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148
AVENGER 93 Loyce Deen 353

Page 7
That isn't to say it was a smooth ride getting the finish to look passable. Despite my best efforts with proper drying time, a clean surface and well mixed paint there were a few spots that cobwebbed the varnish and where paint lifted. Yes I de-tac my tape and use only a washi brand from MT, be it from MT directly or Tamiya, yet it happened and need to be repaired. The cobweb was only on the bottom of one stabilizer and to this day I have no clue why. To fix it though required re-hydrating the varnish and pealing it off. The same thing had to be done on the wing as well. It's possible that with all the changes this might have had something to do with it, but again I don't know.

Moving on to the propeller, that was now all clean from sitting in the brake fluid (use DOT-3 for fast results), some details about it needed to be finalized. The spinner and cover on Avengers varied quite a bit with some being painted in different colors or not at all. We did the best we could by re-watching the memorial video. Fun fact; I watched a video where technicians balanced props in the shop.They were so finely calibrated that a book of matches made the entire prop turn! Remarkable workmanship... love Made in America!!! Anyway, I masked in stages after the polished aluminum had dried for a few days. AK xtreme metals made up the center colors with Mission Models Paint for the others.

Here's a picture of "The Hanger" with 353 having got another varnish coat. Yes, that's a B-17 and a Jet trainer all on the go at the same time. It's madness I tell you... Madness!

Moving on to the interior detailing, this was the first attempt at the gun sight. It was incorrect but does show how cool this little detail is. Eduard make good gun-sights and the clear parts in this kit are perfect to show off such a little thing. And now that most of the hard manhandling was over the instrument panel could be set in place. When it comes to the bomb bay doors I'd strongly recommend inserting the hardware and quickly sliding on the lower or inner door halves first to get the alignment correct for the outer halves. You may have to remove some material from the bay slots to get the fit you want. When it came to the landing gear there were two small issues I encountered. One was the square socket is too narrow so the plug needed sanding and second were the gear covers. Their connection points are really weak so some extra cement was used along with a light clamp and they were each left to fully dry before I touched the model again. They look odd but that was the only way to install them.

Next came the exhaust pipes. These are PE and I have to say look better than the resin. I chose Mr. Metalizer 214 dark iron and dull coated them for the look you see. Then I removed the masks from the ventral 30 cal. gun placement. A little over-spray had crept in onto the window which was carefully removed with a sharpened toothpick. It was really nice to see that ammo belt after all the messing around it took to get it in the right spot. Next, I chose to add the tail wheel parts before the gun for fear of knocking the gun back into the fuselage... yeah that would have been fun! As it turned out these parts fit very easily. The ventral canopy was used to help me hold the machine gun with my thumb and index finger. All you need to do is get a rough idea where the gun will sit on it's mount then pull the glass away and let the gun fully dry hard then put the glass back on for it to be perfect.

When it came to the open cowl flaps I'll admit to a touch of anxiety. The worry was just how much was going to be seen inside beyond them. The worry was unfounded because of the interior green being the only thing that can be seen, plus a few engine mounting supports. Bending them at the right curve was another thing I'll do differently in the future. My experience with CA glue has proven if there's a change any shear force being put on a join they will ping off. So I under bent them and let the tension force them outward to make a stronger connection with the VMS 5K. They're far from perfect yet add a nice touch even with being slightly miss formed.

Brian emailed me one day and mentioned an outside pin for the inside gun-sight. Once again I was scratching my head and back looking at the video. Sure enough there it was, and this was after countless times viewing it. A Russian friend owns a flower growing company near Samara and I think this was the flower of the month of some such thing, hence the little bit of color. Yeah goofy I know but with all the drab blues and a sad subject matter something bright and cheery was needed. Thankfully I had used PVA glue on the windscreen for easy removal to re-position the gun-sight to the starboard side and match it with the pin.

Now we arrive at the most challenging part of this kit and the build. The well known issue with this Avenger series is the turret . Unfortunately I didn't know about the issue until this point and began reading about how to insert it. That solution assumed it was with the plastic back plate part and not the photo-etched one. There was zero chance of this "thing" going in which meant out came the plate in front of the turret. I spent Lord knows how many hours trying to work out a way to drop and move forward (or aft) the front of the turret without savaging the already constructed interior. The second Avenger kit to be done did help a little by guiding me on how to remove some unseen material from the ring but this was only a minimal amount of movement. I'll be doing an article on how to address this issue when the kit is bare plastic. The best advice is what Brian mentioned and turn it slightly. One side will look fine and other looking as though it is turned. It is all it is going to be.

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About the Author

About HG Barnes (HGBARNES)
FROM: ALBERTA, CANADA

H.G. Barnes is a former voice artist and sales/marketing executive. Currently ghost writing, he's recently published the first of many Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, and Adventure novels. He's been building model kits of every genre since memory to go along with his short stories, yet aircraft h...