'Wildcat' Wade 1/72 Spitfire (Say what?!)
Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:12 AM
A Yank in the RAF
One of the many reasons building models appeals to me is that it brings a little slice of history to life. Aircraft have always been a major interest of mine so it makes sense that I would want to celebrate them in miniature. Of course, having a true back-story to go with my little plastic works of art gives them a resonance and provides me with hours of enjoyment.
Like many other modelers, I prefer to build aircraft of the aces. Success in air to air combat is often quantified in the number of victories a fighter pilot achieves. Much like the baseball fan who covets cards of hitters with the most home runs, I find myself wanting to build a miniature of successful aces aircraft.
Most modelers have heard of Richard Bong, Erich Hartmann, 'Johnnie' Johnson and Saburo Sakai. But every now and then I learn of a pilot who, despite being a high scorer, tends to be largely forgotten by history. For every Bong and Hartmann, there's a Cecil Harris or a Robert Westbrook whose stories are just as memorable and important as the well-known aces. What intrigues me even more about these lesser known pilots is the lack of documentation about them! So wouldn't you know, once I found out about Lance Wade, I became consumed by the research about this guy who joined the RAF and didn't switch over to the USAAF when the US entered World War Two.
So, for a little background, here's a couple of links:
Here's the opening pic:
The two pieces of reference that I have are a copy of Aviation History from November 2004 (the article is in that first link) and Lance On High A Texan Ace in the RAF by Humphrey Wynn. Unfortunately, neither one is really all that much help on the specific plane that I'll be building. So that's where the IPMS Stockholm article comes in. I'm sure that there are some actual pictures of Wade's Spitfire out there somewhere. But I haven't been able to find one! So a profile will have to suffice...
For this build, I have a Tamiya 1/72 Mk.Vb Trop which will benefit from an Eduard Zoom set, some Techmod decals which will have to be modified a bit and a little TLC.
Coming soon! Dr. Milo, Plastic Surgeon
Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:14 AM
Dr. Milo, Plastic Surgeon
Well, things have been progressing slowly, yet surely. The Tamiya Spitfire is a beautiful kit with plenty of details. However, it's regularly bashed as having some shape "issues". I took it upon myself to compare it to a kit that's considered the gold standard of 72nd scale Spits, the Airfix Mk.I.
As you can see, the Tamiya fuselage is a little short. It's around 2mm shorter than the Airfix kit, with that 2mm being aft of the cockpit. So, what's a stickler to do? CUT IT!
So, I cut that mutha and shimmed it with some plastic sheets.
Now it's more in line with the Airfix. There's still some areas that could use some shaping, but I won't bother with them until the fuselage halves are together.
After this, I concentrated on adding some of the photo-etch parts from the Eduard set. That way, I can just paint them with the rest of the interior.
And the wings were built. I think I'll be scraping off the wing bracing/strakes that are just inboard of the blisters for the 20mm cannons.
On the next exciting, action-packed episode! Green with British Interior Envy...
This post has been edited by Milo: 10 February 2012 - 11:14 AM
Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:49 AM
An Unexpected guest....
A funny thing happened while I was building today. I guess I kept muttering "Wade" to myself and someone overheard me....
It was none other than Wade Willson. A.K.A. Deadpool, The Merc With A Mouth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadpool
Just my luck, I attracted the attention of an insane mercenary who can't die. And of course, he wanted to help since he and Wing Commander Wade "shared" a name!
He offered to help display the annoying little p-e parts in the cockpit, especially the rudder pedals which needed coaxing to stay in place.
I thanked Mr. Wilson for his generosity, but asked him, politely, to leave.
He was rather... insistent.
Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and a compromise was reached. Since he was armed, Deadpool assumed the mantle of Foreman....
Seriously, the next episode will have paint.
This post has been edited by Milo: 24 February 2012 - 08:59 AM
Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:56 AM
Green With British Interior Envy!
Yessir, we're back like a vertebrae... Try as I might, I just couldn't shake Deadpool! He camped out on my workbench and made himself comfortable.
Fortunately, this didn't keep me from busting out my trusty airbrush and some Model Master British Interior Green. The cockpit and associated innards were judiciously sprayed.
The seat, its belts and the instrument panel were also painted (but mistakenly not photographed!). They will bring some much-needed color to the otherwise, drab cockpit.
Uh, did he just say that Texans love girly mags?! This joker is going to get me in trouble! One thing I managed to do while working on the wings was damage the 20mm gun barrels. Rather than trying to fix the teeny, little things which would only be broken 5 or 6 more times during the build, I did what was the best, possible option: Aftermarket! Master makes a really awesome set of brass replacements. I just couldn't resist!
You know, I'm kind of getting sick of Deadpool's constant butting in. The guy is a real Attention-Whore and he needs to be shown the door!!
Uh, yeah... Potpourri... Those bags were... Carpet Fresh... Yeeaahh.... Maybe I shouldn't be so hasty in my remarks concerning Deadpool!
Ok then! Assuming I don't receive any visits from any law enforcement officials, we'll be back here again with another exciting installment! A Tale of Two Halves
This post has been edited by Milo: 25 February 2012 - 11:05 PM
Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:08 AM
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