Our Muse, that will guide us through these times of political darkness

Friday, May 24, 2019

Supermarine Stranraer civil conversion, Matchbox 1/72nd

This is from the archives, a 2006 build, that I forgot to upload.

And old Matchbox mold that was adapted to represent a civil passenger transport.

Percival Proctor, civil adaptation of vintage Air Lines (Frog, Novo) 1/72 kit

I am ever looking for conversion projects in order to redeem boring and drab doom machines into colorful, joyful, useful and uplifting models.
Many times the suitable kit happens to be a very old and outdated one.
This one -for what I can tell- was originally a Frog mold, and it also more recently came out as a NOVO boxing (which already gives you the clue that you are communicating with the spirits of the departed kits...).
On the pro side: you can get them for an affordable price, they are abundant as most modelers have migrated to newer/better molds (and for good reasons), and if you botch one you just trash it mercilessly in the bin and forget about it, no stress ruining a good kit here.
So, I got this oldie and started to look for nice civil liveries, of which I found a lot. But soon I discovered that many of my potential subjects actually belonged to other variants of the type, and would require some modifications. Since a reasonable improvement and detailing of the kit already would consume certain time, and not wanting to get into a building quagmire, I discarded the subjects that belonged to other marks of the Proctor and centered on a few candidates that were more or less a direct adaptation of these machines into civil use.

 Contents, observe pedestal...sigh....

 My boxing -bought 334,677th hand- was missing a side window, no big deal:
The parts were liberated from the ever-present flash, cleaned up, and slightly refined:
 This area needs to be opened up, so one hole and two razor cuts do the trick:

 Vent drilled:
 Another small intake drilled:
 All locating pins were removed since invariably they actually dis-located the parts they were supposed to seamlessly align, and stabs and wing halves were shaved a bit, since they sinned of fatulence (yes, correct word, no typo, it describes a known kit malady that makes kit parts  -especially flying surfaces- look excessively fat):
 Parts ready to continue:

To be continued......

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Aero commander 680, Comet 1/81 scale

 Models some times come to our hands via strange and winding paths.
So it happened that I got this one as a gift from Liz and Jeff (thanks again!) from their Palm Springs hobby store that I frequently buy from. The kit was a "rescue" kit, since at some point during the many years of going from one home to another, it lost and engine front.
Perhaps knowing that I like a challenge and that I would take care of the missing part, they were kind enough to put it in my hands.
So I had to honor the gesture by building it, of course!
The Commander is too modern a plane for my usual modeling ventures, but one had to concede that it has nice lines and undeniable charm. I am extremely reluctant to build in any other scale than 1/72nd, so I had to overcome the queer feeling of tackling something in 1/81st. too.
Now, this kit comes from the prehistory of the hobby,so there is no interior or even landing gear, and the surface, otherwise fantastically detailed, is marred by the engraving of the decals' position. 
Other than the points already discussed, this is a wonderful little kit, and a jewel considering its age.

 The unfortunate images of the decals engraved:

 Nice transparencies:

 Great surface detail, an example for many contemporary kit makers:

 I mean, look at this: 39 cents:
 And even better: remember when the customer was king? the time when agencies and even private entities would advocate for consumer rights? Yes, young ones and fledglings: once upon a time customers were not, like now, the slaves and best enemies of the merchants and corporations, they were people with rights. Imagine that. So as you can see in the box "Good Housekeeping" will grant his seal and warranty to those merchants of quality goods willing to give a damn about their customers. Amazing, n'est pas? 
A proof-of-concept trial run for making the replacement for the missing part (engine front):

 Fixing the unnecesary engraving:

 Removing the "wheel":
 Opening the exhausts

 Fabricating an interior:

 Fabricating the landing gear:
 Adding bulkheads:

 Adding the housings for the lights:
 Adding instrument panel:
 Excellent fit of the transparencies:

 Filling the "stand" hole:
 Fabricated tail cone for the Questor Surveys airframe:

 Masking transparencies:

 First coat of white:
 Ready to mask and airbrush the red color:
The decals arrived! the project will continue soon:
The masks are applied without any issues, and the areas not to be painted red are further masked>

Red color is airbrushed, also on the prop blade tips:

To be continued....