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Lockheed P2V-7 Neptune COAN - 1/72 Hasegawa


EDCS87
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Impressive.  Your added detail really shows how cramped this aircraft was for the mission crew, despite its large overall size.  I cannot imagine pulling 12-hour missions on something like this.  Hope the fuselage fit is still ok after all the work you put into the interior!

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You are doing wonders between the 3D printing and the scratchbuild... Excellent job, please keep it coming.

 

The Neptune is one on my wish list of 1/48th scale planes. If they could do a B-29 in 1/48th, for sure it can be done. 

 

In the meantime, will recreate my eyes with the model you are working on. 

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18 minutes ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Impressive.  Your added detail really shows how cramped this aircraft was for the mission crew, despite its large overall size.  I cannot imagine pulling 12-hour missions on something like this.  Hope the fuselage fit is still ok after all the work you put into the interior!

 Thank you! They really did stuff the airframe to the gills and I agree about the long missions; the fatigue on a mission like that must have been simply enormous. The fit was surprisingly good, which is the first time I can say. My previous attempts at making bulkheads was quite frustrating, but I picked up some great tips here on BM. 

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10 minutes ago, Jfgred1 said:

You are doing wonders between the 3D printing and the scratchbuild... Excellent job, please keep it coming.

 

The Neptune is one on my wish list of 1/48th scale planes. If they could do a B-29 in 1/48th, for sure it can be done. 

 

In the meantime, will recreate my eyes with the model you are working on. 

Many thanks! I was really surprised when I opened the kit box and saw the sheer size of this thing! A 1/48 Neptune would be a real showstopper.

 

It's been a learning experience with the 3D printing and it certainly has its pros and cons. The results sure are nice in the hands of even a novice like me, and it's really helpful when you need multiple copies of a visible component, like seats or pylons, etc. But the time spent modeling the parts in CAD is time spent away from the actual model, so for a lot of tasks, I just stick to the good ol plastic (ie: all the interior parts, seats, consoles, etc.) 

 

 

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After sealing up the fuselage and puttying the seams (mostly minor), it was time to finish the cockpit. The area was sprayed Vallejo Light Grey and all the delicate pieces slowly added. My new instrument panel was slightly bigger than the kit part, so I had to correct the bump behind the dash with styrene and putty. Once this was sanded smooth, I added some further detail to this area with thin strips of Tamiya tape fixed with super glue and some small plastic bits. I sanded down and puttied the small gap between the bulkhead and the roof, but it was a waste of time, seeing as how the canopy covers that gap almost perfectly. Oh well, you live and learn...

 

Neptune-dashcover.png

 

The last pieces added to the cockpit before attaching the canopy were the seats, control columns and green hoses. I made the later by super gluing one end of a strand of stretched sprue and then wrapping it around some thin-gauge wire, and then gluing the opposite end. Once done, I then submerged the entire part in a glass of very hot water and... voila! 

neptune-cockpit-finished.jpg

 

Before attaching the canopy, I had to work on a pretty nasty seam between both clear pieces. I added some thin stretched sprue in the gap and then covered it with primer and sanded with wet 800 grit and then 1200 grit paper. The fit on the canopy was not bad for a 40+ year old kit. Tamiya putty and liquid primer took care of the troublesome parts.

Neptune-canopy-part.png

 

While the filler was drying, I realized I had made a mistake when painting the main gear wells. I noticed in reference photos that the green color had been overpainted with white, which was just lovely, considering it's such a tight fit in there. After some gnashing of teeth, I carefully masked the interior bits and painted the wing spar and sides of the bay white, as well as the inside of the oil cooler area. 

IMG-1816.jpg

 

Once that paint work was done, it was time for the most stressful part of the build so far. I've noticed in all of the reference pictures that Argentina's Neptunes were almost always photographed with underwing pylons fitted. The kit does not include any, so I designed and printed a mostly accurate pylon after referencing workaround pictures and Asao Shirai's incredible P2V7 build on Hyperscale. My first dozen printed examples were horrible: poor detail, warping, and brittleness leading to cracking. I tweaked the print settings and got ten very good pylons.

I then had to drill sixteen mounting holes in the wings and fit eight pylons, ensuring they were parallel and all angled correctly. If any of you need help doing this, I can recommend a digital caliper to get precise location data for your drilling. Even then, mistakes do happen, but once the pylon is fitted, any oversized holes can be filled with sprue and sanded down. I think the end result is OK, and I didn't have to spend $20 (the price of a decent used kit!) on aftermarket pylons. Now that I see the blown-up picture, I can see a few mistakes, but I avoided any horrible misalignment issues which was my main concern. I also drilled out a small light under each wing, which will receive a bulb and be filled with Crystal Clear after painting.

Neptune-pylons.jpg

 

That's all for now, thanks for your interest!

Edited by EDCS87
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3 hours ago, EDCS87 said:

Even then, mistakes do happen

Love your use of passive voice for this one.  Your pylons look great!  Everything on this seems to be coming together well.  Do I understand correctly that the cockpit transparency is divided into left and right halves?  I guess that would be the only way to achieve a convincing "blown perspex" look, but still...that causes my jaw to instantly clench.

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51 minutes ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Love your use of passive voice for this one.  Your pylons look great!  Everything on this seems to be coming together well.  Do I understand correctly that the cockpit transparency is divided into left and right halves?  I guess that would be the only way to achieve a convincing "blown perspex" look, but still...that causes my jaw to instantly clench.

 

Thanks! You're exactly right. As soon as I saw it I knew I'd be in for a treat. I've worked with similar canopies and the past and always had problems with weak joints. Luckily the Neptune has a big overhead console with throttles, so I fashioned one from thick Evergeen to it and after adding it to the underside of the canopy, the joint is now rock solid. 

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On 12/8/2020 at 9:45 PM, Bell209 said:

Love your flight deck - I'm going to respray mine and have a go at painting each instrument as you have. It looks so much better than my dry-brushing effort!

Thank you! 

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On 12/9/2020 at 12:31 AM, RidgeRunner said:

A thing of beauty :). Great work. You more skill and patience than me :(

 

Martin

 Thank you, Martin. I have followed some of your builds and I believe you're selling yourself short mate! You guys don't see all the boneheaded mistakes I make....🙈

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The mojo has been slowly ebbing away from my build, but I'm hanging in there...

The nifty foot cage in the observer's compartment was a bit too big, and the thought of ordering more rod and waiting it to arrive, and then building another from scratch was really unappealing. So I cut down the original until it fit. It's inaccurate but then again, when my girlfriend takes her once a year look into the model display case, she wont notice the mistake on that funny looking green and blue "B-52" with propellers on it 😉

 

neptune-nose-cage.png

 

Earlier in the week I made the first big mistake: I added the wings in the primer stage without realizing how hard it would be to paint the engine area afterward. But I just wanted to get the damn wings on already and I could see the finish line drawing closer. Damn the torpedoes! Rattle can Tamiya primer and a quick test fit and on we go with the wings. This was also the moment I realized the Neptune is the biggest model I've ever built and it won't fit my Ikea display cabinet.


IMG-1820.jpg

 

I've been busy in the spray booth these past few days. I started with a black base and then added white marbling to simulate the faded look of these airplanes as they looked in 1982.

 

I first painted the bottom using USAF Gray/Curtiss Gray + white from Vallejo (more on this later). After letting it dry for 72 hours, I masked the underside of the wings and fuselage with blue tac, Tamiya tape and de-tacked 3M tape.

 

After much head scratching and going around in circles with the paint options, I decided to mix my own from Tamiya colors: Cockpit Green with some white/light gray added, and Sky Blue/Medium Blue + white for the top side, sprayed freehand while following various references. My phone camera and the lighting makes the shades look quite a bit darker, but when handling the model the result is quite nice. Painting the nacelle area was a royal pain and it was very difficult to move the airbrush without getting a lot of overspray. I think the smart move would have been to leave the wings off and add them later on once the paint is applied.

 

IMG-1839.jpg

After painting the top colors, I removed the masking on the bottom and to my horror, the Vallejo paint just peeled off at the slightest touch. I had detacked the tape as I usually do, but alas, the pictures don't quite do it justice. I'll have to re-mask and paint the entire bottom half of the fuselage again. And to think I was so content with the way the colors looked ... 😥

I took some fine grit sand paper and sanding sponges and slowly went about sanding the bottom paint to get rid of raised edges. This isn't the first time Vallejo paints have done this and I don't think I'll trust them again from now on. Mixing shades from Tamiya colors is a bit a chore sometimes, but at least I know the paint is foolproof, I won't get tip clogging and it won't strip off from mere evil looks.

 

After going through more references, I believe I made a mistake when painting the nacelles. I think that the green color actually extended all the way towards the end of the nacelle, at least that's what I can make out from the pictures. 

IMG-1838.jpg

 

IMG-1837.jpg

 

That's it for tonight. It's back to the paint booth for me

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Thanks for the comments and interest! The Neptune is fresh out of the paint booth. The engine exhausts were painted with a 50/50 mix of chrome and gunmetal, and all of the light gray underside areas were repainted with USAF Light Gray. None of the the decal sets I have for this aircraft features the black walkways on the wings, fuselage and horizontal stabilizers, so I had to mask the lines out the old fashioned way. BTW, the surviving Neptune in the Argentine naval aviation museum does not have the lines painted on, but they are visible on the in-service photographs. The lines were shot with NATO Black and then darkened with thinned Tamiya Black. The mug of tea's just a reminder of the size of the 72nd scale Neptune... it BIG.

IMG-1848.jpg

 

The moment of truth... one of the most satisfying moments of this build. No touch ups needed! A true pre-Christmas miracle. 

Neptune-walkways.png

 

I also painted the radar domes, including the big one up front, which required a difficult masking job but turned out quite nice. The tamiya fine-line tape was super helpful here in keeping everything tidy.
IMG-1856.jpg

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

BTW: the exhaust areas came out nicely!  Did you employ Vallejo metallic paints to achieve the effect?

Yes, a 50/50 Model Air mix of Chrome Silver and Gunmetal. I am now trying to figure out how to replicate the exhaust stains in this area. I may try out pastels and oils to avoid having to mask half the darn thing all over again. The fit of the wings on my kit was so good that I really regret having glued them on so early! 

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