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I recently bought this kit and now I found this GB so I thought it would be a good idea to join and try to actually build the thing! I like it because according to Wikipedia this type's first flight took place on the day I was born - I feel a connection already :)

 

As I've said elsewhere, I have only returned to aircraft modelling a short while ago and am still very much in the learning stage, so please don't expect any miracles. Mind you, it will be a small miracle if I actually finish the model. I will probably have to ask a few questions as I go along, if that is all right. This is my first Group Build so I'm a bit nervous!

 

Here then is the kit:

 

IMG-20200718-120801.jpg

 

The sprues look rather nice:

 

IMG-20200718-121016.jpg

 

IMG-20200718-121042.jpg

 

The kit has markings for two versions, a Belgian and a French machine. Both come in dark blue, the Belgian one also has orange panels. They look good but I found a decal sheet with some more versions:

 

IMG-20200718-120843.jpg

 

IMG-20200718-120919.jpg

 

The Thai machine is intriguing, but I'm rather partial to the Royal Canadian Air Force one, very smart in red-white-blue. This is of course a very unwise choice for me because it requires loads of masking, something that I only have had moderate success with so far. Especially when having to mask over humps and bumps I tend to get leakage and overspill - hopefully I can learn some tricks here to get better in that.

 

I don't know anything about these helicopters and even less about the Canadian version, so if there is anyone here who has some knowledge I would very much appreciate being educated!

 

As far as interior detail is concerned, apart from the seats and some decent looking bulkheads the inside of the fuselage is mainly detailed with a load of ejector pin marks. So, first port of call is to fill those. I am hoping to add some more real detail to the cabin sides. I found a good set of photographs that show the ribs etc., I plan to add some of those with plastic strip. It would be nice to have the cabin door open (to some extent). Even nicer would be to have a cockpit window open and show the pilot clambering in via the outside (apparently that is how they had to get in), but that is probably asking a bit too much!

 

And..... we're off:

 

IMG-20200718-165416.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Looks suspiciously like an Italeri moulding, even the sink holes are in the same places!

 

AW

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Welcome to your first GB!

A great choice of helicopter, the H-34 is a great machine. 

The Hobby Boss kit is supposed to be a nice one, @stevej60 built one a couple of years ago as a French one and did a cracking job of it.

The RCAF option is certainly a nice and colourful one but as you say there is a fair bit of masking involved including a thin white cheat line, so if masking isn't your thing (and you are far from alone) then I would agree with Julian ( @zebra ) that the US Navy Antarctic one in the overall orange is a fantastic and very colourful one. The Thai one is also a nice mix of drab paint job and colourful markings.

Good luck with your build.

 

Craig.

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Thanks guys! It is good to know that I'm not on my own here!

 

Re. the Canadian option, the cheat line is on the transfers so that should help. The trick will be to try and get the frontal ''V' correct but it may be doable. Alternatively I could perhaps give it a coat of white first, and then mask for the red and blue, leaving a thin gap between them? A second potential problem is going to be the rounded shape of the wider white bar. I am musing that perhaps cutting out a little circle with a hole puncher in masking tape might help here? But then I would need to apply white again over the blue. Hmm...

 

The orange one (or is it red? not clear to me) is also nice and migt be easier. Decision, decisions.

 

A question that will come up sooner is about the interior colour. I don't have pictures of the Canadian version's inside but I found references saying that US helicopters of that time have their insides coloured Dark Gull Grey. In the absence of other evidence I may go with that, and it is a colour that Vallejo have in their range ( http://www.theworldwars.net/resources/resource.php?r=camo_usaa#interior ). The pictures I found of a preserved US one suggest that this is actualy a fairly light colour ( https://www.ewarbirds.org/aircraft/uh34d.shtml ) or perhaps that is just a primer?

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Hi @Jur

 

Welcome to the GB and great choice of both kit and version you have chosen.

 

The Canadian one will looks amazing, first tips are get quality masking tape, cheap stuff leaks !

Also consider getting a decal sheet of plain white decals, these can be used for the white stripes as an alternative to masking.

 

Good luck, cheers Pat

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Dark Gull Grey is the way to go, the Canadian birds were built by Sikorsky and the interior colours will be the same as US ones. 

As for the orange/red question it is definitely orange, search for pics of US Navy helos used by that squadron in the Antarctic and you will see that it is orange. 

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Dark Gull Grey it shall be then, and duly ordered. That still leaves open the option of going for one of the other colour schemes if I do end up getting cold feet about masking the Canadian one.

 

The instrument panel in the kit is disappointingly bare - there is no raised detail and they haven't even included a decal. I'm a bit at a loss on what to do, I don't have any spare decals that might fit and painting something freehand will not end well. I found a photo of the panel online, reduced it to fit and printed it off - it looked like a black blob with a few specks of white. , not great. Then I spotted an old piece of wet-and-dry with lots of speckles on it, and thought to try that. I cut a shape out and stuck it to the panel, like so:

 

IMG-20200719-152143.jpg

 

I thought it might work but it isn't very convincing either, so I may try to add a few bigger specks of white without goiing overboard.

 

Then I turned my attention to detailing the cabin. It comes with a floor and bulkheads but no ceiling. There ought to be a ceiling below the rotor I think, and then towards the rear it opens up again. I cut a piece of plastic card to fit between the cockpit and the rear bulkhead. I could possibly shorten that so that the rear opens up to the fuselage roof and add detail there, but I'm not sure it is worth the trouble.

 

I made a start adding the ribs and it looks good. When completed I think it will make a big difference when the door is open.

 

IMG-20200719-183415.jpg

 

The cage is still loose here.

 

I will finish this tomorrow, and also make the rotor shaft housing which is quite visible on the inside.  Then I have to wait for the paint to come through the mail.

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Thank you, and here is some more :) :

 

IMG-20200720-132238.jpg

 

I have also added the main drive shaft, made from a small piece of balsa. I decided to open up the rear of the roof after all and fit the rotor drive shaft as well.

 

IMG-20200720-132356.jpg

 

Once the fuselage is closed this is what will be visible (without using a dentist mirror!):

 

IMG-20200720-130629.jpg

 

IMG-20200720-130643.jpg

 

IMG-20200720-130154.jpg

 

This is about as far as I can get whilst waiting on the interior paint. It could do with a bit of a clean-up.

 

I can paint the seats separately though, some kind of khaki-green is what I've seen on photo's. They are quite nice, as a quick dry fit of one side shows:

 

IMG-20200720-131959.jpg

 

All this is just my style of Impressionist modelling of course - I confess I don't count rivets, it would send me to sleep :)

Edited by Jur
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Ditto re the scratch building!

Great work.

 

JR

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I have a question guys. The masks I bought come with both exterior and interior masks. I plan to use the interior masks on the cabin windows so that I can colour the surrounds of the transparencies as I paint the cabin. I'm not so sure about the cockpit canopy. I was thinking that if I only mask the outside and give it a coat of interior colour before priming it should be good enough? The slight concern I have about masking & painting the inside as well is that any slight mismatch in the masks will show up later from the outside. Do people have experience with this?

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I only paint on the outside.  Mask, paint the interior color, then paint the exterior color.  There may be specific instances in the future that may lead me to painting the inside...but they would be few and far between.

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1 minute ago, Jur said:

was thinking that if I only mask the outside and give it a coat of interior colour before priming it should be good enough

Thats the way I'd  go too jur,  48th or 32nd mask the insides yes,maybe  ,but 72nd I've  got to admit is beyond me, i like it so far

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Not a huge amount of progress today. I fitted the cabin windows and will mask both sides when dry. I also masked the cockpit canopy using the commercial masks I have - these things are a a godsend. They even have cut-outs for the wipers. I had to add a few tiny bits of tape to cover some weak spots. Fiddly, this is!

 

IMG-20200721-175450.jpg

 

As per the discussion above I didn't bother with the inside except for the central roof panel to which I stuck a bit of masking tape painted black. There is an instrument panel here, so that gives me another chance at practicing my non-existing instrument painting skills :)

 

IMG-20200721-184641.jpg

 

For the rest I'm still waiting on the interior colour to arrive.

Edited by Jur
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A bit more progres today, still waiting for the interior paint to arrive; and a big decision.

 

I sprayed the seats in an interesting green colour I had:

 

IMG-20200722-175059.jpg

 

Just a bit of domain cross-over :)

 

I will paint the legs and the metal railings aluminium.

 

Then it struck me that this green actually fairly closely resembles zinc chromate so I also sprayed the inside of the rear of the chopper and the engine compartment:

 

IMG-20200722-175135.jpg

 

Clearly nobody is ever going to see this again, but well, you know... :)

 

Then I had a close look at the masking required for the Canadian option. There are many humps and bumps and panel lines across the colour divisions. I sat down with a cup of coffee and tried to be honest about my skills. I concluded that I was frankly going to be in over my head here, and that there was very likely going to be a lot of bleeding with the ensuing mess of correcting and trying to clean that up. I tried that before and it always shows. Best not to risk it.

 

So, instead of the Canadian machine this is going to be the U.S. Navy orange one - very colourful too. A bit of rummaging in my paint stash produced another Game Air bottle, this time with a somewhat more neutral but still intriguing name:

 

IMG-20200722-175209.jpg

 

Comparing to real-life pictures this seems to me to be very close to the mark:

 

h34decomac5717-3-15.jpg

(Photo h34decomac5717.3.15.jpg from VXE-6 Decom CD)

 

It falls just on that cusp between orange and red.

 

If it works this is going to be quite a hot bird!

 

Edited by Jur
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Looks good! 
just to be precise, the decals included on the Print Scale sheet are for a HT-8 aircraft (helicopter training squadron) and not for an antarctic development squadron (VXE-6) Seabat. The orange could be FS 12197 „ordinary“ gloss orange

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Thanks Troschi. You may well be right. I have been trawling the Interwebz about these colours of orange and it is, unsurprisingly, a minefield. There are pictures out there of the actual machine on the decal sheet that have it look a bit redder, but then someone pipes up that orange always looks redder on photographs than in real life so it actually is more orange! There also appear to be changes in the actual shade of orange applied over the years, and all sorts of FS numbers are bandied about. To top it off, the various paint manufacturers add to the confusion by presenting their own versions of the colours, which are again all a bit different from each other.

 

On the decal sheet itself they list FS 11310 and show a colour bar totally different from the colour in which they draw the helicopter!

 

Frankly, I think life is too short to bother, all this stuff makes me lose the will to live.

 

I like the Hot Orange and it is close enough for me so I will give it a shot. Also saves me a couple of quid in buying another pot ;)

Edited by Jur
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Making some progress, the interior paint has arrived and I'm glad I waited for it and didn't use Ocean Grey instead - that is noticeably darker than the Dark Gull Gray.  I used it for the floor instead.

 

Then I applied a wash of dark brown. The offside may look a bit overdone here, but it lies in the shade and it is also the side that you can't see once the fuselage is closed. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

 

I'm now painting the various control panels. I discovered that I'm quite the Picasso with this. You know Picasso, those portraits where the eyes and nose are all overe the place.

 

IMG-20200723-191924.jpg

 

I am worried that I will forget some steps if I just build by instinct so I made a checklist:

 

- Fettle a bit off the bulkheads and floor to ensure a perfect fit of the fuselage halves (the fit is not bad but it takes a bit of force to close some small gaps around the rear bulkhead)

- Paint seat belts and fit cockpit seats, instrument panels and controls

- Apply light aluminium dry brush to the inside
- UNMASK INSIDES OF WINDOWS

- UNMASK INSIDES OF WINDOWS

(I put that twice because I am scared stiff that I will forget it, and only realise that once the fuselage has been perfectly and immutably glued together!)

- Finalise painting the cabin seats and apply a light wash
- Fit the seats

- Spray a coat of matt varnish on the interior and the outside grilles

...

...

... have a good night's sleep, think it all over and if really nothing else comes to mind, glue the fuselage halves together. And yes, I have already fitted the exhaust from the inside :)

 

If I'm forgetting anything, speak now or forever hold your peace!

Edited by Jur
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