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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Airfix Short Skyvan

 I’ll warn you right now, this is not one of the better models I’ve made. Far from it. It is from an ancient kit, and I’ve probably offended some portion of the internet by even daring to build the thing rather than keep it in its rather pristine box. It was covered with rivets (right up there with raised panel lines for my person bete noir) and the fit was not great. The decals were unusable, though there are aftermarket alternatives. The overall white paint went on thick and lumpy, the window masking was partially ineffective, glue marks crept into the windows, and I think I made a mistake on the paintwork (though the decal sheet didn’t show the panel as being what I would have expected it to be). I’ll leave that to your discovery. I’m not going to reveal all the secrets of my disasters. It also is one of the models that suffers from the haste and impatience that I wrote about a few posts ago.

It is the Airfix Short Skyvan. Originally, I pulled it out of the stash to accompany the Mikro-Mir Miles Aerovan on the production line. I thought they would make an interesting comparison, but the other kit has had its own share of fit and putty issues and has lingered on the bench.

There was a tremendous amount of prep, mostly sanding to get rid of all those rivets. Given how much work it was, I rather wish it had come out better in the end. But the major distinguishing feature, which I can’t hide even with creative photography (translation: hide the worst of the errors) is the canopy framing. I spent some extra time with toothpicks and lacquer thinner, with a final shiny coat of WD-40, but it didn’t improve things much.

I do appreciate the Two-Six decal sheet for Gulf Air. One wouldn’t expect a nearly 50 year old kit to have such an option. Plus there was a masking set that I got via Hannants, apparently done by a Brit IPMS group. I don’t blame them for my own incompetence in preventing the paint from seeping under the edges though.

“It is what it is” is a common description of some of my models lately, and I’m afraid the streak hasn’t come to an end yet. Thankfully, I’ve been making an effort to slow down and let things develop rather than rushing them to an inadequate conclusion, and I think that will begin to show in the finished product – eventually.

This is completed aircraft #495 (12 aircraft, 0 ordnance, 4 vehicles for the year 2018), finished in October of 2018.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Construction progress (DH-91, Aerovan, DH-88, F-15C)

Since the post from a few days back described items that were in the pre-paint stage, here are a few that are still working their way through the construction queue.

I am making slow progress on the DH-91, though I mentioned last posting that I was having trouble getting the individual panes into the fuselage sides without contaminating them with glue. That is always a problem for me. I think I will get one of the Big Planes CRF-200s, which takes a whole different approach to glass. Basically there is a hole in the fuselage where the entire strip of windows is placed – not individually. The key there will be having a masking medium for the oddly-shaped windows. I finally did get the fuselage halves together, so next will come getting the wings and tail attached.

The Mikro-Mir Miles Aerovan also works its way slowly through the queue. The fit has been rather problematic. Not unexpected on a short-run kit – it doesn’t say Tamiya on the box, so it is not like I didn’t expect issues. But there will be a fair amount of putty in the seams when I get the major construction done.

The AZ DH-88 Comet is all together and has its canopy masked, but there are still some putty spots that need a bit of PSR.

I’ve found a new paint scheme for the Raduga AS-1 Kennel missile. It requires nose and tail to be painted Yellow. Plus I don’t have to put a NMF on a surface that has seen more than its share of puttying and sanding.

Just to show that not everything I do comes from the 30s, there is an F-15C on the way, which will use the lavish Oregon ANG markings from a year or two back. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Paint session (Skyvan, Ju-87G, Sdkfz 222, Ki-98)

I finally dragged myself down to the garage for an extended paint session. What with the conversion to the keto diet, house improvements, my wife’s preparation for foot surgery, and the introduction of yet another new pet to our household (along with some lingering lack-of-energy issues) this has been a difficult fall model season to get started.

Everything that was in the previous blog post got its paint on tonight. The Skyvan, with a topcoat of semi-gloss, moves into the completed column as soon as the paint cures and I can get the cockpit masking off.

The Ju-87G got its RLM71, the Ear Falls Norseman its International Orange, the Sdfkz its DAK Yellow, and the Ki-98 and Ohka got the cockpits painted.

The shot below definitely shows a full tray of work (no less than 6 colors). It will be a relief to make some progress on these kits, which have been stalled for much of the late summer. Shortly I’ll be doing a completion writeup on the Skyvan as well.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Paint prep (Skyvan, Ju-87G, AS-1, Sdkfz 222)

After my public whine session last time, I thought I would recap the pre-paint work that has gone on prior to the next paint session. It has taken a long time to get this session together. 

The Short Skyvan is pretty much finished and now awaits a matte top coat. This is a Two-Six set that covers Gulf Air. I do wonder how difficult it will be to remove the paint masks for this one. We'll see. 

The Ju-87G has been all masked up and is ready for the RLM71 camo coat.

For the Noorduyn Norseman on floats, I’ve finally gotten the leading edges and engine masked for the Intl Orange paint. This has become a big of a hangar queen, so it will be nice to progress it down the line.

The Sdfkz 222 light recon vehicle is now all together. Not sure I like how the mesh lid turned out, but that may just be down to the fact that I don’t own any photoetch bending equipment and had to do it by hand. I so rarely use PE and never anything that requires a lot of bending, so it just isn’t cost effective to have that sort of tool on hand.

And of course the two IJN fighters will be getting their cockpit color.

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.