For my next build I will be doing another commission build. This will be a 1/72 Hasegawa P-2H Neptune (P2V-7) of VP-4. The P-2 was a Lockheed built Maritime Patrol and Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft. This aircraft flew from 1947 until the late 1960’s for the US Navy and continued to fly until 1984 for other countries. The client is having this built to match his Father’s aircraft. I will be making all the specific decals and weathering it to match actual photos. I will also be scratch building additional details as needed.
This kit is the Hasegawa/Minicraft version. This kit was released back in 1972. Many kits back then did not have the better details as more recent model kits. The cockpit consists of only 6 parts and no details on the parts at all. After reviewing some references online I modified the seat, made my own instrument panel, (See Making a cockpit dash from scratch. ) center console, detailed the rear bulkheads of the cockpit and nose area, and scratch built the control sticks for the pilot and co-pilot. The seats were painted with the international orange pads and I used small strips of Tamiya tape for the seat belts. The nose gear bay also lacked details so with some photo etch extras I added more details. Once the cockpit and nose section were completed I assembled the fuselage. The seams between the fuselage halves were difficult to get them to line up. I slowly glued the halves together then used Tamiya putty to fill the gaps and improper fit. As soon as the putty finishes curing I will be detail sanding for a while.
This week’s update on the 1/72 Hasegawa P-2H Neptune (P2V-7) I was able to get the fuselage together evenly after many hours of sanding and shaping. I then masked off the white sections and base coated it white. While it was drying I then assembled and detailed to radial engines and propellers. After the fuselage dried the white areas were masked off. I then assembled the canopy and scratch built the overhead console. I used some spare photo etch levers and made some of the panels to match the reference photos. The canopy was them masked with kapton tape and installed. With the radial engines installed I then started to assemble the jets engines. The kit provides nothing to detail the exhaust of the jets. I dug through my photo etch extras and found a set of exhaust details and attached them.
The wings were then assembled and detailed. The fit of the wings was very good. I am working on completing the jet engines then a little masking on the landing gear bays and it should be ready to base coat the sea blue.
Work on the Neptune this week has been very tedious. First, I had a lot of questions and comments on why I use kapton tape. So there are a couple of photos on removing the tape masks on the canopy. I then installed the landing gear. The nose gear did not have the landing light so I scratch built the housing from styrene rod then made the lens using acrylic gel.
Once I had all the base coat painting completed I started to do the decals. Since this kit was manufactured way back in the early 1970’s, the kit decals did not age well. I cut out a decal for the Japanese scheme to see how they would work. After soaking in warm water for over three minutes the decal started to slide. However, it then immediately broke apart. I took another one and coated it with Microscale decal film and let it dry. It still took a long time of soaking buy I was able to get the decal to stay mostly together. It required some very careful small movements to get it moved and placed on the spare surface. It was successfully placed. I decided that the only decal’s I was going to use off the sheet was the yellow rectangles for the tail. I then dug thru my spare decal binder and after an extensive search I located nearly all of the letters and numbers in the correct sizes as well as the US insignias. Surprisingly I found a decal for the propeller warning lines that was the correct size and looked more accurate than the kit decal. I then made the squadron logo decal that goes on the nose, the trident for the tip of the tail, and the “Jet Intake” decals. Since each of the letters and numbers were individual decals it took a lot of time to get them placed and aligned. With all the decals placed I then started on the heavy weathering starting with the jet engines. The aircraft itself was sealed with a matte finish so that the weathering can be applied. I will be using three different shades of blue and two shades of gray to weather the aircraft with gray, black, and brown for exhausts.
The 1/72 Hasegawa P-2H Neptune (P2V-7) is now complete! Before we get to the final photos there are a couple of details I needed to add. I first took a photo with the aircraft outside. Seems that different camera’s show the weathering differently but natural sunlight shows off the weathering better. Now on to the last detail, the nose has a frame that protects the crew member while giving him a place for his feet and legs instead of resting on the clear nose. The kit came with a small frame that looked nothing like the actual aircraft. I started with 30 AWG wire and cut 8 pieces. These were bent and tack soldered together. The nose frame was then painted and installed. I then used EZ-Line fine to add in the antenna.
With the aircraft completed, I am waiting for the brass nameplate before I can pack it up and ship it to the client. Seems the USPS is experiencing some delays and tracking keeps changing expected delivery day. Once it arrives I will post a few photos of it packed. The client purchased one of Grandpa’s Cabinets display cases. Once he has the display case and the aircraft together he will send me some photos and I will post them here. Thanks again for following along on this special build.