As it turns out, the Wings of Freedom Tour wasn’t completely over. Lucky for me, I live about fifteen miles directly south of the airport. I happened to be in my kitchen loading the dishwasher when I heard the unmistakable roar of engines. We normally have a little crop duster that makes its way around the fields in the area but this was no crop duster. I made it out to the deck in just enough time to see the B-17 and Spitfire fly over first, followed by the B-24 and then the B-25. No TF-51 though. If this was 1940’s Germany, my house and I would be demolished. I’m happy to say that it’s 2017 and I have witnessed a Spitfire in flight. No question a very nice surprise.
It was another dormant day at the workbench today. I feel that I have earned some respite and to be quite honest, I was still kind of working on my models. Future models that is. Every year, the Collings Foundation comes to our local airport and displays some of their wonderful aircraft within their collection. The event is always anchored by the B-17G Flying Fortress (Nine O Nine) and the B-24J Liberator (Witchcraft). Both aircraft are open for walk-through tours and then flight tours in the late afternoon. Hefty prices for the flights but well worth the experience. I took a flight on EAA’s Aluminum Overcast B-17G a few years back and it was amazing.
Tagging along for the tour this year was a B-25 Mitchell (Tondelayo), a TF-51D Mustang (Toulouse Nuts), and a Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX. The B-25 and Mustang were quite cool to see but I made a hasty b-line to the Spitfire to get a closer look. You really don’t see an airworthy Spitfire on American soil too often. It was a treat. It turns out that this particular aircraft is a double ace. Check out the link at the bottom of its history.
It was a nice hour and a half of research today watching all these historic aircraft. The B-25 and TF-51 were active and I got to see both take off and land. Just a great experience for my dad, son, and me to take in.
Well the egg is certainly all over my face on this one. Since about the third post that included any mention of this build, I have for some reason been calling this aircraft by the name of “Peggy”. In actuality, it’s given name by the allied forces was “Betty”. I was completely dumbfounded and quite embarrassed to learn of my mistake while taking a final look through the instruction sheet. I even went back through all of my past posts to correct everything. In my defense, I did have it right the first two posts. From there…who knows?
So here we have the BETTY. I will say it again so I don’t forget, Beeeeeeetty. With typical Hasegawa quality, I think I had a decent time here. Bigger aircraft equal more seams. That was really the only challenging aspect to this build. The interior windows weren’t the greatest of fit but I’ll let that one slide. Decals were minimal and to the point which was nice.
Weathering Japanese aircraft can go many ways. I was originally going to use the salt method to show severe paint chipping but opted to steer towards the middle of the spectrum. I used a silver Prismacolor pencil to create the chipping and weathered the panel lines like normal. I think I achieved a good balance and I’m happy with the ending.
Just a quick update on the Betty for today. I managed to steal about fifteen minutes this morning to get the engines installed and then get the nacelles wedded to the aircraft. I weathered the nacelles last night before bed so I could at least get this far. The propellers were mated to their cones and I will try to get them installed tonight or tomorrow morning. I may even get the photo shoot done tomorrow. We’ll see.
So finally we have the Beaufighter. The one major thing that I have learned from this build is that I absolutely love this aircraft. It was as much a joy to build as it was to learn about. To have it complete is kind of bittersweet because I have to move on now.
Well, not much to say about the build that I haven’t already covered over the months. Hasegawa really did well. Excellent fitting parts and great decals once they finally released from the backing. Overall one of the better kits in my inventory. Once I finish up my model room and organize my shelves, it will sit next to my two Mosquitoes.
Workbench activity has come to a trickle over the past forty-eight hours or so. Not to worry because I am ever so close on both builds.
The Beaufighter could have been finished yesterday but I didn’t want to rush through and risk a massive catastrophe. It’s actually all finished now with the marker lights being the last task to perform. I painted each wingtip the respective red and green so it would show through the clear part. I let that dry overnight and finished the Beaufighter off this morning. Final pictures tomorrow.
The Betty is looking good. The engine nacelles were painted this morning and I began final assembly yesterday while I was waiting. More weathering has been added as well with the paint chips. The nacelles will get a coat of clear matte tonight and I probably won’t have a chance to do anything more until the weekend sometime. I took some rare overtime at work the next two days so the workbench will most likely be idled for a short time. I may just bring the nacelles to work and get them weathered on my downtime. Regardless, I’m at the end and it feels good to see it all coming together.
As the title suggests, I wish that there was more time in the day to allocate to all that I want to accomplish. Back to reality and here we are almost finished with the Beaufighter. I’m back in a regular rotation at work while the steel industry figures out where its heading. Hopefully in a positive direction soon so I can get back to my cake schedule. The dreaded afternoons are my schedule this week and I’m not exactly excited about that. I try to make the most of it but having a family that I don’t see for a week is downright depressing.
Back to the Beaufighter now. I had about an hour to spend on final assembly this morning and I spent every bit of it. The bulk of it is completed with just some minor areas to address. The landing gear and engines were the main attractions along with some touch-up painting. I’d say another hour will do it. So hopefully I can finish everything up tomorrow morning.