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Blunders

Click here for the latest blunder to be added to the collection

We've all done it. Working on the latest masterpiece and something goes disastrously wrong.

Here are a few of mine. Why not share yours with others? We might laugh, but in laughing remind ourselves that we might have learnt something from it and help others not to make the same mistake.

The final gloss coat

I was finishing the old Airfix 1/24th Spitfire as a commission for a local model shop and after spending some time outlining all the panels with a pen and adding weathering and exhaust stains, I decided to give it a quick gloss coat to seal everything in before delivering it the next day, as I wasn't sure what handling it might get. 

I sprayed some Johnsons Kleer all over it and set it aside to dry. Imagine my horror when I looked at it and saw that the Kleer had washed off all the weathering and it had gathered in a pool along the underside of the fuselage and wings. I had to carefully clean it all off and start again. 

The moral of this story is to make sure that everything is perfectly dry and don't try to rush things.

Masking the problem

Another aircraft problem. A long time ago I made the Airfix Vulcan. I spent some time gathering all my research and got several decal sets and etched brass etc.

Came the time to add the paint. I gave it an overall coat of the lighter camouflage colour. While it was drying I made some enlarged photocopies of the pattern to the actual size required for the model. These were cut out and loosely tacked to the model with repositional spray adhesive (3M ReMount). This allows the masks to be peeled off after use. The model was then sprayed with the darker colour.

Imagine my horror when I discovered that I had inadvertently used the wrong half of the cutouts, so now I had a negative version of the markings. I tried to remove the paint, but in so doing most of the etched brass came off as well.

The model sat around my workshop for ages before being consigned to the bin when I moved house.

Derek Barrett

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Well, were do I start if you want blunders 

The Classic Airframes Hornet in Vol 9 issue 7 of SAMI with the Exhausts on the wrong way round has to be my most publicised one (I would point out that no club member spotted the error)

The New 1/48 Hasagawa Crusader that I was building for a review became wallpaper after my wife decided to empty the vacuum cleaner dust bag next to where it was drying and coated it in dust and other debris. So it got chucked at the wall and became wallpaper. I did miss the wife.

The time I airbrushed the Tamiya P47 with Badger Air brush cleaner by mistake or Trumpeters A10 with the cranked wing of a Corsair as I left it above a radiator to dry and forgot it was there till the next day. 

I always point out that my models always have at least one screw up during their construction but what is worrying is that I always have different screw ups. May be I do learn from my mistakes!!!! 

David Francis

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Most recent blunder

I'm working on my 1/32 Hasegawa 109 G6. I got the paint job finally right (tried 3 times), and let the model dry for a day or two and applied two coats of acrylic gloss to prepare the model for decaling. 

The decals went on smoothly. Then I notice that I forgot to paint the slat housing (or whatever that part of the plane is called) No problem, just mask it off and spray away. Paint goes on well and after a little while it's time to remove the Tamiya masking tape..... o, horror. Not only the masking tape comes off, but with the tape also goes a part of the upper wing markings. Looks like I forgot to seal the decals with clear varnish. 

Fortunately I was able to remove what was left of the wing markings and applied new ones. The model turned out great in the end. (I will bring this model with me to this years UK nationals) 

Most dramatic blunder

One day I was cleaning my airbrush after a paint job on a Tamiya tank. After blowing some thinner through the airbrush I turned off the compressor, but for one or another reason I did not disconnect the air hose. I was ready to take the airbrush apart and while handling the airbrush body I pushed the trigger mechanism. 

Remember I did not disconnect the air hose? Right, there was still a substantial amount of air in the compressor tank and when I pushed the trigger the airbrush was pointed towards a small bottle filled with dirty thinner. No need to go into further details, other than telling you that not only my small workspace, but also myself was covered in thinner. 

I can assure you that it takes more than one bath to get rid of the smell. Also ruined a good shirt and a pair of trousers. (My wife was not amused.... nor was I at that moment) As for my workspace and model on the bench. The model got covered in thinner as well and it started to show... so I had to remove all the paint and redo it. The rest of my workspace still bears some marks of this incident. (dirty stains on the wall and ceiling) but other than that no harm was done:-) 

Philippe (Flip) Hendrickx
President of Model Club Lier Belgium

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Warm greeting....

I have messed up more models than anyone. My worst catastrophe was most unforeseen. I finished an Academy IL-2 Sturmovik, my first airbrush paint job, very proud. To display my models in a proper setting I had just purchased an IKEA glass cabinet and a nice compact light fixture that fits under the back of the top shelf. 

I put my Sturmovik on the top shelf of course so I could admire it at eye level. After an hour or so my Son came by for a visit and I wanted to\show him the new display. Well, I was horrified to find the tail of the Sturmovik completely melted by the heat from a 15 WATT BULB!

Beware the heat of bulbs and spotlights in your displays folks. 

Peter Goddard
Ontario Canada

My brother had a similar experience when we were both youngsters. He'd just finished painting the Airfix Lancaster and put it on top of a heater to dry while he had lunch. End result:- one very soggy mess of plastic that took years to scrape off the heater and carpet. Derek

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Lift Off.....

I have always liked prototype aircraft and other experimentals, some time ago I was building a Airfix 1/72 Gloster Meteor, the idea and help for it came from a old Aircraft Model World magazine that ran a series "Building A Collection" you may remember it, there was a Trent Meteor, a Vampire with extra air intakes on top and a couple of others. 

Any way, there's my Meteor with two long, round lolly sticks (donated by my daughter...) shoved (they may of well be...) up the exhausts and the other ends held in some helping hands. The paint went on beautifully and all I wanted was a coat of Johnson's Clear to help seal in the transfers, the air tank was full, the bottle on the gun was full, I pressed the trigger... ...oh joy of joys as the Meteor took wing and shot across the garage (at scale speed???) hit my old bicycle and crashed to the hard concrete floor, if only Aeroclub ejector seats worked... 

Moral, perhaps a little bit of Blu-tak on the end of the sticks may have prevented lift-off.... 

Martin Dawson
Der Decal Banks Fuhrer, York & District Plastic Model Society.

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How embarrassing...

Many years ago, I made a 1:72 F-16 in tiger markings using a Daco decal sheet. Those who know the decal sheet will know how involved it is and how much work is required. On completion and feeling somewhat pleased with my latest efforts, I took it to the next club meeting and put it on the desk in front of me, much to the admiration of other members. A little later in the evening while we were talking and I was fiddling with a pen, I dropped it onto my F-16 and one undercarriage leg snapped on my lovely new model. Ooops! One red face was followed by deep embarrassment and a grovelling letter to Mr Hasegawa for a new undercarriage leg! 

Martin Regnard


Keep 'em coming, the more the merrier. 

As Martin Dawson said to me "Blunders are fun, not at the time but you can laugh later"

Click to email me: webmaster

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Last updated 20 January 2008


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July 2009, Milton Keynes Scale Model Club