1/72 Airfix Grumman Duck (Murphy’s War) – Build Log

17th November 2013

Managed to get a bit more work done on the old Duck this week…

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the engine supplied with the kit was really quite naff. It was intended to go under the cowl which wouldn’t have been too bad, but for this bird the cowl has been removed and the stock engine would have been front and centre in full ugliness detracting from the look of the whole build. So I decided to order an aftermarket resin engine from overseas which arrived this week…


I’ve never worked with resin before, but after developing a few new skills I got into the swing of working with tiny parts and savage glue (CA) and the engine went together really well. I will need to make up some push rod tubes for it, and also an exhaust but these can come a little later as I won’t be attaching the engine until the end.
Here’s a mock up courtesy of Blu-tack…
One of the things I love about model making is learning all kinds of new things while researching the builds. For instance when looking into the engines used on the Duck (which turned out to be a version of the Wright Cyclone R-1820) I found out that the Cyclone engine was also licensed to Caterpillar and ended up powering a rare variety of Sherman tank.
My main job aside from the engine has been to try and sort out all of the rivets that got sanded off during the filling process – as you can see between the tail and the cockpit:
[3]   I’m always a big fan of using the resources around me to complete a job, and as luck would have it one of the processes that we use at work (for re-balling and re-soldering computer processor chips) involves the use of little tiny lead balls and photo etched hole masks to suit.
The smallest lead (solder) balls I have is 0.3mm diameter which though hugely big for a 1/72 aircraft rivet is about the right size to match the stonking great rivets that Airfix cast into the model, so they suited it just fine.
To start with I cut off a strip of holes from the photo etched mask, and used this as a guide for pricking holes for the rivets using a screwdriver ground to a point…
I found that I had to then deepen the holes by hand and finely sand over them about 3 times to end up with holes that were relatively clean with no ‘cratering’ around them. While I was at it I also re-scribed in some raised panel lines that had gotten obliterated…
With the holes prepared, they were liberally coated with Klear and the lead balls could quite easily be jiggled into the holes. Dipping the spikey screwdriver into Klear and then picking up a clump of balls worked best. Once you drop them into the Klear they get trapped in the surface tension and you just move them around until they fall into the holes.
Once the Klear dries it acts to glue the balls into the holes…
Once dry an extra coat of Klear was applied just to help blend the balls into the surface.
I got one or two of them a bit wonky but that will add to the ‘character’ of the build. (Honest 😉
And after a coat of primer the riveting is pretty much restored…
PS… I did have once Frank Spencer moment whereby one of the holes was smack bang over the fuselage join, and when I pressed the spike tool into it, it opened up the seam that I had filled creating a new seam line  but it should be easy enough to deal with that just by sanding it out once the primer has dried 😀

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I write this blog for fun, to share what I've learned, and to share my builds with you. If you like what you see here please leave a comment, and head over to facebook and like my page!

Cheers - Rich

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