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WymanV

The Defiant Ones

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Posted (edited)

 January is the month I break out builds from The Naughty Closet and see if I can get them wrapped up. With 2 done, 2 moving to completion and 2 right back in there where they belong AND with the added bonus of Gibson Brands shutting down production due to Captain Trips, it's time to get these underway.

 

 Here's the box art:

DSC00568.jpg

 

 I'll not lose a minute of sleep over never considering the old Classic Airframes release and coincidentally enough, this release got a whole lot cheaper when Airfix announced theirs. The plan is to do a pair of 264 Squadron Defiants; one the day fighter on the Airfix box art and the other a night fighter from an aftermarket decal set.

 

 Sprues from the Airfix kit:

DSC00616.jpg

 

DSC00617.jpg

 

DSC00619.jpg

 

 

 And the Classic Airframes kit:

DSC00620.jpg

 

DSC00626.jpg

 

 Judging by the part count I'm guessing the C.A. kit will go faster.

 

 Ken

Edited by WymanV
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Welcome to the GB. This will be a fun showdown, and an interesting subject.

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 It's about time I got to it! I got pretty carried away with finishing up stalled projects, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

 

 The first step has proven to be sorting through the paint stash. Been quite a while since I did a Brit subject and it shows...

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Posted (edited)

 So after a couple days on the Airfix kit we are here:

DSC00628.jpg

 

 I had to order PE belts for this and since they won't be here until Thursday the fuselage isn't buttoned up yet. So I skipped ahead and built up the wing and assembled the turret. The trailing edges of the wing still show gaps so the fit there isn't exactly Tamiya, but overall it's pretty good. The turret is not as fiddly as it looks. And I didn't expect the exaggerated instrument panel detail to work out but once the decal went on it turned out OK.

 

 Since this is now stalled for a few days I may just get a start on the Classic Airframes kit.

Edited by WymanV
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Nice start. And yes, finishing stalled projects is a great thing.

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Posted (edited)

  Yeah it is. And the time off doesn't hurt (terribly) either.

 

 The belts showed up Thursday and I closed the fuselage Friday:

DSC00636.jpg

 

 It fit together pretty well. I started by cementing the front firewall in place on one fuselage side which ensured everything else would fit up square. The back of the cockpit floor butted up against formers molded in the fuselage and the floor under the pilot butted up nicely to the frames of the cockpit sidewall. The upper decking fit nicely. The only issue was one I read about on another on-line build; the instrument panel is too wide to fit. I rounded off about a mm of material on both sides of the panel and it fit without taking off so much material that it looked crammed into the cockpit-it still looks right. The upper decking at the front was cemented to the pilot bulkhead and once it all set up the other fuselage side literally snapped into place. The fit is good but the molding isn't exactly Tamiya good. The bottom seam was a bit wavy and needed some extra attention with a sanding stick. And another Airfix issue came up that I read about in someone else's build of a different kit. The panel lines on his build were terribly misaligned and while this one wasn't, I did notice that some of them are different widths where they line up on the bottom of the nose. A little attention with a #11 blade fixed that.

 

 The seat belts were worth waiting for:

DSC00637.jpg

 

 Still some touch-up to do on the panel but everything forward of that disappears of course.

 

 The one real annoyance so far is the gap on this side's wing join:

 

DSC00638.jpg

 

 It's a little extreme here as there's no pressure on it but when I put enough pressure on it to close it up, it looks like I lose correct wing dihedral. Still debating if I'll shim it, or trust Airfix, put appropriate pressure on it and glue it up as it is.

 

 The time I've spent on this isn't representative of how long it actually takes to build this kit. Without all the extra project side trips I've been up to during my time off this build would be cruising right along.
 

Edited by WymanV
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Nice description of assembly. The belts really do look nice and add a lot. Tough decision on the wing root. I am sure you will figure it out.

 

Thanks for the update!

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 I trusted Airfix. I started by gluing down the wing on the side with the gap first and once it was all done, it came out straight. Still don't know why that happened but as long as it works I fell no need to dig into it further.

 

 The rest falls together pretty quickly:

DSC00645.jpg

 

 All the control surfaces can be posed deflected but I just went with dropping the elevator a bit to give it some life.The instructions even give you degrees of deflection so the builder doesn't overdo it. They also molded a light in the top of the fuselage aft of the cockpit but having that makes sanding the seam a PITA so I sanded it off and drilled a locator hole for replacement later. It's supposed to be clear and I'll bet I have something in the canopy box that'll work better than trying to paint plastic clear 🤪

 

 DSC00643.jpg

 

 It's the shape of the rudder that always catches my eye when I see pics of the Defiant.

 

DSC00646.jpg

 

 Airfix gives the option for raised landing gear and the kit comes with solid doors. I'm sure those will do nicely for masks. Some more clean-up, a few more fiddly bits and I should be ready for paint masks.

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That certainly did fall together quick. Painting a plastic part clear is a challenge  😜.. good idea removing the molded in light

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Posted (edited)

 I'm kinda surprised they didn't add that as a part on the clear tree but I suppose some things have to be overlooked to put a kit out for the prices they charge. I'm sure a Tamiya Defiant would get upwards of $50.

 

 Painted the Dark Earth last Friday. Still waiting for it to dry... 🤨

Edited by WymanV
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Posted (edited)

 It was finally dry enough Saturday to pass over it with some 2000 wet-or-dry to knock off the nits-this part of Montana has proven to be a helluva place to paint models. Dry air breeds static electricity so getting and keeping styrene clean and dust free is a PITA.

 

 Hit it with another coat last night and put it straight in the cupboard to gas out. Haven't looked at it yet but it was already setting up when I put it in there so I'm guessing this build is back on now.

 

 edit: Still a little 'soft' but much better than the first time:

DSC00692.jpg

Edited by WymanV

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Thanks for the update. On a totally unrelated note, I write the color on the paint bottle lid too. 

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Posted (edited)

I kinda have to with the way I store them in a drawer. My last count was 900ish bottles of paint so I have to keep account of them as best I can.

 

 The paint issue was a symptom of having so much paint on hand. The first coat of Dark Earth was some old WEM Colourcoats I still had kicking around and while Colourcoats are notorious for long dry times, a week is a bit much. Once it set up well enough I wetsanded it with 2000 and recoated it with Humbrol's spin on D.E. Humbrol is good for long dry times too but nothing like the old WEM.

 

 Once it dried and I got away from other projects, I masked it with AML vinyl masks. Not a big fan of vinyl masks as they tend to shrink over time creating problems with canopy masks but here it wasn't a real issue. They went down and stayed down quite nicely and a recommendation for anyone else considering them-do the top of the fuselage before the sides. They piece together and starting at the top gives you a good base to build off of.

DSC00708.jpg

 

 Painted it last night with some more old WEM Colourcoats Dark Green, with a spin; I added a couple drops of Japan Drier to the mix just to be sure. Not sure if it helped or not as I can't attest to the quality of the paint but I did pull the masks off this morning:

DSC00712.jpg

 

 I have a couple sets of these masks for some Hurricanes to build in the future and I look forward to it.

 

 Let's see if I can get the Sky on the bottom tonight.

Edited by WymanV
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 And it's blue. Or green. Or whatever:

DSC00741.jpg

 

 I've also started the Classic Airframes kit but not in earnest so there's not a whole lot to show. The instrument panel is better detailed and good thing too-no decal. I glued the nose halves to the fuselage halves so I won't have fit issues when I glue up the fuselage. CA did the instructions for this kit to cover both their Mk.I and Mk.II night fighter releases but not all the parts come with the kit, like the nose parts for the Mk.II. This kit didn't come with photo etch either so it's a good thing I got that PE seatbelt set. According to the instructions the only other parts on the PE fret is the radar antenna but I won't miss that as the early Defiant night fighters didn't have radar-they found their way around by moonlight and ground searchlights. And they were successful, too:

DSC00745.jpg

 

 Note that flash in the exhaust openings. And the lack of mounting tabs or pins for the stabilizer.

 

 I can't say that one of these kits are better detailed than the other yet. The turret in the Airfix kit is better and also features the option to pose the access doors open so you can see it. But the detail in the CA kit is sharper and a little "more". The sidewall location in the CA kit is vague but the pilot's floor and bulkhead location is pretty definitive so I'm planning to glue that in first and fit the sidewalls based on that.

 

 Gibson recalled us to work starting tomorrow so work on this will likely slow-at least until the second wave hits...😏

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 Progress on the Classic Airframes kit. Temporarily gluing the pilot's floor into each fuselage half did what I hoped it would and located the sidewalls. I had to run a bead of superglue around the non-visible edges because they didn't quite conform to the contour of the fuselage. I still have to fit the other floors in the fuselage and this should be pretty close to buttoning up. My fingers are crossed that these fit in the fuselage-the way Airfix did this was pretty straightforward and well engineered. The CA kit consists of only 2 flat pieces.

DSC00754.jpg

 

 Also, getting decals on the Airfix kit. I usually decal them with the insignia and codes first and stencils later but I went the opposite way this time. There aren't many stencils (considering what you jet guys go through) but I often burn out on decals when I save stencils for last. As you can see I'm already putting insignia on it.

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Nice work on these,  Looks like the Airfix kit is getting closer to the end, and this CA kit poses some challenges, but it looks like you have it under control.  👍

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Posted (edited)

 I'm just glad we have better options than the first Classic Airframes release. Damnest thing-I see those are going for $20 on ebay right now...

 

 Here's the CA kit with the "floors" installed. As you can see, there is nothing to set these in level so dry fitting is no fun whatsoever. I used Styrene Tack-It (replacement for Tenax 7R) to hold them in place while I check the fit, and I was pleasantly surprised to see they fit quite well. The bottom one doesn't have much for a contact point as the wing fairing makes a gap but there's enough there to do the job. Airfix gets the nod in cockpit assembly due to better engineering:

DSC00758.jpg

 

 Meanwhile, decals are done on the Airfix kit. And if you look closely in the box you'll see the wing for the CA kit is also assembled. Not much to that-two resin wheel well inserts and glue the upper wings to the lower one. And while I did sand down the top of the wheel wells they still would've fit without.

 

 The Classic Airframes instructions would have you build and install the turret before sealing up the fuselage halves. I was hoping to hold off on turret assembly until later but I better not chance it.

Edited by WymanV
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Posted (edited)

 Scored myself a carpet shampooer and took a week off to tackle that long overdue project. Cleaning the carpet here involves taking everything apart (desk, entertainment center, bookshelf, etc.), moving it, cleaning under it, moving it back and putting it all back together again. This meant taking apart my modeling workstation so not only is the floor clean, so is my bench.

 

 But there's been a bit of progress. Some dry fitting revealed the turret does not have to go in before the fuselage is closed so I sealed up the fuselage on the Classic Airframes  kit and this actually involved a C-clamp. The instrument panel on this kit wasn't the best fit either and with no positive mounting locations I ended up cutting notches into the resin sidewalls to fit it. It was still a bit too tight but the clamp and some filler took care of that. I've been dealing with the seam cleanup on my break times at work and it's coming along:

DSC00759.jpg

 

 The wing isn't the best fit so that'll be the next issue to deal with. And I have some panel lines to replace as well.

 

 The Airfix kit got stalled. I decided to try my hand at doing a wash on that one and the first wash I got is an enamel wash. Not going to use that one on lacquer... More is on the way but it'll be a day or two before it gets here. Meanwhile, as you can see I broke out the Tamiya Spit. Mk.I as a test bed for True North enamel paints. Damnest thing-while the A scheme camouflage pattern seemed to be the most common, two of the three schemes in the Tamiya kit are B scheme. Try finding a set of camouflage masks for that...

 

 Seems I'm on a Battle of Britain build kick so while I'm at it I may just break out that Trumpeter Wellington kit that's been collecting dust in the stash for so many years now. It'll be a good time to burn up all that old Model Master/Colourcoats enamels that have been sitting too long  👍

 

 Then maybe that Tamiya Lancaster 🤔

Edited by WymanV
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Ouch, the fuselage required a C-clamp?  It looks like it worked.  What happened with the enamel wash on lacquer? did the paint get ruined on the Airfix?  

 

I am curious about the True north paints, please let us know how they work.

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I won't even try enamel on lacquer. Solvent on solvent is just asking for trouble-nothing's wrong with the Airfix kit (yet) and I won't take the chance. I tried a bit of Polly Scale acrylic wash on the landing gear well plugs and I think I can do this, but the Polly Scale stuff is a very reddish brown and I want to go with something a bit more on the chocolate brown side. I'll save the Polly Scale for desert camouflage projects.

 

 I'm curious about those True North paints too. Rather pumped about trying them. Found a set of camouflage masks for the Spit in Poland-they emailed me yesterday that they shipped so I'm figuring it'll still be a couple weeks before they get here.

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The wash showed up Saturday and I got the final coat on the Airfix kit today:

DSC00775-b.jpg

 

DSC00777.jpg

 

 Final assembly is going fairly quick. Tire/wheel combination is 2 parts making paint a lot easier, but I have some reservations about how robust the landing gear will be. The mounting points are very small for what it could have been.

 

 And the wing is on the CA kit. The rear edge where the wing meets the fuselage was cast somewhat rough and I could've sanded it down but I didn't want to chance making a gap. So, I set the wing in place with the rear edge in contact with the fuselage and filled the gap with liquid cement some 4 times. I slipped a single edge razor blade between the front of the wing & fuselage thinking it was the slimmest, stiffest tool I had for this. On every coat of glue I put back pressure on the blade to push the cemented joint together. On the third pass with glue I pushed it back and pushed down on the wing. It slipped right in place. Sanding down the excess styrene from the glue will be a lot better than applying and sanding filler:

 

DSC00770.jpg

 

 The wing at the front is wider than the fuselage so there will be some sanding there to make it flush but the wing is on and the project moves along:

DSC00778.jpg

 

DSC00779.jpg

 

 Also ordered some camouflage masks for the Wellington so that build may just happen 👍

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Great progress. Nice tip about how you glued the wing in place on the CA kit.

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 My favorite part of any build is throwing the empty box away:

DSC00788.jpg

 

 Tail feathers are on the Classic Airframes kit:

DSC00793.jpg

 

 Still have to mask up the clear parts as the masks I got for the Airfix kit do not fit. And the stabilizers were gappy so there's some cleanup work to be done there. But I used that orange cap Tamiya cement to put them on and even without mounting tabs or reinforcements, they're pretty firm. I don't typically spend time trying to reinforce joins like that as they're not toys-I don't worry about them breaking off.

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I agree, throwing away the box is great, makes more room in the house...

 

The completed model looks great, and the CA kit is getting closer.

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