The Tiger and More

With the Blackbird out of the way, I can focus on getting the Tiger done. The nose went on last night, followed by a generous application of filler. There will be plenty of sanding and shaping the nose section from here. I was also able to get the wings attached last night as well. There were some minor gaps at the wing roots that I filled. Once I finish the nose, this one should go quickly.
I also chose, and started, my next two builds last night. The first one is Matchbox’s A-10A. This is an old kit so I will have a little more patience with it. I expect some issues to arise. The first issue already has surfaced before starting. The decals are unusable, leaving me to scan and print a new set. Everything else looks ok so far.
The second kit is Hasegawa’s A-6E Intruder. It looks good in the box. The cockpit could use a lot more detail. I will do a makeover on it and all will be well. The canopy is a bit of a disappointment. It comes in two pieces for some reason. I will have to glue the pieces together and carefully sand the seam without ruining the rest of the canopy. There are some challenges with this kit, but the rest should go well.

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SR-71A Blackbird

There has been much relief in my life the past few days. The whirlwind of moving and then unpacking is enough to take a time-out and detox for a few weeks. With that not being possible, I must keep moving forward.
The SR-71 has been teetering on completion for far too long. The kit itself was simple without the loss of quality. There are plenty of details with room to add your own touches. Seat belts and the extra detailing to the exhaust cans was all that I added. Construction had a great fluidity to it. From start to finish, time was my only enemy. A week should have been more than enough time to finish. I should have been done a lot sooner, but that is okay. It got done and that is what matters.
Weathering went a little different this time around. A black skin doesn’t provide a good palette for black pastel to show up on. In this case, I used dark gray pastels to go over the panel lines. It gives it a subtle change to break up the all black. I can finally put this one up on the shelf.

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Back in the Fray

Now that the move is behind me, it’s time for life to become normal again. I am slowly working towards completing the Blackbird. I am thoroughly disappointed in the lack of progress with so little remaining. The decals were applied two nights ago and I was able to get the weathering completed the next day. Final assembly is almost complete with only the canopies left to affix. I don’t foresee that taking more than a few minutes to accomplish and then I will be finished. Tonight should see the first flight of this Blackbird.
The Tiger remains neglected. I hope to attack the nose tonight or tomorrow. I have the next four days off to contemplate my strategies for recovery. I don’t think it will be as bad as I’m leading it on to be. At least that’s what I am hoping for. The wings might make it on tonight as well. They look pretty straight forward with no visible complications.
Also on tonight’s agenda is selecting two more kits. I have a few in mind that I have been wanting to get to. I may do some A-10 builds. The YF-23, MiG-15, and B-1 are also pulling at me to get built. Maybe a P-47 or a Tornado? Any suggestions?

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I’m Not Playing Horseshoes or Hand Grenades Here

As close as I have come to finishing one final build at my home, I am left a little disappointed to not be able to complete the SR-71. I did get one last session at the airbrush, getting the final paint job done. Moving started at 7:30am and finally ended at 5:30pm. Moving couches and armoires doesn’t leave much energy to finish a kit so I bowed out and brought the Blackbird and Tiger to my new residence. It was a good run and I thought for sure I would finish. With unpacking and settllng in, I don’t expect too many gains in the next couple days. Life and responsibility win again.

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Final Days at Home

The last time I moved was in 2006. I was five years away from re-starting this addictive hobby. We moved from a tiny one bedroom apartment to a 1,200 square foot home. My wife was pregnant with my daughter at the time so I did the bulk of the moving. Not so bad. Eight years later and yikes! We have amassed so much stuff. There has been a constant flow of packing, trashing, and transporting the past few days. The fire is under control and there isn’t much left to do. With two days left here, just the major stuff remains. More importantly, all models have made the transition safely. Not one broken piece!
In all the mayhem, building still resumes. The SR-71 needs some minor sanding on the engine nacelles where they required some filler. Other than that, I will mask the canopy off and get it painted tonight or tomorrow. This has been a straight forward build. The bigger fuselage threw me off a little while I was putting the halves together. I wouldn’t necessarily consider this one to be a “huge” plane. Compared to what I have been building lately, it’s more of a challenge.
The F-11 has hit it’s first speed bump. The nose has been cut off where the instructions advised me to. The instructions were either incorrect or the resin nose is too slim. I will need to figure out a solution before I proceed. I think I will affix the nose a little farther out and fill the gap so I have a little more room to taper when I inevitably have to sand. Bummer….yes. Challenge accepted. The rest of the kit looks pretty good. I sanded the seams on the fuselage and I will get them primed tonight. I think I can officially count this one out for a weekend finish.

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Right On Track

My one week goal is still on track for the Blackbird. I might even get the F-11 done by then as well. The Blackbird cockpit and landing gear have been finished and now it’s time to focus on the huge fuselage halves. I didn’t add the detail like I originally wanted to. The fit of the fuselage worries me enough not to add any more for now. I may do some touching up when the two halves come together. At least I will know what room I have to work with then. I did add ejection handles to the seats for a little more detail.
The Tiger is surprising me with its ease so far. It’s cockpit is finished and ready to be installed. I’ll get the fuselage halves together today and maybe get the nose cut off tonight. The resin nose looks pretty easy to put on. It will be a straight cut down from the edge of the wind screen.the way it’s looking, I might get this one done by the end of the week.

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Details

The SR-71 is underway and I am taking my time with it. With the all flat black skin making for a challenge in the weathering department, I have chosen some areas to add some extra detail to. One area are the exhaust cans. I sprayed the insides with flat white yesterday and used my pastels to detail them. I used shades of brown and black to dirty them up. The cockpit and landing gear are some other areas that i will exploit for more detail. My goal for today is to address those two areas. Everything has been painted and is ready for assembly and detailing.
I haven’t focused too much on the Tiger yet. I clipped the parts from the sprues and did a little painting. I’ll put the cockpit together today and go from there. I’ll also try to get the external fuel tanks sanded and primed. I’m not going to get into a huge rush for progress on this one. Any progress at all will be a bonus.

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