Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Time to take a 180 degree turn

 I've been working on a plastic scale model of the Japanese Zero fighter of WWII fame.

The Tamiya kit is in 1/48 scale and is my first scale kit in many years.

You get to detail the cockpit first. Here are the parts spray painted in Cockpit Green. In the next photo, you will see them detailed and installed into the fuselage.

Your are looking down into the pilot's "office." The super-tiny switches, buttons, and other controls are picked out in various colors. Those brown and tan striped things on the seat are the lap seat belts with staples bent to simulate buckles. The control stick is in place. I found a nice photo of the interior of the full-size Zero online at the Smithsonian.

Above are the various parts that need to be painted next. The dummy radial engine, two more parts, and the propeller. The nose cowling was painted semi-gloss black. A local expert in plastic scale helped me figure out the best way to spray paint the cowling. I took it to him at the local hobby shop and he corrected my problem.

Today, I used Tamiya Fine Gray primer and primed the fuselage. That stuff is great! The cowling has the engine installed and the propeller is ready for gluing to the engine shaft.
Alas! There are more parts to paint and get ready. The thing that is really daunting is the canopy framing which I will hand-paint after conferring with Brian.
Here's a shot of the dummy radial engine which I detailed first and then installed in the cowling.
The cylinder cooling fins are picked out in Gun Metal and the spark plugs are done in flat aluminum.
All this hand painting was done to simulate the Nakajima Sakae radial air-cooled engine of 14 cylinders.

That's all for this lad. Next up is the airbrush painting of the fuselage followed by the decals and, oh yes, the landing gear and that daunting canopy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Brooklyn Dodger Rises Again

 I began to assess what I need to get the Brooklyn Dodger flying again. I had stripped the transparent blue MonoKote covering from the fuselage; I'd thought to lighten the stringers by sanding the inside edges.

I had fried an AstroFlight ESC and abandoned the AstroFlight geared, cobalt 15 motor.


Here's what I came up with.

  • Repair the fuselage and get it ready for covering with Cover Grip
  • Create a new wire landing gear
  • Use a Hitec Optima 6 LITE receiver
  • Use 3-3/4” Golden Age Williams Bros. wheels  -- 1.80 ounces for each wheel.
  • Use my ESC, a Castle Thunderbird 54 - fits the maximum draw I intend to use
  • Use Ultracote Transparent Blue to cover the fuselage
  • Paint the nose with a spray color of Royal Blue
I flew the Dodger in a SAM LMR event at Eloy AZ in 2013

Monday, August 17, 2020

Bob Galler and Dakota


Bob Galler and his impressive Dakota at the club sod farm in Moriarty, NM
[Photo by Steve Moskal]

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Vanguard project in TurboCAD

I'm working on the Lou Andrews Vanguard as a micro model for the Suppo 1510 motor. It'll be a micro model compared to the original which had a 36" wing span. My scale-model-of-a-model will have 27 3/4"span and have 139 square inches of wing area.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Fokker DVII fuselage covered

The DVII fuselage received its coating of Cover Grip 24 hours ago. I used some of that product thinned with water to keep the weight down.

Now the AeroLITE covering is complete except for the bottom rear. That is finished in white after the RX and pushrods are installed.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

How about some graphics for the Gym Ripper?

The 3 vinyl graphics supplied in the kit were so old, the backing would not come off. I remembered that I had sealed packs of white, inkjet, waterslide decal paper. There is a clear waterslide paper available at office supply stores, but why not use what I've got?

The graphic above was the first-ever attempt using the waterslide inkjet printer paper. The G and Y are too close. The "ripper" is too close to the upper line.

By the way, this font is  "Kelvinized" - a retro font loosely based on the logo of the old Kelvinator® refrigeration line from years past and has a nice industrial feel. The creator of this free font is Majik Mike and I found it at www.dafont.com

Now, I worked with my artist wife, Mary, to do a better job of the layout.
Improvement! Using TurboCAD I made the G Y M characters separate objects and was able to pinpoint their location. The "ripper" object is moved down a bit. All of it sized as one object to fit the main panel of the wing.

And now for something completely different. The stylized diamonds shown on the plans did not come with the kit. I decided to create them as a set of four for the wing;  two for the top of the horizontal stab and two for the rudder.
Following what I learned on YouTube, I coated the sheets with three light coats of Krylon Colormaxx Clear (Indoor/Outdoor Gloss Crystal Clear).

Next comes the big moment when I trim out my decals and slide them into place. 

It's always good to learn new things.

Yours truly,
The Comet Kid

Friday, June 19, 2020

Fokker D7 Progress

The ply skid was going to be glued into sheet balsa. I created a little ply plate from scrap to give it a chunkier mechanical joint.

I decided to use an X-Acto circle cutting tool to make Frog Tape masks (unpainted on right) and the wheel on the left shows how this worked out.

All the struts, wheel covers, and the nose block are sprayed Holiday Red. After a quick coat of Minwax Spar Urethane varnish, they'll be ready to go. Now on to the film covering.