30 November 2016

Kit List, What's In, What's Out - November 2016

Continuing my record of what I buy and sell for one year:

In - Purchases for November 2016
  • Hasslefree Miniatures - £32.22
Total Yearly (April to March) Expenditure - £231.80

Out - Downsizing for November 2016
  • None
Just the one purchase from Hasslefree Miniatures as I took advantage of their yearly Halloween Sale (a few days after Halloween itself, which is why this is accounted for in November's purchases).

31 October 2016

Kit List, What's In, What's Out - October 2016

Continuing my record of what I buy and sell for one year:

In - Purchases for October 2016
  • None
Total Yearly (April to March) Expenditure - £199.58

Out - Downsizing for October 2016
  • None
Finally a whole month of not buying anything, unfortunately that could be could down to a whole month of not much in the way of hobby progress!

30 October 2016

Build Review - Airfix Hawker Typhoon Ib (A02041) – Part 2

For me one of the main objectives of this build was learning to paint late WWII RAF colours correctly. My initial attempt on an Airfix Spitfire had not gone according to plan. Having finally built a Typhoon to my satisfaction I was determined that this time I would get the painting right.

I started by undercoating in a light Tamiya Grey and by pre-shading the panel lines with a flat black. I'm still not 100% convinced that this is worth doing.

Pre-shading - Tamiya / Vallejo
While it seemed to have some effect on the lower, and lighter, surfaces of this particular model it didn't really seem to make much difference on the upper, camouflaged, surfaces. Also I felt that with effect could also be achieved by post-shading and by washes later in the build.

On to painting proper and the undersides. The actual colour for the undersides of RAF aircraft is called Medium Sea Grey. To achieve this I used the following:
  1. A base coat of Vallejo MA (Model Air) Barley Grey (71.051). I tried to make sure some of the black panel lines showed through.
  2. Vallejo MA Pale Blue Grey (71.046) to the centre of each panel.
  3. A thin coat, sprayed at lower pressure, of Vallejo MA Medium Sea Grey (71.049) to selected panel lines to add a slight bit of variation.
RAF Medium Sea Grey & Invasion Stripes - Tamiya / Vallejo
RAF Medium Sea Grey & Invasion Stripes

Another objective of this build had been the airbrushing of D-Day invasion stripes. Although this kit came with decals many don't so I thought this would be a good time to practice. The colours used were:
  1. An mix of Vallejo MA White and Aged White (71.001 & 71.132). How much depends on how yellow you want it to look. This was applied over the whole area and then masked off in order for the black to be sprayed. It really pays to make sure the masking is tight here, especially in the numerous panel lines.
  2. The black was Tamiya Nato Black (XF-69). I prefer using this shade of black at this scale as it's a muted black compared to the XF-1 Black which looks too bright to me.
And with that the lower surfaces were done. I hadn't done the rear invasion stripes yet, as they overlapped onto the upper camouflaged areas.

For the upper surfaces the RAF colours are Ocean Grey and Dark Green. I decided this time to use Tamiya's RAF colours as my starting point (XF81, 82 & 83). If you look the instructions for older Tamiya kits you will see they were all mixes. These are more recent paints which Tamiya brought out to be used with their 1:32 scale Spitfire kits

Starting with the Ocean Grey, this was applied all over and highlighted in the areas that wouldn't be covered with the Dark Green.
  1. Tamiya Ocean Grey 2 (XF-82) was mixed with slight amount of Medium Sea Grey (XF-83). The main reason for adding the Meduim Sea Grey was that I felt the base surface with black pre-shade was a bit too dark. Without the pre-shade I would have probably used The Ocean Grey on it's own.
  2. I then highlighted panel lines etc with Vallejo MA Barley Grey (71.051). Unfortunately the picture below was taken in bad light and doesn't really show this well.
RAF Ocean Grey Tamiya / Vallejo
RAF Ocean Grey
For the Dark Green:
  1. I put down a coat of Tamiya Field Grey (XF-65) with a small amount of Dark Green 2 (XF-81). The reason for this was it muted the blue tones from the grey which I was spraying on top of. In previous attempts the green seemed a bit off if I just used XF-81 over the Ocean Grey.
  2. I then highlighted the green by using Dark Green (XF-81) on it's own. Of course if you choose to spray each colour over the undercoat, rather than spray an all over Ocean Grey coat, you could probably use this colour on it's own.
RAF Dark Green & Invasion Stripes Tamiya / Vallejo
RAF Dark Green & Invasion Stripes

The Sky coloured band was then added to the rear fuselage, this was simply Tamiya Sky (XF-21). The invasion stripes were painted the same as before. The one thing I will say is that I found the invasion stripes to the rear fuselage incredibly difficult to do. Getting them straight took numerous attempts due to the curvature of the surface I was applying them to and it used far too much masking tape. It was not helped by the fact that the whole model was masked at this point and fairly hard to judge their position when I had very little of the model exposed.

In the end I had to remove the excess paint with a wooden toothpick in order to get them straight. With hindsight I think would be better to do this first and then mask off the whole invasion band area and spray the camouflage around it.

Despite this last bit killing my enthusiasm for some time I have to say I'm satisfied with the result. I achieved the two things I wanted to, spraying accurate RAF colours and spraying the invasion stripes.

Now onto the decals.

05 October 2016

Motivation and Me – How to keep on Modelling?

Recently I’ve noticed a steady slump in my modelling output, as you can tell, there’s not been much in the way of blog posts over the last few months.

This isn’t the first time, I tend to get moments where I lose the drive to build or paint models. Away from that I’m still enjoying looking at models, reading about them, maintaining my Pinterest and so on. I’m just not building or painting.

This time it seems to have been the slow and, if I’m honest, the somewhat tedious painting of my Airfix Typhoon combined with a few other aircraft builds that just aren’t capturing my imagination like Tamiya’s 1:72 scale A6M5 Zero. Don’t get me wrong, the Typhoon and Zero are a fantastic kits, just my desire to paint at the invasion stripes and markings on the Typhoon slowed the build right down to the point where it stopped and I’m just not that passionate about Japanese WWII aircraft.

So how do I get my motivation back

Looking on the internet and most suggestions (such as this from Dakka Dakka) suggest a structured and almost work like approach to working through a block. I’ve considered setting time aside and making myself do something each day, but that’s not working for me as I don’t like such a structured approach even at the best of times.

For me my approach has always been less structured, I like to try many things, my hobby output is often driven by my curiosity and desire to experiment with ideas. However this may actually be contributing to the loss of motivation as it inevitably leads to a large number of unfinished projects which can seem a bit overwhelming when deciding some of them need to be finished. I am pleased however that I’ve not continued buying many kits in the hope that one would spark my imagination as that leads to an overwhelming stash, a problem which I’ve written about before, and which leads me to a similar loss of motivation.

Source: Bethesda Softworks
Away from modelling I’m still finding time for, and enjoying, my other interests. I’ve read more books in the last few months than I normally would and last week I rediscovered the computer game Skyrim which can certainly consume a large amount of my hobby time. Interestingly enough even these non-modelling hobbies are managing to provide inspiration for future modelling projects.

Realistically I think the desire will come back at some point, and I suspect it’ll involve something new rather than forcing myself to complete one of the many unfinished projects. I just don’t want to leave it too long though as I feel I will start to unlearn some of the things I’ve spent so long learning in the first place. I just need to get curious about something hobby related or have a sudden flash of inspiration and then things should snowball from there.

30 September 2016

Kit List, What's In, What's Out - September 2016

Continuing my record of what I buy and sell for one year, unfortunately it's pretty much been a month of hobby inactivity for September:

In - Purchases for September 2016
  • Citadel Paints - £15.30
  •  Tamiya Masking Tape (2 Rolls) - £4.80
Total Yearly (April to March) Expenditure - £199.58

Out - Downsizing for August 2016
  • None
Looking at my collection citadel paints it's becoming apparent many are no longer fit for use and so this month I decided to start replacing some of them, something which I'll probably continue over the coming months. Apart from that, Tamiya masking tape, because invasion stripes require a lot of masking and I'd ran out. So now I can get on with my Airfix Typhoon Build.