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René Hieronymus
23 articles

Curtiss XF14C-2 1:72

June 19, 2016 · in Uncategorized · · 10 Comments

Oh the joy of building a model – or welcome to the dark side!

You all know the story of how bad vacu kits or other short run kits can be but today I can tell you, I have seen the worst nightmare you can imagine, that is if it comes to building model kits. These little kits are worse than bad, they define what ‘s bad and what is even worse. And believe me this kit is very bad!

All the small parts are simply worthless, the faster you dump them the more nerves you will save. So dump them right away, don’t even try to use them as templates, they will be most likely wrong too. In this particular kit I only used the fuselage and the main wing and even these parts were only useable after significant improvements were done to them. The resin quality is horrible, it’s brittle like hell, I mean it will start to break if you only take a close look at those parts and the surface is so rough it looks as if the molds were made from clay, really did I say they’re bad? What you really need is a good set of plans, half a pound of putty and lots of time to build this kit. Some detail parts like wheels and a landing gear are useful too or if you haven’t got one you’ll have to build one of your own. Oh yes the clear canopy isn’t that good either, I made a new one, using a resin plug as a template which was provided with the kit.

The fuselage is made from 4 pieces which you have to make to fit to each other and that is, as you can imagine no easy task. You also have to add a cockpit floor where you can install anything you have made by yourself, because there are no parts provided with the kits. After a lot of sanding and after these 4 parts finally fit I made some changes on the engine/cowling/forward part of the fuselage by adding some of the cowl flaps. This certainly enhances the overall appearance of the model. The spinner and some prop blades were included but while the spinner was a clunky piece of plastic, the props were either broken or misshaped so I dumbed them altogether. The spare part box provided some substitutes for this task. So was the landing gear which was shortened and then installed. Before starting coloring I completely rescribed the model that way adding some more details. There are some decals provided with the kits but I restraint to use them because I was afraid of their quality and I did not want to ruin the otherwise fine model by using them.

Just to make sure I’m pretty glad that there companies like Unicraft which make such models of things you otherwise will never see from any other main stream company. But even then one should expect some parts which have an at least acceptable quality to be used as a starting point. But the parts in this kit are simply horrible and definitely not worth their price, sorry for that. I have spent quite some money on kits and parts but to be honest I have never regret to do so, until now.

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

10 responses

  1. Well it looks like it turned out reasonably well… must have REALLY wanted to build that kit to put yourself through such an ordeal. When all is said and done, you did not let it beat you.

  2. Well...despite all the negative aspects you describe, it certainly turned out nicely from what I can see. Don't think I've ever seen one one completed before...nice job.

  3. Rene, go have a beer or two, you've earned it!

  4. "Modeling. The Hard Way." I had some kits of that "quality" when you think that you hate all of this scale modeling and those manufacturers who produce c**p and sell it as models. But at the end of the fight, you realize that you win! A very unusual subject and nice result.

  5. Looks good, you've won the battle, looks like the figure in photos 2&3 needs a beer too.

  6. Heck I had to have a beer after reading what you went through with this model. It sure turned out great. This prototype must have screamed like a banshee when throttled up..
    Great modeling.
    California Steve

  7. Hello Rene...My congratulations on completing what was obviously a challenging build. Many of us, myself included, would likely have done a 'rain dance' on that bird and tossed it in the can. Your determination to complete it is outstanding. Thanks for the story of the build as well as the photos.

  8. Excellent result for all that effort! This is the price you pay for desiring the unusual subjects that are generally only available from short-run, resin and vac form offerings! I'd never heard of this subject - and I might have wanted to add it to my collect, but am SO glad you've talked me out of it! 🙂

  9. Thank goodness the Truman commission killed Curtiss in the hearings over the Fakakte of the SumBitch2/c. Curtiss had the corporate design philosophy of minimize expenses by using bits of previous design till it couldn't. Good examples:

    The Hawk series - P-1 to P-6, including F6C, F11C and BFC-2. By the time they got to the F11C and BFC-2 an eight year old essential design was dead dead dead even in the 1920s-1930s.

    The P-36 - P-40: The P-36 was almost up to the international standards of 1936 when it appeared (its competitors were the Bf-109, the Hurricane and the Spitfire). By 1940 when Don Berliner atached a liquid-cooled engine to the old airframe, the airplane was essentially obsolete.

    Further proof that the more you acquiesce to corporations, the further you fall behind.

  10. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :

    Rene ... ( I really don't know where or how to start this, I am in a stand still, even my wife is laughing ) ... 😀 .

    Rene ... I just don't see your point, and I say so with all due respects. I do not doubt your issues for this project, I really don't blame you.

    BUT look at her, she looks great and very interesting.

    All the somewhat hardships or difficulties one find in a model, is in my mind a very big PLUS. It gives the modeler the opportunity to use skills already attuned to or explore new ones. It offers a challenge ( or a few ), the chance to use ones creativity and ability to improvise ( if needed ).

    More yet ... the ability to stand back and REALLY appreciate the final product.

    Looking at it more steadily one can see the lines of the BEARCAT.

    She turned out great Rene.

    Can you imagine this model in 1/48 scale ?

    Thanks for the pictures and for sharing this project.

    I am very much in the mind set of Steve, she must have sounded like a BANSHEE when throttled up.

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