The Aero Squadron Lounge - feature in Dolls House & Miniature Scene

by brae  

I'm honored to have The Aero Squadron Lounge featured in Dolls House & Miniature Scene for February 2020.

This was a build based on a local restaurant called The 94th Aero Squadron. It had war memorabilia throughout, and the structure was reminiscent of an old French farmhouse. There were planes on display outside, and the back patio featured burned and broken rafters.

It was an interesting place with great food, but it went out of business. After sitting vacant for years, they finally razed the building completely. It’s a shame, because it was unique. There are still a few throughout the US.

The most challenging part of the build had to be the 1:32 scale Sopwith Camel, built from a plastic kit by Academy. I had built model cars previously, but I had never built an airplane let alone one with rigging.

A special thank you to Sadie and Carl at Dolls House & Miniature Scene for a wonderful feature!

Groundhog Day 2020

by brae  

The best way to keep Woodrow from seeing his shadow is to keep him out late the night before! Come on early Spring! :D

Oops, sorry, Woodrow...I'll keep it down. Sleep is the best remedy, little buddy.

Droids, part 3 - additional kits

by brae  

Continuing work on the droids. There are additional Bandai kits besides the two kits I have of BB-8 with R2-D2 and BB-8 with D-0, but those are the only ones I plan to build. However, during my scouting around, I ran into two fan made kits for Gonk and MSE (mouse droid) and Chopper by JPG Productions. I was lucky they were still available.

These are cast resin models, which I've never worked with before.

There are decals and other parts to finish as shown.

Of course, you can always upgrade from a basic kit, as I will do. :] I found some excellent examples not only on the JPG page but also other sites, most notably Action Figure Toronto. There are tutorials for Gonk and Mouse, and Chopper, which will help immensely. There's another Chopper tutorial on The Modelling News. All great inspiration. But, back into the boxes they go as I continue where I left off. 

Mail Wagon - part 15

by brae  

Continuing work on the mail wagon. Many of the pictures in this post show the parts after painting since I was on a deadline and had little time to take progress photos.

The chassis from the doctor's buggy kit had wonderful detail, but it was not made for a straight bottom cabin like my mail wagon. The original chassis planned for a curved reach. That's the long bar that connects the front axle assembly to the rear axle assembly.

Mine had to be relatively straight but also account for the slight difference in height between the front and back wheel hubs. Since it was such a slight incline, I used a long piece of 3/32" basswood as my new reach without any curve built in. The kit was supposed to come with a piece of cherry for the reach, but I couldn't find it. It's entirely possible it was in the box originally, but I misplaced it.

In case you ever need to know, the small McCormick spice bottles are just under 2 1/4" tall. :D The spice jars helped me mark where the front and rear spring bars would hit the cabin.

I trimmed the spring bars to fit since my cabin was skinnier than the original doctor's buggy passenger compartment.

The front and rear body hangers from the original kit are soft metal, so I was able to straighten them out and bend to the new shape needed.

I drilled holes for nails to be added. These are also epoxied in place for stability and durability.

The body hangers sit on top of the spring bars, suspending the cabin above the reach. I left them unattached at this point.

After I had the placement, I could slide the excess reach out the back and trim it to fit.

Chassis completion to be continued....

Droids, part 2 - paint testing

by brae  

Continuing work on the droids. As I mentioned last time, I do plan to paint the pieces since I prefer a painted finish to the plain plastic no matter how good the quality. But, I don't want to just dive in without doing some testing since I am working with a new product - Testors Panel Line Accent Color. Here are the sprays I bought for this project as well. I omitted buying blue for R2-D2 since there is so little of it.

I've used regular Testors paint to detail vent lines before for the Datsun, so I am eager to see if this product works better. Here is the Datsun vent.

I've watched a few tutorials on the accent color product, specifically for these droid kits, and it seems like most used it over a non-painted surface. I want to try it with the paints before applying anything to the model parts, just in case I need to rethink my painted base coat for use with the accent color.

After making the RX-7 model commission, the buyer told me to keep the spare parts from the three kits I used to make the one model. I'm using one of the defunct car bodies for testing since it has panel lines and enough surface area to try the four colors.

Looks like a custom car painted like the Irish flag! :D The silver came out faster than I thought it would, so it ran. Good to know before spraying the real model. I finished the car with Testors Dullcote.

After a few days, I tried out the Testors Panel Line Accent Color. I did like it on the painted surfaces, and I can see how it will be useful for mini projects.

I opted to paint the parts while still on the sprues. They are labeled per droid, which makes life easier, but I did have to cut the color portions apart for painting.

The paints are close to the same color as the molded plastic, but the paint gives the aging washes and details a surface to grab. Plus now the silver parts look more metallic.

The paint also dulled any shiny parts.

For the blue that I didn't paint, I sprayed with Testors Dullcote to remove the sheen.

Next up, starting to build!

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