A Year In the Making

Greetings one and all.

As I was checking out my oft neglected blog here, I discovered that exactly one year ago, I announced an upcoming project: The Revell 1/32 FW190 F-8.

https://groganbrett.wordpress.com/2017/05/

Just this last week, I finished it!

So, here is a little background on the project for those who don’t wish to go back through the archives: My son bought this model a couple of years ago and decided he didn’t want to build it (at least any time soon), so he gave it to me. I had looked at some possible schemes to do when I eventually decided to buy the kit myself, and setteld on Black 3 from Eaglecals, set EC#166.

Eaglecals FW190

I chose this particular scheme for a couple of reasons.

First, the color scheme is unusual for a WWII Luftwaffe aircraft, in that the lower wing and fuselage and fuselage sides are bare metal with a light mottling on the sides and tail, as well as tail control surfaces retaining a red-oxide primer finish.

Second, the backstory about this plane and pilot is fascinating. On May 8th, 1945, the pilot, Fw Eugen Lörcher, decided it was best to head west to avoid the advancing Russian forces. So, he grabbed his fiance, stuffed her into the fuselage via the radio compartment door, and made good his escape.

After I decided what I wanted to do with this model, I started. Assembly was pretty straightforward and went well. By the time I was ready for paint, I had to decide what I wanted to do as far as what brand of paint I wanted to use, as well as overcome the fear of finally tackling a bare metal finish aircraft. After a bit of research I decided on Vallejo Metal Color.

By the time I decided on what to use, hot weather was here and I didn’t want to risk messing up the paint job, so I decided to put painting off until cooler weather.

In the meantime, I got bogged down with too many projects going at the same time, and enthusiasm waned on modeling in general. Once I realized what was bogging me down, I girded up my loins and knocked each kit out, one at a time, saving the Fw190 for last.

After a bit of work, I finally completed it… almost exactly a year after starting.

So, without further adieu, here a are a few photos.

And with the completion of this kit, I can start afresh (on ONE kit) and get the groove going again.

Until next time…

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A New Aircraft Project

I have been wanting to start this new aircraft kit for a while now, but wasn’t too sure what kind of scheme I wanted to go with, hence my delay on moving forward.

The kit, which I obtained from my oldest son, is the 2015 release of the Revell of Germany, 1/32 FW190 F-8, kit number 04869.

38-HN-Ac-Revell-Focke-Wulf-Fw190F8-1.32

When the kit came out in 2015, the reviews were generally positive, and after having (mostly) built the Bf109 G-10 that was released in 2013 by Revell, I figured it would be a good kit. My son bought it for himself, but decided he was going to pass on it for now and gave it to me.

Once I cleared the bench of most of my lingering projects, I started looking for a particular aircraft I could build. Usually, when I build a kit, I like to go for something unique, or with an interesting backstory. After a bit of searching I came up with a solution.

On May 8, 1945, A feldwebel in the Luftwaffe named Eugen Lörcher, decided, with the Russians closing in, to “get out of Dodge,” as the American saying goes. Like most German military personnel, the idea of being captured by the Russians was not the least bit acceptable. So, Fw Lörcher rounded up his fiance, packed her into the fuselage via the radio access panel, and headed for home from his base in Czechoslovakia. Flying at low altitude to avoid enemy fighters, but leaving himself open to ground fire, he eventually made a successful belly landing near his parents home. He and his fiance were unharmed, and eventually got married. I have also read that he and his wife returned every year to the crash sight to toast their successful escape with champagne.

After I decided on this scheme, I had to find a decal set for this particular subject. After a short search, I found a set from EagleCals.

Eaglecals FW190

The markings I will be using are for Black 3 at the bottom. Another reason I chose this particular aircraft, is the somewhat unique paint scheme. The fuselage sides and lower surfaces are bare metal, with a very faint mottling on the upper sides and tail, with camo colors on the top of the fuselage and the tops of the wings. The elevators and rudder are coated with red oxide primer.

Another interesting tidbit on this project: I have never painted a bare metal finish model of any kind.

Should be interesting.

At this point of the build, I have built and painted the cockpit components, assembled the aftermarket seatbelts, and started painting the inside fuselage parts for assembly.

20170521_092903

I will be painting this plane with Tamiya paints for the most part, with the exception of the bare metal which will be Vallejo brand metal paint.

So, stay tuned if you want to follow along. This won’t be a blow by blow build log, but more of an occasional update as I progress.

Academy M4A3 w/T-34 Calliope Update

Wow.

I had good intentions with this kit and writing a build log. Really, I did. But, I just counted the photos and realized that over 100 photos with commentary is a bit much, so I will give a few comments and then post pics of the finished model.

First of all, I want to mention that this is my second Academy kit. The kit overall is pretty nice. There are a few detail things that are not to my liking, but easily fixed. Engine hatch grab handles come to mind. The ones on the kit are the solid, molded on type, and those were easily shaved off and replaced with some of the extra handles that come with the kit.

Fit is generally good with some not-too-difficult modifications to the rocket tubes to get everything to come together smoothly.

I built the kit mostly from the box, but added wiring to the rocket launcher assembly, and reworked the springs on the rocket launcher mounts to look a little better.

I also replaced the kit tracks. The ones in the kit are the rubber chevron type with extended end connectors, usually referred to as duckbill end connectors. The vehicle I was building had the steel chevron tracks, so I opted to go after market. The brand I chose was Kaizen.

I have messed with Kaizen tracks once before and really liked them, so I thought I would give them a try again. They are much cheaper than the metal tracks that are available and seem to be better quality than some of the other brands.

The one snag I ran into was that the drive sprockets were too narrow for the tracks. So, I had to cut the sprocket apart and add a spacer to make it wider.

Here is a photo of the tank I was recreating

m4_sherman_t34_calliope-1

And here is my version

And a few more.

And that, is that.

For my next review, I will cut back on the photos and be a little more general, with emphasis on modifications or fit issues.

Next Level Tools

Back in June I posted my first video in my beginners series. It was a video about the most basic tools (in my opinion) a person needs to build a model kit.

With this next video I explore some of the many options available to further enhance one’s modeling experience.

Keep in mind that this list of tools and materials is by no means exhaustive and is what I use for now when building.