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Mosquito belly lights


Jim Kiker
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Hi all,

 

I'm working on a NFXII conversion using the Tamiya Mk VI kit in 1/48th scale.  In the Tamiya kits the belly lights (bottom of the fuselage) are simple engraved circles.  What can be done to these circles to make them look more like unlit lights?  There must be something better than just painting them.

 

Thanks in advance, Jim

Edited by Jim Kiker
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Have you assembled the fuselage yet?

If not- cut the holes out. Put in backing pieces and when the fuselage is assembled put in some aluminium foil, a drop of paint and fill the hole with UV hardening resin

Thats what I did for the wing landing light and fuselage clear covers on this MiG 15

 

1. holes cut out

MiG%2015%20%28Airfix%20new%20tool%20kit%

 

2. finished

Airfix%201-72%20MiG%2015%2C%20new%20tool

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If you have already assembled the fuselage, then here's something you can try.  Find some clear sprue the right diameter, and sand or scrape the seam lines until its smooth all around. Sand one end into a slightly rounded shape and polish (this can even be done by rubbing back and forth on your old bluejeans if you have nothing else). Paint the rounded end the appropriate color with Tamiya transparent red, amber or blue (or equivalent), and when completely dry, paint the same end silver. Cut off about 1/4 inch long, and do it again until you have 3 colored lights. Drill out the kit scribed circles the same size, or SLIGHTLY larger, and cement in your lights with the colored end inside, so they sit slightly proud of the surface (I push into place and apply gap filling superglue around the edges with a toothpick). When dry, sand flush and polish, and your all done except for a circle of masking tape before painting!

 

Image11

 

Image26

 

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Another method would be to take Krystal Klear or any white glue and put a small amount into a suitable container. (I use old 35mm plastic film cannister caps.) I then mix in a drop of red/green/yellow food coloring  and stir. Apply to the opening you have drilled in the fuselage- it might take more than one application to get the surface of the glue to be flat or slightly convex when dry. Repeat for each color. When it dries, you will have a very realistic colored lens. Works well for wingtip navigation and position lights, too, as you can shape the glue into a rounded surface with a paintbrush or cotton swap dipped in warm water when the glue is not yet hardened. Really easy on 1/72 models, and if you mess up, a little warm water removes the glue and you can start over. Drill some holes of various sizes in a scrap plastic kit wing to practice- doesn't take long at all to get the hang of it.  If you pencil in a teardrop shape on a fuselage or wing, you can easily make teardrop-shaped light blisters like those on a Spit or F6F. using a toothpick or small brush.

Mike

 

BTW- for IJA/IJN lights, mix yellow and green food coloring to get a blue tint.

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For my B.IX, I used lenses from Little Cars/Modelling Tools, having drilled out the holes. After drilling I glued some flat styrene behind the holes so the lenses didn't fall through. I had to adapt the light arrangement from the kit (Tamiya B.IV) to something correct for the B.IX I was modelling.

 

https://www.modellingtools.co.uk/

 

29291414861_42ecb6be9e_c.jpg

 

49570281047_23b6da9ec8_c.jpg

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Or if already together, whether painted or not use, an appropriate size drill bit to drill a depression in the plastic, no need to go all the way through. Then, after the camouflage painting, and final flat coat applied use a Molotow chrome applicator on the depression, once dry, use UV curing clear resin to make the lens, (it will self level) and once hardened, color with the appropriate red, yellow, blue, orange clear paint.

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Hi all,

 

Thanks for the variety of approaches!  Here is an extra issue in my mind.  Looking at wing tip lights on most airplanes of the period, there is a clear cover over the light and only the bulb is colored.  By extension, I would think the same would apply to the id lights; however, thinking often gets me into trouble.  So, does someone at on the net have pictures of the Mosquito's belly lights?

 

Much obliged, Jim

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21 minutes ago, Jim Kiker said:

Hi all,

 

Thanks for the variety of approaches!  Here is an extra issue in my mind.  Looking at wing tip lights on most airplanes of the period, there is a clear cover over the light and only the bulb is colored.  By extension, I would think the same would apply to the id lights; however, thinking often gets me into trouble.  So, does someone at on the net have pictures of the Mosquito's belly lights?

 

Much obliged, Jim

Look at @Jason C'Castle post above; ventral i/d lights on British service aeroplanes had coloured lenses.

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As far as I can tell, this PR.IX is in original condition. Clearly, it's the lens covers that are coloured rather than the bulbs.

 

de Havilland Mosquito PR.IX 'LR480' 'Lovely Lady'

 

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