Going down

It’s been a while since my last blog so here we go! I have been building a bit more the last week but before that it has been pretty meager.

The Zero

img_20180128_0946144701470520897405054.jpgI put primer on most of the final parts of the zero.. unfortunately I found out later I forgot about two small panels that are part of the wheel covering. I’m not going to make a mess of my airbrush just to put primer on two parts that I can put on my fingertip so I will either have to wait for more parts before I get the stuff out again, or I might just see what the result is when I get around to finishing this model.

There is some decision to make about the color of the wheel bays. Some internet sources show the A6M5 with either brown or light blue wheel bays. Then again, there are different tints of green, and things like the propeller cap are either white or green as well.

I will have to see if I can find more sources on the specific plane I want to make. Since the original decals are eaten away I purchased some after market ones.

Workplace

The last couple of months I found that one thing that kept me from doing some work is having to go upstairs. I do spend quite some time in ‘my room’ but right now it is mostly to do virtual flying in IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad.

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So I am now slowly moving my stuff to our house extension. It’s a bit colder there, so I have some small isolation work to do, but there is nothing wrong with that. Besides the summer will be here before we know it.

I-16

Another thing that has probably stopped me from doing work sometime is a promise I made to myself.. to not have a ‘stack of doom’. To me that meant not starting work on a new kit before the old one was finished. In fact I actually broke that promise pretty early on when I start working on the Cargolux B747-8F, a kit which is still standing half finished in my room upstairs.. recently I also started work on the ICM I-16. Since I feel more like working on the I-16 right now I decided to stop making life difficult for myself and just go for it!

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I already started work on the wing a while back, so the next step was now to apply a layer of gray in the wheel bay area..
img_20180215_2029532553359717194669541.jpg..and the first cockpit parts.

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I am not sure if I am too happy about this so far though.. The instructions says the chair needs to be all black. I am using a different source though, which is the cockpit view in IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad. Which shows that the chair itself is a dark green (like the outside of the plane) and so I brush painted the chair and the rests.

But looking at the end result, I think I will tear the chair off again, clean it completely and just spray the green on and I will just hand brush the headrest. For the color of the rests I used anthracite which made more sense to me.

IPMS

I did some thinking and I decided that I am not going to renew my IPMS membership right now..

When I became a member I had just spent a couple of hundred euros on modeling stuff, and the 10% discount for stuff alone felt like a good reason for a membership. But the spending spree has stopped so that’s not a good reason any more. I don’t particularly enjoy their magazine, and I don’t have time or energy to spend time on visiting events or meetings.

The money I saved with not paying for another year of membership will go nicely towards buying my next airbrush!

Next blog I will show the end result on the cockpit for the I-16.

PS: my dad’s P-51 is coming along nicely! That Revell kit looks so great and my dad is doing an awesome job. Really curious to see how it looks when the paint is on!
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Zero cockpit, part two

This week I finished the Zero cockpit. Not sure about all the choices I made, but overall I am fairly happy.

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I am happy with the cockpit, and I think I did an all right job cleaning it up. At this stage of the Japanese war effort I doubt the A6M5 made it past a couple of months, so I figured it wouldn’t make sense to do a very heavily weathered cockpit. I wanted to make the pilot look less clean, but this is probably not the right way. He looks like a pig really.. Since Sinterklaas will be giving me a present soon that will have a couple of figures included I will have to look into how to create a good looking result!

Since this kit is fairly simple I skipped a few steps ahead in the instructions. Yesterday I applied primer to the parts I will require for the next two steps.

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In other news..

When I bought my airbrush booth this summer I somehow developed this crazy idea that the filters were relatively expensive. The last time I worked with primer I noticed the booth was doing a really poor job at getting rid of the nasty air, and I finally decided to replace the paint-filled original filter.. I then found out these things aren’t as expensive as I somehow assumed they were, so I hopefully have enough of them to last me a year.

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I also did a final revisit of the FW-190 A8. Last month I visited a IPMS meeting and one of the gentlemen had some nice pointers for me. Besides that I wanted to fix some obvious mistakes. In the end I decided to leave some of the bad parts.. the Zero will hopefully be beautiful, and it will replace the FW-190 which has earned a spot in the living room.

In the end I didn’t bother getting rid of the scratches in the canopy since they are quite subtle anyway. I did reattach the antenna which had come loose somehow during or just after my vacation.. I also noticed the plane was very lightly leaning to one side because the wheels were a bit loose. I cracked them off and reattached them, which nearly went wrong.

As for the details I wanted to change: the pitot tube on the starboard wing had a bronze rather than a aluminium look, and my version of the A8/R11 had a mechanism that ensured the wire from the canopy to the tail was always tensed.

Quite happy with the result, but I am done fiddling with this thing now.

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Groetjes,

Dan

Light gray snowballing

Even though I am still doing some modeling almost every day, I have to admit my motivation hasn’t picked up much since finishing the FW-190. I know sticking to the WW2/War will keep things a bit more fun in the future, but right now I will try switch between the A6M5 and the B747-8F.

A few weeks ago building gave me energy, but right now I am just too tired coming home from work. Last week I have started doing full work days again, and once I get home I am knackered and have to take a rest first. This should get better though, and overall my energy has increased a lot the last few months!

Anyway, on to some actual modeling!

img_20171105_1342551953958942.jpgFirst I did some sanding on the seem-line.

img_20171105_1445382063839840-e1509909475675.jpgI decided to not continue with the first spray of light-gray and instead went back to the more conventional way of first gluing the halves together. Things got a bit too messy with paint when attaching the pre-painted fuselage halves.

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Of course this does mean I have to mask off the little clear parts on the front of the wing. The strip on the front will have a different color anyway, so a very wide piece of tape will do for the moment.
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After another adjustment to the desk layout I am fairly happy with it now, and I am able to see the light differences very well even though it is very subtle on this model. I placed the light on the airbrush booth. It already fell off too, narrowly missing the model that was drying from another layer of light gray. Hopefully it won’t happen again when I return the light to a more balanced position.

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What remains now is (ever so slowly) snowballing this model with the very thin mixture of light gray with a lot of thinner.

Before the airbrush clogs up completely I am usually able to get out 2 halve cups the mixture, which really is enough. I think in total there will be about 3 or 4 layers and after that the challenge will remain to get a very crisp and even result on the light gray!

Next blog will be about the A6M5 on which I have done some work on the cockpit already.

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.

So much room for activities!

My desk got delivered yesterday.. and today. Somehow they managed to ‘lose’ a part of it, and magically they found in time to send it a day later. Whatever, I have my desk now.

I spend the entire day putting it together and for the second night in a row I’ll be in bed early because I’m knackered, but at least I have a proper workplace now.

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I’m sure I’ll change things around a bit in the coming days but already it’s a huge change to have so much room to do work!

The dirt wash

Tonight I decided to go for it and start work on my first overall dirt wash.

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I am happy with the look..
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Unfortunately it appears I did too much work on the sides. Some small decals are pretty damaged there and some are letting loose, probably from the thinner.

Since I started off with using cotton pads I left a lot of little white lints so I changed to another piece of cloth. I also wiped off the wash too soon the first time, so I had to do it again. In the end there was too much cleaning up I guess.. another learning experience. Hopefully it won’t be too noticeable on the end result or maybe I can even fix something with some left over decals. Some of them seemed to be double or slightly different from the ones I needed for this livery but maybe I can cut them a bit.

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Pretty happy with the underside! No torn decals here and it looks good for a start.

Next up will be some more details on the underside. IPMS Nederland has an incredible database of walk around pictures of the FW-190, both F and A types. I now have a pretty good idea of where I want to add more detail, like behind the exhaust on the underside.

Tomorrow I will to check the damage I’ve done. Hopefully nothing too bad.

Groetjes,

Dan

 

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,