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Thursday, July 27, 2017

A wounded pug

Sometimes when the blog is dark for a few days, it is because there just isn’t much going on with modelling. But this time, there were indeed things going on. A medical issue, in fact, and for once it wasn’t me!

Our 8+ year old pug, who you’ve seen on my various avatars, was diagnosed with a perforated cornea. It likely happened on one of the occasions he chased the wild rabbits through our backyard and ran face first into a bush or low hanging branch. Not like he is ever going to catch one of the rabbits.But Tug the Mighty Hunter will not be dissuaded. 

After a trip to the regular vet, and then being referred to a regional emergency vet, we were recommended to have the eye removed. Though this is a serious decision, during our years as pug breed rep for Seattle Rescue, we handled two dogs who had had their eye removed. Neither of them seemed particularly bothered by their new situation. So it was more an aesthetic issue.

Tug had the surgery on Wednesday, and is now at home recuperating. As with any post-op situation, we are trying to manage his pain (he had a dental at the same time) and keep him as comfortable as possible. It will likely be difficult for the next 48 hours at least.

With my wife and daughter at work, I am the de facto caregiver, which will likely keep me occupied for a bit. So if it takes me a couple of days to provide additional content to the blog, you will, I hope, understand. I’m sure those of you who are dog people certainly know what goes into situations like this. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Painting and sweating (not necessarily in that order)

The area is transitioning into another couple of weeks of warm temps. Even waiting until 8pm to start airbrushing, it didn’t take long for the garage to get uncomfortably hot. But I persevered, dripping all the while before running back to my computer-room fan.

There were a few colors put on tonight that will help models advance down the production line. The Academy Stryker got its coat of Field Green, along with its tire hubs. Next comes painting and attaching the tires themselves.

Two aircraft got their wheel wells painted ZC. These were the DC-3 and the F-101B. Next will be getting some actual paint on the aircraft themselves (NMF for parts of the DC-3 and I believe ADC Grey for the F-101, but don’t quote me on that. I just picked up an aftermarket sheet for it and haven't read the paint notes yet. 

The Hurricane got the Middle Stone camo sprayed on. Once it cures, I’ll decide if it needs some buffing and a surface coat, though it looked ok when I finished. Other than the Aluminum for the wheels and Burnt Metal for the exhausts, I believe this is the last bit of paint for the Hurricane.

The HobbyBoss Eurofighter, having had its Black tail, spine, canards and wheel wells masked off, was painted with an overall coat of Barley Grey. Next will come a contrasting Grey for the nosecone.

Finally, the DHC-1 was given a lower fuselage coat of Brit Airways Blue. I do hope the masking held for this. It looked a little loose, so there may be some repair and respray in my future. After that is resolved, I’ll be masking the wingtips and upper tail for the Red sections of the British Airways flying club markings. 

So, a generally productive painting session (and a crowded one, as you can see by the photo below), even if it felt like I was doing it in a sauna. I’m already pining for the cooler autumn air. Fall is really when the Northwest shows off its most spectacular foliage, weather, and general mood. And of course autumn is when the modelling season once again kicks into high gear. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Bench time (Hurricane, Stryker, Skyvan)

Things were pretty busy this weekend, but I did get a bit of bench time over the course of the two days.

The main distraction was in celebration of a significant promotion my wife received at her work (go Sue!) We spent the day out, culminating in a dinner at Azteca (a favorite NW chain of Mexican restaurants). A day of activity, of course, means a setback for my back and hip issues, so I spent a lot of the remaining time horizontal, catching up on some reading. But the lure of the workbench eventually got me up and working.

I’m using one of the Revell Hurricane 2c kits for my long-planned Egyptian AF example. The kit goes together well, but I have had some problems with the wing mounted guns. They are very nearly to scale, which means that the barrels are very slim indeed. To a ham-fisted modeler like myself, that can only mean one thing: broken-off barrels galore. I probably should have held off on adding them until after painting, but my gluing technique – flooding the join with Tenax to ensure a good seal – doesn’t coexist well with paint. So I’ve tried to be careful while handling the model, and for the most part it has worked. However, once I got around to adding an Eduard masking set for the camo, all bets were off. As were all guns.

I’ve finally finished major construction on the Academy Stryker. It is a nice little kit, with a surprising number of parts for such a small vehicle. Well, not in comparison to some of these 1:35 scale monsters with literally 500 parts to them, but much of the non-aircraft work I’ve been doing is airfield tractors and ammo wagons, which don’t have many pieces at all. The big gun mounted on the top of the Stryker and all wheels have yet to be attached (since they require different paints) but it is now ready for a coat of X115 Field Green.

Decalling is the other major activity at present. I'm working on two AModel kits: Beech Starship and Yak-130. The decals on the Yak-130 have been a disappointment. Despite the gloss coat on the model, and liberal use of SuperSet/Sol, some silvering is taking place. The only hope at this stage is that the overall semi-matte coat will hide the worst of it. The Starship is all white, so the problem is lessened. AModel kits have improved dramatically in the last few years; it might be time to upgrade their decal tech too. 

The Airfix Skyvan continues its slow descent down the production line. I do have the cockpit transparencies masked and will shortly button up the fuselage. There will be lots of seam work to be done on this aged kit. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Italeri Eurofighter what-if: Red Arrows

Time to display another finished product of the 72 Land small aircraft production line.

No one would accuse me of taking anything seriously, much less a hobby, and I have no problem at all with doing what-if models on occasion. I’ve done navalized P-47s, a USAF Corsair, and even a WW2 era B-36. This one is on the more restrained end of the what-if spectrum: a Eurofighter done up in Red Arrows markings.

I don’t know who it was that set me on this path, but I do remember seeing a photo somewhere on the net, and knew that one of them was in my future. Since I had recently finished 3 Bae Hawks in different-era RA markings, now seemed like the time. Plus, I had an Italeri two-seater in the stash, which didn’t seem like it was going to be built unless I thought of something creative.

The biggest challenge was to mask the White stripe swooping down both sides of the fuselage. I used the new(ish) Tamiya white tape for curves and it worked well enough. The big White arrow on the lower surfaces was less of a success, given that the masking straddled lots of raised detail, vents, flap fairings, deep curves, and two of the three wheel wells. I think this pretty much used up the last of my Xtracolour Red Arrows Red paint, so unless the Royal Post rethinks its policy on air-shipping enamel paints, that is probably my last Red Arrows type for the time being.

Decals were cobbled together from various Airfix Hawk Red Arrow sheets, with a serial number picked more or less at random. The “Royal Air Force” titles came from an Xtradecal lettering sheet. It will always be a conversation piece, although the RAF would be unlikely to use such an expensive aircraft for their display team.

This is completed aircraft #478 (11 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 11 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in July of 2017.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Paint session (DHC-1, DC-3, Eurofighter, Hurricane)

When you spend the majority of your time masking items up for the next paint session, your next step is generally – another paint session.

So I and my box lid of prepped models went down into the garage and fired up the mini compressor. Which, it appears, is about ready to give up the ghost. I’ve had this thing since probably the mid-90s, and it is well overdue for replacement. It is a good tool to upgrade, but there have been many competitors for the capital dollars needed to replace it: med bills, upgrading model storage/display, some fencing that needs to be rebuilt, and the looming heat death of our aged refrigerator.

The main color of this session was Gloss White. I had to patch up some overspray on both the DC-3 and the airliner Norseman. Plus there were prop tips to be done for the Beech Starship. The DHC-1 also needed an overall coat of White after I masked off the antiglare strip.

Two other models were on the paint bench as well. First was a Eurofighter (this is the one that I forgot to paint the canards Black when I did the spine). Second was the Egyptian Hurricane, which needed a top coat of Dark Earth. Looks like the coverage was smooth enough to  bypass a buffing and surface coat, so the next step on this one will be to add the camo masking.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

More paint prep

Much of the workbench time this weekend was spent in prepping for the next paint session. I was also able to complete the decaling process on two models, so they will be getting their photos taken and will premiere on the blog shortly.

I seem to have had an unusual amount of overspray on a couple of recent models. There’s only so much you can do with masking, I guess. Strangely, most require White in order to cure the overspray. These would be the DC-3 and the Norseman. A basic White paintjob is also required on the British Airways Club DHC-1 and prop tips for the Beech Starship.

I masked off the lower surfaces of the Egyptian Hawker Hurricane along with the Sky fuselage band. It is now ready for Dark Earth uppers.

I will probably also take advantage of the paint session to get the Eurofighter canards painted Black. I forgot them during the last session, when I painted the spine.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Construction (F-101B, Stryker, Skyvan)

There has been some construction going on, though with the summer temps coming on full bore, I usually wait until after dark to get to the workbench. At least then I have a chance of not drowning in sweat while sticking plastic together.

The F-101 continues to come together. The cockpit is painted, detailed, and installed, so I am currently finishing up the major assembly. This is part of my “complete” Century Series project. By that I mean that I have acquired all of the Anigrand experimental types in the series (XF-103, XF-108 and XF-109). So I will have everything from the F-100 to the F-111. I’ve already completed an F-100, F-102, F-104, F-106, and F-111, though I will be replacing the elderly Hasegawa Deltas with the newer (and considerably nicer) Meng kits. I also have the Trumpeter F-107 on standby. The one thing I will need to acquire is the Trumpeter F-105. I do have an ancient raised-lines Hasegawa kits, but would prefer a newer technology starting point.

I’m also continuing construction on the Stryker. Right now, I am deep into the wheel suspension on the vehicle underside. Lots of small parts, but nothing truly difficult. I think this is actually the largest wheeled vehicle I’ve done to date. There is a local connection with the type – a large Stryker unit based in Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Tacoma.

The Airfix Short Skyvan is proving to be a devilish little beast. The kit itself is old as dirt and the buildability scale is pretty low. I’ve spent much time sanding off the raised rivets since I like them just about as much as I like raised panel lines. Fit has been indifferent at best. The cockpit clear bit was broken when I got the kit, so that has been a challenge as well. I did run across a masking set for this kit, believe it or not, that Hannants was selling. So at least I will just be putting pre-cut mask on the fragile windows rather than having to cut them in place. But there will definitely be some seam work to be done once the fuselage is together. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Blackest night (DC-3, Eurofighter, DHC-1, Norseman)

As I’ve mentioned, it is always best to group your paint requirements so that you’re painting multiple models with the same paint. It might be more prep, but it certainly saves on cleaning time, wasted paint, and just sheer modelling efficiency. I’m not sure how I ended up with no less than five models that required Black paint, but I worked my through all of them tonight. There was even one model in progress, a Tiger Force Lanc, that needed Black but didn’t make the session since I did not get it properly masked in time.

First up is the Arctic Rose DC-3, which needed de-icer boots on wings and tail surfaces, as well as the antiglare panel on the nose. There is some White touch-up needed before I mask for the NMF part of the wings and fuselage. 

Both the Ear Falls Norseman and the DHC-1 Chipmunk needed an antiglare panel also. The Beech Starship just needed the prop spinners taken care of.

Finally, the Eurofighter required a Black tail and spine for the anniversary scheme of 11 Squadron RAF. I just realized that I forgot to paint the canards too. (sigh)…

There was one other color put through the brush this night, though, for the Egyptian Hurricane. This was for a Sky fuselage stripe and prop spinner.

Hopefully this will clear out the paint queue for a few days at least. But the fiery forges of the 72 Land production facility are rarely quiet, so it won’t be long until the backup begins anew. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Painting prep (DHC-1, DC-3, Norseman, Eurofighter)

In preparation for the next paint session, I wanted to get some more masking done, especially for models I knew were needing the same paint color as one I already knew was on the schedule. This meant that I masked for the antiglare strip on the DHC-1, another such strip on the DC-3 (along with the leading edge de-icer boots), and a portion of the underside on the Norseman airliner. I also masked the Sky fuselage stripe on the Egyptian AF Hurricane.

Other things that occupied my bench time was decaling the F-101 cockpit, and adding some BB weight to the nosecone of the next Eurofighter. Since the Eurofighter requires a Black tail and spine, it can be added to the next paint session as well.

So now the paint queue is getting crowded again, just as the weather takes the opportunity to turn rather warm once more. I really can’t grouse too much – it is July after all – but I’m just not made for warm weather operations. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Independence Day

I’d like to pass on my best wishes for Independence Day. Still the greatest country in the world.

And I should point out that this message marks the 500th post on the 72 Land blog. So many of these sort of blogs seem to flare for a while and then die out. But I think I’m pushing on seven years now. As long as I have content, I’ll continue to post.

Monday, July 3, 2017

More masking (Eurofighter, DHC-1)

Although we spent Saturday morning in Gig Harbor, a nice little town across the Narrows Bridge west of Tacoma, I was able to get some workbench time in the latter part of the day.

Lots of canopies to mask up. First came the DHC-1 Chipmunk. I used a Peewit masking set, available through Hannants. Peewit seems to specialize in masks for shortrun kits, or at least ones that Eduard perceives as not having good enough sales potential to do. They are made from the same yellow tape that most companies are using now, and worked perfectly.

As an aside, I’ve mentioned that my choice of markings for this one is the British Airways Club hack. But a quick look through shows that there are many civil schemes for all of the different Chipmunk variations, including the Canadian blown-canopy one. I think it would be great if someone like Xtradecal – who did a set of civil markings for the Tiger Moth – would give us more civilian examples for the AZ kits. I’d buy it, for whatever that is worth.

Incidentally, after masking the Chipmunk canopy I attached it to the model. The fit was not good at all. It seemed that you could either get one side of canopy flush to the rim or the other, but not both. My solution was to clamp it and hope it didn’t shift while drying. Unfortunately, the clamp was likely too large, because it left some micro-cracks along the top side of the clear part. I won’t be able to see the whole of the damage until after painting is complete and the masking is removed. Just when you think you have a clever solution to a stubborn problem, it all goes south. Cue a long string of deleted expletives. Still a bit of cleanup to do on some puttied seams. 

Next came the Hobbyboss Eurofighter canopy. The canopy for this type is extremely simple, and I’ve never felt the need to spend for a masking set. It is very easy to do with Tamiya tape and a sharp Xacto. There is little framing to it, so you’re basically trimming around the bottom of the canopy where it meets the fuselage.

Along with the canopy masking, I detail painted the cockpit for the RF-101C. Again, pretty basic stuff. I’ve also added the instrument panel decals, and now that that is done it is time to cement it into one of the fuselage halves.

I need to get a few models across the finish line. I’ve started some new ones in the last week or two (Chipmunk, F-101, Skyvan, Aerovan. Eurofighter) and the workbench is starting to look like an aeroparts graveyard again. I’ve never been able to work on only one model at a time, but this is starting to get out of hand. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Another warm paint session (Yak-130, Hurricane, F-101)

It was warm today, but not oppressively hot – that is coming in two weeks, when we again break into the 90s – so I decided to get some painting done.

I wanted to patch some overspray on the Yak-130. Just a couple of spots, but they still had to be taken care of. I didn’t want to remask the whole thing, so just kind of wrapped it in paper towels and carefully exposed the areas that had to be repainted. The only things I masked were areas near to the overspray. Seems to have turned out ok, so I’ll soon get its tires painted and attached. Then it is on to decals.

I spent part of yesterday putting together a Hobbyboss Eurofighter. I believe it is the only 1:72 scale kit of the type that I haven’t built yet. I’ve done the Italeri, Hasegawa, old tool Revell, and I have the new tool Revell in queue. Being a (more or less) easykit, construction wasn’t time consuming, and since I had the White out to patch spots on the Yak-130 I decided I would take advantage of the paint availability and do the wheel wells, wheels, and doors for the Eurofighter.

Another new kit entering the construction queue is the Revell McDonnell F-101B Voodoo, a part of my long-gestating “complete Century Series” project. Somewhere along the line I picked up a pair of resin True Details ejection seats for it, and got the cockpit together. Today I sprayed it with a light grey. Detail painting in the cockpit will be followed by major assembly.

Finally, I put a lower surfaces coat of Azure Blue onto the Egyptian AF Hawker Hurricane. That paint too has developed some lumpy tendencies since the last time I used it. But it is almost gone and is my last tin of Xtracolour Azure Blue. I tend to make a fair amount of desert scheme RAF types, so I’ll need to be scouting for a replacement.

By the end of the session, the garage was pretty warm and I was pretty sweaty, but it was a nice successful paint adventure, and those are worthwhile no matter what the weather is.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Hasegawa flatbed trailer and hydraulic loader

Just a short entry today, to display two new vehicles making their way to the finish line.

These are the last two items that were in the Hasegawa US Aircraft Weapons Loading Set. Pretty generic items: a general purpose flatbed trailer and a hydraulic lift loader. There are no manufacturer names in the Hasegawa kit, and I was foiled trying to locate more details on the net. My google fu is clearly having some issues lately.

This is completed vehicle #10 and #11 (10 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 11 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in June of 2017.