By Dick Hague
In pushing to get a couple of models finished for the model club meeting last night I almost had one of those “man caused disasters”! I was moving a jar of sticky adhesive, the kind you can use to hold something temporarily, lifting it by the top, which wasn’t screwed down but the stickiness made it seem so, and as I moved it to the back of my desk the bottle fell off! It missed the A-10 and P-65 but filled a cup full of He-115 parts, including an already masked multi-pane canopy. I had to clean up lots of parts and skip a few finishing touches on the two planes I did take to the meeting.
Today I put those finishing touches on, including a wire antenna on the P-65 and painting the noses of the A-10’s bomblet dispensers, and posed them for their “Official” finished the thing pictures, shown here!
The first picture is the bottom of the P-65 prior to the gear being added. The second picture is the first tip!
Tip #1…I got this one from Ken Robert
! He told me that if you have any of the old Poly S paint of the color called “Graphite”, treasure it, for it is great for painting radial engines. When it dries, the pigments make recessed detail move to dark and the higher parts look more silvery, as if it was doing a wash on itself. Here in the picture I have painted the previously aluminum sprayed C-46 engines on the left with the graphite. The ones on the right are just the aluminum spray. They do look darker and I suspect that once they are inside a cowling it will be even more pronounced. Thanks Ken!
Tip #2…This is what a circle cutter looks like. I bought it a while back to mask roundels that I wanted to paint. Here I am cutting masks to cover a previously painted engine inside a cowl. The first cut I tried free handed with scissors, and it was too small but I used it to mask the engine inside the cowl in case my outer mask leaked. I ended up hand cutting a second one, just in case!
Tip #3…I use a variety of clips to hold things, including clothes pins but discovered you can reverse a clothes pin and hold something in reverse! I couldn’t hold these cowlings by the edge while spraying them and my usual way to do something like this would be to have put something through the prop shaft hole, like a long paint brush handle, several of which I have cut off old brushes that I no longer use. I took out a pair of my clothes pins and found out I could squeeze them slightly open and then stick the end into the cowlings, and when released they expanded to hold the cowls! I then used my alligator clips glued to the end of bamboo cooking spears to hold the clothes pins while spraying!
Next are a few more pics of the P-65 in final assembly, and then an old school move! Older modelers are well familiar of the phrase “Place a heated blade against the axle and flare it to fix the wheel” and here that exact thing is being enacted! I was a little uncomfortable having a fire on my desk full of flammable materials but when I was into my heavy smoking days 10,000 packs of Marlboro’s ago, there was always a fire there!
Those P-65 wheels rotated so good that on the way to the meeting it rolled into the A-10 inside the carrying case! On the way back I had Styrofoam peanuts that were converted into wheel chocks to hold it back! It hit the A-10 hard enough to get black paint on the yellow spinner!
Here is the box that the F7F, built as the P-65, came in. Great box art. I couldn’t resist the close up picture of a mostly artistically inspired painting!
I wasn’t happy with how the antiglare panel looked on the P-75A so I masked it off again tonight and repainted it, shown here under heavy masking. It looks more like the real one in the last picture but I am not sure how much the kit catches the real one’s forward fuselage. I will know more when I get the prop on it tomorrow.
Here are the finished pics of the A-10 and P-65 and the pics of the entire build will get moved into a set of folders for finished models.
I did a little rearranging of my desk to accommodate a parts drawer set that had been on a cabinet beside me and used that space on the cabinet to place a second case to hold my HO scale vehicles. I had thought about that space in the center of the desk to hang a flat screen TV when my old tube one went bad but I figured that I couldn’t see it straight on because of the lamps and it would be better off on the side like it is now.
The A-24 and SBD are moving right along although the SBD may still end up as another A-24 if I want to use that Costa Rican insignia decal, but that has low priority behind the first A-24 and the two P-75 models, shown here test fitting the clear canopies.
Later….been getting a lot of typos I have had to go back and correct so I must be getting sleepy!