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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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!
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..
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!
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:
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:
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..
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
I actually had less work in this side, and the outcome looks pretty good. The other side though..
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..
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
My airbrush Booth
My new compressor
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.
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.
Unlike the masking tape this gives me the possibility to adjust and then taping it to the right area.
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.
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!
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.
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).
If I don’t forget about it next week, I’d like to use the Friday night for some reflection time about my modelling and the things surrounding it.
Primary build, the FW-190 A8/R11 (Revell 03926)
First things first. As I start to get towards the final stages of this build and I enter unknown terrain, the old fear of failure is creeping in again. I have had already had a bad experience with trying something new, but I actually feel that failure has taken the pressure off for a little while. I guess I for a few days felt it couldn’t get any worse.
I am reasonably happy with the job I did on the camouflage, even though the mottling isn’t perfect. Today I did a thin over-spray with light blue of the mottling.
I also resprayed the underside and the engine cowlings where I took the staubgrau a bit too low initially.
Mask off and spray the dark area behind the engine and above wings.
Recover the cockpit where the primer got through.
Mask off the canopy I will use and spray staubgrau.
Clear coat again to seal in the decals.
Re-place the cannons in the landing gear bay.
Antenna’s, landing gear and other easily breakable stuff.
Re-place the broken off fuel rack back on the underside.
Re-place the broken off cannon on port side and paint it again.
On one hand I know this is just my second build and it takes practice to get to a higher level, but I hope to make the best of this thing of course!
Secondary build, the Boeing 747-8 in Cargolux livery (Revell 04949)
I am not very far with this build. I did the first main gear bays last week, and had some trouble getting the gears on straight. Because I had the feeling this had something to do with my less than thorough approach to this build I temporarily put it on hold until the Focke-Wulf is done and I will make this my primary build when I’ve reached that point. It might be better for me to just focus on one build at a time, but if I really get bored I still have this to pick up.
I will probably give all my attention to this build when the FW is done, but I’d still like to preview the kit I am already planning on building next.
Preview, the Mitsubishi A6M5 ‘Zero’ (Revell 04755)
At first I thought: this is too simple, this won’t give me the challenge I need. But while I was compiling the rest of the booty this thing stuck to the back of my mind.
So in the end I decided to take this home with me. It wasn’t complete, but my brother has made the exact same kit and he had the missing part laying around from his own build of the kit:
There is more shopping to be done though:
I will need to get some new decals, and I hope I can find an upgrade set somewhere while I am at it. Maybe I can also see if there is some other stuff to make this build more interesting? I’ve seen some of those custom seat buckles around, or maybe I can even make them myself? It would be a step up from what I am doing normally but scared as I am, I still like to always improve myself!
That’s the little summary for this week! Maybe I’ll do something like this again next week but until that time I will surely continue updates on the FW-190.
A few days of problems with the airbrush and wrongly thinking I had found the source of the problems has really taken the wind out of my sails. I noticed that this morning as I was finally ready to start some actual work again.
In my last blog I attempted to repair my first compressor and failed. So within a month after purchasing the Fengda BD-831 set which includes a BD-135 airbrush and an AS-200 mini-compressor I had to get something else.
I first visited a couple of hardware stores to see if there would be a cheaper alternative to a ‘specialized’ airbrush compressor. The two stores I checked only had more expensive options, so I drove on to Hobbycar again.
I left with a Fengda AS-186. I had already decided it would definitely be something with an air tank because turning the mini-compressor on and off all the time and it still being overheated within half an hour really got me in trouble once I started the camouflage stage of the FW-190 build I am doing. The AS-186 has a 3 liter tank and when it turns on again it doesn’t make much more sound than my airbrush booth.
This morning I went back to Hobbycar for a third time in two days. I joked to the store owner he should consider getting me my own key by now. When I tried the compressor last night with a bit of water in my airbrush, I noticed the spray didn’t go straight. After all the trouble I had last days it would make sense that either the needle or the nozzle would be damaged so I bought both, and after replacing the needle it seemed better.
After having two longer airbrush sessions today I can say I am really falling in love with this compressor! The only downside from having the thing next to me on the table is that it shakes quite a bit when it has turned on again, and of course a 3 liter tank is empty quite quickly so there’s a Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On. Still, that is really a minor nuisance and at times I didn’t even notice until well after it had turned on again. Probably just needs some getting used to.
I am now also able to adjust the pressure output, which has already come in handy today! Probably essential in getting an acceptable result on the challenging camo I am working on right now.
Back to the FW-190 camouflage
Since I started my re-integration to get back to a 40 hour work week I notice I have had a lot less energy left for model building, which is fine and of course was to be expected. But since I noticed the quality on my B747-8F work wasn’t what I wanted it to be I decided to at this stage wait with doing two builds at the same time like I planned. I’m sure when my energy-levels are back to normal I can pick it up again, but at that time I will hopefully also be back to work completely so I will have less time available for modelling anyway.
As I said in the introduction, I had to get my bearings a bit when starting this project up again.
Today I was able to really get some work done on the camouflage of the FW-190 and I am very curious what you guys think, especially on the mottled camouflage on the sides.
I did this side first, and after some reading I did most of the other side with a thinner mixture and a lower pressure output on my compressor.
But even on this side I think I will either have to do a thin layer of the light blue because the effect is too strong, or maybe I will even have to do a complete layer of light blue and start all over again?
I even tried the camouflage on a Spitfire part I had laying around last week, but I am not sure how I like the mottling effect right now and I am hoping you guys can give me some feedback on how it looks.
As always, I am very grateful for all constructive criticism and feedback!
In the words of an obscure late-20th century poet B.J. Spears: ‘Oops, I did it again!’ That is obviously a joke and obviously she didn’t write that herself. Anyway!
I really can’t stand strong smells and let’s be honest, this hobby has a few.. I especially hope it will help with the primer!
I know I buy a lot of stuff, but I spend a lot of time on this hobby and I like to be prepared. I see these things as an investment since I just started this hobby. I’m sure I won’t keep spending the amount of money I spent on all this in the last two months!
Back to the FW-190. I started work on the camo these last two days.
I did a larger area than required to avoid having to revisit this color.. I hate it when I at some point discover I forgot a small area, especially if mixing colors is involved like with the light blue. Of course today I did discover just that, but the area I missed is small enough to do with a brush.
I keep learning more about my airbrush. In my last blog I joyfully reported I had thinned my mixture so much for the light blue that I had a good result. Well it appears that wasn’t the entire story.. To finish the light blue on the sides of the fuselage I went straight for this thin mixture and it still didn’t work! Then finally after another frustrating half hour I guess I accidentally didn’t screw the air cap back on completely and the thing started working like a charm!
I don’t know if this means I screwed something up when I put the airbrush back together a while back, but today I did more work on the camo and it worked reliably. I don’t think I haven’t been able to use my airbrush reliably for two days in a row so far! Well, today was fine just like yesterday!
Since I didn’t know yet how good using the airbrush would go today I didn’t want to go all out again and planned on doing the rear wings first and see how far I would get with just a bit of very thinly mixed ‘staubgrau’, more englishly known as dust gray.
I suspect this is either because I screwed loose the air cap or because I still used a very thin mixture of dust gray because of my earlier experience.
I free-handed the camouflage so far and I will probably will need a few tries to get it just right, but I am still confident it will give me a better result than masking it off.
The yellow mixture was way, way too thin! Even though I already knew it didn’t need to be as thin as I have used in the last couple of weeks I went for an even thinner ratio.. don’t know why I did that because it was already somewhat thinned with water because I had just cleaned my mixing cup. Ah well, I did a couple of layers and the result looks fine!
I can’t say everything went smoothly today, but having had some time to put things in perspective about some of the mistake I made so far on this kit and I did get that satisfying feeling back with today’s work.
I will hopefully look back at the FW-190 kit in a while and be happy about the things that have I have learned since then.
After mixing those colors I first sprayed a line on the Spit-Wreck to see what the exact output was.
I first opened this thing a few weeks ago after a my first long airbrushing session. I had read in the manual there was a ‘safety mechanism’ that would let the compressor automatically shut down when it got too hot. I had this weird idea that there would be some complex system behind that, so I kept going for more than 45 minutes when the engine sound starting fluctuating and the thing switched off. Ah, I thought. There is the safety mechanism. Unfortunately after letting the thing cool down for half an hour it wouldn’t turn on again.. When pushing the nice red button on top I heard no click like I should and so I opened it up.
I screwed the part back on and the button clicked and functioned again. And that’s the entire safety mechanism. Well, it works I guess. But of course it also means I have to take better care in managing the time of my sessions and make sure thing doesn’t overheat. Which is fine, but after opening it again to take these pictures I first made a mistake getting the wires back in the right place in the right place so they got stuck between the covers. I noticed that soon enough and corrected it by moving the PCB in the right place. I got a nice shock in the process as I didn’t unplug, doh!
That was last week, and this afternoon when I noticed things weren’t working I first wanted to check the compressor to see if I placed the engine back correctly. I am no expert, but I had the feeling the engine had a harder time getting the air through because of the slowness, maybe because I had somehow twisted the tubes in the compressor.
Anyway, the engine sounds better again like it should but the problem still wasn’t solved. I already occasionally open the airbrush to clean the needle and I clean the nozzle from the outside. I clean the thing with water after every use and every now and then with paint remover. This afternoon I did the same but for the first time I also removed the nozzle. So I now took the entire thing apart and cleaned everything, literately squeaky clean.
And still it didn’t work!
Since I was ready to throw the mixture away now, before I did I threw in another couple of drops of thinner.. and then it finally worked! It was a bit splashy, but after the first few seconds of spraying it was under control.
The compressor was pretty hot by now and I didn’t like the light so that was all today for airbrushing. Anyway, my mixture keeps being too thick and I really have to not be so careful with thinning it.
Having this as a second project is a nice contrast from the FW-190. These two tiny gear bays together took me almost 2 hours! Unfortunately things seem to fit a lot less neatly than the 1/32 stuff I did so far, so I really have to take care with dry fitting. And that in itself is also very difficult, because you sometimes have to keep 5 parts up at the same time!