Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

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

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

Postby Morris » Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:22 pm

Hi James, - some articles on the Typhoon, Hellcat, Kinetic F-86, ship modellers and people who modify a model for the effect say the 'oil canning' disappears if it's not painted correctly :think: - I am in the I think it's awesome camp, :clap: - I think it's more pro than con .....by my modest research -
It's done well on the Airfix kits IMHO....
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby Mark » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:34 pm

Nice work James, she is looking very good.

I love the oil canning texture of the skin Airfix have managed to reproduce. I wish Tamiya would do it on their 1/32 kits. It's not easy to get Airfix out here.
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby snapdragon » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:30 pm

Here's another update.

THe "Oil Canning" texture of stressed skin on the Hellcat has been toned down from the Tiffy and once under paint looks good and you don't need to use any special painting techniques to highlight it as you just paint as normal and then natural light do its job.

The wiring on the Paper Doll engine is complete and it wasn't easy due to the engine construction design. It would have been much easier if the engine cylinders had been moulded separately to the barrel of the engine so you could paint and mount and wire much easily. Something Airfix needs to think about.
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I wanted to crack on with the front of the cowling so the parts were duly washed etc and primed

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The interior was painted Chromate green and once cured masking started. Airfix provide no decals for this and so builders wanting to do Paper Doll have to paint this on their own.

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Red applied and left to cure

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Looking good. A few chips but those areas will be dark sea blue

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Now for the central tooth. A very thin line of tape to provide the central line.

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Using that line the tooth was done by two pieces of tape and then the thin tape removed to give the tooth. All done by Mk 1 Eyeball!

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The red was then masked off to leave only the areas to be painted white.

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Using a very sharp brand new knife blade the rounded fronts were done carefully.

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The "Chin was masked off as well using the same techniques where needed.

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White applied

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Time to carefully take all the masking tape off and see the result.

HOWEVER.... Language burst forth when paint and primer came off with the tape leaving this....

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I just have to solve why this is happening and I have a couple of ideas before I can really proceed!

More shortly

Comments, questions, ideas etc more than welcome!
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby Morris » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:19 pm

Very strange and very aggravating I'm sure, James -
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby royjess » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:40 pm

Seems strange, I wonder if your primer is off. Could be too much oil in the plastic, I know paint don't adhere too well to plastic with high oil content like ABS plastic. What paint are you using? I know Vallejo is not as good as adhesion as something like Tamiya paints :think:
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby snapdragon » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:50 pm

I have used this bottle of primer - Badger Stylnrez on my previous build with no issues at all. It seems strange that it sticks in some areas and not in others.

With this in mind I decide to use some parts that I won't be using on either build to do some testion and there's only one test that I can really do to sort this out as this issue is slowing me down and causing me to do things more than once.

As whatever is painted or primed, areas come off complete down to the plastic as if the primer is just not gripping in areas so I decided to paint a part that I have cleaned myself with warm water and fairy liquid.

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It was left overnight and then subjected to the masking tape test. All the paint remained on the part. No primer was used, just Vallejo USN Sea Blue.

Turning to the FAA kit for which only the engine has been touched. I picked up the wings as these have not been cleaned or anything, just removed out of the plastic bag. I realised that yhe lower wing will be used in the build but not the upper wing after painting took place. Again the parts were left overnight and no primer was used. Just the Sky and slate grey Vallejo colours direct onto the plastic.

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Masking tape test was done on both with a varied selelction of widths and brands.

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The paint remained on the part with no lifting etc.

Primer on a part built wing still comes off in areas.

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It seems to be that in some areas the primer has an issue with something, even after a cleaning has taken place whereas the Vallejo paint just sticks no matter what. This makes me thing that for some reason the plastic in areas repels the primer but this is the notorious cheap Airfix plastic after all.

I am going to continue with no primer and Vallejo paint directly onto the plastic and keep hoping.

I am sure that there will be more paint issues further down the line with the priming that has been done and that will be dealt with when it happens!
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby snapdragon » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:04 pm

Ok. Another update.

With the problem of the paint sorted (I hope) I go back and repaint the front of the cowling. This time I start with the interior Chromate Green and then the USN Sea blue, letting that cure before starting to mask.

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Spot the mistake!

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The tooth was painted over and redone the right way around!

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Work starting on the fuselage

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Parts added to the engine and the exhausts are started. It is very tight space wise to get them in.

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At this point the masks arrived from Top Notch for Paper Doll so I took the opportunity to do the stars and bars on the upper port wing and lower starboard wing. This is very simple one colour masking as the overall colour didn't need the insignis blue circle done. Just the white star and bars

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Getting correct placement took a bit of doing and I consulted several sources online as well as the painting/decal sheet. One of the rivet lines ended being my horizontal guide and a panel line the vertical one. The mask was then rubbed down to make sure that the edges were stuck to the paint! This will avoid bleeds and it is best taking extra time. Normally I prefer Kabuki tape rather than this semi-translucent plastic type stuff.

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To avoid overspray the rest of the wing is totally masked off.

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Same for the lower wing too!

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To avoid getting ridges around the edge of the mask I mist coats on gradually building up the colour to full depth. You have to be careful and precise as these are contrasting colours!

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Now very carefully remove the tape and mask and...

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Oh! No! the peeling primer strikes again! Not to panic. this can be fixed easily!

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What we do is take the masks not used and place them over the white star and bars. Make sure the paint is properly cured.

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Repaint the USN Sea Blue and remove the star and bars masks and hey presto! Fixed!

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When it comes to paint the mouth and eyes onto the cowling that is a complex mask that will take multiple colours and longer than sticking the decal on... but I think that at this scale it will look much better painted!


Comments and questions welcome
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby Morris » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:30 am

Awesome James - agree that painted insignia / details are better. More realistic.... - great recovery!
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby snapdragon » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:44 am

Another update.

The bench is filling up with built sections. One of the lower wing sections for the FAA has gone AWOL. I have searched for it and it is driving me up the wall. Nothing that big should not be able to be lost! I have put in a spares request to Airfix, but at this moment thanks to the virus... not happening!

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Time to do the props. It is the masking that takes the time and the marking out for the yellow tips. In reality it is simple and produces realistic results as it is almost how the real props were painted. Just need to add the decals and wet transfers.

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The yellow tips are airbrushed on using MRP RAF Insignia Yellow. I put it directly onto the black and slowly built the colour up with multiple passes. This is a chipset accurate paint when used on a white background. When put on a black background it deepens just a tiny bit and makes the tips look like the real thing. If you look at The BBMF spits and Hurricanes and compare the prop tips to the roundel yellow they look just slightly different as well as the ID leading edges, but it is the same paint just on a different background.

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Masking removed.

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More work on the engine. Exhaust installed and painted Xtreme Metal Burnt Metal colour with a slight touch of Bronze to deepen it.

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More parts added

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Dry test fit. Some minor adjustments made to the mounts for the engine to fit into the holes correctly to the right depth.

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That's all for now. More soon.

Comments and questions welcome.
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby Morris » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:55 am

Now that is pretty !!! :clap: awesome sauce!
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby royjess » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:43 pm

Great work there, looking awesome :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby Mark » Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:37 am

The engine is sweet! Coming on a treat!
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby snapdragon » Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:54 pm

Thanks for all the comments.

Here's another update.

I have been jumping around working on different areas on both aircraft.

FAA centre section. I have decided to use Chromate Yellow as the primer coat as this was used mostly on FAA aircraft sent under the Lease/Lend act and they all came from the same factory.

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MAP (Ministry of Aircraft Production painting orders are used as well as the US painting orders. The Wheel wells are white and the FAA colours are Sky (Type S)

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Back to the engine of the US Navy Paper Doll. Detail on the front added and painted.

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Cowling fitting. It is not easy to get the lower cowling parts to stay in position and impossible to hide magnets and as the lower area apart from the Double wasp cylinders are mostly air ducts the lower cowlings will be fixed into place and not removeable. It will also preserve the cat mouth painting too.

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Rear section of the fuselage complete. It makes sense to add the tail wheel now rather than fight once the fuselage is together. This is an option in the build and well worth doing at this stage.

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Dry fit and paintwork in that area done. Looks quite good!

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Cowling fitted. The top two sections are removeable as one part. Some paint repair work needs doing.

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Gun bays for the FAA aircraft. The ammunition box storage colour tops copied from the FAA aircraft on display at the FAA Museum.

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Metal Gun barrels need a repaint, but that's one of the last things to do.

Lots of fit alterations need to be done. Groove spaces widened to accommodate the bad fit due to the cheap plastic, not the design. If this was produced in quality styrene these problems would not have happened.

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After much scraping and sanding everything is in place... there are still fit issues which I can't resolve, mainly with the leading edge and the join for the wing fold (which I am not doing on this one.

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Top surface base coat, Extra Dark Sea Grey BS 640. Some repairs and completing needed.

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Lower Sky coat done!

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Masking and prep done for upper base coat. The gunbay and ammunition storage doors will be open, but the exterior painting and camo need to be done.

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More interior.

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Work has previously been done to make sure the fuselage fits together. which was sanding the lower edges of the frame in the picture on both aircraft and also the back of the cockpit.

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Cockpit area painted on both aircraft with ANA611. MAP paint orders for Lend Lease aircraft stated that exterior paint colours used. Interior and cockpit colours left alone so the cockpits of both aircraft are the same!

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Although I don't have two sets of HGW seatbelts at the moment (just the one) I can do lots of work in the office of both aircraft. This I am starting on and will be the next update. I have Eduards sets to play with!

FAA Camouflage and insignia masks are on their way from Top Notch!

Comments and questions welcome.
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby Morris » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:16 pm

Gorgeous stuff, James - and ambitious- its growing! :text-bravo: :text-coolphotos:
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby royjess » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:49 pm

Doing a grand job there Snapdragon, loving the detailing on those engines :clap: :clap:
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby number1 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:51 pm

Fabulous, loving all the work your putting in. :handgestures-thumbupright:
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby snapdragon » Fri May 01, 2020 9:28 pm

Time to do the offices.

Seatbelts finally turned up from Eastern Europe. This virus is certainly playing havoc and for the moment my seatbelt supplier is cut off as their postal service is down until everything there gets going again. This means that I can get much further into the build.

The offices can be built side by side and the fuselages together now which takes us much further into the build. Eduards cockpit set adds much detail.

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Despite remedial work on getting the two halves together some extra help was needed

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Added the wing centre section, rudder and tail plane

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Now I can do the FAA cockpit too. There will be remedial painting on the USN Hellcat around the cockpit and the fuselage will be painted too. Camouflage and FAA masks should, I hope, be here next week.

Coming up will be the painting of the cats mouth on the cowling.
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby Morris » Fri May 01, 2020 10:43 pm

Awesome stuff, James - :clap:
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby snapdragon » Fri May 01, 2020 11:50 pm

Thanks very much Morris.

Just so you are aware, both these are fighting back. It is not Airfix's design, but more than likely their cheap Indian manufacturer and low grade plastic that is causing all my fit issues, either that or these were done on a Friday and quality control were on a day off or drunk.

My advice when you come to do yours is to just keep dry fitting everything and doing alterations with sanding sticks, scraping away with knives etc until everything goes together. Main culprits are the inner parts of the wings not fitting into grooves etc. and the frames in the fuselage. With that, use the top of the frames and fuselage as the mating surfaces and sand away the lower parts of the frame and rear cockpit bulkhead so that the lower fuselage fits together without any pressure. You may also have to sand the front bulkhead top so that the bit in front of the instrument panel housing comes together too. I am going to have to do some filling on mine just there.

Also, the centre part of the engine that the cylinders slide on to was so tight that a coat of paint stopped the fit!

When you look at the airfix blog on this hellcat, the test shots were of a different plastic that looks of a much better quality. Airfix are going to get a talking to from me in November. some of it in short 4 letter words!

I dread to think what both Tiffys are going to throw at me!
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Re: Snaps Competition build 2020 - Airfix 1/24 Hellcat

Postby royjess » Sat May 02, 2020 8:59 am

Coming along a real treat, great painting as usual :clap: :clap: :clap:
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