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Moments of Zen

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DogfighterZen:
 Ok, this will be my first blog or something of the type... Where should i start?
 Maybe i should let you guys know a bit more about me...
 Rui Reis is the name but when i first started riding bmx bikes when i was 12, everyone started calling me Zen because of the book about zen meditation i used to read while waiting for the heat to go away so i could ride.... and also, for "meditating" before i went for a trick i'd never done before and for just going "zennnn" when i was pedaling towards the ramps...  :lol:
 Anyway, i've always lived in the Algarve, the sunny south of Portugal, Portimão, to be more exact. A typical tourism destination because of all the beaches and temperatures we get around here. One could call it Portugal's California.  ;D
 I come from a poor home, money was never abundant but mom and dad always sorted things out for me and my brother. My bro was one of the most influential figures in my life because he got into music at a young age and became a drummer so the bug caught me. From rock'n'roll to heavy metal, going through punk rock and alternative bands, since i was six, my brother showed me a lot of great stuff, i still have my favorite 4 vinyl records, Kill'em all, Master of puppets, Ride the lightning and And justice for all... :wub:
 I got into modeling at about the same age and while i was assembling stuff i'd listen to those... a lot! That's also one of the things that helped me to learn English, i would read the lyrics, sing along and then if i didn't understand some word, my bro would explain and that's why i became a vocalist... but i guess that watching a lot of English/American movies and tv shows with sub-titles made the most part for that, my first English teacher on the 5th grade thought i wasn't Portuguese cause when she first asked me my name i answered in perfect English and then wrote it down... ;D
 I only managed to "sort of" build a few models back then, i remember i had the Hasegawa EA-6B Prowler and an ESCI Montana ANG F-16. Didn't finish them, but sometime after those i got the Italeri F-4S and F-14A+ just before i started riding bikes... That's when i forgot about modeling and, a few years later, while cleaning my room, my mom threw all of them into the garbage bin.. when i noticed they were missing from the shelves, she said i was too old for that stuff...  :banghead:
 So i completely put modeling aside as i was too busy with school, bmx and also, canoeing(i was competing in K-1, single seat Kayak but that only lasted a year or so)...
 And after all these years, at the age of 34, i broke my arm at work and, while watching Top Gun again for the 1000th time, i decided it would be a good recovery therapy for my wrist so i bought 5 kits and some glue. :party:
 Now, with that out of the way, next entries will be modeling related, i have a few things on my mind and more on the bench at the moment.

 :cheers:

DogfighterZen:
 Ok, this post will be mostly about modeling... It was a good thing that i read that Portugal topic by Geoff on the alternative history sub-forum, as it gave me some motivation to start building the models i want to have in my version(s) of things... 
 
 My idea is to build the aircraft that i've always wanted to see in Portuguese service since WWII. This is probably going to take me 10 years or more but i'm in no rush, i've been building up my stack... ;D Although i still have to buy a few to be able to take it from the beginning, spitfire, hurricane, me-109...
The big problem for me is that Portuguese air force decals are hard to find as only a few companies make them and i think that most of them are out of production at the moment, and on top of that, variety isn't much! :banghead: I will probably have to learn how to design and make my own decals as i have nobody who can help me with that... If there's anyone out there reading this, that knows how to make them and is willing to help, i'll pay good money!

 Meanwhile, i'll be working on a few i've had on the go for a while now but always seem to suspend work because of work... :blink: i'm responsible for the maintenance of the outdoor areas (mostly the roads, villas, gardens and pool) at an art and wine estate here in the south of Portugal were we've been having our typical summer temperatures going between 25 to 35ºc... i can tell you it's murder under the sun while cutting hedges and lawns... i've been totally wrecked after work, but, as crazy as it may seem, i really love my job! It can be artistic and creative and as i love nature, i have the kind of office i like!  :mellow:
 We also have farm animals, cats, dogs, wildcats, foxes, warthogs, snakes, spiders and scorpions!! Kind of a small zoo mixed with vineyards and lots'a good wine!  :drink:
And to be honest, i also have a great boss, one of the nicest people i've ever met, and he's a millionaire...  :blink:
BTW, for anyone interested in a cool place to spend their vacation here in the Algarve, this is the spot:

https://www.google.pt/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CC0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.quintadosvales.eu%2F&ei=XPWWVfj4E8n5Utn5gbgL&usg=AFQjCNGtwJnJWiS5TElutCyRxqYuwzUDkg&sig2=LnQAEqg6n5FanMON9nWBOQ

Ok, back to modeling, these are the few on the go at the moment:



- F-16W is awaiting a scribing tool for the panel lines on the wings and some more PSR on the wingroots and tailplanes, the intake and vertical fin fairings are totally shaped and sanded smooth, recently added ventral strakes, still no idea for markings or scheme.

- F-15C that i'm recovering from my stalled/failed builds to turn into an F-15C Silent Eagle,  will probably get a new canopy and definitely a new paint job, markings to be decided.

- Mustang is awaiting suitable PoAF markings for my alternative history scenario and it may be a while 'till i get'em... :banghead:

- Eurofighter needs paint and weapons, markings to be decided.

- Harrier Gr.9 is waiting for resin gun pods, the kit doesn't have them and as i wanna do a close air support bird, i think it should have at least one gun pod.

- Me-262 is a recovery job i'm trying to do on a kit i gave to a friend's son but he wasn't able to finish it and asked me to do it, i should've remembered what i'd read about the kit, it was too hard for a 10 year old kid who's never done anything like this, even for me. But with lots of patience, i've managed to get it back together after it was almost totally taken apart, i'm using the kit's canopy but it'll be painted black. Filled gaps and it's just lacking some sanding on a few spots, before attempting to re-scribe lost panel lines and rivets, still don't know if it will be finished as a real world or whif.

And so, having a building speed about the same as Gondor's, known as Slower Than A Glacier Moves, which i'll call STAGM for short ;D, who knows how long it will be 'till i finish one... :rolleyes:

 :cheers:

NARSES2:
Neat collection on the go  :thumbsup:

Captain Canada:
Thanks for the life back-story ! You guys have a gorgeous motorcycle track ( well, race track, but I love to watch the WSBK race on it ). My mom threw all my models out when I was younger as well. Pity that.....

The collection of models looks awesome ! Looking forward to seeing them come along.

 :cheers:

DogfighterZen:
 Thanks, guys! :thumbsup:

 Captain, i'm ashamed to say, i haven't been there except for the Rock1 Music fest held there a few years ago.. :banghead: but i'm aware of the reputation of the track itself. I used to watch all the Moto GP races on tv when i was younger but bmx started to take up most of my time, i gradually lost track of it all but my favorite times go back to Mick Doohan and Kevin Schwantz... :rolleyes: About mom throwing the models away, i ended up forgiving her by dinner time when she cooked my favorite meal and dessert... :wub:
 
Well, i do have more unfinished builds but these are the ones on top priority at the moment because they're whifs. I'm really not interested in building real world stuff right now...
 Last night i managed to remove and "save" the F-15's canopy, dipping it in Ultra-Pro, an equivalent of Future that is available in supermarkets in Portugal.
It´s now almost as new so that's a bonus, the pilot had is big donkey sanded off as he was sitting to high and having problems looking through the HUD... ;D
 Also managed to find some sprue bits that have a very nice shape to be used as bases for the canted fins. I've been googling around for detailed pics or diagrams of the SE's fins but it seems they were never built, i could only find CGI and artist drawings, so i'm scratch-building my own larger fairings.
 I've also removed the weapons pylons and center line drop tank so it will be flying in stealth mode.
On the acquisition front news, i can say i'm going a bit crazy... :blink: I recently got a personal loan from my bank so i can buy a new car and some other things, but i've also included a modeling budget in the loan amount... Since then, i've been in contact with Yukio Kanesawa From LoneStar Resin Parts and i've ordered 2 sets of DSI intake conversions and 1 of each F-16XL, single and twin seater! :party: These are in my all time favorites top list so i had to do it... :wacko:

 :cheers:

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