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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Alclad mystery deepens

I have spent much of the last weekend painting, but not in the way you’d expect. Actually we are in the process of painting the interior of the house in a sort of loose 5-year plan to prepare for sale (and downsizing to a smaller location such as a condo). This week is the master bedroom, in a nice sort of Spitfire prototype French blue-grey. Don’t mention that to the wife, since she thinks it is a frost grey.

But I did squeeze in some model painting too. After all, the painting clothes were already primed (literally) and ready. Some white detailing on the P-47 razor and the gear portions of an F-18. The Medium Sea Grey upper surfaces on the Airfix Spit PR19. And the gear doors on a Boeing B-47 Stratojet.

Those gear doors bring up an interesting point. I have been having inexplicable problems with the Alclad paints I’ve been using lately, especially on this model. For the longest time, everything worked perfectly. Then as I continued to buy bottles of Alclad, troubles began to creep in. Coverage got thin and worse. Masking would pull up the paint (which Alclad is famous for not doing).

Last week I had to pay a visit to a local hobby store. This is a rare event for me, since I buy virtually everything online. I just have no interest in paying full retail on these increasingly expensive kits. About the only time I go is if I need something basic (the local store doesn’t have much else) and inexpensive, where losing the discount isn’t much of an issue and I don’t want to wait for the item to ship. That means non-Xtracolour paint or glue, essentially. While picking up a container of MM liquid glue (to go with the Tenax I use most of the time) I noticed that they had some Alclad paint. I figured that turnover wasn’t exactly constant, so the paint might be old enough to have come from the time before I began having issues. I even picked a type (Dull Aluminum) that I had particular troubles with. Long story short, that is exactly what happened. The paint went on flawlessly. I wish I had had it when I came to patch the B-47’s botched upper surface. But I didn’t.

And that is a story for a later day. In the meantime, here is a shot of the P-47 (now masked for its coat of Neutral Gray) and the Spit 19, patiently waiting for another trip to the paint room.

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