1/48th Testors U-2C

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by SoD Stitch, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    This is only my second or third "new thread", so cut me some slack . . . . . .

    Okay, I'm going to do a start-to-finish build on the venerable Testors 1/48th U-2C kit. For those of you who don't know, the Testors kit is actually an old Hawk plastic kit originally made in the '60's, not too long after the real U-2 first went operational. The kit itself has held up quite well through the years, though it appears somewhat primitive compared to today's super-detailed kits; there are a total of only 30 or 40 parts to the kit, but it should end up looking nice.

    Just to warn you, I build strictly OOB; I'm not very good at scratch-building and super-detailing and weathering, so don't expect too much. Unfortunately, I'd already started building the model a few weeks ago, so it won't be a true start-to-finish model, so I can't show you a "before" picture. However, I can show you a picture of what the parts used to look like.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I've owned three of these kits over the years, so what I found when I dug the kit out of my pile was a box full of miscellaneous U-2 parts, some still attached to the sprue, others detached and floating around in the box, and still others that had already been painted and glued together back in the '80's; I'm basically building one complete U-2 out of the parts from 3 kits.

    The overall black paint scheme looked pretty boring, and I wanted to do something unusual, so I choose the so-called "Sabre" scheme from the late '70's (besides, I've still got a TR-1/U-2R sitting on my shelf, I'll be painting that one black); it seems the Brits didn't like us flying spy planes from their airports during the '70's (maybe the Brits on the forum can offer some insight as to why), so the US Air Force agreed to paint them a different color and call them "research aircraft". Anyway, the Sabre scheme consists of two different shades of gray, one a very light gray, almost white, and the other a bluish-gray; I'm still trying to determine the best FS match for the two grays, and I haven't found any definitive answers yet, though the light gray appears to be FS 36495. Here's what it SHOULD look like when I'm done:

    [​IMG]

    As soon as I can, I'll post some in-progess pictures and keep y'all upated; at this point, I've got the wings and the horizontal stabilizers glued on, but that's it, the fuselage is still split.

    Oh, and I don't own an airbrush, so you may have to be patient; I paint everything by hand!
     
  2. Lancaster630

    Lancaster630 Member

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    I look forward to seeing it good luck and I hope you enjoy your build its going to be nice to see a U-2 in a scheme that is not all over black 8)
     
  3. Maglar

    Maglar Active Member

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    Nice! Im OOB too my man, need to learn weathering but I myself prefer a nice glossy or matte clean look to my aircraft. Just use the excuse, oh this plane is still in the hangar or chilling on the aircraft carrier :D
     
  4. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Stitch, you are a man after my own heart. OOB is perfectly fine and my preferred method. I look forward to your build, my friend. Not all of us are perfectionist Nazis. :toothy5:
     
  5. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Thanks for the encouragement, guys.

    Maglar, my excuse is "it just came off the assembly line", or "it's meticulously maintained by dedicated crew chiefs". The excuse makes more sense when you're talking about a (still) top-secret spyplane (trivia: the U-2 is the ONLY Skunk Works aircraft that is still considered by the US Gov't to be "top secret").

    Matt, I'm still something of a perfectionist, which probably explains why I haven't completed a model in several years! However, I will do my best to actually FINISH this one!
     
  6. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Go at your own pace and build how you like mate,....looking forward to your progress pics!:D
     
  7. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Looking forward to this mate..!
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Looking forward to the build, it sounds interesting. I'll see if I can 'dig up' anything on why us 'Brits' didn't like the idea of the aircraft operating from airfields here. I have a feeling that, at the time, it would have something to do with the very large anti-nuclear lobby in Europe. This was the time of mass marches, the virtual blockade, by mainly women 'peace activists' of Greenham Common, a USAFE base in Britain, and other such b*ll*cks!
    In reality, the British government of the time would not have had any real objection, but would have wanted to avoid further confontation, by supplying 'ammo' to the CND people, in the form of Amerian 'spy planes', even though the Intelligence gathered on the missions would have been shared with Britain.
     
  9. tango35

    tango35 Member

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    Good luck with the build.
     
  10. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    With all here.:)
     
  11. muller

    muller Active Member

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    that bird looks cool in that grey camo scheme! 8) looking forward to seeing this one progress.
     
  12. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    I believe you are correct; from what I gather, it was the British public, not the gov't, who objected to the black planes.
     
  13. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Who can resist the Dragon Lady...?
     
  14. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    You're right SoD. I've done a liitle snooping - the 'British Public', as you rightly referred to, were indeed the 'anti Nuclear lobby', the relatively small group opposed to virtually anything 'military'. As a result of the Press coverage at the time, certain measures were put in place to avoid possible escalation of the disruptive protests etc. This included the colour schemes on the 'U2' types, and the total 'cover up', for want of a better term, later, of the actual prescence of the SR71 in Britain - all movements took place at night!
    The same thing was happening at British and US submarine bases in the UK, even though the majority of the boats weren't even nuclear powered or nuclear armed!
     
  16. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    SoD Stitch i do OOB builds so your not the only one !
     
  17. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    I've been doing OOB my whole life, so I don't really know any different; a couple of times I got brave and actually weathered a model, but it didn't turn out so well. I even built a diorama once that won an award, but that was a long time ago when I actually had the time to build a diorama.
     
  18. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nothing wrong with OOB! Most of mine are virtually that, with any 'additions' my own. Have a go at some simple weathering sometime - it needn't be complex; just a little 'dirt' or a few paint chips etc. I think you'd be surprised how painless it is, if approached correctly, and in the simplest way.
     
  19. muller

    muller Active Member

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    Mine are always OOB except for my added seat straps. If you give your model a coat of Future after paint and decals, any weathering you attempt can be removed fairly easily if you're not happy with it.
     
  20. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    I'm baaaaaack!

    Sorry I've been gone so long; I seem to be having log-in issues whenever I try to access ww2aircraft.net from work, so I'm down to using my (much slower) home computer. That is, when everybody else in my family ISN'T using it, which isn't very often. Anyway, here's where I stand with the U-2 . . . . . .

    I know I said I'd be doing this U-2 OOB but, after consideration, I have decided to add a detail or two to what is an extremely spartan kit; first of all, I didn't like the fact that the kit simply has a hole in the end of the fuselage where the jet engine is supposed to be. This may be okay for a vintage '60's kit, but I didn't like it, so I decided to do something about it. I rummaged through my spare parts box, and came up with a couple of jet engine nozzles from a long-since-disappeared Hasegawa 1/32nd F-5E kit; fortunately, there were two of them, so even if I messed one up trying to modify it, I'd still have another one to destroy. Here they are before surgery:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I took one of them and tried to cut it in half with my X-Acto knife from the inside (the one on the right), but I merely succeeded in chewing up the end of the nozzle (you should be able to see the chewed up plastic in the pictures). Undeterred, I took the second one (the one on the left) and, basically, cut it in half with a hack saw, which worked much better (and was much faster!).

    Here's what the fuselage halves looked like before I glued the nozzle in place:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    In my next installment, I will post pictures of the installed jet nozzle. I have also decided that, since all there is for a cockpit is the seat and a pilot, I would install a "real" cockpit. Digging through my parts box again, I came up with what I believe is the cockpit from an old 1/48th Monogram F-8 Crusader (another model kit that has long since disappeared). I had to modify it a bit to get it to fit into the slender U-2 fuselage, but I think it will work. Here's what the cockpit looks like after modification (but before painting):

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This weekend, I'll take some more shots of the nearly-completed fuselage, and post them when I get the chance.
     
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