At this stage, when adding internal details to your model, modeler’s creativity, some skills and patience are the key for good results. In my case, I’m much more patient than skilled so my advise is always keep trying, studying, practicing and improving your skills and models.
I made some details on the cockpit, instrument panel and the cargo compartment of this 1:72 Academy Custiss P-40B Tomahawk. Everything from scratch. Basically, I used white and plain polystyrene sheets, very thin wires (0.2 mm), white school glue and color laser prints. Nothing really expensive and easily accessible.
I also did some changes in the body of the airplane, creating new flaps and opening the cargo compartment. You can find more about this here, in my previous post!
So here are the details:
Instrument Panel Details
First, I found a good reference picture on the Internet and put in a common Word document. I made the necessary corrections on size so the image scale was equal to the model (in this case, 1:72). I also copied and pasted the image several times and changed its contrast and color, just looking for the best results on the paper. Then. using the format of the image and its dimensions, I cut a piece of polystyrene that will be our base for the picture.
There are two goals here: 1) use the printout as template for punching the panel gauges and 2) use the printed instrument panel as background.
I got one of the printed instrument panels and put on the piece of polystyrene piece. Then, I used a small drill to punch the holes for the instrument panel gauges. The printed piece of paper will guide you to make these holes. Usually, the gauges don’t have the same size or diameter, so be prepared with more than one drill. In this case, I used drills with 0.8 mm, 0.6 mm and 0.4 mm.
After creating the holes, just sand off your piece a little bit, paint it and put the other printed instrument panel on the new piece. The printed instrument panel should align the holes you just made. Check the thickness of your piece for better visualization of gauges. Colorless glazes can be used to create the glass effect of the gauges. Just fill in the holes with the glaze.
Seat and Cockpit Details
The side details of the cockpit were also created from scratch. The pieces that mimic the structure of the airplane are small strips of polystyrene, manually cut with a hobby knife (see some Safety Tips). The other parts are also small pieces of polystyrene, but two details are worth mentioning:
- The rounded finishes were made with successive layers of white glue. A small touch of white glue at a time, wait to dry and apply it again until the correct size of your rounding piece.
- Small nameplates were created on the computer and printed on plain paper. Several tools can be used, graphical tools like Fireworks, Corel, Word or even Microsoft Paint.
About the seat, tapes and wires with 0.2 mm thickness were used to make it happen. See all the details of its construction in Article “Tips – Building Seatbelts“.
Cargo Compartment Details
Similarly to the previous parts, all items here were created manually. Here, the emphasis is on account of wires and metallic pipes mimicking the effect of the airframe. For fixing the wires, I used white glue with plastic parts. Basically, the white glue keeps the wire on the plastic part and common adhesive plastic glues keep this piece of plastic glued to the airframe.
Hope you did enjoy this article !