So, on we goÖ
I picked up this Hasagawa P-47D 1/32 scale kit a few months ago (almost two years ago now), and I decided to start building it because I had nothing to do at the time. I intended to build this P47 out of the box (OOB) no changes and no additions, just follow the instructions and get the job done. I thought, "Hey, letís document as much as I can". Nevertheless, I threw in a few things just for heck of it. One of which was to do it in kitchen foil but donít let this discourage you. I truly believe that in many ways it is easier to foil a kit than to paint it. Iím not going to cover ďhow toĒ foil but there is still a lot of painting required, so never fear.
really talented builders are going to cringe when they see what I do to this P47
kit. However, please, keep in mind this built is pure fun for me, nothing else.
Click on images below to see larger images
The first thing you have to do is cut parts off the sprues. There are several good ways to do this and several bad ways. Donít twist, pull, snap or punch out the part. I generally use wire cutters (available at Home Depot for 1/3 the cost of the hobby storeís pair) and always leave a significant nub attached to the part after cutting. Then with an art knife I cut the rest of the nub. If youíre not sure you can ďart knifeĒ it off without damaging the part or yourself then sand it off. You should give this process a little thought, if you just hack the part off then youíre probably going to create a compression wound on it. This is going to require you to use some filler to hide. Unless of course you just donít care about the mark and if thatís the case, I envy you.
See photos 03, 04, 05, 06 and 07
Now that you can get the part off with minimum fuss, letís start on the kit.
The instructions say start with the cockpit. I started with the engine. Why? It took me a long time to figure out how to start building a kit and this is where experience comes into play. I often change the order of building simply because I see an advantage when it comes to fitting and/or painting. You on the other hand, should follow the order given in the instructions until youíve acquired enough experience to not do that. I read the instructions front to back before I start building a kit and I highly recommend you do the same.
Out of the box means generally, a build which has no aftermarket product or scratch built items added to the kit. I am going to do some minor, minor customizing by detailing the engine just a little bit. All Iím going to do is add some ignition wires. If you want you can do the same or skip this part of the engine build.
The picture shows me cutting off the nubs so I can drill some holes and stick in some wires. After using my art knife to remove them, I poke a little hole in the center where the nubs once were. I do this by eye and just get as close to center as I can and make a light mark. If youíre off centre, buff out the light mark and try again. If itís good then push it in deeper. The purpose of the small hole is to give me a starting place to drill, nothing else. Now I take my Pin Vice (just a nice way of saying ďhand drillĒ), push against the center punched hole and twist! This isnít really a difficult thing to do so donít be hesitant to try it.
See photos 08, 09, 10 and 11
I cut wire into little pieces and CA glued them in place (Crazy Glue or Super Glue). Next, I drilled out the place where Iím going to stick the wires into on the cylinder heads.
Now a little painting; I know people (and I used to be one of them), who get to a point where you have to paint something, letís say silver. Then would cut off and collect every part in the kit that had to be painted silver so they could paint them all at once, thus only having to clean the airbrush once. I have since come to the realization this is a bad idea. The parts sit around and you spill stuff on them, lose them, sneeze and many of them hit the floor. If that happens you can count on a few things; as soon as you move your foot you will step on one of the pieces or, you will spend the next 4 hours on your hands and knees trying to find it. When you canít, youíll give up looking. Then youíll call in the kids in the room and offer them $5 bucks each if they can find it, when they give up youíll up it to $20 for the one that finds it. Then youíll either spend 4 hours fabricating a new one, begging someone on the ARC forum to send you their ďextra oneĒ, sending away to the manufacturer for a replacement or even buying the whole kit again. Once you solve the problem by making or getting a new piece, youíll stand back and look at it with the satisfaction of a conquering general. While youíre admiring your work, out of the corner of your eye youíll see something sitting in the middle of the floor. Itíll be the piece you lost a month ago. Donít fight it, just accept it.
Now I limited how many pieces I cut off the sprues in order to avoid losing or damaging pieces unnecessarily. Some people like to paint the parts right on the sprue then cut them off and touch them up. I donít use this method. If there is a small part I have to paint before assembling, I remove it from the sprue and if I canít hold it in my fingers or with tweezers then Iíll stick it on the end of a pin and paint it.
Unless youíre going to use parts in the next few hours, then I leave them on the sprue. Cleaning the airbrush is not difficult so donít be lazy, just cut off and paint what you need for the short term.
I painted the cylinders in silver enamel and added a wash (more on washes later). I should explain that in the picture where it says ďWith washĒ, that I have not removed the excess wash yet.
See photos 12, 13 and 14
After painting the engine parts I glue it all together using Tamiya Extra Thin, stuck the works in a clamp and left it until the next day - and that brings me to another point; Iíve learnt that the ability to put something down for a day is one of the key requirements for success in this hobby. You should resist the temptation to keep building something especially when itís going well. Letting a piece cure overnight will sometimes save you a lot of grief in the end. Just walk away from it. I often walk into the hobby room spend 2 minutes gluing one item on, and then leave the whole kit till the next day.
See photos 15, 16 and 17
I clipped the wires to size, inserted them into the holes and painted them (with a brush). Later I added the ring-thingy (another modeling term, I suggest you use it sparingly), and painted the bolts brass (because I like the way it looks, not because itís right), then brushed on a coat of Future (itís a clear acrylic coat). I can tell you the wires are not factually correct in their placement or colour but once again, I like the look.
Added the little manufacturer logo and then applied a wash to the engine. Remember to add decals before you add a wash. I used a wash made from scraping dark grey pastel chalk with my art knife, into a small container then adding a drop of dish detergent (the green stuff) and water. Mix it up and brush it on. After it has dried, I take a Q-Tip and start removing the excess. I find with this type of wash that just breathing on the Q-Tip is enough moisture to remove the excess.
Now the engine cowl.
See photos 18, 19 and 20
I separated the pieces and cleaned them up a little then applied Chromate yellow with the airbrush.
After painting, I used ground-up black pastel chalk to dirty-up the intake area. This is brushed on dry. You can see the ejector pin marks on some of the parts. Some builders would fill these before they paint however, these will never be seen soÖ why bother?
Test fit everything. You can never test fit enough; it will save you time and cut down on the amount of 4-letter words you use during the build process. The two vanes in the intake area are examples of how test fitting will save you some grief. The instructions tell you to glue them together in place. The problem is you really donít know what position these parts end up in until you put the cowl on. You need to glue them with Tamiya Thin (because it doesnít set up right away), and then assembly the bottom part of the cowl to it. This way the vanes are pushed into the right place. This saves you the grief of adjusting everything because the vanes dried in the wrong position.
Next, I put the cowl together. This is where we get back to the ďhaving patienceĒ thing. First, I assembled and glued three pieces of the cowl, this let me line up all the seams quite neatly and easily. Then added the last part of the cowl but only glued ONE side of it to the previously glued parts, then left it overnight to dry.
See photo 21
The advantage of this is that I now have three perfectly lined up seems requiring little if no corrective work. After the part has dried overnight I can work it, bend it and force it as much as I want to make the last seam fit properly, without affecting the other seams alignment. In the end the only seam requiring clean up was the last one, and that was minimal. Next, the wings!
See photos 22, 23, 24 and 25
I separated the pieces; test fit everything, sprayed yellow and added a little dirt wash. In pictures 26 & 27 is something youíll come across once in a while, stuff on or in the kit, not in the instructions. I couldnít find this tab in any of the reference pictures I had on hand so I cut it off.
See photos 26 and 27
Additionally, there are sometimes steps I donít understand at all. I didnít include in this buildÖ sure hope I donít need it in the end.
I use Tamiya Extra Thin for gluing the wings; the wicking action tracks the glue down the edge of them. Use some clamps to hold the edges together. You donít want clamps that are too tight here, just enough pressure to hold the edges together. Make sure you get the whole wing glued. Itís easy to miss areas along the edge. After letting that dry overnight I pulled out the sanding sticks and cleaned up the edges of the wings moving from course to very fine, then finally just a buffing stick. Sorry, forgot to take pictures of that process but it is standard. The purpose is to clean the trailing edges and hide the leading edge seam. After that, I started adding the foil to the wing and cleaned up some of the overspray that got on the foil.
See photos 29 and 30
I decided to replace the outer marker lights on the wings. The kit provided two ways to complete these. Our first option is to paint where the lenses are using some clear red on the left, clear green or blue on the right. Secondly, you can cut out the piece as Iíve shown in the picture here, and replace with the glass lens provided in the kit.
For this kit, Iíve decide to use a half inch piece of clear acrylic rod. The rod is cylindrical so I filed one side to give it a flat edge. The piece is then CA glued into place.
See photos 31, 32 and 33
Using my Dremel, I grind down the excess material until the rod is about a sixteenth of an inch larger than the space itís filling. Then using the sanding sticks work the rod down to its finished size, finishing off with a buffing stick. Weíll paint the lens later with some clear green or red. This sanding and buffing method is the same process you can use to clean up or fix canopy glass. When I started out if I spilled glue on or scratched the canopyÖ then it was toast, nothing I could do about it; I once bough a kit twice just to get new glass. After reading an article in Tool & Tips, I realized you could fix any damage (other than breakage), with sanding sticks and Future and itís really easy to do.
See photos 34, 358 and 36
Let's Jump over to the cockpit, starting with the flight panel. You can do up the gauges and panel several ways including using the decals that come with the kit. For the purpose of this article Iím going to pick the one I think will give you more satisfaction than the decal sheet, yet is still easy to do. The process Iím using is generally the easy way to get a somewhat detailed look, quickly. The first thing is a coat of white acrylic paint. I can paint over top of acrylic with enamel and it will not stick to the acrylic very well. This comes in handy, as you will see!
See photos 37, 38 and 39
Using a toothpick, I lightly rub the face of the knobs and gauges until the black paint comes off. This happens quite easily. I dry brushed the panel with some dark grey and silver paint then paint some of the knobs red and yellow. Iíll go over my dry brushing technique a little later on.
See photos 40, 41 and 42
The final step and what you see in picture 41, is the application of Future on the dial faces to give the appearance of glass covering them. I used a round toothpick dipped in Future to fill the space. Where you see the cloudy look is where the Future hasnít dried yet. Now for the rest of the cockpit, in the first picture youíre seeing the interior parts cut from the sprues. There is still about a half hours work to do cleaning up the pieces before you start gluing them.
See photos 43, 44 and 45
One of the things you can fix easily on most kits - the thickness of the seat. I used sanding sticks to thin out the sides, back, and front of the seat. It is a minor thing but it makes a big difference. You can and probably should thin air duct walls, wing, rudder, vent walls, engine panel covers. When youíre comfortable sanding the ďGlassĒ from a kit, youíll also want to thin the gun sight reflectors down to at least half their thickness (later, youíll start using things like a piece of discarded packaging plastic or glue, yes glue to make the gun sight glass). I only thinned out the seat on this build.
See photos 46, 47 and 48
Ok, okÖ I skipped a few steps here. I think I somehow deleted the photos for this part by mistake or just canít find them on my PC. Really though itís just gluing little pieces together, spraying Chromate Yellow and add some red and black here and there, dry brushed some silver and added a wash you can buy right off the shelf. This wash is great for one reason in particular; it wipes off with no after affect. You can thin it with water and just dab it on and it come in several colours! Thereís no rhyme or reason to the colours applied to the cockpit dials and knobs. As I said, this is a no pressure build done for fun, just did what looked good to me. Also to back track a little on the silver dry brushing, normally this isnít what I would do in this cockpit. As a rule, I would dry brush this with a primer colour to indicate wear, and a lighter version of the Chromate for highlighting, and a darker version for dirtying up the interior. Silver is a quick ďhighlighter and wearĒ indicator, just not necessarily correct.
See photos 49, 50, 51, 52 and 53
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Photos and text © by Larry Shred