Sunday, November 25, 2007

Violence and progress

I was working on a model to take to Colchester last week. I didn't have a lot of time so I went for a 1/72nd fighter. We had had a Hasegawa F6 Lightning returned to the shop for replacement because it had a hole in the fuselage side. I felt that this could be filled and to save the kit being binned, I decided to have a go. I didn't realise that it was actually a rework of the old '70s Frog kit but soon found out when I saw the detail in the cockpit and the wheel wells - none at all!!!! But - hey - it wouldn't take long to make.

I got on with it and actually felt I was getting somewhere - I have been a bit depressed about my modelling skills recently - I felt I had done a less than good job on my RNZAF Sky Hawk so was a bit touchy. I did it in the three colour Medium Sea Grey, Dark Sea Grey and Barley Grey. That went on fine. I put all the decals on - not missing out any of the tiny ones. The white lines on the wings were tricky but I got them on OK. I had painted the radome Olive Drab as ordered. I came back an hour later to find that I had drawn a line of Olive Drab over the wing - right across the white decals. Stupidly, I tried touching it up with white paint instead of trying to scrape it off:-(

I called my wife over to tell and show her what a mess I had made when I noticed that the tail planes didn't fit tightly and I had missed filling the gaps. before she knew what had happened, I had brought down my fist and smashed it! Now this is very unusual for me. I am not noted for violence, nor for destroying kits - I tend to keep them even if I can see the poor job on them. I think that I had done so much soul searching about my abilities recently that I had just had enough.

Now I have that out of my system, I can show you what I did take to Colchester. I managed to put together a Hobby Boss UH-34A Choctaw in French Marine colours. Only one problem - the large F of the fuselage broke up so I left that and the other two off. Maybe Dom won't notice - Dom is the helicopter specialist at the Ipswich club. This Hobby Boss kit is quite nice. A decent interior, good panel detail, decals for the rotor tips and dropped rotors.

I still have to do two elements for the Land Sea and Air competition at Colchester next month. I am planning an Airfix RAF Air ea Rescue launch for the sea element. I already have my Hawk Weirdo for the Land.

The Air element is going to be the hasegawa 1/72nd PBJ USMC Mitchell.

This is going together quite nicely and it seems that the fit on the wing joins is so good that I can probably paint it and put the wings on afterwards. That will help with the USMC Pacific three colour camo on the fuselage. There is a radome on the end of the starboard wing which means cutting the tip off. That's done - as you can see - and it went well. I have managed to break the rear machine guns off but it was always hope over experience when I fitted them. I can get some brass tube to replace them so that should be OK.

Great news from Colchester - I came 3rd in the annual competition. This was aided by the fact that I had entered on 9 occasions and scored on 5 of them. It was also helped by winning with my Ice/Beer diorama. Mind you 2nd place also entered 9 times and scored 5 so my record was good.

It's the Ipswich club on Tuesday and I am going to take the Choctaw and the Sky Hawk. I am hoping to collar Brian - who did the excellent RNZAF Sky Hawk a few months ago - to give me five minutes and tell me where I have gone wrong. Hopefully I can learn something from him.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Modelling at last - again!

Not having written anything since September, I need to do a bit of catch up.

Skyraider - didn't go anywhere. I messed up the camo, had another go and am still not happy so it's on hold.

Metal Modeles Chasseur - I finished this one.

Academy F-4f Wildcat - This was a model I made three years ago - left it very bland as it was a demo for the shop on how to make a model. Having taken part in a weathering discussion at Colchester I decided to have a go at weathering it. I used MIG pigments on the panel lines and sprayed some lighter blue to give it a faded look. Forgot to mask the canopy so had to put a new canopy on to it. I had a 1/48th carrier deck from Verlinden which I scanned, reduced and printed out for it to stand on.

Hawk Weird0 - Digger. This is a hark back to the Sixties. All the problems of a Sixties model with poor fit, etc. However, it was great fun to build and paint. The tragedy came as I was taking it to the club - Ipswich. I had my camera bag over my arm and it dropped, knocking the kit to the floor. It broke into a few pieces. I ran back to the modelling table and - with copious amounts of superglue - got it back together again. However, when I got out to the car, my thumb was superglued to the dragster tub. Hence, you will find my thumbprint stuck to the model. It was my skin or the kit - the kit won!

Finally - RNZAF Skyhawk - Gekko brought out some New Zealand decals for a Skyhawk so I thought I would have a go. I did intend to do the low-vis three colour scheme but found out that it is on the underside as well as the upper surfaces and not having had much joy with the Skyraider I decided to do the low-viz - all green scheme. This is an interesting scheme as they used to touch up the panels as it got a bit worn - colours didn't match so I have tried to do that with the model. I did get an Aires cockpit but ruined one body shell trying to fit it. I did use the Eduard painted etched for the cockpit and canopy.