New Beginnings 

Aside from the F-18, I guess you can definitively proclaim that I am on a WWII kick lately. Even further proof to back that theory up are my next three chosen builds. My original plan was to slip a Vietnam era A-6 Intruder into the next set but that will come after these current three newcomers. 

Without further ado, first up is Academy’s 1/72 P-51B Mustang. Although the “D” variant gets the bulk of the attention, I like the earlier ones just the same. This “B” example will be in British colors and markings. I like the Brit skin on the P-51 so I’m excited to see this one through. The kit itself looks great. I’ve built it and the other variants from Academy in the past so I’m quite familiar with this model. I expect a good build out of this one. 

The second kit will be Academy’s 1/72 Messerschmitt Bf109E. Again, I will be bucking the typical markings and using an aftermarket decal set of Romanian markings. It’ll be a fresh Bf109 addition to my shelf. The kit is typical Academy. Fine moulds and craftsmanship. I don’t foresee having any trouble here. 

Lastly, we have Hasegawa’s 1/72 P-40N Warhawk “15,000th Anniversary”. This particular aircraft depicts the 15,000th  P-40 produced by Curtiss. The unique paint job features all of the Allied countries national insignia that flew aircraft made by Curtiss. Now I’m not one to go looney over a novelty scheme such as this, but I think it’ll be a pretty neat build to add a different angle of history to my shelves. 

The kit looks good so far. It’s what you’d expect to see when you open a Hasegawa kit. This will be my first P-40 build from them. It should be pretty smooth. The decals, however, will take some time to apply. All the different insignia come as groups on one decal. I don’t like using that big of decals with so much dead space so I will be trimming each nation out and applying them separately. I don’t want to chance any silvering in all that dead space of the decal.

All in all I think I’ve got a good trio of builds going here. I’d like to get started with preliminary paint tonight but I won’t get ahead of myself. I do have three other builds to finish up. The F-18 will hopefully get weathered tonight and finished up this weekend. The Ju86 and Hs129 still need their wings addressed and then I can move forward on them. A lot of moving parts at the workbench but that’s a good thing. 

Resuming The Builds

Activity has been scarce here at Amateur Airplanes for the past few days now. Some decal work on the F-18 has been the only forward motion to be attempted. Even that ended up being cut short. Not all of the decals were the proper color, leaving them to blend in with the fuselage color. Primarily the lower Light Ghost Gray. I applied all that I possibly could and called it a day. I picked up where I left off this morning by scavenging from the spares box and even cannibalizing from other F-18 kits. Still, many decals were left un-applied. Regardless, I think the basics will suffice. On I will go and finish up.

The Ju-86 and Hs-129 were sanded and had their wings affixed today. The fuselage seams look pretty nice, the wings are another story on both aircraft. The Hs-129’s wings are better off but needed some pre-attachment surgery and now require filler in those areas. The Ju-86 looks decent. I will say that much. They will require some due diligence to complete but I’m up for the task. The gaps on the underside of the wing roots are bigger than I would like so I might add some extra sprue to give the wings more strength. Other than the wing issues, I’m sitting pretty solid. They will get tackled in the next few days so hopefully I can move on by mid-week.

Keeping The Pace

The F-18 remains at the forefront out of the three current builds and I am very happy with the progress, given the recent paint debacle. As I reported yesterday, we’re beyond final paint now and the next step will be the decal application. I’ve got the trusty set from Two Bobs so all should go smoothly. I applied a coat of clear gloss yesterday afternoon before I left for work so it would be all ready for me when I get off this morning. After I drop my kids off at school, it’s gonna be a decal party. 

Now onto the newbies. Both kits are sustaining their momentum and coming along as I hoped for. The cockpits and interiors are mainly finished and the fuselage halves were wedded yesterday. I was able to give both builds a good sand and apply some primer to them. The results were relieving. The Ju-86 has a few areas that still need to be addressed. The Hs-129 has just one longer seam on the underside to take care of. Both kits received filler to the problem areas and I’ll pick up where I left off later today. It’s always nice when you get some softball builds like these.

Strong Start

After a nice session at the workbench I am sitting pretty good on the three active builds. The F-18 was painted for what I hope is the last time this morning. It’s looking pretty good so I think I’m past the problem now. The real progress came with the newcomers.

Both the Ju-86 and Hs-129 are moving along quite well. The interiors have been very active and I am close to joining the fuselage halves on both kits. Both aircraft have their wings assembled as well as engine nacelles. Preliminary paint has been completed and that’s where we stop. Both builds are moving quite fastidiously as you can see. It helps that I don’t need to detail up the cockpits as they will be mainly unseen. I’ll add some seatbelts but that’s about all. I’m well aware that production will slow down once the sanding and filling come into play but I am very grateful for such a solid start. Both kits are shaping up into great builds.

Time For Some New Recruits

With the F-18 going through its growing pains right now, I thought that this would be the most opportunistic time to start some new model kits. The F-18 did make it back out to the airbrush today but I just wasn’t satisfied with the color that I mixed. It looked just a tad too dark for my liking after the paint had dried. I feel I can afford to be picky here since the build itself has been a gem and it’s just a matter of mixing just a slightly lighter color. Accuracy all the way! I will start over in the morning on that front.

But now onto new business. The beginning of May was the last time that I started anything new and my approach to the two that I chose was just to build something that I liked. There was no criteria involved, just build for the love of the subject. So with that, and coming off the Stuka build, I chose two more WWII German aircraft. Both 1/72 Italeri kits, the next two on the workbench are the Junkers Ju-86 D1 and the Henschel HS-129 B3. 

Both kits look great out of the box. I’m always happy to be working with an Italeri kit. Nice quality products. The Ju-86 is the “Vintage” re-release that came out recently. The only vintage feel to it is the boxing and the instructions. It seems like a solid build so far with just the basics getting addressed. I hope to take a deeper dive into it tomorrow.

The HS-129 looks fairly wonderful as well. Just the basics have been accomplished for the moment but I will get more involved alongside the Ju-86. The real allure to this aircraft is the obvious anti-tank gun attached to the belly. Scary. Kind of like a mini AC-130 Spectre. I’m excited to see this kit going full throttle.  

The Tale of the Elderly Paint

It’s no fun when good intentions turn sour on you. I will admit that I have been experiencing some nice build sessions with fantastic results lately. Sooner or later the monkey wrench had to appear right? Well it arrived today to rain on my parade. 

The build had transitioned over to paint a few days ago as I brought it out to the airbrush to get the underside, external stores, and drop tanks taken care of. That went great. I masked everything off last night and resumed painting this afternoon. 

So we’ll travel back a few days when I noticed that I did not have the Dark Ghost Gray needed for the top color. A quick call to my Father to see if he had any revealed that, AHA, he did. Here is where the title comes in. You see, my Dad isn’t the model builder that he once was and the jar of paint he gave me is perhaps as old as I am. Not really but it sure isn’t recent. I figured why not? It mixed up well so I was comfortable with it up to that point. For whatever reason, the paint started to dry as soon as it left my airbrush resulting in a ruined paint job. I will need to sand all the little paint nibs off and then I will mix my own color with reliable paint. Old paint has worked for me in the past so I wasn’t too concerned that it would fail on me. Live and learn.


JU87 G-2 Stuka

Academy did a fantastic job with the Stuka here. I really enjoyed this build a great deal. It helps when you love the subject matter of course. Aside from that, the construction was pleasant and as rewarding as I could ever hope for. My main issue during this build was of my own undertaking. The masking on the glass refused to come off in a normal fashion and had to be removed in hundreds of tiny pieces. It didn’t stop there. With the struggle to remove the tape, inevitable scratches were left as well as some glue residue. I applied some Future to try to remedy the situation with minimal results. It is what it is. I don’t think it takes away from the final piece.

So here is the finished Stuka. I shook it up a bit and added an underside photo as well as one with my watch to try to show the scale a bit. I really try to get these shots for every build that I do but I can never seem to remember to take them. My intentions are good but my mind is a little out there I guess. Hopefully this will be the start of a change.