And when the little masking fragments are removed... As expected, there were a good number of soft edges that needed touch-up, but that went faster than expected. Some black leading edges, then decals.
The adventure begins. After the tan is applied, on go the first layer of masks. Next is the light green. I "colorized" the plans to help visualize where that color is supposed to go. A good idea. With the first green masks applied, it awaits the dark green portion. The masks are interesting. They are fine on flat surfaces, but too thick to stick well to curved. Notice a multitude of curves. There will be substantial fine-tuning when they are all removed. They should lock-fit on to each other, but with one slightly out of place, there's a domino effect. There is no way around some improvisation. I trust the patterns on the real jets was similar, but unique to each machine. Mine will be no exception.
So I've had this pair of Heller Viggens in the works now for some time. I was just about ready to paint when I thought to double check the color of the wheel wells. Silver or gray? So I went to my references looking for a shot of a parked Viggen with its big wheel doors open, hopefully displaying the interior color. Turns out, they open and close almost exclusively to let the wheels in and out. Once that's done, they close up again which is their normal position on the ground. Glad I caught that one when I did. However the kit parts don't exactly click into place that way. (Nothing about this kit really clicks into place.) So significant delay closing up those big holes in two models, filling, smoothing and finally representing the doors with a layer or two of primer. Anyway, much closer to a paint job now.
For a resin kit, this one was not bad at all. Mostly it was a story of filling and smoothing to get a nice surface for the gloss white. I'm happy with the reflection of the U.S. AIR FORCE on the wing bottom here. That says smooth finish. I found the NAA logo in the original Squad/Signal F-100 in Action. Scanned it, sized it, printed it on decal film and it filled the space on the base quite well.
This is a model of a machine that only existed on paper -- a Navy answer to the X-15, basically. Anigrand's resin kit is simple enough, though it comes with panel lines the same width and depth as the breaks between control surfaces and flying surfaces. I filled all that in, detesting the otherwise die-cast look of a model. This is an oddity also in that it's in flight and not on one of my own stands. The client supplied the classy acrylic piece with the Douglas logo etched in. Forgot to take an image with a familiar object for size reference. Heck. And now it's on its way to New Jersey. The kit comes with a clear, though thick canopy piece. I did put an astronaut kind of pilot in the cockpit, but you can hardly tell. More info on this rocket that never was: http://www.astronautix.com/d/d-558-3.html
Had a 1/144th Vickers Valiant project going a little ways back that suffered an accident that cost me most of the landing gear parts. The only solution was to buy a second kit and rob the needed parts from that. What to do with a Valiant with no landing gear? Not much value on eBay, that's for sure. Build it and stick it on a stand, of course. Probably get it done in a third of the time as the one on its wheels, too. Single piece styrene gear doors, the addition of intake blanking and the external tanks pinned in place with wire. Short sections of sprue make a backstop for the blanking piece. Piece of plastic tube will accept the acrylic rod stem of the stand when the time comes. Short length of paperclip makes a spar to mount the horizontal stab more securely on. Just like the last one, I'm looking at a very wonky fit of wing to fuselage. But that's the happy thing about the second round -- you have a very good idea of what's coming your way and what to do about it.
I bought this AMT '51 Chevrolet Fleetline back in 2003, or thereabouts. It was something of an impulse purchase. I'd been feeling a pull in the model car direction for some time, and among the model airplane kits on the second-hand table at Old Guard Hobbies, were a handful of cars, too. This homely Chevy had a price tag of $6. For six bucks, I wagered I could have a little fun. It was not a subject I knew or cared about, so if it all went to hell, so what? When I got it home, I started slowly sticking it together, and felt an excitement I'd forgotten. I'd built a few cars as a kid, but very few. Old, old memories of closely following instructions came back. I did NOT know what every part was, simply by looking at it. It was obvious a plastic car experience was not corrupted by worry vs. fun like airplanes had become. After getting a lot of the basic parts together, I realized I might have discovered something significant. I started looking at car kits with anxious eyes, and bought a few more that I knew I would care about. Eventually. First though, I had this Fleetline to deal with. I painted the interior my own invented scheme to go with what I expected would be a dark blue body. I painted most of the chassis, then came the unwelcome news my wife would almost certainly be losing her job. She did, and it would mean moving. Modeling, especially the fun stuff, came to a halt. The Fleetline got boxed up for happier days. Settled in our new location, it took some time to get the modeling operation up and running again. With bill-paying jobs to focus on, my fun stuff got a low priority. In our new neighborhood we found a discount store encountering hard times. (In '07 -- '08, who wasn't?) They had a model kit section and marked down what they had considerably. I picked up four or five more AMT cars for "someday." A few years ago, I did go back to this thing to paint the body. This I did, airbrushing with Testors enamel and rubbing out the result. I was not impressed with the shine, or lack thereof, and put it all away again. Then three weeks ago, I found a Monogram 1/24th '65 Corvette at a second-hand store for $3, only slightly started. I took that home, got all fired up with a car kit again, and forced myself to stop. What about the Fleetline? It's still a viable kit. Don't I owe that old thing the attention it deserves? Finish what you've started -- something I've been reminding myself for some time now. So I went back to my original car project. One of the first things I did was repaint the body with Tamiya dark blue, wet-sanded and polished that out. Huge improvement over the Testors blue. I returned to the interior and added bare metal foil where needed. One of the things that bugs me about most of the model cars I see is no attempt to add depth to interior details. I added some minor washes and oil shadows in an attempt to make things appear slightly more three-dimensional. My reference has been primarily images found on the internet. I want to do it as a basic stock vehicle. I'm leaving the interior colors alone, simply as a nod to my initial efforts over a decade ago. And the fact is, I've had a hard time putting the thing down since my return to it. I've nearly doubled my original hours count into it in the last couple weeks. It's almost pure relaxation. Just an experiment for myself going quite well so far. I plan to keep chipping on her to the finish line now, just to put a car in the completed column. Will it be the start of a new trend? Stay tuned.
June 2016 -- 1/72nd Hasegawa F-15C and F-15E They are on their way as I type -- one to AL and the other to WA. Not much to report on the building of these two. They are essentially the same kit -- the D being the original E kit (that doesn't make a totally accurate E as it comes) with the fast pack tanks and armament left off. The way the kit is broken down, it's way fussier to build than their original issue F-15 kits. The canopies are beautifully clear and thin. Sadly the fit in the closed position is not great. I was relieved my mission was to paint the canopies black. This was my first experience with Caracal decals and they were a delight. Still on the fence about the contrast between the grays. If I do another Mod Eagle, I'll probably darken the light gray just a bit.
Pretty darn close, but not quite. Tanks, racks, stand stem adjustments, base painting and data placement, touch-ups, antennas, and attention to lights and other bumps, still on the agenda. But I'm liking them so far.