Vintage Fighters Series
Kit No. 0002. 1:24th scale
A big box with a big model kit inside, that was my first impression and still is, if you are into large models then this one is a must. The kit has a fair amount of details built in and there is room at this scale for the super detailers to work their magic, the surface details are nicely engraved, the canopy parts are crystal clear and you get a choice of six different schemes on the decal sheet, Two Type D-25 RE, US aircraft, , one natural metal finish and one olive drab and neutral grey both with invasion stripes and chequered cowlings. Two Type D-28 RE British, come next, one Green, Dark earth and Sea grey medium and SEAC roundels, the other with Green, Ocean grey and Sea grey medium and Normal RAF European roundels. The French aircraft depicted are Type D-25 RE machines in drab and grey plus another in natural metal finish.
The instruction sheet is clear but suffers with some wrong numbering of parts which the manufacturer is aware of and is correcting at the next print run, I didn’t keep totally to the construction sequence as I thought some items could be done easier another way.
My construction notes.
Step,1… you need to make a choice of floor for the cockpit here and you need to know which markings you will apply to make your decision, my aircraft required the corrugated floor.
The control panel is made up of three layers, a rear face, a mid face with the dials in raised detail and the front with holes and raised details on. I painted all three black then highlighted the dial faces with white drybrushed on. When fitted together the holes were filled with gloss varnish giving a nice “through the glass” look. You get a choice of gun sights, but here, note that part 101 should read 110. There are many photos around of views in the cockpit all have slight differences but one item you really need is the gear down lever on the port wall, the base for it is provided but not the lever so I made one from rod and added it.
The choice of colour depends on where your particular aircraft was built one factory used chromate and the other used a dull dark green.
Step,2…I painted the cylinders with Humbrol #11 silver and then ran a very thin wash of 85 satin black around the grooves to highlight them, the pushrods were painted with 21 gloss black and the front gear housing with a light gloss grey.
When you line up the front and rear rows of cylinders make sure each rear cylinder is exactly between two on the front row. I decided to add an ignition harness to this monster engine, I took part 25 the ignition ring and drilled two tiny holes behind each outlet. Using 0.45mm copper wire I cut 36 short lengths and superglued them into each hole, with the ring cemented in position the wires were individually cut to size and fed into pre drilled holes on the cylinders one to each at the front and back where the spark plugs are.
The inlet manifold parts 32 and 204 would be a steel colour not rust as only cold air passes through them and not the hot exhaust gasses, when you cement them together add them to the engine before the cement hardens to give you time to adjust the fit to the cylinders.Step,3…I would suggest that you cement the halves of the exhausts together then fit them to the remaining locations on the cylinders taking care to line them up correctly to fit the rear wall part 11, now part 21 can be cemented to the rocker covers at the top of each cylinder before adding the rear wall.Step,4... When part 138 is fitted to the rear of the engine parts 124/125 the whole unit should be rotated to the vertical not horizontal as shown because it has to connect to air intake pipe part 124 in the next step.
Step,5…Careful painting here will bring out the details but most of it will be hidden when the fuselage is completed. The engine bearers parts 139/142 once mounted in the wall part 154, need to be connected to the lugs in the centre of the fire wall part 11 in step 4. The whole engine should be built as a complete unit ready to be placed into one fuselage half later.
If you have an early pre release kit then you will need to add a 2mm high strip of plasticard on the top edge of the spar part 69 to raise the cockpit to it’s proper level, this has been rectified in later kits.
Step,6…Make sure the vents parts 129/130 fit smoothly into the fuselage halves, I found I had to scrape the location recess a little to get a smooth fit. Don’t forget to paint the turbo on part 185 before cementing in place.
Step,7…mount the engine assembly in the fuselage half then the cockpit and close the fuselage up making sure the engine locators are in the correct position in the second half or the two halves won’t close completely. Allow to harden before deciding to close the engine panels or not, the panels themselves have a sharp squared off front edge and the cowling front on the real P-47 is a nice rounded surface so I sanded and scraped the edges to a round profile, not absolutely perfect but much better than before. Don’t cement the spine, parts 3&4, until you are ready to add it to the fuselage so that you can get a good fit before the cement hardens.
Step,8… I found the top location tab on the rudder part106 offset and this throws the rudder off centre so it is best cut off altogether.If you have the early pre release kit you may find some shrinkage in the one piece tailplanes but later kits will have two halves to make up these items to overcome this problem. The intercooler open doors, parts 87, on the fuselage side are very thick and they are really just a thin sheet of metal so I scratch built new ones from 20thou plasticard to improve the look, also the lip on the exhaust shroud below the fuselage is a bit thick so I trimmed it with a new scalpel blade to give a thinner profile.
Step,9…Is labelled left wing and it should read right wing, it deals with the gun bays first and here the ammo feeds are shown with the curved end facing away from the guns when they should have the curved end touching the gun, this allows the feed to rise above the level of the barrels it crosses. They are handed and the easy way to spot them is to note the viewing holes in the feeds where the shells can be seen, these should all be towards the rear so ignore the numbers provided and fit the correct parts. The ordinance and main landing gear are shown here but will only be fitted once the wings are fitted to the fuselage. The wing pylon halves are wrongly numbered on the sheet so take care here and remember they are also handed.
The flap drawings provided are a bit confusing, firstly they are wrongly numbered for this side and the hinges are shown in two different places, a little thought here before you commit yourself will help. Only hinges for the down position are provided and before mounting in the flap they need the upper end that fits to the top half of the wing trimming to fit into the “boxes” provided there. I wanted my flaps up so they were fitted to the wing itself and the hinges were trimmed so only the link showed in the slots.
Step,10…much as step 9 but here we have the ammo bays either loaded or empty if you choose the loaded ones some careful painting is needed, the shell cases are brass coloured and the shell should be a golden looking colour but the links that form the belt are black so a thin black line is needed along the middle of them all.The small strake part 95 is not used when the pylon is fitted.
Step,11…The gun bay panels parts 60/61 needed a little filler around them so these were fitted in steps 9&10 before the gun barrels were fitted.
You will need to choose your prop now according to your choice of aircraft, mainly it depended where the plane was built but it was not unusual for a prop change to be made in service so any combination could be possible. With only the hole in the front housing to hold the prop shaft there is no other bearing to keep it steady to rectify this I used a length of aluminium tube that fitted the hole pushed in until it touched a back wall then cut flush and both ends were superglued. I cut the shaft off each prop and drilled into the rear of the hubs ready to take a short length of tube the next size down, when glued in left to dry out the prop was slipped in the large tube and it made a perfect bearing allowing the prop to spin evenly.
in the paintshop
I sprayed the sky band first and masked it off but the other colours were sprayed freehand then the whole model was given a couple of light coats of Klear before the decals were added. Once these were dry another coat of Klear was added to seal them in before dusting over with my matting mix of Klear and Tamiya flat base in a ratio of 4 parts to 1. All the final details were added and just to finish the job with the aerial made from Lycra thread.
A fine very large model is the result of my efforts and when all the little glitches on the sheets are corrected it should be a joy to build with some scope for you super detailers out there.
Ted Taylor......April 2008