Wednesday, October 29, 2008

P-51D Mustang - Fuselage and tissue covering

For some strange reason, I chose to use normal domestic tissue instead of the usual (and better) Japanse Esaki. This was white stuff from the local newsagent shop, pre-shrunk with water. This is my first effort at colouring tissue. Here, I'm using some very old art charcoal that's been lying around at home for over 15 years! You can also use coloured chalk. Loads of colours and tints are possible.

Simply rub it on, then wipe about in circles with a soft tissue until it's evenly shaded. I did both sides. In the photo, a strip of the original white tissue is on the left and a gey coloured piece for the wing is on the right.

I am not an expert builder, but I enjoy it and do take pride in my work. Below, fuselage sides going down. I'm building both at the same time (this is NOT the same thing as the second one over the first!). Don't bother with cling film between them - you can separate with a razor blade afterwards.

Assembling box fuselages can be tricky and fiddly. Cardboard formers - lightly tacked in place with CA glue - are tremendously helpful. Generally, I use woodwork PVA for all balsa joints and avoid CA except for the places where it's really advantageous, like for the formers here. The photo below is just before the sides were "cracked" to bring the back ends together.

Another view of the fuselage assembly and card formers. They are from a pizza box.

Here are the wings glued up and setting at the correct dihedral angle. This newsagents shop tissue is nowhere near as easy to work with as Japanese Esaki. It does make a change to use a material with a different texture though. The grey colour is just what I wanted - simulating the metal of the full-size. I will have to lightly dope it, to fix the charcoal in the tissue. Note the slightly graded colouring on the fuselage side - the top is grey while the bottom is white. I wouldn't have the patience to build proper scale models, and chapeau to folks who do. Sports-scale is good fun though - it's like a nod and a wink to the original full-size shape.

1 comment:

The probligo said...

Good job!

Try cold water fabric dyes for a much wider colour range.

Make up the dye per instructions, dip tissue in die (don't try swirling it around 'cos it destroys both tissue and dye :( ).

Spread wet tissue on very smooth surface to dry out. Glass is ideal. If you can (very carefully) stretch out the tissue it will retain some shrinkage ability when used on the model. Expect less than 1/3 of the un-dyed shrinkage which makes tissue grain and technique far more important.