Counting down to Zero

Time for what has evolved to be a weekly update!

Actually the amount of updates is really fine for me. Obviously there is a lot less time for me to work on the hobby, but I enjoy a few minutes almost everyday and, just like all grown ups, I try to use my free days to get a couple of hours in at a time. I wish I had more energy to spend in the evening but it is what it is, and I’m sure it will get better the coming months.

Anyway, lots of stuff to talk about this week! Let’s get started.

Cargolux B747-8F

First off, the main build. Last Sunday I visited my parents, and just like my dad used to do when we visited my grandparents, I took a model with me to do some work!

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Not bad for a couple of hours.

I assembled the anti-shock bodies and the rear wings, and I did sanding on the wings.

I planned on glueing the wings together but there a clear part that needs to be glued in there. For that reason I prefer to do a first couple of layers of light gray on the wings before glueing them together.

I hadn’t realized the wings actually will be light gray just like the fuselage.. this kit just won’t get any more exciting! To be able to see what I am doing I decided to do a thin layer of gray primer on the wings as well.

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I started with a first layer of light gray, but spraying this color is really a pain. Tip dry is horrendous and it is very difficult to get on with it. But I managed to do a first layer on a wing side, and a first layer on the rear wings:

 

The final step I did on this today was attach the cockpit and the wheel bay on the starboard side. Earlier this week I did another layer of light gray on the fuselage sides, but I am fairly sure I will have to touch up on the color in the future. With that in mind, I have masked off the windows I have glued in yesterday.

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At this point I already know I will not want to continue with this build until I have properly sorted the damage on the tail.

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Unfortunately, the trouble started on a layer of primer that was already damaged. I should have sanded it off and perhaps do another layer. The first layer of white was sloppy and runny as well, and in the end I was left with an uneven finish. I did use my nice UMP sanders and got a nice and smooth result, but I think I have to deeper and really remove those damaged areas.

Of course all this sanding has removed some of the detailing, and even though I got a couple of good scribing tools from UMP a few weeks ago I will need to get some good tape to assist me in rescribing the panel lines.

New light

As I said last week, I ordered a LED light that could really simulate daylight. After using it a few days, I am at least confident I am getting the best lighting possible.. Obviously it will never be as good as standing in the garden on a bright day, but winter is coming and this light is as good as it will get.. the amount of light is adjustable, and you can set warm yellow light so if you’re not working on a dull light gray model you don’t have to feel like you’re working in a garage.

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Regional IPMS Meeting (NL South-West)

On Tuesday night there was a IPMS meeting planned for the South-West region in the Netherlands. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go. Just a bunch of guys talking about models, is that really what I wanted to do with my evening? But then I started to doubt if I wasn’t just dealing with the good old social anxiety again, and at the last minute I decided to go just because I was afraid to sink in a hole I have been in for the last years.. and I am very happy I decided to go!

In the end I was just happy talking to a couple of very nice people who are very experienced in modeling. One of the gentleman there had a couple of nice WW2 models with him, and after having a chat with him I was really wondering: what am I doing making a civilian airplane?? There is just so much to say about all the different WW2 subjects, whether it is a tank, a plane, a V2 rocket, a half-track etc. All the different variations alone, but also the things we don’t know for sure about the subject and are left to the imagination, for instance the color of German half-tracks as they were used in the field. That stuff is up for debate, whereas the Cargolux 747 is a beauty, but completely covered in the same dull light gray and no one doubts what it looks like.

I had a chat with two gentleman there about their collection, and how they decide what to build next. I explained them that I tried to not create a ‘stash’, and that I was building the Cargolux Revell offering but not really enjoying it. Watching the nice military models on display, I expressed my love for the subject.. and while driving home later I asked myself: why am I limiting myself like this? Sure, I want to do a good job on the Cargolux, but WW2 is the subject that really interests me everyday. I play WW2 games, I read WW2 books and I love building WW2 models.

The gentleman who brought his WW2 1/48 models encouraged me to bring my FW-190 A8 to the next meeting after I showed him the pictures if the end result! He had a couple of very nice pointers for me as well, so before I take it with me there is some more stuff to adjust:

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This is an easy one.. coming home from vacation I found one of the antennas on the ground. Have to glue that back in place.
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Not sure if it is visible, but the canopy has some scratches. Since I finished this model I got the UMP sanders with the buffer. I should be able to fix these scratches now and I will try.
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On to the more interesting details: apparently the end of the pitot tube is coper and not aluminium! That will be an easy fix.
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Another interesting detail I learned: this version if the FW-190 A8 (with this particular canopy) had a controller to tighten the antenna cable when the canopy is open. Another little adjustment to make then!

Luchtvaarthobbyshop

Today I will be visiting the Luchtvaarthobbyshop with my mate TheYottaTube. My wishlist:

  • The Zero decals
  • PE set for the Zero
  • AK Interactive 757, Black Primer and Microfiller
  • A good Zero research book.

Starting the Zero..

As you will have guessed, the IPMS meeting has convinced me that I should start doing work on the Zero along with the work on the B747. Time to get the required stuff and hopefully I will be able to start with it next week!

Indistinct shades of gray

Time for a little update on my scale modeling life. ‘Tis the season to get a cold, and so I did last week. I was able to get some work done on my current build, but it is just one of the setbacks I am having with it currently.

The Cargolux Boeing 747-8F

So starting off with my progress on the build, as I announced last week I applied a very thin layer of primer.

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As you can see it is not very evenly applied, but the point is to be able to be able to see where the light gray is applied over it.

To cleanly apply both the primer and the light gray I created a little contraption of the styrofoam I by now even can’t remember I got from. Some toothpicks with a little tack stuck on them held the body halves reasonably well in shape during work.

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I love it when two pieces of styrofoam come together.
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A first layer applied to the front of one of the halves.

I thinned the paint down to an almost watery consistency, and applied multiple layers. In fact, I am still far from done with this job.

When applying the first layer of gray I noticed I made a scratch on the primer layer before it was dry. I sanded it down and cleaned it, but I might have been a bit optimistic on the covering properties of my very thinned down mixture.

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I had to go back and this time do the sanding a little more rigorously. The picture shows the current state, still waiting for another layer.

If I feel well enough for it I might work ahead on some of the bigger parts, to get the feeling I am finally getting somewhere. I still haven’t gotten the wind in my sails yet since coming back from vacation.

The plan for the halves itself, is to do a good enough layer but accept that it will not be perfect yet. Perfection will have to come once the two halves are attached and small adjustments should be enough so I don’t have to try and mask off those tiny windows..

I am currently waiting on a new purchase though, that will hopefully make my life a little easier..

LED there be light

I haven’t looked it up, but I am instantly sure that in the LED/light scene that joke might be massively overused.  Anyway, I am still tweaking the work space since setting up my new desk a few weeks ago.

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I’ll be trying this setup for the coming weeks.

Hopefully this will give me more room to move around.

Something that has really come forward during this build though: I need some real ‘white light’ to be be able to see in greater detail what exactly I am doing.

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This is the current state of both halves. I want to do one more layer.. Currently waiting on a new purchase that will hopefully make my life a little easier.

I really need a neutral ‘cold’ color, especially when working with all these light shades of gray. Hopefully this will help me to get the 100% even finish I will need to do a convincing commercial jet.

Here is the object that will hopefully show me the light:

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This light is adjustable to between 3000K and 6000K and is dim-able, so hopefully will be suitable for all my requirements.

Something I learned about light sources the last couple of days: you need a high K (Kelvin) number to get to an actually daylight kind of color.. unfortunately I bought another ‘2700K’ light bulb, which is essentially just your yellow standard living room light. It isn’t suitable to see the consistency of a white color paint job.

Luchtvaarthobbyshop

The night before flying to Madeira for my vacation, my friend TheYottaTube informed me that the Luchtvaarthobbyshop was just a five minute walk from the hotel I stayed at near the airport. Of course, I took the opportunity to check it out.

I’d love to have a nice series of photos and make a proper report of it, but this was such an ad hoc thing I didn’t even think about it. Instead, I’ll just say that:

  • Since pronouncing Luchtvaarthobbyshop might get funny in english, they cleverly use a good translation of ‘AviationMegastore’, and I have to say that name is spot on.
  • If you ever visit Amsterdam it might be a nice stop, at about a ten or fifteen minute drive from the airport.
  • They have a huge selection or books you can use for your research, a nice selection of new models and something particularly interesting for me at this point: they have a large supply of decals and PE parts for various scales. I have already checked their webshop and I know where I will be getting my decals from to replace the eaten-away decals for the A6M5 build!
  • Should it be your poison, they also have a huge area with diecast-models, and an area for flightsimulator stuff. There is also an area with scale modeling magazines, and a small area with your coffee mugs and your wall decor.. something I will be interested in to decorate the man cave at some point!

Decals for the A6M5 build

As I mention above, I think I have found a good replacement for the original decals in the Revell kit.

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I really haven’t looked into what sort of livery is ‘attached’ to this decal. Looking forward to the research phase already!

The ‘nice’ thing about this model is that it is a super simple kit from 1993. As I wrote earlier it’s an 8 step build, and I think my dad got it for 15 guilders (the Euro wasn’t even around). I want to do a good job at it as I want to do on all my kits, but its is not a very detailed kit.. so what I am still doubting at this point is if I really want to spend a lot of money on custom stuff. The decals I definitly need, but I will not be getting every custom part available for this thing. Presumably the decals alone are worth more than the original price of the kit!

I am interested in getting some PE parts for it though! Even though it might be like slapping jewelry on a turd, it will still be a very nice learning experience!

That’s all for this week! Hopefully the new light will help me finish the job on the fuselage halves, and after that I want to get on with this build.

Groetjes,

Daan.

Back from vacation

A really short one as it’s been a while since the last post.

I’ve had a nice couple of weeks off, first having a week in Madeira and last week visiting the European Masters snooker tournament. Good times, although it was quite exhausting.

As for modeling, where I left off before my vacation was spraying the fuselage halves:

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The size of this thing is a bit of a challenge, but I know the F-15 I have in my stash will probably be big as well, and I will have to make it work.

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The left side has had two layers now, the right side has been sprayed on the rear.

While doing this I realized it just wasn’t going to work.. the white plastic really is a difficult color to have to put such a light color on! I really can’t see what I am doing and it looks a bit patchy.

So here is a crazy idea: I am going to do a very light sanding to fix any unevenness from my first layer of paint and apply a very light layer of gray primer on this thing. Very, very, very light.. as this is a 1/144 scale model I don’t want to ruin the details on it.

I probably be blogging a bit less often by the way. I am now back on 20 hours of work per week and hope to extend that soon. I will have less and less time and energy for making models the coming time so I will collect the work I do in one or two posts a week probably.

Groetjes,

Daan

This Wheel’s On Fire

During my last build I had no problem to find inspiration to write a little piece about my progress on the build.. unfortunately this kit is a slow mover at this point, because ‘doing the wheels’ doesn’t mean doing the gear, gear re-tractors, gear covers, the wheels and a wash on all of those. I think I spent two or three hours in total on the gear.. and these are just 8 of the 18 total wheels.

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Its finally done though.

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Looking at the instruction booklet, I’ll be spending some time with the kits biggest parts for a while. I don’t mind about that!

It looks like the best idea is to do the light gray layer at this point, since after that I will be placing the gear and cockpit inside the fuselage halves and I don’t want to put masking tape on those tiny parts! I will apply a gloss coat layer at a later point.

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The real LX-VCM is currently between Luxembourg and Miami, above Newfoundland, Canada. Since my last blog, it flew back from Budapest to Luxembourg, to Turkmenbashi and on to Taipei to Bangkok and back to Turkmenbashi to return to Luxembourg this afternoon. The distance this thing covers is amazing and since my last blog it has been in the air for about 32 hours!

I couldn’t resist by the way, and I got new stuff again. The UMP sanders are quite good, but the most important thing are the 0.2mm and 0.3mm rescribing tools. Or maybe the sweets! I can’t order from these guys too often because the sending costs are astronomical but their stuff is great.

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I won’t be blogging for a while. First I’m off for a couple of days for a nice holiday, and after that I will finally be visiting a snooker event in for the first time in years! Unfortunately it isn’t easy to visit live snooker events when you’re Dutch, but I live near Belgium and they have the fantastic Luca Brecel who recently won his first major tournament. Hopefully that means more tournaments will be coming this way!

I’ll probably be back around October 9.

Groetjes,

Dan

Boeing 747-8F Cargolux (Revell 04949 kit) Kick-Off

I started the B747-8F build a few days ago. A small introduction to the exact plane I will be building is in order!

To start off: a video made by a good friend of mine,  TheYottaTube. The video shows the LX-VCD. It was delivered to Cargolux on October 13th 2011 and is titled “The City of Luxembourg”. This is the one I plan to build.

What first surprised me when I saw the F type of the ‘dash 8’ was the shorter upper deck compared to the passenger version. Of course the engineers at Boeing have made sure this thing is ready for the future, and the range and payload numbers obviously have improved from the -400, but that’s not a reason to copy them from Wikipedia is it?

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LX-VCD landing at the Polderbaan (18R) at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. This is a still from TheYottaTube’s video.

Some more photos of different -8F’s, hopefully giving me some clues on the tiny details.

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N5573S, upon delivery to Cargolux registered as LX-VCC and the third 8F delivered to Cargolux.
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LX-VCB at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
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The tiny cockpit has already been sprayed as I am writing this, but as good a job as you can on a 1/144 scale kit. Edit: oh and no, this is not my result on the 1/144 cockpit but a reference photo to see if I got the color right. Thanks Dave! 😉

No nice camouflages on this kit.. or maybe…. no. Still I suspect a huge challenge once I get around to getting a clear gloss coat on. I will really need to make sure I am ready when that time comes because this will make or break the kit and need to do my learning before I start on this job!

While building the FW-190 I for a few days had this crazy idea that it would be good for me to do two kits at the same time, to keep myself interested. I don’t know about the future, but I quickly realized that it was just not my thing to do two projects at the same time. I really like something to be a project and have my full attention. I have my job for doing different things at the same and not having the time to properly finish one thing before starting the next, so why would I do that to myself in my new primary hobby??

Anyway, my little adventure left me with a finished cockpit, two sprayed cockpit halves on both fuselage sides and a couple of main landing gears.

 

Before doing any work on the kit I first wanted to get something out of the way that had bothered me during the FW-190 build.

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No more endless flipping in the instruction booklet.

First order of business: I had some problems fitting the landing gear straight into the gear bay, so I first had to correct that.

 

I tried using the squares on my cutting mat to point out how misaligned the left gear is. What I do to fix it was cut a piece out of one of the supports and glue it together again, this time straighter. It still isn’t perfect but I am sure it won’t be visible in the end.

After this it was time to do a big airbrush job to get all the light-gray parts out of the way.

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The light gray is barely visible on these parts since they’re white on the sprues but hey, we’re not going to leave them bare.

The last work I did was on the landing gear, and all that is left now is painting the tires.

 

One thing I already noticed: building in 1/144 is asking for RSI! My hand really starts cramping up after half an hour when working on the tiny parts like the wheels and gear, so all this work has been from the last couple of days and this probably won’t be a fast build.

It is nice though, to work on another subject like this!

Instant update: I was talking to TheYottaTube today and it turns out that the Cutaway livery is still flying around! It actually was just one of the fleets -8F’s that got the livery, the LX-VCM as shown below.

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Change of plans: this will be the one I’ll be building! The LX-VCM was delivered September 2015.

The LX-VCM arrived half an hour ago at Budapest.

Groetjes,

Dan

Friday night reflection

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.

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My plan is to do a final layer of staubgrau tomorrow and accept the mottling as it is.

I also resprayed the underside and the engine cowlings where I took the staubgrau a bit too low initially.

I think it’s time to get back to my little list I made a few blogs back:

  • Retouch some parts of the mottling.
  • Mask off and spray the dark area behind the engine and above wings.
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Unfortunately Revell doesn’t say what color this is. The same goes for the fuel rack area. A few steps back the manual says they should be in light blue as well, but I am not too sure. Both parts will need some more looking around on the internet.
  • Recover the cockpit where the primer got through.
  • Mask off the canopy I will use and spray staubgrau.
  • Clear coat.
  • Decals.
  • Clear coat again to seal in the decals.
  • Weathering?
  • 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.

Looking forward to building this beauty.

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)

A few weeks ago my dad gifted me a couple of kits, and the idea of building the ‘Zero’ has grown in my mind.

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Funnily enough, when we placed all the boxes on the table this one initially found its way to the ‘nah’ pile.

The reason for that..

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This is the entire construction phase of the build! 8 steps! It’s a level 3 model

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.

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Even though the build might be simple, there is still plenty of challenge in getting the final finish to the quality level I desire. I can be happy if I could even achieve the quality level displayed on the box!

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:

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He did an O.K. job with painting the middle part of the canopy, but I will at least look into cleaning it and doing my own attempt at airbrushing it.
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I already purchased all the paint I need, although I still need to find Revell aqua 383.

There is more shopping to be done though:

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The decals are pretty battered up by Father Time!

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!

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The instrument panel with give me a nice opportunity to try some cockpit detailing.

 

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.

Groetjes, and have a good weekend!

Daniël

The fun is back!

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.

Like not gluing on fragile parts too soon! Here I placed the fuel tank rack back on because it also goes in the same color.
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It would make sense to do the underside first. I have to mix light blue matt with some white matt and I don’t think I will be able to do everything in one take because the compressor might overheat.

After mixing those colors I first sprayed a line on the Spit-Wreck to see what the exact output was.

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Unfortunately I ran into trouble soon after I started airbrushing. This is a far as I got when I decided to do an ’emergency’ check and cleaning on respectively the compressor and the airbrush.
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I first opened up the compressor because the engine seems to be getting slower right after starting it up and I might have placed things back in the wrong way after I last opened it.

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.

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The part I have my finger on had separated from the part just above it.

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.

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Pretty happy with having done the entire underside!
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The result isn’t as thick everywhere, but that’s fine. This isn’t a 50’s Cadillac.

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.

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I decided to move my table again to hopefully get some better light in the daytime.
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I spent an hour on the B747-8F again.

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!

Groetjes,
Dan