Friday, September 26, 2014

Blue Neptune! Building Hasegawa's Lockheed P-2V-7 for the First Time

I've always liked the Lockheed P-2 Neptune, but never bought Hasegawa's 1/72 model of it throughout it's long life of various issues and reissues. Earlier this year though I picked a sealed one up at a model show in Renton Washington for only ten bucks. It was the original Minicraft U.S. offering from about 1973 in the Dark Blue USN scheme. I figured this would be the easiest version to make since it was one color, and glossy too which would mean no clear coat. Boy was I wrong! This model was by no means easy to build and paint. It required a lot of strategic planning to figure out the best sequence of building vs. painting. I ended up assembling most of it before shooting it with a coat of Testors Dark Sea Blue from a spray can. The engines in their cowlings waited to go on until final assembly because there's all this bare metal area between them and the nacelle roots on the wings - that being the cowl flaps and exhaust plates. I didn't care to go hog wild with the interior detail, since most can't be seen through the clear plastic any ways. I didn't go crazy on exterior detail either since the kit didn't come with all the tiny white maintenance and caution stencils. But I did outline some of the windows and the searchlight dome with gold and silver strips of Bare Metal Foil. I knew this bird was going to be tail-heavy, so I stuffed the lower radome bulge full with clay and fishing weights. It didn't make a bit of difference! The thing is so tail heavy, it needs a pound of weight forward of the engines which there is hardly any room for. But after all was said and done, I'm happy with it, and will enjoy it on my office book shelf for years to come (I hope.)

Monogram TBD-1 Devastator Round Three!

I wasn't really happy with the Devastator I built a couple years ago, which is featured earlier on this blog. The Tamiya yellow on the wings and tail was just not right, and the decals were a disaster. So I sold it on EBay, bought another one, along with a sheet of Microscale decals to make any of the TBDs in pre-war finish. I thought it would be nice to do this third one up in a non-squadron commander's scheme, you know, just a regular bird with minimal markings. The cover of the April 1975 Scale Modeler magazine featuring the kit shortly after it came out was my inspiration. It shows three Devastators flying in formation. I chose to do 5-T-3 shown closest in the front. This meant I only had to worry about two colors. Well, three actually: flat aluminum, chrome yellow, and bright red. The Microscale decal sheet did not come with the wing chevrons, so any color than red would have had to be painted on, and with those ribs on the tops of the wings - forget it! I wasn't about to struggle with trying to get airtight masking over the ribs and touching up afterwards. So I chose the red tail scheme so I could use the wing chevrons that come with the kit. For the chrome yellow wings, I used regular Testors Yellow from a rattle can, which is very close to chrome yellow. It's full-bodied, with a slight orange tint. I even wrapped the yellow over the wing's leading edge like it's supposed to be. It was extra work, but looks great especially with the wings folded. I left the torpedo off, because I like the sleek body shape of the TBD. But I wanted to include the MK13 torpedo somewhere near the plane, so I ordered a resin USN torpedo loading cart from a company in New Zealand. I'm very happy with this model, and I'm keeping this baby for a while to enjoy.

Roscoe Turner's 247D Earns 3rd Place at IPMS Evergreen Show!

I think the judges at these IPMS shows like the Williams Bros. kits as much as I do. My Gamma won last year, and this year my Boeing 247D racer won - and I did a very simple, straight from the box job on it! Maybe next year I'll enter my C-46 Commando.

The Mig-25 Gets a New Pitot Tube!

I wasn't happy with a probe-less MiG-25, so I searched EBay and was delighted to find a company makes turned brass ones for the ICM kit. I figured it would work fine for the Hasegawa one as well, so I ordered it for only $4.95. I sanded down the point on the nose cone, drilled a small hole for the probe, and installed it with super glue. Being brass, it was gold so I painted it with Testors Steel. It's much sturdier than the original plastic probe I broke during main assembly. Now I can sleep at night knowing my MiG-25 has all her parts!