My build for the GB is the 1:48 Hasegawa A-4E Skyhawk "Top Gun" model
The real plane has had a number of liveries over the years, but since this is my first camo paint job, I'll be looking at this scheme
At this stage it will be an OOB build. All I have done it taken the 2 fuselage halves off the spues to play with them. I may however look at different decals and maybe a mask set.
This build is really going to push my learning. Its a fantastically detailed model, with a number of options. I'm planning on showing off as much as I can so canopy open, slats and flaps down, airbrakes open and boarding ladder attached. I'm off overseas for work for a few weeks mid Jan so anything done before then will be prep, planning and research, so there might not be much posted until after then.
So I've cleaned up the garage and my work bench and pulled out the squawk. I must say the detail on this kit is amazing. I would be tempted to do a hump back version which this allows but would need to find new decals so I'll stick to an OOB build.
The one extra that did turn up with my Sprue Brother order is an Eduard mask for the canopy and wheels. I wont use all the wheel masks as I quite like the method I have for painting them, but will use it on the canopy. Be my first time using an after market anything.
The 2 halves of this gorgeous kit. Getting the seams perfect is one of my targets
And that's not going to be an easy job with the nose section starting at the cockpit not lining up properly
And the nose has an obvious step. It does line up but I have to push quite hard to straighten the whole thing. Some advice on correcting or gluing it with enough strength to correct the warp would be greatly appreciated.
Hopefully this weekend I get some time downstairs to start prepping the fuselage halves and cockpit area. I'll be cleaning a dipping the canopy in Klear too.
My kit had the exact same issue. Judicious use of clamps and plenty of tamiya extra thin lined it up enough I was able to sand and fettle it mostly into line. I still have a slight step on the back of that hump in front of the cockpit but once the canopy is on it should hardly be noticeable. The other bit to watch for is the gun ports or blank inserts in front of the wings. I ended up shimming it with some thin plasticard to fill the gaps. You'll need plenty of filler to fair them in nicely. Also, when you get round to putting the lower wings onto the fuselage, you'll need to trim the insides to allow it to sit far enough up so you don't have massive gaps along the wing root.
You'll get there mate, the rest of the kit fits together very nicely.
I'd be careful with the nose and gluing, as I have yet to see that in any of the multiple Hasegawa A-4s I've built. I'd align the rear fuselage and get that glued and then make sure the nose was aligned before gluing. There may be a warp in the kit which gluing the halves as they appear to align doesn't resolve. Hopefully you'll find that the cockpit, intake and nose gear well help bring everything into alignment.
So I got a little bit of time tonight to do some more. Amazing considering my workload but I'm determined to do a little each day.
I had a look at the canopy after its dip in Future and by and large I was really happy with it, but there was a little bubble in the main canopy, so back in the Klear it goes
I also started putting the cockpit together. I had to place the seat in to get the right angle of the rear Ejector rails and bulkhead. There was just too much play in the parts to fit confidently in the right position
And this was also true for the area just behind the seat wall. I had to do a test fit in the actual fuselage to ensure this fit.
I also got to prep and fit the air intakes. They are 3 parts but fit together nicely.
A test fit into the fuselage, with the engine front fan blade installed showed a little sanding needed, but by and large its a nice fit. Now I'm wondering if I should glue the intakes on now so I can do any filling and re-scribing while I can lay the fuselage halves on their sides. I dont think it will cause any problems when it comes time to put the halves together and I can take my time to mask off the intakes.
Im also thinking a different lense on my camera would be really useful to get the closer in shots with a larger depth of field. Any suggestions (Canon 70D)
Not much new to report. Slowly sanding and prepping a bunch of parts for primer. The biggest thing I'm trying to figure out is how to handle the landing gear and gear doors. This landing gear is more complex than anything I've done previously. I don't know if I could/should assemble it when i put the fuselage halves together and get the plane to sit on them during the build, or wait and assemble them after, but that might mean priming and spray painting them after the body is complete. Any ideas?
I assembled them "in situ" in order to get everything to sit where it should and removed them once the glue had set. Some people attach them, mask them off and do them after the rest of the kit is finished, others (like me) leave them off and paint them separate and add them last, that way avoiding any breakages. Some kits you need to have the gear attached before finishing assembly but most can be added afterwards.
So I started putting the Eduard Mask on last night and finished it this afternoon. Kinda handy but man the vision finder was a godsend. That and a good set of tweezers. Canopy is masked, inside and out.
I have masked up one wing and plastered on some perfect plastic putty to see if its a suitable method of removing the step in the slat cut out
I've prepped most of the small and internal parts ready for primer
After my first round of priming, I looked a bit closer at the front wheel well and saw a number whet might be ejector pin marks. Bloody hard, if not impossible to clean them all up but I started with the most prominent ones.
I put some more putty on the wing leading edge to make a smoother finish. From the naked eye, once I sanded it, it looked pretty good, but on closer inspection it was still very rough with pits and holes, so I've taken it all off. Now I have Im actually rethinking it and thinking I should give it another go.
I added the centre hard point mount on the wing now, because I may as well
And I started adding some colour to some of the ejector seat parts.
Wanted to do a lot more tonight since I have to work tomorrow, but my wife is drunk and I have to look after her. On the up side, go the Black Caps.
I didn't bother with the wing slat step on mine, since the camo scheme covers that part anyway I don't think it will be too noticeable (except to purists like Phil and Craig... ).
I managed to remove almost all the pin marks in the nose gear bay using my hasegawa trytool chisel, it's nice and small (and rather sharp!) so I scraped them back with a few passes each and by the time I'd painted and put a wash in the gear bay, you can't really notice them.
I might actually try to finish the camo scheme on mine tomorrow after my job interview since I am actually feeling somewhat motivated for a change, that plus after talking to Alan and John at modelair for an hour or so on friday about how they challenged themselves to finish some kits from the shelf of shame I thought maybe I should do the same.
Tonight I got to lay down some gloss white on some of the interior bits. Air intakes, wheel wells, wheels etc. Some of the landing gear is undergoing some final; sanding and hopfully I'll get to reprime tomorrow night.
I've been thinking for a while how to mask.block up the air intakes to get a nice transition from camo to white. I decided to try just using foam cut to shape
Worked quite nicely and I should be able to pull it out easily enough once the camo is all done.
So that done I decided to attach the intakes to the fuselage. I'll be test fitting the rest of the intake and front fan blade as these took a bit of sanding to sit nicely. Im going to look at any filler and do my first attempt at re-scribing the intakes while the fuselage is still in halves to make it easier to handle.
I decided in my wisdom to lay down some Mr Color Buffable metal on the fan blade by hand......
and as soon as I got the brush close to the piece, it decided to spit paint everywhere. It's so thin it ran everywhere. I tried to be as clean as possible and even tried a cotton bud with a little isopro on it but it didnt do anything but smudge. Luckily there isnt too much and Ill take my time and clean it up by hand, but next time I'll lay down some masking tape
Finally tonight I decided to put the wings together. Once I finish all the internals I'll be putting most of the body together for painting so this helps me reduce some clutter and hopefully will help protect the slat arms which have had a few knocks.