Seven Down, One to Go

With seven builds going through final assembly this week, there hasn’t been much time for the P-38. After I finished up the Harrier yesterday I spent some quality time getting the final sanding completed. I am almost clear for paint with a little more sanding needed on the underside of the wings. Olive Drab has been sprayed on the anti-glare panels and I will mask them off today. I may get out to the airbrush tomorrow to get it painted. That’s my hope anyway. If I can’t get to it tomorrow it will have to wait until Tuesday. We are headed to the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, MI for a little Memorial Day getaway so I don’t foresee me wanting to do anything when I get home. 

With all the free space at my workbench, I have started to trickle the new kits in. I spent last night getting the alligator clipped parts into their work boards. I also masked canopies which is unusual because I am usually scrambling to get them done as I am going out to my airbrush. It’s nice to be done with them ahead of time. 

I have also added a new kit to the mix. Since I am doing the Have Blue build, I thought it would be neat to throw in an F-117. Right out of the box you can see an immediate difference in size. There are many similarities and differences to them both. 

    

AV-8B Harrier II Plus

Another quality kit from Hasegawa, the Harrier was a great project. Aside from the airplane itself, there were a lot of little projects within the build. There were a few issues at the beginning with some gaps in the fuselage which I think were a part of the air intake being too wide. After moving past that, the rest went superbly until I started working on the canopy. I ‘m not too sure what I did but after I finished painting the frame, I used future to shine it up. Maybe I used too much because it has a glazed look to it.

The two color paint job went on great. The decals were not like the D.520 or M.S.406 but they worked well. When it came time to weather the Harrier, I wanted to make it as filthy as I could. I think I accomplished that feat with a grimed up airplane. The overall build was painless and rewarding. It now sits on the shelf between the Skyray and the Su-22.

  


  

Morane Saulnier M.S.406

As the other half of Hasegawa’s “Battle of France” combo kit, the M.S.406 performed just as well as its roommate. This was a fun build without any issues to handcuff me. The build itself was great. The cockpit had good detail even though the canopy is closed. The fit was perfect except for the upper part of the nose. Once I filled that, the filler never made another appearance for this build.

For the paint scheme, Hasegawa provided two different camouflage schemes to choose from. They were both unique, non-traditional camouflage patterns. I went with the more difficult one and I am happy I did. I’m not sure what to call it, it’s kind of a tiger camouflage. My airbrush wasn’t in a bad mood during this kit so it came out how I wanted. The decals were from the same sheet as the 520 so they were fantastic.

I spent about an hour on final assembly yesterday after I finished up the 520. From start to finish, I enjoyed building the 406. It feels good to have some diversity on the shelf with two French airplanes.

   
          

Morane Saulnier Dewoitine D.520

Building the D.520 has been a pleasure to get through. I really have zero complaints and virtually had no issues. So this will be a short post, I guess. But really, Hasegawa took it to a new level with the 520 as well as the M.S.406 which is also complete. This morning was spent with all the final assembly tasks.

I finished painting a few days ago and shifted my efforts to the P-38. I finally got back to the 520 and applied the decals on Sunday night and gave it a light weathering yesterday evening. The decals were slow to release but after they slid off the backing, the reacted as if I had painted them on. By far, these were THE best decals that I have ever worked with. That is a bold statement but I have a couple hundred kits under my belt and I have never had them perform so well. They immediately formed to panel lines without any decal set. It was the perfect end to a great build.



Hawker Typhoon 1b

Like the Defiant, the Typhoon build was another lower detailed Airfix kit. It held the same characteristics of the Defiant throughout the build. They just about mirrored each other until the end. The build itself was pleasant the whole way through. Even though the quality wasn’t there, I really can’t complain when they go well. No headaches make for a good build anytime.

I chose to go with the desert scheme to represent Britains involvment in North Africa. I know I say it all the time, but I really need to pay more attention to this aspect of WWII. I am thinking of a B-24 next or a P-40. Or both.  Maybe I will do some research and begin another theme build on the war in North Africa.

I am learning to accept Airfix’s downfalls while seeing their strengths at the same time. I have learned to be more accepting of them after the Defiant and Typhoon. While they are not my first choice, they certainly aren’t my last. Besides, after Mister Craft’s Su-22 nightmare, anything is better.

 
  

 

    

Boulton Paul Defiant NF.1

Airfix has never been a first choice for me and I have learned to appreciate them a little more lately. The Defiant was great to build but it severly lacked detail. The cockpit consists of a seat with nothing else which leaves no desire to have an open canopy. My usual complaint aside, the build itself went pretty good. I was happy to experience minimal filling on the Defiant. The fitting of the wings wasn’t what I wanted to see but given the soft plasic of Airfix kits, I knocked the problem areas down quickly. 

The decals gave me some minor trouble with this build. I believe it was the age and not the quality. Some of them tore easily while others disintegrated. I used what I could and grabbed the rest from my spares. Overall I don’t think it’s a bad representation. It’s certainly not a prize winner, I am happy with it. 

 
  

 

 
  

   

Douglas F4D-1 Skyray

For being the last kit to get started, I think I did well to get caught up and finish ahead of the other six builds. I won’t take all the credit for it though. Tamiya put out a quality kit in the Skyray. I was very happy with the detail and ease of the overall build. There were no huge issues to overcome making for an enjoyable task. The stock decals worked well. They were a little difficult to release from the backing but easy enough afterward.  

From start to finish, I was happy throughout the entire process. This was one of those gems that keeps you going through the more frustrating builds.