Cruise Control 

The weekend came and went with just a little bit of progress being made. Progress is progress so yay me! I really wanted to do more but between taking my son on a hike with his Cub Scout troop on Saturday, his baptism on Sunday, and a root canal on Monday… I’d call it par for the course. I am actually happy with what I did get accomplished. 

The Hs-129 was the only aircraft to sit untouched. The airbrush hasn’t been assembled so I wasn’t able to get that going. The rest of the builds, the Beaufighter and Betty included, all had some work done to them. 

The Ju-86 is ever so close. The trouble areas keep shrinking with each session. I’m down to just the tail section now. The P-40 needs a tiny touch up around the cowling and a small bit of sanding on the port side wing root. The Bf-109 needs a tiny bit of sanding on the underside, just behind the wing. The P-51 is clear to move forward. 

The Beaufighter and Betty are in their infant stages still. Basic preliminary painting has been completed and the interior windows have been installed and masked on the Betty as well. I hope to spend some time on the cockpits tonight and get a good jump on them. 

Two More From WWII

With the five current builds at a safer point in construction, I feel comfortable enough to get started with two more builds. The fact that all that I have been building lately is WWII aircraft didn’t alter my choice at all. Nine of the past ten have been from that era but these next two just had to be attempted.

First up is Hasegawa’s 1/72 Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VI. This kit has been about four years in the making. It’s been on my saved eBay search list for that long and I just acquired this kit a month ago. The build looks great and I can’t wait to get started. This particular Beaufighter calls for American markings which will not be applied. Maybe another time but my first rendition of this aircraft will properly be in British markings. That calls for some aftermarket decals that I need to search for. This should turn into a fun one. 

The next build will be Hasegawa’s 1/72 Mitsubishi G4M1 Type 1 Betty. I’ve really enjoyed building some Japanese aircraft in the past and I’m excited to try a larger example. This build has been waiting in line for about a year now so it was the perfect time to pair it with the Beaufighter.

The kit looks promising. Not a whole lot on the inside but we really won’t see any of that stuff. The outside looks well enough. Raised panel lines aren’t my favorite but certainly not a deal breaker. I think the results will be fantastic. I’m thinking of trying the salt technique again for this build. Some intensive research will be done first to make it look authentic of course. Overall, I think I’ve got two more solid WWII aircraft to add to my shelves. 

We Have Wings

With every build that I do, the moment the wings are attached is when I really start to get anxious. In a good way. It becomes more real at that point. It signifies to me that the hardest work, filling and sanding, is just about over and I am close to the finish line. Last night was just that. 

Before I get ahead of myself here, the elder statesmen of the group had some important work done as well. The Ju-86 received some more sanding and will get another round of primer tonight. Each session is getting smaller and smaller which is a good sign. 

The Hs-129 had its engine nacelles installed and is now officially ready for final paint. That may have to wait until Friday but we’ll see. I’ve had the airbrush broken down and soaking in lacquer thinner since the F-18, so I have a bit of cleaning to do there. 

So back to the P-51, P-40, and Bf-109. All three received their wings last night. All three put up a fight in some capacity. The P-51 was the easiest fit with just a minor adjustment. The P-40 needed some sanding to get a decent fit. The wing roots will need some added attention but nothing too serious. The Bf-109 was THE worst and I don’t recall ever having this problem from my past builds of this kit. That being said, I’m positive that this was my fault in the way that I assembled the wings. I may have botched up the placement of the halves by a fraction leading to this. Nevertheless, I sanded the fuselage down quite a bit more than I wanted to and the Bf-109 has its wings. Remarkably, there won’t be much more to address as far as gaps are concerned. The fit looks pretty good. I did have to add some more filler to the bottom of the air intake. Other than that, all three should move fairly quickly. 

The Workbench Resumes

Ahhh…the weekend. With an extra four hours of sleep today, I am ready to start my day off refreshed with my eyes wide open. Well, after I drink my coffee of course. I really don’t expect to get too much done today. Saturdays are usually busy around the Amateur Airplanes household but I can definitely fit a little project like more sanding in. And that project is seemingly never ending. 

Last night actually saw a little progress develop. The primed airplanes were dutifully inspected with mixed results. The P-40 and Hs-129 are good to go in their own rights. The Hs-129 will transition over to paint this weekend while the P-40 can receive its wings. The P-51, Bf-109, and Ju-86 all had finite blemishes to address. I added some filler and that provides the basis of today’s work. All three should be able to move on after today. Now, tomorrow afternoon should be a busy day at the workbench.


As the week progresses on, I see my workbench efforts become slimmer each day. Since switching over to a new schedule, I am now starting to find my legs and take notice of my limitations. 

I only work Tuesday to Friday now, which is wonderful. The twist is that I am on straight days, 5a-5p. For the last six months I have been on straight midnights so it’s quite a taxing adjustment. Add that to having to get up at 3:10am to take the 55 minute commute and here we are. 

The past few months have certainly brought some changes to the surface around here. Not that they are bad changes, just notable to my usual efforts. This past shake up took a lot less time for me to figure out and I think I learned a lot from the major shutdown that I had this past May. I’m now figuring out that I need to get my workbench started earlier and keep to short sessions. No more power sessions during the work week. It’s irresponsible of me to expect to fit any bench time in when all I have is a few hours at home per day. This will stretch out my builds even longer but that’s perfectly okay. The benefits will show. Let’s not forget that I still have three days off per week! 

Even with my new mentality towards the way that I approach my builds, I was able to sneak a quick session in last night. Just basic sanding on all five builds and a coat of primer. I’ll give them a look tonight and see where I stand but it was a huge confidence boost to get that accomplished. I’m hoping for final paint on the Ju-86 and Hs-129 over the weekend. Fingers crossed. 

Quick Weekend

Well the weekend has come and gone without much activity blowing past my workbench. This afternoon was the first opportunity to attempt any sort of progression whatsoever. It was mainly little work being completed but anything will do right now.

The afternoon kicked off with the Ju-86 and Hs-129 getting some filler applied to their canopies. The Ju-86’s canopy had a terrible fit as you can see in the photograph. I’ve got some sanding to address tomorrow and then I can prime them to see where I stand. It won’t be too long before I can begin final paint.

The P-51 and Bf-109 were the other two to get some attention today. Both kits had their fuselage halves joined and have caught up to the P-40. All three now need the usual sanding of the seams before I can do anything more. That and the wings will see some time at the workbench tomorrow. 

One Down, Two To Go 

It’s back to the grindstone with the Hs-129 and Ju-86 now that the F-18 is all wrapped up. I spent a little time addressing a few needs today but not enough to make a huge dent. What I did get done will set me up real well for my next session. 

The Hs-129 and it’s gun pod kicked off the workbench session today. The pod has been attached and a few small gaps were filled. I also installed the horizontal stabilizers and affixed the engine nacelles. All little steps for now but very soon they will all add up. 

The Ju-86 really didn’t get a whole lot of work done to it. I wanted to get the canopies installed but noticed I wasn’t quite finished with the interior just yet. Part of the horizontal stabilizer was attached and I will need to sand and fill a few areas there. The wings were the big triumph of the day. I think I’m out of the woods with them. I will get some primer on after I can install the canopies. Hopefully that all comes tomorrow.