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.

 

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Dad’s Army

You wouldn’t say it is a topic for a modeling blog but: Yesterday I had a fantastic family BBQ! Not only did I enjoy the company and the food, I also went home with a lot of awesome stuff!

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My dad was ‘cleaning out his closet’ and had a number of kits laying around on which he hadn’t started work. He said he would have to live to be a 110 years old to complete the stuff he still has, so since I recently picked up this hobby again I hit the jackpot here!

The P-38 is definitely my favorite, but I also love the A6M5 and the F-16 which has Dutch decals with it! The F-15 is a complex kit which I can really sink my teeth into, the F-18 is a bit simpler if I remember correctly but hey, it’s an F-18! I don’t know much about the Mirage III, but anything to practice techniques on is fantastic of course! It has some nice camo and what a great place to experiment with pre-shading the cockpit!

I am thinking I will likely start work on the A6M5 as soon as the FW-190 is done as a new WW2 kit. I have to say, this kit is a bit simpler than the FW-190 or even the Spitfire, but it does have the radial engine as a separate component. The simplicity really seems to lie in the flaps, rudders, ailerons etc. which are molded straight on rather than being separate parts. It’s only 22 steps in the instructions I think, and that can be refreshing!

All these models of course need a very good cleaning and I might have to actually order some new decals for some of them because they appear to have had a rough brawl with time. But I love to have a proper stack of kits now and since I know he reads this blog every once in a while: nogmaals bedankt Pa! Ik ga er wat moois van maken.

And another great bit of news I think:

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After letting another layer of Humbrol Clear dry on my experimental part, the thing looks nice and shiny!

It is not a perfect application. Especially on the camo’d area in the rear there has been some build up during spraying. But that is fine for my purposes. What I did differently this time: didn’t thin the stuff at all and applied on layers that had dried over night. I think this looks much better and I will be applying a decal and try some weathering on this thing!

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!

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.

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.

FW190 build update / Being a perfectionist

I had already saved a draft to write about perfectionism, and yesterday it finally struck..

I am a perfectionist, and a relative noob at model building. I am also pretty ambitious when it comes to this hobby, although I don’t take trying a new thing lightely. Unfortunatly being a noob means you will also trying new things is inevitable, and so is not executing them flawlessly no matter how much YouTuber vids you check out.

To be absolutely clear: I am not even sure I did something irreparable. But that’s not all that perfectionism is about really.. it’s about the insecurity when trying something new: will this make things better or will I destroy the end result?

Let me go through my progress of yesterday and today:

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I redid the placement of the landing gear bay. Less light is showing through. Although there is a lot of glue residue I don’t mind too much as most of it is out of sight. I do have to repaint some areas inside the landing gear bay though.
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I probably should have let this dry a little longer before fitting the fuselage on the wing but there was what felt like an emergency..
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I was very happy with how the glueing of the upper wing turned out.. there were no seams, and I did the glueing the way Spencer Pollard has shown in his latest video on YouTube. The result was nice and neat! And then, looking for more details I might have missed, it struck me that I was doing things in the wrong order!!! The fuselage needs to go on first.
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So after carefully removing the upper wing I just glued on, I fitted the fuselage and I felt in a hurry to do so.. as I’ve said, it felt like an emergency. Even so I did take very good care in fitting the fuselage, a lesson learned from the Spit where I left some big gaps. The motormount was a bit fiddly to get into place, and in the end I glued it on the places on which it was connected to the fuselage and then reattached the bars behind it that came loose during the struggle.. it looks good.

Really there was no reason the be in a hurry here.. but making an unforced error like that makes you feel like you need to restore something quickly I guess.

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So at the end of the day it was time to re-attach those upper wings. The portside upper wing is not a perfect fit, but hopefully I can get that done with sanding.
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Hopefully visible because of the somewhat poor lighting, but the gap on the rightside between wingpart and fuselage is still quite big even after sanding. I’ll have to fill that. The seams on the side I sanded where appropriate, and possibly too much..
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This morning I sanded the wings.. and I hope I didn’t go too far here as well.
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And did my first proper thing with Plasto.. I really hope this comes out well after sanding it down. This was the stuff I ruined the Spit with! Don’t use it on stuff that is detailed unless you have the skills and tools to fix it again was the lesson for me..

I guess what is really gnawing at me at this point is the sanding.. It’s so easy to ruin details with it, and I sometimes find it so hard to know if you’re still on track or if you’re going to far with it. The wings are perhaps a bit flat on the front and I will have to do some very light sanding to hopefully restore that. What also has me worried (You might be able to see that in the last picture) is the scratches the sanding makes.

But from what I understand this is the reason people use primer! Another thing I haven’t done yet, and I keep thinking my shopping spree will be at an end at some point. What I likely will need at this point:

  • Primer (what colour? White? Gray? Silver? Can I use acryilic primer when using acrylic paint?)
  • A little tool to get some of the line detail back since I surfaced some of it off

I did get something else in the mail though that I will first try on the Spit-wreck:

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I can’t wait to try this out!

I didn’t sleep too good the last 2 days, and ofcourse this does not help. I make more mistakes and moving on after a mistake becomes much harder.

But I am still having a lot of fun with all this.. for every perfectionist there comes a time that feeling of a perfect streak will come to an end and the insecurity will drip in about the end result.. But I have to let that go and have fun like I was doing. This model will not be perfect, and neither will the next one be.

And is there ever such thing as perfect anyway?

 

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!