Perhaps I'm experiencing the Benjamin Button effect. Back in my teens I was an avid airplane modeller, building many of the old Airfix 1/24th scale kits: the Spitfire, Hurricane, ME109 and a Harrier among others. This past winter, looking for a distraction, I started looking at models again and was amazed at the progress the hobby has made. There's now a whole cottage issue of after-market part manufacturers refining and augmenting state-of-the-art kits. Tiny details etched in metal, cast in resin and turned in brass.
I was hooked again but the first order of business in a house full of mischievous cats was to set up a proper workspace in the garage amid the bike paraphernalia. That meant building paint and tool racks from an old curved IKEA wall unit and then tackling the construction of a small spray booth by kit bashing two inexpensive pieces of IKEA kitchen furniture. Here's the result.
The downdraft design offers plenty of airflow from a generous Dayton 485 cfm sealed-motor blower through intake and exhaust filters and plenum. As is often the case the project grew in scope, detail and expense as I solved problems along the way but it was a perfect means to reconnect with the methodical patience that modeling requires. I'm happy with the result and look forward to getting that first model into paint without offending my wife's sensitive nose fumes. Kudos to Klaus Raddatz for his extremely helpful airflow explanations.
For those of you interested here are a few photos and some instructions. The booth exhaust fan can be timed to shut off at intervals up to 2 hours and the front of the booth sealed to ensure all airflow is filtered during unattended drying. The lazy susan ring design allows airflow directly beneath the model while painting (the center hole is now covered by screen mesh).
And the first kit... a Spitfire of course. Tamiya's 1/32nd scale MK IX. I also have (2) 1/72nd Spits and a 1/48th MK IX to practice on, as I bring my building and airbrushing skills up to spec.