Hasegawa 1/72 H8K2 'Emily'


QP 17




Three aircraft


Frank Spahr


1991 boxing

 „Emily“ – a slacker´s diary


For more info on the kit and a brief history, please  
visit the preview.


Essentials: The model cost me @ 28 $ in 1996; I started building it on 4 July and finished it on 3 August, having in between started a 1:72 Vosper torpedo boat. I´d estimate the total building time at 25-35 hours. No aftermarket stuff was used. 

I started building this one immediately after writing the preview, on a day off work with poor weather. So I set about things with more energy than usual: I removed the major parts from their sprues, cleaned them up and started on several fronts:

 I futured all the clear parts and set them aside. Then I assembled what cockpit there is, sprayed it a medium light grey, brushpainting the control panels black. After drying time, I drybrushed the panels with Model Master (MM) aluminum, painted the seats (I had filled the ejector pin marks on the seats with wax) MM siena and the controls silver/siena and Revell 57 – purely conjectural. The cockpit assembly was then glued to the starboard fuselage half, just like the ominous bottom „keel“ part that should be mounted much later per instructions. I secured that one with hot glue first, then added normal glue. After the future had dried, I mounted the various clear parts. They are very thick and had to be dremeled, partly even disassembled to fit.  Scalewise they probably equal a battleship´s main armament. They were mounted with ordinary modeling glue. I had made sure that all the turrets could be attached after mating the fuselage halves. I glued the bottom of the dorsal turret to one fuselage half, intending to mount the clear part with the gun afterwards.

 The engine parts were sprayed MM exhaust metal and drybrushed MM aluminum, some bits and pieces picked out black and medium grey. The cowlings were cleaned up, the „exhausts“ were opened a little with a hot waxing instrument, the intakes were dremeled out a little. I made sure the propeller shafts could be mounted after everything else was finished.

 The tail fin and stabilizers were cleaned up quite a bit to fit, then assembled and left to dry. I chose not even to try to make anything workable. Same applied to the double flaps on the wings. They were glued in the closed position. After that the wings could be assembled and left to dry.

 The floats were assembled and left to dry, their mounts were cleaned up and the holes for the rigging cleared. I experimented with single strands of model railroading copper wire in this case. It was fiddly work, but in the end strong enough and really rather thin and good for the purpose.

 Finally I assembled the fuselage halves and set them aside to dry.

 So, at the end of day one I had quite a lot of plastic moved. The fit in all was better than expected, apart from the bottom inset which fit poorly. I managed to come away without major blunders so far, hopefully.

 I did some more later in the evening after switching to another host for my uploaded pics. I cleaned and sprayed the props and spinners, undercoating with MM aluminum and adding maroon and red respectively. Also checked the fuselage seam for glue deficits and amended them. Now the engines are nearly ready, I just have to spray the cowlings. maybe I can attach them after spraying the camo, should make things easier. 

Day 2

 I began by tackling the props, as I´ve always managed to skip this work for a long time (just as the undercarriages), leading to delays in construction. So I painted the hubs MM aluminum and the tips yellow. I had to respray some parts of the maroon color afterwards, but that didn´t matter much.  

Next were the 20 mm guns. They are so basic even I couldn´t leave them as is. So I cut off the barrels and replaced them by pieces of hypodermic syringes. A few pieces of wire and styrene made the body of the gun a bit more lively, and they were painted MM exhaust metal with some aluminum. I then turned to the fuselage and filled the gaps, mostly with hot wax, but at some places with Tamiya putty, clearing the excess with Q-tips and nail polish remover. The big tail fin was mounted and the joint filled at this point, too. Loking through the sprues, I checked for stuff to do at this stage and found the ordnance. The torpedoes and bomb were cleaned and mounted on pins (I usually mount small parts on heated pins put into the mounting holes and attach the whole to laundry clamps). They then were sprayed Revell anthracite. The cowlings were  sprayed first MM aluminum, then Revell flat black tinged with blue and set to dry. Later on I resprayed them in green and grey after looking into what references I had. I added the fine copper wire to the other float mount and will next clean up the float and will next complete this subassembly including the paint job.

 So now it´s for cleaning up the seams on the fuselage and wings, then mount the wings, add clear parts or close openings, and then up for spraying. A bold approach that steers clear from references and scratchbuilding ... Total time so far @ 7 hours.

 Next came work on the floats; I cleaned them up, filled and cleaned again, glued the mounts, saw that the seams cracked upon the pressure of the mounts and did it all over again. Next I sprayed them flat grey preparatory to the metalizer. I don´t do this always, but tend to do it more generally as I assume it gives better adherence. Next came fitting the canopy; the fit was good, and I plan to use plastic glue. Gaps will be filled with white glue. Before gluing the canopy, I cleaned up the seam below it and painted the area anthracite.

 Day 3

 I had my first fit of anger today. Only a slight one yet, but ...

 Well, I found some more flaws I had overlooked on all seams, so it was a business of filling, regluing and sanding along the fuselage, I have not tackled the wings yet. But now I can at least state that apart from those nasty &()/&()/ blisters aft of the wings, I have attached all clear parts. Those blisters are meant to house one of the guns each, and attaching the gun to the place inside the fuselage and placing the blister over it is tough. I chickened out and shortened the gun mount so to mount it solely to the blister. That is now left to dry. Next will be attaching the blisters and then cleaning up the seams around the clear parts. I always attach all clear parts before painting, so to get an even joint with the paint.  Some of the smaller windows stick out, others are recessed due to por fit.

 Would I paint first and attach then, my paint would always look different in shade/texture/sheen, so I do it this way. After finishing that, it´ll be masking hell. Literally, there are a small zillion of glass panels to be masked, and there are four gun barrels protruding out of them. Yuck. Then it´ll be spraing base coat, aluminum and so on. Not to mention the wings. Oh well, I also attached the stabilizers today. Lackluster fit. I´ve already used copious amounts of wax on this bird.

 Day ?

 I´ve had my usual setbacks. Most important is unwillingness to sand and mask canopies. Hrrm. In the meantime, the following has happened: I´ve sanded the subassemblies (fuselage and wings, aux. floats). Have dremeled the mounting tabs of the wings considerably to achieve some fit which they effectively prevented. You can see the difference in the pics; with the tabs, no fit could be achieved. Afterwards things brightened up, and I was left with gaps that could easily be waxed. I attached the wings with hot glue into the fuselage boxes where the tabs are meant to go plus modeling glue over the actual joints. After considerable setting time, I waxed and sanded and finished the joints.

 In front of the cockpit, a lot of rivets were lost. I tried my best and made little holes with a hot needle in order to produce surrogate rivets. In the end, it worked somehow. The paint filled the little depression, and so a raised structure was produced. I managed to attach the blisters with white glue; all the gun barrels were removed carefully to be reattached finally with cyano acrylate. Now it´s just, er masking all them canopies and addressing a more toylike mounting for the aux. floats bracings as shown in the pic. They´ll have to be cut off, and I´m planning on inserting brass tubes to receive the wiring. Moreover, I´ve built a mount that reaches with two 5 mm cylindrical wood sticks into the outboard engine mounts and will hold the plane for the next construction steps.

 Day ? – a week later

 Well, placing Emily on her mount made sense. I can access her well enough and have attached the aux. floats using 0.3 mm silver-coated copper wire that was fiddled from one opening in the wing to the other and then led through the float. The ends were twisted tight , placed inside one of the wing openings and then those were sealed with white glue.

 The main canopy was masked with Parafilm M, the other gun blister etc. were painted free hand and corrected with a toothpick – that implies recoating with future. They were then sealed with parafilm prior to painting. Now it´s up to painting and weathering. I have decided to also spray the markings as that gives me better opportunities in weathering.


 Much later ...

 Well, modeling slump has finally got me, and I evaded writing down what I did and also paused a while. Now having finished the model, I´m sitting back and try to fiddle together what I did.

 Well, in the end I should have gone the extra mile in masking all the turrets with Parafilm, too, which I slumped. Now they´re looking worse than the canopy itself, and I know of no foolproof way of changing it. So be it. Well, when all was masked (I even put Parafilm on them after the painting, yikes ) I sprayed the model first overalll grey and then Testor´s aluminum metalizer, which cost me nearly a bottle due to the size of the beast. Then I polished the metalizer a bit with a paper cloth and coated it with Future in order to make it more scratch-resistant in weathering. This turned out to be a good idea, as it worked. Then came the spraying of the two tones of the camo, plus some pre- and postshading and also using lightened colors on the upper parts to make the whole affair a bit more believable and realistic. Demarcations were done using Parafilm, Maskol and masking tape.

 After the preshading and the two tones I sprayed the markings, masking the whole affair with Parafilm, stronger adhesive clear plastic and Maskol as needed. The Hinomarus were cut with a cheap circle cutter, the tail markings were traced and cut through the printout of an aircraft profile brought to appropriate size. The little stripes inside the symbol over the ID number were traced with a toothpick into the wet paint. The Hinomarus were sprayed directly red on the camo, as I wanted them toned down a bit, and spraying white first as usual for bright markings in yellow and red didn´t make sense to me. Masking with two different circles for the red and the white didn´t work without problems, but with some corrections I had a result that I could live with.

 It would have been wiser to spray the yellow stripes on the wings beforehand, and masking them over. Well, I simply forgot it and had some more work, but it was done pretty fast, just about an hour and a half ...

 Using the Modelmaster IJN green and grey, which is gloss, necessitated a flat coat. I let that dry thoroughly and then set out on a lucky day after burning some incense and started scraping paint off.

 That took some time until I had the feeling I shouldn´t go farther, but I still can. I used a dental Le Cron knife for this process. Then came the exhaust marks; these were sprayed with various shades of grey; the area behind the engines also received a grey wash. The engines were painted in various shades of metalizer, the cowlings received the same treatment as the fuselage. As the props and spinners had also been sprayed aluminum metalizer prior to painting, I could give them signs of wear easily. When the engines were attached I found that I could still use the mount, which was really fine given the limited space in my hobby den.

 The underwater part of the craft and especially the waterline was weathered with shades of olive drab, sand and some metalizers. I also used pastel chalk in various greys and ochres. My idea was that where the aircraft sat in the water, some salt and algae would surely show their signs, as well as some scruffing by use.

 When all seemed OK, I gave the entire plane an uneven flat coat, waited and removed the maskings. I corrected various windows with Future to give them gloss, then set upon the various antennas. I used them „as is“, although they seem rather oversize. The yagi-style radar antennas, eight of them on the bow, were mounted and painted green with silver tips (I´ve no idea why and whether that was justified, but I didn´t like the all-silver antennas I had seen in the pic of a model), the other antennas were also painted green and weathered slightly.

 The rigging was done with stretched sprue which was painted exhaust metalizer afterwards. In the end, I omitted the exterior armament as that was done rather blobbily, especially the racks. I also chose to omit the beaching gear and the tow tractor. I feel happy with my Emily on a recon mission and don´t miss the stuff at all.


Now this is a big nice kit, needing a bit of work but able to produce a nice model, and for the more ambitious folks it should be a good base to start upon.

 The fit is inferior to current „standards“, but it can be built without too much hassle.

 I also like the external structure: The rivets make the plane seem big and heavy and slow, somehow fitting for such a lumbering monster. Even if they´re not to scale, they make it look right to me. Sometimes you have to exaggerate things to make them look right; I first realized that in a map by National Geographic. The legend stated that the vertical scale (the elevations and depressions) was exaggerated tenfold to make it look right. So this is yet another case of our willingness to be deceived, for our own sake to make things look right...

 Having seen a documentary on flying boats recently which included footage of two Martin Mars serving as water bombers off Vancouver Island, I got a feeling of the mass of these beasts, and they still awe me. I especially liked scraping off the paint and playing with colors around the waterline, and the idea of building a dio itches ever more. I saw one in a German modeling magazine recently of a Bv 222 flying boat replenishing two German e-boats off a coast somewhere in North Africa, hauling a torpedo from the flying boat to the stern of one of the e-boats with lots of figures and a bit of coastline with palm trees. I just have no idea where to put such a thing ...

September 2003

Frank Spahr

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