This one was a “recycled” kit – a good model friend of mine picked this one up a few years ago. I am not sure why he acquired it (he is a serious Tank guy) or what he intended to do with it but he offered this started kit to me and I jumped on it.
As you know – “started” kits are a gamble. Generally speaking, there is a reason why they are available at shows at a fraction of the cost of the new kit. In other words, it is highly doubtful the previous builder started to build a show winner and gave up on it. Its more likely that lurking inside that kit box is a monster of parts pulled from their sprues, tube glued and not quite lined up with their intended position.
Luckily for me the previous builder had some skill and didn’t do much work on the kit. There were no oopses to fix and nothing was painted or primed. Perfect. As well, this is an excellent kit by Tamiya – aside from the weird way the wings get attached to the fuselage, it would be very difficult to mess up this kit. I have my theories as to why we don’t see a lot of these kits finished (the size and 1000 windows do not help!) but if you can get your hands on one of these, they make for a really fun and easy build.
The excellent interior
What can I say? Perfect fit, perfect pieces and easy to paint. I went Out Of Box on this build but even still I managed to paint it in a way to draw interest. I used the IJ Interior Green by Tamiya and I mixed it with various amounts of white. I then drybrushed white all over the interior. This is too stark normally – so then I go over everything with a very thin mix of the green to a point where you can just see the detail:
You might notice the tables – i tried to simulate wood using the oil paint method (basically streaking dark brown oil paint on a light brown surface. I think its close, but not quite there. Hey – it was my first attempt.
I wanted to try something different than washes in the interior so I went over all of the grills and panel lines with a mechanical HB pencil.
When I closed up the fuselage I ran into the only issue with this model – the attachment of the canopy – its tight… almost too tight. At the time I wedged it on and used white glue to fill in the gaps. If I were to do it again, I would carefully note where the fit issues are and sand them down to get a canopy that fit but didn’t need to be wedged into place.
To break up the grey underside I just masked off various panels and used different shades of IJ Grey from Tamiya (mixed with flat white). For the top I wanted to fade the paint. I find the dark green to be very difficult to work with to get any form of credible fading and this build was no different. Ultimately I tried to do some post shading with white. The plane still looks “new” but at least there is some depth to the paint.
I painted the markings except for the tail numbers. I find decals to be so inconsistent (some settle down easily and some are as thick as paper) and I am still working the kinks out of my decaling system. The tail numbers went on perfectly and blended right in.