Smyth Aircraft is open for business

I finally got my den into production line efficiency.  Assembled my desk.  New chair. Cut some spare carpeting to put beneath my desk to catch metal shavings and other dross that will inevitably fall off said desk.  Hooked up my stereo and organized all my records. Even added a handy holder for all my TV remotes (four!!)  All that’s left is to put my artwork up, and I’m probably a couple of weeks away from having that done.

It’s cozy.  Small space and there is lots of stuff in the room.  But it all has a place.  I added a mid-century media center which houses about 200 records (bands and performers C through Hi.) That leaves me more room for expansion, but that’s definitely the end. Maybe another 150 or so.

Saturday (two days ago) I sat down and enjoyed painting through two and half records: Terry Reid’s 1969 self-titled album; Time and Word, by Yes from 1970, and 90125 by Yes from 1983 for a little contrast.  It was simply wonderful.

Last night (Sunday) it was an hour and a half of The Tick on Amazon.  Life was good.

So what am I working on?  It’s planes, silly.   In my previous post I alluded to the Dave Smith bounty of airplanes. This coming on the heels of the George Kettler bounty of airplanes. Dave is a great guy from North Vancouver, home of some of my very favorite people. He decided to part with his considerable collection of 1/300 scale planes, and I bought them.  Over 750 planes in all, from every nation and period you can imagine. Let’s just say I spent hours, including a couple of hours over beer with Dave Schueler trying to figure out what they were. There is a lot of the common, the unusual, the strange and the wonderful.  I’m happy for all of it.

So what am I doing?  I have air projects I’ll be giving time to.  The first, and probably most important is trying to catch up to that Falklands project I started. Though I’ve finished a baker’s dozen planes for the 1983 conflict between Argentina and Great Britain, probably none of them would be involved in a game. The Argentine Canberras weren’t much involved in attacking the British ships.  The Exocet-toting Super Etendards that sank HMS Sheffied and the Atlantic Conveyor weren’t involved in combat.  The turbo-prop Pucaras did see action, but it was ugly.  Nope, what I need to paint are Daggers and Skyhawks.

planes 1

Six Argentine A-4Q’s in Vallejo Lt. Ghost Gray.  Detailing is up next.  Hope to have them done this week. Planes are a mix of Raiden A-4E’s and something else. It’s not important, they’re all on the same team. 

I have six A-4Q’s on my painting table that have received their coats of Ghost Gray paint, but await detailing as Argentine naval attack bombers.  Together with the six Argentine Air Force Skyhawks I’ll paint, they did most of the heavy lifting in the Falklands war. Frankly, they accomplished a lot considering the technology and British pilot skill deployed against them. There are Harriers to paint and whatever other odds and ends I can pull in-some helicopters, maybe a Vulcan

planes 2

Raiden Fairey Fullmars with Fleet Air Arm Markings over Sky Type S.  Illustrious Fullmars didn’t have the typical British tail flash, but instead painted most of the rudder in the British tricolor. 

In addition to that, I’ll begin working on a World War II Mediterranean project.  Got lots of planes for this from Dave Smith, but I have a lot more of my own to paint too. First out of the gate are some Fairey Fulmars, the two seat reconnaissance shipboard fighters the Fleet Air Arm flew 1940-41. They’re big and slow eight-gun fighters that couldn’t tangle with other fighters, but unmolested could be quite nasty against unescorted bombers as happened in the German assault on the HMS Illustrious in January 1941.  Game?  Just sayin’. The Raiden Fullmar is very nice, very detailed with lots of scribing.  Found the long twin canopy to perhaps be a bit overdone and difficult to paint. All in all quite pleased.

Lots to get done, and I’m having a good time doing it.

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