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F_IV's Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk

The two decades between the First and Second World Wars saw major advances in all areas of technology. In military and civil aviation, flimsy wood and canvas biplanes and triplanes gave way to sleek all-metal monoplanes. The lumbering "land ships" of WW1 were replaced by maneuverable tanks and armoured cars. In this GB, anything that was developed and operated between 1919 and 1939 (but not WW2) is fair game.
Runs from 10 August 2019 to 26 January 2020.
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BigReg
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Re: F_IV's Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk

#71

Post by BigReg »

It is looking lovely.
David

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Re: F_IV's Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk

#72

Post by F_IV »

Had a bit of a win this week. The local hobby vendor had a sale on plain decal sheets and I was able to get a piece for testing out home-printed decals. It turns out to be much easier than I thought it would be, and the ink from the printer does not melt with the decal setting solutions I used. I found I could do the stencil work and even the smallest were pretty legible.

The raised panels on the upper decking were made from pieces of scrap decal painted the same colour as the fuselage. They are just thick enough to give a shadow under a wash of oil paint, and a lot easier to do than complex scribing.

This is working out better than I'd hoped!
IMG_6370.JPG
IMG_6384.JPG

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Re: F_IV's Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk

#73

Post by pbhawkin »

simply amazing.
Are you using a ink jet printer? You don't have to coat the decal after printing prior to soaking it in water?
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Peter

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Re: F_IV's Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk

#74

Post by F_IV »

pbhawkin wrote: Are you using a ink jet printer? You don't have to coat the decal after printing prior to soaking it in water?
I was using a laser printer. More out of ignorance than good fortune I think. :)
The toner stayed in place without any fixative and wasn't bothered by Tamiya Mark Fit or a careful bit of the rather hotter Mr Mark Softer. I'm hoping to try the unit emblem this week before heading off interstate to visit family on Thursday.

Here's a quick shot of the print out. Could do with a higher resolution printer, but for a first go I'm very happy with the result.
IMG_6354.JPG

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Re: F_IV's Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk

#75

Post by F_IV »

Shame about that detail between the wings. I just discovered I made a mistake in the width and the gull section is 2mm too wide. This would have a knock on effect to how the trapeze looks, so I'll need to scrape the decals back and repaint the area so the demarcation between the two colours is narrower. Oops! :oops:

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Re: F_IV's Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk

#76

Post by smeg1959 »

The resolution of the printer is definitely the key to decent decals, particularly at our end of the modelling scales. From your photo, I don't think you'd get much better without going to the expense of a really high-end printer. Whilst I sometimes swear at work's Casio colour printer/copier, it does a pretty decent job of fine lettering if you select the "high resolution" option in the image quality menu. Oddly enough, selecting "high quality" doesn't work nearly as well. The real test was printing that message to "Charlie" on the last bomb dropped by a RAAF No. 2 Squadron Canberra which I did during the "Vietnam War" GB. Under a magnifier it was almost readable on the decal sheet, but blurred a bit when it was applied to the white M117 bomb.

For the Aussies out there, if you want to see amazingly clear text on small items, you can go no further than those Little Shop miniatures that Coles were flogging earlier this year. Crystal clarity throughout. If I could replicate that on my homemade decals, I'd be a very happy chappy. For the record, the minis were made by a company in the Netherlands ... big tick to our Dutch colleagues! ;)

Regarding protective coatings on finished homemade decal sheets, I'd definitely go with a fine spray like Testors Decal Bonder. I used to use Microscale Liquid Decal Film and apply it using a hairy stick. Main problem was that it would occasionally smudge the printing as you dragged the brush over the surface. The spray is a far better option and it will stop your decals disintegrating as they slide off the backing paper.
OTB ...
GB14 - CAC CA-19 Boomerang (KdK), PZL.37 B II Łoś (Amercom)
GB16 - War of the Worlds Diorama (Pegasus)

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Re: F_IV's Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk

#77

Post by F_IV »

Still wondering what to do about the white "SS Maco" bit of the fuselage lettering for USS Macon. I may need to complete the model without it. :?

Been away for a week, then sick with a nasty cold when I returned. Finally returned to a reasonable state on Wednesday, so I set about making the trapeze unit. Some sterling silver wire was flattened so that it adopted a more streamlined shape and the bits were chopped up and positioned on a simple template. This is just a sample piece of Laminex that I liberated from a local hardware store (grab a handful next time you're there). You can scribe or scalpel your setout lines into it and use it to position all manner of things.
IMG_6418.JPG
I borrowed an idea from Ondra, when he showed how he temporarily spuerglues his styrene components to a template, then uses a debonder to remove them later. In this case I tacked the pieces into position with superglue, then soldered them together. The Laminex doesn't burn or distort with the heat so everything stays in place. Afterwards I just gently lift the finished component off with a scalpel.

The process was repeated twice for each N-shaped strut. The skid was made from a thicker piece and the hook and hinge plates added later from painted decal. Painting was a worry, so I stood it on a piece of double sided tape in the hope it wouldn't blow away. :?
IMG_6559.JPG
The hook and skid are only glued on, so it needs to be handled with care. Some turpentine was brushed around the tape, and this released the completed assembly with ease. Then I balanced it on top of the fuselage to see how it looked...
IMG_E6562.JPG
IMG_E6576.JPG

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Re: F_IV's Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk

#78

Post by BigReg »

Amazing,just jaw dropping.

David

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Re: F_IV's Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk

#79

Post by Ryan B. »

I wondered how you were going to swing the trapeze, and it was more accurate and innovative than I expected.

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Re: F_IV's Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk

#80

Post by Marudek »

Truly a masterpiece! Thanks to your eye-catching model I've learned about flying aircraft carriers. It is so insane I thought is possible in science-fiction films only :D

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