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mnord

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  1. The landing gear struts, now full length and with an improved mounting solution versus the kit. The core is etched brass, with some added details from the kit and some copper wire, either glued or soldered on. Took a chance with Alclad aluminium in the end and this time it turned out well...
  2. Just realized it was a while since I updated here. Things are coming together, finally (this project feels a bit delayed now). More details have been added to the landing gear. The work has included some soldering, with varying results but came out ok with a little patience. Some details have been moved from the kit parts to make life easier. Only one detail left, then the landing gears will soon be cleaned from any excess material and painted. In the meantime I've also started with the decals. As I have mentioned before the decals are quite hard to handle since they sits real hard on their carrier paper (they could be from the mid-90s something), but once in place they turn out quite fine with some microset and -sol. The decals were by the way thinner than I expected so the invasion stripes shine through a little on the insignia, but I will leave it as that for this time. Painting all the stripes rather than using the decal versions of them payed off, though.
  3. In a previous post I removed the pattern from the tyres in order to get rid of the ugly joint in the middle of them. After a few spins in the lathe I ended up with this: Left to do was to create some kind of new pattern. The lathe was converted into a mill and the diagonal threads should be made by a thin rotary saw. The only saws I had at hand at the time was 0.8 mm thick. That was definitely too wide but I decided to give it a go anyway, letting the saw approach the wheel with an angle and so to say use the "corner" of the saw to make the pattern a bit thinner. The first result below... Not quite. New blades were ordered, with a more sensible thickness of 0.3 mm. The wheel was covered with polystyrene filler and again run in the lathe. The rig was set up again, as seen here, and a new attempt was made. Although some patience was required it was not an as time consuming process as I first anticipated. After an hour or so I had made both wheels. Both wheels were polished in the lathe again and it all ended with an at least OK result. In retrospect the distance between each diagonal cut could have been smaller. But as a proof of concept, to see if I could even do it this way, it was kind of a success. Also better than putting slicks on the plane... Next timeI do this I will try to fine tune the process.
  4. I considered that the antenna on the back should better be mounted before the final part of the paint job. It proved to be a small challenge, since the antenna was missing any form of location pin and the area that was to be glued was microscopic. Realizing that the antenna would disappear at the slightest sneeze I went for a more rigid solution. With a steady hand a 0.35 mm hole was drilled in the antenna which in itself was no thicker than 0.7 mm at it's widest point. I drilled as deep as I dared to, which turned out to be around 1,5 mm. At that point I saw that the plastic started to give way on the outside. A 0.3 mm wire was inserted and could serve as a location pin, while at the same time making the antenna more sturdy. A corresponding hole was drilled in the fuselage. Of course I managed to locate the first one too much forward, despite efforts, and it had to be filled with CA later. The antenna was added and finally the last painting stage, the olive drab on the fin, stabilizer and fuselage back, could be finalized. Some small cleanups still to do but to my relief the three stripes on the fin turned out really well.
  5. Current state after some more masking, let alone in a photo that was a quickie and with the wings still masked off. The black invasion stripes and the glareshield has been added, along with the colored stripes on the fin and the interior green over the canopy rail behind the cockpit. I had some problems with the red color on the fin (not the tone, but the actual paint - it seems to have rotten a little and was difficult to thin properly without disintegrating) which took a while to fix and it also seems to have bled through the masking tape into the yellow. That'll be an easy sanding fix, though. What is now left before the decals is the olive drab on the fin, stabilizer and the back of the fuselage. The kit instructions says these should be black but this has later been confirmed wrong. (Rumor says that also the starboard wing of the "Angie" was olive green, but after all the work I've had with the Alclad I'll pretend I didn't see that...) In the meantime I've also done some improvements to the landing gear doors. These have a "lip" around them which on the original is just a thin plate, but too thick on the model. I've tried to illustrate it with a blue marker in the picture below. I went for the solution to replace the outer surface of the doors with brass sheet, which was cut to shape using the kit doors as a template. I first thought that I should need to sand down the existing lips on the doors, but when comparing them to photos of the real thing I realized that their total thickness was probably correct. That actually made things easier since I just had to cut away the "lips" and simply add the new brass covers. This was repeated on the four main doors, but the smallest one I will leave as-is as they would require a complete scratch build which was not really worth the effort at this point. Let's see if I'll thin them down a little. So back to the airbrush again, together with the remaining parts of the landing gear. Things are starting to wrap up.
  6. After having sprayed the guns and some outlets with "burnt steel" I'm hopefully done with Alclad for now. Instead the work with the additional colors has begun. Both the invasion stripes and the yellow nose are provided as decals in the kit, but I prefer to paint them and don't understand how you should be able to get the decal jigsaw puzzle together in a nice way anyway. Below the masking work has started, and the now painted windscreen can also be seen. Unfortunately some metallic stuff had managed to find its way to the inside of the windscreen when I sprayed the Alclad coat, but I think I will be able to rub it away once the cockpit masking has been removed. The underside of the nose where the kit decals were used as a template for cutting the masking tape which then was lifted over to the model. There are some spots in the aluminium but that was me who took the opportunity to remove some dust since the area was to be painted over anyway. Nose more or less masked off, including the wings. The masking required some work but turned out to be quite easy, and nowhere near the painstaking task I thought it should be. Paint work in progress, with the yellow parts and the white parts done. The model is hiding somewhere underneath the masking which is a mix of various masking tapes, newspapers and Parafilm. The white areas which look a bit dark here due to light conditions. They worked out fine, even if some of the damage caused by the earlier failed base coats may be spotted here. First masking has been removed to give way for new masking for the black glareshield. Looks fine so far. The yellow should be Tamiya XF-3, but when spraying the second layer I mixed the bottles and instead used Gunze H329. Not much of a difference in color although I think the XF-3 is a tad lighter, and also flat while the Gunze is gloss. Will probably need to go for a layer of varnish anyway when the decals are there and not much of a damage, I was more surprised when I realized the mistake. Stay awake
  7. A couple of weeks of lesser activity due to christmas and a week of skiing further north. It has not been completely standstill, however - the work with the Alclad layer has continued. And let's just say one thing - Orange peel. I now know all about it. And the Alclad Gloss Black Base Coat obviously knows even more about it than I do. I wrote above that I had some problems with the Alclad base coat and resorted to a simple grey coat with Humbrol color, which turned out a little better although not with a mirror finish. I did one mistake, however. I took the easy way out and did not remove the alclad layer before applying the Humbrol coat, and this lead to problems further down the line. It became obvious that the Alclad layer had been put on way too thick on some areas, especially on the underside, effectively ruining much of the details there. Also the Humbrol layer went on to thick a little here and there and in some places it had reacted with the underlying Alclad coat. I tried to fix it by sanding off parts and spraying new, but at that point the problems just got worse and I finally decided to remove all paint and start over again. Hence, a complete mess was created when removing color with some 1200 grit sandpaper (pursits may say this is too course but and finer grit would have taken ages). During this process a lot of the problems became even more apparent. The Alclad layer had not hardened properly (even after weeks) and large chunks could simply be peeled off. This was of course good for the paint removal process but also indicated that something had gone seriously wrong somewhere. While the color could be peeled off in some places it sat as a rock in other spots, primarily where some priming / test shots had been done with acrylics a couple of months ago. Main theory then that I hadn't cleaned of the plastic properly before spraying. When I had decided that I had sanded off enough paint (some difficult-to-reach and/or fix areas were still there) I started to figure out what to do differently next time. I know from when I did this in the 90's that spraying a gloss coat is difficult, at least if you want it gloss. Some research gave at hand that a spray gun, even a simple one, could be superior to an airbrush when spraying gloss coats on larger surfaces. Said and done, I ordered a 20€ spray gun to be tried out in the next round. I tested it on a mule and now everything turned out right. No orange peel, but instead a nice gloss coat. Happy with that I went on with the P-47, and did a stupid mistake - convinced I had solved the problem, I went with the Alclad gloss coat again... And despite it having worked on the test mule I got the orange peel. Again. Don't ask me why I tried the Alclad again, but I decided a little too hard to go by the book and also had half a bottle of it left which I thought shouldn't go to waste. It was just to hit the sandpaper again. This time I looked for shortcuts and heard the the MrColor thinner 400 could remove enamels and lacquers without damaging the plastic. I had a bottle at home, and it worked! Still a tedious process and the sandpaper is probably still the goto method, but the thinner was extremely helpful on areas where you don't want to risk sanding off details or where the paint was simply set too hard to be removed by sandpaper without ruining the surface finish beyond repair. The third time I went straight to the enamel. Still not directly a mirror finish (I need to tweak the spray gun settings a bit more) but finally something that was at least acceptable. And, finally, eventually, the polished aluminium layer went on. I thought it was a little too shiny so it has also got an additional overspray with airframe aluminium. The only detail that didn't turn out well was the windshield. I never dared to sand it during the paint removal process, so it had all sorts of layers on it and when I removed the masking the color simply peeled off. Not a big issue to fix, but I need of course to redo the masking before proceeding. I'm not completely happy since the underside simply lost a lot of detail and finish in all the failed attempts, but on the other hand the top has turned out quite good and I managed to salvage a project that at one point seemed to be doomed. A lot of experience for the future. It should be mentioned that the Alclad metallic layer went on very well (avoid wet layers, however, since that seems to be a recipe for a reaction with whatever is underneath) and also yielded a good result. From what I understood from different forums I'm not the only one who have had challenges with the Alclad base coat, and those who have been successful with it seems to some extent have been using the spray can, not the airbrush color in a bottle that I was using.
  8. Ok, a couple of weeks later and finally I getting close to recover from the first base coat unpleasantness. At least the upper side looks acceptable now. The underside a bit worse, but still acceptable and will not be that visible anyway. Soon I hopefully have added that metal as well, unless there are more surprises... Sanding, adding a new coat and then wet sanding again turned out not to be overly inspiring, so took on two subprojects in parallell. The first one is the landing gear, which I have described earlier in this thread. When scratching the wheel bays the fixture for the landing gear legs were lost, and the kit legs lacked significant details of their upper half anyway. The best way would be to create new legs altogether, but since I had limited possibilities to do so at the time I went for a compromise and constructed the upper part of the leg from a 3 mm brass rod, adding the missing details. The plan was then to add the lower part of the kit leg at a more final stage of the build. Since then I've got a lathe and things have changed. I realized that the two part leg may be to weak and it may also be hard to get a nice joint. Since I wanted to train a little with the lathe I went for two completely new legs. Below is their current state where the major work has been done but detailing and finalizing work, such as cutting them to the right length, of course is left. To the left is the old scratched part which was intended to be joined to the lower part of the kit leg, which is to the right. (A lot of brass seem to have gone to waste and that is true. I simply went for the 7 mm square rod I happened to have at home, which was unnecessarily big for the task...) The other subproject was the wheels. They should in fact not need to turn into a "subproject" but since the original thread pattern was not satisfactory, they did. First the pattern do not align between the two halves, and half of it will probably disappear anyway before that joint has been sanded down. As a result, I took them to the lathe and removed the pattern completely. So now I have ended up with smooth wheels. As a last exit I will keep them as this (maybe with som fictionary longitudinal pattern to give them some life) but I will give it a try and see if I can recreate the diagonal pattern. I will get back with the result!
  9. I have started with the base coat for the Alclad, and first started off with the Alclad black gloss base coat. We didn't become friends, to say the least - the base coat is half transparent in some way and was very difficult to get right. Where it didn't end up too thick (traces can still be clearly seen on the port wing edge) it was put on too dry, leaving a rough surface, and once it had set it wasn't easy to restore. Reading some tips from the web I resorted to "good old" Humbrol enamel which behaved way more predictable and while it haven't really stood the test of time against the more modern acrylic colors it was still a breeze to use compared to the Alclad. When switching to enamel I also took the opportunity to change the color of the base coat to light grey, which is said to result in a more realistic effect together with the polished aluminium versus the black coat which may make the top layer a bit too shiny. Unfortunately the Alclad layer underneath have made it a bit tricky to get a good surface but with another coat I think it will finally be good to go. The red marks are areas that need more fixing.
  10. I will not mount any bombs on this model for no specific reason other than that I view the P-47 more as a fighter escort rather than an attacker, and I rarely see pictures of P-47s with the bombs mounted. The pylons are often there however and they will also be on the model. The wing pylons in the kit are not a super fit. They work well on the outer side but not on the inner, as can be seen below. I wanted to at least mitigate the gap on the inner side so I started with adding some plasticard. After that I sanded them to shape by sticking a sandpaper to the wing, which in itself worked as a template. You still need to keep all the angles so I don't expect precision down to the 1000's but overall I hope it will be better. Of course the locator pins also had to go. The bomb fixtures looks ok but the last rods that will actually hold the bombs are overscaled. The rods can not be moulded to scale and i guess they are also dimensioned to be able to support the bombs in the kit, something that will not be an issue here. Hence I decided to let them go as well and replace them with 0.3 mm brass wire. Holes were drilled, which was not super trivial considering the size here. The pylon was mounted into a small vise with some clothing to prevent marks on the pylon. The drilling was then a very manual task, times eight holes... The piece ready for the wire. The wire itself was just pulled through and cut to length, and ordinary polycement was used to "melt" the holes around the wire. The CA I have is too thick. The final result mounted on the wing. One of the rods to the left fell off in the process and was replaced. It still needs to be cut to length. The wing with the pylon finally mounted. In the background the mounts for the drop tank can be seen under the belly. I decided to put them on at this stage since it will be hard to do that in a good way once the paint is on. They were simply glued on and the drop tank was dry fitted over them, allowing the fit to be adjusted while the glue was drying. When the glue had set the tank was removed and hopefully it will still fit perfect when I mount it finally later. The model looks like a colorful mess right now, so it will be nice once the base coat has been sprayed.
  11. The propeller issue ended with a Curtiss Electric being finalized. The photos I have on "Angie" seems to be have this propeller rather than the Hamilton Standard that it "should" be for a P-47D-27 (don't know why Hasegawa states a -25 on the box - both included options seems to be of -27). Reading a little further it turned out that the original aircraft was for sure delivered with the Hamilton Standard, but somewhere along the way, probably around the time when the aircraft became "Angie", the propeller was replaced by a Curtiss Electric. The result below. Still not satisfied with the propeller hub which in my opinion is too grey and dark for the intended aluminium look, so I will probably fix that later. I have some issues with the decals in this kit that seems to have dried a bit during the years and it's very hard to make them stick. One of the yellow texts ended up a bit offset but may not be that noticeable once everything is mounted on the plane. It's hopefully only this heads-on picture that reveals everything... Next to go was the guns. I showed earlier how I drilled new holes for them due to the joint between the wing halves going straight through them, so now it was up to proof whether that drilling was accurate enough, or if the guns will point in all directions... However, starting with the barrels themselves. The parts in the kit are actually just molded rods that makes no one happy. The guns on the actual plane are quite thick relative to the caliber, so ideally I should try to find som tube with 1 mm outside and ~0.3mm inside diameter. I didn't (but need at the same time admit that I didn't look that far), so the idea was to use a lathe to drill a 0.3mm hole in a 1 mm brass rod. Also this failed since I don't have that precision with my lathe (yet). Needed to be more creative and recalled that I had some telescopic brass tubes in the stash. Combining 1.0, 0.8 and 0.6 mm tubing would probably yield the desired result. The three tubes were put together and cut to length. To keep them from sliding relative to each other once on the kit I used a cutter to squeeze the tubes together in one end. The visible end was filed straight and was given a final finish with a 1200-something sandpaper. The final assembly was also a bit challenging since you need som relief to adjust the barrels once they are in place. CA is the natural option for a task like this but since it dries instantly I would have needed to open up the wing somewhere in order to first adjust the barrels, then fixate them with the CA. Opening up the wing at this stage is not very tempting and the space is anyway quite limited (guess this method works better on a 1/32 or bigger). Solution was to simply glue the barrels in the respective holes using epoxi glue, which leaves more room for adjustments. The result was still good but some glue ended up outside the holes and will need to be cleaned up later. Luckily my drilling a couple of months ago seems to have been accurate enough Wing pylons are next. After that I think it's all set for the Big Paint Job!
  12. Continued with the control flaps on the engine cowl where the aim is to replace the kit part with some brass. This was kind of an experiment, and a rather nervous one. Once the plastic flaps had been cut off there was no return. I started off with simply cutting a piece of brass as wide as the flaps should be, and then I cut it once again into pieces that should represent the flaps. The result was perhaps good for a first attempt but not convincing. The result looked very... unorganized and the second row from top was way too narrow. Hence, hit it again. The shape turned out to be more complex than the straight piece of brass that I used in the first attempt. To capture the curvature better I made a template from the kit flaps that had been removed earlier. Only half of the part was still in good enough shape so the template was made from that side. Two pieces were cut using the template as a guide. Also these were then cut into separate flaps, and mounted. Much better result this time, especially after some minor adjustments. Don't know if it was really worth the effort but it was good exercise . Will be interesting to see it all with some color later.
  13. The propeller hub was cleaned up and a new Alclad attempt was made. This time it went better, although I think it's a little too dark and the "metallic" feeling is missing. I will give it a second coat and see if it improves, otherwise it's ok as it is. The reason for the first failed attempt may have been that the base coat hadn't hardened enough - it seems that 48 hours or so are needed before adding the color coat. Current overall progress. Still some work (and time) to go before starting the major paint job. During the last weeks I have polished away most of the traces of sanding. The windscreen was next - I decided to mount it before the engine flaps were added since there was a bigger risk that the fairing-in of the windscreen would damage the engine flaps than the other way around. I decided to be ambitious and give the clear parts some inside fram painting. The interior color of the hood seems to vary in my sources - it seems any of black, bare metal or chromate green may be correct. The green seems to have been used on aircraft intended for pilot training over the US only and not on aircrafts made for actual combat. I went for black in this case since I think it will scale the best. The inner frames were made using tape, which then served as guides for cutting some bare metal foil. Final result. I was a bit (too) defensive on the edges since I don't want any interior black overlap the outside bare metal color which will be sprayed later, but it will at least give some feeling of an inside framework. I will ground the outside with black color anyway. The bare metal foil of course left some residue, but it was easily removed using some WD40-ish (or the copy I had available...) oil. The parts had some scratches already when I took them out of the box, so they have been cured earlier with wet sanding and plastic polish. Finally a major milestone was reached with the windscreen mounted! Some fairing in still to do. Work with the propeller goes on in another track. I understood there's some debate on which prop goes on to the "Angie" machine (Hasegawa seems to have mixed them up). I started off with the version below but I am not sure it's the right one - need to check more sources.
  14. Summer is gone and with that the weather which was too good to be spent on any indoor project. The engine has now been completed. When fitting it into the engine cowl there was a part, marked in red below, that was there for some strange reason. It seems to fill no other purpose than to hit one of the cylinders and prevent the engine from being placed in its correct position. I simply removed the part and everything then worked out well. Worth to mention is that it doesn't seem to be there in the instructions drawing either. The control flaps for the cooling air that are located at the aft of the engine cowl looks a bit stiff (not to say toy-ish) in the kit and I decided at an early stage that they should be replaced with brass. First step was to remove the original ones. Some plasticard have been used to cover areas that were collaterals from the removal. And the final assembly, with the engine and gear casing placed in the engine cowl: I've also cheated a little with the propeller. The propeller hub was selected as my first ever attempt with Alclad, which yielded some unsatisfactory results as seen below. Applying the base black was no problem but the aluminium layer failed. This calls for some wet sanding, and some investigation... I may simply have sprayed too much. Hopefully solved until next update!
  15. The acrylic ring was fitted into the engine cowl, not without effort. Below is a quick dry fit of the parts together. On to the gear casing(?) and the wiring. The "pigs" surrounding the casing are the kit attempt to mimic the wiring, which I considered a little boring. The bottom detaiils, the "ears" that is a separate part, has a gap to the casing where there shouldn't be a gap, so I will try to fix that as well. First off with the wiring. On the original it's a ring with the wiring coming out of it, but I have found at least three variations of the arrangement when checking sources. I decided to go for one of them, a ring with the wires sitting together in pairs. The existing detail on the gear box was removed, and the "ring" was machined from brass rod where 0,5 mm holes were drilled for the wires. 0,5 mm wire was glued to the ring... And this is how it looks by a sloppy dry-fitting. The wires seem a little overscale from here but 0,3 mm on the other hand seemed underscaled, so I will probably go for this. The wires need of course to be fitted to the engine so that together with some painting will be next step.
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