Despicable decals

I have never, ever liked decals. I still don't like them. And I don't think I'm going to like them in the future, either.

Cut, soak and paste

To ensure the best and least annoying (to myself) result I cut each of the decal pieces as tightly as possible, following the edges of the prints. This way the excess adhesive surface would be the smallest possible. Thanks to the tininess of some of the decals this led into having little surface to grab on, which in turn made applying and positioning them quite a bit slower.

Funnily enough the decal sheet had some "extra" decals which didn't have a place marked on the instructions - and as a muggle of sorts I couldn't guess where to apply them. Some of them looked like markings for refueling (or service hatch) markings, though. In the end I decided not to start guessing and did only what the instructions suggested.

A couple of the decal types had an extra one (those red marks on the top and the pluses in the rear fins), but for some pretty weird reason the NO STEP texts on the wings weren't in sufficient quantities. The instructions demanded n of them and the sheet had n-2. To make matters worse, two of them went irrecoverably tangled, so the left wing was going to have a noticeable amount of markings missing. Had I been smart I would've applied these symmetrically instead of the way I did now: right wing first, then the left one, the problem would've been insignificant. But as all the decals had gone on pretty well with only a gentle amount of swearing, I didn't expect problems with these, either. I really don't know why these ones were so damn problematic.

If you noticed the nose, you'd notice that only the left side has the mascot owl. Maybe it's nothing weird, as I have been accustomed to seeing them only on that side, whatever the picture / mascot / pin-up girl was. The sheet contained two of these owls but the beast didn't really agree with me and tangled up badly. My nerves did the same thing and I threw the whole semitransparent ball away in disgust.

They are straight, trust me

Even those landing gear pods have some markings


I guess that's all about the decals, but they just stand out so very annoyingly. Silvering is the term I've heard. So, I guess I have to go and dig out my "matt finish" contained and apply it all over.

The big boys always tell that before doing the decals and weathering one should apply a shiny varnish / coat and afterwards a matt / dullcoat. But I really haven't given a rat's behind about this sort of hi-fi tinkering nor have I felt the need for them. That includes this project and I should've followed the example instead of doing what I always do.

Then someone has the gall to ask why I prefer painting the markings myself... Here's a good example of that! Oh well, who am I to tell others what to like and how to approach their hobby :)

Final mess

I painted the wingtip lights, the one on the right green (VGC 72029 Sick Green) and the left one red (VMC 70926 Red). After they dried I applied a good layer of Vallejo's matt varnish (70520 Matt Varnish) in two sessions. Maybe that helped a bit with the eye-searing silvering effect and maybe it didn't. Out of curiosity I took a couple of photos:

Next week we'll be taking a look at those excercise bombs. I promise it, not that there's anything else to do on/with/to the model, anyway...


Washing and planning

Tail fins

I guess it's now a couple of weeks since I got told that the vertical stabilizers weren't straight. On the eve of the Model Expo I attacked the left tail fin and repositioned it straight. I guess I got it supported properly so that it would also remain straight. When the glue had dried I touched the paintjob up with a paintbrush.


Some time was spent rummaging through my washes collection and I decided to apply some Vallejo's Grey wash (VMW 76516 Grey - "for grey & dark vehicles"). There would've been some darker stuff available, but I thought this'd work just fine.

All the rest was washed with the Vallejo stuff but the steel-painted gun and refueling plate were quickly washed with Citadel's Badab Black. That stuff has seen many years and judging by the result it really was more goop than a wash, so I decided to throw it away when I was done with this.Why did I use black instead of uniform grey, anyway? Exactly because of that, I believed that washing the steel with grey wouldn't look proper, unlike with black or brown. Brown would've looked way too old/rusty/dirty, so that option got duly ignored.

Did it make a difference, in the end? I think that the panel lines stood out a bit better at least. Everything will look much nicer, I believe, when I tear the masking tapes off the canopy. The plane would have a bit more of a look at that point.

As soon as I get back to work on this I think I'll start swearing with the decals. That's going to eat an hour or two easily. One session won't be enough, that's for sure. Then there are the lamps on the wing tips, chaff/flare dispensers and stuff like that to be taken care of.


Lasse gave feedback re: my weapon load mumblings a few weeks ago. Just a few evenings ago I actually had the time to open the "Air to Ground" box actually contained.

Good old-fashioned bombs, rocket launchers and such. I guess that a couple of blue-painted excercise bombs (mk81 and/or mk83, whatever they were) could fit my theme quite nicely indeed. Still, this beast won't be even moderately laden, I'm going to go nuts with the proper A-10A instead.


Working on the details


Before I painted the business end of the GAU-8 Avenger, as a spur of the moment kind of thing, I masked the refueling door for painting. Within the same minute I painted (VMA 71065 Steel) the gun's barrrels and the plate with a couple of puffs from the airbrush. Later on when I was taking the masking tapes off, I got to notice to my great happiness that a tiny strip of paint had come off. That I fixed manually right away.

Those small but important problematic things

If there was something to remember in addition to these parts in the nose, it was the main landing gear wheels. Usually I paint wheels with grey-black, but because the whole plane is painted quite dark, there wouldn't have been enough contrast. To ensure one could actually notice the wheels, I painted them flat black (VMC 72051). The barely visible wheel hubs I wasn't really sure about: should they remain the same colour as the plane or would they be lighter, like they usually seem to be? Somehow having them all the same colour would only make sense but I thought I'd take a look at the references just in case. In the end I kept them the way they were for that uniform look.

In case I was going to apply a wash I had left the canopy masking on. Just in case, you know, as it'd suck to find out I had ruined the canopy in the last stages of the project and only because of my own idiocy.


How to detail the engines was also a bit of a headscratcher for me. I thought I'd first do the blades black and then drybrush them lightly with a metallic paint, then dirtify the rear end with something dark. Maybe I'd paint the insidest of the smallest center tubes black. I guess it'd do something, even if they'd be in shadows all the time.


Model Expo 2015

I can't really say much about the size of the Model Expo's scale model section (I guess it's run by IPMS Finland as usual) except that I think it was about like the one two years ago when I last attended. If I had anything displayable, you can be sure I'd dropped it among the other models just for the fun of it. Maybe next time, whichever year it ends up being.

Without further ado, here's a pile of photos I took hastily. Most of them have been heavily cropped and each of them has been scaled down at least to 1/3, otherwise they'd still be uploading.

There's almost a hundred of them. Consider yourselves warned.



A convoy somewhere in the Baltic Sea (I guess)

This one I liked a lot

Someone got insane and build a diorama inside a Guksi cup/mug


A SS officer somewhere

A Lotta entering service


Finnish Air Force fighter planes '39-'44

Gravity defiers

Ju-88 A/4

I think I was staring at the glass panes of the huge plane almost with an open mouth, looking slightly silly :p

It's surprisingly rare to see plane models with open panels around here

Military vehicles

88FlaK37 or 88 ItK/37 as it was called here


I am sorry, as I am every year I think, that I understand little about cars. So I can't show the respect the car models should receive. The best I can do is limited to "Oh myyyy, that's nicely done" and "Wow, the details are insane" kind of reactions.


Year after year I admire the palikkatakomo stand. Now I'm very eagerly waiting for the time when my project assistant has grown a bit more and reaches the lego age. I hope she gets into them.

Individual setups

A wonderful rocket from the Tintin comics

Video game characters

Century tank aka TIE Crawler was a curious detail

An overwhelming Imperial presence is always a good thing

The dogfight was fun

The City

For some reason I found the waterfall effect awesome

In hopes of catching some obscure, amusing details I tried to peek into all the buildings


Not as enormous as in '12 but it was not a small stand anyway


Didn't notice him anywhere :/

A horde of kings on their way to a castle

That's just about it, then. I didn't get any impressive or shareworthy pics of the boats, shops or trains this time. It was lots of fun to watch them live, though. I think there were something like four, five booths just for the trains (or train-related folk) alone.

I wonder if it could fly or is it just static decoration?

On the 501 stand I got lucky and encountered his royal highness, the Emperor himself! He was, naturally, protected by his Royal Guard