It’s Been A While

This has certainly been my longest “break” since I re-entered the hobby. It’s unfamiliar territory and I feel like I am in recovery mode. The time away has been a good recharge for me. It felt like the only progress that was being accomplished was becoming burdensome in the fight. So I felt it necessary to step away for a bit. In reality, I thought I would take a week or two and be right back. Well here we are…over a month later and I very carefully resumed the four builds that were started back in May. 

This will be a new challenge for me. Slowly and patiently, I plan to resume building the Stuka, Spitfire, Babs, and Avenger. I am not sure how I will approach them yet so I chose an easy task to start in masking the underside of the Spitfire this afternoon. Success! Yay me! I also applied one last application of flat white to the underside of the Avenger. I would like to try and get that masked off tomorrow but I won’t start setting goals just yet. 

The Babs is ready to resume final paint. I will likely group it with the Avenger and Spitfire to make one big paint party. First things first though. I need to clean my airbrush. It was giving me problems the last time around and after a month of sitting in limbo, I’m sure it’s nice and grimy. It’ll get a good soak in thinner tomorrow.

The Stuka never made it to paint and I honestly don’t think it will until the other three are completed. There are a few odds and ends that need to be addressed before I can start paint anyway so I will work on those aspects for the time being. Anything is possible so I won’t exactly count the Stuka out. I’m just trying to stay realistic.

 It’s strange to be in this situation after so many months of building. It was a good break that I absolutely needed. Everything seems foreign to me now which is scary. My routine is abolished and ready to form a new one. I am glad to finally be back in the game again. 

Adversity Bites!

It’s been no secret that I have been overwhelmed and extremely frustrated with my workbench exploits as of late. I do have a great excuse in the house move but it seems like I’ll never find the same success that I am used to and so dearly want back. Am I relegated to one good sit down session a week now? I hope not but I am coming to terms with the fact that it’s going to be that way for a bit longer. 

While I am certainly treading new waters here, the desire to keep building remains and that is the main focus that keeps me from freaking out completely. My workbench remains backed up with the Avenger, Stuka, Spitfire, and Babs in final paint limbo which was partially addressed this morning. More on that later. I also have an F-18 and A-6 on deck to be built next. Add that to the many book reviews from Pen & Sword that I need to do and you can see how I have put myself in a pickle. 

Good news though. I’m hoping I at least poked a hole in the dam with the Avenger, Spitfire, and Babs finally getting some final paint on. The Stuka needs a little more prep work before I get the belly painted. I forgot to assemble the landing gear covers so that’s holding me up for now. Not bad considering the other three have a decent start to final paint. 

I’m slowly coming to terms with my progress lately and today was a great breakthrough at the airbrush. It’s one step at a time from here on out. 

That Wasn’t Supposed To Happen 

Well in an effort to straighten up in my garage to give myself ample space to airbrush, I crashed the Avenger. At least I didn’t drop it this time though. I was removing a dried out roller cover that was a little stubborn and as it let loose, the roller hit the airplane and here we are. The damage was certainly not as bad as I had imagined from a hit that hard. The underside of the fuselage split at the seam. I can deal with that fairly easily and move on. The damage was re-glued last night and I hope to finish it off this afternoon so I can get painting again. 

Making Things Just Right

Building models has a lot of behind the scenes activities that one may not think goes into building a model airplane (or tank, car, etc…). The airbrush, to me, is the biggest subject of most of my non-build related issues. All of you awesome loyal followers out there that are throwing your hands up and asking “what now?!” can keep calm because this is truly not one of my usual issues.

Now that I have a true workspace for both the building and painting sides of the process, I want to make them as efficient and inviting as I possibly can. No more complaining about the hand that has been dealt to me because now I’m the dealer. So the dealer is renovating a bit. 

I wanted to start painting my current four builds this past weekend but my front door and dining room table won out in the end. Today, however saw the Avenger get its underside rattle-canned with flat white. As for the other three kits, well that’s why I’m moving towards an improvement at my airbrushing approach.

The way that my workspace is set up, my air compressor is not directly next to where I actually paint. There is a set of shelves in between leading to the air hose really just being in the way. The solution is a dedicated line that I will run behind the shelves for a much more uniform appearance. Now I do use my air compressor for other projects so to keep me from switching over when I don’t need my airbrush, I have created a functional split so I can keep two different lines hooked up at all times. 

I went to the hardware store today and purchased all my supplies to accomplish my goal. I think it’s a good start to my setup.  I will keep my regulator separate and within sight so I can monitor it as I paint. More upgrades are to come as I plan to run the dedicated airbrush line through conduit for added protection. I also have plans for a sizable spray booth. I have most of the supplies to get all this completed, it’s the time that seems to always fade away though. For now, I am good to go and I plan on giving my new setup its inaugural run tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Back To The Workbench

I am happy to say that the final load of the move has been taken off of the trailer and made its way into the house. I know that I have said that before but this time, it’s for real. We spent the better part of yesterday shopping for furniture so no model building. Two couches, two night stands, and an outdoor iron rocker later and done! We have had that ugly trailer in our driveway for a month now for the vigilant eyes of our covenance watch dogs to get upset with the new neighbors. Now we can all be one happy community. Even better now with the back and forth of moving gone, I have free time again!

So I spent about an hour or so on Friday getting a little farther on all four kits. Just basic work but huge in the morale boosting department. The Avenger, Stuka, and Spitfire saw the final sanding completed and horizontal stabilizers attached. There are a few small areas to address before I can move on to final paint but I should get that started within the next few days.

The Babs is pretty much in the same state as the others. I just needed to fill the seam at the engine cowling. I made the mistake of not noticing that it would be exposed so I filled it up. I will get that sanded this afternoon and it will be all caught up. I have still yet to accomplish any preliminary painting on any of the four so that will also be the focus for today. 

One Day At A Time

It may be taking me an eon to get my current four builds completed but I am very happy to report that I am upon the cusp of moving onto final paint. I spent about fifteen minutes this morning inspecting the primed wing roots. All four looked pretty decent but needed just a tiny bit more filling. I went ahead and applied what I think will be the last of the filler and hopefully I can move forward. Tonight’s goal is to sand what was filled today and attach the horizontal stabilizers.

Slowly Building

Activity around the Amateur Airplanes household continues at a steady pace. My workbench time seems to only be achieved at very minimal moments during the week. This is certainly far from what I am accustomed to and I am obviously fighting to get a grip here. I know that I shouldn’t rush things so I guess I will just have to suck it up for as long as it takes.

The progress may not be coming at a rate that I am used to, but at least it is coming along. I last left off with the wings being attached on all four builds. Tonight proved to be another boost in morale with the sanding and priming of the wing roots. Now is the time that each kit starts to individualize and seperate from each other in terms of progress. The Babs and Stuka look great so far. I should be able to move on with both builds. The Avenger will need a little more sanding but not much. 

The Spitfire is proving to be my challenge here. The fit of the underside of the wing was just puzzling. There was a lack of really anything to attach it to so basically a whole lot of super glue is taking the place of plastic. That situation is handled and the gaps have been filled. I don’t forsee too much more sanding which is always a plus. I’d like to say that I will keep going tomorrow but my track record is failing me lately. So for now I will say that I hope to get a little bit farther in the next few days.