Well I’ve started building the Catalina now as the guy I bought it off was able to find all the missing parts from another Airfix kit and they are on their way to me in the post – such a relief. The front turret is the only bit now stopping me cementing the fuselage together.
I’m going to do this as the RAF Coastal Command Catalina 111A, as per jopres57 and one of Ratch’s, which has a matt white fuselage and under wing with a grey & green camouflage scheme on the top of the wing and tailplane (a bit more interesting than the all-over matt black ‘Black Cat’ scheme). I primed the two fuselage halves with grey primer before giving the outer surfaces a coat of flat white spray paint hoping this will make it easier to touch up as the build progresses rather than paint it all after assembly.
Once this was all dry the insides were painted cockpit green and the six small clear window installed. These had to be done now as they go in from the inside. The instrument panel with tiny steering-wheel like controls and the cockpit floor/seats with pilots were glued to one fuselage half. It’s all pretty basic in there. The instrument panel was supposed to have the detail cut out from the instructions and glued on (Ratch said this was ‘de rigeur’ for a kit of this age) but I decided to paint the panel black and make my own ‘instruments’ using the point of a silver paint pen. It’s a bit rough but it’ll do – not much of it will be seen anyway.
Also fitted at this time were the two ‘blister window’ gunners – again something that would have been difficult later. The guns were supposed to articulate but they are so delicate they would definitely snap off after a few ‘plays’ and some of the interference fit was sloppy anyway. The blister windows will go on later. The little hole next to the port gunner is for a ladder – as I’m still deciding whether to do this as in-flight or not I’ve left it open for now.
I can do a bit more on other parts while waiting for the missing parts to arrive but I have made a ballast part up out of fishing sinkers that I may use to glue the front turret glass-house to, I’ll decide when all the bits arrive. As a few people have mentioned the Catalina is a chronic tail-sitter do any of you know if 17 grams is enough ballast? There is no mention of it in the instructions.
Until the next instalment, cheers all.