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1/72 Revell Arado Ar(E)555 - Finished!!

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Thanks, Col :) After the fight with the AC-130, this one is really getting the mojo cooking.



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Catching up a bit with this one. Although I’ve had the whole week off as holiday, I’ve not made masses of progress on this (yet!) as I’ve taken a bit of time out to relax, slotted in a trip to Duxford on Monday (complete with a talk on the Lancaster with a chance to see inside it), and today was a day out with my dad doing an off-road driving experience in the morning and visiting the Hornby visitors centre this afternoon. Lovely!


With a nod to the chap who inspired this particular build, I’ve also been doing some cooking. I had a nice sirloin steak with homemade garlic & paprika chunky chips, and not homemade onion rings:




I also prepped some lamb to marinade for a lamb & aubergine curry:




I treated myself to a desk tidy for my workbench, much better than the assortment of plastic glasses I’d been using up to now, and more free work area:




I only made one mistake with the build, I got part 6 the wrong way around. Ikea instructions these are not! A5 sized with small pictures making orientation difficult:




I’ve included the comedy screwdriver they included for assembly in the shot, I’m not sure Geoff Capes could have managed to get enough torque to drive the screws home using that, so I ignored it and used a proper driver.


Anyway, models. I dealt with the sanding/filling/sanding/rescribing mission on the engines:




And the bombs:




These were all re-primed and look much better now. I also stripped and re-primed one of the exhausts as I noticed a run I’d missed:






Next stop for those will be some RLM 70 on the bombs, then the camo on the engine pack when I paint the camo on the main bird. As you may be guessing from the black primer, I’m going to have a bash at this black basing lark for this one (paint mule thoroughly coated in black primer and awaiting a test go)


There was more sanding and rescribing on the fins & rudders, I’m rather happy with these now (though primer may change that opinion):




After some dry fitting, the starboard one for a pack of 10thou plasticard, which was then fettled to get the best fit with the least gaps possible on the fuselage:




After that, the glue made an appearance, so the fins are now fixed:






The gaps aren’t too bad now, certainly better than some WIP threads I’ve seen. Starboard inner and outer:






And the port inner and outer:






A bit of filler and some sanding should see those sorted.


For now, I’ll leave you with the finished curry:




It was very nice indeed. Just as well, I’ve got enough left over for another three meals…


Until next time



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Today’s progress was mostly canopy related. The main canopy, the hatch for that, and the glazing over the gunner’s position were all removed from their sprues and attacked with increasingly finer grades of sanding sticks from 1500 grit to 12000 grit (I really should by some proper micro mesh). I foolishly didn’t take a “before” shot, so you’ll have to put up with the sprue shot recycled from page 1:




They weren’t awful, but there were a few marks that needed removing (it is a 24 year old kit). After those were smoothed out, these were all dipped in Alclad Aqua Gloss, my first time dipping a canopy. They don’t look too bad now:




On dry fitting the main canopy, I noticed that the recessed location features weren’t fitting inside the main tub, leaving an awkward gap around the edge. Those were removed with a combination of knife & sanding, though I didn’t take photos of this step.


My next step was borrowing an idea from Nigel and posing the hatch open, so I drilled the side of the hatch for a stay, and bent the stay from 0.3mm brass rod (left overlength for now to aid with painting):






I then masked the inside of the hatch with some bits from my Maketar Canopy Survival Kit, and the outside with some regular Tamiya tape cut to fit:






The gunner’s canopy was done using a 10mm diameter ark from the Maketar set and some more Tamiya tape for the rest:




That was then glued in place:




The overhead IP was glued to the inside of the main canopy:




The main canopy was then masked with a combination of triangles and strips from Maketar for the rear glazing, then I continued stealing borrowing Nigel’s ideas and used my compass cutter to make suitable arcs for the rest:






Tomorrow I’m hoping to get the main canopy on, then I’ll be looking at the filling jobs around the vertical stabilisers.


Until next time



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Thanks Alan. Still not perfect, but definitely less work to solve the issues than building it straight out of the box.


Time for an update on yesterday’s progress. I decided it was time to find a proper solution for masking off the front turret aperture, so I splashed on some Maskol and then inverted the turret base with the hopes this would stop paint getting inside the model and also be easily removeable:






I cut a custom scribing template to deal with the panel lines near the wing roots:




Handily, that one did both starboard and port sides.


During the rescribing, I managed to knock the turret base off, so I clearly needed to rethink the masking. I stuffed a block of foam into the opening, then covered with an 11mm diameter disc (the writing on the top is a reminder for me for when I come to build the next one):






The front nose glazing was given the same clean-up, Aqua Gloss, and masking treatment as the rest of the glazing, then fixed in place:






While that set, I cleaned up and fixed the scissor links, including the one I’d missed from the nose gear before I painted that:






My next step was a bit of an airbrush session, and while the parts dried it was a perfect opportunity to grab my dinner, a venison stew made in the slow cooker:




Very tasty, and no need to lose hours of modelling time to cook it.


By now, everything was thoroughly dry, so it was time to check on the results. I’d given the bombs a coat of AK RLM 70, which had dried considerably lighter than I’d expected, far more of a US army green. I can live with that though:




There’s a couple of spots that’ll need another coat, but this bomb had a small spec on it, that when I tried to rub it off it spread red pigment over the bomb. Very odd, I’ve not used anything red for quite some time:




As expected from looking at other build logs, the canopy fit isn’t great and will need plenty of filler:








Earlier in the day, I’d added the rest of the ribs to the rear of the nose gear bay:




The main bays are a WIP, photos when they’re done.


I replaced the wing guns with 0.8mm brass tube and mounted on cocktail sticks for paint (excuse them being crooked on the sticks):




I also mounted the forward turret parts ready for paint:




I tried tackling replacing the rear gun barrels, but I must have started my pilot hole off centre, and I split one of them:




I think I’ll be best cutting them both back to the pivot and making wholly new barrels as I did with the front turret.


Until next time



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An interim update as there may well be more work later.


My first task today was to break out the spirit burner and have a go at putting flat spots on the wheels, which is another first for me:








I did have some practice goes on spare wheels first, but I’m pretty happy there. There’s the odd one or two that might be a few PSI short of the others, but that’s deliberate to add realism. ;) At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The eagle-eyed will have spotted I’ve now nabbed a front wheel from the “in flight” kit as well, I may have had a slight accident with the original and left it looking thoroughly in need of a puncture repair kit. :whistle:


The airbrush has had a fair outing today, over several sessions. First of all getting some primer on the wheels, as well as the main gear legs and the front turret parts:




Highly fillered airframe in the background, but more on that later.


After that lot had dried, I got some tyre black on the wheels and another coat of green on the bombs:




A little while later, I got some primer on the outside of the gear doors:




I’d spent several hours dealing with the filler, particularly around the fins. I’d not had a lot of luck, as rather than smoothing the PPP off nicely, I seemed to get the bulk of it off fine, and then the final bits just came away completely in chunks. I smoothed that down with some sanding action, but figured while the primer was in the airbrush I’d shoot some over the fins just to see how bad it still was:










Could have been worse. At least it’s all one colour now, and a great deal easier to see where the issues are!


My final bit for now is borrowing another tip from Nigel, and sticking down the canopy hatch with some Maskol:






I’m off to reheat some of the lamb curry for dinner, then I’ll see what else I can achieve with the model in a bit.


Until next time



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Great progress James, 

When I finally pluck up the courage to build mine, this build thread of yours will be ideal to follow.

Looking forward to the next instalment.

cheers Pat

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Thank you, Pat. It's not really that bad to build, just a couple of pitfalls to be aware of that I've tried to document. TBH an awful lot of what I know about building this kit came from Nigel Heath's excellent build, which is a great read:

Wait no more, the next update is here ;). Not much more was done last night. After putting primer on the fins, I figured I may as well do the rest of the upper surface as most of the work there is complete:






There’s a few areas that are now highlighted as needing some work, however my airbrush was spitting a little, which has left a few marks like these:




They’ll buff out easily enough, and the airbrush has now had a full strip down and deep clean, so hopefully it’ll behave itself next time.


While I was doing that, I primed the other side of the gear doors:




That’s it for now. I’ve got some chores to do around the house today and need to get organised for being back at work tomorrow, so progress today may be limited.


Until next time



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Thanks Col! It does have a certain presence in all black, there's a bit of me that thinks I could just stick a couple of Bat symbols on it and call it a day...



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I managed a couple of hours at the bench this evening, though no actual progress on the Ar 555 as such, I spent the time playing around with black basing before I let myself loose on the real thing (even if that is a way off).


I’d sprayed the surplus Hercules fuselage (the one with the bendy fin) with black primer last night, so this evening I put a marble coat on out of Tamiya XF-2 white, XF-12 J.N. grey, and XF-57 buff, plus some Mr Hobby H-69 RLM 75:






I then masked it up in segments and had a crack with my intended paints, Mr Hobby H-417 RLM 76, Tamiya XF-77 for the RLM 74, XF-54 for the RLM 75, and XF-69 for the black underbelly, sprayed in that order:




I’ve learnt a lot from this, the biggest bit being to use very thin coats when it comes to the top coats! I definitely overdid it with the RLM 76:




It’s not showing up as clearly as I’d like in the photos, but I’m most happy with the RLM 75:




That makes sense as it was the penultimate colour sprayed, so I was learning from my mistakes.


The RLM 74 isn’t too bad, besides the odd really bright spot as I had a couple of slightly heavy handed spots in the marble layer here:




Finally, the black. This is the bit where the most variation shows through, so definitely more thinner coats next time:




Finally, a shot of the main colours close together on the tail. I think every colour is too heavy handed here, but it does show me that I’ve made the right choice for the tones I was after:




Plenty to think about, and definitely more practice required. Still not bad for a first go.


Until next time



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Just a small update today, as last night's modelling time was spent on the defects the primer highlighted. Plenty of dirt to remove (I've now ordered some tack cloths to hopefully avoid this in future), lots of places where the airbrush had spat, plus the inevitable iffy seams and scrapes that needed a bit more filler. I gave everything a good go over with a fine sanding stick after the issues were dealt with:




After that, much filler was applied and left to dry overnight.



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There wasn’t much on the list before I could prime the underside, but one remaining item was finishing the added detail to the main gear bays. I’ve mostly kept it to some additional ribs along the two blank sides, but I did borrow @Thom216's idea of making some pressure bottles out of 1mm rod with rounded tops. I’ve just chosen to site mine nearer to the legs themselves. Starboard:






And port:






A couple of them might look to be on the slant, but that’s just the photos. In reality I can assure you that they’re all as straight as Julian Clary. (They’re actually ok, but I couldn’t resist making that joke).


This pile of small parts represents all that was left on the sprues:




It feels pretty good to have cleared the sprues off. That lot was cleaned up and superglued on to a veritable forest of cocktail sticks:




I trimmed off the pitot tube from it’s mount and replaced the main part of it with some 0.6mm nickel silver tube. I’ll add a piece of 0.4mm to represent the end after everything’s been painted, as it saves masking it:




The final job was doing the same trick to the ailerons as I did to the rudders. I smoothed the worst of the filler while it was still wet, which I’m hoping will speed up clean-up:




I left it there for the night, to give the filler a good chance to harden up. I’ll get that sanded down next session, and hopefully get some primer over the whole aircraft to see what defects that highlights...


Until next time



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Filler all sanded back, I had the opportunity at lunchtime to spray some primer over the whole aircraft:






There are some rough areas that still need work, but not as many as I thought. So that’s a bonus. I will have to fix the port leading edge as that’s now split along the seam, my own fault as I dropped it during sanding operations. Could have been worse.


The darker patches on the upper surface are areas where I ended up sanding through to bare plastic dealing with some of the previous issues. Do I need to try feathering them a bit with a fine sanding stick and then reprime, or are they likely to not show through after this? It’s UMP’s black primer, which I believe is just re-bottled Stynylrez.


The white specks on the underside are from me being a numpty. Sanding dust had got on the box I’m using as a cradle, and being white I didn’t spot it. It’ll brush off though.


I’ve also primed all of the miscellaneous small bits from my last update.


I’ll hopefully have a chance to deal with the defects tonight, which should let me start getting some colour on it over the weekend. I’m not going to make the deadline, but I’ll get it as close as I can.


Until next time



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  • 81-er changed the title to 1/72 Revell Arado Ar(E)555 - we have primer
8 hours ago, JOCKNEY said:

Looks terrific James

I have to admit, the stealthy black look is growing on me !

It's not a bad look, is it? Whack a couple of low-vis Bat symbols on it, and I could see it cruising the skies of Gotham looking to thwart the Joker's latest plot...


Here’s the update from last night. I had a good look over the whole model for any defects I could find, which were many. The worst of the specs of dirt were removed with a scalpel, then the remainder were sanded off. The split seam was reglued, sanded once dry, and then given an application of filler.


As an aside, some of the weights I put in have been loose for some time now, and it’s only got worse since I dropped it. With how I packed them in they’re limited in their movement, but it’s still annoying hearing them clunk every time I move it. I’ll not rely on the sticky pads in future, I’ll always glue the weights down.


Coming back to the paint, the whole model was given a good sand with progressively finer grits until I got to 1500 grit. After that, I stuck some filler over any areas that needed it, then called it a night:










I’m hoping to start getting the colour on it over the weekend, but there’s no way in hell this’ll make the deadline. I’ll keep going until it’s done though, it’s so close now.


Until next time



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After yet more sanding, I gave her another coat of primer all over. It’s still not perfect, but I think it’s about as good as I’m going to get if I want to finish it before I retire (which is nearly 30 years away):






I sharpened up a couple of my punches enough to cut out the masking for the wheels:




For anyone planning to use this thread as a reference, it’s 4mm for the nose wheels and 7mm for the mains.


By the time I’d finished that, the primer was dry enough to get the black on the underside and the nose. I sprayed patches of Tamiya flat black, tyre black, and NATO black, all tied together with a thin coat of NATO black. As I think you’ll agree, it was worth the effort:








What do you mean it looks EXACTLY the same as the primer? It’s VERY obviously completely different. Look at how well defined the transition is behind the periscope in this shot:




You still can’t see it? Have you been to Specsavers? Pfft! Ok, I’ll confess, it’s almost entirely imperceptible even in reality 🤣


At least the satin black on the wheel hubs showed up:




Once the black was dry on the gear doors, they were all masked up ready to get some RLM 02 in the morning, along with this forest of parts:




For a break from the masking, I unmasked the wheels and added the red dots, some more successfully than others:






I couple of minor touch-ups tomorrow, and they should be done.


I then moved on to the marathon that was masking the underside so I can paint the RLM 02 in the bomb bay and wheel wells tomorrow:




That was quite a time-consuming mission! Still, it’s done now. Once I get the RLM 02 done, I can move on to masking the transition to the camo colours. For those who don’t remember, this is the scheme I’ve designed for it:




It’ll be rather nice to be able to start posting some photos of it not being all black.


Until next time



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Interim update. I’ve managed to get the RLM 02 into the bays:




The arrows were indicating areas that looked like they needed a second coat, as it’s far easier to tell that under the bench lighting that the spray booth lighting (which is on the list to sort).


I also got the RLM 02 on all of this lot:




Next step for the doors is some Aqua Gloss, then a wash & decals. The struts will get some chrome for the sliding bits.


Unmasked, she looks like this:




A couple of touch-ups needed, but nothing major. The masking has also left the black looking a bit patchier, which I’m taking as a fortuitous accident as it’s now closer to the look I was after.


I think my next job will be masking up the top surface ready to start laying down the camouflage.


Hopefully another update later.




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  • 81-er changed the title to 1/72 Revell Arado Ar(E)555 - Paint time!

Well, here’s my final update before the end of the group build (but not the final entry in this particular build).


Fresh from unmasking the underside, I re-masked it all ready for starting to apply the paint to the upper surfaces. I used a bit of plastic sheet to cut down on tape usage, plus I left it slightly loose to allow me to use the wheel wells as a hand hold:




The boundary of the black was masked on the upper surface, assisted by some radiused bits of tape made using my compass cutter:




After that, it was time to have a go at a bit of a marble layer for both the aircraft and the engines:






There was a bit of me tempted to leave it like that, sort of the inverse of some of the night fighter schemes.


As much as I’ve enjoyed coming up with my own camo scheme, when you get halfway through a masking job and reach the “which {insert your own rude word of choice} idiot designed this!” stage, you don’t have to look very far…




This is hands down the most complex scheme I’ve had to mask. However, I persevered and got to this:




Now this is where I have a question to ask of all the black basing experts, is it usual for it to take an absolute age to get the blend coat down? I’m using a Harder & Steenbeck Evolution Silverline FPC, with a 0.2mm needle. I’ve thinned the paint down to about 25/75 paint to thinner ratio with my compressor set to 10psi. The coat of RLM 76 in the following photos took me nearly an hour and a quarter!


The results of my efforts:










It looks a fair bit patchier in photos than reality, but I definitely think there are areas that will need more paint. I tried to exercise restraint and leave it under for now, as I can always add more tomorrow. Not as easy to take it off.


Strangely, while the main aircraft looks more patchy in the photos, the engines look less so:




In reality I think they’re pretty good as they are.


So, as I expected, I didn’t make the deadline. I do wonder if I made the right choice in trying black basing here, as if I hadn’t I would at least have got it in the right colours by the end of today. Either way, I’ve started, so I’ll finish. I’ll keep updating until this one’s complete.


Until the next time.




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Yesterday morning had the sun shining, which gave me a chance to get some daylight shots. It still looked more patchy than I’d intended, but less so than under artificial lights (and still worse in the photos!):




This closeup is nearer to reality. Subtle, but definitely there:




After I got in from work I changed the needle in my airbrush to the 0.4mm one and gave the RLM 76 another very light coat to pull it all together a bit more:




I know it doesn’t really look any different there but take my work for it that it looks good in reality.


The next step was removing the masking for the RLM 76 ready to mask for the RLM 75, leaving in place any masking that didn’t overlap an area of RLM 75:




Then it was masking up for the RLM 75 (working light to dark on the camo colours seemed the most sensible route to me):






Note the copious amounts of reused masking.


I did spot one error on my part. The large area just ahead of where the engines will sit should come to a point, but I missed that masking the RLM 76. Hopefully I can get enough RLM 75 over it to not show up the mistake!


I’m working at home today, so my plan is to get some RLM 75 down as soon as I log off, head out to get the shopping, then hopefully I’ll be good to take the masking off by the time I get back.


Until the next time.




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A bit of silliness to start this update off. Several people (myself included) have compared this to a Vulcan, and I got an email from Airfix the other day to say that they had a 20% off sale for the Jubilee. You can probably guess where this is going, and yes, I got a Vulcan at a knock-down price! For comparison, here’s the Ar 555 on the wing of the Vulcan:




Yes, this really is only the size of one wing of a Vulcan! (For anyone curious, the Vulcan will be built as XL426 as she lives just over 2 miles from my house).


Coming back to the paintwork, after looking at a few black basing guides, exchanging a couple of messages with @shortCummins, and watching some videos he suggested (many thanks again, John!), I had a crack at the RLM 75 as soon as I finished work. I’ve come to realise I haven’t got a dense enough marble coat, so I used my 0.2mm needle to gradually build up the density of that in the RLM 75, then continued going until it was pretty much blended. I left that to dry while I nipped to Tesco’s, then gave it a final light coat using my 0.4mm needle and this is the result:






I’m really happy with that. Still looks patchier in the photos than reality, probably down to user error by the photographer *cough*


I let that last coat dry while I had my dinner and then unmasked:






Not looking bad! I’ll have to do the odd touch up, particularly where the RLM75 abuts the RLM 76 on the leading edge of the starboard fin as I didn’t quite get the masking tape to come to the same point either side, but that’ll be easy to sort. By far the worst area of iffy masking is this triangle near the leading edge of the port wing:




That one’s doubly special as not only have I got a big step in line between the RLM 76 & 75 near the panel line, but I’ve also got a bit of a wobbly in the RLM 76 along the back edge. Very easily sorted, I’ll just make the RLM 74 masking a hair larger than the primer triangle and cover my sins with that ;)


I also got some Aqua Gloss on all of the landing gear legs & doors, the bomb bay doors, all the associated struts for that lot, as well as on the bombs themselves. I didn’t bother with a photo as they look exactly the same as the last photos of them, just glossier.


The next stage is masking for the RLM 74, then spraying that. I think that’s most likely going to be on Thursday now.


Until the next time.




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I'd be really happy with that, especially for such a complicated trip-colour camo pattern 👍


masking must have taken forever, the marbling subtilely shows, and looks good from here.


looking forward to the "tricky" RLM 74




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Thanks John :) Those videos you sent really helped with the RLM 75. 


The masking hasn't been too awful. The black underside/nose was pretty much straight runs of tape other then the radii, which my compass cutter was invaluable for. The splinter masking has been around an hour for each colour so far, so I'll see if the last bit is any worse.



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