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PAGE 2After the cockpit got a dry brush with Mr. Metal Color 214 dark iron, which adds a nice 3D sheen, the back of the windows were painted semi gloss black since there was no time to do a full interior. In the future I'd like to revisit this subject and not only do the interior but add some lights. With the miniaturization of LEDs it shouldn't be a challenge for modelers to do this and i'm no exception. Maybe even some curtains for the windows... now where did I put that Barbie sewing machine?
Connecting the aft body halves was, as you can imagine, a slow process of crawling a section at a time. There are numerous places where the panel lines and details do no match up and in some areas you have to split the difference or completely redo lines and file back raised details. The thing to remember about this bird is that it's oddly shaped in the tail and middle exhaust area and must have caused Italeri engineers headaches to replicate. So congratz to them for what they managed AND in 1/72! The molding is off on the rear rotor tower so you'll need to cement one end then wait to cement the other. One thing about this kit in general is that you can fold the rotor tower forward and lower the ramp for different versions. Thus, if you're doing one of those you can really create something special once the supplied interior is added. However, because of these additional tail parts there is some filling that needs to be done to make the operational helicopter's tail and ramp area look good.
Unfortunately the exhausts are two piece, which is understandable considering their complex curves and the middle is unavoidable. I used Tamiya surface primer "G" since it was easy to paint on and sand later. Yes the plastic is quite thick but the ends of each part is not. A rotary tool reamed out the unwanted material. As the photo shows I added some material to the middle port knowing the yellow zinc chromate could easily be noticed. It took a few test fittings and I sure wish it were deeper, yet will suffice.
The main rotor and drive assembly are called out to be added now but knowing how much of a pain it is to mask off and paint around the blades I came up with a simple solution. While holding the main connecting pin some bits of plastic were used to make a stop for the pin so it wouldn't drop down and the blades could be added later. This also made the blades spin very smoothly and extremely fast... eh em, not that I would ever play with a model... at all!!! HA HA damn straight I did, sorry for cussing but after all what's the point if you can't have a bit of fun? Anyway, the thing is keyed to go in only one way and does after some swearing and fiddling about with it. While being hardly noticeable more dark iron dry brushing was done and the piece was set in place after a proper test fit. Abtielung 502 smoke oil made the wash.
With the upper assembly test fitted and installed the floor and cockpit assembly went in. In this model the fuselage parts needed some help from clamps and a kind word or seven. Once again, walk your cement around little by little since you'll need to, probably, bend the canopy and middle exhaust areas and possibly the belly. I didn't stress too much about the latter since it would rarely be looked at, is not noticeable and contains few details worth looking at, save for the wheel bays, and zero decals. That said, I did add tiny bits of dense foam under the floor on one side to force it down to meet the other side that was correctly shaped.
Regardless of the time invested in making the body as cleanly connected as possible naturally there were areas needing care. There are a few minor sink marks and one that's major. The square bit of spare PE was the perfect size to cover the most obvious one. Sure I know it isn't authentic but this model is from another dimension called "The H.G. Barnes Universe" (same as my website) and in my universe this aircraft has that access panel. The middle exhaust has no definition at the connecting point to the body so everything you see in that photo is hand carved and makes a world of difference. It also gives you a well defined demarcation body line for later masking and painting. The next place was the tip of the cockpit floor. Yes, you'll have to drill or core out the plastic to get at it if you are not thorough enough in cementing the piece correctly in the first place. Yeah, up side the head and still smarts, HA HA. If you don't get this floor part down it will block the view through the cheek windows. Then came the final obligatory filling and sanding round before moving on. Note the red, black and blue metal block files from U-Star that are simple awesome for making flat surfaces. They are far cheaper than high end brands and have a much better grove cut.
When it came to building the main landing gear pods (or whatever they're called) I'll admit to scratching my head. Then I noticed the instructions were incorrect plus the parts are miss shaped and needed alteration to fit together and to the body. Just as with the rotor and nose wheel areas yellow zinc chromate was called out for these. It is the only paint not from Sunward Hobbies and something I'd thought would never be used again beyond the 1/48 B-17F I'm completing for Brian D. O'Neill. Please take a look at his extensive blog on that subject. They needed a fair amount of filling and sanding but nothing anyone of you couldn't handle.
It was time to mask the windows and finalize the model before priming. For giggles I put her next to a 1/48 Huey to compare scale. In 1/48 this would have been a huge kit and even in 1/72 it isn't that small. I'd say just right as a desk ornament conversation piece and easily fits on a shelf. After masking the canopy and test fitting I discovered a huge gap at the middle pillar. Just putting any old filler in there would not work because you will see it through the other windows. Adding a touch of black to the light gray surface primer filler solved that issue and looks great from the inside and out.
Copyright ©2021 by H.G. Barnes. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of AeroScale, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2020-09-18 10:00:49. Unique Reads: 2840