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Reply with quote  #1 

Well, no rest for the wicked, time and tide wait for no man and so on.  So, a new year and a new build.  To start the new year, I’m building the Fujimi 1/48 Focke-Wulf Fw-190D-9, another older kit, and another entry into the Flory Models 'Beaches to the Bulge' group build.


m_20200101_110557.jpg  m_20200101_110616.jpg  m_20200101_110642.jpg 

According to Scalemates this was first boxed in 1970, so even older than my previous P-61, but I bought it as part of my drive to obtain a kit from every maker in the known universe.  Don't know much about this kit, I haven’t been able to find any reviews of it yet, so I’ll be going in blind, so to speak, meaning any problems there may be will sneak up on me from behind, with no prior warning!

The box contents.

m_20200101_110723.jpg 

Runner shots.  Panel lines are recessed, though strangely the rivet detail is raised.  There’s also some sink marks right in the middle of the wing, not a good omen.

m_20200101_110855.jpg  m_20200101_110909.jpg  m_20200101_111008.jpg  m_20200101_111026.jpg  m_20200101_111102.jpg 

Transparency is reasonable, though the cockpit canopy frame itself is molded to the fuselage, meaning there’s no option for displaying it in the open position.

m_20200101_111132.jpg 

Instructions are a simple one-page affair, with not too many stages.

m_20200101_111153.jpg  m_20200101_111220.jpg 

The decals.  I was originally planning on using them, but on opening the sealed bag to take this pic I noticed some hazy staining on them.  I’m not sure what it is but I don’t trust them now, so I’ll be sourcing some aftermarket ones this afternoon.

m_20200101_111305.jpg 

Colour call-out is not much use, as for some unknown reason they showed it as if the bird was under sunlight, with reflections glinting off the wing, meaning colour demarcations are impossible to decern.  Weird choice of print planning.

m_20200101_111341.jpg 

Aftermarket goodies start with an Aries resin cockpit set.  It’s not for the Fujimi, but then Aries are known to not always fit whatever kit they are designed for anyway, so fitting it should be no more problematical than any other, he says, touching wood!

m_20200101_111412.jpg 

A set of Master brass gun barrels.

m_20200101_111557.jpg 

A set of HGW stencil decals, though I may now not need them, depending on what aftermarket decal set I end up with.

m_20200101_111546.jpg 

Workspace cleaned and prepped, with ref shots and instructions all to hand.

m_20200101_111953.jpg 

Should be interesting!

 


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First thing, I wanted to see how well things fitted together, and the wings are always a good indication.  But before that those sink marks were worrying me.

m_20200101_154616.jpg 

They’re quite shallow, barely noticeable, but they are there.  But filling them would destroy the rivet detail, and that detail is fine enough that I’m not tempted to sand it off and reapply it.  I think one of them will be under a decal, and maybe I can hide the other under some weathering?  They’re opposite a couple of ejector marks, which from a trial fit, were causing some minor issues.  A good sanding made them go away.

m_20200101_154630.jpg 

Once that was done a further dry run showed that, for such an old kit, fit was excellent, better in fact than some newer kits I’ve worked with.   The gear well detail is somewhat basic, and here I had a long think about what I wanted from this kit.  Do I want to spend days and days scratch-building something more akin to the real thing, or do I want a quick, simple and stress-free build?  For now, I opted for the latter, looking forward to something enjoyable, and the fit of the wings showed me that, hopefully, I can get some real fun out of this if I don’t get too distracted by technical and historical accuracy.  So, the wells will stay as they are.  Lazy buggah, ain’t I?!

m_20200101_155652.jpg 

The wings coming together, and as expected, no problems at all.  I’m already enjoying this build!

m_20200101_160344.jpg  m_20200101_160435.jpg  m_20200101_160448.jpg 

After leaving the wings to dry for a couple of hours, it looked like all they would need was a gentle swipe with a sanding stick.  Just one small area on the left wing needed a dab of Mr Surfacer, and another small patch on the right wing.

m_20200101_192154.jpg  m_20200101_192202.jpg 

Next thing, the cockpit area.  Here the kit shows its true age, and, like the undercarriage bays, is basic, with very little detail, and a big, bland flat area of plastic.  Unlike the wheel bays, however, I'm far less inclined to leave things as they are.  After all, the wheel bays are underneath, not so visible as the cockpit area, so I will spend a bit of time here.

m_20200101_192554.jpg  m_20200101_192611.jpg 

I decided the best approach would be to assemble the Aries cockpit parts, then see what needed cutting in order to fit it.

m_20200101_192643.jpg 

The kit’s own instrument panel is tiny, about half the size of the p.e. part.  I suspect a good deal of surgery will be needed to get everything in.

m_20200101_192800.jpg 

This is the one thing I hate about using resin cockpits.  Cutting off the plug.  I know it’s a part of the casting process, a necessary evil, but it’s still a pain in the butt.  To minimise the toxic dust I use a bowl of soapy water, constantly dipping he micro-saw in it, as well as wearing a respirator.

m_20200101_194244.jpg 

That’s the plugs cut off.

m_20200101_201552.jpg 

Tomorrow I’ll start the painting and assembling process.


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In order to see what would be needed to fit a resin cockpit originally designed for a Tamiya into a kit it wasn’t intended for, I decided I needed a blank canvas, so to speak.  So all the little knobbly bits had to go.

m_20200102_185230.jpg  m_20200102_190237.jpg 

A lot of dry runs and close study of reference shots showed me I would need to trim back the cockpit opening by a little, as shown by the red areas.

m_20200102_193841.jpg 

Not too difficult, with some nibblers.

m_20200102_194044.jpg 

The inside, too, needed a bit of reworking.  Apart from needing the space, the cockpit wall was well above scale thickness, so sanding this section back killed two birds with one stone.

m_20200102_194130.jpg 

Doesn’t show too well in the pics, but the left side is looking better, now it’s sanded down.

m_20200102_200415.jpg 

You can see the difference better from inside.

m_20200102_200532.jpg 

Once that was all done I could get a better idea of what was needed to get the cockpit tub in place.  Turned out it didn’t need much at all.  Just some minor re-profiling of the front cockpit floor, and none at all to the side walls.

m_20200103_090546.jpg 

Next the instrument panel, which if you remember was at least twice the size of the kit part.  The dials themselves came in the form of one of those acetate sheets that need trimming down.

m_20200103_093221.jpg 

The real panel is a two-part affair, with the lower half set behind the upper one.  The p.e panels, being so thin, would not show this, so I laid the acetate sheets on a section of white plastic card and marked around them.  This would reproduce the scale of the setback, as well as giving some heft to the whole thing, which otherwise would be a bit flimsy.  It also gives a white backing to the dials, too, thereby killing three birds with one stone!

m_20200103_093506.jpg 

The panel parts laid out.  Late war Luftwaffe fighter cockpits were RLM 66 dark grey, so I used Vallejo to paint the p.e. panels, then picked out the dial bezels with red, blue and yellow, to match the reference shots I have.

m_20200103_095207.jpg 

Before I assembled it, I placed my plastic card copy inside the top of the two fuselage sections, to see what would be needed.  Just below it you can see a clearly defined ridge.  This is not a locator pin, but is specifically for lining up the panel.  And, lo and behold, mine is a perfect fit!

m_20200103_095301.jpg 

The instrument panel now assembled.

m_20200103_114452.jpg 

The cockpit coaming on the kit is sharp and angular, whereas in reference shots it is rounded, with a brown, leather-like covering.  So I carefully smoothed of the sharp edges.

m_20200103_114651.jpg 

The resin seat, RLM 66, with Citadel dry necron dry brushed on.  The seat cushions are Tamiya dark brown, with khaki dry brushing.

m_20200103_141416.jpg 

The tub, with the seat and bits added.  Various switches and knobs are picked out in various Citadel and Tamiya colours, and the big heap of harnesses are Tamiya deck tan, with the buckles in Vallejo aluminium.

m_20200103_153336.jpg 

Now I could join the two fuselage halves together, and again the fit was very nice, with no huge problems anywhere.  For such an old kit this is really enjoyable.

m_20200103_154327.jpg 

A quick dry run before fitting the tub in showed some small gaps in the wing to body join.  I also found that the tub was a smidge too low.  I reasoned that, if I was gentle, I could push the tub firmly up a bit further, thereby forcing the sides out just a fraction, and hopefully closing up those small gaps without needing to sand the tub, and killing even more birds with a very over-worked stone!

m_20200103_185904.jpg 

I didn’t want to run the risk of over-stressing the seams, however, risking ghost seams appearing at a later date, so I thought it might be an idea to reinforce them by dribbling some c.a. glue along the insides of the seams.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Ã°Å¸ËœÂ¥  But it was dark inside, and I couldn’t see too well if the glue was going where I needed it to, so I tipped in quite a lot, to be sure.  Then, to set it off quickly, before it ran out of any gaps, I hit it with Zip Kicker.

The result was a total catastrophe!  Ã°Å¸ËœÂ­ The kicker set off some kind of chemical reaction, heating things up and warping the outer surface of the tail-plane.

m_20200103_190014.jpg 

I did have a half-hearted attempt to sand it back, but it quickly became obvious it was beyond economic salvage.

m_20200103_185957.jpg 

This really pee’d me off, because this kit was coming together so nicely, and I was really enjoying it.  But, after looking for a stray cat to kick, I calmed down and had a good think.  I had a look on eBay, and despite being a bit on the rare side, there were a couple more on there, so I have bought another, and when it gets here I’ll take the two fuselage halves and re-do the work I did to get the tub in.  It means a bit of a waste of the rest of the kit, but at least this build won’t be a total loss.


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So, I was lying in bed last night, pondering on the next best step with the accident that had just befallen my build, and I had a bit of a thought.  Since all the damage was confined to the rudder area, could I just cut off the damaged part, and replace it with the new one when it arrived?

Thus, this morning, that’s what I did.  Using a razor saw, I very carefully cut through the rudder hinge line, and separated the blitzed rudder from the rest of the tail.

m_20200104_093848.jpg 

Once the replacement kit arrives, I will even more carefully remove its rudder and attach it to this kit.  This will mean not only will I not have to re-do all the work I did in the cockpit on the new kit, but also I can carry on working, rather than waste time waiting, and so killing two birds, blah, blah, you get the picture!

During the build I have been making constant reference to this book, the Valiant Wings publication on the Fw-190D and Ta-152.  I picked this up at Telford, and it is a vast treasure-trove of info, a real gold-mine, and I highly recommend any of their publications for any modeller.


m_20200104_140144.jpg  m_20200104_140234.jpg  m_20200104_140317.jpg  m_20200104_140353.jpg  m_20200104_140408.jpg   

This here is the kit’s supercharger intake.  Totally the wrong shape according to reference pics.

m_20200104_144608.jpg 

Apart from not actually having any intake port to speak of, the inlet itself should be round, tapering back into the body.  So I took a drill and some fine grinding stones and ended up with this.

m_20200104_150812.jpg  m_20200104_150821.jpg 

Much better, and I’m rather pleased with how it turned out.

I fitted the nose gun blister panels next.  There’s a small gap around it, but these were access panels on the real thing, so no real need for a ton of filler.

m_20200104_150915.jpg 

Supercharger inlet fitted.

m_20200104_151059.jpg 

Mr Postie brought me some more goodies this afternoon.  I already had the brass MG’s for the nose, so I ordered some more brass 20 mm cannons for the wings, plus some resin exhausts.

m_20200104_151116.jpg  m_20200104_151127.jpg 

The kit’s exhausts are molded into the side of the nose.  Flat and insipid, they’re not doing much for the look of things.

m_20200104_151420.jpg 

Taking the razor saw again I cut through the plastic as close as possible to the exhaust bumps, leaving a hole for the resin ones to fill.

m_20200104_163558.jpg 

I then added a small strip of plastic card behind the socket, so the resin parts wouldn’t just drop straight through.

m_20200104_164152.jpg 

Dry run, and a perfect fit.

m_20200104_163626.jpg 

Pilot’s armour-plated head-rest went in next.  There was a p.e. replacement, but I sort of destroyed it while trying to assemble it!

m_20200104_200022.jpg 

Tomorrow I’ll look at fitting that cockpit tub, and then the wings.


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A few small jobs first.  I painted the annular radiator with Mr Metal buffable iron, then cemented it inside the engine cowling.

m_20200105_100410.jpg 

Then it was time to bring the instrument panel and cockpit tub together with the inside of the fuselage.  Panel went in fine.  Then, as I already knew, the tub was a little too low.  I gave a gentle squeeze and pushed it up as tightly as I dared, hoping nothing would ping, and that it would also close up the gap at the wing roots.

Success!  All looks good, or as much of it as can be seen.

m_20200105_111854.jpg  m_20200105_111925.jpg  m_20200105_111953.jpg  m_20200105_112001.jpg 

Before bringing the wings to the body there was a couple of little details I wanted to address.  The wing cannon empty case chutes were just in half relief, and the nose MG chutes were no more than scribed lines just between the wheel wells.


m_20200105_112023.jpg 

I wanted something more than this, so using a micro-drill and the tip of a scalpel I opened them up.

m_20200105_114558.jpg 

If we have the science and technology to put a man on the Moon, you’d think someone by now would have developed a square drill bit!  Must admit, I'm regretting a little my decision not to do something more with those wheel wells now.

Now it was time to see how the wings fitted.  And packing the tub in tightly did a great job of closing those small gaps.  Fit is almost perfect now.

m_20200105_124341.jpg  m_20200105_124350.jpg 

Then while gluing them into place…  Oh, fugger!  Haven’t autographed a kit in quite a while, so I guess I was due for one about now.

m_20200105_124401.jpg 

While the glue was setting, I had a look at the prop.  Perhaps the worst part of the kit, some hefty sink-marks.  Not that that’s a really big deal anyway, some Revell Plasto Putty took care of them.


m_20200105_124533.jpg 

Nothing more than some Vallejo putty filled all the remaining gaps, on the wings and gun panels.

m_20200105_142444.jpg  m_20200105_142452.jpg 

Tail planes, too, were an easy fit.

m_20200105_153016.jpg  m_20200105_153024.jpg 

And that, friends, is about as far as I can get on this build, till the replacement kit arrives.  That’s not expected, according to eBay, till Thursday or Friday.  Too long to twiddle my thumbs, so I’ll start something else in the meantime.


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It seems I’m jumping a bit back and forth between builds at the moment, something I prefer to avoid if possible, but I had some spare time while I was waiting for the canopy masks for the Mustang to arrive.  Meantime, the replacement Fw-190 kit has arrived, so I thought I’d spend the day on this one.  The new kit is the lower one.

m_20200110_133630.jpg 

The box itself is in nicer condition, so I’ll be keeping that one for my wall.  It’s also the same artwork, though a different layout which, oddly, doesn’t have the Fujimi logo anywhere.

m_20200110_133642.jpg 

Also arrived are the aftermarket decals, the Eagle-Cal Yellow-tailed D-9's.  I used their decals on my P-61, and they were very nice to work with, so I don’t anticipate any problems.

m_20200110_133745.jpg 

I figured the best way to par the rudder safely was to first fully cement the two fuselage halves together.  This, hopefully, would simplify the job, meaning only the one cut, and both sides should match, since they are already joined.

m_20200110_193017.jpg 

Some rather anxious work with the razor saw, and the rudder came away cleanly.

m_20200110_215425.jpg 

Grater love hath no kit, than that he lays down his life for his friend.  Farewell, Dora, thy sacrifice shalt not be in vain.


m_20200110_215447.jpg 

New rudder attached.  Little skim of putty in the join and no one would ever know!


m_20200111_113341.jpg 

Next, everyone’s favourite job, canopy masking.  There’s no aftermarket set for this kit, so it’s all done the old-fashioned way, with Tamiya tape and a fresh scalpel blade.

m_20200111_120810.jpg 

Before attaching the canopy, I scratch-built something that loosely represented a gun-sight out of a sniblet of clear plastic card.

m_20200111_121747.jpg 

Canopy attached with the usual clear PVA glue.

m_20200111_123053.jpg 

Now the canopy mask for the Mustang has arrived, I’ll be popping back over to that one!


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So, now the Mustang is hanging its head on the Shelf of Doom, awaiting resurrection, phoenix-style, for a certain SIG at the end of the year, it’s time to pick up where I left off on the Fw-190 build and see what I can pox up on this one!

The first thing I did was re-visit my earlier decision to not bother adding any detail to the, rather basic, kit wheel wells.  I now have a set of Master brass Mg-151 barrels, but they are the full items, not just the ends.  In order to fit them without modifying the kit I would have to chop the ends off and discard the rest.  This seemed like a bit of a shame, really.

m_20200116_111113.jpg 

The kit representation of the cannon really is a bit bland, and using the full brass items would certainly be an improvement.

m_20200116_111117.jpg 

Taking a mini-drill and a small metal burr I carefully ground out the plastic cannon.

m_20200116_112925.jpg 

Then, to allow the full sized brass item to sit in proper relief, I needed to chain-drill a slot to recess it into.

m_20200116_115442.jpg 

Because the kit only had a small hole in the wing leading edge for a bit of plastic to fit into, there was no way for the barrel to poke all the way through into the well, meaning I had to drill through myself.  However, both my cordless drill and micro-drill were too bulky to allow a straight shot, their chucks would be rubbing and grinding against the fuselage.  Not good.  Fortunately, I have the solution, an Archimedes drill.  Great little tool, you just pump it back and forth between your fingers, (No sniggering, Clint!) and it puts a nice neat hole just where you want it with little effort.

m_20200116_131019.jpg 

While I was at it, I drilled the holes on the top cowling too, for the nose Mg’s.

m_20200116_132648.jpg 

Getting ready for paint.  This will be my first time with Hataka lacquers, in this case the late Luftwaffe set.

m_20200116_132705.jpg 

I’ve decided on the top scheme, red 1.  Partly because it’s the only one with the early-style armoured headrest, as my kit has, but also because I like the look of the full yellow fin and rudder.

m_20200116_132742.jpg 

At first I was a little confused as to exactly which RLM camo colours were needed for my chosen scheme.  The decal sheet has them listed at the bottom of the page, but I was left trying to match them to their colour diagrams.

m_20200116_132757.jpg 

I tried cross-referencing them with the info in my book, and back to the colour idents on the paint box.

m_20200116_132828.jpg  m_20200116_132914.jpg 

Of course, had I bothered to actually fully unfold the decal instruction sheet, it would have listed the exact colours for each scheme, saving my twenty minutes of head scratching!  Morale: always read the instructions!

Once that was figured out, I painted the wheel bays in RLM 66, then did a little dry brushing with Citadel dry necron compound, to give it some highlights.

m_20200116_212934.jpg 

Then I filled them with White-tac, to mask them off.

m_20200117_140835.jpg 

All primed, with Mr Surfacer 1500.

m_20200117_143245.jpg  m_20200117_143803.jpg 

Tomorrow I’ll be attempting my first Luftwaffe mottled scheme.  Given my faux-pa with the Mustang paint job earlier this week I have to admit to a degree of trepidation.  Wish me luck!

 
 
 

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Reply with quote  #8 


What are these 'instructions' you talk about [confused] [tongue] [biggrin]

Seriously you are making great progress, looking forward to seeing it with some paint on [thumb]

Geoff.

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks Geoff, I was beginning to think I'd somehow made this thread invisible!  It's been up over two weeks, and your the first and so far only member to comment on it!
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Before laying on the topcoats I did a bit of pre-shading first.  For the upper surfaces I used Tamiya XF-1 black, because the camo colours are rather dark, but for the undersides I thought that might be a bit too stark, so I used Tamiya sea grey.

m_20200118_132015.jpg  m_20200118_133626.jpg 

Then came the Hataka moment.  I couldn’t remember if Hataka should be thinned, but I did it anyway, thinning the lower colour, RLM 76 light blue, 50/50 with SLT, but when I tested it on a piece of plastic card it just went everywhere, spidering like crazy.  This didn’t exactly fill me with confidence for the coming job, but I went ahead and used it rather than waste it.  I turned the pressure down to about 10 p.s.i. and moved quickly, and it covered pretty good.

 
m_20200118_152643.jpg 

The lower shade extends all the way up the fuselage sides, almost to the spine.

m_20200118_152656.jpg 

Next came the first camo colour, RLM 75 grey-violet.  After the problems I had with the Mustang paint job, I felt most of the problem was using putty worms, where the paint pooled up against it.  So, though I’ve never tried it before, I went in free-hand.  With the backstop on the airbrush wound in, I found I had a surprising amount of control.

m_20200118_164239.jpg 

After a lot of practice on a piece of plastic card I finally plucked up the courage to attempt the mottling part.

m_20200118_164247.jpg 

Next came the second colour, RLM 83 dark green. 


m_20200118_181000.jpg  m_20200118_181011.jpg 

Because I was free-handing it, I found I was doing swirling motions with the airbrush, rather than the sweeping side-to-side actions I would normally do.  This ended up loosing most of the pre-shading, but gave an unexpected but nice-looking marbled effect, looking a bit like faded and worn paint.

Finally the RLM 04 yellow fin, rudder and lower nose sections.

m_20200118_211602.jpg  m_20200118_211621.jpg  m_20200118_211636.jpg 

It’s not perfect, the mottling looks more like blotching in places, and it’s a technique that’s going to take a lot more practice and experience to really do well, but for a first attempt, yeah, I’m fairly pleased with it.


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