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Shockwave Rider

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About Shockwave Rider

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  1. After sitting on the partially complete shelf of doom, I finally got up the gumption to finish this rather marvellous kit. A curious mixture of superlative engineering coupled with strange design considerations and lousy construction sequence. All previous incarnations of an Airfix Lancaster allowed you, I believe, to construct it with large sub-assemblies; only bolting the bits together after painting e.g. A Lancaster in bits With their newest Lanc, Airfix has long wing spars on which you hang the wings, and then everything is added to the airframe, including all those easy to break off teeny, weeny delitcate bits. As you can see from the photo above, I cut through the wing spars to leave stubs on the fuselage. All bits were added to the fuselage (and undercarriage to the wings) right at the end when painting was completed. Saved a lot of grief. I notice that Airfix appear to have learnt their lesson. Their Shackleton is a far more sensible beast to construct. I'm afraid photos have come out a bit on the dark side. I had problems with my lens and the light conditions. Photography took place over two days, as I tried various things. This kit fought me all the way to the end - basically self inflicted wounds. It rattles for one. I had inserted some of the side fuselage windows. Only when I came to removing the liquid mask (which had reacted with Halford primer and was fairly solid) I pushed the glazing into the fuselage. Sigh. Deep breath. OK. Reach for the Kristal Clear, which had set over the years. Add water, stir, shake, wait; repeat a few hours later until I had a liquid goo. Fill in all the glazing hole. I noticed that there seemed to be an awful lot of small bubbles in the liquid. Never mind I thought. When the Kristal clear sets, the bubble will disappear. Five days later, and the glazing was milky white. After a lot of swearing, I carefully removed all the milky white Kristal clear, and reapplied it. Two days later it set with no bubbles. Oh, the reason why I have two photos of the Lanc from above is that the lighting conditions changed. Thought I'd include both as one, I think, has better detail but the other shows better colours. I thought I had finished this beastie after the Kristal clear incident. On tidying up my modelling area, I came across a nose blister. Uh oh, I thought. Yep, you guessed it. I forgot that two years previously I had removed the blister from its sprue and cleaned it up already for painting. Roll forward two years, and I had studiously painted and glued on the wrong nose blister. After yet more swear words, I eased off the nose blister I had fitted, and then glued on the proper one - now suitably cleaned and painted. Weathering was done with some rather nice Tamiya weathering sets I discovered I had. I'm not skilled enough to do all this pre and post shading with an airbrush, and didn't dare do the exhaust stains with an airbrush. Yes, the eagle eyed may notice that I have painted the mine red oxide. I decided to do so as I read somewhere that German records regarding a recovered mine said it was painted red oxide. I now have the Airfix Shackleton AEW2 on the go. First eye balling of the instructions indicate it should be easy to construct, with a whole load of sub assemblies to be bolted together at the end.
  2. Finally got round to finishing this. Second tank of the year, well, last five or six years actually. I don't usually build armour, but seem to have quite a few in the build queue. I wouldn't know if this was a last production tiger or not, even if it came up to me and bit me. I just like it. The build process was, shall we say, interesting and a little fraught in places, not least due to the vague instructions. I was put off, for the longest time, by the tracks. I hate individual tracks and links. That being said, this kit had sensible individual tracks, which were not totally individual track and links. I still managed to make a hash of some of it as numptie here couldn't following instructions properly. Following my usual heathen approach to painting (i.e. employ anything that looks about right, especially for tanks which get covered in grime and dust and are weathered greatly) I used LifeColor sand and Brown Violet (RLM81?) for the, well, sandy and greeny bits. The red bits were far more fun. The Academy painting instructions said 'Red Brown' or something like that, plus gave a whole list of colours from the likes of LifeColor, Tamiya, etc. Naturally, I didn't have any of them. However, research on t'internet revealed that German tank crews would dilute the red brown paint, they were sent, with petrol. Varying dilution rates would give a colour ranging from light red to deep red brown. I happened to have some Liquitex acrylic inks i.e. Red Oxide and Transparent Raw Umber. I simply added a few drops of the latter to the former in my spray brush cup until I got roughly the correct colour. Also, I varied this mixture as I sprayed, to sort of mimic the differing dilutions a crew might use as they sprayed their vehicle. I suspect the green might have been the same, but I didn't dilute it enough to get the same effect. I went a bit nuts with the scheme, I'm afraid, but had huge amounts of fun. As I wanted to represent a recently field painted example, I kept the tank fairly clean. I would like to actually see the complex, if somewhat barmy, camouflage scheme I had concocted. It was a bit garish, freshly painted. I toned it down by adding a few drops of Liquitex transparent raw umber to Galleria Matt Varnish, and sprayed it all over. I let it drip and pool in a few places to sort of look as if a slightly dusty tank had been caught in a shower. Well, that's my story, which I am keeping to. I have no idea how accurate the final outcome is, but I certainly had a lot of fun with the painting. I used Blutak to mark out the camouflage pattern. Interesting is all I can say. I did manage to brake the machine gun ring when I took off the Blutak, then lost the bit. Sigh. I had to scratch build a replacement, and then hid the join with the machine gun mount, but don't tell anyone!
  3. With the varnish still drying, I'm calling this one done and photographing it. Aerials need to be fitted and, rather distressingly, I appear to have lost a small part that fits on the rear of the commander's hatch This is Dragon's Sherman Firefly 1c. I've had it in my stash for years, always meaning to build it , but put off by the individual track links. I haven't the patience to put them together, and bought AFV club's T62 Track for M4 VVSS. No idea if it correct for this Sherman, but I wasn't about to put those links together. Having bought the tracks, I put them somewhere 'safe', which meant I 'lost' them, then 'found' them, only to 'lose' them again as I didn't have time to build the tank. Roll of a few repeat iterations and years, and I finally manage to get both together, start the build, then stop the build for house improvements i.e. double glazing and replacement kitchen. I finally get up the gumption to restart the build, got to the point of painting it olive drab, only I discovered I had sprayed faded olive drab - a sort of sand. Back the tank went to the shelf of doom as I figured what to do. I normally do aircraft, and turn to tanks when I get fed up with the rigours of getting perfect finishes on planes. However, my tanks are usually completed as fresh out of the factory i.e. a simple paint job, with no weathering. I finally worked up the enthusiasm to get going on this tank again, and decided to spread some sort of dark green over it in a desperate attempt to make it look sun faded. Basically I sprayed a little, brush painted a little, dry brushed a little, splashed it all over a little, and relied heavily on transparent burnt sienna and burnt umber for the rusty bits. I don't really have a clue what I am doing, as I normally go for a pristine finish. After about a half a day elapsed time of faffing around like this, I'd had enough and decided it was time to fit the AFV tracks. First a clean with soapy water. Then a coat of Halfords Flexible Vinyl spray. I find it is gives a good base for paints. However, when dry fitting the tracks I noticed they looked a little tight...too tight in fact to fit the tracks. Undaunted I simply stretched the tracks, and soon one began to fit better, and then the other one snapped in half! The air turned blue for several minutes. In the end, I worked out a plan. Stick the broken track together with the overlapping joint provided by AFV. I used superglue, rather than the technique of applying a hot screwdriver to melt the nibs on the joint. Then I offered the track up to the tank, ensuring the broken end met over a lower wheel. The track was then stuck to the road wheels with copious quantities of super glue. I wasn't really enamoured by the Dragon kit. Attachment points seemed vague to non-existent, while the front sprockets wouldn't fit; needing a bit of hacking. It also seemed over engineered. You can see part of the problem with the left front track. It looks splayed, much Wall-E when he got squished. You might also note a little raised bit in the middle of the right track. There were a few other areas which caused me much lip pursing. I like my old, simple Tamiya tank kits. I sort of painted the yellow triangle, but tried to make it look as is this was a tank that had gone through quite a bit, with the crew having to repair and paint bits. I didn't bother with unit markings. Quite a few photos I see of Fireflies show no unit markings; either deliberate or simply hidden under much grime. Also, it occurred to me that if you were in Panther or Tiger country, the last thing you need is a nice bright, colourful unit insignia to make it easier to spot you. Alternatively, I could have loaded up the tank with all sorts of equipment, and thus neatly hide any unit markings. I was too lazy to do so. I have another, exciting, tank to be getting on with. I photographed the tank in the garden in full sun. In many ways this was a mistake. The sun tended to remove contrast and sort of bleach out the colours. The faded tops and sides do not look as sandy as on the model, and the green I splashed about is simply not green enough. Sigh. Better efforts required next time. Just for the record. My camera/lens combo is a Canon 800D with a Sigma 150-600mm contemporary. I simply stood about 3m (10 feet) away from the tank, zoomed in, and photographed it. I had a minimal field of depth. It seems to work, and provides a nice hazy background. I was too lazy to switch lenses. The overhead shots were obtained by me leaning out of the first floor bedroom window. Glad none of the neighbours were about. I shall now take my next, continued build, from the shelf of doom. A King Tiger (Late). I have the turret built, but that's about it. I will complete this one, before tackling a Tortoise and then Crocodile. Angus
  4. I always admire the patience of those who build ship models. But to scratch build as well. That's in a different league all together. Wonderful!
  5. Excellent first armour. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.
  6. I've recently completed a Merkava, but it pales in comparison to yours. Such patience, skill and attention to detail!
  7. I am in awe of the rusting on the blade. Magnificent!
  8. I really like the overhead shot. Really cool, and a lovely smooth, dare I say, immaculate finish on the model.
  9. Bit of a long reply. I'm going through this process, and discovering it is a bit of a minefield. To try and gain a feel for how much some of my ancient kits are 'worth', I've been looking at ebay Kingkit.com, Oldmodelkits.com Amazon and recently - auction houses specialising in Toys e.g. Vectis. Prices on ebay (and indeed, Amazon) appear all over place - especially the 'Buy it now' ones. There was an article recently about pricing on Amazon; on the 'outrageous' ones in particular. To give a silly, hypothetical example, say an Airfix Spitfire recently out of production is valued at £100. The conclusion of the article was that sellers on the likes of Amazon and ebay set whatever price they want regardless of whether it was sensible or not. One reason why they did so was that occasionally the bait worked, and they got a buyer. So I've come to regard the high prices I see on ebay/Amazon, etc with a large pinch of salt, and as only being indicative of what I might get on a good day, with a following wind. Where possible, I look at the outcome of proper auctions on ebay. These are probably more realistic - apart from the odd bidding war, which inflates prices. Moving on to the likes of Kingkit, OldModelKits, etc. I'm still trying to get a feel for them and their pricing. Possibly more realistic, but at the higher end I would say. These guys have to make a living, they have to purchase, inventory, store and sell the kits, etc. Some of the pricing I see on OldModelKits, especially for really old stuff, seem a little high - like I think, seriously. But I wonder if they really do have serious collectors who are prepared to pay those prices. You see, really old model kits aren't quite antiques. We're still a couple or three decades off that. Which means they wont attract a broader range of collectors, and silly prices - well, silly to us. The old kits are considered vintage. Desperate as the likes of Kingkit are to acquire our collections, my understanding is they will pay pittance for said collections. Can anyone concur or disagree? I did have a sobering thought. There were never a great number of us modellers to begin with, and those with large stashes are, quite literally, a dying breed. On that 'happy' note...recently I looked at auction houses which 'specialise' in toys. Thus I have started with SAS (Special Auction Services) and Vectis. There is another one up north, but it's a question of getting kits to them. There isn't much point in spending £80 in petrol driving the kits up there, if all you get is £80 or less in the auction. One nice aspect of the two auction houses I've looked at is that they have the results of past auctions. And interesting reading they make to. The first thing I wonder is exactly how much do the supposed toy experts know about plastic model kits. Sure, they are expert on die cast models, teddy bears and train models, but plastic model kits are still the forgotten subject area of collectables, from what I can see. Interestingly, their estimates for how much kits will sell for seem fairly accurate. However, is this because… a. They really do know the true 'worth' of the kits - especially the vintage ones or b. They understand what their customers are prepared to pay for them I think it is a mixture of both, though more b than a. I further suspect that some of the bidders are dealers, who spot a rare item in the lots. They then bid for and win the lot, only to sell the items through...ebay. The problem with auction houses are the fees. They can mount up rapidly. Commission is like 10% to 20% plus sales tax; depending on the value of your sale. Note this is not the same as hammer price. Some can then really rachet up the costs - there are lotting fees, photography fees, storage fees, insurance, etc, etc, etc. Ebay isn't a whole lot better. Standard fees are 10% (on sale price and P&P), and they too have a whole host of other fees to ratchet up the costs. Still, when I look at some of the prices realised on the Vectis site for certain lots, personally I think they are pretty good i.e. by and large they meet my criteria the average price I hope to realise. The strategy, I feel, is to keep the lots smallish, and mix them a bit i.e. a more 'valuable' kit with 'less valuable' kits. Be careful. Beauty, as the great bard said, is in the eye of the beholder. What to you is a junk kit is the most valuable kit in the world to someone else. After all this research, what am I going to do? I don't know. I'm still as bewildered as ever. I am in a slightly interesting place in that I have kits bought in the last decade or so to sell, in addition to a whole load of truly vintage kits. What I haven't yet worked out is an outlet for the vintage kits i.e. collectors who want the kits. I suspect ebay for these. I'll probably use a mixture of selling channels, ebay for some, auction houses for others, good old Britmodeller for more select items (only the best for you ladies and gentlemen), and any 'junk' left over goes to a local school or organisation for their kiddies to play with. It is astonishing auction houses will sell, and prices they realise for stuff I think of as junk e.g. I have some old lego technics and a scaletrix set which I was considering dumping, yet they get quite good sums on Vectis. I’ve seen a boxes full of made up model aircraft (not very well made, I might add), where the models are just dumped into the box with resulting damage, yet realise £80 to £150! Hells bells! Normally I’d give them to kiddies to trash or put them in recycling or consider them airgun fodder. Finally, remember that the true worth of a kit is only what someone is prepared to pay for it - provided they are not trying to take advantage of you.
  10. I figured out the solution to my little problem. Turns out it's cookies. You have to acknowledge the cookie banner. I didn't do so for the longest time, as I have an aversion to cookies. They can be trawled for information to build up a picture/profile of you. Who knows what 'they' then do with all this intel - look at all the furore surrounding Facebook. Other, more shadowy organisations lurk quietly away, gathering info. I have my own website, and I know when it has been hit by a bot or spider trawling for info. The visitor count for the day is like one or two, but the page count goes through the roof i.e. every page and every posting is read and every photo is viewed. That's a couple of hundred pages/postings and several thousand photos. Therefore I only allow cookies to certain websites, and even then the minimum possible.
  11. Lovely clean build and paint job. I do like the way you included the crew. For posting photos, I use my ancient Skydrive aka Microsoft's cloud storage version. It came 'free' with a hotmail (now outlook) account yonks ago. Back then (at least a decade or more) it wasn't very well integrated with anything, and the only way you could get at it was via hotmail. Getting a public link was painful. Now a days it's integrated very well, I can get at it via my PC's desktop or file system, and generating an embedded link is a breeze. You can then edit the generated code, to change the width and height of the image, before inserting into this forum.
  12. I think it is just incredible. Many moons ago I did a much more simplified scheme on a 1/144th Flanker. My eyes got completely crossed, and brain went numb trying to keep track of which way the pattern was supposed to go: left, right, forwards, backwards. I certainly didn't have any of the tiny steps on the straight sections that you have. Your superb build is in a totally different higher league.
  13. It shows how much attention I pay to what I'm actually building or how little I know about the various marks of the Lightning. Thank you for pointing this out. I have amended the title of the post, and will now go cover myself in sackcloth and ashes. I shall try and pay more attention on my next build.
  14. Hello all, Thanks for the nice replies. Glad you like the Lightnings. These are well worth building. In truth, once I rolled my sleeves up and actually sat down to build them (rather than leaving them untouched for weeks or months) they only took a couple of weeks effort to complete. Even masking the camo scheme didn't take much time. The tasks that took longest were making good my errors. Be aware, though, these are short run kits. They do need old fashioned modelling skills, lots of dry fitting and some hacking of parts. In stark contrast was the Airfix 1/72 Lightning F6 which I built at the same time. This more or less (with a couple of minor exceptions) fell together; it had the current great engineering of Airfix kits.
  15. According to the Airfix instructions, it is No. 19 Squadron, Royal Air Force Germany, Gutersloh, late 1974.
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