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  1. Adding rivets and bolt heads is another task armour modellers have been doing for seemingly ever. I have done so many times using a method similar to what you have shown but times change and new ways reveal themselves. I started using a technique to what Paul Budzik shows in this video: except that, instead of brass I primarily use plastic rod ( i.e. Evergreen, Plastruct, or stretched sprue ). I found that marking out and drilling the small holes although tedious resulted in a better aligned, more uniform, and spaced row of rivets. Being plastic I could also more easily cut of the protruding bits on the back side if they might show or be in the way during further assembly. Also, for forming the dome heads I have found the use of jewelers cup burrs can do a neat job of rounding over the ends. https://www.hswalsh.com/product/busch-411-cup-burr-tf411 Smallest is 0.9mm diameter and good for rounding over rod down to about 0.5mm diameter. This young lady gives a quick description and demo on their use: Fabulous build, most enjoyable to follow. cheers, Graham
  2. I recently purchased a Dspiae stepless circle cutter which if you didn't already know is similar to or a copy of the Thinnerline stepless circle cutter https://shadowhobby.com/tlcc-000-thinnerline-circle-cutter.html In any case, after a couple of months of use I now can't imagine how I made do before. Over the years I tried various tools to cut circles and masks like the Olfa circle cutter and similar as well as using a good drafting compass with a custom ground and sharpened blade in place of the pencil lead. These all worked to a degree but had limitations in how small a circle I could manage. They also put a pin gentleman's parts hole in the center of your circle as well. There is no comparison, Dspiae and Thinnerline cutters are head and shoulders above the rest. But, this was not meant to be a sales pitch or review; there are plenty of those around. The cutter comes with three cutter blades, 30, 45, and 60 degree blades. The ones most likely to be used for day to day model work are the 45 and 60 degree blades; the 30 degree blade being intended for cutting heavier and thicker material. Problem is finding replacement blades. The Dspiae part number is MT-CB and the retailers I buy from have the cutter but report difficulty in getting replacement blades. Of course you will find sellers on located in the far East on eBay with reasonable prices but buying from afar can result in long delays. What good is an expensive stepless circle cutter with dull blades and no replacements to be easily had? As you might know, vinyl cutters such as the Cricut and Roland plotter cutters are quite common as are replacement blades for these devices. However, these plotter cutters have cutting blades which are 2mm in diameter - the Dspiae stepless circle cutter uses blades that are 1.5mm in diameter. It turns out that some (or all) of the Mimaki cutter plotter https://mimaki.com/product/cutting/ use cutter blades that are also 1.5mm in diameter. And, replacement blades are available on amazon https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=mimiki+blade I have tried these ones https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07GRD7GMD/ and they work just fine although they are about 2mm shorter in length than the Dspiae blades but the stepless circle cutter has enough adjustment in the blade holder that the Mimaki blades work just fine. cheers, Graham
  3. I don't there are any decals big or thick enough to hide the deep voids in this kits wing surface. I just accepted it for what it was and carried on. After letting the silver coat dry thoroughly, I masked and sprayed the red on the tail surfaces. Tamiya spray can TS-49 Bright Red was used as it looked like a good match to the red seen in one of the few colour profiles I could find of this aircraft. Blue was another choice but I thought red would be brighter and more interesting a colour. And then it was time to turn my attention to decals. I purposely choose to finish this as a non specific aircraft and therefore limited my markings to only a few but hopefully enough to make it interesting. National insignia on the upper and lower wing and on the tail plane plus a lion on each fuselage side. I had considered ordering a set APC's really nice decals for the Skoda D.1 but wasn't sure if the mail would get them to me on time. Sometimes the mail seems to take months and other times it is lickety split fast. So, I hunted around on the internet and found some .jpg images that I could suitably scale and print my own off on a laser printer and white decal paper. The trouble with working with .jpg or similar file formats is that when scaled they can get a bit ragged or pixelated around the edges and colour can be weird. After some fussing and considering that I might just bite the bullet and draw my own from scratch using InkScape, I managed to produce something that looked like they were going to work. Sometime ago I purchased a Dspiae stepless circle cutter. Using a centering gauge I attempted to cut out the round insignia. I got close but always seemed to be out about half a mm leaving a white edge around part of the insignia. Falling back to the age old technique of scissors and using a pair of curved blade cuticle scissors I worked through the tedious and fiddly work of cutting out the insignia. The large ones on the wings were the easiest and look like they turned out OK; the small ones on the tail were a bit more fussy and I can see a wee bit of white in places around the outside edge. The decals went on OK but required several applications of Solvaset to get them to snuggle down acceptably. Sorry, a bit out of focus Next up was getting the wheels painted and for this I did make good use of the Dspiae circle cutter to cut masks. I don't know how I managed previously. This thing makes it so easy. While cutting masks for the wheels I discovered that one wheel is a wee bit larger than the other - no problem, just make a tiny adjustment to the cutter and voila! a proper size mask in two tries. My favourite cutting board for this type of work is a white ceramic tile; the tile in the photo is about 200 x 250 mm and has a smooth but not shiny surface. Yet to do, paint the leather coaming around the cockpit, install the windscreen ( if I can find it, seems to have wondered off somewhere ;( ), paint up a suitable propeller, and a bit of dark washes around the radiator and such and touch up the rigging and tailskid with a bit more contrasting steel colour. If all continues to go as planned then my next post should be the completed Skoda D.1. til next time, cheers, Graham
  4. Speeding right along, well done. cheers, Graham
  5. That is an interesting idea; I had never considered that use. I will have to remember that and give it a try when the opportunity presents itself. cheers, Graham
  6. The Fall weather has been rather nice of late. After a few wet and dreary days there was finally sun and drier conditions so it was time to break out the airbrush and get the Skoda primed. Of late my preferred primer is Alclad II Black primer with microfiller and also in white. I can use either black or white as is or mix a grey as deemed appropriate for the job at hand. These primers are lacquer and go on smooth, cover well, and are airbrush ready right out of the bottle. They dry to a somewhat semi gloss egg shell finish Since the Skoda was going to have a bare metal aluminum and silver finish I used the black. Left for 24 hours and then the first colour coat of Tamiya AS-12 Bare Metal Silver from a spray can. Lighting in the workshop is a bit on the dull side and primarily fluorescent and makes the colour look a little more like a metallic grey in the photos but it is actually quite a nice bare metal silver. Colour looks a little better in the this second photo and you can also see some of the molding sinks in the wing upper surface that I mentioned in an earlier post. Hindsight is 20-20 and after having primed and colour coated, the surface detail of the kit could have done with a wee bit of light sanding knock it back a bit but just a bit mind you. I wonder if all KP kits of this type suffer from the same molding sinks? Likely not as it is probably not a mold issue but rather technique. Next up is to mask and paint the tail, paint the wheels, and decide what to do about the propeller. I have started to fuss over markings and have something prepared to make my own decals. Hopefully it will all work out. In most photographs of the original aircraft a somewhat odd shaped fixed pitch all metal propeller is seen. The example in my kit is recognizable but being the same color as rest of aeroplane it would not be very interesting. I did find a couple of reference photos where the aeroplane was fitted with a wood propeller so I think I will go that route. I will need to dig through the spare bits to find something suitable. The end is sight. cheers, Graham
  7. Another interesting and out of the ordinary aeroplane. Looking forward to seeing how this one turns out. cheers, Graham
  8. Flattened thin wall tubing is a common way for making struts but probably more common with the WW1 type builders in the larger 1/48 and 1/32 scale. Typically you would put a small diameter wire or brass rod in the tube before squeezing. The goal is to produce a somewhat streamlined shape - the wire or rod keeps the tube from being compressed too flat. I tried that here in 1/72 scale but the strut appeared to be too thick so I went with no rod and squeezed a wee bit more producing a more flat shape rather than streamlined. The end result was something looked the part and that was the goal. Albion Alloys had a product called the Strutter that is used to squeeze the tube to an airfoil like shape. I don't have one and I am not sure it is still available. There is a video on Youtube showing it's use: There have been other similar tools available but I couldn't point anyone in the right direction in order to get one. Seems a good idea that sells out quickly but then they're gone. cheers, Graham
  9. In all my years working in and around aviation have I ever encountered a C172 tail dragger. Lots of bush flying C170, C180, C185, C206, and C210's however and there was one C150 re-engined with the engine from a C172; now that was a real little hot rod. Interesting build, looking forward to seeing it done. cheers, Graham
  10. Seems that the third time was the charm for getting the wings and struts on. Replaced the plastic strut bits with brass, 0.5mm brass rod for the cabane struts and flattened 1.4mm thin wall Albion Alloys brass tube for the main struts. All round, much easier to manage and considerably stronger as well. In hindsight, I should have filed the rod I used for cabane struts flat to be resemble the more aerodynamic struts off the original. My preferred scale for early and WW1 aeroplane types is 1/48 scale. I have been challenging myself to build stuff outside of my usual comfort zone hence my choice of 1/72 for these types. I am finding that some of the ways I build 1/48 don't always scale the way I would have thought to 1/72. In the end however, I think that by challenging myself to build in this smaller scale will help in the way I build in the larger scale if I ever go back. The Skoda D.1 had a minimum of rigging, three wire on the landing gear, two crossing wires on the main struts and similar two crossing wires on the cabane struts. I had considered only adding the rigging on the landing gear but in the end decided to add the rigging to main struts but ignore the bracing on the cabane struts as being just a bit too fiddly especially after having made three attempts at getting the struts and wing mounted. A bit more fussing with some detail sanding and spot filling and it will be ready for primer and paint. Til next time, cheers, Graham
  11. Has it really been over a month since my last post? Time flies and it seems as though I am always busy working on one thing or another. My reference to Robert Burns is not without note. Living in small rural farming town and Fall upon us, the cooler weather has prompted me to start those end of summer tasks preparing for the much cooler days ahead including preparing traps for those tim'rous wee beasties that try to nest in our dwelling. Progress on the Skoda has been slow in part due to other distractions but also to the many cycles of filling and sanding the worst bits of the fit of this kit. Overall the kit is not that bad for such an old kit and one of Eastern European origin. The raised surface detail is delicate but in 1/72 scale perhaps a bit too thick. A bit of paint should temper that and help make that detail look the part. At the moment I now have the interior painted, the fuselage closed up, landing gear attached, and tail planes fitted in place with offending seams faired in. Gaps between the tail planes and fuselage where quite large and were filled with bits of stretched sprue and Mr. Hobby dissolved putty - the sprue to fill the bulk of gaps and the dissolved putty to smooth it all up. I tried to use as much of the bits and pieces from the kit as possible and my first attempt at using the supplied kit bits for the tail plane struts was less than satisfactory. These were replaced with 0.5mm brass rod which while maybe a wee bit too big in diameter worked out much better. The blob of plastic in the kit representing the tail skid was just that - a short curved bit that was really too short and didn't look the part. I replaced that with one made from 0.8mm brass rod filed flat and formed into something that better looked the part. The Brass rod was held in a slide lock pin vise making the job of filing it flat very easy. The challenge when working with small bits is hanging on to them while you do the work. I find these slide lock pin vises very handing for holding to small bits. After filing flat and forming to shape, two holes where drilled with a #80 drill ( about 0.35mm ) Just above the pin vises are two jewellers burs. I find these very hand for deburring and countersinking tiny holes and they work equally well on brass as on plastic. The two holes where to let me pin the tail skid in place on the fuselage. A wee drop of CA and the tailskid is fixed in place. I have made two attempts at fitting the cabane and main wing struts but each time failed. First attempt was using the kits provided plastic bits but I failed miserably. Second attempt was using purpose made bit from Evergreen styrene rod but this too ended with a less than stellar result. I have since had a bit of brain storm and am preparing attempt three hoping that three times will be the charm. I had been hoping to have had it all assembled and painted and fussing over markings but that is not the case. This has not been too difficult a kit, just a lot of fussing over fit. Interest has been on and off and I would really like to get it done so that I can get on with what I really wanted to build for this group build - Super Secret Project V. Not really something from a secret project but the V is clue. More to follow. cheers, Graham
  12. Sounds like fun and I have been known to build the occasional AFV; count me in. cheers, Graham
  13. Sounds like they got a late start. Several of the cable networks here have been showing some select Xmas movies on and off since July ( i.e. Christmas in July ). Halloween stuff got put out in some stores mid August. cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
  14. Much along the line of "... the victor writes the history books". cheers, Graham
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