October 2015 News Roundup

IMG_20150905_103942A catch-up on June, July, August and September 2015. We are now up to Issue 37 of the DeAgostini Millennium Falcon which more-or-less completes assembly of the low hull. After all the excitement of customising the Hall interior this became pretty hum-drum after a while. It remains a delight but the build is not overly challenging at this stage of assembly. Nothing wrong with that. It just all falls together with ease so is actually a delightful pleasure to put together once a month on the kitchen table. That being the only place with enough space for it.

3D printed parts for the DeAgostini Millennium FalconThis doesn’t mean that there isn’t any underlying workload for the Falcon. Absolutely not. Look at the photo on the left and you can see a veritable sea of tiny 3D printed Items from Shapeways that all need painting. At this moment in time they are all mounted on cocktail sticks for airbrushing. I have sprayed on the undercoat primer then divided them up into little boxes with the paint pot I will use for the items. It will be a bit of a chore to paint them all up but it should be straightforward. I see a giant airbrushing session coming up in October for this lot as well as the floor-ways in the corridors that also need painting.

OEZ Su-7BKLOnto the two cold war Sukhois in 1/48th scale: these are progressing slowly now as all final assembly has been completed. As you can see from the photo we have progressed as far as the pre-shade on the fuselages. Both are now at the same stage and all the weapons, pylons, ground equipment, figures, ladders etc., have been stuck on sticks and have also had their first coats of primer. It sometimes feels like an insurmountable amount of work but I need to focus on getting paint down onto the fuselages as I get a bit jittery about having masking down for too long lest it stick permanently & ruin the under-surface.

We have done a bit of shopping recently procuring a pack of weathering washes from Flory Models as well as a bunch of stuff from Ammo of Mig Jimenez including the Weathering and Chipping sets for Mechas, their book “In Combat – Painting Mechas” and the subscription to the “Encyclopaedia of Aircraft Modelling Techniques” the first of which was “Cockpits”. That was in June. In July we picked up a bunch of paints for the Sukhois as well as Montex Mini Mask 48367 for Xuntong Tu-2, Quickboost sets 48640 & 658 windows and propellers for the Tu-2, Eduard photoetch sets for the Monogram B-24J in 48th scale: 49670 seatbelts, 49441 cockpit, 49440 front interior, 48618 exterior and 48621 rear interior. For good measure I added the Eduard colour photoetch set 73479 for Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk.XIX for an Airfix kit my daughter was given for Christmas by her Aunt. It should pretty it up without too much skill being required.

In August we took delivery of the Armory set ACA4816 Engine Nacelles for the Xuntong 1/48th scale Tu-2. This was on backorder from Hannants and, to be honest, I forgot all about it. It was quite expensive too but the resin is pretty exquisite. I have published the photos up on the project page you can find at this page: Xuntong Tu-2S So feel free to take a gander at the detailed pictures there. It might not be quite up there with the quality of the Scale Resin Su-25K Interior and Avionics added May 2015 but pretty delightful never-the-less.

Onto other hobby-related stories: I took the family on holiday to Devon. On the second day we were out walking in a narrow gorge alongside a small river when I fell in. Just a silly accident but it damaged my trusty old Olympus Digital SLR (the E-410). Water ingress can have wacky and unpredictable effects on delicate photographic equipment. The camera and lens were immersed completely and despite out best efforts (and a lot of rice) the damage proved beyond economical repair. The lens got dried out but the auto-focus refuses to work. The camera body faired a bit better as it is now mostly working although a couple of the buttons appear not to work. I have reserved it for work only around the house – meaning it will be confined to the workbench for photographing model builds. I tested it out when taking the photos of the Armory set above. However this relegation to secondary duties left me without a camera and my favourite lens.

I had considered my options. I am not a camera obsessive so don’t follow the changes in the hobby month-on-month. I could rule out an insurance claim as we have a high excess on the policy. It keeps the premiums down but for any damage to items below £500 there is no point. I seriously didn’t want to spend a lot of money so looked into repairs. After a bit of research I guessed it could cost me in the region of £100 to £200 to repair a camera and the same again for the lens. As much as I hate waste this didn’t seem economic. I looked up the prices of the equipment new only to find it was all obsolete. The industry has ditched the original four-thirds format in favour of micro-four-thirds with a new range of camera bodes that have ditched the old SLR mirror. This makes sense but it also meant I could not buy a new replacement without having to get all new lenses. Of course I could have tried to sell what I had but everyone else is doing the same so second hand prices are depressed….

…Which, of course, was the solution. I picked up a second hand camera body – the upgraded E-450 – off of Amazon for about £140 then I went to EBay and got the Sigma 10-20mm EX HSM SLD ultra wide-angle lens for Olympus Four Thirds for £123. This means I now have spare equipment, ie, common battery charges and leads as the E-410 and E-450 are of the same family. It also meant I didn’t take long to learn how to use it as it was much the same as what I had. So, yes, it was an expensive accident. Eye-wateringly so. My wallet is £263 lighter for the experience. Money I could have spent better elsewhere. I am gutted but console myself that I replaced the damaged equipment for the lowest price possible.

Maybe, next time, I should watch my step… Oh yeah, and don’t get me started on the video camera I had in the other pocket…

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