Monday, August 30, 2010

Well, isn't this ironic

Or, maybe not. The definition of irony sometimes escapes me.

Here's the deal and the bad joke: I don't often post finished models. One might say, I'd post a finished model when pigs fly. So, here's a flying pig:

And my build of his aircraft, FineMolds' Savoia S.21 from Haiyo Miyazki's wonderful film Porco Rosso. (make sure to click to embiggen these)

The model is a marvel of engineering in most places, silliness in others. The silliest part is in the interior. Just ahead of the cockpit is the fuel tank, beautifully molded with nuts on the mounting flanges. The silliness is that when you finish the model, this part will not be seen except for a tiny glimpse of the rear of the tank under the instrument panel. There are no provisions, or even the possibility for opening a panel.

The other silly part is the engine. The engine was full of detail, including a manifold in the aft section and exterior detail to the engine gearbox. I had to try to show this magnificent little thing, especially when I went all AMS on it and put detail that would never be seen (and since I took no photos of the finished engine before buttoning it up...)

The engine cowling pieces were thick, so I asked a fellow Mount Mansfiled Modeler if he could vacuum form a replacement for me. He was gracious enough to do so (he and his wife also had me over for dinner and a great dessert, too. Both of which I was grateful for).

Looking to the film and finding a couple of shots of the engine under repair, I set to work. Here is a screenshot:

Here's my recreation of the panels:

Here are all the pieces ready for painting:

And here it is finished and assembled. Note how I also hollowed out the exhaust and the engine cowling vents. That was pretty touchy, but looks much better:

Here's a closeup of the cockpit, the harness are scratchbuilt as the kit only came with a decal harness:

The belly was my first attempt at oil wood grain. I've developed an easy technique for using Tamiya NATO Brown to make wood grain, but the large area and need for a more subtle effect prompted me to try oils (the fact that my wife is a painter made supplies easy to get). Try as I might, however, I could not take a decent photo to show off my wood grain. It looks good, but I should have kept at it until I got a more subtle Albatros DVa-style plywood effect. Also, the stripes are painted so that I could weather them as close to the main fuselage as possible. I think I'll paint all stripes from now on. easier in some respects to decals.

While this is not good enough to enter a contest, it is the best build I've done to date. I learned a lot and there are some nice moments on the plane. (though, looking at the photos, I need to re-tension the pontoon rigging. I'll get on that before the next modeling club meeting). I'd really like to build another and use this one to build an overly-ambitious diorama of Porco's lair:

Two more pics for good measure:

next in the pipeline: another Academy 1/48 P-26 Peashooter. I'm going to make this one shine (after I get some aftermarket decals to replace the very thick kit ones.

Listening to while posting: "Aeroplane" by Bjork (wow. Is THAT ironic?)