Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Birthday Boy

Only a few minutes after I brought the kit upstairs son arrived home from nursery school and he was sure happy to see his plane! Happy fifth birthday Andy!

Photo Gallery

Revealing the Pilot

With the final dull clear coat dry I proceeded to remove the mask from the canopy to reveal the pilot inside.

Final Clear Coat

Rushing to get the plane done for when Andy returns home from daycare I spray painted in my heated garage (with a air filter mask of course) a dull clear coat to seal in the decals and give the aircraft a more appropriate military look.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Propeller Installation

Tonight I installed the propeller and nose cone. I used sewing pins that had the ends with the plastic ball cut off and inserted it into the propeller blade. With part of the pin sticking out I inserted it into the plastic part of the shaft, applied some super glue and rotated the blades to the correct angle. Lastly, I glued the yellow nose cone Assembly of this kit is now complete!

Machine Guns!

Drilled three holes on each wing and inserted with glue 1 cm long brass tube that I cut. I prefer tubes over rods so that we can see inside the barrels. Will be painting them black once the glue dries. By accident one of the barrels went too far and fell into the wing. Unfortunately now if you shake the plane you can hear the small part rattle and there is no way to remove it without destroying part of the wing. Oh well...

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Installing the Landing Gears

Added small pins to the top of each landing strut and with glue installed them into the wooden surface area of each landing bay area. I then proceeded to install the landing bay doors using some random objects to help keep them at the correct angle while the glue dries. Tomorrow I will apply some touch-up paint as I needed to cut and angle the landing bay doors in the tail section.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Installing the Tires

I drilled holes into the base of the wheel struts and used a rigid wire bent into an L shape to glue it into place. A simple technique that works.

Tail Landing Strut

The landing gear strut for the tail proved to be quite a challenge to build due to the multiple parts at various different angles. Like with the main landing struts I used wood and toothpicks and a lot of trial and error to get it to match the plans as close as possible as I really did not want to use the plastic part provided with the kit.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Main Wheel Struts

Built the main wheel struts out of wood using toothpicks for the torque arms and Tamiya masking tape above and below the aluminum painted pistons.

Masking the Wheels

For Christmas I received a tool (yellow) from my in laws which is able to cut circular shapes. This is great to cut out masks like for the wheels of the fighter plane and it provided great results.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

New Decals Installed

Tonight I applied the new decals and it looks much better. I decided to use my artistic license and customize the aircraft. I put AB on the tail for "Andy Berthiaume" and placed the number five on the nose since it is for his fifth birthday. The blue on the decals are also much better than what was provided with the kit.

Detailed Landing Gear

I wanted to add some detail to the landing gear so I used Tamiya masking tape which I rolled a few times around the main strut to create the allusion of different sized parts. I then used toothpicks to create a suspension.

Decals Printed!

Finally got those decals printed on the correct type of paper!  Tomorrow I will spray paint a clear on top of the decal to seal it before apply them.

Paint issues, decal issues and paper issues having been causing me a lot of delays and I am worried that I will not complete the kit in time for my sons birthday...

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Paper Issues

Went to my local hobby shop to pick up the special paper to print my own decals during my lunch hour. Tonight when I cam to print the decals that I created in Adobe Photoshop I went over the instruction sheet when I realized that I had purchased Laser paper instead of InkJet, darn! Will have to head back to the store tomorrow again to exchange it...

Decal Removal

Removing decals is actually fairly simple once you know how to do it. All that is needed is a roll of scotch tape. I applied small pieces on top and large chunks simple life right off. I decided to remove everything except for the kill markings (Japanese flags).

Decal Issues

I stated to notice that the decals where not adhering very well and in some areas brittle. I touched one and it cracked as seen in the image below. My guess it this kit is very old and the decals have not aged well. I did notice some yellowing on the decal and this is the first time I have had a bad experience. I am also not very fond of the blue color used and after checking color reference photos am sure this is not very accurate. I have decided to make my own with my printer but due to the size I do not have enough special paper to get the job done so I'll need to head back to the hobby shop.

Monday, January 22, 2018


Tonight I installed the decals which went fairly well although I did notice that they were a bit brittle. The largest on the wings are approximately 6" x 3" which are huge as I am used to much smaller ones in 1/35 or 1/48 scale.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Landing Gear Bay Area

Tonight I masked up and started painting the interior of the landing gear bay area green along with the inside of the doors. The tail section was particularly difficult as it was deep and narrow making it hard to access.

More Blue Paint

Today I emptied another can and a half of Tamiya AS-8 spray paint to finish up the blue color. The cardboard accessories I added covered without any issues to my relief.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Cardboard Accessories

I realized tonight that I forgot to glue the radial engine air vents located on each side of the aircraft. I am disappointed because I already started painting the aircraft blue and technically I would like to paint this primer... I have decided to put them on anyhow and just hope the blue paint will go over well. While I was add it I also decided to add small panels located in various areas to add some extra detail.

Spray Paint Woes

Been having a hard time to find more spray paint which was starting to drive me nuts. Since I estimated I needed another two cans to Tamiya AS-8 Navy Blue (U.S. Navy) I went to the local hobby shop in Quebec City during my lunch hour which happens to be located on the other side of town. When I showed up it there was none left. I spoke with the owner who stated he has ordered more and would have it by next week as they cannot deliver at the moment due to the extreme cold weather we have been experiencing. 

Normally I could wait but I have a deadline for my son's fifth birthday which I want to make so I called another small shop located in Levis and they had it. That night I took the "Pont du Quebec" (Quebec Bridge) and showed up at the store where I found out they had only two cans left. Boy was I pleased as this is exactly what I needed! Now I am back in business!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tail Landing Gear Bay Doors

Just like the main landing gear doors I decided to replace the tail landing gear bay doors from the supplied cardboard ones and make my own in basswood.

Painting it Blue

Today I started to paint the kit Tamiya AS-8 Navy Blue (U.S. Navy). While everything went well I realized I made an error in judgment when deciding to use a Tamiya spray can versus a standard hardware store spray paint like I have done with previous balsa kits. The Tamiya spray can is a fraction of the size and I ran out within minutes only being able to cover the top section of the aircraft. I estimate I'll need a second can for underneath and a third for a final coat.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Primer Time

Spent the past two days going in my garage and spraying primer on different sections of the plane.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Painting Preparations

Time to get the plane painted but before I proceed I must protect the engine. after a few tests, I determined that the easiest way was to stuff around the radial engine with small pieces of rolled up kleenex. I then used Tamiya masking tape to cover up the shaft and the engine center area. I believe this should do the trip...