Blast From the Past: Atlantis (Revell) F11F-1
This is a "new" kit from Atlantis, which is actually the 1956 Revell 1/54 model of the "short-nose" F11F-1 Tiger used by the Blue Angels in the 1950s. Atlantis has been re-releasing old Revell kits for a while, at first with the slot and swivel for the fuselage, and the globe base. More recently they have deleted the slot for the swivel, but you can still get the globe base and swivel separately if you want to put your model on the pedestal. Some of their kits have been issued with the raised lines that indicate where the decals should go (remember them?), and some of the kits have had these lines removed. This kit originally had the decal locations shown by indented lines in the plastic. Atlantis eliminated these indentations in this kit, but they apparently missed a few. The locations for the intake warning stripes and the ejection triangles are present, and required filling.
Aside from that, the kit went together like you would expect. I built the kit in sub-sections that were assembled and painted before assembly. This was thanks to the fact the wings and elevators slotted into the fuselage perfectly and required no putty at all.
The only drama in this kit was self-induced. I decided I wanted to finish the model using only spray cans. Yes, I am lazy, and I only get out my airbrush when I have to. The Tamiya Navy Blue went on perfectly, even though it is a little dark for the color the Blue Angels used in the 1950s. I sprayed the yellow tips and the silver leading edges on the wings, elevators, and rudder using Vallejo spray acrylics. I had some Vallejo spray clear gloss that I used to prepare the surface for the kit decals. I let the clear dry for 24 hours, but then discovered that I couldn't touch the surface without leaving fingerprints that couldn't be wiped off. I polished the surface with car wax, which removed the fingerprints and used latex gloves to handle the model after.
The kit decals were interesting. It looks like they were printed in white first, followed by the yellow. This gives the decals some color density over the dark blue. Unfortunately, the white underlayer was smaller than the yellow layer, which allowed the blue to show through the edges of all the decals. The other problem with the decals was that they tended to stay where they first landed, and resist any effort to move. I used a trick that I learned from my friend Spiros (@fiveten), and applied some Future over the area to be decaled, and then the decal would move freely in the wet Future. Once that problem was solved, the only issue I had was the long decal that goes from around the canopy to the spine of the plane. I managed to massage the tentacles around the canopy without breaking them, but it was a lot less fun than you might think. The kit includes decals to make planes from the 1957 and 1958 seasons, but the instructions are a little sparse on where things should go. I took my best guess. If you happen to be a Blue Angel aficionado and know that I have messed up the markings, then I will apologize in advance. :o)
4 additional images. Click to enlarge.