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TeaWeasel's Workbench - Updated 20th October

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Hi all,


First post on here, but not a new modeller. Been doing 40k for around 10-15 years and have now decided to get back into scale modelling. I currently have a 1/48 EE Lightning on hold, which has been a huge bugger to put together as it's not new. I decided a while back to strip it down and disassemble it as much as possible before starting anew. In the meantime however I've scouted around for some good deals to get a nice little Airfix stockpile built up, and we begin with this.


I think one thing I should emphasise before I begin is that while I have plenty of experience, I wouldn't call myself a master modeller. I don't have the time, money or resources for absolute 100% precision, so inevitably corners will have to be cut in places. I'm not for example, going to shell out money for a panel scriber if I can do it with a simpler and cheaper method. 




Managed to get this cheap on Prime Day, and while I was really on the fence about what aircraft to go for next, this caught my eye. The Lightning also gave me some experience with third-party upgrades, so I also went for Eduard's cockpit accessories. 




Basic setup of the internal chassis. Primed grey for now before I go over with Vallejo for that typical US green, and then washed with Citadel Nuln Oil before the decals are applied.




Here's the final result. Very happy with the Eduard upgrades. Going for a solid resin cockpit was far easier than photo-etch. I've also painted the flooring brown with a heavy brown wash to simulate wood grain. Won't be too visible once the pilot's attached but it's a nice touch. You can see the extent of the decals below.




I admit that after getting back into Airfix after at least a decade I'm staggered by the decal quality. There are a couple of ejector pin marks which either won't be visible on the final thing, or are present on the instructions as well...which is a bit weird...



So here we are, I have a couple of other projects in mind, and will hopefully finish off the Lightning in the near future, if I can bring myself to deal with it anytime soon, so watch this space!


Any comments and criticisms would be appreciated. 


Edited by TeaWeasel
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  • TeaWeasel changed the title to Teaweasel's Various Projects - 1/48 Mustang

So now the Mustang's cockpit is completed I can finally start putting the whole thing together.

Fuselage went together with a little bit of difficulty. Some small amount of filler will be required but no major problems. The wings were a lot easier, as the whole wing subassembly just slots in very neatly. 


I've also added other details such as the exhausts, propeller mount and the flaps/ailerons. Next step will be the final fuselage parts and the tail. I'm keeping the whole undercarriage off until it's painted to avoid damaging it. Wish I had done that with the Lightning but it's always a learning opportunity. 



In addition to that I decided to snap up one of the Airfix mystery boxes. Got to be honest, I was pretty bloody excited for this as I do love a surprise, and surprised I was. 



I've got a nice variety of UK, US and Soviet/Vietnamese aircraft from different eras, and a couple of 1/72 scale as well so something new there. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Made a fair bit of progress since the last update. 


Carrying on with the Mustang I decided to go for the silver "Dooleybird" scheme, as it'd give me a nice chance to have another go with the Alclad paints. 


I've had nothing but trouble with Alclads. I think overall I tried 3 times on the Lightning before giving up. Despite following the instructions to the letter the finish was hideous, and in some cases was even starting to melt through the plastic. I gave up and used Vallejo instead, and put this down to the Lightning being a restoration project, and hoped that on a fresh new kit the finish would be much better.


Still not impressed. I applied the Alclad gloss black, let it dry for a few days and then started treating it with the wet/dry paper...which started taking the black off. Nevertheless I was careful and went over with the Polished Aluminium...which just gave an overall wrinkled and bubbly texture. Once again I gave up and just went over with Vallejo silver, plus a dark metal wash, which overall turned out pretty nice.


Coat of gloss varnish over that and masked up for the yellow details...and the tape's taken the top coat of Vallejo off.






It's not too bad, just another inconvenience I could have done without. I decided to put it to one side for a while and have a look at the Warhawk. I figured this will be a nice new area on a relatively obscure plane (at least in my eyes). 


The 1/72 kit's gone together nicely. Some small casting issues on the engine faring but a quick go-over with the file's sorted that, no problem. 


Cockpit was just a coat of Vallejo US Green before a wash of Citadel Brown. 




I realise the images are a little start, it does look more subtle in real life.


So next steps are to touch up the remaining Mustang areas, and hopefully get the Warhawk assembly finished. Any comments appreciated.

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Crikey you're having some paint issues there.  Hope you can sort it , I will stick with my good old Humbrol enamels and some Colourcoats too.  That's a great Mystery box, I didn't go for one  knowing my luck at the moment, I would get three German WW2 aircraft, yuk!!!

Good to see the wings and fuselage going together on the Mustang and the P40 is coming on  it's a nice kit.

Great work 


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23 hours ago, Thom216 said:

Good looking Merlin-wrapper! Your cockpit does look nice. Don't take that the wrong way.  And I too have never got the handle on Alclad - but I do like me some AK Extreme Metal.

Not the worst comment I've had about my cockpit!

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On 04/09/2021 at 00:07, Spodger said:

What’s “40k”?


It's shorthand for Warhammer 40,000. It's a tabletop wargame set in the 41st millennium, hence "40k". Pretty interesting aesthetics and background, might be worth a read.


So over the weekend I decided to take the plunge with preshading, using the Warhawk. I don't have any pics of the rest of the assembly but it all went together pretty solidly. The only questionable part was the air intake, which needed a fair bit of tidying up and neatening. 


I'll be honest I didn't really understand the concept of preshading or appreciate the effect; I just thought "well the topcoat will cover any shading so why do it?" Thought I'd give it a go and I was entirely wrong.  


The scheme supplied by Airfix had a green top and grey underside, with the grey rising up towards the elevators. Learning from previous attempts at split-schemes I masked up a lot more than I previously would have. I used grey primer from a Wilkos can, then went over the panel lines in Vallejo black. I started getting the shakes a little so it's not perfect, but I think that helped the effect a little. 


With the shading applied I went over with Vallejo US Green on the top and Vallejo grey on the underside. Overall I'm pretty damned happy with my results given it's my first attempt. 






I think the camera's automatically increased the contrast so it's more subtle in real life, but I've been totally converted on this technique.



That's it for now. There's something very special coming in the post, a kit which I never thought I'd actually get, but for now I need to read up on how to paint anti-flash white. 

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  • TeaWeasel changed the title to 1/48 Mustang and Lightning, 1/72 Warhawk, more coming.

So I said something special was coming in the post, and arrived last night. 




Given that I can be partial to impulse buys, didn't take me long to snap this up at half the price I've seen in the past. Quite frankly a remarkable aircraft for the time, going to be an absolute delight to do. Given the rare nature of the kit I'm going to take my time with this, and am planning on some third-party upgrades before I start anything, namely a cockpit upgrade (near impossible to find one however), undercarriage, and a nuclear payload.


If anyone can source a 1/48 instrument panel that'd be appreciated. Every shop I've seen is out of stock, even Eduard themselves don't have any leftover stock they could supply. 

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So I've had a good look through the TSR2 and I've certainly got my moneys worth:


Fuselage is the standard 2-halves arrangement, and the Terminator shows the size of this thing. I was honestly expecting something half the size!


Wings are in upper and lower halves, with the tail and ailerons similarly moulded in single pieces. The kit isn't particularly old, dating from the mid 2000's yet the detail is pretty decent for the time, nice crisp panel lines etc.


Remainder of the fuselage and other details. Again, nice condition, no issues there.


Two halves of the nuclear payload, looks more like the older Red Beard nuke rather than the newer WE.177. Plan is to get a replacement bomb and use this for something else, probably a 40k objective marker or something.

In the meantime the cockpit parts have been ordered from France, hopefully should be here within a week or so, at which point I can start building up the cockpit itself and other smaller gubbins before taking on the main fuselage.

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TSR-2 is certainly one to take your time with :) 

As far as NMF finish is concerned: My vote also for the AK Xtreme Metal series. Sprays beautifully, and properly cured, resists masking tape just fine.

Only thing I'm not entirely happy with is their black base, so I've taken to use Tamiya X-1 Gloss black for that. 

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On 12/09/2021 at 09:20, bigbadbadge said:

The P40 looks good and congrats on the pre shading too  the TSR2 looks a big kit, good luck on your hunt for parts.



Thanks very much. Hoping to get another chance to try out the preshading again. I'm wondering if it'd work on the antiflash for the TSR. I heard grey preshade over a white primer works.

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Still not much progress as I'm still unpacking in the new flat but had a very important parcel arrive:

Given the rarity of this kit I was struggling to find the cockpit upgrade, similar to the one used on the Lightning a few pages back. The company itself didn't have any spare and every major retailer I came across didn't have any either. While it wouldn't be the end of the world if I couldn't get it, it would add that extra touch to the final piece.

Eventually I found a small distributor based in France of all places, managed to get their last one. I would be pretty surprised if I could get another anywhere else. OupsModel if anyone is interested, definitely worth a look.


While I've worked with the photoeched stuff before, I still can't get over how small it can be. Just for reference, here's it compared to a penny.


Pretty small and fiddly parts needing folding and gluing. This one's a bit easier as the parts are self-adhesive so no messing about with superglue. 

Next step would be to get the cockpit prepped and ready for the upgrade parts, but I may put it to one side and get some of the outstanding projects out of the way first. 


In the meantime however let's go back in time a bit and look over the Lightning I mentioned in the OP:


I originally bought this kit around 2010 (possibly?) and got halfway through before it was sidelined by other projects. I quickly learned that the 1/48 Lightnings are pretty hard to come across these days so thought I'd refurbish it. With that I stripped it as far down as possible and used Biostrip20 to take off the original paints. Anyone who hasn't used Biostrip before: use it, you won't regret it.


I went rather all-out with the third-part upgrades including:

- Eduard 1/48 cockpit interior

- CMK cockpit tub

- Xtradecal markings for XM186 of 111th Squadron

- Additional decals provided by Airfix to replace the stencil markings lost.


Here's my main gripe with the kit. For some reason, Airfix decided to extend the engine intake to around 2-3" inside the model, likely so it can act as a bulkhead for the structure. However this means fitting the cockpit is a nightmare as the whole subassembly simply sits on top of the intake, with no actual lugs, slots or other bits to hold it. 


Cockpit was painted up in standard Vallejo colours, going more by eye than any particular guide.



This is as far as I managed to get. Base colours sprayed up after several failed attempts with the Alclad paints. Gloss varnished in prep for the decals. 



Once the decals are applied the last step will be to finish off the undercarriage and cockpit canopy. Once I'm more settled in the new flat that's on my list of priority projects. 


Thanks all

Edited by TeaWeasel
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  • TeaWeasel changed the title to TeaWeasel's Workbench - 1/48 Lightning, Mustang, TSR-2

So now my workdesk is properly set up, spent a fair bit of time over the weekend hopping between the various projects.


For the Airfix fans, been pretty busy with various decals.

Make a little start on the TSR-2, first step being the cockpit tub. The photoetch parts unfortunately don't seem to be the correct shade of blue, being much lighter than the Airfix instructions or real life photos. Took a little bit of trying, eventually managed to match it by eye, mixing Vallejo light grey, white and a little Sea Blue. 

Below is just part of the photoetch instructions. I will never ever complain about 40k instructions ever again.


Here's the result so far:



Pilot's console is complete, the co-pilot console shown in the instructions above is still incomplete. Side panels have also been added. Fit wasn't 100% perfect but I managed to get it done.


For the Warhawk, the large decals have been applied. After a coat of Vallejo Decal Softener they settled very nicely on the panels.




Just got the tiny decals to apply. They're not that visible over the green but at least then I'll know it's completed. 


Also dusted off the Lightning, applied a few more decals there. 



Little bit complicated trying to merge 3 different sets of decals but it's coming together so far, fingers crossed it stays easy  :S- 


Also spent the time looking over the Meteor kit. Hoping to try a different scheme from those in the box, want something to break up the fleet of silver I seem to be building. In the meantime I've ordered masks for the Mustang, Warhawk and TSR-2. Once they arrive I hope to get the paint on the Mustang finished and start the decals. 


Thanks all, any comments appreciated.

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Another quick update tonight.


Did a bit more of the cockpit consoles while the other half's working late. Quick photo with one of the 40k figures for scale.




Overall the base components are there. The pilot console is finished as far as I'm aware, the co-pilot one needs some more work but overall looking pretty decent, and a lot easier than I anticipated. 

Edited by TeaWeasel
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Bit of a late-night update today


The TSR-2 cockpit's nearly complete. Slight cockup with the throttle controls, they're somewhere in the carpet so won't bother. 



The P-40 is nearing completion. Took the time to paint up the pilot so I went for a rather generic scheme with the yellow lifejacket to add a bit of contrast



Final transfers have gone on as well. There are a few last little details to put on but probably won't bother, they don't show up on the darker basecoat anyway.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll start by noting that I made a big mistake when ordering the TSR parts. I thought I'd ordered the cockpit upgrade when I actually ordered the parts for the cockpit, ejector seats and the interior detail, which was a nice happy accident I guess.

I'm not 100% sure what these are, probably just part of the structure, but they went on nicely and break up some of the plain cockpit wall I guess.



At this point I cleaned up the fuselage halves for a dry-fit and I'm very impressed with how cleanly it fits together. 


It's almost a perfect fit with no glue required. Here you can see the cockpit detail before the other parts were added. Once the fuselage interior's all painted it'll definitely start looking the part. However this also got me thinking about pilots; both the pilots in the kit are very plain and identical, given the detail in the cockpit it'd be nice to have some decent pilots to match.


With that I have two options

- Find a suitable alternate set of pilots.

- Leave the cockpit empty and use the Eduard seatbelts.


I'd rather add a couple of pilots, but if anyone has any sources for some good figures please do let me know. 



And just to finish up I decided to have a start on the MiG-17.Given that it's a small kit I wanted to just keep it simple, no photo-etch or other upgrades.

So far it's gone together nicely. The cockpit just consists of 3 parts before the seat is added, and the fuselage just fits around it in the typical manner.

I did balls it up however and get ahead of myself on the wings. For some reason, if you want the undercarriage raised you have to glue the doors into the wings before gluing the wing halves together, which I didn't realise. Quick go-over with the knife and I managed to separate them enough to get the part in.



And here we have a quick dry-fit of the model as a whole. Doesn't look like much yet, but we're getting there. 



Plan is to give the Alclads one final shot and do it the typical MiG baremetal finish. If this one doesn't work then I give up on Alclad for good. 

That's it for now, any comments really would be helpful.


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  • TeaWeasel changed the title to TeaWeasel's Workbench - Updated 20th October

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