One Day Challenge! Hobby Boss 1/72 D.520
When this winter’s snowstorm that hit Seattle, I found snowed in with more on the way. I decided that a one-day build of a 1/72 Hobbyboss kit would be pretty cool, and a challenge. I chose the Dewoitine D.520 as it’s got a very colorful camouflage scheme, and its sparse interior cried out to be jazzed up.
First thing I did was write-up a sequence of the build; I do that frequently when on a time line. It keeps you on track in the sequence, but more importantly (much more as will be demonstrated here) you put things in logical order, and don’t repeat tasks. And don’t repeat tasks. And don’t repeat tasks. My one-day build started at 8:00am, and I figured it would be done around 5:00pm.
I started off well enough; the kit has a minimal number of pieces and they clean up very quickly. The kit is nicely molded and fits like a dream. Many parts would work on friction fit alone. After doing that, I rifled through my resin stash to find an interior for the D.520. I couldn’t find a one; did anyone produce a resin interior set for the 1/72 D.520? I settled for an Eduard Zoom interior PE set. Just as well really. If you’re familiar with the Hobbyboss kits, several of their WWII planes have a one-piece fuselage with a rudimentary interior made up of a seat and a stick, with no place for the pilot to put his feet. I’ve included a picture of the kit interior in case you’re not familiar with it. With my trusty Dremel tool and an aggressive router bit on it, I hogged out the interior very quickly, working from underneath. Now, you know that if the RPM’s are too high, it will melt the plastic. In this case, I was fine with melting it. Why, you may ask? So there’s less of a mess; styrene flakes from the router go all over the place, and they’re full of static. By going at high RPM and letting it melt a bit (without deforming anything), there’s less styrene dust.
I then worked on the PE fuselage sides. I attached them to low tack tape to hold them down while working on them, and attached the fiddly bits. The Zoom sets have the right amount of stuff in there to busy up the cockpit, but even they include junk that you can’t really see. The big deal is the instrument panel. There were also a couple of bits to add detail to the seat that were very nice. These were seat harnesses, a seat adjustment lever (that’s hard to see really) and seat braces (that are also hard to see). As for the seat itself, there was none in the Zoom set; it’s for the Hasegawa kit, and Eduard assumes that you’ll use that seat and floor. I fabricated each.
After the interior was in place, I proceeded normally with the kit build. I attached the wing and horizontal stabilizers before the glue was dry on the cockpit interior. In fact, the paint on the interior was barely dry. (I use Floquil enamels, and it dries very quickly... enough to handle the part anyway). Neither the stabilizers nor the wing required any filler. I use Ambroid Pro-Weld, and it pushes out a little bead when it’s doing its thing. When you see that bead, it means no filler; you just knock off the bead with a sanding stick and you’re good to go.
Now I dipped my canopy in Future, and went back to construction of the kit. I had to take a break both for lunch and to find a vac canopy. I realized that to put the cockpit under the canopy would make my morning work a waste of time. No vac to be found. So I tried squashing a canopy with thermoform plastic over a candle, and just wasn’t happy with the results. In the end, I separated the windscreen from the hood and that from the side windows using a razor saw. Now I had to re-dip in Future. BUT wait! The canopy had a very obvious green cast to it now since I used green clay to hold it when squashing a canopy for it. I tried wiping it out, washing etc, and there were spots inside that were just inaccessible. I ended up using toothpaste and toothbrush to get at it, then re-dipped in Future for a third time. When attaching the windscreen and masking it, I discovered that the Future wasn’t cured, and I managed to goober it up. I used a still paintbrush to scrub the windscreen (attached by now) with Future. That will remove the old Future, and leave fresh Future; that’s how it works on floors too.
So, I decided that it was actually a good time to call it a day, and let that Future cure overnight. When I got back the next morning, the windscreen looked great; scrubbing the outside of it and leaving it overnight did the trick.
I got the underside color (used light blue-gray) on it, starting off pretty well. Then the ice storm hit Seattle, knocking out the power. It was out for a couple hours, and when power came back on, I managed to get down there to apply the topside dark blue-gray (don’t tell anyone, but I used USN Intermediate blue-gray). Power went out again. When that came back on, I free-handed the French khaki camouflage on the top, followed by chestnut-like brown camouflage. I think I used US red-brown. After that I decided to call it a day; lights had been flickering and I didn’t want to lose power with a full color-cup.
I realized that the underside color was actually more blue than blue-gray, plus the border between the topside and underside was pretty ragged. So I re-shot the underside color, this time using a Luftwaffe 78, I think. I just sort of eye-balled it. I also made a soft mask for that border using rolled up masking tape. Removed some of its tack by rolling it in my hand a bunch first. BUT again, I re-did the steps; I should have chosen the correct color in the first place, and either masked it off, or decided to apply it last. I ended up wasting time and inviting disaster by screwing up that sequence.
I used kit decals and they went down very nicely using Solvaset and Micro SuperSol at the very end. I always mask/paint rudder stripes but decided to use the decals for this model. As usual, the kit rudder stripe decal is not large enough. With Solvaset though, as the decal started to wrinkle, I teased it out to cover the edges using a paintbrush. It worked; I managed to stretch the decal out.