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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Building the He-162 and Ar-234

I haven’t been much of a presence in the modelling blogosphere in the last couple of weeks, primarily due to the onset of a heat wave – look, 94 IS a heat wave in Seattle – which means I have barely ventured into the modelling room. With no functioning central air and a room that faces the morning sun, it is barely survivable. I don’t even do much lawnwork this time of year. It is mostly sitting in front of a fan with a drink and ice; lots of ice.  

But there were a few days where I was able to put some time in. Mostly in the dark and cool of night, and mostly on construction. This was centered around the DML He-162 and Ar-234.

We all know the knock on first-generation 1:72 DML kits: look great on the sprues but don’t fit worth a damn. Probably the poster child for this complaint is the Ta-152. I’ve never had the intestinal fortitude to attack that one, especially with the new-tool Aoshima kit providing a much better modelling experience. But I am finding that it still holds true to a certain extent with the two types I’m currently working. The detail in both the cockpit and wheel wells is pretty impressive for our scale, though that means lots of extremely small parts that take some convincing to part from the sprues. The fit of the major components has been very indifferent too, the worst being on the dorsal engine covers for the He-162 and the wings and cockpit surround parts on the Ar-234. Still, I imagine a more talented and meticulous modeller than I would be able to manage the kits without too much trouble.

I’m trying something of an experiment with painting the cockpits. Both are fairly exposed, so I’ve built them up unpainted. I’ll spray them both with a matte version of RLM02 and then do some detail painting of the various panels and handles. I don’t think they should be much more difficult to reach as part of the fuselage (remember that the cockpit surround on the Ar-234 doesn’t come as part of the fuselage but is added later). We’ll see. Hopefully the photos below will better explain what I mean.

I’m also gradually building up the cockpit for the Huma Ju-87 as well. I think the combination of tiny plastic parts and large expanses of clear cockpit glass will show to advantage. Or conversely, it will expose my ham-fisted incapacity as a modeller.

Finally, I’m progressing on a rather secret project that, with a modicum of luck, will show up in print at some future date.

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