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A Separate Little War - Strike Wing Mosquito FB.VI

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So after whining about the canopy for most of the build, I decided to take the bull by the.....  horns and just get this over with. The Tamiya canopy is truly amazing, it's thin and the most transparent clear part I've ever seen in a kit.   So, to recap - my goal is to cut out the overhead escape hatch.   Here are some step by step pics.  Please excuse the following set of pictures.  They were taken indoors and are of horrible quality.  However, they should illustrate the process ok.


The canopy pre-surgery.  It's so clear, it's tough to photograph well.



Step 1, using a pin vice and a small diameter drill bit, very carefully drill about a hundred holes along the seam, being careful to stay just a hair inboard.



Step 2, using a new X-acto blade (critical for any delicate work), very carefully cut between the holes.  Don't worry about being right on the panel line.  Then, very gently, pop the section out.  If it doesn't release, go back and use the tip of the blade to cut any remaining bits.



Step 3, using sanding sticks and small flat files (along with a little bit of cutting in the corners using the tip of the knife blade), sand your way down to the panel line.   Go slow, make sure you are not putting any pressure on the very fragile canopy.


Still have some cleanup to do along the frame.


Step 4, pop it in place to see how it looks.  Canopy fits perfectly.  I had pondered cutting out one of the side windows as these are often seen opened but in this case, I'm afraid it might be a "bridge too far".    At some point, I'll fabricate the removed escape hatch and display it on the finished model. 

IMG_1323Those blobs on the plastic are raindrops.  Started sprinkling as I took this picture.   I'll obviously clean and polish the canopy prior to installation. 


While I was "in the groove", I also painted the remainder of the undersides.  I'll make a couple of touch-ups but I'd say this step is close to finished.  



That's it for now.  Thanks for checking in! 


Edited by John1
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Bravo John!  Well done mate, I thought you were brave doing that, but you pulled it off!  I am going to slide the  (well at least one hopefully) side windows open on my 24th one if I have the nerve.  But you just gave me a load of confidence.


Well done mate, that really looks brilliant and will show off all your beautiful cockpit detailing




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Thanks very much Anthony! 


Did a bit of painting:



Not perfect by a long shot but it won't be around for long.  This is step one of my quest to replicate the Coastal Command Special Duties Scheme used by some Strike Wing Mossies.   This scheme seems to have come in two varieties.  The first was a more thoroughly applied scheme with a pretty uniform coat of Extra Dark Sea Grey uppers with Sky undersides and and secondly, an "ad hoc" version which consisted of slightly lighter, thinly applied EDSG (or possibly just Dark Sea Grey) coating which allowed the original camouflage to be seen beneath.  Often, the undersides of the ad hoc scheme were left in the original Medium Sea Grey.   I'm going for version 2, so I've roughed on the dark green color.   I'll go back and use some MSG to cover the bits of filler and tighten up some of the green overspray but don't think I need to apply it everywhere.   After that, next steps will be to mask and install the canopy, compete the dark green application, do a bit of pre-shading and then go for the final top coat.   


That's it for now, thanks for checking in! 

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On 9/27/2020 at 1:19 AM, John1 said:

If anyone out there has detailed pictures of wartime Mossies that show how they weathered (especially the undersides), please feel free to share.


Continuing to look fantastic John! Here's the underside of a Coastal Command mossie with some interesting weathering.




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Thanks very much guys.   I'm excited that the surgery went well.   Got a minuscule crack but I'm hopeful it won't be very visible.  Not sure if I'm going to scratch build the escape hatch from a section of clear plastic packaging or cut up my spare canopy and use the kit part.   Got some time to ponder that step.


Still in the initial stages of painting.  As mentioned before, this is where things typically go off the rails on my builds.   I start sniffing the end zone and get sloppy.   I'm trying to deliberately slow things down and only do small steps vrs trying to bang out the entire paint job in a day.   Here is my latest.  It's a horrible picture taken indoors but gives you an idea of my approach to the SDS scheme.   I picked up this trick from an awesome build over on Britmodeler.  The guy's finished model came out wonderfully with very realist weathering of the paint job.  I did nothing more than apply random patches and squiggles of Modelmaster Radome Tan over the upper surfaces.   This coupled with the patchy application of the dark green, should in theory, end up looking pretty realistic once I apply the final top coat of diluted Dark Sea Grey over everything.   Don't worry about the various gaps on the canopy, nose, etc, these parts are just press-fitted for the picture. 



As mentioned previously, these aircraft got pretty beaten up from the Scottish weather.   Here's a typical day in sunny Scotland:


I'm getting cold just looking at this picture. 


So that's it for now lads, thanks for checking in! 

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First coating is complete!   After a great deal of time spent masking, I applied a custom mix of Colourcoate Dark Sea Grey and Extra Dark Sea Grey.   This was applied very lightly so that the underlying camouflage was still visible.    Just note - I still need to go back and do some additional work to blend in some of the tan pre-shading a bit more.   Regardless, I'm pretty happy with the results so far.







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17 hours ago, Uncarina said:

Great job as always! I do like how this is making the monotone finish look authentic. Your build is the reason I bought this kit!


Cheers,  Tom

Thanks Tom!  You'll be very pleased with this kit.   Hope you do a build log, not that many Mossies around here.   Any thoughts on what your subject will be? 


I'll have the remainder of the Aveioelogy decals and a couple of aftermarket sets that I never touched available after my build is complete.   I certainly won't be using them in the future, this is a once in a lifetime build for me.   PM me if you are interested. 

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So the paintwork continues.   As is typical for me, once I take off the masking tape, i often find some areas that need touch up.   This model is no exception.   Nothing major but while I had the airbrush fired up, I figured I might as well start on some of the details that make KK-Q unique.   Just for reference, here she is:


The only references I have for this aircraft are the profile above, the Aviaelogy instructions and that single picture I posted in the beginning of the build.  All three vary to some extent regarding the small details.   If anyone happens to have other pictures of KK-Q, please feel free to share! 


First up, prior to painting the Dark Sea Grey, I masked off the small rectangular blocks that the serial number was painted on.   During the actual painting process that's all the RAF did, just tape over the serial numbers and start spraying.   I did a small bit of touch up on these blocks.  


Next I masked off the section of light grey paint on the upper aft fuselage.   According to Avialogoy, this was from when they painted over the remnants of the invasion stripes that these aircraft once had.  No guidance provided on the paint used but I would assume that they used regular Medium Sea Grey.  It appears that this paint was hand-brushed over the stripes, so I added some irregularities to my masking tape.   This area is a bit brighter than the under-surfaces, since the paint was much newer and hadn't had a chance to weather as much.  I just noticed that I didn't extend this patch far enough aft. I'll add this to my list.  This is what happens when I start rushing.


Lastly, for S&G's, I opted to keep the port elevator in it's original MSG / Dark Green camouflage.   This would replicate a part taken from a scrapped aircraft to replace the original which was damaged in combat.   No idea if KK-Q really had this but it adds a bit of color to the overall grey scheme and there are plenty of pictures out there that show Strike Wing aircraft with mis-matched parts.   Plus, if I decide I don't like it, I can resolve the problem with 30 seconds of air brush work.   Here are a couple of pics to show what I've been up to.  Sorry for the horrid quality, lighting conditions aren't the best today. 





Next up will be another challenge that I'm dreading - replicating the sprayed over LA-A codes carried when this aircraft was assigned to neighboring No. 235 Squadron.   When 235 converted to newer Mossies that were equipped for rockets, they handed down their used aircraft to 333.    KK-Q was definitely a hard working warhorse. 


That's it for now, thanks for looking!. 

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