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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Too hot to think

Welcome to the 72 Land weather report. I know that I occasionally mention the inclement weather that seems to dog my airbrushing activities. We've seen hail storms, deluges, ice storms, even rumors of a funnel cloud once. But today was something that not even my steely airbrushing resolve can handle - a heat wave. 

It hit 99 in Auburn WA today. First, a bit of context. The highest temp ever recorded at SeaTac Airport (a few miles to the northwest of my location) is 101. In other words, it was only two degrees cooler than the highest temperature in all of recorded time. We usually save these days for late July and August; June is early but not unheard of. 

And before all of you who live in southern climates break into laughter, might I ask what you do when the temp hits 100? Do you go out on your asphalt driveway and lay in the full sunlight? No, you head for the room in your house with no windows, turn the air conditioning up to max, and (presuming you have some musical taste) put Blue Oyster Cult on the stereo and throw back some pina coladas. But in Western Washington, very few residences have central air. So we just sweat. Our house thermostat hit  92, and that is in a dark house somewhat in the shade.

There was no way I was going to airbrush, and I couldn't even summon the enthusiasm to do any work bench time. It's just too bloody hot. Thankfully this seems to be a passing bit of hideousness at this point; the 14 day shows mostly mid to upper 70s. When that happens, your regular modelling report service will resume. I have a couple of vehicles to show as finished, and the last of my retail therapy boxes from Hannants has arrived, so there are new toys to show. 

Until then, pass me somethin' cold, willya? 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Retail therapy

Another couple of packages landed on the palatial modern runway of 72 Land’s capital today, from Hannants, Amazon, and Sprue Bros. Since they all managed to arrive on the same day, though ordered as much as 14 days apart, Mrs. 72 raised many an eyebrow at the large stack of boxes on the porch. Luckily she is a knitter, and they are every bit as bad when it comes to accumulating a stash that they probably will never get around to making.

First of all was the second in the Osprey X-Planes series, on late-war emergency fighter projects. I’m pretty interested in this new series (along with the upcoming Air Campaign books). I suspect much inspiration will come from this direction. I’ll likely keep on picking them up if I can continue to get them at decent prices.

Second are two books from Sprue Bros. The AirDoc book on German Eurofighters has been on my radar since the modern Luftwaffe started putting their Eurofighters into colorful commemorative schemes. It is printed in both German and English. Longtime readers know that I have a thing for RAF anniversary types, so this is a natural extension. I’ve already gathered up a few decal sheets which will figure in to the future construction plan. I do have two RAF Eurofighter specials to finish up before I get to the Luftwaffe types.

The second book was my first example of the Valiant Wings Airframe Album series. This is #10, which features the Messerschmitt Bf-163 Komet. The format is roughly similar to the Modellers Datafiles, not surprising since both were created by Richard Franks. There is a bit too much of excerpts from the technical manuals for my taste, but the development and operational history, and especially the markings information, were just what I was looking for. Even though I have completed a number of Komets, I’ve got plans for a captured RAF example, the Japanese MXY8, and Special Hobby’s Me-163C.

Finally came the Hannants box. Headliner for this shipment is the Mikro-Mir Miles M-47 Aerovan. I was overjoyed when I found this on the future releases list, and photos of the test sprues only made me more ready to go. It will be dropping into the construction queue right after the recent AZ DHC-1 Chipmunk. I’m inclined to also add the Airfix Short Skyvan to the queue, if only for the fact that the two aircraft had similar applications. I thought I had I had a copy of the Skyvan in the stash, but so far it has evaded my attempts to dig it out (think of the warehouse scene at the end of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”).

Also in the box was the new IBG PZL P-23. There seems to be a lot of interest in early WW2 Polish AF types at present, and I’m on board for that. Now if we could just get that 1:72 injected Zubr.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A long painting session

Things had really begun to back up in the paint queue due to hip pain and a general desire for downtime. But yesterday I was able to drag myself and a tray full of painting projects down to the garage for a fairly long and productive session.

First up was to put a matte top coat on the Tsar Bomba transport carriage. That was a long and complicated project that finally is going to make it across the finish line. Photos coming soon.

Then I was able to get a surface coat on the Eurofighter Red Arrows whif. Once the paint cures I’ll be able to strip the masking and see where repairs will be needed. And then comes the addition of landing gear.

Next came the coat of Intermediate Blue on the Yak-130 prototype. Looked pretty smooth when I was done, but I noticed a couple of thin spots, so it will require a polishing and a surface coat. That’s not an uncommon result, since Xtracolour blue paints have a tendency to dry a bit – for lack of a better word – sandy. But most of it doesn't look too bad. 

I gritted my teeth and started the repairs on the Beech Starship. These were made necessary by a clumsy botch while trying to mask and paint the leading edges Silver. Things seem to look ok at this point, so the next step will be to mask and paint the engines’ intake vent edges and then move to props and wheels. And replace the nose probes that were broken off during my first attempt at masking. At the same time I also did some repairs on the White areas of the Arctic Rose DC-3. Next up on that kit is to get the wheel wells painted.

Two small bits of airfield support equipment, the last two items in a Hasegawa set, got a coat of Olive Drab. I’ll soon be painting and attaching the tires. I don’t believe either of these items has any associated decals, so they will soon be moving to get their overall matte coat.

Just to top the day off, I painted the two DC-3 props silver (after having masked off the tips). They’ll go back in the box, waiting for the model to progress a bit further before they are needed. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Academy Republic P-47 "Passionate Patsy"

Another P-47 crosses the finish line. Although I do have a P-47E two seat trainer conversion on the bench, this will likely be the final P-47 at least until I need another mojo injection. Good available kits and lots of decal options means these are never too far away from the top of the pile, but I’d like to concentrate on some more unusual types for the near term.

This is another off the new DK Decals sheet, 72-040: P-47s in the PTO. Lots of color variation and nose art on this sheet. This particular aircraft was named “Passionate Patsy” The pilot was Lt Ralph Barnes of the 310 FS, 58 FG, based in New Guinea in 1944. There appear to be two aircraft that wore the name – an Olive Drab and Neutral Grey razorback and a NMF bubbletop. Mine, as you can see, is the razor.

Nothing unexpected on the kit construction, and the decals performed as anticipated. I have become a definite fan of the DK decal series.

This is completed aircraft #477 (10 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 7 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in June of 2017.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Marathon masking session

Workbench time this week has been primarily spent on masking and other prep for the next paint session.

I had a chance to buff the Eurofighter whif’s coat of Red Arrows Red. It will indeed need a surface coat, to get a smooth final surface and to reinforce the red paint over the overspray from the Insignia Blue rudder.

I also needed to mask the Arctic Rose DC-3 to clean up some overspray. Same with the Beech Starship, though that is to clean up a massive botch I made while trying to paint the silver leading edges.

There has also been some cockpit construction for the next models to enter the construction queue. I’m always leary of using superglue, but had to deal with resin cockpits for both a P-47E two-seat trainer conversion and the Planet N1M flying wing. Plus one of the wing halves on the N1M had gotten broken during its time in the stash and I had to repair that. The RS Models XP-79 cockpit also got some attention. The P-47E cockpit is noticeably too wide for the fuselage to close, so some fettling will be required to shave the sides down, probably prior to painting. And of course the recently acquired AZ Models DHC-1 Chipmunk is getting attention as well.

In an effort to move a couple of hangar queens along, I’ll be masking the bottom portion of the Norseman seaplane and the upper surfaces of the Hasegawa Lancaster in order to get them both ready for Black paint. These will probably not be ready for the next paint session. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

New acquisitions

I have been on a bit of buying frenzy lately, spurred by a number of early summer model completions and – I’ll admit it – some retail therapy when I was feeling sorry for myself when the van’s transmission and my right hip chose the same week to go completely dysfunctional. By and large, these are kits that are on my “buy once available” list, usually by way of Hannants, with some extras thrown in. Some of the packages are starting to arrive and the featured kit will immediately go into the construction queue.

The first of these is the relatively new AZ Models DHC-1 Chipmunk. The variant I was waiting on is the Lycoming engined version. Not for the specific engine, but rather one of the markings variants offered in this box: the British Airways hack version. There are limited opportunities to put commercial airline markings on a 1:72 kit, so I’ll take em where I can find em. It’s entering the construction queue now.

I also picked up an Academy Oshkosh truck as part of my vehicle series. I think this one will have to wait until the Stryker makes it to the complete column, though.

The rest of the items were accessories. A set of Master pitot/guns for the upcoming Me-163. I am really coming to like these Master bits. Masking sets (from Peewit) for the Balliol and Chipmunk (see above). And finally, another set of Hurricane decals, this time from Kits World. Like I need more, but I think I will start with the Iraqi markings. It does have some foreign examples that I don’t have decals for yet. Yeah, that was the reason.

Much more in the mail stream on its way to me. Because 1500 kits just isn't enough of stash for a real man...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Academy Republic P-47 ("Pride of Lodi")

Today’s completion is another one of the clutch of P-47 razorbacks that have been winding their way through the 72 Land production line during the great mojo revival of this spring. I do have a P-47E Doublebolt conversion in the early stages, but I think that once the last of these is completed I’ll concentrate on other types for a little while. I do have kits for the main (plastic) variants of the Me-163 that I haven’t already completed, and at least a couple of Eurofighters. Also, a couple of Northrop flying wing prototypes (N1M and XP-79) are having their cockpits built and painted. And there are the usual workbench queens (Beech Starship, a Eurofighter whif, Norseman airliner, and Yak-130) that seem to be taking their sweet time moving along the production line.

This P-47 was one of four I purchased from Scale Hobbyist, since I had been having trouble finding them in stock at other retailers. The Academy kit presented no problems during the construction phase, and since I still have sufficient Olive Drab and Neutral Grey Xtracolour tins – though the stock is starting to run low - painting was no great challenge either. I did manage to not notice the White wing leading edges during the first round of painting, but that was quickly rectified.

Decals came from Kits-World 72-132. The “Pride of Lodi” set is especially attractive since it not only has a presentation name but nose art as well. I was not aware that there is a Lodi Ohio; I was only aware of the California one from my days living in that state. The plane belonged to the 342nd Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, 5th AF, and was piloted by Commanding Officer Lt Col Robert Rowland in 1943. He survived the war and was credited with 8 aerial victories.

This is completed aircraft #476 (9 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 7 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in June of 2017.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Minor painting problems (Eurofighter whif, Tsar Bomba trailer

Despite the absence of inclement weather, I was able to get into the garage for a short painting session.

Really just two colors this time around. First was a surface coat on the Tsar Bomba trailer from AModel. The first layer was a bit thin and watery, so this helped to fill in the density of the Deep Olive Green. But of course we couldn’t make it through a session without at least one disaster: I managed to drop the trailer while moving it to the place where it would be drying. Two axles and the framework that engages with the tractor both went flying. Once everything cures I will be getting the bits reattached.

Finally, I put the first coat on the whif Red Arrows Eurofighter. I’m using some of the last of my Xtracolour Red Arrows Red. A strange development: although I used this paint just a few months ago to do a RA Hawk, it seems to have gone a bit thick and – no other word to describe it – chunky in the meantime. Lots of stirring and thinning couldn’t head off difficulties in passing through the airbrush. A bit of spattering. Although the color coat managed to get laid down on the entire airframe, I am pretty sure this will require buffing and a surface coat. There is also some evidence that overspray from the Insignia Blue rudder is showing through the red paint. So I won’t be progressing on this project until those issues are dealt with. I’ll give the paint a couple of days to cure.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Avis EADS Barracuda drone

Drones have some advantages as models. They don’t require canopy masking, for one. A great comfort to the Lazy Modeller ™. And there are a growing number of them available as 1:72 models. I’ve already completed an RQ-1, RQ-4, RQ-9, D-21, and have the Attack Hobby RQ-7 in the stash.

But today’s completion concerns the Avis EADS Barracuda. The program is a joint development between Germany and Spain and, at least according to Wikipedia, it is meant to be an equivalent of the RQ-9 Reaper. EADS wants to make some inroads to American domination of this market sector.

The kit, which was only released a couple of months ago, definitely falls into the short run category, but it is not crude by any means. Test fitting will be rewarded, but you should still expect to use up some putty in the process. The landing gear is probably the only thing one might find to be complicated. The rear fuselage / exhaust bits didn’t fit very well on my example. Decals all came from the kit, and include the various manufacturer logos.

I used Xtracolour X126 for the overall grey, based on the fact that they are apparently painted the same color as the Luftwaffe’s Eurofighters. There was an issue of paint adhesion on parts of the underside – maybe some stubborn mold release agent? A quick buff and respray fixed that.

As long as manufacturers continue to make kits of drones, I’ll be there to buy and build them. It’s an interesting little byway of aviation history. According to photos, the nose pitot does in fact droop that way. 

This is completed aircraft #475 (8 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 7 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in May of 2017.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Painting in the land of thunder

Another paint session, another thunder and hail storm here in the Great Northwest. I swear that we have had more thunder this winter than we typically do in the summertime.

But hey, at least I was ambulatory enough to get down to the garage to paint! Most of the drudge work this time was shooting a matte coat onto the Barracuda drone, two P-47s, and an ammo trailer. They will be debuting over the next few days as completed models.

I shot a coat of Dark Olive Green on the Soviet Tsar Bomba trailer. This trailer had a lot of parts; more than are probably in most 1:72 fighters. Every crossbeam, every hinge, every handle is its own little bit. Unfortunately, this doesn’t play well to Amodel’s strength, being a short run model company with somewhat less than perfect small detail and large sprue gates. It was similar to the Tsar Bomba itself, in fact, which also had dozens of tiny bits. Still, I powered my way through it. The green was mixed pretty thin, and I suspect a surface coat will be required.

The final round of spraying for today was the cockpit and wheel wells of the next Hurricane in my long series; this time, an Egyptian AF example. Next will come the addition of some seat belts and then completion of major assembly.

I was going to shoot the first coat of Red Arrows Red onto the whif Eurofighter, but realized I had not completed the masking for the landing gear doors. So that will go onto the agenda for the next paint session. I might have to check the weather forecast to see when the next thunderstorm is due in the area.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pain and the aging modeller

I have tried to keep this blog from turning into the 60+ Modellers Book of Aches and Pains, but no doubt some have noticed that after a very productive April and May, things went radio silent for the month of June so far.

It comes down to some bad back and hip issues. I’ve always had sciatica, but this most recent attack was violent indeed. Fierce constant pain in lower back and right hip, radiating down the right leg, shin and into the big toe. My knees are actually pretty decent, all things considered. It got to the point where I could barely hobble about, and the pain level while walking, sitting, or laying down was at Defcon One. Even some pain meds I had to coax out of my physician weren’t doing much good. The last thing I could manage was bench or paint shop time.

I had x-rays of the hip, which showed lots of arthritis (which I expected). I am scheduled for a CAT scan on the lower back and hip this coming Monday, which hopefully will allow us to diagnose what is really going on and get a plan of treatment together. In the meantime, the pain levels have decreased a bit. I live in fear of a recurrence of a spinal abcess I had 15 years ago, which was one of the most hellacious periods I’ve ever spent in my life. Really, the chances are pretty low that it would be the same thing, but ugh – just the thought of that gets me shaking.

Things had improved enough that I did try for some bench time last night – and immediately made a huge botch on the Beech Starship that about had me beating my head against the wall. Combining native impatience with a desire to move quickly due to residual pain is not a good combination for model making. I’ll be going into damage control and repair on that one.

I have 3 or 4 models just waiting for overall matte coats before they can have their photos taken. I am going to try and revisit the paint booth this afternoon and hopefully can avoid another disaster. So normal service should (I hope!) resume shortly. Until then, I will leave you with this monumentally disturbing image. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

New record for monthly page views

Time for a little self high five. May of 2017 set a record for number of page views for a single month (2564), surpassing the December 2016 totals. I’d like to think that these were unique page views by people coming across the blog on the net and The Faithful following the surge in production that has happened in spring of 2017. However, the fact that a few mysterious spam turds have shown up in older posts means that there may have been spambots lurking on the premises as well.

But never let a few inconvenient facts get in the way of a celebration! It is still a record, and even the threshold of 100k distinct page views is on the horizon.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Academy Clarktor 6 and trailer, Hydraulics Intl MJ-1 bomb loader

Another small cluster of airfield support vehicles fell into the finished column today.

The first is a Clarktor 6 tow tractor. It came as part of the Academy kit AC13403, along with an ambulance (which will be making an appearance here in due time). As with many of these vehicles, parts count is minimal and construction was quick. I decided to put it in Olive Drab markings.

The second is also from the Academy box, and is a trailer (no manufacturer or model number cited in the kit) for hauling ordnance around.

Finally, from the Hasegawa kit of airfield equipment comes a Hydraulics Intl MJ-1 bomb loader. Again, not complex and easy to paint. The error in construction is clear when you see photos of the device (which I didn’t until it came time to get some more information online about it). At the time, it seemed like the only way to connect things under the fuselage. Ah well, live and learn.

These are completed vehicles #5, #6 and #7 (7 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 7 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in May of 2017.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Academy Republic P-47 razorback

Another completion in a long line of models: a P-47 razorback. There are aspects to the type that I really like: at least two nicely engineered kits and lots of decal sheets, each with some good nose art. What’s not to like?

I recently purchased DK’s latest sheet, entirely devoted to P-47s in the PTO (72-040). There are a lot of interesting markings schemes on the sheet, and the one that first drew my eye was in overall NMF with yellow and black wing and tail tips, and a yellow/black spinner as well. Sold!

I am familiar enough with the construction process for these Academy kits that there isn’t much new to impart. Painting was a rather drawn-out process: paint the yellow, mask, paint the black, mask, paint the wheel wells, mask, paint the Alclad White Aluminum. The DK decals performed as per expectations.

I was generally pretty pleased with this one, and will be glad to add it to my long series of completed P-47s. 

The aircraft was flown by Major M J VandeHey of the 78th Fighter Squadron, 15th Fighter Group, while part of the Pineapple Air Force in Hawaii in 1944. I’ve been referring to the snake on the cowl as a rattlesnake, but given that the nickname of the 78th was “The Bushmasters” it probably means that the snake belongs to that species. VandeHey was apparently the squadron commander.

This is completed aircraft #474 (7 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 4 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in May of 2017.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Ready for decals (P-47s, Barracuda)

Bench time today was centered around adding various details to get three aircraft ready for decals.

First off were two P-47 razorbacks. These both had a long painting cycle, with their white tails and wing leading edges and variously colored cowlings. I added the landing gear, wheels, gear doors, and various externals like pitot and antenna mast. Props as well. They are now ready to receive decals for “Passionate Patsy” and “Pride of Lodi” respectively.

Then came the Avis EADS Barracuda. I added their rather complex landing gear (which when combined with their short-run nature, made for something of a challenge, especially the gear doors). Final touches were a couple of antennae and a (FLIR?) ball on the underside. Decals are next for this one too.

Finally, I added wheels and decals to another ammunition trailer, this one coming from a Hasegawa set. It will need a minor bit of detail painting and a coat of matte sealer and this one will be done.

Production is good at the 72 Land industrial heartland, though the weather here in the Great Northwest is going to be hitting the upper 80s the next few days, which usually means the head production czar is going to be spending most of his time sitting in front of a fan with a glass of lemonade. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Hobbyboss Hawker Hurricane IIc

Today’s completion is yet another aircraft type that I seem to return to time and again. Yes, it is another Hurricane. I had one more Hobbyboss kit in the stash and thought I might as well finish it off. It is in their easy-kit line, so the number of pieces is minimal. It’s not a favorite of the engineers, as the nose is rather thin and undernourished. With the Revell 2c kit available, I think I will be sticking with that one for future Hurricane needs.

I am gradually working my way through the various foreign users of the type. I’ve done captured versions from Germany and Japan (with an Italian one on the way), civil and racer examples, and a number of other nationalities. This particular one is in Yugoslavian markings – actually 352 Squadron RAF as based in Libya in 1944. The decals are found on a Print Scale sheet, 72-022. More than likely, the Egyptian and Free French markings on this sheet will find a home in the near future.

This is completed aircraft #473 (6 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 4 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in May of 2017.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Painting (P-47s, ammunition transport cart)

Yesterday’s paint session helped to push a few projects toward completion.

There was yet another piece of airfield equipment (in this case an ammunition trailer) that needed a coat of Olive Drab. While I was using that color, I decided to buff and reshoot some portions of one of the P-47s. Specifically, the horizontal tail.

Once that was all taken care of, I moved on to the Neutral Grey undersides of both current P-47s. This includes the gear doors. The surface looks pretty good, so hopefully I won’t have to buff them out. The next step for these two will be adding landing gear, painting tires, and getting the engine and cowling attached.

Finally, there were some more small vehicles that needed a matte sealer coat. They’ll be appearing in the completion column shortly. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Painting (P-47, Barracuda, vehicles)

Much of today’s painting involved repairing surfaces that weren’t quite up to code. The main culprit was the EADS Barracuda drone. There were a lot of little microspecks, and the surface just wasn’t smooth enough. This meant that some buffing with a fine sandpaper sheet was called for. Then, a thin new coat of X126 was shot. It actually came out looking fine, so I’ll be moving on to installing the landing gear next.

Another surface that required some work was on a P-47 razorback. I think I just thinned the paint too much last time, as coverage was a bit watery and there were some bubbles that appeared in the paint. As with the Barracuda, the surface was polished and a new coat of Olive Drab was shot. It looks fine now, so as soon as the paint cures I will be masking the upper surfaces and shooting Neutral Gray on the underside. There is another P-47 in queue waiting for the Gray paint as well. Since I was already using Olive Drab, I painted an MJ-1 bomb loading vehicle as well.

Lastly, two models received their overall sealer coats. I’ll be putting them on the blog in the next few days, once I have removed the masking on the canopies.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Fiddling about (DC-3, Barracuda, P-47)

I spent some time last afternoon putting the engines and nacelles together for the “Arctic Rose” DC-3. This will allow me to paint the gear bays ZC Green (the back of the engine compartment is one wall of the wheel well). I will likely hold off on this until the cockpits for the XP-79 and the two-seat trainer conversion P-47E can catch up. Another task coming up for the DC-3 is to mask for the wing and tail de-icer strips. I also need to clean up some clumsy masking on the tail. 

The EADS Barracuda was sanded to clean up the engine intake seam. A few antennae were also added. It is now ready for its overall coat of Dark Blue Grey (Xtracolour X126). Once I’m satisfied with the surface on it, I’ll have to start on the surprisingly complex landing gear. The plastic in the kit is somewhat brittle, so this may be a challenge.

I continued to unmask propeller tips. Three for P-47s and one for a Hurricane. I also masked the tips for the DC-3.

I also masked up the tail and wing leading edges on one P-47 in preparation for a coat of Olive Drab. At the same time, I’ll paint the assembled Clark tow tractor and its trailer. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Painting (P-47 and Barracuda)

Another early morning paint session. I shot a first coat of Olive Drab on a P-47 and the Clark tow tractor and trailer. The paint seemed a bit too thin and will likely require a second surface coat. It also bubbled in a couple of spots, needing some buffing out.

I also put a coat of Dark Blue Grey (Xtracolour X126) onto the EADS Barracuda. It too came out a bit rough and will require buffing. I also finished up all the prop tips so that won’t hold up any model completions. In fact, there are three that are going in for decals and their matte sealer coats shortly. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Construction (masking, XP-79, Barracuda)

After the last painting session, much of the workbench time was devoted to attaching landing gear to models that were approaching their final stages. Along with this, a lot of tires were painted the usual Euro 1 Gray that I’ve found works well for that job. More routine stuff, like masking for Insignia Yellow prop tips, was accomplished as well. Boring stuff, but it still has to be done to get to the finish line.

A bit of Mr Surfacer was added to the intake seam on the EADS Barracuda. The seam wasn’t as bad as the rear exhaust parts, but it is on the top of the aircraft and I wanted to make sure it was clean before I start working on overall paint.

Three new models entered the construction queue since some are finally starting to exit out the other end, making for space on the workbench. I’ve started getting the cockpit together for the RS Models XP-79, and working with the David Brown VIG1 tractor from the Airfix Bomber Resupply set and the Clark tow tractor from a Hasegawa set.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Painting (P-47s and props)

Today’s painting session consisted mostly of mundane tasks, though I did get a final NMF / White Aluminum coat onto one of the P-47s that are in progress.

While the Alclad was loaded into the brush, I took the opportunity to get all of the P-47s’ landing gear, wheel hubs, tail wheels, and one prop hub painted. Also, since the Barracuda has metallic landing gear, they were taken care of also.

I belatedly discovered that two of the P-47s I was working on had White wing leading edges. I should have known this, since they both also have White tails, but the decal sheet drawings I was working from only showed it on the upper view. Not a huge deal; I just masked the leading edge off, covered the rest of the model with paper towels, and shot some ModelMaster Gloss White. It would have been more convenient if I had done this while painting the tails, but at least it wasn’t a catastrophic failure. At least, not what passes for a major failure in MY paint booth…

I also got a coat of Sky onto a Hurricane’s prop spinner, and repaired that same Hurricane’s landing gear doors. The Azure Blue didn’t cover terribly well and needed reinforcement.

Finally, I used a rattle can of Panzer Grey to get a first coat onto props for the P-47s, Hurricane, and DC-3. Next will come masking the prop tips and giving them a shot of Insignia Yellow.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Hasegawa fuel tank transport carriage, Airfix 4k bomb, Hasegawa Ford military tractor

Not satisfied with last week’s twofer completion, today we have a threefer. Two are simple models, but the third was relatively complex for its size.

The first completion is from a Hasegawa air support set. It is a transport carriage for the 370 gallon tank that hangs off of an F-4. I poked around for the appropriate tank, but I really have relatively few F-4 kits. If I should run across one at a later date I will reshoot the photo in order to be able to show the cart in actual use.

The second completion is the companion to the previous RAF 8k bomb. This is its smaller brother, an RAF 4k bomb. Same canister shape, same segmented construction, but a smaller diameter casing. It is shown loaded onto a previously completed transport. 

Finally comes a Ford military tractor from the Vietnam era. This too has its origins in the Hasegawa support set. It is clearly an older Hasegawa tooling, with detail on the sparse side, but construction is easy enough. If you want to do anything to the interior you’ll probably want to paint it overall Olive Drab with the cab ceiling separate, do the detail painting, and then attach the roof. The white reflector stripes do not come as decals in the kit, so I had to take some Xtradecal white stripes and cut them to size. It was a hit and miss affair, especially since those stripes come with an overall carrier film, which makes cutting and getting them actually on the model a chore. The other decals are, as you would expect, tiny indeed, but the usual SuperSet/Sol process made them behave.

These are completed vehicles #3 and #4, and completed ordnance #8 (5 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 4 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in May of 2017.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Academy Republic P-47 bubbletop

Today’s completion is the latest in a long string of Republic P-47 Thunderbolts. I have completed something like 25+ of them already, and have decals on hand for 3 or 4 times more than that. One sheet I recently picked up was Kits-World 72-052, which has markings for “Eight Nifties”. I like Kits World decals; they work well and always feature some sort of nose art.

This particular P-47 was flown by Clyde Knisley while he was with the 510 Fighter Squadron (405 Fighter Group) in the ETO. He was killed in January of 1945 when flak set this aircraft on fire and he baled out at too low an altitude.

The kit is the Academy razorback. The Tamiya kit is better engineered and a delight to build, but the unit price is double that of the Academy version. As I’ve said before, if you’re going to build only one P-47, use the Tamiya. If you intend to put together a lineup to show off nose art, the Academy kit is more than adequate.

The biggest problem I had, as you can see from the photos, was the canopy. A bit too much glue to seal it to the fuselage, which caused some minor frosting around the bottom. I have since invested in a bottle of Pledge Floorcare acrylic clear finish, which will hopefully prevent this sort of issue in the future.

For the blue stripes, I used Xtracolour Oxford Blue (since I had that color loaded into the brush for the recent Bae Hawk T2). The metal finish is Alclad White Aluminum. I’m all out of any sort of wire, so the antenna line from mast to tail will need to be added at a later date.

This is completed aircraft #472 (5 aircraft, 1 ordnance, 2 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in April of 2017.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Painting (DC-3, P-47s, Hurricane, Barracuda)

I swear that late spring of 2017 is going to become known for associating harsh weather with airbrushing sessions. Today, the northwest had another series of fairly severe squalls going through, pelting us with heavy rain and the occasional hailstorm. Normally, the rain is light but steady, but this spring we’ve gotten a lot of the heavier stuff.

But, like the post office, “neither rain nor sleet” etc when it comes to airbrushing. I’ve got some serious momentum going, and do not want to fall back into last year’s indolent ways.

The first color through was Insignia Red. This went onto the wingtips and tail of a DC-3 (the future “Arctic Rose”) and the cowl flaps of a P-47. This particular cowl is a colorful piece all by itself, with Yellow, Olive Drab, White and Red all required.

Next came some Olive Drab, which found its way onto an antiglare strip for a P-47 and the upper surfaces of yet another P-47. On the few aircraft that I do multiples of, they tend to be built in clusters. In the near future another small group of Thunderbolts will find their way through, along with another short series of Hurricanes and even Me-163s.

I used an Eduard masking set for camo on the Yugoslavian Hurricane. Last time the Middle Stone coat went down, and this time featured the Dark Earth camo. This concludes the fuselage painting for this one. Next comes a Sky spinner and the Aluminum landing gear. In fact, I have about 6 different kits that require landing gear painting, so next session will heavily feature Alclad paint.

Finally, the EADS Barracuda drone needed its wheel bays and doors painted in a Dark Grey. I just used a generic USAF grey for this one. I’m so used to modern aircraft having white gear and bays that it is a good thing I checked the instruction sheet on this one. I also needed to check some seam work so I used the grey as a faux primer. A bit more work to be done but not as serious as I had expected.