lørdag 24. mars 2012

Nearly there!

For the last week, I have been able to get in a few hours of painting more or less every night. As a result, the Dorniers are nearly finished, which suits me fine in every respect:

- The next project is one of my favourite fighters, the Messerschmitt Bf110c. It will be good to get some variation in the fighters available for the Luftwaffe as well, and these can allow me to start playtesting the "Dogfight over Oslofjord"-scenario.

- As a result of long experience, I have to limit myself to having one set of miniatures in the painting queue. Finishing the Dorniers will allow me to place a new order (most likely for a batch of Raiden Stukas). More shiny toys! Me like!

- And, finally, I will have a full squadron of bombers, allowing some variation to our scenarios.

Well, that, and the fliegender Bleistift is a damn hot aeroplane to have in the collection too...

Picking up the action where I let off last time. At that time, the camouflage pattern was finished. The next step was to paint the cockpit canopies. This is a job that I detest, and as a result I like to do it as early as possible in the painting process to have it out of the way. On single engine fighters, the canopy will be finished as soon as the undercoat is done. For these aircraft, there is a lot of glass, separated by thin strips of the fuselage. When painting the prototype, one of the things I discovered was that it would be far easier to paint on the canopy after the camouflage was finished. Therefore, this was one of the last painting operations to be done on these particular aircraft.

Well, what do you know? These windows, which are only present on the right-hand side of the fuselage were overlooked when I painted the prototype, as I by chance have only seen pictures of the left side of the aircraft when working out the colour scheme!
Despite some web research, I have been unable to conclusively decide why the windows were positioned like this. However, I did find enough incidental evidence to make up my mind. The small bulge under the aircraft's nose is the bomb sight nacelle, and this was positioned offset to the right - placing it directly below these windows. To me it therefore seems overwhelmingly evident that these windows were for the benefit of the bomb aimer.

There, fixed it! 

Over the course of a few evenings, all the canopies were done. With the exception of the "hand-hold" rudders, the paint job was now complete, allowing me to move on to...

...decals! These are the 300-GE-1 High-visibilty and 300-GE-2 Low visibility Balkenkreuz from Dom's Decals. They are easy to work with and apply, and I think they look really good. Dom offered excellent service and quick delivery when I ordrered these.
The website does not appear to have been updated in quite a while, so I'll make sure to ask in the Toofatlardies-group if everything is ok - I expect it to be, as Dom is a frequent contributer there. The balkenkreuzes are starting to run out, and I will definitly be ordering from Dom the next time too.

 There was something strangely poetic in seeing two dozen balkenkreuzes floating around in a small, white bowl...

High-viz Balkenkreuz in their natural habitat. The brushes are used to apply the decals (as if you did not know already :)

To get the spacing more or less equal on all the aircraft, I use whatever suitable items I might have at hand - in this case, a square-nosed file (that hardly gets used for anything else, really).

Seeing as it had been a while since I finished the prototype, I had a bit of a puzzle to solve when it came to the low-viz Balkenkreuz on the top of the wings. By trying out various items from my paint brush storage cup I was finally able to determine that I had used the shaft of my scalpel!

 This is either how I kept track of my progress in applying the under-wing decals, or a new type of Othello with really fancy tokens...

All done! Only the rudders and varnish to go, and these puppies will be intruding an airspace near you!
As a side note, the shine of the decal film around the Balkenkreuz will disappear once the varnish is applied.

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