Weather report

Unfortunately the desk wasn’t delivered yesterday, but I should get it delivered Monday. I was kind of looking forward to upgrading to a proper workplace yesterday but it is what it is.

The decaling job is fully done! I finished it yesterday and it was actually just an hour more work probably.

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I did an attempt at fixing the silvering on the transparent cross on the wing. The result as I showed it in a previous blog:

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I used post its to mask it off (good tip, Dave) and did a very thing layer at low pressure of Revell 77.

I got scared a bit, because the color looks like Revell 47 (the other color of the camo). I used my new IPMS membership to ask about it on the forum and after half an hour I got an answer on what was up: The color difference was down to not having put a gloss coat layer on the re-spray like the rest of the wing.

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Of course there would have been a better way to mask this off, to avoid this color pattern where the center of the cross has had a double layer of gloss coat. But at least it doesn’t stand out as much as it did.

I tried to do some more work on it but when I tried to move the post its the decal tor up. So I decided to leave it as is and hope it would be fixed when I did another layer of gloss coat over the entire plane.

Chipping

Yesterday and this morning I tried to get some more inspiration on the chipping process. I haven’t done this before, so I didn’t want to go all out on this but just apply the technique on a small area.

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I’m not sure about the result, but hopefully this side will turn out OK once I have done a dirt wash.. it might be a bit too much.
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The other side is even ‘worse’. The smearing on the air outlets is accidental.. I used a sponge technique but I wasn’t expecting any paint to stick on the side of my ripped off piece of ‘sponge’.

Seeing this on the photo I am wondering why I didn’t get some more black over it..

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I also experimented with a slightly lighter gray on the inside of the wings..

For the next build I am definitely not free handing this like I have done this time. I think I simply lack the experience to do it that way. So next time I will either work straight from a photo or just copy a more experienced builder! I did enough research, but it really is something else to apply the stuff you learned.

Repairing before another layer of gloss clear.

Some last minute repairs I had already planned before sealing everything in:

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The rack for the fuel tank appears to be black on other models I have seen, and since it makes more sense to me I decided to change it.
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The idea was for this to be a decal that you would flip over so it could cover both sides of this area. It is a little too small though, so maybe Revell really wants you to sand down the entire wing until the decal fits! A more viable choice was to just paint the rest of the little ‘flap’ for lack of a better word.

 

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Time to let this dry for a few hours.

Unfortunately the decal on the right wing still looks messy. Definitely one for the ‘after-action-report’ I plan to do for this build. Just as the chipping effort.

The next step is to apply a dirt wash. I first want to give this some time to really dry up. A cause for concern is that I am not sure about the Levado Color Wash I have for this job.. I have experimented with it in the past, but I am not sure if I want to get this over my entire plane.

I have read a story of someone who used the stuff and couldn’t get it off. However he let it dry for more than 24 hours which is definitely not what you want to do.. but it did remind me of the experience I had with this stuff on the little Spitfire part.

However I did use Revell thinner to get it off after a few minutes, and that appears to be a bad idea.. not sure if water will give a better result, but it looks like I’ll have to do some more experimenting with it before getting it on the FW-190.

Update:

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I am pretty happy with this!

Groetjes,

Dan,

 

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One of those days

When I woke up I had this wild plan to take the Zero and see how far I could get with it in one day. That’s my life at the moment: when I still have energy I have great plans, but after breakfast I realize it isn’t going to happen. Which is fine in itself as there has been a long time I didn’t have that sort of inspiration at all.

Yesterday I did some experimentation with the Spitfire piece as I had planned, but I probably shouldn’t have touched the FW-190 once it became clear I wasn’t thinking at 100% capacity..

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I love seeing that big pile of boxes!
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I am OK with my end of the decal placing which went fine, but the jury is still out on the end result. I used Revell Decal Soft and of course the rivet detail coming through is excellent. I did my best to remove the bubbles that appeared after a while but as you can see the result is just not 100% perfect. Could it be because I didn’t clean the part after letting the clear gloss dry?

The most important picture of my wash experiments is way too dark unfortunately:

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Still you can probably see that while cleaning the wash off, I actually rubbed off the paint!! To be honest I probably used way too much thinner and applied way, way too much pressure. I hope that’s the only reason and not some reaction by the wash itself.

One of my experiments was trying something with an enamel color which I still had lying around. Seeing the mess I made with it I quickly decided this is absolutely not the way I want to take this hobby. I think probably one of the reasons I am back doing this is how much more accessible things became with acrylic paint and the strong smell and hard work to clean up from a couple of minutes work is just not a fun prospect.. besides:

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This is just the Lavado wash I have also used for the engine, but I waited a bit longer and then very lightly removed it with a cotton pad with a tiny bit of thinner on it. So yeah, that’s basically your standard practice with thinners isn’t it? Apply and gently rub it off after 20 minutes.. that’s the winner.

Still glad I tried this stuff on this piece instead of wrecking 4 or 5 sets. I still might do that, but I have a little more experience now!

Speaking of wrecking..

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Idiot.. why on earth did I think it was a good idea to glue on the fragile fuel tank rack? Apparently this is a Dutch proverb: a donkey never hits his head on the same stone twice. Well, it wasn’t the landing gear that broke off so I guess it’s just the same group of stones!
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While I tried to sand some of the side panel sticking out I broke off the front engine cowling. It wasn’t glued on properly anyway and it looks much better now so I guess I’ve actually didn’t break anything here.

Finally I also applied some filler to the upper part of the wings, and sanded the front a bit more. I am not sure about the filler because I might have destroyed a bit of detail. I am not too  downhearted by this.. typical second kit mistake I would say. I bombed it the first time, and now I did a better job but it’s still not perfect. That’s learning and I accept that.

 

Tiny changes

I still can’t believe how much this blog is offering me. It is not only that I enjoy writing about something I love doing, but the support and help I get is fantastic. Shout out to everyone helping me. Especially atcDave and Brett G continue to help and share their knowledge, but of course I am grateful for all the feedback I get!

About those tiny changes:

  • WW2 is my main interest and so are planes, but I want to do a second build that is a different subject. Considering starting on the Spit this week made me realize I am ready to do something else to keep things interesting. So, my primary build will be a WW2 plane, and my secondary build could be something else entirely.
  • Next Wednesday I will finally be building up my work hours again. Even though I am still tired very quickly (recovering from a burn out) I look forward to things getting back to normal and hopefully my fitness will improve soon enough. Of course this development will mean for modelling and blogging that I will do both a lot less, but I look forward to seeing how modeling works as a way to settle down after an intense day!
  • The last tiny change has to do with my workplace. After working this way for a while it’s natural that things come up that are less than ideal. I was already considering changing my workspace after completing the FW-190, but buying a second kit and possibly the blog of Spencer Pollard of this afternoon made me speed things up a bit. If I want to build more than one kit at a time I need a table that is basically as empty as possible all the time, and the essential stuff within reach.
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Another two shelves emptied for modelling.. and it is still not enough really because I would like to stash those boxes somewhere too! Don’t worry about the Play Dough by the way, I bought it this morning but after reading some horror stories I got rid of it.

So anyway, back to the actual modelling. As atcDave pointed out three layers of primer I did on the warped part that was in my second purchase of the Spitfire kit isn’t really needed or advisable because the details might disappear. As I told him I based myself on a demo by Humbrol, but of course they don’t mind if you throw the entire bottle on your models. That’s another good piece of information for the FW-190, but I want to try some more things before messing about with the real deal.

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In this picture I focused on the rear side of the part because I first planned on doing a small area..
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..But although I keep getting better at judging the required amount of paint and its mixture, this color is a mix between two which left me with more than enough to do the entire thing.
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I present to you: the SpitWulf! And yes, of course I sprayed a smiley face on there. The part kind of looks like Big Mouth Billy Bass on that sprue, doesn’t it?

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Some things to take into account:

  • I painted these colors on top of each other without letting them dry
  • I rushed it so some areas could have used more attention.
  • I didn’t mask anything.
  • As I said it is a pretty small area where I tried to apply the complete side of the FW-190.

It’s not perfect but I am glad I did this so hopefully the real deal will be better!

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I think I ended up applying four layers of gloss coat! I hope this dries up well, because I see quite a lot of staining.

As I understand you will either need to apply gloss to the point it is almost running, or use a very fine sandpaper to fix it up after it is dried up. If anyone has thoughts on that I am very interested! Especially for the secondary kit purchase I did this afternoon I will have to get the gloss coat area right!

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I know.. I know.. civilian airplanes don’t seem to get a lot of love in the community but this is nostalgia for me!

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I remember being amazed at the models my dad had made. One of my favorites was his British Airways 747 (no idea what exact type it was). My dad got rid of it recently because of course it did’t have a lot of detail being a 70’s or 80’s model, but hopefully this model does! Cargolux is a regular visitor to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport which really attracted me to this particular plane.

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The FW-190 still is top priority of course. I drilled the holes from the outside for the fuel tank rack like I said I would and man I am proud to get it exactly right again! I also did some work on the rear, sanding down some seams and re cutting some details.

The top priorities for the coming time:

  • Try a wash and decals on the SpitWulf part once the gloss coat has properly dried up.
  • Maybe do a second layer of olive on the inside engine panels.
  • Move my way up to the front of the FW-190 to fix seams and holes.
  • Properly mask off holes, cockpit, landing gear bay and engine.
  • Find a good method to apply primer all around the model.
  • Apply primer layer!
  • Apply primer on propeller, cap and fuel tank separately?
  • Antenna’s, landing gear and other easily breakable stuff to place on in the end, place them in the Box-Of Future-Parts.
  • Airbrushing the camo?
  • Clear coat
  • Decals
  • Start on the 747-8F when I can!

Leap of faith!

After sleeping on it and some reassuring words on my last post I decided to continue with this kit!

Not only is this just my second kit, but when I rebooted this hobby I already made the conscious decision to not go straight for the high-end and more expensive brands. I already accounted for failure by buying the cheaper Revell kits rather than a Tamiya kit for 3 or 4 times the price. The only thing is: the Spitfire just feels a lot cheaper, where as the FW-190 just seems to offer a lot more for just a couple of euro’s more. That makes it even more of a bargain though, so I just need to go for it and have faith in myself and if I should fail take good note of what went wrong and learn from it.

Since there is more work coming up that needs some time to properly dry up I want to at least have a very broad idea of what to do when:

  • Airbrush the inside of the engine covers and temporarily place them on.
  • Check the entire body for seams and holes that shouldn’t be there and try to get any scratches out.
  • Place fuel rack on body.
  • Fill up the landing gear bay with something to mask it (cotton pads?) and temporarily place the gear doors I am not using, for masking.
  • Mask the cockpit of with the canopy I am not using and mask off the windscreen.
  • Investigate what materials to use for temporary placement of masking parts and how to apply the primer all around the aircraft?
  • Investigate how to properly use primer?
  • Apply primer layer!
  • Apply primer on propeller, cap and fuel tank separately?
  • Antenna’s, landing gear and other easily breakable stuff to place on in the end, place them in the Box-Of Future-Parts.
  • Airbrushing the livery?
  • Clear coat?
  • Decals?

I wrote this list this morning and as much as energy allowed I started some work.

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First I painted the last of the insides of the engine panels. I have to say I have a lot less trouble with the airbrush now I use a thinner mixture, I just have to apply a second layer after half an hour.. I neglected to do that here and the paint is still slightly too thin.

I will fire up the airbrush for one final round of olive since I haven’t decided yet which panels I want opened up.. so I want them all to look good! Besides I also found I missed one part that still needs olive color..

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I see the windshield framework is also in ‘F’ (gray) just like the rest of the canopy parts. So I glued it on and ambitiously aim to properly mask it. If I fail, I will have to get a replacement from Revell I guess! Since the gun area is a glue-y mess I will likely cover that up by the way.
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The fuel tank and its mount are also assembled. I will likely assemble the mount.. there is a problem though..
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I’m afraid I misinterpreted the instruction manual when it comes to the holes that had to be drilled in the lower wing half. That means I will have to figure out from the outside where the holes are supposed to be, and drill them.

I decided I wanted to try some primer at this point before messing up the FW-190.

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Time to get out the Spit-Wreck and clean up an area.
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And then I realized I had the perfect thing to try it on! I made a scratch and sanding marks to see how they would look after primer and cleaned the part with soap.. I don’t have alcohol or anything like that. Maybe I should get some?
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The first layer.. or actually the second layer as my first was a pool of primer and I wiped it straight off to start again.

I think my first attempt was sprayed from way too close. The layer in the picture above is better, although not smoothly applied everywhere.

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After applying a second layer..
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And for the third layer I wised up and moved the operation to the shed.. looks like I’ll keep a room open in my man-cave tonight!

And the result after three layers:

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I like this! The scratch I made is clearly visible but of course I didn’t do anything to fix it between the layers. There is some imperfection near the end, I think because I removed the first splashed on layer that I sprayed on from way too close.

Very educational day in modelling world for me..

  • They are not kidding when they say you need a well ventilated room.. what they actually mean to see is: get that stuff out of any room you plan on using for things like living.
  • Don’t spray too near to the part.
  • Don’t spray too long in the same place.
  • Be fluent.

What I still have to research:

  • What to do when I find imperfections after the first layer? If I fix the imperfections I will scrape off the first layer and if I apply a second layer on top of that you will probably see a ‘crater’ on the body where the first layer used to be?
  • How to be able to turn around the whole model. I see constructions with sticks to turn the thing around, but a 1/32 FW-190 model is probably too big and heavy to do that.
  • How to temporarily fit panels, canopy and landing gear doors for the priming and air brushing?

My plan is to ready up the rest of the body tomorrow in terms of sanding and filling, and maybe also use the part I used primer on today to try a bit of the FW-190 livery on! It’s drying in the shed tonight while spreading a strong chemical smell.

My first airbrush

For my first kit I used mainly paint brushes and small roller for the bigger parts. The thought of buying my own airbrush had ofcourse crossed my mind. I guess I was scared though! Airbrushing as a kid was something my dad had to do for me and my brother and he ofcourse didn’t want to do this 3 times a week. Having to wait and plan your airbrush jobs made it a bigger deal I guess!

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The finished cockpit for my first Spitfire Mk. IXc kit.

After the wingtip disaster on my first kit I order the FW190 A8/N11 I am currently working on. I went to Hobbycar the next day to pick it up and since there was another customer in the shop I went around to look at some of the airbrushes. When the storeowner had showed me the kit and all the stuff I had ordered along with it I asked him if he could tell me what a good starter kit would be.

He showed me a couple of sets, both with compressor and with airbrush propellant. I had absolutely no idea what was what, but when he showed me a 55,- euro kit which basically had everything I needed with a compressor I decided to just go for it.

Ofcourse my first experiences weren’t too great. There were a lot of splatters as the mixture was way too thin.. besides that I had already used the small roller to apply the aluminium paint on the body. The parts that didn’t look good after that I removed with Paint Remover, but since the roller and the paint brush left quite a different thickness things didn’t look good. This model already felt more and more like a write off but I atleast wanted to try the camo on the top of the hood.

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Where to start.. sloppy masking, inconsistent coverage and probably the big thing I want to differently for my next camo is to ambitiously try to do it without masking the other camo parts!

I live near the militairy base of Gilze-Rijen, and ofcourse I can often see the helicopters and trucks up close. The camo on the trucks for instance isn’t neatly lined out like I did in this model and seems to be applied from freehand as well. Ofcourse when painting models there is a camo you are trying to recreate but still it doesn’t make sense to use masking tape.. I guess that’s something you can have a discussion about.

With the FW190 I have been able to build up some confidence with my airbrushing techniques. A bit of reading up and watching a couple of YT channels showed me the error of my ways.. too thin a mixture but applied too thickly leaving a nice layer of splattered water. So my mixture is a bit thicker, and I apply in a couple of layers. I like some of the results I got so far..

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I am still having some problems with the longer airbrushing sessions, but that’s for another blog.

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.