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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

SBS resin 1/72 DH88 G-ACSR (green) (second model)

(This is the step-by-step article, for the completed model post please go here:)
Here is the previous SBS DH88 I built (Black Magic):
And yes, I had to build another one.
They are simply irresistible.
Quality, detail, fair price (for a resin kit), excellent fit, perfect surface, good engineering, nice clear parts, sound photoetched parts, well-printed and well-behaved decals, thin parts protected in their blocks with smartly located "ears" and an iconic subject.
And they only require that you be careful, work carefully and accurately and pay attention to what you are doing (i.e.: not watching the Adams Family whilst you try to superglue the fuselage sides together.

Being this my second SBS DH88 (and fifth DH88 counting the 3 Airfix ones), here is my piece of advise to present and future builders:
Carefully wash the resin parts (as you would do with any kit of any nature) to remove the release agent. You may wash them in a plastic tub with a mild soup solution and a soft brush, still on their pouring blocks. DO NOT LOSE ANY PART, watch out, they may detach from their blocks (or brake if you are careless). Rinse them. Let them dry alone on a paper towel or similar. (If you needed to be told this, and you didn't know, please go back to square one and start to learn how to build kits, or you are here for a very exciting ride, to say the least).  
Detaching/cutting out  the resin parts out of their pouring blocks is easier than in all resin kits I dealt so far with, but still requires accuracy, sharp tools and a steady BUT GENTLE hand. I used a JLC thin saw (thanks once more, Steve Kallan!), a new Xacto (replacing the blade frequently, it pays off) and a (new) razor blade. Do not hurt yourself. Look at the provided leaflet, the gray areas are the ones to be removed. Do not remove small parts from their blocks until you have painted them and need them (seats may have their thin supporting buttresses removed, but their stem still attached to the block to handle them and paint them).
Hot water -as usual- may be used to straighten a part (one of my stab tips and a wingtip were very slightly curved). The process is simple: you pour on hot water or dunk the bent section into it for a little while (few seconds) and then simply straighten it with your fingers (do not burn yourself).
Some of the cavities where the tongues go (yes, the parts are keyed!) have a little  leftover resin. Either you carefully remove those tiny blobs or cut the tongue on the part accordingly to clear them.
The resin employed on this kit is very forgiving: it cuts superbly, flexes enough, can be sanded if needed (wear mask) and is rigid enough to sustain manipulation; but, once more, be gentle and careful. It is not magic resin after all.
And more specifically: on the fuselage sides, the recesses for both compasses and both throttle quadrants are smaller than the thongs/pins that should lock there. Either carefully enlarge the recesses or shave the parts' prongs. These are small not lose them!
I had a hard time in the first model painting/assembling then separately and later on trying to glue them on the fus. sides. This time I glued them there and later added the photoetched throttles and painted the compasses, before joining the fus. sides. By the way, the P.E. throttle levers again will need those slots on the quadrant enlarged (a pointy sharp blade should do).

Some details, if you want to bother with them:
-The tailskid in the original was slightly different.
-I believe the original planes did not have the additional shoulder seat straps, only lap belts. The straps were probably based on the restored red DH88, which shows a modern seat belt arrangement.
-Green had two smaller additional instruments/dials on top of the coaming, on both sides of the central one which is provided with the kit.
-You may like to add the balance counterweights for the rudder and elevators, but have to be very subtle and careful, they should be really tiny. Better leave them off than mar the parts or make bulky ones.

Parts are separated from their casting blocks:
 The white metal parts are cleaned up:
 The transparencies are separated from their casting blocks:
 The parts are cleaned up:
 Some detail painting starts (also parts for another project):
Some parts are assembled:

 The fuselage sides and bathtub are ready:
 The fuselage sides are joined:
 The pan is added:
 The props are painted gloss black and assembled. After masking the back surfaces of the blades they will be airbrushed polished aluminum:
The wings and tail feathers are glued in place:
Once the joints have been tidied-up, the engine gondolas are glued. Alclad grey primer was brushed on the spots that needed fixing, to be later, once the primer was dry, be swabbed away with a q-tip soaked in acetone. Some tiny amounts of putty may be needed in a couple spots, like the joint line that runs across the flaps (and shouldn't):
A new tailskid is made with a leftover piece of resin and metal:
White Alclad primer is airbrushed. Once masked to preserve the black at the backs of the blades the props air painted polished aluminum. The primer provides a good background for the ensuing green paint, and also of course helps reveal blemishes that need correction:
Once the primer has completely dried, blemishes are dealt with. Another, light coat of primer will be applied before painting:
A decal section is painted black (canopy frame color inside):
 Then white to better support the green color:
 Then it is painted green, together with the model, this way when strips are cut from the decal to make the canopy framing, since the decal is clear -and so is the canopy-, black will be seen inside and green outside. The landing gear parts are painted black:
This close-up shows the mass balances for the elevator and rudder, made of thin wire and a blob of white glue:
 Don't forget the wheels while painting, they match the plane's color:
The decals are applied. They very opaque and well printed. As explained in the review of  the SBS "Black Magic": they are very thin and very good, but are ticklish, and won't tolerate too much prodding or moving around. Work with plenty of water. If you are not experienced or mishandle them, they may fold on themselves. As you can see the side lines on the fuselage -seen in other DH88s- were not present in this plane. The front light and canopy can be seen on the paper. Still to add the Pitot tube. I usually do not mask and paint canopies, but make and apply thin painted decal strips to represent the frames:
The two additional instruments are fabricated:
 Instruments, nav. lights, Pitot, canopy, all in place
See the finished model in the following post.


  1. Does this kit have a pilot included?
    Also do you have a link to your other biulds of the Dh.88s

    1. Hi John
      I added the links to the article, thanks for pointing that out.
      In any case the Blog has a search window to the right and bellow, you can type for example "De Havilland" and it will bring the related postings at the head of the posting stream.
      Best regards