David Knights' Weblog

November 21, 2020

What is your plan for getting better?

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:32 am
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Modeling friend Jim Bates has been a boon to my modeling.  He pushes and challenges me, and I do the same to him.  We frequently (daily) talk modeling.  His recent discussion with his modeling friend Tim Nelson, whom I met in Chattanooga at the Nationals, has had a profound effect on me.

Many of us put off doing the projects we want to do until we “get better”  Tim challenged Jim with “so what is your plan to get better?”  It is a great question, and a profound one.  The answer can be, “well I plan to model more.”  That is ok, but it really doesn’t reach the core of the question.  What is you plan for getting better in those areas you want to improve so that you can build what you want to build.

Naturally this entails both risk and failure. The risk of doing things outside your comfort zone, and the inevitable result that you will fail.  This is something that we, as humans, are naturally adverse to.  We are risk adverse.  It is bred into us and is a very useful survival instinct.

However, because it is so deeply ingrained in us, it effects areas where its Darwinian usefulness is not applicable, such as in a hobby, such as modeling.  Thus in order to get better in modeling, we have to fight tens of thousands of years of instinct.

Thus, we have to do more than just “model more. We have to have a plan.  What do you want to build?  What skills do you want to develop.  What can you plan to build that will help you get there?  Are you willing to accept that your initial efforts may be subpar?

We are coming up on the new year.  I am sure every reader will be happy to see 2020 in the rear view mirror.  However, I challenge myself and each of you….what is your plan to get better?  Make a plan.  I am starting to.  More on that in the future.

November 20, 2020

The USN’s new aggressor schemes for the Super Hornet

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:02 pm
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I love aggressor schemes.  I always have, particularly the ones the USAF and USN use in their aggressor squadrons.  The USN has just revealed the schemes for the  Super Hornet which is moving into the aggressor role.  Article here.  Scroll all the way through.

November 18, 2020

Trumpeter Tu-128 review

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:34 pm
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A review from 2019 in FineScale.  One of the few reviews of this kit I’ve been able to find.

November 15, 2020

Das Werk U-9 build

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 4:52 pm
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I previously mentioned that I was very excited by the Das Werk U-9 announcement.  Well, a YouTube channel, Andy’s Hobby Headquarters, has a build of a test sample.  Enjoy.

November 11, 2020

Rescribing and metal finishes

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:59 pm
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The A Model AS-1 is not a Tamiya-level quality kit. In fact, Scalemates tells us that it was actually another company’s kit that A-Model re-released as part of their line. I love Soviet/Russian stuff and especially their missiles, so when I saw it at the Chattanooga Nats I had to get it.

Among other things this kit has given me a chance to work on my metal finish skills and, because of my ham-handed building and the less than stellar quality of the kit, my rescribing of panel lines.

As far metal finishes go, Dr. Miller of Model Paint Solutions has suggested for non-chrome metallic finishes, white is a better primer than black. I wanted to use this as a chance to test that theory. A you can see below, I think he is correct. Now, when I get the top sprayed with aluminum, I am going to try and create some panel variations. Stay tuned.

White primer (with a few things left to fix)

A pretty smooth Alclad II aluminum finish

November 10, 2020

MiG-17 decals

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 4:20 pm
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Ohhh.  More MiG-17 decals.  I have not heard of Model Maker decals before.

November 8, 2020

Clearprop A5M4

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:59 pm
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Looks like another release. Is it just different marking or more?

November 7, 2020

U-9

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:51 am
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I had no idea I needed this.  Wow. Awesome.

November 5, 2020

AK Weathering Pencils

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 5:11 pm
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My recent MiG-17 build was my first use of the relatively new AK Weathering pencils product.

I am using them again on the Special Navy Biber and I continue to be impressed.  The pencils can be used to create what AK refers to as both “wet effects” and “dry effects”. In reality this refers more to the way the pencils are used, either wet or dry.  One tip, you want to do all your wet effects applications before doing the dry ones, since using the pencils wet over an area with a dry application will change the look of the dry effects.

I am doing some rusting effects on the Biber.  Here is some rust applied with a “rust pencil” and then manipulated with a paint brush dipped in water. (Don’t give me any grief about the eyelet not being drilled out.  This model is OOB for use as a weathering mule.)

As you can see it is possible with these pencils to create a very nice rust effect.  One of the best thing about there pencils is that if you don’t like they way things came out you can remove them with a paint brush dipped in water.  Here is some rust on the hatch hinge. (sorry for the poor photo, but this is an extreme close up of a small model)

Here is a photo to add a bit of scale for reference.

I will have a fuller report once I complete the weathering process.

November 4, 2020

Dora Wings PC-6

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 4:35 pm
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The Dora Wings PC-6 is closer to release.  See here.  I can’t wait to do an Air America one.

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