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Thursday, September 20, 2012

A tiny bit less stalled

Every so often in this hobby, you come to a crossroads that forces you to realize that if you don’t actual do something related to the hobby, you should be calling yourself a member of that hobby. So this week I decided that, inclined or not, I was going to have to fire up the airbrush and at least push some of the nine models that are held up in the paint queue out the other side.

I chose as victims representatives of the “stalled in the cockpit stage” (He-162 and Ar-234, both needing RLM02) and “stalled in the exterior painting stage” (F1J1/naval P-51 needing Gloss Sea Blue).

And then I discovered one of the problems the airbrush has been having lately. It is actually a recurrence of an issue I had probably 3 years or so ago. The brush doesn’t seem to be pushing much air out the front end, which didn’t cause problems so much with the cockpit painting as it did with the overall GSB. But as I grabbed the airbrush, I could actually feel air escaping around the screw-on connection between the lower part of the brush and the air hose that connects to the compressor. When this happened the first time, I found the cloth-covered rubber hose had actually split and was letting the air escape. It hasn’t progressed to this point yet, but the rubber and the connector have obviously begun to part ways. I probably should have thought to check that, but I honestly thought that the first occasion was a fluke that likely would never happen again. Umm, no.

So it looks like I’m in the market for a new connector hose again. I don’t think it was terribly expensive, and I believe I bought it last time from Amazon (Prime), which at least means I don’t have to pay shipping. $15 or so IIRC.

I may retain the hose because I suspect it would be great for painting mottling. Essentially what the airbrush is doing is dialing down the air pressure actually making it to the front of the brush, which I can’t do manually since I don’t have a pressure adjustment. So it might not be a total disaster. You always have to be on the lookout for positive aspects even when disaster strikes.

But it is going to put a stop to large painting jobs until I can replace the hose. As I said, I still was able to get the cockpits and wheel wells painted, but doing a full surface job on the F1J1 Sea Mustang was not easy. Basically like trying to empty a bathtub with a teaspoon. We’ll see how the surface behaved when the paint has a chance to cure. But since it took about 20 minutes to do the Mustang, I’m not inclined to paint the Black lower surfaces of the Halifax until I can get the new hose. At least I can continue work on the others.

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