Friday, May 15, 2015

Eduard P-400 Airacobra (#8471 “Weekend” Edition)

I love that title – weekend indeed.  Well, if I had 7 day weekends that would work.  I am sure some of you are not as plodding as I am.  As you all know, it means you get the sprues and decals for one model. 

The Cactus Air Force referred to the air group that occupied Henderson Field on Guadalcanal in 1942.  Eventually, it sported Marine, Navy and Army Air Forces aircraft.  They operated under horrific conditions which included almost nightly shelling by the Japanese Navy as well as living in crude tents and eating captured Japanese rations.

The Second World War is my main modeling interest, and the Cactus Air Force and Operation Torch (the invasion of North Africa) are of particular interest to me.  Maybe it is because Guadalcanal was so much like our struggle in Vietnam (where I served while in the U. S.  Army) that it captures my attention.  Operation Torch interests me because my late and beloved father-in-law started his war there and eventually took him to Sicily and Italy.

I purchased this kit as I wanted to build another Eduard model, and it of course had markings I wanted.  Being a new returnee to the modeling fraternity, I have been struck at how detailed these kits are, and how many tiny parts need to be dealt with.  I really like the surface detail and the cockpits Eduard produces in their kits. 

I painted this one with Model Master Acrylic paints, but I had some trouble.  I did not thin the paints enough, and probably had the pressure up too high on my compressor, so a got a fairly grainy surface when I sprayed the dark brown.  Actually, it was very grainy.  I had to take some very fine emery paper and sand it down some and re-coat it.  The finish was still not that good.  A few coats of Future helped, but I still regard the result as being a “two foot model”, i.e., it is best viewed no closer than two feet!  Oh, well…lesson learned.

I did use Eduard canopy masks for the first time, and I hope to use them on everything in the future.  The results were excellent.  They are well worth the cost.

Once other “new” (to me) product I used was Perfect Plastic Putty, which is water-based.  You can smooth it in with a damp Q-Tip, and it does not shrink when dried.  Much easier to use than Bondo or Squadron Green Putty.

It spite of the issues I had, I enjoyed the build.  And, my skills are getting better.

Great for filling gaps without sanding.

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