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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Meet the new boss (not the same as the old boss)

We have a new arrival here in 72 Land. No, not another rugrat (heaven forbid) or even another rescue dog (having just one is rather nice for a change) but a new airbrush. It came via Amazon in a sturdy cardboard container with a few special items included. Besides the bright shiny brush, there was an inline water trap (which I have been meaning to get for ages but never did), a few bottles of acrylics (which I don't use, and they were very primary colors anyway) and a tube of super lube. Why they included personal products like that - no, wait a second, it is to lube up the airbrush.

There is a thrill of anticipation as you get ready to test out a crucial tool like this. And I can say without any hesitation that the results were.... absolutely wonderful. I didn't realize just how damaged my old brush really was. All the parts move like they are supposed to, paint actually emerges from the nozzle, and the coat it lays down is nicely smooth and free of bubbles or runs. I can't tell you what a relief that was.

There was one moment of terror, and those of you who have been disappointed by something you have waited a long time for will understand this. I switched colors and was preparing to spray the wheel wells of the XP-56, fired the trigger - and nothing happened. No air, no paint, no nothing. Just like one of the symptoms of my earlier problem. I'm surprised the pacemaker didn't go off. But I fiddled with the front end, and it turned out it had been inadvertently spun open when I was dabbing off paint that had collected on the nozzle tip. If you open it up too wide, it is supposed to cut off the paint (because the geometry between the nozzle and needle gets messed up). I gave it a half turn and all was well again.

I'm sure in my ham-fisted way I will find other ways to screw up models (looking at you, Blenheim) but for a short while at least, painting won't be one of them. I was able to get those wheel wells done on the XP-56, the Dark Earth camo on the Eurofighter, the RLM65 onto the repaired underwing floats on the Bv-222, and various exhaust parts. Plus repair the bottom wing of an Operation Torch Hurricane.


Though I did have a bit of a crisis with a B-36 that has sent me to the store for WD40. That story later...



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