Blohm & Voss P.194
The Blohm & Voss BV P.194 was one of a long list of late WW2 German experimental designs that never made it to production.
But that doesn't stop the pampered modeler of today from building one in his own workshop (more information about the P.194.)
The P.194 was one of several "Luft 46" kits marketed by Revell in 1997.
This is the second one of those kits that I have built.
The first was their Me P.1099b, a fattened up, 2-seat, increased firepower version of the Me 262.
That kit was finely engineered and a real pleasure to build.
Ditto for this P.194.
I had been looking for this kit for a number of years and was able to pick it up at the Atlanta Nationals for a paltry $10.00.
The kit consists of 2 main trees of medium gray styrene, and a small tree of clear parts, which are mixed in with the plastic parts (no scratches, whew!).
I began by painting the bomb bay flooring RLM 02.
The molded detail is quite nice and shows up well with a Payne's gray oil wash followed by drybrushing.
The bomb bay was installed between the main fuselage halves, which were cemented together with liquid superglue.
The cockpit is perfectly adequate, although I did replace the kit seat, which seemed proportionately incorrect, with an generic resin one.
The cockpits and sidewalls of the fuselage were painted medium gray (Tamiya XF22).
The tops of the side consoles were painted with dark gray artist's ink (black lightened slightly with white).
I like painting small details with artist's inks as they do not dry quickly on the brush, cover very well, and can be placed precisely with the tip of a brush.
Various knobs were picked out with a silver gel ink pen, and acrylic red paint.
Seat harnessing were cut from thermal receipt paper.
The instrument panel was painted black and dry brushed with Testors Chrome silver to bring out the detail on the gauge (I might not have even bothered with dry brushing. The instrument panel is barely visible once the cockpit is enclosed).
Once the cockpit was finished I cemented the cockpit gondola halves together.
The clear part for the nose window was inserted and glued in place with gel superglue.
I then started sanding the gondola nose area with 400 grit wet-dry sand paper and worked progressively up through a 12000 grit polishing cloth until the window was clear.
Wings pieces (3) fuselage, and cockpit gondola were cemented together and left to dry.
The engine assembly was constructed next.
The engine cowling can be posed open.
I decided to build mine closed to allow for a more streamlined appearance.
I was more than a little uncertain about going this route, because all cowling access panels are cemented around the engine to make the cowling complete.
This involves four different cowling panels and I was concerned that I would end up somewhere along the line with gaps and fit problems.
However, in keeping with the superlative engineering in this kit, there were no gaps.
Each panel fit perfectly in its appropriate location.
Once the liquid glue had dried, I rubbed down the finished cowling with 0000 steel wool.
Steel wool was used to rub down the rest of the model as well.
Wheel wells were masked off using a combination of poster tack and Gunze Mr. Mask.
Bomb bay doors were tacked in place with small amount of superglue.
The nose window was masked with Tamiya tape, and a bit of paper towel was stuffed in the cockpit opening.
The underside and sides were then airbrushed with Model Master RLM 76.
This particular color of MM provides a glossy finish, which is great for decals but slow to dry.
Once dry, the perimeter of areas to be painted yellow (nose, outer panels of wing underside, rudder) were masked and airbrushed gloss white, followed by Tamiya Yellow (I always undercoat colors like yellow and red with gloss white or silver).
The yellow and undersides were masked off and the upper sections were airbrushed with a slightly lightened (with white) Tamiya XF 67.
I read somewhere, I think it was Tamiya Modeling magazine, that XF 67 yields a pretty good representation of RLM 83- looks fine to me!
After the upper sections were airbrushed with the XF 67, I then applied Parafilm over those areas.
I've been using the same roll of Parafilm for years.
Parafilm is one of those masking mediums that modelers seem to love, hate or have no opinion of what so ever (i.e., They've never used it).
The trick with Parafilm is to stretch a piece, then let it rest for about 20 seconds, then apply it to the model surface, pressing against it with your fingers to warm it up a bit.
This improves adhesion.
I eye balled the masking lines for the splinter camo pattern, laying down a thin strip of Tamiya masking tape along the demarcation lines.
This served as a guide for a very sharp #11 Xacto blade which was used to strip away Parafilm in the areas that would be sprayed Tamiya XF 27 (black-green).
Once the XF27 was airbrushed, all Parafilm was removed from the model.
I then did a little weathering on the bottom by airbrushing slightly darkened RLM 76 along the panel lines and slightly lightened paint sprayed randomly onto selected panels.
The model was given a gloss coat of Future.
I then applied a water color wash in the panel lines.
I learned about this technique from an article by Bob Laskodi.
Mix a little artist's tube water color paint (color of your choice) with windex (or any acrylic paint thinner) until you get the desired consistency.
Apply to panel lines.
Let dry a few minutes.
Wipe away with a section of paper towel slightly dampened with water (or your finger tip moistened with spit).
The only caveat is that you should gloss coat the surface first.
Even though it's only water color, it's difficult to remove from a non-gloss surface.
Although I had originally planned to use the kit decals, I decided against that after I tried one and was not pleased with the result (the carrier film appeared clouded).
Using a technique I picked up at Christian Jackl's Luftwaffe in Scale website. I created Frisket film stencils and airbrushed the major markings.
I'll have to admit that rather than using the decals for the small warning stencils and wingwalk lines, I decided not to apply them at all.
After stencils were sprayed, I went back over the airframe to correct overspray and other small mistakes.
The finish was sealed with Minwax water-based clear Satin finish thinned with Windex, slightly dulled with a little talcum powder mixed in.
Canopy and windscreen were masked with Parafilm, airbrushed, and then dipped in Future.
The German soldier is from a set of 1/72 Preiser Luftwaffe figures.
This model was a lot fun to build.
Construction was straightforward with no surprises.