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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Amodel Scaled Composites Global Flyer

Once I finished the AModel Rutan Voyager, I was inspired to start work on its descendant, the AModel Global Flyer.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Global Flyer is definitely a later product in the AModel line. The surface is much smoother, the sprue attachment points are smaller, and the small pieces can actually be removed from the runners without destroying them. But never forget that they produce short-run kits, and construction had a number of challenges.

First, it is a very delicate model. Lots of long surfaces. Plus the flying surfaces are all butt-joined, making them even more vulnerable to the bumbling attack of a stumpy-fingered modeler (eg, me). And once you get past the overall white scheme, the Global Flyer requires small patches of bright Red and dark Purple, which means multiple masking sessions. I toughed it out for the tail portion... and broke off two horizontal tail surfaces. The lower fuselage remained, and it just seemed rife with possibilities for disaster. Humbrol 68, the purple that AModel recommends, is actually mixed well for brush applications. Very thick. When I did airbrush it it required massive thinning, like 50%. My bottom line rationale was that it was the underside of the fuselage, and therefore not in a location that would stand out if I made a pig of the job. Luckily it went ok, given the limitations inherent in brush painting, and I can live with the result.

I’ve found that the provided decals from AModel will work well with a little care and focus. Warmer water works best with only a few seconds of actual immersion in water, then leave them on a hard surface to soften and detach from the backing paper. Slide them off with great care and soak up the extra water with a paper towel. Do any last minute placement adjustments and then give it a press with the paper towel to sop up the rest of the moisture. I do avoid touching any decal that has been attached, though I can’t recall ever lifting one of AModel’s markings once they were in place. A good thing too, since many of their aircraft have markings that aren’t exactly provided elsewhere.

Generally speaking, I’m pleased with the way it turned out. It is another in a series of strange aircraft shapes which I rather enjoy. Here is a shot of the Global Flyer and the Rutan Voyager together. I suppose it is logical to go for the AModel Space Ship One / White Knight combo next. Alas, I don’t have that kit in the stash, so I have to see if I can score it on sale somewhere. It seems to be going in the neighborhood of $45 at the usual online stores.

This is completed model #426 (#7 for the year), finished in April of 2013. 

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