The themed double build that turned into a slightly off theme triple build ended with a spectacular…fizzle.
To recap, the build started with Eduard’s FW 190A-5 and Italeri’s JU 87B-2 Stuka. The 190 was completed with some hair-pulling due to decal silvering. Similarly frustrating, some parts issues with the Stuka put it on pause, so I started and completed a Hobby Boss Mig 3. And then, things fell quiet for a few weeks while I waited on replacement canopy parts to arrive from Italy.
And then, more waiting.
In fact, I waited so long that I decided to just try to repair the short-shot pilot’s canopy (having already fixed the destroyed-on-sprue bomb trapeze). And, I did. It took about a week of piddling around with superglue, abrasives and bondo, but I finally got it to a place where I felt I could mask and paint the part. That I did, and like Pontious Pilote, I washed my hands of the whole ordeal. I wasn’t terribly happy with Italeri’s customer service, but I wasn’t terribly upset at the kit. In fact, I think it turned out well despite of the effort it took to get some of the kit parts to usable form.
And then after all of that effort…the canopy parts finally arrived to great pomp and circumstance. Frankly, I might use the replacement canopy, but don’t hold me to it.
So, without further ado here are the completed builds (Stuka; 190; Mig 3).
move forward or make progress, especially when circumstances make this slow or difficult.
Finally progress on the Stuka.
In fact, I’ve made some pretty significant movement towards the goal of finishing this beast up. In the time it has taken me to get this far on the Stuka, I have finished Trumpeter’s Mig-3, and Eduard’s FW 190A-5. As I have mentioned ad nauseum, part of the foot-dragging on the Stuka build has been wading through some broken part issues. Figuring those out has taken some of the wind from the proverbial sails.
As she stands right now, all of the parts issues have been addressed (no telling how long it will take me to get a replacement canopy from Italeri), and the model is almost ready for the gloss clear. I am actually very happy with the way things are coming along with the paint.
The paint, minus the primer, are all from Vallejo’s model air Luftwaffe set (RLM 02, RLM 04, RLM 65, RLM 70, RLM 71). I still think I prefer Model Master enamels, but these were not bad to shoot, dry quickly, and are easy to clean up. The downside is that they don’t seem to be as durable. I’ve read horror stories of Vallejo paints peeling under masks, but that isn’t a problem I have faced.
I’ve grown to prefer the so-called black basing method over pre-shading, but it takes significantly longer. Using this method I literally paint each panel individually. This technique gives some nice subtle variation between the panesls that I find comparable to models that I’ve seen using pre and post shading methods.
For both accuracy and speed, I used LF Models pre cut vinyl masks for the camoflage. I’ve used these on several builds and really like them. Admittedly they are less helpful with the straight lines of Luftwaffe splinter camouflage than RAF schemes found on the Spitfire, Tempest, or Mossie. Total paint time is somewhere in the 4 hour range, not including drying time between colors or masking.
I think I am on schedule to finish this kit this weekend (replacement canopy notwithstanding). That’s a good thing as my wife is about to pop. For her sake, I hope it happens soon. She looks very uncomfortable.
Once baby day arrives I will take a couple of weeks away from the bench to get situated with a new child, but then I have a couple of builds in que for the fall. I committed myself to the Multi-Engine (bomber) Group Build on Facebook’s Military Model Graveyard. For that I have Monogram’s 1/48 Heinkel HE 111 – H4/6 lined up, with Eduard’s PE, and other goodies. I have to submit my build in early January. I’ve also committed myself to a Reddit s/modelmakersStrike Fighters groupbuild. For that, I’m doing Revell’s F-15E Strike Eagle with enough ordinance to single handedly win a war. It has a tentative start date of November 1st through February 1st. Join me there!
With the 190 finished, and the Mig-3 added, this should probably be called the “Great Patriotic War” double build instead.
My original plan was to do the Stuka in a scheme flown from France in mid 1940, but I am considering changing that to one from flom Russia in July of 1941. At least that way my pedantic mind can tolerate the thematic shift in the titular double build. Yes, that sentence is truly as awful as it seems, and no I am not changing it.
On to the updates.
Having lost a weekend to a haze of BBQ, booze, friends and football (and being officially part of the largest football game-ever- [per Guinness]), I haven’t made huge steps on the Stuka. What I have done is to fix the bomb trapeze as best as I could with styrene rod. I’ve also painted the interior color of the canopy frames. This revealed that I still have a little bit of work to do on some of the seams where the engine cowling meets the fuselage. I also decided to attach all of the antenna, flap actuators, and counter-weights. I would normally wait until the build is almost done for this step, but Italeri had a conspicuous lack of positive location for these parts. I wanted to make sure I had a good glue bond. Attaching them pre-paint is the only way to guarantee that bond will be sufficient, and to easily clean up any mistakes with the glue. The down side is that now I have lots of easy to knock-off bits that I will have to work around during painting. Fingers crossed.
I have made some progress here. The aircraft has been primed with the blue underside painted. The remaining parts for the Mig are in different states of prep, but most all have been primed and or painted.
Painting a two tone spinner is always a challenge. This time I masked the line between the red and white with a thin strip of bare metal foil. Getting the foil to adhere to a compound curve is much easier than any other sort of tape I have tried. And, the line is nice and sharp (for the most part). While I wait for the blue underbelly to cure, I am going to finish up the landing gear and wheels. Then, I will make some masks for the upper-white v. lower-blue demarcation line. To date I have been very impressed with Vallejo model air white paint, but I have never used it on this much of a model. Let’s see how it works.
This has been a rather forgettable few days for me in the hobby. Several more precious hours vanished with not much to show. Well, I do have something to show but it’s just transactions out of my bank account and into the pockets of various ebay merchants and Spruebrothers.com.
Italeri, I’m giving you the stank eye.
This is the second kit in a row that has come with malformed and broken parts. For those of you with statistics backgrounds, I believe that means 100% of the Italeri kits that I own have parts issues. The first is Italeri’s 1/72nd C-130 that I am building for a friend. One of the fuselage halves was cracked almost all of the way through. The Stuka has
a short shot canopy, and a broken bomb trapeze. The C-130 issue is in the process of being resolved, but Italeri couldn’t ship the part to me directly. I had to go through a U.S. distributer and was told that it would take roughly 12 weeks for the parts to arrive. That was about 6 weeks ago. This time Italeri would deal with me directly, but that’s probably because they just told me that they didn’t have the bomb trapeze (Sprue B) but would be happy to sell me the clear sprue. I ordered a vacu-formed canopy, but it is for the Airfix Stuka. I will probably bite the bullet and simply order the correct parts from Italeri. At this point, why not?
On a positive note, the delivery bearing the canopy masks I ordered from the Czech Republic arrived. Apparently they were rerouted to orbit Saturn before they found their way to my doorstep. At this point, the Stuka is mostly masked and almost ready for priming. I simply have to find a way to make the broken trapeze regenerate it’s missing section. We will see how that works out.
To be clear, these part problems aren’t fatal to the build singularly, they are just disappointing. I had wanted to do an out of the box build for a local competition and scratch building parts would disqualify the build. Taken as a whole, it is apparent that Italeri’s quality control is flawed, as is their customer service. There are better kits on the market at these price points, with both better quality and more responsive service. As such, Italeri just isn’t competitive in my eyes and these will be the last Italeri kits I build if other options are available.
Trumpeter, you get the stank eye too.
This is truly a pretty nice kit. The problem is that I dropped and lost the clear landing light cover that goes in the wing after I scratched a little landing light detail. I tried to contact Trumpeter directly, but my Chinese is rusty and so are Trumpeter’s web design skills. After some Googling I found a U.S. distributer of Trumpeter kits. I contacted them and asked if I could purchase a replacement clear sprue. They kindly declined stating that unless I could prove I purchased the kit from them indirectly, they wouldn’t help me. I bought the kit through an unnamed auction site, so I have neither a receipt or proof that I bought it from a retailer that purchased it from them. Ugh.
I bought another kit for donor parts. Yes, I probably could have made the landing light from acrylic or otherwise, but that could create a bigger time issue than simply ordering the parts. Time I don’t have, a little pocket change for an extra kit, I do.
The next burp is completely my fault. I bought Eduard’s beautiful landing flap detail set, and it arrived. I dove in to the metal oragami only to find that as I had not modified portions of the wing prior to this point in construction that the flaps just didn’t fit. I cut, trimmed, modified and filed the parts until I had nothing discernable left. This is certainly par for the course, as I’ve recently developed a pretty terrible case of the modeling shanks.The end result is that I simply glued the kit flaps in the up position, spread around a little Perfect Plastic Putty, and called it a day.
I actually really like this kit, and would build it again (good thing as I will have a duplicate kit to build). As it stands now, once I get the donor kit, drop in the landing light lens, I can begin priming.
It looks like the next update will have both the Stuka and the Mig in the paint booth getting a good coat of primer. In the meantime, I am off for a weekend out of town with old friends, and some football.