Knocking Them Out

I am happy to say that the MiG has passed on to final paint. All the seams looked good after yesterdays priming. The belly has been sprayed with a coat of flat black along with the external fuel tanks. Tomorrow will be a mega airbrush session. The P-40 will finally get it’s main color and I will get the Tempest started. The MiG will get masked off in the morning and get it’s first of two top colors applied.
The F-14, I have decided, will more than likely wait until the other three are completed. I may be able to devote some time while the three are drying. I still have a rather large to-do list for the other kits. I won’t be too upset if I can’t make any progress. Getting the P-40, Tempest, and Mig-15 completed this week will be huge. That will raise my total to thirty-seven leaving just thirteen left to go.

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Changing Gears

With only four months to complete seventeen more builds, I need to find a higher gear. These twelve hour work days don’t leave much time for building , but no excuses. A little bit whenever I can fit it in and I should be fine.
The P-40 is ready for it’s olive drab skin to get airbrushed on. I masked the belly off two nights ago and I just need to make some airbrush time. I need to make a template for the basic outline of the nose art so I can stencil it on. I will then paint the details by hand. I might try to accomplish that task tonight.
The Tempest is in the same boat. Ready for the airbrush. I should be able to knock this one out quick. The rest is pretty simple from here.
The MiG-15 is gaining speed with the seams filled and sanded. I attached the wings and it will get a coat of primer tonight. I think I should be able to move on to final paint tomorrow. There are a few miscellaneous parts that still need to be affixed to the fuselage that I will attend to tonight. The second time around is proving to be as good as the first with this kit.
The F-14, I am sad to say, is once again dormant. At least the other three are moving along. I would feel worse if none of them were progressing. I have some off days this week that I can make some extra time to get moving on this one. It’s a pretty detailed kit that is going to be needy.

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Going For 50

I have been sitting here at work, flipping through my photos on my iPad. There is a separate album titled “models”. After each build, I put the photographs in this folder and generally forget about them. Looking at all my past builds was a fun reminder of how much I enjoy this hobby. Even with the frustrating builds, this is the greatest hobby (my own opinion, of course).
Reminiscing also brought with it a personal challenge. When I finished the slideshow of aircraft, I decided to go back and count my builds in 2014. My faithful followers might remember that I built twenty-five kits last year. A respectable amount. This year has been bountiful with thirty-three completed builds so far this year. After my current set of builds, I will be at thirty-seven when I get them finished. Thirteen more to reach fifty. And that is my challenge to myself. Fifty builds at the end of 2014. My average is four a month. If I continued that pace, I would be two shy with forty-eight builds. The challenge has been accepted and now it’s time to pick up the tempo. Below is a full list of my 2014 builds.

1. F-8E Crusader
2. Focke Wulf FW-190-D
3. F7F-3P Tigercat
4. A-37B Dragonfly
5. RA-5C Vigilante
6. Lippisch P.13a
7. F-102A Delta Dart
8. F-104C Starfighter
9. Lightning F Mk.6
10. Ju-87 D-5 Stuka
11. MiG-29 Fulcrum
12. T-6G Texan
13. Stearman PT-13D Kaydet
14. A6M5c Zero (Japanese)
15. A6M5c Zero (American)
16. TBM-3 Avenger
17. MQ-9 Reaper
18. Saab J35J Draken
19. Sepecat Jaguar GR.1
20. X-47B
21. A-4E Skyhawk
22. F-16C Fighting Falcon
23. F-16I Sufa
24. F-89J Scorpion
25. F-84E Thunderjet
26. Mirage F.1c
27. F4U-1 Corsair
28. P-39Q Airacobra
29. F2H-3 Banshee
30. SR-71A Blackbird
31. YA-10A Thunderbolt II
32. F11F-1 Tiger
33. A-6E Intruder

Quick Turnaround

After the bad luck I had building the F-11 and YA-10, my fortunes have turned favorably with this group of builds. The P-40 is sitting in pole position with the first stage of paint completed. I was able to get the belly sprayed yesterday afternoon. I will mask it off tonight for final paint. I plan on hand painting the nose art on this kit so there will be a slight setback while I do that. The ease of the build more than compensates for that.
The Tempest is in a close second. The wing roots needed minor filling and sanding. That was completed yesterday with a coat of primer on last night. I will try to get the belly painted tonight, but it doesn’t look hopeful. Again, another smooth build from Academy.
The MiG-15 saw a leap in progress yesterday as well. The cockpit was finished and installed. The fuselage halves are together and awaiting the seams to be sanded. There will be some filling to do, but nothing out of the ordinary. This kit could thaw my heart for Airfix a little.
The F-14 is in the same place as before. With the other three moving along so fluidly, I haven’t had a second to crack it open and start it. Maybe three kits is my limit. I’ll have time when the other kits are painted and drying.

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A-6E Intruder

On February 2, 1991, Lieutenant Commander Barry T. Cooke and Lieutenant Junior Grade Patrick K. Connor were catapulted from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. They were twenty-nine miles north east off the coast of Kuwait City when AAA fire brought them down. Neither Cooke (pilot) or Connor (navigator/bombardier) survived the crash. This build is dedicated to them.
Originally, I wasn’t too enthused about how this kit was going. The canopy issue was not what I needed to deal with at the end. Although it was frustrating, it turned out better than I thought it would. Opening the canopy up required some detail inside the cockpit. I had to scrounge around to find some parts to add and I think it turned out well.
The Starfighter Decals were great to apply. They don’t handle to well to clear matte so I might try some Future next time around. As for weathering, I tried to get this Intruder as filthy as I could. I don’t like clean Intruders. To me, there is just something about a grimy Intruder that peaks my interest. Overall it was an ok build. The finish turned it around for me.

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If Three is a Crowd, What Does Four Make?

The decals are on the Intruder and I gave it a good coat of clear matte. While I am in the dormant stages of the final building, I am working on my new builds. I previously started the Tempest and Warhawk on my camping trip. They are getting pretty far along with both kits getting their wings on last night. They have been great builds so far. It’s nice to burn up my down time from other builds on kits like these.
The third kit in this set is Hasegawa’s 1/72 F-14D “Vandy 1″. Who doesn’t like the black Tomcat? It looks great and I am excited to get deep into this one. Open the box and you will find a quality kit. Included with the model are photo etched parts. I don’t tend to do well with them but I am going to give it a try. The only thing I have done to this kit was open the box up and inspect it. I have quite a ways to go.
I have decided to step up my building quota and add a fourth. I could’t decide between the F-14 and Airfix’s MiG-15. To solve the dilemma, I figured why not build both? So the MiG-15 is my fourth build. I know that I am anti-Airfix but I have built this kit before and I don’t recall it being bad. The cockpit parts are painted and are just waiting to be assembled. My hope is to get that done this evening.

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Flight of the Intruder….Almost

I couldn’t build an Intruder without referencing the great 80’s film “Flight of the Intruder”. I actually watched this movie to get some references on this build. There are great cockpit shots that give you a look at all the bits and pieces inside.
Well, I finally painted the A-6 yesterday afternoon. I sprayed it late last night with clear gloss and now it is all ready for the decals. I chose to ditch the stock decals and go with a set of Starfighter Decals. I am new to this company so we will see how they go. They sure look good on the sheet.
Everything else to this build is finished up except for the canopy. It was all done until I started to dry-fit it. It was almost like it was from a different kit or something. Being this far in, I didn’t want to get too invasive to fix the issue. Instead of risking any damage to the fuselage, I sawed the canopy in half to make it in the open position. The wind screen will need some more work once I get it on the airplane, but it will be a lot less than if I hadn’t have made the cut.
This has been another dragged out build. Thankfully, the end is very near. I am off for the next three days so I see no reason I can’t get done by tomorrow.

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