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Airfix 1:72 Lockheed U-2C [FINISHED]


klr
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Another late "report" on a kit already started. This is my 3rd time building this kit, having previously built the 2-seat U-2D back in the 1980s, and the U-2A after the kit was reissued in the noughties. It was only then the parts for the U-2C were included by Airfix, although they were very likely tooled at the same time as the rest of the kit, and were included in other boxings as far back as 1984 by MPC, whose stamp is on the mold. This was just a year after Airfix first issued the kit. Note the erroneous reference to the U-2B on the original Airfix cover, This should have been the U-2A.

 

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Contents. As I planned on building the NASA U-2C, I was able to leave this decal sheet untouched, and use the spare NASA section from the last time I built this kit.

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From checking instructions for other kits (notably Monogram), I'm not sure the cockpit should be black, but I discovered this too late, and you can't see much anyway when it's closed up. No nose weight is required, which speeds things up a bit. The engine intakes I painted in mid-grey, departing from the Airfix silver. The wheel wells, doors and undercarriage struts were also supposed to be silver, but I painted these white.

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The wings (slipper tanks already added) are best attached one at a time, each being left to set for a long time, preferably overnight, while resting in a downward position - some antique furniture proved very useful for this, I had to use some plastic card as shims to improve the fit between wings and fuselage, as this was nowhere near as good as it needed to be.

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The ugly sink marks on the top wings - directly above the attachment points for the stands and detachable struts - are clearly visible here, and took an amount of cleaning up.

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The fairing behind the cockpit was not a great fit either, and I messed it up sufficiently that I sought out the spare from the U-2D kit I'd built all those years ago, The discoloured plastic made it easy to find in the spares box. The bulged intakes were also a poor fit, requiring a lot of sanding and smoothing to give a clean join with the fuselage. In contrast, the big dorsal spine was a very good fit.

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Now onto painting. Ideally, I would like to have done the camouflaged light grey/light blue wraparound USAF scheme, but didn't have the decals, or good enough paint matches. So I went back to the default NASA option in the kit, albeit with the grey undersides as matt Hu 147 (FS 36495), instead of the gloss Hu 40 in the instructions. Hand-painting large sections of a sparsely detailed airframe in a light gloss colour is not my idea of fun, and white is even worse than yellow.

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The decals were OK, with a distinct matt finish. There are none on the wings. As I was unsure of their long-term adhesive properties, I sealed them in with a coat of varnish. The blue "go-faster" stripes were never the correct length, and the excess from the rear sections was used to complete those over the intakes. The forward stripes should probably converge around the nose, but don't, so I'll have to look into this. I'm currently painting the upper wings, and will apply a third coat before I go to bed ...

Edited by klr
kit completed
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I sorted out the nose stripes by grabbing bits of spare decals from the U-2A option (the rudder logo has the exact same base colour), and a dab of Humbrol 104 Oxford blue right on the nose.

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The kit is as finished as it's ever going to be. Gallery pics to follow ASAP.

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  • klr changed the title to Airfix 1:72 Lockheed U-2C [FINISHED]

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