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Monday, April 30, 2018

Paint prep (F-102, Eurofighter, Hawk T1, Komet)

Now that I am getting more mobile post-surgery, things are picking up in the never-ending construction and paint queue in the 72 Land production line.

Today’s construction work was mostly oriented toward getting ready for the next paint session. There was a great deal of masking to be done. On the Meng F-102, both the nose (Black) and the metal areas of the tail (Aluminum) were masked off.

On the latest Hawk T1, which is overall Black, the wheel wells were all masked to protect the White wells.

On the Italian Eurofighter special scheme, the spine and vertical tail needed Black as well.

But Black wasn’t the only color to be prepared. The Daimler armored car will get an overall coat of Middle Stone, and the captured Me-163B needed its wings and vertical tail painted RAF Dark Green.

As you can see, I've started stripping the Delta of its primer and Alclad. But there is still a ways to go before it will be ready to reshoot the White Aluminum. 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Paint (Delta, F-102, Me-163B, Hawk T1)

I managed to sneak in another painting session the night before the Spring Show. It was a prototypical experience for me: one disaster, one omission, and a few successful paint jobs.

The disaster is still mystifying me a bit. Here is how it developed. As I was building the Ffrom Northrop Delta, there were a couple of seams that needed attention. One wing seam and the tops of the two landing gear spats. Plus a couple of instances of general seam cleanup. So I decided to do something I rarely do: apply a primer coat. As it happened, I just wanted to use a color that was already in the airbrush. I had just finished doing cockpits with Dark Admiralty Grey, so I did an overall coat on the Delta. I figured I would just paint the Alclad over the top once I checked out the seam work (which turned out to be fine).

And here, as they say, my troubles began.  As I sprayed the Alclad, it just absorbed into the Grey primer coat. You could tell there was some metallic sheen in there, but the color coverage basically disappeared. This led to a desire to spray a bit heavier, which led to runs, which led to a catastrophic finish. The only thing that looked correct was the engine cowling. And, no coincidence since I had added that piece after I primered the model, that was the only thing that did not have any other paint on there. I did try to take a photo of it, but my camera was misbehaving and I decided to move on. As I said, I typically don't prime before Alclad. And now I know why! (BTW, the photo below shows the Delta after primer but before I shot the Alclad). 

Other less traumatic paint work included getting the wheel wells for the F-102 in ZC Green, the cockpit interior for another Bae Hawk T1, and a coat for the cockpit of the RAF captured Me-163B Komet. I was planning to do the Trainer Yellow undersides for the Komet as well since this would not interfere with the cockpit, but completely spaced on it. Ah well, something for the next paint session to cope with.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

2018 IPMS-Seattle Spring Show (part 5 of 5)

Here is one final load of photos from the Spring Show. 

If you want to look at the entire album (I shot a couple of hundred models, many more than I can highlight directly on the blog) here is a link to the gallery: Link

Today's list includes an RAF MQ-9 Reaper UAV, Me-262, LVTA1 amphibian, Ki-43, F-105, and Nardi FN-305.

Many thanks for having a look. And congratulations to the IPMS-Seattle team for another excellent show!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

2018 IPMS-Seattle Spring Show (part 4 of 5)

Another batch of photos from the show. These include an Israeli B-17, Bristol Beaufighter, a Mk 1 "female" tank, P-26, Henschel Hs-126, and a SAAB B-17.

Last set tomorrow. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

2018 IPMS-Seattle Spring Show (part 3 of 5)

Another selection of photos from the 2018 version of the IPMS-Seattle Spring Show. This time we have a Heinkel He-70, a big diorama of the Deathstar with a group of 1:72 Star Wars fighters, that spectacular 1:32 XB-70 I was gushing about earlier (not 1:72 but definitely drew some attention!), a 1:72 sub, a rather lonesome Eurofighter - and Italian to boot, and a Revell Lanc. 

More tomorrow! 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

2018 IPMS-Seattle Spring Show (part 2 of 5)

Time for another selection of photographs from the Spring Show. This group consists of a brightly colored CF-18 in markings for the 150th Canadian anniversary, a trio of very nice Meng F-102/106s, Macchi MC-72 seaplane racer, AModel Jetstream 31 in Economist magazine markings, a Spitfire (but at least in unusual Egyptian markings), and a USN Sea King.

More tomorrow; maybe some armor/trucks and maritime as well. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

2018 IPMS-Seattle Spring Show (part 1 of 5)

Another Seattle Spring Show is in the books, and I suspect it set another record for attendance and models, though I won't know that until I get the statistics in another few days. But it was definitely crowded from walk-ins and the 1:72 tables were packed as well. 

Now, all of you know that I will be a 1:72 guy until the day I am loaded into my 1:72 scale coffin, but even I have to admit that the most impressive model at the show was a 1:32 version of the XB-70. The thing was bloody huge and very well done. If it started life as a Combat vac, the work is even more impressive. I do hope it was as least in contention for best model, or at least best in category. 

Types chosen in 1:72 were decently diverse this year, though there were the usual high numbers of 109s, 190s, and Spits. Quality, I have to say, was pretty high up there as well. Not many obvious dogs on the tables. In all, I think the Seattle team can be justly proud of another well-run, well-attended model show. 

For the next few days, I'll be running a selection of my favorites each day. This isn't meant to be the "best" in the categories; my choice is always eclectic and follows no easily discernible standards! Below are Anigrand XB-51, Anigrand A-12 Flying Dorito, Special Hobby B-18 Bolo, AModel Beech 1900, Mistel, and Special Hobby Me-264.

If you want to see the entire gallery: 2018 Gallery

Friday, April 20, 2018

Paint (F-102, Hawk, DC-3, Eurofighter, Me-163B)

The paint session went well enough. Our streak with breaking appliances continues – this time it is the garage door opening mechanism – so I had to manually push the thing up to allow for ventilation during the painting. I do wear a respirator, but prefer to have ample fresh air coming in while I’m doing this job.

Pretty much everything I mentioned in the last post got covered. The F-102 got its wheel wells and the inner side of the wheel doors painted. Next comes masking the wells and an overall coat of ADC Gray.

A general Aluminum coat took care of exhausts for DC-3 and the Italian Eurofighter.

The cockpit for the Bae Hawk T1 was painted Admiralty Grey. I also used that for the primer coat on the Ffrom Northrop Delta. Seam work looked good, and I will next paint it overall NMF. I also got the cockpit for the HobbyBoss Me-163B – which will be painted up in captured RAF markings – completed. Next comes masking and attaching the canopy, and eventually putting on the Trainer Yellow undersides.

Overall semi matte coats for another Eurofighter (41 Sqdrn RAF 100th anniversary markings) and the DC-3 (Worldwide Airways “Arctic Rose”) means that these two can now be moved to the completed column. Expect summaries as soon as I can get the photographs taken.

I’ve already gone on to do some construction after this painting session (and of course I do have the two completions that will need to be written up) but the next few days will consist of highlights from the IPMS-Seattle Spring Show on 4-21-2018. I was concerned that the surgery would cause me to miss this year’s version after 23 straight years, but I seem to be doing well enough that I can at least hobble around the display room and get photos of all the 1:72 models.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Paint prep (F-102, Hawk, Delta, Eurofighter, DC-3)

I am gradually ramping my way up to the next paint session. As you can imagine, the paint queue is backing up out the door at present since I’ve been occupied with other issues the last few weeks. But here are the main items that I have been preparing: F-102 wheel wells and gear doors, lots of silver bits for DC-3 wheels and exhaust, Eurofighter exhausts, and other miscellaneous wheels. I’ve also, on impulse, started another Bae Hawk T1 so I will be painting the cockpit. Finally, I want to put a primer coat on the Northrop Delta so I can see if any more seam prep is required.

It does feel good to actually accomplish something on the production line after all the starts and stops of the last month.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Back to the bench

Although the recovery took much longer than expected (primarily due to the fact that, once the surgeons got into the area to do the laminectomy they discovered that the bone spurs had actually punctured the nerve and caused a spinal fluid leak), I was able to come home on - when else - Friday the 13th. 

The leak caused a somewhat treacherous condition called a spinal headache, due to a drop in spinal fluid pressure. Look that up. It is every bit as ghastly an experience as they say. I seem to have a fairly high pain tolerance, but that took me right to the edge. Like people sticking icepicks into the back of your head at random 10-20 second intervals. The course of treatment is basically lay flat on your back til it goes away, and then gradually raise the incline until you can sit on the side of the bed and then do some walking without pain. That took 2 extra days; not what you want to hear as a patient who wants to go home and sleep in his own bed! 

I'm doing much better now. Still sore, but they gave me enough painkillers (and strong enough ones) to cope with the situation. I'm truly grateful, in an age where opioids are viewed with caution by docs, even for patients who need them. 

I even felt good enough tonight to spend some time on the bench. I got things organized for the next paint session and did some construction. I masked the canopy of the Ffrom Delta, did some seam repair on the latest (Italian) Eurofighter, and completed construction of the cockpit for the MikroMir Aerovan. I also got some bits together for the Daimler armored car from Hasegawa. 

There is a lot of work in the paint queue, but I should be able to showcase a couple of completions in the next week or so. Best news of all, it appears that in the absence of some sort of relapse I should be able to attend the IPMS-Seattle Spring Show this Saturday. I've been going to that show for something like 23 years straight, and have been fully documenting the 1:72 categories for 10 years. That was a streak I didn't want to break. I may be floating around on exotic painkillers and using a cane, but it is a good enough show that I really didn't want to miss it. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Post-surgical preview

Just getting ready to head out to St Francis Hospital to have the spinal surgery done at 2.45pm this afternoon. But here is a little teaser for the blog after I am up and around once again. I just finished the decaling on these two models – Eurofighter and DC-3. They still need a sealer coat before I can officially call them finished, but that will be taken care of at the next paint session.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A quick update

Here’s a quick update on the non-model portion of life in 72 Land.

I do – finally! – have a surgery date for the laminectomy on two lumbar vertebrae. This will be on Tuesday, 4-10. The blog will likely be dark for a few days thereafter. Inpatient stay is generally a couple of days, with a third sometimes required if they don’t like some of your numbers for some reason. They probably will pry me out of bed to gimp up and down the hallway of the ICU later on the first day. They don’t mess around in terms of getting you up and walking.

I don’t know whether I can squeeze in a paint session before the surgery. I have two completed models that just need a clear topcoat and a number that need various bits (cockpit, gear bays, exhausts) painted. There are a number of kits moving through the construction phases.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The 72 Land storage crisis

I am in the midst of an actual display storage crisis. I have completely run out of space in any of the various display cases that I currently own. So: what to do?

The answer has been complicated by the recent heater replacement, the dishwasher replacement, and the need to replace a section of our perimeter fence, which came down in a windstorm. Those are all priority items at present, though I may have found a solution that I can use once the financial barriers are taken care of.

See the photo below.

This is a 4’ wide, 7’ high, and 1.5’ deep display case sold by a local store supply shop. Of course, being a modeler, I can’t help but plan some mods to the stock version. It only comes with 5 x short shelves (8 or 10 inch if past experience is any guide. I really only need 4 or 5 inches between shelves since all of my models are 1:72. And I would like to use 16 inch wide shelves to maximize the amount of storage space in the unit. Both of those are aftermarket mods (I’ve already checked into custom glass shelves) but will really make this into a striking addition to the basement display area. MSRP is $494. They are currently out of stock, but I do have to rebuild my reserve due to those other capital items I mentioned earlier.

In the meantime, my current storage shelves are going to start looking like one of those air museums with stuff squeezed in all over the place that clearly need a bigger building. I’ve already had to delay a few larger projects (postwar Lanc, A400M, C-160 Transall) until the storage crisis has eased a bit.