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1/24 Airfix F6F-5 “for dummies”


Maw1963
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Gentlemen, let me introduce myself and my Airfix 1/24th scale F6F-5 building. A lot of words have been written about this kit, a lot of reviews are on the web, and yes, a lot of building threads as well, no doubt: this kit is the hot kit of the day.

I will not add pictures of the box or of sprues because they are well known, but I will dive soon into building. Being it my first thread, and my first time with a 1/24th scale I will appreciate any suggestion and criticism to enhance my work, they are welcome.

Airfix has done a very good job with this kit, IMO, and most important thing, has left to us a lot of details to deal with and to add, in a word a lot of fun.

My start is obviously from the cockpit and the first impression is that it is big, really big. Installing the P&W 2800 radial engine with its 1,34mt (52 inch) of diameter, US airplanes were large, if compared to the narrow airplanes wearing an in-line engine like the DB family, and result was a comfortable and roomy cockpit.

I started with removing all moulding lines and preparing pieces for extra detailing, then I moved one area at time to do my job, trying to had as many details as I could.

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First of all, I removed all the plumbing lines and replaced them with lead wire and plastic card. Lead wire is a wonderful product but is very delicate and very easy to damage with pliers if you don’t pay attention, some time it’s sufficient a grim look to damage it, so I drilled holes where the clamps are, then fixed rods to reproduce clamps themselves and wrapped the first line gluing sturdily just to have a referring point and completed with all the others lines. If you pay attention with ca glue, you can do a very clean and nice work, not my case indeed, but I am quite satisfied with it.

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Pedals were detailed as well, cutting the side cylinder from structure, replacing the lower support with copper wire of the right size and moreover spacing them form the pedals, as you can see on the real bird. A simple job but I think very necessary and quite effective.

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Side consolles have been detailed too. Airifix has done a nice work here, and IMO, meaures, volumes and general appearance of these parts are good. I only reworked some particular that was over sized, sanding to size and reshaping where it was necessary. I think pictures can tell the story better than me

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Photoectched parts are from Airscale 1/24 wonderful set, of course, but IMO it represents more a F6F-3 cockpit than a F6F-5, or better to say, it reproduces both versions.  I will try to explain. Central console is provided with heater control panel and fluorescent light panel, I mean decals and holes on the panels. According to my documentation this is a feature of -3, not -5, where these panels were moved to the right console. Not a big problem, I filled the holes with putty and sanded smooth.

On the other hand, just the right console has the heather switch and radio master switch, 22a and 90 in the picture, in form of holes on photoetched part for these, typical of -5.

Airscale has done a smart job, IMO, leaving all the opportunities to modeler.

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As I was working in this area I made from scratch the sliding hood control  and added some lead wire here and there. I have not completed the parts with all details I want, however, as I will add them later, after the painting session.

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To be able to close the airframe, I focused on the tail, and I found this area not completely satisfactory. First of all, I felt the necessity to resize the arresting hook case, adding some sprue. I made from scratch the two missing internal frames, trying to replicate the real thing as better as I could, and reshaped the original frame to accommodate the longer arresting hook. I apologize for the crude picture of parts with blurs and dirty, I had not realized how they were until I watched on the screen, and I cleaned everything before final assembling. The raw side surface of main frame is due to several “wet fit” with plastic glue while preparing the parts.

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After a full Monday afternoon of cutting, measuring, sanding and gluing I finished my job, and I realized that not much of it will be visible when everything will be painted in dark blue and airframe closed.  I will try with different shades of blue, but I not so convinced. Well, what can I say? I am a modeler, and modellers just want to have fun, and I had.

If the bird was a -3  with a three tones camouflage and white undersides and internal surfaces, well, it would have been nicer. A good exercise for the next Hellcat? Why not, I am sucker for a three tones bird. As the job is not perfect at all, acceptable for a “dummy” I would say, dark blue finish will be very forgiving.

 

I installed Aerocraft 1/24 rear landing gear at this stage because I wanted a tight fit with epoxy glue. Only some minor preparing was necessary, and some thinning of casted pins, a normal job.

 What to say about Aerocraft set? It is very nice, beautifully casted and most important thing SOLID. IMO it is an indispensable set due to the weight of the finished model and the softness of plastic Airfix used for this kit.

Well I am, almost, ready for painting now. Some black primer to check faults and Interior Green a gogo.

I hope you will enjoy pictures and more soon to come, stay tuned.

Thank you for watching,

 

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Wow! That's a very impressive way to introduce yourself!

 

Incredible attention to detail so far, the improvements you've made transform what is already a great kit. Excellent work! Thanks for sharing, looking forward to seeing more.

 

Richard

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Fantastic work Giovanni!!! That’s real modeling. I’m amazed at what detail you’ve added and reworked and the Airscale parts look a joy to work with as well. Keep it coming and thanks for sharing!!

 

jimbo

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  • 2 weeks later...

11/30 COCKPIT DONE

Gentlemen I have, almost, finished the cockpit and I would like to share with you.

First of all, I would like to thank all the people who gave me a warm welcome to LSP and kind words, they are encouraging and I hope to deserve your attention.

 

Peter I am big fan of your products that I find amazing, your attention is an honor for me.

 

Jiimbo thank you, I can’t wait to use your tie-down, very very nice.

 

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I am quite satisfied with cockpit, even if I should work cleaner and cleaner and cleaner, this is the difference from pros

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Seat belts are from RB Production and they are paper made. I have been a little confused when I started to use them because instruction sheet says to peel paper support from a corner, but there is no paper to peel, so I hope not to have goofed on seat belts. Anyway, they are nice, they have a LOT a parts and I spent a full evening to finish. I have not used any weathering because I don’t know how paper may react, so they are bare and raw. I only used some White Glue very diluted with water to soften them and conform to seat shape, and I think it worked enough.

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I have a big doubt about the two T shaped handles on center console, and I would like to receive suggestions from you.

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Number 1 in the picture is the landing gear emergency lowering control, while number 2 is the wing lock safety control. Reading the Pilot Handbook I guessed that number 1 should be normally in the UP position, and number 2 should be in the UP position with wings folded (and locked) and in the DOWN position with spread wings (and locked). Am I right? I have not glued the handles yet, so if someone may confirm my idea he will be welcome.

 

I hope not be too bold but I need some help on another question, regarding the engine cowling, that will be the next area of the building.

I am not sure of the recessed parts inside the cowling, circled in red in the picture. I think that it should be flat, so Milliput is on early warning, but I would like to be sure of it.

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I hope you will enjoy pictures and more soon to come, stay tuned.

Thank you for watching.

 

 

 

Edited by Maw1963
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Before closing fuselage, I started to watch the engine area and preparing parts for the next step.

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About fuselage I found something to fix before closing. As I want to show engine and engine area I found this area not close to reality some I made some improvements.

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Almost ready to close fuselage

Edited by Maw1963
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