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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Paint session (Hurricanes, D-520, X-3, F-15)


The main point of this particular painting session was getting an undersurface coat on three fighters: two Hurricanes and a D-520. This required 3 different Xtracolor paints: Azure Blue for the Fly/Hasegawa Hurricane 2b, Neutral Grey for the Airfix Hurricane ragwing, and Lt Compass Grey for the D-520.

I decided I could also use the Neutral Grey for the F-15 upper fuselage mottles and the cockpit for the X-3. Xtracolour does not produce a Dark Ghost Grey, and I needed a dark grey that would provide a decent contrast. The Neutral Grey worked out well enough. And I would have to say that the idea of turning down the pressure and free-handing the mottling worked out just fine. Not sure I have found the secret of producing a pencil-thin mottle – which I will need on some of the Italian aircraft that are working their way down the queue – but experimentation will go on.

I didn’t get a chance to paint some miscellaneous parts such as props and wheels, so that will have to wait for the next paint session. Though, in fact, I’ve just ordered replacement resin wheels from Hannants for some of these projects (Mc-202, Hurricane 5 spoke, D-520), so I will have to delay that in any case.






Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Construction (D-520, X-3, F-15)


Other items have also entered the construction queue in the waning days of 2018. I decided that I should make more of an effort to widen the types of aircraft I was finishing. This doesn’t mean I can’t do multiple Hurricanes or Eurofighters, but more unusual types needed to be added to the mix. This is the origin of the series of Italian fighters I’ve been doing (Mc-202 and CR-25). And I decided to add a couple of French aircraft – a byway of aviation that I haven’t spent very much time or interest in – to the construction effort as well. First up is the Hasegawa Dewoitine D-520, followed in the fullness of time by that company’s MS-406. The D-520 has had its major assembly completed and is now awaiting paint.

I recently received the AZ Douglas X-3 from Hannants. AZ can be a bit hit or miss in terms of kit quality, and this one definitely ranks in the short-run range. But (while the real aircraft was something of a performance dud) it surely ranks as one of the coolest looking prototypes in aviation history. I have built a vacform of the type way back in the early days of 72 Land (Maintrack, maybe?) so I was committed to having an X-3 on the shelf. I imagine this one will turn out better than that. The cockpit is together and is awaiting paint as well.

An F-15, destined for those glorious ANG Oregon markings, has been languishing around the workbench for a few months. The holdup was masking for the darker mottling on the upper surfaces. I finally decided that, with the new compressor giving me additional options for managing the air pressure, I would freehand paint those splotches. Wish me luck on that one.

Finally, I pieced together an old Hasegawa F11F, to be shown in Blue Angels markings. A lineup of Blue Angels aircraft was one of the first sub-projects I ever started on, back in the early 90s. I still have to do the A-4 and F-18, along with the various support aircraft (DC-4 and C-130). But the wheel wells have been painted and masked, so I’m waiting on some detail Blue Angels Yellow painting on wing and tail tips.

And there is also a box of miscellaneous items awaiting paint: props, engine exhausts, landing gear, even a wheel or two. I just put in an order for a selection of resin wheels for some current projects, so I might now even be using them at this time. 

Waiting for some workbench space is the Sword Sikorsky S-43 (Catalina Air markings), various wheeled vehicles, and the AZ SR-53.





Monday, January 7, 2019

Construction (Hurricanes, Fw-200)


There has been quite a bit of construction going on, now that we have passed the craziness of the holiday season. This is not necessarily a good thing, given my ongoing storage crisis, but I am once again considering interim measures to get more square footage. How this will all work out, only time will tell.

I received my Arma Hurricane metal wing Mk 1 from Hannants, along with the AZ X-3 and the Revell Boxer (a modern AFV command post vehicle). The Hurricane and X-3 immediately went into the pre-queue. You know you have too many projects going on when you need to designate a decal queue, paint queue, construction queue and pre-queue.

While I was anxiously awaiting the Hannants parcel, which took longer than usual to arrive due to the Christmas holidays, I decided to start work on the Fly Hurricane 2b (ex-Hasegawa, to use unusual SAAF markings) and an Airfix Hurricane ragwing I didn’t even remember I had, to be put into Italian AF markings.

I have previously mentioned the Mc-202 painting disaster that took place, but it wasn’t the only modelling catastrophe that took place prior to year’s end. When I took the Airfix Hurricane out of the package, I found that the canopy was split right down the middle. The clear plastic is admirably thin, but clearly that is not always an advantage. My solution was to mask both sides of the canopy, glue it in place in phases (using regular cement for the part that connected to the fuselage and Clearfix for the areas where the two broken halves came together. Once dry – and yes, I actually did wait until it was fully cured for a change – I masked the portion that covers the middle of the canopy where the split occurred. Whether all of that survives painting and mask removal is a problem for a later date.

And if that wasn’t enough, when I de-masked the horrendously complex masking job on the Lufthansa Fw-200, I found that some of the RLM63 Light Grey had pulled up. At this point I was about to look for a ledge to crawl out onto. And neither of these problems were due to my native impatience for a change. But they were still problems. The RLM63 issue was made worse by the fact that Xtracolour changed their paint color to a darker, near RLM02 shade, based on further research. With extreme good fortune, I found that I still have a tin of the former color; I had thought that they were all used up. So some careful remasking and reshooting ensued. I did have a problem with overspray landing on one of the black stripes on the Fw-200 fuselage, but I was able to repair that to my satisfaction as well. I have added wheels and props, and the model now stands ready for decals.

BTW, in the photo below, the Airfix Hurricane with the broken canopy is on the left, in lighter grey plastic. 




Sunday, January 6, 2019

AModel Raduga AS-3 Kangaroo


I originally opened the category of ordnance as one of my 1:72 model options due to my intent of building a large display of bombs, missiles and drones (though I have since re-categorized the drones as regular aircraft). Most of the bombs and missiles are relatively small items that will look much better in a group setting. There are, however, some devices that are pretty large.

This includes the Raduga AS-3 Kangaroo. It is a Soviet air to surface nuclear missile that was designed to be slung under a Tu-95. It is actually larger in fuselage length than most single engine fighters. They were also difficult to transport and arm, taking as long as a full day to get them mounted to their bomber. Not so good for a quick-response weapon (though apparently this was eventually worked down to 4 hours).

Developed in 1954, it was replaced by the AS-4 Kitchen in the 1980s. AModel also makes one of these, which I have on order from Hannants, and it will be the next ordnance model to receive my tender mercies.

If you have experience with AModel products, nothing will come as a surprise during this build. Uncertain fit, seams that need work, and a rather complex transport cart are all part and parcel of this line of kits. Still, take em where you can get em; Soviet nuclear air to surface missiles aren’t exactly the most common type of model on the planet.

I had some issues with the painting process on this, but eventually was successful with Alclad White Aluminum. The kit provides a wide variety of stencils, but they are barely visible on the final model, so I only used the ones I could see easily.

This is completed ordnance #12 (19 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 8 vehicles for the year 2018), finished in December of 2018.



Friday, January 4, 2019

Production summary of 1:72 models in 2018 (pt 3 of 3)

Final part of the coverage of what was completed in 2018. See the post for 1-2-2019 for the names of all the models in sequence. 










And that's all, folks (for 2018 at least). Much production (and even additional disasters) in the early days of 2019. But are we discouraged?! Bloody well right we are, but we will continue to persevere in any case. 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Production summary of 1:72 models in 2018 (pt 2 of 3)

Continuing the coverage of what was completed in 2018. See yesterday's posting for the names of all the models in sequence.











Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Production summary of 1:72 models in 2018 (pt 1 of 3)

COMPLETED IN 2018
DeHav DHC-1 Chipmunk (British Airways Club 1974) 1/1/2018 AZ Models 484
Mitsubishi J8M1 Shusui (IJN evaluation unit 1945) 1/2/2018 Hasegawa 485
Northrop XP-79 (USAF evaulation) 1/27/2018 RS Models                 486
Volkswagen Kubelwagen (Western Desert 1942) 2/17/2018 Academy           16
Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 (41 Sqdrn RAF 100th anniv) 4/18/2018 Revell 487
Douglas DC-3 (Worldwide Airways "Arctic Rose" 1964) 4/19/2018 Italeri 488
Daimler armored car Mk2 (7th Armored, British Army 1942 5/2/2018 Hasegawa         17
Bae Hawk T1 (208 Sqdrn, RAF Valley 2016) 5/19/2018 Airfix         489
Convair F-102 (48 FIS, ADC, Langley AFB 1959) 5/22/2018 Meng 490
Textron M1117 ASV (Armored security vehicle) 5/23/2018 Trumpeter   18
Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 (10 Group Italian AF 100 anniv) 6/1/2018 Italeri 491
Messerschmitt Me-163B (Captured RAF 1945) 6/8/2018 Hobbyboss                 492
Fieseler Fi-156 (Trumpf Chocolate civil 1999) 8/29/2018 Academy          493
Northrop Delta (TWA 1938) 8/30/2018 Special Hobby                         494
Raduga AS-1 Kennel transport cart (Soviet AF) 9/14/2018 Amodel              19
Short SC-7 Skyvan (Gulf Air) 10/9/2018 Airfix                                 495
Sdkfz 222 (DAK Libya 1941) 10/14/2018 ICM                                           20
Junkers Ju-87G 10/15/2018 Fujimi                                                 496
Raduga AS-1 Kennel (Soviet AF) 10/23/2018 Amodel                                    11
Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka (Okinawa 1945) 10/24/2018 Brengun                  497
Noorduyn Norseman (Ear Falls Airlines 1988) 10/30/2018 Matchbox  498
American Gyro AG-4 Crusader (prototype) 11/1/2018 Avis                  499
Manshu Ki-98 (IJAAF 1946) 11/8/2018 Meng                                  500
McD-D T-45C (USN VT-21, NAS Kingsville TX 2012) 12/2/2018 Italeri  501
GMCanada Otter (2 Can Inf Div, HQ platoon 1944) 12/7/2018 IBG            21
Autoblinda AB-43 (Rome Police 1950) 12/14/2018 Italeri                    22
Raduga AS-3 transport cart (USSR 1965) 12/26/2018 Amodel                    23
Miles M47 Aerovan (Sivewright Air 1950) 12/27/2018 MikroMir          502
Raduga AS-3 Kangaroo (Soviet AF) 12/29/2018 Amodel                            12