Making The Best Of The Situation 

Another evening of chickening out from the cold and it’s looking like I will be skunked in the month of February. With three days remaining in the month, the outlook doesn’t look too promising. 

So if I can’t get to the airbrush, I might as well keep on building. I started working on my next four builds last night. I always enjoy the new beginnings of a build. These four did not disappoint me. 

First up is Mister Craft’s 1/72 Su-22M4R. This one is an interesting kit. There are no alignment pegs on any of the parts which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The plastic is thick with good recessed panel lines. I will get some painting done tonight and work on the little bits some more.

Next is a 1/72 Hobby Boss N/AW A-10A Thunderbolt II. This kit looks great so far. There isn’t too much to work with so it should have a quick flow to it. 

The third build is Academy’s1/72 A-10A Thunderbolt II. I know I have been doing a lot of “double” builds lately but I had to do this one. If you don’t already know, the A-10 is my favorite airplane. I’ve been waiting to fit one in and with the N/AW A-10 being quite bare, a loaded up A-10 provides the perfect balance. This kit is a nice one. I have built it a few times prior to this build and don’t remember any issues. The paint scheme will be the Lizard Camouflage scheme. The decals will be none other than the Flying Tigers. The overall goal is to represent a Desert Storm A-10. I am quite enthused about this build. 

Lastly, I thought I would add a little controversy to this set. I chose to go with Academy’s 1/72 F-35A Lightning II. Now, I really do like the F-35. As far as being a suitable replacement for my beloved A-10, I disagree. Nevertheless, I will build this kit without any grudges. Academy did a nice job with this one. There are some fantastic details to it. I can’t wait to really get deep into this one. 

I’m sure I will have to pause with these four when I can finally get to the airbrush. In the meantime I will keep on building. 



Backed Up

My procrastination has become quite an issue lately. It hasn’t warmed up here and the builds are starting to back up. I will bite the bullet and brave the cold to get started on finishing them all.
The Canuck has passed inspection and is ready to go. To avoid another catastrophe, I drilled a hole into the landing gear bay and inserted a dowel rod to hold the airplane. The previous setup with the dowel rod in the exhaust can scared me so I had to secure it a little better.
The Frogfoot is the furthest along with it’s belly already painted. I used a Flat White rattle can last night to get it started. I will get the aircraft masked off tonight so it will be all ready when I finally get to the airbrush.
The Kfir is just collecting dust for now. I drilled a hole in the landing gear bay on this one as well. There was no place to hold the Kfir while I painted it so the drill was the perfect option.
The Me-328’s and the Ta-183 have caught up and are ready for paint. The wings and horizontal stabilizers were put on yesterday. All three had decent size gaps at the wing roots that needed some work. I filled them last night and cleaned them up today. I shot some primer on this afternoon and all looks well. I will get the canopies glued on tonight so the planes will be ready to be painted.
All in all, I have six kits to get painted this week. The Me-328’s and the Canuck are pretty straight forward paint jobs which will be fairly simple. The Ta-183 will have mottled camouflage which won’t be difficult but will take more time at the cold airbrush. The Frogfoot and the Kfir will take the most time with two and three color camouflage schemes. Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me.

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Recovery

The experience of dropping the Canuck and then trying to recover from it has been a little tiresome. The damage was clean and I am very thankful for that. I added strip styrene to give the tail section more support. The reattachment needed just a little sanding and I moved on to the wings. The wing roots needed some extra attention after gluing them back on. I did the best I could and commenced sanding all the dirt nibs from the paint. The tip tanks are missing this time around. One was lost in the crash and some of the reference photos showed some without them, so there won’t be any tip tanks on this Canuck. I very carefully put a dowel rod into one of the exhaust cans and resprayed the flat black with success this time. I’m off tomorrow so I hope to get all three builds airbrushed.
While the Frogfoot and Kfir have been sitting idle, the work on the Me-328’s and Ta-183 have been moving along. The seams have been sanded and I added filler along the belly seams on all three kits. There were no gaps to fill, just uneven seams. I sanded those out today and I will get some primer on this afternoon. It’s looking like these three will be ready to go quite soon. They are the perfect little kits for the in-between moments of a build.

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Let’s Try This Again

The workbench has been dormant this week and for good reason. My wife and I were lucky enough to get away to Fennville, MI to stay at The Kingsley House B&B. We had a great time there enjoying the antique shops and small town appeal. I even picked up a vintage, to me, model kit for a steal at $10.00. It is a 1972 Aurora Skycrane. It was a mail-in kit from Parents Magazine. I won’t open this one up. It will adorn a shelf for display purposes.
Now that I am back from my mini vacation, it’s time to face reality and start the rebuilding of the Canuck. The tail section will be the first project to be addressed. I will add some styrene strips on the inside to add more strength for future mishaps. The wings look like they will be able to be reattached without issue. I will give it a good sanding to smooth out all the imperfections and try the Flat Black again. This time I will do a better job of securing the plane. I will insert a dowel rod into one of the exhaust cans. Hopefully that will do the trick.

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Cold Weather & Plane Crashes

After my torrid pace in January, the model building world is balancing out here in February. It has been quite cold again here so painting the Frogfoot, Canuck, and Kfir has been put on hold. I did try to paint the nose and leading edges of the Canuck with flat black. That proved to be disastrous. I had the plane grasped with an alligator clip on the tail section and upon flipping it to get the underside painted, it dropped. Yep. Dropped. After my heart started beating again, I surveyed the damage. While it’s not a total loss, it isn’t the best of situations. I will need to sand out little dirt nibs that stuck in the wet paint and reattach the wings and tail section. It will need some tlc but it isn’t as bad as it could have been.
While I waited the cold out, I wanted to keep busy. I figured I would start some easier kits to keep going. I dug out three kits from PM Models. New to the workbench is a Focke Wulf Ta-183 Huckebein and two Messerschmitt Me-328’s. The Me-328’s will be built as the V1 and V2 variants. I am a little standoffish with them being PM Models after the Lippisch build last year. So far so good. I have the cockpits finished and the fuselage halves together. They actually look pretty decent. It doesn’t look like they will need to much sanding. They are the perfect time waster until I can get the other three kits painted.

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It’s Go Time

While I am a little disappointed with my output lately, I am happy with the quality. Given the circumstances with the Frogfoot and Canuck, I think I had a pretty easy time fixing both kits. Now that the major work is finished, I can comfortably begin to pick up the pace.
So the Frogfoot is ready to receive its horizontal and vertical stabilizers today. I will fill any gaps if needed and hopefully be ready for paint soon.
The Canuck will get the cockpit completed today so I can affix the canopy before painting. There is no open option with the canopy so it will be closed,
The Kfir is ready for paint. I will give it a once over and make sure I didn’t miss anything. I will try to get the belly painted today.
It feels great to have the two project kits over the hump and on the road to completion. It should be pretty simple from here.

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Slowly Advancing

The sanding party hasn’t totally concluded but the end is near. The process has been steady and consuming. Fortunately I am over the hump with just a few small areas to fix.
The Frogfoot was the worst of the three by far. I believe I have it under control with just a few areas to correct on the intakes. I put the wings on today so I can fill any gaps while I am fixing the intakes. They actually look pretty decent. I don’t think there will be much to address.
The Canuck was not the funnest to fill and sand either. For the most part, it’s ready to move on. The tail section was installed today and it will need some sanding and filling. The wings were installed as well today and they look pretty good. I will get some primer on tonight to see what’s in store for me.
The intakes on the Kfir were installed yesterday and they didn’t have the greatest fit. I sanded and filled them last night and shot some primer on. I added a little more filler today so hopefully I can move on. I went ahead and attached the wings and filled the gaps at the wing roots. There are only minor issues to complete on the Kfir before I can start working on painting it.

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