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Night Fighter Final Assembly

Finally, I've reached the last stage of this build. It certainly took me the longest to finish, but that's mainly due to the fact that I took a couple of long breaks from modeling recently. I initially started the build in May 2022, but after just a week or so, I took a year-long break from it. When I resumed in May the following year, I had another break starting in July as I was finishing a new apartment and then had to move. More recently, I had another short break this year as I was focusing on 3D modeling, but in the end, I managed to finish it.


Cabin Glazing

I began by removing the masks. Using a toothpick, I lifted off the edge of the masks, then peeled off the rest with a pair of tweezers. First, I removed them from the top part of the glazing, which was not yet attached to the fuselage.

The frontal canopy and ventral gondola were glued in the earlier stages of the build, so their interior masks had been removed before that. After removing the exterior masks, it turned out that the interior parts were dusty due to the time that had passed between attaching the frontal glazing and now. I was careful when airbrushing transparent layers of varnishes and kept the model in a closed shelf when not working on it, but that was not enough. Using micro applicators, I started to clean the transparencies. Fortunately, I was able to reach most of the windows and get rid of the dirt. Nevertheless, the lesson learned for future projects is to never leave transparent parts without masks for longer periods of time.

2 x 7.92 mm MG 81 Machine Guns Attachment

Before I could glue the top part of the glazing to the rest of the canopy, I had to mount the machine guns inside. For that, I utilized imitations of leather belts. A drop of CA glue was applied at the end of each belt of each MG and then glued to the bar inside the top glazing part.

Next, I cut out the already painted photo-etched ammunition belts and glued the ends of them to the crew cabin according to the instructions. In the following step, I weathered them using Industrial Dirt and Earthy Grime oil washes. Then, I took the other end of the belt and glued it to the left MG, and in the next step, I did the same to the right one. The belts, when straightened, are quite long, so it was possible to glue them to the MGs before closing the canopy. With the ammunition belts attached, I glued the top glazing with the machine guns using Clearfix.

Landing Light Cover

Using Clearfix, I attached the landing light to the port wing. Unfortunately, it turned out that the fitting left much to be desired—the transparent part was protruding on one side above the top surface of the wing. To remedy that, I used sanding sponges and papers of different gradations. I started with a 240 sponge to get rid of the excess plastic and then increased the gradation up until reaching the polishing stage, up to 8000. Especially at the beginning of the process, I had to be very careful not to damage the paintwork around the worked part.

Exhaust Covers and Stains

Covers were attached using small amounts of CA glue. With them in place, I began enhancing the exhaust stains created in the earlier stage with the airbrush. This time, I used pigments. I started with the application of Smoke pigment using a small brush. The pigment was lightly applied over the already painted stains. Next, I used Dark Rust, which I applied as a thin line at the center of the pattern. Then, the pigments were slightly blended, and excess was removed by blowing some air through the airbrush. The covers themselves received an additional layer of Burnt Jet Engine pigment, giving them a darker final appearance.

Lastly, I imitated fresh leakage of grease and oil by applying enamel products. I started with Shafts & Bearings Grease from AK. After lightly dabbing a small brush in the product, I painted thin lines starting at the end of the covers and moving along the stain pattern. Next, on top of that, I added Engine Oil in the same way, but focusing only on the aft part of the covers.

Wheels & Landing Gear Covers

The main landing gear wheels were attached using a bit of CA glue. It was important to get the angle right to make it look like the weight of the aircraft was pressing down on the wheels. Before fixing the aft wheel, I had to pass a wire through the centre of the hub to attach the wheel to the aft strut. I used CA glue for this too. Then, I added connectors between the axle and the end of the mudguard using wire of the right thickness, which I painted with RLM 76.

Attaching the landing gear covers was a bit trickier. I had to make some adjustments before gluing them. Each cover has two protrusions with holes that are used to attach them in place. I had to remove most of the front protrusions to make the covers fit properly. This didn't affect the final look of the model.

Nose and FuG 220 Aerial

First, I checked the fit of the nose to the rest of the fuselage once more, and it turned out okay. Next, I attached the MF cannon to the nose using Tamiya cement and checked the fitting again. When I was sure that everything was okay, I used small amounts of CA glue to attach the nose to the fuselage.

Next, I prepared the nose machine guns by painting them black, then covering them with Gun Metal pigment, and removing them from the sprues. Then, each part was attached to the nose using CA glue and a pair of tweezers.

Small Details

I began by attaching the transparent cover for the fuselage housing of the EZ6 direction finder and FuG 101 radio altimeter. After checking, I found that the transparency was a bit too big, so I sanded the edge evenly and then glued it using Clearfix.

For the pitot tube, I replaced the original plastic part with an albion tube and needle, which I obtained from nozzle cleaning set for 3D printers. This created a better representation of the real thing.

Next, I moved on to attaching the Machine Gun sights, which are represented as Photo Etched parts. First, I cut them out and bent them accordingly. Then, using CA glue and a small pair of tweezers, I managed to glue them to the MG81 Machine Guns. After letting them dry for a while, I painted them using black acrylic paint.

Lastly, the top pole was painted and glued to the fuselage using CA glue as well.

Antenna Wires

First, I drilled tiny holes on the fuselage where the wires would be attached. For the antenna wires, I used 0.03 A.MIG Rigging filament. I started with the main one, which begins at the top of the pole and ends at the front top of the vertical stabilizer. Next, I added two sections that start on the top of the fuselage. Finally, I attached another two sections that begin on the sides of the glazing and end at the top of the pole. All wires were attached using CA glue.

Engine Covers

The engine covers were added at the very end of the build because the attachment to the fuselage is extremely fragile. Each cover has four tiny PE extensions which I had to bend first, then cover with CA glue, and finally attach to the nacelles.

Final Weathering

I began by applying dusting effects using Airfield Dust pigment. I dipped a round brush into the product and applied it to the wing roots and wheels. Any excess pigment was removed by blowing some air through the airbrush.

Next, I focused on the area around the cowling flaps. I used Airfield Dust pigment again, and then added Fresh Engine Oil on top to create grease and crisp staining.

Finally, I inspected the model for any small details that were missed in the earlier stages of the build. The only thing left to do was to attach the propellers, which I did without using any glue so that they can freely spin.

Build Summary

That was quite an interesting build, mainly for two reasons. Firstly, it was my first time painting a mottled camouflage pattern, which helped me improve my airbrushing skills. Secondly, it was my first experience with an ICM model. While the camouflage challenged me, I also learned a lot about more complex approaches to preshading and mottling techniques.

Speaking of the ICM model, it's not quite up to the quality of Tamiya or Eduard kits. Some of the design decisions weren't the best, and there was definitely more work required to clean up the plastic parts and make them fit together. However, I would still recommend this model to any modeler with some experience, as the final results are worth the effort.

For my next build, I'll be returning to single-engine American fighter aircraft of WWII, specifically the one that was principal when the United States entered combat in the conflict. Stay tuned for a new post with more details about the upcoming build. In the meantime, please check out the gallery below showcasing a number of photos of the finished Junkers Ju88C b-6 Night Fighter from 3./NJG 4 (3C + LL).

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11 июн.
Оценка: 5 из 5 звезд.

A beautifully executed rendering! Your methodical and deliberate approach to this kit, precision craftsmanship evident in the model's construction along with your sophisticated and balanced approach to finishing and weathering make your Ju88 C6 a masterpiece. Bravo!!

Lukasz Gmerek
Lukasz Gmerek
12 июн.
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Thank you so much for the feedback :)

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