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MikeA

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Everything posted by MikeA

  1. The only brass I have soldered has been fairly tiny pieces which went together fine, albeit quite fiddly work. I did file them clean and tinned the edges first, as typically brass has some type of coating on it to prevent tarnishing before you use it. With these much larger white metal parts, I use 115C degree (I think - definitely higher than the 70C variety) and a 45W variable temperature soldering iron with a 3mm spade tip on it. The temperature is set below the melt point of a piece of scrap white metal from the kit and I brush flux into the join, heat the join with the iron, and add slithers of solder which then run nicely along the join. For the work so far on this kit I have just used bulldog clips to hold the pieces together while soldering them. I did use glues on the engine block and to add the ancillaries, but if I could do it again I would use solder wherever possible as it is a much better joint. Thank you for the comments guys! Much appreciated. Assuming this kit is indicative of the level of other full detail kits from MFH, they are absolutely stunning and extremely rewarding models to work on. Their website is highly hazardous for any credit card! Cheers, Mike
  2. Very nice detailing - and painting. The decals on the nose have come up really well. That engine looks like a serious amount of work has gone into it! Do you clear coat the pieces staying natural metal? I'm thinking of clear coating the polished pieces, on the Ferrari, but am unsure about the others. Cheers, Mike
  3. Thanks for the comments! The detail is all MFH. Although complex, and very rewarding, this kit is really just an assembly process - for a change. Chassis GT 3757 has been apparently raced and driven almost continuously since 1962. Under Nick Mason's ownership, the car has had two engines, with one kept solely for racing, so the engines are kept very clean. The car has had bodywork and repaints, but the chassis and interior carry a patina of age which is the challenge for this build. I gave the engine a few simple oil paint washes but there will be no further weathering on that. The drivetrain will be more weathered, reflecting consistent driving. The exterior body will be pristine, but the chassis and interior will need to be aged and present as "worn round the edges". The kit chassis is largely resin with a lump of white metal at the front end. The white metal was soldered for strength. The frame was painted in semigloss black and matt aluminium before having layers of oils and pastels added. I also soldered together the oil and fuel tanks. The oil tank received a coat of Mr Color brass but without any primer being used. I then rubbed off areas of the paint and added some pastels to match the prototype photos. The tank is only loosely fitted in the photo below. I see there are some rivets I forgot to restore, although they will not be visible on the final model. The kit is now boxed up and awaiting a shipping container. Hopefully I will see it again in a couple of months' time Cheers, Mike
  4. Another few photos of the finished engine. I did try to find oil filter markings more suited to the 21st Century, but was not successful, so this miniature carries an old stock filter from 1962. The gearbox was soldered together to hide the seam between the halves. It waas my first time soldering white metal and made me wonder why I had put it off for so long.I struck it lucky and there was hardly any clean up required after joining the pieces. What was a beggar was aligning the gearbox with the engine, despite a brass rod running between the two. I used datum lines on a plate of glass to assist and it all worked out in the end. Thank you for looking in. any comments welcome. I did notice that the left hand distributor had broken loose after taking the last photo! Cheers, Mike
  5. The heart of this car is the 3l V12 which dates back to the end of the Second World War. Like the body, it's a very attractive piece of machinery. The scale version from MFH certainly does the engine justice, but what a lot of work! The kit includes all of the internals: crankshaft, bearings, connecting rods, pistons, timing gears, camshafts, valves, flywheel. All pinned together so that they move in unison. Dozens of tiny holes have to be drilled in almost as tiny white metal pieces and, provided you are absolutely fastidious in placing the superglue, it all hopefully moves with a satisfying smoothness. And then gets closed up never to be seen again. I spent weeks working on the engine block in the evenings and did manage to get the pistons to do their thing. The thought of a similar amount of work on the heads was too much, however, so all the little valves remained in the box. The few WIPs on line all are concentrated on the engine so I didn't take many photos of the building process. All of the facing edges needed smoothing off and holes needed to be drilled for all of the pins on the parts. Much time was spent temporarily assembling different sections of the engine to ensure everything fitted, taking them apart, tweaking the parts and reassembling. I used a brass brush in the Proxxon to clean up the pieces, except for the exterior surfaces of the engine block and gear box which were finished off with wire wool. The only painted parts are those finished in either black (Humbrol) or brass (Mr Color). All of the parts, with the exception of the hose clamps, are from the kit. The first two photos show the block internals. The instructions direct the six Weber carburettors to be assembled and then placed as complete units on top of the engine between the cam covers. The risk of having the beautiful turned trumpets out of alignment when doing this is very high and the space to squeeze the bodies between the cam covers is very limited. I built them up in layers from the bases to the bodies and then the trumpets in place on the engine. I used dabs of white glue to position each in place and hold it once I was happy. Superglue was then applied using a needle to fix each part in place. One inaccuracy noted was the kit providing venturi pipes for placing within the trumpets which are almost the height of the trumpets themselves. I used fine brass tubing cut to 3mm lengths. The tiny etched valves slip over these to nestle at the bottom of the trumpets, aligned in one of two different directions depending on which side the trumpet is on. Yay for white glue heavily diluted and applied with a 000 brush. The second photo above also shows a problem encountered with the accelerator linkage to the carburettors. i had neglected to trial fit the series of rods and bell cranks which form the linkage and simply fixed them in place as I progressed from the left cam cover. The final rod ended up being misaligned. The proper fix is to trim the rod running across the rear of the cam covers by 1.5 - 2mm, but it was all permanently in place by then. I cut the misaligned rod from its ball joint and reset it. The fine tension spring required prestretching so as not to over stress the resulting glued bond. The next photo shows one other minor curious error in the kit. MFH provide a very nice mechanical fuel pump which attaches to the bottom left hand side of the timing cover. In fact this was never fitted, but two electric fuel pumps were fitted near the fuel tank. The small blanking plate was made from kitchen foil covered plastic card and two micro bolt heads. More to follow..... Cheers, Mike
  6. Not sure I'll be of too much help there. It would be great to see a large scale Porsche WIP though! Cars always seem much trickier to get looking right IMHO, but definitely the larger the better. That Fujimi kit appears to be quite popular. Not quite the heft of the MFH one though. I'll do my best to do it justice. Cheers, Mike
  7. I have a major distraction from large scale planes going on, being this Ferrari GTO 250 from Model Factory Hiro. I think it does qualify as large scale, and the real thing costs more than a small aeroplane, with the last one going for around US $ 48 million. To my mind it is one of the most shapely and attractive cars ever made. There are not many WIPs of these examples, so I thought I'd give it a go. The kits themselves are horrendously expensive, but are incredibly well detailed. I also have a classic Pocher 1/8 Alfa Romeo in its box waiting to be built, but the MFH kit wins hands down in terms of accuracy and fit. I have got this to completion of the engine, but won't be taking it much further at this stage as we are relocating from Australia back to New Zealand shortly. The model comprises of the major body parts being formed in white resin, with the bulk of detail parts being in finely cast white metal. These are complemented by two large and one small etched stainless frets and a large number of very nice plated metal parts, wires, tubes etc. The spare wheel is made up from cast parts, whereas the main wheels all require building up with stainless spokes, turned hub parts and plated rims. The detail is nothing but stunning, although I am still not sure that I am Zen enough for the experience of building the wheels. I'll use the rest of the kit as practice. My early lessons in my work on this so far are that the kit instructions must be studied extremely carefully and on any one part you need to be looking several stages ahead to check for any fit details. Unfortunately the instructions are not quite as clear as they could be, but that is more a reflection of the sheer complexity of the kit. The many hundreds of tiny white metal parts all need cleaning up and often require relatively minor work to fit perfectly as originally designed. Because of the amount of detail included, there is absolutely no wriggle room in terms of fitting all of the various assemblies together. If they do not fit perfectly, then there will be trouble later! But, before even starting, delving into the big red box revealed all of the white metal parts wrapped in layers of plastic wrap in one bundle spread across the bottom of the box. Unfortunately I didn't photograph it - it had the appearance of a mass of metal cobwebs! What I did photograph is the end result of many evenings spent sorting the parts into small bags labelled with the relevant instruction step. None of the parts are numbered, and some were a real mystery until the process of elimination identified their place in the scheme of things. There are still a couple of pieces that I have yet to identify - and only one small missing part which was quickly set right by MFH. The only aftermarket I have got are seat belts, scale pipe clamps and some tiny pipe fittings for some of the oil pipes. I had decided to build this as my representation of Chassis # 3757, which has belonged to Nick Mason of Pink Floyd fame since the late 70s. This choice is mainly because it is surely the most photographed example. I even have an entire book, almost all of which is devoted to this particular car. Plus I am a Pink Floyd fan. The kit includes markings for "White 22", but the model is a curious mix of the car as raced in 1962 and some later changes made to her. I will model the car as she appeared about the turn of this century. it will include the three cooling vents behind the front wheels and an oil cooler above the rear axle, but will be before the two rows of cooling slots were cut into the bonnet. This particular car also had the bolt on rear spoiler, as originally fitted, replaced by the later faired in version, so that also must be changed. One of the small number of inaccuracies in the kit which I have found are the cooling intakes below the nose. They are modelled too far back from the front and, as a consequence, are formed too shallow so as to avoid fouling the radiator as they sit directly beneath this. In fact they are located very close to the nose and direct air to the radiator. So the first job was to take a wonderfully molded resin body and cut into it. The new intakes were formed from plastic card and then glued into a rectangle cutout made in the resin body. I made a template for the cutouts in paper as the shape was not a simple one to cut directly into plastic sheet. the gray area is where i hadn't managed to superglue the rectangular insert in perfect alignment with the body and had to use filler to smooth the join. GT 3757 has an L beam across the rear of this panel, presumably as a stiffener. I replicated this with a piece of brass L section. The cooling intakes are still not quite as close to the front of the bodywork as they are supposed to be, but to bring them any closer would have required a total rebuild of the nose, due to the way in which the piece has been formed. This I was not prepared to do as I would surely ruin a perfectly shaped nose. The other body changes were smoothing in the rear spoiler with the surrounding body work, cutting an extra cooling slot behind each of the front wheels, rounding off the corners of the remaining cooling slots and extending the spar wheel storage shelf to the rear of the body shell. The cooling slots , which had squared off corners as provided, were rounded off using superglue gel, but will no doubt require further work when eventually primed. I think these also had panels behind them as "gills" which will need forming from plastic card. I will post the work on the engine later, and then there will be a break until the model reappears across the Tasman. Cheers, Mike
  8. This build started as amazing in a very challenging way and has just gotten better and better. Absolutely superb work. Those Wingnut kits fit together so well that there is no wiggle room in the assemblies, and then you go and convert it to end up with a finish as seen in the last few posts. Wow! Mike
  9. Unfortunately key elements of the Eduard interior set are arguably not even suitable for the two seater. The forward instrument panel in particular is incorrect and will also not be correct for the majority of single seaters - if the details are of concern. The kit details, with some assistance from Airscale or similar, are a better bet. Always a trade off between fussing over the details and getting something that looks close with much less work I guess. Cheers Mike
  10. I wonder if that is the Canadian Warbird Museum one that was restored in NZ and shipped over a few years ago. I was at the airshow in NZ when it had its flyover. There was the Lancaster, a Spitfire, a Mustang and a Mosquito all in formation and at low altitude for the flyover. The sound and feel of those Merlins was beyond description! I guess in the war everyone just got used to it. Made the classic jets pale in comparison. Cheers, Mike
  11. That’s one beautiful base and very well thought out. Really looking forward to the eventual light show. Have a feeling it’s going to be spectacular with that base and stand. Cheers
  12. This looks irresistible! I was always loathe to do more than one model of a particular plane. I spent what seemed half a lifetime correcting and detailing the Hasegawa kit before I’d even heard of PE etc. Now very tempted to spring for this one when it is out. Whatever faults there may be, as with the Revell two seater, it will be a damned fine kit to work with. Cheers
  13. I very rarely use tweezers for PE like this, as I rapidly tired of trying to determine where a piece may have pinged to. My "go to" tool for this sort of stuff is a blunted toothpick moistened with saliva. Then my only problem is that often the saliva is stickier than the minuscule amount of glue required to attach the PE to the work - patience...... I also use the toothpick to hold PE when making the bends required. The PE work on this is stunning! I'm also amazed how well you have preserved an enhanced the detail with painting. I always struggle with not getting the detail smothered by the paint. Those directors and quad bofors are mind boggling when you look at their size. Great stuff! Mike
  14. I may have been a tad stupid and simply launched into foiling without any prior practice, but managed to pull it off anyway. There are some incredible resources and resourceful people on this site, as mentioned in this thread already. Foiling in itself is not difficult and, if it stuffs up then just remove the foil panel and redo it. What is important is that you plan how you want to do the job and have a routine for each step of the process. It is by nature fiddly and quite repetitive, but immensely rewarding. Having said all that, I wouldn't be attempting narrow drop tanks without some prior practice on a similar shape. The process of foiling is in reality very forgiving, in the sense that mistakes are immediately and easily corrected. Which is certainly not my experience with most of the paint finishes available. Almost any air frame will do, especially where the number of tight compound curves are limited. Be prepared to have several goes at areas like wing roots. Cheers Mike
  15. Not really much into the Japanese aircraft but there are some beauties amongst them. This is one of them I reckon, and your model has certainly done it justice!
  16. That is one absolutely amazing paint finish! Incredible how you have managed to replicate the worn and patchy look. Have you got a build post somewhere?
  17. Wonderful start to this one! Personally I found that spraying the foil gets by far the best consistent result. I cut the glue with 50/50 with 90% alcohol and sprayed two light coats on each piece of foil, allowing the first one to dry before doing the second. Always sprayed across the foil in two different directions. I did try using water, but also got some beading, plus it took too long to dry. Had no issues using alcohol - story of my life really! I also never had any problem with the glue drying in the airbrush. I used my double action brush and had the glue sitting in there for typically up to an hour before shooting alcohol through it and refilling. I'd fully strip it at the end of each session. For burnishing, artist paper blending stumps are great. I also used rounded toothpicks for the fine details. Always start from the centre and work out. Using the paper pencils allows you to use their edge to work the foil over the edge of the piece without tearing. For those pieces like ailerons I used two methods. The best was foiling both sides using one piece of foil by placing the piece on the foil along the sharp edge and working it over both sides of the part. Took some practice! The other way was simply taking the foil over the sharp edge to the first panel line on the second side, trimming it and then doing the rest of the second side. Easier, but not quite as nice. You're right though - keeping everything clean is the biggest thing. 90% alcohol is your friend. Using vaseline to protect the panels beside the one you're working with is the next biggest thing. Enjoy! Very therapeutic. Mike
  18. Just a suggestion around getting the best finish for this very sad weathered variant of Mustang. Kitchen foil treated with lead fishing weights soaking in bleach will provide this finish very well. The foil dulls quickly to matt silver/gray and will typically have an uneven discolouration, which is exactly what you are after. You quickly get a feel for how long the foil should be left, as the bleach will actually dissolve the foil and perforate it. The time taken depends largely on how dilute you make the bleach. I found the heavy duty Reynolds foil to work very well and allowed for decent discolouration before being dissolved. Ordinary foil tends to get too thin. The foil is also very resilient to and takes paints and oil washes very well. There are some striking examples of older Russian jets on LSP finished in this way that I came across when doing the homework for my foiled Starfighter. Fiddly and time consuming, but very rewarding and imho gives a much better finish than any paint will. Cheers, Mike
  19. Looking good! Very sharp. I’m part way through my Tirpitz, but haven’t posted it as it is such slow work. A 3D jigsaw puzzle doing the late summer ‘43 scheme. The Revell Tirpitz is still the best of the 1/350 scale, but it is not entirely accurate in terms of fitout for any one period of the ship’s existence. Takes a lot of searching to sort it all out! Really looking forward to seeing this all come together. Cheers Mike
  20. Definitely the best looking Spitfire! That finish is amazing. Would be great for an airbrush; just beggars belief with a brush. Very well done!
  21. Two beautiful clean builds! Neither are common it seems and both turned out great. Cheers
  22. I did one of the Hasegawa Me 262s about 15 years ago, inspired by one of your earlier builds. Effectively had to scratchbuild the entire model apart from the basic fuselage shell and wings (with moveable surfaces removed). Took me three years with no aftermarket goodies involved at all. Really looking forward to seeing this one unfold! A very promising start. Cheers Mike
  23. What an absolutely gorgeous build of my favourite aircraft type. The painting is sublime. The attention to detail in getting the parts to fit perfectly with just the right surface detail is amazing and very inspiring. Great stuff! cheers Mike
  24. Beautiful work on the mottling!
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