Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

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Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

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Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby snapdragon » Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:08 pm

Yes folks, this is my announcement for the competition build.

I have looked at my stash and also what could be coming this year along with what I really want to build and it came down to RFM's Cutaway Panzer V Panther in 1/35 scale or Airfix's recent 1/24 release, The Hellcat. I also considered Hk's B-17 E/F and Lancaster B1, but Morris and I did those last year and as I do like to go big for competitions then the stash choice came down to the 1/24 Tiffy or the Hellcat.

I have both bubbletop and card door Tiffys in the stash and 2 Hellcats and after an afternoon reviewing the instructions of the Hellcat I decided that I would go with that but in Fleet Air Arm colours and markings.

I have no set starting date as yet as I do need to get extra detail sets from various providers including HGW Seatbelts and wet transfers for the stencils plus Eduards interior, engine and wheelwell detail sets, metal barrels from Master and both camouflage and marking masks. There's other sets too and I roughly reckon that I will be spending just as much on extras as I did on the kit!!!

As some people remarked that my build and log turned into a painting masterclass and so it may also do this year too with HGW's Wet Transfer decal set. This technology I have not had the pleasure of messing with before and so I will be sharing my learning curve with you all.

My task is simple, to make all the stencils, insignia and markings look painted on. I have tried everything with normal decals and something has always gone wrong, and usually with the clear gloss and matt coats with my airbrush and so I will be going back to very old school 1970's building techniques and put gloss and matt coats on with a paint brush!

I will not be adding bombs or rockets to this build as the aircraft that I am depicting was just the standard fighter aircraft, besides, no-one has yet come out with the right mount for the British rockets that were fitted to the FAA version of the Hellcat. I have another in my stash and that will probably be built up as the American Paper doll with bombs, rockets Etc!

Questions, comments and support greatly welcome!


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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby Morris » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:18 pm

Awesome news, James!!
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby Mark » Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:04 pm

Only doubling the cost with aftermarket extras? Try a motorbike kit. You can easily quadruple the cost if you choose the right bike :lol:

This should be good. The new Airfix kits are top notch!

Popcorn ordered :D
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby Morris » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:39 pm

Looking forward to the FAA build / version of the Hellcat myself... :dance:
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby snapdragon » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:34 pm

Paints and some items including magnets already on their way.
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby steve131 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:10 pm

Two in the stash ultra jell :mrgreen: .Are you folding the wings :?: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby snapdragon » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:25 pm

Steve and Morris have given me an idea.

With 2 Hellcats in the stash I think that doing both under an Allies entry would be a good idea and make some space. they are big boxes.

Over the past couple of days I have been thrashing out some plans but this idea will take in my plans over 2 aircraft. My idea is for 2 Hellcats, one in FAA colours and one in all over US Navy blue - Paper Doll. "same" aircraft but in different colours. The FAA one with open wings and the US Navy "Paper Doll" with wings folded and armed with rockets, bombs and extra fuel tank.

This will enable me to follow much easier instructions instead of trying to mix and match for one wing open and one folded. With both builds being almost identical I should be able to work on both at the same time and I will look for a large mirror tile to display them on.

Having the FAA build with wings open will show the upper surface camo scheme better while the folded wings of the all over dark blue of the US Navy one is not hiding much at all and the nose art will be clearly seen (and painted).

Is this acceptable by all for my entry? If it is I could well do the bubble top and Car Door Typhoon for next year!

extra items for the build(s) are already arriving and I have Vallejo's FAA set and US Navy/Marines set, a 10m roll of 0.7 copper wire and a pack of 0.7 nickel rod. I have also refilled my masking tape box and am waiting for HGW's seatbelt and stencil set. Also arrived are some 1mmx0.5mm disc magnets that I intend to use for removeable panels etc... They are tiny and I can hardy see them, so putting them to use and hiding them should be quite easy with some out of the box thinking!

Also arrived is Vallejo's Luftwaffe Maritome and Tropical colours set, and I think you know what that is for!



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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby steve131 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:23 pm

Them and us sounds a great idea be cool to see 8-) . Some tasty AM in your basket. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby royjess » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:28 pm

A great choice of model kit, I look forward to seeing your diary build
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby Mark » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:24 am

Sounds fun! Two similar models on the same display is fine for the competition.

Good luck completing two big models.
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby snapdragon » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:27 am

I am looking forwards to getting to grips with these beasts.

Detail sets are now beginning to show up. HGW's seatbelt and stencil set has turned up and I will have to do another order as I hadn't decided to do both Hellcats when I originally ordered so that will have to be done soon. Exterior paints are here (FAA and US Navy/Marines) and I splashed out on the Vallejo sets. Today I ordered the rest of the paints I needed after spending time matching Humbrol to Vallejo and they should be here tomorrow. Also in the post is Eduards' BigEd set for the Hellcat. Just 1 is coming at this moment and that cost £50 on its own and there are some things included that I don't need but buying the sets I need as separates comes to more than the BigEd set so a little dosh has been saved. I have still to get my paws on Masters Barrels set and I need one of each, early and late.

Still to get is another BigEd set and exterior camouflage and marking masks, but they are not an immediate need as I can split the builds up while still doing them together. Also sitting beside me is a 0.7mm coil of brass wire for the HT leads and some tiny magnets... and I mean tiny... and my idea is to use them to make the engine cowling sections removeable. The Magnets are circular and 1mm in diameter and 0.5mm thick. Once in place I think they won't be seen.

Once the paints come tomorrow I can start building as the build can be done in 6 main sections and not all the sections need detailing up. there is the engine, fuselage and cockpit, main spar, port wing, starboard wing and exterior ordnance.

Of course, there is still the kit to photograph and a huge clear up and throw out to do so that I have enough room for two big beasts.

Looking forwards to getting back in the saddle after my illness!
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby Morris » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:27 am

Massive project, James - But worth it! cant wait to see it start ...- you probably remember but here's that info thread we sort'a started a while back....
Has another link in it for American versions...

http://www.thescale.info/news/publish/H ... otos.shtml

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=8990
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby steve131 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:51 pm

Looking forward to this 8-)
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby number1 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:23 pm

Yep, me too ;)
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby snapdragon » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:26 am

Time to get down to things.

Recently the house including my hobby room has been the victim of a declutter and spring clean. This means that I can't find anything at all and I fear that the tiny magnets earmarked for these builds have gone in a bin bag on the way to the skip as has the charger for the camera battery. They may turn up yet! My toes have been victims of a crazy woman friend armed with the house Kirby vacuum cleaner. I have been terrorised with cleansing products, scrubbing brushes, mops, buckets and also spent an unpleasant hour fighting with an airborne mattress thanks to the recent storm.

I am not sure about how long these two builds will take but I am sure that you will enjoy my journey with its trials, tribulations and stress inducing moments that never go to plan. I will be moving between the two kits and the only main difference will be the exterior paint jobs etc. I have found out more paint information which will involve the wheel wells and wing fold areas, more on that during the build.

Now, my first thing is to introduce you to the box contents. As there are two kits, only the contents of one box is shown along with the extras.

Here are the sprues. To give you an idea of the size, the card background is A3 in size which is 29.7 x 42.0cm

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The exterior stores sprue is interesting as it features a couple of items not used on this kit and could be an indicator to what maybe in the pipeline. Of course, I am only guessing. There are two different external fuel tanks of which the one not used looks suspiciously like the one that could be fitted to the gull wing Corsair and if you look carefully at the rockets you will find that there are six rockets to be made up and there are 12 sides with mounts of which 6 are different an look like Corsair mounts.

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The stressed metal effect on the fuselage and wing is very restrained and looks great. Will look even better under paint!

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The engine and associated area is a major part of the build and will look just great when done and detailed up

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There is a build manual and decal sheets (not shown as they are being replaced with masks etc.).

Here are the extras. Eduards seatbelts aare not used. the HGW ones are!

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The main bulk of paints are Vallejo. The metals that will be used are from Vallejo's Metal Color and AK Xtreme Metal ranges.

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Interior paints from this set used

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Other colours. Not shown are the transparent paints for ID and Nav lights.

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Not shown are tiny magnets and copper wire for the HT leads plus one or two other items.

Two of these at the same time is a challenge but there again the build is MOSTLY duplicated. The US Navy Paper Doll will have exterior ordnance, fuel tank and the wings folded and be in Dark Blue. The FAA will be in full FAA Camo for 1944 and configured as a CAP fighter of 800 Sqn with the wings out. I am currently looking in to D-D stripes for this aircraft so if you have information on this then just put it up on the thread.


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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby Morris » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:07 pm

Awesome pics of the sprues, James - I'm a sucker for the stressed skin molds -
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby steve131 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:40 pm

8-) :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Some tidy stuff there , Like the sound of a 24 Corsair 8-) big beast and that thirteen foot prop will be UBER expensive , waiting for a 24 ME 262 myself could be disappointed if next big bird is Voughts finest.
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby snapdragon » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:50 am

I would jump at both a ME262 and Voughts Corsair. Just have to wait and see!

Here's the start of the build and it is the starboard wing. I dry fit most of the internals first to get a good idea of just how everything goes together and I have realised that thanks to the cheap styrene Airfix uses this kit is going to fight all the way and that's twice!

The design and detail is excellent... it's the cheapskate plastic.... Airfix should drop the Indian company and go Chinese as they have better technology and materials!

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Dry fit of wing to work out where the base of the Eduard detail upgrade fits. the upper wing skin has to be bent to fit. when glued it will have to be clamped.

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The wing and gun bay will be closed on this build as the wings will be in the stowed position. I painted this side up, but as the inner part is not going to be seen apart from the fold area I don't need to paint it or add the ammo boxes and feeds.

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The only things that need painting are the machine guns which have been done with Vallejo Steel from the Metal Color range. To make sure that the parts are fitted to the bottom part of the wing, everything has to be glued and clamped to make sure that all the parts are seated correctly.

More in a couple of days


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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby Mark » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:11 am

Making a nice start James. Airfix have come a long way since Hornby took over.
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby Morris » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:13 pm

Mark wrote:Making a nice start James. Airfix have come a long way since Hornby took over.


Airfix has indeed upped their game, it just seems when the Mossy came out, things got better'er - I also like the raised rivet detail instead counter-sunk holes - nice start James :clap:
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