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Blackmike

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    Swindon, Wiltshire

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  1. My first motorbike build, a birthday present from my eldest son a long time ago. I couldn’t emulate the pristine builds which grace these pages so went for a ‘used and abused’ look, a bike in much need of some TLC! The Honda VT250F, introduced in 1982, was one of the first Japanese bikes to sport a full fairing (after a change in Japanese law). Powered by a two cylinder 90º V-twin, four-stroke water-cooled engine derived from the Honda NR500 GP racer. Brakes were a single, inboard, ventilated disc on the front wheel and a drum unit on the rear. Thanks for stopping by. Stay well, stay safe. Mike
  2. Well done, Pete - you’ve made a lovely model of the beast!
  3. That’s a lovely P-47 - well done and a good save! Mike
  4. Good evening everyone The Spitfire needs no introduction. Although ‘iconic’ is a very overused word these days this aircraft - as a symbol of piston-engined fighter development - surely qualifies; it is a classic blend of aggression with elegance! I have never built a 1/48 scale Spitfire before so decided I would start with Airfix’s new tool FR XIVe (kit A05135). This is a kit that has had a very mixed reception since it first appeared in 2019. I bought a set of Exito ‘Sweet Fourteens’ decals but then had a thought: if the kit is ‘a lemon’ then why waste a good set of decals? So I decided to build the other aircraft in the box: TZ112 of II (AC) Squadron, 2 TAF, RAF Bückeburg, Germany, 1950-51. At this stage I must say that I have benefitted from the advice and observations of modellers (of this kit) before me. It is worth watching Paul Budzik’s (Scale Model Workshop) review of the kit, and look at Brett Green’s build in ‘military illustrated modeller’ (October 20, issue 109) if you can. It was an enjoyable build (though not everyone says this)! The fit of my kit varied between okay and good. For additions/changes I: added seat belts from Tamiya tape; thinned the wing trailing edges; positioned the control surfaces; added the underwing lights, IFF spike antenna, and VHF whip aerial; drilled out the exhaust ports. One of the best tips was - after a little sanding of the fuselage joint (Budzik) - to glue the upper wing surfaces to the fuselage before gluing the lower part (Green). No gap at all. For painting, though I am a Tamiya fan, I could not find a suitable mix of flat aluminium and chrome silver to give the required silver finish. I ended up using Humbrol 11 silver as per the kit’s instructions. On the decalling side I believe there is an error in the instructions. I found a photograph of a line up of II (AC) Squadron Spitfire XIVs which clearly shows the starboard ‘G’ and ’01’ are reversed. I intend to hang the model from the ceiling so I like to try and simulate a spinning propeller. Not easy and I’ve tried several techniques over the years - still not 100% happy with it. Anyway enough from me. Just like to say thanks to my wife for her photographic contributions. Would I build another Airfix XIV? Yes! Now - where are those ‘Sweet Fourteens’ decals…? Thanks for stopping by! Mike
  5. I'm in with an A-4! Mirage/Dagger/SuE! Mike
  6. The Jackal is a wheeled armoured vehicle used by the British Army in the deep reconnaissance, rapid assault and convoy protection roles. Powered by a 6.7 litre Cummins Diesel engine driving through an automatic transmission, the Jackal has immense power and torque which - when combined with its large off-road tyres and adjustable ride height - enable it to traverse very difficult terrain and obstacles. It can be fitted with either a 0.50 Calibre HMG (heavy machine gun) or a 40mm GMG (grenade machine gun); in addition it has a front-mounted 7.62mm GPMG (general purpose machine gun). The vehicle saw extensive use in Afghanistan where it proved to be most useful and much loved by its crews. I built the kit for my son who is currently serving in a Jackal unit. The Airfix kit is part of the Operation Herrick series of 1/48 vehicles and crew/support personnel. It is a mixture of the Jackal Marks 1 and 2. For more detailed information it is worth looking at Craig's build on YouTube (Sabre Models): he's a Jackal instructor and has a wealth of information about the vehicle. I used the Airfix Op Herrick figures set and the Tamiya jerry can set. As a point of interest (and as my diorama shows) Jackal crews will orientate the vehicle away from the enemy threat (ie fire the main weapons rearwards) as a way of protecting the driver and the sensitive equipment in the front. This was a good, fun build with plenty of scope for scratch-building and imagination in the painting, weathering and diorama building. In fact the challenge was not to over-weather the model (difficult for me) and to balance the camouflage and foliage between tactical realism and obscuring the subject! Thanks for stopping by and looking. Mike
  7. HI Jon - that's a beautiful Cat - well done, indeed!! Mike
  8. That is one super build, Pete - congratulations! I especially love the detail, the pose, the home-produced decals and your presentation. Well done, indeed! Mike
  9. Paul - this is really inspired model-making! in-depth research, imagination, multi-media construction, and a lovely finish all leading to a very credible result. Congratulations - you can justifiably be very proud of your achievement! Mike
  10. What a lovely build, Dunny - you can really be pleased with that! Mike
  11. That's a lovely model, Brian and you can justifiably be proud of your efforts - especially your scratch building, paint job, and home-made decals! Mike
  12. That's a lovely model, Matt, and - as others have said - nice to see it in a different colour scheme to the usual! Mike
  13. Lovely job, Pat - you can be proud of that Hampden! (It reminds me that I must finish mine which is languishing on the Shelf of Doom) Mike
  14. Cracking job, JR - the main thing is that you enjoyed building it! Mike
  15. Beautifully built, displayed and photographed Flanker, Stephen. You can be proud of that one! Mike
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