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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Paint session (Lanc, DH-88)

The final paint session of February 2019 was something of a mixed bag. Most things went well, but there was one thoroughly problematical moment.

The matte topcoat for the Autoblinda AS-42 Sahariana went well enough, until I noticed that the Euro Grey that I’ve been using for tires had rubbed off in one large spot. I’ve since repaired that, but it is now glossy while the rest of the model is matte. So there will likely be one last matte shot sometime soon. This model will be getting its premiere in March.

I put some X136 Light Compass Grey onto the undersides of the first MS-406 to make it to the painting process. Looked fine, so more masking and the first of the upper surface camo colors should be next in line. Since I needed a light grey for the nosecone of the Italian AF Eurofighter special, I used the same color.

The problematic issue came when I needed to shoot Black onto the lower surfaces of the Tiger Force Lancaster, the Black Magic DH-88, and various props. This is a new tin of paint, and I seemed to be having trouble getting the thinning ratio correct. First it was too thick, then too thin. Coverage was pretty lousy and it even ran in a couple of spots on the Lanc. The DH-88 might be salvageable, but the Lanc is going to need some buffing and a reshoot. I was worried that the props would be a mess too, but once the Black cured it seems to have righted itself. So the Lancaster and one possible spot on the Comet will require some rework.

These problems always seem to come on the last color that I open up for a paint session. Things weren’t helped by it being so cold in the garage as well. My fingers were numb by the time I got to mixing the last color. This was an evening session, so I think I am just going to have to do these during the daytime when the temps are at least over 40 F.

Lots of doctor visits and procedures in the next few weeks, but not for me for once. It appears that my wife’s foot tendon may have actually ruptured after reconstructive surgery, which is a huge PITA for her. Next week will be an MRI to see what is going on in there as best we can, and then we’ll need to decide where we go from here. Nothing but excitement here in the grand duchy of 72 Land.

One bit of good news: I’ve completed construction of one of my Ikea Detolf display cases. The bad news is that they are smaller than I had hoped and barely made a dent in the number of models I was able to load into it. Pictures coming shortly.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Airfix Hawker Hurricane ragwing

As long-term followers know, Hurricane variations are one of my interests. There are a number of adequate and some quite excellent kits and lots of decal options. My only problem is the usual one: where to put them all when completed.

I just received the Arma metal winged Hurricane 1 and it is now in the beginning of the construction process. I also just recently finished an F2b in South African AF markings. But this particular completion is the Airfix ragwing (which seems to be out of stock at many retailers at present). It’s a little gem of a kit, and while it doesn’t fall together, the application of minimal modelling skills – which is about all I can manage! – gets it together pretty well.

The markings are for a captured Italian AF version in the Western Desert. They come from Kora 72070, which covers three options from Italy. Decals are simple: wing fasces roundels and the cross on the tail. But the paint job was another case altogether. This was another model that had to wait a bit until the new compressor was available in late December. For colors, I used X133 for the undersides, X110 Forest Green for the green background, X102 Tan for the large mottling, and X101 Light Earth for the smaller detail mottling. Again, the compressor’s air pressure was turned all the way down. There is still some overspray, but things are improving a bit on that front. This is definitely still a learning curve for me, and Axis mottling is as good a practice ground as you can have for this skill. I am on the whole happy with the result. By the time we get around to the Fiat CR-25 I think it should be starting to look pretty good.

BTW, this is the one that had a cracked canopy out of the box, but given the way I've positioned the photo angles, I don't think you can easily tell. 

This is completed aircraft #509 (7 aircraft, 1 ordnance, 1 vehicles for the year 2019), finished in February of 2019.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Hasegawa Dewoitine D-520

You probably have noted I’ve resolved to complete some types that I’ve never done before, to mix in amongst some that represent repeaters (like P-47s and Hurricanes). Plus I’ve never knowingly finished a French aircraft in WW2 French markings, so that was something I decided to try late last year.

Hasegawa is pretty fool proof as a kitmaker (an advantage I have utilized many times in my modelling career), and I had one of their D-520s in the stash. It exhibited all of the hallmarks of Hasegawa; excellent fit and exterior detail, not much in the cockpit.

Although I do have some alternate D-520 decals in the stash, I decided to use the ones that came in this particular kit boxing. They are for Fighter Group 2/7, based in France in 1940. The paint colors are all Xtracolour equivalents of the French paints: lower surfaces are X136 Light Compass Grey, and the upper camo is X219 Dunkelbraun, X115 Field Green, and X133 Neutral Grey. Looks fine to me in the absence of specifically designated French shades by Xtracolour.

One odd note. Possibly due to the kleptomaniacal leanings of the newest rescue cat, the exhausts for this kit turned up missing during the painting process. It seems to be happening occasionally, so I've started boxing up the smaller sub-assemblies so they are less accessible. To solve this particular problem, I have a set of Quickboost resin exhausts on the way, but have used a pair of Hurricane exhausts as a stopgap. I'll swap them out when the replacements arrive. 

This is the first D-520 I’ve completed, so another type gets marked off the list.

This is completed aircraft #508 (6 aircraft, 1 ordnance, 1 vehicles for the year 2019), finished in February of 2019.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Construction (A-4, MS-406 x3, Eurofighter)

Now that the rush of January and February completions has started to slow down a bit, I was able to concentrate on construction. Having just completed a D-520, I thought the next most logical type to attempt was the Morane-Sauliner MS-406 by Hasegawa. I had inherited a box of parts from a modeler who was exiting the public part of the hobby, and was surprised to find no less than 3 kits in the box. Two Hasegawa and one Heller. At present, I have painted the cockpits and started working on major assembly. Next comes masking and attaching the canopies, though I am waiting for some masking sets from Hannants for the last 2. 

After completing the F11F, I was also inspired to continue on with my long-stalled Blue Angels project. I happened to have a BA boxing of the Fujimi kit, so that was the one I picked. I also acquired a couple of CAM Blue Angels decals. They are for a regular single-seat BA aircraft and for their two-seat “Casper” version, that was painted all white. “Beetle Bomb”, the yellow Bearcat, is already in the lineup, so another one-off will help to complete the set. After this there is only the F-18 to go, though I will have to do the support aircraft eventually as well (C-130, Connie, and DC-4). I may have to go looking for even more display space when that part of the sequence comes up.

Since I was already painting the A-4 cockpit a dark Gray, I decided to use Dark Admiralty Grey and paint another Eurofighter special at the same time. Since I don’t have any more RAF specials, this will likely be another Italian AF variation, from the Italeri boxing that had no less than 4 Italian Air Force anniversary aircraft. I’ve finished one, so only three to go! And the German specials, the new Spanish Tiger Meet special that just came out in decal form, and… The Profoundly Average Modeller’s TM work is never done.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Academy McD-D-15C (Oregon ANG special)

I am not a big fan of Boring Gray Jets. If all you get are code letters and national insignia I tune out pretty quickly. All of the modern jets I have done have had some sort of special or anniversary markings, which I tend to be drawn to in any case. That is certainly the situation with this F-15, which sports the rather garish markings from a couple of years back as used by the Oregon ANG. Oregon is, of course, right next door to me here in Washington, so that provided a local connection as well.

The kit is the Academy F-15C. It goes together well, though the seam produced by the upper/lower fuselage split did require a fair bit of attention. It stalled in the autumn of 2018 because I was not confident I could get a good freehand representation of the dark patches in the center of fuselage and wing surfaces with the compressor I had. Once Christmas rolled around, I was ready to give it a try with the new compressor.

Though this was definitely part of the learning curve, it went well enough for my standards (you may take that as you will). Next came the exhaust cans. You have two options, one simplified in single-piece form and one multi-part version which incorporates the mechanisms for what I take to be an early form of thrust vectoring. I decided to take the plunge with the multi-part version. They were eventually painted a bright Alclad metallic and then toned down with a Black acrylic wash. All good so far.

Then those intimidating decals. Some of the markings make for rather huge decals for 1:72, and the Warbird printing process produces fairly thin decals. The topside versions went on well enough, but the lower surface markings seemed to want to curl and fold at the slightest provocation. The nose eagle was chopped into a couple of smaller parts to help with getting them to fit round the intake area. After a couple of evenings of sweating my way through the process, it was time for a matte topcoat and the finish line.

This is apparently what it takes to get me to do a modern USAF jet. But thankfully, this seems to have satisfied the F-15 itch, so unless some other outlandish color scheme comes along I think I have filled that hole in my lineup.

This is completed aircraft #507 (5 aircraft, 1 ordnance, 1 vehicles for the year 2019), finished in February of 2019.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Paint session (DH-91, cockpits)

In the midst of these completions, the weather thawed out a bit and I was able to venture out into the garage – which was still bloody cold, mind you – for a paint session.

I needed to get a topcoat on the F-15C, which will feature as a completion shortly. Also, I painted a coat of White Aluminum on the DH-91. Still having some residual issues with a certain period of Alclad paints. I ended up throwing one bottle out and starting up with another. Whether that will be adequate is a decision I will make once everything cures. I suspect some buffing and respraying will be necessary.

I put the final bit of mottling on the Italian AF Hurricane in X101 Light Earth. Not as tight a line as I would like, but it will serve. That is the last painting to be done on this model, so once I strip off the masking it will be time to add landing gear, doors, and other details.

Tires have once again been backing up the painting queue. So I did a Euro 1 Dark Gray on D-520, Lancaster, two MS-406s, and the Macchi Mc-200 from HobbyBoss.

But cockpits lined up this time too. I tend to use a common RAF Grey-green for most Italian, French, and British cockpits, which is adequate for closed canopies. So the two MS-406s and the Macchi Mc-200 got the treatment.

This should progress a number of projects, though I still think some work will be required before I can go much further on the DH-91. BTW, the photo below was taken after the second coat of Alclad White Aluminum went on, so I think it will be ok to continue the work on this one, primarily adding the landing gear and painting the prop spinners. 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Hasegawa Macchi Mc-202 Folgore

I have a soft spot for the Italians in WW2. They are so gloriously full of bluster and seriously incompetent. They got beat up by Ethiopia for heaven’s sake. They are sort of the Cleveland Browns of WW2 armed forces.

I’ve got a large number of Italian types in the stash. I’ve dabbled in them occasionally, but with my recent resolve to try and complete as many types that I’ve never completed before as possible, the Italians and French (who you could say most of the same things about, except the getting beat up by Ethiopia part) have moved higher on the list of projects.

Hence this completion, the Macchi Mc-202. This is the Hasegawa kit, which has indeed been in the stash for years. It went together like most Hasegawa kits: excellent fit but less than stellar internal detail. As I’ve said before, since I resolutely keep cockpit canopies closed, this is not a serious issue for me.

A lot of the reason I chose this type was the chance to use PrintScale smoke ring decals. And they went on well enough, but be aware that they are very thin and have a tendency to wrinkle at the first opportunity. You’re better off doing a portion of the model – one wing, for instance – and then giving the decals a chance to dry, preferably with some setting solution on them. In general, I think the job went well enough. You’ll notice that the markings feature the stray cat emblem. This was done as an homage to Bean, our latest rescue cat.

You may remember some of the problems I had with MRP Paints lifting when I removed the masking tape for the White fuselage stripe. I repaired it all as best I could and from the appropriate distance (roughly 2 miles) it looks all right. I’ve even decided to pick up the Italeri Mc-205 and build it as well.

This is completed aircraft #506 (4 aircraft, 1 ordnance, 1 vehicles for the year 2019), finished in February of 2019.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Hasegawa Grumman F11F Blue Angels

One of the first sub-projects I ever started was a set of Blue Angels aircraft. It began in the mid-90s if I remember rightly, and I made it to the F9F when things sort of petered out. Recently I’ve been trying to expand the number of aircraft types that I finish and try to decrease the number of repeat customers like Hurricanes and Eurofighters.

Next in order was the Grumman F11F Tiger. All we’ve had for ages is the somewhat elderly Hasegawa kit. It is not the most modern, but it does go together well enough for a kit of its vintage. The plastic they used (blue, inevitably) was rather brittle and didn’t really take sanding all that well. I happened to use a specifically Blue Angels boxing of the kit, so the decals were provided.

About the only markings I didn’t use were the wing and tail tips, since I decided paint would be a better looking option. Xtracolour does a Blue Angels Yellow, and has two different Blues: one for A-4 and previous and one for the F-18. I used Alclad White Aluminum for the wing and tail leading edges. The decals cooperated, helped along with some setting solution.

This summer, once the display storage is all sorted out, I’ll be taking some group photos of the projects from the past that feature similarly-themed types. The Blue Angels group will definitely be one of those.

This is completed aircraft #505 (3 aircraft, 1 ordnance, 0 vehicles for the year 2019), finished in February of 2019.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

AModel Raduga AS-4 Kitchen and transport cart

It may be perceived as a bit eccentric, but I have a category for aerial ordnance. This covers all sorts of smart bombs, dumb bombs, atomic bombs and missiles. I’m not really very interested in them in terms of individual aircraft loadout (some modellers rather obsess over this) but I think they will make a nice little display of the evolution of aerial destruction when I finish enough of them. For some reason I seem to be concentrating on atomic weapons and air-to-surface missiles. Some of that is due to what is available. But it turns out that I’ve found no less than 15 Soviet air-to-surface missiles that have been either produced as separate kits or as accessory sets. It’s possible there are more out there packaged as part of an aircraft’s war load, so I may not have them all pinned down yet.

I’ve completed the AS-1 Kennel, AS-3 Kangaroo, and AS-6 Kingfish. This particular completion is the Raduga AS-4 Kitchen and its associated transport cart. Both are kitted by AModel.

AModel, depending on factors like how early the mold was made and who worked on it, can be good or bad. This one is generally decent, with fit not being a huge issue – on its total of 8 missile parts. There still was some seam work to be done, but not much.

After painting the nosecone a Dark Grey and the body of AS-4 in Duralumin, I applied a portion of the supplied stencil decals. Most wouldn’t be seen, and in any case they have a tendency to silver just a bit.

The transport cart actually consists of more parts and is the more complex build. Still, I worked my way through it, and painted it an overall Russian military green.

This is completed ordnance #13 and completed vehicle #24 (2 aircraft, 1 ordnance, 1 vehicle for the year 2019), finished in February of 2019.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Fly/Hasegawa Hawker Hurricane

When Fly bought up a run of Hasegawa Hurricane F2Bs – metal winged but no cannon – I was glad to see the kit return to production. I was never all that bothered by the exaggerated rear fuselage treatment; I mean, it is overdone, but not a dealbreaker for me. Plus Fly managed to dig up three camo schemes that I was interested in doing. There is an NMF with a red fuselage stripe outlined in Black, a Free French version, and the one I chose: a South African non combat type with a weird camo scheme and large Trainer Yellow strips and patches. What is not to like?

Construction moved pretty quickly with the Hasegawa kit’s fine fit. It’s not that detailed, especially in the cockpit, but since I was planning to have the canopy closed in any case, that was not a concern. About the only aggravation I suffered was that the dorsal mast kept breaking off and seeking refuge with the Carpet Monster.

The camo scheme, two greens over Azure Blue, was a mystery for a while. But after some research, including help provided by kindly members of the Britmodeller board, I settled onto X001 Dark Green and X116 Light Green. And of course X011 Trainer Yellow for the stripes etc. When you have built 22 Hurricanes, you must respect a new (to me) color scheme. The painting process did take a while, given the four colors, and I had to check the sizes of the Yellow portions to make sure they would accommodate the lettering that they would contain.

The Fly decals performed very well indeed. No folding, they floated into place with adequate water, and didn’t require much in the way of setting solution.

The Hurricane is part of 11 Squadron South African Air Force, as based in Port Elizabeth in 1945. Not sure which side of VE/VJ Day, so I suppose it may technically be a postwar scheme. Not something that concerns me, though. Though there are some minor flaws, I was pretty happy with this one.

This is completed aircraft #504 (2 aircraft, 0 ordnance, 0 vehicles for the year 2019), finished in January of 2019.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Revell Focke-Wulf Fw-200 Kondor airliner

Now that I have gotten the photo booth set up in a corner of the downstairs daylight basement, I should be able to finally get some of the completions from the last couple of weeks documented.

I have always liked doing commercial airliners in 1:72 scale. You might think that the field there is limited, but you’d be wrong. Admittedly the big airliners like the 747, DC-10, and A320 are only available in resin or vac, but there are still many airliners available. Just go take a look at the Draw Decal or Vintage Flyer websites and you’ll see an unusually deep list of propliners and commuter jets. Connies, DC-4s, and of course the ubiquitous DC-3 are heavily represented, but there are other options as well. The DH-91, F-27, Dash 8, even the S-43. In fact I had an article published many years back in Scale Aircraft Modelling on “Airliner Modelling in 1:72 Scale”. So you know that I’m a lifer when it comes to this byroad of aircraft modelling.

Often, the kits that are available are military aircraft that were converted to or from airliners. That is the case with today’s completion, the Focke-Wulf Fw-200 Kondor.

This is the Revell civil version, not the ancient rivet-laden monstrosity from the 1960s. In terms of construction, it does have its nuances: that long fuselage tends to make for a weak central seam, the wings usually require some putty to eliminate the joint, and you have to make a decision about whether to use the supplied passenger windows or just replicate them with Kristal Kleer. This civil boxing comes with the two-blade props.

This model spent a fair amount of time on the Shelf of Shame, but that wasn’t due to construction issues. It was because of the extreme masking that was needed to provide for the black stripes on fuselage and wings. Knowing that job was coming just sucked the air out of the project for a few years. While in storage, other damage came about, such as the wings breaking off and the wheels becoming temporarily misplaced. Luckily, I was able to raid a second kit I had on hand to supply the missing bits, and once my enthusiasm returned, reattaching the wings was not that difficult.

The model had received a coat of Xtracolour RLM63 before going into storage. There seems to be two schools of thought on this color. One advocates for a very light Grey, one for a darker version that is closer to RLM02. Personally, I prefer the lighter version. Unfortunately, Hannants decided that the darker version is the way to go, and unless you can find an older tin at a retailer with pre-change stock, things can become problematic.

I spent two entire evenings masking the plane up for the Black stripes (although Revell supplies these as decals, I preferred to take no chances on the very thick and matte decals). Once I shot the Black, I then had to go through and take all that masking off. And that is when one of the disasters struck: some of the RLM63 paint pulled up off the fuselage. I was panicked, because I thought I was going to have to match the color with some other paint. Thankfully, I found a tin of pre-change Xtracolour. I did some spraying, and it didn’t go too badly.

Next came decals, from a Print Scale Fw-200 airliner sheet (72-238). They were thin but performed well. Then a topcoat of Dullcoat. This is D-ACON “Condor” at the time of the Berlin to New York flight in 1938. It’s a very attractive paint scheme, and has me thinking about making another run at the infamous He-111C from Roden, the only model I ever trashed halfway through construction. Whether the “life’s too short” mantra will restore sanity before I spend the money for another kit remains to be seen. I’ve already built a Lufthansa Ju-86 and Ju-52. Seems like Planet had a couple of 20s/30s small German airliners too.

In general, given the problems that were encountered along the way, I am pretty happy with how it all turned out. I did notice one final thing that needs to be done: adding the passenger windows with Kristal Kleer. I just received the Hannants order that includes that on Friday, so this will be done before too long.

This is completed aircraft #503 (1 aircraft, 0 ordnance, 0 vehicles for the year 2019), finished in January of 2019.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

And lo, there shall come... The Snowpocalypse!

I am trying to return to modelling content here, but as so many of us have noted before, 
Life TM can on occasion provide an interrupt to our hobbies. And we got one last night here in the Great Northwest: the Great Snowstorm of 2019. Well, so far.

This one apparently has a name: Winter Storm Maya. Here on Saturday morning (2-9-2019) we are sitting with roughly a foot of snow on the ground. And with a high of 33 and a low of 11 today, it doesn’t look like there is any relief in the short term. In fact, the first likelihood of something coming down other than in snow form is Thursday, when the temps will be driven up to a balmy 42 during the day. These are all F temps, for benefit of the sarcasm-resistant.

Compare the photos below to the ones from earlier in the week. There was no trash pickup last Monday and I suspect there won’t be one this Monday either. The garage is becoming the staging area for trash bags until we get some barrel space available. At least we still have power: 37,000 WA residents do not. And the wind is picking up too. This place is starting to look like North Dakota – snows once and then blows around for the rest of the winter.

I’ve been taking the time available to move all my photo equipment into the daylight basement, so I should be able to take some pics of the multiple completions in early 2019 before too much longer. As a teaser, how about Fw-200 airliner, SAAF Hurricane, AS-4 Kitchen missile and transport cart, F11F Blue Angels, Mc-202, and F-15 in Oregon ANG special markings. And of course the two Ikea Detolf display cases (with extra shelves) continue to take shape, though they seem to be progressing in a glacial time frame. So there is hope on the horizon for new content that doesn’t involve frozen landscapes!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Paint session (DH-91, Hurricane, D-520)

Before we get to the rash of completed models that have crossed the finish line in the last week or two, I would like to summarize a recent paint session, since it included some experimentation. Lots of matte and gloss topcoats, as you might expect with a number of projects nearing completion, but some of the other work was interesting as well.

The main point of interest was putting the mottle onto the captured Italian Hurricane. There are actually two mottle colors on this aircraft, the first being X102 Tan. Next time will be X101 Light Earth, both substituting for Italian colors that Xtracolour does not produce as such. But this required a much tighter line than I have  been capable of producing in the past. Enter the new compressor, with a pressure regulator. I cranked it almost to zero in order to have as little air as possible moving through. I still did some standard thinning on the Xtracolour paint, though I worried that the different air pressure might make it too thin and prone to run. It was, I would say, a qualified success. The circular mottling was there, though not quite as well defined as I would have liked. There is evidence of a bit of overspray as well. I am happy enough with it to move on to the next step, but the next time I have to do this with greater precision I might have to invest in another needle and airbrush tip of a smaller radius. Stay tuned.

The D-520 got its third and final color for its French camo, this time X115 Field Green. Not too much to spray since it is still covered in masking tape from the lower surface color and the two previous camo colors. Once everything is dry and the masking tape stripped it will be adding details like landing gear, doors, and prop. I think this might be the first French WW2 aircraft I have completed. I enjoyed it enough that I have moved the Hasegawa MS-406 into short finals for the construction queue.

The final project to receive paint was the Valom DH-91 Albatross. This was a primer coat of Neutral Gray, mostly just to provide an even coat for the coming Alclad and to spot if it needs any additional seam work. The seams haven’t completely vanished, but I think they are adequate for my needs, especially since this won’t be in any competitions.

Monday, February 4, 2019


We received something of a surprise last night. Not that snow wasn't predicted, but they were originally talking maybe an inch or a tiny bit more. We ended up with around 4". Not a huge shock, it being February in the Northern Hemisphere, but it has been a relatively warm and wet winter so far. Not last night. 

Both cats are indoor cats, so they don't really get to partake. We'll take Kirby, our young black pug, out to see what he thinks of it later this afternoon. Tug, the senior dog, is likely not to want to be bothered by something as inconvenient as snowfall. In the meantime, Bean, our junior cat, is spending her time perched near the (outdoor) hummingbird feeder and leaps in the air whenever a hummingbird appears. For a while this rather startled the hummingbirds, but they seem to have figured out that there is a piece of glass between them and the cat, and it is more important to get some nutrients than to worry about a cat who can't get to them. 

Snow, even at this relatively low quantity, tends to shut down most non-essential services here in the Seattle area. Both Sue's and Shannon's work are closed today. We haven't lost power since they moved our power lines underground. And we didn't get the shock we got in 2018, when our heater chose the first day of real snow to fail completely. To the tune of $3k. Yowtch. But we had to put up with three weeks of no heater in February while we sorted out the replacement and its financing. 

It looks like it may be hanging around for a couple of days too, given that temps will be in the 20s F overnight. Even the daytime temps are below freezing for a couple of days. About Friday is supposed to be when it all lets up. Thankfully we aren't dealing with the arctic vortex that has been plaguing the midwest and eastern US earlier this month. I don't know what this city would do if the temps plunged to -65 F, even in the middle of the night! 

Here are a couple of photos of the view from the front and rear of the house during Snowfall 2019. Regular modelling content will be resumed shortly. 

Friday, February 1, 2019

Paint session (tires, AS-4 transport cart, D-520, F-15, F11F)

Another short paint session today. Fairly trouble free, though I did run out of paint mid-spray on one model and decided to delay completion rather than spend the time to search my stock for another tin of the same paint.

The main event was all those tires that have accumulated from a bunch of projects which seem to have hit the same stage at the same time. Many came from a recent Hannants order. The hubs had already been painted Aluminum, so after searching for appropriate-sized circle masking tape, I shot no less than 5 sets of tires. D-520, Mc-202, two Hurricanes, the DH-91, and the Trent Meteor. I have decided to invest in one of those Maketar precut circle packages to try and make this process easier when I don’t have a canopy masking set for the model I’m working on – which generally come with wheel hub masks.

I put a coat of Russian Dark Green on the AS-4 transport cart, as well as an overall coat (not including the masked-off nosecone) of Alclad Duralumin on the AS-4 missile itself. After decaling, the AS-4 at least should be ready for its debut. The transport cart is still a step behind, since I will need to mask its wheels. What is it about wheels this month?

I put the second camo color onto the D-520. In this case it was Neutral Gray, which seems a generally accepted match for the French light grey. Next comes more masking and a final camo color of X115 Field Green. Since the airbrush was loaded with Neutral Gray, I used that as the primer for the DH-91. And that is the one I ran out of mid-model. No worries, since it is only a primer coat in any case.