Have you ever had a modeling disaster? I bet you have. I'd like to share a couple of mine with you. Most of my modeling disasters end up occurring in the wee hours of the morning when I’m pushing the envelope to the extreme.


The first one took place 3½ to 4 years ago. I had been working on one 1:72 scale Hasegawa F/A-18 and a second 1:72 scale Minicraft/Hasegawa F/A –18 prototype (plane number 3) off and on for just under a year. The prototype’s paint scheme is white with dark blue triangular sections painted on the tips of the wings, horizontal and vertical stabilizers and the mid fuselage body. After spending many days and hours painting this scheme, cleaning up the associated under spray that had occurred over and over again, the model was finally ready for the next stage. I washed it and placed in front of an electric space heater to dry off. The only thing left was to hit it with a coat of clear gloss paint, apply the demarcation lines and other decal markings followed by attaching the landing gear, speed brake, engine nozzles, canopy and wind screen - (which were all already painted). Then, I would be done.


While I waited for it to dry I went on to airbrush a second ongoing modeling project. Unfortunately, I failed to notice my air compressor, positioned on top of my spray booth, (above my drying Hornet prototype) slowly inching towards the edge.


A short time later I heard the sickening sound of something very heavy crashing down. It was like I was in a dream state or something. Initially, I did not turn around. I just hoped that somehow the compressor had missed my aircraft. Slowly, I turned around. The sight I saw shocked me back to reality. The plane was no longer there.


Everything was scattered all about the floor and under my bookcase. Needless to say, the compressor had nailed the hornet Dead-On! All told, it took me about a week to find all the miscellaneous pieces that had once been part of the prototype.


I did end up completing the prototype’s companion, a production F/A-18A. However, this was the last 1:72 scale aircraft completed for quite some time.



OK, ready for horror story #2? (I do have a dark cloud looming over my head). In actuality, this one ended on a positive note. It occurred two years ago. I was again pushing the envelope, working on my models late into the morning, (on a work night nonetheless). It was between 12 and 12:30 am and I had just spent around 4 to 5 hours on my latest two Starfuries, (Ivanova’s and Sinclair’s Line Fighter).


To paint the “02” onto the Line Fighter I had just mixed up a fresh bottle of Model Master’s Flat White, since I had just recently run out. (With a full bottle, I should be set for a couple of months at least…or so I thought).


I had just airbrushed the “02” onto the top of the Line Fighter. I was now finished for the night. All I had to do was clean my airbrush.


I keep my models in plastic sweater boxes to keep the dust off of them. I positioned the freshly painted Line Fighter into the box and put the lid on. It was loosely attached to the box. For some reason, I went back over to it and pushed the lid firmly down.


Then, I went back to clean out my airbrush. I poured the unused white paint back into the bottle and proceeded to screw the lid on. I started tightening it up, felt it tighten and then give. (Evidently, its threads were stripped). When I started tightening it again, all of a sudden I twisted it so hard that the bottle and top went slipping out or my hand, RIGHT TOWARDS MY STARFURIES!!!!!!


You know, I really got a sense of dejavu with this. The plastic box was right were my F/A-18 Hornet prototype had been before it’s impending doom.


I went on and spent about 5 minutes cleaning up the white paint that had splattered everywhere. I cleaned it off of my space heater, my mini table and the outside portion of the sweater box. Finally, I got the nerve to open it up and look at its contents. Surprisingly enough, NO PAINT HAD MADE Its WAY INSIDE…OHHHHHH-YEAAAAHHHHHHH!!!



OK, horror story #3.This, also turned out not to be all that bad. It was now a couple of days after my episode with the white paint. I again was working on the same Starfuries. I had decaled Ivanova’s bird and was getting ready to dull it down. I looked at the top of the spacecraft and saw that there was a bit of dust that needed to be removed. Now, I usually would just wash it. However, with the non-stick nature of the decals I opted instead to try to use some low-tack tape to remove the dust particles. Unfortunately, when I touched the tape to the bird/star decal, a small portion of the red decal came away.


OK, no problem.....I’m flexible. I located a bottle of diluted red paint that I had, planning to touch up the area very lightly. I went to shake the bottle and unfortunately red splatters went everywhere. (Previously, when being used I had not tightened the lid, since the mixture had too much thinner in it and I wanted the excess to evaporate). So, again I had paint spatterings everywhere, (this time in red)!


Looking over to my two Starfury birds, (still nestled in their box) I was shocked to see that some of the red paint had made it to their direction. I went over, and again, afraid to look in, first cleaned the red paint off the box’s outside. Then, I finally moved to the inside of the box.


As it turned out, there ended up being ONE DROP of the very dark red paint on one of my Starfurys. This ONE RED DROP, however, miraculously landed directly on the lower left part of the white ‘0’, (which needed touching up anyway). I cleaned the red off and a day later repainted the '0'.


Sooo, have you had your own modeling disaster lately?


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