Wednesday, March 18, 2009

John Ratzenberger's Airfix 1/144 H.P. 42 'Heracles'

Another of the Airfix 1/144 classic airliners, again done for the BlitzBau on UAMF. I'll note that I did not finish in time because I did not build this OOB. I elected to sand down the over-emphasized wing and tail ribs and that took a lot longer than I thought. I also elected to rig the tail section. You need to check that the place on the fuselage where the tail sits is sanded level to get the tail assembly sitting right.

I also had some difficulties keeping the wing pieces aligned when putting in the struts -- it all works but it's a busy time. The instructions and the little jig make wing assembly fairly easy, but you need to pay attention to alignment as each piece is put in. I had it straight at the start but as time shrunk I let the wings get a bit out of alignment -- didn't help that I was using CA and accelerator on everything to beat the clock. Be careful that you haven't introduced a back-stagger to the wings when you finally put that assembly in the fuselage.

I had some trouble with the decals -- I had 3 kits and only one set of decent decals and they weren't very good -- they came loose with milky film floating about and when laid down looked like they had dirt underneath. I found I could rub that out, but I didn't finish cleaning it off the wing surfaces. Next morning I went down and found it had stained/etched the Future/paint!! Please note carefully chosen photography angles to avoid full shot of upper wing.

It's not a bad kit -- it is definitely a bit tougher than their PanAm Clipper. Regardless, it gives you a distinctive looking model of a historic aircraft.