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.

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

Decal and Hide

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

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

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

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

To-do list

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

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

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

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

Thankfully I didn’t throw anything out.

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

It is time..

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

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

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

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I do like that result though!

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

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

Groetjes,

Dan

 

 

Weekly random thoughts

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

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

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

IPMS Nederland

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

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

Looking forward to becoming a member!

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

Site work

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

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

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

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

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

Upgrading the workplace

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

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

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

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

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

The FW-190 A8/R11

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

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

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

Inspiration in the skies above Gilze

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

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

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

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

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

Groetjes,

Dan