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 Code 3 Project - A Nakajime Rufe floatplane conversion

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Posts : 320
Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : Somers, Connecticut, USA

PostSubject: Code 3 Project - A Nakajime Rufe floatplane conversion   Mon Feb 20 2017, 16:18

Code 3 Modification:  Nakajima Rufe - Zero Floatplane fighter
Base model: Forces of Valor Pearl Harbor Zero
Additional kits: Johan Zero - Rufe kit (floats), LS Rufe (beaching gear)

The WarMaster Rufe model is very inaccurate and not worth the trouble to buy and do some fixes.  Turns out that the problem with the model is that they used an A6M5 version of the Zero.  In fact, the real Rufe fighter was a modified A6M2 version.  That means different cowling, exhausts, guns, dimensions - all things a Code 3 modeler would have to fix (or ignore).  Yipes!  Shocked

A better course of action would be to use a relatively inexpensive Witty or Forces of Valor die-cast Zero.  Turns out, I had a gear up FoV Zero that I just wasn't all that fond of.  For the floats, I bought an inexpensive Johan Zero kit.  This kit includes parts to make a Rufe fighter version.

The process:
1) I made the kit floats and sanded them.

2) Next I took a file and removed the tail fairing found on the Zero.  I filed the lower back fuselage to the more appropriate shape.  Then using some card stock, I created and glued the lower fin that the Rufe had. I also filled in all the holes and the spaces around the landing gear wells.  Then I sanded these areas smooth.

3) Now I glued the floats to the plane.  I sanded off old markings and started painting the plane the olive tan (ModelMaster SAC Tan) base coat.  I added stripes too.

4) I masked off the float and fuselage stripes and handpainted them.

The camouflage pattern was hand painted using a Tamiya acrylic Japanese green.

The yellow wing identification bands were painted and masked off.

I used Tamiya aluminum to wear off the paint on the wings and floats.  

Stretched plastic sprue was used for the aerial wires.

Gun and engine exhaust were created using Tamiya pastels.

The pitot tube was a piece of thin wire.  

Hand hold on the tail is stretched sprue bent to shape.

New roundels and plane number were decals from the Johan kit.

The plane was given a coat of Testors Dullcote.

The beaching gear came from the LS kit.  After assembly, it was painted flat black and rust.

Lots of work, but in my view well worth the effort.  I truly have a unique, one of a kind model.  Here is the result:

The Mad Hatter: "Have I gone mad"
Alice: “I’m afraid so. . . you’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. . . All the BEST people are.”
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