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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 9



My self imposed year long apprenticeship was now over and my end of term examination ‘piece’, the 1/48 Tamiya Fieseler Storch had been completed. I had gone the ‘extra mile’ by going the winter camouflage route and had produced a small diorama to accompany the model which has been generally well received.
The Hasegawa Fw190D-9 ‘Dora’ was to be my next project and what a joy to build this model was. Straight from the box everything came together very quickly and was ready for my first venture into mottled Luftwaffe finishes. I also chose to do one of the very colourful ‘Galland Circus’ aircraft that were set aside to afford protection for Berlin from those very naught British and American bombers. The undersides of these aircraft were painted with red and white stripes so that German gunners could easily identify them. Let me say now that the painting took much longer than the build on this model!



The kit does provide striped decals for the undersides but I decided to go the painting route. I used White Ensign Models (WEM) enamels throughout, as these had been recommended to me. I was not disappointed, they go on beautifully. I sprayed the underside of the wings, fuselage and tailplane white overall and let this coat dry for at least 24 hours. That is one of the downsides of enamels, you do have to allow the stuff to completely dry out.





Once dry, I carefully placed Tamiya masking tape, cut to the width of the white stripes, along the under surfaces as detailed in the Hasegawa drawings and then, because of the possibility of the dark red showing through the decals, I measured out the size of the decals and cut out this size in Tamiya tape so that the decal would eventually be placed over a totally white surface. I then sprayed the undersides red. After another 24 hours, the masking tape was carefully removed and the result was very pleasing. A beautiful red and white striped bottom surface.





From here on in, the painting of the fuselage and wing top surfaces were all done free hand with no masking and the relevant WEM RLM Luftwaffe colours were applied from light colours through to dark colours. I enjoyed the freedom of painting without masking with the resultant finely feathered edges between the different colours. I still kept to the 24 hours drying time though to avoid handling problems and I was again very pleased with the results my single action ‘Ted Taylor’ Badger 200 airbrush gave me. A couple of coats of ‘Klear’ and I was ready for the decals - always something that brings a model to life.



I also purchased some excellent Radu Brinzan 1/32 German seat belts. I understand that Graham will be stocking these and I can thoroughly recommend them. They really are very realistic and add a superb finishing touch to the cockpit presentation. I added some fuse wire and very thin rubber tubing for the representation of hydraulic brake lines and hoses on the undercarriage legs, carefully stuck the canopy on with ‘Gator Grip’ PVA adhesive and added the aerial, a painted braided fishing line in a drooped mode because the canopy was shown in an open position. Very late in the day, I discovered that these aircraft had a ‘landing gear down’ visual aid for the pilot. A red and white painted rod that appeared above the wing to indicate to the pilot that his landing gear was down and locked. This is not shown in any kit, so I reproduced this by carefully drilling in the proper location and inserting a small piece of brass rod which had been suitably painted. Job done.



Visually, this has been my best model to date although I did feel that the aerial was a tad 'overscale' and looked too heavy. I have now replaced this with thinner braided fishing line painted with matt black. I feel that progress is being made.






More next week.


Peter Buckingham.

Part 10