The FW190-A8/R11 build

This morning I was watching CharleyGnarley’s YouTube channel. I was especially interested his experience with the Focke Wulf FW190 F8, since I recently started building the A8 version of that kit.

After the Revell Plasta debacle of my first kit I started looking for my next one. I considered buying the exact same kit, but since at this point I was still aiming to create a very ugly and scratched version of the clipped wings Spitfire I wanted to buy something else. I had already seen IBM do the F8 and really liked that it has an engine subcomponent unlike the Spit.

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I was happy to find out that in the short period I was working on the Spitfire Revell released the A8 version. To be clear I don’t have a real preference between the F or the A type, but I know this is basically the same as the F8 and is thus a pretty solid kit for the price. What tips me over to the A8 is the shiny new manual which is in colour which make it slightly easier to follow (in most places) and shows the sprue that the part can be found on.

I decide to go for the R11 version that is displayed on the box, mainly because I like the extra antenna’s sticking out. When I picked up this box at hobbycar I made a sort of semi-impulse purchase of a cheap airbrush on which I will definitly make a seperate blog because I love it! I decided to bring forward the purchase because of the camo on the FW190 which seems (for me) impossible to create with a brush.

IMG_20170715_175038Once I had finished spraying the cockpit I checked out some videos on preshading the cockpit.. well, I am not sure if I would have wanted to try it on this kit anyway since I have no experience with it yet. Not shown in above picture is that I did highlight some of the details on the sidepanels. Mainly because the alternative..

img_20170724_180033.jpgReally lacks in detail even for my noob level. Besides that I couldn’t figure out how they should be applied on the sidepanels.. it’s like they didn’t look at an actual FW190 cockpit when they created these. I was really happy to see that Brett had come to the same conclusion when he was at that stage of the build.

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The other cockpit decals were fine though, even if I had to cut some of them to get them properly aligned.. the above section I had already cut in half because of the little glass part sticking out. The lower I didn’t get right, although the picture is not the end result which was marginally better.. I do need to look closer at how the decal should be placed and if I need to make smaller parts of it to make it easier to place them correctly. Anyway, it’s a very small detail and I am not too bothered about it since it’s my second kit. Better luck next time!

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Something I picked up from my last build: I’m a klutz and everytime I move the model I hear that awful scraping sound.. I don’t know if this gives much protection but I feel better about it!

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A thing at this point was that the upper winghalf didn’t fit too well on the portside. I think I know why..

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The landing gear bay is not properly placed and much more light showed through on this side compaired to the starboard side.. So I carefully ‘unhinged’ this part and scraped the glue of the area as best as I could..

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And did another attempt at first properly glueing the part that the landing gear bay goes onto. Hopefully I can get the room I need to properly get it in place once this has dried up.

A big thing I could take away from Brett’s build is how much more I need to take care of the seams I leave, and how to actually get better at glueing.. at this point it has become slightly better, but there still is room for improvement.

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Especially here..

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I already applied some thin cement to the area to the left of the tape, and hopefully I can get this right with sanding if it’s not too late.

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I am happier with the upper half, if only just.

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Since I had to be in the city anyway this afternoon, I did some more shopping for some essentials.. especially the clamps might be a big improvement when it comes to properly drying glued-together parts.. not want to give Brett too much credit here but yeah you’re absolutely right: he prefers clamps over large amounts of tape and well..

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I admit, I am not sure what I was trying to achieve with the tape on the gun parts.

Well, that’s all for now! Special thanks to Brett for some inspiration on where the big improvements probably lie for me. I see Spencer Pollard has a new beginners video about glueing which also comes at the perfect time!

 

My first kit (Revell 03927, Spitfire Mk. IXc 1/32) / Getthereitus

My goal for this kit was to see if I had the concentration back to do this kind of thing, and see if there would be any kind of spark to light my modeling fire again.. concentration has never really been a problem during this build even if I sometimes worked an hour with no break, and boy has the fire been lighted!

This blog won’t be a step by step description of what I did. I want to focus on the many things I learned during this build and some of the decisions I took.

I think I’ve read somewhere about cutting open the box since the Revell boxes are a bit goofy. Sprues are easier to access and possibly a slightly smaller chance of some parts falling of of them prematurely.

I made an account on scalemodeller.com. They have box reviews, building reports, some good beginners tips that are very useful to me, and a collection of reference pics. I decided I would go for the silver in box livery.. obviously I don’t feel comfortable yet going too far from the box versions! But my target was to let reference photos be a factor.

Above is the actual airframe the kit tries to portray. Eventhough Revell shows this model to have the clipped  wings configuration I could not take that out of this picture and I aimed to go for the full wing version. The real question in this picture seems to be: are those stains above the engine outlet actual camo or is it just smeared on grease to avoid the pilot being blinded in this baremetal ‘livery’? Since I was not sure and all kits of the MJ250 show the same camo being used, I decided to be my conservative self and go with that.

At this time I did not yet have an airbrush but instead I used a small roller. While the result is better than using a brush probably, one thing I learned is this build is don’t paint before you’re done with the big glue operations! I guess I just really wanted to see what it would look like in the alluminium color.. that little kid that touched his Starfighter model before the paint was dry is still very much hiding in me I guess!

Another thing I learned: take those seams seriously! I just didn’t allow the time for some parts to dry together after glueing, and I did not bother to remove the seams before applying paint. The result probably could have been a lot better:

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But the moment it all really came crashing down..
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What happened here?? Well, first of all I did not properly dry fit the outer wing edges, so there were some incredibly big gaps between the wing, the ailerons and the wingtips.. so far nothing more than typical noob mistake resulting in a less-than-perfect endresult.

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But, ambitious as I am I decided I wanted to try and fix this! I got myself some Revell Plasta and smeared away! Before I started I even considered taking the throw-away kit I made 3 years ago and trying the stuff on it before ruining this one.. But is there such a thing as ‘getthereitus’ for modelbuilers? It really must have struck me at this point, because when I smeared way too much on with my finger and all the nice little details were melted away before my eyes I panicked and tried to remove the stuff with water and sand it away.. neither worked obviously. To finally get to the ghastly sight like shown above (I can’t bare to look at it again!) it takes a totally freaked out noob that takes his little cup of alluminium paint and tries to make the horror go away.. resulting in the obvious ‘refrigerator drawing result’ as I would call it.

This was the first moment I started thinking about buying a second version of this kit, or perhaps a completely different kit. In the end I did both! But for now, I decided to make the best of what I still had and go for the clipped wing version. But..

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Taking the full wingtips off also needs some care. The right side didn’t pose much problems but the left wing was glued together much tighter.. I already applied paint remover here by the way, to see how much was left of the details. At this point I had already resigned myself to this becoming a full on experimenting kit, so I decided to just have fun with the build and leave the perfectionism for a next one. I tried some milliput putty and the result was not perfect but still was a slight improvement.. and good practice!

At this time I had also bought my first airbrush, and I tried the camo at the front.

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Again, this was good practice. The end result shows my mixture wasn’t too great (ofcourse I am still experimenting with this) But my next camo I will definitly approach differently. I will first spray one complete color, then spray the other part over that.. And I hope I am not being too ambitious here or reaching to far above my abilities, but my plan is to do it freehanded.. if it fails I will have to let it dry and start again and hopefully I’ll get it right before all the details are buried under a thick layer of paint.

So, in the end another big thing to learn was don’t attach anything to the main body before absolutely necessary. When the landing gear cracked during the airbrushing of the camo I had already bought my second kit, and then went back again to buy this exact same kit again. So, I’ll have plenty of work to do for the next couple of weeks!

Also: all scratches will be visible once you apply paint, and will be even worse once I start working with weathering. I didn’t realize this as much as I should have, and some of the parts look horrible now.

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This model shall henceforth be known as the Spit-Wreck and will now be the place to try plaster, fillers, airbrushing and all the things I am scared to try on my proper kits! I learned much and I still had fun, although after the gear collapsed I had enough and moved on to the kit I am currently working on.

My workplace

When I started work on my first kit a few weeks ago I placed myself at a table in the livingroom. I promised my girlfriend I didn’t need much room, and I thought I didn’t at that point.. 2 weeks later ‘my area’ had expanded from about 10% to probably 60%. And after buying my first airbrush I realized that both the limited room and the light weren’t doing it for me. We have an extra room built behind the house, and lighting and air circulation are far from ideal unfortunatly, and yellow lighting in the living room just won’t cut it. So it was time to move the operation to my ‘man cave’ straight under the window.

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At first I just placed all the stuff on a table much like it had been in the living room, however I didn’t really like using that toolbox and the lack of space left on the table.

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So yesterday I moved my bookcloset closer to the table and placed all my paints and the stuff I use the most in there, at eyelevel. Ofcourse the stuff I use all the time is left on the table, but I don’t mind too much.

The toolbox still has some spare tools and supplies but isn’t taking up space on the table and the new Spitfire kit is underneath it. Next to the table is my first kit so I can experiment with techniques on that model.

I really like working in a place that feels efficient to what I want to do! Also, the light is so much better here. When it gets darker in the evening the coming months I will have to replace that big yellow light on the table with something better as I’ve found out that yellow light is just not ideal when you’re airbrushing.. I hope I can get something more neutral. I will have to look at what the internet says about what sort of lighting to use.

First post

An original title to start things off!
In this first entry I will simply lay out my reasons for starting a blog and what I plan to do with it.

A few weeks ago I was forced to rethink my hobbies, or in particular one hobby that took much of my time: computergaming. Since my work as an IT consultant (or software engineer to be more precise) sitting behind a screen all day it became clear to me that with increased stress and having passed the thirty mark did not combine too well with spending another 3 or 4 hours behind a screen making decisions.

So when I started my first steps of recovering from a burnout and was told to relax, I of course started with doing what I had liked for years: gaming. I didn’t enjoy it.. I didn’t enjoy very much anyway the first weeks. In fact around that time I opened up a modelkit which I still had laying around and at the first step in the instruction I already folded. Too difficult! However as the weeks went by and I started to become a bit more active I really noticed the difference in required energy between activities. Computergames kept feeling difficult and seemed to ask the most of my thinking abilities and most of the little concentration I was able to give it. At some point I reopened the modelkit again.. and decided I wanted to try this again, but on a larger scale and with World War 2 era planes.

So after buying my first kit (more on that kit in another blog) I went for it, and I completely fell in love with it! It appealed to my engineering side, but without the stress of my day job. I loved working in a structured way, seeing subcomponents become bigger and combining them with the other parts. I loved making decisions about which type I wanted to make, what livery, what rudder, which wingtips. I loved doing the research about what actually would be historically acurate.

And I felt challenged by the immense possibilities when it comes to techniques.

As a kid my dad introduced me and my brother to modeling.  The models I made back then were made with the lack of patience and eye for detail of a child. Sloppy paintjobs, glue everywhere. I just wanted to have them finished so I could play with them! I remember a 1/144 scale silver Starfighter for instance: my dad had airbrushed it for me and told me to wait until it was dry.. when the paint did finally dry up it had the fingerprint of a small kid on it! I don’t know how old I was when I stopped but I know I barely reached a much higher level.

But I guess now I am ready again for the fantastic results that can be achieved in scale modeling! It will take some time to get there, but having grown into my big boy pants I do actually have an eye for detail (it is actually a big part of my professional life) and the patience.. well I find I still have to slow myself down sometimes, but at least I enjoy the experience of creating rather than the end result. I am also a perfectionist which will make those first few models a real pain. Having an eye for detail while not achieving the desired detail is a real buzz kill, but more on that in a blog about my first kit.

Best of all there now is an incredible amount of information out there and so many great people more than willing to share their knowledge!

So: what I would like to do with this blog. My idea is to just make regular posts with everything from new purchases, to changes to my workplace, to techniques I am trying out. After all I am a noob and all these things are still relevant to me! If there ever comes a time I have so much routine they become irrelevant to mention it might become time to change the name of the blog or even start a YouTube channel.

My first cockpit assembly