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Posts posted by Wolfman63

  1. Ten weeks into the Corsair project and I have completed all of the under wing stores. The aircraft will be armed with two AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles, twelve Mk-82 Snake eye bombs mounted on MER’s, and six M117 bombs mounted on TER’s. The inboard hard points will hold the drop tanks. Starting with the AIM-9B’s I cut off the nose and scratch built the IR sensor windows. These were them built up and painted. The MK-82’s required a lot of putty around the fins due to gaps. The M117’s only needed a little putty along the seams.

    I then built up the MER’s and TER’s and painted them. The kit supplies decals of the placard’s for the ordinance and the mounts. However, I decided not to use them. The decals are very poor for 1/32 scale and the registry of the decal printing is off. The placards look more like blobs rather than actual placards. This was strange as I typically work with 1/48 scale aircraft and similar decals were legible at the smaller scale. I will most likely seek out better quality decals which can be applied later.

    I then mounted the bombs and missiles onto the racks and painted the drop tanks. I am getting ready to install these onto the aircraft and then do some final weathering. Next I will be getting the display base detailed and wired for the lights and power.

     More details and photos can be seen from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/1-32-a-7e-corsair-ii-va-37-the-bulls/

















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  2. For the ninth week of the A-7E I completed the base coat of paint then added the decals. The decals proved to be challenging. These were made by Cutting Edge many years ago. (I obtained my set from Ebay a few years ago). The decals were very delicate. The “bull” for the tail cracked into different sections. So the decal needed to be carefully placed and aligned the sections. The rest of the decals went down well. I then added the custom numbers and pilot name. With all the decals applied I then added some light weathering to the panel lines, landing gear bays and wheels. Finally, the aircraft was sprayed with a clear coat to seal everything.

    Next I built up the Head-Up Display. To add the glow of the HUD I panted the base using glow in the dark paint with a coat of Tamiya clear green paint and then the clear lens supplied with the kit. The kit provides the photo etch sides for the HUD glass. Instead of using the kit HUD glass I cut a piece of clear acetate for the HUD glass. The photos of the HUD illuminated looks much brighter than in reality. This will now illuminate the HUD when the lights are turned down and add to the other illumination already installed.

    I then painted the windscreen and installed it. The canopy part had the notorious seam down the center. This was sanded and polished. The kit photo etch includes the mirrors and handle for the main canopy so these were installed as well. This basically finishes the aircraft itself. Now it is onto the ordinance and drop tanks that will be loaded on the aircraft. Once these are built, painted and detailed I can then start on the display base. Looks like I am only a few weeks away of completing this project.

     More details and photos can be seen from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/1-32-a-7e-corsair-ii-va-37-the-bulls/


















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  3. Welcome to the first update of 2023! This is the eighth week of the A-7E Corsair II project. The main base coat of the white underside and the gull gray topside was done. I attached the wing assembly to the fuselage and completed all the internal wiring. The wing assembly required a little putty to fill in the minor seams to the fuselage. I ran the power wires down the main gear struts and thru the resin wheels. The landing light on the starboard main gear door was mounted and I routed the fiber optic lines for the AoA lights on the nose gear door to the LED. The nose gear was then installed.

    The aircraft is now sitting on the landing gear. I then did a light check and all is good. I still need to add the rest of landing gear doors, flaps, and rear stabilizers. I still need to paint the base coat of the “Bull” blue nose and tail. I also made the specific aircraft decals for the correct numbers and the pilot name. After the other details are installed I will be decaling and then onto weathering the aircraft.

     More details and photos can be seen from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/1-32-a-7e-corsair-ii-va-37-the-bulls/






















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  4. Happy New Years and the final update for 2022 with week seven of the A-7E Corsair II build. With the holiday season we had family from out of town visiting and other holiday festivities going on so I did not have a lot of time on the bench. I started by working on the metal landing gear and the resin wheels and tires. The landing gear struts required a little clean up with a fine file. I trimmed and cleaned up the resin wheels and tires. The resin wheels and tires are a lot larger than the kit wheels and tires. I also installed the hard points onto the wing assembly.

    Next, I sprayed the wheels as well as the avionics doors, landing gear doors, and the underside of the wing assembly with a base coat of white. The tires were painted with Tamiya XF85 Rubber Black. I am now working on masking the fuselage so I can paint the white base coat. Once painted and dried I can then start masking for the gull gray topside. Wishing everyone a safe and happy new years and we will see you all in 2023! Happy Modeling.

    More details and photos can be seen from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/1-32-a-7e-corsair-ii-va-37-the-bulls/



















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  5. The year is coming to a close in just a few days. This year I completed eight builds.

    The first build completed was the Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet CV-8 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid. This build was for a museum to display during a celebration in April. It included fully detailing and illuminating the hangar deck and displaying the ship at sea. The full build can be seen at:




    The second build was a Tamiya 1/48 P-47D Razorback. This was a commission build. The aircraft was fully detailed and custom decals were made replicating the “Gail Ann” of the 381th Fighter Group, 19th Fighter Squadron at Isley Field, Saipan. It was mounted in an acrylic case with the base representing the airfield. The full build can be seen at:




    The third build was the Trumpeter 1/48 C-47. I converted this to the R4D-5 called the “Tropical Tilly”. This was tribute to the aircraft used in the 1952 Sci-Fi classic movie called “The Thing from another world”. The build incorporated a resin conversion kit to add on the snow skis, scratch built interior to match the movie, and was mounted on a base covered in snow to replicate the scene when they first arrived at the “Thing’s” flying saucer. The full build can be seen at:




    The forth build was the Brengun 1/48 MQ-8B Fire Scout. This was the first full resin kit I have built. The Mq-8B is a U.S. Navy helicopter UAV drone built by Northrop Grumman. The full build can be seen at:




    The fifth build was the Revell 1/48 F/A-18E super hornet. I built this as a tribute to my old U.S. Navy squadron VA-37. When I served with them they were flying A-7E Corsair II’s. Right after I left the squadron they were re-designated as VFA-37 and were flying F/A-18C’s. A few years ago they upgraded to the F/A-18E super hornets. This build utilized some resin accessories to add details. The full build can be seen at:




    The sixth build was the ICM Do-17Z WWII German light bomber of the Kampfgeschwader 76 (KG 76) stationed in France during August 1940. The full build can be seen at:




    The seventh build was the ICM 1/48 C-18S “Magic by Moonlight” Air show Aircraft. The aircraft was also nicknamed the “Beech Twin 18”. The pilot, Matt Younkin performed aerial stunts at many air shows. One of the most visually stimulating displays was Matt performing his stunts at night with all the lights (plus extra lighting) turned on. With that in mind, I built this “in flight” and used many LED lights, some fiber optics, and created the smoke trail to replicate the aircraft performing its visually stimulating night time routine. The full build can be seen at:




    The eighth and last completed build was the Great Wall Hobby 1/48 P-61B. The P-61 nicknamed “Black Widow” was the first aircraft specifically designed to be a night fighter. It was built by Northrop at their Hawthorn California facility. The aircraft was used in most of the theaters during the war. The scheme for this build was the “Lady in the Dark” which is “unofficially” credited with the last Allied air victory before Japan surrendered (VJ day) in 1945. For this build I used the Eduard “BigEd” detail set which has eight photo etch sheets to detail this kit inside and out. The full build can be seen at:




    I am currently working on the Trumpeter 1/32 A-7E as a tribute to the squadron I served with and will be making this my commanding officers aircraft. It is being fully illuminated with LED’s and fiber optics. This will be the first build to be completed in 2023. The build is currently at its sixth week. You can follow along at: https://davidsscalemodels.com/1-32-a-7e-corsair-ii-va-37-the-bulls/

    To preview some of the builds planned for 2023, I have some commission builds. So far one is the 1/35 scale of the Jupiter 2 space craft from the TV series “Lost in Space” which will utilize the light kit and a sound board designed for the kit. Another commission build will be a 1/48 AV-8B Harrier to be built representing a special flight for the client. There will be lots of other regular builds as well. Have a Happy New Year!

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  6. The sixth week has all the lighting installed. Once I had the fiber optics installed for the wing tip lights I was able to locate a video of night operations on the USS John F Kennedy. While watching the video I realized the wing tips have two lights on each side. So I ran a second fiber optic line under the forward slats. These ran to a 3mm diameter tube. The fiber optics went into one end and a 3mm LED was mounted at the other end. One tube for the red side and one tube for the green side. These were then tucked into the wing assembly.

    Also while I was watching the video I noted that the top of the tail had a light on each side. The kit supplies two clear lenses for these. I drilled out the back side and mounted two pico sized white LED’s inside the lenses and used acrylic gel to hold them in place. I then wired everything up and did a light check on all seventeen LED’s. All are working fine. You can see a quick video of the light check in the build log on my blog.

    For those interested in everything I used for lighting I am using: 8 - white pico LED’s (fuselage lights, tail lights, landing light, and the AoA lights), 2 - red flashing pico LED’s for the fuselage, 4 - red pico LED’s for the cockpit side panels, 2 - 3mm red LED’s (one for instrument panel the other for the wing tip lights) and 1- 3mm green LED for the wing tip lights. I am also using about 38” of 0.5mm fiber optic lines for the wing tips and the AoA lights.

    I then started to build up the flaps, rudder, and the fuselage details. One thing to note is the rudder does not fit the tail. I needed to sand the bottom edge and match the angle of the rudder to the tail. I also sanded the fuselage seams and nose. I still have some more detail parts to add to the fuselage and then I can get things ready for the base coat of paint. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    More details and photos can be seen from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/1-32-a-7e-corsair-ii-va-37-the-bulls/

















  7. Five weeks into the build of the A-7E I have assembled the fuselage together. Before putting the fuselage halves together I needed to correct the details of the tail cone. There are ribs inside the cone. The kit had some rounded ribbing which looked to small compared to the reference photos and had some mold marks in between the ribs. I filled the mold marks with putty then sanded the inside smooth. Using .020” square styrene I added the correct ribbing. Looking over the reference photos I noticed two small formation lights on each side of the fuselage. One behind the cockpit and one near the tail. I opened these up and added lights behind. Later I will add a lens.

    I built and painted the 20mm gun that sits on the port side and installed it. The avionics bays, landing gear bays, intake, and cockpit were all installed. I routed and attached all the wiring and added wires thru the top which will go the wing section lights. I then slowly joined the fuselage halves together.

    I need to make a note about this kit. The intake assembly has tabs that hold it in place. If you are building this kit I would recommend only gluing the rear tabs. If you glue the front ones the intake may be too close to one side causing the front edge to not be centered in the fuselage. The mouth needs to be centered for the intake lip to fit properly which would require the intake to be a little loose to line it all up.

    Once the fuselage was finally together I then looked over the wing assembly. The light on the spine was all molded in plastic. I cut off the light lens section and drilled out the center of the housing. I used some clear styrene rod and made a clear lens. Just under the lens inside the housing I added a flashing red light. I looked over the wing tips and due to the thin edges I am unable to house the wiring for the LED’s for the wing tip lights. I decided to drill a .050mm channel so I can use .050mm fiber optics for them. I need to make a light box to house the wing tip LED’s then build up the wing assembly. Once I get the wing assembly mounted I can then finish the exterior details on the fuselage and get ready to start painting.

    More details and photos can be seen from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/1-32-a-7e-corsair-ii-va-37-the-bulls/


























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  8. For the fourth week I built up and detailed the starboard side avionics bay. I used 32 awg wire for cables and made some more nameplate decals for the equipment. This completes the avionics. I then started on the intake and nose gear bay. First, the intake trunk was filled with some very bad mold marks. These needed to be sanded, filled with putty, and then sanded smooth. For the nose gear bay I added some photo etch panels from my PE scrap drawer for the two ends. On the aft end I made a box to house the LED for the Angle Of Attack (AOA) lights. This is the small panel that sits on the gear bay door. These were shown in week 2 (Incorrectly named recognition lights).

    The final sub-assembly that needs to be done so I can put the fuselage together is the exhaust can. Again the can was filled with large deep mold marks that require a lot of putty. Once these were filled the exhaust was assembled and painted. It was then weathered using pastel chalk. I used black, dark gray, light gray, blue and rusty brown inside and out. Next I will be detailing the fuselage around the cockpit area and the exhaust then I can start routing the wiring.

    More details and photos can be seen from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/1-32-a-7e-corsair-ii-va-37-the-bulls/

















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  9. As I move into the third week of the A-7E Corsair II I detailed the port side main gear bay. There is a panel of nine gauges. The kit version just has them portrayed as rings so I made the panel and gauges from scratch then hooked up all the lines to them. I added a few more lines as well as the other power line that will run down the landing gear into the display base.

    Next I turned my attention to the port avionics bay. Many of the avionics had lines marking the handles. I removed these and then using some small staples I cut and bent them to make the handles. I then drilled holes to fit the 32 awg wires to represent the electrical cables for the equipment. I then made some small label decals for the equipment. I used the reference photo to duplicate these. The reference photos show a green tank (Oxygen?) in the forward section. I used a fishing weight and some PE scraps to replicate the tank and then scratch built another piece of equipment.

    While certain steps were drying I located the parts for the landing light that sit on one of the main gear doors. I drilled a slot on the rear side and inserted a PICO size LED and used acrylic gel to glue it into the back of the light bezel. I painted the inside with chrome silver then put the clear lens on it.

    I am now starting to work on the starboard side avionics bay. I started by removing some molded in details to replace them with the equipment shown in my reference photos. Once this is completed I then need to start on the intake, nose gear bay, and the exhaust which is getting me closer to assembling the fuselage together.

    More details and photos can be seen from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/1-32-a-7e-corsair-ii-va-37-the-bulls/




















    • Like 2
  10. Moving onto the second week I continued working on the instrument panel by building the light box. I am using a 3mm red LED mounted thru the bottom. The front was detail painted for the switches, knobs, and markings. I then assembled, detailed and painted the resin ejection seat. I also made the decals for the seat warning labels. While the instrument panel assembly and ejection seat were drying I was looking over the other areas that will be illuminated.

    The recognition lights on many Navy aircraft sit on the nose landing gear. On the A-7 specifically the panel is mounted on the port nose landing gear door. The kit has this panel molded in clear. This made it easier to illuminate. I drilled a 0.25mm hole from the backside halfway into the panel. I then attached three 0.25mm fiber optic lines. On the front side the molded light locations were painted using Tamiya red, green, and yellow clear paints. The fiber optic lines will go to a light box to be mounted later. I did a quick check and the effect worked great.

    Next was the belly light. The kit has the light molded into the bottom panel. I cut off the “lens” and drilled out the hole. Using a clear styrene tree I cut, trimmed and shaped a new lens. I then mounted a flashing red LED behind the lens.

    Next I needed to detail the main gear bays. Using reference photos I added the lines and hoses to the port side bay. I also added the aircraft ground point and markings. The wire coiled up in the photos will be one of the power wires for the LED’s. This will travel down the strut replicating the hydraulic line and pass thru the wheel and tire to a spot under the display base. I will add the other power wire on the starboard side gear as well.

    With all the cockpit assemblies completed I did a test fit into the fuselage. I needed to do some minor trimming of the cockpit tub for the instrument panel light box but everything lined up perfectly. I am now working on detailing the starboard side main gear bay then will need to get the intake and nose wheel bay built and detailed so I can start putting the fuselage together.

    More details and photos can be seen from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/1-32-a-7e-corsair-ii-va-37-the-bulls/






















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  11. Here is the first week of the A-7E build. Starting on the cockpit, since I am illuminating it, I needed to scratch build the side panels. Using reference photos I started on the starboard side panel. I cut a panel out of thin sheet styrene and scribed in the panel lines. I used styrene round and square rods to make the large knobs and switches. For the toggle switches I am using .25mm and .5mm fiber optic lines. The gauge was made from scrap PE. The panel was then sprayed with a thin flat black coat. I trimmed out the section where the kit panel mounted to and installed the new one. A second panel was cut out and mounted 0.3” below the new panel and I installed two red LED’s to back light the top panel.

    For the port side panel I followed the same process. I cut out some holes for the levers and the hose that goes to the ejection seat. I added two PE levers and the kit lever. The panels were then detail painted the various colors like the yellow warning lines, red switch covers and the gray knobs. I mounted two more red LED’s under the panel. Just to note, while some of the panels were drying I started to look at the ejection seat. The early A-7’s used the Escapac IC-2 ejection seat. The later A-7’s used the SJU-8/A ejection seat. This kit has the IC-2 seat. The aircraft I am building requires the SJU-8/A so I ordered a resin accessory from Aires. I also ordered the resin wheels from Reskit. The kit comes with rubber tires but I need solid wheels as the wires to power the lights will travel down the landing gear struts (representing the brake lines) and thru the wheels and tires so they can be routed under the base.

    With the side panels completed and illuminated I started working on the main instrument panel. I replaced the kit back panel with a thin sheet of white styrene. I also cut the top housing off the kit piece and attached it to the new piece. The kit comes with a film for the gauges. I panted the radar screens with clear yellow which should give them the more typical orange look. I need to see how the instrument panel fits inside the fuselage so I can make the light box holding the LED’s will fit into the fuselage.

    More details and photos can be seen in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/1-32-a-7e-corsair-ii-va-37-the-bulls/




















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    My next build is the 1/32 scale Trumpeter A-7E Corsair II. The scheme will be that of VA-37 “The Bulls”. This has been a project I have been planning to do for a while. Back in 1982 while serving in the U.S. Navy I checked into my new duty station at NAS Cecil Field in Jacksonville Florida and was assigned to the Attack Squadron VA-37.  I spent 3 years with this squadron which included a cruise aboard the USS Carl Vinson CVN-70 during her 1983 maiden deployment and a 6-month deployment to Iwakuni, Japan where we were part of “Team Spirit” in 1985.

    As a tribute to my time serving with this squadron I will be making this aircraft number 300 which was flown by my commanding officer CDR R.L. Ramsay. I will be building and detailing this aircraft to match his aircraft as well as illuminating the cockpit, wingtip, fuselage, and landing light using LED’s. It will be on a display base replicating the tarmac at NAS Cecil Field. I will be using Cutting Edge’s decal set. I should also note that this kit comes with photo etch, metal landing gear struts, and rubber tires. I will actually be officially starting this tonight so these first photos are setting up to start the build. I will be designing the backlit side panels and the instrument panel which will be illuminated with red LED’s. This is how the cockpit was illuminated at night.

    Check out my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/1-32-a-7e-corsair-ii-va-37-the-bulls/
















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  13.  The “Lady in the Dark” is now finished! First, I know it has been two weeks since my last update. We were out of town last weekend visiting friends. To bring everyone up to date I completed the decals and then weathered the exhaust using pastel chalk. For the exhaust I laid down a medium brown followed by a light gray and finally a streak of black giving the exhaust staining some depth. In the reference photos there are two short whip antennas on each side just behind the nose cone. I use 30AWG wire to simulate these and then sprayed the final top coat of matte on the aircraft. The canopy masks were removed and I then added the wire antenna from the tails to the rear of the main fuselage using EZ-line. I installed the propellers completing this build.

    This kit is good in details but has some issues during the build. As stated previously the fuselage assembly is challenging due to the belly guns. The other issue with this kit is the decal sheet shows the wing insignias incorrectly. The previous confusion with the landing gear was due to the Eduard instructions only showing one side of the landing gear bays and showing the numbers for both sides. This led me to assemble the main gear bays backwards. Aside from the incorrect instructions the kit decals worked well. They went down well and conformed to the surface details. Since I changed this to wheels up, this is now displayed hanging. Overall this kit had its issues but in the end it makes for a nice looking P-61B.

    There are more photos and details from the start to finish in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-p-61b-black-widow-lady-in-the-dark/






















  14. Week 8 of the P-61B has been a tough one. You build many models long enough you do make errors occasionally. Many mistakes can be corrected, some modelers move the model to the “shelf of doom” to figure out how to fix it later, some just leave the mistake and continue on, and some will put it in the circular file (aka trash can) Now onto the mistake I made. To start off it was noticed by a few that the main landing gear was installed backwards. The struts should be outboard with the wheels facing inside. I then assessed what it would take to correct the issue. Due to the large amount of photo etch and the current level in this build I had three choices. The first option was to cut apart the wings and booms to swap the complete landing gear bays. The second option would be to leave the landing gear with the incorrect configuration. The third option would be to remove the landing gear and install the landing gear doors closed.

    After careful consideration I chose the third option and finish the build “in flight”. Originally I was going to build this kit wheels down and I have the 1/48 HobbyBoss P-61C that I was going to build “in flight” to hang in my studio. Now the GW kit will be the hanging kit and I will use the already detailed SAC metal landing gear on the HobbyBoss kit. With my decision made, I carefully removed the landing gear and reworked the nose gear doors so these could be closed. I spent most of the week adjusting the fit of the landing gear doors. I then built up and painted the turret. I used the Vallejo metal air for the gun barrels.

    Moving forward I painted the propellers and applied the decals. I then started applying the decals to the aircraft. I used the kit decals for the “Lady in the Dark” scheme. The decals are slightly thick but with a little decal set and decal solvent they laid down very well. The red walkway lines come in four separate sections but line up well. The red triangles require a little care as there is no carrier film in the middle so they can be easily distorted. Next week I will be weathering the aircraft with pastel chalk and then applying the final top coat to seal everything.

    There are more photos and details from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-p-61b-black-widow-lady-in-the-dark/















  15. Welcome to the 7th week of the Black Widow build. The past week has been spent on completing the base coat of paint and building up the landing gear. Starting with the nose gear I added the supports for the fender and then added some photo etch to detail the fender. The SAC metal landing gear strut required some minor clean up. On advantage to using the metal struts is the strut shock cylinder can easily be polished to a high shine. I added the landing light from the kit to complete the strut which was then installed. I then added more photo etch details on the nose gear bay for the doors and installed them.

    The main gear struts required less clean up. Once painted I added the photo etch lines and hoses. The main wheels even have a photo etch ring for the inboard side. The struts were installed and the gear bay lines that were previously installed were attached to the struts. The main wheels have a flat spot to replicate the aircrafts weight on them. I dry fit the wheels on then sat the aircraft on them. With the wheel flat sections aligned up I placed a drop of glue to hold them in place while I glued the rest of the wheels onto the axles. The nose weight calculations were good. The aircraft now sits perfectly on the tri-gear so I will not need to add any weights to the engine cowls. I am working on the main gear doors then I can begin applying the decals.

    There are more photos and details from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-p-61b-black-widow-lady-in-the-dark/



















    • Like 2
  16. Arriving at week 6 of the P-61B the wings were assembled and the rest of the details for the main gear bays were detailed. I then worked on the fuselage by adding the photo etch details and prepared the nose as well. I weighed the model and calculated the weight required to place in the nose so that the model will sit correctly on the landing gear. I used some 5-minute epoxy and mounted the weight into the nose. The wings, nacelles, rear stabilizer, and nose were installed onto the fuselage. 

    I then gathered all the canopies and began masking them with kapton tape.

    You can see my Tips and Tricks section for more information on masking with kapton tape at  https://davidsscalemodels.com/tips-and-tricks/masking-with-kapton-tape/

    With all the canopies masked I then installed them. The aft canopy over the radar operators section was an excellent fit. However the front canopy was not. It required some trimming and sanding to get it very close then I used a little putty on the front edge and the top of the rear edge to blend it with the fuselage. I then masked off the landing gear bays, rear crew entry, and the gun turret area. Everything is now ready for the basecoat of semi-gloss black. Once the painting is completed I will then move on to the decals.

    There are more photos and details from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-p-61b-black-widow-lady-in-the-dark/












    • Like 1
  17.  The fifth week of the P-61B I started assembling the nacelles and detailing them. The photo etch set has all the interior walls and bulkhead details. This required a couple of days sanding and scraping the kit details off the parts and preparing them for the photo etch parts. With the basic walls installed I started adding more of the details. First was the mounts for the oxygen tanks. The oxygen tanks themselves were made from 2.5mm styrene rods. These were cut to length and the ends sanded down to round them out. They were painted with insignia yellow and slid into place.

    On the bulkhead I added all the photo etch for the wires and hoses. The part of the hoses seen in the photos sticking out will ultimately attach to the landing gear strut. Just to note a fellow modeler noted that the kit struts have the incorrect length so I ordered the SAC metal landing gear struts for this kit. They should arrive early next week.

    After assembling the nacelle halves I needed to cut out the supercharger intake screen so that the photo etch screen could be attached. For the top side of the landing gear bay I needed to remove a plastic brace and then install the photo etch panel. I am now working on adding some more details in the landing gear bay then I can get the assemblies mounted to the fuselage.

    There are more photos and details from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-p-61b-black-widow-lady-in-the-dark/

















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  18. Arriving at week four of the P-61B I built and detailed the Pratt & Whitney 2,250 hp R-2800-65W Double Wasp 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines. I chose to use the open cowl flaps so that the exhaust can be seen. The photo etch set adds the inner cowl flaps and the ignition wires to the engine. I painted the cylinder using Vallejo’s Metal Air Gunmetal gray. The pushrod covers and engine block were painted using the Metal Air duraluminum, and the Metal Air Exhaust for the exhaust pipes. The intakes were painted gloss black and ignition was dark canvas brown. The cowl flaps were painted insignia red for the paint scheme of the “Lady in the dark”.

    The wings have leading edge intakes. The kit has solid plastic inserts but the photo etch set has open detailed pieces. The intake areas were cut open and the photo etch pieces were installed. I used a little putty to bland in the intakes to the wing. I then added some photo etch details to the upper wing and placed the dive brakes in the closed position. The photo etch set also has the parts to open them if you want. I am now working on the booms that hold the engines and the main landing gear. The photo etch for the landing gear bays is extensive and the photo etch sheet just for the booms is a large 8” X 6” sheet filled with many detailed parts.

    There are more photos and details from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-p-61b-black-widow-lady-in-the-dark/



















  19. For the third week of the Black Widow build I spent a lot of time getting the fuselage together. First I completed detailing the avionics in the radar area by adding all the cables and wiring. I used 30 AWG wires for the cabling and 30 AWG bare wire for the wiring portion.

    Next came the part of getting the fuselage halves together. Even without the photo etch details this kit is very challenging to get the halves together. The part that makes it difficult is the 20mm guns in the belly. The issue is the gun barrels stick out about 0.5 inches out the belly gun ports. The fuselage half has alignment pins that are about 0.2 inches long so the halves align correctly. The basic premise is to feed the gun barrels thru the ports and then slide the fuselage half back to align it with the other half. It may sound easy, however the guide pins being so long causes the gun barrels to bend outward. The bending of the gun barrels is very extreme especially with the length that needs to be fed thru the ports. I would like to note on the old Monogram kit the panels with the gun ports are separate panels. This kit has them as part of the fuselage halves. So moving forward I found it easier to cut off the alignment pins on the bottom. This allowed me to slide the gun barrels thru the ports then align the halves together. It took a little bit of work to get the bottom of the fuselage halves to line up but this worked out a lot better assembly wise.

    With the fuselage finally together I needed a little putty along the seam. I then detailed the nose gear bay with photo etch. There are still some wires and cables that need to be added but I will add these later when I get ready to attach the nose gear. The forward crew boarding ladder is thru the nose gear bay. The kit part was then detailed with photo etch framing. With the main fuselage together I am now starting on the engines and they wing assemblies.

    There are more photos and details from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-p-61b-black-widow-lady-in-the-dark/





















  20. Week two of the P-61B I began detailing the interior of the fuselage. With the cockpit area detailed I started to detail the radar operator’s station. The avionics rack for the kit is a one piece molded section. The Eduard photo etch set replaces the kit part. The photo etch pieces include the desk frame and all the equipment. One of the things you need to do is remove the viewing hoods for the front and rear radar screens off the kit part. After finishing the avionics I then began detailing the starboard fuselage interior walls. The kit ribbing was removed in certain sections to add the photo etch walls.

    Then the various control boxes and more avionics parts were added. The rear entry ladder was also detailed. The ladder will be in the open position when the model is finished. I used some 30 AWG wire to add the cables to the equipment and then installed the cockpit section and radar section floors. I am now detailing the port side of the fuselage and will be adding all the various cable to the radar avionics equipment. I am hoping to have the fuselage together this upcoming week. I started to make a dry fit of the fuselage halves together to make sure everything fits. There is some interesting issues that need to addressed. I will cover what they are and how I corrected them next week.

    There are more photos and details from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-p-61b-black-widow-lady-in-the-dark/





















  21. Welcome, this next build is one of my favorite World War II aircraft. I will be building the 1/48 Great Wall Hobby P-61B. The P-61 nicknamed “Black Widow” was the first aircraft specifically designed to be a night fighter. It was built by Northrop at their Hawthorn California facility. The aircraft was used in most of the theaters during the war. The scheme for this build is for the “Lady in the Dark” which is “unofficially” credited with the last Allied air victory before Japan surrendered (VJ day) in 1945. For this build I will be using the Eduard “BigEd” detail set which has eight photo etch sheets to detail this kit inside and out.

    Starting off with the cockpit I added some of the photo etch to give details to the cockpit floor and rear bulkhead. The seats were assembled and then detailed with the photo etch seal belts. The rear seat in the cockpit has one of the control sticks for the remote controlled gun turret was detailed with new adjustment wheels and the levers to fire the four Browning .50 cal guns. The rear bulkhead was detailed with the holder and mounting strap for the fire extinguisher. I then sanded down the kit details on the instrument panel and added the photo etch. I added some photo etch details to the control stick as well.

    I then started on the rear fuselage deck. This holds the four 20mm Hispano M2 cannons in the belly of the fuselage and the radar operator area. The photo etch set replaces the floor surface and the top step for the hatch. The Radar operator bulkhead that holds all the radar equipment for the kit is not used at all. The photo etch set replaces everything from bench to shelves and all the equipment. I am working on these now and then I can begin to detail the interior of the fuselage.

    Check out more photos and details in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-p-61b-black-widow-lady-in-the-dark/


















  22. I have opened up a store on my website to make it easier to purchase the U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Hangar Bay and Air Wing Decal Sets. The hangar bay decal sets cover U.S. Navy CV, CVN, LPD, LHD, and LHA class ships. These decal sets provide all the signs, logos, murals and stripes used on the ships. I have both 1:350 and 1:700/1:720 scales

    The air wing decal sets cover specific ships and a specific cruise in 1:350 scale. These sets cover all the aircraft that were aboard during that cruise including the tail designs, aircraft numbering, and squadrons. 

    You can purchase these in my store at Products – David's Scale Models (davidsscalemodels.com)

    I ship worldwide via USPS.

    Here are some sample photos. This is for the 1/350 USS Enterprise CVN-65 for the hangar bay set and the Air wing sample is for the 1984-1985 CVW-11 which was aboard during the filming of the movie "Top Gun"





  23. I have completed the C-18S “Magic by Moonlight”!! The aircraft was mounted to the base. I ran the wiring thru the support tube and attached the wires to a connector at the rear of the base. This allows me to use the AC adapter that has a switch on it or I can hook up a 9V battery to illuminate the aircraft. The nameplate was then affixed to the base. I used two styrene rods coated with acrylic gel and used cotton balls stretched and wrapped around the rods. These were then shaped to create the smoke trails used in the stunts. This completes the display.

    The kit itself is a nice kit with only some minor sections requiring putty. The kit decals worked very well and conformed to the surface perfectly. The instructions seemed to be laid out well. However due to the logistical assembly with the lights I had to attach the wings and tail section to half of the fuselage and attach the other half afterwards. I ended up using the following to create the lighted effect:

    1 pico LED warm white for the instrument panel

    12 pico LED’s in cool white for the wings, cowls, tail lights and cabin. Tail lights also used two 0.5mm fiber optic line.

    1 pico red and 1 pico green for the wingtip lights. These were attached to two 0.5mm fiber optic lines.

    2 pico flashing red for the fuselage

    2 3.0mm LED’s in cool white for the nose lights

    So there are a total of 19 LED’s and 8” of 0.5mm fiber optic lines. All the wiring was routed to the tail section and soldered in parallel then two wires run thru the mounting rod to the connector at the rear of the display base.

    I really enjoyed building this and I really like how it turned out. Thank you for following along and hope you enjoyed this build. Happy Modeling!!

    Check out all the photos and details from start to finish in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-c-18s-magic-by-moonlight/














  24. Week four of the “Magic by Moonlight” was the painting and decaling of the aircrafts scheme. I started off by using kapton tape to mask the windows and liquid mask for all the lights. The aircraft was then sprayed with Testors Ferrari Red.  In order to get the scalloped paint scheme I scanned in the kit instructions of the scheme then scaled them to match the model size. I then placed the scanned photos under the glass work surface and made the masks using kapton tape. With all the masks applied the aircraft was the sprayed with Testors gloss black.

    While the paint was drying I reviewed the reference photos of the actual aircraft. There are numerous company logos for the sponsors the aircraft near the tail and on the fuselage above the main wings. The kit decal set does not include these. I searched Google and found all the company logos. I then scaled and made my own decals. All the decals were then applied and the entire aircraft was sprayed with a clear gloss. I then detailed and painted the propellers and installed them. I used some 30AWG bare wire to make the small whip antennas for the top of the fuselage.  I also ordered a brushed nickel nameplate which will be mounted on the base of the display stand. All that is left to do is to mount the aircraft, wire up the base, and then make the smoke trails to complete the project.

    Check out all the photos and details from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-c-18s-magic-by-moonlight/





















  25. Moving forward with week three of “Magic by Moonlight” I assembled and detailed the engines using the photo etch add-ons. It was a little strange that the kit engines were not molded with the cylinder fins but Eduard was kind enough to provide these in the photo etch set. I then mounted the engines into the wings. I had to files two small grooves to clear the wiring for the cowl lights.

    Next came installing the seats into the cockpit and cabin. The photo etch set does not include the seat belts so I made my own using some 3M cloth tape. Since I will be displaying the aircraft in flight I took a 1/48 WWII pilot to place in the seat. In order to look like the actual pilot Matt Younkin I used a Google image of Matt and a 1/48 ground crewman to modify the pilot to look like him with his red shirt and red ball cap. Matt was then placed in the pilot seat.

    I then began assembling the fuselage. With 18 LED’s inside I routed all the wiring to the tail section and soldered all the connections. Then the styrene rod was installed and the wiring was fed down the center of the tube. After getting the wiring tucked into the tail section I was able to get the fuselage together. Everything lined up well considering I had to install the wings and tail on half the fuselage so I could route the wiring then carefully put the fuselage halves together. With the aircraft assembled I performed a light check and all the lights were working. I am now starting to mask the fuselage for the paint scheme. I should have all the painting and decals done in the coming week.

    Check out the short video of the light check in the build log.

    Check out all the photos and details from the start in my build log at https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-c-18s-magic-by-moonlight/



















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