Welcome to the Part 4 and final reveal of the Mirage Hobby 1/48 PZL P.42.
First we’ll lay down the decals after the clear coat is applied.
Normally I wouldn’t put this coat on, but the texture of the plastic is quite rough. I’m certain that Mirage Hobby did their homework on how it should appear, but next time I’m going to sand the surface before and after priming. Tamiya X-22 is my preferred clear-coat.
The decals are very thin and have a great color. Being somewhat delicate you’ll have to be careful. That said, they look outstanding when put into place. Please forgive the strands from the cotton swab. Once the decals have dried overnight I simply brush more X-22 Clear on each instead of spraying the entire model which I’ve already done. This is a good idea when you have only 10 to seal up.
This small cross is two decals and took some coaxing to line up. After being submerged in warm water for about 15 seconds I spread some “Micro Sol” on the area then add the decal. After removing the excess fluid by rolling a cotton swab I let it dry for a few minutes then painted a second coat of “Micro Sol”, as per the instructions on the bottle. When that was dry I began brushing on “Micro Set”. It took only 3 coats to get them to conform to where I was happy with the result. Here’s a tip, use a coffee mug warmer and a small glass bowl to keep your water at the right temperature. Mine plugs into a USB port on my laptop so I can listen to music or videos while adding decals.
Tamiya Panel Line Accent Black was used to highlight. It works well, but the bottle needs to be shaken often because it settles very quickly. I have other washes, yet again with the rough surface a more targeted technique was needed.
It’s your call to use a dark grey or black accent. I chose the darker because it photographs better.
Mineral spirits work really well to clean things up, yet I know there were some spots missed. Another reason to have good ventilation since I was getting a bit out of sorts after a few hours.
To remove the excess I used normal cotton swabs and a dampened hemp cloth wrapped around my finger (PLEASE USE GLOVES). For tight spots these Tamiya fine pointed swabs are great, but ONLY on smooth surfaces since they are very stiff even when wet.
It takes some time but the result is worth the effort… in my humble opinion. If you remove to much just reapply and allow to dry after a few hours.
Finally the small parts can be added one by one.
The landing gear were painted and highlighted separately but still have to cleaned up at the connection points.
Next the pre-assembled engine and cowl go on. Now we have a plane… well almost.
It’s trully a shame that very little of the belly gun will be seen.
But you will know it’s there and can point it out to those interested.
The scratch-built details do show up, yet I wish the glass was clearer.
The wind guide’s angle was a bit fiddly to get right but looks great. The seam line was later filled with 6 coats of Tru-Color Paint TCP-1400 ARMOR OLIVE DRAB 1 (1944-1945) which is the same colour as the model. This paint also loves extra thin cement. For example; the engine bezel and cowl have a slight seam that almost disappears with a dab of cement that pulls the two colours together.
The exhaust pipes and spent shell channel look nice after you drill a hole to fit them into the fuselage and snug them into the cowl.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I did not put enough layers of paint on the canopy and had to hand paint a few more. My advice is to paint them with a coat of black first then your finish coats. I polished each piece inside and out with a dry cotton swab, yet this was the best result I could obtain.
Mirage Hobby has included P.E. grab handles, but the kit came with four plastic versions that look just fine so I used those. The inside gun-sight is photo etch and best placed on the upper roof frame part since the attachment point on the forward frame is to narrow and will not allow the top to fit unless you shave off some plastic.
The top will pressure fit nicely (in my kit) and doesn’t need to be glued unless you want it to be.
The side frame does fit well but will be left off while adding more detail pieces.
If there is one area of improvement I’d pass along to Mirage Hobby it’s to improve your clear parts. Plastic can be sanded, filed, clamped and sculpted to improve detail, but clear polystyrene needs to be moulded well from your end.
I’ve masked many many canopies so I don’t know what I did wrong to have some of the sharp angles lift up at the tip. An almost dry cloth with only a hint of mineral spirits removed most of the dull coat over-spray… thankfully.
The interior detail can still be made out.
The P.E. grab handles add a nice detail. Just make sure you follow the slight guide indents Mirage Hobby have moulded. I’ll be removing these to straighten them later.
The nose gun-sight was a breeze to add when you score the seam line a little deeper.
The clear navigation lights were painted silver then transparent red and green.
These parts are extremely small so take special care adding them.
Then the rear machine gun is cemented.
Then the pitot tube and delicate tail landing skid went on.
Up, up and away!
As a builders tip, place the two supports on the skid leg and let it sit for a minute or two then add to the tail and pull down to meet the grooves.
I used a makeup brush to remove as much dust as possible so please forgive me if I missed some bits.
If you’re interested in making a display base or stand Mirage Hobby have included a photo etch PZL placard and logo on the brass fret.
Some of the lower detail can be seen and does add to the overall look.
And here is the last photo. This replica will one day soon find a display home in a local Veterans centre which has quite a few Polish and Eastern European members. Hopefully, it will become a talking point of interest and be enjoyed by many generations of aircraft enthusiasts.
In conclusion, this is a kit that will challenge you to up your game. Everything can be done with patience and time and then build into a unique subject which will catch the eye of any WWII aircraft lover.
Very Special Thanks to Mirage Hobby for supplying the kit, to Model Builder International’s Paul Tosney for the research help and sending the kit for this build review and Tru-Color Paint www.tru-colorpaint.com for the sending a sample pack of their new paint to do a workshop featuring their product. Also Special Thanks to The Scale Modellers Supply www.scalemodeller.com.au for the sample interior wash and detail brushes. If you have any questions feel free to ask or leave a comment. Thanks for following along.