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A modeler wrote and ask why I brush on a "water-thin black wash?"

My answer was to show all the imperfections that are in the plastic such as unfilled panel lines, sink marks and scratches left by my metal files and rough sandpaper. I sand out all of these imperfections then add another thin wash and sand it off using 3M's 600 wet/dry grit. I may have to repeat this process until I achieve a perfect finish on the plastic that would match the real metal on the airplane. I judge my models on a scale of 1 to 10 and I want them to be a 8 and/or 9, 'cause the only 10 out there is Planet Earth and the maker above!

I added a lock down pin on each wing which was to show the pilots that the gears and/or the folding wings were locked in place.

The model was painted with 's Gloss Yellow color which was mixed to a water base by using 4 parts "Denatured Alcohol." The decals were applied without any problems.

The first photo shows the real airplane which was stationed in Japan shortly after WW-II ended. It was used for patrol along the coast of Japan.

25 additional images. Click to enlarge.

17 responses

  1. Excellent work, a yellow overall finish is never an easy task, and achieving it without getting that toy(ish) effect is even harder. Well done sir, and I’ll be trying your method to spot blemish surface on my current build, god knows it needs to be checked before painted

    • Ola Pedro, Que Tal amigo: Estoy un gringo de U.S.A. y ahora en inglish. I was able to read, write and speak Mexican Spanish in the mid 1950's and up until the mid 1970's but somehow since then I have lost the language.

      I started model building in 1977 and by the mid 1980's I was heavy into making models for clients and belonged to 2 model clubs in the San Francisco Bay area of Northern, CA. Somebody showed me how to apply the wash and sand it off. It will show all the scratch marks and especially the missing panel lines. Model building is nothing more than having fun experimenting with different items, trying different go experiment! Thanks!

  2. A wonderful build and great color! Bravo!

  3. Great job Rodney @f2g1d, it's great to see this representation that many are not aware of. I'd like to add a comment though, the indicator pin you added is a nice touch and often over looked. It is indeed for showing the landing gear in the locked down position.

    For the edification of others who might be building a Helldiver in the future, the wing lock indicators are in a different location. There are four for each wing. Two top and bottom at the leading and trailing edges a few inches inboard of the separation joint. You can see three of them circled in red, in the first photo below. The fourth one on the trailing edge is hidden by the folded wing. The top ones are visible by the Pilot and the bottom ones are visible by the aircraft handler on the deck/ground. A small detail often not addressed when building one of these with the wings folded.

    Nice job on the finish. Liked!

    2 attached images. Click to enlarge.

    • WOW! Your wing photos along with the data for the wing locks are awesome. I never research the airplane and I don't recall how/why I added the pin that sticks up out of the wing.

      Furthermore, I have no photos of the decal sheet that goes with this model, and I have no idea as to weather or not it came with the kit and/or I bought it. I have the original building photos on a back up CD and maybe there are more photo's on it...I'll go take a look. Thanks for the information and pictures!```````Rodney

      • No problem Rodney. I don't think the decals were a standard issue with the Pro version. The roundels look right, but the other markings might have come from an aftermarket sheet. I could be wrong, but I haven't noticed them in my stashed kits. I've built up a bit of a knowledge base on the Helldiver since I help maintain the only flying one in the world today, the Commemorative Air Force SB2C-5. I've been involved with it for the past 4 years.

  4. Very nice build indeed. Where did you get the markings, are these from an aftermarket sheet?


  5. I looked at my original CD that I have on the model and I show no photo of the decal sheet and no written data either. So it is a toss-up as to where I got the decal sheet.


  6. Doesn't really matter now Rodney. The kit is done and the kit is great!

    Good stuff sir...good stuff.


  7. If the rabbit did not stop running to eat, the fox would not have caught if I was paying attention I would have taken a photo of the decal sheet and written down where I bought it. I guess at times we or rather me forget to follow up on some of the model building operations. However, it is what it is, and I can't remember much about what I did or did not do back then.

    I guess my next posted model will have "ALL" the necessary information!

    Again thanks to all comments "pro & con."

  8. Rodney @f2g1d, I don't believe there was a 'Con' statement made and if there was, it's not worth paying attention to it. I for one enjoy seeing your work, even if you don't remember which piece came from where, or how you acquired the kit. You remember a lot more about your work then most modelers probably do and you post more information then quite a few of them.

    Love the analogy about the Rabbit vs. Fox.

    Keep them coming, "ALL" the information or not, we will still be interested!

  9. I have a new rabbit, 'cause the fox died...I like funny things. I think "con's" are good if it points out something that you can do to better the project.
    I'm gonna post my XB-70 pink jet now...

  10. Excellent!

  11. Hello Rodney,
    It shows again what "color"can do with a model. Besides that it gives a insight in post war operations in Japan. You did "The Beast" a great honor. Thanks for sharing this "Pro Modeler" item with us. As mentioned many times before: "Monogram always good"
    Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

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