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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Paint session (Skyvan, Ju-87G, AS-1, DH-88)

With a gentle rain coming down outside, I was able to get an evening paint session together, mostly taking care of the items I mentioned in the previous post.

The Skyvan got its tail painted in aluminum. The Ju-87G got a nice smooth upper coat of RLM70. The AS-1 transport cart was painted in Soviet tank dark green (Xtracolour 811), along with the nose and tail of the AS-1 missile itself. And the newish AZ Models DeHav DH-88 Comet cockpit got its initial coat of dark grey to get things started.

I’ve decided to hold the Ki-98 (and the Ohka) until a later painting session. Same with the Wolfpack/Italeri T-45, which is just about ready for its black nose.

A fairly brief and simple session, but one without a notable disaster quotient. I'll take those anytime. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Paint prep (Ju-87G, Skyvan, AS-1 Kennel)

Since returning from our truncated vacation, the weather has finally begun to drop into the more modeler-friendly 70s, allowing me to steal away a few moments to stick some plastic together. Much of the work was to prepare for the next paint session, as usual.

I masked off the lower surfaces of the Ju-87G. Since the canopy was already masked, it is now ready for its upper coat of RLM70.

I also masked off the vertical tail surfaces of the ancient Airfix Short Skyvan, in preparation for its Aluminum coat. Once that cures, I’ll be able to add the engines, props, and wheels. Then comes time for Gulf Air decals.

I received my order of Xtracolour paint from Roll Models, so I am ready to paint the transport cart for the Raduga AS-1 Kennel, as well as some detail bits on the missile itself.

I’m also gradually getting the cockpit together for the AZ Dehav Comet. It is almost ready for paint as well. Just a couple of bits to stick on.

The Meng Manshu Ki-98 has been ready for its cockpit paint for a while now, but it has been stalled since I wanted to paint the Hauler Ohka interior at the same time. The Ohka has a surprising amount of bits, some of which are in resin, which means I’ll have to use the dreaded superglue.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Special Hobby Northrop Delta

For a relatively simple kit, my Special Hobby Northrop Delta has a complicated and somewhat difficult history. It really does go together pretty well, and the problems I experienced were emphatically self-inflicted.

The major construction was completed before the summer hit. Given that it was to be a NMF, I thought a primer coat was in order to turn up any spots that needed additional attention. My mistake was in using a matt grey for the primer. To my horror, when I shot the Alclad Aluminum coat, the paint just sort of sank down and absorbed into the primer, turning the surface into a multicolored, multi-surfaced mess. One area (the cowling) which had not received any primer, came out looking exactly like I wanted, so it wasn’t the paint’s fault.  But the rest of the model….did not.

This event managed to exhaust even my deep reserve of colorful language that would make a sailor proud. Then I just left it on the Shelf of Shame until I could calm down enough to deal with the problem.

As sanity gradually returned, I spent a couple of sessions removing what I could of the surface with lacquer thinner. Then, when I figured I could go no further in that direction, I began buffing it down with progressively less abrasive sandpaper. Eventually I got it to a point where most of the former paint was gone, and removing the last traces was more effort than I was willing to put out at that point.

Things were rather tense as I sprayed the new Aluminum coat, but it went well enough. I let the paint cure and proceeded to apply decals. These were straight from the box, but are perilously thin. One of them folded on itself and one actually fell off the surface and was eaten by what must be the fattest Carpet Monster in the land. But, as they say, it is what it is. That’s the 72 Land motto if there ever was one.

I did not add a top clear coat (which was the last chance for a fatal screw-up that I was not willing to risk) but did apply Kristal Kleer to the passenger windows. Given that I enjoy models of commercial airliners in 1:72, this may have earned a spot in the back of the display case, but at least it made it there without the short flight into a solid wall.

I’ve just noticed that I haven’t properly replaced the wing pitot (another snack for the Carpet Monster) but that will have to be done later, after this posting.

This is completed aircraft #494 (11 aircraft, 0 ordnance, 3 vehicles for the year 2018), finished in August of 2018.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Academy Fieseler Fi-156 Storch

I have completed the Academy Fi-156 Storch in the past: a desert version and an RAF captured version. While a bit fiddly, mostly due to the spindly nature of the struttery that comprises the wing supports and landing gear bits, it is a nicely made little kit that doesn’t require any filler and looks correct once built.

Sometime in the past I acquired the Four+ book on the Storch. Along with a nice little rundown of 12 markings schemes, it includes a decal sheet. Most of the markings are fairly workmanlike, though the grey one with the red tailband may find its way to my workbench at some point. On that sheet is a civil Storch, apparently owned by the Trumpf Chocolate Company, a 150 year old outfit known for their gourmet chocolate concoctions. This Fi-156 was originally a Czech aicraft, and was used for publicity flights in the 1950-55 period. It was eventually reconfigured as an ambulance variant and displayed in a museum.

I must admit I mischievously considered slicing off the final "f", in only to give the liberals in the audience a temporary case of the vapors. However, I came to my senses fairly quickly. 

As mentioned, the kit is without construction drama, and the decals performed as expected. They are extremely thin, so you must be cautious when moving them from sheet to model. I did use a couple of Hiene prop markings from Kora 72091.

This is completed aircraft #493 (10 aircraft, 0 ordnance, 3 vehicles for the year 2018), finished in August of 2018.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


That was a five star restaurant quality cluster. Since we weren’t supposed to be back til Labor Day, you can see that something went wrong with our vacation.

We knew that Sue’s broken foot could be an issue, but we decided to push on regardless. On the first day (freeway to Baker City OR) it did pretty well since she was able to use the cruise control and keep pressure off the foot for long periods.

Day 2, however, was lots of mountain driving (north through the Wallowa Mountains and through Joseph and Enterprise OR) and that was a problem. She was really hurting by the time we got to Lewiston and, since I am not medically cleared to drive for a while due to the defibrillator firing, a decision had to be made.

From 30 years as a project manager, I know how to make a tough call and live with the consequences, mostly by refusing to second-guess myself once it is made. But there really wasn’t an option – I was not going to force Sue to endure a lot of pain for the trip, period. So we got a hotel room in Pullman WA (never have been there before) and headed for home via I-90 the next day.

My folder of Vacation 2018 consists of precisely three pictures. But we’re back safe and Sue will be able to rest her foot for the rest of the week since she doesn’t head back to work til Tuesday. And the weather looks good for a few days, so the upside is that I should be able to resume my modelling activities, including some decal work to complete the two models shown on this blog before we left. So all is not lost here in 72 Land!

Here is a shot from the one stop that we did make during the Wallowa Mountains crossing, at the Hells Canyon overlook.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Back in a week

As mentioned earlier, my wife and I will be on the road for the next 8 days. It's going to be tricky, since I have my health issues (the defibrillator firing means that I can't drive right now) and Sue has a broken foot! But we're going to give it a try and see what happens. The blog will be dark until at least September 2. 

As a preview, I should be able to get the decals on the Fi-156 and probably the TWA Northrop Delta as well, shortly after I return. Until then, enjoy the waning days of summer!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

In the production line pt 2 (AG-4, Aerovan, Ki-98, Ohka, AS-1, Sdfkz 222)

Continuing with the recap of models currently in the production queue.

The American Gyro AG-4 from Avis and the Miles Aerovan from Mikro-Mir are both stalled a bit as I deal with questionable fit and the need for vast fields of putty. Still, not everything can be a Tamiya kit, and it will be nice to have these two unusual aircraft shapes in the collection.

Both the Meng Ki-98 and the Brengun Ohka need cockpit paint.

Finally, the AModel Raduga AS-1 Kennel (along with its associated transport cart) and a Sdkfz 222 armored car are waiting for paint and further construction respectively.

So, in total, this amounts to 15 models in various stages of production. Let’s just say I am not one to concentrate on one model from start to finish. I really identify much more with those of us who are considered “kit assemblers” rather than engineers. Nothing wrong with the engineer point of view – it just isn’t me.