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Everything posted by specky

  1. It's a great film which consistently makes my top 5 favourite war movies. Based on a true story, obviously, with only minor additions for dramatic effect, the classic 'triumph over adversity', cutting edge, for the time, special effects and instantly recognisable theme music..... what's not to like? This'll be my first build in a while and I'm not looking for trouble, so 99.5% out of the box with markings for G-George from the Revell version More to come Craig
  2. And we're off! Since there are only 65 parts in the box and 10 of those relate to the crew figures, most of which are long gone, this is never going to be the most comprehensive '88' kit you'll ever see. But to give them credit, Zvezda have managed to capture the main features to a generally acceptable standard. The airframe is covered with very subtle engraved panel lines (but no rivets!).... ....the landing gear, even the one-piece tail wheel, looks pretty decent.... ....and the radar aerials are just about as good as you're ever going to get in plastic in this scale.... ...but it really starts to struggle when you get to the cockpit. Although it's not terrible, it still falls well short of the standards set by Revell with their '88's' and so I've taken the liberty of copying some parts from the C6 kit (Zvezda on the left, Revell in the center & resin copies to the right, but ignore the pin-hole in the pilots seat back!).... ...and I will continue to use it as 3-D reference to scratch better side-walls, floor and some other odds and ends. More to come....
  3. Hi everyone, I'm not the first, and I'm sure I won't be the last, to turn-up with an '88' for this GB! It'll be the Zvezda G6, which will benefit immensely from some assistance by the Revell C6 lurking in the background!
  4. Yes please, but I've no idea with what, since at least 1/2 my stash would be totally appropriate !
  5. I'd be up for this with a DTM something or other from Tamiya or Revell, or maybe a Belkits Opel Manta 400, so count me in please
  6. Hi everyone This is my first Takom kit.... ... and first impressions are very positive. There's lots of decent looking plastic in the box plus a reasonable selection of the sort of 'go faster' stuff you usually pay extra for in the shape of wire for the tow cables, clear vision blocks for the periscopes and some very delicate PE. But since I'd already bought them for a now delayed Tamiya T-55, I'll be adding workable resin tracks & a metal gun barrel. There are 9 paint/marking options in the box, including a vehicle from 'Operation Danube' (the Warsaw Pact occupation of Czechoslovakia), which. if my maths is correct, marks its 50th anniversary this month, so that's a very strong contender. Now all I need to do is convert the 'Mig Ammo' paint call-outs into a brand that I can actually get my hands on! Craig
  7. Hi everyone - long time, no see! Don't let this mock-up, posed with a 1/72 Spitfire for scale, fool you into thinking that any significant progress has been made, because it just hasn't! Anyone familiar with the kit will probably have already guessed that it has stalled badly at the intakes which have proven to be every bit as nasty as the internet suggested, but if you're not familiar with it, allow me to explain..... Step 1 of the assembly guide shows the rear, tubular section of the 2 intake ducts (B26, 27, 42 & 43) All are covered with ejector pin & sink marks on the inside, visible face, but that, to be honest, is a minor inconvenience compared with the 'trench-like' joints that's are a proper pain to sort thanks to the S-shape of the lower joint These sub-assemblies then fit, very poorly, to a half centre section moulded as part of the fuselage & once again there are pin marks & perhaps even worse joints to try & sort Once you've overcome those, as best you can, the whole thing is covered by the front intakes with more pin marks on the inside, but otherwise they're pretty good right up until the point that you look down the 'hole' & see this The ducting doesn't even begin to match the shape & size of the intake. All of these issues are why seamless replacements are essential (or are they? - see below), unless you're going to use covers! Research suggests that these days, there's only 1 source for these parts (new) & the guy only releases limited numbers, only sells on E-bay & only lists 2 or 3 times a year! After 3 failed attempts to make the kit plastic 'play the game', I was ready to give-up & return it to the stash for another day, when I spotted one of his elusive listings - result! An order was placed, cash electronically changed hands & I'm left twiddling my thumbs for potentially as long as 4 weeks whilst the box makes its way to me from the West coast of America. Now I had a 'fall-back position', I figured there was nothing to lose by getting way more aggressive with the kit & I cut the ducting out of the fuselage. A paper template was made, transferred to thin plastic card & after using that to replace most of the hopeless kit plastic, I ended-up with this... Although it looks absolutely rubbish (I was making lots of mistakes as I went), the thin card remains flexible enough to conform to the inside profile of the intake Rubbish photo I'm afraid, it proved to be impossible to hold in the correct position with one hand & operate a camera with the other!, but I think you can see that this is getting pretty close to 'seamless' & I'm certain that with a bit more time, I could have cracked it. But, way sooner than expected, a delivery from the USA has arrived & although most of the set is no use to me, but to be fair it isn't 'J' specific, the one piece intakes & ducts are lovely! Again, not the best photo - its gloss white!, but since they are 'plug-in & play' & I've already lost a load of time on this build, I'll be using them rather than my homemade efforts & cracking on - finally! More to come Craig
  8. Hi everyone Why is it that the universe seems determined to continually have a bit of laugh at my expense? I've waited weeks longer than I really should have had to for this pre-order ... .... which finally arrived on Wednesday, delayed even longer, I'm sure, by the Easter holidays. So, I duck out of work for an hour yesterday to score some EDSG from a local hobby shop and as I step through the door, this bad boy almost has my eye out! Slightly discounted.... .... but to be honest, they're still not exactly giving it away are they?, but it would have been rude not to, so now I'm almost inundated by Phantoms! After a careful study and comparison of the kits, I really don't see that either offers a significant advantage over the other in terms of being a quicker or easier build, so on the basis that bigger is almost always better, Airfix is now in the stash and Tamiya on the bench. The internet has been its usual 'helpful' self and drawn my attention to numerous 'issues', which is not really surprising since the original toolings are more than 20 years old. Some are very minor and I'm happy to ignore, but others are a little more 'in your face' and will need to be addressed. The under-sized exhaust nozzles have been resolved by placing an order on every ones favourite internet auction site this morning, but that, on its own, has kicked me over the psychological £100 barrier. Poorly designed intakes used to be an easy fix when 'seamless' replacements were available from a number of sources, but, as I assume, sales of these kits dropped-off, manufacturers began deleting them from their ranges, so they will need fixing with filler and elbow grease. The 'spartan' cockpit probably won't look too bad with the crew figures in place until I can justify the expense of some better resin bang seats and maybe figures as well and by only temporarily fixing the kit parts, it shouldn't be a big deal to swap them later - maybe! More to come Craig
  9. Hi everyone Good grief, I really cannot believe its nearly a month since I last updated - sorry about that! As you may have noticed from the sprue shot, the hull builds up from 5 parts: a one piece keel (for the idiot proof waterline option), 2 sides, a deck and the transom (flat panel at the stern). In this example, both sides were quite badly warped, which only became apparent once they were removed from the sprue. But by carefully gluing 2 or 3 inches at a time, with plenty of gussets across the joint to stop it from opening, its actually come together way better than I expected. But now, its size becomes apparent and so I've decided to mount it on an MDF, or something similar, base. Additional skins were added above & below the false (waterline) floor for strength, holes drilled, some short lengths of aluminium tube cut, nuts and bolts sourced and, as if by magic..... .... here it is temporarily mounted on a scabby off-cut of plywood, with a jar of Tamiya paint for scale, although I think this camera angle is rather deceptive - its much bigger in reality and the step from side to keel is actually nowhere near as bad as it looks under this harsh lighting! Much more regular up-dates to come Craig
  10. Hi everyone. So .... I've got some paint on this, but had a bit of a heart stopper when the gloss coat when on and it immediately darkened to an almost monotone, uniform colour. But I pushed on with decals & pin washes and the matt coat, Tamiya TS-80, has recovered almost all the fading/highlight effects - result! These ultra close-up images are truly merciless aren't they? Suddenly I can see all sorts of mould joint lines & sink marks, but I swear it looks fine to the naked eye! The track runs need a bit of repainting ,Tamiya 'German Grey' isn't really dark enough for the rubber links & I think I've gone a bit OTT with the 'rusty' effect guide horns & end connectors, so there's a bit more experimenting to be done there. Sarge, if you're still looking for the horn, its part 30 on sprue B, which I would imagine is generic since it contains the lower hull parts & tools. Cheers for now Craig
  11. Hi everyone. So ... after waaaaay more messing around than I'd anticipated, this little rascal is almost ready for some paint As you can probably tell from the variety of colours, there's a fair mix of UM. Plastic Soldier and even a bit of Airfix, plus the inevitable plastic card, but I think its fair to say that had I realised just how poor the design and fit is of some of the UM parts, I would have made far more use of card and scratched my own parts rather than struggle to make use of stuff that really just doesn't fit! There's still a little clean-up & some tiny parts too add (and the drive sprockets do actually fit better than it looks in these photos!) but I'm feeling way more positive about this now, so next time you see it, it'll be all 'OD' Cheers Craig
  12. Hi everyone and thanks for the welcome As some of you might have already guessed, this was originally retrieved from the stash in preparation for the Airfix GB. But, as is often the case, a log-jam in the calendar around that time would have left it vulnerable to a non-finish - and that would have been a shame, so its been brought forward a few months ready for my best shot. It was tooled in 1975, according to the date stamped inside the keel, but this is a way more recent Hornby re-issue from 5 or 6 years ago, however the contents are totally 'period' - lots of parts, lots of 'flash', heavy joint lines and the almost compulsory loose parts in the bag - lets hope I've got them all! Everything's a little 'chunky' and 'over-engineered', but given the limitations of the technology and the target buyer - 11 or 12 year old boys wanting something to play with in the bath, its totally understandable - but it still looks like it'll be fun! Craig
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. specky

    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
  23. specky

    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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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