Building World War 2 Model Airplanes For Fun and Relaxation
World War 2 was a period during which aviation made technological leaps and bounds, spurred by the urgent necessity of global combat. Today, you can buy inexpensive WW2 model airplane kits that you can paint, assemble and apply authentic decals to in order to achieve a scale model of your favorite world war 2 fighter plane. WW2 model airplane kits are for sale in your local hobby shop or over the internet for deep discounts and can be delivered right to your door. If you happen to be a world war 2 aviation buff and you're looking for a great way to unwind, or if you want to learn more about WW2 fighter planes and to better understand how they were designed and what life was like for their pilots, taking up WW2 model airplane building is an excellent hobby choice.
What Will You Need to Build WW2 Fighter Plane Model Airplanes?
World War 2 model airplanes are easy to build and don't require very much of an initial investment. The first important thing to understand about building world war 2 model airplane kits is that there are varying skill levels for beginner, intermediate and advanced hobbyists. The initial or lowest skill level model airplane kits actually don't require any glue at all - they are known as snap together kits. Model airplane kits at this level may not even require painting. It depends on the company that manufacturers the particular model airplane kit.
The second skill level, intermediate, which is recommended even for brand new beginners as a more complete and interesting introduction to the world of building WW2 fighter plane models, requires that you buy, at the bare minimum, a tube of modeling cement (glue), and a small 8 or 12 color model paint set (which should include brushes as well as a bottle of paint thinner for cleaning your model paint brushes).
If you opt to go with the intermediary level of model airplane kit, you should also have an exacto knife and / or a couple of pieces of sandpaper on hand. These will help you to remove and the various model pieces from their plastic frames which hold them together in the box and on the production line. Once you snap off these model airplane pieces from their plastic frames, you will notice that many of the pieces still have little nubs on them. You can remove these more easily if you have an exacto knife or sandpaper on hand.
When you first open your world war 2 fighter plane model airplane kit, you will notice that most of the plastic pieces are one solid color, except for the few small see through pieces that are intended for the cockpit glass. Keep these clear pieces set well aside, as any contact with model cement or glue can permanently cloud them.
Beginning a World War 2 Model Airplane Kit
As you progress in your hobby, you will discover you own comfortable means of doing things, but in general it's recommended that you first paint all of your ww2 model airplane pieces while they are still attached to their plastic frames, because doing so will allow you the easiest and most mess-free access to every surface of the airplane. If you first glue and assemble your model and then try to paint, you will have difficulty reaching all the small crannies and spaces that require paint and you will very likely accidentally tag other surfaces with the wrong color paint, which can be frustrating for a beginner.
Once you have painted all of your model's pieces, according to the inserted instruction sheet which will show you graphics of how the actual planes were painted during the war, you can allow your paint to dry for an hour or two.
Once you return and find the paint on all the various surfaces has dried, carefully remove each piece of your model airplane from its plastic frame. Next, follow the step by step instructions on the assembly sheet to sequentially glue each pair of pieces together and begin building your WW2 fighter plane. A common mistake that many beginning hobbyists make is the over-application of model cement. Model cement is extremely strong and dires very quickly. You only need a barely visible drop on each peg that's going to be inserted into a slot on another piece of the airplane. Once you have a drop of modeling cement on the pegs to be inserted, allow them 15 or 20 seconds to get a little tacky and begin to set. Then insert the pegs to the slots on the opposite modeling piece and hold the two pieces together firmly but gently for about a minute to ensure a good initial bond.
Repeat these steps for the remaining pieces of your World War 2 fighter plane model, according to the instruction sheet, until it is completely assembled. Once you have your entire WW2 fighter plane built and whole, allow it 10 minutes or so of stillness for all of the glue to further set.
The last stage in building your world war 2 fighter plane is to apply the decals. These decals are pre-made specialized stickers or labels that show the fine tuned and very difficult to replicate paint patterns that airfield artists would apply to the sides and noses of world war 2 fighter planes. Common decals for world war 2 fighter plane models include kill tallys, in the form of X's or skulls that go underneath the nose, near the engine's exhaust pipes, elaborate wind decorations in the case of the British and Italian Spitfire's, or race flag checkering around the tail of the P-51 D mustang. If the decals that came with your model airplane kit are water decals, you should cut around the images carefully with a small pair of scissors. Once you have free a particular image from the decal sheet, drop the entire cutting into a shallow dish of warm water for 10 seconds.
Gently remove the decal cutting from the sheet and slide the top adhesive and image-carrying layer of the decal off its backing sheet. Gently apply this naked decal face up against the correct surface of your model airplane and very gently smooth out any air bubbles with your finger tips. It is very easy to tear these water based decals. The more you handle them, the more brittle and fragile they will become, so concentrate on getting the decal off the backing sheet and onto your model airplane's surface on the first go.