Bench Mk.II – Ready to Commence Flight Operations

A final push, an interlude to drag the $*@#*$@#% Christmas tree inside, and at last, Bench Mk.II is ready to go. Mostly.

You can follow the earlier progress HERE and HERE.

But let’s move right along. Here’s the finished product.

The benches themselves are brand new – Gladiator Cadet 66″ workbenches scored from Amazon with free shipping. The rolling 5-drawer cart and Craftsman shop stool are also new, as are a few of the Elfa bits hanging on the walls, but the rest has all be scrounged and repurposed from Bench Mk.I.

The left side is going to be devoted to building/decaling/detailing, while the right is going to be the paint station.

I think it’s safe to say this is also the cleanest these surfaces will ever be!

Build Station

Here we have a close-up of the build station. The main work surface is the same old cutting mat, topped by a brand new piece of 11×14″ glass. Behind it – various glues, solvents, and other goodies. Xactos, tweezers, sprue cutters and pliers in the little plastic drawer thing. Paint brushes on-hand. Paints in the rack to the right. My trusty LED/magnifying lamp made the journey, and the first kit back is waiting eagerly on the bench for some attention!

In the drawer unit under the build station, I’ve placed…

Pigments, oils and other weathering goodies:

Sanding stuff. No more rummaging around in a little plastic bin for just the right sanding stick!

And…at the bottom, aftermarket goodies:

Here’s a close-up of the Elfa paint racks. I’m not done tinkering with these just yet, but they’re close.

Paint Station

Reminiscent of Bench Mk.I but improved in just about every way, this paint station has a lot of carryover, but the extra space makes it easier to spread things out for a more logical layout. Thinners on the shelf to the left. Paints on the three-tier shelving at the back. Airbrushes, cleaning pot and so-on on the right, finally at hand (Bench Mk.I located these on the left side, which was awkward).

The fluorescent shop light has been hung from the same old scrap wood screwed into the same old reclaimed desk hutch.

A close-up of the rigged paint shelf. Two old crappy shelves, scrap wood, and PVC tees. That’s literally all.

And lastly…since the move revealed that my shop compressor’s drain plug had clogged…and that it had accumulated a ton of water within its tank…I don’t exactly trust it for airbrushing duties. So I’ve pulled my old Paasche D500 out of retirement. No regulator. No moisture trap. No auto on-off. But a compressor’s on my Christmas list, so hopefully this is just an interim solution.

Stash Stash

No more kits piled on top of kits piled on top of bookcases in the computer room! They now have dedicated shelving around the workbench (with the decals removed and relocated to a filebox inside). Here’s the armor stash:

And most of the aircraft stash:

Photo Station

Last but not least, tucked away behind the paint station, is the photo station. After much frustration trying to find ways to keep posterboard propped up, I found some nifty little adhesive-backed metallic strips. Coupled with some magnets, these effectively lock the posterboard in place.

All that’s left at this point is to get an airline to connect the compressor to my existing regulator/moisture trap, mount said trap, and then I’ll be ready to go. At this point, I’m anticipating starting the Fw 190A-3 as early as tomorrow!

5 thoughts on “Bench Mk.II – Ready to Commence Flight Operations

    • Little bit, yeah. A bit peeved about the compressor situation, but it is what it is and the Paasche can get the job done, even if it will be wandering all over the floor while it does so!

      • the compressor situation will be short lived assumption the Shelf Elf will give a good report.

        just bungee cord your “wandering” compressor to one of the “beefy” legs of your Gladiator tables…problem solved.

        have fun and enjoy your bench. certainly an impressive set up.

        enjoy your holiday with family and be safe.

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