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pigsty

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pigsty last won the day on April 3 2015

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About pigsty

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    give peas a chance
  • Birthday 01/19/1967

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  1. I could probably pick you one up direct from the source, although I couldn’t promise when it would be available. Postage to the USA would be on top - probably still a bit less than Hannants, but sales taxes and charges would be at your own risk. PM me if you’re interested.
  2. Here’s what I’d do. If he changes his mind, he goes to the back of the queue. If he changes his mind after you’ve started, he pays for the work you’ve already done, plus all the work on the kit he now wants. And if he changes his mind more than you can bear, that’s it, you don’t build for him. How many you can bear is a matter for you, but it’s worth making that clear as soon as possible so there’s no doubt.
  3. Still more evidence: https://app.abcnews.go.com/US/department-defense-737-skids-off-florida-runway-water/story?id=62816420 This one is actually being pushed back into the sea by kind, helpful people, having stranded itself mysteriously on the beach.
  4. The Leopard and Leopard 2 aren’t just versions of a tank, they’re completely different tanks. If you want something in use in the 1990s, there are a lot of Leopard options, and a lot of Leopard 2 options. But if you want Canadian, you’ll only be able to go for a Leopard. Canada bought the Leopard 1A3 in the late 1970s, adapted with a different rangefinder as the C1. They were converted to the Leopard C2 by taking Leopard 1A5 turrets and fitting them to the original hulls. That started in 2000. So for a proper 1990s Canadian Leopard, a C1, you’d actually want a 1A3 or 1A4 kit. The options are the Takom kit (in production) and the older Italeri kit (OOP, but readily available). Either would need some changes to the sights to make a C1, unless the parts are in the Takom kit - I’m not familiar with it. The Italeri tracks are dreadful things so you’d need Meng replacements, unless you wanted to spend much more on Friul metal tracks.
  5. Oh no, it was working; it’s just that it seemed to be determined to go up and down just once throughout the whole day. Maybe it was unhappy at having to work on a Sunday.
  6. Celebrity endorsements are just everywhere these days. For instance, I’ve just bought a pack of sausages, and on the back there’s a picture of Anthony Worrall Thompson. Underneath it says “pr!ck with a fork”. Seems a bit harsh.
  7. Nah - 47% of us, at most. I thought the show was cracking and the venue great. Others have already made my point about table spacing and it’s been taken on board. You can do nothing about the knackered lift and the very ordinary catering so I’ll not dwell on those. But I really quite enjoyed Kent’s spot up in the gods, being able to look over the show and spot interesting models and trade stock. Might ask for that location again next time - and I hope you do hold it there again.
  8. It’s that Burt Rutan. The man is a sorceror when it comes to lightweight, efficient composite structures. In a sense, to achieve this thing he’s just taken this: http://myfiles.globalaircraft.org/fileViewer.pcgi?src=/vipersx911/White_Knight_2__2.jpg - and kept feeding it til it outgrew the cage he was keeping it in.
  9. Putting it like that makes it seem more like is Airfix good at following customer instructions. You don’t really think that you need only drop them a name and pop, up comes a kit to match it? Them, or anyone else?
  10. Here we have Italeri’s old Leopard, in its 1A2 boxing, wearing Esercito Italiano markings. (I don’t know what unit.) At last! - the first of my 16 Leopard kits sees the light of day. This kit has been around a long time but it still bears up. It’s modular, allowing for a number of the basic build variations. I got mine from Italeri and Revell. Now that Revell has started to produce its own kits, it’s not clear what the future is for, say, the 1A5 version. The kit builds reasonably well and reasonably easily, although it has two problems with its engineering. First, for my money, there are too many butt-joints. Most of the tools and accessories on the upper hull attach to faint outlines rather than by pins, which makes them hard to position accurately. Worse, the side skirts have no positive location points, which is doubly tricky with the poor fit of the mudguards. I’ve reinforced the front-end joint with a plastic tab. Second, it’s plagued with mould slippage and seams. It seems the smaller the part, the worse those flaws are, and the harder they are to correct on the sprue. I’ve read that this version is nearer a 1A1 than a true 1A2, but the differences are minor, and I didn’t fancy over £20 on a replacement turret. I’m happy enough that the major changes from the original Leopard are in here: thermal jacket on the gun, exhaust grilles, new tracks (more on them later), and side skirts. The overall finish is Humbrol 86 light olive, which Giorgio N on this site and others on Armorama say does the trick. Under the watercolour, pastel and dry-brush weathering, I think it does too. If you’ve made it this far, here’s a few build tips you might find helpful. First, the turret. Fit of the top and bottom halves is poor and needs a lot of sanding and filler. Helpfully, though, you can leave some of the excess plastic to mark the join on the real thing. Fit of the mantlet is worse, leaving a large gap underneath. Mine is packed with plastic card. You may also find that, with the dust cover attached to the mantlet, the whole assembly meets the turret at a slight sideways angle. I’m not convinced the turret sits low enough on the hull, but from most angles you can’t tell. The rear basket is pleasantly easy to assemble, but some of the locating points are a bit sloppy and need filling. The smoke launchers are handed, and helpfully have ejector pin marks on the outer side - it would have been just as easy to put them on the inner side, wouldn’t it? And they’re the devil to remove. I’ve added wire cables to the gunfire simulator and the searchlight. For the latter, there’s a blanked hole in the right position that you can drill from inside the turret top. The radio antennae are very coarse; mine are fine florist’s wire. Now, those tracks. While I like the Italeri kit, its tracks are dreadful: stiff, chunky, and poorly detailed. The only replacements I’ve been able to find are very expensive Friul metal jobs, and really nice plastic ones from Meng, which now appear in their Leopard kits. I used those, and they turned out to be a nightmare. Five parts per link is pushing it a bit, but I can live with that. The real problem is that they’re supposed to fit together without glue, but they just won’t. The idea is sound: the end-connectors are integral with their bars, and carry the guide horns too, and you trap them between two inner faces and two outer faces. Much like the real thing, in fact. But the holes in the inner faces are too narrow for the pins on the outer faces, so you have to drill them out slightly with a 1mm bit. With two holes per part, and two parts per link, and 84 links per side, that works out at slightly more than four thousand turns of the drill. And still, the two sides may not meet perfectly, nor trap the connectors properly. Even when they do, moving links to any position other than dead straight can push the outer face away, and as soon as it goes, it will let go of the inner face too. It’s maddening. From bitter experience I can recommend: sod the instructions, and use glue. You can assemble quite a lot as straight lengths for top and bottom, leaving just the bits that bend round the sprocket and the idler, and the bits that connect them to the bottom run. Then you can attach those to the straight lengths, apply glue, and work them carefully into position before it sets - but even that will wrack your nerves. And you’ll still need four hands, possibly more, to do the final connections. Meng give you a jig and it works well. But it’s no help for those last bits, of course. And it’s made of the same plastic as the rest, so you daren’t glue your tracks together on it. I used Revell Contacta with the hypodermic applicator, applied to the sides of the assembled links. Good luck painting your tracks! I’ve not done that much retouching in ages. I could live with this easier if the result was better than other people’s tracks. But AFV Club uses only three parts per link for its Leopard 2 tracks, and they’re a genuine push-fit, with no less detail. If you use these tracks, be very careful with the connectors. The bars are hair-fine and can break just from being taken off the sprue or from being held firmly. There are spares in the box - but not as many as there are for the other parts. 84 links matches the kit tracks, and hangs a bit slack. 83 links would almost certainly be too short. Other points about the running gear: don’t worry too much about the sink marks. They’re largely hidden. The hubs are a bit of a loose fit with the wheels, but you can disguise it with careful painting and oil stains. And you can leave the return rollers loose, which can be handy for feeding the tracks in. The tyres have odd grooves across them. I’d read that they weren’t right, but then I saw pictures of a Belgian Leopard with them, so I’ve not sure what’s going on there. My view: filling 336 tiny grooves was more than I could bear. Properly assembled, the sprockets shift around a bit, which didn’t help with the tracks; but they turn as well, which did. On the hull, the undersides of the sponsons are moulded as part of the lower hull. That makes it a bit harder to fit the tracks, which is unwelcome, but it does mean you can close up the hull first and sort out any dodgy panel fit before the tracks get in the way. The one exception is the sprockets, for which you have to fit washers inside the hull, but they sit far enough forward that they won’t get in the way of work on the rear plate if you want to do it in this order. I think I will, with my other four Italeri / Revell Leopards. Closing the bow and glacis plates is hampered by a slight step that’s moulded into the lower hull sides right at the front. Next time I’ll sand that away before attaching any of the running gear. Fit of the rear plate is rough all round and needs a bit of help from filler and plastic card. The exhaust grilles help locate the rear plate, but they’re not a great fit either. The instructions would have you attach a few parts to the plate before fitting it; in future builds I’ll fit it, and sort out the grilles, first. After that, the upper hull is trouble-free, although the mudguards aren’t brilliant. The front ones (I used the full-depth ones that go with the skirts) sit a bit low. You can use very thin plastic to fill in the step where they meet the section that’s integral with the upper hull. The rear mudguards are OK, a bit thick on the lower rubber sections, but they’re so close to the towing hooks that it may not be possible to fit the tow cables. The tools have nicely detailed clamps, but nearly all are on the backs and will be hidden if you attach the tools the right way up. I’ll bet there’s a fiddly, expensive fix. I wanted to use the Meng grousers on the glacis plate, but they turned out to be too big, so I settled for the vinyl things instead. With so much hidden by the racks, it didn’t really matter.
  11. Are you sure about that? They look the same to me.
  12. Zvezda's T-90 kit has 84 links on a side.
  13. You might speak to a jeweller or a watchmaker for where they get their supplies.
  14. Yes indeed. My preferred method is to use a needle file to take some powder off the end of a pastel stick, onto a piece of white paper. Files are easier to find than pestles and mortars (and, round here, you can only find pestles and mortars in expensive kitchen shops). You can also test the powder on the paper before you commit to the model. As for mixing - if you grind the pastel finely enough you can make a mixture beforehand. But you can also mix on the model itself. If you apply the pastels carefully, they’re slightly transparent, in that you can see the effect of one colour through the next. Always apply your pastels thinly because, as ever, you can always add more, but it’s a lot harder to take it away, Matt is best. Just like a blackboard, really. But I’ve found that pastels work on a slight satin sheen, such as you get with one coat of Klear. It will get darker, and it will stay darker. You don’t really need to seal pastels so long as you don’t handle them much afterwards. Any varnish will do what it always does: it reduces the amount of light reflecting off the surface, making the colours darker. Oddly enough you don’t need to compensate for this, because when you apply pastels, you’ll be surprised to find they’re a lot lighter than the sticks themselves, and even lighter than a line drawn with one. That’s because you’re applying a thin film of colour over another colour. Some other thoughts: a box of twelve cheap pastels will leave you eight or nine that you can’t use. Purple, lime green, bright yellow - all hard to find a home for in modelling. A decent art shop should have at least two ranges of chalk pastels out of which you can find a few browns, greys, sands, and maybe some greens. They’ll cost a bit more but the waste is a lot less. I wouldn’t use pastels for washes myself. If you grind it yourself, you risk the pigment being too coarse. Cheap watercolours are designed to form a workable wash and leave their pigment behind, and they’re ideal. You’ll get a lot out of an 8ml tube. If you’re a quick builder, you may even be able to store some for use on the next model along.
  15. PLA is polylactic acid. It’s biodegradable, so it’s being adopted as a compostable plastic. One use is for the lids of coffee cups instead of polystyrene (which will knock one of the easy sources of thin polystyrene on the head). It can be glued using dicholoromethane, which is what Plastic Weld consists of, and that works on polystyrene too. So PLA can be used as part of your modelling menu. But it won’t work so well with traditional polystyrene cements like butyl acetate and tricholoromethane. Personally, I don’t feel very comfortable with “biodegradable”, for all the environmental benefits. I don’t relish the though of my pride and joy gently crumbling away, leaving only the outline of the paintwork to remind me of the models I’ve sweated over … But as for coffee cups, go for it.
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