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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Holiday greetings and some paint prep (J8M1, DHC-1)

I did try to get a couple of items across the finish line today, but decided to relax and let them fall into the category for 2018 instead. Given the damage that my native impatience can sometimes cause, I thought it might be better to set a more sedate pace. But I did at least get things prepped for the next painting session. Mostly this consisted of masking the J8M1 for the NMF area around the exhaust and gathering up items for the Chipmunk that needed some Aluminum paint.

With a number of projects wrapping up, I’ve decided what is going to enter the construction queue this week. I received the Italeri Eurofighter boxing with those four lovely Italian AF special schemes from Hannants this week, and I will start on their cockpits. That means there will be three Eurofighters in motion at the same time. So much for my idea to work on more varied aircraft types.

Also, the Special Hobby Trent Meteor will get some attention. Finally, my recently purchased Valom B-45 takes its turn.

To be honest, my biggest challenge at present is storage space. I think I have entirely maxed out my storage cases (both commercial and homemade). I can still fit small military vehicles into the spaces under wings, but I am not sure where the last couple of aircraft are going to be stored. I have to push the issue of buying a new storage case, but the reconstruction of part of our backyard fence is still holding the spot for next capital expense. I might have to build another homemade space if only to take the pressure off.

It is tied into the reorganization of the basement and garage storage spaces, but I haven’t been able to do much to advance that effort due to ongoing back issues. Ah well, life is never boring around this place!

To all the loyal subjects of Greater 72 Land, a Happy New Year! Hopefully you will find some extra time to do productive modelling in 2018.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Paint prep (J8M1, Eurofighter, Chipmunk)

As the Doomsday Clock ticks down the last few hours of 2017, there is a rush here at the 72 Land imperial production line to complete more models before the deadline. I’ve got two in queue to have their pictures taken and displayed on the blog. There are two more that might slip in under the wire. We’ll see, once we get to the traditional annual statistical review on 1-1-2018.

In the meantime, there are three items that need some paint, so much of recent workbench time was prepping for that.

While the wheel wells for the newest Eurofighter came out fine, the fin exhibited some pooling behavior, which is especially noticeable for Whites and Yellows. So, out came the low-grit sandpaper and part of the fin was buffed down. Along with this, since I have the White out, I’ll shoot another coat onto the Tiger Force Lancaster’s turrets, which just didn’t have the opaqueness that they should have.

Next, I masked up the DHC-1 Chipmunk. The wing and fin tips need to be red as part of the British Airways colors.

Finally, I buffed down the Yellow coat that had pooled rather badly on the J8M1 Shusui. I did a prime job with the last of a spray can of Testors Light Grey. Now it is ready for a coat of prototype Orange – a Gunze color that I picked up somewhere along the way. I have never used their paint line before, so this will likely be an adventure. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Paint session (F-101B, DUKW, J8M1, XP-79, Eurofighter)

I decided to do a daytime paint session today due to the temps. I remember back in the summertime when we had a nasty heat wave, and it was pretty miserable attempting to paint in an uncooled garage. Well, today was no problem when it came to cooling. The snow from Christmas Day is still on the ground (though less on the streets, thankfully). It is supposed to warm up and rain within a couple of days, so that should take care of the remainder. As it was, my hands were getting pretty numb by the time I finished the session.

The main thing I wanted to make sure was done was add the matte topcoat to the Revell F-101B Voodoo. I’m in a race to get a couple of things completed by the end of 2017, and this is one of them. It’s a nice kit, though I would have preferred a straight F-101A single seater. But when I started, the Valom kit was not available and the Revell kit was in the stash. I am pretty happy with it overall, but I still have a couple of things to do where I can irreparably screw it up before final completion.

I also got a coat of MRP Olive Drab onto the DUKW. The MRP line takes a bit of getting used to. It does not reward impatience. It is thinned enough that it will begin to pool in an instant if you are not careful. Impatient sod that I am, I need to keep reminding myself of that. Next will come the painting of the DUKW’s tires and then decaling. Do I need a gloss coat before doing that? Not sure, so stay tuned.

I was not nearly so lucky with the J8M1 Shusui/Komet. I decided to use a bottle of MRP (Chrome Yellow) which I just received this week. First of all, for any light color, I would definitely recommend a primer coat. I don’t typically prime unless I have concerns about the surface of the model – ie, to fill in scratch marks or such. But the yellow pooled almost instantly, and it is clear that this one will need to be buffed down, primed, and then repainted. Plus the Chrome Yellow was too – well, too yellow – so I may search for a better representation of the rather orangey yellow color the Japanese used for prototypes.

The RS XP-79 got an overall coat of very light grey. I just eyeballed this one, using as light a grey in the US Xtracolour range as I had on hand. It looked good enough, and will allow me to get to the next bit of construction: landing gear and doors.

Finally, out came the Testors Gloss White. Not only did I need to repair some of the paint overshoot on the AZ Chipmunk, but the new-tool Revell Eurofighter has gotten to the point where I can paint the wheel wells, landing gear, and the fin. This will be a 41 Sqdrn RAF anniversary plane. My impressions of this new tool Eurofighter have been very positive so far. It will be my go-to Eurofighter when I start to branch out into Luftwaffe anniversary aircraft. Since I also recently bought the two-kit set of Italeri’s Italian AF special schemes, I will probably just use the plastic that comes in the box for at least the first two. The old Italeri Eurofighter is definitely not up to the quality of the Revell kit, but hopefully since this will be in a lineup with a dozen other planes it won’t be so noticeable. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

A white Christmas

In the roughly 32 years since we moved to the area south of Seattle, there has only been snow on the ground on Christmas Day a handful of times. And I can never remember it actually snowing on the day itself. But this year, we got a nice little Christmas Eve snowfall, which has continued into this morning. Looks like roughly 3" up to this point. 

The estate here at Castle 72 has rarely looked so....cold! I'm hoping to get an airbrush session in by tomorrow but I shudder - literally - to think what the unheated garage is going to feel like. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas to one and all

Although it is still Christmas Eve here in the great northwest USA, I know that some of you have already crossed over into Christmas Day. So I would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas, full of proper models (ie, the 1:72 ones), good times with the family, and - most of all - some unfettered time to pursue this great hobby of ours. Sometimes I think that time is the most difficult item to get, and I'm already retired!

I'm also posting photos of the Three Stooges, our menagerie of animals. The one-eyed fawn pug is Tug. He damaged his eye badly somewhere in the backyard this summer, which necessitated the emergency surgery. He is 9.

The black pug is Kirby (named after Jack Kirby, for those of you that get the reference). We picked him up from a breeder in fall of 2017. He, like all puppies, has only two gears: berserk and comatose. He is not easy to get a photo of because he is constantly moving as well as his black coat makes him a light sink. He is 5 months old. 

The cat is Booker, who belongs to my daughter. He is a rescue. Shannon works as a vet assistant, and he was brought in after living in a WalMart parking lot for a few months. He is a completely indoor cat since we don't want him to relive that particular adventure. The vet estimates that he is 6 or 7 years old. 

And so, to all, a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Messerschmitt Me-163B

Today’s completion started out in disappointment and ended up in great satisfaction.

One day I was exercising my Google Fu concerning Me-163 Komets. The main thing I was looking for was photos of the captured RAF example that was repainted in British markings. What I actually ran across was a paint job that I had never seen on a Komet before. It was on a Rocketeer sheet, but I soon found out that the sheet was long out of print. Quite bummed, I decided to place a request on the 72nd Scale Aircraft boards to see if anyone had the sheet but had no plans to use it. Hopes were not high.

But a gentleman with the screen name of Pyran was kind enough to let me know I could have his. He mailed it with no cost to me. Once again I have cause to be grateful to a member of that board. They are always willing to be helpful and rarely charge anything for the service (unless they are explicitly selling items). So Pyran, I tip my bottle of Cherry Coke in your direction; you were a lifesaver this day.

Komets are simple kits. I used the Academy version which I had in the stash. The one trouble I had was with the Master turned brass pitot and gun barrel set. Since this was an unarmed glider, I didn’t use the gun barrels and the pitot proved to be close enough to scale that it was literally impossible for my sausage fingers to get it out of the packaging without bending it slightly. I ended up using the kit pitot, but it is admirably thin itself.

Me-163s are one of the few aircraft that I have done a long series of (like Hurricanes, A-4s, and Eurofighters). The attraction is that there are nice models – specifically Academy – of the main variants, and numerous kits – in both plastic and resin – of many of the lesser known variants. I supposed you could consider much of the Lippisch output to be in the Komet bloodline, since many of them strongly resemble the Me-163s. But even the major 163 subvariants (DFS 194, A, B, S, C, P-20 jet, I-270, 263, J8M1) are pretty well covered.

Painting was easy, with only two colors (red and Alclad White Aluminum) required on the fuselage/wings. The decals also performed as expected. The result is a fairly unique model in any lineup of Me-163s.

This is completed aircraft #483 (16 aircraft, 3 ordnance, 14 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in December of 2017.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Valom Mk7 nuke and Mk7 nuke transport cart

A double completion today, of one very simple bomb and a somewhat less than simple transport cart to move it around.

Longterm readers will know that I have a soft spot for bomb ordnance, especially nuclear weapons. I have visions of a display of dozens of weapons that are related to aircraft. Dumb bombs, smart bombs, nuclear bombs. What I don’t like to do is overload aircraft models with a huge loadout – my interest there is in the airframe itself, unhindered by awkward things hanging off the wings. Hence, the standalone bomb (and eventually missile) display. AModel is good for providing the larger items along with transport carts. But today’s completion is actually a Valom kit.

This is the Mark 7 Thor nuclear weapon. It appears to have started out as an add-on to their B-45. But they must have realized that there was a market for the nuke as a standalone kit. I thought that was a great idea, since I had already bought a B-45 and didn’t particularly want to buy another one just to pick up these two small sprues.

As you can imagine, the nuke only has a small number of pieces, but it still provided some head-scratching as I was building it. Neither the instructions nor the photos I was able to locate on Google were definitive as to how the middle aft fin attached to the body of the bomb. In the end I just took my best guess, but be aware that I could be wrong. A Red-brown nose (I used an Xtracolour armor paint) and a silver body (from Alclad) and it was time to add decals. There were many for such a small item, but weren’t much of an issue to add.

The transport cart was a little more complex. It has a surprising number of pieces, and none of them wanted to glue in place without trauma. Mating surfaces are necessarily small, and whenever you put pressure on one piece to get it to fit, it inevitably caused another piece to break free. Lacking 7 or 8 hands for the job, I was reduced to gluing one bit and allowing it to fully cure before moving on to the next. So in real time, this cart took far more time than  had expected.

However, they are both complete – while the B-45 still sits forlornly in the short finals queue in the upstairs hobby room. And it appears that a couple of Meteors will move into the construction queue next, so it will be there for a while longer.

This is completed ordnance #9 and completed vehicle #14 (15 aircraft, 3 ordnance, 14 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in November of 2017 (bomb) and December of 2017 (cart).

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Paint prep / construction (J8M1, Chipmunk, DUKW, Eurofighter)

Some paint prep and a bit of construction were the main events on the workbench this week.

I have finished construction on the J8M1 IJN Komet, and even managed to get the canopy masked up as well. Now all I have to do is go through my paint stocks and see if I have anything that matches up to the orange-yellow that the IJN used for its trainer aircraft.

There was some overspray on the blue of the DHC-10 used by British Airways. I’ve taped it up and will repair the white at the next paint session. Since I have the white out, I will likely reinforce the color on the transparencies (mostly turrets) of the Lanc.

Finally, there will be an overall coat of Olive Drab on the completed DUKW.

In terms of construction, I got the major pieces together for the next Eurofighter in the series. This one will be in anniversary markings from 41 Sqdrn RAF. I’m using the newest-tool Revell kit. There isn’t much that is majorly different from the tooling of a few years back, though there is no sign of the mold deterioration that has plagued that release. Fit was excellent, and any sanding of seams is likely down to my own ham-handedness rather than kit problems. I do seem to have been having some glue discipline issues lately. Most likely I just need to slow down and do a more meticulous job, something I am not particularly known for. This will be my go-to Eurofighter kit, though I did recently buy the Italeri set with the four Italian AF anniversary specials, which means I’ll at least have two of that not particularly great kit in queue. I have decals for three German AF specials yet to use as well. And the special RAF schemes for the Eurofighters in 2018 have not been released to the public yet. I’m sure there are some coming – which will probably be documented by Xtradecal. But my first impressions of the new Revell version are very positive indeed. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Academy VW Schwimmwagen

With lots of medical appointments and the usual chaos of the run-up to Christmas, I’ve fallen a bit behind in documenting completions lately. At least it will provide fodder for the blog.

First up is another small vehicle. As you likely know, the Volkswagen Schwimmwagen is a shortened amphibious development of the same firm’s Kubelwagen. The main modification is the body tub, which provides for smooth transit through water and the reduced wheel base. Motive power in water was by a prop in the lower rear of the vehicle and land transit was via the regular transmission. Steering was accomplished by using the front wheels as rudders. Nearly 16,000 were produced during the war, and only 189 exist today. It is roughly comparable to the Ford GPA.

The kit is from Academy, part of AC13401, and also includes a German fuel truck and bomb loader. As with all of the Academy vehicles, detail is nice for the scale and I can’t complain about fit. Generally, with these small vehicles I finish major construction (not including wheels) and then paint. Most of them are only one color, which is what drives this approach. Then I go through and do whatever detail painting is necessary – in this case steering wheel, seats, exhaust and dashboard. I followed this by painting the tires and attaching the wheels.

Earlier I mentioned a quandary I was in regarding this vehicle, which I still have not resolved, and that is the windshield. No clear parts are provided by Academy and I don’t happen to have any clear plastic sheet on hand. I suspect the proper solution is to cut clear plastic to shape and then attach it with Clearfix. However, as I said, I have no such clear plastic on hand and want to get this one in the completed column. So for the purpose of these pictures, I will just leave the windshield empty and add windows at a later date. I will likely take the same approach with the DUKW, which will be debuting soon.

I continue to enjoy building these 1:72 vehicles. All are of simple construction, most are single color, and dealing with wheels is considerably easier than dealing with tracks (though eventually I’ll have to figure that part out as well). A bomb cart and DUKW are in process, with a Kubelwagen and another truck about to enter the construction queue.

This is completed vehicle #13 (15 aircraft, 3 ordnance, 13 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in November of 2017.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Painting (F-101B, Me-163 and MR Paints)

Here is a quick recap on yesterday’s paint session. As mentioned, the Me-163 and Mark 7 nuke both got their top sealer coats.

The F-101B got the exhaust area taken care of. The darker exhaust markings are fairly subtle, but I think they make the point. Next on this project is to strip off all the masking tape and get the landing gear and doors added. Then comes decals.

My first experiment with MR Paints was a success, though admittedly a small sampling. I shot an overall coat of Olive Drab onto the nuke’s transport trolley and wheels. There is no thinning involved, since these come mixed for airbrush use. This is no small issue, since once paint is thinned, it can’t really go back into the bottle. Unused paint from this source, however, can go directly back. Less wastage overall. At $7 a bottle, that’s at least some consideration. The paint sprayed smoothly with no orange peel or pooling issues. My only complaint is that it dries very matte. I’ve become so used to using Xtracolour paints that I rarely have to add any gloss to the model prior to decals. Looks like I’ll have to get used to this extra step as my Xtracolour collection diminishes and MR Paints take over. Still, very happy with my experiment so far, and am looking forward to trying additional colors.

One thing to note: MR Paints just released a wave of Italian AF colors, 32 in all. I can see what my next order will consist of. There are multiple varieties of greens, browns, yellows, greys. Italian markings can be a bit of a labyrinth, so I would suggest checking out the Stormo color guide. I know I’ll be spending some time there shortly. Start at

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Benchtime (ME-163, F-101B, Mk 7 nuke)

Workbench time in the last few days has been divided between more paint prep and a bit of cockpit construction.

I finally finished up all the detail bits on the French civilian Me-163 and have it ready for a sealer coat of semi-gloss clear. This one will stand out in the Komet lineup.

Similarly, I’ve got the decaling done for Valom’s Mark 7 Thor nuclear bomb. It won’t get its completed display until the transport cart (included in Valom’s kit) catches up. But it needs a sealer coat.

The masking is complete for the NMF area of the F-101B’s exhaust. A first coat will be in White Aluminum, followed by some detailing in Alclad Exhaust Manifold.

And I will have my first experiment with MR Paints when I hit the nuclear bomb’s transport cart with a coat of Olive Drab.

In terms of construction, I’ve got all the bits ready for paint for the Eurofighter cockpit. This is Revell’s newest-tool version. Can’t say as I’ve seen much difference so far, not including the mold deterioration that the RV4317 kit has experienced. Next job is to paint and detail the cockpit, then seal up the fuselage.

No photo today, since I’ve already taken everything down to the garage (ie, the subterranean paint shop dungeon). But I will have a paint report soon. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Painting session (Me-163, Schwimmwagen, F-101B)

On this final day of November, I took some time to put together a small airbrush session. I didn’t get everything in the queue, but enough to keep some projects moving.

First, I shot a matte overall coat on the Academy Schwimmwagen. It will be debuting as a completed model as soon as I resolve one dilemma.

I then shot a coat of Alclad White Aluminum on the Norseman airliner’s floats, the body of the Valom Mk 7 nuclear weapon, and the remaining portion of the French civil Me-163 glider.

I used a spray can of Testors SAC Green to get the cockpit of the J8M1 ready for detail painting.

Finally, I cleaned up some rough areas on the F-101B and painted the landing gear doors (which I had somehow forgotten while painting the plane overall). Next I’ll be masking off the area around the exhausts, which will get a covering of White Aluminum (and some areas of Burnt Metal for contrast).

Not every painting session needs to be a marathon, but all paint sessions can advance multiple projects!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Construction (J8M1, F-101B, XP-79, DUKW)

First off, I’d like to wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving. We just put the turkey in, so it won’t be long until the house fills with proper holiday smells.

But back to the workbench. Many construction sessions are really just paint-prep sessions in disguise. Though there wasn’t much time devoted to bench time this week, most of it was in preparation for paint.

I was able to get the cockpit together for the J8M1 Japanese Komet. For simplicity’s sake I will probably paint it via spray can and then do some detail painting after that has a chance to cure. Then I will be completing the overall assembly.

I have buffed down the ADC Gray overall coat on the F-101B. There were a couple of rough spots, but those are ready for a surface coat. Also, I found that I had forgotten to include the landing gear doors in the last paint session, so those will be included this time around.

Repair work is needed on the DHC-1 Chipmunk. The masking on the lower fuselage was a bit clumsy, and will need to be remasked and sprayed to eliminate the overspray. Next I can mask the wingtips and tail for the Insignia Red portions.

The Valom mark 7 nuke needed to have the nosecone masked off so that the rest of the bomb can be painted Aluminum. While I’ve got the Alclad out, I’ll take the opportunity to paint the floats on the airliner Noorduyn Norseman as well.

Finally, I’ve gotten the major assembly of the RS XP-79 in gear. Next comes the rather frightful act of masking and cementing that canopy, which does not look like it will be easy.

In terms of pure construction, I’ve gotten the major body pieces together for the Italeri DUKW. In comparison with the tractors and airfield support vehicles I’ve done to date, this is a gigantic model (well, gigantic for 1:72 vehicles at least). Lots remains to be done, including the transmission, interior, and a bunch of stuff hanging on the bow end. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Painting (F-101, Me-163, Schwimmwagen, Mark 7 nuke)

Armed with a new respirator (mine went to pieces a couple of months back) I ventured into the paint shop for the first time in a while. The weather has been just exactly what we want everyone outside of the northwest to think it is all of the time; rain rain rain as far as the weather eye can see. But that does make for a pleasant painting experience.

Four projects in the spotlight for this session. First comes a small job, putting the Red Brown nose onto the mark 7 nuclear bomb from Valom. A surprising amount of cleanup went into this 5 piece item.

Then came an overall Desert Yellow coat on the Academy Schwimmwagen. I do rather enjoy these small vehicle kits. They are easy to put together, don’t require a lot of complicated paintwork, and make for a quick completion. Of course I do very little weathering on any model, so that does simplify the process.

Next was a coat of Insignia Red on the upper fuselage of the Me-163B. This is going to be a French postwar glider. I never knew the scheme existed until I was grazing on the net one day and discovered an out-of-production Rocketeer sheet with this set of markings on it. It was just too weird to pass up. The problem was I didn’t own the sheet. Since Rocketeer has gone to the big hobby shop in the sky, that could be a problem. After some inquiries, I was saved by a fellow 72 Scale Aircraft board member Pyran, who cut the decal out and mailed it to me. I always appreciate these random acts of kindness from other modellers and try to do the same thing whenever I have the opportunity.

Last was an overall coat of ADC Grey on the F-101B. This is part of my Complete Century Series project (complete because it includes the prototypes XF-103, XF-108 and XF-109, all by Anigrand).

Saturday, November 11, 2017

AModel Beech Starship

I finished today’s completion some time ago, but it was enough of a struggle that it took a while to write up the summary. It is the AModel Beech Starship. This is one of those types that I have always wanted to model, but in olden days the only available kit was a vac. Not that this kit requires less work than a vac.

The large pieces of the kit are not that difficult to get together, but almost everything requires some sanding, dry-fitting, and foul language. It’s the tiny parts that are the real killer. Since this is a short-run kit, the small parts are connected to the sprues by gates that are sometimes bigger than the parts themselves, often causing damage when removing them. And the instructions are not that great at specifying exactly where all those tiny bits go. Most seams require filling.

Painting the overall white wasn’t all that difficult, but when it came time to mask for the leading edge NMF strips I was breaking off antennae right and left. Even the front canard managed to disengage itself. In the end I decided not to mask the overall kit (overspray would get everywhere) and just brush painted the leading edges. Not a completely successful endeavor.

Painting the canopy surround was rather a pain as well. As was most of the rest of the detail painting. Note the theme developing here. But things really went into the crapper when it came time to decal the model. While AModel kits have definitely improved over the course of their existence, their decal technology hasn’t kept up. They are very thin and prone to tear. Not a good thing when many of the decals are thin stripes.

It isn’t one the best I’ve done, and actually would probably not be seen in public if it weren’t for my core founding principle that anything I build gets displayed on this blog, good with the bad. So what you see is what I got.

Just to add a final layer of insult, as I was transporting the kit down to the garage display cases, I dropped the thing and broke off one canard and one vertical tailpiece. I’m probably lucky the landing gear didn’t go as well. Thankfully photos had already been taken. But that just goes to display the rather snakebit nature of this model. I do love AModel’s kit choices, and still plan to build their Avanti and SpaceShip. But I rather dread the experience.

This is completed aircraft #482 (15 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 12 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in October of 2017.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Recent acquisitions

Two packages arrived this week. One included a selection of 6 bottles of MRP paint, a new line that has been getting good reviews on the sites that I visit. They are very similar in size and mix to Alclad (except not being metallic of course). Although my first order was meant to supply colors where my Xtracolour stocks were running low – or out – I’m not sure I have an immediate need for the colors in the stream of projects that are moving into the paint queue at present. Once I give them a try I’ll put together a report.

The other was a set of three items from RebelAlpha. First comes the Mark 7 nuclear bomb. They are including this in one of the later B-45 boxings and decided to put it out as a separate release as well. This works for me as I’ve already bought a B-45. In fact, since the bomb itself only has 5 pieces, I finished construction on it last evening. Some tidying up will be necessary. The transport cart has more pieces.

Second was the Print Scale decal sheet for FJ-3 and FJ-4 Furies. I want to build at least one of the Sword kits in Gloss Sea Blue and this sheet has markings for one.

Last came an impulse purchase, the Ace Models Trattore Autocaro Sahariana AS-37 truck. Another in my project of wheeled support vehicles. I wanted to get a close up look at what Ace kit were like, and at least I can paint this one in desert colors. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Construction (Me-163B, Schwimmwagen)

Not everything around the 72 Land capital city has been lack of production in the last month: we’ve also acquired another pet. This time it is a 10 week old black pug puppy, now named Kirby. As any of you with pets know, puppies have two modes of operation: 1) Berserk and 2) Comatose. He has certainly been running me ragged trying to get him housebroken and socialized with our 9 year old pug and 6 year old cat.

But there have been some modelling related movements as well. I have mostly pieced together an Academy Schwimmwagen, and once I add a couple more exterior bits it will be ready for a first coat of Desert Yellow.

Following that, the first of two Me-163 derivatives has gotten its cockpit painted and installed, and most of the major construction completed. Next on the list is masking and installation of canopies. This one is going to be in postwar French civil markings.

Other lines of work include getting all the exterior bits added and the wheel wells masked on the F-101, major construction on the XP-79, some painting repair on the AZ Chipmunk, and masking on the Noorduyn Norseman airliner.

Just getting started (as in still in the box) are the Hasegawa J8M1 Shusui (almost an Me-163B), Miles Aerovan, and the Northrop Firebird drone recently released by Sova. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Eurofighter (11 Squadron RAF anniversary)

This completion, like the previous (Hurricane), is a model that I’ve built numerous times over the year. It is the 10th Eurofighter, 6 of which are special anniversary schemes of one type or another. The other 4 are in regular squadron markings.

I think I have built just about all of the various 1:72 Eurofighter kits out there, though this is my first Hobbyboss example. The new tool Revell is next in the queue. The Hobbyboss is not a difficult kit to build, though it does fall short a bit on detail. The Revell one is still the best – at least until the mold deterioration started to kick in – so I live in hope that the new tool variety will put it back on top.

Decals came from an Xtradecal set: X72230. I had already done the red-tail 29 Squadron RAF special, so this time I did the 11th Squadron RAF anniversary scheme. As always the Xtradecals performed as advertised. I do enjoy these RAF special markings schemes, but I might be tempted by some Luftwaffe specials shortly. And the Italian AF is starting to do them also, and if someone makes decals I will likely add that to the herd as well.

This is completed aircraft #481 (14 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 12 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in October of 2017.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Revell Hawker Hurricane 2c (Egyptian AF)

I, like I suppose everyone else, have favorite aircraft. Eurofighter, A-4, Spitfire, Corsair. One of my main projects is the Hawker Hurricane. Tonight I am presenting the 23rd completed model of this type in my collection.

Although I love the new Airfix ragwing Hurricane, markings options are fairly limited. I do have a couple of metal wing conversion sets so I should be able to expand on the early types. This particular model is of the 2c. I’ve been informally working my way through the foreign users, and this one is from the Egyptian Air Force.

It uses the Revell kit, which I find to be a nice buildable example. The one weakness the kit has, and you can see that I ran afoul of it on this particular model, is that the four guns on the wing leading edge are extremely fragile. I typically knock more than one of the guns off during the life of a Revell Hurricane and this was no exception. The difference this time was that it happened after the painting stage, and I honestly don’t know when it detached from the wing. I did a thorough search on the workbench and floor, but no luck. The Carpet Monster is probably sneering at me.

Being a kit I have built many times before, there wasn’t much out of the ordinary during construction. Paint was in desert colors (Dark Earth, Middle Stone, Azure Blue) with the slight variation that, while most of the RAF desert planes have red spinners, this Egyptian example had one painted up in Sky. The decals came from Kits World 72144, an all-Hurricane sheet. It is likely my next Hurricane will come from this sheet as well; if I had to guess, I would say it will be the Free French version.

With the exception of the missing gun, this one came out well enough. Not my best, not my worst, which is after all where most models end up. And you’ll see that late devastating errors are not that uncommon on the 72 Land production line. Looking at you, Starship.

This is completed aircraft #480 (13 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 12 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in September of 2017.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Paint session (F-101, XP-79, Me-163)

The procedure having gone well enough on Tuesday, I decided to clear out the paint queue backlog this evening.

Most of the activity (3 models) was applying a matte or semi-matte top sealer coat. It went well enough on the Hurricane and Eurofighter, and they will be debuting as finished models shortly. The AModel Starship continues to be the problem child, and broke off its nosewheel while in the painting process. After repairs, it too will get its completion photos taken.

Other than that, I painted the nosecone of the F-101 Black. Next comes some masking of that and the wheel wells. Then I’ll proceed with the ADC Gray coat.

Finally, two cockpits painted: Me-163 and XP-79. Some detail painting needs to be done in both, but at least they’ve cleared that hurdle. Me-163s don’t take long to build, so that one should be featured in near term installments of the blog.

The photo below does not include the three models that are ready for completion photos; just the others.

On the subject of the spinal injection, I must say that it is never pleasant for someone to stick a wide-diameter needle into your spine. Most of the process was merely painful, but the last poke was on the nerve that has been giving me the most problems. Imagine if you had just broken your arm, were in screaming pain, and someone came up with: “I’d like to stick a needle in there please”. They’re lucky they didn’t have to peel me off the ceiling. I don’t think this was the magic bullet for my situation, but I will need to wait about a week, when the steroids will have done whatever they are going to do. Isn’t the aging process fun? 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Decals (Eurofighter, Starship)

Most of the workbench activity for the last couple of days has been related to decals: the long, slow journey to get the Beech Starship finished, and the much quicker job of getting the RAF 11 Squadron Eurofighter marked up.

The Starship required a bit more effort before it was ready for its topcoat. The front wheel broke off more times that I care to remember (until I finally just set it aside until all the handling is complete). Same with the two small antennae on either side of the nose.

The Eurofighter got the Medium Grey fin details and radome taken care of. I’m still in the process of working the decals. One side is complete, and I’ll try to get some time in to finish the other half tomorrow.

Everything else is just leading up to the next painting session. That likely won’t happen until later this week, since I have to make another run to get the spinal injections done tomorrow morning. Last time they didn’t like some of the bloodwork numbers and cancelled. If they do this to me again, we will have what was known during the cold war as a “full and frank exchange of views”. I’m getting quite frustrated by this whole process. My back is only getting worse, and I need to see some progress in this case. If this is all just leading up to spinal surgery, let’s get it done and stop farting around!

As three models will be moving into the completed column this week, I’ll be introducing some new ones the start of the construction queue. A civil French Me-163, a Japanese Komet, and the brand new Sova Northrop Firebird drone.