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Mike

Root Admin
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Mike last won the day on July 3

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About Mike

  • Rank
    Proud dad
  • Birthday 09/05/67

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Chester, UK
  • Interests
    Aircraft, AFVs & Sci-Fi

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  1. Computer help please

    I've got a USB FDD too, which I bought on a whim years ago when I first removed the traditional 3.5" drive from a PC I was building. I didn't use it until a couple of years ago when I was totally screwed trying to reflash a BIOS with a DOS disk. It paid for itself that day You can even retrieve stuff for an Amiga using some modern 3.5" FDDs (not USB, sadly), as you can get utilities that will read the old 820kb HD disks. Wonder if I could read all my old graphic files from when I was doing game design as a young fella?
  2. Hi all, First time I've been in here, I think? Maybe? Who knows? Not me - I have the memory of a goldfish Anyhoo. I've got this strange desire to build the above-mentioned kit, and would like to try and make a decent job of it. I was perusing the sprues earlier, and noticed that there were a few sink marks on the bodyshell over the back of the roof, around the bottom of the rear window, and on the slam-panel where the 3-pointed star goes. I've knocked these back and shone them up for some reason, as I've got (had?) no intention of building it now, and am stunned by some of the join lines at the front and rear bumpers/fenders, as well as the huge scoop behind the front wheels. The gaps between the parts is so well hidden as to be invisible I've also spotted a few hairline seams where the sliding moulds have parted, which are barely noticable, but I knocked them back anyway. From what I understand, the key part of a vehicle model is an ultra-smooth bodyshell, so that's where I'm hoping to go. First question is where can I get some replacement harnesses for the Schroth harness decals that are included? I see Hiroboy have 3mm fabric belt material (sadly, out of stock) that I could use to make up my own, and somewhere I saw a fret of PE harness fittings of various sorts. Is there a way I can shortcut that without using the kit decals, as they just seem rather 2D when I compare them with something like a HGW harness for a 1:32 Bf.109 (I hope it's alright to mention aircraft in here). Second, I often find that the size of the metallic flake on a model car is the biggest giveaway that it's a scale model, as people often use the exact same paint that's sprayed on the real thing, which (forgive me if I'm wrong here) is what the Zero Paints line is all about? The Merc has a cool matt metallic grey, so I'm thinking of using something like Alclad (other brands are available), trying to match it the best I can, and finishing it with a matt or satin varnish. I imagine I'd need to apply gloss over the decals to hide the carrier film (I'm doing the kit decals, as I just like them), so any pointers would be appreciated, as I'm a total novice when it comes to this car lark. I'll probably come back asking all sorts of questions when the Belkits Opel Manta kit comes out in the new year, as I've always had a soft spot for that, and Had a squint at SMW on the HobbyCo stand.
  3. Divna worry pet - all the breakages are just setting up now, and it looks like I have minimal making good to do. I've chipped off the paint from the scuffed panels, and will redo those too. Then I can set about darkening that base colour. I'm pretty sure it's the right "colour", but too light a shade. The instructions tell you to do it light blue/grey, but all the pics I have seen don't have a blue tint, and conform to the more grey grey from the period. If any of you have seen the airframe in the flesh (pics can be a poor guide), I'd be interested to hear what you think
  4. Spoke too soon - the rear canopy join has split, and the windscreen is loose too. Superglue to the rescue though
  5. Reputation Number

    This is a big karma grab by Steve - don't fall for it!!!!
  6. I love these oddities, and while I haven't got this one, I've got the later slab-sided one to do eventually. Good job
  7. Had a little per ardua catastrophe with this one t'other day. I'd bought a 12v Li-ion battery off eBay for my big Star Destroyer, and it turned up discharging 8.xv instead, so I got a refund on it. It was perched on a shelf, and decided that it felt like a short flight, ending up on the floor. No biggie I thought, as it was going in the bin eventually anyway. Little did I know that it had used my J-22 as a springboard on the way, with the following results: Fortunately it's a clean break along the seamlines, so I can just re-glue the parts, but there has been some chipping of the paint, so I'll need to do a respray of the undersides, which I was vacillating over, as I felt that it was too light, and when lightened for the colour modulating, it would have ended up way too light. Problem solved now, as it'll need redoing, so I'll just add a bit of black to tone it down for the base coat Getting the glue out first though
  8. Star Wars Star Destroyer Update Sets (for Zvezda/Revell) 1:2700 GreenStrawberry The massive Star Destroyer kit popped out of Zvezda's marketing department with a flourish last year, and caused quite a stir because for a start it wasn't from the usual license holders (until Revell reboxed it), and that it was humongous! At that scale it is around 60cm long, which of course lends itself to super-detailing and of course lighting! The kit detail can be best described as adequate, but there are areas that really do need something extra. Along comes GreenStrawberry, who if you hadn't worked it out already really like Star Wars, with a couple of sets that will go a long way toward improving the detail. These sets from GreenStrawberry are engineered to appeal to the more advanced modeller who will end up painting their creation, and you WILL need Super Glue (CA) to attach the parts to your model. The PE set arrives in a flat re-sealable pack, with a black themed backing card, a chunk of thick cardboard to keep the PE safe, a set of instructions (both of which are hidden within), and the sheet of PE brass on display in the front. The resin/PE set is supplied in a box, with the contents encased in carbonite Ziplok bags for extra security. Both are designed to improve both detail, accuracy to the scale/CGI models, and add a scale-thickness to otherwise over-scale parts. Star Destroyer Upgrade Set (03517) Supplied on two frets, work starts with the blanked over garbage disposal port that is first seen in SW:TESB is folded up into a box, with an octagonal insert completing the shape, which then slides in through the aperture that the modeller must first remove. Two more small launch bays on the sides of the hull are also cut out and lined with a boxed out bay part, which has detail skins lid in on the ides. The returns on either side of the bay are also skinned with detail parts to complete the look. These "returns" are present in two other places in the trenches on side of the hull, and they too are skinned with new parts. The SD's most visible armament is found in rows on either sides of the superstructure, with re-used anti-aircraft emplacements from ship models playing the part. Two detail parts are supplied for all eight of these at the front and rear of the emplacements. Moving onto the superstructure, the central "array" sensor between the shield generator balls on the bridge is upgraded with additional detail parts to turn a rather bland part into one with much more visual interest, , while below it a little kit detail is removed from the bridge face at the centre to add a trapezoid bridge part with etched-out windows, as seen from the interior shots in the films. If you wanted to detail the interior however, that's down to you! Speaking of the shield generator orbs, all the kit supports and the little overscale antennae on the top are removed, and a new base is fabricated from a base with individual legs glued into marked pads on it, with new antennae on the top of the orb, and more straight supports added to the bottom. These fit over the top of the kit bases, and next to them small ladder-shaped parts are added to the bases of the sensor. The final act is to add a few missing parts to the grab in the main hangar bay, but if you're going for the excellent 3D printed main hangar bay off Shapeways, you may not need this. Resin Engine Bells (03417) The kit bells are a bit lacklustre if you're going to stare at them for any length of time, so it makes sense to busy-up this important area of the model with some more detailed parts. This set includes the three large sub-light engine bells (in three parts each with PE baffles), plus the four smaller light-speed engines that are positioned either side of the centre bell in pairs. Once liberated from their casting blocks the main bells have a cylindrical lip added, and a trio of baffles added to the lip in turn, which are formed from a double-layer baffle and two triple-layered actuators for each one, requiring nine in total. The light-speed engines are two parts fitted concentrically for maximum detail, and a scrap diagram at the bottom of the instructions show the correct orientation for each bell, as the details aren't symmetrical. Conclusion Given the sheer size of these kits, it seems churlish not to make the most of the build, and these two sets allow you to do just that in spades. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. YT-1300 Millennium Falcon Upgrade Sets(for Bandai) 1:144 GreenStrawberry The Millennium Falcon is perhaps the best known and most recognised of any spacecraft real or imaginary, with a number of kits popping up over the years in different scales. Bandai's recent release of a raft of new kits has been great for anyone wanting to build a collection of Star Wars related models in a couple of consistent scales, rather than box-scale as seems to be the way with Revell, the main European license holder of late. The Bandai kits are snap-together, but don't let that fool you. They are the pinnacle of the injection-moulded art, and you'd wonder initially how they could get any better with the addition of Photo-Etch (PE) parts. These sets from GreenStrawberry are engineered to appeal to the more advanced modeller who will end up painting their creation, and you WILL need Super Glue (CA) to attach the parts to your model. The sets arrive in a flat re-sealable pack, with a black themed backing card, a chunk of thick cardboard to keep the PE safe, a set of instructions (both of which are hidden within), and the sheet of PE brass on display in the front. They are designed to improve both detail, accuracy to the scale/CGI models, and add a scale-thickness to otherwise over-scale parts. Millennium Falcon Upgrade Set (01616 for Bandai) The main set includes a large sheet of brass PE, plus a small set of instrument panel parts that are printed on sticky-backed paper, to give your interiors a huge lift in detail. It provides a welcome lift to the interior of the cockpit and the gun ports on the top and bottom, as well as some structural parts. It begins with a complex replacement of the mount for the prominent oblong dish that now adorns the Falcon's topside, replacing all the thick bracketry with more delicate parts instead. The base of the dish is also augmented, and the two assemblies are then brought together into one. The kit has a simple plug-in seat with controls for the gun turrets, which is slimmed down and has its lugs removed top accept a new control column/trigger, which is then placed inside the compartment that is folded up from brass parts, with stickers providing the instrument panel detail on the various facets of the walls. These are further enhanced by relief panels added within, and the finished assembly is fitted to the rear of the glazing with a flange around the outside. This is of course repeated for the other turret, giving you two in total. The main asymmetrical cockpit is also upgraded in a similar way, removing the kit instruments from the main panel and roof along with the three lugs that hold the top to the bottom. The canopy has a skin with insulation quilting etched into it, and all the panels are replaced with new ones that have stickers applied with instruments. The roof has a faceted liner folded up, with additional panels and stickers added, which is added to the lower cockpit along with the new replacement rear cockpit bulkhead that is so often visible in cockpit shots from the movie. This is a lamination of three parts onto which the appropriate stickers are fixed after painting, with two location holes included to register the part on the rear of the cockpit assembly. The rear seats are provided with headboxes that are missing from the kit parts, and the front of the cockpit roof is finished off with a "hoop" that bridges the space between the curved wall of the kit and the faceted inner skin. As a point of interest, you can see that all the instrument panels are perforated where there are usually lights on the various boards, which will show through the stickers if you position some LEDs behind them, making for easy lighting of the busy areas in the various cockpits. The landing gear for the SW:TFA Falcon has the now-standard five legs of two types, both of which get new scale-faithful doors to replace the chunky kit parts moulded into the legs, and the struts themselves are fitted with the perforated circular frames that can be only approximated in styrene. The final job is to fold up the insert that shows at the end of the entry ramp, requiring you to remove the blanking plate moulded into the lower hull. This and another part in the roof will add to the look of the area. Millennium Falcon Grilles (01715 for Bandai) The Falcon's prominent exhausts on the top deck are part of what makes it what it is, and this set provides six new mesh grilles to detail this area. Each circular grille is made up from a bottom hoop, a sheet of louvers, then a sheet of framework, with the top layer a frame around the outer edge with details etched in relief. Alignment is key, and there are two styles of top frame, with a distinct forward direction marked on the assembly diagrams. Four of the siz are identical, with the two leftmost (from behind) having a different pattern on the framing, all of which is explained on the last two instruction steps, as well as showing that "forward" in this context actually points toward the centre of the ship in a fan shape that matches the general shape of the engine deck area. Conclusion Another superb pair of sets to upgrade these Star Wars gems, just remember they're only suitable if you're planning on painting your model. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. BIG X's Gallery for 2017

    Pretty good for someone who's always professing to be bad at this
  11. What are you reading?

    Descent - 2nd book from the Spaceman Trilogy. A coronal mass ejection has killed off all the technology, and sent everyone back to cave-man times, inevitably bringing out the worst in some, and the best in others. Quite an interesting series, as the main male character starts the first book on the ISS when the storm hits
  12. Hi folks!

    aboard Jake - can't argue with a love of Star Wars
  13. Ah - XP isn't going to give you all that much reliability these days. Once you get your new PC, it should all go away Other option is to put Ubuntu or another Linux flavour on it, if you're just using it mostly for browsing, you'll barely notice the difference, but Linux is a little less resource hungry
  14. Star Wars AT-AT Detail Set (03117 for Bandai) 1:144 GreenStrawberry Star Wars and AT-ATs are synonymous to a person of a certain age (self included), and Bandai's recent release of a raft of new kits has been great for anyone wanting to build a collection of Star Wars related models in a couple of consistent scales, rather than box-scale as seems to be the way with Revell, the main European license holder of late. The Bandai kits are snap-together, but don't let that fool you. They are the pinnacle of the injection-moulded art, and you'd wonder initially how they could get any better with the addition of Photo-Etch (PE) parts. These sets from GreenStrawberry are engineered to appeal to the more advanced modeller who will end up painting their creation, and you WILL need Super Glue (CA) to attach the parts to your model. The sets arrive in a flat re-sealable pack, with a black themed backing card, a chunk of thick cardboard to keep the PE safe, a set of instructions (both of which are hidden within), and the sheet of PE brass on display in the front. They are designed to improve both detail, accuracy to the scale/CGI models, and add a scale-thickness to otherwise over-scale parts. The kit cockpit is first to be upgraded, with controls, a central column and details within the cab that are missing on the kit, and should be visible through the visor once completed. Staying with the head, the cheek cannons are fitted with curved "ammo feed" assemblies, and the visor/windscreen is upgraded with a frame to finish it off. The rear of the walker shows off its kit-part heritage with a quartet of 20/40mm flak shields amongst the greeblies, which are all replaced by much more detailed and accurate PE parts that give it a scale thickness unachievable with injection styrene. A raised panel that overhangs the back is also replaced with a thinner PE assembly too, and at the front of the "hump" a triple-layer of PE is inserted into the upstand to better reflect the intake that is present. Each of the feet has a PE skin applied to the curved back/forward pivot, and a curved triangular end cap added the lateral pivot points, while the last section gives a nod to the diorama potential of this awesome model. The Bandai kit includes side access doors that cover up an entrance and plenty of greeblies, which are lost forever if you snap the covers in place. With the removal of the internal fixtures, new frames and hinges are added, allowing the modeller to pose them open with convincing detail on display instead of blank plastic. Anyone fancy building a screen projector on Endor? Conclusion While the snap-together nature of the kit does no justice to the level of detail included in the box, this small but useful set will improve the finished model no-end, as long as you're ready with the glue and paint to integrate and weather the finished article. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Hello

    to the forum Johnny
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