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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Italeri GMC DUKW

The last model to be completed in 2017 is a GMC DUKW. Clearly, I am still on my wheeled vehicle kick. This is probably the largest vehicle I’ve completed so far, though there is a HEMTT truck and a Dragon Wagon in the stash that will be larger. And of course, once I start delving into actual armor, many of those tracked vehicles and MBTs are considerably bulkier.

The kit is Italeri. It must have been in the stash for ages, and one day I just happened to run across it, thought it looked interesting, and took it upstairs into the short finals queue in the hobby room. There were individual bits of the construction that were tricky, such as the splash guard on the front of the vehicle. There are supposed to be two rear-view mirrors near the front windows as well, but they broke off at an unknown time during the painting process. One assumes that they went to feed the insatiable Carpet Monster. A long search on the floor didn’t turn up anything, and they certainly could have broken off in the garage paint area as well. Ah well. 

The decals came from the kit for a DUKW of an unknown unit in western Europe 1945. Even though I used MRP Olive Drab, which has a definite semi-matte sheen, there wasn’t any great evidence of decal silvering. I continue to experiment with this new (to me) paint line.

DUKWs seem to be everywhere these days. We have a number here in Seattle that are used for tours, and there is one in particular that is used by the SeaFair Pirates each August. If I could source decals for that one, I’d give it a shot. Strangely, it hasn’t attracted any aftermarket decal artists.

This is completed vehicle #15 (17 aircraft, 3 ordnance, 15 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in December of 2017.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Construction (XP-79, Eurofighter, Kubelwagen)

Now that things have settled down around here and I wait for my spinal surgery to get scheduled, I did have some time to get a bit caught up at the workbench.

As usual, much of the activity is meant to lead into a paint session. Once major construction is done, that pretty much comprises all the steps left, and most paint schemes have at least two colors to apply.

I noticed after I finished the overall Light Grey on the RS Models XP-79, that I had forgotten to paint the landing gear doors at the same time. So I gathered all of them up, and at the same time finished installing the gear themselves. Once I get the doors painted and attached, it will be time for decals.

The latest Eurofighter, another RAF anniversary scheme before I embark on a series of Italian AF specials, has had its white tail areas applied and masked. I then added the light grey areas on the tail, canards, and nose cone. This week I’ve gotten those areas masked and it will be time to add the Red areas on tail and canard. Then yet more masking and the coat of Barley Grey to most of the outer surface.

I’m slowly assembling an Academy Kubelwagen to go along with the Schwimmwagen I completed in 2017. Some of the seams will need some cleaning up. No fault of the kit, just my high levels of hamfistedness.

I’ll also be adding top sealer coats to the first two models of 2018.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Revell McDonnell F-101B Voodoo

Many moons ago I started a subproject on the Century Series of USAF postwar aircraft. It was initiated when Anigrand started producing the experimental types, which probably tells you how long ago this project began. I’ve already completed an ESCI F-100, Hasegawa F-104, Hasegawa F-111, as well as Hasegawa versions of the F-102 and F-106. Those I will be replacing with the much nicer Meng Delta Dart and Dagger. So today’s completion, a Revell F-101B, fits into this series. I would have preferred a single seater, but the Revell kit was in the stash and when I started it, the single seater from Valom was not available.

Luckily the Revell version is a pretty decent kit. Since I didn’t particularly want to have dropped flaps, assembling the wing was a bit of a trial. I’m still not 100% satisfied with how that all turned out. I happened to have a couple of resin ejection seats, so I swapped them out for their plastic counterparts.

Painting was fairly standard as well. I used a tin of Xtracolour ADC Grey for the overall paint. I experimented a bit with the exhaust. First, I gave them a coat of Alclad White Aluminum and then did some exhaust marking with Alclad Burnt Metal. I thought it turned out nicely.

Markings came from a Caracal sheet (72011). The choice was between three ANG units. I probably should have been a homer and done the Washington state ANG version (especially since we have one as a gate guardian at the local McChord AFB), but the markings for the Maine ANG were more interesting. No problems with the decals.

I also used a Master nose probe. I have really come to like these Master bits. Except for the Me-163 pitot that proved too close to scale to allow my sausage fingers to handle it without bending it, they have all been an excellent addition to the model. Buy with confidence.

Except for some minor problems with paint seeping under the masking, I was pretty satisfied with this one.

This is completed aircraft #483 (17 aircraft, 3 ordnance, 14 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in December of 2017.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Dark for a few days

I probably won't have a chance to update the blog until next week, even though much of the text is already written - but the photos aren't taken. On Sunday, we're hosting a small reception for my son's wedding. We don't do much entertaining, so you can't conceive of all the work that goes into preparing the house for that. Once we decompress from it early next week, your regularly scheduled cavalcade of low quality modelling will continue.

In the meantime, congratulations to Kenton and Rebecca! 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Paint session (J8M1, Chipmunk)

A couple of days ago I set up an abbreviated painting session. Only one color was involved; that being Alclad Aluminum. Areas covered were the exhaust panel for the J8M1 and a selection of bits (wheels, prop) for the DHC-1 British Airways hack. I also painted the skid and wheels for the Shusui, which also required Aluminum. No photos today, since they have already moved on to their next stages. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Production statistics for 72 Land in 2017

I would now like to look back at the production in 2017. It was a fairly busy year, with 35 models crossing the finish line. They weren’t all aircraft, as was the case in every year 2015 and prior. It broke down like this:

17 aircraft

15 military vehicles (trucks, tractors, bomb transport carts)

3 ordnance (bombs, missiles, etc)

In detail and in order, these were the models completed in 2017. As far as the color coding goes, white listings are aircraft, peach are ordnance, and purple are vehicles.

Scheuch Schlepper 2
Hawker Hurricane F1 (Luftwaffe)
Bae Hawk T2 (Bae Systems demo 1997)
BAC Lightning F2A (92 Sqdrn RAF)
Hawker Hurricane F1 (Hawker Aircraft demo)
RAF 8000lb bomb
RAF bomb transport carriage
Republic P-47D bubbletop ("Eight Nifties")
USGOV F-4 370 gal tank dolly
Ford military tractor (Vietnam era)
RAF 4000lb bomb
Hawker Hurricane F2C (352 Yugoslav Sqdrn RAF, Libya 1944)
Republic P-47D razorback (Rattlesnake)
Clarktor 6 Tow Tractor
USGOV trailer
Standard Mfg MJ-1 lift truck
EADS Barracuda (Luftwaffe)
Republic P-47D razorback (Pride of Lodi)
Republic P-47D razorback (Passionate Patsy)
USGOV ammunition trailer (Vietnam era)
SOVGOV Tsar Bomba trailer
General purpose trailer (Vietnam era)
Hydraulic lift trailer (Vietnam era)
Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 (Red Arrows whif)
Yakovlev Yak-130 (prototype)
GLDS M1126 Stryker (US Army Germany 2015)
Hawker Hurricane F2C (Egyptian AF, 1943)
Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 (9 Sqdrn RAF 100th annv)
Beech Starship ("Starship Reliant", 1987)
Volkswagen Schwimmwagen (Western Desert 1942)
USGov Mark 7 Thor nuclear bomb
Messerschmitt Me-163B (French postwar glider)
USGov Mark 7 Thor nuclear bomb transport cart
McDonnell F-101B Voodoo (Maine ANG 1974)
GMC DUKW (US Army, western Europe 1945)

So how does this compare with prior years? It actually beat 2016 by 1 completion. Since I opened up the ordnance category (in 2015) and the vehicle category (in 2016), these have started to make up a larger percentage of completions. They are relatively simple kits, often a single color, and are not difficult to finish in just a few days. Of course both 2016 and 2017 beat the dead zone year of 2015, where I didn’t manage to finish a single item. That was a tough year medically, but by the end of it I was questioning whether I could even call myself a modeler in the absence of any completions. Thankfully, the mojo has returned in strength.

Now, the depressing stat. I have nearly 1500 1:72 models in the garage stash. And I turned 61 last November. Do your own math on that one.

When your interests vary as widely as mine do, there are a lot of new releases that appeal to me. So I do continue to buy, even though reality says that a lot of those kits will be my heirs’ problem, not mine. One thing I am going to concentrate on in 2018 is not doing as many multiples of a given aircraft type. Well, I will always do the occasional Hurricane and Eurofighter (with all those special color schemes), but I will at least try to make different variants rather than just different paint schemes. That explains the Trent Meteor that is entering my construction queue this week. This allows me to do subprojects (which I enjoy) but still concentrates on varied types.

So, once again, the generalissimo of 72 Land extends to his subjects wishes for a productive 2018! 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Holiday greetings and some paint prep (J8M1, DHC-1)

I did try to get a couple of items across the finish line today, but decided to relax and let them fall into the category for 2018 instead. Given the damage that my native impatience can sometimes cause, I thought it might be better to set a more sedate pace. But I did at least get things prepped for the next painting session. Mostly this consisted of masking the J8M1 for the NMF area around the exhaust and gathering up items for the Chipmunk that needed some Aluminum paint.

With a number of projects wrapping up, I’ve decided what is going to enter the construction queue this week. I received the Italeri Eurofighter boxing with those four lovely Italian AF special schemes from Hannants this week, and I will start on their cockpits. That means there will be three Eurofighters in motion at the same time. So much for my idea to work on more varied aircraft types.

Also, the Special Hobby Trent Meteor will get some attention. Finally, my recently purchased Valom B-45 takes its turn.

To be honest, my biggest challenge at present is storage space. I think I have entirely maxed out my storage cases (both commercial and homemade). I can still fit small military vehicles into the spaces under wings, but I am not sure where the last couple of aircraft are going to be stored. I have to push the issue of buying a new storage case, but the reconstruction of part of our backyard fence is still holding the spot for next capital expense. I might have to build another homemade space if only to take the pressure off.

It is tied into the reorganization of the basement and garage storage spaces, but I haven’t been able to do much to advance that effort due to ongoing back issues. Ah well, life is never boring around this place!

To all the loyal subjects of Greater 72 Land, a Happy New Year! Hopefully you will find some extra time to do productive modelling in 2018.