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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Major construction on Eurofighters

Much of what I have been working on for the last spans of free time in the evenings has been completing major construction on the two Eurofighters. And I discovered something rather interesting: these Revell molds have not aged well.

It has been 18 months or so since I last worked on a Revell Eurofighter. This is the revised Revell mold, not the repackaged Italeri kit (kit number 4317 if you're keeping track). I remember it, possibly through the post-trauma haze of amnesia, as fitting fairly well and having good detail. But building these two, more recently purchased, have been a major trial. There is quite a bit of flash, the fit is tougher than I remember, and while the detail is still there, it sometimes becomes obscured in the repairs needed to cover the seam sanding required.

I do know that Revell is advertising a new mold Eurofighter for 2016 which incorporates any tranche 3 changes, though I don't know whether it is a completely new mold or just some additional plastic. Revell is occasionally somewhat mysterious about the word "new". I've seen reboxed Matchbox kits thus described. Did they realize that their mold had deteriorated badly and wanted to produce a new one (perhaps to take advantage of all the special schemes the plane has been seen in during the last couple of summers)? I don't know.

But I can tell you to beware of the seams around the airbrakes and spine, the attachment areas of the lower wing piece, and where the upper wings and fuselage come together. These seemed rather disastrous on my examples. Perhaps it is just ring rust from not having modelled much in the last year or more; I do feel like I've had to relearn a lot of techniques that I haven't used in quite some time. But I also feel that there has been a qualitative decline in the kits I recently purchased versus the ones I bought when the 4317 kit first came out.

In any case, the models are mostly together and seam work is ongoing. The next step will be to finish the painting on the aft of the cockpit and mask/attach the canopy.

And then... confront my nemesis of 2014: the airbrush. My last experiences with airbrushing were both frustrating and maddening. The thing obviously needs a more thorough cleaning than I can currently provide; I suspect there is dry paint buildup in the interior where I can't get at it. What it really needs is another trip to Portland for an Iwata corporate refurbishment. I did that a number of years ago and was very pleased with how the brush came back. Alas, that is financially not in the cards right now (medical copays and 20%s are eating up all available cash and more). Still, if you hear a huge scream one of these nights echoing from a distant point in the far western US, you'll know that I braved the winter elements and went back to the battlefield. 

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