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Saturday, September 22, 2018

The role of incompetence in modelling

It seems to run rather strongly through the modelling efforts here in 72 Land. No one is ever going to confuse me with the great 1:72 modellers in our hobby, but the last couple of sessions seem to have cursed by the Voodoo Queen. 

Almost all are fundamental mistakes of basic modelling principles. Too much glue at the site of two pieces going together. Glue fingerprints on clear parts. Dropping tiny bits to the mercy of the carpet monster. Breaking thin parts and having to glue them back together (which never really works). Fuselage halves that seem well lined up end up offsetting by a micron and producing a visible seam. Gaps caused by seams that weren't properly secured. Parts that just don't fit together (which admittedly is not my fault, but the extent of work I'm willing to put in to correct the situation is under my control). And these examples are all from the last two bench sessions! 

One of my greatest problems is a native impatience. It is truly a potential hobby killer for modellers. I have a lot of projects on the go, and want to make some progress on most of them at each period of bench time. But I just need to slow down and take more time to plan and execute actions. It hasn't helped that I've been dealing with migraines and my wife's upcoming foot surgery, but those are excuses as much as reasons. 

It's not like I spend 8 hours a day at the bench and need some time off. It's that I'm trying to rush the jobs in the time I do have available. There are so many kits in the stash that I want to start on. Is physical dexterity becoming an issue? At 61, I wouldn't think so, but one only gets old once and there are limited chances for knowing how your body is going to react. 

One of the fundamental principles of this blog is that everything I build, no matter the problems, gets displayed when it is finished. So all of those errors will be on display for the world to see. I will just need to slow down and take the proper amount of time to do the bits of work that I've set up for that bench session. Breathe deep. Put on some music (well, high-volume Iron Maiden may not be most conducive to relaxed modelling). And remember that this is emphatically a hobby for the purpose of relaxation. 

Lots of glue goo on the front mudguard structure. (ICM Sdkfz 222)

The masks have been added to this fuselage half, but I shudder to think what glue marks will be revealed after painting. (Valom DH-91)


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Paint session (Skyvan, Ju-87G, AS-1, DH-88)

With a gentle rain coming down outside, I was able to get an evening paint session together, mostly taking care of the items I mentioned in the previous post.

The Skyvan got its tail painted in aluminum. The Ju-87G got a nice smooth upper coat of RLM70. The AS-1 transport cart was painted in Soviet tank dark green (Xtracolour 811), along with the nose and tail of the AS-1 missile itself. And the newish AZ Models DeHav DH-88 Comet cockpit got its initial coat of dark grey to get things started.

I’ve decided to hold the Ki-98 (and the Ohka) until a later painting session. Same with the Wolfpack/Italeri T-45, which is just about ready for its black nose.

A fairly brief and simple session, but one without a notable disaster quotient. I'll take those anytime. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Paint prep (Ju-87G, Skyvan, AS-1 Kennel)

Since returning from our truncated vacation, the weather has finally begun to drop into the more modeler-friendly 70s, allowing me to steal away a few moments to stick some plastic together. Much of the work was to prepare for the next paint session, as usual.

I masked off the lower surfaces of the Ju-87G. Since the canopy was already masked, it is now ready for its upper coat of RLM70.

I also masked off the vertical tail surfaces of the ancient Airfix Short Skyvan, in preparation for its Aluminum coat. Once that cures, I’ll be able to add the engines, props, and wheels. Then comes time for Gulf Air decals.

I received my order of Xtracolour paint from Roll Models, so I am ready to paint the transport cart for the Raduga AS-1 Kennel, as well as some detail bits on the missile itself.

I’m also gradually getting the cockpit together for the AZ Dehav Comet. It is almost ready for paint as well. Just a couple of bits to stick on.

The Meng Manshu Ki-98 has been ready for its cockpit paint for a while now, but it has been stalled since I wanted to paint the Hauler Ohka interior at the same time. The Ohka has a surprising amount of bits, some of which are in resin, which means I’ll have to use the dreaded superglue.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Special Hobby Northrop Delta

For a relatively simple kit, my Special Hobby Northrop Delta has a complicated and somewhat difficult history. It really does go together pretty well, and the problems I experienced were emphatically self-inflicted.

The major construction was completed before the summer hit. Given that it was to be a NMF, I thought a primer coat was in order to turn up any spots that needed additional attention. My mistake was in using a matt grey for the primer. To my horror, when I shot the Alclad Aluminum coat, the paint just sort of sank down and absorbed into the primer, turning the surface into a multicolored, multi-surfaced mess. One area (the cowling) which had not received any primer, came out looking exactly like I wanted, so it wasn’t the paint’s fault.  But the rest of the model….did not.

This event managed to exhaust even my deep reserve of colorful language that would make a sailor proud. Then I just left it on the Shelf of Shame until I could calm down enough to deal with the problem.

As sanity gradually returned, I spent a couple of sessions removing what I could of the surface with lacquer thinner. Then, when I figured I could go no further in that direction, I began buffing it down with progressively less abrasive sandpaper. Eventually I got it to a point where most of the former paint was gone, and removing the last traces was more effort than I was willing to put out at that point.

Things were rather tense as I sprayed the new Aluminum coat, but it went well enough. I let the paint cure and proceeded to apply decals. These were straight from the box, but are perilously thin. One of them folded on itself and one actually fell off the surface and was eaten by what must be the fattest Carpet Monster in the land. But, as they say, it is what it is. That’s the 72 Land motto if there ever was one.

I did not add a top clear coat (which was the last chance for a fatal screw-up that I was not willing to risk) but did apply Kristal Kleer to the passenger windows. Given that I enjoy models of commercial airliners in 1:72, this may have earned a spot in the back of the display case, but at least it made it there without the short flight into a solid wall.

I’ve just noticed that I haven’t properly replaced the wing pitot (another snack for the Carpet Monster) but that will have to be done later, after this posting.

This is completed aircraft #494 (11 aircraft, 0 ordnance, 3 vehicles for the year 2018), finished in August of 2018.