Breaking Bad: When Things Just Can't Be Made Right

Recently, I wrote about the frustrations of 'Getting Things Wrong', but today - alas - the tidings are far worse... 

More for funsies and whimsy than for anything else, I decided recently to assemble and paint a Brewster Buffalo F2A2 to accompany the ground forces for our forthcoming local Pacific campaign. You see, I've always had something of a soft-spot for 'lame duck' aircraft, and (almost everywhere except Finland) WW2 didn't produce many waterfowl more limpy than the Brewster Buffalo.

The Brewster Buffalo was such a disappointing aircraft that its lamentable history is barely even worth scratching at here, but I love it, because it's plucky, and stumpy, and ungainly, yet has a surprisingly pleasing cross-sectional aesthetic*. 

Like many hobbyists my age and older, I cut my teeth (and invariably my teenage thumbs...) making Airfix 1:72 kits, so I knew I'd have to hunt one down...and I did: I found a complete 'vintage' kit in an online auction, and decided to go for the US Navy version because (a) that way it could be [ a stretch...] used in support of my Aussies as well as my future Pacific US Army force; and (b) LOVELY, JOYFUL, BRIGHT COLOURS! It was a nostalgic thrill to put it all together.

Image from ​​google


I'd forgotten just how frustrating and imprecise some of these kits were, and this one of course didn't even have a full-colour painting guide: just a black-and-white key with imperceptibly subtle differences between the different cross-hatched pale greys. It also seemed to have neither optional instructions for nor dedicated components for the undercarriage to be raised. That didn't impress me!

Still, I persevered. I worked out how to convert the undercarriage so that it looked more-or-less correctly raised, and - with help from the archives of some tonally very sombre online model aeroplane forums - I found some good pics of the completed model to take inspiration from, albeit using more modern acrylic paints. 

So far, so good...and so here it is - yet to be weathered:  

...Except I foolishly left it out on my desk today, in order to help my Microsol work its magic with the ancient, cracked and brittle waterslide decals, and one of the cats** managed to snap off not only the cowling-mounted antenna, but also a blade from the carefully-constructed free-spinning airscrew.


So now I'm in a quandry. I'm in a pickle. I will of course try to stick the blade back on, but even if it sticks back really firmly (unlikely), the join is going to be abundanly obvious aaaaand it will almost certainly sheer off again the first time I try to transport the thing. 

I'm already considering other options: the simplest is to remove the two-and-a-half remaining blades and retain just the spinner, as if its blades are whirling so fast that they just can't be seen. On the one hand it could look rubbish, but on the other hand, transporting the model will be far easier.

Or I could opt for the classic disc-of-clear-plastic-with-concentric-circles-paintied-on approach, to represent those blades a-spinnin' at high speed. This is not something I've ever tried before, and I know I'll risk getting it badly wrong, but I reckon it's worth a try. 

Plus, even if it goes awry, at least I can still just glue the spinner back on!

Right. Now I have to find the cats for a serious conversation about respect for the property of others. What could go wrong?

* I have a pet corgi dog, and there's just no escaping that the Buffalo is very much the corgi of the WW2 aeroplane world. 

** Possibly one of the children, but probably one of the cats. Probably. Hopefully.


Thank you very much, Don!

Next time, it’ll be a disc…


As it’s for gaming, I would go clear disk. Aircraft that are to be flying, should look it!
Excellent paint by the way!

Don Mac Intyre

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