Well, my back is turning a great corner and I am starting to feel normal again. There is still pain but not the knock me down type so I am extremely encouraged at that. More encouraging news is that I knocked out all of my sanding on the F-16 and F-15 this morning. The F-16 took about five minutes to finish up while the F-15 required some more time to accomplish. Aside from all the filler, I noticed two minor areas on the starboard side of the nose section that needed a smidge of sanding. From there, it was out to the garage for some primer to both builds. They are starting to shape up quite well and I need to start paying more attention to the final details now. I think I will be doing closed cockpits with both so I need to work on canopies next. I have them masked off already so they will get a coat of clear gloss to prevent leaks and then some flat black for the interior color. From there, I can officially install them and fill wherever need be. Ordnance and landing gear will be the next big project after that.
The A-10 has been pushed back too many times to count and these past two weeks are no different. While I am not physically ready to plunge into the masking marathon, I did start working on the display base. Last night, my lovely wife picked up some spray adhesive for me so I could begin. I am using an old picture that we had hanging in the kitchen at our old house for a little better of a presentation. The cardboard back is serving as the base. The first application of sand was applied this morning with mixed results. I am hoping the corrugation in the cardboard will go away once the glue dries, otherwise I may need to start over. More sand will be added along with some vegetation. Once the model is on, I will need to add in some anchor lines but I’m thinking the base will be completed soon. It feels good to at least have a start going.
With my back feeling a bit better today, I gathered up the F-16 & F-15 for a Lazy Boy play date. It was nice to be back in the fray with some quality build time. Injuries are a terrible thing to go through and this one is opening my eyes to the reality that I am aging. I don’t view myself as old, but I am starting to notice the annoying signs of it!
So back to the builds. The F-16 was first with the least amount of work to be done. The horizontal stabilizers were the primary focus for the day. They went on successfully with zero issues. The last project was to do a little filling on the vertical stabilizer and the conformal fuel tanks. Both areas should be pretty painless to even out.
The F-15 had a tiny bit more to accomplish today. The vertical stabilizers were nice to see get installed. There were gaps to fill so I chose to wait on affixing the horizontal stabilizers. After that, it was on to some filling. Aside from the stabilizers, the underside of the wing roots needed addressed. I would like to take care of the sanding this evening so I can start fresh tomorrow with some more construction. Regardless, I’m happy with the status of both kits. As soon as I can comfortably sit up, the masking on the A-10 will be first priority. I will be grabbing a few materials for the base tonight and hope to start that soon as well.
I’d love to say that I have made some great progress since my last post but that is the absolute opposite of the truth. To be completely accurate here, zero progress has been achieved. My back kind of regressed quite a bit and it felt like I was back to the beginning of recovery. It’s been strict rest over the weekend and last night was the first time that I could walk without severe pain. With my little window of relief and really not being able to get the F-16 and F-15 out, I opted to search for the next two builds. There have been quite a few kits that I have acquired over the last few months that were screaming at me, but here are the two that I decided on.
First is Academy’s 1/72 F-22 Raptor. This model has been in my stash for about four years and I’m not sure why it hasn’t been built already. I am a big fan of the F-22 and am excited to get moving on this build. Academy put some great effort into the details with the multitude of parts included. There will be a great dedication of time with this build.
Next is a Revell’s 1/72 P-70 Nighthawk. This has been on my want-list for a long time and I was very happy to see the new release of it. My previous searches were for the vintage Revell kit. I never found a good deal on it so, fortunately, I never purchased one. When I saw the recent release from Revell, I paid retail and obtained one. I haven’t dug too deep in this one yet to see how quality of a kit I have here. Hopefully I can get a little father today. This looks like it will be a fun build and the paint will be a new challenge that I am creating for myself. I want to give a little depth so I will be painting different shades of black to achieve that. Some heavy weathering will suit this P-70 well too.
Yesterday was another simple and straight forward sit down with the F-16 & F-15. Both builds had a little bit of sanding completed before heading out for some primer. I chose to wait on filling any portions of the F-16’s CFT’s until after primer. It will be a delicate operation to fill any gaps so I don’t want to add any filler where it isn’t needed. No need to make any hassles for myself there.
The F-15’s wing roots are sanded and primed. They looked pretty good with wet paint on so we’ll see how they look dry. The nose cone was affixed two days ago and all minor gaps were filled yesterday. Provided all looks well today, I think it would be prudent to get the horizontal and vertical stabilizers attached.
The F-16 and F-15 are definitely benefiting from my recent back injury. After sitting in my lazy boy for the better part of the day, I just need to stand and that is the perfect time to get some progress accomplished. The A-10 is lagging with the rest of the masking to be addressed. I don’t think I can comfortably get that finished in a half sit, half lying down position. My back is feeling better every day so I’m looking at a weekend project on the A-10.
Both the F-16 and F-15 hit my goals for the day. The F-16’s wing roots were decent with just a little more sanding and filling. I was confident enough to move forward and attach the conformal fuel tanks. Those also look pretty decent. I do see a few areas that will need some gaps filled but nothing serious.
The F-15 was another happy success today. The CFT’s were passable with just a couple areas to touch up. They weren’t in the way of the wing installation so I proceeded with that project. One side was pretty good and the other looked pretty rough. I let the glue cure and filled the wing roots. There will be a good chunk of sanding to take care of tomorrow before I can check my work with some primer. I’m feeling great about the F-15 & F-16. They’re starting to develop a healthy groove.
Not a whole lot of activity has been whirling around the workbench over the past two days. I threw my back out Sunday night and have essentially been out of commission since. Without a doubt a terrible time for this to happen. Although this has disabled me from basically everything but lying around, I have managed to sneak a few small sessions in here and there.
Basic filling and sanding has been done on the F-15. The fuel pods were filled where needed this morning and sanded this afternoon. You can see in the picture that I missed a gap next to the landing gear bay. That will get addressed tomorrow and maybe the wings and nose cone will get installed as well.
The F-16 could have been a bit farther if not for my error from my last session. I thought the wings were dry when I left the kit last. As it turned out, they weren’t which resulted in both sides to sag downward. Easy enough fix by breaking them loose and re-affixing them. This time I made sure each wing was cured and in the correct position. After that I was clear to fill the gaps in the wing roots. Once the filler had time to set up, I sanded them down and shot some primer on. My work will be checked in the morning and I am hoping to be able to attach the fuel pods. Fingers crossed.
Getting back to the workbench is always a comforting feeling. Especially when the builds are cooperating. It may just be that I am just refreshed and can take on more of a project now. Either way, my hands are active again and that is wonderful!
Usually at the start of the new year I will review the spoils of my previous year. 2017 was a rough year here at Amateur Airplanes. The whole year only saw seven kits finished. Yikes! It’s not a numbers game but it is far and away the least productive year since starting back seven years ago. So we’ll let bygones be bygones and keep moving forward.
To start the day off, I chose to get some work done on the F-15. The nose was sanded and primed with success this morning. I picked it back up this afternoon and affixed the fuel pods to the fuselage. It doesn’t look like I will be given any free passes with this kit and that is certainly okay. Fit issues will be a recurring dream at every step and this was no exception. They are very workable gaps so I am not too concerned.
The F-16 was next up with one very straight forward step. Wings. There isn’t too much to say about putting the wings on so I won’t try. They are affixed and will need some filler in the roots. Nothing serious. The fuel pods will get a test fit tomorrow so I may not even need filler. They might cover the gaps.
The A-10 at least got a start to the masking project this afternoon. There will be some more extensive masking to be done throughout the next few days and then final paint can begin again.