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Monday, February 25, 2013

Tupolev ANT-25 build

for the completed model please go here:

Following the previous posting:
with the kit review here begins the building process.
As said before, this seems to be a case of very good masters and horrid molding.
As you can see all parts are off the sprues, more or less cleaned up. The transparencies (not sure the name applies) remind little ragged chunks of iceberg, but I managed to separate at least the main parts (the little windows will be done with window-maker). The openings on the fuselage have been cut-out, filed and refined.
Some halves glued together and minor assembly:

It seems that the building board time is being consumed more on preparation than on actual assembling, but some times it is just like that. Here the fuselage sides are being thinned-down, to perhaps 1/3 of their original thickness. This was done to better suit some scratchbuilt interior details and open some hatches down the lane. The wing had some details applied and a few areas are being puttying to correct mold flaws.
Besides the colors, you should know that the position of the Venturi probes cluster differs between the two machines (N025 and N025-1). Also, the fairing that follows the wheels once retracted, does not have a flat front as depicted in the kit, but protrudes between the wheels in a more aerodynamic way (see original contemporary photos of the plane).
Firewal and some stringers in place:
More interior, still a stretch to go:
Nose panels were removed on both fuselage sides to partially show an engine borrowed from another kit:
Wing and aileron halves have been glued together, with some general tide up:
 Fuselage interior almost complete:
Logic, common sense, practicality, all dictate that fuselage fronts should be rendered as a separate piece. Of course in this kit not only was the very nose tip part of the fuselage sides, but, as indicated, covered in thick flash. I had to perform reconstructive nose surgery to mitigate the horrors. I don't mind to take the time to add details or do some preparation, but I really do not appreciate spending time fixing somebody else's sloppiness, carelessness and lack of regard for the consumer.
A few bits more on the engine:
Fuselage with all components and decals already inside, ready to be closed:
The trusty Mattel Psychedelic Machine was used to make a couple of copies of the transparencies to obtain better clarity:
Yet more tiding up required here and there on joints and spots, given the kit's poor molding:
The maximum thickness of the airfoil in one wing was 2 mm short of its socket on the fuselage, so two spreaders had to be glued to correct the discrepancy:
This version had 7 Venturis, so more needed to be scratched:
The model now assembled got very large, and care should be taken while working on it. I started to knock down stuff around.
CMK navigation lights:
 Small parts washed after some sanding:
Priming, more sanding and the long long way to Tipperary:
Painting begins with the white color:
And while paint dries some small parts are painted too:
To add yet another hoop in this obstacle course, the white decals are printed on white paper AND the carrier encompasses all images, so you have to cut the individual subjects.
I stated before that I was skeptic about the decals, but a small part with some irrelevant text that I cut and tried worked well.  Let's hope the rest goes uneventfully.
Attentive -and informed- eyes will notice that the Russians used, for the non-Cyrillic speakers benefit- "normal" characters; so, instead of "CCCP - H205-1" (Which in Russian would be SSSR- N205-1) they wrote "URSS - N025-1".
Again, please notice: not USSR, but URSS, as easily corroborated on contemporary photos. That alternative spelling is commonly used on another languages, Spanish and French among many others.


  1. Replies
    1. Yeap Matt, the acrylic/white glue - like product you use to fill the frames that dries clear:
      (or similar products from other brands)

  2. I'm puzzled by the interior... were the wingroots left open inside on the real airplane? Are you planning to show any hint of internal wing structure thru those openings?
    The interior colour seems like having a "painterly" property... is it some sort of gouache? Always wondered if that kind of pigments would be fine as long as they were sealed. After all, the wing camouflage of a WW1 Ansaldo restored in Italy was discovered to be done in tempera paints!!!!

    1. Hey Dieguito
      Part of the wing structure (between the two main spars) was used as wing tank, therefore what you see through the openings did not exist (and won't be seen once finished) on the real plane, it was just convenient for me to glue the longerons and formers "all the way". The kit does not foresee any "carry on/cantilever" structure for the wings, you could make one if so you wished, but I won't, trusting the glue in the fuselage sockets for the wing for structural integrity.
      Although the Russians were reputedly of a heavy hand regarding airplane finishes, the interior is two tones of Poly Scale suitable greens (acrylics as you well know), brush applied. First the darker and then the lighter. The "interior" will only be seen through the transparencies, not much for all that work. If more of it would have been seen, I would have used the airbrush. I'll leave some transparencies partially open as portrayed in contemporary photos, though.

  3. Replies
    1. If your question is serious (which I verily doubt), you just have to google "Ikar 1/72 Ant-25" or similar, and you will see Ebay offers and some Eastern vendors that offer it.