Hello everyone. I just joined and would like to present my version of this kit:
I plan to complete it in Gabreski's scheme from July 1944.
I intend to add a lot of aftermarket to this big bird. As someone said, "Go big or go home." It is part of a year long buddy build on another forum. I added an Eduard external PE set, Qucikboost resin engine set, Quickboost resin gun tubes, MDC multimedia cockpit (resin and PE), Aires resin wheel bays, and BarracudaCast weighted resin main landing gear wheels. In hindsight, being what it is, this was a daunting task and it's taken almost all of this year to get to this point. There is light at the end of this tunnel too, so mojo is returning, the bench is clearing, and I can see clearly now...
Anyhoo...these sets were added to the kit.
Quickboost resin engine set
Quickboost resin gun tubes
I got the BarracudaCast wheels, Eduard external PE set, a nice reference book, and a set of nose art decals. I used all but the decals.
And there is was also the Aires resin wheel bays (I'll let you guess where I may have gotten them from).
So, like most aircraft builds, the office was the first order of business to complete - the cockpit. A resin and PE cockpit. Beautifully cast resin parts that are incredibly crisp and sharp in the details and PE detail for increased crispness. The first challenge was to find a set of instructions that I could read and see where all the parts were supposed to go. Enter email and a message to the folks at MDC - the seat was cracked and improperly cast AND I desperately needed clear color instructions if possible. They sent me a replacement seat at no additional cost - they are in the UK, and I am in the USA. They were also kind enough to send me the digital color instruction sheets. Now I was in business. CA glue of course, used sparingly until I had a few subparts that made a complete cockpit. I airbrushed Model Master acrylic Interior Green as a base coat and darkened it with many light coats of Tamiya XF-1 thinned about 90%. Details were added by handbrushing the radio sets and the various knobs and dials. Drybrushing and a dark brown oil wash completed the cockpit. Matt coated with Testors Dullcote. I think it was a wonderful kit, but it is not recommended for beginners, sorry. Here's how it turned out.
First just painted with no finishing.
And then in the finished state, another sub-assembly to put to the side for a bit.
Then it was time to concentrate on the wheel bays. First clean them up and build them. Then fit them in the wings. This meant removing styrene of course. Yikes!
I tried to be precise with the cuts, removing only what I thought was necessary. Many lessons learned here, not the least of which is to be very, even ultraprecise with your destruction of the styrene. Take your time. Lay it out and follow a plan. The old adage - measure twice, cut once rings very true here.
At any rate, "Not...too...bad." I thought.
So I did the same thing to the other side. Once both sides were fitted, each wheel bay could be painted and finished. Then put aside until final assembly. They are a nice tight fit at the fuselage, on both sides - excellent! Now they need to fit in the wings precisely.
Not too awfully bad at all. But, my errant cutting is very obvious now and will need to be dealt with at a later time, once assembled (unfortunately). For now, this will have to do and I can see how the wing roots line up and maybe even button up the fuselage.
Great! The wing roots look very tight and even along the entire length on both sides upper and lower surfaces - no filler, I'm thinking. I also know that the underside will be tougher to line up than the upper wing roots. Just the way it is with aftermarket resin and making it fit sometimes. One the bright side, the fuselage matches up nicely. You can see the nice detail in the base Hasegawa kit in a number of these shots. Nice kit right out of the box and somewhat of a sleeper. I made the decision to go whole hog on this build, but it is not needed to complete an awesome and highly detailed P-47.
Time for a test fit of the cockpit. What do you think happened? I found it fit very nicely. I was very impressed by the fit. It was so well engineered that there were notches and angles in the resin castings to fit the inside of the styrene! Nice job MDC! And thank you. Looks great too and all the work that has gone into it to this point seems all well worth it.
Painted the wheel wells XF-4 and picked out details. I think they look great!
Then it was on to the engine. I love round engines. In real life, one of the things I have been is an A&P Mechanic (still certified), and I really enjoy working on and running round engines. In modeling them, i enjoy adding the bits that may not be part of the base engine, like ignition wires, or cross-over tubes. Sometimes the research takes you off on wonderful adventures of learning about radial engines. You can go crazy with details, so I moderated the desire for uber-detailing with what would been seen through the cowling. This particular resin set by Quickboost has wonderful molded detail, as one would expect. This is how it finished up and awaited assembly.
Some minor styrene modifications were required of course.
Now it was time to play with the external PE set in preparation for buttoning up the fuselage.
I then tackled the instrument panel. I was putting this off and putting this off. The MDC set comes with individual instrument decals. Nice details and multiples, but no direction whatsoever. Thank goodness for reference material. Here it is finished and ready to go into the cockpit. One over the top feature of this MDC kit are the individual instrument cans on the back of the IP that you have to glue in place, then drill out either one or two holes, and attach lead wire simulating instrument wiring. Like I said, over the top.
The panel itself - the resin - was very thin and warped. Gluing on all those cans helped. Here are all the wires.
Fun, fun, fun. At this point, I thought, "What have you gotten yourself into?" My enthusiasm was waning...my mojo! Not my mojo! Yes, I am man enough to say that I had to take a break. The intensity level of this build has now taken its toll. But fear not, I recover quickly.
Just as a scale reference and one of the reasons for the sapped mojo.
Looks pretty awesome in my book. I am happy with the way this is turning out. Things like test fitting the cockpit with the IP brings back my enthusiasm.
So, let's put it together! And there's this really cool PE part that needs to be built and installed. It's really cool, and probably not accurate, also, it was too big..too long to be exact. It kept the canopy from closing fully during repeated test fits of the canopy. So, in the end, it was removed and the kit part used. I show you it here, just because I thought it looked great and I put a lot of effort into it. But, such is the life using aftermarket stuff. Truth is, it won't all fit or look right.
This was the instruction:
Finally! Some assembly and more visible forward progress.
Minor filling needed only...phew!
I put the four piece cowling together temporarily with tape, glued all the wings and stabilzers, clamped and rubberbanded, it was left to thoroughly cure for 48 hours or more.
Once cured, I set about getting some primer down. Stuffed the holes with tissue - wheel bays, cockpit...etc. Gun tube holes I cut the tips off of toothpicks and stuffed them in the holes.
Oh - did I say I was priming with flat black? Well, I did. It really helps with highlights and shadowing without spending hours pre-shading.
72 hours or more to cure. Enamel old school primer from the home and garden super center, in a rattle can.
Put together the beautiful resin wheels from BaracudaCast.
Then, all of a sudden, I had a bunch of sub-assemblies and other bits and bobs waiting for a painted plane.
So, Ocean Gray 2 XF-82 top side and Medium Sea Gray 2 XF-83 under side. Hard edged camo on the wings and stabilizers. That will change. Free hand on the fuselage and softening the hard edges.
Now we're finally getting somewhere!
Chipping - I had used Ammo Mig Chipping Fluid prior to the camo colors
Decals go on.
A bit more chipping.
And a bit of weathering on the prop
Then a good couple thin coats of Alclad II Aqua Gloss - best stuff out there at the moment for a gloss varnish.
Looking the part a bit more now.
External fuel tank - done
Time to weather and detail.
Getting dirty on a matt varnish with some pigments.
Bit of dirt - as in mud too.
And now you are all caught up. I know, a lengthy - but enjoyable I hope - build post. Next one will be the reveal. I hope you like it. I thank you very much for taking the time to look. Please comment, or not. I'm pretty thick skinned and never against learning something new that i can incorporate.
Thanks again for looking.