Lessons learned

I am currently ‘between builds’ and I’ve put up the result of the FW-190 on the ISM Facebook page where it got a whooping 108 likes so far! The feedback is amazing, with someone even saying he had building for 50 years and this was the result he was aiming for! I am very proud to hear that!

I might be cheating a little bit though, because if you haven’t followed this blog and haven’t seen some of the broken off bits, torn decals and the elephant tracks on the wings you could be fooled into thinking this thing is exactly how I wanted it to be. Besides that the ISM group is very friendly and will not be the place where they tell you things suck. I love them for that, and the Friday night Live show has become an instant favorite moment of the week for me. But for some rougher feedback I have joined The Scale Modelers Critique Facebook Group as well on and I might post some more photos there. I have some critique of my own though, and that is what this post is for.

Before moving on to the next project I want to review the last build and see what I can improve the next time. I also want to highlight some things I haven’t tried this time but are still on my list of techniques I want to try.

Things to improve

Most of these are related to basic building discipline.

    1. Wear gloves! After applying primer, paint or varnish it’s a great idea to start wearing latex gloves when handling the model as Darren of The Scale Model Hangar also remarked. I actually started wearing gloves when applying primer, so all that is needed is some more discipline to actually put them on. Otherwise this might happen:
    2. Don’t place fragile parts on the model until you absolutely have to. During this build I made the mistake of gluing on the fuel tank rack before it was actually required, and in a combination with #3 coming up, it led to a very avoidable disaster.IMG_20170806_145846
    3. Avoid placing the model directly on a surface. Especially scraping the body will lead to breaks, like the antenna attachment on the tail of this kit. I have had to reattach that multiple times which was frustrating. When the model was almost complete I rediscovered some pieces of styrofoam that had been used as packing material for the compressor I recently bought. They were perfect to keep the model in the air and relieve some of the stress I put on it during the final parts and I hope I can rely on them for a while.wp-image-1679548378
    4. Be careful once parts are sticking out of the model.. Sometimes it’s unavoidable to attach parts on the body, like the wing cannons on this kit. Sometime around the primer phase one of them broke off though. I didn’t even notice when I did it, but it was just a sloppy lack of attention in the end. I even broke off one of the distinctive antenna’s just before taking the final photos.. You just have to be on your feet all the time when handling a model with this much things sticking out!
    5. Be delicate with the weathering. I tried it once now, and it has been invaluable experience. In my view, trying a thing for the first time makes you vulnerable to overdoing it. But with the experience I gained, I can look at other builders and understand better what they did, and why they did it.DSC00433
    6. Either place the canopy and windscreen and mask them properly, or let them off and mask off the cockpit. The windscreen was damaged because so primer got on it, probably because the masking tape let loose and I failed to correctly replace it. The inside of the cockpit also got primer on it because the temporarily placed canopy didn’t seal off properly. At this time I am tempted to think that not placing the clear parts until rather than masking them off is the cleanest way for me.
    7. Test fitting, really do it! Some gluing mess was avoidable with hindsight. I just was a bit impatient I think, and both with the wheel bay as the engine there is a snowball effect: if the first part doesn’t fit right, the firth part is way out of wack. I was able to fix both of these issues, but it could have been avoided.
    8. Don’t try new things when you can’t take your time.. especially the primer   application is a good example of that.
    9. This is a big thing I have learned: applying brush paint to ‘fill up’ the parts that weren’t airbrushed for whatever reason really leaves a totally different result.wp-image-1101347224
    10. Well, what can I say about the decals.. I think this will always be something that can go wrong. An attention point for me though, is to be more careful with handling the model and removing the weathering once they are on, to avoid tearing them up.

The things that did work

  1. I am happy with most of the weathering, especially on the drop tank and wheel covers.wp-image-918222488
  2. Getting rid of seams went a lot better this time, by sanding it away and by giving the parts more time to dry.
  3. I was able to get rid of a gap after applying the wings on the fuselage, using Revell Plasto which led to wrecking of the Spitfire I started out with.IMG_20170726_133427
  4. I am downright proud of free handing the camouflage, and the mottling effect. I know it’s not perfect when I compare it to the pictures on the box, but I have ideas on how to do better the next time. The gloss coat also looks nice and shiny!wp-image-71328868
  5. The engine really was great to build, even though I ended up covering it up! A good tip I got for the next time though: paint it black and dry brush the metal parts to create more depth.IMG_20170728_145426

Things I want to try next time

No list for this because I’ll just see what comes up mostly.. I haven’t tried pre-shading on this build, and that’s a big thing I still want to try in the future. Also I want to do more with dry brushing.

Now to finish my first translation job for IPMS and then it’s time to continue work on the Boeing 747-8F!



My first finished model! (Revell 03926, Focke Wulf Fw190A-8, A-8/R11 Nightfighter 1/32)

I have to be honest: the closer I got to the finish line, the more I started thinking about the next build. The kit itself has been excellent, but with all the things I have learned during this project I have some less than perfect results. In itself I am fine with that: I made it through even though I knew the result would not be perfect, which is a huge thing for me. I accepted that this was a learning project and kept my head down.

That said, the final days I kind of rushed it. I want to try and apply the things I’ve learned on a new project! But rushing is an especially bad combination when working on a model full of fragile parts, some of which have been broken off earlier.

Before starting on the next project I will however first be making a blog about the things I like and don’t like about my version of this, and the lessons I have learned so far!

Without further ado, the pictures of the end result!










Oh, and don’t mind the makeshift ‘studio’ I improvised for the photos..

As always, I am thankful for feedback!




On its feet!

A really short one, as I want to try and keep posting in a regular interval and there is always activity in my modeling life!

I was able to knock out many of the small jobs still left on the to-do list now that all the repair jobs are out of the way. The FW-190 is standing on its own feet! Or wheels would probably be more accurate.


The styrofoam is still here for the work I still have to do. Hopefully I can relieve some of the force I will still be putting on the model.

Once it is finished I want to make some good quality photos, so no more photos for now with the telephone!


I am really happy to be doing some translation work for IPMS NL. I was going through the ‘MIP’, the club magazine, I noticed they were looking for a translator from Dutch to English. I was immediately interested. I think I have the necessary skills for it, and it involves a subject I really love.

Really excited about this!

That’s all really, just a quick update this time.




Yesterday I had this weird idea that finishing the model would be possible today. Unfortunately, as it goes, I ran into some problems.

First the good news: I did a thin over-spray of the primer damage in the cockpit. Since I will be using the open canopy I am not too worried about the slightly different look and the areas that are not painted.
And I was able to remove the splatter of primer with a bit of sanding and some gloss clear. I have order some more sanders and buffers, from UMP this time. If required I can do some more sanding once I get those in since my finest sanding sponge isn’t that fine..
The left outer cannon has been glued on once again, and the little clear part that isn’t mentioned in the instruction booklet is glued into place.
And today I airbrushed and hand painted all the tiny parts that still needed to get RLM 76 color.

So far so good I guess.. although it was becoming clear that I wouldn’t be finishing the build today, so I am aiming sometime this week depending on how much time I will have.

The fuel tank rack turned out to be problematic. I glued in on way too early and I am not sure why. But the result is not only that it broke off, but because the weight of the body has leaned on it too much it has become impossible to glue on the fuel tank in the ‘conventional’ way.

I first tried to reconstruct the fuel rack, with all the broken off parts. This was the result. Unfortunately it soon became clear it would be impossible to glue the fuel tank on because everything was just too much out of shape.
Plan B: I glued these pieces on the fuel tank rack, hoping I would be able to get it roughly on the rest of the construction.
Now I will have to wait to see how this dries up. Hopefully it will be tight enough because I really don’t want to leave the tank off the model.


So instead of a longer day where I would be able to finish the entire model it looks like it will be another string of short sessions to finish it off.

I am really starting to look forward to continuing the B747-8F and finally putting this thing on display.

Is that the finish line?

Hopefully I can finish this build in the next days! I am even considering taking it with me to the first IPMS meeting I plan to visit. That would be great!

Final repairs.

Before final assembly it is first time to fix the mistakes I made and repair the parts I broke off so far during this build.

The weathering has left some damage, but it’s not too hard to fix.

I’m probably not doing myself a favor by zooming in this much, but I restored this myself and the end result is pretty good. I cut the decal in three pieces because the ‘bar’ used to be twice as wide.
A bit fingerprint on the side and a lot of paint disappeared..

Some more sponge chipping then..


And better executed this time I think!

Also applied a dirt wash on the wheels since I was applying some on the wings anyway.
The red decal came off complete and I have painted that part now. The fingerprint visible here is already covered with some more dirt color. Also visible is another broken off part, which I have hopefully fixed now. I will have to attach wire to it, so it will need to be able to take some weight!
Some more small things I did: 1. Repaired and re-placed the wing cannons. 2. Placed the center cannons. 3. Fixed the cannon cover in place. 4. Placed the first part of the propeller, don’t know what it’s called though!

I don’t know why I haven’t used those nice pieces of styrofoam before! They work brilliantly to keep the body ‘in the air’ and hopefully I can cut down on the number of broken off parts on future models..

More good intentions: avoid direct contact with the table, avoid moving the model and if I really have to move it, use gloves. Hopefully for the coming models I won’t have to do this much repairing.

Starting final assembly

With the weathering and repairing complete it’s time to put things together, and remove the final masking ‘devices’.

I really love seeing the propeller on! It gives me the feeling I am getting near to the end of this build. Some minor weathering done on this too.

It’s finally time to remove the temporary canopy I had placed when I did my first attempt at applying primer. When I was working with the primer I already noticed the canopy had moved letting through some primer, but as far as I could tell the damage wasn’t too bad. Obviously removing the canopy and the final pieces of tape from the windshield still had the potential to be a mood wrecker.

The damage on the rear of the cockpit fortunately was no surprise and I don’t think it will be too difficult to fix it.
That windscreen though.. That is either primer or RLM 76. I will have to look into how to get this off, and if not possible get myself a new part from Revell.

I am grateful as always to any reader with ideas and/or constructive criticism.



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.

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.

I am happy with the look..
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.

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.




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.



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:


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.

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.


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.

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.
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..

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:

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.
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.


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.


I am pretty happy with this!