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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 28





Right! The early 1/32 Hasegawa P51D was progressing weathering wise and the 1/48 Academy Spitfire was not yet weathered, but this particular model was going to be a minimal weathering exercise anyway. The Spitfire was just awaiting the fitting of the canopy, some seat belts, the open cockpit door and the cannons. I had found a set of propellor blade decals for this Mark and they really finished off the front end very nicely. I love prop decals for some reason. Sad!




It was now time to spray both models with my favourite matt varnish - Gunze Sangyo. I find that this varnish, mixed about 50/50 with water, gives me a really smooth finish. Pity I can't get the same results with Klear for a gloss finish for the decals. I've mentioned this before, but I think that I am now not the only one who suffers this hang up with Klear, as it was mentioned in a recent modelling article in one of the Model Magazines. However, I know that I am in a minority here, as most modellers swear buy it. I do too, but not in the same way!!



Both models looked OK with their matt finish, and it was now time to glue the spinner/prop blade assembly onto the P51. The undercarriage legs which had been filed and then partly Alclad re-sprayed due to being slightly oversize (ugh! but my fault for not dry fitting them in the first place) were now glued into their locations and, having left them to cure for 24 hours, were now nicely 'solid'. While dealing with the undercarriage, I then fixed the large 'inner' wheel well doors, the gear leg doors that are fixed to the undercarriage and also the tailwheel doors into their respective locations place with superglue. Prior to the fixings, I had given them some weathering treatment with an oil paint wash to get some good old 'dirt' into nooks and crannies.



What could go wrong now? I was sure all the gremlins had been put into touch - hadn't they? When I picked the spinner/prop blade assembly up to glue it to the fuselage, I detected that one of the prop blades had a very slightly loose feel, or in other words, not as solid as the other three. Was it a case of the prop blade just coming loose inside the spinner or was it plastic failue of the 'connector'? It was the latter, so there was nothing else to do but assist it on it's way! Oh joy yet again!




Once off, I gently cleaned up both parts, that is the spinner that was now flush with the prop connector and also the bottom of the blade that was now without it's connector. I checked the thickness of the blade and decided that there was just enough room to drill a very small hole up the blade so that a very fine piece of small diameter brass rod could be fitted and superglued. A matching hole was drilled into the captive connector inside the spinner, and the prop blade with new connector, was superglued into position ensuring that the 'feathering' was the same as the others. No re-spraying would be required thank goodness. Job done.



Albion Alloys (soon to be in stock at Relish) have a fantastic range of small diameter brass rod and tubing which I have been using for some time now for various modelling applications such as pitot tubes, tubing that makes more realistic cannons, control surface operating cables and also for emergency repair jobs such as I have described above.Their latest offering which I have very recently used on another project (very exciting - more next week), is 0.2 nickel rod with nickel 'turnbuckle' connectors to suit. Highly recommended.



Anyway, surprisingly, the whole repair job took about half an hour to complete although I did wait until the next day to allow the repair to 'cure' before handling the assembly and then fixing it to the P51. All that remained to be fitted was the aerial antenna. Fingers crossed, it was job done, but it was not a build that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I think that because my heart wasn't really in it, probably explains why I don't particularly like the final result. The last 1/32 model I built was the Trumpeter Swordfish and although there were a couple of problems with that build, I really enjoyed the experience. You win some....................................



Returning to the Academy Spitfire, I fitted the cannons making sure that everything was in the correct holes for the Mk.XIVe and then it was a case of waiting for the delivery of the seat belts which I had forgotten to order. The Academy Spitfire Mk.XIVe is a lovely little kit and excellent value for money from Graham's emporium of magical plastic!



More next week.



Peter Buckingham