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.)

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