Building a Modern Multimedia Kit
1/32 Pacific Coast models Focke Wulf Fw 190a 0/1/2/3 kit.
Part III – the agony and the ecstasy…
Kit no: PCM 32011
Subject: Focke Wulf Fw 19A0/1/2/3
Sprues: 4 grey + 1 clear Styrene + Grey Resin parts + Photo Etch multimedia kit
Decal choices: 8!!! 5 aircraft spanning the A1 + A-2 and A3
Forging on from the first parts of construction I got on to the finishing and painting stages. I had some self-inflicted massive problems while on this part of the build. The kit had dealt out all it could throw at me – now it was my turn to try and ruin it all. I recovered – and in this penultimate part I’ll show you what happened.
The good part about spraying all of the kit in a primer colour is that you get to see all of the blemishes. This I did and found some seams that could do with some sanding and fixing. The last instalment saw this kite fresh and black – here it is after I took the sander to it to fix the imperfections…
Now this all wasn’t such a big problem and can be expected – especially on a large scale kit that needs a lot of work to perfect – the real problems came when I sprayed the aircraft again with undercoat – I left it under a warm light to dry – not that warm I might say – do you think I am silly?? Anyway I left it tail up, and next time I walked past I found out that the tail had turned!! I was shocked...
What a disaster – more pics of the warped plastic..
I was mortified to say the least – the plastic scarring was way beyond me fixing – though after a cup of tea and a “Pepto-Bismol” - I got on the internet and looked up ways to solve plastic melting – I found some good answers and some horror stories as well. I settled on getting ever hotter water (near boiling) and then dipping the tail in there and trying to bend the structure back – then a shot of cold water. This worked a little but being the tail the hollow structure kept on filling up with hot water and I was cooling the outside only – it just wasn’t bending back right!
Anyway I persevered and after a nervous evening I found I had bent the tail section back to 98% straightness with a lot of patience and a very overworked kettle you can see the results – totally self-inflicted this was – I hoped I had learnt my lesson!
Well next after the disaster I settled back into the groove. I installed the control surfaces and got ready for the first external coat of what I thought was going to be RLM66 on the under surfaces…
Now there are two schools of thought it seems with Luftwaffe aircraft model builders - the “FS number is ….died in the wool accuracy” party on the right and the “looks good to me!” party on the left. Well I wanted my own party. My model - my rules. I did not want to remake history I just wanted to get as close as it as possible. I tried many colours for the underside RLM 66 required and found that none of the many colours I had matched what the supposed FS colour was supposed to be. I tried Xtracrylix, Vallejo, model master and Tamiya colours in Acrylic an enamel and found I wasn’t any the better off – here are some of my experiments..
My poor old Revel ME 262 test bed copped another coat of blues…
I pretty much was sold on the Xtracrylix colours, they provided a good base for the blue undersides and close to the pics I had of the real thing ( I know don’t get me started on photographic reproduction) Anyway this is how the undersides looked after a quick coat – pretty nice! It wasn’t too blue or too grey for that matter – which is the real pitfall of this colour – it seems there were two RLM 66’s so I went for what I thought was right.
...Then with some weathering by Mig Productions Dark cold grey wash – first I applied two coats of future floor polish from the airbrush to seal the layer and prevent damage to the acrylics
Left to day I had an hour or so with the grey on ( black is too stark so the grey was juuust right) - anyway here is how the undersides and the uppers came out with some touch ups with the Vallejo RLM66 Model air lighter highlight inside the panels – I was really happy!
Next I masked up the side of the aircraft already blue and went on to the tops of the wings and the fuselage top and tail painting. By this time I had got myself together with colours and decided – after seeing many many profiles of “Black 13” that no one had the definitive wood on the colours exactly and the camouflage pattern. I knew that Jerry Crandall picked the colours for this scheme from his knowledge and went with them. The patterns I loosely followed as well – the first coat of RLM 02 went down easily. Little did I know the paint – and the tape was conspiring against me…
I had no scale drawings on hand that day so I used an old technique of tracing the wing on paper and reproducing the camouflage patterns there and applying with blue tack under them to feather the edges of the paint. This worked pretty well, and it’s a handy way of getting the right pattern down accurately.
The break-up of the pattern was recorded ass opposed to the colour scheme provided – make sure you mark on the right colours!!! I noticed Tamiya got it wrong according to Mr Crandall’s plans – I went with what I had, and what I trusted.
The good thing (I thought) about using acrylics was the fast time of drying and the ease of cleaning. I hadn't accounted for the constant blobbing of the spray as it quickly dried in the nozzle of the airbrush. I tried super thin mixes and not so thin, and came to find I had found a lucky mix by the time I sprayed on the RLM 71 darker colour. This went down ok and I tried to sharpen up the edges as much as I could on top of the wings and fuselage. I went with mostly RLM 70 on the mottling of the fuselage – which is a tricky thing with acrylics due to their skittish spraying nature – this is what I came up with after spraying the base camo and the highlights..
Starting to look better isn’t it?
I then re applied some more Mig washes – dark brown and of course grey on the undersides.. (After the future coat of course – we wouldn’t want any paint coming up!!)
And after you clean off the excess you are left with this lovely result, i liked the highlights and found them subtle enough for most peoples tastes..
I masked off the canopy at the same time with a Montex mask for an Fw 190A-8 I had and some Mr Masking fluid – it is the first time I used both of these and found the process to be easy and fast. First I put down the making tape around the edges and then corrected them with some little additions of tape here and there (nothing is really that easy) and then filled in the gaps with the interesting looking blue fluid.
I sprayed the inside colour on the outside of the canopy first – the thinking behind this is that the inside colour is showing through the “glass” and that you only have to coat mask and paint the canopy once rather than outside and inside
Then the RLM 71 colour over that for the external colour
The cockpit glass was left to dry and then after overnight hiatus just to be sure –the masking was removed all around, while the cockpit came up nicely, all around the kit paint came flying off with the tape!! Aaaarrrggghh! I was more than a little annoyed – I even mixed the paint WITH future to toughen it up – I was careful – but not careful enough to deal with the “soft” nature of the acrylics I used. Definitely take care if you use the same paints. Again it was self-inflicted – I should have known better - I took another Pepto-Bismol and went back to work with filler in the shape of Mr Surfacer 500.
Fixing a hole - or two
I had nearly finished! Next on with the yellow tail ( Vallejo RLM 04 Model Master) after a quick mask – surprise surprise more soft Acrylic – I forged on – ill finish this with two pics of the yellow tail and chin before the next part.
Part four will show final detailing and finishing of this kit – I’ll show you how it looks when done and talk about the pros and cons of a modern multimedia kit