Airfix 1/24 scale Hellcat.

KarlW

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Brass is quite soft. I have a pair of yellow handled cutters dedicated to cutting metal rods.
A Dremel with cut off disc is a bit overkill but works too
 

BarryW

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Thanks Neil and Karl.

i have another example of poor engineering and fit.
EAA3AA11-3702-4F49-BE33-C0BECFC35FA3.jpeg
The above are panels that fit in the underside of the wing. Note the tabs on the bottom one, I had to cut them off to fit the piece. They are meant to slot in but don’t. Your can see where they are meant to go below. Note also how the internal detail comes right up to the top on the bottom of the aperture.
FCCD4F8D-14EF-4C29-8AAE-D5454BCF4148.jpeg

The edge of the part is chamfered but not nearly enough.
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I needed to sand that down a fair bit and also I cut away some of the detail to make room.
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Above you can see the problem.

A bit of work and I got the parts to fit. Here they are clamped up drying.
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some filler was needed to finish. Still some cleaning up to do of the filler when dry.

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I will do that with a cotton bud dipped in i.p.a. It will remove the surplus without damaging detail, a bit of elbow grease..

These have arrived so I will carry on with the wing tonight.

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a bit expensive for something for which only the tips will be seen!
 

Tim Marlow

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Going well Barry. The replacement gun barrels look excellent, they will sharpen up the guns no end. Another way to cut brass tube is to use a flat bladed scalpel and cut the tube by rolling it on a cutting mat. The tube can be dressed to size by holding it in a pin vice and using good sharp fine files.
 

BarryW

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I have painted the wing tip lights, I am attaching the transparencies before fitting the wings. The fit of these is not great. I have masking elements for them. I have or will mask other wing transparencies as well.

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i have nearly finished the 500lb bombs, they look good. Just now got to matt varnish them and add a spot of weathering.
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in attaching the wing transparencies I used masking tape to help hold them in place. Gator glue was used as it is ideal for these. The one below has no location fixings and is prone to pop right through into the wing. The solution for this was simple, a strip of tape to hold it in position so you don’t lose it inside the wing. Another example of some poor engineering associated with the wing. I am hoping that Gator Glue on the edges will hold it securely enough.....
BA721E19-C279-4533-8F17-5D3D66295D40.jpeg

I attached the wings to the fuselage, the fit is good but I did needed to do some sanding because of the tolerances.
E1B9FDA4-8896-4430-9280-A905FB9158CD.jpeg
above you can see how good the starboard fit is. But on the port side it does not sit nicely down into place without some pressure. Consequently I am cementing in stages. Starboard first, held securely by clamps. Note the gun barrels, fitting them was not hard and I would recommend getting the brass ones to anyone building this aircraft even if you are closing it up simply because then soft plastic ones are so vulnerable, the brass can take a knock or two.

below is the port side. I have not cemented that yet, once the starboard side is fully cured I will remove the clamps and press down to cement the port side. The picture does not show the gap, it is not a large one, but large enough.
02B3A37B-389A-45A0-B913-5EADCEC163D7.jpeg
 

Jim R

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Hi Barry
You're making good progress even with the fit issues to deal with. Gator glue is a very useful glue to have on the bench.
I will do that with a cotton bud dipped in i.p.a. It will remove the surplus without damaging detail,
That sounds a great idea. What filler do you use? Do you let it dry completely before wiping with IPA?
Jim
 

BarryW

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Hi Barry
You're making good progress even with the fit issues to deal with. Gator glue is a very useful glue to have on the bench.

That sounds a great idea. What filler do you use? Do you let it dry completely before wiping with IPA?
Jim
I use three fillers, all can be 'sanded' with cotton bud/ipa method. Mr Dissolved Putty, Mr Surfacer 500 and Vallejo Plastic Putty. Yes, I let it completely dry. You need to use a fair bit of elbow grease and be patient as you rub.
 

BarryW

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The pace of this build is picking up a little having been bogged down with issues arising from the warped plastic. I am convinced that 90% of the problems are because of the crappy unsuitable plastic. Smaller parts fit into place well, the issues really are with large pieces which has a knock on effect. Done in a decent plastic this could be a great kit.

See the gap here. I am convinced that is a result of fuselage fit issues due to warping.
7F17EF0F-A79C-4211-B061-1924B9F2646D.jpeg

I have got more use out of my clamps on this build than the last four builds combined.


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A few more subs just click perfectly into place.
F5EECB9E-BE13-42C7-B79A-F387B607141C.jpeg

that bottom seam filled with Vallejo Plastic Putty. I might apply a drop of Mr Dissolved Putty to finish it off.

CAC12118-F531-4B5E-96DC-571554743ECC.jpeg

The engine fits nicely into place.
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I know the bottom panel fits perfectly and I will show a pic soon. Test fitting looks as if other panels will not be so good and some trimming and filling will be needed. Again I am sure its a knock on from this awful plastic.
 

KarlW

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Airfix plastic is a bit weird, reminds me of "plastic resin" a lot of wargames company are doing things with for the last few years, but with a lot of the downsides of thermoplastic injection moulding present.
(I've just heard some hints that there may be changes coming at Airfix, but as to what I'm not certain.....)
 

BarryW

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Airfix plastic is a bit weird, reminds me of "plastic resin" a lot of wargames company are doing things with for the last few years, but with a lot of the downsides of thermoplastic injection moulding present.
(I've just heard some hints that there may be changes coming at Airfix, but as to what I'm not certain.....)
Of would take so little for them to up their game. Even a decent plastic alone would make a world of difference.
 

BarryW

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Can I suggest that anyone who buys this kit first checks, carefully, the fuselage sides for warping. If warped complain to Airfix, get new parts and don’t proceed with the model. I am now finding all sorts of problems with engine panel fit. I cannot imagine Airfix cocked up this badly when engineering the kit and it is a result of that warping. It is pretty clear that my ‘fix’ didn’t really work and I have doubts as to whether I can even finish this kit. While it looked OK when I got the fuselage sides together it clearly was out in some way I really cannot work out. I will take another look tomorrow and will post some pictures.
 

BarryW

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I have concluded that when joining the fuselage halves there was a very slight twist that was entirely unnoticeable at the time and is now only apparent when trying to fit the engine panels.

If you build this kit then, as I said above, check for warping and if warped get new fuselage halves and don’t try a ‘fix’ or there is a strong chance you will get to this stage and will be unable to achieve a decent result. That is now where I am at.
No problem with the bottom inner panel. That fits snugly to the wing roots and around the bottom of the engine, or appears to. There is a small gap at the fuselage end that needed a spot of filler but that is easy to sort.
2CC0EFB9-3115-4B0D-86D6-7181F7F3825B.jpeg

First hint of a problem were these small inserts. Well not quite, a dry fit of the top panel suggested a problem and that I would be best to attach panels
from the bottom up and then trim and sand the top panel to fit with, no doubt a fair bit of filler involved. So, back to the small inserts and these have a tab and no-where for the tab to go. B02AF5B5-823A-4588-AD5F-54CD787EF97B.jpeg

So I cut the tab away and it fits neatly into position but with a gap between it and the bottom panel. I tried adjusting the position but clearly it would not close so I cemented it in place along with the opposite side.
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There are some inserts that sit between this part and the wing and they clicked perfectly into place. You can see below and the rather wide gap.

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From here it just gets worse and worse.

See this, nice clear locations for the bottom panel.
9E5A9795-BF55-4BB2-90B7-3B4CB8F79E99.jpeg

But look at the gaps, front and rear.
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Here now are pictures of various panels, some cemented, some dry fitted. These are what convinces me that the issue is a twist in the fuselage

B1C90668-9F94-45DD-891B-DF7B97DB7275.jpeg

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I really do not see a way to resolve this. Not, at least, one that gives be a decent result or be worth the time and aggravation.

Land fill awaits.

This is my fourth failed build out of about 40. The other three failed kits I would describe as badly engineered but this is the odd one out.

If Airfix had done just one thing it would be a really good kit. That would be to use a good quality plastic suited for large scale kits. All the problems really did stem from this crappy soft plastic.
 
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KarlW

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To check for a twisted fuselage, and how I check for twisted bike frames after they've crashed, pick a point one side of the front end and measure to the tip of the stab, then repeat from the same point on the other side, if not equal definitely twisted.
 

BarryW

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Understood Karl. But it was totally unexpected. I thought bending the warped sides in to attach to the bulkhead, in the right position would do the job and there was no visible issue. In fact I thought it looked pretty much spot on and only realised that there must be some twisting from the way the panels fitted, or didn’t fit. Much too late.

It is very disappointing but there is a lesson there. Airfix have very good customer services and I should have taken advantage of that and obtained a new fuselage when I spotted the warping.
 

KarlW

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You can be suprised how much twisting can be missed by the eye.
Is it definitely too late? (OK the time put in has gone.)
 

BarryW

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It is now in the bin in pieces. I simply could not work out a solution that would be worth the time and effort.
 

Jim R

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Hi Barry
A real shame but understandable. Life is too short to continue with a build which you can't enjoy and will be a disappointment when complete. This is clearly a kit with unsolveable issues.
Onto the next build :thumb2:
Jim
 

BarryW

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Hi Barry
A real shame but understandable. Life is too short to continue with a build which you can't enjoy and will be a disappointment when complete. This is clearly a kit with unsolveable issues.
Onto the next build :thumb2:
Jim
But it could have been such a good kit if only they used a plastic fit for purpose. That is what I find sad about this. The three other kits I did not complete were at least crap and with multiple issues.
 
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