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.

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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.