Goodbye

Just a short one this time.. because it is time to say goodbye to this blog.

I will keep making models, but I have to be honest: ever since I started my work reintegration this blog has become more and more of a chore. Now I have been working for a few months and I am feeling probably happy as ever, and I have so much stuff do to that blogging isn’t really on my mind. So there we go!

I started this thing last year when I was still at home and it has been so great to me.. especially the people that supported me during my FW-190 A8 build have been so great! Thanks everyone who has given me feedback and support over the last year!

See you!
Dan

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Things are warming up!

Even though I made an effort to isolate my new workplace, it can still become (at least) a degree colder than the comfortable living room, which kept my away for the last few weeks.

However spring is upon us, and I find myself back at the workplace daily!

A goal I set for myself in the last blog was to finish the I-16 cockpit. And I have! High time to write about it.

New Airbrush

But first.. I already considered purchasing a new airbrush at the time I was writing my last blog, and once the thought of buying new stuff sets it never seems to take long before I actually do!

This time I didn’t drive straight to my main hobbyshop to splash the cash. I like Hobbycar and I have most of my stuff from that place, but although I started my search there, I really took my time to see what is what in the world of airbrushes and get the best deal out there. Especially now I have lost my 10% IPMS discount, there might be better alternatives around.

My current airbrush is a Fengda BD-135. It did a good job, and it gave me a good idea of what works and doesn’t work. Unfortunately, it broke fairly quickly: although it still functioned, the black cap at the end had come off, probably because the screw-thread had come off. Nothing more but a minor nuisance, but I do like the cap to be on so I don’t accidentally poke my eye out. A bigger problem was the persistent clogging I have experienced with this airbrush, basically from day one. I have gained a lot of experience especially with thinning my paint, and it has gotten better, but still a lot of the trouble was down to using a 0,2mm nozzle and needle for all my airbrush jobs.

With this experience in mind I had an idea of what I wanted in a new airbrush

  • Perhaps pay a bit more if the results will be better.
  • Something easier to clean.
  • A bigger paint container, preferably one I can close off while using the airbrush.
  • The possibility to use larger nozzles.

I realize that a higher price doesn’t always represent a better result, but my first Fengda already cracked after a few months of (fairly extensive) use. I started my search for the names I have seen in many discussions about airbrush.. but even though I have my own experience of my 20 euro airbrush failing so quickly, I still couldn’t find a lot of good arguments to go straight for the high-end airbrushes.

As I’m sure you recognize if you have been involved in any online modeling community, the argument to use a particular brand of airbrush is usually something like ‘I use Brand X is so it is great, I don’t use Brand Y is so it is shit, hurdur’.

For me this just isn’t a good enough reason to spend more money. Although I hope another low-end airbrush will not break again so soon, I ended up looking at the Fengda alternatives.

Taking into account my other wishes, I ended up with the FE-130:

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This particular set has a three nozzles and needles included: 0,2; 0,3 and 0,5!

So far I have used only the 0,3 nozzle, and I have to say that for the things I am doing this has probably been the size I have been waiting for. I like to airbrush basically every part because I just like the end result a lot better. I imagine myself using the 0,2 size for finer detail and 0,5 for larger areas or primer jobs.

Although I first aimed to spend somewhere around 100 euros on something not-Fengda, I ended up with this 35 euro Fengda set.. Ofcourse I can only hope the quality will be better than the BD-135, but for 35 euro I can’t complain even if it only survives one year.

I-16 Cockpit

In the last blog I considered ripping apart one of the first assembled and painted sub-components.

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I ended up doing that, and to be honest I don’t see a difference with what it was before, and I still don’t really like the end result. The good thing about the cockpit on this model though: you can really spend time on the details if you want to, but even if you look down into it once it is finished you won’t see a lot.

The black parts on the chair are my own interpretation, and it looks a bit shabby. Next time I’ll make sure to not limit myself in terms of reference material. The back of the seat is based on how things look in IL-2, but later on in the cockpit build I actually started using anything I could find.

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The bottom plate of the cockpit should be light gray according to the instruction booklet, but most reference show a green metal color. I changed this later on.

I quite like the instrument panel on this kit! It actually has a back plate which you need to paint black, then place a decal on top of it, and after that you place a clear part on top of that. The instruction booklet actually seems to indicate this clear parts needs to be painted black as well, that doesn’t make a lot of sense and obviously I didn’t. I did paint the sides of the clear panelfront.
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The end result of the instrument panel.

Before closing off the cockpit I had seen so much reference photo’s with the green steel parts that I did a last-minute change of the bottom plate as well as the control. After applying a clear gloss coat I did some weathering, including a bit of a dirt wash.img_20180321_2214486741009263030824924.jpg
The almost-end result, but this is before applying the wash.

Like I said the end result doesn’t show much of the cockpit anyway, especially if you decide to close the ‘canopy’ (it is basically two doors) you won’t be seeing much of the interior.img_20180324_2146277143482932871694478.jpg

img_20180325_1247092284882833418023829.jpgThe result so far. The cockpit is finished, and now it is on for the engine!

I like this kit a lot so far. Things fit together perfectly overall, and on the parts where it doesn’t I don’t mind too much: a WW2 aircraft to me doesn’t have to fit a 100% perfect, as long as it doesn’t have enormous gaps between.

One of the things I am less enthusiastic about is probably the instruction booklet. I especially feel the range of colours has been simplified to not force a builder to spend a lot of money on paint. However, there are a lot of reference pictures available and I actually enjoyed the search to find a plausible set of colours. After a few months of building I have collected a respectable amount of paint too, so I can deviate from the booklet and go for what I think makes more sense.

Next up on this kit: the engine!

Groetjes,
Dan

 

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

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

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

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.