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About Bonkin

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  1. Bonkin

    Airfix 1/24 Spitfire Mk Vb

    Amazing work and seriously impressive. Wow. Quite possibly the best built example of this kit I've ever seen. Well done.
  2. Aye. It's amazing just what a bit of colour can do. Small update this one as I've not had time to do much - but it has got a lot to do with colour! After confirming with my Dad that the fire extinguishers were red, I painted them up. Apparently some were pale blue and others were yellow. I also did the hoses in black and used bronze for the cap. After a bit of gloss I added my decals: And then re-coated with more gloss. Finally I've crafted the brackets that will fit them to the ballast box. This is a first coat... I need to darken up the straps I think. Doesn't look like much but for my fat clumsy fingers it is a major achievement . Thanks for looking.
  3. Thanks Phil - that is sound advice and something I will check out. I haven't dared to gloss the trailer yet for not having a proven method. As for the Centurion, it will be dirty like it has just come off the range. I have no need to do much weathering on the tractor or trailer because the vehicles were well looked after in service life and would not be chipped/rusty or battle worn. The Cent though will be muddied up and looking in need of a clean . This week in the few hours I've managed to steel myself away I've done a little on the fire extinguishers. There is still a lot more to do in terms of general shaping and cleaning up, but it is a start. The handles were made using 1mm wide plastic strip and the hoses from 1mm wire. Unfortunately I've had to use a bit of artistic licence on these because the photos I have don't actually show the hose connection. Then it was on with the number plate (for his vehicle) and other decals. All of these are my hand made ones and are authentic for the vehicle, both in colour and placement. I used Micro Set and Micro Sol to fix them down. Note that I have yet to attach the bridge weight yellow disk to the front bumper. This is because it needs to sit slightly proud and I haven't yet determined how I'm going to do it. Same was done for the Centurion. You can also see (just) some of the priming and re-work on the extinguishers. Some may wonder why the unit markings are placed where they are on the Centurion... well see below. This is one of my Dad's pictures and just one of the many that I've been using for reference. The number plate for the Centurion is (as best I can tell) historically correct - and is in the range for the tanks he was transporting at the time. I wonder what happened to all these vehicles? Slowly getting there - and happy with progress so far... but looking forward to getting the Centurion dirtied up! Thanks for looking.
  4. Bonkin

    Airfix 1/24 Spitfire Mk Vb

    Loving your work - and great progress so far. It looks like you've got the dihedral of the wings spot on. Can you tell us a bit more about how you managed it?
  5. Thanks Hamden. Although it is coming together I am still a very very slow builder. If I spent as much time building it as I did just thinking about it I could have finished 20 of them by now ! Thank you Phil. . Lol. Cheers Bullbasket . So I've done a bit yesterday and today. Most of my time though has been on research and struggling with Adobe Illustrator (with clenched fists and gritted teeth!). As I said before, it is really important to me to get this as accurate as I can so in addition to trying to enhance the old b/w photographs I have from my Dad, I've been trawling the net for relevant pictures/documents pertaining to vehicle registration numbers and markings. I'm kinda of happy with what I've got. My first job though was to give the tractor and Cent a good coverage of gloss varnish in preparation for decals: It is looking nice and shiny but I'm not so happy with the finish. I used Humbrol Enablel "Dries in minutes" Varnish from a rattle can. This is a lie by the way. I was starting to panic when 24hrs later it was still tacky. Although I scrupulously followed the instructions, the surface finish looks uneven to me and I think I may need to do some polishing after it has fully cured (maybe a week or two). Either way, I won't be using the same product again... so if anybody has any varnish recommendations, bring em on please. Other work I've started on is the fire extinguishers. For these I've used 5.5mm diameter tubing cut to length and I've filled them with some green putty. Once the putty is fully hardened I need to fix the top, a hose and a handle. I said I'd been using Adobe Illustrator... well after many amateurishly spent hours, I finally had my decal set sorted... and I printed out multiple copies on clear and white decal paper - which I then sprayed with PlastiKote Clear Sealer. This is the first time I've done this so I've no idea how or even if they are going to work: The more eagle-eyed among you will notice that these seem to be more, err, RAF related. Well yes, in my stash I've got a couple 1:24 scale Hurricanes to build and I want to represent an aircraft from No.501 squadron... hence I took the time to prepare the lettering and code numbers for those as well. Here is a closer look at this projects decals: Well, I think that is it for this week. Hopefully next week I'll be in a position to start adding these to the models . Thanks for looking.
  6. Bonkin

    Airfix 1/24 Spitfire Mk Vb

    Great progress so far. I shall follow along with interest as I've got two of these (plus the Hurricane) in my stash patiently waiting.
  7. Wow. Been away from the bench for too long. I hadn't realised it was so long since I've progressed this... real life getting in the way too much. Since I last posted my dearest has had me completing various diy jobs and building a woodstore. That meant turning this patch of unused waste land (behind the garden office): into this: As you can imagine, this took quite a number of weekends to complete. On top of this, my daughter is at an age where she is selecting which university to go to - so consequently that has meant driving up and down the country visiting various different educational establishments. Of course my main interest has been in how much it is all going to cost . Finally though, this weekend I was able to spend a little time at the bench... most of which has however been research! The project is back underway again though! First job was to re-fit the mirrors and then to paint the inside of the headlamps and the air line taps, front and rear. I've used a single piece of wire for the mirrors for ease of fitting. The top part will end up being obscured by the grill once it is in place so won't be seen. I also build up the thickness of the rods a little because apparently they were telescopic fixtures. the mirrors I then painted the ends white in order to match the historical pictures I have. I find it weird how the bronze green can look so different under different lighting conditions. Note, the engine is still covered in foil. This will protect it from the gloss varnish when I come to spray it. I also bend them back a bit - which was the direction from the old man. Whilst I had the white paint out I flipped it over and painted part of the rear axle. Again, this is from historical pictures I have - the purpose I believe was for convoy night driving: The final part of painting was to the cupola cover. It looks a bit clean at the moment but I will try to texture (grubby) this up a bit later: Meanwhile a few pieces turned up in the post : Those nice people at Accurate Armour provide the kit above - which has the A bar and other bits and pieces which will help fill up the ballast box... but also they very kindly did me a one off order of ballast weights. These parts actually come from their Diamond-T kit: The research I've been doing has mainly been into the markings I need. I'm striving for historical accuracy so I want the trailer and Centurion to have the correct insignia and number plates etc. so that when the project is finally finished it will faithfully represent my Dad's vehicle in towing condition. I've ordered decal paper and fixative spray and have been busy drawing up all the badges etc. ready for printing. Getting the decals on is a step I'm really looking forward to! Thanks for looking.
  8. Unfortunately I had too much going on at home over the weekend to spend any time at the bench. All I've really been able to do is to start measuring up for a display case. Looking at it, the internal measurements will need to be a minimum of (l w h) 56cm x 15cm x 18cm. That is around 22" x 6" x 7" for the old school lot - which includes my old man. That will save him reaching for a tape measure . In the evenings I've also worked a little on the decals. This I believe is how the shield should look. It's all been done in Adobe Illustrator so I can resize it as required - and when printed it should be around 6-7mm in height. I'm posting it more for my Dad to check it out and confirm it's suitability... although I'm not sure how much of the detail in the sword will be visible. I think I'll have a go and printing them myself first - and only look to a professional printers if they don't work very well. Finally I've been giving some consideration to the fire extinguishers... I've had a good google trawl for anything that looks like this and I've not turned up anything. I will try posting in the some restorers threads to see if they can shed any light on the overall shape and labels. I could have a go at scratch building these but I need some better reference material really. Thanks for looking.
  9. Possibly... although that would be from an earlier period wouldn't it? I'm afraid I'm no expert. Cheers Richard . Lovely weather again this weekend but today we've had a few scattered showers which has made mowing the lawn a lost cause . So what is a man left to do? Perfect excuse to escape to the cave for a few hours! First up was a scratch build of the wing mirrors. Unusually, on my Dad's vehicle at least, these were fitted to the radiator. I used some plastic card and a 0.5mm brass rod cut to the right length, filing off the edges to give an angled look: I also finished the construction of the winch guide drum which I fitted in place (seen just under the cable drum), and then fed the cable through the pendulum guide and out the back between the rollers. Here it will eventually be looped back and fitted to the pintle hook. I think at least... it was left there when the trailer was not attached... not sure where it terminated actually when the trailer was on the hook... a question for the old man I think. I fitted the windows to the cabin (after first dipping them in Clear), and then. in preparation for final spraying, I masked them all up. I also covered the cable drum and used a bit of tin foil in the back of the ballast box: I fitted the mirrors to the radiator and then used some more tin foil to cover the engine. Including the underside: The bonnets I then placed into position without gluing. Almost ready for spraying... To blow out all the dust I put the airbrush up to 30psi to blow everything out. And now, after finishing the top coat: Notice how my mirrors came off. So did the door-handles! It is going to be very delicate! I've also been experimenting with Adobe Illustrator to create the decals. Not sure yet whether I'm going to print them myself or send them away to have them professionally done. This is his number plate and RASC unit badge - which will be fitted to the front right bumper and to the rear of the trailer. I've yet to create the design for the shield which goes on the left bumper. I will probably do a few for the Centurion as well - just so that everything matches. Thanks for looking.
  10. Cheers Soeren . Ta Phil . Excellent. What kit are you doing and do you have any thoughts on how to display it? So once again we've had a Bank Holiday here in the UK - and once again, somewhat unusually (for a Bank Holiday at least), we've had rather fine weather. What does this mean? Well for one thing it has meant time with the family... and "pottering" about in the garden, and for another, less time in the cave. In short - not much progress I'm afraid... and perhaps not enough to warrant another post. I am posting though because I'm keen to get the details right and my Dad is following along with interest - so I know he'll pass comment if I've not got quite the right shade of red in the ballast box: Once sprayed up I masked it off and then sprayed the rest of the box with the MRP British Bronze Green: Chances are this won't be seen because it will end up being covered in ballast weights and tools etc... but I'm pleased with the result. Finally, whilst doing a dry fit of the ballast box I found some interference with the cable. It was only when studying Steve Farrier's pictures (on page 3) that I noticed the drum wheel at the base of the winch - a tiny detail I'd not noticed previously. As such, I've started crafting this assembly, ready to fit into place: Thanks for following.
  11. Bonkin

    British Army Numberplate and badge fonts?

    Thanks all for your quick replies. I will take a closer look.
  12. For my current project (Diamond T Tank Transporter with Centurion) I'm looking for a suitable commercial solution to decals - but without much success. I'm therefore giving some thought to designing my own decals and either a) printing them myself, or b) getting them printed professionally. A problem I have however is that I am unable to identify the font that was used on the British Army Number plates and logos during the 1950's. Can anybody help me? The picture below shows plates for the Centurion and Dyson trailer: Thanks in advance.
  13. Bonkin

    Taigen Panther G 1:16

    Really impressive work. I especially like the tracks... very realistic indeed.
  14. Thanks Chris. Once again we've had beautiful weekend weather in the UK. We've also had a Royal Wedding - which provides more than enough excuses for popping a few corks and having a celebration. Well it would be rude not to ! As you can image therefore, coupled with obligatory chores, I've not spent much time hunched over the work bench. When I did get some time in the man cave, my main focus was on the winch assembly... As I stated in the last post, I wasn't happy with the string and was thinking of getting something else more cable like. I settled on fishing line and went into town to get some. Now bare in mind that I don't fish and am actually a little bit fish phobic and you can understand that I didn't have the faintest idea what I was after. What I found was that there are a number of different thickness and, remarkably, colours. In any case, without a reference to hand, I plumped for a .45 which I figured "looked about right". Back at home, I cut a long length and proceeded with some enthusiasm to wind it on - a task which became ever more painful as it was obvious that the line didn't want to be wrapped neatly around the drum and instead wanted to loop and curl in every other direction to the one I wanted. Super glue helped but the more I wind the more wind-up I found myself getting. My enthusiasm for the task quickly ran out. Something wasn't right . The more I looked at my efforts the more wrong it all seemed... so I went back to the internet to see what photo references I could find of the cable thickness and texture. Over on the HMV (Historic Military Vehicle) forums I found the following three pictures by some chap called Pennack: Looking at these I realised the fishing line was a bad idea, so I gave it up and looked again at the string supplied with the model (after I'd retrieved it from the bin). It was then that I had an idea of smoothing out the fluff with a bit of PVA glue - so I dipped one end in a pot of the stuff and then ran my fingers over it to rub it in and wipe off the excess. Once it had dried I found I was actually quite pleased with the result. The picture below shows the "treated" end (top) vs the untreated end (bottom): Treating the string this way also gave the added benefit of making the string a little more rigid and cable like. So I treated the rest of it and then wind it on the winch drum. It is still a little bit fluffy, but I will treat this with more PVA - and altogether I am much happier with the result. I'm hoping that by the time I've repainted it and added a little greasy grime it will have a convincing look. Other jobs I completed were the fitting of the scratch built cable pendulum: And finally I fitted the front radiator and winch assembly to the chassis. One final note. My Dad informs me that the correct term for what I have been referring to as "side skirts" (on the Centurion), are actually "Bazooka plates". I prefer skirts myself . Thanks for looking.
  15. Thanks Roger. Once again we've had rather fine weather in the UK over this last weekend, so more time has been spent outside enjoying the sunshine rather than hunched over a workbench. Still, any progress is better than none right? (Especially when coupled with a few chilled glasses of Pinot eh? ) So whilst research continues into the Centurion markings (I've had a number of conversations on this topic with my Dad), work has returned to the tractor. First up where the fiddly little handles that go on the bonnet... which to be honest I found to be pesky little blighters that enjoyed pinging out of my tweezers in a flea like manner to hide in the carpet. After this happened about three times I decided to give my knees (and eyes) a rest, opting to make them from wire instead. This turned out to be an altogether preferable option. Feeding the cable through from the inside, I super-glued it in place and then trimmed and filed off the excess. The wire has the same thickness as the original parts and doesn't need trimming or sanding either! Although I wanted to show at least one door in an open position my Dad wants them both closed, so I fitted these in place along with the grab handles and then primed them up: Merit provided a decal for the instrument panel so, with plenty of Micro Set and Sol, I applied this in place. This turned out to be altogether harder than I imagined it would be. Firstly, the decal was extremely thin and broke up when I tried to apply it. Secondly, the instrument panel itself has a lot of raised edges and pointy bits over which the decal is supposed to go. I pressed on with it anyway, thinking that if it didn't work I would simply remove it and hand paint it instead. All said and done, it is not perfect but it is not bad either. I used a little black wash on it to tone it down a little, and I know from dry fits, that it can barely be seen anyway. If I was doing it again though I think I would cut out each instrument and place them separately. I painted the seats and knobs... ... and with the backs fitted. I was going to put some wear and grime on the floor but found that with the doors permanently closed, it would never been seen anyway. Steering wheel fitted... (how big is that??!) To my surprise, I found that when trying to fit the cab, the steering wheel caught on the interior door handle... which meant I had to push the door out before fitting the cab. So this simple looking step actually took a far amount of effort (and cussing) in order to get everything to fit properly. Of course, had I followed the instructions none of this would have been a problem! Also (for the benefit of my Dad), I've not painted the canvas cover to the hatch yet! It will be a lighter colour. Finally I silvered up the winch cable... but as you can see, it just isn't in scale. It is also disappointingly "fluffy". In short, it won't do. I'll have to have a look for some nylon based thread - or maybe even fishing line. Any suggestions? Hopefully next weekend I will be starting to bring the elements of the tractor together and giving it a final spray paint. Thanks for looking.