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This is my first work in progress post so please be gentle on me.

 

This was going to be my winter project, then when I had to go into lockdown for 12 weeks it became my virus project.  Unfortunately I have to go into hospital on Tuesday so this may be as far as I get.

 

The kit is great so far, I am not sure if the kit is a lot better than the Typhoon or if I have got better, but so far there are no issues putting it together.  I went for a cockpit upgrade kit and I don’t think it was worth it.  The seat belts from HGW are excellent and well worth the investment.  I have freestyled the inside of the back of the aircraft as I want to leave the bottom hatch showing.  I have taken some inspiration from Nigels Modeling Bench but not followed him exactly. I have the Anyz engine upgrade set and brass undercarriage which I have to make a start on but I am leaving that until after my hospital visit.  

 

Eventually it will be finished in the FAA scheme as I am ex RN myself so it seemed the obvious choice.

 

These close up photos show up errors and such that I just cant seen with the naked eye 😢

 

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The cockpit is all closed up now, it defensively was not worth getting the upgrade set for the control panel.  Luckily though you can still see some of the extra work I put into the area around the radio sets.

 

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I have started work on the engine, a lot of sanding was needed to get all the components together, but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting after seeing videos online.  I have added the spark plugs from the Anyz set, surprisingly easy to do, lets hope getting the spark plug wires on will be as easy once its is painted.

 

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Painting though will have to wait as I go under the surgeons knife in the morning.

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So, the appointment with the surgeon did not go as planned....

 

So I have painted the engine and finished with a clear coat.  Once everything is dry tomorrow I will move onto adding the spark plug leads. 

 

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I also took the chance to mock up the aircraft minus engines to get an idea of the size. 

 

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Today the wheels went together, very pleased with them, a simple pin wash has really brought out the details.

 

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I have made a start on wiring up the engine.  I am very pleased with the result using the Anyz braided thread for the spark plug leads.

 

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The braided thread looks really, engine overall is a super finish.  I think the crank cases were generally painted grey but guess you haven’t got that far yet..

 

Have you decided which aircraft you are doing yet?

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So not enough progress for a photo yesterday.  

 

The latest is that I have fitted the intake and exhaust pipes to the engine, which is really turning into a model in its own right.  I have also painted a lot of the hardware that goes around the engine and connects it to the fuselage.

 

I have also mocked it up with both wings folded.  I still haven’t decided how I am going to finish it. 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well it has been a while.  I have been in hospital and had a cancer and second adrenal gland removed.  On the bright side I am now required to shelter for 12 weeks so plenty of modelling time.

 

Any way back to the Hellcat.  The engine is complete and I have corrected the colour of the crank case.

 

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A bit of grime was added using Tamiya panel liner.  Next is on to the airframe.

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Yesterday I was able to sit at the workbench again.

 

I have done some very rough pre shading using Tamiya XF69 (NATO black) mainly because it is the black I had most of.  The undersides and fuel tank have been painted with Tamiya XF21 (Sky).   The top sides will be painted using Hataka lacquer paints which I have never used before.

 

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One thing I have noticed by taking all these pictures as I build the kit, is the number of flaws that become apparent.  I turns out I did to sort out the bottom centre seem which I thought was sorted.

 

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@Gingercoastie - Sorry to hear you have been so unwell.  Here’s to a rapid recovery, keep safe, keep modelling..

 

The close in camera shots always show up any minor mistake, we should really learn to use it as a tool, an indicator of where we can do better.  I think you should check out that second bomb rack too.  I’m not sure which aircraft you are doing and can’t remember when the Hellcat was wired for two bombs but both MkIs and early MkIIs were only wired for a bomb on the starboard wing root.  @Giorgio N or @Graham Boak might know for sure but I think it was somewhere in the JW serial range I would guess.  Of course I might be wrong completely.. 

 

There was a thread on here where it was discussed in detail..

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Magnificent work. Sincere best wishes for your recovery. Fingers crossed no further setbacks. Really enjoying your build and taking notes. FAA aircraft really appeal.

Q. 

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I've wanted to see one of these built, despite my dedication to 1/72 scale - please don't tell.

 

May your recovery continue, and be aided by some healing bench time.

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Following on from @Grey Beema suggestion I have searched for Hellcat JV321.  The only mention of her on the raid that the scheme is for in the kit is when she crashed into the barrier before the operation even began.  There is also a picture of the aircraft armed with rockets and what I believe are blast plates on the wings.  I also believe the rockets are not the type supplied in the kit.  So it would seem the only way to depict the aircraft as accurate is to omit bombs and rockets.  

 

As it would seem that I have glued them both on well enough that damage would be caused taking one or both off they are staying (I apologise) and I may just have to go for the more visually appealing load of two bombs.  As an after thought, I would have thought that a single 500lb or 1000lb bomb would have thrown the aircrafts CofG way out, most pilots I flew with (in helicopters) would not have liked it.

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The aircraft will not have flown with both bombs and rockets.  The methods of attack are completely different.  I also suspect that, for the reason you state. an asymmetric load was likelier to be the 500lb bomb rather than the 1000lb.  But there's no doubt the Hellcat was capable of managing that amount of asymmetry.

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Got some colour on the top of the airframe yesterday and today.  I am using Hataka lacquer paints for the first time for the Extra Dark Sea Grey and Dark slate Grey.  I thought the lacquer paints would be tougher than my regular Tamiya acrylic paint so I decided against putting a clear coat to protect the first colour from the masking tape.  Unfortunately I was mistaken so now I have some touch up work to do.  Other than that I am pleased with the effect and hope the touch ups will not be too destructive.

 

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The wings have come off worse than the fuselage, not sure why!

 

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The engine has been attached to the airframe, and I have to say I am impressed, it is an impressive looking model.

 

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Unfortunatley I have come across my first problem with the kit.  The engine mounts have not gone in far enough so there are panel gaps when test fitting the cowlings.

 

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I have removed the engine and have refitted it using the panels as a guide, as I should have done before.  I have now got most of their ancillary part painted so once they are dirtied up to match the rest of the aircraft I should have it complete by the weekend. 

 

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