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I don't 'do' New Year so as well as getting on with existing models I started another which I also hope will be easy enough for me to finish in a reasonable timescale.

 

The quite nice Eduard 1/48 Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat.

 

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It's the Weekend Edition kit which I bought for £7 but it does need some add-ons so I ended up getting the Eduard Zoom set to go with it, and a set of Montex masks.

 

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Looking at some photographs, the kit and Ultracast's Hellcat seats, I decided the kit wasn't really good enough and raided the stock room as is the whole point of running a model-related business :rolleyes:

 

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The bulkhead needs cut up for the photo etched improvements behind the headrest (the basic kit omits the rear view windows, for example) and the big block moulded in place of the tubular structure correctly depicted by Ultracast has to go too so there wouldn't be much of the kit bulkhead left. Hence, I used it as a pattern and zipped my Olfa cutter round it to get a new one from plasticard

 

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Here you go DuncanB - that's what the -3's rear windows are there for. The pilot should be able to see through them over his shoulder but every kit I remember seeing or building of the Hellcat neglects to include these.

 

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So far, I've removed the moulded side console detail and glued on the foldy-uppy PE parts so I could shoot some Colourcoats ACUS09 ANA611 Interior Green prior to sticking on the pre-coloured brass bits, paint the seat belts and do some of that arty stuff to bring out some details.

 

Now it's green, this is what the seat and new bulkhead are going to look like, which I personally feel is a vast improvement on the alternative. To be fair to Eduard, the Zoom set does include a fold-up seat which is better than the plastic one, but the seat mounts are still over simplified for my tastes here.

 

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2 hours ago, Stew Dapple said:

Is this build purely so you can try out your new US blues? :D

 

Stew

No Stew, he's doing it to wind me up because my 'quick build' of a HobbyBoss Hellcat (to try out his new paints) has stalled. He's a very bad man and should not be encouraged :deadhorse:

 

DB

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6 hours ago, Stew Dapple said:

Is this build purely so you can try out your new US blues? :D

 

That Ultracast seat is rather special, isn't it? Don't suppose they do one in 1/72?

 

Cheers,

 

Stew

 

That's it in a nutshell Stew :)

 

Ultracast only make aircraft bits in 1/48 sadly. It's a shame because I think their seats in particular would sell well in 1/72.

 

3 hours ago, Duncan B said:

No Stew, he's doing it to wind me up because my 'quick build' of a HobbyBoss Hellcat (to try out his new paints) has stalled. He's a very bad man and should not be encouraged :deadhorse:

 

DB

 

Haud yer wheesht. You've got everything you need for yours. Just get some blue on it - it's built - I've seen it on Facebook!

 

1 hour ago, Reconcilor said:

I did the full 'orange box' version of this kit 5 years ago.  I can gaurantee you are going to love building this!

 

It's s nice kit by the looks of it so far. There's a bit of flash at moulding seems but nothing that doesn't clean up well :)

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21 hours ago, Duncan B said:

No Stew, he's doing it to wind me up because my 'quick build' of a HobbyBoss Hellcat (to try out his new paints) has stalled. He's a very bad man and should not be encouraged...

 

Ah well Duncan, Jamie only gets bragging rights if he finishes his... ;)

 

18 hours ago, SovereignHobbies said:

Ultracast only make aircraft bits in 1/48 sadly. It's a shame because I think their seats in particular would sell well in 1/72...

 

Huh, sizeists... but they probably would sell very well in 72nd. Maybe you could mention it to them next time you put an order in :D 

 

Cheers,

 

Stew

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I haven't touched a model otherwise since the last post, as I've been pre-occupied. It looks inevitable that I'll be losing my main source of income very soon due to the state of the oil & gas industry - I personally foresee no appetite for investment in the UK for some time to come for a number of reasons. As such, I've been looking for new work to pay the bills and have some opportunities to pursue.

 

In terms of Sovereign Hobbies, we finished a large trade order last night after day-work, but received another one during the afternoon. I'm going to have to think seriously about how to smooth out manufacture to something predictable month to month and look at removing my own labour (which has to fit around paying the mortgage etc) and get someone else involved part-time.

 

Anyway - all that pre-amble was a way in to saying I opened the box of the Hellcat again last night. The Eduard kit has quite a lot of flash actually - I spent 15mins or so cleaning up undercarriage legs etc and made some annoying observations. I find (through my own fault) that I've bought two Eduard PE sets recently that aren't really what I wanted. I won't attempt to blame anyone for that but myself - but I did wonder who would want a PE set that comes without seatbelts, engine ignition harness or an instrument panel.

 

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I must admit I consider these fairly standard and it only dawned on me last night that this set is missing the main things I really wanted. The cynic in me is starting to think that Eduard are engineering contents of their products to encourage people to buy all of them. The wheels in the kit are amongst the naffest I've seen recently so by way of spite, I shall replace these with Ultracast's Hellcat wheels rather than Brassin like cynical me thinks Eduard wants me too. On closer inspection, the propeller blades are rather thick and end-on look like cricket bats so that's an excuse to use an Ultracast propeller too. I don't actually have the wheels or prop in the UK to pillage from downstairs, but the company shall acquire them soon now that I have a personal motive (cos that's more or less our corporate purchasing strategy).

 

I'm fed up buying redundant PE so I've decided to just paint the instrument panel like the good old days, and shall scratch build the ignition harness, also like the good old days.

 

The seatbelts aren't a problem in this case because the resin seat has them moulded on. The only real progress last night besides scraping off flash was painting seatbelts!

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1 hour ago, SovereignHobbies said:

...The cynic in me is starting to think that Eduard are engineering contents of their products to encourage people to buy all of them...

 

Great work so far, coming on a treat!

 

I thought exactly the same thing when I got the Eduard limited edition Harrier kit from last year. Don't get me wrong, what you get in the kit is great. Lovely decals , photoetch and resin. But the one thing you don't get is the engine nozzles in resin. These, for me, are the most important to replace as it's so tough getting the kit ones right. So I've bought the brassin nozzles too!

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Sorry to hear you're facing redundancy Jamie but hopefully it's leading you to better things.

Nice work on the cockpit there. Looks as if this one will prove a great showcase for Sovereign Hobbies products :) 

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I think that the etch set you bought was meant for the profipack version, which adds the seat and stuff to what etch that kit has already (ie the bits you wanted for your weekend edition - belts IP and the like) There is a 'zoom' line I think upgrading the weekend kits. 

 

Tony. 

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16 minutes ago, Tony Oliver said:

I think that the etch set you bought was meant for the profipack version, which adds the seat and stuff to what etch that kit has already (ie the bits you wanted for your weekend edition - belts IP and the like) There is a 'zoom' line I think upgrading the weekend kits. 

 

Tony. 

 

That sounds like what I've done. Maybe the lesson here is that I need to stop trying to squeeze model-related procurement in between more pressing tasks!

 

On the plus side, I've got the rear cockpit bulkhead improvements. I wonder if I could get a panel finished using Airscale's decals, or whether it would drive me to insanity ...

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I am my own worst enemy. Whilst patiently awaiting the Thundersnow :rolleyes: I decided I didn't want to paint tin lids in a drafty workshed tonight so I haven't.

 

Instead I have embarked on a totally pointless venture to fill in the bits that if one pressed one's face against the small rear window glass on a real Hellcat one might see. If they had a torch. On the model these serve no purpose whatsoever besides consuming time with which I could have fitted the little bits of PE were I not procrastinating and avoiding PE.

 

I started by carefully razor sawing the floor off behind the armour bulkhead.

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At this point, the plastic cracked up the middle. It's the first time I've seen this sort of melarkey working with kit plastic!

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Ignoring the Modelling Gods' warning I pressed on and made a fuselage frame from plasticard.

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The Hellcat had a fuselage fuel tank mounted to that, which I have fashioned from two bits of some rocket-pod type thing from the spares box. The colour and texture of the plastic makes me think they came from the Airfix Canberra B(I)8 I built a while ago. I also sawed a rocket up and used some 10thou thick plastic strip ...

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Since the cockpit floor had been sawn short, I added new plasticard strips upon which it could sit:

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I then used Blutac to hold bits in situ whilst I glued in bits of strip to give an approximation of the structure there ...

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... which nobody will be see through the windows even though it will be light grey! I've got one reference suggesting the fuel tank was green hence it's not glued to the frame yet to (potentially) ease painting.

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So that was a bit of a waste of time, but hey, everyone likes messing about with plasticard, right? No? Just me? ahem :unsure:

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Lovely work on all those about to become invisible bits Jamie. Please don't thhink that I, as someone who's scratch-built at least three Spitfire cockpits now rendered completely invisible by poor quality canopies, am in any position to judge you but at least we know they are there I suppose. Perhaps we can call it good practice for the visible stuff.

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It truly was a waste of an evening objectively, but unlike some other mornings-after in my past, I am glad I did it that particular piece of work. Not seeing the diagonal braces (I expect they're nose-over protection for the pilot's head and neck) through the little windows would probably have annoyed me in the future.

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I, erm, don't think much of this kit so far. I have to keep reminding myself that I bought it for less than £8 and that's a good thing, because I am quickly getting to the conclusion that I prefer the old Hasegawa kit for engineering, parts fit and quality.

 

I've yet to find two bits of kit plastic that fit together properly, and I don't like the plastic at that. It's hard and brittle. I fitted some of the fiddly PE parts but thankfully not very many before thinking to check the fit of parts. The side consoles don't fit the fuselage sides - the locating pins on the consoles being much deeper than the holes. Furthermore, the pins don't seem to actually locate in the holes if the console is located in to the cockpit floor. The best solution seems to be to remove the side wall locating pins, and it's better to know that before fitting miniscule PE levers etc.

 

I've done a little bit, but I'm honestly not enjoying this kit / build (at least at this stage - i.e. using the kit parts) so I've had enough for today and am walking away. I'm quite disappointed as I had my hopes up for that kit. The surface detail belies the fairly mediocre remaining attributes.

 

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6 hours ago, Christer A said:

I was under the impression that this was a close to flawless kit?

It appears not to be the case...

A breather seems to be in order then. Better luck on the next session!

 

You know Christer, having slept on it I think I was maybe a bit harsh on the kit. I expected it to be a flawless shake and bake, but it isn't. I've forgiven far worse kits of their flaws though and thinking more rationally, this one isn't bad. It's fairly accurate, and it's nicely moulded. I still find the plastic a bit brittle and most of the parts have flash down the edge of the mould seams to scrape off. I guess I was annoyed that I'd just dived straight in without checking all the basics like "does this need clean up before spraying a base colour" and "do the parts fit before committing to PE details". The answer is yes and no respectively, and that's not uncommon at all and were I not a little more "up and down" this past few weeks than my normal emotional flat-line self I wouldn't even know I was doing the little corrections.

 

I had unrealistic expectations of the kit, but I think I'm over it today. I have finished the cockpit.

 

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I didn't want to spend any more on PE parts so I have made do with scratching an impression of instruments on to the panel. I painted the instruments white before painting the whole panels with RAF Night (I thought flat black would be a bit harsh) then scraped out as best as I could manage be bothered with using an acupuncture needle in a pin vice, before painting Clearfix over the instrument faces when done as is my usual habit

 

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In real life it looks ok-ish if you don't study it too closely.

 

The fit of the fuselage halves is ok and the cockpit fits nicely between them (including my new frame, which I was slightly worried about).

 

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The instructions say the tailwheel has to go in before the fuselage is glued together so I've looked at it, and decided I need to do something about it. It's not bad, but could be better without too much effort I think

 

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With respect to the tail wheel, it was either a drill it out and live with it job, or a total rebuild from brass tubes to be able to portray those arms as individual members. I figured it wasn't worth it. I did shorten the main door a bit to better resemble the above, as well as add the tow bar pegs. I don't know if that was standard fit on carriers but many preserved examples show them.

 

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Anyway, I realised I'd glued in the cockpit to one side without fitting the little window :|. Fortunately the uppermost bits I'd added from stretched sprue were soft and bendy so I was able to slip the glazing in from the top of the fuselage down over the interior bits I made and pop it into position. I glued it with Tamiya extra thin glue. I've now committed and glued the fuselage halves together.

 

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I am running a thread on another forum too and I was tipped off there that the cowling on this particular kit doesn't fit very well, so I was looking out for it. Mine doesn't seem to have been quite the headache it proved for the person who warned me, but that's probably because I was looking out for it. The cowling is moulded in 3 pieces; 1 ring for the front then 2 halves split vertically. They just don't go together to the same dimensions as each other basically.

 

Using his advice I bonded the top seam of the two halves first, then added the ring and glued it 1/4 at a time. The diameter of the cowl halves at was slightly bigger than that of the ring on mine, but slightly small than that needed to fit the fuselage. I sanded a slight taper on to it, but will still have a small gap to fill at the bottom.

 

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Next up the tailplanes (or horizontal stablizers, being American). The port side is fine but the starboard needs remedial work before glue. There's a spacer moulded at the root. I'm not quite sure why Eduard tooled it this way. On the starboard side it's too tall, meaning a lot of force is needed to mate the leading and trailing edges and if you do persist, the aerofoil section you get is too fat to slot in to the fuselage. On my kit the spacer on the starboard side was around 0.7mm taller than on the port side which was correct.

 

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This is it corrected

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The cowling and tailplanes are only placed on (there's Blutac holding the latter). One good thing about Eduard's tooling here is that I think I will be able to spray the camouflage with only canopy masking if I leave the wings and tailplanes off until afterwards. The plug-in fit means there will be no visible seam to deal with.

 

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