1/32 Ansaldo A.1 Balilla Finished (with glamour shots)

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1/32 Ansaldo A.1 Balilla Finished (with glamour shots)

Postby ericg » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:07 am

Now that the Lukgraph Corsair was finished I have started another kit that was sent to me to be be built for Large Scale Planes. There is always talk of comparisons of various kits to standards such as `Tamiya quality' or `just like a Wingnut Wings kit'. I would like to now introduce another standard by which kits are compared or measured up to and it is this one. I have built many different types of kits by different manufacturers and will give almost any kit a go in 1/32 scale. This one is by far the best quality kit I have worked on so far and Richard of Aviattic should be congratulated for defining a new standard. Practically everything is included in the kit to build it, apart from the rigging material. I wont go into a huge amount of detail with the build, as the build log included in the Aviattic website here: http://www.aviattic.co.uk/uploads/4/5/1 ... ld_log.pdf has as much detail as is required to replace the instructions in the kit.

The box explodes with many ziplock bags containing all of the parts with a small business card with walk around type photos of the assembly. A couple of large high quality decals sheets, a fret of photo etch and much more awaits.

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First up was removing the bottom of the fuselage to start the more accurate depiction of the fuel tank.

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I then cleaned up the two engine bay bulkheads. These are nicely labelled with a part number on the casting block and had very minimal flash. More importantly, they are all dead straight and have no warpage.

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They both slotted straight into the fuselage.

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Last edited by ericg on Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 1/32 Aviattic Ansaldo A.1 Balilla

Postby ericg » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:50 pm

A pleasing aspect of the kit has been the presentation of the photo etched parts. These have been taped along one edge to some card, which allows the modeler to slip some thick acrylic sheet under the fret and then cut each part off as needed. In this case, I have been using a micro chisel to cut each part free.

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Some of the cockpit parts including the rudder bar and control column. I am really impressed with how many fine parts have been included on one casting block. Careful planning is required to ensure that each part comes off cleanly without damaging the one next to it.

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I have to say that some of the photo etch assemblies look quite daunting. Made up of multiple small parts, they need to be carefully studied to ensure that they are assembled correctly. This is the control bar detail, which is optional, as it will not be visible once installed. I thought I would tackle all parts of the kit including the optional assemblies, just to say that I have done them!

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The parts are sandwiched together and then pinned through two holes with some 0.3mm brass rod (self provided). The build log also calls for the round tube to be scratch built from either brass or plastic.

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The cockpit floor and details built up. The foot straps on the rudder bar were replaced with tamiya tape, which I made slightly wider than the kit photo etch parts.I did try and use the kit straps, but when I annealed them, they melted! The control column features some microscopic gun triggers which will require care to not lose. Follownig the build log, I made the column articulated by carefully drilling and pinning it. Also noticeable is the higher of the two control rods, which I replaced with brass as recommended in the build log.

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The next assembly is the aileron transfer bar, which is lots of photo etch parts and brass pins (17 including the resin part that it attaches to). this part is also listed as optional, as it cant be seen. I felt that I would tackle it just for the challenge. Provided that you dry fit it and work out how the part actually works, it isn't that hard!. I have used superglue to assemble all assemblies so far.

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The parts starting to take shape, dry fitted at this stage. Alot of thought is already going into how I am going to paint all of it!

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The instrument panel. Crisp and clean castings combined with photo etch parts. I am looking forward to bringing this assembly to life.

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Re: 1/32 Aviattic Ansaldo A.1 Balilla

Postby ericg » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:49 pm

An apology for lack of updates. I have recently started a type rating to fly the Boeing 717, so modelling has been pushed to one side for a little while.

The paper belts went together nicely, and I have glued them onto the seat, leaving the shoulder straps loose in order to drape them over the fuselage sides later in the build. The leather on the seat was simulated by painting it in a couple of shades of Gunze Acrylic, with a dark enamel wash applied.

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The instrument panel was painted white, and then the instrument surround was painted with Hataka True Blue. Wood details were picked out with Gunze Acrylic. The kit instrument decals were then applied.

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The cockpit buttoned up under the turtledeck which requires some filler along he length of its join as can be seen here. I used a traditional oil over acrylic paint to simulate the wood grain of the fuselage interior, matching it to the shade of the kit woodgrain fuselage exterior decal.

As can be seen, there are alot of fairly complex photo etch components in the build, including the gun mount bar that tranverses the cockpit. Careful assembly and bending is required but the exacting quality of each component ensures great fit.

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Re: 1/32 Aviattic Ansaldo A.1 Balilla

Postby qfa_tsv » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:57 am

Impressive already
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Re: 1/32 Aviattic Ansaldo A.1 Balilla

Postby AndrewDoppel » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:59 pm

What /\ said.
Regards
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Re: 1/32 Aviattic Ansaldo A.1 Balilla

Postby ericg » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:26 pm

Back to the build.

One aspect of the model that will need serious consideration is the application of the woodgrain decals, as there is alot of photo etch to be applied to the kit before it is finished. Due to the decals not being cookie cut, some thought will be needed as to whether to apply the woodgrain decals before the photo etch details or after. I felt that the first method (called for in the instructions) would leave me vulnerable to having no room for error when sticking the photo etch details on, ie: they would have to go on correctly the first time and without any mess, as they would be being applied over decal. The method that I chose was to apply 90 of the exterior photo etch details, then prime the entire model, then mask and paint each detail, apply the woodgrain over the top and then carefully cut each detail out.

As can be seen from the following photos, there are many individual photo etch details. I have left off a few access panel details, as they will be positioned according to the circle shapes in the woodgrain decals. I have also left off the parts of the aileron actuator tube fairing and the curved components of the engine vent scoops, as well as the turnbuckle assemblies of the lower wing roots as these will be applied later.

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I primed the model with Tamiya Fine surfacer white. This will become the final white layer that the decals will be applied to. I have disregarded the decal instructions to apply them over a high gloss surface as I have found in builds before that they sit perfectly well over the satin sheen of the primer coat.

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After carefully masking off each detail, I painted them as can be seen here. Some minor cleaning up of small imperfections has taken place where variations of the primer coat can be seen. These will be left as is and will add some character to the model.

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Re: 1/32 Aviattic Ansaldo A.1 Balilla

Postby Rimau » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:04 am

Decisions, decisions. Good choice Eric, it is looking cool.
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Re: 1/32 Aviattic Ansaldo A.1 Balilla

Postby ericg » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:36 pm

I got so far with the Balilla that I thought it was just about ready to be finished. Here it is decalled with the top wing dry fitted.

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Based upon the feedback received from both Ron and David From LSP, I felt that I had missed one of the key features of the aircraft and that was the sharp line of the top fuselage. I was determined to get it right!

Luckily, Richard was able to send me out a new set of decals.

I stripped the decals from the fuselage

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Lets look at the problem. The top part of the fuselage isn't the best of fits and this, combined with the fact that I missed the sharp edge in some of the photos of the real thing combined to result in a rounded join.

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If you have this kit, then it is worth taking the time to get this right. Here is what I should have done in the first place.

I masked off the join

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Using a sanding stick, I carefully sanded the top part of the fuselage

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Both the top and side of the fuselage required sanding to get the sharp edge

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The end result is much better.

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Re: 1/32 Aviattic Ansaldo A.1 Balilla

Postby ericg » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:34 pm

So after spending a bit of time on the shelf of doom I was able to get back into this model with a fresh set of eyes. I think that rather than push on with something and possibly finish it and not be happy with it, giving it a rest for a while and doing other projects pays off. I should be able to get this one finished quite quickly.

I simply don’t have time anymore to do in depth build logs, so I am posting pics of completed parts, with the occasional in progress ones.

After stripping it back and sorting out the fuselage, I reapplied the wood grain decals. I am very glad that I did this as the important sharp edge is now there. Thanks to Richard for sending me out the new decals.

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The completed fuel tank which is highly visible on the bottom of the fuselage once fitted.

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I used a strip of bare metal foil which I burnished around the back of the leather padding behind the pilot.

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The small air intake which protrudes from the left side of the fuselage was a little thick, so I thinned the mouth of it and drilled it out slightly.

Before:

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After:

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The kit tailskid was nicely cast in white metal or similar. I found it to be a bit too soft and it quickly bent out of shape once installed and then broke at the tip due to fatigue. Rather than try to fix it, I made a new one with the lower leaf made from a thin strip of brass for strength and then the other three leafs made from aluminium for ease of shaping. The new one is much stronger and gives me a lot more confidence of its longevity.

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The three piece cowl gave me all sorts of issues and was one of the reasons that I put this model away for a while. I am not a huge fan of having open engine panels as I like to admire the lines of a completed model with everything shut. I will compromise a bit and have the left front cowl in the open position. They are nicely cast but don’t fit too well, with the rear edge of the rear cowl not fitting flush against the fuselage. This required me to thin its edge and then cut gaps along the hinge lines of the access doors to ‘pull’ it tighter over the fuselage. I also had to sand the fasteners off and refine the lower edges. I replaced the fasteners with some Archer raised detail decals. The forward right cowl was then fitted, with approx .5mm shim added to the front edge, to allow it to overlap the radiator slightly. This was then significantly thinned to give it the look of thin sheet metal.

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Getting there.

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Re: 1/32 Aviattic Ansaldo A.1 Balilla

Postby ericg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:35 pm

Some more build. Even though I rate this kit very highly for its beatififul detail, it is a fairly challenging build that has been quite demanding. Just when I think that I have things right, something else crops up. After getting the forward right side cowl attached, I discovered that the hinge line was significantly off centre. As this model will be primarily viewed from the front and top, I need to fix this. The cowls are not the best of fit unfortunately.

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the solution that I came up with was to carefully cut the hinge line further towards the centre.

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It it is much better than before.

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Next up was the prop. Looking at some pics of completed builds and also comparing the prop to various period photos, I felt that the prop as supplied in the kit was a bit short. I consulted Richard and he assured me that it was correctly scaled as per original plans. Armed with this advice, I decided to go it alone and extend each blade by approx 1mm which I think has greatly improved its appearance.

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Painted in a light wood colour.

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completed apart from the decal logos.

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coming together nicely.

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