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Who Else Wants a 63" Lavochkin La7 kit?

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Peter Jenkins01/06/2020 16:29:38
1603 forum posts
266 photos

Excellent work Ron! Full marks.

Ron Gray01/06/2020 19:07:33
2186 forum posts
942 photos

Thanks Peter, now onto fixing control surfaces and top coat paint!

One thing I'm not sure of but can hazard a guess. I assume that the paint was applied with a brush back in WW2 so the junction between different camouflage colours would have been a fairly sharp line. I must admit that I don't like that so was wondering about a more 'blended' join using a soft mask rather than a hard one.

Ron Gray01/06/2020 22:22:35
2186 forum posts
942 photos

Just been playing around and designing a 3D printed dash, on the printer at the moment.


Bob Cotsford02/06/2020 10:39:05
8597 forum posts
483 photos

Ron, looking at images and historic film on Youtube I'd say that they came out of the factories with an unmasked sprayed paint scheme with the only sharp line being the separation between the blue underside and grey/grey upper surfaces on the rear fuselage. Light/dark area separation looks very soft, an unmasked touch-up gun could well give an accurate representation it's that indistinct on some aircraft! What happened with field repaints though is anyone's guess.

Ron Gray02/06/2020 10:57:33
2186 forum posts
942 photos

I think that you are right Bob. The photos that I’ve seen tend to be black and white ones of the grey / grey ones and as you say, the separation is quite blurry. The colour scheme I’m doing is based on some reports I’ve read about dark brown / light brown schemes mainly from squadrons in the South do I will use a soft mask / unmasked spray apart from where it meets the underside blue.

Ron Gray02/06/2020 14:02:28
2186 forum posts
942 photos

Another 3D print, the air intake duct mouths for the root LE.

la-7 intake.jpg

The dash. I printed off the panel, stuck it to the back of the 3D printed dash then copied Danny Fenton's idea of lazing the dials but I used white Gorilla Glue instead of epoxy, it dries quickly and is clear. I then touched it up with some silver paint and other colours for sliders and switches.


In where it belongs


And the intake ducts


Oh yes and some topcoat


Bob Cotsford02/06/2020 15:52:41
8597 forum posts
483 photos

I like the dash, that's impressive for little work - once the print files have been created!

Ron Gray02/06/2020 16:13:43
2186 forum posts
942 photos

The gun sight is next on the list, that will take a bit more time to design!

Ron Gray03/06/2020 21:01:20
2186 forum posts
942 photos

I had another job to to do today, oil the oak framed garden room, the wife had volunteered to do the gates. However having washed them down I decided to score more Brownie points and offered to do those as well ching, ching, those points have been banked but must remember they have a short life span!)

So going back to yesterday, I was able to apply the topcoats off cammo to both the wings and fuse. Now my whole intent is to get the LA-7 looking tired and dirty and not like it's just come off the production line and boy have I found that hard to do, I don't want sharp lines between the different paint and I want some 'grinning through' to happen. So I played around with the rattle cans, spraying from different heights and angles and what with that and rubbing back I think I have got somewhere near where I want as a base for weathering. So here are some shots of where I am at the moment.

The canopy has had some weathering details added (or rubbed off)


Then whilst waiting for the paint to dry I tackled the gun troughs in the cowl. I cut out the holes using the Dremel with drum sander then attached 2 balsa blocks with Gorilla Glue.



The blocks will be cut down later.

Next I channeled out the balsa with the Dremel and lined them with litho plate worked into shape.


Finally I used aluminium tape to form the panel.


Back to the detailing now that they paint had dried, the pictures speak for themsleves





And I just had to try out the cowl


To be continued

Ron Gray04/06/2020 10:19:07
2186 forum posts
942 photos

Meanwhile, back in design land:

la-7 gunsight.jpg

Ace04/06/2020 11:05:06
323 forum posts
23 photos

Fascinating to watch how you are enhancing an already excellent kit (I also have one) with creative flair thumbs up

Regarding the primer on the film, did you use one for plastic or std acrylic, and did I miss the make of top coat colour you are using? - thanks.

Ron Gray04/06/2020 12:51:09
2186 forum posts
942 photos

Truly is a brilliant kit which you can either build very quickly or, as I have, spend far too much time fannying about with details that you never planned on doing, and it’s getting worse!

Paint on lam film is, IMO, all about the surface prep and keying it ready for paint. I use a very fine (flour grade) sandpaper, not coarse enough to show scratches but rather a mat look (yes I know it’s still scratches). Then I use an acrylic primer and on this model I’ve used Halfords but also have tried out this one mainly because I needed some more and wanted it delivered, which went on just as well as Halfords. For the top coat I decided that rather than use my spray equipment (air brush, mini spray gun etc) I would use rattle cans and tried these out which was a first for me. I must say that I’ve been very impressed with the Mtn 94 and will be using it again and will also try it out on some foamies as it appears to be quite flexible.

Ron Gray04/06/2020 14:47:13
2186 forum posts
942 photos

Printed off the gunsight


And after some paint and 'white glue glass' fitted it in the cockpit


I am rather pleased with how it's turned out!

Adrian Smith 104/06/2020 19:30:06
2470 forum posts
1273 photos

So you should be, Ron.

Attention to detail like this is only something I can dream about. surprise

Ron Gray04/06/2020 20:41:26
2186 forum posts
942 photos

Thanks Adrian but it really is not that difficult to make it look like a scale model, it won't win any prizes but it was never intended to. The main thing is that it's has / is great fun and the kit just gives so much room to experiment with doing things a different or new way. Let's face it, I only got the 3D printer at the beginning of the year and hadn't got a clue how to use it or do designs, now if I need a tricky part (gun sight) I print one off and that has added to my fun of building.

Peter Jenkins04/06/2020 20:44:40
1603 forum posts
266 photos

Great stuff Ron! Don't know how you keep going at the speed you do!

Ron Gray04/06/2020 21:00:53
2186 forum posts
942 photos

Thanks Peter, it would have been finished 2 weeks ago had I not got sucked into the (really enjoyable but addictive) scale bits.

Target is for it to be ready for fuel proofing next week but need to get a spinner and some wheels first!

Ron Gray05/06/2020 11:02:34
2186 forum posts
942 photos

Great fun last night playing with colours and also made the armoured glass panel for the cockpit. Everything dry this morning so stuck the bits in



And a bit of artistic licence


Peter Jenkins05/06/2020 11:14:03
1603 forum posts
266 photos

You must stop posting these provocative photos. It will only delay the completion of my Mustang! angry

Excellent work as usual Ron.yes

Ron Gray05/06/2020 11:38:30
2186 forum posts
942 photos

I keep telling myself that’s it but I always seem to find other little bits to do, which don’t really need doing!

Anyway I should have said in my post above a big thanks to (Warbirds) Richard for producing the pilot bust, great detail which made for easy painting.

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