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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Paint session (MiG-29, Su-24, Eurofighter, Tornado)

I finally got a chance to do a bit of airbrushing this week. It didn’t eliminate the backup in the queue but it did make a dent at least. It being November, it was pretty damn cold out in the garage. My fingers were barely functional by the time I cleaned things up and headed upstairs.

Three colors cycled through the brush today. First came a matte coat on the latest finished model, a Hasegawa MS-406. There were some issues, but not with the paint. The Berna decals did not adhere very well to the model, and one fuselage roundel actually got blown off the side and floated to the floor! I’m in the process of replacing that – not particularly easy, given the many color variations of the French Blue that exists on various decal sheets. I don’t know if I got a bad Berna batch. The matte coat went on without issue.

Next came some Xtracolor X564 (Russian cockpit green). This went onto two recent construction efforts: a MiG-29 and Su-24. No problems there.

Finally, some Xtracolor X141 White onto wheel wells, inside gear doors, landing gear of the Eurofighter and Tornado.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Construction (Eurofighter, Tornado)

Still having some issues that are preventing much in the way of model production, but I have gotten some basic construction done. No painting as of yet, but the queue is overflowing and I’m going to have to deal with that sometime soon. No medical appointments until next Friday so I’ll try to get some things painted before then.

The construction to summarize today is pointed directly at two decal sheets I’ve purchased in the last year. First comes a Tornado, which will get one of the retirement specials from the Xtradecal sheet. Next comes a Eurofighter, which will carry the RAF100 special from Model Art.

Major construction is done. Some seam cleanup will be required, but I’ve gotten the canopies masked and attached. So there is no real bar to painting the wheel wells, gear, and doors White. Therefore, it joins the vast – and lengthening - paint queue.

I don’t want to turn this into a medical blog, but here is an update to my situation. The decision has been made to install an LVAD (left ventricular assist device) as a temporary bridge to stabilize the heart cath numbers and get to the next step, a heart transplant (yeesh). This is not the preferred alternative, apparently, because it requires the same sort of sternum entry and rib-spreading, just like a transplant and a multiple bypass. I’m meeting with the surgeon this Friday.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Paint session (Finnish Hurricane, Eurofighter and Tornado)

Last Friday there were echoes of a sound not recently heard here in 72Land. It wasn't the thunder – though that was one spectacular lightning storm – it was the sound of a compressor. Something that hasn’t happened in nearly 5 months. I was able to work a small paint session in.

Of course it didn’t proceed painlessly, since I’m definitely a bit out of practice. It was a sort of greatest hits of painting problems. Insufficient thinning caused a bit of spattering from the airbrush tip. The water trap on the compressor seemed rather wonky as well, and resulted in a bit of water exploding through the airbrush. Thankfully, it *appears* that the splattering and water injection levelled out once the items had a chance to thoroughly cure, so a buff-and-repaint is probably not called for. But I will need to see what I can do to avoid a repeat at the next session.

Only three colors were used. I needed to get some White on the underside of one wing, both wing upper surfaces and the fuselage sides on the Finnish Hurricane in delivery markings. After it cured, I applied a series of circular white masks to the upper wings and fuselage. These will protect that White when I spray the Black (wing underside) and top camo colors.

The next was Dark Admiralty Grey to pick up some cockpit items that were missed in the latest Eurofighter (destined for RAF100 markings) and a newly started construction of a Tornado cockpit. This will eventually end up being the markings of one of the three specially painted Tornado retirement aircraft. I’ve already got the Xtradecal sheet that will support this.

Finally, I got the third and final upper camo color on the Ms-406. 

It wasn’t a long session, or even an especially successful one, but it is one step on getting back on the production track. I’ve got 4 doctor appointments in 5 days this week, so it may be the weekend before I can get some other painting done. I certainly have a number of items in the paint queue. Primarily these will be cockpit painting for a MiG-29 and Su-24, along with Blue Angels Yellow wingtips on the A-4 and the lower surface coat of the Macchi Mc-205.

Here’s hoping I can keep the momentum going.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Construction (Tornado GR4)

Y’know, that almost looks like the completed cockpit of a Tornado GR4 to the right of the photo. Could it be that gremlins have snuck into the vast 72Land workshop complex and did some construction?

This is the Revell GR1 (which will have conversion parts from Freightdog to get it to a GR4), a less than new but reliable kit that is my personal go-to for the mud-mover variant. For an F3 I would use the Hasegawa kit. Although there is a surprising amount of parts for a 1:72 cockpit, fit is good and it didn’t take long to get everything together. Now it moves to the long paint queue for a coat of Dark Admiralty Grey and some detail painting.

This represents the first actual construction since early April!

Plus there is a Eurofighter in the box which needs a coat of DAG to the rear of the cockpit. 

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Warpaint A-4 Skyhawk

Just because I haven’t been doing much construction or painting in the last 4 months, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been buying the occasional items. Big surprise. Since I haven’t been moving much in the way of models, most of my current spending is catching up on book series such as the spaces that I have in the Warpaint series collection.

Interestingly, when I owned The Supply Depot, we were (I believe) the first American retailer to import the early Warpaint books. They were pretty successful for the company, and I always regretted when other American retailers started bringing them in.

Out of roughly 120 titles, I believe I have about 95 and am gradually filling in the holes, mostly on the later titles. The latest one I picked up is #121 on the A-4 Skyhawk. The A-4 seems to be a popular type these days, given recent Modellers Datafile and Ginter Publishing releases.

This book is massive as Warpaint volumes go. It is 140 pages and perfect bound (most are just magazine style, though with heavier paper stock) and is roughly 1/4” thick.

Unlike some Warpaint books, the emphasis here is on the engineering of the variant series. That series’ strength, color sideviews of representative paint schemes, is rather lacking in this one. But for those who want as many photos as possible, this is dead on. You could probably do a book this size with sideviews alone, but the 10 pages at least have some interesting schemes.

Definitely recommended for A-4 fans, possibly for the engineers but with the occasional nod to the artist type. 

BTW, western Washington is currently hosting a huge lightning/thunder storm. Nearly constant, with the occasional burst of extreme downpour. Almost like a midwest version. It sounds like the summer is winding down (which is ok by me; I'm not the high-summer type). Does cooler temp mean a return to active modelling. The Magic 8-Ball says "signs are favorable"...

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Not below ground yet

Rumors of my death have been at least 20% exaggerated. I'm still dealing with some ongoing health issues, some of which just don't want to go away. To add to this, my computer had a hardware failure and forced me to buy a new tower. So most of my spare time has gone toward rebuilding expense history from the time of my last thumb drive backup (late May, unfortunately). Note to self: weekly backups from now on even if it takes a while. 

I do have an entire paint session ready to go, but haven't summoned up the energy to actually take care of that. Plus it is summer, not the best month for houses with no A/C. 

I may use a strategy I put forward in 2017 when I was caught in another catastrophic loss of mojo: finish a few pieces of ordnance or a small vehicle or two to allow myself to get some low-hanging wins and try to back into the hobby that way. 

In any case I haven't given up on the blog, I'm just trying to get myself into the frame of mind to continue producing content. So, to coin a phrase: 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Hobbyboss Macchi Mc-200

I am working my way through the WW2 Macchi fighters, having completed the Hasegawa Mc-202, and today’s completion is another step on that road, the Hobbyboss Mc-200. I also have an Italeri Mc-205 in the paint queue currently.

As with many Hobbyboss kits, this is a pretty simple build with an overly sparse cockpit. This is a bit of a downside given that it has an open cockpit, but I rarely try to superdetail an interior so it really was not an issue.

I did have a bit of an issue with the painting, however. It’s funny, when you see it on the display shelf it doesn’t look too bad, but in the close-ups (such as the completion shots below) the paint looks very splattery and indistinct. I still haven’t mastered a thin airbrush line for mottling, but this seems a bit of a step backward. Still, it can function as a 4’ standoff model (given that it is best viewed at roughly 4’ away).

Decals came from the kit, with a masking set by PMask. Not much else to tell, just another model that I’ve never built before to add to the completed queue.

This is completed aircraft #514 (12 aircraft, 1 ordnance, 2 vehicle for the year 2019), finished in March of 2019.