Sunday, November 12, 2017

Easily distracted - Lockheed Seastar

As mentioned in the last entry, my next aircraft was to be the Airfix Hurricane. I only have one other aircraft in the "stash" and that is a very short run Sword Lockheed Seastar. I bought this when I was on a roll with US Navy trainers - having made a T-2 Buckeye and a T-45.

However, before buying the Hurricane, I had a look at the Sword kit and thought - no location pins, bits of resin, lots of photo-etch(PE). I can leave this one until later.

I must have had a brainstorm! I have had to give another couple of coats of yellow to the Corvette and then sand some bumpy bits down so I couldn't carry on with that. (So much for me finishing it today and getting on with the railroad tomorrow). As I was in kit building mode, I thought about the Hurricane but then said "Why not. The Seastar can't be any more difficult than resin Fairey Gannet, which I finished successfully some years ago". So, out came the Sword kit and off I went.

A nice looking plane and in white and international orange. 

First things first and the cockpits have to be built. There is quite a bit of PE in the cockpit. Fortunately, I have an Etch-mate PE folding tool and some good Zap-A-Gap CA glue. So, in my new slow and careful modelling mood, I worked slowly through.  Then the carpet monster came into play. I made up the two control panels. Both are a sandwich of a plastic back, a PE black layer for the dial faces and a PE outer layer for the panel surrounds. I got as far as gluing on the black layer for both panels and was waiting for the CA to go off. After painting the tub of the cockpit and the resin bang seats, I couldn't find one of the panels. I even asked SWMBO to have a look for me but no luck.

I used the black panel layer as a pattern and cut a new styrene backing, and, one would have thought, I painted the face black to imitate the missing PE. No, I forgot that stage so having glued the panel on, I had to paint in the tiny dials with black paint. I went for dinner. Came back an hour later and, in making the front undercarriage bay, dropped a part and went looking for it. Not only did I find the dropped part but also the panel from previous. The carpet monster was having fun with me by hiding it earlier but letting me have it back, eventually. I had to cut the front PE of the new styrene backing and put it all back together.

This is where I am at the moment. 

(you can click on any image for a slide show)

After that little episode, I began to look at moving on. The cockpits fit into the fuselage but, true to a short run kit, there is just a little bump to align everything. Added to this is that the front cockpit is glued to the front undercarriage bay which means, I am sure you can tell, lots of opportunities to fit it in the wrong place! 

As it was nearly eight pm, I decided to write up the blog and leave the kit until I am fresh tomorrow morning.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Spitfire Mk VI finished and the Corvette on the way

I had a burst of enthusiasm yesterday and finally got the Italeri Spitfire Mk. VI finished. It is straight out of the box, except for one mishap, as usual. I put the decals on the underwings, painted the yellow  leading edges and then added the red patches over the gun ports (which were supplied as decals. In trying to get them to conform, I dosed them with Microsol. Unfortunately,  I touched one of the patches before it was dry and it came off on my finger. The only solution was to paint all four as mired paint wouldn't match the decals. I masked off the yellow stripes and did some of the painting. When removing the masking, the RAF roundel on one underwing came apart with the tape.

Fortunately, Hannants sell a decal sheet of the exact ones I needed. It was £3.05 with free delivery and came within 2 days. Well done Hannants. So, I repainted the underwing decal areas and replaced the decals. All that was left to do was to fix the undercarriage and propellor.

As usual, I had a small (ha!) problem with the propellor. It has a four bladed prop but the only boss that I could find the sprues was a three bladed one. Where the correct part had gone is a mystery. I sanded off the routing slots for the three bales and managed to fit four around it. You wouldn't know.

Last two jobs were to give the model a coat of flat varnish and add the canopy. I decided to have the canopy closed.

(click on any image for a slide show)

Now that this is finished, I intend to complete the Revell Corvette C7.R. Then, it is back to the railroad for a couple of weeks. I have already purchased the next aircraft kit - an Airfix Mk. I Hawker Hurricane from the Battle of Britain. 

I need to get the Corvette finished. It is quite an easy kit building I have all of the chassis completed.

I have also sprayed the bodywork with the Zero Paints Corvette yellow.  Even though the plastic was yellow, I did give everything a coat of white primer as I find that yellow needs a white background. 

(I have just noticed, from the photo, that I have missed painting the rear view mirrors yellow!)

I should get this finished tomorrow, and apply the decals (lots of them) over the next few days.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Next Up - Revell CorvetteC7.R

I fancied this when I first saw the Hiroboy had the correct yellow. That always gets my interest.Although, I must say that I don't go much for Japanese cars at all.

OK,so there are two variants of this. Firstly, there is the Revell-Monogram version:

and then there is the Revell Germany version (which I have):

The only differences that I can see are:

  • The German body is moulded in yellow plastic whilst the US version is moulded in white
  • The US instructions are the usual Revell type whilst the German version is is full colour.
  • the box art on the US version says Level 4 whilst the German version says Level3.
The instructions are really good. See the front and back cover:

I have started on the kit. First off, so much of the interior is a basic black (maybe satin or gloss but black nonetheless) so I shot as much as I could with my trusty Vallejo polyurethane black primer.  I then sprayed the engine parts with gun metal. The parts fit very well so far. 

Here is where I am:

There is a distinct lack of suspension parts and the wheels are fixed on using two solid axles across the chassis. However, once the interior pod is fitted, none of this shows. I think that this is going to be a fun build as there aren't all the little bits of body work that need individual painting as there was on theLaFerrari. The yellow will really stand out as well.

LaFerrari sort of finished

The Tamiya LaFerrari is a fantastic kit and worth every penny of £50.00. However, there are many possibilities of making errors and I hit every one of them. None of the errors are Tamiya's fault as the kit goes together brilliantly. The problems come from completing a very smart model and giving it the pristine finish that it deserves.

The problem, for me, always revolves around using a special paint for the finish as I find that there is always some touching up to do. I use Zero Paints for my car colours as they produce the exact shades required. This means that this Ferrari is painted in Zero Paints "Rosso Corsa 322". Where the real problem comes from is that you cannot brush paint with these paints so any touch up is nigh on impossible given the way that I seem to work (sad smile). The other problem comes from the use of Zero Paints 2K Clear coat which is a two-pack varnish. This requires mixing the varnish, thinners and hardener in the correct proportions. First off, I always make too much and there are dire threats about disposing down the drain so I always have to be creative with the residue. Secondly, it is a faff to make so if you do have to touch up, there is a problem getting a consistent finish. As an example, I ended up having to respray the bonnet (hood) of the car as I, inadvertently, wiped a brush across the surface (the brush was loaded with cleaners so just laid down a slight black smudge). It was OK respraying the red but I shied away from making up some more clear coat. I brush painted several coats of Johnson's Klear and that seemed to do the job. I have used Klear before when glossing up car bodies. It can be brush painted as it is self levelling so never leaves brush marks. Secondly, the layers blend together so the final result of two or three applications is normally fine.

OK, so how is it left. Well, here is the "finished" model. I haven't stuck all of the panels down as there is so much underneath that I want to be able to see all of the work so the photos make it look as though the panels are mis-fitted. I made up a base using two layers of 5mm foam core and used Adobe Illustrator to make a cover.

One little story. there is a metal decal provided for the prancing horse on the rear panel of the car. When trying to apply this, it pinged off into the wild blue yonder, never to be seen again - or so I thought. When cutting out the foam core for the base, I turned one of the layers over to find that the little metal decal was attached to the underside. Where it came from and how it got there, I have no idea. It is now firmly fixed on the car. Mind you, although it was glued to the foam core, it wouldn't fix to the car so I had to apply a little Titebond glue.

Click on any image for a slide show.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Even more of a meantime and then...

I picked up an Italeri Spitfire at my local Hobbycraft, not realising that it was a bit of an unusual one. It has very pointy wing tips which were meant to help it climb and operate at very high altitudes, hopefully to be able to stop German reconnaissance planes. However, it doesn't have the classic Spitfire look but then, this was all that they had.

Quite weird! Still, as the Ferrari paint wasn't due until Monday afternoon - and I have the modelling bug again, on I went.

First problem. It states that the cockpit should be Zinc-Chromate - but this was an American finish and certainly not used on Spitfires - even I knew that!  (Or -as "any fule kno" - to quote Molesworth).) I thought that we had our own 'cockpit green' which I remember as being quite light so I substituted "Sky". I talked about this with my friend Mark (the Aviation painter - see Brunswick Fine Arts) who fished out a book that showed that I was more right than Italeri. Anyway, I got a little way in, and then the Ferrari paint came.

I am now back on the LaFerrari. What has happened? For the last few years I haven't sat down to a model for longer than 30 minutes on any occasion and then, today, I started at around 2pm and, here I am at 9.30pm, still at it. It must be that Tamiya moulding that does it. Plus, my airbrush is now working faultlessly so I can spray away, change colours and everything.

I am still working my way through very carefully. I haven't needed to open the new paint yet, so I could have got on yesterday. Anyway, this is where I am at the moment.

(Click on any image to start a slide show)

Tomorrow, I shall need to start using the Zero Paints. That should be fun, and smelly!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Something to do, meantime

I am a bit stuck on the LaFerrari because I don't have the right Ferrari red. The only one that I have is for racing cars from the 60s. I have order a bottle but it won't come until Monday and I now have itchy fingers for making plastic models again.

I had a look around my stash, such as it is, but having two cars on the go, fancied something different. I went looking for my half completed 1:72 scale Trojan T-28 but I seem to have disposed of that. I wanted something simple so didn't fancy tackling the Sword Seastar - the only aircraft kit lest (so I thought). These Sword kits are tricky to make and I am in the mood for some easy builds having got into the Tamiya LaFerrari.

First off, I did some repairs to existing models - I glued a wing back on the Buckeye, a wheel back onto  the T-45 and found a spare prop blade and wheel for the Supermarine Seafire. Having done those little jobs, I fished out a 1:144th Revell P-47D that has been sitting there for years. I have a nice little collection of 1:144th aircraft so this would fit in nicely.

This is tiny - just 70mm long - and very few parts. First off, the fuselage was put together.

This got a sprayed on coat of silver and then was masked up for the coloured bits.

I had to cut a little mask out for each side of the fin as, when they painted the tail, they didn't want to repaint the serial code so they masked that off giving the code a silver background. I then sprayed the red nose and, looking at the box art, got out some orange for the tail. Having sprayed this, something didn't look right. By checking with the instructions (maybe I should have done that before!), I saw that the box art was wrong and the tail should be yellow AND! I had sprayed the tail with fluorescent orange - no such thing in 1944! It was then that I realised that the only bottle of yellow that I had was a Vallejo one and the bottle was empty. After all those years of owning a model shop, it seems very strange having to buy paint. Normally, I just took what I needed off the shelf. Sunday morning, 10.30, I was off to my local Hobbycraft to get a bottle of Tamiya yellow. As mine was the last model shop in Ipswich, there is now nowhere that I can buy paint off the shelf, unless I want Revell or Humbrol. Thank goodness that Hobbycraft opened last year as, at least, I can now buy Tamiya easily.

Anyway, 8 miles to Martlesham and then 8 miles back with one pot of paint. Well, actually, I bought a silver marker and an Italeri Spitfire Mk. VI (in 1:72) as I would like to get back to doing a few small aircraft.

I sprayed the tail silver again, as I still have to have a silver background for the serial code and then re-masked the tail for the yellow. That is where I am at this moment.

When the yellow is dry, I will un-mask the serial code area. I will then be able to put the decals on and finish the kit off.


There was a lot more faffing around I had forgotten to paint the black areas on the fuselage upper surface. Extra to that, I needed to paint the propellor. Thank goodness my airbrush is now behaving as painting yellow would have been a longer process without it.  here we are then - the finished article.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Tamiya LaFerrari Chassis

I love Tamiya kits. This is just going together so nicely. Mind you, I am taking it slowly and carefully. I am not making my usual stupid mistakes (well, just one - I have left a poly cap out of one of the wheels so it will have to be glued in place).

I have had to buy a couple Tamiya paints to do the kit. This must be the first time that I have bought Tamiya paints since we started the shop in 2006. I had to buy a pot of XF-7 red to get the right colour onto the rocker covers. Talking paint, I have to buy the correct red for the car. Checking with Hiroboy I am told that this is Corso Rosso 322. Hiroboy can mix any known car colour, provided that the mix is in the database and they have a good record of which red was used when by Ferrari. This is a Zero Paint, which needs special thinners, etc. so I have placed an order with Hiroboy for the paint and a can of thinners. I have also purchased the specific yellow that goes with the Chevrolet Corvette C7 for which I have the Revell kit. This will be my next car project after the LaFerrari and finishing the M3.

Anyway, this is where I am now (with a few sequence shots along the way).


Underneath the chassis

Current state of play

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

M3 on hold - up comes La Ferrari

I had a lot of trouble with my airbrush last time I got it out- from the BMW - so I have been a bit less keen to get on with a white car. In fact, the main reason that I stopped was because I found out that there were 100 decals to be placed and I couldn't find my Johnson's Klear (which I use to bed the decals down nicely).

Each time I have got the kit out, I have remembered the airbrush problems and put it back again. I have been busy with my railroad (Gentle Model Railways). I have had some software issues with my routing software. Finally, I have decided to stop spending 10 hours a day sorting out the issue and get on with something else. That something else turned out to be the Tamiya La Ferrari that Wendy bought me for Christmas.

I started work on the engine. Like all Tamiya kits, if it doesn't fit then you have got it wrong. With this in mind, I reseated a couple of parts (rocker covers) and finally had to find some red paint for them. It seems that the only decent red paint that I have is a Mr. Color bottle. I forgot that this is enamel and takes forever to dry! Eventually I got my fingerprints off!

This is where I left it last night.

Today, I sorted out my airbrush - gave it a down and dirty clean right into the little bits you don't normally clean. It now works fine - thank goodness. It is, after all, an Iwata HP-CH.

I have given three sprues a good working over with appropriate paints - black, aluminium and white primer (ready for the Ferrari Red).

Current state of play.