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Eduard 1:48 Hellcat F6F-3 [Complete]

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  • Member since
    June, 2013
Eduard 1:48 Hellcat F6F-3 [Complete]
Posted by bvallot on Friday, December 14, 2018 12:32 PM

Hey everyone. =]

It's been a good little while since I've been able to fool around on the forum. Work and family keeps me pretty tied up. Especially work. I orginally didn't intend on creating a WIP for this build only because I didn't believe I could even keep up with posting one let alone have any sort of consistent build time. Luckily, fortune has been swinging my way in this regard.

I won't beat around the bush here. Let's jump in. I'm redoing a build I did years ago that didn't survive the move to our home and I figured Vraciu deserved a better attempt at a nicer looking hellcat. Lots of upgrades here. Mostly out of curiosity to see how some of this would turn out, but I also wanted to have a smooth looking, accurate hellcat. You'll notice I suffer from that thing your hear...advanced modeling syndrome. I think it's congenital. 

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Vraciu was a hell of a pilot. I'll skip the history lesson for now, but there's lots to be said about the man and his crew with VF-6.

The kit is Eduard. Won't find a better hellcat out there. I'm adding Eduard's Brassin Engine (mostly out of curiosity to see how these went together and matched up - definitely recommend), Eduard's cockpit set, Eduard's exterior details set, and Eduard's undercarriage set to replace the wheelbay.

Huge uptick in detail with these sets. All of this could be scratchbuilt, and if you've seen my WIPs you know that I do, but I wanted to go a different route this time to see what the turn out would be and how I would feel about the result. There's obvious pros and cons to PE parts. Overall, I'd say these are a plus for the kit. There are some scale issues that are more easily resolved with these PE parts than is often the case with scratchbuilt stuff. They take some of the guess work out and allows you to cruise along.

Start your engines

I built the P&W R-2800 a few months back while needing something to do that was low maintenance. I was mostly interested in this AM part for its exhaust manifold that comes included. I wish more manufacturers did this. It really is a beautiful addition to your hellcat. 

(here's a link to see the build process)

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/2/t/176836.aspx

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

The Cockpit

I started this build back in July and got working here first naturally. I was really happy with this detail set. I'm a little better at fooling with parts like this 6 years later into the hobby. I will say for more complicated bends and joins as with the undercarriage, you will need a PE metal bender. Trust me...just do it. $20 on Ebay. Do it. If you do you for-go a bending tool there is one other way about it when using PE parts to upgrade your kit. Take your kit to a well ventilated area. Drop it into a trash can and empty a 5 gl tank of gasoline into it. Drop a match into the trashcan and walk away slowly. Real time saver...I promise you.

For the cockpit...you can probably get away without if you're used to troubleshooting PE parts. And with a little extra scratchbuilding the results can be very satisfying. Most of this speaks for itself. If anybody has any questions about what you're seeing, don't hesitate to ask.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

That one's for you Joe! =]

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Of course all this hard work will get covered up and virtually never seen. So I did take about 90 pictures of it so that I could go back and see whatever angle I wanted to. I included every wire, cable, and whatnot that I had a reference for. Since the -3 had the window behind the cockpit, I felt the need to build up this area a little more than Eduard gives you the parts for. The water vent lines are a little too big in scale here. I believe the problem is that I start out with a brass rod that's appropriate, but after primer and paint the layer that results is just thicker than it should be. Something I thought I'd pass on. None of this is really visible, but meh, I feel better knowing it's there. 

Before buttoning up the fuselage there are a couple of things to address. Mainly, there is the exhaust for the oil cooler vent. The exterior detail set gives you an excellent chance to model this better. Pay very close attention to your bends and the fit that's occurring here. Check and recheck. I chose to add a very thin layer of plastic strip to make up the frame work so that I could use my Tamiya Extra Thin Cement to better bond it to the kit fuselage. This way there won't be any shifting about with extra parts down the road.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Cowling

I originally had plans to open one of the cowl panels to allowing better viewing of the engine. So in doing this I set out to better detail the interior cowl. I had ideas of using magnets to place the panels back. I eventually back tracked on the basis that I'd rather keep with having some planes as they are and maintain their beautiful lines and curves without the broken cadence of open panels and such. When I super detail a model, then that will be the purpose of the model and not a mixed back and forth type affair. So, all this went on anyway just to see it through. I've had some fit issues to keep up with and manage. Mostly my doing. The Brassin AM engine generally fit well before modifying anything, but I did have to sand a little to get it to seat itself back far enough for the cowling to fit proper. I will note that Eduard probably intends for the kit cowl panels to be removed...probably eliminates the fit issue.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

The cowl flaps will be open on this build so I've added the cowling hood that runs flush to  the fuselage. You can reference this in photos. All changes to the kit are reflecting picture references for Vraciu's actual hellcat as well as -3 engine pictures. Again ask if there's any questions about what you're seeing.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

The intercooler ducts should be taller and match up to upper set of exhaust stacks, but due to the fit issues I was trying to solve, I settled to leave them as you see since they won't be visible or make a difference past this point anyhow. In hindsight, I don't think they would have added to the pot. I later learned the lower exhaust stacks were catching and rubbing where they rest on the kit fuselage. This part of the fuselage was sanded back.

I think I'll pause it here for now. There's plenty more to share but it'll have to wait for another day.

Next up...the undercarriage. I was really happy with the upgrade. I was debating on scratching this out myself, but it would have taken so much longer. I think I'm happier with this. Time is such a commodity these days.

=]

 

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    August, 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Friday, December 14, 2018 12:43 PM

The pit and engine are just flat out AWESOME.  Will be following as I have the Hase -3 I'll be doing as O'Hares CAG mount on his last mission for a club GB.

Curious to know if VF-6 had had any squadron markings that would have applied to all planes in Nov. '43, since you are in that timeframe, and if they are on a decal sheet anywhere.  Apologize for the sidetrack.

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Friday, December 14, 2018 1:26 PM

That's really nice work.   Really like the engine,  it's a little model unto it's own.  Will be watching!

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by ChrisJH666 on Friday, December 14, 2018 3:01 PM

You're making a lovely job of that. I have the Eduard dual combo kit pack for the Hellcat sitting in my stash. Were you using the weekend edition kit and adding the extras, or the more full-on  kit and adding? I haven't really looked at mine to see how many goodies come with it.

In the queue: 1/48 Beech Staggerwing (RAAF), P38 (RAAF), Vultee Vengeance (RAAF), Spitfire Vb (Malta), Spitfire VIII x2 (RAAF), P39 x2 (RAAF), Martin Baltimore (Malta?), Martin Maryland (Malta), Typhoon NF1b, Hellcat x2 (FAA)

 

Chris

  • Member since
    May, 2017
  • From: Denver, Colorado
Posted by MrStecks on Friday, December 14, 2018 5:43 PM

Beautiful work.  Seriosly beautiful.

Cheers,
Mark

 


On the bench:  Revel 1/48 B-25J Mitchell

In the queue: Tamiya 1/48 F4U-1A Corsair

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by bvallot on Sunday, December 16, 2018 9:12 AM

goldhammer

Curious to know if VF-6 had had any squadron markings that would have applied to all planes in Nov. '43, since you are in that timeframe, and if they are on a decal sheet anywhere.  Apologize for the sidetrack.

 

Thanks Goldhammer. That was a subject I researched a lot more years back. G codes I think they were called. They're a few on here I'm positive could add more input. I'm currently unaware of any markings for this particular stretch of time with this squadron. The only markings I've seen where the number for the plane repeated on the vertical stab in some fashion. The size varied also. No worries about the sidetracking. I like to get a little lost. =]

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by bvallot on Sunday, December 16, 2018 9:20 AM

Thanks Mark. Thanks John. Glad to see you here. =]

ChrisJH666

You're making a lovely job of that. I have the Eduard dual combo kit pack for the Hellcat sitting in my stash. Were you using the weekend edition kit and adding the extras, or the more full-on  kit and adding? I haven't really looked at mine to see how many goodies come with it.

 

Thank you Chris. This is the Profipack. It comes with the cockpit PE and the newer boxings now come with Brassin wheels which is a nice little extra bonus. I really love the Brassin line of products. I've seen the dual combo kit before. That's a hefty takeaway right there. Ought to keep you busy for a while. =]

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Sunday, December 16, 2018 9:44 AM

Super looking engine. The ignition wiring looks great. Nice work on the cockpit. 

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by bvallot on Sunday, December 16, 2018 11:40 AM

And fortune smiles again. The kiddos are staying with Nana and PaPa today. =]

I wanted to show a better more up to date picture from that posterior exahaust manifold view of the engine. This is where I'm at with that.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Some noteworthy things to mention here are how I've sanded down the sides of the cowling to bring them more into scale for how these panels would actually appear. Be careful when doing something like this. If your join is to be perfectly flush onto the fuselage here as in this case, then you'd be removing plastic to bite and grip onto the molded part of the fuselage that would receive it. Plenty of ways to go about this. Just something to pay attention to. I have such a snug fit with everything here that I could literally just slide my engine onto it's hub without any glue. Still debating on that.

Another thing you can see here is the rubbing on the lower exhaust stacks. This will get repainted and weathered later. The intercooler vents should be a little thinner and taller than what I represented here. Even still, none of these measurements by Eduard would allow for them to be present anyhow. I figured I could settle for this since I'm leaving this closed up. That Brassin engine is beautifully molded and put together. Hats off to Eduard on that one.

Undercarriage 

I do apologize for not having a few more in between steps for this section. Once I started building this I was really excited to see it done. Plus, I didn't count on doing a WIP at the time so the couple of photos I grabbed weren't really worth putting here. I had to clean up some spots where my CA got away from me and that sort. But the meat of what's important is here and that's what I have for you. 

Much of this speaks for itself, again. A side by side comparison of the kit molded parts show a fairly decent mock up of this section. It's not quite deep enough to bring the landing gear and wheels up if that were desired. You'd need to modify it in some way. But in all it's not bad when compared to other kits basically forgetting about this area. The PE detail set however is something quite special to look at.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Plenty of detail here. Assembling all of this takes some patience and know how. Definitely worth the effort though.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

There's some extra parts to scratch out to finish up this area that Eduard leaves out. None of it such a big deal, but I think it's worth going the distance for. There's a set of 4 hydraulic lines on the inboard side to add and some extra bits for the landing gear mechanisms that amount to a few bars, a spring and such. It's worth it to thin and sand down this area to bring it to scale as well. There are some fit issues to always double check as with anything...nothing major. One other thing I went and did here was to sand and shape the flaps into their rounded appearance where they meet the wing. They are visible where the wheel would fit into the wing. I think it makes a big difference. The cut you see was done with a razor saw to help give the impression of separate flaps. I later found this cut should have been angled about 45º up. Not the end of the world though. The inboard flap was actually all metal and not doped in fabric. There's a few other things going here that are different from left wing to right concerning the flaps, but as I'm building this with the flaps up, it's not making a difference here and I won't jump in to that now.

Next, before closing up the wings I wanted to address the 50 cals. I first thought I would go about this as placing the barrels in later after painting, but this process makes me nervous about trusting that nothing goes wrong along the way. I don't like doing it "blind" and I'm pretty good about not banging parts like this around anyhow. So I settled for what you see here which is pretty secured. Didn't mind the kit parts but I can do better so why not. A pair of Master Models .50s replaces the most inboard guns and Albion tube set makes the other two sets. I didn't see the need in wasting a set for the middle guns when none of the perforations in the sleeve show from the wing's leading edge. Plastic tube secured with Tamiya ETC helps keep that longer barrel pointed where it needs to be. =] This all got a liberal coat of CA within the gap I cut for the barrels. 

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Quick view of the rudder and elevators. Nothing to see here really. I did add the actuators and replaced kit parts in a position to allow them to drop down slightly. Same for the rudder...I've often observed a bit of right rudder applied for whatever reason after being parked. Just a little thing to add some life here.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Canopy

The canopy and windscreen that Eduard supplies is certainly nice enough for how these parts normally come, but they still have their limitations. Having tried a Squadron canopy once, I don't know how I can actually ever look back. The difference is worlds apart...especially when you consider the work you put into that front office for it to never be seen after the canopy goes on top. I could go on and on about it. The difference in scale alone is such a game changer. So if you ever go and look, you'll find that Squadron never made a piece for the Eduard kit. They do make one for the Arii/Otaki kit. I found a good deal on Ebay and tried it out figuring I'd still have a kit piece to use if there was just too great a difference in shape. Found out that it really wasn't bad at all. It's about as good a fit as you could get otherwise anyhow. It does take some skill and know how to release it and shape it up properly. You really can't rush any of it. I did have to make a few changes which I anticpated but they were minor. Please ask if there are any questions about this part. 

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

To help make all this fit proper I now have to back fill the part where the kit piece would be received by the fuselage. One other thing you'll note is the hood that extends over the IP. While researching the cockpit and IP I noticed that the IP is basically flush with the dash. I never encounted a hellcat variant that included this hood. In pictures of Vraciu smiling on his hellcat, it can be seen that the dash extends all the way to frame of the windscreen. Looking further, you can see what looks like ducttape which is likely securing some kind of cover that was added for visibility reasons I might imagine. So! Naturally, if I see it in the picture...it damn sure is going to be on that model. There's also what looks like a salt shaker on the dash. I might give that a go later on as well. =]

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

In the past, I've always secured these Squadron windscreens after painting and whatnot. Inso-doing, I found a tougher time creating a more seamless connection to the fuselage. This time around I wanted to have the windscreen fixed and primed all together with the rest of the plane. I tied up this area next so that it can be finished and masked for the rest of the build. Primer went down. Then, I built up the paint with Tamiya's Black Green, Medium Grey over the taped areas, and added Flat Black to my left over grey. Once the flat coat dried, I set up the bulletproof glass.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

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 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

The last part in getting the canopy squared away is dealing with the interior. I've moved away from trying to paint this area as I can never seem to perfectly nail it with securing the masking. There always seems to be some issue to clean up. On my last build, a wildcat, I switched to lead foil that I glued with a white glue to treat the interior frame work of the canopy and windscreen. It was an idea that I played with for a while and finally got to see it in action and was happier with it than I ever thought I would be. Before adhering, I use a riveting tool on the shiny side to emboss the lead foil. The opposite side looks to have a raised riveted surface. If you don't get the shiny riveted dot  on the outside, all it takes is a light rub or swipe of a sanding stick and you'll see a nice amount of riveted detail with virtually no fuss.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

A much kinder way to treat yourself when tackling canopies...I think. The lead foil on the canopy has also served to stiffen up the fit. I've found this helpful as the plastic of the canopy is so thin that it wants to bend too much when trying to seat it down in place. The stiffer fit helps you maintain the shape you want when trying to match where to place the windscreen.

That pretty much wraps up where I am currently. Just a few details to tend to before getting a coat of primer on her.  Here's a quick walkaround of how she sits.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    August, 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Monday, December 17, 2018 9:23 AM

More beautiful work.

Thanks for the info on VF-6.

Noticed in the last photo of him on the wing, has his old VF-3 logo of Felix the Cat, along with another squadron logo as well.

  • Member since
    May, 2017
  • From: Denver, Colorado
Posted by MrStecks on Monday, December 17, 2018 6:03 PM

The level of detail work you're putting into this build is both impressive and inspiring.  Especially that canopy work.  Wow.
I looked at a Squadron vacu-formed canopy last year for a kit I was working on.  Decided I didn't have the skills yet to work with it.  But now I am inspired to go pull that canopy out of the drawer and work on it.  I mean, can't get those skills without trying right?.  Thanks for inspiring me.  Smile

Cheers,
Mark

 


On the bench:  Revel 1/48 B-25J Mitchell

In the queue: Tamiya 1/48 F4U-1A Corsair

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by bvallot on Thursday, December 20, 2018 7:47 AM

goldhammer

More beautiful work.

Thanks for the info on VF-6.

Noticed in the last photo of him on the wing, has his old VF-3 logo of Felix the Cat, along with another squadron logo as well.

 

Yeah, I wish I could say more about it. These must have been carry overs from another plane he had previously.

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by bvallot on Thursday, December 20, 2018 8:23 AM

MrStecks

The level of detail work you're putting into this build is both impressive and inspiring.  Especially that canopy work.  Wow.
I looked at a Squadron vacu-formed canopy last year for a kit I was working on.  Decided I didn't have the skills yet to work with it.  But now I am inspired to go pull that canopy out of the drawer and work on it.  I mean, can't get those skills without trying right?.  Thanks for inspiring me.  Smile

Cheers,
Mark

 

 

Thank you Mark. =] I'm happy to share. I've learned quite a bit from others here on the forum...I'm happy to pay it forward. And you're absolutely right...you don't know until you try. Take it one step at a time. I can share some pointers that ought to seem obvious at times, but hey we all get tunnel vision. 

Start out with a brand new no. 11 blade. Depending on the Squadron item, you may have to release it some crazy kinda way but for the most part nearly all of them separate the windscreen and canopy as two parts. When I can I will leave part of the thicker base to grab and allow it to keep some strength while I'm trimming more delicate parts. What I like to do first is separate the windscreen. Always use good lighting and double check your cuts before following through. As I'm cleaning up an edge, I make small, shallow cuts to remove the excess plastic. The thicker base around the piece allows you to make a postive grip while tackling this. Eventually, you'll remove this too. Just take your time. If there's a stubborn spot that won't cut easily, you can get at it with a sanding stick. This will also help you keep a continuous plane to ensure your line is straight. If there's a cut you need to make that requires more force than you're comfortable using, just grab a pair of scissors to make that cut (for big cuts, not delicate cuts). Keep it simple. For the curve around the wind screen be sure to check your sources to know how much to trim. This part definitely requires your attention. Take your time trimming...you can't put it back once it's off. =] On this particular build, I sanded the thickness off the bottom of the front of the windscreen so the forward facing lip wouldn't sit too proud. This ought to be a fairly flush transition into the fuselage. Any time you're sanding before sure to protect the "glass" surface...tape suffices. You'd be surprised how anything rubbing it will show. Apart from that, this all moves along just like you think it would.

Hope that's of some use.

Mark, I'll message you a link to a Mustang GB where I did a P-51A with a Squadron canopy. You'll have to scroll through some pages to see the canopy part all the way through but it's all there. =]

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, December 20, 2018 8:45 AM

Very impressed with your attention to detail and workmanship.

Yes

This is a fun one to watch!

-Greg

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by bvallot on Friday, December 21, 2018 10:27 PM

Thanks Greg. 

Just a short update here as I'm all caught up. A few additions to tie things up and then a coat of primer to get her ready for paint.

Tail Gear 

Nothing too much to talk about here. This is part of the Exterior detail set from Eduard. It calls for removing some of the kit molded cover. I drilled out the lightening holes. Carefully! 

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Misc

Here are the piano key aileron hinges famous on the hellcat...also from the detail set. Not too tricky to work with. I cut small notches to help them set down better and keep them from getting knocked off more easily. It's best to address all your sanding issues before applying these parts.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

With the deletion of the kit windscreen, I had a small gap left over to deal with before moving on. I orginally planned to use lead foil here to create the small C channel shapes seen here but found I could more effectively do it with plastic strip that I cut into shape. A simple channel was cut out and gaps were filled. Not harder than that. Just took some carefully eyeballing. 

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

And here's a coat of Primer. 

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

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 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

A few things noticed needing attention after the primer coat went down. So a little quick clean up, and another coat of primer for corrections and she'll be ready for paint. =]

One thing I haven't talked about too much here is the riveting on this aircraft. It starts to stand out here now that the grey primer is on. I invested in some better riveting tools over the summer and I really love how they're working out. I looked over some pictures that laid out the scheme and went to work. I'm kind of excited to finally make use of them. 

Merry Christmas everyone. Be safe travelling. =]

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Saturday, December 22, 2018 2:47 AM
Awesome.......just awesome....

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by bvallot on Tuesday, January 01, 2019 9:16 PM

Happy New Years everyone. =] Hope y'all rang it in right. I think we're going to start a new tradition of saving the champagne for in the morning. Just as fun.

Back with some more. Tidying up windscreen a bit and getting the last touches set before putting down some paint.

I did my best to get the Squadron windscreen to set down as clean as I could to the fuselage. In photos you can see where this is a separate piece from the fuselage and not quite like you see in mustangs where the transition is much more seamless. What I had was certainly fine I think, but the edge in contact with the fuselage was just a bit too proud. After previous tries with this particular spot, I knew if I didn't do enough to fix it I was sure to be bothered by it every time I looked at it. So out came the extra fine Milliput to smooth my worries away. I truly love this stuff.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Dropped some primer back on top of this and found I needed just a bit more sanding and smoothing here and there to get what I wanted. I've incorporated some dents and dings as I see in photos of Vraciu's hellcat. Some of that can be seen on the starboard side.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

A coat of Alclad Aluminum goes down to paint the hub where the Pratt & Whitney sets and for the wing roots and misc areas of the plane that will see a touch of wear. I keep the foam pads for aftermarket parts as they are perfect for using them in painting fine detail. Here I'm using it for painting in a little of the zinc chromate primer on top of the Aluminum base. This will be done conservatively and only revealed in a few places. I'm a fan of the hairspray method of weathering. Super easy and fun to do. It hasn't let me down yet.

Paint

Finally, some fun stuff. I've gotten away from preshading panel lines like a lot of others lately. A couple years back I was reading through a page on Doog's site and peeking through some of his YouTube stuff and came across this notion of black basing. It's a wonderful thing to help bring your paint to life. I won't bore anyone to death about it here. There's plenty out there on the subject. I'll just breeze through what you're seeing and how I went about trying to achieve that marvelous tri-color scheme.

So, to start it's pretty much like its namesake...Black....only I never use just black. Since this is a blue monochromatic color scheme, I'm using a very, very dark blue. The principal is to have a very dark contrasting color which is accomplished by the dark blue. In other avenues of the art world, seldom is black used to represent shadows or some shaded, darker area. You're always seeing a shade of that color. I'm just bringing the same idea here. 

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

After the dark blue coat, (which is Tamiya Sea Blue and Flat Black) I began with marbling in the undersurface. Since this will be in Insignia White, I decided to go in a different direction by using a Medium Grey. Navy birds got filthy and I'm looking to make this undersurface reflect that through the paint as well as with extra weathering. I picked Tamiya's Medium Grey as it has a warmer tone to it which lends itself to the oil and grime seen collecting on the deck of carriers. Other than that there isn't any more too fancy going on here. 

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Next is the upper surface. I chose Tamiya's Light Blue as a contrasting color to show up under the Sea Blue. I'll be treating the top surface in very thin coats of paint to allow this to come through properly. So this part ought to be fun to watch. 

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

I put down a thin blend coat of Tamiya Flat Blue and Light Blue to bring certain high wear areas into play. The mix was about 50/50 but was done to my eye's liking. This completes the foundation of the thin layers that the Sea Blue and Intermediate Blue will go on top. 

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

And that about wraps it up for now. Fun stuff in store for the rest of the painting! =] Any questions out there please don't hesitate to ask.

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Naples, FL
Posted by tempestjohnny on Wednesday, January 02, 2019 3:56 AM
I'm definitely watching this

 

  • Member since
    February, 2011
Posted by knox on Wednesday, January 02, 2019 5:19 AM

This is a wonderfully beautiful and informative WIP.  Thank you so much for sharing. 

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Cleveland, OH
Posted by RadMax8 on Wednesday, January 02, 2019 6:51 AM

Looks great so far. I’ve tried black basing a couple times, and while I love the look on lighter colors, I can’t seem to make darker colors work right. I’ll be watching yours with great interest!

  • Member since
    February, 2016
  • From: Ice coated north 40 saskatchewan
Posted by German Armour on Wednesday, January 02, 2019 11:22 AM
Wow. You've done an excellent job so far!

 Never give up, never quit, never stop modelling.Idea

 

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by bvallot on Sunday, January 06, 2019 8:47 PM

Thanks guys! Happy to share. =]

RadMax8

Looks great so far. I’ve tried black basing a couple times, and while I love the look on lighter colors, I can’t seem to make darker colors work right. I’ll be watching yours with great interest!

 

Thanks RadMax8. Darker colors can be tricky. The color scheme will determine the difficulty especially when you add in camoflauge to the mix. When doing this type of painting or really anytime painting in darker colors, it's best to apply your darker colors in thin coats. You'll have more control over how dark is too dark...and where...depending on how complicated you're trying to get with it. One trick to keep in mind is that the darker the color the more that wear and tear will look lighter on its surface. Especially blacks. I can recall that old Jim Belushi 80s movie "K9" I think it was where he's telling some bad guy about his car saying how "black--oooo, that's a hard color to keep clean." There's a P-61 that lawdog did here on the forum that comes to mind you could reference. He actually did a pretty good job doing black. Makes me jealous to go start the F-117 or B2 I plan to do one day. Go check it out when you get a moment. But the big take away is to either leave room to go darker, or plan to follow up with post shading in a lighter color and possibly blend the coats or blend with oil weathering if desired or necessary. In my next post, I'll be sharing a little more about what I did here with this hellcat. My airbrush started to betray me just after starting the Sea Blue color and I was hardheaded about trying to fight through it to keep it where I wanted. Also screwed me at the very end. Should've just stopped when I was ahead, but that's how it works huh.

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by bvallot on Sunday, January 06, 2019 10:02 PM

Just learned that Flickr is about to slit its own throat by locking accounts with over 1000 photos. I'm using .3 percent of 1TB that they allow for their free acounts, but I guess it's more important to use a stat like "n" number of photos. So starting Jan 8 they thought they get rid of all their users. Love to see how that's going to work out.

Anyhow! I might have a slight delay in how I upload pictures to post. We'll see.

Back to painting...

I personally like to start with the bottom surfaces and work my way up. This way I can wrap my colors up the with clean and simple overlaps. Generally, undersurfaces are lighter in nature like whites or greys and make blending very easy. Touch ups are also simple to come back to without losing detail. Or replacing it. =]

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Pretty much tells its own story. One thing to note is where the lap joints meet along the fuselage, they are darker and lighten up as they meet the joint rear of it. So I put more paint down on top of these joints like you see.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Here is beginning to lay down the Intermediate Blue. I have an app on my iPhone that does an excellent job of mixing paint for me in proper ratios. I have a bunch saved already from a ways back, but on this color I had to make a few changes to get there since I was missing one of the colors I picked to complete the proper mixing. 

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Quick look at the cowl.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Happy with the results. =]

I next put another thin coat in between here to transition to the Sea Blue color that will come next. This was made with Flat Blue and Light Grey and a little bit of Flat White. Really, this was just to my eye. In the past, I used to be a bit more precise about it.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Here's where the frustration began. I do apologize that I don't have a better example of what "to do" here. Having taken a long step back to look and reflect on where I'm at, it really is an honest depiction of color and weathering from hellcats of the day. My frustration is that I didn't get there with the control I wanted to have and maintain. The color is appropriate, but it felt a little darker than what I wanted. The more I look at it, the more I realize it's actually right where it needs to be. I shouldn't have to second guess the colors I chose. I think I was just upset at how I was losing detail to the fuzziness of my spray and the loss of detail underneath in places I intended to emphasize. Meh! Moving forward.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

So even though this isn't exactly what I intended to show, it is in the right direction. To build up this surface I began to marble in the darker color slowly so as not to blot out all the lighter color underneath. If you're only doing a blend coat with colors this dark, you will lose some of the nuances going on underneath. Some of this would have shown better if my nozzle would have stayed true to me. I intend to go back over certain of these parts with extra weathering, but I like to set up my surface and get as far as I can with the painting first as it's more reliable to me. Just my preference. In photos of WW2 hellcats that weren't too beat up, this is actually on the money here. What I originally aimed to do would've just come in a coat or two more to get to here.

Next, I'll get to work on some chipping and tidy up some of my overspray gafs and throw down a thin coat of some Medium Blue XF-50. Tamiya's Medium Blue is actually dead on for a 10% fade of Sea Blue. I'll mix in a little of Tamiya's Sea Blue when painting with it. As I mentioned before dark colors like Sea Blue will show a lot of "dirt" the same way your car or truck will. A slightly lighter, faded color is just the thing. This will go a long way at making a more convincing paint for a dark color like this one. Here's a quick example of what I was playing with to practice. 

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Plenty more to come. Still exciting things left to paint. =]

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Monday, January 07, 2019 12:04 PM

Let me enumerate: Research, patience, thinking ahead, determination, ability to visualize color and camo schemes, photographic as well as modeling skills ... etc., etc.

You have all the above in spades.

This will be one of the main reference works in progress threads I'll end up using for reference when I get around to my Eduard 1/48 F6F-5.

Thanks for this detailed WIP!!

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Cleveland, OH
Posted by RadMax8 on Monday, January 07, 2019 11:41 PM

Looks better with every update. The paint work you’re a bit frustrated with, I’d kill (ok, maybe maim) to have show up on my birds. This is truly a supreme build. 

  • Member since
    April, 2010
  • From: Green Bay, WI
Posted by redraider56 on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 9:08 AM

Superb painting and good job discribing the layering process.  I’m definitely going to reference this thread when I get around to building a couple tri-color birds in my stash.

-Matt

On The Bench: 1/48 Monogram B-17G "Man-O-War II"

 

 

 

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by bvallot on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 8:44 PM

1943Mike

 

Thanks for this detailed WIP!!

 

Damn Mike. I've learned to just say thanks...but I certainly don't feel worthy of praising on that magnitude. There's so much I'm lazy about that I could clean up here on the forum for posting. But thank you. Very happy to hear it'll be of some use. There's plenty I'm glossing over. I realize some of it sort of speaks for itself if you stare at it long enough, but even still if there's something I didn't touch on...just ask. =]

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by bvallot on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 8:51 PM

Thanks Matt and Max. Yeah, the painting part is the really fun part for me. I am pretty hardheaded though, so naturally I went back and put down some detail I felt needed to show and tried to get in front of some weathered painting that I'm confident is going to reduce some of what I want to show. So from here it just means adding an extra step in post shading to add what was lost. I got around to fixing it late last night. Much happier with it, but it still needs just one more slightly darker coat after the fade I put on it. That Tamiya XF-50 is really really a good pick straight out the bottle for a faded Sea Blue. =] 

Currently, I'm trying to sort out some photo posting issues with a new sharing site. So I apologize to everyone on the forum for these next few attempts to settle this score.

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by bvallot on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 8:52 PM

deleted.

 

 

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Corpus Christi, Tx
Posted by mustang1989 on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 7:36 AM

Watching................and learning.

                   

 

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