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Messages - Domi

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Aircraft Modeling / Re: Eduard 1/144 Spitfire Mk.IXe
« on: March 05, 2013, 10:01:09 PM »
The primer coat did not reveal any surprises, so I airbrushed a coat of aluminium over the two Spits.  I used a Revell enamel paint for a change, normally going for an acrylic base coat, but there you go..  The only 'issue' with this enamel layer will be the time needed for it to dry properly, before moving on to more interesting things.  Had I used acrylics, those two Spits would be almost finished now!!  ;-)

Here's a close-up view of the cropped-wings aircraft, which will eventually get some bits added inside the cockpit.  At the moment, the 'tub' is just walled off with plastic card and Milliput.

As you can see, the engraving is really nice all over...  Lots of nice recesses for the forthcoming washes..!  Some may argue that in 1/144, all those panel lines should not be visible, and they are probably right, but nevertheless, they will help the modeller in obtaining a proper weathered look, and Eduard's engraving is certainly in the same league as that found on the more recent 1/144 kits from bigger companies such as Revell. 

Aircraft Modeling / Re: Eduard 1/144 Spitfire Mk.IXe
« on: March 05, 2013, 10:00:53 AM »
Ok, I had to do a bit of research, as I do like to know what I'm working on, and it looks as if the French Spit in Indochina option offered by Eduard, a late Spit LF.IX (LF for Low Flying, hence the truncated wings) actually had a rounded rudder rather than a pointed one.  Not a massive issue, really, easily do-able, but there are two other issues with this option that make me consider an alternative route...  First of all, probably the more 'serious' issue is the fact that the blue of the French roundels is, in my eyes, way too dark.  Adding the 'scale effect' and the rather extreme weathering Spits were subjected to in Indochina, those markings will simply not do.  Secondly, but more difficult to ascertain is whether this particular French Spit had the yellow thin circle around some or all of the roundels...  Eduard only give yellow-outlined roundels for the fuselage, but pictures of Spits in Indochina show a mixture of outlined and not-outlined roundels on the fuselage and under the wings.  Pictures rarely show off the upper wings properly, so it's even more difficult to make a proper judgement there.  Taking all this into consideration, I'll continue building the 'review' item with my original plan, the Israeli aircraft, and will build and detail the other one as a post-WWII civil-registered Belgian machine.  More on this soon...  

Aircraft Modeling / Re: Eduard 1/144 Spitfire Mk.IXe
« on: March 04, 2013, 07:22:07 PM »
Well, the kits are really simple.  I particularly liked how Eduard molded the wings in one piece with part of the rear fuselage/wing Karman cover.  It should make a neat joint line, but the tickness of the plastic of the fuselage halves prevent such an easy ride. The wings/fuselage fit remains very tight, and it is recommended to thin down the plastic edges of the fuselage where they meet the wings, from leading edge to trailing edge.

The horizontal tailplanes are also very neatly designed and here the fit is perfect.  Superglue, sandpaper and engraving tool take care of the fuselage mating joint line.  In just a few minutes the kit is ready for priming!

The truncated-wing Spit got a cockpit tub courtesy of some plastic card.  The details can be added at a later stage.

Aircraft Modeling / Eduard 1/144 Spitfire Mk.IXe
« on: March 04, 2013, 11:17:29 AM »
After releasing three delightful 1/144 MiG-21s, Eduard surprised us last September with a brand new 1/144 Spitfire kit..!  I am not a big Spit fan, nor have much in terms of references here at hand, so can not vouch for the accuracy of this kit, but compared to earlier 1/144 Spits, this one sets, in terms of quality, a new standard that should be difficult to beat...

As is now the norm apparently for those 'smaller' aircraft, Eduard offers a box containing two complete kits.  There is a notable difference though in this case: there are two types of wings in the box, one for each kit.  Those are the, I'd say, 'standard' elliptical Spitfire wing, and the truncated one, which I believe is more often associated with the Mk.IXe.  It would be quite simple to modify the longer set into the shorter set, of course.  Other than that, the rest of the parts are identical for both kits.  Eduard provides us with two very clear one-piece canopies, a set of painting masks and a very nice sheet of decals with markings for no less than 6 aircraft, 3 British, one Israeli, one French and, unsurprisingly, one Czeckoslovakian.  The instruction booklet is mostly made up of the full painting/decalling info for all 6 schemes.

The one baffling thing about this kit, other than maybe the odd choice of Spitfire variant for a first Spitfire kit, is the total absence of cockpit detail..!  The inside of the fuselage halves have a neat recess where the 'tub' should be, but one will need to dish out a bit more cash to obtain the photo-etched detail set marketed alongside the kit, or do a bit of scratchbuilding.  The PE set does offer a few extra parts for the rest of the aircraft, I must add.  It's a pity that Eduard did not offer a basic cockpit tub, because built out of the box, the canopy, very finely rendered, will show off.. nothing..!

As of writing the Mk.IXc has also just been released by Eduard in this scale, and offers 5 choices in terns of markings.  I think this newer release will dispense with the truncated wings.

As with my earlier 'review' of the Eduard MiG-144 SMT, I will build this kit out of the box and report on any fit issue I may encouter.  I may build the second kit alongside and add a few little details inside this empty cockpit area, as I quite fancy having a French Spit in my collection, after all...

Aircraft Modeling / Re: Eduard 1/144 MiG-21 SMT (Fishbed K)
« on: January 21, 2013, 09:40:41 AM »
Here are the promised pictures of the finished model...

In conclusion, this is a very very nice kit, which I wholehartedly recommend if you are into 1/144 military aviation modelling, or wish to give this scale a try.  The Eduard 1/144 MiG-21 kits are certainly much finer renditions than the earlier Attack releases and way ahead of anything that paraded as a Fishbed in this scale before.  As of writing, Eduard offers 3 variants of the kit, MiG-21 MF, SMT and Bis.  The SMT is probably the least exciting of the three, because it was only in production for a short time in the early 1970s and apparently was only used by the Soviet Union (though some sources do state that Poland, Czechoslovakia and East Germany had some SMTs too..  maybe someone here can confirm??).  As it happens, most SMTs were retroffitted with a smaller 'hump' (similar to that of the later Bis) as the extra fuel tank at the rear of the spine could not be used...  Finally, in my eyes in any case, the extra large humped-SMT has not got the sleek looks of the earlier MF series, making it the least interesting of the trio...  In any case, the Eduard SMT boxing only offers decals for red-starred aircraft (though one can chose between 5 different schemes), while the MiG-21 MF and Bis kits offer a much wider scope of markings and operators.  

Alternative decals do exist for those kits, if only from KP Models in the Czech Republic and MYK in Japan.  And Eduard has released PE sets to upgrade its own little jewels.  Brengun also have PE sets for those kits.

Out of the box, those are excellent kits, superior in quality to many a larger kit.  Super-detaillers could add a few things in the cockpit, in the wheel wells, and the 'odd rod' IFF antennaes, the vanes on the pitot tube, possibly replace the wheel bay doors with thinner ones, replace the canopy with a vacuformed item,...  As it stands, the only missing things to make the kit look like a true SMT are the two little fuselage strakes ahead of the wings and seat belts. I have not checked dimensions for any errors, but the finished item certainly looks right.  Now, let's hope Eduard will come up with other variants of the famed Fishbed: a F-13, a PFM or a UM would certainly not go amiss..!

Aircraft Modeling / Re: Breguet 693A.2
« on: January 20, 2013, 06:40:36 PM »
Good work.  Nice aircraft.  Cool kit!

Aircraft Modeling / Re: 1/72 Boeing B-29 Bockscar
« on: January 20, 2013, 06:37:00 PM »
Nice work on this beast!

Aircraft Modeling / Re: Eduard 1/144 MiG-21 SMT (Fishbed K)
« on: January 20, 2013, 06:34:51 PM »
Wow!  It's been a while since I last worked on this little project!  Xmas got in the way, along with my usual face- and body-painting commitments, then I had a important commission to work on for a friend, needed for the end of this month...   This sculpting work is done, so I thought it would be cool to get back to my little MiG..

No piccies today as it's too dark already, but I can report that I'm almost there..!  Panel shading has been done with thinned down oil paint (black), and I'm currently adding the few parts that were still missing, pitot tube, seat, canopy,...  Might add a bit more 'shading' tomorrow, then go for the final weathering...   More on this in the hours or days to come...

Aircraft Modeling / Re: Eduard 1/144 MiG-21 SMT (Fishbed K)
« on: November 30, 2012, 02:23:06 PM »
Here is the state of things before the week end break..

Panel shading planned for early next week...

Aircraft Modeling / Re: Eduard 1/144 MiG-21 SMT (Fishbed K)
« on: November 30, 2012, 09:48:32 AM »
A wash of sepia has now been applied overall.  At this scale anything darked would be too harsh, I feel.  I tend to prefer artist's water colours for this operation, as the effect can easily be 'erased' if too strong.  Once the wash has dried, I can remove any excess with a damp Q-tip.  My washes are made with water and a couple of drops of washing-up liquid, as well as a couple of drops of vinegar.  The washing-up liquid breaks the tendency of water to 'regroup', hence allowing a nice flow in all recesses.  I found that the vinegar helps reducing hard edges when the wash dries off.  Not much of an issue here since we're talking water colours, but it can make life a lot easier with acrylic-based washes.

Aircraft Modeling / Re: Eduard 1/144 MiG-21 SMT (Fishbed K)
« on: November 30, 2012, 09:04:49 AM »
Halfords is like a generic car (and bicycle) parts supermarket, where one finds the basic tools and parts to take care of one's vehicle.  Shops are all over the UK, and Ireland, but I don't think there are any outside those countries...   They carry a large range of spray cans to do repair on most common makes of cars (they do not have Ferrari red, for instance!), and this range is complimented by a very good series of primers (red oxyde, black, white and light grey) which I have been using for years...

Aircraft Modeling / Re: Eduard 1/144 MiG-21 SMT (Fishbed K)
« on: November 29, 2012, 10:21:02 PM »
The silver used on the model is a metal cote Humbrol shade, though I was not planning any rubbing nor buffing, just a 'base coat' over the acrylic primer (Halfords automotive acrylic grey primer).  The various dielectric panels have been painted green, the air intake ring dark grey, the tyres dark grey too.  I did not bother using any of the provided masks.  A fine brush and some well mixed acrylic paint can save a lot of time!  ;-)  A couple thin coats of Microscale satin varnish seal eveything.  Now a bit of waiting before getting into the weathering and panel shading...

The landing gear is quite good for the scale: the main landing gear consist each of two parts, plus the wheel, plus two doors, one needing a bit of bending (well explained in the instruction booklet).  The front landing gear is a one piece affair, with two separate doors.  The tyres are well defined and a fine brush and thinned grey paint cover the 'rubber' areas quickly and efficiently.  The cockpit has received a coat of turquoise blue, followed by a dark blue water-based artist paint wash.   

Aircraft Modeling / Re: Eduard 1/144 MiG-21 SMT (Fishbed K)
« on: November 29, 2012, 02:07:13 PM »
A base coat of matt silver has been airbrushed over the aircraft...

Without the benefit from any washes, the main landing gear already look good:

Here's a view of the unpainted cockpit area:

The decals are next.  They are very thin and I'd recommend using solvents only once the decals are at their perfect location: moving them around is tricky, at best, due to their thinness...

Market / Re: Kits for sale
« on: November 29, 2012, 10:28:13 AM »

I'm interested in the Heller Ouragan, the 1/72 Cessna with floats and the F-86 Egg Plane..  Still available?

Aircraft Modeling / Re: Eduard 1/144 MiG-21 SMT (Fishbed K)
« on: November 29, 2012, 09:21:14 AM »
Things are progressing pretty well...  As can be seen above, the fuselage is split verticaly.  The 'hump' and fin assembly is also split verticaly (though the fin is in one piece) and places itself over the back of the fuselage without any trouble.  I used just a touch of Milliput epoxy putty to fill in a tiny little gap between the two assemblies right under the rudder, but this may well have been caused by myself and poor assembly technique instead of by poor design and poor fit of the parts.  Indeed my previous work on the MF kit did not cause that particular problem...

The fuselage halves contain a separate 'bulkhead' / afterburner ring that is located quite deep inside the rear opening, with very little actually visible once the fuselage halves are joined.  At the very front, the nose cose is also inserted prior assembly of the fuselage halves, though my previous efforts on the MF kit proved that with a touch of sanding down, the nose cose can be inserted at a later stage if need be.  The fit is real tight in any case, and there is no fear of any 'see through' effect with this kit.  The cockpit detail is provided by a number of well detailled parts, including floor (with integral seat or bottom part of the ejection seat), separate side walls, separate control stick, separate instrument panel and separate instrument panel cover, along with enough parts for two ejection seats 'backs'...  Some two-seater in the making..??  Although PE sets are now available for this cockpit, the level of detail is adequate for the scale.  Only seat belts are really missing in the offered parts, and those, in my eyes, will look better made of milliput strips, or even masking tape, than rigid PE parts.  As can be seen from the pictures of my build, I've so far left off the back of the seat and the instrument panel cover, to make sure I can access all areas when painting this cockpit in the proper Soviet turquoise blue...  

Also located inside the fuselage halves is a unit, made up of 4 parts, including two bulkheads, that close off the main landing gear wells.  The level of detail in there is quite impressive, really, and the unit does a great job of 'furnishing' and closing off the openings.  Well designed!

The wings are in one part with a big chunk of the fuselage underside.  Fit is really good, with no filler needed anywhere.  The proper slight dihedral of the wings is therefore easily achieved in a single 'click'.  This leaves only a few areas of fuselage where a joint line remains visible.  Light sanding down of those areas, and a little re-engraving work (7 panel lines, including 5 at the top of the fuselage, at most) give us the expected and desired finish.  The elevators are added without any fuss.  Although their locating holes are gaping holes in the rear fuselage and can be seen through the rear opening, once in place, the elevators close off the gaps properly and the locating tabs are too deep inside the fuselage opening to be seen.  The kit offers a number of pylons for missiles, bombs and other tanks.  I like my models 'clean', but for this build, I did add the three pylons for the three tanks.  Only two underwing tanks are provided with each kit though, so the under-fuselage one, if required, must be taken from the other kit in the box.  The pylons fit really well to the airframe.  Tanks and missiles are all provided in one piece, and look like decent representation of the real things.  Purists, if using those stores, may want to replace the fins with thinned plastic of metal sheeting.  The pitot tubes are very delicate things, and the main probe at the very tip of the fuselage is provided twice with each kit, so messing one up is OK..!  I left mine off the build for later addition, one the painting, decalling and weathering is done. 

A coat of primer reveals no makor issues:

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