DC-9 Airfix in Aeremditerranea livery.
Author: Stefano Betti
Submitted by: ta152   Date: 06-20-2006
Comments: (6)   Ratings:

History
The Aermediterranea was an airline born in 1981 to use the routes left over from Itavia, after the failure caused from the disaster of the DC-9, I-TIGI, over the sea of Ustica. The airline had in charge some DC-9-30s that were used for short and medium range routes, but it didnít have a long life because after some years it became part of Alitalia Group and the entire fleet was yielded to Ati and Alitalia.

The Kit
To model the DC-9-30, I-ATJB, characterized from the tailplanes painted in NMF and grey like the wings, I used the 1/144 scale Airfix Kit, the Freetime decal sheet dedicated to the Aermediterranea and the Flying Colors MD80 detail sheet. The Airfix kit is a nice kit but has some problem in the alignment of the parts. I also donít like the pylons of the engines because they have to be glued before the painting.

Construction
The fuselage has a wrong shape and I had to work to create the light bi-lobed shape just at the top of the wings. I decided to use the decal for the windows so I glued the clear windows and puttied them with the ciano glue. I decided to engrave the raised panel lines, but after the painting, the ones on the fuselage had disappeared. The next time I will engrave them much more. The only modifications required were the tailplanes that I detached and put in the pull up position, like it appears on many DC-9s when parked, and the little mudguard behind the front gear.

Painting and Decaling
After having buildt the model, I painted the fuselage. First of all I sprayed a light coat of Tamiya primer (necessary to show some defects on the joints) then the clear Saratoga primer and the Saratoga white. Then I masked the fuselage and gave the Alclad gloss black primer. After some work to obtain a perfect surface, I sprayed the Alclad Polished Aluminium and the acrylic Model Master light gull gray diluted with a bit of white for the center of the wings and tailplanes. A light coat of Future mixed with a 30% of Model Master acrylic matt clear, was sprayed on wings, tailplanes and engines to protect the NMF and the decal. The presence of the engines on the fuselage didnít allow me to put the coloured decal stripes so I had to paint them with a mix of red and yellow Gunze, a light blue Humbrol and a blue Model Master paint.

Black matt base for Alclad paints.
Alclad Polished Alluminium for wings and engines.
Gunze and Humbrol colors for the stripes on the fuselage.

When I removed the masking tape on the fuselage, I had a bad surprise. The white surface was covered with many little cracks! I used the Saratoga paints for a lot of models and I never had problems like this. I decided to mask again and give some coat of Tamiya gloss white can. I found the white Tamiya can easier to give but the Saratoga white is more glossy and pure. Then it was time for decalling. From the Freetime sheet I used the logo on the fuselage and the registration and from the Flying Colors Md80 detail sheet the window and the stencils. After the decal I gave the Future for the final gloss finish. I gave a dozen of coats of Future spaced out from some warm air passages with the phon. I decided to have a good finish but not very glossy so I didnít give the final very heavy coat of Future that can show the surface like new.

Weathering
Looking at the models of Brad, I decided to make my model more real, so after 4 days of drying I began to weather the model. I used the oil colors black and brown to simulate the losses of hydraulic fluid behind the wheel bay, the doors, and the flaps. For the dirt on wings, doors and tail I used the Mig black powder, very useful on glossy surfaces. Gear and wheel bays were painted aluminium with Humbrol 11 and the tires in Model Master Black Tire. The last touches were the two antennaes (pay attention at the photos, there are various type of antennaes on DC-9ís) and the lights painted with bright red and green and the model is ready for the photos.

Conclusion
I enjoyed building the model, but I had some problems with the breakdown of the parts. With the possibility of glueing the engines after the painting, like the modern kits, I would be able to use the decal for the stripes. Also the wrong shape of the fusealge is a problem because I had to work near the junction of the wings. The old Airfix kit is still a nice kit to build and Iím glad with the final result, but a new DC-9 (from Minicraft, for example, that produce some nice McDonnel Douglas kits...) would be good news for us.


by Stefano Betti

Member Comments :

comment by: Caravellarella posted on 06-25-2006 #2251
VERY NICE MODEL Stefano! Will you do Alitalia & ATI to match? Very nice to see the old Airfix kit again............

Best, Terry (Caravellarella).
comment by: Slow modeler posted on 06-25-2006 #2252
Great article Stefano! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Juha
comment by: ta152 posted on 06-26-2006 #2256
Thank's!

Stefano
comment by: Brad posted on 06-26-2006 #2257
Fantastic build and article Stefano!


Your Friend,
Brad
comment by: ta152 posted on 06-27-2006 #2265
Thank's Brad, I looked at your kits for the weathering!

Stefano
comment by: global707 posted on 03-11-2007 #3288
Nice nine Stefano, looks good, yeah I dont like the prebuild before paint
on the engines eiether.