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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Spending spree (C-60, Gripen, Whitley, Hasegawa Eurofighter)

We recently got some good financial news, a rarity in my non-working days. There was a small financial settlement involved, which took some pressure off. No need for me to get too excited though, because the inevitable law of equal and opposite reactions kicked in shortly thereafter. I was informed by a mechanic that transmission work required for the Honda Odyssey van is estimated at $6,600. Yowtch.

But I did decide to indulge in something I haven't done much of in the last 5 years: buy some new kits. Two orders, from Hannants in the UK and Sprue Bros in the US. The domestic order arrived today, though I don't expect to see the foreign one until next week sometime. So let's see what topped my list of kits after so long a drought.

First comes the new Airfix Whitley. I have built a Novo Whitley, which was not a particularly satisfactory model, and even have an original Frog version in a pretty mint box. I suspect I will move that one along via ebay, to some kit collector who will have a better appreciation of it than I will. The Airfix kit looks nice, though it continues the company's trend of borderline overengineering, with the fuselage in more pieces than it really needs to be IMO. I know that Xtradecal and PrintScale do aftermarket decal sheets, but the variances are mostly in code letters and where the black demarcation begins, so I'll likely just go with what the kit provides.

I also picked up a Revell Gripen (the new tooling, with Tiger Meet markings). I wanted one of these to continue my group of modern frontline fighters. I will likely pick up a Hobbyboss Rafale at some future date unless I decide to just bite the bullet and build the elderly (and raised line) Italeri version I have somewhere in the stash.

In addition, I got an MPM C-60 Lodestar in BOAC wartime markings. I'm working my way through the civil/airliner variants of the Lockheed twins, having completed the L10 Electra and L12 Junior Electra. Still remaining: the L14 Super Electra and L18 Lodestar. I likely will use the kit's BOAC markings, though if Greg Drawbaugh comes to the Seattle Spring Show in two weeks, I might pick up one of his airliner sets. The Continental one looks nice.

Finally (kitwise) I indulged in the Hasegawa Eurofighter. I found the last two builds of the Revell kit to be more frustrating than I expected or remembered, possibly due to mold deterioration. In any case, there was a lot of flash and ill-fitting pieces. I can't imagine I will have those problems with the Hasegawa version. The biggest barrier to this being my new go-to for Eurofighters is the price: $39 per unit as opposed to $15 for the Revell. I'll likely choose to use the Xtradecal 72230 set for the red-tail anniversary markings.

The rest of the order was a book (Squadron's USN UAVs), some more Tenax, and a mask set for one of the kits coming from Hannants. It was an odd experience in unpacking a box of models after such a long time, but a thoroughly enjoyable one!

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