Sprue Cutters Union #10: My spending habits

Keeping with the stereotypical image that most foreigners seem to have of the dutch  i would say i am the stingy kind of modeler….. a hobby scrooge as it were

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Not that i am proud of it or see it as the way to go. God or whomever you personally hail to knows i would looooove to throw down hundreds of euro’s for a kit and all the aftermarket i can get my hands on and not even feel a dent in my wallet. Yes puhlease sir!

Alas, i am a blue collar kind of guy living in times of crisis. My hobby in terms of cashflow is looking more like this:

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Well… maybe not that bad….

But still i have to watch every penny i spend, i have a wife and daughter that want stuff and things too and i am not even beginning to add in rent, food and bills to that equation. Oh yes i wish i was filthy stinking rich in the most decadent ludicrous kind of way! But i am not….

During my limited modelling career i noticed you can buy quality gear for reasonable prices. The newer Revell offerings reflect this perfectly. Other brands i like to keep an eye on in terms of bang for buck are Academy, Hobby Boss and Trumpeter. And let us not forget the value profipack kits that Eduard offer. Buy a kit and get a basic masking and PE set in one reduced price package! My dutch heart fills with joy!

In reality this situation also forces me to work with what i have and forget mostly about intricate aftermarket goodies…. ill bend that paperclip and say it is an airhose or spend an hour fiddling with strips of Tamyia tape and soldering iron to get a reasonable seat strap going. Ofcourse i hold my chin up and say “hey, this is real modelling!” or “Bah, humbug… who needs resin anyways” on a lot of occasions and partly i really believe in that but yes, it also has a significant monetary reason.

On top of that is my wife’s rule we discussed earlier of “buy one, build one”. No stash building of any kind and forget about that new 1/32 Tamigawa superdeluxe model while there is a car standing on the driveway that needs serious surgery.

Is it all doom and gloom then i hear you ask. Well,…. no

Our hobby is relatively ridiculously cheap if you want it to be and i still get good solid kits in my hands and get reasonable results. I am content with my budget and if it so happens i want something that requires a bit more spending i can discuss that with my lovely wife like a good hubby should. (i.e. cook dinner, have the house clean and a chickflick on with candle light and hope for the best) 

 

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SPRUE CUTTERS UNION #9- Preferred Paints

Hello and welcome back! Last week i did not write a post due to being really occupied with other stuff i.e. procrastinating too much…..you pick.

This week a lighthearted subject, namely what paints do you prefer?

Starting out the hobby i went for the only brand that is readily available here in any hobby and toy store: Revell. Tiny little tins of enamel paints just like the tiny testors i found in the US. The revell brand is the equivalent here in the EU and you will find it anywhere.

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A pretty sturdy allround paint that brushes and airbrushes well if you thin it properly as it will be rather thick straight out of the tin.

About a year or so into the hobby, revell came with a brand new line of acrylics that is gradually taking over the familiar tins in stores. Excellent to brush paint with and good for airbrushing if you manage to sort out/ prevent it from clogging. Dries in an hour and just a good allround paint to use. Another very clever bit is these caps that can act as paint cups for brush painting.

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By way of experiment my LHS started carrying humbrol acrylics as well so i picked up some bottles and tried them. I still prefer the revell acrylics as the humbrol sprays nicely but to me is rather unusable for brush painting. It just wont “bite”

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I found the humbrol enamels to be much the same as the revell ones in behaviour but they are especially liked by me for good drybrushing characteristic so i always keep some white, gunmetal and rust in my drawer.

You will have noticed lately i did quite a few Italeri kits… Their instruction sheets call out for Model Master paints exclusively so i bought a few of those little glass jars as well. Excellent paints and i love their behaviour but it took me some effort to find a way to clean my airbrush effectively. The revell and humbrol just need water and a touch of alcohol but the MM really needs scrubbing if you do that. Someone advised me to use Windex and it did help alot. Nice plus is you can use the empty jars as paintbottles for airbrush ready concoctions of your own.

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Lastly i have a good supply of tubes of water paints and oil paints. I started out with the former and they are just fine for basic washes and so easy to clean. For more advanced/ intricate work and controlability i switched to the oil paints in recent times. The slow as molasses drying time really makes it easy to alter.

That, in a nutshell is the stuff you will find in my drawer.

Sprue Cutters Union #7 – Your significant other

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Our little band of brothers called The Sprue Cutters Union is really growing and picking up new members of all modelling disciplines. Let me start off by giving a big warm welcome to the newly started bloggers!

This weeks topic……. potential minefield blog material:

How does your partner view your hobby

The forums outthere are filled with this topic and metaphorical references to our partners. I can name “She who must be obeyed” (SWMBO) as a humoristic example but i have seen less flattering terminology…. I also come across actual topics of guys getting tips and advice from their fellow modellers on how to convince the missus of that big dollar purchase you feel you absolutely need for your bench.

In my particular case i can truthfully say i am a thoroughly blessed man (honey, i know you peek in from time to time…Thanks for putting up with this hobby! And me for all that matters…).

No honestly.

At the time we met i was very careful not to get too enthousiastic in referral to my favorite passtime… But i told her about it and initially her response was one of “well, i guess it’s okay as long as i don’t find any action figures in your house; that’s a bit too much”. And that settled it…. Hobby accepted! Or maybe it was the fact that i distracted her by screwing up the metric system conversion table and convincing her for a short time i was 5 feet tall and a genuine leprechaun. (she actually took it very professionally)

We have been happily married for about two and a half years now and it has been an absolute blast! We did work out a few rules though. The major ones being: wives are more important than styrene and the even bigger “no stash” rule. As a bachelor i was happily working on a fledgling stash but nowadays i am more the “buy one kit and build it before the next one kind of modeller”. Perfectly acceptable with me and kind of makes sense really. No walk in closet with thousands of pretty boxes for me….

She actually made me model on a few occasions when she noticed i get antsy when away from the bench for a while. I really have to admit i become a real grouchy big baby when i do… Hows that for support!

And in terms of passion for the hobby…. I think she gets it and she encourages having something to be passionate about as long as i realise that marriages and a loving relationship requires an equal amount of passion and delicate timing for both to be enjoyable. It’s still a hobby after all!

This, in a nutshell, is the kind of understanding we have between eachother and so far it has worked well. I get to model to my hearts content as long as everyday life is taken care of. In reference to Jon’s introduction i would like to add “a happy wife means an actual modelling modeller”.

Oh,…. and my wife being the delightful creature she is, she likes to tease me at times. One time she told me to “go play with my toys”……. The nerve!!!! But as passionate as i am about modelling. Her way of occasionally doing that makes me subtly aware of the fact that there is such a thing as moderation in passion. Oh boy, she is good at that……

Oh and on behalf of the wifey….: I can honestly laugh about it and even expect stuff like that to happen having chosen the nickname i am using but let’s just say that referring to her as “Miss Piggy” is at your own peril and depending on how much you love life… Just sayin’

 

 

Messerschnitzel Antics #1 – Introduction

Also….. Today ve vill start ze build of zis kit:

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Sehr schön nicht?….

Ok cut the jokes Kermie…. in english please! People following my blog and facebook page (bless you) will have noticed i have been getting excited for this one for a couple of weeks now. Up until yesterday i have been constantly switching my opinion on what finish i will go for, and i even announced going for “a tropical messerchnitzel” on my facebook. In reality i was so indecisive i asked some collegues what they thought was the most interesting and i have finally been able to make up my mind… It will be Hans “Assi” Hahn’s famous Battle of Britain mount:

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Initially i wanted to go do Hans Marseille’s brown F4trop.  just because it was different from the usual mottles and squiggles found on Bf109’s but in the end public opinion swayed me and the fact that this model will require every iota of skill i have to get it to look like the image. The mottle looks like a real challenge and it is something i barely ever attempted. And apart from any technical challenge i just think this plane looks darn sexy with all the interesting markings. Note also the two colors of yellow on the upper and lower cowling…

So… a choice has been made. What about the kit?

This pretty Revell box is another rebox from ICM. Something i didn’t know at the time of purchase. Not the most top end kit but certainly not the worst either if you manage to work around the known flaws of the kit such as slight surface irregularities, some flash and that sort of thing. I was surprised to find out the exact same flaws on the plastic occur in this rebox. Appearantly revell’s quality control department decided it was “passable”. Another ICM peculiarity is the vast amounts of mold release agent they like to use so i took no chances and cleaned the frets thoroughly before the start.

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On the plus side you could mention the very gentle pricetage of the kit, just 15 euro’s (18 bucks?), you get a fully displayable pretty good engine and instead of ICM’s often shabby decals you get Revell’s own usually well executed decals. Also you get all the parts that will distinguish an F2 from an F4, most notably the prop and chin air intake scoops come in two versions. Very nicely done ICM!

Because the kit itself barely made a dent in my wallet i will be topping this off with my very first eduard self adhesive colored cockpit set. On paper it looks really convenient to get pre sticky made PE. Let’s see how this works for me… On the fret the set looks gorgeous though!

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So, without much more of my incoherent babble… i hope you guys like my choice. Sit back and enjoy the show as i embark on my new challenge!

Blowing Ballast #3, Paint & Finish

Welcome back to the final update on my vignette “Anblasen!”

Update number two showed you how i used a combo of clay and putty to model all the water flowing off of the submarine. The next thing i did was covering the surface with a dark rich prussian blue oil paint. Directly afterwards i added highlights and tonal variation using a lighter Cerulean blue that has a more tropical type of blue color. I then finished off with smaller accents of emerald green.

Mixing all these colors on the vignette itself with a hand brush you can really sort of Bob Ross away creating lots of tonal variation. The oil paints take forever to dry so you do not have to worry about messing things up as you can add, alter and remove at any stage.

I struggled a bit deciding where i want the white foamy water to end and the blue water to start but i think i ended up with something convincing just by boldly playing around with the paints.

Lastly i finished the bow waves and raised details with a nice acrylic white paint edge on top and drybrushed smaller ripples using enamel white. The wet effect of the water was obtained by a generously brushed on three layers of future floor polish. Done!

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Due to the ridiculously low cost involved (i estimate around $15 USD total) and the fact that you can really mess around with the paint without fear of screwing up too much this vignette was a really fun light project to clear the modelling sinusses. I hope you enjoyed watching and as always i highly appreciate all of the interest and feedback i received!