WIP: 3rd Update “1/32 Trumpeter F6F-5 Hellcat in Royal Navy Markings”
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Well, this project is still on-going. It’s one of those projects were you feel like you are almost done but then you realize you are still so far off. Trying to get everything correct, and taking care of those little details can take so much longer then you expect. Thank-God I love building models…LOL!
This update again mostly captures the painting and final finishing process. My last update created some good dialogue regarding choice of colors. Several felt the Dark-Sea Grey was way to greenish. My opinion is it is more on the green side then some of the available reference photos. If I was to do this build again I would use Tamiya RLM-Grey. This seems to be a better match to these reference photos. Although I also used some reference photo’s in which my choice of color is a closer match. So I choose to leave it because re-doing it just did not seem to be an option at this time and overall I was happy with it. Also, based on experience I know the color will continue to change as I fade the colors, blend with washes, and apply filters.
I learned a lot from this build about painting and color. Lessons Learned: “I will not trust Brand FS SPec colors as being 100% correct”. This is an issue for me with Vallejo Air Color brand paints. This is the second time in recent history that I researched an FS Spec number to help with color match, and choose the Vallejo Color Air FS SPec paint labeled with the desired FS SPec color only to find out that when dry it did not match at all. I have also had the same color paint re-labeled with a different name, and FS SPec, from this same brand. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me! I used this same FS Color from Vallejo on my recent 1/48 Sea-Hurricane build but it did not receive any comments regarding color being wrong so I was confident in using it again. I felt on that build the model did match some published photos but then again I may have been biased. I have included a few pictures of that build for your review and judgement. The problem for me results from not trusting the available color photo’s because many are restored and re-colored through processing applications, different lighting, variation when color is re-applied, different aircraft companies paint formulas, etc. In this case I mostly relied on the detailed color photo’s and painting guide included with the after-market decals. My color is a perfect match to those drawings and paint guides. Finally my camera and lighting set-up appears to make the green appear more green then it really is. I noticed this to also be the case regarding the greenish/yellowish zinc chromate primer I used as a chipping paint. In the attached pictures this Zinc Chromate looks so bright, and almost florescent, but in reality it is not that bright. I will also be scuffing it up a bit, and applying further oils, filters, and a matte varnish to tone it down considerably.
In the final included photos the weathering is applied using a combination of water-color pencils, acrylic paints, enamel washes, and some oils. Most of the scratches and chips are painted using fine paint brushes, as well as, the colored pencils. The recessed panel lines and rivets are enhanced using AK Interactive dark washes. I also enhance the brush painted chipping with a sponge dipped into the appropriate chipping colors and lightly dabbed onto the surface of the model as needed. I did not use any chipping solutions. The weathering process is not complete in the included pictures.
One note regarding the build process at this stage. I fitted the engine with the cowling for the 1st time. Something was seriously wrong. The engine face was displaced very far from the front of the cowling opening. It was hidden way way back and absolutely not correct! Something is definitely not correct. The strange thing is the connection between the engine and fuselage is perfect, and aligned with placement keys. Its a perfect match so what is missing which would have positioned the engine a 1/2 inch forward correcting the issue. Did I mess something up, or is the kit that wrong? I reviewed the instructions again and based on the illustrations I cannot find the error. I did leave off pieces that would not be seen once the cowling was in place but based on the instructions these elements would all be placed behind the fuselage fire wall and play no part in positioning of the engine forward/aft. SO something is wrong but its fixable with some spacers or just not pushing the engine all the way back on its mounting boss. Also regarding assembly this kit is very detailed but lacks brake lines. I added black coated wire to replicate this on the landing gear. I did not use the included vinyl tires and plastic hubs. I used a more detailed resin replacement rim/tire assembly. They look much better.
I coated the entire aircraft with several layers of Future FLoor polish, or whatever they are calling it these days. The after market decals were applied and performed fairly well but needed some setting/softening solutions to get them to settle well into the recessed panel lines and rivets. They are delicate and can be ruined with the use of the softening solutions if not very cautious with its application. The large roundels on wing tops were especially difficult to settle down onto the wing. I scuffed the decals up using 3200 polishing pad once dried. I then applied another matte coating.
More to come when the project is complete.
42 additional images. Click to enlarge.