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About lasermonkey

  • Birthday March 10

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    Lost forever in a happy crowd.
  • Interests
    Aeroplanes, guitars, music, wildlife.

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  1. Firstly, I'd like to acknowledge that this is probably a tricky and uncomfortable topic, but it's one that I think needs to be discussed. I have seen several comments where people have been complaining of others "whining about prices" and my first thought was that it must be a nice problem to have. If you think that's frustrating, imagine what it's like when nearly all of the new kit releases are out of your reach due to the ever-rising prices. Then imagine that the main factor about whether or not you can continue with the hobby is deemed too annoying for discussion. I know I "don't have to buy the kit", that's missing the point entirely. I'd like to be able to buy the kit. It's a bleak prospect when your lifelong hobby, one that helps alleviate stress and low mood, prices you out of it. We are in the age of the £20+ single-engined WW2 aircraft. I get that for many of you, £20 is shrapnel and, honestly, I'm happy for you. But please try to be a little more understanding of those a little less fortunate because, trust me, when the "there but for the grace of God" happens to you, you won't be ready for it. Even second-hand kit prices have skyrocketed. Not just on eBay but everywhere. Anyway, I've taken up enough of your time. Take care and all the best, Mark.
  2. Just thought I'd do a "hit and run" post, as I haven't been logged in for a while. Anyway, and I bet you saw this coming a mile, I think this is an utterly dismal year from Airfix. A single new 1/72 kit is bad enough, but those price rises mean I'm out. IMO, Airfix are charging premium prices for a so-so product. They just make too many schoolboy errors and struggle to match the finesse of thirty-year old kits so don't represent anything like good value for money in my book. £24 for that Meteor is insane. And to anyone who is tempted to say. "Well, no one is making you buy it!" I'll just pop in a "No, but they are making me not buy it!" 2022 has brought the depressing reality that I am stuck with scouring eBay for the few second-hand bargains amongst the overpriced tat. I'm trying to be happy for the rest of you, but it's not easy. Take care and see you in a few more months, Mark.
  3. See, I could do that, in the context of a squadron history, for example. As long as it makes sense in my mind, I'm fine with it!
  4. I can't speak for others, but for me, if it doesn't exist in 1/72, it may as well not exist at all. It might be because I'm "on the spectrum", but I can't bear the thought of not having things in a constant scale. By putting a 1/48 Spitfire next to a 1/72 Stirling, say, you just don't get to experience the sheer difference in size. That's a big part of sticking to a single scale, and I think it shouldn't be dismissed lightly by those who are only interested in the subject. I kinda get that for some, simply having the subject available is enough, but at the same time if I see models of dissimilar scales displayed together, every cell in my body cringes. I do try to be respectful of other opinions, even though my brain is hardwired to be horrified by them! I've bought quite a few cottage industry, limited run and resin kits of obscure types over the years. I don't enjoy the process of building resin kits, if I'm honest. There's something very comforting about working with polystyrene. It's soft enough to abrade, resilient enough to withstand handling, generally not too brittle (don't think you've got away with it, Airfix!) and, most importantly, incredibly forgiving to glue together. With resin kits, you have the choice of epoxy or cyanoacrylate adhesives. Cyano generally doesn't give you much wiggle room for positioning the parts (which my increasingly unsteady hands need) , whilst epoxy means holding the parts together for a fair amount of time, not always a straightforward task. They also tend to be expensive. I fully understand why, but it still places them out of reach for me these days. Most of my limited run kits are from the likes of Aeroclub (especially for inter-war aircraft), Pavla, KP, MPM, et al. I think I have three Pavla Messengers in the stash, with one at the painting stage. Not the easiest kit in the world to build, but I'm glad it exists and equally glad that companies like these often choose the path less travelled. For the most part, I think they offer a good balance of subject and price (something that's very important to me these days). I don't expect precision engineering from these smaller companies and for the most part, I don't enjoy kits that are too easy anyway. I like to feel like I have put something of myself into a build. Cheers, Mark.
  5. I was aware of that, but they're almost impossible to find, hellishly expensive when they do pop up, and I simply don't enjoy doing vacforms. Plus it's Contrail. May as well scratch one!
  6. One that I’m absolutely certain hasn’t been kitted before in any form is the Southern Martlet. I’d love to see it in 1/72.
  7. There was an old Aeromaster sheet that had Princess Elizabeth on it. I have the sheet, though I already used the decals you’re after.
  8. I’m going to need a few of these for my East Anglian Aviation in WWII project. I just need to find some photos of Battles from Nos. 35, 51, 63, 103, 150 & 226 squadrons during the short period that qualifies. No luck so far…
  9. It would be a shame if the “cigar” drop tank wasn’t included, seeing as it was relatively common on Doras and no one else has kitted it before.
  10. I think I would need to see the contents before making a decision, though given the current public health situation, that's unlikely to be any time soon.
  11. Thanks @Dave Swindell, that's very useful. I was rather looking forward to this, but not sure I'll go ahead now. Not using the correct nomenclature seems to me to completely defeat the point of the articles and is, IMO, an unfortunate and retrograde step.
  12. A few that I've used over the years: Rigid sanding sticks using wet'n'dry glued to lolly sticks. Just sand the sticks flat first. Micro chisels made from cheap and nasty jewellers' screwdrivers. Grind to shape using a Dremel (or similar) and a cut-off disc. Glue and paint mixing palettes using old plastic milk or fruit juice bottle caps. Pringles lids can be useful for mixing or decanting glue too and being flexible, it's easy to remove the dried glue for reuse. Plastic takeaway containers are useful for the storage of parts, tools and decals. Just make sure you've thoroughly removed any traces of the vindaloo that previously inhabited it! Spice jars for the storage of thinners and cleaning solutions for immediate use.
  13. They were just Precision Paints previously, though I don’t know at what point the Phoenix was added. Possibly they restarted? I’d be interested to know more about their history. I have a few of their old paints in the stash. I believe the first paints I ever specifically bought for a model (Extra Dark Sea Grey and Sky for a Matchbox Beaufighter) were Precision Paints. That would have been around forty five years ago!
  14. That's the price without VAT, so it is just under £21. I'm sure it will be nice for those that can afford it, but it's not for me.
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