The Sacrifices They Made In A ‘Nam Huey Hog
I’ve finally worked up the courage to make my first ever post online of my own scale model.
I have my eye on the Tamiya 1/32 F4U-1A but will have to save up for that one! I blame iModeler for my longing for the 1/32 Tamiya F4U because I was web-surfing and somehow ended up on iModeler and the point of entry was of a fellow modeler giving a big smile with his 1/32 Tamiya F4U prize! FAQ here on iModeler said I could submit in-progress for a shot at the monthly prize, so here I am, first time ever posting pictures of my model, feeling anxious sharing with so many folks whose words and work I respect.
Meanwhile, gratefully, this 1/48 Revell Huey Hog got my imagination going. I know this kit isn’t the best/accurate, and being a mold from when I was a kid, molding isn’t crisp and definitely not state of the art, but it’s a huey gunship that is affordable (I appreciate Hobby Lobby’s 40% discounts!). I tried to take my time with this, making sure I’m actually enjoying the process – this is supposed to be relaxation for me to improve my health!
It’s taken me a while to get the huey to how I like it (what I’ve posted here), so while there’s still more I’m adding to the bird, I thought I’d post now for some encouragement to persevere! Note that because I’m still adding to it, the main rotor isn’t attached in its final position, and the nose mounted FM antennas aren’t installed yet.
– My experience of Hueys were really dinged up seat edges and very muddy/dusty cabin floors (and boots). The fabric changed from red to olive (faded) when crew felt that red was a little too conspicuous in the field, so I deviated from the Revell instructions about them being red.
– Hand painted details on the figures like wrist watches and painted helmet art on their helmets. Rendering the eyes on any figure is important and I did the eyes so that they aren’t cross-eyed and actually look like they’re looking in a particular direction, like they were smiling for my camera!
– Printed out a tiny map, cut, curled the edge for realism and eye candy, and placed on figure’s clipboard.
– OOB, the parts don’t fit…gaps galore. Cutting off the locator pins doesn’t help. The soft, bendy plastic it’s made of doesn’t help. Lots of filling steps, poor joints, and sanding throughout! Used milliput to reshape the contour of the huey body. Be prepared for all these if you get this model.
– Side doors were heat-bent into the proper shape.
– Scratchbuilt details like modified nose avionics panel that joins to grenade chute. Accurized grenade launcher (rear cover, bottom attachment, brush/bristles protecting gun interior from dust/dirt). I know the armament/livery combination isn’t quite correct, but I couldn’t help the coolness factor!
– Scratchbuilt blade antenna/IFF/search light and beacon antenna below nose.
– Removed existing plastic dorsal and tail lights and replaced with stretched clear sprue.
– Hand painted shark mouth.
Don’t know whether folks already know this, but thought I’d share: because it’s got raised detail and I had to do a lot of sanding, in order to bring back the rivet details, I looked around at my art supplies and decided to try using a cocktail stick to dot little rivets with art gesso. Seems to work! Is there a better way of doing this?
The following links were inspiration for me. Inspiration isn’t quite the right word, I want to honor them:
14 additional images. Click to enlarge.