F-86 Sabre Title

Model Details

Kit:
Academy F-86F30 Sabre, 1/48th scale.

Detailing Items:
Eduard etched cockpit interior and Aero Master decals.

Paint:
Alclad, Mr Hobby, Tamiya and Revell paints.

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F-86F30 Sabre "Gone To Lunch"
I acquired this kit in a started condition, the cockpit had partly been done and the gun bay covers glued in place on the fuselage. There was also none of the kits decals in the box, which left me time in which to find some aftermarket ones and think about how I was going to build this model. So several months passed and I managed to find a set of Post Korean War Sabre's pt3 decals from Aero Master and these were put in the kit box and sat for another few months.
When I finally got the kit onto my workbench, I decided to have the model with the fuselage split as if for maintenance on the engine. I also decided to have the gun bay covers off to showing the guns. This meant the covers which had been glued in place, needed to be carefully removed without damaging the covers and bay openings.Once this was done, I turned my attention to splitting the front and rear sections of the fuselage. Luckily, the fuselage halves had not been glued together making the job cutting the fuselage halve into two parts. The cut line for separating each side into two was marked out on the inside, so these were attacked with my razor saw. The cockpit interior was partly built and detailed with some Eduard etched which was for a Hasegawa Sabre kit. I finished off the cockpit interior and painted the inside of the front fuselage halves. The interior was glued on top of the air intake and front undercarriage bay before assembling the front fuselage section. The rear fuselage section was also assembled so I could then clean up the two faces where I cut the fuselage halves in two with some "Wet'n'Dry" on a flat surface.The rear opening of the front fuselage section and both ends of the rear section were given a couple of coats of Interior Green through the airbrush. Construction continued with the wings, fuselage and other parts to get it to the stage for painting after any joint lines, etc. were removed.
This model was going to be in a bare metal finish using Alclad paints, with the main colour being Airframe Aluminium. After the cockpit and fuselage ends were masked off, the fuselage received a couple of coats of Alclad's Gloss Black base before giving a couple of coats of the Airframe Aluminium. Certain panels and the wing centre sections were masked around before other various shades of Alclad was airbrushed to add contrast to the Airframe Aluminium. The undercarriage bays, gun bays, various bay doors and nose were masked then painted in their required colours in preparation for the start of the decaling. The final items which needed painting, which included the undercarriage gear, cockpit canopy, drop tanks and bombs all received their various colours and Alclad. The final main piece of painting was the engine which I had assembled earlier during the main fuselage assembly for test fitting. This was sprayed with different colours of Alclad and then any detailing painting was done with either Tamiya, Revell or Mr Hobby paints.
Now the Decals could be added, I had been waiting for this stage and it was to be done over a few evening. The decal set gave me the choice of two aircraft to do, one was for Lt. R B Ochs in Korea between 1954 and 1957. The other was the marking of Lt. B B Huffman when stationed at Osan, Korea in November 1955, this was the one I chose to do. In general, the decals went on without any problems, but the Yellow ID band went straight across where the fuselage was split. The edges of the decal where I cut it broke up a little, but when the decal dried, it looked just like the yellow paint was chipped away from the fuselage being separated and joined back together.Once the decals were finished, a coat of Alclad's clear was sprayed over the model to protect the decals. Once the clear was dry, final assembly was done on the aircraft and the fuselage cradle was assembled and painted yellow before weathering with dirt and oil. Heat staining was next done to the engine and tail section using Alclad's Hot Metal colours which proved to be quite effective. Further weathering was done to the aircraft using my dirt mixes and some powders.
Onto the final stages of this build now. I chose to use the standing pilot figure from the kit, all I did to alter the figure was to move his left arm so the hand was closer to his head and then it was painted as to the instructions. The tarpaulins draped over the wing and fuselage were made from some pieces of tissue cut to size then painted in an appropriate shade of green. Once dry, it was crumpled up, opened and the recrumpled before reopening it up. Next it was folded into the required shape and glued before being glued draped over the wing and fuselage. The bomb cradle was made from strips of balsa wood glued together and painted before gluing the bombs in place on it. The small blackboard was made from a piece of plasticard cut to shape and size, painted matt black and then the writing on it was done with a sharpened cocktail stick dipped in white paint then carefully write the letters on the blackboard. The end of an enjoyable and pleasing project.