Brewster Buffalo B-339D
by Huub van Dijk
The subject of this article is Tamiya's 1/48th scale Brewster Buffalo. I built this kit in 1995.
I went to town on the cockpit, I used the old Eduard photo-etched set to improve the basic kit item. I had to scratch-build the seat, though. As I found the kit canopy too thick, I installed Squadron's canopy. It was a real challenge to blend the windshield and the aft canopy glazing into the fuselage!
Panel lines are a combination of raised and recessed. I decided to engrave the raised lines. The secret of nice straight panel lines is to take your time and to use a not too sharp engraving tool. If the tool is too sharp you really "dig" into the plastic, creating some sort of trenches of which the sides stand proud of the surface of the model. Because of the tendency of a really sharp tool to go deep it's also difficult to get nice straight lines. Sanding-scribing-sanding-scribing will be your reward. I use a quite blunt needle normally used for handworking.
Other features of the model are scratch-built exhausts and flaps and "Momma's Own Hand-baked" bulged tires. Works every time over apple-pie for me!
Being Dutch, I chose to build a Buffalo of the "ML-KNIL" (Militaire Luchtvaart-Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger - Military Aviation of the Royal Netherlands East-Indies' Army).
The paints I used for the exterior came from Xtra-Colour with Testors' Metalizer for the undersides. The interior was painted with Testors' Metalizer and Tamiya acrylics. For washing and drybrushing I used "Scheveningen Old Dutch" artist's oil paints, which were also used for picking out details in the cockpit. I kept the exterior quite clean, weathering-wise. I accentuated the panel lines with a wash and made the Buffalo look like a combat-aircraft by employing pastel chalks.
The one thing which still annoys me a bit is the antenna-wire. I used fishing line for it, but a little too thick. Plus the fact that it has sagged over the years. I know I can get it taut again by applying heat, but I saw the result of such an operation on Erik Bosch's P-51B (elsewhere in the Gallery, where it still HAS a wire!…), so I'm a bit reluctant to try that…
This model took 2nd place in it's category at the IPMS Netherlands' Nationals 1995 and 3rd place at the Flanders' Modelling Contest 1996 in Antwerp.
Models, Description and Images Copyright ©
2000 by Huub van Dijk