I said in my last blog it might take some time for the decaling job and I wasn’t wrong. Although I am very happy with the results so far.


To just get it over with, the worst result:

I don’t know what happened exactly, but I guess something was still wrong with my layers of gloss. Applying Revell Decal Softener might have actually made things worse since the under layer wasn’t good enough.

I might be wrong there. I will have to look into it before I will do my next decaling job. If anyone of my readers can tell me if I am right or wrong in my assessment that would be awesome as always.

Some more small things that could have been better:

‘Nur hier betret–‘. This decal got folded when applying it and I wasn’t able to repair it unfortunately. This is a typical place for some weathering I guess, so it should be all right.
I had to cut the red decals in two pieces because I was not able to fold them around the wings, horizontal stabilizers and rudder. Unfortunately they fell of a number of times today, so I might have to just paint these small areas.
The decal itself is fine, but I wonder if the number on the side really looked like this on the real plane, because it looks like it was cut out from an NFL jersey. ATCDave, any thoughts on this perhaps?

Overall I do feel pretty good about this process. As I mentioned in the last blog I figured it was probably some bad childhood memory that made me look up to this job, but really is a mistake to compare yourself to your twenty year younger self isn’t it.. especially being a kid you can be excused for not thinking things through. 32 year old me does a much better job.

Of course it could be the decals just got better, or maybe I just leave them in the water a lot shorter. But I know that one big thing is that small cotton swabs I got at a hobby shop really are a big friend with this job. I was able to salvage many rolled up decals without any problem by just making a cotton swab slightly damp and picking the decal up. I was then able to just roll it off the swab and onto the model.

I know that as a kid I just used my clunky fingers, often resulting in the torn up decals I have had nightmares about.

Some more pictures of my progress so far:

All the parts not fixed onto the main body at this point are done.

Something I found interesting myself: I had never really thought about what would happen with the drop tanks and sort of figured they would just be lost after use.

The text on the drop tank instructs the finder to immediately report the location of the drop tank to police or a an airfield when finding this fuel container for a reward of 10 Reichsmark. I think that would about 14 euro’s? Sounds like quite a lot of money!
The underside as shown in the instruction manual is done..
As is the top. That leaves the sides to finish the job.

Although I initially mentioned I would do the underside first, it seems to not really work like that once you get down to it. Obviously you don’t want to cut in the middle of the paper too much to avoid damaging any decals, so mostly I just work towards a decal I actually want to place. I also try to avoid touching anything I just placed on the models.. unfortunately I already have had some decals on my hand that I had already placed but didn’t let dry.

I will probably be able to wrap this up pretty soon, and then it is on to doing my first experiment with chipping!

IPMS Nederland

I received my membership card and login details for the IPMS site! I think there will be a regional meeting on September 18th and it would be great if I could take the FW-190 with me!

So far I found a nice tip in one of the magazines I got with the membership: using wood glue to temporarily fix things into place. I will definitely have to try that because tack isn’t always a good solution.

I also saw a nice example of a A6M3 on the forum, which is great because I hope to start my A6M5 project in a couple of weeks. It turns out one of the inspiration sources was a book I bought myself a week ago:

Aircraft Scale Modeling F.A.Q. by Daniel Zamaride

Excellent book for beginners and probably a nice reference work for more advanced builders as well. This will be a good starting point for all the things I still want to try!

Anyway, I am excited to have joined IPMS and I hope I can enjoy the benefits.

It might not be a big deal for a lot of people, but the last couple of years I have suffered from social anxiety more than I have realized. I guess it sort of crept up on me over the years. I was just intimidated by going to the things I had to go to like social meetings at work, but also weddings and birthdays of friends. You can imagine that if you suffer from that with the things you have to do you’re not even thinking about doing the things you will actually want to do! Not too long ago it would have been out of the question to even visit a hobby shop, and now I have actually joined a club and look forward to visiting my first meeting!

New desk!

I decided on my new desk and it should come in tomorrow!

This should be about 140×140 cm, compared to the 75×100 cm I have right now. It also has those drawers so I can hopefully have a clean desk most of the time!

Now I just need something to place all my stuff in, so I am not done with spending money. OK, by now I am ready to accept that you never really are in this hobby.

I will probably focus on getting things in the right place tomorrow!



Decal and Hide

Of course it doesn’t really matter since I’m not writing for the New York Times, but I’m still considering different options on how to update this blog. Do I want to keep my posts about a single subject and do a weekly ‘summary’ of all the small things that I think about during the week? Or do I want to just keep it more of a journal and use a single blog to write about anything related to modelling? Or both?

At the moment I am really leaning towards just writing about all the subjects that have my current attention and thus keeping the more journal kind of form. Since I have started using categories along with my latest layout change it will still be easy for readers to sort on any subject that has their interest.. people that have an interest for WW2 might not be interested in the Boeing 747-8F build, and vice versa.

I might not have tons of readers, but I still aim to achieve some level of quality in the presentation and organization of this blog. Even if it’s mainly for my own pleasure at this point! But as always I am always open for feedback.

Anyway, this is a modelling blog, not a blog writing-blog, so to some actual modelling related topics!

To-do list

I’ve made lists for the FW-190 build before but this I am have centralized them in a seperate page that I update all the time. This list makes my life a lot easier in the final stages of the process because there is a lot of stuff that can’t be done from the instruction booklet.

And for that matter, some things that should be in the instructions are not. So the first order of business was something that has bothered me more than once during the last couple of weeks, but I kept forgetting about it.

Why isn’t that little light in the wing not mentioned in the instructions?

I looked into it this afternoon and it turns out that the manual actually says this part is not used for this model.. It does instruct you very early on to cut out the hole where it’s supposed to fit but now I am wrapping things up the thought kept creeping up in my mind that I would be left with a nice hole in the wing.

Thankfully I didn’t throw anything out.

I just hope I didn’t cut the hole out too wide but we’ll pass that bridge when we get to it.
Some more pre-work on the propeller assembly and drop tank. I applied a layer of gloss coat.

It is time..

After much postponing (probably from my childhood nightmares of ripping up decals) it is finally time to start do this thing..

I started off with 2 big ones yesterday evening to get the feel for it and think about my plan of action for this operation.

I will work from front to back, doing the underside first. And I don’t think I will going through this very quickly because I haven’t felt fully ‘energized’ for a few days now and I don’t want to ruin this.

I do like that result though!

Yesterday I already misplaced the decal sheet into a puddle of water.. and that is the sort of stuff I have bad childhood memories about. You could say my style of working is just not suited for this kind of thing as I love to keep all my mess around me and accidents are bound to happen.

But when I accidentally pushed off a paint bottle I realized there might be another problem I need to address first. I might have to do that workplace upgrade sooner than I thought because the old table is less than ideal.





Weekly random thoughts

Last week I had the idea to do a weekly blog on Friday night about random modelling related subjects that I wanted to write about.  Although a week later it seems it won’t be a Friday night thing necessarily I’d still like to do a ‘weekend’ update as long as there is something to write about.

For the last three weeks I have been watching Friday Night  Live ‘At The Bench’ By International Scale Modeller. I’m not sure if I will watch every week, but I quite like the idea of spending my Friday night in that environment, listening to modelers and hearing about new kits and related stuff with a beer in my hand. The only problem is I am not a known person in that community, and obviously sometimes that means you will be ignored.

I hope to have found a dutch community though, even if it doesn’t have hangouts and a live Friday night show!

IPMS Nederland

If all goes well I will be a member of IPMS Nederland soon. IPMS is an abbreviation for ‘Internation Plastic Modellers Society’, and that name makes me suspicious I will have to go through some sort of sacrificial ceremony to become a member. Perhaps I will have to throw my first model into the fire and cut my hands open while performing a secret dance. I have a feeling it will probably still be worth it:

  • My main supplier Hobbycar in Tilburg has a very nice deal that entails getting a 10% discount on every purchase when showing your IPMS card. With the recent purchase of the compressor I’ve come to the point where I could have joined immediately and saved 40 euro’s, but since I haven’t been active in the hobby for that long it would have been a risk. By now, I am fairly certain I will stick to this hobby for the coming time so a membership will be worth it, especially since I am already planning my next purchases (which I will have to keep quiet about until somewhere in October hopefully! Ooooh secrets!)
  • Free entrance to IPMS NL events. While I am usually not a huge fan of this sort of thing, I am actually quite keen on seeing what others are up to and I might end up going to some of these!
  • A magazine, published 5 times a year.
  • Access to the forum to contact other IPMS NL members.

Looking forward to becoming a member!

The flag I will have to pledge allegiance to when I become a member.

Site work

I have done yet another overhaul of the site layout. The reason is I have become a premium member of WordPress. Is it an economical decision? No, absolutely not. And realistically it will never be. But writing about modelling is a huge part of the hobby for me and I want things to look good!

A big change not directly related to this upgrade is that I have sorted my blogs according to category, so it’s easier to see all related posts for a project I am working on.

I notice I get a lot of traffic from people who most likely typed in ‘Revell’ and the kit number into Google. Probably looking for a review the poor people find my site. I don’t like disappointing people so next time I will tag my posts like that I’ll make sure I will actually have something useful to say about the kit itself rather than my experience with it. With that, and the addition of the categories, I hope they will stick around for the other posts about the build they apparently take interest in.

In the future I’d like to do proper kit reviews of my new purchases, just showing what is inside the kit and not so much giving my opinion on it. If people are interested in the things I come a cross they can follow the build blogs. I might do these reviews on video. The premium deal has some possibilities for that, but I might also go for YouTube which could provide more viewers.

To be clear: right now I have a handful of followers. I love their support and feedback and I hope to keep them subscribed, but of course I started this blog purely for myself to keep track of where I am heading with my modelling, and the things I am learning about modelling. That said I want all my visitors to have a good time and I provide quality when it comes to my output. That means even though this site might be my little place, I wouldn’t want to to do anything that hurts the experience of visitors. In fact, the more visitors the more information likely will come to me, and my ultimate goal is to learn more all the time!

Upgrading the workplace

This is just a dream at the moment, but looking around a bit I have seen some nice workbenches on the internet! Nice and spacey compared to what I have right now..

This becomes cluttered so quickly.. I really need something bigger.

Sure I can clean a couple of more shelves, but it seems this hobby is here to stay and that means I would just love to get a big desk and a nice big construction to place my paint an materials in.. Really have to look into something nice, but it seems the really nice workplaces are DIY!

This is the homemade workplace by Simon Jones, which I saw on the ISM facebook page today. Looks exciting!

And what I also still need is a nice showcase to place my models in! I probably will have to go for that purchase first, since the FW-190 is progressing nicely.

The FW-190 A8/R11

I didn’t do a lot of work since my last update of this kit, but I did paint those antennas today that are specific to the R11:

The R number was the designation for the conversion packages available for this plane and the R11 package was the night fighter conversion. The antenna’s on this conversion will be fitted to the wing and I am very excited to see how this will look on the end result! And yes, that’s the propeller cone on the left, which is in the same color and thus rode along with this airbrush session.

In my last update I gave this model a gloss clear coat. The next step will be to apply the decals! Really looks like I am getting in the final stages of this build!

Inspiration in the skies above Gilze

As I think I’ve mentioned before, I live about a 10 minutes walk away from the Gilze-Rijen Airbase. While the bulk of the activity of this airbase comes from helicopters of Defensie Helikopter Commando, the Koninklijke Luchtmacht Historische Vluchten is also based there. This morning they were flying around with an awesome beast:

The PH-OUQ is a Mk IX. The Koninklijke Luchtmacht actually operated the MK IX for a while, but it was the clipped wing version. Should I want to mimic that: 03927 also has the clipped version of the IX.

I plan to do some other kits before picking up the Spitfire MK IXc (Revell 03927) again. but seeing this bird make it’s rounds above the village this morning gave me half the mind to do this build in this livery.

Plenty of time to think about that though.. the problem might be this livery might be a little too simple, especially since I plan to pick this up after the A6M5 which also doesn’t have a very exciting livery. I will probably end up doing to camo that is displayed on the box..


That’s it for this week, thanks for reading!



Too much detail for me

I’ll say again: I don’t like this part of the build. I have to keep telling myself I’m doing it for the experience, but obviously that wasn’t the goal when I started the build. After making a couple of mistakes (starting with the primer-fail) I tried to accept the idea that this is basically just my second attempt as an adult and I can’t realistically expect to get things right when I haven’t done them before.

But of course I still have the expectations of an adult, even though it sometimes feels like my skills are just a tiny bit better than where I left them 20 years ago when putting down my last model as a kid. I just don’t accept the mess I made back then because that is not what adults are supposed to do.

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to make a blog about.

Yesterday I tried finishing the black area above the wings. I took my smallest brush and filled up the black area, then I touched up on the red decal with some paint and where I went over the line I used a tiny bit of the light blue mixture to correct it.

Finishing the sides

Once again I am pretty happy with the left side.

I actually had less work in this side, and the outcome looks pretty good. The other side though..

This is the first step of the job and unfortunately I ripped off the decal. There is also some black paint on the decal but the idea still was to use red paint here as well..
I painted the red part that got ripped off, but the amount of work I had to do on this side turned out to just be too much for me.

I couldn’t help but think of that woman in Spain who tried to restore a fresco, which turned out to be a little out of her league..

Ah well, at least my attempt at a FW-190 A8/R11 isn’t an almost century old fresco.

Applying gloss clear coat

Feeling I did the best I could on the paint job it was time to apply a layer of gloss clear coat, or multiple layers as it turned out.

Fast forwarding to the end result.. I will have to see how it looks tomorrow, but it became apparent pretty early on that one layer would not cut it.

This was the first time I used the new compressor to apply Humbrol Gloss Clear, and I learned that I actually really do need to thin the stuff down. Even though I tested on one of my wrecked parts earlier and based on that I decided I wouldn’t want to thin it, I found out the hard way that it was just not working. I lowered the PSI a notch on the compressor and thinned the stuff down a bit to stop my airbrush from puking uncontrollable streams of varnish.

I am less happy with another lesson I learned about applying a gloss clear coat..

It turns out you can see very clearly where you applied some more paint with a paint brush over the parts you missed with the airbrush..

I really hope this will look better when it has dried a bit, but to be honest I am willing to accept this as another lesson and hope I can look back at it in a couple of models time.

The final thing I did today was assemble the wheels, some tiny parts of the landing gear and I applied a coat to the landing gear parts as well.

All in all I am not unhappy. I am already looking forward to my next model but I want to get maximum bang for my buck with this kit when it comes to learning.






Paint it black

Last night I went ahead ahead and applied a layer of paint on the side after using pizza carton to mask off the distinctive shape above the wing.

Left looks allright.
Right is a bit more sloppy looking.

Overall I was pretty happy with this result, although obviously there is some more painting to do.

I was still unsure how to move on though. As long as the decal is not on, I will keep guessing and adjusting the paint and I might get it all wrong and still need to do the red line with paint.

I decided to go for it and apply the red stripe decals.

Again, left looks ok.
But right is a bit harder to get right. First it’s time to let this dry and I’ll see how to finish this tomorrow.

I have to admit, I do not find this part of the build enjoyable. Sure, it’s great to see it coming together like it always is, but I found out tonight how much more enjoyable it is to just do the nice and simple small subcomponents.

Since I had to let the decals dry anyway I decided to finish off some small parts I had set aside for the (then) exciting and new primer phase!

After my last purchases I finally was able to use the lovely combination of:

  1. Toothpicks
  2. Tack
  3. Styrofoam
  4. My airbrush Booth
  5. My new compressor
Looks lean and mean doesn’t it!

Just a real simple coat of seidenmatt but it just so much better than struggling with pizza cartons!

I would almost forget it, but since I have the new compressor I have had absolutely no problems. I did change the needle as well, but that was more of a precaution. The compressor is hands down the best money I have spent do far.




Pizza saves the day again

Just a quick update. I thought about a solutions today and tonight I tried it. I got a piece of pizza carton and cut it in the right shape.

Winner winner..
Chicken dinner!

Unlike the masking tape this gives me the possibility to adjust and then taping it to the right area.

It looks pretty close and on both sides.

The only thing is I need to be nice and straight on the airbrush because the masking properties of the carton aren’t too great.. then again, if it does actually leak through I won’t mind too much about doing another layer of the light blue. The mottling is not perfect and I wouldn’t mind another go at it should it be necessary.

Mask on

It appears I am stuck! Tonight I sent a mail to IPMS Germany to see if they can help me since I saw one of their members made a brilliant version of this kit.

A few weeks ago I saw a blog from JB in which he displayed the effort he had to put into masking.

He is working a pretty sweet F-35 kit, but the masking job looks quite tedious with much jigsaw masking required. So just brainstorming in the comments section I offered the thought of getting some tracing paper and getting the pattern on there, and then transferring the pattern to your masking tape so you could apply it on a bigger part of the model, and do small adjustments with more or less tape. He is going to try that and I am curious if and how it has worked for him.

Obviously I was quite happy to hear he liked the idea, and obviously I didn’t forget about it either. As I pointed out in my last blog there is some challenge in the dark area above the wings. This morning I went to the local discount shop to get some tracing paper.. which they amazingly did not have. So I got myself some oldskool geometry tools!

It looks to get it on the masking tape.
Up until this point I thought the nice little lines in the Humbrol cutting-mat were just there to make the thing look nice and model-y. It does actually have a purpose!
Here is the problem of course.. whether you use tracing paper or oldskool geometry, it just isn’t very applicable to my situation. I have no way of knowing exactly where to mask off.

I cut out the decals and did the best I could to see if it looked correct, and it did. But I can also see the two sides are not symmetrical, and it would have surprised me if they were. I just don’t think it’s possible without a proper masking set.

It looks like everything is set, as best as I can get it.

Hopefully I can get some help from Germany, or I might go for it and paint the red lines myself. It won’t be symmetrical though and that will haunt me forever (or atleast until I wreck my next kit).