Well the posts haven’t been flowing this week but the model building has to an extent. There weren’t any huge breakthroughs but all six builds have progressed a little bit over the week.
So the A-10 is slowly gaining ground with all the masking. I would say I am about 80% done with that project. I will keep chugging along and eventually it will get done. Again, the lack of good reference photographs is hampering me. The underside will be all guesswork of what I think would be covered up.
A positive note on this build is that the base is almost complete. I still need to add some more vegetation though. I will most likely use one of my many built A-10’s as a template to get a rough outline of where the shadows would be. I also need to create some anchor lines soon. Lots to do still!
The F-16 is ready to head out to the airbrush. All the parts were sorted out and everything is accounted for and alligator clipped for final paint. I would like to make it out to the airbrush today or tomorrow but I will most likely wait for the A-10 to catch up and knock them out together.
So the F-15 has had its first taste of final paint. The underside was painted yesterday afternoon and is now ready for some masking and the topside painting to commence. Like the F-16, I will more than likely wait for the A-10 and paint them at the same time.
The F-22 has gone through preliminary paint and just awaits the beginning process of cockpit assembly. With the F-16 & F-15 in final paint stages, I have plenty of time to get this build going.
Alarm bells are already ringing on this build and I have only started on the interior of the aircraft. The instructions are unclear and misleading at the start so I hope that I am doing this correctly. There is a good amount of detail which is a plus. Most of the interior has been assembled already and that leaves me with some touch-up painting before I fit them into the fuselage. It feels great to be further along with this kit.
The Focke Wulf wasn’t really far along at all. The engine was about the only thing that was addressed. It looks done so at least that is out of the way. The inside of the fuselage was painted but the cockpit pieces weren’t. Not quite sure of my logic in that but we all have brain farts right? So the cockpit parts were painted along with the inside of the engine housing. Eventually the housing panels will need to be cut out to open up the engine. I have a decent start and I will try to get the cockpit finished toady.
Do you ever start a project and completely forget about it? Well, I did. While tidying up the shelves next to my workbench, I uncovered this Focke Wulf Ta152H-1 from Dragon under the A-10’s box. This was started sometime late last year and I absolutely spaced it off. I remember wanting to build something WWII German with the F-15 & F-16. This was what I chose and it looks like I have a decent start to it. The engine looks like it is completed and the cockpit looks ready to assemble. This was a good selection that I can’t wait to get more involved with. More to come as I further inspect what I have actually accomplished.
As it turns out, the Wings of Freedom Tour wasn’t completely over. Lucky for me, I live about fifteen miles directly south of the airport. I happened to be in my kitchen loading the dishwasher when I heard the unmistakable roar of engines. We normally have a little crop duster that makes its way around the fields in the area but this was no crop duster. I made it out to the deck in just enough time to see the B-17 and Spitfire fly over first, followed by the B-24 and then the B-25. No TF-51 though. If this was 1940’s Germany, my house and I would be demolished. I’m happy to say that it’s 2017 and I have witnessed a Spitfire in flight. No question a very nice surprise.
Progression was the name of the game here at the Amateur Airplanes workbench yesterday. Really, the entire weekend turned out to be quite a big push in a positive direction. A very pleasant groove has been established over the past week that I will absolutely exploit to its fullest. Doing things the right way pays off tenfold.
Going back to my priorities post a few days ago, I am sticking with that same mantra by putting the Mustang at the forefront. There really wasn’t a whole lot to be done making for a fast session. I fixed the gap in the port side window with a gentle, light sanding. One thousand grit sandpaper was as far as I would attempt and it thankfully solved my dilemma. Touching up the paint that was sanded away was addressed next and the aircraft was put aside to dry. Once the paint had dried, I took a trip out to the garage and applied a coat of clear matte to prepare for weathering today.
Next up was the Beaufighter. Like the Mustang, there wasn’t a whole lot to work on. Sanding was the main event with two seams on the engine nacelles and the observers canopy getting finalized. From there I painted the tires and shot a coat of primer on to check my work. My goal is to get the belly painted within the next day or so.
And now the Betty. Talk about a quick catch up. With a little more hard work, it will be ready to start final paint. The canopy, wing roots, and around the engine nacelles were sanded to, hopefully, perfection. I was encouraged by all that was being accomplished so I kept going by attaching the waist windows and tail canopy. I went ahead and put some primer on to see where we stand. I’m sure I have some more work to do but no doubt, I’m happy with what’s in front of me.
Today didn’t offer much of a progressive standpoint as a whole, but what it did give me was well accepted. The morning was a little fuller than expected with the Mustang receiving top priority.
The decals were started and finished in about thirty five minutes with ease. I’ll let them set up tonight and seal them in tomorrow morning. Weathering and some touching up will be the next steps to address. The tail band needs to be repainted at some point as well. Somewhere along the way I mistook the directions and thought it called for a white tail band. Just as well on this build given all the paint mishaps that I’ve had.
As much as I would like to dive into The Helicopter Project, I’m finding it much wiser to clear my plate a bit first. Even with some free time opening up here and there I am fighting the urge to delve a little deeper. I’m sticking to my guns here and not allowing myself to get out of hand. The Mustang, Betty, and Beaufighter are first priority.
Proof that my approach is working for me, the Mustang has been put through the paces with paint being completed this morning. The past two mornings have been spent at the airbrush finalizing the longest paint job ever! All looks well and I applied a coat of clear gloss tonight to be prepared for decals tomorrow morning.
Next on the progress report is the Beaufighter. There hasn’t been a huge amount of work done but we’re getting there. Engine components were the main attraction today with basics getting attached to the aircraft. Preliminary paint of gear doors and such was accomplished today as well. I need to do some dry fitting on a few parts and some minor assembly on others before we can graduate to paint. This build is treating me quite well.
The Betty is flowing now with its wings attached. The wing roots look pretty good with minimal filler needed. I will give it a good sanding tomorrow and shoot some primer on after that. If all looks perfect, I will get an application of silver applied so I can use the salt technique during final paint.
The Mustang didn’t get painted today but with the progress that was made on the rest of my projects, I am pretty happy with the work completed this morning. It was nice to sit down at my workbench today and just finally sort through and prioritize the Betty, Beaufighter, and The Helicopter Project.
The morning kicked off with the Betty. The engine nacelles/gear bays were sanded and affixed to each wing. I haven’t applied any filler yet, but it will be needed. Some of the glass was installed to my delight. Some filler will be needed in those areas as well but for the most part all looks well. I refrained from attaching the waist blisters until after I know the wing roots are acceptable. That should come later in the week. The main focus now is to get the wings finished and attached.
The Beaufighter saw minimal work done with the canopy getting masked and attached. The aircraft is pretty close to paint worthy as it sits. The engines and engine nacelles need to be addressed before I can shift over. Until then, I will concentrate on the little tasks needed to get there.
The progress achieved on the Betty and Beaufighter became a great motivation for me today. That said, getting all the helicopters on their respective work boards and ready for preliminary paint was even greater of an accomplishment. I am definitely still out of my element but I am learning. Today’s work calmed me down a lot and I feel better about my approach. So preliminary paint will be performed tomorrow and we’ll go from there.