Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Don't Want to Be Left Out - Two Modeling Tips!

Recently David and Chris have posted modeling tips. I don't want to be left out, and since they each posted one tip, I will outdo them and post two.

Burn Baby Burn
Most modelers use washes to weather parts and to emphasis panel lines. Acrylic sludge washes are common, as are watercolour washes. However, many modelers like to use artist oil paints. You have a few options to thin your oil paints for washes, and the use of Turpenoid is quite common. However, I prefer to use Naptha lighter fluid. (The brand name on my bottle is Ronsonol.) The lighter fluid thins the paint very well, it evaporates quite fast so it shouldn't damage underlying the paint, and it is also very thin, which allows for very precise application into panel lines. Not to mention when you decide to end it all, just spray the Ronsonal all over your work bench and kits, light a match...and...well... modeling will no longer be a problem...

Let It Flow
Like Polly Scale's choice of colours and easy availability in most hobby shops? Hate how they airbrush? Well check out Liquitex Flow Aid. I add eight or so drops to every jar of Polly Scale when I open it. The Flow Aid improves how the paint goes on by brush. I've also noticed that if you thin the Polly Scale with 40% to 50% Tamiya thinner and add a drop or two of the Flow Aid that you can get the Polly Scale to spray without tip clogs. Oh joy!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Some Nice Vintage Golden Hawks Footage

I wish I got to see these guys in person.

While it won't be six Sabres in formation, look for the Hawk One Sabre to reappear in Golden Hawks paint in the next month or so in order to be ready for Canada's Centennial of Flight next year.

Maybe I need to finish the Hobby Boss gold...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hasegawa Lancaster "Rescue Unit"

Above is the box art for the newest boxing of the pretty nice "new tool" Hasegawa 1/72 Lancaster released few years back. Notice the RCAF markings. Occasionally Hasegawa have issued kits with (R)CAF decals and decal accuracy has been uniformly poor. Sadly, based upon the box art you can add the Lancaster to the list. A few years ago I assisted decal artist Jennings Helig when he was working on an Xtradecal sheet for the same aircraft. Jennings originally had the fuselage flash as red as well, until I mentioned it was blue. A colour photo in Larry Milberry's Canada's Air Force At War and Peace Vol 3 clearly illustrates that FM104 had a blue fuselage flash. (See here for a photo of FM213 in the same scheme.) I'm not sure where the idea of the red flash originated but clearly Hasegawa has copies someone's previous error. It is also my understanding that Hasegawa used International Orange for the Rescue Band, this should be dayglo orange, and used a light blue for the RCAF roundels, this should be normal roundel blue. I have yet to see the actual decal sheet, but I will guess that the maple leafs will be misshapen, as Hasegawa has yet to get the RCAF leaf correct. Also, I wonder if Hasegawa has provided additional parts to build the under fuselage radar dome? It is not in the plastic on the standard kit. Also keep in mind that RCAF aircraft has little bulged SAR windows just before the horizontal stabilizers and these were different in location and construction then the similar windows on RAF aircraft.

There is one point on the scheme that is still in question. In the photo referenced above it is hard to tell if the hi-viz panels on the wings and horizontal stabilizers are red or dayglo orange. Jennings is of the opinion they are red and that is how he illustrated them on the decal sheet. I'm not 100% sure. They sure look like dayglo orange on FM213, and I would assume that they were the same on FM104. Anyone know for sure?

What is really sad about this situation is that Hasegawa had previously boxed the Lancaster kit as FM104 in a later scheme. In that boxing they contracted Leading Edge models to do the decals and resin necessary for the aircraft. As is usual, Leading Edge did an excellent job on the decals, and that boxing is an excellent buy for the RCAF modeler. I wish Hasegawa had again contracted Leading Edge for this boxing rather then doing a poor job using their in house staff.

If you wish to model FM104 in these markings, I suggest you buy a cheaper boxing of the Hasegawa kit, or the new Revell kit, and pick up the Xtradecal sheet. That way you can accurately model FM104 in this scheme.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Malta Spitfires in Colour...but what colour is it?

One of the longstanding questions for modelers is what colour were the top surfaces repainted on the Spitfires Vcs flown off the USS Wasp as part of Operation Calendar in 1942. Honestly, I think this is a question that might never be definitively answered and the modeler just has to make his or how own choice and be prepared to defend it. In my opinion it was probably Light Mediterranean Blue (or at least Humbrol's representation of it...strangely marked Azure Blue), though the suggestion of Insignia Blue has considerable merit. Either way, here is some neat colour footage of Spitfires on Malta. I think these are later aircraft from 249 Squadron with Extra Dark Sea Grey on the uppersurfaces...but I'm ready to be proven wrong...