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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 55




a) The 1/32 Marsh Models Supermarine S6 is pursued to conclusion!

b) The 1/32 Paul Fisher Hunter T7 - the painting boogie begins.

c) The 1/32 Special Hobby Polikarpov I-16 is getting there slowly.


After my trials and tribulations with the broken wing (see last column for the painful details) I have been slowly getting the Supermarine S6 ‘ship shape and Bristol fashion’. The only way to complete this model, in my view, was to paint everything separately, but the main requisite with this course of action was to make sure everything fitted together perfectly in the first place. Obvious innit?



I had done a few dummy runs with the white metal struts that connect the fuselage to the floats, and although it was difficult to tell properly, the fit wasn’t too bad. It was the same with the ailerons, rudder, tailplanes and elevators. Although the mating surfaces of these items were indented and ‘airfoil’ shaped, I felt the only way I would feel comfortable about their security was to pin them. So, out came the micro drills and Albion Alloys 0.45 brass rod. The fit was now perfect and could, almost, be assembled without gluing - but I am not that brave.





I decided to dispense with Marsh Models decals for the decoration of the red, white and blue striped fin/rudder and went for a painted version which is what I did on my Wingnut Wings Sopwith Pup. White was required as the base coat.



As for the aluminium, I have always used Alclad in the past, but this time decided to try something new – Gunze Mr Metal Color Aluminium which I had bought from Bob at the MDC stand at Telford. Although it looks quite thick, Bob said not to thin it and I didn’t. It goes on beautifully. I also made some extra work for myself as I decided to mask off the engine rocker boxes wanting them to be a bit shinier than the airframe. I am sure those aircraft engine engineers at the 1929 Schneider Trophy race would have given them an extra shine. I sprayed this section and the propeller gloss black as a base coat for the Alclad polished aluminium that was going on next.





I mixed up a cocktail of various blue enamels to get an approximate colour representation and, after carefully masking the fuselage and the floats with hardly tacky Tamiya tape, the blue coats were applied and then left for a couple of days to completely cure.



Unfortunately, even with hardly tacky masking tape, some slivers of aluminium did come away and this required careful re-working and re-spraying and before long everything was OK. I then gave all the paintwork a few coats of clear varnish to protect it from my clumsy fingers.



Careful measuring and ‘offering up’ then ensued while supergluing the struts to the floats. Question: Should I have fitted the struts to the fuselage first, or the floats? For reasons that I can’t remember, I chose the latter and it proved a good way to do it in the end as the assembly went together well using the kit’s aircraft wheeled trolley (without the wheels) as a jig. It was beginning to look good.





In the meantime, the rudder was sprayed half red, but when this was done and final cleaning up was being completed, I spotted one of the infamous resin ‘frog eyes’ appearing on the white section. For those who don’t know, this happens when certain resin chemicals or release agents that have not been thoroughly ‘de-greased’ attack the paint. Nothing for it but to strip the paint off and start again – commencing with yet another wash in detergent!



The float rigging plan is in the instructions for the PE rigging wires with each numbered on the fret. I made use of my micro drills by slightly angling the reception holes in the wings for a more comfortable fit. As the instructions say, cut the rigging wires ‘long’ from the frets and then slowly reduce them to size. I used thin superglue and some ‘kicker’ to set them quickly into their locating holes.



All of a sudden it was looking like a Schneider Trophy racer. All that remained to be done was to fit the ailerons, tailplanes, elevators and rudder - which, by now, had recovered from it’s hissy fit - put the decals on and fit the PE canopy which had been glazed with acetate secured with Klear.





I was a bit worried about the big white number ‘2’ decals settling into what looks like ‘Junkers’ corrugated fuselage sides. I used, in this order: Micro Set, Micro Sol, Mr Mark Softer, and judicial use of some very strong Daco decal solution (a tip from Roy from the 32SIG stand at Telford. Thanks Roy). It worked a treat.





Last thing to go on was the prop and it was job done. If I was to do another, I would have sprayed the blue first. Lesson learned.



The Paul Fisher Hunter T7 conversion was going through the first stages of it’s painting schedule. As this is a multi coloured finish, I started by masking off all the areas that weren’t white and then, using my favourite White Ensign enamel, I started a series of very thin coats leaving a day to cure and then wet and drying with 12000 grade micromesh. When the required depth of colour was reached, the masking was removed and a further flatting session with micromesh and very soapy water ensued. Unfortunately, I found a small crack had appeared between the resin tail fairings and the fuselage which required addressing with superglue, filler and more rubbing down! Better to have found the crack now – as they say!





The Special Hobby Polikarpov I-16 has had some pre-shading applied, the light blue under surface colour has been applied along with the green top surface using Gunze acrylics. The wings, tailplane and engine cowling were then masked off and the red star decals applied to the fuzz sides, fin and rudder. Winter white camo paint will then be sprayed onto the fuselage in a haphazard fashion trying to match the real thing from a photograph in a reference book sent to me by my Ukrainian modelling friend Ilya Sobolev, “Polikarpov Fighters in action Part II” by Hans-Heiri Stapfer and published by Squadron/Signal Publications.





It’s been a busy week.  My wife has been away so I have been able to put much modelling time to good use!



More soon,