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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Construction/paint prep (Hurricane, Eurofighter, F-101B)

The production gears here in 72 Land are gradually getting back into operational shape, limited mostly by ongoing mobility issues. But some work has been accomplished setting up for the next paint session.

I’ve pretty much completed the Egyptian AF Hurricane after adding a few exterior detail bits (like the antenna) that just love to break off and hide in the carpet at the slightest provocation. All that is left is to apply the matte topcoat and it will be ready to have its photo taken and moved into the completed column.

I masked the Hobbyboss Eurofighter for those medium grey areas at the top of the tail which continue down the leading edge of the fin. I’ll also be painting the nose cone the same color. I’ll probably use a Testors spray can just for ease of application. Next comes landing gear and finally, decals.

The Monogram F-101B has had its nose cone attached, and it will need a quick coat of Black. Still a fair bit of construction work on this one, mostly detail exterior bits. It will also need to have the wheel wells stuffed with wet paper towels prior to applying the overall ADC Gray paint. This is part of the Complete Century Series project (complete because it will include the prototypes of the F-103, F-107, F-108, and F-109). The only model I don’t physically have in house is the Trumpeter F-105, though I have already sourced some decals and a Master nose probe. I’ll probably pick the kit up from Sprue Bros shortly.

The Northrop XP-79 and N1M need their cockpits painted, but that likely will not happen until the following paint session. But the ones in queue should give me enough to do for one turn at the airbrush. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Academy GLDS M1126 Stryker

The Yak-130 wasn’t the only completed model languishing while the temps swirled around in the upper 90s. I had also finished up a vehicle, this one being the GLDS M1126 Stryker.

The Stryker is an armored infantry transport vehicle with seating for 9 soldiers. It also comes with a top mounted 50 cal to provide support once the squad is disembarked. They have been used pretty extensively in Iraq. There is even a local connection; one of the main Stryker units is based nearby me at Lewis-McChord joint base south of Tacoma.

The Academy kit is not bad at all. Surface detail is very nice, and only the suspension for the eight wheels makes for some tiny and complex parts. Your carpet monster will be eagerly eying the individual suspension bits, so take some extra care in this area. Fit is good, there are no clear parts to mask, and the assembly is a relatively stress free affair.

The Stryker is a single color paint job (except for the tires). I’ve begun using an actual Black for the tires on these wheeled vehicles I’ve been producing instead of the dark grey I use for tires on most aircraft. There was just so little contrast between the Olive Drab of the vehicle and the dark grey of the tires. The Black improves the look, though it might be marginally less realistic.

All in all, another reasonable entry into the vehicle collection.

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

Thursday, September 7, 2017

AModel Yakovlev Yak-130 prototype

I understand that there is a Yak-130 coming from Zvezda in the near future. Up until this point, all we’ve had to work with is the AModel kit, which, while buildable, has its own problems. The Zvezda will likely be better engineered and much higher on the buildability scale.

But this is what we have to work with now. I started this kit ages ago, back when it was a brand-new AModel kit. I liked the fact that the first boxing came with company demo markings, even if it was something of a complex paint job. I got to the point of painting the overall White, and then stalled when faced with masking for the Intermediate Blue.

Three or four years later, as I was trying desperately to rejuvenate my modelling mojo, I made a conscious effort to pull items off the Shelf of Shame and get them finished. It turned out that the Blue masking job was not as difficult as I was expecting, though it did take a fair amount of time (and masking tape). Then came the Red tail and final assembly. I thought I was just about to cross the finish line as I started decaling.

And that is when the difficulties deepened. Maybe I got a bad batch, but the decals were thin, flimsy, prone to tearing, and – despite being on a gloss paint layer – silvered all over the place. SuperSet/Sol didn’t seem to help much, and even a final overall semi-matte coat only improved the situation rather than solving the problem.

Hopefully the Zvezda kit will have options/decals to make the Aermacchi M-346 version as well. To be honest, I’m not familiar enough with the details to know what it would take to go from Yak-130 to M-346. I think the differences are mostly internal, but haven’t confirmed that. Some changes around the intakes as well, perhaps.

This is the great thing about 1:72 scale: the vast range of models. Even modern Russian trainers have multiple kits out there.

This is completed aircraft #479 (12 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 11 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in July of 2017.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Another day, another excuse?

Well, I hope that is not what this is turning into. but a combination of high heat and low mobility have put me on another temporary Shelf of Shame. 

Tomorrow is still listed as a blistering 97 (I am not an iguana for heavens sake) and the following Wednesday as 90, but then things start moderating somewhat. Mostly high 70s and low 80s through 9-18. 

I am about to head over to the hobby room to take some photos for two completed models, which, if all goes well, will debut in the next couple of days. My excruciating foot issues (gout? neuropathy? sciatica?) had been alternating between the left and right foot, with a couple of weeks in between. When only one foot is down I can use crutches. But this weekend they introduced a new wrinkle: both feet is unreal pain to matter what sort of tiny pressure is put on them. We were able to get a wheeled office chair, which has become my substitute wheelchair. But that puts me beyond the reach of the garage (but not the hobby room).

I do have a spinal steroid injection on 9-12 as a first step in dealing with the stenosis in the lumbar vertebrae. But I don't think that is even related to the foot issues. And I can't get to the docs to maybe get some answers until the feet moderate. Because I can't get out of the house! In the meantime I should still be able to display model progress and get to the workbench in the hobby room. When it isn't 104 degrees in there at least.