Aircraft Carrier Deck with Cats, Sweet, 1/144

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Royal Navy Wildcat FM-2/Martlet Mk. VI and the Flight Deck Set

by Marcel Meres

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1. Introductory Notes

The Royal Navy Wildcat FM-2/Martlet Mk. VI model kit No. 14111 from Sweet comes with the Flight deck set. This set consists of the flight deck, 8 cats crew and the wheel chocks (both Royal Navy and U.S. Navy). I built the Wildcat plane first – you can find my article concernig this build here – while the flight deck with all the cats were built afterwards. The cats were a lot of fun! I painted the flight deck plate and positioned the cats with the airplane on it. I tried several compositions. Improvised dioramas made this way were photographed with a real joy! A bit infantile play maybe but it was a great relax for me. I hope you too will have the smile on your face watching these shots.

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Royal Navy Wildcat FM-2/Martlet Mk. VI sitting on the carrier deck plate.

2. Painting the Deck

a/ Wood decking

At first all the deck was oversprayed with very light shade of sand colour. MR. PAINT MRP-76 Sand Yellow was used. Prior to spraying, this “base” colour was lightened by adding drops of white into it. The wood effect was created by applying uneven ammounts of Burnt Sienna. The oil colour diluted in Mig’s Thinner for Washes was hand brushed onto the deck using a thin soft brush. After thorough drying off the oil colour all the deck got the lacquer coat – Mr. COLOR #181 Super Clear, Semi-Gloss was used.

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b/ Deck details

After finishing the wooden-like surfaces they were masked-off with the TAMIYA masking tape. The deck metal drainage bars and the white bars were airbrushed in this stage. Also the edges of the deck plate were oversprayed using a reddish brown colour.

All the deck looked flat and boring to me. I wished to add a bit of plasticity and patina into the scene. Thus a dark brown wash was applied onto the whole surface and then it was wiped out quickly using a paper tissue. Only the recessed lines were darkened this way. Then several spots were made using nearly a black shade of the heavy diluted oil colour. I tried to evoke the oil stains and maintenance dirt this way. All the deck surface was sealed then – with the Semi Gloss lacquer again.

2. Painting the Cats

At first all the cat figures got the gloss white colour as a base. All other colours as you can see them in the picture were hand painted. The white base was left on those places where the decals were to be placed – all the cat eyes and a tiny U.K. flagged bow tie are the decals.

8 cats in a box

Here you can see the tiny cats laying on my finger (upper picture). The box art (below) was my inspiration which colors to chooose for painting the cats crew.

8 Cats Crew

3. Shooting the Dioramas

Now the whole deck is ready to accomodate the Wildcat plane and all the Deck Cats… the fun may start. Let us play! I decided not to cement everything together but make several different shots for fun instead. Photographing was fun for me and maybe these diorama shots will entertain you too. 

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Frankly I have never shot such tiny things together before – please keep in mind the airplane you see is in 1/144 scale. The dimensions of the deck plate are 4 x 4.4 inch (approx. 10 x 11cm) :-) . It was not easy for me to make an acceptable composition and keep everything sharp at the same time. The cats did not want to stand upright – they laid down as if they were drunk every time I started to breathe – I was too close.

By the way – SWEET suggests to make small circles (maybe of some very thin transparent material) and stick all the cats onto them for better stability. This was not used here for I felt it would have been disturbing  in the shots.

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You will count all the 8 cats here – the sleeping one was added onto the cowl.

Both kinds – U.S. NAVY and ROYAL NAVY – wheel chocks can be found in the Flight Deck Set. You can see the U.S. NAVY type above and the ROYAL NAVY chocks below: 

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And finally the funny box art from SWEET. Female mechanic was not included :-) .

Wildcat-Martlet from SWEET Box Cover Back

Keep on modeling folks!

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For more finished model-kits please see the Built Kits category.
Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2015 by Marcel Meres.

 

 

 

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