The Hellcat V refit project

Whiplash

Commodore
I've never been fond of endings, but this year-long project is rapidly nearing its conclusion. Without getting sentimental, let me just say I have had a fantastic time exercising my creative juices, and it's been a very rewarding experience sharing my progress with the Wing Commander community. Hopefully there will be more ships to follow!

On to the results of the decal painting!

Much of the ship is covered in small red warning signs. These generally read "NO STEP" on a full-size aircraft, but I couldn't paint letters quite that small.

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I did however give the big warning signs a go. You can't really read what they say in the in-game screenshots, but "FUEL" and "INTAKE" seemed sensible choices.

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The famous Confed star was great fun to paint. I made a cardboard template to help with the outline, and I think it came out pretty well.

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The yellow squadron markings complete the overall picture. I've been looking forward to painting them for months, and the result was very satisfying.

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That's it for now. This won't be my last update: I want to do a short retrospective on the goals I set out to achieve, and maybe do a few comparison shots (then vs now). I would also like to pose my model to recreate some well-known Hellcat shots from the game to see how it compares to the source material.

Have a great week everyone!
 
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Whistler

Commodore
That is so satisfyingly gorgeous I almost forgot it's made of Balsa and love.

Bloody good job Whiplash. I want replication technology so bad right now.
 

Whiplash

Commodore
That is so satisfyingly gorgeous I almost forgot it's made of Balsa and love.

Bloody good job Whiplash. I want replication technology so bad right now.
Thank you sir! Who knows, with 3D printing becoming cheaper, you may yet get your wish.
 

Whiplash

Commodore
You actually painted all the details/signs on the model?! No letraset, no decals... just paint... by hand?

Amazing work!

Hand painted, indeed. I'm not sure whether one can order decals or Letraset that would work. I didn't work exactly to scale, plus this is more obscure subject matter than WW2 fighters or the like.
 

Whiplash

Commodore
Hi everyone!

So, as promised, a look back at how it went with the goals I set out to achieve when the project started.

1) Overall dimensions. I love how beefy it looks now! The broader fuselage and longer wings certainly give the ship a more purposeful appearance. Most importantly though, it now looks like a proper Hellcat from all angles. First one is in the bag!

WQ7Dyb3.jpg


2) Engine nozzles. Ugh, those were ugly! I am mega pleased with how the new ones look; it turned out even better than I could have hoped for. Incorporating paper and cardboard into the construction has allowed me to create much finer detail than with my previous attempt.

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3) Panelling detail. A tough one, but overall I'm quite satisfied. I've learnt a few lessons from this, and if I get around to another ship, I would certainly do things a bit differently (add in the lines before painting the final coat, for instance). But not much to complain about; the panel lines and detail painting have brought the ship to life in a way I could not have imagined.

Ayt5USi.jpg


4) Clean up and detail the weapons. My, this bit was fun! Once again, taking the paper craft approach is something I've never tried before, but it's hard to argue with the result. I would never have been able to get such tiny details if I'd tried to craft the guns purely from wood.

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5) Improve intake detail. Hard work but completely worth it. These look like actual intakes now, much more realistic than the flat painted surfaces they were previously. My camera focus has improved as well... :)

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6) And finally, the cockpit area. This is one aspect I feel might have gone better. The new canopy is a big improvement, but painting it has spoiled the look somewhat. I can still replace it though, so perhaps If I can find a piece of clear plastic in the right colour, I can attempt this again. I am rather proud of how the heat-forming went though, since this is something else I've never tried.

G4LpiIy.jpg


So all in all, I'm pretty pleased! I'd say this refit has been mostly successful.
 
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Maslas

Rear Admiral
Hey Whip? I am curious. Are you going to start any other project just like this? A Dragon lets say or what ever other beautiful? I hope so.
 

Whiplash

Commodore
Hey Whip? I am curious. Are you going to start any other project just like this? A Dragon lets say or what ever other beautiful? I hope so.

Hi there! Well, as you will see from the link on the first page of this thread, I already have four other ships I built along with the Hellcat more than 10 years ago. Problem is, I've now set a completely new standard for myself with the revamped Hellcat, so I will have to go back and finish the others to the same standard. They are all fan favourites though, so I think you'll enjoy them just as much. As for building new ones, I would love to, but we'll have to see how things go.
 
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