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James Venables

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About James Venables

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  • Birthday 01/07/1963

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  1. James Venables

    Revell Spitfire MKIX.

    Thanks for those comments Tony. Pics can be deceiving, so I was just looking for a confirmation. Re the crowbar: as I said, it is only a tiny detail but my eye was drawn to it. That said, it was probably the incorrect red colour of the crowbar that initially caught my attention more than the simplified representation. I suppose there is a reasonable chance the Barracuda resin parts for the Tamiya Mk.IX will fit this kit... or can be made to fit.
  2. James Venables

    Howard 500 (Lodestar conversion)

    I'd love to see you go ahead with this. I don't know much about the aircraft but I am becoming more interested in the more obscure types as I get older. I have read this thread with interest and despite all of the technical information given which suggests a build is not possible, your proposed conversion does not involve a full sized metal aircraft but a scale model in plastic. Sure enough, it will take a fair amount of work but cutting, adding, filling, converting, scratchbuilding, kit-bashing, scribing, modifying, fabricating, etc, etc is all part of the fun of the hobby so have a go! I'm doing a rather less complicated conversion myself at present: a Do-28B in 1/72 scale from a Huma Do.27 with a few parts from a Matchbox/Revell Do-28D and a large amount of scratchbuilding. A few fellow modellers told me it couldn't be done but I am happy with my progress so far. I plan to finish it as an Air America example operated in Laos. Incidentally, I also plan to do a Volpar Beech conversion in 1/72 scale from a Hobbycraft Beech 18. Again, it will be a somewhat complicated conversion) eg. it will require a whole new wing & engines) but it looks do-able to me. Again, it will be an Air America example.
  3. James Venables

    Revell Spitfire MKIX.

    Tony, thanks for those comments. 1/32 scale is not my usual scale but being a Spitfire, I may be interesting in picking one up. I have a small stash of 1/32 scale kits put aside in reserve for the day when old age dictates that my eyesight and/or dexterity will no longer allow the building of 1/72 scale models! I am usually very reluctant to comment on a kit until I see it "in the flesh" for myself but I was just looking at the photos in the OP's link and could not help noticing a couple of things. I am unclear whether those pics are an actual finished model or CAD pics, but I suspect the former. The molded-in crowbar on the cockpit door looks truly awful (a tiny detail but it caught my eye immediately) and the canopy hood seems a little odd to my eye - seems a tad too high and/or oversized. Since you have the kit in hand, I'd really appreciate a comment on these points if you have time. Cheers, James.
  4. James Venables

    AIM 1/72 DH-86 Express

    Wal, that sounds like a fair price. I have a 1/72 resin DH-86 (by Vami) in the stash that cost me around AUD93.00 about 5 years ago.
  5. James Venables

    P-63 Kingcobra ADA (1/72 Eastern Express)

    Just revisiting this thread, as I was following it when it was active. Did the P-63 get finished? Did it get put away for a while? I was keen to see the finished product in French markings - it was providing me with enthusiasm to get mine under way. Looks like the same length stick that Hollywood uses in its WW2 aircraft, eg. the "Pearl Harbour" P-40s
  6. James Venables

    Matchbox Lancaster 9 Squadron

    What he said. I have a couple of these in the stash and have always been waiting to hear/read/see how other modellers approach them before I find the courage to do so myself. Nice work so far. Cheers.
  7. James Venables

    MACH 2 Convair 440

    I am a bit late to this thread (was looking for info on the Mach 2 Caravelle and came across this) but I agree. I have built the C-123 and made a start on the DC-4 and found them to be nowhere near as bad as internet forums would have us believe. In fact, I have wondered how many of the critics have actually built a Mach 2 kit? Sure enough, they look rough in the box, with huge sprue gates; commonly with plentiful flash, a rough surface and big ejector pin stubs; usually with foggy canopies; and often with small parts short shot or enclosed within a blob of plastic... but my experience has shown that once cleaned up (requires time and patience, so a job I achieved on a tray in front of the telly) the parts fit together quite well. A few details benefited from raiding the spares box but the typically thick plastic ensures a very sturdy model. Obviously the C-123 has now been surpassed by the Roden kit and the DC-4 is now covered by Revell, both kits being light years ahead of Mach 2, but they were originally the only choice in injection moulded kits and I thought they deserved much less criticism than they were given. I have several other Mach 2 kits in the stash (Seabee, Falcon 20, Coronado, Mariner, Convair and Viscount; plus a Caravelle and a couple of Squirrels on order) and I look forward to building them all. I know they will not fall together, they will present a few challenges and they will require more patience than a mainstream kit but to me, this is what the hobby is about - attaining enjoyment by using skill, patience, forethought, creativity and a little innovation to produce a model that satisfies me... and learn from my mistakes! EDIT: PS: If any of the critics genuinely have Mach 2 kits in the stash and don't want them, feel free to send them to me.
  8. James Venables

    Cessna 152

    AZ Models have had a 1/72 scale Cessna 150 listed in their "future releases" for a few years. It was supposed to be released late last year, but it is still awaited. I recall seeing a discussion on another forum sometime in the last few months in which AZ Models indicated it is definitely coming but is still in development at this stage.
  9. James Venables

    Italeri DC3 Kit #132

    I have not yet seen the Airfix kit in the flesh but I have seen a few comments on modelling forums stating the same opinion. But the first thing that come to my mind is the price difference - the Airfix kit is usually around twice the price of the Italeri kit. Is it really twice as good? I'd be interested in your (and others') opinion on this.
  10. James Venables

    Italeri 2015

    I am on a bit of a Thunderbolt "thing" at the moment, so the P-47D razorback in 1/72 scale caught my eye. I am unaware of an existing Italeri or old Esci P-47, and since the catalogue does not mention "new moulding", I assume it is a repop. Any speculation on whose moulds they may be using? Academy and Tamiya are the only ones worth repopping. As mentioned here before, although Italeri kits appear in Tamiya boxes, the reciprocal has not occurred... until now? But I'm guessing it will be an Academy repop, as Italeri have reboxed Academy kits in the past (B-24, B-17).
  11. James Venables

    1/72 AZ Spitfire IIB - 303 Sqn

    That photo posted by "giemme" clearly shows that my assumption was incorrect and that the effect you have achieved is indeed representative of the period & theatre. I can't comment on the actual aircraft as the only photos I have seen on P8385 are a few very grainy online pics in which it is impossible to see any detail of the finish, but it sounds like you have a much better reference source, so your interpretation of the scheme is obviously much more educated than my assumptions. Well done. As "modelglue" correctly stated, model making (of all genres) is very much an matter of style and preference. I have always considered model making to be an art, and as such, artistic licence and interpretation can be applied freely. What one person sees as correct and appropriate can easily be completely at odds with the opinion of another. As a personal example, I resisted the temptation for pre-shading for many years, because whilst I could see that it offered a visually more interesting model, I felt the effect was very unrealistic. A few years ago however, I had an epiphany of sorts when I realised that over the years, I had squandered far too much modelling enjoyment by agonising over the detail and accuracy of such things like outline, panel lines, cockpit instrumentation and controls, correct tyre treads, scale colour, positioning of markings, etc, etc. Far too many models had been pushed aside and placed into "the drawer of doom" because I lost interest in the project as a result of my detail paranoia! I decided to change tack completely, begin building out of the box (corrections made and details added only where they were patently incorrect or lacking), stop fretting about the scale colour of the pilot's underpants and just enjoy my modelling by attempting to achieve a visually pleasing model. I began to experiment with "new" techniques including pre-shading and I discovered a new "wow factor" in my models, though admittedly, I prefer a more subdued effect than many other modellers. I'm looking forward to seeing our finished Spit and trying that technique on a model myself. Cheers.
  12. James Venables

    1/72 AZ Spitfire IIB - 303 Sqn

    I love Spits, I really like AZ kits, and I am really enjoying this thread. But I'm not convinced that the two-tone colouring technique has really added anything positive to the model. Maybe the photos are not doing it justice, but I cannot help thinking the contrast is a little too extreme for a Spit in the European theatre for that period. I am no expert but I would have expected that Spitfires would have been steadfastly maintained at that period of the war and harsh weathering would not appear. Please don't think I am trying to denigrate your work. It is turning out to be a great little model. I have a bunch of AZ Spitfires very near the top of my "to do" pile and your build is inspiring me to get the current P-47 and P-51 projects off the bench so I can get started on the Spits. It's just that weathering technique which doesn't look right to my eye... maybe it's a tad too harsh for the scale...? I note that a lot of other modellers here have commented favourably on the effect so I accept that perhaps I am just not appreciating it for what it is. Regardless, it is a fascinating technique and one that I will try. I think it would look great on models representing AFVs or aircraft in the North African or Pacific theatre where harsh conditions and basic maintenance facilities allowed weathering/fading to be more pronounced. Cheers.
  13. James Venables

    1/72 dh dove

    I don't think anyone has mentioned the Vami 1/72 scale resin kit. It is very high quality (perhaps not quite up to CMR standard, but very, very close) and last time I looked, was priced around the same as the Top Gun kit at Aviation Megastore. I have wondered if the Top Gun kit is actually a repop of the Vami kit...?
  14. James Venables

    DO-28A in 1/72?

    Carlos, I am currently in Australia to share Christmas with my family but the model is back home in Laos. Nevertheless, I do have a few photos of the early stages of the build that I can post. Unfortunately Photobucket is playing games with me by asking me to login every time I try to upload a photo, select an album to drop it into or retrieve the URL, even though I have already logged in! I have simply given up in frustration for now but will try again tonight when I have a little more spare time. EDIT: I have tried Photobucket again without success. Not only are the uploaded photos failing to appear, but it seems all of my previous albums (except one) have disappeared from my account! I have to wonder what the heck Photobucket are doing and how they can expect to retain users when this sort of thing happens. If you e-mail me directly (jvenables@virginbroadband.com.au) I can send you the pics I was hoping to post.
  15. James Venables

    DO-28A in 1/72?

    I am nearing completion of a conversion, which is based on a Huma Do-27. I started this about 2 years ago to fill a hole in my Indochina War (and Air America) collection but the build has been stalled for about 12 months now due mainly to a lack of good references. I may just have to let "artistic licence" guide the remainder of the build... Although I have not been able to find any scale plans (other than a couple of 3-view line drawings), my research has suggested that the Do-28A fuselage had virtually identical dimensions, with the obvious difference being the nose, so little needed to be done here. The Do-28A wing appears to have been identical to the Do-27 in chord, but longer in span by 1.8 metres (25mm in 1/72 scale). I simply extended the Huma wings by creating silicone moulds of the last 15mm or so of each wingtip and grafting on 12.5mm resin extensions. Part of the reason for the stalled build is a lack of references for the wing panel, aileron and flap detail. The wing slats seem to have been the same (or near enough not to fret about in this scale). I used the engine pods and undercarriage from the Matchbox Do-28 but in hindsight, I should have just scratchbuilt them both as they are very different. The Do-28D engine pods have a blocky, squared section, whereas the Do-28A are rounded and streamlined. By the time I reshaped the Matchbox items (using a lot of Milliput), there was almost nothing remaining of the original Matchbox plastic! The Matchbox undercarriage fairings also required an extensive rework to reach the Do-28A shape, which are larger. If I was doing another Do-28, I would build a rough pod of laminated styrene sheet and Milliput then make a resin casting for the second cowl. As far as I can tell, they are not "handed" except for the mounting point for the winglet thingy between the engine pods and fuselage. Most Do-28As from the Vietnam war era seem to have had twin blade props, so the Do-27 prop in the Huma kit is fine - I made a resin copy of mine for the second engine. The Huma kit provides a fairly nice instrument panel decal but since this is for a single-engined aircraft, there are obviously some controls missing for the Do-28A. I found some good photos of the Do-28A instrument panel and interior so scratchbuilt a replacement panel and controls, though this detail can barely be seen once the fuselage is closed up and the glazing added. The only other significant change is to reshape the nose, but this is a job that I have yet to do. I think I will just cut off the Do-27 nose at the rear of the engine cowl and build a new nose from a styrene sheet former and Milliput filler. I plan to finish my Do-28A as an Air America example (probably N2002F) using Mike Grant decals.