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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Construction (Delta, Me-163B, F-102, Eurofighter)

Even amidst the mid-winter heater crisis and my ongoing health issues, there has been some activity on the workbench.

The main effort has been with a dish of warm water (which doesn’t stay warm very long, unfortunately). I have been decaling the latest RAF Eurofighter, using the newest tool Revell kit. Also, I’ve been on a long journey to get the Arctic Rose DC-3 completed. That DC-3, using Thunderbird decals (a reprint of the original Whiskey Jack version) has been something of a trial. The decals are admirably thin, but prone to break when moved from wet sheet to model. I’ve given up on applying any of the green stripe in a section larger than maybe 3”. And I want it to have a chance to snuggle down with setting solution between adding sections. I’ve got about half of the job done. The Eurofighter, using an Xtradecal RAF update, has been easier, but still consists of a lot of very small and very white markings.

But construction has not been ignored. The four kits that entered the construction queue (Italeri Eurofighter, Azur/Frrom Northrop Delta, HobbyBoss Me-163B, and Meng F-102) have progressed through the cockpit phase and have most of the major assembly complete. Next come some seam work and masking of canopies.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Academy Kubelwagen

You might remember that I finished a Schwimmwagen in November of 2017. Today’s completion is the land based version of the vehicle, the famous Volkswagen Kubelwagen.

This is the Academy kit, which happened to be packaged with a Fi-156 (which will hopefully be entering the construction queue sometime around summer). It comes with decals for “Otto”, which you have likely seen in photos and previous Kubelwagen kits in other scales.

Like most of the vehicles I’ve built in the last couple of years, construction is simple. It got an overall coat of AK dark yellow (Xtracolour), while the canvas cover was painted more of a tan color for contrast. I had to think about the green mottling on the exterior. With the airbrush and compressor I currently have, there was no way I was going to be able to get a thin enough line for this job. Hence I fell back on a brush. It’s not feathered, but it is probably more representative of the way it should look in 1:72. Besides detailing in the interior, the tires were painted with Tire Black. Decals, matte coat, done.

Another addition to the growing vehicle line. I've included a pic of the Schwimmwagen below as well. 

This is completed vehicle #16 (3 aircraft, 0 ordnance, 1 vehicle for the year 2018), finished in February of 2018.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

RS Models XP-79

Those of you who have been occasionally stopping by this blog for a while will have realized that I enjoy the side road of aviation known as experimental aircraft. I find them more interesting, sometimes, than planes that actually made it into production. The current completion is a good example of that. It is the Northrop XP-79, another in the long series of Jack Northrop’s flying wings.

At one time planned to be rocket powered (ala the Me-163), it was eventually installed with two early Westinghouse turbojets. It followed a proof of concept test aircraft, the MX-334. The XP-79 had its problems during testing, and was cancelled shortly after the first prototype had a fatal crash.

The kit is from RS Models. I have to admit I am growing to like this brand of kit; they combine interesting types with good engineering (even if they are at the upper limit of what could be considered short-run). As you can imagine with a flying wing, parts count is limited, though that doesn’t mean a trouble-free build.

The major point of contention is the canopy. I had a hell of a time getting it masked and then attached to the model. The canopy is in two parts, meaning a glue seam between clear parts. I used Clearfix in an attempt to avoid fogging. That worked out fine, but in exchange I sort of bollocksed up the masking job, leading to ragged edges and rather uneven lines. Some of this is no doubt chalked up to native impatience.

The canopy isn’t the only danger zone. The landing gear don’t have great spots to anchor them, and for a plane this small it has an absolute forest of gear doors. Some of them are supposed to be flush with the lower surface, but I just couldn’t get them properly mounted. Maybe their hydraulics bled down and the doors lowered accordingly. At least that’s my story.

I always enjoy finishing an unusual model, though I suspect this one won’t be in the front row of the display case.

This is completed aircraft #486 (3 aircraft, 0 ordnance, 0 vehicles for the year 2018), finished in January of 2018.