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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Painting session (Me-163, Schwimmwagen, F-101B)

On this final day of November, I took some time to put together a small airbrush session. I didn’t get everything in the queue, but enough to keep some projects moving.

First, I shot a matte overall coat on the Academy Schwimmwagen. It will be debuting as a completed model as soon as I resolve one dilemma.

I then shot a coat of Alclad White Aluminum on the Norseman airliner’s floats, the body of the Valom Mk 7 nuclear weapon, and the remaining portion of the French civil Me-163 glider.

I used a spray can of Testors SAC Green to get the cockpit of the J8M1 ready for detail painting.

Finally, I cleaned up some rough areas on the F-101B and painted the landing gear doors (which I had somehow forgotten while painting the plane overall). Next I’ll be masking off the area around the exhausts, which will get a covering of White Aluminum (and some areas of Burnt Metal for contrast).

Not every painting session needs to be a marathon, but all paint sessions can advance multiple projects!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Construction (J8M1, F-101B, XP-79, DUKW)

First off, I’d like to wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving. We just put the turkey in, so it won’t be long until the house fills with proper holiday smells.

But back to the workbench. Many construction sessions are really just paint-prep sessions in disguise. Though there wasn’t much time devoted to bench time this week, most of it was in preparation for paint.

I was able to get the cockpit together for the J8M1 Japanese Komet. For simplicity’s sake I will probably paint it via spray can and then do some detail painting after that has a chance to cure. Then I will be completing the overall assembly.

I have buffed down the ADC Gray overall coat on the F-101B. There were a couple of rough spots, but those are ready for a surface coat. Also, I found that I had forgotten to include the landing gear doors in the last paint session, so those will be included this time around.

Repair work is needed on the DHC-1 Chipmunk. The masking on the lower fuselage was a bit clumsy, and will need to be remasked and sprayed to eliminate the overspray. Next I can mask the wingtips and tail for the Insignia Red portions.

The Valom mark 7 nuke needed to have the nosecone masked off so that the rest of the bomb can be painted Aluminum. While I’ve got the Alclad out, I’ll take the opportunity to paint the floats on the airliner Noorduyn Norseman as well.

Finally, I’ve gotten the major assembly of the RS XP-79 in gear. Next comes the rather frightful act of masking and cementing that canopy, which does not look like it will be easy.

In terms of pure construction, I’ve gotten the major body pieces together for the Italeri DUKW. In comparison with the tractors and airfield support vehicles I’ve done to date, this is a gigantic model (well, gigantic for 1:72 vehicles at least). Lots remains to be done, including the transmission, interior, and a bunch of stuff hanging on the bow end. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Painting (F-101, Me-163, Schwimmwagen, Mark 7 nuke)

Armed with a new respirator (mine went to pieces a couple of months back) I ventured into the paint shop for the first time in a while. The weather has been just exactly what we want everyone outside of the northwest to think it is all of the time; rain rain rain as far as the weather eye can see. But that does make for a pleasant painting experience.

Four projects in the spotlight for this session. First comes a small job, putting the Red Brown nose onto the mark 7 nuclear bomb from Valom. A surprising amount of cleanup went into this 5 piece item.

Then came an overall Desert Yellow coat on the Academy Schwimmwagen. I do rather enjoy these small vehicle kits. They are easy to put together, don’t require a lot of complicated paintwork, and make for a quick completion. Of course I do very little weathering on any model, so that does simplify the process.

Next was a coat of Insignia Red on the upper fuselage of the Me-163B. This is going to be a French postwar glider. I never knew the scheme existed until I was grazing on the net one day and discovered an out-of-production Rocketeer sheet with this set of markings on it. It was just too weird to pass up. The problem was I didn’t own the sheet. Since Rocketeer has gone to the big hobby shop in the sky, that could be a problem. After some inquiries, I was saved by a fellow 72 Scale Aircraft board member Pyran, who cut the decal out and mailed it to me. I always appreciate these random acts of kindness from other modellers and try to do the same thing whenever I have the opportunity.

Last was an overall coat of ADC Grey on the F-101B. This is part of my Complete Century Series project (complete because it includes the prototypes XF-103, XF-108 and XF-109, all by Anigrand).

Saturday, November 11, 2017

AModel Beech Starship

I finished today’s completion some time ago, but it was enough of a struggle that it took a while to write up the summary. It is the AModel Beech Starship. This is one of those types that I have always wanted to model, but in olden days the only available kit was a vac. Not that this kit requires less work than a vac.

The large pieces of the kit are not that difficult to get together, but almost everything requires some sanding, dry-fitting, and foul language. It’s the tiny parts that are the real killer. Since this is a short-run kit, the small parts are connected to the sprues by gates that are sometimes bigger than the parts themselves, often causing damage when removing them. And the instructions are not that great at specifying exactly where all those tiny bits go. Most seams require filling.

Painting the overall white wasn’t all that difficult, but when it came time to mask for the leading edge NMF strips I was breaking off antennae right and left. Even the front canard managed to disengage itself. In the end I decided not to mask the overall kit (overspray would get everywhere) and just brush painted the leading edges. Not a completely successful endeavor.

Painting the canopy surround was rather a pain as well. As was most of the rest of the detail painting. Note the theme developing here. But things really went into the crapper when it came time to decal the model. While AModel kits have definitely improved over the course of their existence, their decal technology hasn’t kept up. They are very thin and prone to tear. Not a good thing when many of the decals are thin stripes.

It isn’t one the best I’ve done, and actually would probably not be seen in public if it weren’t for my core founding principle that anything I build gets displayed on this blog, good with the bad. So what you see is what I got.

Just to add a final layer of insult, as I was transporting the kit down to the garage display cases, I dropped the thing and broke off one canard and one vertical tailpiece. I’m probably lucky the landing gear didn’t go as well. Thankfully photos had already been taken. But that just goes to display the rather snakebit nature of this model. I do love AModel’s kit choices, and still plan to build their Avanti and SpaceShip. But I rather dread the experience.

This is completed aircraft #482 (15 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 12 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in October of 2017.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Recent acquisitions

Two packages arrived this week. One included a selection of 6 bottles of MRP paint, a new line that has been getting good reviews on the sites that I visit. They are very similar in size and mix to Alclad (except not being metallic of course). Although my first order was meant to supply colors where my Xtracolour stocks were running low – or out – I’m not sure I have an immediate need for the colors in the stream of projects that are moving into the paint queue at present. Once I give them a try I’ll put together a report.

The other was a set of three items from RebelAlpha. First comes the Mark 7 nuclear bomb. They are including this in one of the later B-45 boxings and decided to put it out as a separate release as well. This works for me as I’ve already bought a B-45. In fact, since the bomb itself only has 5 pieces, I finished construction on it last evening. Some tidying up will be necessary. The transport cart has more pieces.

Second was the Print Scale decal sheet for FJ-3 and FJ-4 Furies. I want to build at least one of the Sword kits in Gloss Sea Blue and this sheet has markings for one.

Last came an impulse purchase, the Ace Models Trattore Autocaro Sahariana AS-37 truck. Another in my project of wheeled support vehicles. I wanted to get a close up look at what Ace kit were like, and at least I can paint this one in desert colors. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Construction (Me-163B, Schwimmwagen)

Not everything around the 72 Land capital city has been lack of production in the last month: we’ve also acquired another pet. This time it is a 10 week old black pug puppy, now named Kirby. As any of you with pets know, puppies have two modes of operation: 1) Berserk and 2) Comatose. He has certainly been running me ragged trying to get him housebroken and socialized with our 9 year old pug and 6 year old cat.

But there have been some modelling related movements as well. I have mostly pieced together an Academy Schwimmwagen, and once I add a couple more exterior bits it will be ready for a first coat of Desert Yellow.

Following that, the first of two Me-163 derivatives has gotten its cockpit painted and installed, and most of the major construction completed. Next on the list is masking and installation of canopies. This one is going to be in postwar French civil markings.

Other lines of work include getting all the exterior bits added and the wheel wells masked on the F-101, major construction on the XP-79, some painting repair on the AZ Chipmunk, and masking on the Noorduyn Norseman airliner.

Just getting started (as in still in the box) are the Hasegawa J8M1 Shusui (almost an Me-163B), Miles Aerovan, and the Northrop Firebird drone recently released by Sova.