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About RZP

  • Birthday 02/03/1958

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  • Location
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  • Interests
    Polish Air Force, RCAF and Polish Mustangs, FAA

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  1. Thanks Chris! I really appreciate you looking in! Life kinda got in the way for a while. My little obsession with RCAF Mustangs gave me the opportunity to be part of the team that researched and designed the markings for its bigger sister: Richard
  2. Thank you, that's very kind. It was a lot of work but I learned a lot and got over my fear of scratch-building and modifying parts. Wow, thank you! Spraying the exhaust staining made me nervous, especially after the initial disaster. I learned that subtle is better. Thanks very much! I've already started another one... Richard
  3. I'm nearly at the end of this build after more than four years. It's on its feet and all the nav lights and landing gear doors are attached. I still need to add the antenna wire and the pulley block that guides it through the bubble canopy...well that and some paint touch-ups here and there. If anyone cares to see in-progress photos the link is at the end. The weathering was done with water-soluble graphite pencils that I found in an art supply store in town. The beauty of it is that it can be wiped off with a damp cloth if you are not happy with the results. With a sharp point you can wet it and follow the panel lines. It will lay down a fine line of sludge which you can then wipe in the direction of the airflow. It can also outline access hatches and panels. The thing to remember, which I learned the hard way, was that it darkens considerably when hit with a clear coat. The exhaust stains were another learning experience. I had never applied exhaust stains with an airbrush before, and the first attempt was with extremely thinned black paint and it was far too dark, and black. I managed to remove it all without too much trauma. The second attempt was with my own mix of dark grey and red-brown thinned to almost water. I learned that the perfect amount of stain was about two or three passes BEFORE you think it looks good. Oddly enough in some light it looks thin and grey, in other lighting it looks very dark. I'm not touching it again! Sorry about the weird backgrounds, I was experimenting with lighting and background colours with my DSLR camera. Hopefully I'll do better when it's done.
  4. There’s always hope. ModelMonkey has released a number of beautiful resin sets to upgrade and correct the Airfix 1/24 scale Mustang over the last couple of years. He has started to do Spitfire parts, hopefully he could be convinced to do more. Richard
  5. Thank you! The shapes and dimensions are all there, just needs four years of work, lol. I've loved every minute, almost. And I agree with you on the Maple Leaf roundels, especially in the case of the Mustangs.The RCAF Auxiliary Squadron markings were among the most attractive anywhere. Richard
  6. I've just sat with my morning coffee and gone through this brilliant build! I love these old 1/24 scale Airfix kits, but they are a bit of a double-edged sword. I've been working on their Mustang. They will absorb as much effort as you are willing to put in, but at the same time they really demand all that work to bring them to an acceptable standard. Our expectations have changed a lot in 50 odd years. That being said, their shapes and dimensions are accurate for the most part. I just love the care you've taken and the research you've done to get the details right, and the creative way you've gone about building details from scratch. The Waldron placards really do bring the cockpit to life, I wish they were still available. And that Airscale instrument panel is gorgeous. The correction you've made to the dihedral makes all the difference! Just a superb job so far, and looking forward to watching your progress. It will provide anyone else building one an easy to follow guide. More coffee... Richard
  7. Wow! Just came across this thread, and it's a masterclass in improving and correcting an old kit. OK...maybe a masterclass in stubbornness too. I love your solution for the horizontal stabilizers. I just filled your profile with likes. You've combined using aftermarket improvements (that are sometimes not such a good fit either) and good old-fashioned modelling techniques. What you've done is brilliant, and should also help others wanting to build the kit to a better standard. I'm one of them, I have the Matchbox kit and plan to convert it to a Seafire 47. This will be a great help in correcting a lot of faults in the kit. I bought the Iconicair nose correction, which is hollow, and hopefully easier to work with. I also have the Freightdog Seafire 47 conversion, the Master cannon barrels, Mastercaster interior set and a box full of 1/32 Spitfire spare bits. I'll definitely be following this, it'll be a guide for my attempt...after I finish the 1/24 Mustang. I'll let you do all the hard work first. Richard
  8. Thanks again John. Yes, it'll need some restrained weathering and dirt, but not much. 424 Squadron kept their mounts very clean, as did most of the RCAF Auxiliary Squadrons. Although I’m sure in this photo she was cleaned up for what looks like an air show or Air Force Day. The sharp-eyed ones will notice that the prop on this is the original cuffed Hamilton Standard. The photo in my original post shows it later on, with a cuffless HS prop, and the yellow/black Tiger stripes applied to the spinner. Not so obvious is the interior green on the inner clamshell landing gear doors. There are period colour photos taken of 424 Mustangs on the flightline at Mount Hope airfield showing this in close-up, but I don't have permission to post those yet.
  9. Thank you Jeff! I am pleased. Natural metal finishes, especially on something this size, are intimidating. Alclad is amazing stuff, but I'd like to try some of the acrylic metal finishes on the market. Richard
  10. Thanks! There are all the small fiddly bits to attach yet and more decals, but it's getting close. The main obstacle right now is the sliding part of the canopy, it's been fighting me. Thank you! It just seemed like a safer way to go until I was more comfortable with an airbrush, and Alclad...or whatever metal finish I try next.
  11. A couple more views. The bomb carriers and rocket stubs have now been added to the underside. And just a view from behind. The camera on my phone tends to act like a wide angle lens, and makes the dihedral look flatter than it is. Believe me, I spent a lot of time trying to make sure it was right.
  12. And this is where I am right now. With winter approaching and possible COVID restrictions coming, I'll finally be able to sit and finish this. I read all kinds of advice on sealing or not sealing Alclad before applying decals. There were good arguments for both. I was hoping to protect the finish and blend things in. In the end I did airbrush a thin coat of Future mixed with Liquitex levelling fluid, 99% alcohol and a drop of Vallejo Smoke. It didn't really alter the metal look of Alclad, which was what some modellers warned about. It did slightly knock down the shine a bit, and that was not a bad thing. 424 Squadron's aircraft were kept very clean but there would have been some oxidation of the aluminum. Again the code letters were all self-printed, based on enlargements of the Leading Edge 1/32 decals. The stencils were a mix of self designed and printed, with a few dry transfers from HobbyDecal. I had considered making masks for the codes and serials, but I wasn't that confident I could carry it off. There are still dozens of decals to apply... So far I'm happy, but looking forward to getting on with it.
  13. Thank you Chris for the comments. I can tell you that I practiced for hours with the airbrush before I pointed it at the model. It is now another tool. To be honest, I still think that achieving a smooth and even finish with brush painting is an art, and airbrushing is cheating. Richard
  14. Once the paint had cured hard, I was anxious to get some decals on. I just wanted to see some colour...and convince myself that I was making progress. The markings proved to be a bit of a problem, as the decals in the Airfix boxing I used did have RCAF roundels, but the printing left me cold. Although they were accurate, the reds and blues were a microscopic dot matrix, not solid colour. Once I saw that, I couldn't unsee it. Fortunately I found a set of very old CanForce decals with a selection of roundel sizes, and the proper style of maple leaf. The colours were a bit dark, but I was happy to live with that. All the rest of the markings were home made and printed on decal paper on my printer at work. They were coated with decal fixer and worked well, although I had to be careful not to use too much set or solvent as the colours would run if they were handled too much. Many of them were from the 1/32 Leading Edge RCAF Mustang sheet, enlarged on a copier to 1/24 and printed on decal paper. This included the 424 Squadron Tiger emblem. The stencils were all designed on the computer based on close-up photos of this aircraft. I now have a complete record of the evolution of RCAF Mustang stencilling and instructions. Haven't had a chance to use that in conversation at a party yet... I printed extras in case I screwed up ( I did a couple times ). The underside. I believe Canada was the only country that used the international codes on military aircraft...in this case VC-BAS. The Tiger in place. Although a couple of restorations since the 1980s have put the emblem on both sides, it is clear from photos that it was only painted on the port side. One more overall image. I experimented with some weathering, using water soluble graphite pencils. The great thing is that you can just wipe it off with a wet cloth or tissue if you don't like it.
  15. Thanks! If I remember correctly, the technique was originally used with AK Extreme in the article I read...I just took the leap and hoped it would work for Alclad. Thank you! Up until this model I had been a brush painter only, but the size of this thing made me finally break out the airbrush I bought years ago. I practiced for hours just using old broken models and parts from the spares box before I tackled anything on this Mustang. So far no disasters, and I am really pleased with the thin smooth finish. I don't know what I was afraid of. But you have to use the skills you're comfortable with, and your results with a brush are remarkable. Richard
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