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Hello again,

 

As is usual, the black primer on my XP-47B is taking forever to dry, so I'm going to give it a few more days.  Meanwhile, as I have been getting bored, I'm going to start another concurrent build, something I seldom ever do.

 

This offering is the excellent LF Models 1/72 rendition of the original Curtiss XP-42.  I say excellent, in regards to general appearance and accuracy, but alas that comes with the caveat that there is lots of trimming, sanding and sprue stub nipping before you get to the end.  Therefore, I must say upfront that this is NOT a good beginner's kit, although those with a few miles under their belts can probably see it through!

 

The kit is a multi-media kit, with plastic main parts, and resin detail, add to that the vacu-formed canopy and windows and a few photo-etch parts, and it looks like this, a LOT of stuff crammed into a very tiny box:

 

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Interestingly, the box includes drawings for two later mods to this aircraft, but no parts to make them.  These modded aircraft were very short-lived, perhaps with only a flight or two each.  They were designed to try out differing cowl shapes, and are interesting, should some of you wilder modelers out there wish to stray even further afield than this kit...

 

In my old age, I have come to dislike cockpit interiors a lot more than earlier in my life, because they slow me down from my primary mission in life -- to hack and slice plastic!  Anyway, I decided to start there, and do the cockpit later on.  First step was cleaning up (flash and pouring blocks, mostly) the resin parts for the front end, albeit two front cowl halves and the prop spinner:

 

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The center photo, above, shows the prop spinner centered up atop my propeller jig, talked about in some of my other prop type build threads, so not repeated here.  Anyway, the part is centered over a bit of two-sided cello tape, to hold it in place while I mark three vertical lines from each three-bladed position, to the tip of the spinner.  This is to help align the prop holes (which are NOT provided by the kit).  Since the whole top of my prop jig box is covered with plastic shipping tape, the two-sided tape will peel right off later.

 

The far right photo, above, shows the prop spinner having been moved to the side edge of the box (so that the drill bit would reach), with a suitable thickness of scrap plastic (arrow) used to control the distance of the hole from the rear of the prop spinner.  Later on, I will drill a hole in the center of the rear of the prop spinner, to make a mounting shaft.  (The kit directions show a nice resin prop shaft in the directions, but not is actually provided.  That doesn't matter much however, because there is also no hole in the cowling to receive said shaft!), a matter which I will address now.

 

Since gluing the two front cowl halves together with CA results in the large hole as shown, I placed the assembled cowl halves on a bit of scrap 40 thou or so plastic card, and using my trusty #2 lead pencil, traced a circle, inside the cowl's front opening onto the plastic "A".  To the back of that part, now labelled "B" I added two bits of square thicker plastic, simply to add depth to support the prop shaft in a hole which I will drill later:

 

 

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Center photo, above, shows the filler and CA that I added to the cowl inside, after positioning the part "B" assembly (square bits to the inside) in the front hole of the cowl.  This is needed to re-enforce the join (also, I sanded the part a little too small in circumference!).  The powder is  just a nail-building powder, used with CA adhesive to build up fingernails with fake tips, etc.  It's about the same as baking soda, but a finer grind.  I use it because my wife had it laying about, and no longer wears fake nails...

 

Above, far right, part "B" from the front. After the glue fully cures, I'll sand it a bit.  I'm doing all this, rather than just gluing the spinner in place, because I don't want to take a chance on sanding the spinner out-of-round, when working on the model later, as most resin models require a lot of sanding!  Also, it will be simpler for me to add the propeller blades, using the jig, later on.

 

Lastly, for now, a small chisel is used to remove the injection stubs from the inner wing surfaces; the ones in the center belly pan won't be in the way.  At this time, I also glued the kit-provided wheel well roofs over the wheel well openings, on the inside:

 

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Well, I'll be back later with some kind of updates for some model or the other!  See you then...

 

Ed

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello folks!

 

After finally completing my XP-47B prototype build, I finally got a chance to resume work on the XP-42.  In jumping back and forth between the two models, I probably skipped a couple of pictures, but that's the way it goes...

 

Shown below, some work on the cockpit area:

 

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Here, a little assembly has been done, with some items painted and a wash applied.  When dry, the excess will be scrubbed off, leaving the details enhanced a little.  The PE seatbelts have been painted and glued into place; they will be bent down into more natural positions when the glue dries.

 

Some of the pics I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN would have been of the PE instrument panel -- which I screwed up, and had to replace with an old P-36 decal instrument panel glued onto a piece of white plastic, later trimmed to the correct shape.  This works because the XP-42 was actually the fourth-built P-36 with a new nose job.

 

The pic above shows what appear at first glance to be ejector pin marks, but those need to be left alone, as they index the location of the cockpit assembly.  I also should have shown the addition painting of various sticks and knobs, and a few added decal extras I added.  My Bad.

 

Next the resin nose has been added to the plastic fuse, using CA;  the fit is pretty good, but I did not install it perfectly.  Undoubtedly why the modeling gods provided us with putty:

 

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Above right, the bottom view, showing the cockpit assembly location.

 

Next the wing upper and lower parts are glued together, after I checked the fit:

 

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The red "X"'s depict the seams to which I apply old-fashioned tube glue, while the front seam will be glued with Weld-On #3 liquid glue.

 

Now, it's time for same dryin' and fillin' and sandin' and such.

 

Later,

 

Ed

 

 

Edited by TheRealMrEd
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4 minutes ago, TheRealMrEd said:

Hello folks!

 

After finally completing my XP-47B prototype build, I finally got a chance to resume work on the XP-42.  In jumping back and forth between the two models, I probably skipped a couple of pictures, but that's the way it goes...

 

Shown below, some work on the cockpit area:

 

 

I cannot see any picture.

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16 hours ago, TheRealMrEd said:

The pic above shows what appear at first glance to be ejector pin marks, but those need to be left alone, as they index the location of the cockpit assembly.

I'm glad that you added that caveat as I was thinking 'what the...'. Coming along, any major hick-ups with LF yet?

 

Stuart

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Biggest problem with the LF kits that I've messed with are very faint printing of instructions, and poor instructions where you can read them.  I'm used to the simple "blow-up" illustrations for resin models (this is half plastic and partly resin), but in this case some useful guidance on how to position the instrument panel and the PE part containing the rudder pedals would have been nice -- they didn't seem to fit the space provided, so I had to fake it!  Fortunately, you can't see a lot in the cockpit when it's closed up, anyway.

 

Ed

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Another brief update...

 

Below the nose addition to the fuselage was puttied, as well as other small areas of the fuselage.  These were sanded, and then the wings added.  It took a little weight on the fuse with the wings supported from beneath, to get a realistic amount of dihedral on the wings.  It also required a small amount of putty on the front of the wings, as well as the wing-to-fuse join in the front:

 

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Above right, the lower nose-to-wing join required some putty, but, truth be told, I could have done a more careful job if fitting the nose, which would have reduced the filling!

 

Since the rudder is cast separately from the vertical stabilizer, I decided to also separate the elevators from the horizontal stabilizers, so I can let them droop a bit, for a more "casual" look. Here's how I do it, using a jeweler's saw to be able to turn the square corners of the cut, while using a regular fine razor saw for the straight lines:

 

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Above left, one horizontal stab needs a little filler, as I got in a hurry!  One tip, when possible, if using a jeweler's saw, make certain that you have prescribed lines to foll, as the saw is designed to allow free movement in all directions, and it will wander off course if allowed.  Slow and easy is the ticket!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oops, hit the wrong button again, before I was finished.... dementia setting in?

 

Anyway, to finish the update, "A" below shows the front edge of the elevators, which need rounding, and "B" shows the rear edge of the horizontal stabilizers, which need to have a concave surface, for which I used a tiny needle file:

 

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As a matter of fact, I have done this mod before, using only a sharp #11 blade, but it is much easier and less messy to use proper tools.

 

Above right, the horizontal stabilizers have been glued to the fuselage, leaving the elevators to be added later..

 

This time, that's REALLY it for now!

 

Ed

 

 

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On 9/29/2020 at 3:51 PM, TheRealMrEd said:

 

 

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Center photo, above, shows the filler and CA that I added to the cowl inside, after positioning the part "B" assembly (square bits to the inside) in the front hole of the cowl.  This is needed to re-enforce the join (also, I sanded the part a little too small in circumference!).  The powder is  just a nail-building powder, used with CA adhesive to build up fingernails with fake tips, etc.  It's about the same as baking soda, but a finer grind.  I use it because my wife had it laying about, and no longer wears fake nails...

 

 

 

 

Excellent Idea with the nail powder Ed. I'll gIve that a shot on my build when the time comes. Which should be momentarily. Don't mind me I''ll just stand back here kibitzing and taking even more notes.

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Ditto thanks for the tip about acrylic nail powder - I wonder if that is basically the same as the fabled dental acrylic powder used by Paul Budzic (but easier to find if you're not an American Dentist)?

 

(I'm afraid to say I just watched a video on applying nail powder - a lot of transferrable skills there! A Dremel was used at one stage..)

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Oops, hit the wrong button again.  How do I delete an incomplete post?  Can't find the delete button.....!

 

Ed

 

 

Edited by TheRealMrEd
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I guess I learned a lot from my wife!

 

Next up, the scoops have been added to the bottom (larger one to the front, about 1.5mm behind the prop spinner), and the two ubiquitous P-36-trype exhaust outlets also.  A little Mr Surfacer 500 has been hand-brushed here and there to fill small imperfections:

 

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And a little more Mr Surfacer on the top side:

 

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Next we move on to the quarter-glass windows, which in this case are vacuformed -- something I've never dealt with as a combination before.  As with most vacuform kit pieces, one usually begins by scribing a line all around the object to be separated from the backing sheet, taking care on the first pass to be as accurate to the outline as possible, or to even leave a little extra for final sanding to shape, later on.  Then, several subsequent passes are made with the scriber, each a little deeper:

 

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Above right, another few passes with a sharp #11 blade, and the part can be snapped from it's sheet, then trimmed to final shape by scraping and/or sanding to final shape.  Below, the lower glass has been pretty much sanded to shape, while the upper one remains to be trimmed:

 

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Above right,  the edges marked "A" need to be sanded on a more-or-less 45 degree angle so that they nestle in and fit snugly to the relevant depressions in the quarter panel of the fuselage.  Note the gap between the "glass" and the fuselage (arrow).

 

This is a process best done slowly, with frequent trial and error fittings of the "glass" to the fuselage, and each side.  In the end, the "glass" should fit the fuselage opening snugly all around, particularly at "A", top and bottom:

 

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Above right, before proceeding further, I'll make my own quarter-glass masks from Tamiya Tape, stuck to the OUTSIDE part of the "glass", leaving the single vertical glass separating panel exposed (left, above), and then trimming to actual outline with a sharp #11 blade (right, above).  These masks will then be stuck to a sheet of plastic for later removal and use.

 

Next, the area including and surrounding the quarter-glass depressions on the fuselage have been painted, first with Krylon Black acrylic enamel (gloss), ad when dry, with Alclad II Polished aluminum, since the area behind the quarter glass was left aluminum on the real aircraft:

 

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Above right, a thin bead of G-S watch cement was applied around the fuselage opening (excess wiped away as needed) and the then quarter "glass" was held in place with my fingers for about 10 minutes on each side, to let the glue set up a bit.  Fortunately, the G-S cement doesn't stick to fingers very well.  Ditto for the other side.  Any excess watch cement will later be removed with 91%-99% rubbing alcohol.  I haven't had much luck with the more commonly found 79% stuff for this usage.

 

After some rubbing of the dried G-S cement with the 99% alcohol, note the the Alclad II has also been removed a bit.  No bother here, as everything will be re-painted later, but just a word to the wise...:

 

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Above right, my home made masks creating and saved earlier are now applied to their respective windows.  Also, the other side:

 

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Well, so far, so good.  See you all next time around...

 

Ed

 

 

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Moving right along...

 

Since LF provided two vacuform front canopy parts, I decided to try two different masking techniques, Parafilm "M" on the left and Micro Mask liquid on the right:

 

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In the end, I liked the Micro Mask side better, but it didn't stick to the plastic very well, so I ended up making Tamiya Tape masks on the main part, and then using the Micro Mask on just the front windscreen (above).

 

After trimming and fitting according to the vacuformed shape, I applied the canopy to the model, using G-S watch cement, mostly because after cutting both out to test, I discovered that they were molded too short on the main canopy sides, and the side rails did not extend far enough down to fill the appropriate areas on the fuselage:

 

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Above, the arrow points to the area on the fuselage that the canopy didn't fit.  I will attempt to fill this area with the G-S cement.  If any of you out there try this build, I recommend that you cut the canopies about 2mm' taller than molded, and then sand to fit as best you can!

 

Then next problem is that the LF kit made an odd choice for the landing gear door legs.  All of the pictures I've found of the XP-42 in the nose configuration offered by the kit, the main gear doors are in place (remember, three different noses were eventually tried on the XP-42):

 

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But, the only pieces provided in the kit do not include the main gear doors, only the leg doors as shown above right.

 

The only picture I could find of the XP-42 with the main doors left off was of another nose version, said nose NOT being provided in the kit:

 

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So, I decided to make the gear doors I needed for this kit.  I began by adding just the front two doors on each side.  (Remember, the XP-42 was actually the fourth P-36 built, so that's what it's supposed to look like):

 

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Nest, I took a spare piece of plastic sprue "A" of nearly the correct diameter, and sanded it thinner, then added a tapering end.  This will eventually be sawn in half lengthwise, then cut to the needed length.  Then I traced the outline of the main gear doors from those of an old Monogram P-36, "B" below.  All these parts will be then glued together to approximate the P-36 kit parts (A & B):

 

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I would have just used the doors from the P-36 kit, but after looking on E-bay, I've found folks are now asking $29.95 for a kit that I paid $.70 for, back in the day.  If I hold onto it for another 40 years. I can probably retire!  (Oh wait, I already AM retired...)

Anyway, in the end, when everything is glued together, it looks like this:

 

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Note that the tail-wheel has also been added.  Normally, I don't glue all these things on until after final paint, but in this case, because of so many dissimilar parts to glue together, and because pretty much everything stays some sort of aluminum, I decided to take the chance, and hope that I don't break off too many things later...

 

Now, nothing left but to drill out the upper air intakes and the exhaust ports, and then figure out the pitot tubes, and she'll be ready for paint.

 

See you on the far side,

 

Ed

Edited by TheRealMrEd
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  • 2 weeks later...

Moving along, she's been painted with a coat of Alclad II Black Primer, and the some Alclad II Polished Aluminum #105:

 

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Above right, some Parafilm "M" has been added to mask the ailerons, which are fabric-covered, and will be painted Alclad II #116 Semi-Matt-Aluminum.

 

Next, all the parts have been painted, and the decals applied:

 

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Above right, the elevators and rudder have been added.  It should be noted that the striped rudder decals do not wrap all the way around the edges, so the red stripes have to be touched up with MM 31136 Insignia Red.

 

Next, the wing nav lights are created by putting the tiniest drop of white glue (I used an acupuncture needle) followed by a touch of clear red or green, depending upon which wing:

 

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And finally, above right, she's all done!  Before removing the canopy masking, the overall model and decals were overcoated with a coat of Alclad II ALC 311  Klear Kote Light Sheen, to kill the shine a bit.

 

I must say that this is a very nice kit when all done, but anyone contemplating building this kit could stand to have a couple of resin and vacuform kits under their belt first!

 

As usual, more pics will be added over in RFI HERE

 

Thanks for looking,

 

Ed

Edited by TheRealMrEd
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