New year

Yes, it has been a while since last blog!

First off all, a late happy new year to all!

As I covered in my last post, I found another way to spend my time. I went all out as always when I try new things, and have probably spent about 100 hours on the game since I purchased it last month. Of course the first enthusiasm at some point fades a bit and I’ve slowly been finding myself behind the bench a bit more that last week.

The last few weeks

With the holidays and my new hobby, work has been slow the last couple of weeks. A brief overview of what I have been able to achieve.

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Just like the last time I visited my parents, I took a kit with me to get some work done. I went for the new I-16 type by ICM. Very interesting little plane and a fine kit. I’ll be writing more about it in the future no doubt.

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Back to the Zero, I still had that nice job ahead of me.. masking the clear parts. I decided to just go for it. The result wasn’t perfect, but I figured it would still be better than hand brushing.img_20171227_1619258589843279400873556.jpg
Here goes nothing! As long as the clear parts are not messed up with green paint I am happy.
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It won’t be visible on this picture probably.. but in my last blog I noted the color was probably a little too light for the Zero, and I did another layer with a slightly darker tint of green. The good news is this color seems a bit better to me. The bad news is that the darker undertones might have disappeared a bit too much. Then again, they should be subtle so I could still be all right.
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I wanted to redo the black around the cockpit area a bit because I hadn’t focused on it so far, and there was some green residue around.
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Here is the result so far! I am fairly happy with it, although I doubt this will look as pleasing as I had hoped when I started it. Being an older kit it really takes more skill than I have to make it look really interesting, but once again I learned a lot so far and I’ll be focusing on some newer kits for the foreseeable future.

 A present for my dad

When my dad gave me some of his old kits this summer he told me that he basically wouldn’t be buying any new kits, but he was still looking out for a good P51 kit because he really loves the Mustang. In the weeks after that I looked around a bit for what was available in 1/32 scale, but the offerings were either a expensive or seemed to be lacking in quality. My dad’s main brand has always been Revell, so I was very happy to see Revell had a new tool coming up:

P-51D-5NA Mustang (early version)
I initially wanted to build this one myself, and it really is a fantastic looking kit if you’re looking for an affordable Mustang. I went for the I-16 in the end because at the moment the subject interests me more, but this could very well still end up on my shelve at some point. For now, I looked forward to giving this to my dad as a present.

My dad is really happy with the kit and has made some good progress in the last couple of weeks! I gave him some brushes and glue to start off with, and my mom bought all the paint required so he could start again with an acrylic color collection. Not having to use enamels really revived the hobby for me, and I think he will probably feel the same. Finally no more hassle and horrible smells and the result is fine.

Veel plezier, pa!

The future of this blog

I didn’t forget about the blog in the last weeks.. but I have also been thinking about where I want to go with it.

When I started it this summer, I was starting to feel better recovering from my burn-out. I was still sitting at home, trying to find something I could do. Modeling really was a blessing: it allowed me to reboot my engineering brain without any pressure at all. A big part of my work is documenting, and the blog filled in that part. I was able to spend a few hours on building, and do regular updates on basically anything modeling related.

Right now I have my job again to get my fill of engineering and documentation, and doing 3 or 4 updates a few on my models is out of the question. Obviously, after the first build it is probably natural to zoom out a bit a take bigger steps in reporting on the model.. I like gluing part 24 and 25 on part 37, but doing a weekly update rules out that sort of close reporting on my progress. I would annoy you as much as I would annoy myself!

The way I see it now, I will probably keep trying to do a weekly update on my modeling stuff, but I do have some thoughts about not renewing my WordPress subscription. I know, I can also continue with the free plan, but I like the blog as I can deliver it right now and that’s only possible because I spent some money on it.

And I have to admit I have even been thinking about moving to YT once I stop this blog, but I honestly don’t know if it would suit me and if people would be interested. I am happy to see I have more followers than I would ever have expected, and a few more than some of the people I started following last summer. I take that as a complement, because I see even some non-modelers follow my blog and that tells me I am doing something right.

Some more soul searching required the coming weeks!

Groetjes,
Dan

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New inspiration

I’ve been thinking about writing a blog for a while now, but truth be told I have another huge time eater in my life since recently!

IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of X

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Since last summer I was convinced my days spending time behind a computer for fun were over, but since I started feeling better and better and having gone back to a full work week I realized I didn’t only get better at my job by having better focus on the thing I am doing. I was also ready again to spend my free time doing ‘complex’ things. Complex in the sense that most of the computer games I used to play have at least some learning curve to them.

A few weeks ago I actually started playing ‘War Thunder’, but the arcade feel was an instant let down for me. I had seen the IL-2 series in the past, but the title caused me to never look into it.. after all, the IL-2 wasn’t a very interesting plane to me so why would I play a game about it.

Well it turns out that the IL-2 Sturmovik Battle of Stalingrad/Moscow/Kuban series is so much more than a series about the IL-2. I am amazed each time I play about the level of detail and the feel of the different aircraft.

I came across a small Dutch IL-2 squad looking for members and joined that group. Here is me doing a bit of flying with on of the members:

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Where does this hook in to the model building hobby for me? Well I am getting all sorts of vibes about stuff I want to build, and the details on the planes are amazing. Especially the weathering looks amazing and will be great inspiration for how things might look on a WW2 plane.

Speaking of inspiration: I originally planned to get a new Revell kit for my birthday, but at the last moment I changed the subject and decided to go for another subject.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor icm i-16

I had been eyeing this kit for a while, but my IL-2 involvement made me change my mind about the present I wanted. I can’t keep my eyes of the in-game eye candy, so here is a shot of the plane in the game:

It will also be a great tool to get an impression of how a cockpit would look like:

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor il-2 battle of stalingrad fw-190

Before I finally move on to some actual modeling in this blog, here is one more of me almost starting a bomb run with a squad mate in a PE-2:

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All in all, I hope to find a lot of the modeling subjects I am interested in find its way into the game!

The A6M5

In my last blog I finished up the underside, so now it’s time to do the same thing on the top. I’m having some problems with my airbrush unfortunately, so it took me a while to get the result I wanted.

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I called it a day before reaching the back of the plane..

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This morning I put on the second layer. Seeing it like this I think I will want to add some darker green on the final layer, but that’s fine.

img_20171223_095103717336858098641691.jpgI am happy with another reasonable job on the freehand airbrush job.

It isn’t done yet. The final layer will be thin, and as I say a bit darker to get a better Zero look. I mixed this color myself from mixing the light gray the instruction booklet indicated (which looked totally off to me) with some tints of light and dark green. I am reasonably happy with this tone of green and I gather there were some different tints of green going around on these planes, but I think it is definitely a bit too light on this medium layer.

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That’s all for now! Next time I will put on the final layer of green and mask and spray the canopy.

Groetjes,

Dan

See you at the underside

The first big part of the paint job is done, and I am happy with it so far.

The first task since last weeks blog was putting a final layer of primer after filling some holes in the fuselage.img_20171203_1113356486653764401518978.jpg
After masking off the tail wheel we’re ready to go!
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Tuesday-evening it was time to celebrate Sinterklaas‘ birthday, and the old man got me my first armor kit! This is a very cheap and simple kit, which is perfect to give armor a first try! I left home happy..img_20171205_2012581353775302308177043.jpgBut about an hour after going to bed my girlfriend woke me up with disturbing news.. Unfortunately one of our cats, ‘Dunnie’, died. Not in anyway related to this blog, but he deserves an honorable mention anyway.24862082_1696477010402677_1426992378465481258_n
He was 16 years old, so a very respectable age for a cat.. still, we are very sad to have to say goodbye.

Anyway, back to modelling. I did the first layer on the underside on Monday. I thought the color would be white, but it is actually light gray. In the Revell world, that would be #371, the same color that I’ve had a horrible time with on the Cargolux Boeing 747-8F. This color seems to dry up really quick, and I have had the same problems last week.
img_20171206_1959193763829253490237900.jpgStill, after four layers I am happy with the result:img_20171210_2124487947723463611736065.jpg
I really like this technique. It is a lot of work, but filling in the panels is fun and the uneven result is actually very interesting to look at.

There is something I have to take more care with in the future, and that is probably mainly because the black primer shows less details than the gray Tamiya Surface primer I used on the last builds.img_20171210_2218284190645033664272547.jpg
There are some parts that could have done with some more sanding, but it just didn’t come out with the black primer. I have done more sanding in between the layers, but it wasn’t enough by the looks of it. I might take another try to correct this, or I might take the lessons to the next kit.

Next up: painting the other side of the plane!

Groetjes,

Dan

A6M5, ready for more primer

Compared to the last weeks I have put in a bit more work. Seeing it come together really boosts the enjoyment I guess.

img_20171130_1544477570249540924393223.jpgSince the already painted rear wheel can only be placed before the halves are attached together I choose to do a first layer of white around that area.

As you will see at the end of this blog, I am ready to start working on the livery and thus I took one of the perfect illustrations by Rikyu Watanabe from the book I bought a few weeks ago. I noticed on the illustration that the rear wheel area isn’t completely white on the A6M5, which I found supported by other pictures from the book.

img_20171130_1942168961483420165780870.jpgTime for actual assembly. The wing part isn’t actually glued on at this point as the photo would suggest, but I couldn’t help myself.

img_20171130_2016484358014409856441101.jpgIn the meantime I had a look at the canopy/windscreen situation.. first I made a start at masking the whole thing. I then decided I hated that, and after some sanding I decided to try and hand paint over my brothers effort of a decade ago..

I hated the result, and I hate hand painting almost as much as masking of the clear parts. I guess I will have to switch my brain off and do the job. For now I decided to move on though.

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The next day I attached the wing assembly and the fuselage together as tight as possible. It was already obvious during the test fit that this wouldn’t be a tight fit straight away, so I already mentally prepared for another filler operation.. Revell Plasto should be enough for the seams that are left.

 

I learned from my earlier Plasto usage on the FW-190 and this time used some tape to mask off some of the detail, even if the amount of detail on this kit is minimal compared to the current generation of plastic.

 

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Another thing learned for the next time: why not just use a bit more tape to mask of both sides of the gap? I thought about it before starting applying the Plasta, but I decided to wing it. Some Plasto has gotten onto the wrong places, but there are not a lot of panel lines to accidentally  fill on this particular kit, so I am lucky to learn another lesson before it really matters.

img_20171202_1609315977293473316998127.jpgThis is the result after using a wet wipe. The filled areas should be sanded down well enough, although as said I could have done a better job at masking.

I also masked of the entire cockpit. On the FW-190 I tried using a temporary canopy. Well, for this model I don’t have a temporary canopy, and I doubt it will give me much of an advantage to first get the canopy on anyway.

The plan right now is

  1. Mask of the canopy/windshield and airbrush them separately.
  2. Touch up on the black primer to get any unevenness out.
  3. Start on the livery!

I have kept a blog by Darren from The Scale Model Hangar in my mind since the moment I read it last September and so I wanted to try the technique on this model as soon as I started it, because as Darren explains it is a good way to make a monotone color scheme more interesting to look at. The blog really is a good single page to show the technique, which is great.

A more detailed look at the the Black Basing technique can be found at Matt McDougall’s YouTube channel. I will look at both these sources before trying it myself!

Groetjes,

Dan

Engine #2

Work is progressing nicely on the A6M build

Another engine

I was proud of my attempt of the engine assembly of my recent FW-190 kit, but I got a couple of nice pointers when presenting it on this blog, and hopefully my attempts at applying those will have payed off.

I started off with a black base, and used dry brushed steel color to get a somewhat realistic end result.

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After that, I assembled everything and did the wash like last time to make it look nice and used.

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Even though this assembly is a lot more simple than that of the FW-190, I am still at least as happy with the result! Hope you like it!

The instruction booklet

I have to say the way you work on this kit is maybe even more fun than on the modern Revell offerings in terms of following the instructions. There might be just seven steps, but the steps show more instructions. For example:

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This in itself would probably be a complete page on modern (Revell) kits. The fun thing is it sort of invites you to do your own planning rather than completely go with the manual flow.

Of course I  still wouldn’t change a thing on the newer instruction booklet. It works for this kit because it is so simple and has relatively few steps. Besides, I am a relatively new builder and with each kit hopefully will step away further and further of the instruction flow.

Fuselage assembly

Last week I already applied a layer of primer on the fuselage. Not sure if that was the best choice, but it felt like a good idea to avoid masking tape if I could. Besides, I really went for black basing here, and I can always touch up on the primer if I have to do some more sanding once it is all glued together.

Before actually sticking the halves together I did a nice and shadowy layer of farngreen on what will be the cockpit walls. Hopefully this will create some depth, although to be honest I doubt you can see much of the cramped cockpit once it is finished.

Apart from the clear parts, I have everything ready to start work on ‘step 4’

One point of attention is the rear wheel. This kit gives you no option to attach the wheel later. Once you glue the halves together there is no room to get it in. This means I will either have to do a first layer of the area near the rear wheel, or I will have to do a good job at masking it and maybe use a brush to work near the wheel so I don’t accidentally mess it up.

I will probably first do a layer of light gray around the rear wheel area, then stick in the wheel and glue the halves together. After that roughly masking off the area will be sufficient.

ESM

Last weekend ‘Euro Scale Modeling’ took place in Houten, near Utrecht. It was my first modeling show.

I did not take pictures, and I am not sure why not! Too busy looking around I guess. And more regret still: I didn’t have any cash on me. I figured most stands would have the option for electronic payment, but in fact most of them did not. I saw the McLaren MP4/13 I have on my wishlist for 20 euro’s, but I didn’t have the cash to pay for it.. which actually makes me kind of sad now! Ah well, I have enough stuff in my stash to get through the coming year I guess.

Besides, I didn’t come home empty handed. Next to a new cutting mat, I bought a book I already have in e-book form. It’s incredibly unhandy to have it in e-book form, so I decided I wanted to spend a lot of money to get a proper copy of it:

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It is really a beginners book, which is great for me. I am not someone who runs out to try new things, but usually once something or someone plants an idea in my head I start figuring out how I could implement it.

A nice thought I got from this book for example: removing raised panel lines and rescribing them. Especially older models (like the Zero I am working on right now) have raised panel lanes, and rescribing them myself would be a great piece of work. I already have in my head on which one of my dads old kits I want to try that on, but I still have a couple of other things I want to do first.

Well, that’s all for this week.

Groetjes,

Dan

Zero cockpit, part two

This week I finished the Zero cockpit. Not sure about all the choices I made, but overall I am fairly happy.

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I am happy with the cockpit, and I think I did an all right job cleaning it up. At this stage of the Japanese war effort I doubt the A6M5 made it past a couple of months, so I figured it wouldn’t make sense to do a very heavily weathered cockpit. I wanted to make the pilot look less clean, but this is probably not the right way. He looks like a pig really.. Since Sinterklaas will be giving me a present soon that will have a couple of figures included I will have to look into how to create a good looking result!

Since this kit is fairly simple I skipped a few steps ahead in the instructions. Yesterday I applied primer to the parts I will require for the next two steps.

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In other news..

When I bought my airbrush booth this summer I somehow developed this crazy idea that the filters were relatively expensive. The last time I worked with primer I noticed the booth was doing a really poor job at getting rid of the nasty air, and I finally decided to replace the paint-filled original filter.. I then found out these things aren’t as expensive as I somehow assumed they were, so I hopefully have enough of them to last me a year.

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I also did a final revisit of the FW-190 A8. Last month I visited a IPMS meeting and one of the gentlemen had some nice pointers for me. Besides that I wanted to fix some obvious mistakes. In the end I decided to leave some of the bad parts.. the Zero will hopefully be beautiful, and it will replace the FW-190 which has earned a spot in the living room.

In the end I didn’t bother getting rid of the scratches in the canopy since they are quite subtle anyway. I did reattach the antenna which had come loose somehow during or just after my vacation.. I also noticed the plane was very lightly leaning to one side because the wheels were a bit loose. I cracked them off and reattached them, which nearly went wrong.

As for the details I wanted to change: the pitot tube on the starboard wing had a bronze rather than a aluminium look, and my version of the A8/R11 had a mechanism that ensured the wire from the canopy to the tail was always tensed.

Quite happy with the result, but I am done fiddling with this thing now.

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Groetjes,

Dan

Zero Cockpit, part one

Time to start the actual building of the A6M5 ‘Zero’! I plan to try some things I have seen around in the online model building world and I am really curious what I will be able to achieve.

img_20171029_172125440687203.jpgThis kit has a little pilot model included, which is fun to try and get right in terms of details. The cockpit has some nice raised details so I want to try to bring forward some of the details by coloring the flight instruments and giving dry brushing another chance.

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As I said my last Zero blog I bought myself some black primer, AK Interactive Black 757. I would love to get some more depth into the cockpit so I looked around a bit and the way Matt McDougall explains it in this old blog seems like the way to go after applying the primer.

Unfortunately I got a bit carried away the first time.. This cockpit is way brighter than I had planned for it to be. I should have taken it a bit slower to see how it was building up. The second time still wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but there are some very subtle darker areas in the cockpit now.

As for the details in the cockpit, I used the reference photos I could find. This cockpit isn’t very detailed and I decided to not use the PE parts I bought, so this will be a best effort thing. Good stuff to practice on anyway!

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And yes, I could have done a better job with sanding here as well. Guess I was too eager to start on this one!

I got myself a good LED head magnifier for those tiny cockpit details.

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Hope I didn’t scare you there!

In between the work on the cockpit I also did work on the pilotfigure. I don’t know if all the older Revell instruction booklets are as poor as this one I will have to do proper research. Of course I don’t mind, but if you built this kit 25 years ago you would have had a hard time without internet.. for instance the pilot according to the booklet is basically matt green with a brown head.

To me (and probably many of the current modelers) the research part is a big part of the hobby. After some searching I was satisfied that the below drawing is a an accurate enough impression of what a Zero pilot would have looked like.

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It was fun painting this dude, but I don’t like the detail on the model or the painting.. to be honest I had this feeling before starting this job, but since the cockpit has a low detail level I want to leave it in. Models I will buy in the future will probably not include figures though..
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There is a good chance in it will look better after some more weathering work.

Anyway, back to the cockpit itself.

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I am quite proud of this result!

I first painted the dials black, then painted some of the panels and buttons and finally did dry brushing to let the dials come out. It is so much fun to see the dials appear out of the black background of the dials!

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I did not expect to get this result!

Next up will be some weathering work on the cockpit, and applying primer on the air frame.

Groetjes,

Dan