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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Into the paint shop

I got a chance to do a bit of paintwork and construction while listening to the recent Donnington 83/87 concert CD from the late Ronnie James Dio. I finally gave up trying to wear the wireless headphones and respirator at the same time, since I looked like a multicolored version of Darth Vader.

On the menu today was the overall black surface coat on an Airfix BAe Hawk T1. This went on fairly well, with the exception of a truly odd problem on the tail. I’m not sure if I captured this in the photo, but something is definitely wrong with the paint surface. As far as I can tell, there was nothing chemical on the tail, but there is a large spot where the paint surface reflects differently. It feels the same. It has the same amount of paint. But it just looks different. I’m going to have to sand it down to the bare plastic and try bombing it with a new coat of black paint. A bit frustrating, since the engineering of this new Airfix kit is such that construction was delightfully painless. I especially like their method of attaching the nose gear doors (a little tab that has a positive location in the wheel bay). Not strictly prototypical, but those doors are the most solid of any of the 8 Hawks that I’ve finished.

Next came the green upper surface coat on the Hasegawa Macchi Mc-202. I tried getting the correct paint color from White Ensign, but it was unfortunately out of stock at the time of my order (like many of the Italian AF colors). The Tauro decal sheet that I’m using helpfully lists FS colors, and I was able to locate an Xtracolour tin with their approximation, a USMC green. There is a lot of masking on this one, mostly for the lower surfaces, a white fuselage stripe, and the white Savoy tail cross. The green went on well, and once it fully cures I’ll decide if it needs a surface coat. At this point I’m thinking that it won’t.

The rest of the painting time was spent with the RLM65 undersides of a V-1 (an old Frog thing that has sat around in my stock fully assembled for probably 15 years) and a few odd bits of the Hasegawa PBJ1 (ie, USMC B-25) needing a final coat of gloss sea blue.

I also had the time on Sunday after the Super Bowl (yah Packers) to finish major construction on the Hasegawa Ju-88A. It is destined for desert markings to go with the already completed He-111, Hs-129, and Hs-126. This is another highly modularized kit to accommodate the variants, with all the construction woes that brings along. I had some issues with the wingtips, though that may have been due to my own stone fingers rather than any kit shortcoming. There will be some putty or surfacer in my future. The engine nacelles seem unnecessarily complex as well. But it is all coming together. I thought I had a masking set for this kit, but haven’t been able to locate it. With all those frames it is going to be a true chore if I can’t find or buy one soon.

Off to the side on the apocalyptic wasteland that is my workbench, you can see the progress on a couple of new projects, the AZ Gauntlet and Roden Snipe.

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