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Airfix Boeing 314 Clipper 1/144


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Airfix's Boeing Clipper in the airliner scale. This is a SK602 boxing from 1967 - original tool and box and older than me. Compared to my ongoing/previous attempt at this subject its mostly much crisper, with no sink marks and few blemishes (that one was a 1988 edition). Dry fit looks very good, hope not to wreck the detail this time. Again I have no intention of scribing this beast, the fine raised lines work better in this scale anyway..

 

My previous build has some history of the Clippers - great aircraft three-quarters the size of a 747 but air fares as much as Concorde. Not sure if its Ok to duplicate those posts, so here is a link to the thread.

 

So what do we have. Box old and worn but it was all there when I started:

 

2017-10-27 22.11.06

 

Contents. Classic clear Airfix stand, lovely shiny plastic and written instructions!

 

2017-10-27 21.22.20

 

Close up of fuselage and a wing

 

2017-10-27 22.12.29

 

Lots of clear bits, all of which will be discarded. I'll use Krystal Klear.

 

2017-10-27 22.15.34-1

 

The props are very flashy, the only case of bad casting. Must have been a bad shot, my later kit has much better props. I may swap them over.

 

2017-10-27 22.15.13

 

Very old and yellow decals, again I'll use the other model's sheet as the two schemes don't share anything and this one will probably fall apart. The other one may fall apart as well, in which case I will have a problem.

 

2017-10-27 22.46.05

 

So lets get on with it. I hope to get basic construction done this weekend, may even get primer on. There will be a disaster of some kind at some point...

 

 

 

 

Edited by TallBlondJohn
Correct typo
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Hi TallBlondJohn,

 

Welcome to the GB! Excellent choice! The model looks impressive!

 

Regarding the decals, you could scan them just in case, so that you could print your own if the kit's break apart. The scan could also be processed to remove the yellow tinge before printing on decal paper.

 

Cheers

 

Jaime

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7 hours ago, jrlx said:

Regarding the decals, you could scan them just in case, so that you could print your own if the kit's break apart. The scan could also be processed to remove the yellow tinge before printing on decal paper.

 

Good idea - but I haven't got a suitable printer. I guess there is somebody out there who provides a service? Anyway that's a long way down the road.

 

First job, put in cockpit walls and bulkheads so that the windows show through 'across' but not 'along' if you see what I mean. Not going to bother with any more interior, it wont be seen. I didn't do this on my previous build, lets just say Churchill left the doors open.

 

2017-10-28 13.55.11

 

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Great start!

 

Regarding printers for decals, I believe any ink jet printer can do the job. I haven't tried myself yet, though.

 

Cheers

 

Jaime

 

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Nice seeing it come together.

 

As for the decals, I've heard of letting it sit in a window, and letting sunlight bleach out the yellow. Never tried it, not had the need, but if that works you could then overspray with a clear coat to act as a bind and hold them together.

 

Whichever way you chose, good luck!

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That's exactly what I do with old, yellowed, decals. Just tape them to a window and leave them for a couple of weeks. Of course, it helps if you have sun....

 

Ian

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Sun? I'm in Scotland!

 

OK getting wingy-bits on by Sunday was the usual ludicrous optimism, but its bedtime Tuesday and its done. Plenty of perfect plastic putty slopped around and smoothed off, first coat of primer (Mr Surfacer) tomorrow to show up all the flaws. Fit was good considering the kits vintage, but not as good as it needs to be for a metallic finish. Now begins the struggle to sand as little as possible...

 

2017-10-31 22.14.22

 

2017-10-31 22.14.49

 

The fit at the tail is good but I know from experience the tailplanes need to be smoothed in to the central fin, so I've been generous. Look out for the engine nacelle sides, there tends to be gaps. Probably sand off most of the lines especially as the access doors aren't shown. Will I try to scribe them? Stay tuned...

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Progress... well we have had the first disaster and its a good one. Laquer paint and bits of Boeing Clipper liberally adorn my kitchen. I've spent the last week endlessly sanding and airbrushing to try and get the smooth joints the metal finish requires. Almost there when the air hose snagged the newspaper under the spray booth, which decided to become spontaneously frictionless. My joy at this discovery, so full of potential for the future of mankind, was tempered as spray booth, model and paint bottle headed for hard tile floor. So now I have a kitchen, shoes and clothes fashionably distressed with AK Xtreme Aluminium, a split fuselage and the tail in three pieces. I'm not taking a photo, the phone would probably explode. I've shut the door and I'm going to bed.

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Oh dear... that's quite a blow... a good night's sleep is probably the best option right now. In the morning a clear head will be needed for deciding what to do.

 

Hope you manage to sort it out as best as possible.

 

Cheers

 

Jaime

 

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Hi TBJ

 

I hope things are not as bad as you feared 

 

On a positive note your Decals should be fine, my kit was from 1976, and they worked a treat when I finally finished it after 40 years !

 

cheers Pat

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OK, after much sanding and repairing we are here. I had a lot of problems with various fillers, Perfect Plastic Putty went on well until I used wet Micromesh to finish, which took off the lot. Couldn't get fine edges from Mr Surfacer 500, in the end used Humbrol putty and a lot of brute force. I still think much better results are possible given much more care and preparation before gluing. Too late now though:

 

2017-11-12 18.16.33

 

As you can see I've obliterated a lot of raised lines which now have to be carefully rebuilt with masking tape and Mr Surfacer - this will take a couple of weeks. Thank god for audio books on YouTube (H.P. Lovecraft seems appropriate for this nautical monster). You can't scribe the lines unless you do the whole thing, a mix looks terrible. Since the given panel lines are probably in the wrong places anyway that's a possible project but I will leave it to stronger men than I. (Women could do it too but have far too much sense.)

 

Edited by TallBlondJohn
Correct typos
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  • 1 month later...

With a few days left to go... chances are I'm not going to make it. But it will be close...

 

Both my Clippers have had all their raised panel lines restored, a long and laborious process. Now to hide them with paint. I've sprayed the black for the leading edges first as it makes the masking much easier (not sure if they are de-icing boots, makes sense but they aren't present in some photos, especially the earlier Clippers. Maybe a refit?). The Boeing clipper has then had its first coat of AK Xtreme Metal Matt Aluminium (which isn't matt, or enamel, but isn't too shiny), more to follow. The engines will be done separately - with them in place its very hard to get at the side of the nacelles.

 

2018-01-02 22.35.32

 

2018-01-02 22.35.39

 

The RAF Clipper is at the same stage but will now receive its temperate sea scheme (Sky/Dark Slate Grey/Extra Dark Sea Grey). Its probable that the paints used were American mixes to match British standards. I've got Humbrols and they are old Chinese ones too, so I may do some mixing of my own to get the right look, allowing for old colour film and a certain amount of weatherbeaten-ness, though my builds will be hopefully be pristine straight out of the paintshop depictions (as weathering will be beyond me):

 

07418d0556dd1b474b7229f4a40c8afa.jpg

 

AFAIK, very little is available on the pattern - just this nose, a vague port side view and a few details. So most of it will have to be educated guesswork. I've tried looking at Empire boats and Sunderlands for clues but any suggestions welcome!

 

Anybody else racing for the finish line, best of luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks JWM for the links. Isn't it odd how you can google for images for years and collect everything in human history, then five minutes after you finish the model one more simple search finds dozens of new ones?

 

One thing that is clear is that each of the RAF clippers had a different camo pattern - which sort of doesn't help. I've taken a punt and now I have to live with it, as its almost unmasking time... last coats drying as we speak, just the orange visibility stripe to add to Dixie. Masking is Tamiya tape and Copydex- let us pray that nothing lifts:

 

2018-01-06 10.48.39

 

Then a pile of bits, mostly painted already. Finally a lot of decalling.

 

2018-01-06 10.45.09

 

Rather pleased with the wee observation cupolas. The Airfix bits are clear blobs, not too bad but lets try replacements built from very small bits of evergreen. Glazing will be Krystal Klear after all painting and varnishing is done. They are not big!

 

Cupola 01

 

2018-01-06 10.43.05

 

If everything is perfect and I get the Future on, I may be decalling tomorrow. But I've heard horror stories of how long it takes to do all the don't walk lines and rushing things will only ruin them, so we all know I'm not going to finish in time. I'll pick up the story back on the old WIP thread.

 

Edited by TallBlondJohn
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45 minutes ago, TallBlondJohn said:

Thanks JWM for the links. Isn't it odd how you can google for images for years and collect everything in human history, then five minutes after you finish the model one more simple search finds dozens of new ones?

 

I am digging for photos of Clipper for myself. - I have a vacu kit bought recently in 1/72... Not decided yet if I will go for US or UK machine. For sure a comouflaged one. 

Regards

J-W

 

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Hi @TallBlondJohn

 

Good progress! Looking forward to see the camo!

 

1 hour ago, TallBlondJohn said:

so we all know I'm not going to finish in time.

If you haven't noticed yet, the GB deadline has been extended one week, till 14 January 2018, 23:59 GMT. So, you have one more week and there's no need to rush!

 

Cheers

 

Jaime

 

 

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Forging onward, the last masking of the 'visibility stripe':

2018-01-06 15.34.52

 

I think it's not part of the standard Pan-Am livery but a safety feature to make the boat more visible in case of ditching in the open ocean, an indignity which definitely never happened at all ever to a Clipper. Ahem:

 

image022.jpg

 

The various colour films of the time show a range of colours from red to orange, and the paint actually used probably varied too. Advertising posters from the time show an orange almost at the red end of the scale so I'm going to try Humbrol Satin 132. Once again I've supported my LMS (Harburn Hobbies on Leith Walk). The railway weirdos only ever buy the railway colours so they still have the old Chinese Humbrols - so its figures crossed time again. I've already found and sanded a few NMF flaws, so we will need another round of aluminium after this. If I make next weekend great, but I'm not going to sweat over it - I am meant to enjoy this damned hobby.

 

Later addendum: for the record the wing stripe was officially specified by Boeing to be 'International Orange' - whatever that was...

 

Edited by TallBlondJohn
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27 minutes ago, TallBlondJohn said:

If I make next weekend great, but I'm not going to sweat over it - I am meant to enjoy this damned hobby.

That's the spirit! :thumbsup:

 

Cheers

 

Jaime

 

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