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Hello. While waiting for the various paints, etc. to dry on my F4H-1 Phantom Prototype build, I have decided to start another project, the LF Model A-18 Shrike II, in 1/72 scale, just to "fluff-out" my between-the-wars collection. The box looks like so: I looked around to see whether some other brave-hearted person had built this kit, to help show me the way, but an internet search came up dry. So, here goes my uninformed shot at building the kit! Like other LF kits, it is multi-media, as will be described. To begin, here are all the given cockpit parts (control stick not shown), which consists of various resin parts, as well as a PE fret which includes the seats, seat-belts and foot petals: As occurs too often with the LF kits, the directions are only a simple line drawing, and also in this case, some of the parts aren't shown at all on the drawings, and some drawings don't even resemble the included parts! I wish LF would take a little more care in this department, but as it is the only game in town for this kit/scale, I guess "beggars can't be choosers", as the old saying goes. Anyway, I'll try to talk you through what I finally figured out. (Your adventure may differ!). Above right, the cockpit floor piece needs to be thinned, but I didn't thin any more than absolutely necessary "A". At "B" the front and rear bulkheads weren't shown on the drawings at all; I put the one bulkhead with a headrest in the front cockpit, the plain one (shown later on) at the back. The positioning of the bulkhead itself was actually determined by the fact that I aligned the cockpit side at the front of the floor "D" -- and THAT was determined by the little odd part pointed to by the arrow, which nicely butted up against the "step" in the cockpit floorboard, behind the circular "pedestal" for mounting the pilot's seat. The drawing seemed to show the OTHER cockpit side panel to be installed on the right side, but I couldn't make it fit the right side at all. So, I used the side shown, with the longer cut-out to the front (near "C" above). THE SEAT PEDESTAL WILL NEED TO BE SHORTENED, AS I WILL SHOW LATER! Above the "C" 's actually show the area that needs to be trimmed off just a bit, to allow the cockpit sides to set atop the floorboard, rather than on the edge of the floorboard. The "E" above shows where the bulkhead butts up against the cockpit sidewall, and that the cockpit sidewall is leaned in a bit so that the bulkhead and cockpit outside edges are aligned. I hope that all this is clear as mud, but maybe the photos will help. It actually took me awhile to get this far! The next photo arrows show hoW the "fit" is supposed to be. The lower arrow also shows the little notch that I had to sand to fit the step behind the pilot's seat pedestal. Figure "A" shows how the cockpit side glues atop the cockpit floorboard "B": Above right, "X" shows the pilot's seat mounting pedestal, and "Y" shows again the talked about "step". The headrest can barely be seen in the photo. Next, the PE seat needs to be formed up by bending, and then a little CA glue, to hold all the seams together. The little pointy end pliers shown on the left is what I used here, and will work as long as the two jaws align perfectly (and are long enough to fit the part). The Tamiya bending pliers are designed purposefully for this task, if you have them: d Above right, after setting the newly-bent seat in place for a trial fit, I discovered that the PE seat was so tall the it wouldn't fit under the headrest, so the bottom half of the headrest must be sawn half-way, at the line shown by the arrow, and lpower half shaved off. Also, the seat pedestal must be shortened to be even with the step (red line) Eventually, everything fit as shown in the next photo, which also shows the seat-belts having been painted and installed. Almost everything was painted Alclad II Semi-Matt Aluminum, with some of the few details in other colors. I managed to misplace the kit IP card or decal, so grabbed a decal from the spares box and mounted it on plastic card. When dry, it was trimmed to size, and more-or-less shaped to fit. It needed to be trimmed on the sides, so that it didn't protrude to far. Luckily, my decision to install the cockpit sides the way I did worked out, because mounting the IP on that longer cut-out worked perfectly: Above right, the dual-engine plane could use a few more instrument, but oh well, it seems I must pay for misplacing the kit IP... A view of the other side of the cockpit: Next another task that I've always dreaded is trying to fit a flat acetate window into a fuselage cut-out, and make it look like anything. I'll try again. First, I cleaned up a little flash in the window opening. Then, I took the Clear sheet, given in the kit, held it in place on the outside, then scribed the correct "glass shape" through the opening. Later, I would trim it out of the sheet with a sharp #11 X-Acto blade: Above right. I then painted the inside of the fuselage halves with the semi-matt aluminum. After that dried (sadly forgot to take a photo), I placed a piece of cello tape on the outside of the window hole, and using a little Pic'N'Stic holder, I placed the glass into place from the inside, and pressed it tightly against the tape. Then, using my fingers, I moved it around to be as flush as possible with the outside of the fuselage, after which a tiny bead of G-S watch cement was added around the edge of the glass on the inside. When dry, I cleaned off some excess G - S with 91% rubbing alcohol, and let it dry. After the fact, I wondered whether I should have just put a film layer of G - S across the entire inside surface of the glass, but I didn't. I have also heard of folks using clear paint as a gluing agent here but since I am going to be masking the outside later and eventually removing the masking, I wanted something pretty substantial to hold things together. One one side, I cut the acetate a little small, so I filled the opening with Perfect Plastic Putty, wiped off with a damp rag: Above right, with all the "window work" done on both sides, it's time to install the cockpit assembly, making certain that it rest in the three little "shelves", one of which is show by the arrow, Note that I also had to sand the cockpit floor sides almost dead flat along their entire length, to get a good fit to the fuselage. Figure "X" above, shows where some Milliput of Plastic Putty will have to be added, to mount the tail wheel into, as there is no "shelf" or anything else provided by the kit for that purpose. You will also kindly notice that due to my "serendipitous" choice of cockpit side placement, the instrument panel lines up exactly where it needs to be!! (Self pat on back)! Well, next time, I'll glue the fuselage halves together, and see what adventure that will bring! Later folks, Ed
P-51B/C/D/K Mustang & P-47D Thunderbolt Wheel Sets (2456 & 2450) 1:24 Halberd Models Halberd Models’ new(ish) flexible resin tyre sets require a slightly different method of construction to standard resin wheels, so I’ll refer you back to my initial review in 2019 here, which explains the process and design ethos in more detail. It also has a link to a video that shows the process fully, so if you’re unsure about how to use flexible resin tyres it’s worth a read. This new batch however add another level of configuration to enable the modeller to apply a variable level of sag to the tyres that as far as I understand it, is possibly the first in the hobby. The new techniques include the usual parts we’ve come to expect, but with the addition (or subtraction) of a thin section of the tyre that is destined to sit on the ground. This gives the tyre an incredibly flexible contact patch with the ground if used with the old circular hubs. The new hubs are different however, and have a block at the bottom that fills the thin area of the tyre, making it less flexible. If you wish to have your tyre sag more, simply sand back the “key” as we’ll call it, taking care to keep the curved underside, which helps keep the shape of the tyre. The assemblies are otherwise a drop-in replacement for the kit parts, so they should glue straight onto the landing gear axles, but it's always wise to test and adjust as necessary, as you'll be using either epoxy or super-glue to attach them because resin doesn't adhere with styrene glue. The advantage is that you can configure the sag as much or as little as you want, all before you glue the hubs into the tyres. Andrey was kind enough to let us have a built example of the P-47 alternative tread, which you can see below with no weight upon it, and the weight of my sausage-finger deforming the carcass of the tyre a little. These sets from Halberd are for any kit, with the P-51 having Airfix and Trumpeter offerings, while the P-47 is doubtless intended for the Kinetic or Vintage Fighter Series kits, which AFAIK are the same moulds. P-15B/C/D/K Mustang Wheel Set #1 (2456) Sets #2 & #3 have cross and block tread patterns, while this set #1 has diamond tread. You can get them all from Halberd’s eBay shop by clicking the link below: P-47D Thunderbolt Wheel Set #2 (2450) There are currently two sets for the Thud, #1 with diamond tread, and #2 as above with cross tread. See below for details: Construction is the same for each set and involves removing the centre section of the flexible tyres and final clean-up with a burr in your motor tool, then gluing the two-part hubs into the two main wheel tyres with optional adjustment of the sag with a sanding stick to abrade away the key, and of course the small two-part hubs for the tail wheel. The spoked hubcap has flash across the interstices between the spokes, so this also needs to be removed, showing off the deep interior of the hub to great effect. Once painted they should look very realistic, and the flexible tyres can be painted and or weathered if you wish with latex based acrylic paints, which have flexibility to match the elastic properties of the resin. Highly recommended. They’re currently being sold direct to customers via their Facebook page and their eBay shop, as per the links above. Review sample courtesy of
I give you Borris the barbarian on his way home from a spring campaign. This was a massive learning curve painting this 55mm miniature figure but really enjoy the it and will definitely be doing lot more. Any comments or criticism wellcome. Cheers Brian.
Chaps of all things resin. I'm renovating an old Webley MK3 Super Target .177 air rifle and the loading tap lever has broken. This is a rather nasty metal casting that will cost me about £35 to replace (with another nasty cast item!). Could resin do the job instead? It doesn't take any force or recoil as such, it's purely a lever to turn the loading gate so you can drop a pellet in. This is the said item. I have super glued it together but it won't hold for any length of time. My thinking is this, a casting kit from MDC is about the same cost as the broken part and I could then do model casting as well! Win, win in my mind. Rick.