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Platz 1/72 Shiny T-33 Squadron Hack


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Hi folks!  Whilst browsing through my now fairly extensive P-80, etc. and F-94 derivatives collection, it suddenly dawned on me that I did not have a single T-33 trainer in the whole works.  I had built a few, many years ago, from Heller, Hasegawa, and I think maybe even Airfix, but these had all been sold off anon.  What to do?

 

Just so happens that I had a newer Platz T-33 in the stash, so I figured, what the heck, a quicky build, keep the mojo up, etc.  After all, how hard could it be to build a T-33 model?  Little did I realize how prophetic those thoughts were to be.....

 

But I digress.  Let's start at the beginning, with the makin's as they say.  First up, the kit, as well as a couple of resin F-94 seats from the stash, as lack of seat detail is one of the very few knocks on the kit:

 

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Here are the front end parts, the fuselage halves, the IP's, the cockpit, etc.  Here they are all shown having been painted FS 36231 Dark Gull Grey, as was the custom sometime beginning around 1953:

 

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Above right, the rear end parts, a tailpipe and two fuselage halves.

 

The front wheel well and 3 grams of lead are glued to the fuselage halves before assembly:

 

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Above left, the cut-in-half fishing sinker is shown, along with my new favorite glue for dissimilar materials, Loctite Super Glue.  Much like my former favorite, Loctite Go2.  It's thick enough to hold tiny parts like gear doors and pitot tubes until they quickly dry, and has a great little pin-point tip for precise application, and well as q quarter-turn lid, which seals so well that despite using around half of my first ever bottle, it has yet to clog!

 

  I usually scuff the inside of the fuselage to give the glue more grip, and I always use this or Formula 560 canopy glue for these tasks.  In the past, I have depended up other glues, such as thin CA, etc., which has sometimes led to disaster later.  Epoxies would work, but take longer to dry.

 

This model is unique in that ALL the join lines, etc. have been engineered to fit virtually perfectly together, not the least of which are the intake inlets shown below, which actually snap into place, necessitating only the tiniest amount of liquid glue to hold them into place. However, before adding the inlets, one must glue the little boundary layer fences (teeth side in) into the squarish cutouts provided in the intakes:

 

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Above center, a very interesting item to be added after the front fuselage halves are joined is the round bulkhead pointed to by the arrow.  While it acts to support the lower fuselage/wing area, it is interesting  that there are two shaped holes in the bulkhead.  More on that later. 

 

Above right, the assembled front fuselage half.  I just used the kit-supplied decals for the side consoles and IP's as they provide enough details in this scale for my purposes.  Scale detailing fans could easily do much more, if it matters to them.  However, again please note the extremely good fit of the components, and note THE TOTAL LACK of any filler whatsoever!

 

Well, that's it for this time.  Back after I finish the T-33 Twin Tail I've been working on in the other posts...

 

Ed

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Hello again.

 

Next up, time to glue the wings.  This is about the only time I use tube glue anymore, for holding flat wing halves with no locating pins together. I run a medium-sized bead of glue all around the periphery of the flat sections, about 3-6 mm from the outer edge.  Then, I take a forefinger and smear the glue right up close to the edge, taking care that it is very thin right at the edge.  Then, taking care not to use the finger with the glue on it, I line up the pieces and clamp together for a while.  Later, if necessary, I'll add bits of thin liquid glue here and there.  The whole purpose for this exercise to avoid squeezing out excess glue/plastic, which mars the wings, and also, to avoid any chance of runs or drips with the liquid glue that would also mar the wings.  For me, it has been a successful technique:

 

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Above right, I'm now ready to assemble the front and rear sections of the model.  Note all the internal detail on the inside, that on my model, will never be seen again.  This suggests (along with the odd two-holed round bulkhead pointed to earlier) that Platz originally intended to offer a scale engine for the aircraft, and perhaps even intake trunking.  Imagine that!  Pity they haven't yet, but I suppose one could do a diorama of the T-33 split apart, using one of the aftermarket early British, American or Russian engines, since they all had the same blueprints.  This was, of course, a "gift" from the British to their Allied friends during the war, for better or worse...

 

As far as I know, such a diorama would be the first in this scale, showing an engine change on a T-33!  

 

Below, the halves are joined together:

 

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Here I have to pay due homage.  This is the first (and only) kit that I can ever remember, that fit perfectly, AND NEEDED NOT ONE DROP OF FILLER!  WOW!!!

 

Next, the horizontal stabilizers have been added, and the areas where the canopy will sit have been painted flat black.  I prefer the MM Interior Black for these areas, as it is not as dead black as the regular flat black:

 

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Above right, the canopy is installed with liquid glue and masked for future priming with decanted Krylon de-canted Gloss Black spray can enamel.

 

One tool I use constantly for masking work is the Infini tool shown below.  It has tiny grooves, varying from .04mm to 1mm in width, so it is simple to use a sharp #11 XActo blade to cut just the width of tape needed, by just letting the knife blade follow along in the groove.  It is  a little pricey, but I find it beyond value:

 

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Now, if I can manage to paint this great little model as well as it deserves, I'll be a very happy camper!  We'll see...

 

Ed

 

 

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Hi Bob, welcome aboard.  Nice T-33!

 

My Dad was stationed in Formosa,  as it was called then 1952-53. He was with the U.S.MAAG . My family  still has some pretty slide pictures of your beautiful country!

 

Ed

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This is looking good, and I could use a T-33 for my Wisconsin ANG collection. I see Italeri has re-boxed this Platz kit, which might make it the first Italeri kit without fit issues 😆

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4 hours ago, billn53 said:

This is looking good, and I could use a T-33 for my Wisconsin ANG collection. I see Italeri has re-boxed this Platz kit, which might make it the first Italeri kit without fit issues 😆

Bill, if that's true, jump on it!

 

Ed

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello again.

 

Considering that this model is probably the best-fitting model I've ever built, you'd think that the build would be "duck soup".  But, I forgot to filter in the "Ed" factor!

 

It all began where I left off earlier, by coating the model with Krylon Black Enamel, decanted from a spray can, then the Alclad II Polished Aluminum, and then a coat of Alclad II Aqua Glass clear.  Next, most of the decals, and then another coat of Aqua Gloss to protect them -- which thankfully -- does not obscure the metal shine.  No pictures of this mundane stuff were taken.  Next we start to add the landing gear, which in this kit, are little jewels, including the airbrake (only one shown):

 

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And here is where the "Ed Factor" rear's it's ugly head!  While looking at the photo to double-check (kit instructions sometimes get it wrong) the orientation of the main gear, I noticed two things that had, for some inexplicable reason, escaped me -- that the inside side of the wing-tip fuel tanks were black (duh!), and most unexpectedly, most of the undersides of this particular aircraft were white!  Why, I have no idea. 

 

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Also, as seen later in the tail decals, I had no idea that Washington, DC had it's own Air Defense Command HQ.  Silly me...

 

Anyway, I had a dilemma.  Everything was painted, the decals on, and now I find that all the paint work was still not done.  Nothing to do but re-mask and paint the needed parts.  For those out their who think that decals cannot me masked over, let me show you how it's done.  First, the tip tanks are masked in half with a .04mm strip of masking tape, thanks to the device shown earlier.  Then, a 2mm strip of tape was affixed, overlaying the edge of the first strip.  Then Parafilm "M" was used to mask everything else, as seen below.  Also, the main gear were removed, using more liquid cement, to soften the previously-installed glue:

 

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Notice the Parafilm "M" covers the wing decals, top and bottom, as well as the tiny decals on the wing-tip tanks.  I will lose the ones on the lower wing, as they will be painted over, as will a portion of the red turbine warning line on the bottom of the fuse.

 

When dry,  the tip-tanks are masked, and the fuselage taped and masked for painted the needed white areas on the underside of the aircraft:

 

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Above right, masking removed, landing gear added.  I actually did also lose the roundels on the aft fuselage sides, as I had apparently forgotten to Aqua Gloss them after installation.  (I usually apply decals in several sessions, one area at a time).

 

Despite having seen many pictures of shiny squadron hack aircraft in the past, when it came time time to build this model, the only one I could find is the one enshrined at the NASM in Washingto, DC.  I had to make two custom sets of decals:

 

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These are two separate decals, both will print at 1/72 scale.  The one on the left needs to print on clear decal sheet, and the one on the right prints on white decal sheet, which then needs to be carefully trimmed to leave a tiny white outline, as seen on the real aircraft.  I thought I had some ANG shields in stock, but none were of the correct type, so I had to do a little work in Photoshop to get the correct image.  As always, these images are free to use for any non-commercial project.

 

Here, we're getting closer.  The decal end missing on the left wing walk was a bad decal, not removed by the masking process.  A tiny replacement will be added later:

 

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The rest of the decals were all from the spares box.  Next, some comparison pics:

 

 

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Couldn't figure out what the object was that is pointed to by the arrow (above), so I didn't model it.  Perhaps a sort of luggage carrier?

 

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Anyway, she's finally done, and I will post up a couple more photos in RFI  HERE

 

I'm leaving tomorrow for a few days, so I'll respond to any comments or questions when I return. 

 

Thanks for looking in,

 

Ed

Edited by TheRealMrEd
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Yup Andwil, tried masking and painting that little bit 3 times and then just gave up.  Ran out of time as this trip was coming up, so I may touch it up after I get back.  Good eye!

 

Ed

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