Total Pageviews

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Construction (Delta, Me-163B, F-102, Eurofighter)

Even amidst the mid-winter heater crisis and my ongoing health issues, there has been some activity on the workbench.

The main effort has been with a dish of warm water (which doesn’t stay warm very long, unfortunately). I have been decaling the latest RAF Eurofighter, using the newest tool Revell kit. Also, I’ve been on a long journey to get the Arctic Rose DC-3 completed. That DC-3, using Thunderbird decals (a reprint of the original Whiskey Jack version) has been something of a trial. The decals are admirably thin, but prone to break when moved from wet sheet to model. I’ve given up on applying any of the green stripe in a section larger than maybe 3”. And I want it to have a chance to snuggle down with setting solution between adding sections. I’ve got about half of the job done. The Eurofighter, using an Xtradecal RAF update, has been easier, but still consists of a lot of very small and very white markings.

But construction has not been ignored. The four kits that entered the construction queue (Italeri Eurofighter, Azur/Frrom Northrop Delta, HobbyBoss Me-163B, and Meng F-102) have progressed through the cockpit phase and have most of the major assembly complete. Next come some seam work and masking of canopies.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Academy Kubelwagen

You might remember that I finished a Schwimmwagen in November of 2017. Today’s completion is the land based version of the vehicle, the famous Volkswagen Kubelwagen.

This is the Academy kit, which happened to be packaged with a Fi-156 (which will hopefully be entering the construction queue sometime around summer). It comes with decals for “Otto”, which you have likely seen in photos and previous Kubelwagen kits in other scales.

Like most of the vehicles I’ve built in the last couple of years, construction is simple. It got an overall coat of AK dark yellow (Xtracolour), while the canvas cover was painted more of a tan color for contrast. I had to think about the green mottling on the exterior. With the airbrush and compressor I currently have, there was no way I was going to be able to get a thin enough line for this job. Hence I fell back on a brush. It’s not feathered, but it is probably more representative of the way it should look in 1:72. Besides detailing in the interior, the tires were painted with Tire Black. Decals, matte coat, done.

Another addition to the growing vehicle line. I've included a pic of the Schwimmwagen below as well. 

This is completed vehicle #16 (3 aircraft, 0 ordnance, 1 vehicle for the year 2018), finished in February of 2018.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

RS Models XP-79

Those of you who have been occasionally stopping by this blog for a while will have realized that I enjoy the side road of aviation known as experimental aircraft. I find them more interesting, sometimes, than planes that actually made it into production. The current completion is a good example of that. It is the Northrop XP-79, another in the long series of Jack Northrop’s flying wings.

At one time planned to be rocket powered (ala the Me-163), it was eventually installed with two early Westinghouse turbojets. It followed a proof of concept test aircraft, the MX-334. The XP-79 had its problems during testing, and was cancelled shortly after the first prototype had a fatal crash.

The kit is from RS Models. I have to admit I am growing to like this brand of kit; they combine interesting types with good engineering (even if they are at the upper limit of what could be considered short-run). As you can imagine with a flying wing, parts count is limited, though that doesn’t mean a trouble-free build.

The major point of contention is the canopy. I had a hell of a time getting it masked and then attached to the model. The canopy is in two parts, meaning a glue seam between clear parts. I used Clearfix in an attempt to avoid fogging. That worked out fine, but in exchange I sort of bollocksed up the masking job, leading to ragged edges and rather uneven lines. Some of this is no doubt chalked up to native impatience.

The canopy isn’t the only danger zone. The landing gear don’t have great spots to anchor them, and for a plane this small it has an absolute forest of gear doors. Some of them are supposed to be flush with the lower surface, but I just couldn’t get them properly mounted. Maybe their hydraulics bled down and the doors lowered accordingly. At least that’s my story.

I always enjoy finishing an unusual model, though I suspect this one won’t be in the front row of the display case.

This is completed aircraft #486 (3 aircraft, 0 ordnance, 0 vehicles for the year 2018), finished in January of 2018.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Construction in the freezer (F-102, Eurofighter, Gamma)

So, it is one of the coldest days of the winter, with ice on the streets. The city is basically shut down. Even the trash trucks aren’t running. So what happens? The furnace decides to go belly up. Never a dull moment here in 72 Land.

It is not easy to use fine motor skills when your fingers are numb and the house indoor temps are around 50 degrees F. Still, I was able to do some work on the three kits that have just entered the construction queue.

The first was the relatively new Northrop Gamma from Frrom/Azur. So far construction has been trouble free. The cockpit is painted and installed, and the fuselage is together. I am in the process of getting the wings and horizontal tail attached. I’ve decided that in the absence of a masking set, I will fill the passenger compartment windows with Kristal Kleer. The cockpit canopy will be masked freehand.

Next comes the first of the Italian special markings Eurofighters. The Italeri kit is not the best version of the Eurofighter (the two main contenders being latest new-tool Revell for price and Hasegawa for fit). But that is where I got the four sets of decals, so at least the first two (there are two kits in this box) will be from Italeri. The cockpit is in and the fuselage together, so the next task will be to finish with the wings and other major airframe construction.

The third is the Meng F-102 as part of the Complete Century Series project. I have already built a Hasegawa F-102, but that is quite an old-tech kit and the Meng is far superior. So far the cockpit is painted up. Next I’ll apply the cockpit decals and then close the fuselage.

Waiting in the wings are the Valom B-45 and the MPM Trent Meteor. The Special Hobby SR-53 and Valom Harrow are in the deeper queue. 

I am also adding the landing gear to the RAF Eurofighter and prepping to do decals on the Arctic Rose DC-3. That is if the water I use for soaking the decals doesn’t form a layer of ice while I’m using it.

Once I get the furnace sorted (to the tune of $3500 – yowtch!) it looks like I’ve got a good spring planned for the 72 Land production lines.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Short paint session (Eurofighter, DC-3)

Once again proving that a paint session does not need to be a drawn out event, I got a quick half hour in the garage to apply some color that was holding up two projects.

First came the Alclad White Aluminum for the metal fuselage portions of the latest Eurofighther. The exhaust cans themselves have already been finished. Next on this one will be lot of masking tape removal (and paint repair if required) and then attaching the landing gear and doors.

Second was a surface coat of Dark Aluminum for the Arctic Rose DC-3. I was of two minds on this for a while, and then decided that at least the wings needed a stronger and more consistent coat.

And that was it. I could have painted some cockpits while I was at it but decided I had better declare victory and bug out while the going was good.

As you’ll notice from the photo below, I’ve already partially stripped both aircraft of their masking. The DC-3 looks fine so far, but some of the Eurofighter is a bit rough. The biggest problem was a light grey I used to do the nosecone and leading edges of tail and canards. This is the same paint that caused issues with paint seeping under the canopy of the J8M1 Shusui. Maybe it was a problem with the paint itself and not the masking? Further experimentation will be required.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Paint session (DC-3, Eurofighter, Skyvan bits)

I finally got around to a paint session, though I probably should have waited. I was really run down today, and that in my case often leads to impatience and sloppy work. At least one of the jobs will likely need to be redone, or at least touched up.

First came an overall Matte coat on the Academy Kubelwagen. Once I demask the windshield, this one will be complete.

Next came a surface coat of Barley Grey on the latest anniversary Eurofighter. This seemed to do its job and it should be ready for additional work once the paint cures.

I also did a number of items with various Alclad paints. The DC-3 (undersurfaces, wings, parts of the horizontal tail) was not entirely satisfactory, using Dark Aluminum. I thought I had purged the paint room of those bad batches of Alclad that I unknowingly bought a few years back, but I apparently missed this one. It didn’t cover terribly well, and will likely need another coat to get everything up to a consistent surface color and texture. That is very rare for Alclad, in my experience, but once you get a bad bottle, trouble always follows.

I also painted (using another Alclad, White Aluminum) the props and engine covers of the Skyvan that is in construction now. Just trying to get a jump on work that will need to be done once the major assembly is complete. I also painted the exhaust cans of the Eurofighter. Next, I used Engine Manifold to highlight and put some contrast on the exhausts of both the Eurofighter and the Skyvan exhausts. It really does make a qualitative difference to take this extra step.

I often use Testors spray cans to put the first coat of grey onto cockpit areas (in this case, the Meng F-102, Ffrom TWA Delta, and the Italeri Eurofighter, first of the Italian AF specials). But I discovered after about 2 seconds of spraying that I was out of both greys I typically use. Looks like it’s back to airbrushing, but that will be a project for another day.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Construction (Skyvan, F-102, Delta)

One milestone was passed today on the 72 Land production line. The “Arctic Rose” DC-3 has actually been masked up for its final trip to the paint booth. This has been a long journey which I believe began in about 2015. Paint trips for Black, White, Red (with masking steps in between) plus a couple of repair sessions have occurred so far. Next will be the Aluminum surfaces – mostly lower fuselage and wings. Then I will add the landing gear and head for decals.

I’ve also had a chance to buff out the wings/fuselage on the latest Eurofighter, so it will get a surface coat of Barley Grey.

The construction on the Airfix Skyvan has been a long and winding road as well. But at least I have the fuselage together, windows added, all transparencies masked, and one wing attached. It should be too long until the second wing goes together. There are a lot of parts on this not particularly large aircraft. Tail surfaces need to be done too.

Two cockpits for new aircraft have entered the production queue. I received the Italeri boxing of the single-seat Eurofighter which includes four Italian Air Force squadron specials. Plus I have another commemorative scheme from the 4+ book on Eurofighters. Not to mention at least four Luftwaffe Eurofighter specials. Current air forces do love to paint these up. And the RAF specials for 2018 haven’t been announced yet.

The Meng Convair F-102 and the Ffrom Northrop Delta TWA have also gotten their cockpits together and are awaiting paint. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Hasegawa Mitsubishi J8M1 Shusui

Not too long ago, an Me-163B made it into the completed column. It was a French postwar glider version in red and silver livery. Travelling with that model during most of its construction phase, the Hasegawa Mitsubishi J8M1 Shusui almost made it into 2017, but instead becomes the second completed project in 2018.

This is one of those kits that were molded by someone else but marketed by Hasegawa. The company was named NC1, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen another kit with that name on it; certainly not in 1:72. But there was nothing wrong with the molding. One curious aspect was that the clear parts take up most of the box, since they include a huge stand. I was planning to have mine on the ground, so discarded this.

Assembly was trouble-free. In fact, most of the issue with this one happened during the painting stage. I started out with an MRP yellow, though it was nowhere near orange enough.

An aside: never assume the lighter MRP colors will cover on their own. You’ll be much better off if you prime in first and then just color the primer with the paint. They are mixed very thin. It’s not a problem with most dark colors that I’ve tried, but this yellow began to pool and run badly and still didn’t cover well.

Eventually, I found a Gunze lacquer acrylic that was an acceptable tone. But this paint really didn’t react very well with the canopy masking. The one thing you want with canopy framing is that it be sharp and have no overflow. This became very grainy (how much of this was the priming I don’t know) and crept under the tape in a couple of places. I did all I could with toothpicks and WD40 on a cotton bud to try and get the canopy polished up, but I still wasn’t satisfied with the look.

It is what it is, and I’m trying to take steps to burnish the canopy masking right before painting to see if I can solve the problem. Still, it looks fine with the other 7 Me-163 variants I’ve already finished.

This is completed aircraft #485 (2 aircraft, 0 ordnance, 0 vehicles for the year 2018), finished in January of 2018.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Paint session (Eurofighter, Kubelwagen, XP-79)

It was painting time this evening. I work in the garage with the door open, so I spent some of the time watching a fairly strong downpour. Pretty typical for the winter months here in the Great Northwest.

The primary object of the paint session was to get the Barley Grey coat onto the latest RAF Eurofighter. It wasn’t the smoothest surface I’ve ever shot, so will need a bit of judicious buffing and another light surface coat. With all the masking currently on this thing, there might be some touchup that will need to be done as well.

I also painted the Afrika Korps Dunkelgelb onto the Academy Kubelwagen. At the same time I shot the fabric top in MRP Middle Stone. The Kubel will have a few things that need to be detail painted – tires, seats, dashboard, lights – before I can move on to the decal stage. Before that, you’ll note from the photo below that I decided what to do with the RLM80 squiggles on the body of the vehicle. They are much smaller than the mottling you would find on an aircraft, so I just brush painted them with some sharp new brushes I acquired last week. I really didn’t think sending it through the airbrush, given my inability to control the air pressure, would look very good. Even with good pressure control, that mottling is very small.

One comment about my ongoing experiment with MRP Paints. These things are mixed extremely thin. I don’t think I mix the paint this thin when I’m working with regular enamel paints. This means three things. 1) Don’t be impatient (like me). 2) Spray from a distance or you are almost guaranteed to get pooling and runs. 3) Start with light coats and build up the color saturation gradually.

The last item on tonight’s menu was a matte overcoat for the RS Models XP-79. This now gives me two more completed models awaiting their photography session. So I guess I had better get myself into gear!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

AZ Models DeHav DHC-1 Chipmunk

The first model to be completed in 2018 is the DeHavilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk. This is one of AZ Models’ recent series of Chipmunks with a resin nose replicating the Lycoming engine. The real attraction to me was one set of markings that came in the box: a club aircraft painted in British Airways colors. I will take just about any opportunity to put commercial markings on a 1:72 scale model. AZ has done this before and will hopefully continue the trend as the opportunity arises.

Fit was not great. Lots of fettling and amendment to just about every piece. The Lycoming nose, as I mentioned, was resin, thereby requiring superglue. That’s never my favorite medium. The canopy provided some drama as well. It didn’t fit well, and after sanding a bit here and there, I decided to get a clamp out and put some pressure on until the glue cured. Alas, the only clamp I had that would fit was a big one, and it turned out that it put too much pressure on. If you look closely, there are many little spider-cracks on the forward part of the clear bit. Ah well, another lesson learned.

Plus, this project exhibited some of the problems I’ve had with kabuki tape lately. I did get a set for the DHC-1, though it was a Peewit set (72102), not Eduard, who doesn’t make a set for this kit. But it appears to be the same tape medium. The problem was that it generally started to pull away from the plastic, and did not make a very good seal. Hence, when the model was painted, some color went to places it was not supposed to. I seem to have been having this problem with just plain Tamiya tape as well recently. Change in formula? Just inattention on my part? Whatever the case, I have begun to re-burnish the edges down right before I move things into the paint room. I did clean up the clear bits with the usual WD40 on a Q-tip. 

If I had it to do over, I would have moved the fuselage line between White and Blue higher up on the fuselage. And I would have found a smaller clamp.

This is completed aircraft #484 (1 aircraft, 0 ordnance, 0 vehicles for the year 2018), finished in January of 2018.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Construction (Eurofighter, XP-79, Kubelwagen)

With the completions in the last weeks of 2017 and first weeks of 2018, my workbench has started to clear out a bit. There are a couple of long-term masking jobs (DC-3 “Arctic Rose”, a postwar Lancaster, and an Ear Falls Airways Norseman), but masking has been such a pain lately that if I have anything else I can do, I’ll usually just avoid it. I do have four or five kits just beginning the construction process (B-45, Miles Aerovan, Trent Meteor, the first of the Italian AF special Eurofighters, and maybe a TWA Northrop Delta), but spent some time this week in getting ready for another paint session.

The main thing was final construction and decaling on the RS Models XP-79. I thought the canopy was the most grief I was going to have to endure on this model, but then I got to the landing gear and doors. Four gears, with wheels, and each gear door is in two separate pieces. It was a fairly simple kit before I got to that part. Still, it is now ready for a matte overcoat.

The newest-tool Revell Eurofighter has been going through multiple paint passes. There was white for tail and wheel wells/gear. There was red for the details on the tail and canards. There was a medium grey for the leading edges of tail and canards. And, now that I have gotten the last masking done, including the wheel wells, it is ready for its last overall coat: Barley Grey. Not including the overall matte and the detailing of the exhausts, of course.

The other item that will be heading to the paint room is an Academy Kubelwagen. It is a tiny little bugger, with a clear windshield that needed masking on both sides. I have so far managed to keep from knocking off the rear view mirrors (unlike the DUKW), but then I think that damage happened in the painting process, so I’m not out of the woods yet. This will be getting an overall coat of Afrika Korps Desert Sand. Then paint the tires and get the decals added.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Paint session (XP-79, Eurofighter)

Things have slowed down in the last couple of weeks on the 72 Land production facility. Not really any reason, just a general lack of oomph which occasionally possesses the ruling elite of the province. In an attempt to counteract this lethargy I forced myself to clear out some items in the paint queue.

First were two virtually complete models (the first of 2018) that needed a sealer coat. The Mitsubishi J8M1 got a matte coat, while the Chipmunk got a more gloss covering.

The Northop XP-79 needed its landing gear doors painted with the exterior Light Grey. I had overlooked them when I painted the exterior.

Finally, the latest Eurofighter (41 Squadron RAF anniversary) got the tail and canards painted Insignia Red. This particular model is likely more masking tape than plastic at present. Once the red paint cures, I’ll mask those bits off (along with the wheel wells) and shoot the overall Barley Grey. Next in the Eurofighter lineup will come the 4 Italian specials featured in a recent Italeri boxing. The Italeri kit isn’t the best – that would be the newest Revell tooling – but in a long lineup of models it probably won’t make much visual difference. 

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!