In their each respective capacities, I can now label myself as “into” my current builds. The past couple of days has been spent in various stages of each build. Unfortunately I have been hit head on with a few fit issues to address. Nothing too serious to panic about just yet.
The A-10’s are looking like A-10’s now. They were the first to reveal fit issues. Same problem for both which seems odd given the fact that they are from different manufacturers. The cockpits are attached to the nose wheel bay which then are attached to the interior of the underside of the nose. Both kits would not fit correctly. The Academy kit is worse than the HobbyBoss kit with about a 1/16″ gap to fill. After that problem is behind me I will focus on the fuselage seams on the Academy kit and getting the wings attached to the HobbyBoss kit.
The Su-22 is a strange one. It seems like the instructions were meant for a different kit. They are certainly for a Su-22, just not this one. To start, Mister Craft gives you a two place cockpit to build from. The instructions show a single seat cockpit. When you join the fuselage halves together, you see that something is awfully wrong. Major surgery to both the cockpit and fuselage were required to get even a decent fit. There are still gaps along the belly where the fuselage wouldn’t come together. Another “project” build for me! I will stay calm and take my time with this build.
The F-35 is lagging behind a bit but it is the better of the four so far. I have the weapons and landing gear bays installed. The cockpit is close to being finished with its array of parts. I will spend some time finishing that up this afternoon and get the fuselage halves together.
My workbench has been returning to normal as of late with great returns on the A-10 builds. I haven’t quite made a noticeable dent in the F-35 or Su-22 builds yet but I plan on starting them today. I have painted the necessary parts to get the cockpits, landing gear, and ordinance started.
The A-10’s are well underway with both cockpits finished and ready to be installed. I worked on them last night and shored them up this morning. While the glue set up, I worked on the wings and engine nacelles. I have a fantastic start on both of them. Once the fuselage halves are joined, they should both move pretty quick.
This build was definitely not what I had expected to be confronted with. When I purchased these for my son, I had the idea that he would be able to complete the kit with my supervision. Nope. It was I who assembled the main pieces and he who helped out. Certainly not a bad project to share with my son, I just wanted him to get the feel for building. I think we will stick to snap-tites for a while.
For what it is, I think it turned out pretty cool. He picked the dark blue color and I like it on there. The decals are quite random and just for appearance. It’s “Our Fokker”. As I said before, I did the assembly. My son painted what he could and I had him brush on Future Floor Finish to give it a nice shine. We put it up on the shelf with my builds to display our triumph. He has one more of these kits that I think I will let him build in a few years.
My build with my son slowed down a bit but we are closing in on the end. I finished up the final construction and took him out to paint it. Now, what color would you pick for a Fokker tri-plane? Red, right? Well my five year old son had a different opinion. He wanted dark blue to be the color and I wasn’t going to try to change his mind. After all, it is his airplane. I grabbed a can of Dark Sea Blue from the drawer and he painted his first airplane. I touched up a few spots when he was done but he did a great job.
As for decals, I scrounged up a few to make it “look cool”. It will in no way represent a real life airplane. And that is ok with me. As long as my son is happy, I’m happy.
Building the Kfir was a nice distraction from all the drama supplied from its build mates. Now that it is finally complete, I can breathe a little easier as I start fresh on my new builds. The past month and a half felt like I had to fight for every inch of progress. Hopefully I can piggyback on the Kfir’s success and transfer it to the A-10’s, Su-22, and F-35.
Hasegawa’s Kfir was a delightful kit. There was an annoying amount of flashing to remove at the start but all was well after that was addressed. Well fitting pieces and very little filler highlight this build. The cockpit isn’t bad either. There could have been more detail but for being stock, it does the job.
The paint was the downfall of this build. The low temperatures here really handcuffed me. The IDF scheme has always been a favorite of mine. I think it turned out great and the weathering added a lot to it as well. The decals were impressive. After my last few builds only requiring a handful of decals, the Kfir felt very bountiful. It probably took about as much time as the last few put together.
The overall representation turned out well, I think. I am very happy and certainly relieved to be done. I will waste no time at all moving on.
Thankfully, I can close the chapter on the Frogfoot. It’s not that it was a bad build, it just drug on for far too long. The last set of builds, in general, took far too much out of me to be pleased with my timeframe. I know that I will hit a few potholes along the way but I fell into a crater with these. The bright side is that the cold is being abolished and the ship should right itself soon. I am still excited to build so my spirit isn’t broken. Hobby Craft may be my new nemesis for the year. The plan will be to strategically avoid them for quite a while.
All in all, I think it turned out well. The amount of filler in this aircraft is vast. There is so much in the back of the airplane that it very nearly threw the balance off. In fact, I had trouble keeping it off its tail while I photographed it. To put it in perspective, from the tip of the nose to the beginning of the cockpit is crammed full of lead weight. Zero room was left to fit any more and I thought it would be more than enough.
Final assembly was a surprising breeze. I am very impressed with the tremendous amount of ordinance this jet can carry. The decals are few and far between. I would have liked to see more, but you get what you pay for. It took all of three minutes or so to apply all the decals. The weathering went well. I was very pleased with the way the clear turned out. I was a little skeptical that it would come out as a semi-gloss instead of a matte finish. Luckily I was wrong.
It has certainly been a tough six weeks at my workbench. The Kfir is almost done and then I can move past all the problems and focus on my next four kits. The issues are certainly not welcome, but without them I wouldn’t appreciate the end result.
I have finally moved forward with the Frogfoot and Kfir builds getting them to the airbrush. The Kfir needs one last round of pale green to be finished with paint. The Frogfoot is ready for decals. I will get those on today and start weathering tomorrow. The drama is almost over!
With a few of my work boards open, I transferred my new A-10 builds to them to get started with a little painting. I will get the ordinance, cockpit, and landing gear parts painted so I can get going on the building aspect.
My son and I are still plugging away on the Fokker. I would think it will be ready for him to paint by the weekend. I need to dig out some decals from my spares box to add a little more flare to it.