Relish Models

Relish Models
RSS 2.0 View Cart Forum

The Peter Buckingham Column Part 18





I am building the 1/144 scale Revell C-17A Globemaster and it is a gem. I was going to say 'little gem' but that wouldn't be quite correct. At around 14 inches overall length, this is a large aeroplane. The fit so far has been really great and the construction, for me at least, was rather unique inasmuch that there is an inner cocoon which holds the freight deck and flight deck which is then enclosed by the fuselage sides and fuselage bottom.



I had chosen the version which shows the wheels down, aircraft parked and freight loading ramp down. This is one of three versions that you can opt for. Because of the ramp down version I was building, the fuselage bottom section (Part 19) has to be cut into three sections which is easy to do. The 'cut' lines are heavily scored on the original plastic. Just be careful and use dymo tape as a guide for any sections you might think are tricky. I have found the best way to tackle this is with many 'light' passes with the scribing tool instead of a few heavier ones. This section was then cemented into position.



I had resisted fitting the clear very small windows in the fuselage sides before gluing the sides together as I was going to use Microscale Kristal Klear PVA instead after the painting had been completed. The same went for the tailplane lights as well. It all makes for easier painting.



It was now time to do some of the fiddly bits - the undercarriage assemblies and engine assemblies. These were prepared for painting and divided into their various colour assembly 'lines'. There are 5 oleo sets and 14 wheels together with the 4 sets of engine components. I used three shades of Alclad aluminium on the engines remembering to mask up the one off panel on starboard fuselage side while I was at it. A very minor gripe about this kit concerns the front engine cowl 'ring'. This is manufactured far too 'deep' compared to all the reference photographs I have seen, which is a shame. Check out this website for a fantastic 'walk around I used it constantly during the build.




Last week I mentioned that I had checked to see if the landing gear could be fitted at a very late stage, and dry fitting things proved that it could. Once all the paintwork had been completed, the oleo sets were glued together endeavouring to ensure that all the wheels would be 'square' to the surface. The engine parts fitted beautifully and each engine was assembled and carefully packed away with the oleo sets until required.




My forward planning had required me to complete the fuselage as far as possible and then fit the wings and tailplane. Complete the remaining work on that assembly, glue on the engine assemblies, mask up and spray. That was Plan 'A'.




So the next jobs were gluing the wing sections together and likewise the tailplane. Once the seams were sorted out and cleaned up, the wings were trial fitted into the wing box section of the fuselage. Magic! Those swept anhedral wings look terrific combined with the very high (and wide) 'handed' tailplane halves.



I then changed my mind and reverted to Plan 'B' deciding to mask up the engines and then glue them onto the wings instead of fitting them later. Once this had been done, it was then time to glue the wings into their boxes. It may be totally unnecessary, but as this is a heavy model, I decided to use some 5 minute epoxy on the wing tongues and ordinary Tamiya Extra Fine cement on the wing roots. A bit 'belt and braces' but I was happier with that set up. I did one wing at a time and when the second wing had dried, I discovered that I had not noticed a small 'dip' at the rear wing/fuselage root joint. The air was a tad blue for a while I thought about how I could rectify the situation.



Filler was the answer but I don't like the stuff over a fairly large area. Some work, some don't. I experimented on a scrap piece of plastic various types for ease of application, smoothness and ease of sandability. I also had some help from the forums on Late one night I tried a mixture of Humbrol Model Filler mixed with some Humbrol Enamel Thinners. This made a very smooth paste which I left on plastic overnight to dry out. In the morning it sanded like a dream and feathered beautifully. It has now become my filler of choice! I applied the filler to the wings, let it dry overnight and with judicial use of wet and dry the 'dip' disappeared. Job done.



The cockpit windows and cabin roof section are in clear plastic and relatively easy to mask with Tamiya Tape before fitting to the fuselage which was achieved as usual with Gator Glue PVA and taped into postion to cure. All that remained to be done was to check out the various aerials and electronic bits and bobs I could see from the walk around website pictures of 60006, the aircraft I was modelling!



More next week.


Peter Buckingham.