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Transition from cars to aircraft

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  • Member since
    May 2021
Transition from cars to aircraft
Posted by mightypudge on Sunday, August 29, 2021 12:11 AM

Hi all. 

Having returned to the hobby recently after several decades away, I naturally gravitated to what I know: cars. And I probably have enough in the stash to keep me busy for a long while. 

That said, I'm getting the itch to spread my wings (sorry!) and try something new, and I'm curious what tips you all might have for someone who's never tried their hand at model aircraft. thanks 

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by goldhammer88 on Sunday, August 29, 2021 12:37 AM

Generally, you'll paint all the interior colors, assemble the cockpit, and install in the fuselage as you glue that together.  Engines will be pretty much like a car assembly.  Assemble and paint off the plane.  Most times you want to leave fragile bits like antennas, pitoe tubes, etc. off until you are done handling and painting.  Sometimes easier to attach fragile landing gear after done.

Canopies can be done on or off, depending on how you're building.  Mask inside and out except for the framework on the outside.  Paint the interior color first, then the exterior color.  Use a white glue ( I use pacer 560) to attach.  Styrene glue and CA can fog clear parts.  Nav lights, paint the recess silver, and the backside of the lens with the appropriate clear color, red, green or whatever it calls for.  

Use a gloss clear after painting and before decals.  Use a dullcoat after decals unless it calls for a gloss finish.

Others may chime in with additional thoughts or corrections.  This just works for me.

 

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Sunday, August 29, 2021 1:37 AM

Working and filling seams is one of the biggest differences.  

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Sunday, August 29, 2021 8:19 AM

I like building both cars and airplanes.  I enjoy planes a bit more because of the weathering possibilities.  I don't know your skill set but maybe start with something with fewer parts and not a complicated camouflage.  Tamiya's F4F-4 Wildcat and A6M2 Zero might be good choices.  You can purchase pre-cut canopy mask for easier painting.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, August 29, 2021 8:38 AM

For attaching canopies, I have been using clear epoxy.

When you get to seam filling.  The first thing to do is to try your best to eliminate having seams in the first place.  That eluded me for years until I stumbled across this YouTube video that showed me the proper way to use liquid cement.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXTK9KdRQN4&ab_channel=spruecutters

You're almost always going to still end up with little gaps here and there, even using that method.  What I eventually found that works best for me is plain old Gorilla Super Glue with the light blue cap from Walmart.  If you work with a bright light pointed at the seam, you can see the tiny gaps, and you just use a toothpick to work a tiny bit of superglue into that gap.  After that, let that glue cure overnight.  Then, I use a black Sharpie to scribble on and around the little glue spots.  The black Sharpie acts as a leveling indicator when you sand.  After that, I use Micromesh sanding sticks from 1500 to 12000 grit to wet sand and polish the glue spots until all of the black Sharpie is gone.  Then you can put that same part under your bright light to make sure you don't see any more gaps.  Primer, paint, and Bob's your uncle.  Works the first time, nearly every time (except when you have a tiny gap you didn't see to begin with).  No frustrating fill, sand, repeat process to deal with, and the Micromesh sticks do minimal damage to surrounding detail...leaving enough of it still visible that you can easily rescribe.  For me, the whole process of eliminating gaps was the frustrating bain of my existence for a while.  I don't have that problem anymore.  For larger gaps, I'm using Apoxie Clay now.  Its hard as a rock when cured, but can be easily shaped and smoothed with tools dampened with water before it cures.  You don't even have to sand the stuff.  The best part about the Apoxie Clay is that its an epoxy, so it isn't prone to cracking like other water-workable putties are.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Sunday, August 29, 2021 8:55 AM

wpwar11

I like building both cars and airplanes.  I enjoy planes a bit more because of the weathering possibilities.  I don't know your skill set but maybe start with something with fewer parts and not a complicated camouflage.  Tamiya's F4F-4 Wildcat and A6M2 Zero might be good choices.  You can purchase pre-cut canopy mask for easier painting.

 

Lots of us are multi-genre builders.  Do not believe you cannot weather cars!  Rally cars are filthy at the finish.  Lots of people model abandoned, grungy cars.  Dirt track race cars are as dirty as rally cars.  And there is the hotrod meme of ratrod (google it).

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, August 29, 2021 9:37 AM

mightypudge
That said, I'm getting the itch to spread my wings (sorry!) and try something new, and I'm curious what tips you all might have for someone who's never tried their hand at model aircraft. thanks 

Buy Tamiya kits to start with. They are generally very forgiving.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Sunday, August 29, 2021 10:53 AM

GMorrison

 

 
mightypudge
That said, I'm getting the itch to spread my wings (sorry!) and try something new, and I'm curious what tips you all might have for someone who's never tried their hand at model aircraft. thanks 

 

Buy Tamiya kits to start with. They are generally very forgiving.

 

 

Bill

 

Agreed. Avoid the cheaper Revell aircraft for now. They are quite challenging to build as they are very old molds and not the greatest to start with. Once you get your legs under you in planes then you can work on the older kits that will provide you with hours of frustration until they are looking very nice.

BK

On the bench:Tamiya 1/48 Sea Harrier,

Tamiya 1/35 M4A3E8 "Fury" with crew,

1/32 Kittyhawk Kingfisher,

1/35 Meng Panther Ausf A Early,

1/48 Pro Modeller P-51C "Boise Bee"

1/25 Revell 69 Boss 429 Mustang

On Deck:

Tamiya 1/48 F4U Birdcage, 

1/25 Revell 32 Ford Coupe

1/12 Bandai "Mandolorian"

2022 Completed:

1/25 Revell 29 Highboy

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Sunday, August 29, 2021 3:54 PM

rocketman2000

 

 
wpwar11

I like building both cars and airplanes.  I enjoy planes a bit more because of the weathering possibilities.  I don't know your skill set but maybe start with something with fewer parts and not a complicated camouflage.  Tamiya's F4F-4 Wildcat and A6M2 Zero might be good choices.  You can purchase pre-cut canopy mask for easier painting.

 

 

 

Lots of us are multi-genre builders.  Do not believe you cannot weather cars!  Rally cars are filthy at the finish.  Lots of people model abandoned, grungy cars.  Dirt track race cars are as dirty as rally cars.  And there is the hotrod meme of ratrod (google it).

 

 

yes I know you can weather cars.  You can weather anything that operates outside.  I'm just speaking in general terms.  Most modelers build clean cars and add some weathering to war planes.

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Sunday, August 29, 2021 5:26 PM

   Most real, military or civilian are rarely dirty, the military and airlines have rigid corrosion inspection protocals. Most of the " weathering" will be stains where maintenence occurs, or panels and sections have been re painted.

   That doesn't mean that you couldn't have a hanger queen or a relic in a farmers barn covered in dust or grime but as a rule working aircraft are generally" clean".

   Be aware that flaps/ slats, and landing lear down can also be refered to as " dirty". Just a fun fact.

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, August 29, 2021 6:23 PM

Weathering with military aircraft depends on a lot of factors.  Combat versus peace-time is a big factor, along with environmental conditions that the aircraft operates in.  Things like sun, rain, and the flow of air over the airframe all affect the paint and outward appearance of any military aircraft that isn't just making the rounds on the airshow circuit.  Carrier-borne aircraft tend to have a much rougher, splotchier appearance than land-based due to salt and other factors at sea.  Even airliners tend to look pretty beat-up at times due to their flight schedules.  In my 28 years of working on military and civilian aircraft, I have seen the extremes at both ends of the spectrum, and everything in between.  Its all about modeling the subject you want to model, at the time, place, and environment it may have been in when you chose to model it.  It doesn't have to be spotless and pretty to be safe to fly.

As far as weathering cars goes.  Count me in with the group that doesn't do any weathering.  On the occasions I build cars, they tend to be something I could never afford in real life, and I want the model to look like it just rolled off the assembly line.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 10:06 AM

Yeah, the biggest difference is in the finish, as some others have noted.

Car or airplane, you want to have a clean build, so all of things you do to get a clean build-dry-fitting, cleaning up seams, preparing surfaces, etc-are pretty much the same.

But since it's most common to show an airplane-a military airplane, at least-with all of the wear and tear that service causes, it's a complete 180 from the traditional or most common way to finish a car, with a pristine showroom finish.

I had trouble going in the other direction, the first time I built a car model.  I wanted to weather the heck out of it.

And before anyone says it, yes, junkyard finishes and dioramas are a style for cars, but not the most popular/most common.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by RickS on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 11:03 AM

As a kid, I loved the old Revell 1/32 scale WWII fighters.  I still do, actually.  As my modelling skills progressed (to the point of being mediocre, where I am now!) I tried my hand at weathering a bit, and did, what I thought, was a fair job at the time.  Then I read somewhere that many WWII era airplanes were so short lived that they often never had time to get weathered or show battle scars, or signs of lots of use.  Of course there were lots that did too, so again, it's a matter of how you want your model to look..... like a battle-tested, dozens of sorties warrior, or a freshly-shipped-to-the theater-of-operations newcomer.

When it comes to airliners, especially passenger ones, they are usually kept quite clean.  But a small hydraulic leak, or grease streak will add a touch of realism.

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