Well I'm back as my great 1/32 scale experiment wasn't exactly the success I had hoped it would be. As I found out the world of 1/32 scale has its limitations; subject matter, quality of non-Tamiya kits, and price were some of the issues I ran into. So after two 6 month long builds, I decided that 1/48s scale is where I should be.
And honestly, I missed my friends here on Aeroscale, so I decided to come back and become an active member once again. Being a life long Grumman devotee, My 1st 1/48 scale build is the Eduard Limited edition F6F-3 Profipak:
Included is a beautiful set of decals for 5 aircraft printed by Cartograf
As with most builds, I started with the cockpit cleaning up parts. Then I primed them with Mig Ammo Black Acrylic primer.
The PE IP is extremely well done which consists of a instrument plate and a top plate with nicely done bezels. I've been using Pledge for the lenses, but this time I just wasn't happy with the results so I added a final coat of Tamiya X-22 Clear Gloss. Now they looked like glass lenses. Unfortunately, in the pictures it's really hard to tell.
Grumman's painted their F6F-3 interiors after the 1st 100 or so Interior Green which includes the IP. The problem is that the PE parts are painted what looks like Bronze Green, but it's nowhere close to Interior Green ANA 611 which is very close to FS 34151. I used MRP ANA 611 Interior Green straight from the bottle after my brother suggested a working flow rate of 12-10 psi as I was experiencing some spitting at 14-15 ps1. After dark wash the colors should blend closer together. I did have an issue with all the little PE knobs and levers. I just can't work with them as they're way to small for this one eyed near sighted old man. So I made sprue levers and white glue knobs painted black. I also managed to loose the gun sight glass on my Workbench, so I punched out a disc from plastic sheet, then a 2nd disc which I cut in half, glued to the other one, then filed a flat surface to glue it to the base of the site. Looks good enough
Next up was the belts and Harnesses. I'm always leery of PE ones as they don't bend very well, and always pop off with the slight touch. the Eduard ones are each made with separate pull straps that really look quite nice. I glued everything with Gorilla Thin CCA glue, and the parts really stuck in place almost on touch. At 1st I scrapped the paint off where I was going to glue them to, then I tried right on the paint, and it glued up just fine. In the larger then life size picture below, I can see where I need to touch up the headrest area. In real life I just never saw this run.
Next I turned my attention to the fuselage halves. I painted them ANA 611 Interior Green, then when dry, I masked off the rear area just behind the seat bulkhead and painted the area FS 36440 which is the accepted match for Grumman Gray, which then was a standard practice for their aircraft interiors and inside the cowl.
Then I dry fitted the cockpit tub to see how it fits, and it fits the fuselage like a glove. Hopefully when close up the fuselage halves, the fit will be perfect on both sides. From the reviews I've read, there shouldn't be any issues. I gave the pit and cockpit side walls a dirty black wash, then installed the pit
I also brushed on some of the MRP Interior paint to help blend in the IP. It helped some, but the color difference is still there. The rear compartment right behind the cockpit firewall has been painted Grumman Gray. the accepted color match is FS 36440. Even when the fuselage halves are closed up, looking through the rear cockpit windows, the Grumman Gray is clearly visible.
I decided to modify the rear wheel assembly so that I can install it as a finishing item, rather then now. This will allow me to work on the seam running through the rear wheel well, and let me paint it as a separate component without having to mask it or try to paint it after installation. So I installed the rear cockpit windows on both sides which fit perfectly, and closed up the fuselage. The fit is just outstanding to say the least.
As I assumed, once the fuselage halves are closed up, there isn't that much of the cockpit that one can easily see, but enough to make the detailing and careful paint worth while.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my build to date. It's always much appreciated