1/72 Matchbox Brewster Buffalo, 488 RNZAF, Kallang, 1941

Discussion in 'Your Completed Kits' started by wingnutz, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. wingnutz

    wingnutz Member

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    Hey folks,

    Finally finished this project of one of the much maligned aircraft of WW2. It is the Brewster Buffalo, of the 488 RNZAF Squadron stationed in Kallang during the defense of Singapore from November 1941.

    Squadron motto> "Ka ngarue ratau" (Kiwi) = "We shake them"

    As the first monoplane fighter of the US Navy, it was touted to be the only allied fighter that can actually out-turn a Zero, given the proper configuration and pilot. Unfortunately, the British/RNZAF version considered to be was underpowered, overweight and very much outclassed by the more modern fighters of the IJN and IJA like the Mitsubishi Zero and the Nakajima Oscar of that time.

    The kit is an old Matchbox 1982 release of the Brewster Buffalo that came with the typical two-color sprue set, which needed a few modifications;

    > Scrathbuilt a new cockpit, seat, dashboard and roll bar;
    > Added front fuselage engine slits;
    > Wider wheels;
    > Modified prop and spinner;
    > Added brass pitot tube;
    > Added Aviation lights and wing camera;
    > Added aerial antenna;
    > Added gun and ejector ports for the engine cowling and wings;
    > Added details for the wings;
    > Re-scribed panel lines;
    > Replaced landing gear doors with thinner styrene sheets;
    > DIY markings and buzz numbers;
    > Modified exhaust ports;
    > Printed underside glazing;
    > Filled wing roots and canopy gaps;

    Colors were Gunze Sangyo acrylics of dark earth, dark green, midnight blue and a home brew of sky blue for the underside. Weathering was done with an oil wash, brush painted light grey paint for chipping and Mr Hobby weathering pastels and a final coat of Mr hobby flat coat. A graphite and silver colored pencil was used for scratches and smaller chipping effects.

    The original decals were already flaking off and was not completely accurate, so DIY roundels and tail markings were printed. The grey color serials were masked and airbrushed on. Some stencils were from the spares box.

    A 0.15mm fishing line was used for the aerials, while styrene sheets were used to fill-up gaps for the canopy and wing roots.

    The canopy was a tad thick and had wide gaps if left alone, but was remedied by using styrene sheets, melted with thin liquid glue, then trimmed and sanded off.

    The underside color scheme was the typical RAF two tone black and sky blue color and an underside glazing represented by a printed version.

    Aviation lights and wing camera glazings were from spare clear sprues.

    It didn't take much self-convincing to consider this project, as it comes with much significance related to Fortress Singapore's history in WW2, and how it's ill-fated defense and inevitable capitulation came to be.

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    Hope I did justice to this most interesting subject, and hopefully I could do the whole flight line of this particular battle.
     
  2. Migrant

    Migrant Member

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    That looks great, you've really captured the war-weary look and all the extra work you've put in has paid off; very nice work! [​IMG]
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I agree, nicely done on such a basic kit.
     
  4. wingnutz

    wingnutz Member

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    gotta love ye old matchbox kits...
     
  5. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    very nice work on the weathering. It really looks like it was used and abused!
     
  6. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Nicely done mate!
     
  7. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good work!
     
  8. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Great work!!
     
  9. otftch

    otftch Active Member

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    That's one beat up bird .Great Job.
    Ed
     
  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    As a fellow Buffalo lover, nicely done!
     
  11. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Looks fantastic Wingnutz! :)
     
  12. wingnutz

    wingnutz Member

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    Thanks folks, happy you liked it...
     
  13. tonyb

    tonyb Member

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    Looks brilliant mate,great job!8)
    Cheers,
    Tony.
     
  14. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    Bloody nice work :thumbleft: Not often we see RNZAF birds here
     
  15. wingnutz

    wingnutz Member

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    aye sir, that's one orher reason that made this subject interesting for me...
     
  16. timor

    timor Member

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    O yeah ! Bloody nice work.
     
  17. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    Very nice piece of work, beautifully done and I love the not often seen half and half belly camo.

    :hotsun: :hotsun:
     
  18. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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  19. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

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    excellent looking build..for a 1974 kit !
     
  20. LDSModeller

    LDSModeller Member

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    Very nice build, looks well worn like the 488 Squadron
    aircraft ended up being.

    If you are interested in RNZAF History in Singapore, a great
    book to read is "Last Stand in Singapore" by Graham Clayton.

    Excellent book, great photos and blow by blow history of
    488 Squadron's fight to defend Singapore, and most importantly
    the Buffalo fighter they flew and maintained

    Thank for sharing

    Alan
     
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