UH-60A Blackhawk

The labor of love is finally complete. This is a build that I initially had thought was going to be quite simple to accomplish. Boy was I wrong. The mistakes are visible and I tried my best to hide them. Overall, I am happy with my results.

Hasegawa bombed on this kit in my opinion. The seams were a drawn out battle that really put a damper on the rest of the build. The issues quite possibly are of my own doing so I will take most of the blame here. The over-spray on the inside of the windows is the result of poor masking. The door braking was my fault as well. So looking at all of my gaffes, I would say I came out ahead here.

As Good As Done

If it weren’t for a nasty cold that has rampaged through my household, I would have accomplished far more than I did today. Unfortunately, it’s my turn for the sniffles which limited my activities for today. Painting the A-10 was completely out of the question so I focused all my efforts on the Blackhawk.

When I last left off, the Blackhawk was prepped for weathering. Instead of doing that first, I decided to perform all the final detail and touch-up painting. After a long nap and letting the paint dry, I went ahead and weathered the helicopter. From there it went out to get one last coat of clear matte so I can finish it up tomorrow. The main rotor is really the only part of final assembly that hasn’t been accomplished. Some of the components were overlooked in preliminary paint causing me to take care of that today. With a short session tomorrow, I should be all finished. Stay tuned!

Risky Business

The Blackhawk is finished with the very few decals needed to be applied. The build is kind of on cruise control from here on out. I will get a coat of clear matte applied sometime tomorrow and begin weathering on Friday. It feels fantastic to finally be at this point in the build after all the hardships faced throughout.

With my airbrush acting aloof, I do not want to attempt a camouflage pattern unassisted. That said, I definitely do not want sharp lines that masking tape will give me. I’ve tried the rolled edge method before and it just didn’t pan out. So I had an idea. Buried deep in my supply drawer were two bottles of liquid mask. Originally, I bought it to mask off smoke rings but never got around to using it. I have since bought a sheet of smoke ring decals. Anyway, the liquid mask was my solution on the upper surfaces and the lower surfaces will get some careful freehand since the belly won’t really be seen in the diorama.

As you can see there are mixed results to my efforts. The bottles are about four years old and performed as such with half being thick and promising and the rest being liquid. I gave it a shot and tested the thinner parts with success. It seems as though it will work. I would like to get out to the airbrush tomorrow night to get the second color applied. That’s the goal at least.

Drab of a Day

Well normally the title would mean exactly that here at Amateur Airplanes. With all of my ups and downs over the past year, it would be a very fitting description. Happily, it means nothing of the sort. I am referring to the two paint colors that were sprayed today. Olive Drab and US Helo Drab. Success!

So both the A-10 and Blackhawk have overcome the little annoying hang-ups and have been airbrushed. The Blackhawk will see the focus shift to itself as the A-10 still requires quite a bit of work. I will get some gloss applied before I head into bed so I can start decals tomorrow. The A-10 may get some masking attempted to prepare for the next color in the camouflage. Either way, it’s closer to completion after todays efforts.

So Close

I fully expected to get more progress accomplished over the weekend but some hangups on the Blackhawk and A-10 led to some more grind work. I am pretty squared away on both fronts and am back to planning my painting strategy. On a positive note, the F-16 and F-15 have both begun preliminary paint. Cockpit work will follow soon.

The work performed on the Blackhawk wasn’t exactly on the Blackhawk itself. It was on the external fuel tanks. The helicopter actually made it out to a final priming and looks good. The fuel tanks were getting finalized when not one, but both cracked along one of the seams. That led to re-gluing, re-filling, re-sanding, and then re-filling. The damage is minor now so it shouldn’t hamper my efforts too much longer.

Had I thought to check the entirety of the engine nacelles on the A-10, I would have had an easier time getting the rear filled properly. It’s a tiny space to get into and after a few rounds of filling and sanding, we are finished. I don’t want to get ahead of myself here but I think it’s time to start painting! The instructions will get a good look one final time and some final research will be looked at to make sure there aren’t anymore scratch-building projects before I fully commit. I’m getting excited to see the results of this venture.

Mi-24 Hind D

The beginning of this build started months ago so the troubles that I had are not fresh in my mind. Maybe that’s a good thing because I remember being disappointed with the quality that Hasegawa provided. It seemed as though every part attached needed some filling and sanding in some capacity. I’ll chalk it up to being just another project build. The end is here so I can’t fuss about what was anymore. I am very happy with my results. Especially the new paint scheme. I think it all turned out well.

My Active Weekend

The Hind was front and center this weekend with all efforts being exhausted to pass it along to the display shelves. I can happily report that we are almost there. With just a few more minor details to take care of, I will be revealing the fruits of my labor tomorrow. Secondary efforts were shared by the A-10 and Blackhawk equally. It was a good sanding session and out to primer for both builds. The A-10 took a step further and I clipped the landing gear and bay doors to get them prepared for painting. I will need to weather these parts extensively so I will work on them early on to get the right look. Also, I noticed that the nose strut is broken with one half missing in action. I have an old Monogram kit that I can “borrow” from for that remedy. Both kits are looking like they will transition over to paint soon and I couldn’t be happier. It’s almost time to start thinking about what’s next. I have two in mind but who knows?

Blackhawk Up

Another breakthrough happened at the workbench last night. The Blackhawk, in all its struggles, finally returned to actually being built. My sanding from the previous night proved to be successful and that allowed me to start adding a few more parts to the fuselage. Basic engine work, the stabilizer, and external fuel tanks were roughly worked on. They will need a good sanding and some primer to see where I stand. Regardless, I’m very grateful to be at this point now. 

The rest of the night was spent adding more filler to the A-10’s wing roots and canopy. Not a whole bunch of excitement there. The Hind was weathered which was exciting. I’m hoping to begin final assembly tonight. 

Keeping My Focus

The workbench is to the point where only small projects are available and I am doing my best to knock them out as they come along. Tonight was a great example of that with all three remaining builds getting some work accomplished. It feels great to be hitting all my daily goals.

The night started off with the Hind heading out to get a coat of clear matte. The weathering will be taken care of tomorrow. In the meantime, I worked on the rotors…again. With the change-up in paint scheme came a change in the rotors. The Russian Hind had me painting the main rotor blades and tail rotor gray. The Polish Hind calls for dark green main rotor blades and Flanker blue for the tail rotor. The transition has been started and some of the detail work was done tonight.

The Blackhawk was about a ten minute project with the top of the windscreen getting sanded and the window to the repaired door being installed. After that, I masked over the window and primed where I sanded. This kit should really start moving soon.

The A-10 was last with the wing roots being sanded some more. The canopy frame also saw some sanding. The whole canopy needs to look like it is wrapped in one piece so I need to smooth it down. The kit traveled back out to primer after that. I am very pleased with my steps so far.

Gaining More Ground

Tonight wasn’t a massive effort at the workbench but every little bit adds up. The A-10’s wings were my main goal and I progressed farther than I had originally planned. Getting the wing roots filled was as far as I thought that I would get. As a bonus, I was able to sand them and get some primer applied. They will need some more work but it’s not as bad as I feared.

While the filler was drying on the A-10, the Blackhawk entered the fray. There was one last gap to fill at the top of the windscreen. I masked everything off and gave it a good layer of filler. Once that is sanded correctly, I should be able to focus on wrapping construction up. Maybe, just maybe, I can begin final paint this weekend.