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Monday, February 15, 2016

Catching up on construction (Tornado, Hawk, ragwing)

I've gotten a few days behind in keeping the blog updated, and there has been a fair amount of activity on the workbench. I'm hoping to get some airbrush time tomorrow, but I'll report on that later. Right now I'll catch up on recent construction.

One of the great things about actually finishing projects again is that it frees up space on the work table and allows you to consider what should be coming along next in the queue. I tend to have a number of models in process at once; I've never been one to stick with one from beginning to end in a linear stream. I inevitably get bored or run into a roadblock that requires some thought to get around (or some time to get over a high level of frustration) and it is nice to be able to work on some other kit while the first one sits idle for a while. And since my production rate has improved dramatically since the two surgeries I am starting to be able to consider which kits should move to the front of the line.

As longterm readers know, I am a big fan of new Airfix. I was really bummed reading the recent news about Hornby's financial struggles. The implication is that most of the problems were caused by Hornby management's rather bumbling efforts to redesign their distribution systems (and in the process, managing to piss off retailers, customers, and the bean-counters in equal measure). The rumor is that the Airfix brand is basically providing most of Hornby's cash flow at present, but that won't help them if the parent company tanks. It will also likely mean less money for new tooling investment, which is what has been driving Airfix's success in the last years. I can say that I've done my part, having bought a lot of their 1:72 kits lately. Blenheim, Do-17, ragwing Hurricane, Tiger Moth. Getting the Whitley and Shack are on my short list. And of course I seem to buy BAe Hawks with some frequency. Looking forward to the Victor, too, and hopefully it won't be a casualty of the corporate belt-tightening.

In this spirit, I have four Airfix kits entering the build queue. The Hawk T1 is mostly built, waiting for canopy masking and attachment before entering the paint shop. I've just started work on the Blenheim Mk 1, and the Do-17 will be joining it soon. I've got Eduard masking sets on order for the Blenheim and Do-17 (the Hawk I can manage with Tamiya tape) so there should be no slowdown when I get to that part of the process. I also have a Spit 22 that will joining in the near future.

Beyond that, I decided to put together a Hasegawa Tornado GR1. I'll be using one of their IDS kits, but luckily the ventral nose radar/sensor/whatever is including on the clear sprue no matter what the mark. I would prefer a GR4 to take advantage of the special scheme decals I have, but Freightdog seems to have run low on their GR4 conversions lately, and they are no longer available on the website. I suppose I'll have to break down one of these days and buy a dual boxing of Hasegawa GR4s. They ain't cheap though.

A bit further down the line, I'll be working on the last two Eurofighter kits I have. These are both twin-seaters, which limits the markings options. All the cool new specials are single seater fighters (as would be expected; that's by and large what is in squadron service) and the kit is the old Italeri mold in a Revell box, and my experience with them has been spotty at best. So I did some surfing about and finally decided upon two schemes: the first development aircraft that the RAF used, and a what-if Red Arrows version. Eurofighter as Red Arrow seems to have caught a lot of people's fancy, including non-modellers. I've run across them in a couple of places, and have even seen finished models in places. Airfix Tribute Forum? Britmodeller? Can't remember tbh. But sooner or later you'll be seeing them here too.

The photos below show some construction progress. 

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