Wednesday, June 27

Build guide Pt II: Andy paints MiniArt's 35th scale Flettner Fl 282 Kolibri

Today Andy Moore continues building & painting Miniart's new 35th scale version of the Flettner Fl 282 Kolibri ("Hummingbird") in 35th scale in his guide. See his process and thinking of the build and the paint and how both are intertwined in today's Part II of the build...

Build guide Pt I: Flettner Fl 282 Kolibri
From MiniArt Models
1/35th Scale
Kit No# 41001
Injection Moulded Kit
Series: Aircraft Miniatures
Box size: 345 x 240 x 60мм
Parts QTY: 185
Product Link
Price - ¥4,800/ US$47/ £32/ €38 from Hobbylink Japan

In-Boxed: MiniArt's 35th scale Kolibri
Build guide Pt I: Andy builds & paints MiniArt's 35th scale Flettner Fl 282 Kolibri

Today: Build guide Pt II: Andy paints MiniArt's 35th scale Flettner Fl 282 Kolibri
Last time out we got the rear fuselage and engine of Miniart's new Flettner Kolibri built up, painted and decaled. We'll pick up where we left off, and get the engine compartment finished, before moving on to the forward fuselage. The engine has a small prop mounted at the front for cooling, which is surrounded by a circular frame. Both parts were painted separately, then added to the already installed engine. The side frames were a little splayed out on my copy, so I needed to tape them together while the cement holding the circular frame part dried. Once set though, the whole assembly was fairly rigid, although still quite delicate. The circular frame would have benefited from a more secure way of clipping to the side frames to give the area more strength. The cooling prop was painted in a pale wood tone, then given an impression of grain by streaking on some dark brown oil paint. It was finished off with a light overspray of Tamiya clear orange to leave a richer colour and glossier finish like varnished wood.

Before moving on to the front end, I also built up the frame for the rear wheels. This is a fairly simple three-part construction, but like other areas of the kit, getting all the angles correct is a little tricky. Here, I temporarily sat the frame on the rear fuselage while the glue dried, ensuring everything lined up correctly, before removing it to paint separately. It's also worth noting that the pins for attaching the wheels to the frame are quite small, making it hard to get a positive attachment when adding the wheels later on. In hindsight, it would have been better to replace these with a longer piece of wire drilled into the wheel mounting block.

Switching to the front now, the cockpit is quite a complex build, made up of several frame sections. The attachment points on these frames are quite small, and it's best to use a fairly quick setting cement to prevent parts from moving out of alignment (I used EMA Plastic Weld). Having said that, the parts line up very well, and the cockpit section is surprisingly strong once it's all together. There are various controls and linkages that are added during the cockpit construction and, again, these all fitted well.

The completed cockpit is a very busy looking assembly, and should look good when it's painted up. I added the nose wheel leg at this point, as it would make a convenient handle when painting the rest of the cockpit frame. Conversely, the instrument panel was left off, as it would make adding the dial decal much easier. There isn't much photo etch included (or needed) in this kit, but you do get two straps for the foot pedals.

There isn't much bodywork to speak of on the forward fuselage, but there are some cover panels for the engine compartment. These too get some photo-etch enhancement in the form of perforated ribs. The large round cowl had a couple of ejector pin marks on the inside which I scraped back, although that area is hardly seen on the finished model.

There's a tubular frame that mounts to the exterior of the engine compartment, and on the marking option that I'm building, this features some yellow stripes that required some fiddly masking. The frame was sprayed yellow (over a white base coat), then the stripes were masked off with 2mm strips of tape. This is another fragile assembly, and I managed to snap off one of the upright struts while doing the masking. Rather than repair it at this stage, I decided to finish the painting first, and re-attach the parts when they were finally mounted on the fuselage.

The painting stage was fairly simple, using the same green and blue combination used on the rear fuselage. Masking the nose strut was a little finicky due to the complexity of the cockpit framework, but everything else was straight forward. It's important to remember that the body panels will be visible from the inside, so remember to paint that side too.

After the detail painting was done, and the dial decals added to the side-mounted instrument panels, it was time to finally attach the two main fuselage sections together. This is actually one of the most delicate procedures in the whole built, as the entire cockpit assembly joins to the engine compartment by just four tiny attachment points. This is complicated further by the fact that those attachment points are only butt joints and don't feature any kind of locating pins to help keep the parts together. I attached the two upper corners of the cockpit rear frame first and let the glue dry before securing the lower two connections.

Since the entire cockpit and front end is hanging on these four small connection points, I was a little worried that over time the joints could break. Since the framework behind the pilot's seat is covered by a cowling and can't be seen on the finished build, I decided to reinforce the area by running some epoxy adhesive across the top of the frame where the cockpit and engine compartment meet.

I didn't want to add too much in the way of weathering to the model, but I did add some subtle paint chipping around the cockpit area where the pilot's boots would have scuffed the paint on the open frames. For the dial decals, you have a choice of either a single decal that covers the whole panel, or individual dials to add to each instrument. Needless to say, I used the individual decals here and, although they're a little harder to apply, they look much better than having carrier film running across the moulded detail on the panels.

Before the cowling panels are attached, there are a few linkage rods that need to be added, and these can be quite difficult to install, as they need to be threaded through the various framework elements. I painted the rods first, then carefully slotted them into position, using a tiny amount of superglue to secure them in place. In truth you can barely see these once the panels are in place, so you could leave them off all together.

The seat back was painted up and added to the cowling panel, ready to be dropped into place over the cockpit frame. The panel also got some minor paint chipping to give some signs of use. Miniart supply a harness on the photo-etch fret and, although it looks very nice, I felt it looked a little too rigid in this scale. Also, it's designed to show the straps buckled up, which seems like an odd choice for an empty cockpit.

I decided it would look better to substitute the supplied harness for an aftermarket set. In this case, I used a fabric harness set from HGW Models. The set used was No. 132076, which is actually a 1/32 set intended for a Heinkel 111 and, as such, is a little over scale. Despite that, I think the end result is an improvement over the kit supplied harness.

The underside cowling was now attached, and this, together with the underside of the rear fuselage, received a little weathering with enamel washes. This mainly consisted of oil splatters and general grime.

The gearbox is a very complex and detailed assembly, considering how small it is, with over 30 parts going into the construction. The fit is very good though, as long as you take your time with assembly and clean up the parts properly.

When I came to test fit it though, I had trouble getting the gearbox to sit fully down. The linkage rod at the front needed to thread through an opening in the top of the seat cowl, but it just enough out of alignment to prevent the gearbox dropping into place. To remedy this, I had to carefully cut the linkage from the gearbox, which then allowed the box to sit in the correct position.

The gearbox was painted up, in a slightly paler green to add a little visual interest, then glued into position on the engine frame. The two linkage rods (parts Ca21 and Ca22 ) were then carefully added with tweezers.

Andy Moore

That is where we leave this part, in the next instalment we will finish of this model and add an attractive base to really take the model to a higher level (pardon the pun).

Many thanks to the guys at MiniArt in Ukraine for sending Andy the kit. Stay tuned for the third part of the painting and weathering here at TMN.