I have started my two new builds with the usual delaying factor. Time. My biggest complaint and enemy with this hobby is time. Last weekend saw the start of Hasegawa’s 1/72 scale Lightning F Mk.6 along with Fujimi’s MiG-29 Fulcrum. Monday came and the entire project stalled. I have started new hours at work and I cannot get adjusted to them. For the past nine years, I have been on shiftwork. For all who have worked these odd shifts, you realize how hard it is to adjust your everyday patterns. Circumstances have changed in my department leaving a Monday through Friday, 10am-6pm shift available. Luckily enough, I am the senior man and I grabbed the opportunity. Normally I would be up late working on my builds while everyone is sleeping. Now, I am far too sleepy to stay up past 9:00pm. Granted, it has only been a week so I am not too concerned about the adjustment. The benefits of seeing my wife and kids everyday absolutely outweigh the “getting used to it” process.
While certainly not as far as I would like to be, I do have the cockpits finished and the fuselage halves together on both respective builds. I was able to get both airplanes sanded this morning and the first coat of filler on. Hopefully tonight I can get them sanded down and primed, but I won’t get my hopes up. Now that I finally have the weekends off, I’ll just have to engage in some monster build sessions.
The stars finally aligned and I was able to complete the Starfighter. It wasn’t that dramatic, but I sure did take my time to get finished.
This was a great build. Hasegawa continued their high end status with this kit. The build went well when I actually devoted some time to progress. Joining the front fuselage to the back end proved to be a slight issue. Other than that, all went great. The scratch built refueling probe turned out like I had wanted as well. The probe was a little difficult to paint around, but everything worked out.
I, of course, went with the SEA camouflage scheme. I had some trouble with my airbrush clogging up. I ended up having to use a different bottle of paint to solve my issue. The decals that I had wouldn’t work so I dug into my spares and was able to scrounge up what I needed. Luckily, the Vietnam era F-104C didn’t have many markings. They were all pretty common and I have an abundance of common markings.
With the trio of builds now complete, it’s time to look for my next ones.
Meng produced a quality kit in the F-102A (case X). They also recently released a case XX version of the Dagger (I own this kit as well). The X’s represent the Roman numeral system. As for this kit, I enjoyed the detail and ease of the build. There were a few minor fitting issues but nothing to fret over.
I went back and forth on the paint scheme. Meng provides three different options for paint and decals. I very badly wanted to use the SEA camouflage scheme for this build. With the F-104C getting that same scheme, I chose to paint it with Model Masters Aircraft Gray. The decals were another bright spot to this build. Their quality and release time is remarkable.
This kit took a lot longer than it should have to complete. The Lippisch is responsible for most of the delays along with some scheduled overtime at work. Excuses aside, I think the Dagger turned out well.
The difficulty in the Lippisch build mainly stemmed from my inability to keep track of a very important piece and then proceeding to crush the next one. I usually keep all of the intricate parts, finished landing gear, and ordinance in a small container to gaurd them from getting ruined or lost. Unfortunately, I failed to employ this method while building this kit. I figured with the lack of parts, I could keep an easy eye on the whereabouts of them.
Aside from the drama that I created, all went a little better than expected. I have never worked on a PM Models kit before and I was ready for a fight. The fact that it was such a cheap kit (in price, not quality), I was gearing up for a project build. The normal issues came with this build along with a few much needed improvements. I will admit that I had a great time with the Lippisch. Frustration crept in from time to time, but what project doesn’t come with a side of adversity? I am pleased with the result of my work. It’s such an odd little plane and that’s what makes it attractive.
For more on the Lippisch along with other German aircraft, check out this informative link, http://www.luft46.com/lippisch/lip13a.html. Thank you to Pierre Lagace at My Forgotten Hobby for this link.
With all the hard work behind me, I am finally in the finishing stages for all three builds. These three kits have been interesting builds this month. With the many minor issues with the Lippisch, I never thought I would be able to get time for the Starfighter or Dagger.
The Lippisch, itself, is complete. I finished the paint on Monday along with the weathering yesterday. I decided to add a tractor to the cart. When I built Academy’s Me-163, it came with a tractor and trailer that I opted not to build. I went swimming in my spares box and pulled it out. It took about two minutes to cut all the pieces from the sprues and another minute to assemble the main body. I was able to get it painted along with the wheels and shocks. I let the paint cure for a few hours and I painted in the details. I’ll finish up final assembly today and the Lippisch will be done.
The F-102 has been going just as well. I used Model Masters Aircraft Gray to airbrush the final color. I was even able to get the decals on late last night. I’ll spray a coat of flat clear on today and hopefully get it weathered tonight.
The F-104 is the dead weight of this trio. It’s not because it’s been neglected, just because of the paint scheme. I sprayed Model Masters Dark Tan on it the same time I painted the Dagger. With the Dagger and the Lippisch keeping me busy, I just haven’t gotten around to getting some more paint on it. Hopefully today will see me get the second application of the SEA camouflage scheme on. Finalization is a few days away for this one but at least it is going well.
A groove has been established and the three builds have been producing triumphantly. I wouldn’t have expected such a turn around in my fortunes but I sure won’t complain.
I’ll start off with the F-104 Starfighter. Yesterday saw the front and back fuselage halves put together. It took some removing of some internal, nonessential, pieces to get a decent fit. This morning, I was able to get the gap filled where the fuselage halves meet. The wings and the horizontal tail surface were next to install. The wings have a fantastic fit to them. I won’t need to fill any gaps. The last piece to be installed was the in flight fuel probe. First, I had to finish a little more custom work on it. After I marked where to cut the back of the probe, I used a razor saw to finish the shaping. I sanded the cut smooth and even, then proceeded to adhere it to the plane. After the glue dried, I applied some filler to the gaps. The next step is to sand all the filler and spray on some primer.
The F-102 Dagger has been moving fluently as well. I don’t have as much progress to report, but I am still pretty far along. I was able to sand out the filler and install the wings yesterday. Today, I touched up some more gaps and re-scribed the panel lines along the spine. I was also able to mask off the cockpit and get the anti-glare panels painted Flat Black. The wing roots had a decent size gap so I filled both of them. I’ll get this one sanded down tomorrow and mask off the anti-glare panels.
The famed Lippisch is close to being done. I painted the underside and vertical stabilizer yesterday with Model Masters RLM65. I masked it off this morning and applied the second color, Model Master RLM81. The final coat of Model Masters RLM82 will be sprayed tomorrow morning and the build should be completed soon.
With the Lippisch back in action, I hit the ground running yesterday morning. Using the scrap styrene pieces again, I was able to get the bulkhead finished. The canopy proved to be another disaster. After the bulkhead was finished, I commenced fitting the canopy. Light sanding was needed to get a true fit. As I was dry fitting the piece, I heard a “snap”. The snap turned out to be the canopy breaking in half. Two canopies gone. I would like to be able to say that in a miracle moment I found the first canopy. Instead, I opened the third Lippisch kit and grabbed the canopy from it.
The saying, “the third time’s a charm”, is true in this case. I carefully sanded number three down to a pretty decent fit. There were some small gaps but I didn’t want to push it any further. I glued the canopy on and let it dry overnight.
This morning, I lightly sanded the excess glue away and filled the gaps. Later tonight, I will give it another light sand and then shoot some primer on. Tomorrow should bring final paint as long as everything looks good.