That’s The Ticket

Growing up, my dad would always say “that’s the ticket” when he achieved an excited approval. This mornings efforts at the workbench, I feel, warrant that exclamation. And then some. I was pretty active with all five helicopters receiving some due attention. 

The Cobra kicked off the day with some small gains. The NTS was assembled and installed with ease while the main rotor shaft, gun barrels, and gun housing have begun preliminary painting. The helicopter itself travelled out to the garage for a coat of primer. I’m thinking some filler will be required around the canopy tomorrow. Either way, I’m thrilled that this kit is inching along. 

As for the rest… they finally made their way back inside to the workbench. The Eurocopter looks great with only minor gaps that needed filled. The Huey needed filler along the length of its belly and just a tiny bit around the windscreen. The Hind looks pretty decent considering what it looked like in the beginning. It needed a little more sanding but I think I’m good to move on. The Blackhawk needs some love for sure. Some gap issues and a broken door are in store for the next few sit downs. Not huge issues but they are worth noting. 

The Cobra Continues

Little time has been spent at the workbench this week. The Huey, Blackhawk, Eurocopter, and Hind still haven’t made it out of my new spray booth. The Cobra however, made a little progress. All initial sanding is complete and now it’s time for primer to check my work. The nose and engine housing have been attached and I will be installing the canopy later on today. After that I will head out to spray some primer. 

The White Whale(s)

When I first started back building models, I really didn’t have too much of a picky pallet of what I was building. Cost was my biggest concern because I wasn’t very good at this stuff. Why spend a fortune on a kit for it to look like garbage? Now granted, the learning experience is golden, but you can learn the same lessons on a cheaper kit.

Now that I am a little more advanced and have a sizable array of aircraft, I find myself searching for specifics. Finding specific paint schemes and markings can be difficult at times but the vast majority of what we’re looking for are out there. When they are not, we can make do with some spare decals to make it work.

So what about when you want a specific aircraft? That’s sometimes a lot harder of a task to accomplish. When a certain aircraft isn’t available, research goes into what makes that one different from the A, B, C, etcetera variants. Easy modifications I am okay with but what if the aircraft isn’t available at all?

Here we have my white whale list of MUST HAVE kits.  They are at the top of my wish list and I am in constant search of anything available to add one to my stash. Keep in mind that I build strictly in 1/72 scale. Yeah, I’m one of those guys.

C-2 Greyhound

So I know that RVHP Models sells a few different resin kits in my scale. That said, the cheapest that I have seen them is $89.99. To add to that frightening cost is that you need to purchase an E-2 Hawkeye kit to cannibalize the wings and vertical/horizontal stabilizers. The recommended kit is Hasegawa’s, which adds at least another $30.00 to the cost. I will continue to miss that party until I can find a better option.

SR-71B Blackbird

The Blackbird is such an iconic aircraft and many companies have put their spin on it in the past. I am surprised that Hasegawa hasn’t produced the “B” variant with the multitude of special editions that they produce. The way that the rear canopy is situated keeps me from even wanting to attempt a partial scratch build. Maybe in the distant future.

U-2S

Again, I know that there are available options in the old Airfix, Academy, and MPC kits. Been there and built the Airfix and MPC kits. I want the long snout “S” variant. Also, I would like an updated release of any variant with some more details to break up the all black. Some open panels or a highly detailed cockpit would suffice. This is another kit right up Hasegawa’s special edition ally.

B-2 Spirit

Testors put this kit out in the 90’s and I have been trying to get my hands on one even though I have heard they are a pig of a kit. There is a nice PE set out there too to add some detail to a large bird. The other problem is cost. I’m not the only one that wants the B-2 so they go for around $60-$100. Now, I am okay with the lower end of that on a newer kit if one ever comes out. Spending that much on an older kit is not what I am prepared to do. If I heard great things about it then that would be different. I don’t want to pay to be tortured.

 

So those are my most wanted kits as of right now. There are more, of course, but these are the ones that are a little tougher to grasp onto. What are your white whales?

Cobra Day

A quick update for today on the status of the Cobra. It seemed, at times, that I would never get this kit moving along. I have been on midnights this week and feeling quite zombie-ish the last few days so I didn’t quite feel up to a hefty dose of sanding or anything real complicated today. That’s why having multiple builds in various stages pays off sometimes. 

The Cobra was really at the very beginning of the build. Nothing had been assembled prior to today. That all changed. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time with the Cobra today, but it looks like I made some nice progress. As you can see, the fuselage and engine compartment halves were mated and I have clippped the armament to start painting them. The cockpit is empty for now. I will detail it later on after I get the sanding under control. Having said that, it doesn’t look bad at all. I think this build will catch up rather quickly.

Making My Spray Booth

My path took a different direction when I arrived home from vacation. Instead of resuming the helicopters, I got to thinking about my second workbench. My main workbench where all the building goes on has been finalized since my move last year. Where I paint my models has not. It’s been a makeshift spot on a countertop in my garage. Functional, yes. Super efficient and professional, no. So that has been my project this week. 

So how to build it? Well, it was all sort of there already. I rearranged some shelves and created a decent spray booth out of it. The walls were installed this afternoon and all that is left to do is finalize the exhaust fan. I need to figure out how I want to “capture” the excess paint and fumes. I’m not too keen on cutting a hole in my house so I may figure out something internal with some filters.  Another addition will be a clear cover that will drop down to keep the kits safe from any mishap as they dry. Maybe a small shelf too. 


As you can see, the helicopters are “testing” it out. I took my first good look at them since I primed them and I’m surprised how well they look. The Hind has some headway but the Huey, Blackhawk, and Eurocopter will move rather quickly once I resume building. 

Figuring It Out

Approaching this new A-10 build is as much the same as any ordinary build as it is different. The basics are all there but not even looking at the cockpit is a little out of wack for me. The cockpit parts remain on the sprues and will stay there. With the canopy eventually being painted, there will be no need for any visuals beyond that. 


The build-up is turning out to be mindless. Glue and stick. The fuselage halves, wings, and engine nacelles have all been assembled and I will sand them just like any other build. I didn’t add the turbines to the engines because they will be covered in the end. After the fact, I wish that I would have to form a barrier to fill the nacelles. Instead, I stuffed masking tape in each of the nacelles and then proceeded to fill them. I will sand them smooth and even to look like they are covered up. Sanding will be my main focus for the next few days. I would like to get the canopy dry-fitted as well.  For the most part, the build feels pretty simple for the time being. The true work will be in the final painting and weathering details.


An A-10 With A Twist

As I stated in my previous post, I decided that bringing along the helicopters wasn’t the greatest of ideas. That many builds to pack up could have resulted in disaster. Instead of doing all that work and worrying, I opted to bring along a new kit and start from zero. Easy and straightforward with no painting or intricate work involved. Nope. I’m not building a UAV. Another A-10 is in the works. Only this time I have a bit of a twist.  


The boneyard at Davis Monthan Air Force Base has always been a tremendous interest to me and a few months back I got the idea to build an aircraft out of there. Naturally, the A-10 was my go-to. The next questions were what kit to use and how can I pull this off?

Picking a kit wasn’t too difficult of a task. I just needed something that would go together. The detail will be in the weathering and paint so cockpit detailing is a non-factor here. Out of all my inventory, I chose Heller’s 1/72 A-10A Thunderbolt II. It was the least quality kit that I own of the   A-10 so it was perfect. 


Assembly will be pretty simple with nothing needing super attention. The basics of the paint and weathering are in my wheelhouse so I am comfortable with that. The white sealant, however, will need some trial and error. For now I am thinking that with the scale, painting the white on will suffice. Older builds will be my test monkeys.

Other aspects that I would like to create are the markings and environment. I would like to have accurate markings as well as make this a diorama. I think by adding the desert, it won’t look like a weird A-10 sitting on my shelf. There is a lot going on in the future here and I will put this project on hold when I return from vacation. The Helicopters will need to be finished first. I am excited about this project and have lots of research to complete.