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Madmax last won the day on March 17 2019

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About Madmax

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    South Africa

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  1. Hi Kent and Mark, really appreciate the comments! Chris, I also often have a terrible time masking cockpits, largely because one wants the windscreen in place, but the canopy off. The Zero is a rare treat in that the cockpit is actually rather large, and the seat position is so far back that it doesn't stand proud of the sill. Just used a flat piece of styrene to cover the cockpit, and some masking film scraps to seal off the windscreen and rear canopy. That being said, I have made a mistake and dread the reveal (as many do) when the masks come off. I forgot to seal the antenna opening and the opening immediately behind it when I gloss coated the model! Having a spare canopy to glue in place is an ideal situation btw. Hi Misha, thanks for commenting on the stressed skin. It was fun and relatively easy to do. The Tamiya plastic is ideal for it, and most of it was just done with folded sandpaper run along the rivet lines. The biggest job is opening the rivet holes afterwards. You will certainly do a great job on the Corsair! Now, Im afraid that after much contemplation and study of the masks, I feel that a professionally made decal is the best way forward. I just don't think that I can paint lines straight enough at this size to actually improve the characters! I am really committed to having the Hōkoku, so the Zero is going onto the quarantine shelf until our post office reopens. Maybe I can entertain you with a Starfighter until then? Sean
  2. Thanks Tom, Mike and crobinsonh! Tim, in Rugby (and I'm sure in American Football) this is called a hospital pass! As you were typing I imagine you were chuckling to yourself thinking "I bet he'll try it"... Well, I'm now thinking about it Thing is, the carrier film on the decals I made is more like a transparent pancake than a film, and I will have to wait for the Covid-curfew to lift to get hold of properly made decals. Hmm, what to do, what to do? You too Chris! Thanks as always for your fantastic inputs Ryan. Your "Tweak List" has been a constant companion to the Tamiya instructions, and I came to the same conclusions regarding the HGW transfers by cross referring to the Tamiya decals. Luckily you clearly pointed out that decal 135 (Tamiya) is totally spurious, and in the next sentence you mention the yellow square jacking point. I didn't know the dimensions then, so this is what I surmised. I'm surprised at how big it actually was. I was curious to see if the engine actually fitted into the mounting points, since I somehow forgot to check before starting the painting process. A risky approach! Having added a whole lot of things to the back of the engine, I suspected some trouble. It didn't fit at first, but fortunately a bit of trimming here and there was all that was required. Not as bad as in Tom Cleaver's review where he resorted to removing the accessories and engine mounts in order to get the cowlings on. I hope I don't still have to! Back to the Hōkoku drawing board Sean
  3. Unbelievable! Are you actually planning to stick an aeroplane around those masterpieces?
  4. Spellbinding stuff! And very entertaining too
  5. It is day one of our Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa, so a chance to update you on what has been happening with this build. Decals are one of my model building achilles heels. I really don't like them. The Zero has very few secondary markings, and I decided to mask and spray as much as possible. Masking has some risks though, and lifting paint is the worst of these for me. It leaves edges that have to be sanded smooth, complicated re-masking and the difficulty of matching the original colour. I really should have been more careful to take some of the stickiness off of the vinyl mask! Darn. Thanks for the extra masks Nick, I needed all of them. Now for a real gem of a discovery - HGW wet transfers! Against all odds, our postal service actually got these to my mailbox, and am I ever grateful. Having watched Brett M's experience with them on his stunning birdcage Corsair, I had some idea what to look out for. Instead of Mr. Mark Softer or Setter, I used only Microscale's Micro Set as the decal adhesive, since it is reportedly chemically "softer" and less likely to affect the paint. Worked like a charm. You can see the transfer film in the first photo, and the final product in the last two. A gentle wipe with a moist cotton bud later, and no trace of any film, just the ink of the lettering... The HGW A6M2 set doesn't include a Nakajima style Hōkoku number , so this poses a real challenge. For those of you who have seen some of my previous builds, you will know how shamelessly I abuse the privilege of knowing Nick (Cheetah 11)! He once again took out the Silhouette cutter and set about a near impossible task with great enthusiasm. After correcting my measurements, he produced this three part mask. It measures only 28mm from side to side of the top lettering. Unfortunately, the fidelity of the writing just can't be cut at this size, and it looks as if a decal will be required. I have some sheets of Bare-Metal Foil's decal paper, and went to work on the tracing to get the artwork done. That pen works like a square paintbrush by the way - very handy. Using the recommended Liquid Decal Film from Microscale gave me the decal on top, which is quite matt and prone to silvering. I tried Krylon Crystal Clear on the lower decal which is better, but very thick. I will experiment a bit more with this decal and then decide whether the Hōkoku is viable or not. Maybe I'll get it professionally done when the world returns to some semblance of normality. Still some work to be done in the meanwhile though. Liquid Decal Film needs to be thinned with Isopropyl Alcohol by the way. Do you think I could find any in the last week? Cheers, Sean
  6. That is pretty much how it has turned out Hans! It has also been a journey of discovery for me, as I had very little idea about the Japanese story in the Second World War. I have even taken to watching anime movies from Hayao Miyazaki, such as "The Wind Rises" that is essentially a tribute to Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of the A6M. It would appear that Miyazaki did his research well - look at the shade of grey he used on the Zero's in the movie...
  7. Excellent figures Kent. I assume the big guy is Goering? Unbelievable detail for their size
  8. Whoa, that all happened pretty fast! Lovely riveting, and the masked bits look brilliant. Did you paint the white surround of the hinomaru first or last Tom?
  9. Thank you Peter, that is very kind of you! I'm particularly pleased that you have enjoyed the extra bits... Sean
  10. It's all about scale isn't it Woody? Like trying to punch out 1:48 instrument decals... Thanks to Ryan's paint input, I got down to finding what worked for me in Tamiya "acrylic" paint, since it is tough and readily available over here. I liked the idea of using XF-76 Grey Green (IJN) as a base since it is after all what Tamiya's researchers thought was the right colour. It isn't, but with a bit of help comes quite close. Ryan tried a mix with XF-49 Khaki, and I took a look at that - too brown to my eye. Then I looked at other options for a mix, and liked the warm tone of XF-60 Dark Yellow. At a mix of 2 parts 76 to 1 part 60 and half a part of white I found what I was looking for. Simple. The grey for the fabric covered surfaces is 1 part 76 to one part white - even more simple. Here with tungsten and natural light for comparison... Normally I would do the wheel wells first, but this seemed a better solution for the zero. This is the colour of the aircraft primer, which I only used on the spinner hoping to do some light chipping. Doesn't seem to work with Alclad by the way! And this is what the greys look like more or less - difficult to capture the real colours on camera. Looking at the second picture, a question for the experts: Would the electrical cables and pitot air lines in the wheel well be overpainted in Aotake? If not, what colours would they be? I was also wondering about the red paint. Would it be painted straight onto the grey, or under-painted to make the red brighter? Finally got down to the Hōkoku, and realised that Ryan had provided the perfect picture to make a tracing from! In doing the tracing, I discovered an interesting thing about the lettering. It would appear that it is painted on by brush, and therefore by hand - like a signwriter would do! I had pictured stencils and spray paint, but the way it has faded shows the brushstrokes as well as what I think were taped lines to get the edges straight. The characters are not totally uniform or symmetrical either. I have tried to straighten it all up a bit to make it easier to cut a stencil and or produce a decal. Methinks it is going to be rather tricky to do!
  11. Thanks for digging this one out of the Atlantic Matthew. Your dad did a good job, and saved a fine pilot - him and the chopper pilots who found him by hover-taxying in the fog!
  12. It is great that Ryan goes straight for a paint that best resembles FS 34201. I happen to be in full agreement with his interpretation of the colour that the Nakajima A6M2 was painted, but it would appear that not everyone is convinced by the evidence. It is a debate that may still linger for a while, although it does seem to be fizzling out. Much has been written about this subject, and if you are interested, you can glean some insight from the Aviation of Japan website. Here are two links: http://www.aviationofjapan.com/2008/03/zero-colour-conundrum-part-1.html , and http://www.aviationofjapan.com/2018/07/its-not-that-its-this-no-its-not-etc.html I have enjoyed reading the debates, and think I now have some insight into how the incorrect interpretations have come about. Originally, what was being seen of abandoned aircraft in the Pacific looked like this. This photo was apparently taken in 1943... The elements had made relatively quick work of oxidising the paintwork, and the image of pale grey Zero's took hold. In the intervening years, until entrepreneurs like Bob Diemert ventured onto the islands and into the steaming jungles of the Pacific War, many of the aircraft had been weathered down to their red-brown undercoats. It would take years before curious historians found relatively unexposed samples of paint, and buffed them back to their original lustre. Before this happened however, the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! was released, and its attack scenes re-enacted at airshows around the States until the public were convinced that Pearl Harbour had been attacked by white painted T-6's . Even the Diemert restored Zero that went to the then "Confederate Air Force" ended up being painted in a very pale grey. At least it's undercoat was a red-brown! Model aircraft box art hasn't helped correct this misconception, and even some very recent kits feature near white A6M2's. Here are some older examples. Even looking at photographs taken during the war, it is difficult to work out what the shade of grey actually was. This is why I was keen to model a Nakajima produced aircraft, since the white outline around the fuselage Hinomaru actually gives one a perfect way of comparing the shade of the aircraft paint to pure white! Here are two examples that show how dark the fuselage grey is compared to white: Pretty convincing in my mind. What is interesting to me is that despite evidence of the darker olive-grey paint, museums such as the National Museum of the US Air Force and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum chose to paint their Zero's in lighter shades. Amazing how strong the influence of repeated incorrect interpretation is. Here is the completed gunsight with its tinted glass folded flat, as well as a decal from the spares box and an electrical cable. The sliding canopy now has a handle for inside, as well as the aerodynamic lever to open it from the outside. Masking is happening (nobody's favourite surely)... And now I can get down to recreating this Hōkoku. Hope you are ready to plot Japanese characters Nick!
  13. I'm afraid I don't have any secret for this dark art. It is a matter of trial and error - mostly error, and the good ones average out at 30% of total attempts. It is advisable to punch the small hole first however, and then try and centre that hole in the bigger punch opening! A great input Ryan, thanks! Thanks Tom. I have used clear acetate in other builds, and it is a great way of improving gunsights. Since I was sanding the seam anyway, I decided to stick with the kit part and just thin out the sight glass. My cup runneth over too!
  14. Ambitious, brilliantly executed and perfectly weathered!
  15. As promised, the gunsight and drop tank were next to get some attention. The gunsight is a tiny clear moulding that attaches to a base moulded into the "dashboard". It has the A6M5 bracket that Ryan pointed out has to be removed, and like so many clear mouldings, has a highly visible seam line that runs right through the middle . With a bit of effort, it can be salvaged, since I don't think Barracuda have made one for us yet The crash pad is sanded quite a lot smaller, the seam polished out, the shaded lens lowered and both lenses given a support base. I added an arm on the left side that the ring sight attaches to (and can be rotated out the way). Fiddly work. The drop tank is a little basic, but has the major advantage of being cleverly mounted into rubber o-rings, so that it can be removed or attached at will. I added some weld seams, accentuated the rivets, popped on a fuel cap cover, and sanded some dents into the skin. Since a lot of effort went into the engine, I would like to pose the cowl-flaps open. They are finely moulded on the outside, but looking in from the back, the lip is too thick, no structure and no arms to open the flaps. This was rectified with some scraping, sanding, and styrene. With the fuselage and wings joined, and the wheel wells done, it was time to get some black paint into the engine bay, on the upper gear legs and the cockpit decking. This is how things look at the moment, and it is just about time to start mixing some shades of grey! Cheers, Sean
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