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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 45





After the disappointment of the England football team at the World Cup in South Africa, it was with a heavy heart that I got back into the swing of things modelling again. On the bench (or in the vicinity of the bench) is the on-going Paul Fisher resin kit of the Sea Fury T20 trainer in West German colours that I have spoken about over the last few weeks. This build does seem to be going on for ever, but it is so nice to delve back into it every now and again. The main reason for the delay is that Paul is awaiting delivery of the German stencils for my tug towing version. The main part of the build is completed with the painting now near enough done as I have just completed painting the inside surfaces of the flaps, wheel well covers and the main gear wheel wells. This particular colour of the West German aircraft is a bit of a mystery but I have been guided by my German friend, Thomas Ghent (type 'Zieldarsteller' into Google and view the amazing website) whose father used to fly theT20's and from coloured photographs on that website. We have come to the conclusion that the colour was a light grey! As you can probably tell, I had pre-shaded the surfaces prior to spraying and they are nicely 'shadowed' now. Also the the underwing 'lights' have been sprayed white to give a nice reflective base for the clear, red, green and orange.



While on the subject of spraying, I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about the discussion we had at a club night on the use of cellulose thinners. I have now used this as a thinning medium with both enamels and acrylics (White Ensign Enamels, Humbrol Enamels and Tamiya acrylics) and I am very impressed. I have found that using them the way I normally spray with Humbrol Enamel thinners and Tamiya acrylic thinners respectively, the paint dries to a rougher to the touch finish, but rubs down beautifully with Micromesh and, of course,the paints dry that much quicker. So far so good.


Is it me? I sound rather like Terry Wogan (for those outside of the UK - Terry is a very well known broadcaster on radio and TV). I don't seem to be able to get through a build without some minor calamity or another and this time it was with the T20. As readers will know, I have been spraying the airframe for a while trying to get the correct shade of red, which, as a person afflicted by a certain amount of colourblindness, I was pleased to learn from one experienced in these matters, that it is also a pig of a colour to get right. However, I digress; every time the fuselage was sprayed a coat of red, I gave the four masked external canopy frames a coat of the same colour. I had masked the canopies inside and out, because the internal framework was black which I was going to do at a later stage.


In the on-going spray work on the T20, I decided that it was now time to spray the internal canopy frames with Tamiya NATO black and sighed with relief that I had masked them up a long time ago, so saving me much time - or so I thought! Masking canopies is not one of my favourite pastimes. I first of all sprayed a coat of Alclad Grey Primer onto the framework and then mixed up a reasonable amount of NATO black, suitably thinned with cellulose thinners, and happily sprayed the internal frames until I was satisfied with the density of paint. I then put the canopy set aside for 24 hours to cure.


You may ask yourself why hadn't I painted the external canopy frames black before painting them red so that the black would show through? The reason I didn't is that, in my view, with four large open 1/32 scale canopies, the black would have looked too shiny and almost translucent. I therefore decided to go the harder route and spray matt black onto the internal framework.



The next day, armed with my 12000 grade Micromesh and soapy water, I very carefully rubbed down the external red paintwork on the canopies and gave them a couple of brushed coats of Klear for protection. The external masking tape was removed and they were looking good. Working from the rear canopy, I then removed the internal masking tape and it was all going ticketyboo! In fact the sun was shining and everything was alright with the World - well, almost. After all we were out of the World Cup!


The last canopy piece to be de-masked internally was the front windshield. OMG! Although there had been masking tape around the framework of the two side windows, somehow, whether I had been distracted or just plain forgetful, I had not masked the remainder of the 'glass'. I had therefore, two perfect triangles of primered black blocking the side windows. In my defence, your Lordship, it is easy to do as the outside tape looks like it is the inside tape - if you get my drift. My immediate thought was that I must send an immediate email off to Paul Fisher for a replacement, but I did what every British modeller does in a case like this - I made a cup of tea! And had a think.

Bearing in mind that the Tamiya acrylic had been cut with cellulose thinners meant that it had probably etched itself quite nicely into the surface of the clear resin. My mind harked back to Paul's words of advice to me a few months back, "..........the clear resin is very robust!" Well, dear reader, I can assure you that it is. Using a wooden tooth pick sharpened to a wedge shape, I managed to scrape the NATO black AND the primer off as best I could, but I was left with two very unsatisfactory and badly marked side windows. Fortunately, I had fully masked the forward facing window.


I reached for the Micromesh canopy polish, put a dollop of the product onto the same wedge shaped toothpick and started rubbing away using plenty of the polish for lubrication of the resin. Ten minutes later, after finishing off with 12000 grade and soapy water, the job was done and you wouldn't know there had been a problem. I do hope that this was my one and only idiot moment with the T20, but it just goes to show what you can rectify sometimes. Good stuff that polish.



Next spray jobs for the T20 include the black walkways on the wing tops plus the two Alclad shiny aluminium panels on the engine covers where the exhausts 'exhaust'.


I can almost hear Graham, your genial web host and owner of Relish Models, champing at the bit and muttering, "But what about the b*****y Revell Eurofighter?" Calm down ladies - no patience these Yorkshiremen! Anyway, I have been a very busy boy with the Eurofighter kit while awaiting some aftermarket goodies. The Scale Aircraft Conversions white metal undercarriage set has arrived, and at the time of typing this Column (Monday 5th July) I am still awaiting the Two Mikes resin APU (auxiliary power unit) exhaust so unfortunately, I cannot go ahead and close the fuselage up yet as the APU exhaust is fitted internally. If you look at last week's Column you will see that the cockpit console, instrument panel and ejection seat have been completed.



In the meantime, I have been cutting pieces from the sprues and putting Tamiya Extra Thin cement to plastic endeavouring to do as much interim work as I can. Having decided that I hadn't decided(!) what armament my version of the EF was going to carry, I prepared every missile the kit has on offer - and that is a lot. Much gluing, needle filing and sand boarding was the order of the day(s).



I have built a few Revell kits before (two 1/144 Globemaster C17A's earlier this year for a start) but I reckon that Messrs Revell have changed the make up of their plastic for this kit - or is it me? It seems to be very brittle and tends to leave quite a hard 'scar' when the sprue joint is trimmed flush. I have also just completed a dummy run closing the fuselage sides and although the fit at the very front and the very back is good, the middle section will require a certain amount of pressure to close up the unstressed 3/16" gap. I think the game plan here will be to use Tamiya Extra Thin cement at the front and back and after supergluing the middle section, leaving the whole thing taped up overnight to cure.


While all this was going on, I have been spraying the white metal 1/200 Shed Models TSR2 kit. I decided to be a bit silly with this one by cutting the flaps, setting them drooped and painted the airframe in a 'What if?' finish with a camouflaged top surface and white under surface similar to one of the Handley Page 'Victor' V bombers. I expect this will cause a few 'Tuts'. Call it my way of expelling the World Cup demons!



More next week.