Category: On the Bench

WIP : Hasegawa 1/72 VF-25S Messiah Pt. 1 – Construction

Building up a Hasegawa Macross kit is easier than a typical aircraft kit in that they can be built up in subassemblies like a mecha kit. However, some planning is needed to make this work out so I begin by cutting and dryfitting the major parts together. As usual with Hasegawa, the fit is very good though tolerances are tight in some parts.

Since I’m building Ozma’s VF-25S, I went with the single seat cockpit. The ejection seat is nicely detailed although hidden once the Ozma figure is attached.

As with any aircraft kit, the pilot and cockpit needs to be painted and finished first.

With the instrument coamings installed, the cockpit is tight place to be and very little can be seen. The main console itself is a decal.

Hasegawa designs the wings to be movable but I went ahead to cement them in deployed position instead.

The exhausts are very detailed and also movable. I’ll be prepping these separately and only installing in the final stage.

As usual with my Macross kits, I want to build them in-flight whenever possible. The pole is a hollow brass rod secured with a glob of epoxy putty.

The kit came together quickly. Gaps and seamlines are part and parcel of building a kit, but with careful (and multiple) dry-fits, it’s possible to minimize them.

I spray gray color on all all the joint areas to check for gaps and seamlines. The gray color makes any issues easier to see. Luckily for me, there were only a few areas that require fixing.

The canopy was masked and given a coat of Mr. Masking Sol R. The liquid mask will fill any gap I miss with the masking tape and more importantly, it will also hold everything in place. I didn’t use the liquid mask in my previous build and the masking tape lifted and caused some overspray. Lesson learned, I’m not going to skip this step anymore.

Once dry, I’ll attach the canopy to the kit with Gator Glue and then it’s time to proceed to painting.

Build Log
Pt. 1 – Construction | Pt. 2 – Painting | Pt. 3 – Finishing

WIP : Airfix 1/72 Hawk 109 Pt. 3 – Finishing

Time to finish this thing. The markings come from Scale Nutz, a defunct decal company based in Singapore. The sheet comes with full stencils for 1 aircraft but enough unit numbers to build any of the Hawk 109 and 209s in TNI-AU service in either squadron. I went with TT-1203 from Skadron 12 for this one. The decals were easy to use and reacted very well to Mark Softer.

Once cured and another gloss coat over the markings, I gave the kit a panel wash using Mig AMMO Deep Brown Panel Line Wash. The TNI-AU maintains their Hawks quite well so I didn’t do other weathering besides this panel wash. Once that has dried I gave the kit an overall flat coat.

Once the flat has cured, it was time to do final assembly. First up are the landing gear, gear doors, external fuel tanks and antennas. The pins on the antennas were all oversized so some trimming were required. The main gear struts were just about 2mm too short so the fit isn’t perfect there.

I was missing the blade antenna on top so I shaped one using 0.5mm plastic card. The clear part that goes into the recess on the spine was also oversized and I pinged it into my room when trying to trim it down. In the end I cut out a small circle from the clear part tree and used that instead.

Last off was the canopy masking and turns out there was some overspray inside the canopy. I popped this off, cleaned the inside, then re-attached.

This one’s definitely not my best finish with all the minor problems popping up. But at least it’s done.

Build Log
Pt. 1 – Construction | Pt. 2 – Painting | Pt. 3 – Finishing

WIP : Airfix 1/72 Hawk 109 Pt. 2 – Painting

I used a gray color on the parts to check for gaps and thankfully, they weren’t too bad.

Painting begins with Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black.

First on was freehanded AK Interactive Dark Tan.

Based on photos, the camouflage demarcations are solid so I used Tamiya Tape for Curves for these. To prevent overspray, I backfilled the parts I want to remain the previous color.

The second color is AK Interactive Medium Green.

After more masking, I sprayed AK Interactive Dark Green.

The bottom was then masked off and colored AK Interactive Camouflage Grey.

Some slight overspray which will need to be addressed but that went quite well.

Build Log
Pt. 1 – Construction | Pt. 2 – Painting | Pt. 3 – Finishing

WIP : Airfix 1/72 Hawk 109 Pt. 1 – Construction

Next up is another aircraft flown by the TNI-AU and my first modern Airfix kit. As usual, I begin with the ejection seats. The kit comes with seated pilots so no seatbelt details are provided. I made these from 1mm masking tape.

Cockpit details are decals and are the same for both cockpits. Oddly, the decal sheet provides 4 different front console decals. On the other hand, the instruction shows 1 type to use for both cockpits. Must be a misprint.

Overall details are nice although the panel lines are on the heavier side.

A check after the major components have been attached show some gap fixing required: some are quite obvious and deep while others simply need some quick sanding to resolve.

All in all though, quite a trouble-free build so far. Good thing as I’m trying to finish this by 17 August 2018. Fingers crossed.

Build Log
Pt. 1 – Construction | Pt. 2 – Painting | Pt. 3 – Finishing

WIP : Nitto 1/20 PKA Gustav Pt. 1 – Construction

Time to thin my SF3D/Ma.K stash! This is a PKA Gustav from Nitto when Maschinen Krieger was still known as SF3D. It has since been superseded by a snapfit release from Wave. While this is definitely showing its age with its 1980s engineering and fit, it’s a multimedia kit: it includes brass rods, wires, springs and brass mesh to detail the kit up. But it’s so old school it can’t even hold it’s one accesory, the Panzerfaust. 😛

Unlike the Wave kits, this one doesn’t come with the pain in the ass rubber joints. They are instead solid pieces like Gunpla without the fabric-looking covers. The limbs are attached via polycaps but aren’t really poseable: the arms swing and you can bend them slighly. I decided to make the covers with epoxy putty with the folds molded using the flat end of a Tamiya paint stirrer. Since I had some spare epoxy putty left, I also added cushions to the seat and headrest.

Due to how it’s designed, I have to build up the full interior before closing everything together. The majority would be in shadow but the pilot will need some decent painting done as I was planning to leave the visor open. Interestingly, the pilot has access to a PDW in the form of a small sub-machinegun inside the suit. It’s molded with the magazine separate and they are attached to a plate which fits to the back of the suit. Once the pilot is attached this whole piece can’t be seen.

As for the pilot, it took me 4 attempts before I managed what is seen here. It’s definitely not great, but it’ll have to do. I’ll just make sure people see it from 3 feet away.

The legs flop around even with the polycaps and are really only holding a walking pose due to the careful bending of the brass rods that are inside the springs. The instruction indicates that the clear piece on the chest can be wired for an LED (not included) but I replaced this with a Kotobukiya round mold. The original included copper wire running under the chest piece was replaced with easier to bend lead wire. I also added 2 round molds on the chest as small added details.

This kit has some very obvious seamlines which will need fixing and once that’s done, I’m ready to paint.

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