Monday, 12 November 2012
Build Review - Ocidental 1/48 Fiat G-91 R-3
And so to the kit. Well, the mould is old. Very old. The parts are reasonably moulded, but they are very soft in outline which may present some problems. There is a lot of flash and the panel lines are deep and heavy but at least they are recessed. The kit brings to mind the golden age of plastic modelling, before we cared too much. So a challenge lies ahead. The shape is basically accurate, although I suspect that the nose may be a little long but nothing to worry about too much.
But before the fuselage can be closed up it is also necessary to install the undercarriage bays and this led me to my first experience of the kit engineering. Not good - the locating bars in the fuselage match the bay parts well but the actual bays are then way out of position. So some inventiveness was needed to secure them in the correct position and it was plain that some filling would be needed later. The bays themselves do incorporate some decent detail moulding inside them, if a little shallow, but at least they made some effort here.
The nose cone goes on next, and the instructions indicate that 10g of weight needs to be added to it. I would defy anyone outside of the particle physics field to get 10g of anything into that space, but I filled it with lead shot anyway. But after testing, it was clear that the additional weight of the resin cockpit as well meant that we were all OK and the tail would not sit down. The nose did, however, need a fair bit of filler and sanding to get the join seamless.
Once done, I sealed the decals in with another coat of Klear and applied a black oil wash to the panels. After a subsequent matt coat I then applied a random mottled filter sprayed all over and also bleached out some of the panels to give a nice worn effect.
The next stage was to add the undercarriage. The kit wheels are fine, but the legs are very primitive and flashy. But I had no option but to use them so cleaned them up as best I could and after spraying, dry brushing and a little dirtying up they looked OK. The legs went on with very little trouble, but the undercarriage door arrangement (which is a little weird on the G91) was more tricky to get placed correctly. What I ended up with is not 100% accurate as the kit parts are shaped incorrectly but it's pretty close.
The final finishing touch was to paint and install the Neomega resin seat. The seat is so good that it did not need too much effort to come up looking perfect. I picked out the cushions, belts and a few other details on top of a black base and in no time it was looking excellent. I added ejection handles from my etch spares (they are not included in the Neomega set - the only black mark against it) and dropped the seat into place. This cockpit set really does turn what would otherwise be a very primitive model into something a little special.
And so she was finished. I am pretty pleased with the result, considering what one has to work with. But I have to say that one of the greatest joys of this craft is to get a decent result from a poor base, and in that sense this was a great build. But not for the faint hearted.