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1/48 Academy P-47N-2 RE (507th FG) with "NMF Tutorial" FINISHED...

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  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
1/48 Academy P-47N-2 RE (507th FG) with "NMF Tutorial" FINISHED...
Posted by lawdog114 on Friday, December 28, 2012 10:59 PM

Hello all, I have some time to kill before I start a myriad of Group Build subjects, so I figured I would do an easy interim build, the 1/48 Academy P-47N, which I bought cheap off E-bay a few years back.  Although it's no Tamiya Jug (which is the best plastic kit in any scale IMO), I've read good things about it, unlike the Pro Modeller version which is reportedly good, but very finicky.  With that, I'm eager to add an N to my collection.  As I perused the kit, I felt some areas could use some improvement, specifically the spartan cockpit and lousy gun blast tubes.  I found a True Details N cockpit at my LHS for the Mini-Craft kit.  I was aware of the Lindberg kit, but I didn't know Mini-Craft made an N too.  I decided to get it and I would shoe horn it into this kit.  Before embarking on this kit, I decided to get Quickboost guns, Ultracast tires, then an Eduard PE set for the cockpit while I was at it (I don't like True Details' instrument panels, especially this one).   

I've decided on "Lil Meatie's Meat Chopper", a 507th FG Jug flown by Lt. Oscar Perdomo out of Le Shima.  Perdomo was the last "ace in a day" of WWII and subsequently the last ace of WWII, which I found interesting.  I coincidentally found a Super Scale sheet with his markings at my LHS, so it was unnecessary to look on line for it. 

I started with the True Details cockpit.  Its not their best but its decent.  The detail just seemed somewhat soft or non existent in areas.  I suppose in my head I always compare everything to the Tamiya Jug cockpit, which is a work of art.  Anyways, I sprayed all parts XF-1 Flat Black then used Tamiya XF-26 Deep Green with a dash of the black to simulate Republic Dark Dull Green.  I then hand painted the boxes and such XF-69 NATO black then the map box and stick boot in XF-49 Khaki to add interest.  Seatbelts were done in a mix of XF-57 Buff and XF-2 Flat White.  The Instrument panel is Eduard PE attached to the kit part, which is one of the best I've seen so far. The cockpit was drybrushed with Floquil Old Silver (Enamel) to simulate wear and after a Testor's clear gloss coat, It was washed with "The Detailer" wash.   

Getting the cockpit into the fuselage was somewhat challenging.  I just couldn't get it to fit right, then I remembered it was designed for the Mini-Craft kit.....duh.  After some shaving here and there, mostly on the sidewalls, I got the halves closed around the pit. 

I then turned my attention to the wings.  The Academy Kit, for some reason, comes with the HVAR rocket attachment points molded to the lower wing.  The 507th FG were primarily assigned to B-29 escort, so its unlikely their Jugs were equip with rockets  I then commenced to hacking these off.  This was easier than I expected, by means of an Exacto blade and sandpaper.  I did have to rescribe a couple panel lines but it was nothing to be concerned about.  

Preliminary fit of the wings to the fuselage did not reveal any foreseeable issues.  As a precaution, I still may attach the upper wing to the wing root first, then add the lower pieces when dry....we'll see.  I like my models with access doors and hatches closed (sans the canopy of course), therefore, I glued the gun access panels into the wing.  These fit well.  I used Evergreen shims from the inside to prevent glue seepage all while ensuring they fit flush. 

Soon I will be sanding seams and attaching wings.  Thanks for looking and stay tuned....

Joe 

 

 "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
    August 2009
  • From: Borlando Fla home of the rat
Posted by TREYZX10R on Saturday, December 29, 2012 12:04 AM

That office looks awesome Joe! Must be a Jug day ! Looking forward to seeing the next update,cheers Trey

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Australia
Posted by Blitzwing on Saturday, December 29, 2012 2:31 AM

That is a great looking cockpit you've painted there. Keep us updated.

URL=http://picasion.com/]

  • Member since
    April 2010
Posted by Theuns on Saturday, December 29, 2012 3:57 AM

Agree, stunning office!

Theuns

  • Member since
    December 2006
  • From: N. Georgia
Posted by Jester75 on Saturday, December 29, 2012 7:49 AM

Man whats up with all the jugs lately!! You've got my attention!

Eric

 

  • Member since
    October 2010
  • From: Chambersburg, Pa.
Posted by Bob H. on Saturday, December 29, 2012 9:29 AM

It looks really good so far. Please keep us updated.                                  Bob

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 8:37 PM

Hello all, I hope everyone's holiday season was enjoyable.  I've been on vacation from work and busy with other family related things, but I was able to squeeze in some bench time over the last few days.  I got the airframe together and primed.  Where I left off on the last update, I dryfitted the wings to the fuselage.  I have since discovered there may be a slight wingroot gap if joined in the conventional manner.  To alleviate this, I decided to attach the upper wings to the fuselage and carefully "weld" the wing root seam with Tenax. Once dry, I attached the lower to the upper.  There was now a gap at the lower joints so I used a long piece of masking tape to stretch these joints together, which was then welded with Tenax.  This worked like a charm and the wing dihedral snapped right back to the correct angle once all the Tenax was dry and the tape was removed.   This may become my standard practice from now on.  Its slightly more time consuming but  well worth it.     

After a check of the seams with my silver Sharpie, all the seams seemed ok at this point.  I was surprised to see the cowl came in two pieces.  It went together well.  The guns ammo covers fit ok, but not perfect.  Same with the wing plugs for the gun barrels while fit slightly worse.  For the plugs, I fused them in with Tenax, sanded the crap out of them until flush, then rescribed in the panel lines.  I also re-added the 5 rivets on the top with a pin vise (# 80 bit I believe...can't remember).  It turned out ok.  Academy decided to mold in both outboard 50 cals, I believe primarily to annoy me.  At this point, I just decided to drill out the barrel tip for realism and be done with that.  The other six will be replaced with Quickboost (in theory anyways). 

 I found the detail in the waste gate/exhaust area (in front of the tailwheel) on this kit lacking area, so I decided to scratchbuilt up this area a bit with some Evergreen strip, while using the Tamiya kit instructions as a visual reference.  Small rivet or bolt detail was then added with a pin vise and an old airbrush needle.  Its not perfect, but its certainly better than before. 

  

I primed the airframe with Alclad Grey then fixed a few blemish areas here and there.  I normally wouldn't worry about small blemishes which are usually hidden by paint, but 507th P-47 N's had Natural Metal Finishes, as pretty much all N models did I believe.  

I have now briefly turned my attention to the good old Pratt and Whitney R2800 with the intent on rigging up an ignition harness.  Is it me, or does this one seem smaller than Tamiya's example.  As a matter of fact, everything seems just slightly smaller in scale than Tamiya's bubbletop.  Ehh...maybe its me.  Anyways, I added .25 styrene rod around the reduction box (I think thats what its called) to await points to attach the wires. 

See............the Tamiya R2800 (Below) is "girthier".....yeah?

Stay tuned...

Joe      

 "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
    December 2006
  • From: N. Georgia
Posted by Jester75 on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 9:33 PM
Coming along nicely Joe!! Haven't tried a nmf finish yet but there is a P47D in the stash that might get the treatment.

Eric

 

  • Member since
    October 2010
  • From: Chambersburg, Pa.
Posted by Bob H. on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 9:44 PM

Thanks for keeping us up to speed. Lookin' good !!                 Bob

  • Member since
    December 2002
Posted by 7474 on Thursday, January 3, 2013 10:42 AM

It's the propeller gear box, not reduction gear box.

  • Member since
    February 2007
  • From: Brunswick, Ohio
Posted by Buckeye on Thursday, January 3, 2013 11:28 AM

Excellent work there!

Mike

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Thursday, January 3, 2013 2:29 PM

7474

It's the propeller gear box, not reduction gear box.

Perhaps I should have said the round thingy the propellor shaft goes in to?

 "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
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Thursday, January 3, 2013 11:38 PM

I was able to spray my natural metal finish (NMF) last night.  Truth be told, NMFs are my absolute favorite part of model building.  Weather its a P-51 or P-47, I really enjoy the transformation from plastic to metal.  I know a lot of modelers are intimidated by NMF finishes, but I have a foolproof way of throwing it down with the Alclad II line which is truly fantastic stuff.  If you follow my method, you'll never have to worry about paint lifting.  For those interested, here's my method but you can tailor make it to fit your personal needs.  Here's how:

1.  Wet sand your seams and such with 2000 or higher grit paper.  Once satisfied its smooth and to your liking (I check my seams with a silver Sharpie...works great), wash your hands with dishwashing detergent to alleviate the natural oils on your skin.  You could also wear surgical gloves I suppose, but I don't.  Once done, wipe the airframe down with rubbing alcohol on a paper towel to remove any fingerprints or other such residue from the building process.  I always take an old toothbrush to the panel lines and crevices to make sure all of the sanding dust is gone as well.  I then use Alclad's Grey Micro Primer and spray at about 20 psi.  The nice thing about Alclad's grey primer is that it fills in any micro scratches you may have missed.  I suppose you could use any primer, but this one has always worked for me and is designed for the Alclad line.  It should look like this when done.  (Note: This stuff, as well as the Metal colors, dry very quickly, but to be safe, I let each coat cure for about fifteen minutes or so before handling.)

2.  Spray the entire airframe in  Alclad "Duraluminum".  I think this is the best overall shade for an operational wartime bird.  Not too shiny...nor too dull.  I'm not going for an airshow Jug here.  Again, I spray at about 20 psi which for me gives a nice smooth finish.  On this one, I left the tail in primer since it will be paint in 507th FG yellow.  Here's the Duraluminum. 

3.  The next series of steps is to alter the shades of several panels to break up the monotony.  Again, I'm going show my way of doing it, but you can do this to your own taste.  I started with the panel on the spine and the ammo access doors which were taped off and sprayed Alclad  "Dark Aluminum".  I try to use post it notes wherever possible and Tamiya tape sparingly because it is fairly expensive. 

4.  Using the same taping method, I then added a tad of Alclad "Magnesium" to the Dark Aluminum and sprayed the gun breach access doors. 

5.  this is where it getsfun and the creativity cmes into play.  I masked off some panels on the fuselage and the flaps which were then sprayed Alclad "Semi Matte Aluminum".  I also taped off two panels on the cowl and painted them this shade.  Its subtle but noticeable.  At this point the airframe is starting to take on a subtle patchwork type appearance which I find appealing.   

6. This is how the finished product looks.  I went back and sprayed a few of the small access boxes on the fuselage Dark Aluminum, as well as the ailerons to add further interest.  I did leave the upper wing in Duraluminum since I do recall being told these were not painted in Aluminum lacquer at the factory, like the P-51 was.  If I'm wrong, please correct me.  Once its decaled, weathered and washed, the contrast with be muted somewhat but still noticeable.

Once my research on Perdomo's Jug has concluded (somewhat confusing at this point), I with put down the Olive Drab anti-glare panel, yellow tail, wing stripes, and the blue unit stripes for the 464th FS.  The nice thing about Alclad, you can decal right on top of it without a clear coat.  Well that sums it up.  For those NMF shy, try this out.  Thanks for looking, questions and comments are always welcome. 

Joe

 "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
    December 2012
Posted by dmaastr on Friday, January 4, 2013 6:41 AM

Makes me want to build a Jug.  The NMF looks great,  Thats one finish I haven't seriously attempted.  I've always wanted to do a Jug or Mustang in NMF with full invasion stripes.  Would you recommend painting the stripes first and then mask them off or apply the NMF and mask it off?  Plus, do you let the NMF paint dry/cure a certain amount of time before masking it off?  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  

Thanks

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: Smithers, BC, Canada
Posted by ruddratt on Friday, January 4, 2013 4:58 PM

Joe, very informative tutorial and excellent results. The tricky part for me has always been the weathering of NMFs, so I'll be eagerly awaiting the next installment, as in my stash lies a P-47, P-51, and a MiG-21 that would all benefit from these techniques.

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

 

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: oxford,pa
Posted by ron b on Saturday, January 5, 2013 6:40 AM

Very informative, Thanks for posting. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

  • Member since
    December 2006
  • From: N. Georgia
Posted by Jester75 on Saturday, January 5, 2013 8:32 AM

Going together fast! Your nmf looks like it went down smooth as silk. Thanks for the tips, I'll definitely give them a shot in the future!

Eric

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
Posted by 7474 on Saturday, January 5, 2013 10:12 AM

Any sort of a sealer used on the NMF before applying other colors?

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Thursday, January 10, 2013 4:10 AM

Hello all, in for an update.  I was able to finish up the paint scheme, clear coat these painted areas, then turn my attention to the R2800.  The tail and wing stripes were done in XF-3 Flat Yellow with a tad of XF-7 Flat Red.  The blue squadron ID stripes, to include the thin lines that outline the wing stripes, were done in an approximate 70% XF-8 Flat Blue and 30% XF-2 Flat White.  It looked right to my eye when compared to other builds.  Reference the wing stripes, I've read that some planes had blue that outlined the yellow stripe.  Since nobody seems to do this on their builds of this subject, I decided to do it to be different.  These turned out great (gotta love Tamiya tape....there's no substitute).  I then sprayed the Olive Drab anti glare panel with XF-62 Olive Drab cut with a bit of XF-49 Khaki. 

As I said earlier, I'm not too impressed with Academy's representation of the R2800 mill.  It just seems sort of basic to me.  I endeavored to spruce it up with a scratchbuilt ignition harness.  I generally make these out of Evergreen rod and fuse wire.  Without having to rehash my method, I posted a tutorial thread on how I do this which can be seen at the link below:

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/2/t/149327.aspx?sort=ASC&pi240=1

Heres how it turned out:

Fortunately after the wiring, the engine still fit inside the cowl.  It has to be grunged up a bit more, likely with some X-19 Tamiya Smoke, but this is the general idea on how it will look. 

Thanks for looking...

Joe

 "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
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Thursday, January 10, 2013 4:13 AM

7474

Any sort of a sealer used on the NMF before applying other colors?

Nope, thats the beauty of Alclad.  Its a fantastic product.  Just to be on the safe side, I always give it a few hours to fully cure before taping.   

 "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
    December 2006
  • From: N. Georgia
Posted by Jester75 on Thursday, January 10, 2013 7:40 AM

Looking great Joe!

Eric

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, January 10, 2013 7:48 AM

Wow, love the stripes and the mill Joe!

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    February 2007
  • From: Brunswick, Ohio
Posted by Buckeye on Thursday, January 10, 2013 11:32 AM

Outstanding paint job!Toast

Mike

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 8:38 PM

Greetings all, I'm in for a little update.  I managed to get the Meat Chopper decaled last night.  I remember buying these Super Scale decals (#48-613) from my LHS about 5 years ago on clearance for 6 bucks.  This was even before I had this N kit.  I see why now, because they are older than dirt.  Two of the four stars and bars shattered when soaked.  I even used warm water.  I ended up using spares from another Aeromaster sheet.  The shade of blue is slightly off, but I hope after weathering and such it will blend in.  I then held my breath, kept the water warm, then carefully commenced to salvage the rest.   Fortunately, with liberal use of Micro Sol, I was successful.  I had to supplement the red step squares on the flaps too.    This was actually my first bad experience with Super Scale, but I'm sure It was no fault of theirs, just the antiquity of the sheet.  Also, this is the first plane I ever used "all" of the servicing stencils.   I usually put the more prominent ones on, then get bored with it, saying "good enough"..... 

     

This morning I sealed the decals with Alclad gloss coat to await a Flory panel line wash.   Its time to start working on the other assemblies, such as the prop, landing gear, drop tanks and other such bits.  Thanks for looking....stay tuned.

Joe

 "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
    November 2003
  • From: State of Mississippi. State motto: Virtute et armis (By valor and arms)
Posted by mississippivol on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 9:08 PM

It's looking really good, Joe. Great job on the paint scheme.

Glenn

  • Member since
    December 2006
  • From: N. Georgia
Posted by Jester75 on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 8:30 AM

Beautiful work Joe, love it! I have got to find more build time!

Eric

 

  • Member since
    January 2010
  • From: Nebraska, USA
Posted by CallSignOWL on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 8:43 AM

lovely build, cant wait for more!

------------------------

Now that I'm here, where am I??

  • Member since
    February 2007
  • From: Brunswick, Ohio
Posted by Buckeye on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 11:44 AM

Looking good!

Mike

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Lafayette, LA
Posted by Melgyver on Thursday, January 17, 2013 8:38 PM
You are both right in calling it a gear reduction gear box or propeller gear box! The engine rpm had to be reduced to lower propeller speeds.

Clear Left!

Mel

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Lafayette, LA
Posted by Melgyver on Thursday, January 17, 2013 8:41 PM
Oh, the Academy kit aileron tip shape is incorrect for the N model. The Pro Modeler kit has the correct squared off outter aileron tips.

Clear Left!

Mel

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