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

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

New domain and more stuff

You shouldn’t even notice it but I’ve set dutchscalemodels.com as my primary domain. I find I really enjoy making blogs and I think this is a more future-proof address.. ofcourse there is no need to worry because I plan to be a noob for a while! It’s just the name changing, I promise I didn’t find a can of talent somewhere.

So, with this and my purchase of this morning I finally plan to stop spending money and keep going!

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Actually these are not impulse purchases at all.. clamps, primer, a proper fine sanding paper and a heavy duty knife were on the wishlist.. my wishlists just don’t get a lot of time to expand, that’s all.