Mosquito FB Mk.VI HX922/EG-F as flown by Group Captain P.C. Pickard during Operation Jericho.
Kit bombs with a little extra detail. The kit’s fusing prop blades were given a twist to add some pitch and small rings from the P/E spares drawer were added to their noses.
The bombs were first given a coat of Tamiya XF-61 Dark Green. Then, with the airbrush pressure turned right down so the paint would spatter, a very thin mix of Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow was unevenly sprayed over the front three quarters of each bomb. Lots of scuffs and scratches were then added using various coloured pencils.
The main gear doors, which had already been painted by Brett, were weathered with an oil wash to the silver interior and some careful airbrushed shading and streaking to the grey exterior.
I decided to replace the kit’s clear plastic supercharger intake guards with scratch-built items made using .010 x .030″ Evergreen plastic strip and some fine P/E mesh, again from the spares drawer.
Once painted and fitted to the model they looked pretty good!
The boarding ladder was painted using my mix of British interior green and given lots of scratches with a mix of dark grey and red brown.
Once painted black with yellow tips, the prop blades were weathered using the same, thin, Desert Yellow mix used on the bombs. Scratches were applied to their edges using a Prismacolor silver pencil. The prop hubs were dirtied up with my black/brown mix.
When the model was handed over to me the main construction had been completed by Brett Green. Brett had also masked the canopy frame and given the whole model a good coat of Tamiya AS11 Medium Sea Grey straight from the ‘rattle’ can so all I had to do was add the dark green camouflage. The outline for the green cammo was carefully sprayed freehand maintaining as tight a line as I could. A rough squiggle was then applied so I could easily see which side of the lines I had to fill in with the main coat. Spraying on the wrong side of the line is an easy mistake to make and it’s a mistake I have made plenty of times in the not so distant past!
My choice for RAF dark green is always Gunze Sangyo H330. I know this is not the recommended colour for WW2 RAF aircraft but it’s the one I prefer to use.
The area around the gun camera port was sprayed silver and then masked off with a small square of masking tape before the main green coat was applied. Once the green had been sprayed the mask was removed and the edge between the two colours was roughened up by some careful chipping of the green paint with the sharp end of a wooden toothpick.
Gun dust, exhaust stains and general grime were all added with the airbrush and a very thin mix of Tamiya red brown and flat black. The tyres were given a very watery wash of Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow.
Group Captain P.C. Pickard and his navigator Flight Lieutenant J.A. Broadley RNZAF were both killed at the end of the Amiens raid when this aircraft was attacked and shot down by a Focke Wulf 190 of JG26.
These last two photos were taken by Brett and will appear in his latest ‘How To Build’ book.
This Ju88C-6 is believed to have been flown by Hauptmann Tober of 8./NJG 2 in early 1944. It was equipped with FuG220 radar and upward firing Schräge Musik 20mm cannon.
A few extra details were added to the cockpit interior. These included safety harnesses cut from .005″ plastic card with simple buckles made from fine copper wire, rudder pedal cables from same and various control levers on side console from fine brass wire. The pilot’s seat was hollowed out using a motor tool and the radar operator’s seat had a new headrest added using brass wire and plastic card.
Cockpit interior painted and waiting to be installed.
Kit radar dipoles were replaced with scratch-built items made using fine telescoping brass tube and wire from Albion Alloys.
Undercarriage plumbed, painted and weathered. Tyres have also been flat-spotted.
The very thick kit pitot tube was replaced, again using Albion Alloy telescoping brass tube.
Although being the right shape, the prop blades were way too thick and so were sanded to a thickness much closer to scale.
The model was given a standard 70/71 splinter paint scheme on the upper surfaces.
This was followed by a fairly loose squiggle of RLM76. In this shot you can just see the nose-mounted machine gun barrels which have been replaced with brass tubes.
The finished camouflage with exhaust staining added.
Kit Schräge Musik barrels were replaced using brass tube.
A new DF loop was fabricated using some flat p/e stock from the spares drawer and an FuG 25 whip antenna was added using fine brass wire.
Lots of exhaust stains and oily streaks around the engine nacelles and undercarriage doors. To a lesser degree this staining is also visible on the horizontal tail surfaces (top and bottom).
This shot shows how heavy the exhaust staining is. Also in this and previous shots, the demarcation line between the upper and lower camouflage is still just visible on the fuselage sides and nose. This is the result of the slightly lighter application of the RLM76 squiggle which corresponds pretty well with my reference photos.
F4U-1A of VMF-321 flown by 1Lt.Robert Whiting on Guam, August 1944.
Pratt & Whitney R-2800-8W engine with extra wiring and plumbing. The exhaust manifold is not glued in place at this point.
The finished engine.
Cockpit with Barracuda’s stencils and placards decal set added. I did use the kit decal for the instrument dials but with a slight variation. The main panel was first painted semi-gloss black then the clear dial face panel was glued in place as per the instructions. Next I cut each dial face from the kit decal sheet and applied them individually to the front of each instrument. Once dry, each dial received a drop of clear gloss. I think this gives a much clearer result than applying them to the back of the clear instrument part.
The rear bulkhead with seat, safety harness and oxygen bottle attached.
Main cockpit components together.
Cockpit sidewalls with a bit of extra wiring.
The cowl flap hinge and pulley system was added using bits of plastic card and rod with stretched sprue as the wire. This is nowhere near 100% accurate, but it is quite visible and looks better than nothing.
Wheel wells received lots of extra plumbing. This was made using fine solder wire and it is quite complicated, so good reference is essential.
Initial cammo colours on. Notice the fairly uneven spray job around the fuselage in front of the cockpit. This is where the heavy staining from the leaky fuel tanks will be applied.
In this shot the weathering is well underway. This includes the fuel stains down both sides of the forward fuselage and across the inner wing, lots of Prismacolor silver pencil paint chipping along rivet lines and where fuel cell sealing tape has been removed, and the general grubbiness across the wings which was achieved by very carefully spraying ‘random’ dirty marks with the same colour used for the fuel stains. This colour is heavily diluted Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow.
Undersurfaces were fairly heavily weathered as well. Lots of dirt and exhaust stains on lower fuselage. Two shades of intermediate blue were used on the outer wings with some panel lines painted darker navy blue as per some photographic references.
The kit main wheels and tyres were replaced with resin items from Barracuda. The tail wheel assembly was later painted black as per reference.
Even though EaglCals instructions indicate that the trim markings on the tail and prop hub of this VMF-321 aircraft are to be white, I’m sure they were yellow. Also during this period VMF-321 planes carried different pilot and aircraft names on either sides of the cockpit and engine cowling. As the only available photo of this aircraft is of its righthand side, I chose not to use the duplicate personal markings on its other side as indicated by EagleCal.
Roden 1/48 Gloster Gladiator Mk II in Finnish markings.
Tamiya 1/32 P-51 D Mustang flown by Capt. Henry W. ‘Baby’ Brown of the 354th FS. 353 FG.
Tamiya 1/48 Nakajima N1J1-Sa Type 11 Gekko Late Version flown by WO Juzo Kuramoto and navigated by Lt Shiro Kurotori of the Yokosuka Kokutai.
Revell 1/32 Heinkel He 219 Uhu carrying the markings of an aircraft flying with I/NJG1.
The ‘Flying Dragon’. In my humble opinion, the best looking Japanese bomber of WW2.
The first job was to replace the plastic radar dipoles with .3mm brass wire. Still not quite thin enough but much more acceptable than the over-thick plastic representation.
The interior was improved by the addition of the photo etch detail set 72 321 from Eduard. Boy! I had forgotten how small 72nd scale was!
Photo etch replacement for the floor of the glazed nose. This is only a fraction of the P/E detail that was to be crammed into this area.
The rear fuselage is a little less crowded.
The cockpit area painted and weathered.
I did opt for the kit decal instrument panel rather than the P/E alternative.
The only major fault that I found with the kit was the difference between the circumference of the fuselage and the slightly smaller, clear nose part. This was rectified by gluing a strip of thin plastic card to the top of the fuselage and sanding until the step between the two parts was eliminated.
I added the internal framework to the rear gunner’s position using .020 plastic rod from Evergreen.
The kit instructions indicate that if the torpedo is to be fitted, that the bomb bay doors are not to be installed. On closer inspection of the available photographic references of the Ki67, I determined that the doors were cut down and fitted in the closed position. I presume this configuration would have provided slightly better aerodynamic quality than no doors at all. In this shot it can be seen that I have removed one 3rd of each door and fixed them in the closed position.
I cut a fine grain pattern on the breakaway wooden torpedo fins which were then painted Tamiya Desert Yellow and given a very thin black/brown wash.
Before fitting the wooden fins, the torpedo’s prop blades were thinned down and each blade was carefully twisted to give them a more correct pitch.
A handsome aircraft from all angles.
All panel lines were shaded to various degrees with my black/brown mix.
Exhaust stains were achieved using the same black/brown mix only applied slightly heavier with a carefully sprayed centre of Tamiya Buff to give a lean burn look. The tyres were sprayed flat black and dirtied up with Tamiya Dark Earth. Hydraulic lines were made from fine solder wire.
Fine lines of rivets were added to the front half of the fuselage and to the engine cowls using the point of a sewing needle. The support struts for the open canopy hatches were made from stretched spru.
Fw 190 A-5 flown by Oblt. Walter Nowotny, Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 54, Russia, summer 1943.
After some filling and re-scribing the first major job undertaken was to add the rivet detail. This was achieved with the aid of lots of Dymo tape as a straight edge, this MDC rivet punch and a good set of scale drawings.
With the scale drawings as a guide, and using a small metal ruler and graphite pencil, the start and end points of the rivet lines were marked out as accurately as possible. An appropriate length of the adhesive Dymo tape was then stuck between the pencil marks and using the rivet punch, the lines of rivets were carefully pressed into the plastic. The spacing between each rivet is done purely by eye and therefore is not 100% accurate but with practice (and I’ve had lots) it becomes fairly automatic and the result quite acceptable.
In this shot of the left fuselage half, as well as rivets, you can also see some of the detail that has been filled using Milliput.
The extra effort taken in adding the rivet detail is time consuming but the result, although subtle, makes a big difference to the overall look and surface texture of the finished model.
In this shot of the almost complete cockpit tub can be seen the canopy guide rails which were added using Evergreen plastic strip.
Each instrument dial was cut from the kit decal sheet and applied individually. Fiddly, but with these tired old eyes it’s a lot easier than painting ’em!
Safety harnesses were made from paper-backed lead foil and fine wire bent to shape to form the buckles.
Undercarriage parts plumbed, painted and waiting for installation.
The yellow theatre markings and RLM 02 in the wheel wells and flaps were painted first and then masked off with Tamiya masking tape before the main camouflage colours were applied. In this shot the masking has been removed from the wing tips and wheel wells.
Upper surface colour application begins with the lighter of the two greens. This is my own field mix of RLM 71 Dark Green with about 30% RLM 82 Light Green to try and represent the improvised colour used by the JG 54 ground crews.
RLM 70 Black Green was used as the second colour for the upper surface camouflage. Masking tape has now been removed from all yellow theatre markings.
With all camouflage colours applied, masking tape removed and panel lines drawn in with a very sharp 6B pencil, weathering has begun.
With all painting and weathering complete the model is just waiting for the installation of all its dangly bits.
In this and the next close-up shot you can see how the rivets just show through the paint.
All the paint chips were carefully applied using a very sharp Prismacolor silver pencil. The light exhaust staining was achieved by first spraying Tamiya XF 57 Buff and then a patchy overspray of a very thin mix of Tamiya Red Brown and Flat Black. This colour was also used for the main, darker exhaust staining down the fuselage sides and the build-up along panel lines where appropriate.
The spiral on the spinner was carefully brush painted.
Nylon mono filament was used for the radio antenna with small drops of white glue for the insulators. The backs of the prop blades were first painted silver and then over-sprayed with RLM 70 leaving the tips silver.
The yellow markings were also dirtied up using the black/brown mix.
My favourite angle of the 190. Markings are from EagleCals decal sheet EC#83 FW 190A-5s.
My favourite aircraft flown by the Allies during WWII has always been the Hawker Typhoon especially when fitted with the bubble canopy, armed with rockets and painted with full invasion stripes. I (and a lot of other people) had been hoping for a 1/32 scale kit from one of the major companies when Airfix surprised us all with this ‘slightly’ larger offering. It is a big, beautiful kit which (apart from the car door) includes just about every option you could wish for. When Brett rang and asked if I would be interested in painting a pre-production model that he was building for the next ADH ‘How To Build’ book I jumped at the chance.
The only thing that I was disappointed with was the rather basic detail on the rockets. In my opinion this is an important feature on this large kit so I was hoping for a little more effort from the designers. This shot shows all eight RPs finished with scratch-built detail added by me.
The first detail that I decided to add was a more accurate representation of the kit’s solid moulded rocket saddle plates. New brackets were made by carefully bending .010 x .040 Evergreen plastic strip to match the various reference photos I had at hand. After the removal of the moulded kit brackets these scratch-built items were glued in place. These are not entirely accurate but they’re a lot better than the kit offering.
The Weak Link Leads or ‘pig tails’ were the next detail to be added. These were relatively simple to make using plastic rod for the plugs and .355mm solder wire for the leads.
Brett had constructed the model with the engine fully exposed and painted. Both wing cannon bays were also open and complete. I painted it in this configuration with the thought in mind that I might be able to fit the engine cowling and gun bay panels over this completed work. I was wrong! But after the photos had been taken and the model was now mine the engine received a severe pruning and, with a bit of persuasion, the cowls and panels were made to fit.
Brett seemed very pleased with the result and took some more photos which he has included in his new book.
The cowling on my model doesn’t fit perfectly but that’s because it was fitted as an afterthought. I’m sure that if I had initially constructed it with the cowling closed, the fit would have been very good. A few added details seen in this shot include the dorsal whip antenna and the replacement cover plate with wire handle on the bottom of the retractable footstep.
Markings were sourced from XTRADECAL sheet no. X24-003 and represent aircraft MN131/PR-M of No. 609 Sqn., 123 Wing, 2 TAF, RAF Thorney Island, 6 June 1944. The decal instructions indicate that this aircraft had a three blade prop and a short chord tail but on careful examination of the one available photograph of this particular plane it is impossible to tell what the tail configuration is and, even though it is spinning, the prop looks to me as though it has four blades. So because Brett had already securely glued the Tempest tail in place and, in my mind, it should’ve been fitted with a four bladed prop, that’s the way it was going to be!
What a brute.
My favourite angle.