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EPinniger

Curtiss BF2C-1 Hawk

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EP, while perusing the sqdn book on grumman fighters, I found a pic of a bomb, painted light grey. The bomb rack has fore-and -aft sway braces, as well.

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painted1.jpg

 

painted2.jpg

 

painted3.jpg

 

painted4.jpg

 

Painting is now nearly complete - about the only thing that still needs doing is the wingtip navigation lights. I've also added a few missing details, including the aerial masts which are made from brass wire (the plastic parts wouldn't be strong enough to take the weight of the aerial wire). These are painted in the blue colour of the roundels. The model is now ready for decals, weathering and rigging, in that order!

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decal1.jpg

 

The decals are now added - this was a rather tricky job, as the decals were very fragile (this is an original '70s issue of the kit). They aren't stiff or yellowed, and go on well if you can get them on the model in one piece, but have to be handled with extreme care when sliding them off the backing paper. Some of them broke into two or three pieces (particularly the roundels) but I managed to salvage them; the only unrecoverable one is (predictably) one of the Pegasus squadron badges, the only decal which I couldn't substitute from the spares box! Hence the model only has the badge on one side. Not accurate, but it doesn't look too out of place, as many other aircraft (though not this one) have this sort of artwork (official or unofficial) on only one side of the fuselage.

 

Ever since I started aircraft modelling, I've always been impressed with how decals bring a model to life when they are applied! But there's still some work to do yet.

 

decal3.jpg

 

I used a small hole punch to make a hole in the upper wing roundels to allow them to fit over the aerial masts; I expected this to result in the roundels disintegrating when applied, in the same way as the aforementioned squadron logo, but near-miraculously one of the roundels went on in one piece and the other one only broke into two pieces! The cut-out area around the mast was re-touched with matching blue paint.

 

decal2.jpg

 

Finally, I added some manufacturer's logo badges on the prop blades, from the spares box; these are actually from a 1/48 Mustang, but are about the right size and the text isn't readable anyway!

 

I've also finished the bombs:

bombs.jpg

 

The arming vanes had broken off a couple of them and got lost, so I decided to scratchbuild new ones for all 4 bombs, using brass wire and PE 1/700 scale two-bladed aircraft propellers! I'll add the bombs last of all, along with the radio aerial wires, as the scratchbuilt vanes are rather fragile.

 

I've now almost finished weathering the model, so will post another update soon.

 

One question: the decal sheet includes two small "LIFT" stencils, anyone have any idea where these should go? The kit instructions don't appear to mention them, and I can't see these stencils in any contemporary photos.

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>One question: the decal sheet includes two small "LIFT" stencils, anyone have any idea where these should go? The kit instructions don't appear to mention them, and I can't see >these stencils in any contemporary photos.

 

Typically, they would be placed under the small holes on each side of the lower rear fuselage. But you're right...I don't see them on the photos I have, either.

 

:) Les (Friendly Airplane Asylum flack)

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After the decals were varnished, I started work on weathering the model. This is a tricky job as 1930s USN aircraft were usually very well maintained, so a battered, grimy finish isn't appropriate, but the model still needs enough visual "texture" to make it look convincing, so a lot of subtlety is needed.

 

weather1.jpg

 

First I ran a dilute dark brown/black oil wash into all the engraved panel lines. This looks fairly heavy when first applied becomes much more subtle when it dries. A heavier oil wash was added to the undercarriage legs and wheel wells along with the propellor hub (the engine has already received an oil wash).

 

weather2.jpg

 

Next, I added an extremely light dry-brush of black to the leading edges and to the fabric surfaces to slightly highlight the structural rib detail. I also dry-brushed exhaust and oil stains more heavily around the engine and exhaust area using black and dark brown paint. The tyres were dry-brushed with a lighter grey shade to represent scuffing + wear.

 

weather3.jpg

 

Finally, I used a silver pencil to add some very small metallic chips to corners + edges of some of the metal parts of the airframe, such as the cowling rim and the edge of the cockpit.

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(I meant to add this post yesterday, but somehow didn't - maybe I clicked PREVIEW instead of POST - anyway, here it is)

 

Now onto the really tricky bit, the rigging:

 

rig1.jpg

 

The rigging uses very fine music wire, glued in place with CA. Not the best method but it gives wires which stay straight and have an accurately metallic look. You might also spot that I finally got round to painting the wingtip navigation lights (these are Tamiya transparent red + green over a base coat of metallic silver)

 

rig2.jpg

 

rig3.jpg

 

In case you haven't guessed I really HATE doing rigging, on both planes and ships, as it is so hard to get it (and the CA glue used to stick it in place) to do what you want it to do and go where you want it to go :angry: So I simplified the rigging plan a bit - all the double wires are single. It still looks fairly convincing.

 

Only a few final touches left - mostly the aerial wire, and also the LIFT decals (thanks to Les for the advice) - then the Curtiss Hawk will finally be finished!

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It's taken rather longer than I thought, but the Curtiss BF2C-1 Hawk is FINALLY completed! (The radio aerial, added since the last update is made from very fine tinned copper fuse wire)

 

bf2c9.jpg

 

bf2c10.jpg

 

bf2c11.jpg

 

Overall views:

 

bf2c1.jpg

 

bf2c2.jpg

 

bf2c3.jpg

 

bf2c4.jpg

 

bf2c5.jpg

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Closeups:

 

bf2c6.jpg

 

bf2c7.jpg

 

bf2c8.jpg

 

 

us30s.jpg

 

Finally, here's a photo showing the BF2C-1 along with my other 2 completed 1/32 1930s aircraft, a Boeing F4 and a P-26. The F4 isn't really up to the standard of the other two, being built a few years ago, and the paint colours aren't very accurate, but I have another F4 kit in the stash which I'll build to a better standard one day (along with a P-12, Curtiss Sparrowhawk and Grumman F3F!)

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Hooray! Excellent thread, and beautiful model. I'm going gah-gah over that last pic. Never realized how many kits of these 'pre-war' aircraft there are! Awesome line-up there. :D Russ

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