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Matt_L

Azur / Accurate Miniatures Vought Vindicator 1/48 - Paint at last!

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Hello,

Been a little while since my last WIP, but this lovely little kit has got me motivated again.

DSCN1185%201024x946_zpsllgfbaau.jpg

It's the Accurate Miniatures Vindicator reboxed by Azur, who supply revised wings for the French version, resin and etch detail and new decals for three 1939/40 Aeronavale options. two are all over light blue-grey, the third having additional blotches of green/brown cammo. Think I may be doing the one on the box.

Having read a little about the real plane, it seems it was yet another design that was good for 1936, but way behind the competition by the time it was used in conflict, as both the land-based French attack bomber squadrons, and later US usage in the Pacific proved, at the cost of many crews' lives. It was underpowered, under-armoured, and had poor flight characteristics when fully loaded.

The kit is beautifully moulded, full of detail in the large cockpit, and the Azur additions seem to match the original parts well, with a quick tape together showing no issues at the wing/fuselage join at all.

The engine is a good place to start, and shows crisp detail, and an ambitious approach to moulding the wiring loom and rods by Accurate Miniatures:

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However, after a bit of paint and a test fit in the cowling, it feels like the detail is too heavy (although about as good as you might get in plastic) and obscured the engine unrealistically.

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What to do? Leave it, or scratch build an alternative? Given the fineness of the detail elsewhere, I decided to have a go at scratching it. So, off comes the moulded detail, and the spares box provided a new ring to attach the plastic rod and wire replacement detail to.

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Just as I was about to start with the wire, and out gardening in the fine weather, I realised the plastic netting I was using to keep cats out of the raised veg beds/luxury cat loo (depends if human or feline...) would be an ideal alternative for the wiring:

DSCN1239%201024x768_zpsmpngmiqc.jpg

Hopefully this will work, as its got a nice randomness to the lines and is flexible stuff. given it was about £4 for 20m of the stuff, I've got enough to wire a few thousand engines!

More soon,

Take care,

Matt

Edited by Matt_L

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Evening,

A few more pics to share, and the engine is coming on better than I expected - bear in mind most will be deep in the cowling. Half the rods are painted black, half to go. And some of the garden mesh wiring is going on. It may take a while to do the lot, but should be ok, and allows far more of the engine to be visible as per the real thing. I've painted it a dull brass, some paint flaked as it is a flexible plastic, but easy to fix at the end.

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67PrattWhitneyR1535TwinWasp%20600x582_zp

Also, some pics of the interior under way. Loads of detail here, and cleverly moulded so that whole side frames are one piece. I've given different washes to the fore/aft cockpit walls, as the rear section was fabric covered rather than metal skinned.

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The seat, which will get etched seatbelts soon, I've attempted to give the aluminium an oxidized look with white/alu mix stippled from a near-dry brush.

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And a couple of the airframe taped to test fit and check for any probs - nothing major! The slight gap at the wing root disappears when a little pressure is applied to splay out the fuselage sides.

DSCN1241%201000x685_zpswe1vnnxy.jpg

DSCN1240%201000x767_zpsmxcpjndo.jpg

That's it for the weekend,

Take care,

Matt

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Hello,

The front cockpit is done now - lots of small, fiddly detail, but most will be visible through the large canopy. Fit of the sub assembly to the fuselage is generally good, but the lower instrument panel had to be hacked about a bit as it was too wide, stopping the halves closing at the front. Everything is brush-painted with Revell acrylics.

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Azur etch replaced the (good, but not quite as good) detail on this side wall panel, and the main instrument panel:

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Less than tidy lower panel reverse, shortened to help the fit, but it won't be visible.

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Starting on the rear cockpit which looks even more complex, with very fine resin and etch rear gun - hopefully once these stages are done things will move on more rapidly.

Welcome all constructive comments,

Take care,

Matt

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Hello,

The interior detail is all done now, and this has meant that the airframe could be built up rapidly. There were some fit problems with getting the rear cockpit framing to fit - it's too wide, so some filing and shaving of the outside frame edges was needed. But, it all closed up well in the end, gluing in stages to avoid any twisting of the fuselage.

Various components of the rear cockpit, showing the great detail Accurate Miniatures put into the single-piece side frames:

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Built up - a three hands task if ever there was one!

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All in place on one side of the fuselage, after a lot of test fitting and adjustment to get both halves to join OK:

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And a few airfarme pics. There is some minor work to do to eliminate the gaps at the wing roots, but more to do on the underside, where quite a lot of fettling was needed to get the rear under fuselage piece to fit with the Azur replacement wings:

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Hopefully onto an undercoat soon.

Take care,

Matt

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Very nice work on the engine and cockpit, Matt.

A very unusual subject...so I'm definitely in with this one...

Keep up the good work!

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Very nice work on the engine and cockpit, Matt.

A very unusual subject...so I'm definitely in with this one...

Keep up the good work!

Thanks One-Two, much appreciated, I get drawn to slightly obscure planes, and the French air forces in 1939/40 has a real range of interesting types to choose from.

Take care,

Matt

Edited by Matt_L

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Really enjoying this, I have one in my stash and keep looking at starting it. I'm looking forward to seeing this one finished.

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Thanks all for the encouragement. Silver Fox - I thoroughly recommend it, one for when you have a bit of time for the detailed bits, but everything is high quality, including the Azur additions.

Here's the engine rewired with garden mesh - it worked! Great stuff, takes CA glue well and can be bent into curves that stay. With a bit more practice and refinement this will be the future way I wire all engines. Or anything else.

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Think this will look fine fairly deep in the cowling, and I prefer it to the kit wiring/rods part - which, as I said, was an ambitious moulding in itself.

Take care,

Matt

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I think that engine looks ace! You should proudly display it with the cowelings off. Such a shame to hide it.

Matt

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I think that engine looks ace! You should proudly display it with the cowelings off. Such a shame to hide it.

Matt

Thanks Matt, Adrian.

We should be able to see most of it, if this is anything to go by (wouldn't this make a good diorama?). I think the side panels of the cowling runs all the way back to the firewall, and there's a ton of framework and exhausts that would need scratching, so maybe on the next one...

french-vindicator-captured%20800x523_zps

Take care,

Matt

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Lovely detail work.

Garden mesh?

Who knew?

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Hi,

Been a little pause as summer activities take over, but here's the airframe as is, primed, blemishes tackled and ready for paint. I've used the closed one-piece canopy as a mask for the cockpit, will be using the open sections to show what's inside (given that's where about 80% of the kit parts are!

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Hope to have some more done soon,

Take care,

Matt

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Hello,

Quite a lot done in the last few days, good warm weather in the evenings helps with the painting process, and I've repaired my airbrush at last (dropped it while cleaning, tip down - bad).

So, first coat of blue-grey:

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I don't know what the exact colour should be, but I felt this was a little too blue, so lots of different shades went on in random manner, all mixed from various Revell and Xtracrylix, leading to something, that, to me, looks 'right'. A Klear coat gave just the slight sheen I wanted. Some decals also on and some weathering with line washes, chips with a mid-grey paint and dust and exhaust from pastels. Nothing too much as these planes sadly didn't last long in service. The decals are ultra-thin, so need to be slid off the backing onto lots of water or they fold up, but they bed down fantastically.

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So, fiddly bits next - Undercarriage, and that multi-part canopy with tonnes of framing. Ordered a Montex mask set for that one! There's also an incredibly fine resin rear gun, let's see if that survives being built.

More soon, welcome any constructive comments.

Take care,

Matt

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Amazing work, and the aluminum seat, Genius !!

learning lots,

Garry c

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This is shaping up to be a great build. Thanks for posting. Bob H.

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Hello,

thanks for everyone's kind and encouraging comments.

looks great so far.....

Thanks batcode, hopefully it will stay that way as the last bits are done - quite happy with it so far!

Amazing work, and the aluminum seat, Genius !!

learning lots,

Garry c

Thank you Garry, I'm always learning too, from the many great modelers on BM.

Very nicely done

Cheers Pete! Nearly there now...

This is shaping up to be a great build. Thanks for posting. Bob H.

Thanks for commenting Bob!

Looks great.

You don't see this aircraft built very often.

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

Thanks flarpen, it is a bit obscure, but then over 30 years or so I've built most of the 'main' catalogue! I hear that the first Accurate Miniatures Vindicators had great big sink marks on the fuselage, well, that may have put people off, but this boxing is pristine.

So, what's new? Fiddly stuff. The undercarriage is on - semi fiddly; the extended PE upper airbrakes are on - major fiddly; and the resin and PE rear gun is on (bar the tiny fore sights yet) - mega fiddly and doesn't quite fit in a raised position, so I've stowed it. I've also started on the glazing, with the excellent and cheap Montex mask set.

Is it just me or does that windscreen look a bit Imperial Star Wars-y?

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Think one more coat of red is needed on those brakes - one of the advantages of taking pics as you go - shows little things you miss with the naked eye. And dust.

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Wheels received a little pastel dust, which doesn't show as well here as I'd like - anyway, it's there!

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Nearly done I think, except the canopies, under-wing dive brakes and a few tiny bits - aerial, pitot etc. Not sure I'll get all that done this weekend, but let's see!

Take care,

Matt

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Nicely done.

Fast work too.

Last one of those I built was a vacform and it didn't look anywhere near that good..

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Hello,

Been a while since my last post, summertime took over, lots of trips and family visits.

So, now it's raining and grey again I've found the time to finish up this build. Here's one pic for those that have followed and encouraged me so far here, and the rest are in the RFI.

DSCN1455%201024x678_zpsej0smskp.jpg

Take care,

Matt

Edited by Matt_L

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