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Madmax last won the day on March 17 2019

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About Madmax

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  1. I'm enjoying the detailing already Antonio, and the photographs!
  2. Thanks for your continued interest Tom! I had my suspicions about resin wheel wells, and this has confirmed what I was concerned about. Thanks Iain. I too have had my hands full with stunning looking resin am parts that just don't fit, or compromise the integrity of the kit's engineering. Very frustrating... Thank you John. I'm not sure how you get the time to look in on other's posts given the amount of models you tackle and the level at which you build! Thanks Ryan. This info is all brilliant, and just in time again! Most of this technical stuff is just so hard to find, and explains so much from the peeks into the wheel wells that are out there. The A6M2, as was to be expected, really is a little different. The engine mounting coming through the roof was unexpected, and now I will try to include it somehow. Thanks Spyros. Your hammock looks so comfortable. I am fortunately off for a short vacation now, and will try to find a similar setting to your photo!
  3. It has been wonderful watching this diorama come to life Oliver - what an achievement! Congratulations.
  4. This is great to watch Alain! You are clearly not afraid of slicing up a kit .
  5. Fortunately some of my remaining time did go to the Reisen. In his tweak list, Ryan says it straight: "The functioning landing gear badly compromises parts E53 and E54 and are best replaced with aftermarket wheel wells." So, I have the Eduard A6M2 "exterior" set in etched brass and thought that may well do the trick, but you will see some difficulties associated with that too. I think a resin replacement will probably be the simplest fix, IF IT FITS! The engineering on this kit is incredibly precise, and any modifications come with some downline reminder why you can't mess with it. Plastic thickness vs the real aluminium thickness means that cockpit and wheel-well space is one of the major challenges in detailing all model aircraft. It looks to me that Tamiya were trying to get maximum depth from the wheel-well so that the gear can retract fully. To this end, the roof of the well is a three-part affair that includes the fuselage side in the middle, but the whole roof is not at the same height and it is full of ejector pin marks. I started to experiment with the the brass bits, but soon realised that the configuration of the lightening holes is incorrect, and that it is actually just a very fiddly process to get the ribs in place and cap them. Some of the brass will still be of use, so I elected to modify the kit part without compromising its strength - since it does hold the gear in place! The roof of the well was scraped clean and the gear pivot arm glued in place in its fully extended position. No springs and things anymore... I carved around the ribs from one side to create the illusion of the capped ribs. Painstaking process but not impossible. This is how the lightening holes are configured from what I can make out. A bit of scraping and some added brass/styrene helps refine the thick kit doors, since they have to accommodate functioning hinges. Mine won't. On a totally different note, here is some of the skin work on the fuselage and wings. It is only done with sandpaper so as not to get too deep by scraping first. It is quite difficult to get it to look convincing, and may well not be to everyone's taste. I think that it does tell the story of the aircraft however, as many who flew it (including the famous test pilot, Eric Brown) commented on the "oil-canning" of the skin. He reportedly said it made a sound - "like the sound produced when one pushes on the side of a large biscuit tin." Back to the plastic for me... Sean
  6. Thanks Mark and Lothar! Very pleased that you are enjoying it. Hi, all the photo's except for the Zero on the ferry are very finely reproduced in the book "Zero Fighter" with the black cover - most of these on two page spreads. It is a brilliant photographic record of the Zero in wartime service. Here is a sample of the picture quality: https://rarebooksjapan.com/?p=27153 (this might interest you too Kev...) The photo's I used for this build thread are all readily available on the internet on sites such as Rod's Warbirds (now called: http://www.warbirdphotographs.com) and this one: https://www.worldwarphotos.info Pinterest is another source that I can't seem to avoid - the search algorithm is powerful in that one! No wonder I lose hours of building time to the almighty screen
  7. I have similar problems with decals placed in recessed instrument faces Nick. There has got to be a better way. I will experiment with my F-104 when I get around to it.
  8. Nick, we were in our early twenties, and just wanted to rush off to the closest drinking and dancing dens! I dug up my reconnaissance file and now recall that: Scale = f (focal length)/ H (altitude). If I use a 100mm lens, I would have to be 3200mm away from the instrument panel to make a 1:32 scale representation. Seems too close. What do your Pilot Attack Instructor notes say? Servus Uwe, I will be mixing my own version of the colour, and I'm sure there will be some discussion around this point... Thanks Ryan, those are cool little extra's. You are right about the join at the inertia starter handle, and I will remove the moulded handle, then sand the join and only then add a handle. I am still busy putting some character into the skin, and will get to the rest soon. Wonderful to have your input Matsu, thanks! Kev, that Doyusha kit does look like it will be fun to build! As far as references, my personally owned Zero specific ones are these: I also refer to books such as John Dibbs' "Warbird Legends", and the relevant Osprey publications. The internet has some interesting avenues to disappear down, and I have found some very useful material on Japanese Instagram links to museums in Japan. The problem I find is that I spend more time staring at my computer screen than building the model . The Zero is challenging from a research point of view. There is so little untampered evidence left, that the (incorrectly) restored aircraft become the benchmark. Fortunately much has been done to subsequently correct this, and researchers like Ryan are busy changing our understanding of the subject. Enjoy it, Sean
  9. This has become a fascinating thread! I really enjoy what you have done with the wheels John...
  10. Thanks Nick, You are definitely on to something there with the slide. It will be interesting to calculate the distance from the instrument the camera will have to be (for the lens magnification) to get a 2mm dia instrument face on a 35mm film. Hey Tom, we are all benefiting from Ryan's expertise here! Just check out all the details I too have missed... Glad you are enjoying it Kev. Apologies for quoting you out of context here Ryan, just want to shorten the response block. You really do have an excellent eye for detail, and I can see why you get to work on these projects. I am afraid I will no longer be able to incorporate most of these improvements, but many others will benefit from them. I have already closed the cockpit assembly, however, I gave the oxygen bottles a bash. Here once again, 1:32 scale makes one too ambitious for the size. I used a 10/0 Kolibri paintbrush with very thin enamel and that is about the smallest legible Oxygen symbol (in Japanese) that I could muster. It is about double the actual size, and I have already taken it off. One would really need a decal to do it properly. It was fun trying anyway The next sub-assembly will be the wheel wells, so any relevant pictures you have will be great Ryan. In the meanwhile, I have been doing some work on the fuselage halves before I join them. I would like to show all the access steps deployed, since it is a major characteristic of the Zero. The thin skin makes it near impossible to stand anywhere on the aircraft without denting it! Talking of the thin skin, you may notice that I have started to indent the skin at the rivet lines on the aft fuselage. A large amount of work awaits... Cheers! Sean
  11. I have slowly been progressing inside Jiro Horikoshi's lightweight fuselage design. Instrument panels in 1:32 scale present some difficulty. They are just big enough to make one think that they could look real, but in reality being just too small to do it yourself at home. Macro photography doesn't help much when looking at the thing you baked vs a finely manufactured or printed IP. At least Tamiya mould the actual panel very finely, but the method of using instrument decals behind the equivalent of four inches of glass makes them look like myopic cartoon characters. I sanded the clear part quite a bit thinner at the back, and smoothed the round dial faces hoping to get the instruments to look a little less far away. I got it a bit wrong with the first three instruments in the side console and had to resort to this fix which I'm sure many are familiar with. Decals on top for this one. This led to an interesting experiment. I used photographs of actual Zero instruments to make decals, and see how they turned out compared to the kit decals. Not very well as you might be able to tell - too pixellated. That's the snag with an average printer and a 2mm diameter instrument, just too small. I will have to make friend in the printing business. Undeterred, I then tried my hand at miniature etching. There are etched data-plates on the sides of the cockpit to remind pilots how to transfer fuel and use the gear and flap levers in failure cases (I assume). I used some thin silver plated etched brass plate from my spares-box, which I scribed in a vague approximation of the layout drawings. Sadly a light sanding took the silver off, so the brass plate will have to suffice. Mixing Ryan's suggested Nakajima interior colour was next. FS 34097 seemed like good middle ground between the findings, and also ties in with what "Straggler" suggested on the "Aviation of Japan" website. I looked at many colour chips for the FS number, as well as taking heed of the other interpretations. In essence the mix came down to, believe it or not, Tamiya's XF-71 COCKPIT GREEN (IJN) / XF-66 LIGHT GREY (actually a medium grey) / XF-67 NATO GREEN and some XF-2 WHITE to taste. This photo is on a white background to get a feel for the darkness of the shade. Against my preferred dark-grey background it shows up lighter than it actually appears. There are many detailed pieces to the cockpit and fuselage interior, which make the Tamiya kits so desirable. Now the assembly can begin. One can't help but marvel at the engineering to create the 3-dimensions of the cockpit parts. I have added little chopped up decals from other kits to tray and replicate the placards that are all over the Zero. Your decal sheet will be very helpful in future Ryan. The various bottles are now in place and plumbed. The piping may have been brass for some of the bottles, but I am sticking with this silver simply because it won't chip off where I can't touch up when assembling the whole thing. As Ryan points out, the machine guns would be "Parkerised", not gloss black. I used Humbrol Metal Cote gun metal. You really can't see this fuel tank by the way! The seat got HGW belts, and the frame supported by styrene rod bungee cord. Finally for today, the IP. I am happy with it, but one day I will get those instrument photographs finely printed...
  12. Thanks Tom. I see that you are now also consumed by a Japanese subject, and doing a great job of it! Hi Erik, you are not alone in the Z-M immersing! I don't own one yet and after seeing so many builds on the forum, have developed a severe case of FOMO Thanks for adding to the fun Mark - what a wonderful book cover! It's hard to make out the name, but the artist is Ed Valigursky who was a prolific pulp fiction illustrator and later more serious about space and aviation history. When looking it up, I was amazed at just how many different covers there are for "Samurai", and therefore how many times it has been re-printed. Clearly a remarkable story. Looking for stars during daylight conjures up the "wax on, wax off" image from "The Karate Kid"... I'm sure it does Ryan. The Blayd Zero is an incredible achievement, and a testament to the skill of everyone involved in successfully re-manufacturing such an iconic fighter. You are quite fortunate to have been involved in the project - Twice!
  13. Thanks Antonio! Those colour chips are very cleverly presented, and I would certainly be one for taking a second look if it were at an antique dealer's store. I actually find it really interesting how people from all over are making money from airplane wreckage and artefacts. Your reaction to the price is interesting Ryan, as I'm sure you have seen many opportunists in your time. I have some progress to report on in the meanwhile. In preparing to fire up the compressor, I discovered a couple of neglected tasks, like the assembly of the machine guns. I replaced the barrels with the lovely MASTER brass ones. Then I got down to modifying the oxygen supply regulator. One has to cut out the old regulator, and repair the tubular cross member that it is mounted on. I used a section of hypodermic needle for this, and then fixed up the side where I removed the new regulator from its original part on the A6M5 instrument panel frame. The arrow points to some styrene I added to the top section in order to be able to drill more lightening holes... Since Ryan pointed them out on this part of the instrument panel, I couldn't resist the temptation. The kit part really is just too thin on its own. The IP looks more like it now. I have also removed the offending dynamo's from the lower fuselage. Then I got stuck into some paint. I really enjoy the notion of the Aotake protective layer that is applied directly onto the aluminium, as it has a very pleasing visual effect (as mentioned previously, I paint the surface with Alclad's White Aluminium, and then apply a coat of Tamiya clear blue and green, mixed roughly half/half). The reference photo in the background is one of Ryan's that he took of the Blayd Zero back in 1999 (from the j-aircraft website). Hope you don't mind Ryan, just getting a feel for how much green to add to the mix. As soon as that is dry, I will try and mix some FS 34097... Sean
  14. Thanks Ryan, I would have messed that up if it weren't for your keen eye. I misunderstood the Tamiya instruction about not using the stand, and simply forgot to replace the oxygen regulator! Back to the workbench...
  15. Thanks for looking in Tom. Ryan, this is an interesting insight and reflection on your part. It is quite amazing to me how much energy is devoted to finding the correct colours for historic aircraft the world over. I have been involved in the RLM debate for some time, primarily over the Me-262 in our Military History Museum in Johannesburg, and thus understand some of the complexities involved. I will go with your new take on the cockpit colour - being the more commonly occurring one. Thank you. I am almost at the paint stage, so this is very timely information. I have now gone back to step one in the instructions, and based on One-Oh-Four's experience https://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?/topic/79890-mitsubishi-a6m2b-zero-132-tamiya/&tab=comments#comment-1120875 came up with some slightly different solutions. As luck would have it, the two Eduard etch sets I bought for this kit are the Type 21 Landing Flaps (which it appears was a waste since they are hardly ever open), and the Type 21 Exterior that may prove useful, but the interior set would have been super useful. Bad luck. I eventually resorted to making this equipment shelf from thin styrene, using the kit part as a template. Here it is in place, along with one of the braces behind the large fuselage frame to which the seat is mounted. I am only putting in detail that I can see when looking into the rear fuselage over the seat. What is interesting is how much can actually be seen, as it is quite a spacious cockpit. On the other side, I separated the dual CO2 bottles and sanded one into shape - removing its base holder. This was then mounted onto fittings that I shaped and drilled from thick styrene strip. Two other obvious furnishings in this area are the bracket to hold control cable pulleys (on the left), and a spring loaded guide for a hand hold. It has a domed disk over it to protect the inflating flotation bladder mounted in this part of the fuselage. Many of the kit mouldings are beautifully done, but are easily improved by adding detail. This former has no lightening holes in the interior face of the structure, so I drilled them out. On the second photo you can see them pointed out. The recess for the stand mounting was slightly modified to hide it, along with punched discs to fill the ejector pin holes. With the battery and compressed air bottle in place, the lower fuselage part of the wing looks better now. The instrument panel is very finely moulded, and I only drilled out the mountings to add some detail that look like the rubber mountings and bolts. The clock is removed in order to be part of the cool crowd! Looking into the aft fuselage now makes me feel like a warbird restorer! Cheers, Sean
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