Friday, May 07, 2021

Getting back to normal P-39Q and Beneito 54mm

 Well, we have been through lockdown and, as a family, we have been shielding for most of the time, which means not going out or seeing anyone else. I have made quite a few models in that time but got out of the habit of posting here, yet again. I am making a new start, now that the Covid restrictions are slowly being removed. That said, I had a £50 Hannants voucher for my birthday back in March so I took advantage of the restrictions last Saturday. Hannants are still closed to visits but do provide a click and collect and there was me with a £50 voucher and a new car! Saturday was the day that I drove to Lowestoft and back. It always used to annoy me, when I had SBX Model Shop, that people could drive the 45 miles to Hannants and back on a Saturday rather than coming in to me, but now that I am retired I am happy to do the same thing. Mind you the nearest other model shop is in Colchester and they carry very little that I would want. 

I am not one to own a stash but currently I have a little one building - Tamiya 1/48th P38, Hobby Boss 1/48 RN Avenger and now  an Airfix 1/72 Beaufort and 1/48th RAF Sabre. I will pass me thoughts on the P-38 later as I am reluctant to start that one. I have had it for nearly 2 years and it remains in the box.

Right, thoughts over, what have I been doing this month. I am having a restart on some 54mm figurines, I haven't done a 54mm since way back in 1973 so I was worried that my skills(??) on 1/10th busts might not translate. I picked up a Beneito Miniatures British soldier from the Mahdist War in the Sudan - specifically from the Battle of Ginnis in 1886. I liked it because of the informal pose.

I think that I made as good a job as I am capable of with this figure. So much so, that I have bought two more to tackle, but some about that later.

OK, on with the current scale model. Valerie bought me an Eduard 1/48th P-38Q for my birthday. I have built one of these before, as a night fighter. This one arrived with an Eduard set of 3D printer decals for the control panel. These were very realistic and came in three layers. Firstly, I found them difficult to glue as none of my usual (non-super glue) glues worked. Secondly, when putting the fuselage halves together, to get the two parts to merge correctly, I had to give it a bit of effort. I heard a "crack" and the 3D panel broke into three pieces. It seems that it was a little bit too wide for the closed up fuselage.

I put the model together carefully but it needed quite a bit of filler in various places. It looks very nice to my eyes. I have finished it as follows:

"39Q-5 21-9896, flown by Lt. William W. Gambill, 363rd FS, 3257th FG, 8th AF, Oroville CA, USA, autumn 1943" - Hamilton Base CA, used for pilot training and factory-fresh."

Here it is in its partial finished state. I have used these images to highlight the issues that I had!


  1. As explained, a major problem using the 3D printed panel
  2. I have had to leave off the red walk lines on the wings because I placed the upper stars and bars on without realising that the red lines needed to be in place. As a result, if I had fitted the red lines, they would have overlaid the bars!
  3. I forgot to mask the windows on the doors before spraying them and, now, the windows are a little on the hazy side and I had trouble cleaning them. Some Future has helped a little.
  4. There are two decals that are marked where I have been using some MEK to glue things and got it on my finger. This has dissolved some Olive Drab paint which has then got onto two decals. One on the port fuselage stars and bars and the other on the port side door decal.
  5. Biggest of all, but the one that can be fixed, is the lack of enough "liquid lead" in the nose so we now have a tail sitter. I have ordered a Noys Miniatures sheet of 1/72 sheet of PSP (yes, stupidly 1/72 and NOT 1/48) from Hannants. I will use this as a base and then I can stick the nose down - job done!
Overall, I have enjoyed the build, except for the 3D mess. Also, there was a sheet of etched but I find that I can't manage all the tiny pieces that Eduard show you to use so that packet was a waste of money.

Lastly, I have had to buy a new airbrush because my Iwata HP-CH seems to have given up the ghost. I have had it for about 8 years. It has been difficult to use over the last few months and I have had to fight it to get any results. I even bought an UltraSonic cleaner bath but even that didn't solve the problem. I finally gave up and bought a new airbrush. The new one works absolutely brilliantly and has brought back the fun of painting a model. How much was it? Well, it is a generic make purchased off Amazon for the grand sum of £15.00 - yes £15.00. Super!

OK, that's all for now. I will finish off the P-39Q and describe it in its final state; I will talk about the new set of magnifying spectacles which I bought off Facebook and I will lead you into my next project.