On the Bench and Beyond!

With Tom Grossman

On the bench and beyond!Email TomHobby Supplies

1/72 RCAF Planes

These kits painted with an Iwata Eclipse HP-B Airbrush

      A local modeling friend of mine is an avid fan of RCAF planes. He introduced me to Roy Thompson, a retired RCAF officer. Roy is working to establish an exhibit of all the aircraft flown by the RCAF. The collection will be housed at an RCAF museum at Peterson AFB here in Colorado Springs.
      Roy is really doing a lot to promote model building in our area. The kits for the exhibit are provided to the builder for free. When they are put into the collection, each will have a name plate that included the name of the modeler. The only downside is that we don't get to keep the models when we are finished with them. We do, however, get to have our name on a model that we built in a museum.
      The build ups are to be gear up with black windows/canopies. I was excited about doing the planes because they would go quickly (HA HA) and be a good chance to practice some basic modeling skills. Of course, I tried to select planes that were unusual in construction or paint schemes.

Monogram Classics
Albatros Air Rescue Amphibian

      This is a reissue of the '50's Albatros kit. I probably build at least one when I was a kid. The kit is designed to have operating landing gear and opening doors. It also comes with some crewmen and a couple of downed fliers in a life raft set on a little chunk of styrene ocean. For this reason, I would call this kit a toy.

      Well, to meet the requirements for display in the Museum there would have to be some changes. I assembled the kit with the main gear glued in the up position and the nose wheel doors closed. The area around the nose gear doors needed lots of putty work as they were designed to hold those great big pins and tabs on the operable doors. The fit in the wing gear bays was pretty bad too. Research showed, however, that there were large gaps in places around the panels on the main landing gear when they were up.
      The fit in places was not the best I had ever seen. Putty was required along many of the seams, particularly on the upper surfaces of the wings. The photo was taken between the many cycles of sanding and priming required to get the surface smooth. The rivets that dotted the surface were all sanded off. You can also see that the fit for some of the windows wasn't so hot either.

      Don't misunderstand. I am having a great time with this plane!! I knew it would be a chance to practice some basic skills so I was ready for this. I certainly don't remember it seeming so bad, tho. But we tend to overlook such things when we are younger.

Second Installment: The Decals


Rescue in 5 pieces

After the reassembly
     Well, I got the surface smoothed well enough and go her painted. I used Post-It Notes and Tape for the masking. Then, the real adnevture began...
     The decal were pretty old. A few went on in one piece. Most cracked a little. A few shattered. Fortunately, I was given two sets for the project.
      I got the best results by wetting the decal first. Once water had soaked in, I finished wetting the sheet from the back. This has been good for my skills!!

The band around the fuselage.
RCAF under the wing: second try

Hobby Craft
DHC U1 Otter

      Roy says that the Otter is about the easiest plane there is to fly. This kit is a realy nice, too. Recessed panel lines, superior fit, RCAF markings included on the stock decal sheet. Those are really nice decals, too. The builder was also given the option of making the plane with wheels, skis or floats. Because of the somewhat exotic nature of the floats, that's what I decided to build mine with.
      Here's a few construction shots taken during the cycles of primer, filling and sanding. Very little putty needed to get this plane smooth.

      The struts for the pontoons were a challenge to get in place, It was necessary to gluw it all together to get things arranged properly. I had to cu some of the rear spacer to get the pontoons parallel. Other than that, it wasn't as hard as I had orignially thought it would be.
      Once primer coats revealed no more surface flaws, I base coated the plane with several layers of Model Master Acryl Aluminum. There was a bit of sanding with 600 grit between coats. Post-It tape was used to mask for the red wing tips and stabilizers. Next, GlossCoat was applied to get the plane ready for the decals. I did have a bit of trouble with the "RESCUE" decal and the black set of numbers on one side. I ended up painting the 8 & 9 by hand. So close to being finished. a little slean up with Aluminum and clear coats and its done! Satin overall, flat on the glare screen, gloos on the windows.


Second Installment: Finished Otter

Airfix AVRO CF-100 Canuck

      Perhaps its the sweep of the wings, but this plane reminds me of the A-37 Dragonfly. The Airfix kit was passable. The construction kind of got away from the camera. The biggest fit problems were along the sides of the engines and at the rear of the canopy. Like the Otter, the plane was primered with grey and basecoated with several layers of Model Master Acryl Aluminum.
      My favorites, Parafilm and Post-It tape were used to mask off the aluminum for painting the deicer boots, glare screen and radome. I used VRush Pens to cleanup the lines after the masking was removed.
      GlossCoat was applied before the decals. The colorful stripes are actually from a 1/48 set for that particular plane. A little cutting here, a splice there and they work just fine. The cats near the intakes are from the same set.
      The registration numbers on the sides were assembled out of H's and N's from another set of 1/72 markings. The 3's and 6's were there but not in the right order. These also required some touch up with black paint.
      All it needs now are the small registration numbers on the tail, the pitot tube on the leading edge of the wing and the clear coats.


Second Installment: Finished Canuck

On the bench and beyond!Email TomHobby Supplies
Updated 4-13-2011
Updated by: Gary Grossman - Webmaster