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Shockwave Rider

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About Shockwave Rider

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    Wokingham

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  1. 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
  2. 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!
  3. Excellent first armour. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.
  4. I've recently completed a Merkava, but it pales in comparison to yours. Such patience, skill and attention to detail!
  5. I am in awe of the rusting on the blade. Magnificent!
  6. I really like the overhead shot. Really cool, and a lovely smooth, dare I say, immaculate finish on the model.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. According to the Airfix instructions, it is No. 19 Squadron, Royal Air Force Germany, Gutersloh, late 1974.
  14. Ah, I tend to be a bit of a heathen when it comes to matching paint colours. I don't get hung up about 100% accuracy or seeking paint chips and such like. Anything that looks right is fine by me. I used Xtracrylix RAF Dark Green, XA1001. No weathering applied. What apparent weathering there is happens purely by accident during the painting and varnishing process. It's interesting to see how the green changes its hue and saturation depending on lighting and viewing conditions.
  15. Hello all, I figure that the best way to re-mojolise (is there such a word?) myself modelling wise is to actually buckle down and build summat. Well, in this instance: complete a build. This is the Airfix 1/72 Lightning F6. I built it simultaneously with the Sword Lightning T4 and T5. Shudder, never again. Three models of almost the same aircraft on the go at the same time. Overall, not a bad little model. A couple of fit issues around the cover for the arrestor hook. I think I might have had fun and games with the inserts for the nose cannons. Otherwise, any glaring build problems were down to my incompetence. I went for the simplest scheme. I did toy with the more brightly coloured options, but I already have a brightly coloured Lightning, and so decided on a more mute bird. What I particularly liked about this kit was the tail pipes can be painted separately, and then simply inserted onto the airframe. Certainly made for easier painting. If, that is, one didn't reach for the aged can of Halfords Chrome. I think they stopped selling this about 15 or 20 years ago. Instead of drying to a nice smooth finish, it went all lumpy on me. Then I didn't wait at least a week for it to cure, instead electing to slap on some masking tape after one day. On peeling said masking tape, the Halfords chrome paint parted company with the airframe. I think I hand painted some chrome on in the end - particularly the nose ring. One item stopping me from completing this bird was the nose probe - a pitot tube? I think I lost it to the carpet monster. Finally fed up with looking for the thing, and wanting to get on with my Sherman Firefly, I made one out of a spare refuelling pipe. About ten minutes of scraping with a 9mm Stanley knife, a bit of hacking and then sanding, yielded one passable tube thingy. I stuck it on with super glue. I had thought this to be a two foot model i.e. good when viewed from a distance of not less than two feet. On reflection, it isn't too bad. I wouldn't get too close, though. No more than about a foot or, better still, a foot and a half. Angus
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