Sunday, April 5, 2009

Two plastic models, muahahaha!

Last month, I started work on a T-6 Texan. You usually don't see trainer aircraft, but I wanted to do something a little colorful and this was very cheap (US$ 12).

It's a pretty neat model, if a little strange. Strange in that in places, there is fantastic detail, in others, not so much and it's the choices of where the chose to put the detail that makes it strange. The engine for instance. The engine is not bad, but the detail on the cylinder heads is really soft:

The rear of the engine, behind the firewall, there is some pretty crisp detail. The thing is, after installation, you can only view this through a crack about 3mm wide.

The cockpit is very nice, with but a few issues. I re-worked the seats to make them more realistic, added some engine control levers, added the linkage between the two rudder pedal groups, built up the rudder pedal groups to be more realistic, added a crossbar underneath the rear instrument panel and added wires for the radio mics

Of course, once it's installed, you can see virtually none of this. I am such a nerd, but dang it was fun to do:

The figures are rather nice. Also included was a fig of the instructor pilot climbing in. His parachute is nicely cast:

One annoying thing was the lights on the bottom of the airframe. They are a single clear piece with three nubbins that fit in holes in the fuselage. It seems like a nice idea, but it makes seam-filling and painting very annoying. I did discover a new technique in making colored lights. I painted all of the outside of the light that would not be visible the proper color; leaving the 'lens' part clear. So, you see down into the color and it reflects pretty good. This offers a more natural way than just painting the outside of the clear.

Now, model two. At the model group I started attending, most of the guys are car guys. I used to be a car guy when I was 12, but not so much now. However, I thought I'd show them what a plane guy could do, so I bought me a Shelby A/C Cobra. Man. This model has some issues. Flash and mold seams abound; especially troubling were the mold seams directly down the top of the body! Pain in the ass to get rid of. It's also molded in white plastic which makes it hard to see if you've sanded properly. Oh, and tons of chrome pieces. Who wants chrome pieces? They look like ass and as soon as you cut them off the sprue, you've inevitably cut the chrome. So, I've soaked them in Simple Green and removed most of the chrome for painting.

Because I'm me, I've gone and put details where nobody will see them. I spend a great deal of time painting, shading and detailing the suspension. The front, you'll be able to see if you look hard enough, but the rear will be nearly completely invisible once the tires are installed.

Isn't that pretty? Too bad you'll never see it again.

listening to while posting: nothing, as Sweet Enemy is in the next room, in front of the woodstove, wrapped in a blanket with the cat and reading a new Terry Pratchett book (and I don't want to disturb her)


  1. it looks like the pilot is having a phone in his hand..?
    Howcome some of the photo's are sharp and the others were quite out of focus?
    I'm not a car guy *building wise* but I'm really looking forward to see that cobra! I'll go and check up on my 2 mig29s, the B26 and the Orljonok again this week.

  2. dude! hurry up with that Orljonok! I gotta see that.

    The pilot does have a phone in his hand, I think (or he's listening to the tower through his headset). I'd meant to put a cord going from the radio to his hand,but then forgot when I buttoned up the fuselage.

    The photos are inconsistent because my camera is a second-hand (from my dad) point-and-shoot with limited macro capabilities. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. I suppose I shouldn't be lazy and go back and re-shoot, no? ;)