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A5M2b Claude Late version 1:48 Review Build


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I’ve stalled on the Zero I’ve been building for various reasons, but I’m planning on getting back on with that shortly, but in the meantime I wanted to get a little bit of building done, and had picked up the recent Wingsy Kits A5M Claude, and fancied putting it next to the Zero in the cabinet one day, as one led to the other – I’ll let you decide which one. ;)

 

I’d not heard much about Wingsy (another Ukrainian company - take care folks!) before, so I was interested to see what was in the box.  It’s good stuff, actually, and there’s lots of detail in there, so I set off building it.  The cockpit was a breeze to put together apart from the floor “window”, which I thinned down to get rid of a little sink-mark, then polished it up back to transparency before fitting it with GS-Hypo.  I’ll cut a mask before I get to priming it – I hope! (edit: I did)  The quantity of PE in the cockpit is good, and it all goes in well, especially now I’ve rediscovered my sticky-pick that I found on eBay some years ago for a few shekels.

 

I also made up the engine, as that’s going to be put in pretty soon, and that too worked out nicely, apart from when I snapped off a couple of the push-rods, so had to replace those with 0.5mm rod, which should look identical once they’re painted.  The cowling was prepped too, and the aft section that has the cooling flaps was thinned out substantially to give it a more realistic look, and I also separated the tips of the flaps too, just to finish it off.  The exhausts are solid, or at least they were until I did a thing with my Galaxy Model motor tool, reaming them out with a rounded-end bit and finishing it off with a pointed bit to get the wall thickness somewhere near.  They’re not as good as the genuine metal ones that Wingsy themselves made, but once I’ve painted them, they should look ok.  A smoothed off the interior with some liquid glue and then went for my tea.

 

I've been mucking about finishing off some sub-assemblies and preparing the instrument panel, as I'm using the PE and film option, so I thinned down the plastic panel, even though the instructions seem to tell you it's an either/or situation.  I wouldn't have a clue how to use just the PE part, as there's nothing to attach it to the bulkhead with.  I've thinned down the plastic IP as much as I dare and have attached it to the bulkhead under the gun breeches, ready to receive the panel and film once the paint is on.

 

Speaking of wings (were we?), I glued them together after drilling out the holes I needed to, and was going to install the clear wingtip lights until I discovered they have sink-marks in the centres.  Rather than try to fix that, I elected to replace them with clear acrylic, but as I can't find my sheet, I've had to order a new one.  I'll cut small pieces, glue them on and file them back to shape, polish them, then put two-part masks on, as the Claud had a third strip of frame that ran along the leading edge, which is unusual for WWII type lights, but worth noting.  I'll mask off the lenses and let the primer, top coats and varnish build up the frame thickness.  Should work :yes:

 

Not much to show for my effort yet, other than a bunch of sub-assemblies, which you can see below, a pic I took before I attached them mall to sticks for priming.

 

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More nonsense as it happens, or shortly after. ^_^

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Just finished one of those, nice build.

 

Finishing was bit more difficult as there seems to be a paucity of decent contemporary photos of sufficient quality to help with how the finish looked in service.

 

I would assume that those serving in China would have taken a bit of a battering finish wise but is only an assumption.

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I've just realised that I'm getting old. :nerd: I thought I'd ordered some paints, but seems like I'd left them in my basket at the online shop :doh:

 

In the meantime I've spotted that MRP are coming out with a new set of Japanese themed paints - here's a link to their new IJN colours, and there are also IJA shades too, with a total of 24 colours.  People seem to think MRP is the shiznit, so I'd like to give them a try :hmmm:

 

https://mrpaint.sk/index.php?route=product/search&search=IJN

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  • 1 month later...

After a month of inactivity on this one, I got round to doing some of the painting this evening.  I've put some Gunze Mr Color "Mitsubishi Cockpit Color", H126 on the cockpit sub-assemblies and lightened it here & there, and am waiting for it to cure before I clear coat it and put some wash in there.  meantime I painted the engine (there's been a lot of that today), doubling up with my Vengeance build to cut down the colour changes in the airbrush.  Here's a quick pic of it:

 

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Put the cowling round the engine today, which is made up from four parts.  Two cylindrical halves, front lip, and the cooling flaps at the rear, which I thinned down as I got started.

 

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I also squirted some Mr Color Cockpit Color (Mitsubishi) H126 on the cockpit assemblies, and over-sprayed places with a bit of the same colour lightened with white.  I've used the Aqueous version for a few years now, but just got into the synthetic lacquers (is that what they are?), thanks to Albion Alloys and air-craft.net in equal measure.  It all sprays very nicely, and as long as your airbrush is clean when you start, you'll not get any blockages.  It even sprays well through the 0.18mm needle of my PS770, which is my bestest favourite airbrush :wub:  I've only put the basic blocking colours on so far, with quite a bit more work to do on the detail painting, wash and a bit more tonal modulation. Sounds posh, dunnit? :D

 

 

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Back to the Vengeance shortly, and I feel the urge to go hunting for some spare IJN seatbelts to save me from having to paint the kit supplied belts.  They're not difficult, it's just a time-saver :yes:

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After a squirt of paint, I cracked on with the cockpit, and got it finished off a few minutes ago, gluing it into a tub-shape and dry-fitting it into the fuselage halves.  I even remembered to take off the masking tape from the weird floor-window.  I also remembered to put the PE stirrups on the rudder pedals and paint them.  Last I saw of them since I closed up the tub though.  That took all of 10 minutes :shrug: Whatever next?

 

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I just remembered that I forgot to paint the gaiter on the control column :doh:  I might be able to get a brush in there when I'm painting the headrest :rolleyes:

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Fairly rapid progress this avo while I watched some old episodes of Game On.  Remember that? Samantha Janus at her prime along with a couple of blokes in a flat.  Still holds up as a mildly diverting amusement while doing a bit of modelling :)

 

I did the first round of seam sanding and after a sudden rush of blood to the fingers I also put the wings on, as there's a little filler needed round the bottom seam between the wings & fuselage, so I might as well get it all done in a oner.  Then I plopped the tail feathers on, and everything went together pretty well, taking no time at all to get lined up & square.  Another quick shot of the model setting up on the EBMA jig, a la the Vindicator last week:

 

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A bit more fettling of the seams once they're properly set, so I'll probably get some colour on the Vindie for the next session, whenever that is. :tired:

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Discovered a bit of a faux pas this avo.  Seems that the canopy had done a runner and taken up residence on the floor.  Dumbo here found two parts of a windscreen on the floor the other week and was wondering what it was for.  Now I know :doh:

 

I've still got the parts, and have tacked them together with some GS-Hypo, and TBH, it doesn't look bad.  The crack runs near the windscreen frame through the 'ole where the gunsight pokes through, so it shouldn't notice too much once it's done.  I might put up a wanted thread for a spare later, just in case someone's had an accident and happens to have a spare. :shrug:

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Well, this is what the broken canopy now looks like. :hmmm: I glued it together with some GS-Hypo, then dipped it in Klear.  Once it was dry I scraped off the bottom edges and used black marker to colour them.  More GS-Hypo was used to glue it down, and here's where we're up to.

 

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It's not the worst canopy in the world, but neither is it the best.  What can ya do though? :shrug:

 

The engine and cowling are only tacked on with BluTak right now, as there's a bit of filler in some sink-marks that will need sanding back.  I've re-done the missing rivets again with the Galaxy Tools rivet wheels that I reviewed a while back here.  They really are great, and there's a wide range of pitch sizes, so there's usually one that will fit the bill :yes:

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While I was spraying the Vengeance tail white, I also did the tail of the Claude, as all the kit options have the same red tail, and white makes a good enough undercoat.  It also crystallised my thoughts on the decal option I was going to use too, as only one has red wheel spats, and I wanted that to give it a bit more colour.  They're all silver otherwise, so I wanted a bit more variation in tone, as I figured that as they were pre-war, they'd be quite well looked-after to give the 'erks something to do.  Here she is with some red paint:

 

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The red looks a bit ANGRY next to the blue backdrop, but it looks fairly normal in the flesh.  I need to mask it up and prime the rest of the airframe next.

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Sprayed a gloss black undercoat on the Claude tonight in between migraines :dull:  The usual Alclad gloss black as a base for some aluminium/silver paint to come later.  I suspect it's a painted silver finish, but I'll have a scout round to check before I commit to paint.  There are a few tiny blemishes in the paint that will need buffing out, but otherwise it came out quite well.  One thing it did show up however is what looks like some very mild damage to the mould on the top of one wing.  I'll have a careful look at that and see whether it needs dealing with before the silver goes down though :hmmm:

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

After a bit of a pause while I waited for some new metallic paints after discovering that my Alclad metallics had all semi-perished, I played about with the painting of my Vengeance.  I'd decided to give MRP a try, so bought a bunch of metallics from Premium Hobbies, which arrived mid-week.  They're the same size and a similar consistency as Alclad, and utilise the same chemicals and techniques for clean-up, but have the benefit of a plastic bottle.  I popped a glass BB in each one to help with mixing, and noticed that the colour you're recommended to use for the metallic in the instructions is H8, and MRP-128 states that it's about the same shade as C8, which I guessed was Gunze's lacquer silver.  That was good enough for me as the first step in painting up the exterior.  I did a test spray out on some parts of a 1:48 Hobby Boss Hawk (ick!), which gave me confidence to get on with spraying it on a real model. :unsure:

 

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I need to repaint the bulkhead with a dark shade, and I'll probably do some other work on the shading somewhere, but these aircraft seemed to have been kept pretty clean at the time they were silver, with the later camouflaged examples seeing action and getting grubby.  I'm dying to remove the tape from the red, but I'll be patient so I don't get any overspray on it, but I also have to decide what to do next.  That requires some thought, as I'm kind of out of practice with this modelling lark, having produced the grand total of zero models last year :frantic: 

 

 

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I painted the bulkhead after doing a bit of masking, then ripped it all off... well, because I couldn't wait :shrug:

 

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I seem to have got to the scary part of this and my Vengeance, so I've started painting the cockpit of my other as yet unlisted project.  Prevarication is my bag, I guess? :shrug:

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16 hours ago, billn53 said:

The MRP metallic looks very nice in the photos, I may have to find me some.

It's good stuff.  Goes on really well as long as you don't flood it.  A few light coats is the way to go :)

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A couple of light coats of clear didn't seem to affect the lustre of the MRP metallics, so I pressed ahead with some decals, which showed up a bit of a weak spot in the kit.  The decals are brittle and take some effort to get them to settle down.  I used some Daco Strong, which seems to have done the trick with most of them, but the tail band was just too brittle and started to dismantle itself during handling.  I measured up and it's 5mm wide and the red stripes are half a mil each, so I'm going to mask and spray it myself, as I gave up on them after a while.  I put the main decals on, but left of some of the stencils for now, so they don't get yanked off by tape when I get round to putting the masks on.  The shape of the fuselage isn't very helpful, but I'm sure I'll manage in the end :)

 

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That is a mighty shiny, shiny Claude, Mike. Looks like you spent many hours and lots of elbow grease getting that level of lustre. Looks outstanding:goodjob:

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11 hours ago, LorenSharp said:

That is a mighty shiny, shiny Claude, Mike. Looks like you spent many hours and lots of elbow grease getting that level of lustre. Looks outstanding:goodjob:

Thanks :) I didn't really do much at all, TBH.  I squirted a gloss black primer, then shot some MRP Silver (MRP-128) over it, with a top coat of Aqua Gloss to seal it for decaling.  Not a massive amount of time :yes:

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I'm going to have to stock up on some MRP paints I think. Anything that looks that good and shiny AFTER a clear coat is definitely worth getting.:thanks:

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On the basis that it was a horrible job, and if I didn't do it immediately I'd never do it, I thought up a method to get a consistent 5mm unmasked area on the tail, which is all sorts of shapes.  I laid down a 1mm strip of tape where I figured the aft edge would be, then cut up the remaining 5mm piece into short lengths and laid them over the top of the 1mm piece, as trying to put it on in one piece would just end up with it running off in all directions.  once I'd done that, I cut some 2mm(ish) lengths of tape and butted them up to the forward and aft edges, then removed the 5mm wide sections and the 1mm strip to leave a decent 5mm wide gap.  I added a load more tape to the edges to cope with overspray and dug out some Alclad white primer.  A clean airbrush is a good airbrush, so I stripped my PS-770 and set about painting the stripe.  It didn't take long, but I took care to do it as dry as possible to avoid masking leaks and runs, then with my heart in my throat I removed the masking.  The results will shock you!

 

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If you're wondering where the red borders are, I remembered I had some Fantasy Printshop decal stripes, and they have 0.5mm stripes in red, so I'm going to give those a go.  I'm using the dark(ish) red stripes, on the basis that being laid on white will make them a little lighter.  Wish me luck! :unsure:

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10 minutes ago, billn53 said:

Excellent job on the stripe, I'll put your method into my box of tricks.

Cheers fella :) I'm half way through the red stripes as I type this, and apart from a mild screw up on the 2nd part, it's gone fairly well.  The decal strips are four years old, so a tad brittle so I've taken to laying them on in shorter lengths, as they merge together invisibly when they're laid down. :yahoo: I'll probably let the first strip dry before I attempt the 2nd one.  Might even put a layer of Klear over it to protect it while I'm working.

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Well, it worked.  It's not 100% perfect, but it looks pretty decent.  I've slapped a bit of Klear over the top to protect it, and here's how it looks:

 

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