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Whirly

1/144 Lockheed C-121J Super Constellation '8'

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Hi all,

 

a late start for me, I'd like to enter this build. Many moons ago I assembled the fuselage and tailplanes, hope it is well under the 25% limit.

Just the boxart from Scalemates for now, will follow with images of the box contents as soon as I find a good replacement for my old Photobucket account..

Best regards

Fabio

 

123493-10189-pristine.jpg

 

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Glad this is attracting interest and thank you for your wishes Martin :thumbsup:

 

Well, I checked the box and found some interesting items inside: first a DACO sheet of de-icing boots which I probably robbed from the Minicraft while building a Lockheed Starliner some years ago. Other useful additions are resin replacement engines and nose: the first are really needed for the mediocre kit items, the nose is subtly different and only marginally  better than the plastic item. 

 

2017-11-01_12-10-29

 

On checking the kit conditions I found out that the plastic has become extremely brittle and prone to cracking: a slight pressure on the fuselage joints to check for resistance caused all these damages. I will have to treat every part most carefully...

 

P_20171031_224040P_20171031_224049

 

The kit is VERY similar to the 1/72 Heller original and inherits also its inaccuracies, for example the air conditioning outlets which are represented only on the right wing. This configuration is correct for the L-749 but not for its bigger brother which ha simmetrical outlets of a different shape. For a start I have filled with plasticard the offending areas.

 

P_20171031_232219

 

The tailpanes are really demanding, hope a second application of filler will be enough...

 

P_20171031_235052

 

That's it for now, good night!

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Hi Whirly and a belated welcome to the Group Build :welcome:

A fabulous choice of subject, but that 'plastic fatigue' looks quite alarming!

 

Cliff

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Thank you Cliff! Did some more progress and the broken parts seem to have recovered well. My fear is for the smaller details (props, u/c...) which could hide some bad surprises. We'll see...

 

2017-11-02_04-02-09

 

 

 

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Now dealing with the resin nose: I measured as best as I could where to cut the kit fuselage since there isn't a reference panel line to use.

I rolled some rigid masking tape around the fuselage to avoid distortion and then checked again by Mk.1 Eyeball if the cut guide looked right.

 

P_20171103_080727

 

Then I took a deep breath and rapidly cut away the kit's nose. The result is not bad, quite square enough ^_^

 

P_20171103_081222

 

A quick dry run with the resin substitute showed a quite good interface but a noticeable diameter difference, will need some work with sandpaper after mating...

 

P_20171103_082041

 

I positioned the nose with small spots of superglue as best as I could, then I covered the joint with sellotape pressed tightly to avoid leaks and finally poured some two-part epoxy from the ventral wing aperture. This should grant a solid bond between the parts.

 

P_20171103_083231

 

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Thank you for the words of encouragement, despite the small scale they are really needed for this kit :rain:

More work done on the nose joint, a coarse sanding pad made the kink less noticeable...

 

P_20171103_223150

 

A liberal amount of putty was the spread all over the joint to smooth everything up.

The broken wing was reinforced from inside with a spare brass fret to add strenght.

 

P_20171103_230151

 

Before joining the wing halves I completed the rework of the air conditioning outlets: square holes were cut in the wings and filled with plasticard to give a correct representation of this feature.

 

P_20171105_202353

 

Another major job is preparing the resin engines for joining: the mounting rings on the wing were sawed off as well as the casting blocks from the resin parts, they will be installed later once the main airframe is all together.

 

P_20171104_000314

 

I finally joined the wings and taiplanes, fit was very mediocre and I had to fill with stretched sprue or plasticard the biggest gaps.

Putty was again liberally spread, followed by Mr Surfacer on most joints. Now the real fun begins!  :tmi:

Thanks for looking!

 

2017-11-06_09-52-05

 

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That Connie is coming together really nice! Good work no the nose, and repairing those cracks.

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So far it looks pretty good and a good save on that plastic malfunction if you can call it that.  Stick with it. It will be a nice looking result worth looking forward to.

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Yeah, the Connie is so graceful that even the worst kit is still a beauty to look at  :smile:

Here is my latest progress: I glued on the resin engines with two-part epoxy, a very tedious process since I had to wait for every engne to set in place before manipulating again the model. The joints are very poor, I flooded them with Mr.Surfacer for a start, then I'll see what comes out. I also applied a thin coat of enamel over all the repairs to check the result and to smoothen a little the surfaces before progressing to the painting stage.

 

2017-11-09_11-16-34

 

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You’re a braver soul than me - I ditched most of my Minicraft Connies on eBay when I found a cheap supply of the Revell kits. Great job though - some magnificent patience as well as very sound skills in evidence. 

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Ajmm,  believe me I persevered only because the kit was already started and I had all those resin corrections purchased before the appearance of the Revell kit.

Now I'm nearly regretting my choice because of all the finishing work I'm still doing: this morning the last (I hope) coat of Mr.Surfacer was applied. If all goes well tomorrow I will finally start painting :snail:

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Naaah, one step forward and two steps back... the tailpane broke completely off while finishing the joint with the fuselage: it was a sloppy joint but plastic glue seemed to react well, probably another side effect of the brittle plastic. This time I used plenty of superglue so it should stay in place but my patience is running out...

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Thank you Cliff!

Time for another update. Unfortunately things didn't go so well in the last two weeks: first I caught a bad cold just when I was ready to start painting, then after resuming operations my airbrush went out of service and I had to wait another week for the replacement part  :swear:

 

After all these mishaps I applied two coats of GSI Blue Angels blue which came out rather well:

 

P_20171124_212828

 

Then another accident happened while masking.. (that damned brittle plastic!)

 

P_20171124_214832

 

More work for the repairs and then onto masking for the yellow tips.

 

P_20171124_225550

 

I tested the kit decals on one of the u/c doors and unfortunately they are very translucent as it often happens with Blue Angels subjects, so to avoid a glaring mismatch with the painted surfaces I had to use Lemon yellow, Revell 12. I know it's not historically correct but I couldn't figure out a better solution.

 

P_20171129_080310

 

And this is the final result. I painted the underfuselage arrow since the decals provided are not correct according to the only image I could found of the belly.

 

P_20171129_080323

 

Now I have still to tackle the black and grey details on the nose and engines, given the little time left I doubt I will finish it before the GB end... Anyway I will try and after that there's KUTA!

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You paintwork looks great.

 

iI have never heard of such issues of the brittle plastic in a Minicraft kit. Very unfortunate Whirly but the build is looking good.

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I was feeling quite self confident after all the building problems but there was a final surprise. The decals shattered as soon as they left the supporting sheet, so for the time being this is a write-off. I duly wrote to Minicraft asking for a replacement at whatever conditions, let's see what happens. Sorry for leaving without happy end, I had really hoped for a good result this time.

 

2017-12-03_07-11-37

 

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That is a bit of bad luck Whirly, especially after all of the hard work that you have put in. I hope that the decals arrive soon.

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Too bad, I thought you were on the easy run home after to sorted out the plastic cracking issues.

 

Look forward to seeing it in an RFI post one day.

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I feel your pain Sorry this one didn't  make the cut off Looking forward to the finish of a stunning model 

Martin H

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