With the Bronco debacle wrapped and behind me, i was itching to get my hands on some Great War styrene.
I couldn't help running back to the wingnut wings stash like a kid getting back home after a long day at school, a pretty bad day at that too!
After spending a whole day rummaging through the stash boxes and aftermarket i finally had settled on two potential candidates, the F2B finished with OH Models Crocodile scheme, or the W12 with Aviattic naval hex and more aftermarket. I have settled on the W12 for quite a few reasons. First, overall i just love the way the W12 looks, along with it's single wing younger sibling the W29. Both of them look like giant gray moths. Both the W12 and W29 were very successful designs by Ernst Heinkel, both engaging with success enemy flying boats and airships. The broad modeling public usually tends to stick to the more mainstream kit subjects like the beautiful and equally dangerous Albatros series of aircraft or the Fokker D.VII, but the more you dig the more you find interesting subjects that are sometimes overlooked. Such is the case of the W12.
The Wingnut wings W12 kit comes in a relatively bigger sized box and once you pop that beautiful boxtop open you are immediately greeted by the sprues of the quality wingnut wings has gotten us used to expecting. The molding is top notch (such a breath of fresh air after all the horrors i had to deal with on the KHM Bronco), the details are exquisite, and i can already bet on the fit being stellar!
In the box you get an early version of the W12 which had the shorter fuselage ( Flight stability was found to be unsatisfactory on the short fuselage version and the designers tried to modify design through changing the size and shape of the elevator and tail. When they realized this would not be entirely satisfactory they modified W12 1185 with a longer fuselage which improved aerodynamics at the cost of some performance. This would be the new production standard of the W12 starting with production number 2000), you get the usual photoetch gun barrels, a fully detailed BzIII engine, optional top wing center section cutouts and to top things up, Wingnut wings has included the beaching trestles that are also included in the W29 to display your finished W12 parked up on dry land at Zeebrugge or Norderney.
In addition to all that fantastic plastic i have decided to add the HGW textile belts, part of the HGW interior precut woodgrain (of which i have only used the instrument panel decals on the kit until now) along with the internal photoetch set, and i have the Aviattic linen naval hex decals to which i will add probably the Aviattic doped linen for the bottom of the wings and HGW different colored naval hex decals for the painted on hex part on the tail (painted on hex instead of printed linen like the wing covering). For reference i will be digging into some of the materials and articles i have clipped for the W29 builds i have planned in the future, along with Peter Grosz's Brandenburg W.12 Windsock datafile 61 and the world wide web...
On to the build then...
I have started work on the kit by building the two floats. The floats on the W12 were wooden, so i started by painting the top part of the floats with MRP ochre wood in preparation for woodgraining as i want to simulate some topside areas of the black bituminous waterproofing paint on 1407 as having been weathered by foot traffic. This might not be very accurate but since the floats are going to be a focal point of the aircraft (or boat?) i have decided to take some artistic liberties in terms of weathering and finishing of that area. The fit of the floats is dead on and the fine detail like the super thin filet that runs at the bottom of the float is simply incredible. One thing that immediately struck me is the scalloping on the side areas of the floats that i noticed initially in the wnw instruction 'book' and then upon further scrutiny in alot of photographic references. Time to take some initiative in modifying the floats. I had a good head scratching session and tried out initially using the dremmel with a round head burr. I wasn't happy at all with the result as the dings and dents were too clean and narrow. I packed the dremmel back and got the proxxon power too out which also has a speed controller but the difference is the proxxon goes much slower at the lowest setting that the dremmel does which will allow me to smooth things out easier and with less worry. I used for step two a bigger diamong cone sander which allowed me to smooth out the initial narrow grooves i had made. With that done i airbrushed a coat of RLM gray to get a sense of things. Cleaned the paint off, further blending with a sanding stick, and i covered the whore area with tamiya extra thin to smooth out the little irregularities. I am now on a layover in New York so by the time i get back to doha i will be able to lay another layer of paint on to check how things look but i suspect i will have to go through another round of sanding to smooth everything out, but this time i will be using the whole micromesh treatment starting with 1500 grit up to a polished finish. Also another thing of note is i have found in some of the reference pictures a 'panel line' running across the front and aft area of the floats. i scribed the lines as per the reference photos. simple as that.
Another thing i managed to do during the day off i had at the bench before the nyc flight was to prep the parts for woodgraining and low and behold, a dryfit of the cockpit framing and fuselage sides just simply holds everything in place with no finger pressure or anything. Why don't other manufacturers take a hint and learn...
Since i was going to be gone for 3 days on the flight i thought it would be a good idea to get the woodgraining done and out of the way to dry during my absence. I initially wanted to use the HGW woodgrain decals but then decided against that. For once, i have found the cookie cut decals to be correct in size (alot of times it's a hit or miss with HGW precut decals. this time they pulled through) but the color was too dark to my taste so i decided to go down the old school way and do the woodgraining with oils.
I started by airbrushing the sides of the fuselage with MRP light wood, along with the internal parts of the cockpit. second step was to place the internal framework in position on the fuselage side and then overpainting those with ochre wood which left me with a darker shadow around where the framework sits. On the cockpit parts, i also airbrushed ochre wood around the edges and where the wood would have a darker tint in order to force shadows there. I also lightened the light wood color and airbrushed the areas that would have higher sunlight exposure and footwear. The woodgraining was done using the standard oil woodgraining technique using Winsor and Newton raw sienna and burnt sienna thinned and then mixed with Uschi blitzdry to cut down the drying time...
I am again walking around the hobby room with a big smile on my face, happy to be back working on a subject i love, building something that is just fun, interesting and at moments intriguing...
I hope this build thread will be of interest and as always it gives me great pleasure to hear your thoughts and ideas everyone!
If i manage to pull it off i might even take the W12 to the Moson show on April 21/22 and have it on the competition table along with another of the already completed wnw kits in the cabinet.... too ambitious you think?
Well, below some photos in no specific order as usual...
Back in doha after tomorrow then i have a couple of days off during which i will happily continue work on the "Kamel" as the Germans used to lovingly call the W12 due to its characteristic back hump!
Till then, stay safe and happy modeling!
And below part 2 with the start of the woodgraining!
Edited by karimb, 01 March 2018 - 07:31 AM.