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chuck540z3 last won the day on March 26

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About chuck540z3

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  • Birthday 08/18/1954

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    Calgary, Alberta

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  1. Thanks again everyone! Very good question, which I've already been working on. My models typically take only 2 coats of paint, like my Spitfire and Eagle in my signature below, so about 95% of the detail I have before paint can still be seen. After spraying a white undercoat on this model, I was initially concerned and then later almost devastated at how many coats of paint I needed to cover, because much of the detail was being filled with paint. After about 5 coats I set the model aside and went away for a few days, complaining to a few modeling friends that I might have screwed up the model by using the wrong paint. Thankfully, upon my return and despite the fact that I was using fast drying lacquer, much of the detail came back as the paint dried and shrunk into the panel line and rivet recesses, leaving about 80% of the detail I had before. I then carefully re-punched a few rivets, re-scribed a few panel lines and just about all of the large fastener detail was restored with my Mega Tool, bringing another 10% back, for a total of maybe 90%. Two more things- and I fully admit I'm rationalizing because there's no turning back. Many of the panel lines that you can't see very well anymore, you can't see on the real deal unless you get up close. This is especially true of the fine detail above the wheel wells at the top. Many panel lines I scribed here can only be seen at 3 feet or less on the real aircraft, which is a bit over an inch away at 1/32 scale. I can still see them if I look for them, so I'm happy enough with that. The other thing that hides detail is the bright yellow that is so hard to photograph, unless you get up real close. For example, from this shot it looks like much of the detail is almost gone. It starts to show up a little closer... Zooming in on it more (which often reveals flaws), shows that most of the detail is still intact. Cheers, Chuck
  2. Thanks Guys! Thanks and yes, with the yellow cap. However, this yellow paint is so translucent I used hardly any. March 30/20 It’s finally time to apply the decals, which absolutely terrified me for four reasons: 1) The only decals available for my subject are the kit ones and I don’t have back-ups, just in case I ruined one. 2) The Kitty Hawk decals in my last build of an F-5E were terrible. Registration was off and they were very thick. 3) If I do ruin a decal, sometimes you have to sand it off down to the paint. With my F-5E, this was easy with the gloss black finish. With this bright yellow bird, however, repainting would be a nightmare. 4) I could not find painting masks that were the right size and font for my subject. With insignias and flags, I needed to use some decals anyway. I fixed #1 when I bought a new kit to get canopy replacements, so that was a bit of a relief, but more on that in a bit. I also think I’m pretty good at decals and I’ve even written an article on the application of same. I’ve made every decaling mistake possible and found many solutions, for those who might be interested here: How To Apply Decals The decal sheet that comes with this kit looks a bit weird. Rather than an outline of film around each decal, there’s an irregularly shaped thick blob of some clear material that almost looks like a plastic cover, as found on HGW wet transfer decals. It is very hard to photograph, but here’s what they look like in my kit replacement. Now here’s what I received in my first kit. Again, it’s hard to photograph, but every single colored decal is flawed with a very rough finish. Thankfully the black lettering sheet was fine, but the other issue with all of the decals is that once you place them, you only have seconds to move it around or you’re done, so you better get it right quickly. I already knew about this, which had been noted in other builds of this kit, like LSP_Kevin’s. So, getting back to my decaling article above, what kind of decals are these? They are good and also bad, depending on what set you wind up with in your kit. The smooth ones in my kit replacement are generally quite thin and good, but the ones in my original kit are rough to begin with and stay rough, which creates new challenges. I started on the bottom of the model like I always do, to give me a feel for the decals before I apply them to the top, where they can always be seen. Unfortunately, the only decals on the bottom are also the hardest ones to do, because the “RCAF” lettering is so big and has lots of decal film. If you tried to apply this decal as one piece you would be doomed, due to the very short amount of time you have to move the decal into place. The best way to handle this is to cut the decal into the individual letters, removing as much decal film as possible. I also applied a thin strip of masking tape as a reference point, to keep the letters in alignment. When I applied each decal, I used lots of plain water and avoided Microset, since I didn’t want any softening of the decal until I had it in place. Once I was happy with the decal placement and removed excess water, I applied a thin coat of Microsol- and then walked away for at least 10 minutes! If you fool around with an adjacent decal while one is drying with Microsol, you are asking for big trouble, so I did some household chores for my wife and decaled at the same time. Everybody was happy! Here is the lettering after everything has dried and I applied a good coat of Tamiya X-22 to seal the decals in. You would be hard pressed to paint lettering this crisply and yes, it is on the correct wing. On other Harvards the “RCAF” is sometimes on the right wing instead, but this aircraft had it on the left wing, where the registration lettering “CF-UUU” now resides instead. Now a neat little trick I figured out, that I will use again. I always like to decal on a horizontal surface, so doing the sides of a model can be a pain with the model on my lap or a desk chair like I used in my article. Looking around the house, it struck me that a suitcase on wheels, with a bath towel shoved into an opening at the top, provided the perfect platform for this task. It holds the model securely; the towel protects the paint and I can move it around easily. Cool! As I did on the bottom, I cut out each individual letter and aligned everything on the side before I applied my first decal. I then applied a number of decals that were not near each other, gave a coat of Microsol and again walked away for 10 minutes. Done! Now a bit of a walkaround, after the decals had dried overnight and sealed in with X-22. Two and three piece decals are always tricky and cause the most problems with Microsol. You want the decal to settle into panel line and rivet detail, but you also don’t want to use too much Microsol, because the surface of the decal shrinks and reacts to it more than the backing underneath it (which is a different color). Here I have some rivet detail coming through, but the white is also starting to discolor with the blue underneath. Time to stop! The other side again…. And a quick view of the front, where I have now painted the heat shroud where the exhaust will hang with Alclad Steel and Stainless Steel Now some true confessions. For the most part, the decals from the replacement kit performed very well and I didn’t have many issues, but as usual, I had to replace two of them and repair another with parts of another decal, so it was a bit of a struggle at times. My strong suggestion is that if you use the kit decals, try to have a back-up set, which can be found from those who did not use them. I also wished I had placed one or two small decals slightly differently, but this aircraft has been repainted at least 5 times, so references are all over the place anyway. With the decals now done I’m on the backstretch of this build, but I still have many more things to do with the landing gear, antennae, tiny lights, prop, engine/exhaust installation and that damn canopy! Cheers, Chuck
  3. Very nicely done and kudos for showing us the ultra close-up pics that hide nothing. I understand this kit is hard to build cleanly, but you have certainly done that in spades. Your decal work is also exceptional! Cheers, Chuck
  4. Really nice work going on here! I have a theory on the kit legs and I'm pretty sure I'm right, which I will use on my next Hornet. My first first Hornet sagged like most, so I used the G Factor brass legs for my second Hornet as indicated, but they are a pain to clean up, expensive and paint doesn't like to stick to them. The reason the kit legs sag is that the metal rod inside the legs is thin and weak, but more importantly it slides within after assembly and over time sags. If you can stop the rod from sliding, the leg shouldn't sag, so before you glue the two plastic leg halves together, the central rod should be glued first within the leg with CA glue, creating a solid mass. I haven't tried this yet, but I am 90% certain that it will work and the plastic parts are so much easier to work with. Cheers, Chuck
  5. Fantastic modeling- and very unique with your conversions that look seamless. Congrat’s William, Chuck
  6. Top notch modeling in every way. Beautiful! Cheers, Chuck
  7. Thanks Guys! Thanks you Max and yes, I've actually painted it already, but I painted it grey like this one. Cheers, Chuck
  8. As usual Wolf, your work is pure precision! Sorry to hear about your layoff, but that seems to be all too common these days and hopefully you will be back in the saddle in a few months. Cheers, Chuck
  9. Thanks Kevin. While two sets of decals should be good, I've been known to use 4, so you never know! Cheers, Chuck
  10. Thanks Dan and to give me the inspiration to get this build over the goal line, here is my subject again, all clean in a hanger at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum near Hamilton, Ontario. The Kitty Hawk kit has these exact decals. Cheers, Chuck
  11. March 25/20 I hope this update finds you well. Thank goodness we have our hobby to keep us from going nuts while being stuck indoors. Two more months of this and we might have record for completed models! I’ve got this bird painted now, but before I show that, I was checking to see if the interior of the engine cowling could be seen from the front with the engine installed. The answer is “very little”, but that’s also a little problem, because the interior is full of pin marks and 4 large tabs that hold the cowling together. If you peek inside and hunt around you can find them, so that's good enough for me to eliminate them as much as possible. Sanding off the tabs and filling the sinkholes is hard to do on the thin plastic without damaging it, so I set out to achieve a “good enough” job which also included the Eduard brass PE detail, just in case you can see it too. After paint. I found the inside cowling color to be all over the map from Aluminum to Interior Green, so I picked Aluminum to highlight the added detail. You won't be able to see the slight yellow over spray at the front when the cowling is installed. For the yellow paint I used Tamiya TS-34 Camel Yellow decanted from a rattle can, which is almost the perfect color of most Canadian Harvard Trainers. Like most yellow paint, coverage over a darker base can be problematic, so I painted a white primer coat as shown earlier. Even with the white base, however, I needed at least 5-6 coats of paint to cover everything! Lots of paint fills lots of rivet and panel line detail, so I was quite worried that all this paint would ruin the fine detail that I created earlier. However, everything turned out pretty darn good in the end, as the paint dried and shrunk into this detail after 2-3 days of drying time. Whew! I now think this paint is made for mostly car models, where the focus is on a deep and shiny paint job. I had the same problem with coverage with Tamiya TS-8 Italian Red a few years ago on my P-38L, where I needed a similar number of coats to cover. Tamiya AS series of spray paints are made for aircraft and cover very well, but colors are limited, while the new line of lacquer paints in a bottle do not include Camel Yellow. In any case, the TS-34 still worked very well as shown below. I am also pleased to say that I think I nailed the look of the ribbing on the elevators and rudder, where the rivet detail underneath is still there, but subtle. For the black walkways, I went back to my go-to method of using textured paint out of a spray can, in this case Krylon Fushion “Textured Shimmer”, rather than Rustoleum textured paint. While effective, the Rustoleum paint comes out of the can a bit too rough for scale, so you need to sand it down later. The first step is to mask off the walkways and then COVER EVERYTHING with a kitchen garbage bag, to avoid over spray. What do I mean by over spray? THIS and it’s not for the faint of heart or without lots of practice. After vigorously shaking the can, you spray in sweeping strokes and never directly at the model, which is why it’s all over the place. The goals are even coverage and not too thick or thin. A closer look. Some of this spray is clear, hence the blotchy appearance. After drying for at least 15 minutes, I then sprayed a cover coat of flat black, then removed all masking tape within an hour of spraying. If you leave the masking tape on too long, it may become impossible to remove, because the paint is very hard when dry. With such a high color contrast, I also used the kitchen bag method for the gloss black on the top of the front fuselage area, which was airbrushed. You would think that this should be flat black as well to reduce glare in front of the windscreen, but all my references show that it’s glossy. Note the subtle but very real over spray, which would be nasty on yellow. The results. Note that I haven’t added any details like flaps, aileron control arms or antennae yet due to risk of breakage. The front engine cowling is only dry fit. The walkways turned out just like I hoped with no sanding required. They are slightly rough, but to scale rough, but are also tough to photograph in these high contrast conditions. I will add some pastels to them later to show minor wear at the end of the build, which will highlight them more. The gloss black turned out pretty good as well, which also helps to hide the crude fit of Part D5 to the front fuselage, which is the same demarcation line. Note the brass cowling fitting at the top I added earlier. Other side… And top view. Note that the angled front of the walkways are due to panel lines at the front I added earlier, which is why most walkways are painted this way. Another angle of the ribs on the elevators and rudder. And finally the bottom, where everything is yellow, including the wheel wells and rear flaps. Next up decals and other little bits. I will be using the kit decals that I understand are quite good, but you don’t have much time to move them around much. Thankfully with my second kit to replace the canopy parts, I have a second set of decals just in case I screw up one or six. Cheers, Chuck
  12. Ditto, which is hard to do since there are so many great ones. Also, as I mentioned in your WIP thread, this is pure art at its finest in modeling and like any art, there won't be another Corsair that looks just like this one. Bravo, Chuck
  13. I use Model Master enamels in Insignia Red, Blue, White and Yellow, which is exactly what they are for. Cheers, Chuck
  14. As usual Peter, crazy good! Unbelievable skills and craftsmanship to make something from scratch that looks identical to the real deal. While most of build models with maybe as high as 10% scratch built parts, this model is 90% scratch built parts- and all of them look better than what a kit part would look like! Cheers, Chuck
  15. Great job John! You have captured the beat up look perfectly. Congrat’s! Cheers Chuck
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