Work on I&W #38 continues. Over the weekend I completed the body and the pilot details and felt it was time for a paint job.

Airbrushing is something I do infrequently because I lack the proper set-up to do it safely indoors. When needed, I set up shop outside to ensure plenty of fresh air and safe conditions and this also means waiting for a calm sunny day with low humidity. Since the weather was perfect last week, I prepped the shell and dug out the equipment. I had some unopened jars of the now discontinued Floquil paint I purchased specifically for this unit and they were still in good condition. So far, so good.

SNAFU* of the week 
My first attempt turned into a circus clown act due to my lack of attention in grabbing a jar of Poly Scale acrylic paint instead of the regular Floquil but still thinning it with solvent based thinner. (Poly Scale was made by Floquil.) I should have known something was seriously wrong with the first blast from the airbrush but mindlessly plunged on, compounding the error. I wasn’t satisfied with the result at all (doh!) and wound up stripping the mess off and, after discovering the cause of my error, redid the paint job the next day with somewhat better results, though it is far from perfect. On a happier note, doing the loco’s frame in a different color, I discovered that the Tamiya brand acrylic paints spray on as nicely as the old Floquil and they will be my paint brand choice from now on.

And this week’s lesson is…
This increasingly normal comedy of errors brings up another lesson I seem destined to relearn throughout my life. Nothing good ever comes from rushing a project. The bane of my life has been an unchecked tendency to rush my work. Like many, I only have limited time through the week for modeling and want to make the most of it. However, that’s not the cause of my hurry-up ways. It’s just an unfortunate habit that needs breaking.

Thinning acrylic paint with solvent thinner instead of water or denatured alcohol was a silly blunder that could have been easily avoided by reading the label on the paint jar more carefully. My rush to see the model painted cost me an entire day of stripping it down and repairing damage from the excessive handling and scrubbing. Truly speaking, what did I gain from such impatience? Absolutely nothing! I guess another dose of humility was in order.

I’m waiting for the paint to cure before going further. The model awaits lettering, a few last details and moderate weathering before final assembly. I’ll have photos in due time but I’m fairly certain the clown act will return before the project is over.

*(Situation Normal, All Fouled Up)