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?

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. 

What’s A Hobby Shop?

Weird title for my blog right? Dangerously, I got to thinking tonight that it won’t be long before a generation comes along and asks that very question. You see, I am on Spring Break with my family in Branson, Missouri this week. As all my trips to any new city go, I search for any local hobby shops. My searches usually end with nothing more than a Hobby Lobby. This time, however, led me to Branson Hobby Center. An actual brick and mortar hobby shop. It’s main focus is aimed at the RC or train enthusiast but they did have some plastic to look through. I was very pleased to find two Airfix Martlets as well as an Airfix  Blenheim. There were quite a few more that I wanted to purchase but I resisted. Added to the three kits were two bottles of RAF Dark Earth and an AK-47 rubber-band gun and ammo for my son. All for $100.00. 


It felt great to actually step into a store and physically buy my kits instead of searching online or bidding on them. I realize with the internet that the days of the hobby shop are almost over. It’s saddening to witness and contribute to the demise. Nevertheless, I will continue to seek them out every chance that I get.

Mitsubishi G4M1 Type 1, Betty

Well the egg is certainly all over my face on this one. Since about the third post that included any mention of this build, I have for some reason been calling this aircraft by the name of “Peggy”. In actuality, it’s given name by the allied forces was “Betty”. I was completely dumbfounded and quite embarrassed to learn of my mistake while taking a final look through the instruction sheet. I even went back through all of my past posts to correct everything. In my defense, I did have it right the first two posts. From there…who knows?

So here we have the BETTY. I will say it again so I don’t forget, Beeeeeeetty. With typical Hasegawa quality, I think I had a decent time here. Bigger aircraft equal more seams. That was really the only challenging aspect to this build. The interior windows weren’t the greatest of fit but I’ll let that one slide. Decals were minimal and to the point which was nice. 

Weathering Japanese aircraft can go many ways. I was originally going to use the salt method to show severe paint chipping but opted to steer towards the middle of the spectrum. I used a silver Prismacolor pencil to create the chipping and weathered the panel lines like normal. I think I achieved a good balance and I’m happy with the ending. 










Ever So Close

Just a quick update on the Betty for today. I managed to steal about fifteen minutes this morning to get the engines installed and then get the nacelles wedded to the aircraft. I weathered the nacelles last night before bed so I could at least get this far. The propellers were mated to their cones and I will try to get them installed tonight or tomorrow morning. I may even get the photo shoot done tomorrow. We’ll see. 

Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VI

So finally we have the Beaufighter. The one major thing that I have learned from this build is that I absolutely love this aircraft. It was as much a joy to build as it was to learn about. To have it complete is kind of bittersweet because I have to move on now. 

Well, not much to say about the build that I haven’t already covered over the months. Hasegawa really did well. Excellent fitting parts and great decals once they finally released from the backing. Overall one of the better kits in my inventory. Once I finish up my model room and organize my shelves, it will sit next to my two Mosquitoes.