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57 DECEMBER/JAN 2014 • £6.50 UK $15.99
MENG AIR MODELLER
DECEMBER / JANURAY 2014
HASEGAWA’S ITALIAN JUMPER
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P-47D Gabreski’s famous ‘forty seven’ modelled by Tristan Estoppey using the 1:32 Hasegawa kit.
Perfect Storm? Part One Paolo Portuesi builds the new 1:24 Airfix Hawker Typhoon.
Bear Metal Dave Oliver gives the Hobby Boss F4F Bearcat the bare-metal treatment.
Harrier Italia Mirko D’Accordi builds the iconic jump jet using the 1:48 Hasegawa kit
Big Bird B-17, Part 8 The Editor continues his build of HK Models spectacular 1:32 Flying Fortress.
Air Born New releases.
Early FE.2B Chema Martinez Fernandez describes his award-winning Wingnut Wings project.
Meng AIR Modeller is published Bimonthly by AFV Modeller ltd Old Stables East Moor Stannington Northumberland NE61 6ES Tel: 01670 823648 Fax: 01670 820274 email: [email protected]
Editor and Designer: David Parker Deputy Editor: Mark Neville Sales Director: Keith Smith
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P-47D Tristan Estoppey models Gabreski’s famous forty seven
When I started this project I was motivated to try unconventional techniques such as Rub n Buff and dry transfers to obtain the best possible "authentic" natural metal finish. This was before I read Gabreski's book A Fighter Pilot's Life whose well-known double page's picture of his P-47D made me change my mind. After a quick search for references on the Internet I realized it wouldn't be necessarily an easy escape from my initial plan, Gabreski's plane field applied camouflage being subject of many interpretations and thus much debated on the discussion forums.
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I was provided with the truly magnificent MDC resin cockpit which
the instrument panel. Hasegawa suggests an "Interior green"
fits into the fuselage almost without any modification, no endless
cockpit but Republic-built P-47D were painted Dull Dark Green. I
sanding this time! Both smooth and corrugated cockpit floors are
mixed this green-blue colour by adding 50% of Tamiya flat blue
provided, the latter was used up to the D-25 version and thus
(XF8) to Gunze H312 Green. All details were painted according to
chosen for Gabreski's aircraft. I tried the HGW fabric seatbelts
the book "P-47 in detail and scale" which features cockpit pictures
instead of the photoetched parts provided by MDC (separate
of a machine in original condition. Weathering was done using
buckles are also provided by MDC should you want to make your
various technique such as hairspray technique using (AK
own belts). I was not totally convicted by the HGW belts since they
Interactive Worn Effect) for the seat and floor and AK interactive
are printed on one side only which limits the positioning options a
products applied with a sponge. A 6b graphite pencil was used to
little. Both Airscale (WWII USAF) and MDC decals were used for
give a metallic look to the edges of most parts in the cockpit.
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Engine I rejected the kit engine and opted instead for the good price/quality ratio Quickboost R2800 resin engine. Another slightly better alternative is available from Vector Resin. Pushrods were created using 0.75mm Evergreen styrene rods as well as the 36 ignition wires, two per cylinder, made from lead wire. The Quickboost magnetos are ok, however they depict a model used on earliest versions of the engine so I changed them for those from a Trumpeter kit. The motor was painted Gunze RLM74 which is a good match for the dark grey used at that time. Magnetos and propeller governor are black, ignition wires are painted with a mix of Vallejo light brown and aluminium matt. The inside of the cowling panels is not Yellow Zinc Chromate as often seen on restored aircraft but natural metal.
Engraving In a moment of craziness I decided I would go for a full rivetting of the complete airframe using a jeweller’s punch (MDC). If I had known at the beginning the huge amount of time it eventually took to complete this task for such a big kit I seriously doubt I would have done it. If you decided to do so the first thing you would need is plenty of patience, and good reference for the pattern. For the latter I used walkaround pictures whenever possible since I found all published drawings to be either over simplified or wrong, or both at the same time! Straight lines were made using the rivet spacer provided by MDC. Curved areas (fuselage) were lightly pre-riveted with a Rosie wheel using thin (2-3 mm) Dymo tape strips as guide. When using the jeweller’s punch, trailing edges need special care as you can easily push through the thin plastic.
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tips were painted in Gunze H329 yellow and then masked. Tamiya
Some pipes were added to the otherwise quite empty wheel
Nato black was sprayed on the blades. The hub was painted with
wells. These were painted with a 50/50 mix of Tamiya XF-4 and
Alclad steel, the spinner with Rub ‘n buff applied using my fingers
Gunze H329 to represent yellow zinc chromate. The undercarriage
to obtain a polished look.
legs were detailed with the traditional brake pipes, undercoated with Alclad aluminium, a coat of AK Interactive Worn Effect and
painted with slightly lightened Tamiya Olive Drab (XF-62).
I decided to glue the flaps retracted to prevent this massive
Weathering was done according to photos of Gabreski's aircraft.
aircraft from having a heavier look and, flaps are usually retracted
Kit wheels are poorly engraved and went directly into the bin. They
just after landing to avoid ground debris getting thrown against
were replaced by the excellent Barracuda resin items. They are
them by the propeller while taxiing and most WWII pictures show
accurate and casting is perfect, you just have to cut their casting
this configuration when parked. This requires some sanding and
block and sand them flat at your convenience to represent the
numerous test fittings to get the flaps perfectly aligned.
weighted effect. Tyres were painted with a mix of Gunze tire black, brown and a drop of white. Wheel hubs are natural metal on the
Fuselage and wing assembly
outside, the wheel hub cover plates on the inside were painted
Fuselage assembly was straightforward except for the 4 part
dark green and ocean grey, matching the upper camouflage style
engine cowling. Hasegawa's design follows the pattern of the real
of the aircraft. This is my personal interpretation of what I could
aircraft, which is a good thing but makes things a little bit tricky to
observe on the period pictures.
have all of them glued in the correct position. This difficulty was exacerbated by the installation of the Quickboost engine which
required the removal of the positioning tabs inside the cowling
The Hamilton Standard propeller is nicely represented by
panels. Again a fair amount of dry tests were needed to obtain a
Hasegawa but, as often, the blades are far too thick and so were
good result. Wings to fuselage assembly also needed sanding on
carefully sanded to a more appropriate scale thickness. Propeller
the ensure a good alignment on both side of the wings.
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Painting First of all a coat of Mr. Surfacer 1200 was applied on the whole model using my airbrush. This was done not only to erase the small scratches created by the rivet spacer/ruler during the riveting process but also to help soften the rivets as I wanted them to be present but discrete. The next step was to spray a coat of Tamiya matt white at the locations of the stars & bars, codes and invasion stripes. The paint was then sanded smooth with micromesh clothes before Montex adhesive masks and Tamiya tape where applied to the model. The under surfaces were painted first. Gabreski's plane, based in England during spring/summer 1944, is known to have been painted with RAF paint stocks, however the colour is still debated.
Some say it was left natural metal and others think it was painted medium sea gray. After a careful examination of all pictures available and considering the common practice within the unit, I am now convicted that this plane had its undersides left in natural metal. I started with a coat of Alclad white aluminium which was then masked before Alclad magnesium was sprayed along the fuselage panels covering the supercharger ducts. This particularity is clearly visible on pictures of natural metal P-47s and also noticeable on Gabreski's plane. Black stripes were painted on the underside of the horizontal stabilizers and liquid mask (Mr. Masking Sol Neo) was applied on the leading edge of the wings to later create some chipping. Red areas (nose and no walking zone at the wing root) were painted and masked at that time too. Next came the Tamiya RAF dark green (XF-81), applied over the whole upper surface of the model with a soft demarc...