Getting My Paint On

Eventually the stars had to align with the moon while the temperature was at optimal level for whatever. What I am getting at is that I have finally broken through and took my procrastinating butt out to fire up the airbrush. It has been nearly five months since the last time any paint has been sprayed. This also gave me a great opportunity to get a good feel for the new airbrush. It’s a little unconventional, but the Aztek performed pretty well.

So the F-15 and F-16 received their first set of colors while the A-10 only saw the tops of the vertical stabilizers getting painted. It just so happens that I am all out of olive drab so I was held up a bit on the A-10. Round two will hopefully take place tomorrow evening with some freehand camouflage on the F-15 and F-16.

Masking, Masking, and More Masking

Just a quick update today. Not a massive effort this weekend, but I did sit down and make a little headway on the A-10 and the F-15. More time than I anticipated was spent getting these two ready. Both kits are fully masked and ready to join the F-16 at the airbrush. I am hopeful that I can make it out in the next few hours here, but I am a realist and won’t bet the farm on it. My intentions are good, my track record isn’t! We’ll see. I really want to clear up some projects at the workbench so I am motivated at the moment.

Back Problems Can’t Stop Me

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.

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?