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Catastrophe: Moments in modeling we hate.


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I've been working on a Fujimi 1/700 IJN Hiei now for three months, off and on. The build began as an "easy" one or two week attempt at a relaxed build, but became more and more complicated as I had new ideas for detail, weathering, etc.

 

Honestly, the little ship was a future show winner. It was my best effort, trumping boats I built in this scale by a wide margin. In short, I loved it and was planning more detail.

 

Queue in last night. I'm restoring an old USS Indianapolis build of mine that will be used as a movie prop (hooray...) I reached for the 5-L acrylic, stupidly leaving the Hiei on my modeling desk directly in harms way.

 

....one poorly screwed on cap later, the Hiei was splattered with light grey paint.

 

Cleaning was nearly impossible, given the tiny PE parts that, somehow, I had maneuvered into place perfectly. It was crushing. I tried, using rubbing alcohol to remove the acrylic paint. I knew I likely had to repaint, but could save it if I could clean off the wood deck......

 

...and then I dropped rubbing alcohol on the ship, en masse. Grey paint bled into the wood deck, utterly ruining it. I went for a jog, came back, salvaged with aftermarket I could, and trashed the kit.

 

 

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still heart broken. This is the first time I've had a model that I've spent so much time enjoyably building destroyed like this. I don't necessarily know why I'm posting this, outside of a desire to vent and to warn modelers:

Keep your benches clean and protect in-progress builds. Losing a labor of love is the worst.

Edited by Rusty White
use of profanity
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I have ran into more heartaches building this Bronco Loyd carrier than all the models I have built in the last two years!!! I feel the pain!!!! I am not even half finished yet.

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Most of us can identify with your plight Chris! Take it as a hard lesson learned and move on down the road. On the brighter side, since you got those great results once, I don't see any reason you couldn't repeat it with the next one! Best of luck!

 

GIL

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Thanks, Gil.

 

At the end of the day, yeah, I learned a bit on how to do some very intricate work in 700 scale that I didn't previously have confidence with. It sucks to lose something I was so proud of, but yeah, we all do it.

 

I've been knee deep in playing with new electronic toys (anniversary presents,) but will hopefully get back to madness in 700 scale shortly.

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My greatest heartache to date was a club what-if project - what f the US Army Air Corp had taken the F4U Corsair?. A P-51A would equate to a Birdcage F4U, P-51B to a F4U-1A and a P-51D to a F4U-1D. I chose Duane Beeson's Bee with the Academy F4U. It was almost done, awaiting rigging and a sealing coat on the decals when it got hit by a 5 feet long piece of oak intended as a base for 1/20th Yamato. Smashed it to pieces along with an equally nearly fnished Acurrate Miniatures Yak-1. Here's a bad picture of it before it died.

01.jpg

 

Larry

Edited by skiffy58
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I was walking back to the car at the Region 1 Noreastcon with a box of models, my wife was walking behind me with another box. As I opened the doors on the back of the car I heard a crash. She clipped the mirror with the corner of the box and dumped the entire contents, five models, two of them winners, onto the parking lot.

P1010007.jpg

 

I think they're repairable, I just haven't gotten up the will to start trying yet. It's a little ironic that the model of the USS Montpelier is now a little more accurate in portraying her at the time I built the kit...it was just after her mishap with the USS San Jacinto....

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  • 1 month later...

Given how many models I work on at a time, I have numerous stories of catastrophes like this. I feel your pain, more than you may know. I do hope you can get a new Hiei started soon.

 

Now I have to go and clean off my workbench some more.

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I had a WNW DVII suffer some major damage....landing gear struts broke off, some wing struts broke . I just put the model and its display case back on the shelf and didn't touch it for months. SAC came out with a set of metal replacement parts and that's all I needed. The DVII is back on its wheels and all is well.

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We had a guy attend our last meeting looking for one of us to repair a model of his. He's not a model builder, but had a 1/48 F-4C Phantom custom built for him that represented the exact one he wrenched on in the USAF. Unfortunately, when he moved down here to FLA, it was trashed by the movers. I agreed to repair it for him.

 

It looked worse than it was, as it was simply a case of many of the main parts breaking off at the glue seams. It only took me about 30mins of drilling, pinning, and gluing to get all of the gear, missiles, drop tanks, stabilizers, and canopies back on and reattach it to its base.

 

I delivered it to him tonight. I hadn't asked him for anything, since it was such a simple job, but to my surprise, he handed me a thank you card with a $50 gift card to Chili's! :smiley20: All of that experience repairing our "crash and burns" comes in handy at times! :smiley4:

 

GIL :smiley16:

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I classify the few moments after spraying the last coat of paint and the time they flash off as the most dangerous in modeling. There are so many things that can go wrong in those moments. From bugs to dust, to the slip of a finger into wet paint. Worst case for me was painting a body with a lot of modification. On the last coat, I held it over a trashcan to minimize the overspray on other parts of the garage. My hand choose that moment to twitch and dropped in on it's top into the dust I had just swept off the floor. Complete redo of a multicoat paint job. :mad:

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Honestly, I'm still barely building. Between work picking up, the loss of the Hiei (and damage to another,) commission work that's sort of sapped the love of modeling out of me, gym, and hell, just other time obligations, I'm sorely tempted to start shedding my stash. I'd rather someone build the stuff than it gather dust and I'm not sure when I'll be outta my rut.

 

There's a show close by late September that I -may- have my Queen Mary ready for. I'm hoping that reinvigorates my enjoyment of the hobby. At this point, I don't even look forward to going to club meetings.

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I returned from lunch one day and found a paper bag on my desk with the remains of a shattered ceramic Hummel figurine in it. I soon received a call from a co-worker who explained the bag and figurine. His wife had been cleaning her living room, and the sweeper cord flipped the wrong way, snagged the Hummel, and pulled it off the shelf onto a hard tile floor. It shattered, and the poor woman was beside herself for having broken a family treasure.

 

He told her to sweep up all the pieces, no matter how small, and put them in a bag. He told her he had a co-worker friend who builds models who might be able to figure something out. Just be patient.

 

I did, in fact, find almost every piece, chip, slice of surface glaze, etc., to slowly put everything back together using super glue. It came together in two main sections piece by piece until I had to connect them. A test fit showed an almost perfect fit, which then received the super glue for final assembly. The only spot I could not fix was the impact point where the figurine first contacted the tile floor, which had turned the ceramic to sand. I filled that hole with more glue. This was like assembling a 3-D puzzle without any diagrams or instructions; each little piece had to fit somewhere. The project was slow at first because of the sheer number of pieces, but speeded up as more and more pieces were glued in place leaving fewer to figure out. It took several weeks.

 

I returned the reassembled figurine in the same paper bag by placing it on my co-worker's desk while he was out to lunch. He was amazed and thrilled with the restoration when he looked in the bag. He took it home, put it back on the shelf from which it had crashed, and let his wife discover it on her own. She had never expected to see it whole again. He was a hero in his own house.

 

Like Gil, I did this as a favor and asked for nothing except time to work on it. The resulting restaurant gift card was shared with my wife at a really nice place (dress-up).

 

The down side of this is that my wife knows I can fix ceramic things and has tested my skills on several occasions.

 

Ed

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  • 2 weeks later...

1 - Fisheye oil spots waited just long enough for me to finish a heavily weathered 1/48 Revell B-17F, then seep through and ruin it. Not fixable. Terminal ceiling-hanger. LL: Clean it first.

 

2 - Loaded the nosecone of a 1/72 Matchbox F-104 with Squadron Green Putty to anchor some BB's forward. The putty melted the nosecone - not gonna hide that, on an F-104. And the fun stopped. LL: Don't use putty for this.

 

3 - Had almost finished the 1/72 Hasegawa MiG-25 (see 1980 workbench pic) and the carpet-monster somehow got the canopy while I wasn't looking. Unfortunately, the shoe-monster found it first. It was only kinda cracked all the way through...so I darkened the crack with some black wash and accelerated the kit's career from shelf-candy to paint hulk when something else broke off and I just couldn't stand it anymore. Recently found that effing split canopy in the spares box. LL: Murphy is a bastard.

 

4 - Sprayed a clearcoat on the ventral surfaces of the dead-sexy 1/72 XB-70, over a nice, cured coat of Rustoleum White: Unfortunately, it was not a clearcoat, but artists' fixative in a similar can, which left an...unsuitable...finish...!*&^%$! Whipped out a can of industrial-grade thinner and a rag, to wipe it all off and start over. AND THEN A MIRACLE HAPPENED: Not only did the thinner completely remove the fixative goo, it appears to have slightly melted the outer surface of the otherwise cured (and incredibly finely pigmented) Rustoleum, leaving a brilliant, super-smooth finish that cured rock-hard. LL: Miracles happen, too!

 

5 - There are certainly other, equally hideous incidents that have mercifully leaked out of my memory banks. Bad news is that I can now make those same mistakes again.

 

To Be Continued...

Edited by VonL
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  • 2 weeks later...

Was clear coating a rather complex paint and decal job on a white car and the airbrush ran dry. Reached over to grab the squirt bottle of clear I knew was sitting on the bench and refilled the brush. Notice the clear was going down a little thin but kept at it. Then noticed the sagging. I had grabbed the bottle of thinner and was spraying straight thinner. Into the purple pond and start over. :smiley29:

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Denny Trimble and I were going to the Dayton Nationals back in the late 80's, and a chapter member asked me to take his 1/48 Apache with me to enter. No prob. He packed it, I made sure it was handled safely. Two flights later, and upon getting to our room, I found the Apache had a Hellfire knocked off a launch rail. I'd brought my tool box, and very carefully super glued the missile back on the rail, called the owner to let him know what happened. He appreciated what I was able to do. He was more appreciating later when it took 1st in class!

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Use to have a 1/35 Tiger (P) on my work desk. Then one morning I walked in and discovered a manifold to a furnace in the general vicinity of my Tiger. Seems the manifold broke, and the night shift placed it on my desk for me to draw for a quote. It would have been nice if THEY TURNED ON THE F-ING LIGHTS!!!! But I'm not angry....much

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I had built the Revell "Hornet + 3" recovery carrier for an Apollo space mission. I had it on display in my work room on a counter top. Also on the counter top in the corner was a tall stack of National Geographic magazines. For some reason, the pile of magazines decided it was time to cause an avalanche, taking out the Hornet + 3 and everything else in its way. I still have a few of the deck aircraft and the Apollo capsule in the spares box, but the ship was crushed. :smiley11:

 

Ed

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And they call golf a masochists's game.

 

Yesterday, I discovered some sort of streak on the side of a Sherman I am just about to finish. As if the clear coat lifted. I have no idea where it came from or how it happened. So, now the fine grit sanding paper and patience, a characteristic that I lack.

 

And somewhere on the floor of my model room are, not one, but two BA-64 grab handles. Unsucessful in scratch building a replacement, I have now purchased my third kit just for one teeny-tiney, incredibly fragile part with the ability to fly on its own and hide in plain sight.

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  • 1 month later...

Now what's the chance that a pipe wrench placed on a shelf above your modeling space is going to do a one and a half gainer onto the almost completed f-16. Reached for the razor saw next to the wrench and it was all over. MY motto now is always clear the air space above your workbench.

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I topped that today. Uncovered the canopy of my current project, an academy F-16............I had put in weight thru a hole in the nose just aft of the nosecone and then globbed in some whiteglue to hold the weight in place. Well.....the glue obviously oozed back behind the weight and ended up in the cockpit and all over the top of the canopy. Shoulda never glued the canopy down for keeps or maybe kept the model upright.......whatever.........live and learn.................love this hobby.

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After building my AMT B-35 it was time for a nice what-if paint scheme. I decided to paint a bare metal scheme which would look cool with B-36 squadron markings. I was going to put red and yellow stripes on the wing-tips and nose gear doors and SAC badges and such...then I had to paint the metal color first. The first time I used some Testors Metallizers; that came off too easily. Stripped that off and found a can of Krylon Nickel colored metal spray paint. It went on great on most of the model. As it dried, the shards of silver in it started poking up all along the area near the canopy area. It looked like it had a buzz cut from the barber. I sanded that off and repaired damaged areas from the sanding and ended up giving the plane a different scheme all together. I converted it to an AB-35(H) gunship in Viet Nam colors and a black underside.

 

Silk purse from a sow's ear.

 

On another note, I got a call from my local model shop asking if someone in our club could repair a damaged wing on a model that a customer brought to him. The guy picked up the model at work and tilted it on its side and the wing fell out and broke...his boss was not happy. I went over to look at it and told him I could fix it for him. From the looks of it it was from a travel agency model of a 747 (about 1/72 scale) All he brought were the two wings, the good one to show what it should look like and the other one, missing the winglet and chunks of the wing. The winglet was split in two and part of the wing was broken off. As I started repairs I noticed that there were more pieces of the wing missing. I broke out the epoxy sculpt and filled in the blank areas and sanded it smooth. I found exact matches for the gray wing (Testors light gray). The blue winglet was another story. It had this purple cast to it. I found an exact match for that in a Games workshop color called Stormy Blue. A Gloss coat sealed up everthing and it was delivered back to the customer. Everyone was very happy with the out come. Even me, as i received the Kitty Hawk UH-1Y for the effort.

 

Happy, happy, happy.

 

Bill

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