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About specky

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    Established Member
  • Birthday 23/06/1963

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    Jersey, Chanel Islands

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  1. S-Boat

    Hi everyone Lets hope I've understood the qualification rules correctly and this.... .... with the number 10 on the bow gets me an entry, otherwise it ain't gonna get built any time soon! Craig
  2. M32B1

    Hi everyone So ... at the third time of asking, I finally have an acceptable interior. There's not much to it and so God only knows why it took so long to knock-up something that was only ever intended to clutter-up an otherwise suspiciously vacant void! No 'before' photo I'm afraid. it has literally just stopped raining for the first time since last year, so I grabbed everything & raced to the garage to fire-up the airbrush... ....see, I told you it wasn't much! and its even less with the top on... ...and its even less with the turret in place. (I'm going to keep calling it the 'turret' until someone corrects me, because I'm sure there is a proper technical name, but I've not been able to find it) In other news, whist searching t' internet for 'M32 interior', I found loads of 1/35 builds paired with what appear to be 10 CWT trailers, which is a result, since I have loads of those from assorted Airfix & Heller Jeep kits More to come, and before I forget, all the best to everyone for 2018! Craig
  3. Matchbox Gallery

    Despite the troublesome plastic, a thoroughly enjoyable build - but now I wish I'd put a bit more effort into the sink marks & joint lines! Included, at no extra charge, another Matchbox classic, an M7 'Priest' Cheers for now Craig
  4. M32B1

    Hi everyone, sorry, but I've no idea how to work the 'quote' option, so... Cheers Ozzy, I aim to please! Ian, I feel your pain but it seems the Sarge is on hand with a wealth of invaluable hints and tips! and Sarge, I will be paying attention and taking notes on what will, I'm sure, be something of a masterclass, but to be honest, I get a degree of perverse satisfaction from 'kit-bashing' and so I shall persevere with my UM/Plastic Soldier hybrid - at least until it reaches the point where its very obviously not going to work! So, we're off and running, but before I forget, here's the Plastic Soldier sprue shot that I missed off yesterday As you can see, its a 'wargamer' kit, identical in concept to 'Armourfast', but for my tastes, far superior with the exception of the most 'unusual' attempt at a D50878 turret I think I've ever seen on a kit. Compare the shape difference with a resin copy of a Dragon turret I cast years ago.. ...odd, to say the least! But of no consequence on this build - so straight in the bin The big news, now I've been able to snip parts from the sprues, is that the UM upper hull is an almost perfect match to the PS lower - so that saves me a fair bit of work. The only real issue is that PS omitted, I assume for tooling reasons, the cut-out on the rear of the upper, so the extreme rear panel of the lower hull is about 4 mm too short A little extension and some scratched, full height airfilters and maybe even some exhaust pipes should do the trick there. The hull interior, although not super visible, will benefit from a floor & something to suggest the racking for tools & spares that might just be seen through the turret ring, so plenty to be getting on with More to come Craig
  5. M32B1

    Hi everyone This.... ....looked like it could be an interesting build, right up until the point that I opened the box.... ....OMG, flat-pack hull, 8 part bogies and link and length tracks - no thank you! So it has festered at the bottom of the stash ever since, but now I have a plan! This... ...gives me everything from the turret ring down in about a dozen pieces to which I can add the good bits from UM and there are a lot of good bits : separate tools, PE light guards and, obviously, the recovery 'turret' and associated gear. Finally, I may be able to add an M32 to the collection! Roll on, well, tomorrow Craig
  6. Diamond 'T' tank transporter - FINISHED

    Hi everyone Very late in the day it's dawned on me, if that's not too much of a contradiction, that of all the projects started in 2017, this is the only one even remotely close to a finish - so best I get my finger out! I tried this stuff for the first time... ... rather than my more familiar Humbrol Clearfix to glaze the cab and although its much easier to use and if you apply it thin enough, will produce a remarkably clear window, even after 3 days, its still exceptionally vulnerable to marks from stray finger prints. So, lesson learnt - get it right first time and never, ever, touch it again! In the excitement of trying something new, I totally forgot the misty coat of Tamiya 'Buff', so no dust coat - some powders will have to do. A random selection of 'junk' from the spares box fills up the tractor load bed and in the spirit of the GB, the trailer is now loaded with a Revell re-box of the Matchbox M7 Priest. If the sun comes out again this side of the New Year, I will try for some better photos before adding to the gallery, but otherwise I'm calling this done Thanks for your time Craig
  7. Diamond 'T' tank transporter - FINISHED

    Hi everyone So, after a few delays in updating due to the recent Flickr issues, the saga continues! As anticipated, the wheels & tyres were a mission - partly because there are what seems like hundreds of them, but mainly because there is no clear divide between the two. After a couple of failed attempts to free-hand brush paint similar diameter 'wheel rims', I gave up & 'fudged it' with a wash of a dried mud type colour, which in the end, doesn't look so bad. After completing the decaling, I tried Tamiya 'Clear flat' to matt it all - which didn't go well! Its left a distinctly 'frosty' finish, but luckily its only really noticeable on the horizontal surfaces, so I'm trying to convince myself that its a bit of UV bleaching. The sub-assembles were brought together and after a good bosh of weathering powders on the underside of the tractor & trailer, the wheels were added and again, as anticipated, they don't all touch the ground! Normally, I would use a little solvent adhesive to loosen a few joints and 'encourage' the axles or whatever into a more suitable position - but that's just not going to work here, the plastic is way too brittle - I've already had to scratch a new door mirror and trailer ramp hinge and drill, pin and glue the headlamp and one of the tractor axles. So, before anything else breaks or falls off, this is how it looks, but paired with a Dragon, rather than Matchbox, 'Firefly'.... Its a shame that I seem to have picked a duff example of this kit, because even after all these years, it still looks the part and other than trying to get paint on the wheels, its not a difficult build. There will be a little more to come, but not until after the holidays Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to you all Craig
  8. Diamond 'T' tank transporter - FINISHED

    Hi everyone This has proven to be a bit more of a mission than I anticipated since the plastic is exceptionally brittle, which is not something I remember from any of these kits I built back in the day, so it must be a consequence of how and where its been stored for the last 30-odd years. The yellow sprue was fine, but the other 2 were a nightmare & no matter what I tried, the small parts literally shattered on removal, but I eventually got them all back together & reached this point.... ....a series of sub-assembles ready for paint Sadly, and not for the first time, I massively misjudged the degree to which a gloss coat darkens 'olive drab' and although it may lighten a little after the matt coat. it'll still be way darker than I wanted.... ...but with Christmas just around the corner & snow forecast for next week, the chances of a re-paint anytime soon are slim, so I've cracked-on with the decals. You probably won't be surprised to hear that the left a lot to be desired - out of register, poor colour, really thick & buried in a mahosive amount of carrier film, but Tamiya acrylic thinner did its job & they have settled really well, so a for X-20A, for XF-62 Next job is to clean-up the multitude of wheels & tyres, paint and fit & try to get them all to touch the ground at the same time! Cheers Craig
  9. Hi everyone Although I'm a little late to the party, there are still plenty of empty slots for unspoken for kits & this seems to be one! I missed it first time around, since by the very late 70's I had moved on to 1/35 Tamiya, but I built the Revell re-box 5 or 6 years ago and found it to be pretty good, so lets try an original Its everything that made Matchbox, especially the military vehicles, so fresh & exciting - the multi-colour sprues & mini diorama base made contemporary Airfix seem. well..... 'old-hat', which in truth, most already were. Updates to follow, as they occur! Craig
  10. Mirage III C

    Hi everyone I had intended posting this more comprehensive introduction last weekend, but could not, for the life of me, find the lead to connect camera to lap-top, so better late than never! Sorry for the rubbish photo, didn't realise how bad it was until too late. 1 x transparent & 5 x pale grey sprues of decent looking plastic. Restrained panel lines & detail, but with a fair bit of flash. This is quite hard, almost brittle plastic, so the very thin flash could almost be scraped off with your thumb nail. Also quite a few sink marks, especially on the fuselage, which may, or may not, prove to be a problem. I'll reserve judgement until after the first coat of primer. Crystal clear glazing, but the canopy has this nasty seam running down the middle. Micromesh & a spot of T-cut should sort that. Clearly defined frame work, so I'm happy to mask myself rather than spend almost as much again for a set from Eduard or whoever The pit is a little bare, but as I tried recently with an Airfix Lightning, this will be posed 'in flight' mounted on a length of aluminium tube stuffed up the jet pipe and with a figure in place & the canopy closed, I don't anticipate too much being seen. And talking of Airfix Lightnings..... ....this chap will be in the hot seat, although it suddenly occurs to me that an RAF style helmet & flight suit might not be entirely appropriate for an Armee de L'Air pilot, so probably best that I don't research that subject too exhaustively - 'Ignorance is bliss' and all that! AK Xtreme Metal will be having an opportunity to shine for the NMF, but the main reason I chose this kit is because it should build without too much fuss, leaving me with time to switch to a camo scheme, should the NMF go 'pear-shaped', so I'm already preparing excuses should it start causing me grief! More to come Craig
  11. Mirage III C

    Hi everyone This won't be the most spectacular build here, but its, arguably, one of the better looking Mirage versions, so its all good For better or for worse, I'm going to have another try at an NMF, although HB are suggesting silver, but I really don't think that right - do you? Roll on Saturday! Craig
  12. RS 1600

    Hi everyone Only a quick update I'm afraid, held over from last weekend when the forum was under that DoS attack. One of a number of issues with this kit is the degree of 'brute force & ignorance' required to fit the body to the floor. Difficult enough when its a bare floor & body, so goodness knows how anyone has managed almost at the end of the build after paint and with glazing, interior & allsorts of vulnerable suspension & axle parts already in place. After far more time thinking about it than I had anticipated, the Belkits front inner wings were cut off and replaced with, so far, one scratched effort.... ....better? I think so, but the more I look at it, the more I think it may be 1 or 1.5mm too tall. But with those awful front wheel arch 'liners' gone, its now, correctly, slightly narrower than the floor and fits without any fuss. More to come Craig
  13. RS 1600

    Hi everyone Apologies for the late start - real life & all that! Sprue shot, if you're not familiar..... ... its a 'kerb-side' kit, broken down in an entirely conventional manner. The mouldings are clean enough, no flash & only minimal joint lines. The 'chrome' parts are very bright but the way they are attached to the sprue will inevitably leave bare spots once they're cleaned up so they will be stripped & painted. This will be my primary source of reference, motivation & inspiration.... .....but since I don't have the time, skills or patience to incorporate all the improvements, I'll be shamelessly 'cherry picking' those that give the 'biggest bang for my buck'! Cheers for now Craig
  14. RS 1600

    Time for a proper Made In Britain motor sporting icon from the 1970's, the Ford Escort RS1600 Built at Halewood, dismantled and rebuilt properly at Boreham and then handed over to some hooligan under strict instruction to 'Thrash the living daylights out of it' - Awesome! Sadly, not an adjective that can be readily applied to the kit, which in a number of respects falls someway short of expectations, but with the assistance of some excellent WIP's on this forum, we'll see what we can do over the next few months Cheers for now Craig
  15. Hi everyone After a period of absence thanks to a touch of the old pneumonia which had kept me out of my cold, damp and draughty garage and away from the airbrush, I was finally fit enough and the weather had improved by enough to re-engage with what had already become something of a love/hate relationship! People keep banging on about how 'great' this kit is and whilst I have no argument with the subject matter, the plastic is another matter entirely! The quality is really rather poor, the wings & fuselage especially are covered in sink marks, all of which need to be filled & blended seamlessly for any chance of an even remotely convincing NMF The design, engineering and therefor fit leaves a lot to be desired. Air-brakes, belly and nose cannon inserts are just a sample of the 'challenges' that await. Although, very obviously, none of these issues is 'un-fixable' and it's entirely conceivable that I have become rather spoilt by the vastly superior quality of most of their newer kits, but given that it still receives rave reviews, every one of the wtf? moments came as a very unexpected and unanticipated surprise and disappointment. But, after weeks of hovering 1/2 a step away from being tossed back into the box & returned to the depths of the stash, there is light at the end of the tunnel. As I've said, I was rather ill and neither the medication nor the plastic was really agreeing with me, but these are wip images that I did manage to record... ...the cockpit, which apart from being far too dark, but by then I was far too ill to even think about re-spraying it, doesn't actually fit! The tub is too wide at the front and the ip is at least 20% too large in area to fit within the fuselage or beneath the coaming. In retrospect, I should obviously have test fitted it all, but as I've said, everyone raves on about it so I wasn't anticipating any dramas - lesson learnt! It all did, eventually, fit and the fuselage closed-up pretty well, although very few of the panel lines meet across the joints - top or bottom! What appear to be gaps around the belly and cannon inserts, for example, are gaps that have been filled with super glue which dries clear, so it will all look a bit 'iffy' until the first coat of primer! Still a fair bit to do, but I'm optimistic that the worst is behind me now, so I expect some brisk progress towards paint Craig