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Shrimper Spitfire

Academy P47 Thunderbolt Eileen 1/72

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I've been building the Academy Bubbletop P-47 Thunderbolt "Eileen" in 1/72.  I quite fancied the checker cowling but the decals wouldn't wrap around properly and also the problem I've found with some other Academy kits is that the decals won't even stick to the surface. I'm thinking of getting some aftermarket decals though they are around the same price as the kit purchased.  I was thinking of painting a white band around the cowling though this would be more suitable for the Razerback P-47.  Has anyone on here any experience with this kit? and how did you successfully get the b&w checked cowling? Another thing, looking at photos should Eileen have a black rudder? This kit does not show this.

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I have been tempted to do such a model, but so far have failed to find the courage to actually do it. 

 

It's more of less the same as to try and wrap a globe with A4 paper; it will fold somewhere.

 

However, I if it were me and I suspected that the decals would not conform, I'd cut the decal into smaller stripes, ultimately just one row of checkers and apply one at a time. You'd be able to overlap slightly if that was necessary.

 

If you haven't got some decal softener, get it.  It's not a miracle cure, but it helps.

 

 

PS: I've seen a video on Youtube of some mechanics doing a checker tail bird in Italy during WWII and they painted the tail yellow and then did the black checkers one at a time using a mask.

 

 

 

HTH

Finn

Edited by FinnAndersen

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Hi Shrimper

I had exactly the same problem with that nose decal on that kit. I gave up with it and got an after-market set. This was 5 or 6 years ago so I can't remember the decal that I bought, but it did the job well. I may have made small 'snips' in the decal to help it conform, I can't remember. I'll get back if I discover the decal that I bought. I didn't mind that the new decal cost me extra, it enabled me to come out on top 🙂

Cheers

Mark

 

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Academy's basic decals are a known problem source, the film they get printed on is like cigarette packet cellophane.  Sometimes they'll farm the decals out to somebody competent like Cartograf, but usually they aren't user friendly.  There are also technical issues involved inherent to decals for a checkered cowling, which must fit and align precisely while also covering a large area that curves in multiple directions.  The checkered tail decals on Eileen are also problematic.

 

If one insists upon using basic Academy kit decals, there are a few ways to improve their performance.  Use hot water to soak them.  I've not tried water at the boil, but uncomfortably hot to the touch is about right.  A very strong decal solvent (Solvaset is my preference for Academy decals) helps.  Finally, a hot blowdown with a hair dryer will help melt the decals into conformance.  Be careful with that last bit, as a hot hairdryer will also soften and melt thin plastic-- I have an F-84 that involved lots of crap Academy decals over a bare metal paintjob, came out looking bril except for where the trailing edges contracted from the hot hairdryer blast.

 

 

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How about masking and painting the checkered cowl?  I have an article somewhere about how to do that...........think mine is paper form so I'll have to scan it.  It's how I did my 1/48 Checkered nosed P-47.

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5 hours ago, Billyweb said:

Shrimper

I bought the Barracuda Decals BC72003 from Hanants.

Hope this helps.

Thanks, I might get that for my old Razorback from Matchbox. The decals from that have gone and I put some un-used Beaufighter decals on in place.

I might also order SS72886 "No Guts, No Glory" from Hannants. 

 

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I cut the decal in stripes along the checkers (lengthwise) and applied them layer by layer, starting on both sides working towards top and bottom. But you need to make sure the decal has the right number of checkers and the dimensions are reasonably correct (measure the circumference at both ends of the cowling with a length of filament). Worked perfectly for me.

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I have the same kit on the shelf of doom, waiting for the last few decals to be applied... I did not build Eileen but as my planned subject was from 86th FG, I used a number of decals included for the other subject in the sheet (itself from 86th FG). Among these were of course the general stencils and national insignia and the red/white stripes for the tailplanes.

In the end I simply gave up ! There was no way to to get some of the decals to stick in place and even when they managed to show some adhesion, they did not conform to the panel lines. I remember that at some point one of the decals lifted on its own a couple of days after I had applied it in place... In the end I only used the stencils, replaced the stars with aftermarket ones and masked and painted all the stripes.

I shiver at the thought of trying to get the checkers decal on the cowling... I would probably feel better masking and airbrushing the pattern, afterall masking and painting the red stripes was a much easier task than trying to get the decals to stick in place

Edited by Giorgio N

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Back in the 90's, FSM produced a yearly series at the 50th anniversary of each of the wars years. In one of the magazines an author described how to achieve exactly this with a technical pen and black ink on a white field. It's tedious but the results are sharp and they preserve the details of the cowl vs. what an Academy decal would leave you with (i.e. nothing).

 

If you are interested I can see if I can dig it out.

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On 12/9/2019 at 7:06 PM, stevehnz said:

I'd be interested, this is one kit I've put aside pending "the day"

Steve.

I'll try to dig it out soon. Please message me to remind me.

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4 hours ago, modelglue said:

Please message me to remind me.

Hopefully someone will remind me to remind you. ;) :D

Steve.

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On 12/5/2019 at 1:10 PM, BlueNosers352nd said:

How about masking and painting the checkered cowl?  I have an article somewhere about how to do that...........think mine is paper form so I'll have to scan it.  It's how I did my 1/48 Checkered nosed P-47.

Think about how many hours this will take. Think about the minimum wage and all you could have done in those hours. Then consider the £7.99 that the Superscale decals on Hannants costs and reconsider your priorities ;)

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8 minutes ago, Phantome said:

Think about how many hours this will take. Think about the minimum wage and all you could have done in those hours. Then consider the £7.99 that the Superscale decals on Hannants costs and reconsider your priorities ;)

I went the route I did after killing two decal sheets worth.

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Btw, the trick to getting checkerboard decals to fit is to make small (1cm or so) cuts on the edges of each black and white pattern. That way when it contours around the cowling they will overlap. Avoids them bunching up which is a P.I.T.A. when the decals dry.

 

Not applicable to Academy's decals since they are beyond hope :P

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I went and got some decals from Hannants for Eileen with an option for another P47. I cut up the cowling decals into smaller strips which worked really well.

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Just a note on tail colors - 42-28878 Eileen originally flew with the camouflaged tail and full-chord white stripe.  The rudder was later (date undetermined) painted black.  My photos show that the only invasion stripes carried on this airframe were painted under the fuselage.

 

Cheers,

 

 

Dana

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