6G+AT was a Junkers Ju 87B-1 Stuka dive bomber assigned to Sturzkampfgeschwader 51 in Norrent-Fontes, France in August 1940 during the Battle of Britain. July/August was when the Stuka's reputation as a terror weapon acquired in the early campaigns in Poland and France was decisively shattered when it became clear that it couldn't survive against the RAF's Fighter Command.
The Stuka was one of my first aircraft to model when I was 9-10 – I actually had one of the MPC Profile series (which I now know was the "old" Airfix kit) painted to match the one shown in the Robert Leckie Story of World War II from Mom & Pop's house) and I've wanted to do a good model of the early-war Ju 87B for a long time.
This is the first of the "new tool" Airfix 1/72 scale aircraft kits I have built, and it's a stunner. The design is not the usual wings plugged into a 2-part fuselage, and is impeccable, the parts well-molded, the instructions terrific, and the decals the most detailed I've ever used. I especially like the softer plastic, which assembles easier and sands better. You do have to get swastika decals separately, so I found a FW 190 set than had the white and black emblems, which have to be superimposed.
This is the first kit I've airbrushed almost entirely, other than some minor detail touchup, and I was very happy with how that went. As long as I stay with acrylic paints, and new ones that are well-stirred, I am getting terrific results. This is also the first kit where I've masked off the camouflage pattern, but with mixed results. Where I used tape, the model did pretty well, but I used the liquid mask as a shortcut and incorrectly (I didn't apply it thick enough) and had trouble getting it off, resulting in a messed up port fuselage surface.
And speaking of camouflage, I swear I did mask and paint the two-tone "splinter" camouflage the Stuka carried (see proof to the right), but the two colors are so close that it is almost impossible to see them either in photos or on the finished model. But that's okay, because almost no photo of the Stuka in action shows the two colors either, leading to the misconception that they were solid dark green (actually black green) over light blue underside.
I also did a bit of weathering for the first time, especially in the cockpit, using a toned down green primer color washed with a dirty black/brown that I was very pleased with. I also glosscoated the entire model after decaling as well as before, and covered the whole top surface with the same grimy wash, followed with a final coat of dullcote. The color didn't work as well on the underside, so I did a light wash only.
My masking technique needs work – actually what it needs is patience! But I did learn a lot about fine finishing on this model, which is the first really first-class kit I've built. I look forward to the next one.