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About billn53

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    Huntsville AL, USA

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  1. Can’t have too many Thuds. I’m in!
  2. billn53

    Pegasus Nautilus 1/144

    So I’ve heard. But I couldn’t resist the details. At least I have a big window (even if it’s hard to see through), unlike all those tank modelers in the armor forum lol!
  3. Hello everybody! I got back into modeling just over a year ago after a very long absence. Since then, I've been building airplanes and posting in the aircraft section, but my interests also include nautical subjects. My local IPMS group has a show coming up in late August, and I looked through my stash for something different to enter into the contest. Here's what I found: I also happened to have a few aftermarket items tucked away in my box: Planning out my approach, I realized there are four main sub-projects I must complete more or less concurrently. These are: 1) Assembling the Pegasus kit, 2) Painting, 3) Lighting, and 4) Constructing a base. I began work a couple of weeks ago and am ready to show my progress to date. I'll cover my work in each of the four areas listed above. First, kit construction. This begins with building the "Grand Salon", which will be visible through the large windows on either side of the ship. My first task was to open up the overhead panel for the LED lights that I will be installing: Building the salon was straightforward. Mostly, it was an exercise in painting. Here are some pics. Unfortunately, most of the details will likely not be visible through the window glazing A few notes for reference: The wood effect was achieved using oils (a new experience for me). The large rug was printed on paper from an image found on the web. The globe was originally molded as a single piece... I carefully cut / ground out the globe from it's frame, and replaced it with a 5mm bead taken from a cheap necklace. The figures are N-scale from Preiser. Detail pics of the salon: The ParaGrafix photoetch includes a basic bridge area, which I plan to install even though the ability to see this after assembly will be almost nil. The ship's wheels in the pic below are 3D printed. I forget where I found those! That's pretty much where I am on the assembly sub-project. Moving on to painting, I intend to use an iron-based rust product described in Dr Faust's YouTube building videos ( https://youtu.be/qrnzRvmXWO4 ). But, the main deck has what I presume is wood decking, which I don't want to rust up. I thought it best to paint the deck and mask off the wood sections prior to assembly. For this, I sprayed a coat of raw umber acrylic, followed by a black Flory wash: Here it is after removing the excess wash. I quite like the result of the raw umber, and may use that as my base coat for the sub as a whole, prior to rusting. Lighting. This is something entirely new to me! Fortunately, Tirydium Models ( https://www.tirydiummodels.co.uk/ )sells an excellent lighting kit for the Nautilus. Unlike other lighting kits I've seen, which require soldering in resisters, etc., this one is entirely plug-and-play! Hat's off to Warren of Tirydium Models for doing this. (BTW, Warren posts on Britmodeller using the handle "Madmonk") The lighting for the salon uses four warm-white LEDs that shine through the PE grates in the overhead panel: The result, in general, looks good, but I found the corners of the salon to be a bit too dark: I fixed this by breaking out my soldering iron and adding a couple more LEDs to cover the corners (not shown). There are also four exterior spotlights, two on either side of the salon's windows. Here are how I installed those. First, I cut out four triangular mounts, which I drilled to accommodate the LEDs: I cut access holes into the sides of the hull, beneath the angular fairing that runs fore and aft: Perfect: There is also a micro-LED in the Tirydium kit, which I decided to use to light the fore deck searchlight. Unfortunately, the kit's searchlight is a solid piece of plastic. I scratch built a substitute using plastic tubing and part of an aircraft fuel tank I found in my spares box: For the lens, I used Bondic's clear, UV-activated acrylic gel. This stuff is great! I've used it to model aircraft navigation lights, instrument panel glass, even to glue canopies in place. Success! That's as far as I've gotten on the lighting sub-project. Last but not least, the base. The Pegasus base is unique, and consists of a giant squid rising out of a hole in the ocean floor. I intend to use the kit base as my starting point, but mount it on a large rectangular box that will hold the battery and switch for the lighting. On the top of the box, I intend to build up a rocky sea bottom using select pieces of BBQ lava rock mounted on a foam/plaster seabed. This will most certainly be heavy, so the base's box must be sturdy. I found a bamboo silverware tray that will work perfectly after turning it upside-down. The partitions for the dinnerware will stiffen the box and prevent it from flexing under the weight of the rocks. Anyway, that's my plan. Not too much to show so far... Anyway, you get the idea. Overall, I think I'm making good progress and everything seems to be on track to have this finished in time for the show. I will be traveling between now and then, so I don't have as much modeling time as the calendar would suggest. Tomorrow I fly out to California for a week-long business trip, so my next update won't be for a while. Thanks for viewing, I hope you've found this interesting!
  4. Oh my, that's a striking Thud! Great result on the paint job. It's sure to be a head-turner when you're done.
  5. I suppose, if it were either of those, I'd need a swastika on the tail
  6. Thanks for the info. If it's correct then Tamiya has made an error. In any case it's much too late for me to do anything about it, I'll just have to live with it. On a positive note, I've replaced the fire extinguisher with a cartless version, gotten rid of the shine on the figures' clothing, and found a more realistic tool box (complete with miniature wrenches!). I also replaced the figure standing beneath the engine with an RAF pilot figure.
  7. Amazing research, your attention to detail is something to aspire to. Great job so far, keep it up!
  8. I feel the same about Jagermeister. I first hoped to find either Munchner Hofbrau or Lowenbrau decals, and do the Arrow in Bavarian colors. But no joy at that, so I had to make do.
  9. Less than two weeks since I started and this project is complete! More pics are in the RFI section: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235038938-just-for-kicks-do335-arrow-as-a-reno-air-racer/
  10. After finishing a rather involved Mosquito diorama (pics here: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235038352-pull-your-finger-out-we-have-a-date-with-jerry-tonight/ ) I needed a something relatively quick and mindless to get my juices flowing again. Since there was a nearly complete Hobby Boss "Easy Assembly" kit of the DO 335 Arrow in my stash (everything but the canopy, which I had stolen for another project), I decided to convert Dornier's Arrow into a "What If?" 1950's Reno Air Racer. WIP is here: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235038421-racing-arrow-172-do335-what-if/ Somewhere in Germany, a new secret project is underway.... I hope you enjoyed the pics as much as I enjoyed building this!
  11. billn53

    F-14 A 1/48 HobbyBoss

    That's a great cat!
  12. I do love the colorful Canadian Hornet schemes! Excellent!!!
  13. billn53

    Myamnar Air Force F-7 II

    Nicely done. And, the first photo is very convincing !!!
  14. oooohhh! I like this a lot!
  15. Decals are on. Team Arrow's sponsor can now be revealed: I've never experienced decals that behaved like these did. Within seconds of placing the decals on the model, the decals started to wrinkle up as if I had doused them with an overdose of setting solution. In the end, they flattened out and look really nice. However, I did screw up the big decal on the starboard wing while trying to roll out the wrinkles (that was before I realized that if I just left them alone, everything would turn out fine). Note how some of the letters have become warped, especially the "Jage" and ending "r": I'll let these dry out and give everything another coat of clear gloss. To answer Silenoz's question about polishing, my clear coat is an acrylic and I understand it is best to let acrylic paints thoroughly dry (weeks, not days) before attempting to polish them out. Maybe someone has firsthand experience and can give me some tips? My next post will likely be an RFI. All that's left to do is add the props, exhausts, and landing gear. The canopy still needs to be unmasked -- I have my fingers crossed that everything still looks fine there. Finally, this past weekend (Memorial Day weekend) we had a number of warbirds fly in to my local airport. Here are some pics I took: If only I had a couple thousand bucks to burn, I would have dropped it immediately for a Mustang ride: