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Saturday, December 31, 2016

And a Happy New Year!

Yeah, so it looks like all you're getting for the rest of calendar 2016 is another generic holiday greeting. It really has been a down time here on the 72 Land production line. Between my pathological fear of airbrush failures and a general malaise, there just hasn't been much going on concerning models. Hopefully I can engineer a mojo injection in 2017. 

Be that as it may, the benevolent leader of 72 Land wishes all of you a pleasant and successful 2017. Go build something, if only so we can raise the collective atmospheric mojo level and help me return to the production line. If you're a modeller, be glad that there are still lots of new releases in a hobby that some have considered terminal for a decade or more now. If you're a minor (or even major) celebrity, just be glad you made it through 2016 without croaking. 

And just cuz you knew I would do it: here is a shot of the calendar that my daughter buys for me each year to be put up on the wall next to the computer table. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Merry Christmas to all!

As the hours wind down, some areas have already made it to Christmas day (it's mid evening here in the great Northwest US). 

I'd like to wish all of the remote subjects of 72 Land a merry Christmas. May your gift boxes be full of the kits, books, decals, and tools of your dreams. 

No snow here at the capital grounds, but it has been getting fairly cold by Northwest standards (down into the low 20s). Certainly cold enough to enjoy some hot chocolate (fortified by your beverage of choice, if desired), and some fine chocolates - if you don't live with a cardiologist at least. 

Merry Christmas!

And for the more sarcastically inclined holiday reveler: 

And I found one that perfectly sums up my pug Tug's attitude about holiday costuming. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Mea culpa

Here I am again to apologize for not being here very often (which sounds rather odd when I put it like that). Lack of mojo and some seriously cold weather have kept me out of the painting room - ie, garage - and I need to clear the paint queue out somewhat before I can continue construction. 

What construction I do get done seems to start after everyone else has wandered off to bed, and at least after 11pm. The advantage of having retired this year is obvious. If I was still working, I'd be sacked out by that time as well. 

The problem is that I have to keep things quiet, and I generally would prefer to have something loud and obnoxious on the CD/BRD while I am modelling. 

Thus, I have arranged for a new set of Sony headphones so that I can continue to abuse my hearing ability even while everyone else in the house is asleep. Part of the Christmas deal which also includes some books and even a kit or two. 

So, as hope springs eternal, I can hopefully get some work done and restore my missing modelling mojo. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

New tool

Still struggling a bit to revive my autumnal mojo. I currently have no less than 9 projects stalled in the paint step. I’ll admit to something of a pathological fear of painting failure, but this is getting ridiculous.

I did indulge myself and purchased a Xuron sprue-cutting tool. The generic one I had was not doing the job, and this should help in cleaning up the sprue spurs for ongoing construction. I also put in an order for books and decals to Hannants. I don’t remember seeing a shipping confirmation; I do hope it left the premises prior to the Telford scramble. There is also an outstanding book order from Sprue Bros. 

Also, I found out recently that scammers have discovered this blog. Some of them are starting to pop up in older blog posts (in the reply section of course). Be aware this is beyond my control and feel free to ignore them completely. So if you see any odd postings for ED medicines, can’t miss stock training, or Asian dating sites (ok, that one might be my fault) then just pass em by. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Construction: P-47 cockpit

The other kit I started tinkering with was yet another Minicraft P-47 to continue that long-running series. This time it was inspired by a decal sheet I recently picked up from Hannants. The specific sheet is Kits-World 72052, which includes “Eight Nifties” as flown by Clyde Knisely. It too has taken its place in the painting queue for the cockpit.

Right before I posted this, I managed to clean up the seams and mask up the Airfix Lightning for its blue spine. Looks like I'm not going to be able to avoid the paint booth for much longer! 

Like many of you, I prefer musical accompaniment with modelling. Being the Oldest Surviving Metalhead, this generally runs to classic metal bands of the 70s-10s. I recently picked up a deluxe version of a Black Sabbath concert CD (“Past Lives”) which covers a couple of shows in 1970 and 1975 – the second being when I was a newly enrolled college freshman! So that is the soundtrack that has been blasting through my latest modelling sessions.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Construction: Lightning F2A major assembly

Though you might not know it from the blog entries, my workbench isn’t all desolation and blowing tumbleweeds.

I do have a number of projects stalled in the painting stage, but that is one of the first casualties of any mojo drought. So I decided to concentrate on some miscellaneous construction.

Not long before vacation, I had put together the cockpit of an Airfix Lightning F2A. This is a wonderful kit, and I wish I had had some when I was on a true Lightning kick back in the late 90s. Those are mostly early Airfix F1s and F3s (since they have the better markings options) and suffer badly in comparison with these new kits. There are at least a few gaudy paint schemes on the F2As and F6s, and I will take full advantage of them.

There is not much to say about the building except you need to pay an average amount of attention. The wings needed a touch of filler (not much) and you might have to do a bit of fiddling to the cockpit assembly to make sure it doesn’t cause the fuselage to splay open. Some minor seam work and it should be ready for the first round of paint.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Revell Blohm & Voss Bv-222

One of the things I need to do to get the blog up to date is catch up with some completed models. I seem to have sort of dropped the ball around the end of April for some reason, so I will be spending some time in the near term getting that squared away.

First up is the Revell Blohm & Voss Bv-222 flying boat. This rather large aircraft was apparently first designed as a Lufthansa mail carrier in 1938, but was quickly snapped up by the prewar Luftwaffe as a large transport. I think at one time the thought at Revell was that they could release the commercial version, which would explain some of the curious engineering (such as the gun turrets all being set in special panels that could be swapped out in a later release) but the sales were presumably not robust enough to justify additional tooling. Somehow I ended up with two copies of this kit, and I am still considering how to do a Lufthansa airliner out of it, even if it would have to qualify as a what-if model.

Though the build took a long time (something like 5 years, though a good portion of that was time on the Shelf of Shame) that was more due to a tapering off of enthusiasm rather than any fault with the kit. The interior has a high level of detail, though not much can be seen once major assembly is complete. The subassemblies are large, which has its own set of challenges, but little an experienced builder will fret over. I did have problems with the canopy, especially the side windows, but can chalk that up to sausage fingers and minimal patience.

As usual, the model was painted in Xtracolour enamels. Though this provides a glossy surface, Revell decals are notorious to me at least for their occasional love of silvering. A couple of instances on this kit, but I did what I could with SuperSol and pressure. Markings are for SAGr 130, based in Norway in 1945.

I was delighted when Revell announced they were doing a Bv-222, and although it took a long time to reach the finish line, I’m happy enough with the finished product. There were still issues in finalizing things: the cockpit and turret masking just did not want to lift, I broke off two prop blades taking it to be photographed, and photos were taken before I filled in some of the fuselage windows with Kristal Kleer. Plus the photos are a little crappy. Blame that on the ditzy official photographer of 72 Land. Not one of my favorites - or best - but I am glad to be done with it. 

This is completed aircraft #463 (#30 for the year), finished in April of 2016.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

More mojo drought

I really must apologize for the lack of new content on the 72 Land blog since I returned from vacation in September. Between the catharsis of the first road trip vacation in 6 years to the return of some low blood pressure issues it has been difficult to get much enthusiasm going for anything. That's no excuse, I realize, though it is a reason. 

I have done very little in the way of modelling in the last couple of months. I must have a dozen things waiting in the paint queue - almost all requiring white paint, of all things. I've done some early work on an Airfix Lightning and another P-47 (Academy this time). I've got a few completed items that haven't gotten their photos taken or their final summaries written up. So it's not that there is a lack of work. Just a lack of ooomph. 

There is also a milestone coming up that, while others of the sort have not had an effect, seems to be causing some problems. Conversation for another day, I think. 

In any case I am trying to get things in line so that I can once again continue my progress toward the ultimate 1:72 scale model collection. Here's a slight hint as to what is coming next. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Considering the fall project

It has been a bit difficult to generate much post-vacation modelling mojo. It’s not like I don’t have lots of projects on the go, because I always do. But getting will to power is not altogether easy when the weather is pleasant and you are experiencing the post-travel relaxation period. So what is the cure? A new fall project!

I’ve had this one under consideration for a while now. It does require some display space, and is probably dependent on whether I can set aside enough unallocated cash to buy my fourth commercial glass display case in December as I intend. They aren’t cheap (around $700 for the one I am looking at) and that front fence replacement is still on the schedule too. We’ll see.

Below is a photo of the 5 aircraft I currently own that will likely become a part of the Postwar Heavy Transports project. The fuselages belong to (from the top) the Italeri C-27, Italeri C-130, Roden An-12, Revell C-160, and the Revell A-400M. They will be joined next year by the Kinetic C-17 and the TanModel C-295.

I am still surprised that no one has decided to produce a new-tool C-130. The Italeri kit is from the raised-line era, which borders on the showstopper for me. Luckily these are relatively fine, and I can probably sand them flat without too much work. I’m still deciding whether to do this as a Blue Angels support aircraft or an RAF transport with anniversary markings.

I’ve already begun the A400 cockpit and interior, and will probably start playing with the C-27 within the next couple of weeks. But again, timing is everything, and much depends on when I start getting serious about the new display case. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Return of the glorious leader

All hail! The exalted and glorious leader of 72 Land has returned to his people.

We are back from our expedition through the western United States, visiting many places that we have been to a number of times before. But it felt good to get out on the open road again, something we haven’t been able to do for almost 8 years. The scenery was spectacular, the weather was dry (but hot), and we were able to spot some wildlife.

But it wouldn’t be one of our trips without the occasional disaster. This included a tire blowout on the first full day of the trip, fires in Grand Teton that closed the road into the park and actually caused the campground we had planned to stay in to be evacuated, tripping on a trail in Yellowstone that destroyed my right knee for much of the trip, and other such adventures. Wouldn’t trade the experience for anything, though. We’ve already begun consideration for next year’s extravaganza.

Here are a few random photos. 

1. Smoke streaming up from the Madison fire in Yellowstone. 

 2. Sinks Canyon state park in Wyoming. 

3. Antelope in a cemetary of all places. 

4. Bull buffalo in Custer state park. 

5. Wild burro in Custer state park. 

6. Prairie dog (actually at the Dakota Zoo). 

7. Space Aliens Grill in Bismarck ND. Great wood-fired pizza. 

8. Buffalo in Theodore Roosevelt NP. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Vacation shutdown

I am in the final stages of packing for our first road trip vacation in about 8 years. And I'm needing this one pretty bad! 15 days of Yellowstone, Wyoming, the Dakotas, and Montana. Weather is looking dry, not as hot as it could be in August. About the only spot with forecasted rain is Custer SD. 

Hope all is well with everyone, and I will begin posting a couple of days after Labor Day. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

New cockpit (A400M)

I know that it is inefficient to start a new model when I have so many in various stages of construction and in the paint queue, but the attraction of the new is hard to resist. At least I was able to get some Squadron white putty on three troublesome seams (Norseman, Beech Starship, and DC-3). I should be able to buff those up tomorrow and they too will take their place waiting for the next paint session.

But I did begin work on two new models. One is the Revell 1:72 Airbus A400M. Most of the interior has been built, and I need to spray on some canned primer before finishing up the detail painting. This kit is large and has a vast number of parts. There is a low-tech feel to the bits I’ve put together so far – large sprue gates, dodgy fit on some of the large parts, and even some flash in evidence. Still, I am definitely not one to complain about a kitmaker that takes a chance on a 1:72 transport aircraft, especially such a large one.

I’m also a bit skeptical about the way construction shapes up. The interior is a series of floors surrounded by an internal shell, which in turn fits into the two fuselage halves. Since I tend to build aircraft all buttoned up, I have no interest in doing anything with the interior other than the cockpit, though I do acknowledge that it is a pretty slick solution for those wanting to have the cargo ramp dropped and open to the world. I suppose I could just ignore the interior shell, but I don’t know if it serves any structural purpose, so I will just leave it in place unless it causes fit issues with putting together the outer fuselage halves.

I’m working on a second cockpit, for the new tool Airfix BAC Lightning F6. I had heard of some problems with the canopies on these kits, but breathed a sigh of relief when I checked and found it unblemished. I do wish I had these kits of the F6 and F2 in the late 80s, when I was building a lot of Airfix Lightnings (using the ghastly old tool version of the time). I do wish Airfix would follow up with an F3 and F1, since the decal options are much more extensive and colorful for those marks. But even if they don’t, I can still squeeze some models with interesting markings out of these two variants. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Another paint session (Eurofighter, Hurricane, B-17)

It being summer, there are a number of other distractions going on here in the national capital of 72 Land. Still I was able to get some paintwork accomplished a couple of nights back.

Mostly it involved shooting a matte coat on two models that are mostly complete: the RAF B-17 and a new Eurofighter special scheme. However, I did put a surface coat of RLM74 onto a captured Hurricane. More than just a surface coat, really. I realized as I was preparing to paint that, while I had the wings properly prepared, I had neglected to mask off the upper fuselage. So after a bit of new masking, I was ready to proceed. Now that the RLM74 is down, I will be masking in preparation for the camo RLM75.

Not much going on in the way of construction. I have some seam patching to do on the Starship and Norseman. I will hopefully be starting on the cockpit to the A400M shortly. I am ready to begin the Trent Meteor and new tool Airfix Lightning F2, but I really need to move some items along to clear the workbench. There are a few items needing their turn at the paint shed, which will be my next goal once motive and opportunity coincide. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Taking a look at the Attack Sqdrn RQ-7 drone

Hopefully this will get me back to full production here at 72 Land. The computer is working and I’m all caught up with the budget backlog, so it is time to return to modellling.

I have a sub-collection of UAV drones going. The Predator, Reaper, MQ-4 and X-47B, all in injected plastic. I know there was a very early drone by Twelve Squared, and most of the rest have been produced by Unicraft in resin. The Unicraft kits do tend to be uniquely difficult building experiences, so I have avoided them to date.

And then I noticed an RQ-7 drone from Arma Hobby. I mistakenly thought it would be 3D printed, as some of their accessories are, but it turned out to be traditional hand-poured resin and photo-etch. Photos of the kit later in this post.

Here are the issues I see right off the bat. The body/wings are going to be tricky to separate from the pouring stubs. I presume the intent is to make razor saw cuts to the leading edges of both wings, then more cuts along the sides of the fuselage. The only saw I have isn't exactly petite, so it remains to be seen what cleanup will be required once the cuts are done. Also, virtually every other piece, not including the tail and sensor package) is photoetch. In general, I don't care for working with that, since it requires superglue (a series of trials all its own) and photoetch is an inherently bad way to make 3D objects like wheels and props. This is before you get to the need to curve the two main gear legs to the exact same curve, something I would rank in the 10 percentile for this Profoundly Average Modeller.

Still, the model is unique in that it has never been done in this scale, it was relatively cheap (approx $10), and it does help expand a personal sub-collection. I do expect that construction will inspire a few expletive combinations that I haven't used in a while, though.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Heading back

A last update before I resume regularly scheduled service. The new desktop is all installed and running, though this device seems to have a lot of trouble holding on to the wireless internet connection. Infotech has completed my data extraction from the previous laptop, and I am picking that up this morning. I've got some work do to reintegrate the documents and photos (mostly budget stuff not related to modelling) but I hope to be officially back up and running by August 1. So here are some items that will be coming soon: 

A review of the Attack Hobby RQ-7 drone. Completed kits, including an RAF B-17 and an anniversary Eurofighter. Plans for the next round of beginnings once the current crop jamming my workbench moves on to the display cases. And maybe, if it stops being quite so fiercely hot around here, I can get some paint time in the garage. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Meltdown update

My new desktop has arrived, and I am at least able to access the net. However, my last full data backup was in June, so even when my subscription to MS Office is active (the key code won't get here til tomorrow) I won't be able to access newer docs. So it will still be a few days before full service is restored here in the central municipality of 72 Land. 

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Computer meltdown

The blog will be dark for a week or so. My current laptop has given up the ghost. A new computer is on the way. But data recovery may delay my return. My wallet is not happy. I will return shortly! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Latest Hannants loot

A few weeks back, I received a small box from Hannants. It was mostly taken up with a half dozen or so decal sheets, some for projects that are already in motion or soon will be. A couple are for things a bit further in the queue. What follows is a summary of my plans, along with product links for Hannants.

I built this order around the issuance of the latest in Xtradecal's series of sheets for RAF special schemes, X72-233. I do enjoy building commemorative markings, and this sheet is filled with them. My primary interest is around the Eurofighter from 41 Squadron and the Hawk from 208 Squadron. But once I got a look at the sheet artwork, I'm definitely going to have to find a spot for that 27 Squadron Chinook. At least one of the Tornado GR4s (desert war anniversary maybe?) are likely to go on the list too. Link

I also wanted to pick up the Xtradecal X72-200 sheet for the Lightning T5. I acquired a Sword T5, and even though I've had some issues with their kits in the past, this is the only real option for a trainer at present. My intention is to do the Akrotiri Lightning with the pink tail and squadron markings, as well as the flamingo. But for the life of me, the squadron bands as printed appear to be white, when they are clearly pink in photographs and even on Xtradecal's printed instructions. Not sure if this is an error or just a difference in interpretation. There are other T5 options on the sheet, but I really would like to do the flamingo. Link

I've picked up Kopro kits of the L-4 Grasshopper, so DKD72028 will come in handy for that. There are some instances of (small) nose art, and even an overall Gloss Sea Blue option. Link

I have had a copy of the Sword S-43 since time immemorial, but never pulled the trigger because I kept waiting for someone to do airliner markings for it. These many years later, the only sheet that I have found is Lima November LN72-259 for an example of DNL (Det Norske Luftartselskap). One nice thing is that the sheet comes with masks for those circular windows. Link

The final decal sheet in this order is an oddball: the Antonov An-2 owned by Milka. Now, Milka is not sold in the US as far as I know, so I'm not 100% which purple I will use. But it will certainly be a standout on the shelves. Someone is producing Milka markings for a Ju-52 as well, and I have a surplus of the Italeri kits, so I had better buy enough paint to cover both examples. Link

Tomorrow I'll give a brief recap of the only model that was in this Hannants order. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Back to the paint shop (B-17, Eurofighter, Hurricane)

Despite a passing cold, producing more snot than any human should have to deal with, I was able to get an hour or so worth of painting accomplished.

I was able to get the Dark Green color coat put down on the RAF B-17. It looked decently smooth, so unless it cures a bit bumpy I can probably proceed with stripping off that immense masking job and move on to get the details (like wheels and props) attached.

I also put a layer of RLM74 on the captured Hurricane ragwing. The paint seemed to go on pretty thin; I may have to reinforce it with a second coat. I'll decide after everything dries thoroughly.

Finally, some Alclad work was called for. Aluminum for the upper exhaust on the two Eurofighters in process at present, and then Jet Exhaust for their lower exhaust and the engine nozzles on the space shuttle.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

More masking (B-17, Eurofighter, Hurricane)

Painting preparation was the name of the game in the modelling dungeon this week. The primary effort was to get the RAF B-17 in proper shape for its coat of Dark Green. This is why it seems that I am constantly ordering Tamiya kabuki tape.

In addition, I have a few projects that require an Alclad Aluminum spray. Most important is the forward engine area on the Eurofighter (masquerading as a bundle of paper towels in the photo below). I will likely spray Jet Exhaust on the space shuttle engine cones as well.

Finally, I have done the upper surface masking for the German captured Hurricane. The wings will get a coat of RLM74 follwed by RLM75.

I am still working on the cargo doors of the space shuttle and cleaning up the seams on the future Arctic Rose DC-3. Plus there is still masking to be done for the silver leading edges of the Beech Starship.

Among all of this I am still working on cleaning out the garage for the eventual massive swap of storage (which moves from the interior lower storage to the garage) for display cases (which will move from the garage to the lower floor). That is a huge project in and of itself. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

White night (Starship, Eurofighters, B-17, Norseman)

Thankfully the uncomfortably warm weather seems to have moved on, and will be replaced for the next couple of weeks by upper 70s, which I can at least tolerate. In celebration, I spent an hour or so in the garage doing some painting. And it's a good thing, because my paint queue has been growing pretty extensive!

Three of the models required Gloss White. First, I put a surface coat onto the Beech Starship. I define a surface coat as, after any required buffing on the first (color) coat, a relatively thin top coat that fills in all the buffing scars, generally just reinforces the paint color, and provides a smoother surface. Sometimes I can avoid this by getting the mix on the color coat correct, but there was some seam work that was necessary on this A Model kit. Not unusual on a kit of this maker, but I do dearly love watching an interesting shape like the Starship moving its way through my modelling queues.

Second, I had to put a first coat of White onto the Ear Falls Airways Noorduyn Norseman. It seemed to go on pretty well, so hopefully that will be it for this color. Next comes a patch of Black on the underside, some International Orange on the wings, and of course Aluminum for the floats.

Final use of White came in laying down a coat for the stripes and underside arrow for the what-if Red Arrows Eurofighter. There are no decals specifically for this type, or course, so I decided just to mask the stripe and assemble the other markings I need from the spares box (mostly leftover RA Hawks).

The other two colors on tonight's menu were for another Eurofighter and an RAF B-17. After the epic masking job on the B-17/Fortress, I put on a coat of Dark Earth. And the Barley Grey on the Eurofighter was really just to repair a pair of spots where the paint bubbled unaccountably.

That completed the paint session. I have also been working on finishing up construction on the space shuttle. Most of the major assembly is complete, though I still have to attach one of the cargo bay doors. Attaching the first one was no easy job, and there will be some serious clean up once the glue has cured. Then I will attach the end bit where the engine nozzles all reside (the nozzles themselves will be attached later in the process). I recently picked up a new bottle of Jet Exhaust from Alclad and I'll be trying it out on the space shuttle exhaust as well as that on the Eurofighters. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Construction: Space Shuttle

Although I have a significant line forming in the painting queue, most of this weekend's work happened on the construction side of things. Lots of seam sanding, and the addition of a number of small bits that need to be attached prior to arriving at the paint shop.

But the largest amount of work went toward completing the space shuttle. This thing is a pretty large size model. The fuselage is together, the wings and tail are attached, and since the landing gear bays had to be put together before the fuselage was sealed, the gear are in place as well. It is an elderly kit and had a number of spots where the fit is not great, but at least minimally acceptable. The tail seems to have shifted slightly while drying - something that has happened to me more than once lately - but it is tightly attached and would cause massive destruction if I tried to pull it off. Looks like there is some putty and PSR in my future.

The biggest hurdle to pass over before construction is majorly complete is the cargo bay door structure. I have no interest in posing it open, so the doors will need to be closed, something the kit was clearly designed not to do. Besides being difficult to attach the doors at all (imagine some really bad bomb-bay doors that don't fit) there are strange protuberances that I assume are meant to represent hinges when the doors are fully open. They extend quite beyond where anything should be when doors are closed, so they will need to be meticulously sawed off, one at a time, and then patched. Sounds like a boring job to me, but I suspect necessary.

It's going to be getting warm here over the next two weeks. Well, it is almost July. As long as it doesn't go much over 85, I can probably do a paint session some morning before things get uncomfortable. I've also received my recent Hannants order, so I'll be laying out what was included sometime soon as well.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Masking (Lancaster, B-17)

One thing that seems to take up a large portion of my modelling hours is masking. I don't have a pressure regulator on my current compressor, so overspray is an issue no matter what I'm trying to accomplish. The solution is to mask the heck out of the model.

A good example of that is the RAF B-17 featured below. I have already painted the lower surfaces Black, so it now remains to get the uppers done. Just wrap the thing up in the modelling equivalent of a babushka, and you're ready to go.

More intense detail masking was required to get the Hasegawa Lancaster ready for its first coat of paint. With the canopy and all the turrets with their tiny panes, this actually represents a fair amount of time invested. Thankfully I had an Eduard masking set, because this is one I would hate to have done by trimming individual pieces. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Construction (DC-3, Norseman, Eurofighter what-if)

As well as the paint session, I've been able to do some serious construction as well.

I got all the major bits (not including floats) together for the Ear Falls Airways Noorduyn Norseman. Like so many of the old Matchbox kits, this is engineered well and really looks nice when complete. Some seam work will be necessary, and then I can shoot the first paint coat.

I've had a set of Thunderbird (successor to Whiskey Jack) decals for the Arctic Rose DC-3 for a while now, but the only DC-3 kit I have at present had catastrophic damage to the landing gear. Like half-dozen pieces catastrophic. Eventually I picked up some SAC metal gear from Sprue Bros, though they were rather expensive at $13.50 and probably cost more than the DC-3 kit when I originally bought it. But now that I have the gear issue squared away I was able to finish major assembly.

The Eurofighter two-seater that will eventually become a Red Arrows what-if now has the cockpit painted and installed. Major assembly will commence shortly.

And though it is not pictured here, the Special Hobby Trent Meteor and Revell A400M will be working their way into the construction queue shortly as well. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Paint session (Eurofighter, Starship, Hurricane)

There are warnings of yet another heat wave on its way to western Washington (currently due to hit around the 20th). So I figured I'd better get a jump on some construction and painting before it gets here.

First, the paint session. I had already finished the necessary masking, so I was able to shoot a coat of overall Barley Grey onto the anniversary Eurofighter. Most went on smoothly, but there are a couple of areas of orange peeling that will need some buffing attention. Plus I neglected to paint the landing gear doors (d'oh!) so that will mean a second session with that color.

The Beech Starship is moving along well too. I got a coat of overall White applied, but (as often happens) the main thing that did was highlight some seams that need additional work. It is a problem I often have with Mr Surfacer - it shrinks when it dries, so what you thought was a filled seam turns out to still have a visible crease in it when you think you're done. I may have to go back to putty for some seam filling.

I also shot an RLM76 coat on to the captured Hurricane. The main coat went on fine, but on this one too I managed to forget the landing gear doors. Obviously some mental damage manifesting itself here.

The final part of this session was spraying the cockpit for the demo Hawk T2. I am hoping to get major assembly of this model done before the heat arrives and I am umbilically attached to my box fan for 3 or 4 days. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Another purchase (Revell 1:72 Airbus A400M)

Now for the third purchase of the recent spending spree.

I missed out the first time the Revell A400M was released in 1:72. Lack of available funds meant that I had to put this project on the back burner. When I finally saw the latest Mission: Impossible film, with Tom Cruise hanging on the side door of the A400 during takeoff (which was apparently him and not a stunt double, and they had to do something like 8 circuits to make sure they had all the shots they needed) I knew I had to search one down.

Unfortunately by that time Revell had let the kit slip out of production. Sprue Bros said they couldn't get any more til Revell decided to reissue. So I went off to ebay, and found that, instead of the $70-ish MSRP of the original kit, they were now going for roughly $120 with shipping. I decided to hold off until a reissue or a more reasonably priced kit came within my view.

Last week, I did find a kit on ebay for $60 ($74 with shipping). I figured that was close enough for me and bought it. It took the package a while to make its way up here from California, and it took something of a beating on the trip, but the kit seems to be all there and undamaged. The box got smooshed, but it will be in a recycling bin soon enough, so that is not an issue.

The kit is rather huge, as expected. There is a full cargo interior, but since I have no plans to have the ramp down or any doors open, I may see if it is possible to forego those bits. At this point I don't know if the interior serves any structural purpose on the model, or is just there as an option for those who want everything open. But I'll find out soon enough because this one is entering the build queue.

All i need now is a 1:72 Tom Cruise figure. 

The only shipment still in transit is from Hannants (mostly decals with one small resin kit). It usually takes 3 weeks to arrive, so I probably won't be seeing it for a little while. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

A modelling ordergasm

What is there to do when you've hit a temporary lull in construction and painting due to other distractions and weather issues? Why, buy more kits of course.

I seem to have created a splurge in modelling purchases over the last week. Four orders: Ebay, Hannants, Sprue Bros, West Coast Hobbies. The Ebay purchase came about because I found a kit I'd been looking for at a reasonable price. Hannants was due to the arrival of a decal sheet I've been waiting for since it was announced. Sprue Bros for non-kit supplies, including masks to support other kits I have both here and on the way. And West Coast Hobbies due to a nice little sale Rob was having.

First in is an order from West Coast Hobbies. This is my first time ordering from them, though they do have a good rep on the boards that I visit. Rob was having a clearance sale, and I decided to pick up a Special Hobby B-18 and two of the Sword Lightnings (a T4 and an F3).

I remember when I first bought a Special Hobby DC-2 back in the day, I assumed that a B-18 was a given and would be out soon. But it took them years to actually produce one, and then my non-working status meant I couldn't shell out for one when they finally appeared. But the WCH sale was a good one, and although this really isn't the boxing I would have preferred, I am still glad to have picked one up.

Being a fan of trainers, I've been on the lookout for one of Sword's two seat Lightnings for a while, but they always seemed to be sold out when I was assembling an order for Hannants. I have had troubles with Sword kits in the past (the P-47N was tough) but for a trainer Lightning I'll take another chance. I have a decal sheet coming from Hannants that has the pink tail with the flamingo zap. But there are a lot of colorful choices for this one.

As to the Lightning F3, I would hope that Airfix would create a new one someday. But in the meantime this is what we've got. I have a lineup of something like 9 completed variants - mostly elderly Airfix with a couple of Trumpeter - and this will fit right in. With a bunch of decal sheets (Xtradecal, Modeldecal, and I think some Cutting Edge ones) I should be spoiled for choice.

I also got an order from Sprue Bros today, but it was just supplies - masking sets, glue, paint, a small brush and some MicroBrush glue applicators. Nothing glitzy. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Returning to the workbench (Hawk, Norseman, Eurofighter)

I finally got a chance to return to the workbench today, though it wasn't a long session. The main things were getting the Hawk T2 and Eurofighter T1 cockpits ready for some paint, more general assembly on the second Noorduyn Norseman, and the beginning of paint masking for a Yak-130. I've also got a ragwing Hurricane pretty much built, and am just waiting for cockpit masks to arrive.

In process as well is a USGov Space Shuttle and Hasegawa Lancaster. I'm still in the process of masking the transparencies on the Lanc; that is a long and tiresome job. There's an RAF B-17 in queue as well.

Here are a couple of photos of the progress.