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About Vlad

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  1. It really is. All the parts just slide into place, it's a joy to build, and the part swapping for the engine is easy and well fitting. Will definitely be buying that as well, but I don't regret building this. I'm eyeing up the Eduard 1/48 kits as well to expand my collection since I enjoyed working in this scale so much, but I'm going to run out of space very fast if I'm not careful
  2. Thanks! The gloss finish is part personal preference, part necessity. I do quite like my plane models shiny even if it's unrealistic. But the bigger issue is that I've yet to find a usable satin or matt varnish in acrylics. I've come very close to ruining a number of projects trying out different matt varnishes, and it's got to a point where I'm not willing to risk it even slightly, especially on a special build like this. As for flow enhancer, I wasn't being too scientific. I was mixing in a small plastic palette, just dipped the tip of the brush and put a spec in the bottom before adding the paint and water. To be honest, the flow enhancer itself doesn't seem to have any negative effects even if you add too much, but it is possible to over-thin in combination with the flow enhancer. In future I'll use a pipette and try to be more accurate. I think something like a drop of enhancer to 2 or 3 big brush-loads of paint should do just fine.
  3. My WWII aircraft collection so far has been exclusively 1/72, but when I saw my favourite subject done by the engineering masters that are Tamiya, then seeing the options in the box and the superlatives every review has been heaping on this kit, I simply couldn't resist. So here's my effort on this kit. This is a number of firsts for me: First time posting a completed kit here in "Ready for Inspection" First 1/48 kit built as an adult First open engine kit ever First time using flow enhancer to improve my acrylic paint coverage The kit is mostly OOB. It's as good as they say. Though the engine open/closed option is ingenious and the fit is sublime, it made me want to do more, to avoid choices elsewhere. I went "above and beyond" in the following ways: wings and gun pods have small magnets embedded in them, so the pods can be clicked on and off at will cockpit side and rear decking also have small magnets embedded in them; the canopy itself has metal embedded in the frame edges (pieces of staple from the sprue bags... so I guess this is "OOB"?) - canopy can be displayed open or closed and has a functioning restraining cable for the open position (unfortunately the wire I picked for it is too thick and stiff so it looks a bit ugly; live and learn) Flaps are up because making them posable was beyond what I was willing to do, and I wanted a "clean" look with everything closed up. Everything is brush painted with acrylics. Main camouflage colours RLM 74/75/76 + 70 on the prop blades are Xtracrylix. Everything else is either Revell Aqua or Humbrol Acrylics. It's not perfect by any means but I'm very happy with it. Might have caught a dangerous bug for this 1/48 stuff! Thanks for taking a look!
  4. Vlad

    Bf-109G-10 undercarriage track

    I can see it in the pictures you posted but the shots aren't from the same angle. The wheels toe-in and the shots are parallel to the ground not the fuselage, so this distorts the angle you see. Also the big tyres on the K obscure it a little. Try comparing an F-4 or early G-2 to a late G-4 or G-6. I don't remember where I read it, but the reasoning is sound. Making the wheel itself more vertical reduced the tendency for it to "dig in" under sideways load, a known issue impacting 109 ground handling. Edit:
  5. Vlad

    Bf-109G-10 undercarriage track

    As far as I'm aware, there is no change to the oleo angle with version for 109s. The thing that did change is the angle of the wheel relative to the oleo. It's parallel up until G-2, then the wheel is more vertical from G-4 onwards. This is what causes the teardrop bulge on the upper wing, as one edge of the tyre now sticks up when the gear is retracted. The later, much larger fairings are to accommodate the wider K-4 tyres. The wheels are at the same angle relative to the oleo as the late G tyres.
  6. Vlad

    Xtracrylix colour separation

    OK so in a roundabout way you were right. I was thinning quite a bit to avoid streakyness and brush mark issues that I was having when I tried to paint "out of the pot", and this was causing occasional inconsistent separation issues (though not as bad as now). I then started experimenting with flow enhancer. Now, the flow enhancer itself works like magic, but I did not account for the fact I wouldn't need to thin anywhere near as much. I think it was the combination of flow enhancer with lots of thinning that was causing poor coverage and separation issues. Still perfecting the quantities though
  7. Vlad

    Xtracrylix colour separation

    This used to happen to me when I first started using them, straight out of the pot un-thinned as if they were Humbrol or Revell Aqua. That wasn't a good idea. I would have thought thinning would help, and indeed I started thinning partly to resolve this issue. I have been thinning more recently and doing lots of thin coats because otherwise they dry really thick and "lock in" brush marks. I can try harder to find a happy medium if you think that's the problem, but it seems to happen regardless of thinning proportion.
  8. Vlad

    Xtracrylix colour separation

    I use Xtracrylix sometimes, for colours I can't easily match otherwise, and I'm slowly improving my technique at brush-painting them. Not the easiest but worth it for the colours and finish! One issue I can't seem to get away from is streakyness resulting from what looks like colour separation. Basically, I paint on, looks perfectly smooth and even, I let it dry... I get dark (almost black) patches, or dark lines in it. I see this happening when I thin them as well, until I give them a stir. It's frustrating because I can't tell it's happening as I paint, only as it dries when it's too late to fix. And it can easily happen just in the last coat of an otherwise great paint job, which basically puts me back to square one. Any techniques to try to eliminate this?
  9. Vlad

    Spitfire XIV Best Kits 1/72 (STICKY PLEASE MODS)

    I can see it from both sides. The hobby is meant to be relaxing after all, and different people have different tolerances. I too love a kit that just falls together, they're also satisfying to build in a different way. I might alternate from a project that requires a lot of work to get a specific result (kitbash, superdetail, or just an awkward kit of a rare subject) to one that's easy but I still get what I want. I guess in that sense there's no perfect XIV, until Tamiya decides to do one, but then they're not immune to huge accuracy fumbles either so you might have to compromise anyway.
  10. Vlad

    Spitfire XIV Best Kits 1/72 (STICKY PLEASE MODS)

    Sword Spitfires are unbearable to build? I must have missed that memo when I made mine. Sure, they're limited run and a bit fiddly, but about average compared to the large crop of similar manufacturers (Is it just me or are they all Czech? That country must really loves its scale models!). I sold my AZ after building the Sword XIV, finer detail and less flash on parts, plus better and more interesting decals. I consider the Sword range the definitive Spitfire XIVs in 1/72, especially with different boxings covering high back, bubble top and FR, with, as I said, fantastic selection of marking options. I've also done the Airfix XIX fuselage + IXc wing kitbash, and I'd do it again over any other option for a high-back XIV, if by some odd contrivance those Airfix kits were back in production and the Sword became hard to find.
  11. Vlad

    72nd scale Tamiya Bf-109 g6 ?

    The complete lack of options is a little bit disappointing, but they do seem to have scaled down some of the clever engineering e.g. the landing gear attachment. I'm also sure the 3 part canopy will please many. Still really looking forward to getting one, with that simplicity and (I assume) spot on engineering it will be a joy I've actually been meaning to do one of those with the eyes on the bulges, good marking choices!
  12. Vlad

    AZ Bf 109 Joy Packs (3 in 1)

    Thanks @Jan Polc for the offer of parts. I'll consider it, but I have spare markings for most types, and what would be the fun being picky now when I can just keep building even more 109s? Good news, I'll keep an eye out for that F Joy Pack!
  13. Vlad

    Best and worst Spitfire?

    I think you're exaggerating the performance differences. 87 Octane K is neck and neck with +18lb boost XIV for speed at altitudes up to 26,000 feet, and only about 10% behind in climb rate. With 100 Octane the K would match the climb rate too. The 109 airframe did not have inherently less development potential. The Spitfire is just as much a '30s concept and had plenty of its own problems with getting the huge Griffon engine. Sure the 109 had flaws but being small alone wasn't one, after all the Soviets had great success with evolving their Yak series into the amazing Yak-3. 109 derivatives also served into the 1960s. In any case my point was that you're comparing apples and oranges. All I was trying to say is that, hypothetically, a 109K optimised as a pure light fighter and built to a high standard of quality would not have been outclassed in 1945.
  14. Vlad

    Best and worst Spitfire?

    I think the assessment that the Spitfire airframe had far more development potential than the 109 is unfair. The F is only considered a high point from a handling point of view, the later types continuously improved speed and rate of climb and were never really behind allied fighters. Can you really compare the development path of the Spitfire, allowed to fulfil a pure fighter role in a time of increasing resources and ever better quality fuel, with 109s increasingly lumbered for bomber hunting and starved of good fuel and construction quality? I imagine a more lightweight 109K derivative with an engine using 150 octane fuel would give a Mk.XIV a real run for its money.
  15. Vlad

    Best and worst Bf 109?

    I quite enjoyed the Spitfire thread so I'm going to shamelessly steal the idea. Let's make this a bit more general and avoid semantic arguments. Which Bf 109 variant was the "greatest", in the context of the time it operated - including factors such as which had the "best" relative performance against contemporary fighters, but also overall image, success and impact to the war as it was at that time. Which Bf 109 variant was the "lesser", by the same criteria. I guess the predictable answer would be F-4 for best, a high point in terms of handling. Having said that, I would put forward the iconic G-6, due to sheer ubiquity and the fact it brought much needed upgrades and versatility to the type, while still packing enough performance to be a headache to allied pilots right to the end. Maybe the K-4 is the "ultimate" depending on your definition, but "greatest", perhaps not. For worst I'd probably pick the D, just because by then it was really overdue an engine upgrade, or the E-7 just for being a bit late to the party and oh dear god why would you try to use an interceptor that small and fragile as a fighter-bomber. Or the T just for being a really bad idea (you thought the Seafire had nasty deck handling, I wouldn't want to be in basically an Emil on a carrier). Actually, we may end up with different answers depending on whether people focus on pure performance or operational impact.