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As a result of the close-down of the UK by the British Government last night, we have made all the Buy/Sell areas read-only until we open back up again, so please have a look at the announcement linked here.

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About ckw

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  1. ckw

    Memories of modelling

    That's sort of true I guess but I grew up in a small town in Canada, and all that was available in the way of a hobby shop was a newsagent with a small stock of matchbox kits and humbrol paint - these was also a toy shop a bit further off (beyond permitted cycling range) which stocked some of the bigger American brands (Revell, Monogram, Lindberg and awful testor's paint!). I guess this was late 60s eraly 70s. And then I discovered the Squadron Shop mail order. I vividly remember negotiating birthday/Xmas gifts in order to get my Dad to agree to writing a cheque for a certain amount (can't remember how much) followed by hours studying the catalogue to decide just how to spend it. This of course was followed by an agonising wait for the order to arrive - and then the excitement of arrival day! One kit I remember from that first order was the Monogram 1/32 Grumman F3F with the undercarriage that retracted when you turned the propellor. I was so pleased with myself when I got that built and working - that model probably had more landing gear cycles than any real example. Scale modelling doesn't seem to have been a big thing in my part of Canada in the early 70's - I don't recall any dedicated shops even in my nearest big city (Montreal) though there were a number of shops catering to RC and control line models (I also made a few large rubber powered flyers and sailplanes ... but that's another story). I don't think I stepped foot into a genuine model shop until I moved to Southampton UK in '88, where we had a couple of decent independents and of course the ubiquitous Beatties. Sadly all gone now. Cheers, Colin
  2. No - more that the location was extremely vague - I think as Sword suggest it, the engine would sit too far back in the cowling. Hard to get a good attachment. In fact engine broke free while trying to attach the prop. fun and games re-fixing it without spoiling everything! Cheers, Colin
  3. Here is my Reggiane Re.2000 from the Sword kit. Overall an OK kit, fit wasn't too bad though fitting the engine in the cowling was a pain. Pretty much OOB, though I did risk cutting open and thinning the canopy (after first checking a vacform replacement was available! Supplied decals are TechMod ... which I have a love/hate relationship with ... beautifully printed and very thing, not a hint of silvering, which could have been a real problem with the clear areas on the national insignia. But a real pain to apply - all too easy to fold one over on itself, which is pretty much unrecoverable. Density is pretty good, though I wish now I had opted to paint the cross on the rudder. Of course the real interest in making this one was the paint job. After looking for usable images and artwork, I tried to emulate Schema A from the Stormo colour guide Attempt no 1 was to freehand it with an airbrush, but I just couldn't get the feathering tight enough ... I think it needs to have a harder edge than say a Luftwaffe mottle. Attempt no 2 had me using green as the base colour, then using blutak to mask out the green mottles, then repeat for the maroon. This worked a bit better, but the spacing wasn't right. I found it hard to visualise how much space to leave in the first round of masking. So attempt no 3, I added ALL the mottle masks, then removed those marked red, sprayed, the reapplied the 2nd colour mask Here it is with all blu tack applied. The red blobs were removed, and maroon paint applied. Then the red blobs stuck back on and final yellow coats added. I think the mottling should have been denser, but by then I'd had enough! The red cowling was a bit of a conundrum. The Sword instructions called for a 'dark red', but I could find no reference to this in the usual sources. In the end I went for Japanese hinomaru red which, based on no evidence whatsoever, looks right to my eyes! All paints are Colourcoats. Cheers, Colin
  4. I always work on the assumption that anything supposedly good for you is never as effective or nice as the full fat version! Cheers, Colin
  5. Great - exactly what I needed from the horse's mouth (no offence!). If you're still posting I'll order the real thing ... just have to work out what paints I should top up while I'm at it Thanks Colin
  6. I'm almost out of Colourcoats thinner, and given Sovereign Hobbies are warning about delayed delivery, I'm wondering what the best alternative is. I was going to give Mr Color Levelling Thinner a try until I read Jamie's recent disaster! So what do you think? plain old white spirit or something Naptha based (like Zippo lighter fluid), Thanks for any advice Colin
  7. Welcome - your story is very similar to mine. You'll find a lot has changed in 30 years - in particular the paint! This is a real minefield to anyone coming from the "enamel era", So many choices, so much (sometimes contradictory) advice. For what it's worth, when I came back I jumped onto the acrylic bandwagon with enthusiasm, but after a while I discovered I could generally get a better finish and better control and consistency with enamels (Colourcoats and Xtracolor), I do still use acrylics where appropriate (for speed and convenience), but don't be mislead into thinking that the new ranges of acrylic paint are the answer to everything. One other big change - 30 years ago, short run kits coming out of Eastern Europe were perhaps best avoided unless you had a love of sanding & filling. Not anymore - many of these short run kits are of stunning quality and detail. Cheers, Colin
  8. Just ordered from SnM stuff ... I have no problem with any of the suggestions made so far, but this was the only online retailer I could find that offered a full range of both Tamiya and Gunze products (only want to pay postage once). In normal times I get these from local shops. Just realised that though I have a decent enough stash of kits through the ordeal ahead, I was low on some basic modelling supplies which I usually pick up as needed. How frustrating it would be to find yourself with time and kits a plenty ... but out of glue! Cheers, Colin
  9. It is a big adjustment - I have been working from home 2 days a week for the last 18 months, but I found going "full time" at home, a bit challenging - doesn't help that my wife if a care worker who's days off can be any day of the week ... basically "week" and "weekend" have become meaningless! I'm not sure the supermarket or housework are a good idea - would you do this at work? I think you need to keep working hours and home hours distinct. The biggest problem is family "since you're home you can ... " You need to make your self available in the same way you were at work. One trick, which sounds silly, but does seem to help with the mindset is before you start working, take a walk around the block - you are going to work, similarly, at home time, take another walk to "go home". On plus of home working - everyone has good and bad times of day, If your type of work and boss allows it, shift your working hours to suit your own peaks and troughs. For example, I'm at my best early morning and at night. I'm not great in the afternoon. The real difficulty I think will be getting used to homeworking (esp. of we're on lock down for 3 months plus) and then going back to commuting and the office! I would not be surprised if many end up home working permanently. Cheers, Colin
  10. ckw

    Lock Down.

    I have to say that until recently I would have said the 70's were not a good period for music. But last year I got a turntable and started re-building a collection of my favorite albums. To my surprise, the vast majority were released in the '70s. What I now realise is that the 70s was a great period of experimentation, so we got truly good and truly awful material - the awful stuff just distorts our view of the decade! Everyone tends to go for the 60s as a golden age, but to my mind artists didn't really have the creative freedom (and money!) to really flourish - with a couple of notable exceptions. During the 70s the artists were in greater control and having money thrown at them. It was an era of madness and excess. Things got a bit more sensible in the 80s, and ever more constrained since. Cheers, Colin
  11. ckw


    This is a huge area. and very much depends on how much you want to spend on this (if you thought modelling was expensive, try photography for a hobby!). But even with your smartphone you can get reasonable results. The big thing (which applies to any camera) is light, and lots of it. Use reflectors (tin foil, mirrors) to get some light into shadow areas. Use a light background. BTW "F4 focus" is meaningless Cheers, Colin
  12. ckw


    From the silver lining department ... I've seen some preliminary data from Wuhan and Northern Italy that suggests the Coronavirus deaths/illness may have been partially or even totally offset by dramatic drops in air pollution due to self-isolation etc. I would guess RTAs are way down as well. Typically, Italy suffers around 10 road fatalities a day when things are normal. Cheers Colin
  13. Tamiya and Gunze both make aqueous and lacquer paints. Gunze's are Mr Hobby (aqueous) and Mr Color (lacquer) Tamiya's are the X/XF range (aqueous) and the new LP range (lacquer). I'm afraid you've mixed incompable choices (aqueous and lacquer) Cheers Colin
  14. Ironically, when I looked just now all orders are delayed a week! But seriously, I have no issue with hmhobbies - I've used them in the past. But I would point out a couple of things: 1 - single jar of paint can be bought, true, at a postage cost of £4.50! A very expensive jar of paint. 2 - as I read it (but I may be wrong) the postage restrictions apply to enamel paint - hmhobbies sell acrylics. Out of curiosity, I added some thinners to the basket, and low and behold, the postage for that was £6.99 Cheers, Colin
  15. Sadly, this happens too often - advertise an item at a "bargain" price, and recoup the loss in postage fees. As modellers we should do all what we can to put these guys out of business by not buying from them. It is not difficult to work out what a reasonable postage fee should be, so don't be scammed! With regards to the cost of postage from Sovereign Hobbies - worst case is a "premium" of £1.08 per tin. If I go to my local hobby shop a tin of paint will cost me nothing in postage, but it will cost me a minimum of £1.50 for parking plus maybe another £1 or so for fuel (don't bother mentioning public transport!) which makes buying a tin of paint very expensive. Of course, the answer is to think ahead and buy in bulk to reduce the "premium" - and this applies both to bricks & mortar and online shopping. Cheers, Colin
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