1/72 Italeri Short Sunderland III – Build Log

21st July 2014

Blimey has it been a month since the last Sunderland update!? Sounds like the title of a George Formby B-side…

Recently I’ve mainly been working on my Vulcan build, but have had to put that to one side for a few days while I wait for some decals to arrive.

In the meantime it’s Sunderland time 😀


Last update I had yet to fit the pilots seats complete with their PE.

The instructions call for the seat belts to be painted black, and for them to be attached to the sides of the seats as shown below.

First of all I didn’t think black was a good colour for WW2 aircraft seatbelts and felt they should be more of a Manila or Khaki colour. Secondly, after managing to get a set of belts fitted to the sides of the seat back I thought there has to be a better way!




The PE belts are very thick and difficult to bend, which makes it tricky to achieve the right bends to fit them to the sides of the seat. So for the second seat I decided that two of the belts should drape over the top of the back of the seat, and the other two should be attached to the base of the seat as lap belts. Far more logical to my way of thinking.

Here’s the finished cockpit (well more of a conference centre than a cockpit), the Port seat has the belts attacked to the sides *spit* and the starboard seat has them according to plan B (draped over the back).




With the cockpit done, it was time to move onto other interior design matters…

The interior is riddled with ejector pin marks, but thankfully most of them are in places never to be seen. So there are relatively few to take care of…

With this kit I’m doing a lot of dry fitting to determine what will and won’t be seen of the interior. I don’t want to take too much time working on things that will never be seen.

Here’s a couple of ejector pin marks in the bomb loading area. BTW The girders you can see in the roof are the bomb loading rails. Bombs were hung on the rails, the doors below the wing roots were opened, and the bombs were then slid out under the wings when needed.




Luckily most of the ejector pin marks are raised which makes them really easy to get rid of without filling.

Here I’m using one of my favourite tools, a Trumpeter 2mm Chisel. I’ve also got the 1mm version and they are worth their weight in gold. Well, maybe not gold – worth their weight in finely honed carbon steel perhaps. But either way they make jobs like this an absolute doddle.

Here I’m about to chisel off an ejector pin mark by pushing the chisel forward face down.




And after a few forward chisels, simply flip the chisel upside down and polish the area by scraping the chisel backwards a few times. Job’s a good-un.




The front fuselage also had a few pin marks to take care of. The ones I’ve addressed are circled in red, the others cannot be seen when she’s closed up. Even with the doors open.




There were also some sunken ejector pin marks on one of the bulkheads, these needed a small dab of filler.




And a first for me… For once I read the instructions and took care of drilling out holes before I glued the fuselage together! And there was much rejoicing!

Normally I button up the kit, usually get as far as having Klear coated after decaling before I realise there are a number of holes that I should have drilled out before hand.

This time I spotted them first and with a few twists of the pin chuck the antenna holes marked in red were opened up.

Some of the holes are along the seam line, for these I just opened them up a bit with a round mini needle file. I’ll run a drill through them after it’s all closed up to make them round.




There is also a number of windows to open up (I guess they should be called portholes on a Navy vessel such as this).

The easiest way I found to do this was to take a small screwdriver that I’d ground to a point (one of my trusty re-scribing tools), and track the point of it around the hole until you wear through it.

It’s a simple matter then to pop out the centre and clean up the hole with a half round mini needle file.




Here’s the new porthole (right hand one in picture). As you can see it has a pretty lame attempt at a groove around it. This will need re-scribing…




Using a circular scribing template a groove was run in around the new porthole to match the others.




Next up was to glue in some steps in the bows. The internal ribbing got in the way of these so I removed the areas marked in blue using the 1mm Trumpeter chisel.




For this one I thought I’d have a play around with pre-shading the interior…

I didn’t bother with primer, just used 50/50 Tamiya flat black and X-20a in my H&S Evo with a 0.2mm needle. I turned the wick down to 12PSI to do the pre-shading as to get thin lines I needed to get very close to the model. At high pressures the thinned paint would just spider all over the place.




I had mixed success with this…

The fuselage looks Ok-ish but the pre-shading has mainly had the effect of making it look dark. Perhaps I flooded the cockpit green on a bit heavy before the pre-shading had dried properly and it melted the black in and dissolved it a bit?

However the bulkheads turned out just how I hoped. The pre-shading has given them a nice worn and aged look. I’ll do a bit of dry brushing on them and can call them done.



Next update: More on the quest to button her up, which will probably involve constructing several turrets 🙂



Thanks for visiting!

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

3 comments on “1/72 Italeri Short Sunderland III – Build Log
  1. Alan Willoughby says:

    Hi – Interesting build log – a few comments. The “Windlass” is actually a winch, and the anchor is only used when away from normal base. Normally a chain runs from the winch through the mooring bollard out to the buoy link.

    The seat belts on the Sunderland were white, you can see them draped over the back of the 1st pilots seat

    The Mk III Sunderland didn’t have three portholes in the rear fuselage it only had two, so you don’t need to open up the closed up ones in the kit -this is a MK V but basic same fuselage as the Mk III.
    The one porthole that Italeri did forget was a tenth porthole on the lower Starboard side forward of the first porthole on the model kit.

    As always after you add paint, the lower section of the Sunderland was a “Silver” finish from the stairwell back to the inner rear wall of the bomb bay. Upperdeck from section behind wireless ops position to area just forward of the upper turret. This is the Airfix kit pianted up

    Hope that helps?



    • Richard says:

      Hi Alan,

      Thanks for the detailed info and picture links. I’d never have guessed they used white seatbelts, couldn’t be more opposite than the black that Italeri call for 😉

      Cheers – Rich

  2. il kit e fantastico vorrei sapere se èdisponibile è il suo prezzo grazie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *