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mark.au last won the day on March 12

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About mark.au

  • Birthday June 23

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  1. Excellent, excellent work. What a pleasure to follow along with.
  2. Awesome work Chris. Having been otherwise engaged for a couple of months I missed a lot of this thread in real time but I've caught back up and looking forward to more. Superb work all round, and furthermore your engaging style and encouragement to everyone you chat with is a real inspiration. Cheers mate, I'm glad to be back on board.
  3. The last three months have been somewhat of a rollercoaster. We've become grandparents; endured 11 weeks of hard lockdown; purchased a new home; moved from NSW to ACT while negotiating a kaleidoscope of permits and exemptions to travel lockdown rules; I've chosen this time as a good one to change jobs (and career direction, no less); and now made it through 14 days of hotel quarantine. Whew! I planned to do some modelling in quarantine and accordingly brought a basic assembly tool kit. I chose two kits to build, a Dragon 1/48 Ta 152H-1 and an Airfix 1/72 Dakota III which will be the subject of this WIP. As it turned out, I didn't get as much modelling done as I thought and indeed only made some progress on the Ta 152. Most of its major assemble is complete and I'll complete that later, after the Dakota. Those that followed along with my previous Dakota build to commemorate the "Flying Nightingales" will have read about my intention to build the same airframe's markings once it had been passed on to the RCAF. To do this, I needed to create and get printed some customer decals and they finally arrived from the US a few weeks ago, albeit to an address I wasn't allowed to go to in locked down Sydney. However, I persuaded someone to mail them for me and as you can see below, they're now in my possession and look pretty good. Construction will begin shortly, and while this WIP has potential to be a bit of a repeat of the previous, I will try to bring in a bit more of the history of this airframe to keep it interesting. *Hint* - there may be one more build in this series! Cheers; Mark.
  4. Thanks gents. The move went well, in the end. We had to wait for our clearance to enter the ACT until the day of moving - our belongings had already been packed up and shipped out when we finally received the emailed clearance. Quarantine went surprisingly quickly (I had a couple of kits with me, and basic assembly tools, a subject for another post). Canberra insists that its quarantine hotels have balconies and more than average space; we were actually in a two bedroom serviced apartment. To add to all that, I also changed jobs during this period too! We're now in some temporary accomodation until next week when we can move into our new apartment and settle down to our new life. Almost there! As for the build... This one just dragged on, as is frequently the case with commission builds. Here's a pictorial of the finishing steps, and a final shot. I didn't get a chance to take glamour shots before we left so these will do for now. Bare Metal Foil for the fuselage applied after the paint was sealed. I didn't have any trouble with the foil's adhesive residue sticking to the paint, much to my relief. I used a decal sheet from Barracuda and they performed very well. Mustang, deconstructed. The finish model looks very nice. I did absolutely no weathering, as per instructions from its new owner. I applied a gloss coat to the foil as well as ther paint and was pleased with how that looked, i.e. like polished aluminium rather than the flat look of a combat Mustang. So there's the wrap for the the Show Pony. Not my best WIP thread by a long way!
  5. I've been making steady progress on the underside of the wings having painted and foiled. I still have a bit to do in the wheel well. The gear doors are also done with a little foil for the rub plates. I've painted the green on the fuselage and shined it up. This isn't quite the finish it will end up with, but it's sufficient for now to protect the paint from the foil when I begin applying it. Once it's foiled and declared, the entire model will get another couple of coats of clear gloss as the real aircraft doesn't appear to be uncoated natural metal, it looks rather more like varnished natural metal. One of the short-comings of the Airfix kit its the aux fuel tanks - there's simply no way [that I have found] to join them without losing the fold/seam that is supposed to be present. My solution is to simply join the halves, sand the join smooth and replace the seam/fold with stretched sprue and Tamiya Extra Thin. It's a simple and effective fix. Cheers; Mark.
  6. This level of attention to detail and determination to get it exactly right is inspiring. While I have been known to be fairly obsessive in replicating markings and weathering, it doesn't your approach yours. Having caught up a month's worth of posts I'm slumped back in my chair, a small dribble creeping down from the corner of my slack-jawed open mouth.
  7. These opening stages can be a little tedious when my real passion is the painting and markings stage, but I'm almost there. The wings have proved to be the most labour-intensive but they're ready for the first paint. After polishing the primer grey I applied, I can see the panel lines again and I'm ok with that. In studying photos of the real aircraft, while it's true the wing seams are filled and polished, the panel lines are still just visible and I think this will be replicated nicely as below. The application of another coat of paint, plus finishing, will subdue the panel line effect a little more than apparent here. I think it'll work as I want it to. If it doesn't, I'll fix it. The fuselage is also done. The Airfix kit does build well but there's a couple of spots that require a little more effort to finish nicely; the fit around the radiator exhaust requires care, and then some sanding anyway. I've also had to fill various holes and gaps as this is a model of a show-pony [racing] warbird, not a war-time Mustang. There were various fixes required on the fuselage; the flare port had to filled, there was a slight misalignment in the panel line just forward of the tail fillet which would have caused issues with the foil application which required filling followed by a re-scribe just 0.5mm below it. As mentioned earlier, I've filled the grills under the exhausts as well as the hole for the antenna which isn't mounted on the fuselage spine on the modern "Wee Willy II". One of the little jobs that needed doing was the canopy correction. The Airfix kit contains three, but they all have the little "nub" for the antenna wire to pass through while the warbird doesn't have it. I removed the nub with clippers and then sanded down with 800, 3200, 6000, 8000, and finally 12000 grit polishing cloth before a dip in Future. Here's the before and after. Painting will begin with the white stripes on wings and horizontal stabilisers, which I'll mask and then paint the green. That'll get a few days to cure while I work on the undercarriage, drop tanks (interestingly, my client wants the model with drop tanks attached, though none are to the real thing) and the prop before I continue on the bare-metal-foiled fuselage and silver-painted wing undersides. I have one more problem to solve; the Commemorative Air Force markings at the rear of the fuselage and the white cursive "Lt. Colbert L. Williams" on the canopy. I will likely end up having to get those made. Thanks for reading, cheers.
  8. I have been steadily making progress on the mustang and getting close to painting and foiling. The first task though, was to improve the cockpit. When I offered up the fuselage sides in prep for closing it up, I noticed the sides were quite bare where the fuel tank and radios would have ordinarily obscured them. Adding a little structure was a simple process and the result much better (the ejector pin divots won't be visible when everything's closed up)... The fuselage is now closed and much of the seam work is done. A couple of notables; the grills under the exhausts aren't present on the modern airframe so I've filled those, along with the hole for the antenna post, also not present. I've primed the wings and they're almost good. There are one or two spots to clean up, and I need to do a bit off scribing to repair and/or replace lines that ought be visible. The surface doesn't need to be perfect though as images of the real plane show some visible panel evidence. The uppers are going to be painted a gloss green so need to be quite good though. The underside will be painted Aluminium with some Bare Metal Foil on the panels directly behind the wheel wells. I'm pondering the wording in which I'm going to apply the finish. My current plan is to paint and finish the green uppers on the fuselage and then I'll be able to mask them when applying the foil without fear of damaging the paintwork. There is always some overlap in the foil and its adhesive residue might damage the paint if it's not masked. Doing this means I'll have to be precise with the masking. Going the other way runs the risk that masking tape would lift the foil. In other news our granddaughter arrived in the world this morning at 1am Sydney time; she and her mother are doing well while her grandparents could burst with happiness!
  9. All caught up. That Fulmar looks great, I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.
  10. Thanks Chris, I used some old and now very viscous Mr Surfacer 500, it behaves very much like spru-goo.
  11. Excellent news! We likely move in August, granddaughter arrives in the next week or two. I've been working concurrently on the cockpit and wings but nothing worth photographing up till now. The wings have required a lot of panel line filling as modern Wee Willy II doesn't have any panel lines particularly visible on its wings. I've removed the blast tubes and filled all panel lines as well as the IDF lights on the underside. The assembly sequence also required some rudimentary work in the wheel bay, but there's plenty more to do there. For expediency's sake I've filled all of the panel lines on the upper surface, but the access panels for where the guns were mounted in the wings appear to be visible in photos so I will need to go back and scribe them back in. Otherwise though, the wings are clean; I'm more or less ready to try a primer coat to check my seam work - there's bound to be some areas that require attention but hopefully not too much. The wings aren't actually perfectly smooth and panel-line-free on the real thing either. The cockpit posed some different approaches that usual. I haven't found any photos of W-W-II's cockpit but I do know a modern P51 cockpit isn't the same as an original so there were some changes to be made. The first and most obvious was the lack of seat armour so that was removed. I removed the radio and fuselage fuel tank and blanked off the floor (my customer didn't want the passenger seat installed), and I also left out the oxygen system as it's not present on this aircraft. The seat belts are blue and obviously the gun site will be absent too. I really don't know what the overall interior colour is; I've seen Interior Green in some and black in others, as well as natural metal in warbirds. I made a captain's choice and went with Int. Green to give it a more historic look. I used the decal for the instrument panel and added dropped of clear varnish for the glass. All of this notwithstanding the canopy will be closed on this model, so much of this won't be seen anyway. By the end of the weekend I expect to have the fuselage closed and the wings primed. I may even begin a little bit of foil application, but I rather think I'll work more on the wings to get them ready for paint and finish. In other news, those that followed along with my recently completed Dakota may be interested to know that I have bought another Dakota kit which I'll work on next as a test for the decals I've had made for the 437 Squadron RCAF version of FZ392. Cheers; Mark.
  12. After taking a break form the bench for a couple of weeks for work commitments (the nerve of my employer... sheesh) and some other distractions to do with an impending interstate move and the impending birth of our first grandchild, I've taken on one of my very rare commission builds. I'm pretty picky in what I do for commission, mostly because the commercial aspect often removes the joy of the process for me. However, in this case my client wanted something a bit out of the ordinary for me, a warbird not a warplane. This one... This will bring some new challenges! A shiny aeroplane isn't something I do very often, and there's a little bit of converting to do (there's no guns, for example). My client doesn't want me to put the passenger seat in, but otherwise exactly as seen above, pristine with no weathering. I'll be the first to admit that weathering is sometimes a mistake-covering technique on my models so I'm going to need to be quite good on this one! There's nowhere to hide on a gloss finish. I'll be using foil for the NMF portions of the fuselage. I'm going to use the Airfix kit for this one as it's a better representation of the late mark P-51's, of which this is an example (actually, this aircraft is a Frankenstein as the original warbird's airframe [not the wartime one] was essentially wrecked some years ago and it was rebuilt from several airframes and new parts). This will free me from my usual obsession angst pickiness focus on the historical accuracy and instead just replicate what I see in the photos. The Airfix is also, in my opinion at least, superior to the Tamiya kit which is showing its age compared to the more modern offerings available now. I'll begin with the cockpit as usual, but will concurrently work on the wings as I'll repeat the approach I took with "LOU IV" and attach the wings in the final assembly. The cockpit will be closed per the client's wishes, so no heroics required there. I suspect that this WIP might be a little different than the usual from me; less history and more modelling content but nonetheless I hope you'll follow along.
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