Ta-152 Update.

It has been a few weeks (or more?) since I first posted about the Ta-152 project. Well, today I have some updates.

I have been working on it a bit, and am nearing completion. I would have liked to have been finished by now, but with Thanksgiving and my job, things have been somewhat busy. And when time is tight I have to choose: Family, or models…. Guess who wins out.

First up is the cockpit. It went together pretty easily. I like the instrument panel decals and the photoetch seat belts are really nice. In this photo I have included the engine as well. It is pretty simple in construction, but looks great. Unfortunately, not a bit of the engine can be seen once installed.

Next, is the fuselage. I have to say that this fuselage fit together flawlessly. I have never assembled a fuselage that fit together this well. The seems were aligned perfectly, so no filling was needed. All I had to do was lightly sand the seam where the melted plastic squeezed out. I also sprayed the rear platform in the cockpit and installed the radiator and cowling. Also, the photoetch vain-type thing in front of the intake.

I painted the gear door interiors and the gear bays. Then I attached the wings to the fuselage.

I decided to do something a little different on this kit. I am going to have the canopy closed (crazy, I know,) so I am attaching it before painting. I decided to make my own masks for the canopy and wind screen. I used regular painter’s masking tape and it looks like they  turned out pretty good. I guess once I remove the masking I will see if my work paid off. I primed the plane with Model Master acrylic grey primer, and once that was dry, I sprayed the lower camo color. After that cured for a few days, I masked off the parts that needed it with masking tape and blue poster tack. Once that was done, I sprayed the base camo color. For all of my painting, I have been using Vallejo Model Air paints.

After that cured a few days, I masked off the areas that need the next upper-surface camo color. I used blue tack here to achieve a soft, hard edge… if that makes sense.

Next time I should have the remaining camo pattern done and clear coat and decals completed. Who knows… I may be completely finished with it!

So, until next time…

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Where The Magic Happens

How’s that for a corny intro? Sounds like where Disney movies are made. Actually, today’s article will be about my work space.

In my house, I have a room that was at one time an open, front porch/deck kind of affair.  It had a wooden floor with an aluminum, corrugated cover. At some time, long before I moved in, walls were built with large windows across the whole front. So, it became an enclosed porch with carpet, a ceiling, and a couple of fans. It is also the primary entryway to the house.

When we moved in, it remained a porch type area with a futon, a couple of chairs, and a built in bookcase. As time progressed, it became clear I needed a space of my own where I could put my “stuff.”  My wife told me I could have this area as long as I kept it somewhat clean and organized and the rest of the house would be hers (well, you know what I mean…) The room is long and narrow, but it suits my needs perfectly…well, I should say “our” needs, since my two sons share the space with me.

Here is a pic from the entrance

My workstation is the first on the left, with my oldest son’s just past that, with a small refrigerator separating the two. At the end is my younger son’s area. They are 21 and 19. My oldest has started building models in the last couple of years, so the side by side thing works out well.

Some of the items in my room include my 1981 SE Racing Quadangle bicycle frame and fork (I raced BMX back in the day,) a sign for Bodfish, CA where I grew up (sign courtesy of a friend that works for the county,) and a replica of my grandpa’s US Army uniform from WWII (down at the far end.)

As for my workstation itself, here it is.

I was able to get these cubicle-type desks from the high school on the property where I live (a large church, daycare, and private school; I am the caretaker of the property) when they did a remodel of the classrooms. You can see all of my materials and current project, with my recent completed kits on the top shelf. Under that shelf is a small fluorescent light, an adjustable magnifier light on the right, and there is an overhead, four-bulb light for general room illumination.

On the right is the ‘frig (stocked with sodas and water,) and on the left is my small storage table for seldom used modelling supplies. In the bottom of this table you can see my extremely meager stash… which is exactly the way I like it.

On the keyboard shelf is where I keep the decals and paint scheme instructions for my current project, as well as my Vallejo paints.

Above the desk is a fan that sucks cold or warm air (depending on the season) into the room from the main part of the house.

The one thing I don’t do in this part of the house is airbrush. I do that in the laundry room at the back of the house.

Here is my paint area.

I have a roll of paper on the counter that I use for a protective covering while airbrushing. Once it gets too messy, I unroll more paper and cut off the used part. Voila! fresh counter cover. The bowl is used to protect my project from dust if it needs drying time. On the right of the pic is a handy, dandy laundry sink, perfect for cleaning the airbrush (keep in mind I use acrylics exclusively for airbrushing, so no need for serious ventilation.)

On the left counter is my spray rig and supplies.

So, there you have it. This is where it all happens for me. It’s kind of nice to have a nice, dedicated spot for model building.