Fourty-nine

That’s the number of kits I have on the model shelves.

I needed to condense the models on the shelves so that I could get more on them.  They were also sharing the space with a lot of cat fur and dust so I decided to take the slew of them down, clean them and the shelves, and put them back on the shelves.

I took these photos of the lot parked on the dining room table, cleaned waiting for clean shelves.  I was happy didn’t need to toss any of them.

I built these over about 12 years.  I have one in here that is about 25 years old and a complete set of Monogram 1/48 Century Series fighters.

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F-21 prepping the small parts

Just a quick check in.  I’m a bit behind in my two model per month goal this year.  I’ve been busy with other things and spring pops early in Oregon so it’s been time to open up the garage and get some of those wood shop things done.

I only finished the F-84 last month, was supposed to finish the F-21 as well but as you can see below, i’ve only just started.

Good news though, as soon as I finish the cockpit “weathering” the rest of the kit should pop together pretty fast.  For an out of the box there isn’t much to do after I get the fuselage and wings together.

I’ve been a bit disappointed with the kit’s detail.  After completing the ProModeler F-84 I was kind of getting used to a great fit and crisp detail.  The detail is pretty soft on this kit and the tires (at least they come in halves) look a lot like the tires in some of the early 60 models I’ve built.  Just lumps of circular plastic with holes for the wheels.  No tread or other features.

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Here are some painting shots.  I have started to highlight the cockpit and front wheel well with washes.  Once these are dry, pastels tomorrow night adn we should be able to start putting things together

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ProModeler F-84 done!

Finished number 3 for this year. I am now ahead of last years total production by 50% and have added another 50s jet to the shelves.

After spending a few years building Monogram 1/48 Century Jets his was a great kit. It went together perfectly. Well engineered, fit was spot on, detail pretty reasonable. The only problem I had was the decals cracked, not because they were old, but because they just wouldn’t come loose from the backing sheet. But once I learned to soak the bejeezus out of them… well 50+ stencils later.  I’d recommend this kit if your into 50s jets.

Grubbed this one up a bit, even though it has a metal finish I’m sure working birds in Korea weren’t very shinny.  Started with the oil wash described in a previous post and finished up with pastels.  I’m finding I like using them more each kit I build.  Then a coat of Testors Dullcoat.  A well worn workhorse.

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Check-off the first of my 50s aircraft plan.

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F-84 decal challenge

Started decaling the F-84 today.  The first decals were a bust.  I usually try a couple of not really needed decals first to see what I’m up against and I was about ready to throw in the towel.

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But being the optimist I am and knowing things could only get better I decided to go all out and try the main markings for under the wing, and they worked!  The stars and bars split a bit putting them on but I found that I needed to apply micro set liberally to keep them moving along.  They also seem to need to be soaked for longer than I am used to.

The USAF in it’s split up configuration for the landing gear door went on better than I anticipated, and the fit around the doors was perfect.  Both decals appear to work well with decal solvent.

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I’m glad this has gone better.  Everything about this kit has been great so far; the fit, engineering, and instructions.  I have a number of complicated decals to go so here’s hoping for the best.

Finshed painting

Was good to get a few minutes in the garage today.  It’s been such a nice sunny day and being its Valentines Day and all it was good going out with the lovely bride most of the day.  After cooking a great meal it was time to spend some Saturday night time on the bench.

I decided to add some darker aluminium to a few panels.  When I started out my first thought was to do a dozen or so but after I got started I sort of went  “Meh” and only did a few.  I really want to get this one moving along to meet my 2 a month goal this year.

I used parafilm to mask a few panels.  If you don’t know this it’s like a thick saran wrap that needs to be stretched to use, almost a wax.  Once it has been stretched it has amazing sticking properties and it can be cut well with a sharp knife.  Stretch-stick-cut and peel away and you have an area masked for painting.  The panels on the wing were masked with good old masking tape. (Alclad is so nice to mask against.  I remember having NMF paint jobs peel up trying to mask on top of them)

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I also decided to tackle the olive drab anti-glare panel tonight.  The kit comes with decals for this but they are too shiny.  This needs to be flat.

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Next is decaling.  I’m going to be interested in how complex it will be to place the rudder markings and get them to settle down and look painted.  Time will tell.

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F-84 primed and ready for NMF

Spent the evening preparing the F-84 for a NMF finish.

First, oversprayed the area I sanded with Mr. Surfacer 1000.  If you’ve never used this it’s sort of a filler for sanding marks and it provides enough surface thickness to fill in light sanded areas.  I then cover the whole aircraft with a thin coat of Alclads grey primer.  As you can see from this shot it does a good job getting the surface ready for the finish; no sanding marks are left

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If you didn’t have the first picture I’d challenge you to see where that odd side panel was glued in and sanded.

The circular nose intake finished up really well too and the rest of the evening was spent masking the canopy.  This one was a tough one, lots of panels.  It seem this “bubble” canopy has more panels than the P-61 I just finished.  I usually use Parafilm but thought I would try vinyl tape and micro mask this time.

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Tomorrow a light overall sanding and last surface check then start painting Alclad.

F-84 update – almost ready for paint

Enjoyed my birthday off today.  Although the family will celebrate next weekend my lovely bride bought me a real nifty hand torch.

Now I can do brass soldering with a tiny flame rather than trying to use the big craftsman torch.

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I have the wings on the kit.  Another almost perfect fit, just like the fuselage and tail planes.  Cleaning up the seams has been easy.

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The kit engineering is a bit odd.  The fuselage has these big panels that needed to be glued into the side of the kit; it was almost like they had planned some detail under the panel or were setting this up for an aftermarket set.  The panels fit very well but whatever the reason, I’ve had to go over the panel with some sanding to make sure it conformed to the sides of the aircraft.  I plan to  paint this natural metal and these kind of things will show if they are not correct.

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