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  1. As my early Mk I is nearing completion my thoughts are turning towards my next Spitfire build. I had thought to do a very late marque variant, probably the F Mk 22 or 24, but have decided instead that any self-respecting Spitfire collection needs a classic day fighter scheme, sky-spinner-and-band Mk V in its line-up. The airframe I have chosen is a fairly well known one – for 20 years or so it was the box star of Airfix’s 1/72 Vb, first tooled in the 1970s: Spitfire Mk Vb EN951/RF*D, flown by Squadron Leader Jan Zumbach during 1943. EN951 was originally issued to No. 133 “Eagle” Squadron in June 1942 and flown by Lt. Don Blakeslee, an American, before being transferred to No. 303 “Kosciuszko” Squadron in April 1943 to be flown by Zumbach, a Pole. This airframe was in fact the third Mk V to be flown by Zumbach, coded RF*D and painted with his personal “Donald Duck” emblem. It is a well photographed subject. Zumbach on the left: At one time the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight had their Mk Vb painted to represent this airframe, in fact I have a little bit of history with it, Ten or so years ago I went to a Spitfire “technical day” at RAF Coningsby. This was outside the flying season, so the BBMF planes were in various states of stripped-downness for winter maintenance, and I was able to get up close to them in the course of a very interesting day. Here’s me with said Spit on the day: And a shot of the same aircraft during a different visit to Conigsby: Zumbach himself was a colourful character. He began his military career as an infantryman, but qualified as a pilot in 1938; unfortunately he was unable to take part in the defence of Poland against German invasion due to a broken leg sustained in a flying accident, but his unit evacuated to France where he flew the Morane 406 and the Curtis Hawk. He was shot down in June 1940 but escaped unscathed. The following week he travelled to England by boat, and was one of the founding members of No. 303 Squadron in September of the same year. Flying Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain he chalked up eight kills and one probable. He was shot down again in May 1941, but again was unharmed. By May 1942 he was Squadron Leader of his unit, and was the first allied pilot to come up against the Fw 190. His war ended rather ignominiously when he spent a month as a prisoner of war, having accidentally landed the Auster he was piloting behind enemy lines due to a navigational error. After the war, under a Swiss passport (his Germanic surname comes from his Swiss grandfather) he made a living around Africa and the Middle East as a second-hand aircraft dealer, smuggler and mercenary. Zumbach died in slightly shady circumstances in France in 1986; an investigation into his death was closed by order of the French authorities without public explanation. No. 303 Squadron was one of the most storied units of the wartime RAF. Unlike squadrons made up of young, inexperienced, newly-trained British and Commonwealth pilots, 303’s Polish pilots with their combat experience and aggressiveness (it’s fair to say they had an axe to grind with the Germans over the invasion of their homeland) made them a formidable fighting group, and they scored the highest number of kills of any squadron during the Battle of Britain in their Hurricanes (despite joining the battle two months in), before converting to Spitfires in January 1941. Here they are with EN951: Anyway, that’s the background. The kit I’ll be using for this is the new-tool Airfix Mk Vb, which apart from the decals I’ll be building OOB. @stevej60 is very kindly sorting me out with decals, as the Techmod sheet I had in mind now seems to be discontinued. I'm going to have a look at the kit during the weekend. Thanks for looking in.
  2. Hallo I have 10 kits from the 109 Gustav. From version 2 to 14. All sorts of kits. The Tamiya and Zvezda G-6 and several Eduard editions. My question is: The Gustav was in reality criss-cross converted. GM-1, MW-50, upgrated hood, Mk-108 and so on. The situation is, that nearly no kit represents the aircraft I want to build. If it is so, in detail I miss hatches, or the wrong hood. The difference with upgraded vision improved hood to the standard Erla hood is too big, to be ignored. Especially on the aspect of aerial. AS will be AS. No conversion intended. To much work! On the other side, for planes of JG-300 / 301 / 302 the landing light is mostly omitted. I intend to build the aircraft I intend, and not to stick on the decal option the kit has. Lots of decals I have, lots of masks too. I need to know a scribing tool to make the missing hatches in fuselage or wing by myself. I need to know where to get dash boards for the improved blind flying and radio equipment for the night fighter versions. I need to know aftermarket hoods for upgraded vision improved hood / not Erla. If you can help me, I would be happy. Thanks in forward. Happy modelling
  3. This Group Build covers my main area of modelling interest so I can enter numerous models from the stash. I have decided to build the SR-53 as it is a key British Aircraft and is quite a recent kit. I have never heard of the manufacturer before, 'Simian Stuff', but first impressions are good. The real aircraft survives at RAF Cosford. The kit comes in a stout box with the resin parts sealed in plastic. The main parts are individually sealed with the smaller parts in groups. A good, strong looking undercarriage and nose weight are cast in white metal. Detail in the cockpit and wheel wells is excellent and the nose probe looks fine and beautiful. It will have to be replaced though as I cannot trust myself not to knock it off. There are 2 vacformed canopies and a set of decals for both planned aircraft. These appear to have no white printed so I'll have to remember to mask the base coat! The kit has what appears to be the best set of instructions for a resin / limited run kit so far so I'm hopeful of an easy build. So here's what you get. We have a good rendition of the jet compressor and some great cockpit detailing on both halves. Looking forward to making a start soon as my F15 for the Eagle GB is nearly ready for a coat of paint.
  4. Hello Fellow Meteorites ! Let's start on another 1/48 Airfix F.8 Meteor. My contribution to the Group Build will be a Brazilian aircraft using the FCM 48-053 sheet. To contrast with James' (@81-er) camouflaged version, I will be doing this colourful 1966 scheme. I chose this because it has the 'Força Aérea Brasileira' title on the fuselage which appeals to me. Here's a photo of the real thing. I really like jet aircraft parked on grass - try that with an F-22 Raptor.... Proof I haven't started. I will also be using the Red Roo ADF Aerial housing and a CMK resin ejection seat which is winging its way from Poland right now. One of the sprues is warped but only has small parts on it so it shouldn't be a problem, and I won't be installing the cannon. This is my first 1/48 jet aircraft so it should be fun. Cheers Andrew
  5. Hello I have just registered an almost OOB F.8 but this is one I have been wanting to do for some time so why, I thought, do it as a dual build. I may not get it done as I don't really want to compromise it too much (within my skills that is!) but I figured that I may be able to get some efficiencies in doing them together. So, this one is the same Airfix F.8 converted to a T.7 using that lovely looking resin conversion from AlleyCat (AC48062C). I shall be finishing it, using Xtradecal X48-046, as WA725 of the Leuchars station flight, used for target towing duties, suitably finished in HSS with black/yellow undersides, dayglo bands (love dayglo!) and joint 43 & 151 Sqn fighter bars either side of the roundel - should be eye catching! T.7 Boxes by Rick Smith, on Flickr A friend built one and said it was a dream to put together - it looked fabulous, I just hope mine turns out half as well! Here goes, wish me luck! ATB Rick
  6. Hello everyone I'll be using the Revell rebox of the ICM tooling. Converting the A4 to the C6. It would be easier to have there own boxing of the C6 but I had this in the stash so waste not want not. So there will be some scratch building to do. I also have the aims radar and nose cone to use.
  7. Two kits were looking at me from the stash for a while, one was the Buccaneer and the other an F-4G. The Bucc finally got built, so the Weasel was left. I kept putting it off as I wanted a Euro One scheme Spangdahlem Weasel and the colours are tricky. I have done a Euro One A-10 before but even then I wasn’t sure about the colours. To sort this I thought I would invest in a Hataka set of paints and try them on the Phantom. So the starting point - an old ERTL 1/48 kit. Quite like the Hill scheme too but it’s going to be Euro One Couldn’t resist the instructions picture I have a few bits to go into this build. The paints, resin seats, aftermarket decals, a cockpit etch set and some bits of resin. I have a full resin cockpit, but I got that after the etch set. So it’s going to be etch enhanced kit pit. The kit is getting on but has nice recessed panel lines. It started me thinking about another Phantom in the stash Taking a closer look they have quite a bit in common…. Er, much the same kit? Well very close anyway. One extra sprue for the Weasel. Actually that’s not quite true. The ERTL kit has way more cockpit instrument panel detail, so the ESCI kit seems more basic. You get an idea in the shot of the tubs The grey Easel instrument panels have noticeable detail on them. The ESCI ones have none. The crea part is a resin cockpit rear panel I have a few of. Nowhere near the full resin detail, but I have etch. Coloured Eduard etch at that So cleaned up panels, new resin backs, etch bits & bobs. Should look ok. Then spotted an etch F-4E/F set. So a double build? I had always intended the gunslinger to be a Luftwaffe one. In Norm 72 splinter camo to go with my RF-4 So last question for now. My recent builds have tended to have lights & motors. No motors on a Phantom, but working lights? Was thinking wing tips, nose taxi light, tail anti collision flashing light, and back of tail light. Worth the effort? Anyway looking forward to hearing your views. By the way I think the resin pit will go in an FGR2 that is also in the stash. I am a serial Phantom offender. I already have 6 in 1/48
  8. I’ve been thinking about adding more heavy metal to my USAFE collection, and what better way than a classic 80’s Phantom. Despite numerous holidays to East Anglia and bases such as Lakenheath, Mildenhall and Bentwaters, I never did manage to get over to Alconbury, so I never went to the apparently legendary ‘Owl End’ to see the Aggressors and Recon Phantoms. The best I can do, therefore, is to try and recreate one of the latter in its halcyon days, hopefully to look like this: This is what I’m starting with. Not ideal apparently but about one third the price of a Hasegawa kit! It looks like I’ll need to change from these slotted E stabilisers to flat ones. Anyone able to confirm? Two different camera noses in the kit though. Sloped or angled? I’m guessing either is possible … Aftermarket decals ready.
  9. Hello all, Here is my recently completed 1/48 Tamiya F-14A Tomcat in the markings of 'Ghostrider 114', the infamous mount of Maverick and Goose during their stint at the Naval Fighter Weapons School 'Top Gun' in 1986. The build thread is below. Extras used included Quinta cockpit set, Quickboost seats, Quickboost TCS with bullet fairing, Hasegawa ACMI pod, Tamiya etched mirrors and pitot tube along with Fightertown decals. Paint is from MRP with the heavy weathering coming from a mixture of paints, Abteiliung oils, Flory wash and Tamiya weathering sets. Thanks for looking and stay safe. Dave
  10. Now….how many WIP do I have in here? Quite a handful. I am starting one more so that I can complete it by December. There is an Airfix Cup competition coming up in December here in Singapore. It’s a Tiger theme competition and the only tiger I have in my stash is the Lynx. I am not sure if I can pull through this build with tiny PE parts for the interior and exterior. This will be my first venture into the PE parts world. There are already numerous Lynx build here and I hope to do it as well as the rest. Alright, I will have to work on my B747 and this Lynx as well. Both aircraft needs to complete by year end.
  11. Hi, On my shelf for a while now is trumpeters UH-34. I am not a helicopter expert, but I believe this is the same as an S-58. I gather you should be able to build this as an S-58 as used by the Netherlands Navy. At the time I tried to get the “DutchDecals” sheet, but it had sold out. Did find a set from a company previously unknown to me by the name of Heli Scale. I also ordered a rotor folding set from Scale warships Ltd. designed for use on the Italeri kit. It is actually for the Wessex and I am not sure if they share the same rotor head as on the S-58. However, hopefully I can make it work. The trumpeter kit does allow to fold the tail rotor at first glance, so I hope to display it as shown in the National Military Museum in Soesterberg, The Netherlands. Also plenty of reference material on the IPMS NL website: https://ipms.nl/artikelen/nedmil-luchtvaart/vliegtuigen-s/vliegtuigen-s-sikorsky-s58 That’s all, thanks for watching. Rgds, Rob
  12. Here is my newly finished Airfix Sabre in 1/48. It went together pretty well apart from some nasty sink marks on the bottom of the flaps which I filled and some less bad ones on the drop tanks, some of which I left, and the peculiar breakdown of parts around the fin fillet and fuselage spine. Perhaps some more careful dry fitting would have given me an easier ride here but I'm sure there must have been a better way to allow for a 'fillet-less' fin in later releases. I was pleased that I didn't manage to lose the small triangular leading edge piece that has to come off to allow the lower part of the gun bay to be displayed open and did manage to find a home for it on the step and even apply the stencil! Ah, the stencils - how the Americans love their stencils - but I persevered and (I think) only lost one. 'Sabre from the Cockpit' has some great photos and although I used them, it looks as though the small white stencils in front of the windscreen weren't applied to RAF Sabres. I've moaned about the lack of adhesion of Airfix decals in the past but after watching their 'How to' video on the Spitfire starter set discovered the technique has changed - no longer do you soak them in water until the decal loosens, you just dip them in water for a few seconds and let it work its magic. Presumably the old technique now washes the adhesive off the decal. It's a nice kit, perhaps not one of new Airfix's best but still very good. It's from the box apart from moving the drop tanks according to Sabrejet's posts and is brush painted with Humbrol enamels. Thanks for looking!
  13. While the @Homebee sleeps, I'll crack his news - 3! On Moscow "МИР ДЕТСТВА 2021" ( WORLD CHILDHOOD 2021) expo , has announced a 1/48nd of Yakovlev Yak-9 from Zvezda in 2022. B.R. Serge P.S. As far as I understand, the whiskey truck overturned on the street @Learstang , in addition to the overturned candy truck!
  14. Good evening. As you can see by the sale stickers (and price!) this has been in the Vault for some time. With the joy of a cost of living crisis, I will be building this out of the box, so that will mean the original "bang seat" with the included flight crew present to negate the need for aftermarket belts. Looking forward to this. Icarus
  15. Bless my soul it’s a Fairey Firefly in 1/48 by Trumpeter Hello and welcome to my next aeroplane build. This kit Was sat at Ian Allen in Birmingham city Center since it’s release in 2018. Collecting dust. She was just out of reach price wise but When the 75% off closing down sale occurred I snapped it up along with a few other choice kits. ( Double edged sword of joy and sadness. I was excited to have it and looked forward to making her. As she wriggled her way to the top of the stash I began to look for builds on line. Lots of “special hobby” Fireflys but no Trumpeter. Then I start reading the reviews. It seems there is a lot of hate for this kit. The more I read the more disappointed I got. The more disappointed I got the more I read and the more I looked at the kit. She looks like a firefly, smells like a firefly, heck it even has firefly written on the box. I was well on the side of the under Dog. Yes there seem to be some issues and I’m not looking to build this under the eye of Sauron or anyone for that matter. I’m just here to have a good time. The issues that are most relevant to me I think I can fix with some old school modelling work / 3D printing and a rather lovely big dollop of enthusiasm. I’ve opened the box now so there’s no going back. 🫣🫠 Join me if you will in another adventure, I’d be glad for the support. Pawing through the various bashings this poor kit has had I have picked out a few things I’ll definitely be fixing along the way. And probably more as the build unfolds. They are: A new tail rudder. Cloth instead of metal. New wheels. Deeper and more details New wheel wells. Squared and detailed. Detailed cockpit. Just a little more. Nose vent things. You know if you know. Cockpit mirror. Yeah that. 🪩 That’ll do for starters. I’m confident I’ll get a lovely looking firefly at the end of this but one can never tell. I might just spoon it. Regardless if you’ve ever wanted to build this or ever wondered who on earth would then now’s your chance. Tag along and watch what happens after I open the box. Welcome friends. Johnny.
  16. Good evening, everyone. I would like to contribute another 1/48 ICM origin Ju 88A-4, this time in the Sicily colours (with the multiple ship kill marks on the fin).. Looking forward to this - I have a couple of variants of this kit in the stash, in my little contribution to supporting Ukraine in this difficult time. I also have purchased several other ICM/Modelsvit kits this year, for a similar reason. Icarus
  17. Woomera Meteor U. Mk.21A – 1/48 Airfix F.8 + Red Roo Conversion I have certainly been looking forward to this GB. The Red and White Woomera Meteor U. 16 and 21's manned/unmanned drones have always looked special to me. They also hold special interest as a regular visitor to Woomera, just a short drive off the Stuart Highway, to grab a wonderful big breakfast at the Woomera Heritage and Visitor Information Centre on our way to Coober Pedy. This year has been quite a busy one for me on other matters with frustratingly little time at the modelling bench. My 2022 Gallery completion rate is quite poor. I have set myself the goal of completing this one within time. Keep the conversion simple. Limit the enhancements. So, with the 1/48 Airfix F.8 kit and the Red Roo conversion kit in hand, let’s build a Woomera U. Mk.21A. Red Roo provide several marking options including the U. Mk.16 and the 21A options. I have opted for the asymmetric red/white scheme of A77-882 (WK937). The Red Roo kit gives detailed instructions on this and special thanks to @Ed Russell @Magpie22 and @Shorty84 for further evidence supporting the scheme. Starting with the usual box of plastic. With the fuselage and wings already separated for some dry fitting. It is a lovely kit. Excellent fit and appears to be in a harder plastic than some Airfix like the disappointing Sea Fury. This kit has fine detail and is a better material to work with. The plastic does have what appears to be quite a significant mould stipple effect. I think it will be OK under some paint and a light polish if need be. The Red Roo kit is excellent with everything in the box and very detailed 18 page instructions. Plus a good collection of decals to complement the Airfix roundels. Add to that some Eduard PE (I'll probably use very little of this) and a CMK MB Mk.2 ejection seat (gorgeous) and we're ready to start. Let’s blitz this one and get it into the Gallery. Roll on the weekend. Ray
  18. Another light aircraft build for me to run in parallel with my ongoing Percival Vega Gull (active, not neglected!) A little Auster which was flown solo on an epic two month journey from the UK to Australia, in the wake of the 1969 BP Air Race. The race marked the 50th anniversary of the first Australians to make that long distance flight in under 30 days, in a Vickers Vimy in 1919. The Auster was not a competitor, but carried a load of commemorative mail generating funds for the RAF Museum & to cover trip costs. Importantly for me, it sported a faux race number 50 - which makes it a fine subject to build for display at our club’s 50th anniversary show at the end of this year. This machine was a civil build 1955 4x seat J5P Autocar, but the nearest available kit at my preferred scale is the 1/48 Sword 1940’s military build 2x seat Auster MkIII. So there is conversion work to be done! In short: the wings can be used as is, but the fuselage will be substantially revised. Work is underway in earnest, will post first WIP progress soon ..
  19. I've been asked by a Jet Age colleague to build Hawk XX154 like this. Colleague was lucky enough to have flown in it, observing missile tests. Requested as in-flight, with 2 crew figures. Total accuracy not a full priority - just the scheme, and serial. My original thoughts were to hunt down a 1/72 kit, then decals, until this kit came my way. I've got leftover cockpit bits, and pilots from an Airfix Hawk build.
  20. Clearly this could have gone in the concurrent Prototypes and Special Schemes GB, but it feels at home here. An oldie but hopefully goodie - I'm sure I built a 1/48 Tamiya F.3 once back in the day. From what I remember, the F.3 was a really nice build, so hoping for the same here. I don't think I will have the transparent engine covers, but rather just have the kit ones as removable items. Of course, if I do this, I could just have the clear versions instead - also removable. Let's see how the mood takes me down the line. Thanks for looking, Icarus
  21. My modelling “career”, such as it is, has been littered with false starts: unfinished projects, good intentions, themic obsessions, complete losses (and findings) of mojo, total reboots, that sort of thing. Sometimes it feels like the ebb and flow of life is reflected in what I’m building and how I’m building it, and yet again I find myself at a crossroads, figuratively speaking. I won’t lie, this year has been traumatic, with the break-up of a 25-year marriage and everything that goes with it. While it’s all been going on I haven’t had the time or the inclination (or, to be honest, the heart) to do any modelling at all, though I have looked in on the forum from time to time, and am keeping my 2023 GB proposal bumping along (if the time comes, I will be there – bunfight willing!) But it’s also seen the enforced gradual liquidation of a stash that I don’t have the luxury of being able to keep any more, plus while my new living circumstances are by no means terrible I now don’t have the time or the room to build or display those four-engined heavies. I feel like I’m ready to have another go, though, and am going to take it right back to where I started: a Spitfire, and a very early one at that. When I started out (last time round) a dozen years ago I used to build nothing but Spits, actually. But I’m going to use this opportunity (let’s call it that) to switch scales from 1/72 to 1/48, an acknowledgment of my clumsy fingers and not-quite-what-it-was eyesight. So I’ve ordered one of Eduard’s excellent Profipacks to see if I can get back into it. I plan to only ever buy a kit once I’ve finished the previous one (“yeah, keep telling yourself that”, I hear you say) – the world will never be empty of choice in this regard! – so I’m not throwing silly money at the hobby like I used to. Needs must, and all that. I’ve always been appreciative of the culture of mutual support around this forum. Hopefully I’ll get a result out of this. Keep on keeping on, as they say. Cheers all Tony Blast from the past: my little of squadron of 1/72 Spitfires, all long since MIA!
  22. Hello all, Here is a bit of a side project I'll shortly be starting to run alongside an entry for an upcoming Group Build... Tamiya's 1/48 F-14A Tomcat, this time marked as BuNo 160665 'Ghostrider 114', flown by none other than Maverick and Goose. It's been done before, but sure, what's not to like?! After seeing Top Gun Maverick twice, and re-watching the original, a plan quickly formed! 160665 was delivered new to the Navy in 1977/78 and was serving with VF-51 at the time of Top Gun being filmed. It was transferred to VF-101 when VF-51 was disestablished in 1995 before being scrapped in 1997. The kit: Extras: I'll be using a Quinta cockpit set, Quickboost ejection seats, Quickboost chin pod with bullet fairing (the TCS was still relatively new around this time and those pods were rotated through the deploying squadrons), Furball tail stiffeners, Furball walkway decals, Tamiya detail set for the canopy mirrors and nose probe, Galaxy mask set and the wonderful Fightertown 'Best of the Best' decal sheet (which will be utilised for a further Top Gun themed build!). Scheme and some references: Great balls of fire! Dave
  23. AJS37 Viggen 37104 - F15 Söderhamn June 1996 The Box The goodies The decal set by Moose Republic and the reference book Research has started. If all goes as planned, I will be starting on it mid december. Is there anybody around who would like to do a parallel build? See you soon, Sam
  24. Hi all! Another Israeli build complete as part of my little project (Next up is an F-4E). WIP below: This is Esci's A-4M/N kit from 1979, its not very accurate to the A-4N at all (wrong canopy shape, wrong exhaust- the list goes on) but it looks like a Skyhawk so it does the job. Apart from some minor warping to the avionics hump and wing slats the fit was pretty good considering the kits age. All OOB, though I painted the canopy frame to resemble the A-4N's more closely. The kit even comes with a fictional IAF squadron. Painted with AK's 3rd Gen IAF paint set and they were superb to brush paint with and the colours look pretty spot on. Thanks for looking in!
  25. Evening all, Here is my most recent completed build - the excellent 1/48 P-38G Lightning from Tamiya. This is a well known kit so I won't go into much detail about it, but suffice to say it is near perfect, and probably the best kit I've built. Tamiya have done an excellent job designing a kit which is easy to build, goes together well with no gaps, allows for strong location of landing gear/gear doors and has great detail. It's a shame that their decals are so thick. However, that is where Exito Decals come in with this: The set has been reviewed right here on Britmodeller already: Without repeating what Mike has already said, the Exito decals are well printed (by Cartograf! so expect good things) and offer some unique albeit racy marking options. I chose the 3rd option, Lt. Edgar L. Yarberrys P-38G of the 48th FS as used in Tunisia in June 1943. This allowed me to use the nose art in the decal set, and play around with some interesting weathering options given the desert conditions. Without further waffling, here's the build I think this is my best build so far (very few mistakes which is pretty good for me ) and I'm tempted to get another P-38 already, though I may wait for the almost inevitable P-38J or L from Tamiya. I used Gunze/Mr Color C304 for the OD, and MRP Neutral Grey for the...er, netural grey. Is C304 the right shade? I don't know - it seems a close match to the spray can Tamiya recommend in their instructions, and to some reference photos of restored P-38s I've seen, but is probably a little light for the OD used, but hey, maybe the Tunisian sun has bleached it? Aside from these, I used MRP signal red, MRP black, Tamiya flat yellow, Tamiya LP-11 silver, MRP interior green and Tamiya Nato black for the rest of the build. To give a sense of random fading/weathering, I pre-shaded the model prior to the base colours, and then used Abteilung 502 oils for further panel to panel variation. I used a few different sepia, umber, grey and sand shades to add some random fading similar to what is visible in period photos. Panel lining was done with Ammo blue-grey wash (over an X-22 gloss coat), but a lot of areas with heavy traffic were redone with Abt. 502 Starship filth thinned with VMS universal weathering carrier (standard). The exhaust staining is heavily thinned MRP tan and this is the only part I am not too happy with as it looks a little too light, but I can't change it now so it stays! The Exito decals went down well, yet again reaffirming my faith in anything printed by Cartograf! Speaking of, Exito don't provide all the stencils, and I didn't fancy using the Tamiya decals (I used one in the cockpit and it took some work to conform to a slight curve) so I used some stencil decals from Fundekals, also printed by Cartograf which were also excellent. Although the real P-38 (and Tamiyas decal placement guide) have a lot of stencils marked out on the underside, I didn't apply all of them because I'm lazy and not all would be visible. The Tamiya kit requires the gun barrels to be added early in the build, but I would almost certainly snap them off, so I used a Quickboost set which allows the barrels to be added later. The Quickboost set is well detailed, fits well (unlike a lot of resin replacements) and means no snapped barrels, so given it's low price it's a win for me! Also visible here are the Eduard resin wheels which I used because the Tamiya main wheels are supplied in 2 halves and I would ruin the tread cleaning them up. As a plus, the Eduard ones are bulged nicely. The weathering was done with oils over an X-22 gloss coat, and once that was sealed, watercolour pencils from AK and Faber-Castell. The "Babe" in question...Lt. Yarberry had nice taste This was the only decal where the carrier film didn't disappear that well and is still a little visible but not the end of the world. The trademark chipping on the wing roots was done with Tamiya LP-11 silver and AK heavy chipping fluid. The toughness of the Gunze C304 lacquer meant a lot of work was needed to chip it, but that just meant I had more control of where I was chipping. I sprayed, chipped and resprayed the wings a couple of times trying to get this right. The same method was used to chip the nose and engine covers especially at the panel lines where the crew would handle them during maintenance. The leading edge paint chips were done with Humbrol masking fluid applied with a sponge over the LP-11. Also visible here are the HGW belts - my first attempt at using them, and whilst they look excellent, I am not sure the effort is worth it in 1/48 - at least HGW provide enough spare buckles! The staining on the props/cowls was done with oils and pencils. The turbos were painted with a mix of Tamiya dark iron, silver and JGSDF brown, and weathered with thinned MRP lacquers and oils. Another look at the nose art The landing gear and bays were all done with LP-11, which is a great silver paint; it sprays extremely well and is very tough once try - must be why it's always out of stock in the UK. The tyres are Tamiya Nato black, and the weathering is again Abt. 502 oils, Ammo washes and pencils. I added radio wiring with Plusmodel 0.2mm lead wire to add some detail to the radio bay. Also visible is a bit of the Quinta studio 3D cockpit decals. Again these were something I used for the first time and they look excellent (although a little grainy), but in the case of the P-38 so little is visible once built that they aren't worth it - if the kit you're building is more visible then go for it though! Also visible are some of the Fundekals stencils. Something I struggle with is shiny oleo cylinders. Silver paints don't give the necessary shine, buffing a small area is difficult and although it was shiny, the Uschi chrome polishing powder seemed to lose it's lustre quickly. So I used a Molotow chrome marker refill, applied with a brush and this gives a very shiny, smooth finish. Given how hard it is to see the underside of the centre section, I didn't concentrate weathering here, focusing instead on the more visible areas. I applied some sand oils behind the gear as if it was thrown up by the wheels. The rest of the grey underside was weathered with oils again. The staining is again oils and pencils. The decals settled in very well over the surface detail That's it then - sorry for the rather large images, but I also upgraded my camera to the awesome Nikon D850 and whilst it's great the images are quite large! Anyway, thank you all for looking! Cheers,
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