Weekly random thoughts

Last week I had the idea to do a weekly blog on Friday night about random modelling related subjects that I wanted to write about.  Although a week later it seems it won’t be a Friday night thing necessarily I’d still like to do a ‘weekend’ update as long as there is something to write about.

For the last three weeks I have been watching Friday Night  Live ‘At The Bench’ By International Scale Modeller. I’m not sure if I will watch every week, but I quite like the idea of spending my Friday night in that environment, listening to modelers and hearing about new kits and related stuff with a beer in my hand. The only problem is I am not a known person in that community, and obviously sometimes that means you will be ignored.

I hope to have found a dutch community though, even if it doesn’t have hangouts and a live Friday night show!

IPMS Nederland

If all goes well I will be a member of IPMS Nederland soon. IPMS is an abbreviation for ‘Internation Plastic Modellers Society’, and that name makes me suspicious I will have to go through some sort of sacrificial ceremony to become a member. Perhaps I will have to throw my first model into the fire and cut my hands open while performing a secret dance. I have a feeling it will probably still be worth it:

  • My main supplier Hobbycar in Tilburg has a very nice deal that entails getting a 10% discount on every purchase when showing your IPMS card. With the recent purchase of the compressor I’ve come to the point where I could have joined immediately and saved 40 euro’s, but since I haven’t been active in the hobby for that long it would have been a risk. By now, I am fairly certain I will stick to this hobby for the coming time so a membership will be worth it, especially since I am already planning my next purchases (which I will have to keep quiet about until somewhere in October hopefully! Ooooh secrets!)
  • Free entrance to IPMS NL events. While I am usually not a huge fan of this sort of thing, I am actually quite keen on seeing what others are up to and I might end up going to some of these!
  • A magazine, published 5 times a year.
  • Access to the forum to contact other IPMS NL members.

Looking forward to becoming a member!

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The flag I will have to pledge allegiance to when I become a member.

Site work

I have done yet another overhaul of the site layout. The reason is I have become a premium member of WordPress. Is it an economical decision? No, absolutely not. And realistically it will never be. But writing about modelling is a huge part of the hobby for me and I want things to look good!

A big change not directly related to this upgrade is that I have sorted my blogs according to category, so it’s easier to see all related posts for a project I am working on.

I notice I get a lot of traffic from people who most likely typed in ‘Revell’ and the kit number into Google. Probably looking for a review the poor people find my site. I don’t like disappointing people so next time I will tag my posts like that I’ll make sure I will actually have something useful to say about the kit itself rather than my experience with it. With that, and the addition of the categories, I hope they will stick around for the other posts about the build they apparently take interest in.

In the future I’d like to do proper kit reviews of my new purchases, just showing what is inside the kit and not so much giving my opinion on it. If people are interested in the things I come a cross they can follow the build blogs. I might do these reviews on video. The premium deal has some possibilities for that, but I might also go for YouTube which could provide more viewers.

To be clear: right now I have a handful of followers. I love their support and feedback and I hope to keep them subscribed, but of course I started this blog purely for myself to keep track of where I am heading with my modelling, and the things I am learning about modelling. That said I want all my visitors to have a good time and I provide quality when it comes to my output. That means even though this site might be my little place, I wouldn’t want to to do anything that hurts the experience of visitors. In fact, the more visitors the more information likely will come to me, and my ultimate goal is to learn more all the time!

Upgrading the workplace

This is just a dream at the moment, but looking around a bit I have seen some nice workbenches on the internet! Nice and spacey compared to what I have right now..

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This becomes cluttered so quickly.. I really need something bigger.

Sure I can clean a couple of more shelves, but it seems this hobby is here to stay and that means I would just love to get a big desk and a nice big construction to place my paint an materials in.. Really have to look into something nice, but it seems the really nice workplaces are DIY!

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This is the homemade workplace by Simon Jones, which I saw on the ISM facebook page today. Looks exciting!

And what I also still need is a nice showcase to place my models in! I probably will have to go for that purchase first, since the FW-190 is progressing nicely.

The FW-190 A8/R11

I didn’t do a lot of work since my last update of this kit, but I did paint those antennas today that are specific to the R11:

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The R number was the designation for the conversion packages available for this plane and the R11 package was the night fighter conversion. The antenna’s on this conversion will be fitted to the wing and I am very excited to see how this will look on the end result! And yes, that’s the propeller cone on the left, which is in the same color and thus rode along with this airbrush session.

In my last update I gave this model a gloss clear coat. The next step will be to apply the decals! Really looks like I am getting in the final stages of this build!

Inspiration in the skies above Gilze

As I think I’ve mentioned before, I live about a 10 minutes walk away from the Gilze-Rijen Airbase. While the bulk of the activity of this airbase comes from helicopters of Defensie Helikopter Commando, the Koninklijke Luchtmacht Historische Vluchten is also based there. This morning they were flying around with an awesome beast:

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The PH-OUQ is a Mk IX. The Koninklijke Luchtmacht actually operated the MK IX for a while, but it was the clipped wing version. Should I want to mimic that: 03927 also has the clipped version of the IX.

I plan to do some other kits before picking up the Spitfire MK IXc (Revell 03927) again. but seeing this bird make it’s rounds above the village this morning gave me half the mind to do this build in this livery.

Plenty of time to think about that though.. the problem might be this livery might be a little too simple, especially since I plan to pick this up after the A6M5 which also doesn’t have a very exciting livery. I will probably end up doing to camo that is displayed on the box..

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That’s it for this week, thanks for reading!

Groetjes,

Dan

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Too much detail for me

I’ll say again: I don’t like this part of the build. I have to keep telling myself I’m doing it for the experience, but obviously that wasn’t the goal when I started the build. After making a couple of mistakes (starting with the primer-fail) I tried to accept the idea that this is basically just my second attempt as an adult and I can’t realistically expect to get things right when I haven’t done them before.

But of course I still have the expectations of an adult, even though it sometimes feels like my skills are just a tiny bit better than where I left them 20 years ago when putting down my last model as a kid. I just don’t accept the mess I made back then because that is not what adults are supposed to do.

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to make a blog about.

Yesterday I tried finishing the black area above the wings. I took my smallest brush and filled up the black area, then I touched up on the red decal with some paint and where I went over the line I used a tiny bit of the light blue mixture to correct it.

Finishing the sides

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Once again I am pretty happy with the left side.

I actually had less work in this side, and the outcome looks pretty good. The other side though..

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This is the first step of the job and unfortunately I ripped off the decal. There is also some black paint on the decal but the idea still was to use red paint here as well..
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I painted the red part that got ripped off, but the amount of work I had to do on this side turned out to just be too much for me.

I couldn’t help but think of that woman in Spain who tried to restore a fresco, which turned out to be a little out of her league..

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Ah well, at least my attempt at a FW-190 A8/R11 isn’t an almost century old fresco.

Applying gloss clear coat

Feeling I did the best I could on the paint job it was time to apply a layer of gloss clear coat, or multiple layers as it turned out.

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Fast forwarding to the end result.. I will have to see how it looks tomorrow, but it became apparent pretty early on that one layer would not cut it.

This was the first time I used the new compressor to apply Humbrol Gloss Clear, and I learned that I actually really do need to thin the stuff down. Even though I tested on one of my wrecked parts earlier and based on that I decided I wouldn’t want to thin it, I found out the hard way that it was just not working. I lowered the PSI a notch on the compressor and thinned the stuff down a bit to stop my airbrush from puking uncontrollable streams of varnish.

I am less happy with another lesson I learned about applying a gloss clear coat..

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It turns out you can see very clearly where you applied some more paint with a paint brush over the parts you missed with the airbrush..

I really hope this will look better when it has dried a bit, but to be honest I am willing to accept this as another lesson and hope I can look back at it in a couple of models time.

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The final thing I did today was assemble the wheels, some tiny parts of the landing gear and I applied a coat to the landing gear parts as well.

All in all I am not unhappy. I am already looking forward to my next model but I want to get maximum bang for my buck with this kit when it comes to learning.

Groetjes,

Dan

 

 

 

Paint it black

Last night I went ahead ahead and applied a layer of paint on the side after using pizza carton to mask off the distinctive shape above the wing.

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Left looks allright.
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Right is a bit more sloppy looking.

Overall I was pretty happy with this result, although obviously there is some more painting to do.

I was still unsure how to move on though. As long as the decal is not on, I will keep guessing and adjusting the paint and I might get it all wrong and still need to do the red line with paint.

I decided to go for it and apply the red stripe decals.

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Again, left looks ok.
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But right is a bit harder to get right. First it’s time to let this dry and I’ll see how to finish this tomorrow.

I have to admit, I do not find this part of the build enjoyable. Sure, it’s great to see it coming together like it always is, but I found out tonight how much more enjoyable it is to just do the nice and simple small subcomponents.

Since I had to let the decals dry anyway I decided to finish off some small parts I had set aside for the (then) exciting and new primer phase!

After my last purchases I finally was able to use the lovely combination of:

  1. Toothpicks
  2. Tack
  3. Styrofoam
  4. My airbrush Booth
  5. My new compressor
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Looks lean and mean doesn’t it!

Just a real simple coat of seidenmatt but it just so much better than struggling with pizza cartons!

I would almost forget it, but since I have the new compressor I have had absolutely no problems. I did change the needle as well, but that was more of a precaution. The compressor is hands down the best money I have spent do far.

Groetjes,

Dan

 

Pizza saves the day again

Just a quick update. I thought about a solutions today and tonight I tried it. I got a piece of pizza carton and cut it in the right shape.

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Winner winner..
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Chicken dinner!

Unlike the masking tape this gives me the possibility to adjust and then taping it to the right area.

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It looks pretty close and on both sides.

The only thing is I need to be nice and straight on the airbrush because the masking properties of the carton aren’t too great.. then again, if it does actually leak through I won’t mind too much about doing another layer of the light blue. The mottling is not perfect and I wouldn’t mind another go at it should it be necessary.

Mask on

It appears I am stuck! Tonight I sent a mail to IPMS Germany to see if they can help me since I saw one of their members made a brilliant version of this kit.

A few weeks ago I saw a blog from JB in which he displayed the effort he had to put into masking.

He is working a pretty sweet F-35 kit, but the masking job looks quite tedious with much jigsaw masking required. So just brainstorming in the comments section I offered the thought of getting some tracing paper and getting the pattern on there, and then transferring the pattern to your masking tape so you could apply it on a bigger part of the model, and do small adjustments with more or less tape. He is going to try that and I am curious if and how it has worked for him.

Obviously I was quite happy to hear he liked the idea, and obviously I didn’t forget about it either. As I pointed out in my last blog there is some challenge in the dark area above the wings. This morning I went to the local discount shop to get some tracing paper.. which they amazingly did not have. So I got myself some oldskool geometry tools!

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It looks OK..now to get it on the masking tape.
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Up until this point I thought the nice little lines in the Humbrol cutting-mat were just there to make the thing look nice and model-y. It does actually have a purpose!
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Here is the problem of course.. whether you use tracing paper or oldskool geometry, it just isn’t very applicable to my situation. I have no way of knowing exactly where to mask off.

I cut out the decals and did the best I could to see if it looked correct, and it did. But I can also see the two sides are not symmetrical, and it would have surprised me if they were. I just don’t think it’s possible without a proper masking set.

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It looks like everything is set, as best as I can get it.

Hopefully I can get some help from Germany, or I might go for it and paint the red lines myself. It won’t be symmetrical though and that will haunt me forever (or atleast until I wreck my next kit).

Groetjes,

Dan

Friday night reflection

If I don’t forget about it next week, I’d like to use the Friday night for some reflection time about my modelling and the things surrounding it.

Primary build, the FW-190 A8/R11 (Revell 03926)

First things first. As I start to get towards the final stages of this build and I enter unknown terrain, the old fear of failure is creeping in again. I have had already had a bad experience with trying something new, but I actually feel that failure has taken the pressure off for a little while. I guess I for a few days felt it couldn’t get any worse.

I am reasonably happy with the job I did on the camouflage, even though the mottling isn’t perfect. Today I did a thin over-spray with light blue of the mottling.

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My plan is to do a final layer of staubgrau tomorrow and accept the mottling as it is.

I also resprayed the underside and the engine cowlings where I took the staubgrau a bit too low initially.

I think it’s time to get back to my little list I made a few blogs back:

  • Retouch some parts of the mottling.
  • Mask off and spray the dark area behind the engine and above wings.
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Unfortunately Revell doesn’t say what color this is. The same goes for the fuel rack area. A few steps back the manual says they should be in light blue as well, but I am not too sure. Both parts will need some more looking around on the internet.
  • Recover the cockpit where the primer got through.
  • Mask off the canopy I will use and spray staubgrau.
  • Clear coat.
  • Decals.
  • Clear coat again to seal in the decals.
  • Weathering?
  • Re-place the cannons in the landing gear bay.
  • Antenna’s, landing gear and other easily breakable stuff.
  • Re-place the broken off fuel rack back on the underside.
  • Re-place the broken off cannon on port side and paint it again.

On one hand I know this is just my second build and it takes practice to get to a higher level, but I hope to make the best of this thing of course!

Secondary build, the Boeing 747-8 in Cargolux livery (Revell 04949)

I am not very far with this build. I did the first main gear bays last week, and had some trouble getting the gears on straight. Because I had the feeling this had something to do with my less than thorough approach to this build I temporarily put it on hold until the Focke-Wulf is done and I will make this my primary build when I’ve reached that point. It might be better for me to just focus on one build at a time, but if I really get bored I still have this to pick up.

Looking forward to building this beauty.

I will probably give all my attention to this build when the FW is done, but I’d still like to preview the kit I am already planning on building next.

Preview, the Mitsubishi A6M5 ‘Zero’ (Revell 04755)

A few weeks ago my dad gifted me a couple of kits, and the idea of building the ‘Zero’ has grown in my mind.

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Funnily enough, when we placed all the boxes on the table this one initially found its way to the ‘nah’ pile.

The reason for that..

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This is the entire construction phase of the build! 8 steps! It’s a level 3 model

At first I thought: this is too simple, this won’t give me the challenge I need. But while I was compiling the rest of the booty this thing stuck to the back of my mind.

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Even though the build might be simple, there is still plenty of challenge in getting the final finish to the quality level I desire. I can be happy if I could even achieve the quality level displayed on the box!

So in the end I decided to take this home with me. It wasn’t complete, but my brother has made the exact same kit and he had the missing part laying around from his own build of the kit:

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He did an O.K. job with painting the middle part of the canopy, but I will at least look into cleaning it and doing my own attempt at airbrushing it.
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I already purchased all the paint I need, although I still need to find Revell aqua 383.

There is more shopping to be done though:

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The decals are pretty battered up by Father Time!

I will need to get some new decals, and I hope I can find an upgrade set somewhere while I am at it. Maybe I can also see if there is some other stuff to make this build more interesting? I’ve seen some of those custom seat buckles around, or maybe I can even make them myself? It would be a step up from what I am doing normally but scared as I am, I still like to always improve myself!

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The instrument panel with give me a nice opportunity to try some cockpit detailing.

 

That’s the little summary for this week! Maybe I’ll do something like this again next week but until that time I will surely continue updates on the FW-190.

Groetjes, and have a good weekend!

Daniël

Finally back on track

A few days of problems with the airbrush and wrongly thinking I had found the source of the problems has really taken the wind out of my sails. I noticed that this morning as I was finally ready to start some actual work again.

New compressor

In my last blog I attempted to repair my first compressor and failed. So within a month after purchasing the Fengda BD-831 set which includes a BD-135 airbrush and an AS-200 mini-compressor I had to get something else.

I first visited a couple of hardware stores to see if there would be a cheaper alternative to a ‘specialized’ airbrush compressor. The two stores I checked only had more expensive options, so I drove on to Hobbycar again.

I left with a Fengda AS-186. I had already decided it would definitely be something with an air tank because turning the mini-compressor on and off all the time and it still being overheated within half an hour really got me in trouble once I started the camouflage stage of the FW-190 build I am doing. The AS-186 has a 3 liter tank and when it turns on again it doesn’t make much more sound than my airbrush booth.

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Unfortunately I didn’t think about an airbrush holder and the 1/8 2x airbrush hose I needed. But after a second visit to Hobbycar I had another nice addition to my workplace!

This morning I went back to Hobbycar for a third time in two days. I joked to the store owner he should consider getting me my own key by now. When I tried the compressor last night with a bit of water in my airbrush, I noticed the spray didn’t go straight. After all the trouble I had last days it would make sense that either the needle or the nozzle would be damaged so I bought both, and after replacing the needle it seemed better.

After having two longer airbrush sessions today I can say I am really falling in love with this compressor! The only downside from having the thing next to me on the table is that it shakes quite a bit when it has turned on again, and of course a 3 liter tank is empty quite quickly so there’s a Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On. Still, that is really a minor nuisance and at times I didn’t even notice until well after it had turned on again. Probably just needs some getting used to.

I am now also able to adjust the pressure output, which has already come in handy today! Probably essential in getting an acceptable result on the challenging camo I am working on right now.

Back to the FW-190 camouflage

Since I started my re-integration to get back to a 40 hour work week I notice I have had a lot less energy left for model building, which is fine and of course was to be expected. But since I noticed the quality on my B747-8F work wasn’t what I wanted it to be I decided to at this stage wait with doing two builds at the same time like I planned. I’m sure when my energy-levels are back to normal I can pick it up again, but at that time I will hopefully also be back to work completely so I will have less time available for modelling anyway.

As I said in the introduction, I had to get my bearings a bit when starting this project up again.

Today I was able to really get some work done on the camouflage of the FW-190 and I am very curious what you guys think, especially on the mottled camouflage on the sides.

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I didn’t do a lot on the underside, but I painted the sides and front of the wings and although I am happy with the stripes it has left on the front as was supposed to happen, I will have to redo some of the rest of the wing area since I didn’t mask anything off.
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I am quite proud of the wing camouflage! I free handed it and I think it turned out pretty good! I didn’t mask off here so no tight lining here between the different colors.
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Don’t mind about the broken off gun, that happened a while ago directly after the primer stage. The camo on the engine cowlings also needs more work.. it is shaped wrong and is probably too low. I am not sure about the mottling effect.

I did this side first, and after some reading I did most of the other side with a thinner mixture and a lower pressure output on my compressor.

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I think I like this side a little better.. the lower pressure and thinner mixture gave me a little more control which is required for those tiny details.

But even on this side I think I will either have to do a thin layer of the light blue because the effect is too strong, or maybe I will even have to do a complete layer of light blue and start all over again?

I even tried the camouflage on a Spitfire part I had laying around last week, but I am not sure how I like the mottling effect right now and I am hoping you guys can give me some feedback on how it looks.

As always, I am very grateful for all constructive criticism and feedback!

Groetjes,

Dan