Ladies and Gentlemen,
Here is my latest finished build. This one is close enough to done to do some posting.
First a quick summary:
Mission: Build a subject pertaining to the D-Day invasion. Keep it simple so it could be finished in a small amount of time. Try to find something with full invasion stripes on both bottom and top of aircraft.
Background: After the fall of Poland in WWII the RAF created fighter squadrons to be staffed with Polish pilots and support. These squadrons experienced great success throughout the rest of WWII. Polish squadrons served during the Battle of Britain. Even though they only accounted for 5% of the pilots they accounted for 12% of the air-to-air victories. In fact, the No. 303 (Polish) Squadron had the highest number of victories in the Battle of Britain with 126. This subject is the MustangIII (P-51B) flown by the No. 316 (Polish) Squadron during June of 1944.
Kit: Revell of Germany 1/72 MustangIII (P-51B)
Extras: Drop tanks from Hasegawa P-51 and Eduard Mask Set
Decals: Aviation USK 7115 Mustang MkIII RAF Polish Squadrons as well as kit decals
I liked almost everything about this kit. It fit well, assembled well, not allot of flash, seemed to be proper shape. There was one down side, the clear parts did not fit very well at all. So much so that if I ever build this kit again I am going to use a replacement canopy. I used very little filler on this build, in fact the paint I used to fill any gaps was used more to see where I had already sanded then fill anything.
I used a variety of paints on this build. For airbrushing I used Testors Molder Master Acryl thinned with Future, Pactra Acrylic thinned with Future, Tamiya Acrylic thinned with Automotive Acrylic Lacquer thinner, Tamiya White primer thinned with Tamiya Lacquer Thinner, Future for clear gloss coats, and Testor Model Master Acrylic clear Semi-Gloss thinned with alcohol. Brush painting was done with Citadel colors, cheep craft store acrylic paints, and Testors MM Acryl paints. The Semi-Gloss clear was thinned 2 parts 91% Isopropyl Alcohol to 1 part paint. This gives an almost flat finish, just a hint of gloss with no frosting.
Panel line washes were accomplished with the ProModeller dark dirt product. Landing gear and interior was washed with craft store acrylic black paint thinned 8 parts water to 1 part paint. I added a drop of dish washing liquid to the mix to remove surface tension.
The only down side to this kit was the fit of the clear parts. Even after extensive dry fitting the parts did not sit well. I am hoping to fill in the gaps with Testors Clear Parts Cement and go back over with some paint to fill in the gaps. This will be a slow process but I think it will be done by next weekend's Kalamazoo contest.
The only parts added to the kit were the drop tanks from a Hasegawa 1/72 P-51 and a piece of small brass wire for the radio antenna. The 75 gallon drop tanks were omitted from this kit for some reason, it did come with 105 gallon pressed paper tanks. Unfortunately I could not find any pictures of Polish/RAF mustangs with 105 gallon tanks.
The decals are a mix of the Aviation USK and kit decals. The kit comes with markings for two different Polish mustangs. I purchased the Aviation USK decals in the 90s before the company closed. I noticed they had yellowed in the 20 years since. I put them in a plastic bag and threw them on my car's dashboard. This removed (from what I could see at the time) the yellowing after about a week. When I went to use the ID letters I found that the film was still slightly yellow. It only showed up over the white invasion stripes. After the decals were set I went back and very carefully painted over the yellowed film with some white paint. Not perfect but it looks good from a foot away.
Enough of my ramblings...on to the pictures!
All in all I am happy with this build. Took just under five weeks for me to complete the build. The RAF colors with the striped spinner and the invasion stripes make this one colorful and striking.
If I ever build another of these kits I will buy some of the Squadron Vaccuform replacement canopies. I will cut out the Malcolm hood from the kit part and use the kit front windscreen and the rear side windows. I will then do an open Malcolm canopy from the Squadron canopy. Should make show off the nicely detailed kit cockpit.
I hope you enjoy this one.