118_193840.jpg 

 



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On to the paint stage, and a coat of Vallejo surface primer.

 
20190119_154651.jpg 

Pre-shading posed a conundrum.  Pre-shading the wings and tail was straight-forward enough, but how to pre-shade a shark?  I thought the best thing would be to emphasise the natural body contours and things like the gills and fins, with some natural, random spotting.

 
20190119_160347.jpg 

20190119_162129.jpg 

Next came the choice of colour.  I wanted natural, organic colours, but at the same time something that wouldn’t look out of place on a WWII fighter.  Vallejo’s Russian air range seemed to offer what I needed, so I did the underside/belly with Vallejo 71.414 AEH-9 light grey, and the upper surface with 71.139 A-28M Greyish blue and 71.318 AMT-7 also, confusingly, greyish blue.

I hoped to get a mix of natural-looking colour breaks on the body, while simulating a German splinter pattern for the wings.  Kind of tricky, blending the two!

 
20190119_191403.jpg 

The kit’s decals went down beautifully, conforming well with Micro-set and Micro-sol.

 

20190120_142716.jpg 

20190120_111357.jpg 

 

Because I didn’t have the faintest idea how to weather a shark, I opted to keep the weathering light, and just bring out the panel lines and rivets.  I used Flory grey wash on the undersides, and Ammo Mig dark green-grey wash for the top.

 
20190120_185533.jpg 

20190120_185538.jpg 

20190120_185628.jpg 

Just the last details left.  Remember the scuba tank, the one from the end of the movie?

 
20190120_195433.jpg 

A coat of Klear to brighten the eyes.

 
20190120_195446.jpg 

A coat of Ammo Mig satin varnish sealed everything in, followed by Ammo Mig rigging wire for the antenna.

 
20190120_195826.jpg 

 

Had to be done!

 
20190120_195834.jpg 

And, job done!  For a jokey, fun build, there were quite a few challenges to overcome, and supergluing my finger to the body was not my idea of a good time, but I am well pleased with the final result.  I’m disappointed that SpongeBob can’t be seen, and I had thought about trying to paint some sort of kill tally underneath the canopy, but decided against it, as my tiny detail painting skills were nowhere near up to the task.

 
20190120_195845.jpg 

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Normal service will be resumed shortly!



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