Midway Mission Update: D-Day Minus 52

The Midway Mission is going rather well, with 11 modelers on board from as far away as Virginia and Wisconsin! Tonight, Brian Sakai volunteered to do an SB2U Vindicator (he had mentioned having a Miekraft kit almost done, but he’s probably going build the MPM kit instead of that old junker), and Mark Schynert showed off his painted Mania/Hasegawa B5N2 “Kate.” That was really exciting to see – and it makes me want to build a B5N2!

On my account, of the three planes I’ve signed up for, I have one done, one almost done, and one still in the box. The one done was finished in 2002, so that’s really cheating. The one in the box is the SBD-3 by Hasegawa. I thought I had one of these in the shed, but when I went through the mess out there I discovered that it was gone. I also discovered the shed has some pretty obnoxious spiders, one of which bit me on the forehead and raised a painful knot.

Lacking the needed “Speedy Three,” I turned to Hyperscale. Not only did I get another SBD-3, donated by the extremely kind Bill Moyers, I found out where my SBD-3 went – I gave it to someone a while back! I wish I had asked before the spiders got me! The IPMS discussion boards are going to net me a second SBD-3, which is good, because I now have a ton of aftermarket parts and it would be good to do one of Enterprise’s Kaga-killers.

The one that’s almost done is the Zero by FineMolds. Here’s the evolution of the finish over the last two weeks:

Here is is with the preshading in place. I hate over-done pre- and post-shading, so I had to consider that when I added the main color coat…

Which was applied fairly heavily, leaving just a residual trace of the preshading.

The blue bands were masked and painted. They’re a lighter shade of blue than that applied to the Soryu Zeros at Pearl Harbor, according to noted authority David Aiken, so that’s how I portrayed them.

Adding the decals turned what was a fairly low-key model into something befitting an aerial samurai. It fairly screams, “want a fight? It’s right here waiting for you…”

A sludge wash of Payne’s Gray brought the panel detail back to life.

And taking the masking off — that made me VERY excited. It came out all but perfectly.

This weekend, I’ll add the engine and cowling and see how far I can progress on the landing gear. There are a few other small details to paint or add – the landing gear indicator pegs, the position lights, the wingtips and tank – but this model is definitely in the home stretch. Once it’s “flown off” the workbench, the SBD will go into high gear…

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