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Monday, November 13, 2017

Painting (F-101, Me-163, Schwimmwagen, Mark 7 nuke)

Armed with a new respirator (mine went to pieces a couple of months back) I ventured into the paint shop for the first time in a while. The weather has been just exactly what we want everyone outside of the northwest to think it is all of the time; rain rain rain as far as the weather eye can see. But that does make for a pleasant painting experience.

Four projects in the spotlight for this session. First comes a small job, putting the Red Brown nose onto the mark 7 nuclear bomb from Valom. A surprising amount of cleanup went into this 5 piece item.

Then came an overall Desert Yellow coat on the Academy Schwimmwagen. I do rather enjoy these small vehicle kits. They are easy to put together, don’t require a lot of complicated paintwork, and make for a quick completion. Of course I do very little weathering on any model, so that does simplify the process.

Next was a coat of Insignia Red on the upper fuselage of the Me-163B. This is going to be a French postwar glider. I never knew the scheme existed until I was grazing on the net one day and discovered an out-of-production Rocketeer sheet with this set of markings on it. It was just too weird to pass up. The problem was I didn’t own the sheet. Since Rocketeer has gone to the big hobby shop in the sky, that could be a problem. After some inquiries, I was saved by a fellow 72 Scale Aircraft board member Pyran, who cut the decal out and mailed it to me. I always appreciate these random acts of kindness from other modellers and try to do the same thing whenever I have the opportunity.

Last was an overall coat of ADC Grey on the F-101B. This is part of my Complete Century Series project (complete because it includes the prototypes XF-103, XF-108 and XF-109, all by Anigrand).

Saturday, November 11, 2017

AModel Beech Starship

I finished today’s completion some time ago, but it was enough of a struggle that it took a while to write up the summary. It is the AModel Beech Starship. This is one of those types that I have always wanted to model, but in olden days the only available kit was a vac. Not that this kit requires less work than a vac.

The large pieces of the kit are not that difficult to get together, but almost everything requires some sanding, dry-fitting, and foul language. It’s the tiny parts that are the real killer. Since this is a short-run kit, the small parts are connected to the sprues by gates that are sometimes bigger than the parts themselves, often causing damage when removing them. And the instructions are not that great at specifying exactly where all those tiny bits go. Most seams require filling.

Painting the overall white wasn’t all that difficult, but when it came time to mask for the leading edge NMF strips I was breaking off antennae right and left. Even the front canard managed to disengage itself. In the end I decided not to mask the overall kit (overspray would get everywhere) and just brush painted the leading edges. Not a completely successful endeavor.

Painting the canopy surround was rather a pain as well. As was most of the rest of the detail painting. Note the theme developing here. But things really went into the crapper when it came time to decal the model. While AModel kits have definitely improved over the course of their existence, their decal technology hasn’t kept up. They are very thin and prone to tear. Not a good thing when many of the decals are thin stripes.

It isn’t one the best I’ve done, and actually would probably not be seen in public if it weren’t for my core founding principle that anything I build gets displayed on this blog, good with the bad. So what you see is what I got.

Just to add a final layer of insult, as I was transporting the kit down to the garage display cases, I dropped the thing and broke off one canard and one vertical tailpiece. I’m probably lucky the landing gear didn’t go as well. Thankfully photos had already been taken. But that just goes to display the rather snakebit nature of this model. I do love AModel’s kit choices, and still plan to build their Avanti and SpaceShip. But I rather dread the experience.

This is completed aircraft #482 (15 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 12 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in October of 2017.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Recent acquisitions

Two packages arrived this week. One included a selection of 6 bottles of MRP paint, a new line that has been getting good reviews on the sites that I visit. They are very similar in size and mix to Alclad (except not being metallic of course). Although my first order was meant to supply colors where my Xtracolour stocks were running low – or out – I’m not sure I have an immediate need for the colors in the stream of projects that are moving into the paint queue at present. Once I give them a try I’ll put together a report.

The other was a set of three items from RebelAlpha. First comes the Mark 7 nuclear bomb. They are including this in one of the later B-45 boxings and decided to put it out as a separate release as well. This works for me as I’ve already bought a B-45. In fact, since the bomb itself only has 5 pieces, I finished construction on it last evening. Some tidying up will be necessary. The transport cart has more pieces.

Second was the Print Scale decal sheet for FJ-3 and FJ-4 Furies. I want to build at least one of the Sword kits in Gloss Sea Blue and this sheet has markings for one.

Last came an impulse purchase, the Ace Models Trattore Autocaro Sahariana AS-37 truck. Another in my project of wheeled support vehicles. I wanted to get a close up look at what Ace kit were like, and at least I can paint this one in desert colors. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Construction (Me-163B, Schwimmwagen)

Not everything around the 72 Land capital city has been lack of production in the last month: we’ve also acquired another pet. This time it is a 10 week old black pug puppy, now named Kirby. As any of you with pets know, puppies have two modes of operation: 1) Berserk and 2) Comatose. He has certainly been running me ragged trying to get him housebroken and socialized with our 9 year old pug and 6 year old cat.

But there have been some modelling related movements as well. I have mostly pieced together an Academy Schwimmwagen, and once I add a couple more exterior bits it will be ready for a first coat of Desert Yellow.

Following that, the first of two Me-163 derivatives has gotten its cockpit painted and installed, and most of the major construction completed. Next on the list is masking and installation of canopies. This one is going to be in postwar French civil markings.

Other lines of work include getting all the exterior bits added and the wheel wells masked on the F-101, major construction on the XP-79, some painting repair on the AZ Chipmunk, and masking on the Noorduyn Norseman airliner.

Just getting started (as in still in the box) are the Hasegawa J8M1 Shusui (almost an Me-163B), Miles Aerovan, and the Northrop Firebird drone recently released by Sova. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Eurofighter (11 Squadron RAF anniversary)

This completion, like the previous (Hurricane), is a model that I’ve built numerous times over the year. It is the 10th Eurofighter, 6 of which are special anniversary schemes of one type or another. The other 4 are in regular squadron markings.

I think I have built just about all of the various 1:72 Eurofighter kits out there, though this is my first Hobbyboss example. The new tool Revell is next in the queue. The Hobbyboss is not a difficult kit to build, though it does fall short a bit on detail. The Revell one is still the best – at least until the mold deterioration started to kick in – so I live in hope that the new tool variety will put it back on top.

Decals came from an Xtradecal set: X72230. I had already done the red-tail 29 Squadron RAF special, so this time I did the 11th Squadron RAF anniversary scheme. As always the Xtradecals performed as advertised. I do enjoy these RAF special markings schemes, but I might be tempted by some Luftwaffe specials shortly. And the Italian AF is starting to do them also, and if someone makes decals I will likely add that to the herd as well.

This is completed aircraft #481 (14 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 12 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in October of 2017.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Revell Hawker Hurricane 2c (Egyptian AF)

I, like I suppose everyone else, have favorite aircraft. Eurofighter, A-4, Spitfire, Corsair. One of my main projects is the Hawker Hurricane. Tonight I am presenting the 23rd completed model of this type in my collection.

Although I love the new Airfix ragwing Hurricane, markings options are fairly limited. I do have a couple of metal wing conversion sets so I should be able to expand on the early types. This particular model is of the 2c. I’ve been informally working my way through the foreign users, and this one is from the Egyptian Air Force.

It uses the Revell kit, which I find to be a nice buildable example. The one weakness the kit has, and you can see that I ran afoul of it on this particular model, is that the four guns on the wing leading edge are extremely fragile. I typically knock more than one of the guns off during the life of a Revell Hurricane and this was no exception. The difference this time was that it happened after the painting stage, and I honestly don’t know when it detached from the wing. I did a thorough search on the workbench and floor, but no luck. The Carpet Monster is probably sneering at me.

Being a kit I have built many times before, there wasn’t much out of the ordinary during construction. Paint was in desert colors (Dark Earth, Middle Stone, Azure Blue) with the slight variation that, while most of the RAF desert planes have red spinners, this Egyptian example had one painted up in Sky. The decals came from Kits World 72144, an all-Hurricane sheet. It is likely my next Hurricane will come from this sheet as well; if I had to guess, I would say it will be the Free French version.

With the exception of the missing gun, this one came out well enough. Not my best, not my worst, which is after all where most models end up. And you’ll see that late devastating errors are not that uncommon on the 72 Land production line. Looking at you, Starship.

This is completed aircraft #480 (13 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 12 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in September of 2017.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Paint session (F-101, XP-79, Me-163)

The procedure having gone well enough on Tuesday, I decided to clear out the paint queue backlog this evening.

Most of the activity (3 models) was applying a matte or semi-matte top sealer coat. It went well enough on the Hurricane and Eurofighter, and they will be debuting as finished models shortly. The AModel Starship continues to be the problem child, and broke off its nosewheel while in the painting process. After repairs, it too will get its completion photos taken.

Other than that, I painted the nosecone of the F-101 Black. Next comes some masking of that and the wheel wells. Then I’ll proceed with the ADC Gray coat.

Finally, two cockpits painted: Me-163 and XP-79. Some detail painting needs to be done in both, but at least they’ve cleared that hurdle. Me-163s don’t take long to build, so that one should be featured in near term installments of the blog.

The photo below does not include the three models that are ready for completion photos; just the others.

On the subject of the spinal injection, I must say that it is never pleasant for someone to stick a wide-diameter needle into your spine. Most of the process was merely painful, but the last poke was on the nerve that has been giving me the most problems. Imagine if you had just broken your arm, were in screaming pain, and someone came up with: “I’d like to stick a needle in there please”. They’re lucky they didn’t have to peel me off the ceiling. I don’t think this was the magic bullet for my situation, but I will need to wait about a week, when the steroids will have done whatever they are going to do. Isn’t the aging process fun?