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Monday, February 21, 2011

Production rate

I've got like half a dozen newly finished aircraft to catch up with on this site, but I wouldn’t want anyone to get the impression that the admittedly impressive model production of the last year is going to continue indefinitely. There were times while working fulltime that I couldn’t scrounge up the enthusiasm to glue two pieces of plastic together in the evening, let alone manage a paint session with three or four different paint colors. Now at least, with my biorhythms taking over and restructuring my sleep patterns (up at 10am and down at 3am), I have more energy in reserve in the evenings to devote to the hobby. Once I return to wage slavery, things will slow down noticeably, though I’ll try my best not to let it stop completely. In any case, according to my records I haven’t finished anything in the summer months, roughly late May to August, in the last 4 years anyway. Too much going on in the Great Northwest – whatever focus I have is being taken up by house, yard and garden maintenance, the occasional hiking trip, and of course our annual vacation. But I’m enjoying the ride while I can, at least until the financial ramifications catch up to me.

Construction today centered on the new Airfix Hawk T1. As I’ve said before, I like the engineering of the kit. Good fit, decent detail. One curve ball it threw at me was that it is caused a change in my decal choice. I had planned to use an Xtradecal sheet of an RAF display aircraft – the one with the roundel on the tail and underside. But the sizing and location of the gear bays on the new Airfix kit are a bit different than that of the Italeri kit, which the decal sheet was clearly designed for. And since that underside roundel has to fit amongst the gear doors and flap fairings, I think I will wait until I can apply those decals to an Italeri Hawk. The kit is already painted black, so it has to be one of the newer training squadrons. Maybe that 100 Squadron example with the skull and crossbones on the tail and the yellow-and-blue checked squadron bars. It all depends what I can find in the decal stash. At least I seem to have solved the paint problem on the fin – after sanding it down to the plastic and reshooting, it seems to have resolved itself. I’ve been building and adding the landing gear prior to decaling the model.

I also put a load of putty on the Xtrakit Canberra PR9. This was bought before the Airfix kit was available, and is a much more difficult build, even though the panel lines are considerably more restrained. Some of the fit is rather indifferent, and the wing gap needed help. I’ll be buffing down the putty over the next couple of days. Then it’s on to paint.

I’ve also resurrected the Huma DFS 228 from the boneyard. I had assembled the cockpit sometime in the distant past, but then lost interest. But yesterday I did some detail painting and got much of the nose together. Next up is the landing skid and fuselage/wing assembly.

Some people will chuck a kit if they haven’t finished it in a certain timeframe, or run into some obstacle that forces them to put it back in the slush pile. But I don’t typically do that. There have been some models that have been partially assembled for literally years, gathering dust in the garage, that have been cleaned off and finished, if only to get rid of my own guilt feelings. I can only recall two models that I ever chucked as being too frustrating to finish: the Roden He-111C airliner and the Kopro L-4 Cub. I mean, I’ve finished two Merlin kits, so bad kits don’t usually scare me off forever.

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