02 Oct

Build article – SB2C-4 Helldiver

This is a Special Edition of the Academy SB2C-4 Helldiver, with included Eduard photo-etch for the dive flaps.


SB2C-4 Helldiver

Kit reviews :

The interiors are mostly Interior Green (Lifecolor acrylics)


SB2C-4 Helldiver


No seat belts are included, so I made some from Tamiya masking tape


SB2C-4 Helldiver

Instrument panel and radio equipment details come from the supplied decals.

A tip to work with stubborn Academy decals is to apply heat from a hair-dryer with liberal amounts of Mr Hobby Mark Softer. This gets the decal soft and pliable enough to be coaxed into the recesses using a cotton bud.


SB2C-4 Helldiver


SB2C-4 Helldiver



SB2C-4 Helldiver


SB2C-4 Helldiver


The bomb bay is quite detailed OOB


SB2C-4 Helldiver



SB2C-4 Helldiver


SB2C-4 Helldiver


SB2C-4 Helldiver


SB2C-4 Helldiver


SB2C-4 Helldiver


SB2C-4 Helldiver


Rear gunner’s weapon


SB2C-4 Helldiver


SB2C-4 Helldiver


Brush-painted and installed.


SB2C-4 Helldiver


SB2C-4 Helldiver


SB2C-4 Helldiver


SB2C-4 Helldiver


29 Mar

Build article – Sepecat Jaguar A part 8

An unfortunate accident with a bad SD-card reader caused me to lose one set of photographs taken of the painting phase.

As of now, the 2-tone upper camouflage has been airbrushed, and sealed under a gloss varnish.

Here the pitot tube has been glued on, fared in with some putty and painted.

The tip of the vertical stabiliser has been painted black.
I’ve also tried applying some of the decals, to see how they behave. They are thin and do not need any softeners to adhere properly.

The undersides of the wings were masked-off and airbrushed with Alclad II aluminium.

I unmasked the wheel wells to check if there were any paint leakage.  All’s well.

The hydraulic hoses were brush-painted black and silver according to reference photos.IMG_9241

At this stage, I glued on the windscreen, masked off the clear bits and applied some putty along the bottom edge.IMG_9237

Repainted the camouflage colour around the windscreenIMG_9242

The HUD was replaced with a thinner piece of clear acetate.

25 Mar

Build article – Sepecat Jaguar A part 7

My kit had a short-shot ventral fin; the plastic did not fully fill the entire mold, losing the tip. I sliced the ragged edge straight, then superglued a thin piece of stock styrene. Once the joint had hardened, a little sanding produced the following results.

The wings were finally glued on. Care was taken to ensure the wings dried at the correct 3-degree anhedral droop.
Due to the kit design, a large part of the join will need to be eliminated (marked in red below).
You can see the rivet lines indicating the true panel breakdown of the actual wing.
IMG_9002-Edit IMG_9001

Here’s how she looks now. Stay tuned for more updates.

21 Mar

Build article – Sepecat Jaguar A part 6

To avoid knocking off the delicate photoetch bits, I’ve delayed putting them on until the bulk of assembly is done.

Here the vertical stabilisers have the two p.e. parts attached.

The Jaguar does not have traditional ailerons for roll control. The top spoilers to control roll are supplied as photoetch, and attached here in the raised position for visual interest.
The “fence” mid-way along the wing is also glued on now.IMG_8991

Several dorsal antennae too.IMG_8992

The previously-painted metallic parts are now masked off using Tamiya masking tape (with liquid mask to seal off any potential gaps)IMG_8989

The engine covers are glued on. When the upper seams harden, I will glue and clamp the sides to close up the gaps on the bottom.

Clamping mostly did the trick, although some areas needed some Perfect Plastic Putty.

There was a step that needed two applications of putty to even out. The Perfect Plastic Putty dries fast, sands easily and can be rescribed over with little effort.IMG_8998

Note the rescribed and re-rivetted areas.IMG_8997

Here’s a shot showing the closed-up rear area.IMG_8999

17 Mar

Build article – Sepecat Jaguar A part 5

The tail end of the fuselage featured bare metal.
Here I am using my preferred metal paint; Alclad II Chrome and Aluminium.
These are lacquer paints, so plenty of ventilation is essential during airbrushing.

The Alclad is airbrushed onto a base coat of gloss black. This is recommended by Alclad, which serves to produce a “deeper” shine.

Next, I added a little bit of flat black into the airbrush cup, mixed into the Alclad, then airbrushing thin layers of darker shading onto the separate panels.
Masking was done by holding a piece of thin card over each section.
Prior experience has shown the Alclad can be marked if I applied adhesive masking tape on them shortly after initial application.

Here’s the engine temporarily fitted in to see the overall effect.
A gloss coat has been applied (AK Interactive acrylic gloss varnish). This serves to protect the Alclad paint from the subsequent masking. I will mask this area off before painting the main camouflage colours.

15 Mar

Build article – Sepecat Jaguar A part 4

The mis-numbering of the instructions is the low-point of this kit. Things have gotten to the point where if anything is handed (slats, flaps, gear) I can safely assume it is numbered wrong; following the drawing and dry-fitting is a better way.

The intakes have been assembled, (interior) painted and glued onto the fuselage. Some sanding of the inner surface (where it mates with the splitter) ensures the outer surfaces are flush.
Sanding the inside surface saves me from losing the panel details if we putty and sand the outsides.


The wing tip lights (clear parts) were glued on. Fit is near-perfect. Once the glue has dried, sanding with 3M sanding sponges and polishing with a nail-file makes it completely flush with the wing profile.
The green stuff is liquid masking.IMG_8983


The top spine of the fuselage needed extensive putty-sanding. Here it is primed to check if it needed further work.IMG_8984


The vertical stabilizer is made up from three parts, with a join line passing through panel and rivet lines. Weird choice of parts breakdown that causes unnecessary putty work.
Modelling vs assembling and all that argument, but life’s too short for bad kits.IMG_8985


Flaps and slats assembled in the kit-supplied dropped positions. This does lend some visual interest. Pretty uneventful here. The front edge has that infamous “wrong” kink shape.IMG_8986


Only one gun barrel/muzzle was supplied. Instructions point to part C8 being the starboard gun, but that is actually the gun housing. I read on another’s build review that some French Jaguars only had one gun, so I left it at that.IMG_8987


Engine exhaust section airbrushed with Aclad II Aluminium. Not painting the rest of the engine since I am closing up the engine sections.
The “feathers” will be brush painted a darker shade of metal later.IMG_8988

07 Mar

Build article – Sepecat Jaguar A part 3

I have to admit, the main attraction of the Jaguar to me, was the beefy landing gear.

While Kitty Hawk did a commendable job of moulding them, I sought to boost the realism by adding the hydraulic lines.

These were done using stretched sprue, following reference photos found online.

Here’s the front landing gearIMG_8963


Here’s a montage showing the process on the main landing gear


This kit’s parts breakdown require assembling the landing gear before I can close up the fuselage halves. These will have to be masked before painting the fuselage colours.   IMG_8976


The kit wrongly supplies two APU exhausts for the airbrake bays.

The starboard side should be a refuelling port. This was made using scrap plastic, cut and shaped.



The port side bay has the APU exhaust installed.IMG_8980

23 Feb

Sepecat Jaguar A – Kitty Hawk 1/48 (build article) part 2

More wires were added, then the avionics were base-coated in interior green. This was mixed from Tamiya Olive Green (10%), Yellow (90%).


Then the boxes and wires were brush painted with Vallejo Model Colors.


The instrument panel, side consoles and bang seat were similarly brush painted. A pair of red wires evident in my reference photos were added using stretched sprue.





The spine of the Jaguar has a NACA air inlet, which was moulded closed. I cut off the moulded bit, opened the inlet and blanked of the bottom rear with a piece of plastic stock.



This is how the cockpit looks when dry-fitted together. Some minor clamping will be required duing the fuselage gluing phase.


21 Feb

Sepecat Jaguar A – Kitty Hawk 1/48 (build article) part 1


I started this project in February 2015, intending to finish it in the desert scheme (7-HN, EC 01/7 Provence, Armée de l’Air 1994)

Refer to the kit information page over on ScaleMates for reviews and after-market products.

The kit comes with a fret of photo-etch, with parts for the instrument panel, side consoles and seat belts.



The photo-etch seat belts were nice, but did not include the lap belts. I searched for reference photos of the Martin Baker Mk 4 seat, and added more details using Tamiya masking tape strips.

Additionally, I replaced the over-sized ejection pull ring using stretched sprue. The missing top pull-ring was also added.



Here’s the seat primed and base-coated in black, ready for brush painting.




This kit also features an avionics bay.
I added some cabling and wires for visual interest. Some “artistic liberty” was taken here.