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Hasegawa 1/48 P-39 'Red Star'

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Of all the P-39's I've ever built  (about half a dozen), this is my first Russian P-39.  Picked up the kit and a nice wooden base from Bases by Bill in Chattanooga last January but didn't start this build until a couple of months ago.  The kit came with the Eduard cockpit set and the resin pilot figure.  Working on the plane first, then the pilot figure.  Sadly, won't finish this in time for the January Chattanooga show.

Here is the (venerable) kit:



And the very nice pilot plate created by Bases by Bill:



I saw in my research that the plane often attributed to Pokryshkin is actually that of one of his colleagues; that Pokryshkin didn't want to call attention to himself and thus flew an un-adorned aircraft.  Of course, that doesn't make for good photography or media.  I will probably stay with the incorrect aircraft markings as there is a picture of the pilot with the (incorrect) aircraft.


Here are some of the bits so far:

Eduard IP with Formula 560 instrument 'dials'.






A little further along, got the cockpit together and the fuselage closed up:




Dealing with some fit issues on the wing intakes:



Working some Vallejo Plastic filler into the gaps:




Fashioned a bit of a handle to make painting the wings easier:



The canopy is masked and started laying down the primer (Vallejo Gloss Black) and base coat (Dull Aluminum)



And the resin exhausts:



But did come up with this little problem:



No way to squeeze the fuselage to close this up, so will take the Dremel tool to it tomorrow and see if I can get it closed up.

Stay tuned!


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Next update:

Used the Dremel which made incredibly fast work of the overlap, holy cow.  Need to really watch using that!  This was before a little more fine-tuning and to get the gaps to close up some more.  Still used some filler, but much better than this looks here.



One down side is that I THOUGHT I had sealed the nose and filled it with the liquid gravity.  But I must have missed something as the cockpit shortly filled up with the tiny graphite balls.  Ugh.  This is how much graphite poured out, even with some still glued into the nose:



Oh well, will drill a hole via the nose gear well and refill that way (and reglue!).


Here are some of the pics - I used two shades of Model Master Acryl over the Dull Aluminum base:  Dark Green and Drab Green.  The Olive Drab just did not look like the photos I saw.  Using the two greens (over the Dull Aluminum) I'm hoping gives me more of a varied and faded finish.

Here is the base dull aluminum, with a few spots of USAF Light Gray sprayed in a few random blotches:


And the Dark Green added:



and with the green drab applied but difficult to see the varied nature of the paint.  The wing root gaps are not great, but look worse in the pictures than they appear.



The dark splotch on the left wing is the gloss coat to get ready for the wing marking:


Ditto on the fuselage and rudder - getting ready for the decals (tomorrow):



Shame the camera is not picking up the tonal variation of the paint. Here is another attempt:



Hopefully decals tomorrow!

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Almost final update - just as I was taking 'final' pictures I noticed I forgot to put in the control column.  Oops!


Anyway - here we go!


The Hasegawa decals are pretty thick and took about 5 minutes sitting in the water to release from the paper.  Seeing this - I put them down over a layer of MicroSol and the good news is they went down into the panel lines really well.




Drilled out the nose gear hinge (instead of using the Eduard PE part).  Resin tires (which were touched up after this photo) are a little too flat/bulged for my taste.



Some progress photos before getting the landing gear doors on..





And with doors:



Used an MV Lens for the first time ever - and happened to have one (from about 20 years ago) that fit perfectly.



Here is the gunsight:



So in my exuberance to get the thing painted - I forgot to put masks onto the outside of the windows.  Tried putting some acrylic cleaner onto the windows with a brush and let it set, did that a couple of times and wa la!  This was the result:


Used a toothpick to rub off the paint and actually, it came off extremely cleanly.  Half wondering if I actually need masks.  Half!



And here is the ALMOST finished plane.  Added the red and white tail flash and the doors are on as well this time.  And yes, I've knocked off the belly tank 3 times and one of the front landing gear doors once.  Also added just a little bit of charcoal exhaust as well.  The right side wing root is not optimum, but there are a few fit problems anyway.


But apparently used enough liquid gravity to keep this from being a tail-sitter.



Thanks and more to come!


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Posted (edited)

Calling it a wrap on this one.  Wooden star and the pilot's signature is from Bases by Bill (and I have the resin figure but have not started on that just yet).











Next project is the 1/48 Revell P-61, in Olive Drab.   :m0152:   Then the Tamiya 1/32 Mustang.

Edited by CANicoll

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Thanks Gaz!  Some bits I could/should have done better, but just happy to get it together.  Now on to the Black Widow. :-) What are you working on these days?


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6 hours ago, mustang1989 said:

Wow! You've displayed that very nicely with the star and all. Good lookin' plane Chris.


Thanks, credit goes to 'Bases by Bill' who do terrific work - here is my review of their stuff.  They are custom-designing and making a base for me for my upcoming Tamiya P-51D Duchess Arlene.  The early pics look really good!



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