I like to think that my skills are growing from year to year, but if 2016 is any indication, my skills are declining. It began with my build of the Airfix 1/72 P-40, a project that was originally conceived as being a super-detailed build, complete with cockpit, engine, and open ammunition bays. The model quickly went south when I struggled to find a way to properly mount CMK’s resin engine to the fuselage, and I had to scrap the kit and buy a new one. And I struggled through it as well.
I also fought Hobby Boss’s 1/72 Rafale M to its mediocre end. Like the P-40, I had to buy a second kit after I screwed the pooch on the first one, and the final result does not reflect my best work.
(You can read more about both models here.)
I’ve had issues with my most recent build as well, Academy’s 1/72 F-16C. I didn't properly address a seam in the intake, which now looks horrible, and I failed to anticipate the consequences of attaching the ventral strakes prior to applying the complex Thunderbirds decals to the lower fuselage. When I tried to apply the aft-most decal, it wouldn’t fit around the strakes and — after trying to cut it and slice it to make it fit — I had to discard it.
Last but not least was another ill-fated attempt at armor. I started Trumpeter’s Pz.Kpfw 38(t) with optimism, but as you can see in the picture below the final application of pigments resulted in a total mess. My hat's off to those of you who’ve mastered the use of these media, but I’ve decided to go back to techniques that I’m comfortable with and refine my own style rather than copy the style of others.
As I look at what went wrong with these models I think it all comes back to planning. I need to better visualize every model’s assembly and the consequences to its painting and weathering. 2017 has to be better.