Saturday, March 24, 2012

ITALERI 1/48 Scale S-3 Viking

This is the completed 1/48 S-3 Viking from Italeri.
This model was built completely out of the box for a customer. It is a straightforward built as there are not a lot of parts. However the quality of the supplied decals was very bad.

Unfortunately the Italeri kit doesn't come with a wingfold, so if you want to make it with wings folded, you'll have to use after market parts to achieve that.
I took great pains to remove the seam lines between the canopy and the fuselage, as this is how it is on the real aircraft (see below pic). The process was tedius though, with iterative puttying and sanding and taking care not to scratch the clear parts. But the final results make a world of difference as it makes the canopy and fuselage look like one single piece.
The pic below is the real aircraft (Copyright of Luc Colin) showing the seamless integration between the canopy and fuselage.
 It was a nerve wrecking experience applying the decals on the tail and also the anti skid walkway. The decals were thin and breaking up often. Here's a tip for applying large decals like this: cut the decal into smaller pieces and apply them separately. It'll be easier to handle this way.

 Painting was done with lacquers from Mr Color with H307, H308 and H337. Ths usual colors used with most US Navy 'Low Vis' aircraft. Preshading was done with German Gray on the panel lines and other random areas, then the main color (H308) was painted on. Finally 2 drops of white was added to H308 and with the airbrush pressure set to about 10 psi, patchwork was done on random panels on the aircraft. This gave the model a somewhat worn and weathered look, with light and dark patches all over, but not overly dirty. A bit of Mahogany was also lightly sprayed randomly at different spots on the model. The model was then glossed up for decal application and washing. The wash on the panel lines was done with oil colors. When all was done, Mr Color Flat Clear was sprayed over lightly, with care not to make the model completely flat. Leave a slight sheen.

OK I broke the "Out of the box" rule by adding scratchbuild seatbelts :)
This is an older release from Italeri, the whole canopy tinted brown. I believe the newer releases have clear canopies (?) In any case, on the actual aircraft, not every window is tinted with the same shade. The front two windows have a gold tint on them. I tried to replicate this by spraying Tamiya gold to the insides of the canopy windows (see below pic). But don't spray too much until the window becomes opaque!

I also need to mention that the cockpit details are very rudimentary. The cockpit panels are provided with decals which don't look real. I've read elsewhere that once the canopy is assembled, you can't really see the insides because the canopy is tinted. I think this is subject to how you want to display your model. If you were to look close up through the canopy, you really can see a lot of the stuff inside. So getting an aftermarket cockpit set for the S-3 will be quite a good idea.

This was truely an enjoyable built! One thing for sure, this will definitely not be my last Viking. I look forward to my next built whenever that may be, where I'll be sure to include wing folds and aftermarket decals. I hope you enjoyed the pics!

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