Saturday, June 5

Build review Pt II: 48th scale Avro Lancaster B Mk.1 From Hong Kong Models

Adam O'Brien's build of Hong Kong Models 48th scale Avro Lancaster B Mk.1 continues with the second instalment of his build here on TMN. See the main fuselage, wings tails, turrets & everything else in construction as he prepares the kit for paint & weathering yet to come in his excellent build guide...

Build review PtII: Avro Lancaster B Mk.1
From Hong Kong Models
1/48th scale
Kit No# 01F005
Approximately 360 parts
Photo-etch parts included
Completed size: 648 (total width) x 443 (total length)
Cartograf decals included for two marking choices
Poster of the boxart is included
Price: ¥11,000 ($105 USD/ 75 GBP/ 86 Euro)
Product Link on the HLJ Website
Product Link on the HK Models Website
Previous parts of this build:
Part I - Interiors

Part II - Sealing the deal...
Moving on from the interior works, I firstly buttoned up the fuselage halves. The fit here was excellent given the size of the parts and the internal structure’s potential to put a spanner in the works…The joined fuselage was held together with Tamiya tape to allow the glue to harden overnight.
The seam line was filled with CA glue, mixed 50/50 with VMS glue filler powder – creating a very strong “putty” that can be sanded and scribed. Once hardened, I sanded the entire length of the fuselage seam (upper and lower). This left quite a lot of re-scribing and riveting to replace. I’ll explain my technique a little later…
The underside of the fuselage and bomb bay. At this point, I am undecided on showing the bomb bay open with ordinance, or showing the aircraft lines “clean”
At this point, I constructed all gun turrets. The kit standard detailing is sufficient, so I did not add any extra detail here – apart from replacing the gun barrels with resin replacements from Quickboost. All the canopy masking was done (tediously) by hand as no canopy masks are included in the kit, and no aftermarket sheets are available at this time.
The turret internals were first painted semi-gloss black. Once dry, I misted a light coat of mid-grey from above to impart some interest in the black finish and to mimic natural light from above. Finally, the gun barrels were dry-brushed with silver oil paint (decanted from an Oilbrusher). 
Masking was removed from the canopies, and the black very carefully gone over with the remaining silver on the brush from my dry-brushing session on the barrels.
A rearward view of the full fuselage. It must be noted here that most of the interior cannot be seen once the fuselage halves have been joined. If I build another Lancaster, I will paint and detail only the main cockpit area – the rest can be simply painted matt black!
Close-ups of the main canopy test-fitting. The fit of the kit part is not perfect, and needs some “tweaking” to allow it to sit perfectly on the fuselage. 
To allow this, I scraped the fuselage, using a ceramic blade, in the area shown on the photo – this is the location that prevents the canopy from sitting on the fuselage precisely. I also shaved some plastic from inside the canopy (bottom edge) in this area to allow a perfect fit.
At this point, I added riveting to the upper fuselage area (under the canopy) – basically, this is simply extending the rivet lines on the model, into this area. I then painted the area with Mr.Paint RAF Dark Green, highlighted the rivet lines with a darker shade of the base colour, then finally, gave the rivets a dark brown wash to bring them out.
Constructing the wings was fairly straightforward as the fit on these large parts was excellent. The only adjustments I made to these parts was to shave some plastic from the locations noted on the photo – this is to allow a better fit of the engine nacelles to the main wing.
The main engine nacelles were constructed as whole units, engine included. I did not paint any of these parts at this point as – 1. I do not intend to expose the engines, and 2. I’m most concerned at this point in achieving a good fit of the engine nacelles to the wings prior to paint. The engines included in the kit are very nicely detailed and would form a good base for the super-detailer who wants to show them off. 
Note that the engine support frames are not included in the kit and would need to be scratch-built if the engine side panels were left off.
The main wing with engine nacelles glued into position. Generally, the fit here is good, though there will be considerable work in filling the slight seams and replacing panel lines and rivets.
Basic tailplanes assembled ready for test fitting to the fuselage.
The main canopy internal masking and painting (semi-gloss black). Prior to external painting, I’ll do it all again and hand mask the external surface…
The set of scribing tools I use.
To replace sanded-over or lost panel lines, I first run a piece of Tamiya flexible tape, along the location of the panel line. This is pressed down quite firmly, so the tape does not move while scribing the line. To scribe the line, I use a curved micro-saw. Using multiple, very light passes, I build up the panel line to its required depth. 
I find this method works better for me, rather than using a single pass scribing tool as it allows easy correction later if the blade “wanders” off track.
A general view of the puttied, re-scribed and re-rivetted engine nacelles.
At this point, I started to dry assemble the entire airframe – primarily to check the major components for fit, and to see where further putty may be required. Prior to fitting the bomb aimers blister, I painted the mounting ring flat black, so no bare plastic will show under the clear blister. 
Once the turrets and canopies were dry-fitted, it could be seen where further adjustments need to be made prior to painting the airframe.
An overall view of the dry-assembled airframe
A rearward view of the dry-assembled airframe – note that the aileron actuator was removed from the wing and trimmed down. I then added an actuator rod, then re-assembled it on the wing. The kit part here is solid and out of scale.
A closeup of the tailplanes and rear turret assembly – showing the lovely surface detail of the kit.
The model will be painted in parts – fuselage/port & starboard wings/tailplanes, as the fully assembled model will be difficult to manage (and will not fit) in my spray booth. This will also allow me to be more accurate with the airbrush, and be easier to weather. Once all of the sub-components are painted, I will attend to the wing root seam, and touch-up the paintwork in that area only.
A couple more views of the dry-assembled airframe
Next up, Part III – painting the airframe - here on TMN

Adam O'Brien

Thanks to Hong Kong Models for sending this kit to Adam to build and review. You can see more about this kit and the others in HK Model's range on their website.

Appendix: The instruction booklet