Birthdays and Model Building

Getting older isn’t ever the greatest of events. To make that disaster a little easier to swallow, we get distracted with presents! Yay! So for my 38th birthday this year, my wife and kids got me a fabulous gift.

When my Badger airbrush finally went kaput last year, I was left with my hands in the air scrambling to find a solution so I could finish up some painting. My Dad’s airbrush served as a loaner until I purchased my Aztek. That experience led me to the conclusion that I needed a two airbrush workbench. That conclusion came to fruition with the Iwata Neo. The trigger style airbrush has been debated, and going against all negative feedback that I have read about them, I bought one. I haven’t had a chance to test it out yet but it feels more natural with the trigger. I am really excited to get some paint flowing through it.

So with another airbrush added to the workbench, I needed to add another air line for easy access to both guns. That was easy enough after a trip to Menards for some supplies. With a “T’ and two shut-off valves, we are all set.

The F-15 was back on the workbench with the racks getting their filler. It was easier than I had originally thought so I am hoping the rest will be the same. I will give it a delicate sanding and evaluate if I need to add anymore filler. After I get past this hiccup, I can finish up final assembly.

With the F-15 in repair, the F-16 saw some weathering get finished. Since this is a Tiger Meet scheme, I kept it relatively clean. My next steps are to get the various blisters painted and affixed. Final assembly is right around the corner.

Making Things Just Right

Building models has a lot of behind the scenes activities that one may not think goes into building a model airplane (or tank, car, etc…). The airbrush, to me, is the biggest subject of most of my non-build related issues. All of you awesome loyal followers out there that are throwing your hands up and asking “what now?!” can keep calm because this is truly not one of my usual issues.

Now that I have a true workspace for both the building and painting sides of the process, I want to make them as efficient and inviting as I possibly can. No more complaining about the hand that has been dealt to me because now I’m the dealer. So the dealer is renovating a bit. 

I wanted to start painting my current four builds this past weekend but my front door and dining room table won out in the end. Today, however saw the Avenger get its underside rattle-canned with flat white. As for the other three kits, well that’s why I’m moving towards an improvement at my airbrushing approach.

The way that my workspace is set up, my air compressor is not directly next to where I actually paint. There is a set of shelves in between leading to the air hose really just being in the way. The solution is a dedicated line that I will run behind the shelves for a much more uniform appearance. Now I do use my air compressor for other projects so to keep me from switching over when I don’t need my airbrush, I have created a functional split so I can keep two different lines hooked up at all times. 

I went to the hardware store today and purchased all my supplies to accomplish my goal. I think it’s a good start to my setup.  I will keep my regulator separate and within sight so I can monitor it as I paint. More upgrades are to come as I plan to run the dedicated airbrush line through conduit for added protection. I also have plans for a sizable spray booth. I have most of the supplies to get all this completed, it’s the time that seems to always fade away though. For now, I am good to go and I plan on giving my new setup its inaugural run tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes.