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Phillip Friddell
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In Stark Contrast to The Fire Station

May 9, 2021 · in Aviation · · 14 · 1.6K

The same month I was arguing with that darned fire station I was also building a 1/48th scale FineMolds A5M-4 "Claude" for some much-needed relaxation. Like all recent kits from that manufacturer this one just fell together, needing no filler and only minimal sanding and polishing, with just a set of lap belts in the way of aftermarket.

The interior and cowling were painted with the appropriate JNAF colors courtesy of Mr Color, while the airframe was done with Floquil Old Silver. Hinomarus were from the kit decals while the alpha-numeric code on the tail came from the spares box. Weathering was accomplished using Tamiya smoke and pastels and the whole thing was dusted with Alclad clear flat to provide a slightly weather beaten appearance.

The kit itself is beautifully molded, easy to work with, and definitely looks the part when it's completed. An easy date, if you will!


Reader reactions:
11  Awesome

1 additional image. Click to enlarge.

14 responses

  1. Nice work! That is a great kit, very enjoyable. Try one of their Ki-15s. Same story. Great detail and great fit.

  2. Phil, @phillipfriddell
    This is an excellent build, and I like it a lot. You did a fine job with it. I have one of these Fine Molds "Claude" fighters in the stash, and I plan on building it, along with the remaining Classic Airframes versions at the same time. Having built several other Fine Molds kits I agree with you, these are definitely under rated, and an easy date if you will...more like the girl in High School that no one looked at because she had braces and glasses. A few years later after the braces were gone, and she's wearing contacts, and you see her on the cover of a magazine !

    I'm surprised we don't see more of their kits completed and on contest tables.

    Well done ! I definitely pressed the "liked" button.

  3. Great result! Liked. The A5M was one of those kits that seemed to go unrepresented for so long, and really glad that Fine Molds tackled it in the way that they did.

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    Walt said on May 10, 2021

    Great looking build...but why so chincy with the pictures? More of an excellent build is always better! Looks great, from both angles, very 1930's vintage. Pleasing lines for sure! I will probably never build one but keep hearing great things about those Fine Mold kits.

  5. Good work on the Claude. I've had one of these in the storage closet for some time. I'll have to get to it!

  6. Thanks, guys! The FineMolds Claude is just what the doctor ordered if you want a quick kit that looks good upon completion, which I desperately needed after the fire station. I really appreciate your kind comments.


  7. Beautiful build, Phillip.
    Absolutely nice paintwork.

  8. Looking great, Phillip!
    Love the painting and weathering!

  9. Thanks, everyone.

    I failed to mention that the model represents a "Claude" from the 4th Ku at Rabaul (Laukunai, I think) early in 1942, which explains the plain markings and lack of color on the airplane. The Chitose Ku was also operating in the area at the time and they still had a couple of aircraft with the characteristic red tails on hand, but most of the machines operated by the 4th were in overall silver. I'd meant to mention that in the initial post but somehow forgot to do it!


  10. Looks great! A few more pics wouldn't hurt my feelings... 😉

  11. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Simple looking, yet very elegant stance.
    Nice work on that Claude model Phillip.
    Good work on the lightly weathered effect.

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