Tag Archives: USAAF

Done: Accurate Miniatures 1/48 A-36 Apache

It has been a while since I finished something… Mainly because I have three projects on the go that take their time, and, to some extent, test ones resolve. So, in order to get a break, I picked another quick build from the stash.

AM’s A-36 is a very nice little kit with some small imperfections. Straight out of the box it builds into a beautiful model that captures the lines of an early Mustang pretty well. Some areas can be refined, as with any kit, but it’s up to you if you are willing to invest the extra effort.

One thing that is rather easy to fix is the missing armor plate behind the pilot’s seat. Some thin plastic sheet, a couple of swipes with a sanding stick, and you are done. Adding some cables to the radio set behind the cockpit pays off, because that area is very visible through the side windows. And finally, if you want to pose the canopy open you need to cut the clear part. Be careful, as the clear plastic is brittle and tends to crack if you apply too much pressure.

Apart from that I used Ultracast’s seat and wheels, the antenna mast was replaced with a whip antenna, and brake lines were added from thin copper wire. Painted with Tamiya and Gunze acrylics, weathered with oils.

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Done: Tamiya 1/48 P-47D Thunderbolt

What I love about this hobby? That every day is a school day. Or at least it can be if you are so inclined. This time it was post-shading using Tamiya Smoke that was on the TLL (To-Learn List. Yes, I am a lists guy). Not having had too much success with pre-shading NMF paint jobs, I wanted to see if I could pull off a subtle type of weathering without that “contest table”-look of which I am not a huge fan. What I did learn is to be very careful, thin the Smoke well and always adjust your light source so that you can actually see when the coat starts to get that wet, reflectant sheen – which will happen just before the paint start to run…

Apart from that it was a relaxing quick build, something I really needed as a distraction from my ongoing struggle with an Italeri chopper and Eduard’s P-38. NMF, as usual, was airbrushed using Tesors buffing Metalizers, Gunze Yellow and Olive Drab. The decals are for the most part Tamiya’s, nose art and aircraft IDs are from the lovely Kagero book “P-47 Thunderbolt with the USAAF – European Theatre of Operations”. Speaking of decals: Why on earth does Tamiya still produce their own decals? They produce wonderful kits, detailed, easy to build, accurate – but their decals still suck. Would it really be such a loss of face to them to stop their own production and go Cartograph instead?

Anyway, here it is. Oh, another thing I learnt: It is a good idea to always have some Tamiya kits in your stash – just in case you need a quick success to keep the mojo on track.

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Done: Italeri 1/48 Spitfire Mk.Vc

Recently I read somewhere that every blog should have at least one of those “there I was” stories. Well, ok.

There I was, in one of the few model shops that remain in Vienna. It’s quite a small shop, but it’s absolutely packed with stuff that can make you drool – if you are into planes or military vehicles, that is. On top of all the plastic they stock Gunze, Alclad and various other odds and sods we all need. On that particular day it just so happened that I was around the corner (yeah, right), so I figured I could drop by for a minute and get some Gunze colors. And maybe take a look around. That wouldn’t hurt anyone, would it.

20 minutes later I was about to pay for my goods. Three jars of paint. Oh, and that Revell F-15E some dude decided to sell second hand. Ok, I had been looking for that kit up and down for quite some time, musing over the prices people asked for it on ebay, and generally wondering why such a beauty doesn’t get re-released. Good excuse, I would think.

While packing my goods, the shop owner mentioned he just received a shipment of Italeri kits, including the Spitfire Mk.Vc. And that it’s an absolute steal. And that it would include decals for an US version from North Africa. Being not entirely convinced by Italeri’s offerings in the past, I still decided to take a look at it – and was impressed! Only later I would find out that this one is a re-boxing of the Classic Airframes / Special hobby kit. But anyway, in the end I left the shop with both kits – and another one, the P-40E shown somewhere else in this blog.

What’s the point to that story, you may ask. I don’t know. Maybe it’s that no matter how well we plan our purchases, sometimes you just have to seize the opportunity. Or maybe it’s the simple realisation that there is still a place for the local hobby shop, no matter how many times we order online…

So, here she is. Ultracast seat, RB Models gun tubes, painted with Gunze acrylics (top sides) and Italeri Azure Blue. And yes, everything that has been written regarding the cockpit having fit issues is true, but can be overcome with some test fitting, cutting and sanding.

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Done: Hasegawa 1/48 P-51D Mustang “Lou IV”

This kit has been in my stash for some 15 years, with decals yellowing and getting brittle. After getting myself the nice AeroMaster sheet “Yellow Nosed Mustangs of the 361st FG Pt.2” it was finally time to build it. As my boxing was of a P-51K, I simply had to use the collared prop blades and the earlier canopy (thankfully both included in the box) and cut away the extended stabilzier on the spine.
Before starting the build I had not been aware of the ongoing discussions regarding Lou’s paint scheme. After reading through all the arguments I could find pro and con blue camouflage, OD vs. Dark Green etc. I decided to stick what seemed somewhat logical to me. I used Tamiya XF-65 for the Dark Green and Gunze H52 to overpaint the invasion stripes. The NMF was painted with Testors Metalizer Aluminium Plate.

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Done: Italeri 1/48 P-40E Warhawk

Yes, I do like this kit. So much, in fact, that I went and bought another one for future in-between builds. It has its weak points, like the fit of the engine nacelle, the somewhat simplified cockpit and the wheels (best replaced by some aftermarket). But nonetheless, what is in the box makes for a really fun build. And having it finished makes me want to build an early “C” version, another “E” in British camouflage from New Guinea, one of those nifty tan-colored P-40’s out of Tarawa…

So, here it is, in its Aleutian colors, sporting a somewhat debatable white spinner, and True Details wheels and pilot’s seat from Ultracast. Paints are Tamiya and Gunze with an oil wash and some slight chipping using a sponge.

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