Dusting Off The Workbench 

Wow!! Has it really been this long since my last post? Well, it’s been that same amount of time since my last sit down at the workbench. While I am not proud of that fact, I do feel energized and excited to resume again. It was this same time last year that I was forced to take a step away so maybe that’s my new schedule. I sure hope not but the summertime seems to be filled to the max. 

Like I said before, I haven’t touched any of the helicopters or the A-10 in months. Work and household projects, along with my wife (Kindergarten Teacher) and kids being out of school don’t leave a lot of energy to fight a model at 10:30 at night. It’s been a great summer and I am certainly not complaining. The nag of wanting to get back to building has never left me and I have continued to build my stash with some detrimental kits over the past couple of months. More on those later!

Last night was a turning point as I scrounged up all but the Blackhawk in a kind of re-meet and greet of sorts. Evaluating all the builds before I picked up where I had so long ago left off. The night was mainly a sand and fill festival but it felt great to have some plastic back in my hands. In all actuality, I left most of them in decent shape. Final paint should be right around the corner. 

That’s The Ticket

Growing up, my dad would always say “that’s the ticket” when he achieved an excited approval. This mornings efforts at the workbench, I feel, warrant that exclamation. And then some. I was pretty active with all five helicopters receiving some due attention. 

The Cobra kicked off the day with some small gains. The NTS was assembled and installed with ease while the main rotor shaft, gun barrels, and gun housing have begun preliminary painting. The helicopter itself travelled out to the garage for a coat of primer. I’m thinking some filler will be required around the canopy tomorrow. Either way, I’m thrilled that this kit is inching along. 

As for the rest… they finally made their way back inside to the workbench. The Eurocopter looks great with only minor gaps that needed filled. The Huey needed filler along the length of its belly and just a tiny bit around the windscreen. The Hind looks pretty decent considering what it looked like in the beginning. It needed a little more sanding but I think I’m good to move on. The Blackhawk needs some love for sure. Some gap issues and a broken door are in store for the next few sit downs. Not huge issues but they are worth noting. 

The Cobra Continues

Little time has been spent at the workbench this week. The Huey, Blackhawk, Eurocopter, and Hind still haven’t made it out of my new spray booth. The Cobra however, made a little progress. All initial sanding is complete and now it’s time for primer to check my work. The nose and engine housing have been attached and I will be installing the canopy later on today. After that I will head out to spray some primer. 

Cobra Day

A quick update for today on the status of the Cobra. It seemed, at times, that I would never get this kit moving along. I have been on midnights this week and feeling quite zombie-ish the last few days so I didn’t quite feel up to a hefty dose of sanding or anything real complicated today. That’s why having multiple builds in various stages pays off sometimes. 

The Cobra was really at the very beginning of the build. Nothing had been assembled prior to today. That all changed. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time with the Cobra today, but it looks like I made some nice progress. As you can see, the fuselage and engine compartment halves were mated and I have clippped the armament to start painting them. The cockpit is empty for now. I will detail it later on after I get the sanding under control. Having said that, it doesn’t look bad at all. I think this build will catch up rather quickly.

Making My Spray Booth

My path took a different direction when I arrived home from vacation. Instead of resuming the helicopters, I got to thinking about my second workbench. My main workbench where all the building goes on has been finalized since my move last year. Where I paint my models has not. It’s been a makeshift spot on a countertop in my garage. Functional, yes. Super efficient and professional, no. So that has been my project this week. 

So how to build it? Well, it was all sort of there already. I rearranged some shelves and created a decent spray booth out of it. The walls were installed this afternoon and all that is left to do is finalize the exhaust fan. I need to figure out how I want to “capture” the excess paint and fumes. I’m not too keen on cutting a hole in my house so I may figure out something internal with some filters.  Another addition will be a clear cover that will drop down to keep the kits safe from any mishap as they dry. Maybe a small shelf too. 

As you can see, the helicopters are “testing” it out. I took my first good look at them since I primed them and I’m surprised how well they look. The Hind has some headway but the Huey, Blackhawk, and Eurocopter will move rather quickly once I resume building. 

Helicopter Update

It’s no secret that I have been struggling to make headway with the helicopter builds. Working six days a week with a two hour combined commute doesn’t provide much stability at the workbench. I am fighting through it and taking whatever I can get. It has taken way longer than I had wanted to but I now have primer applied to the Blackhawk, Hind, Huey, and Eurocopter. That was accomplished a few days before I left for vacation and they remain in my garage at my paint station “drying”. The Cobra remains untouched and waiting for some assembly. My goal is to tackle them with ferocity when I get home as I didn’t bring them along. That’s not to say that I didn’t bring any model along. But more on that tomorrow.

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.