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  1. Finemolds is to release from August 2020 new tool 1/72nd McDD (R)F-4E/EJ Phantom II kits. Source: http://www.finemolds.co.jp/202006-08NEW.html ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Recap - ref. FP37 - McDD F-4EJ Phantom II - JASDF - released https://www.finemolds.co.jp/FP/FP37.html - ref. FP38 - McDD F-4EJ Phantom II - JASDF - released https://www.finemolds.co.jp/FP/FP38.html - ref. FP40 - McDD F-4EJ Kai Phantom II - JASDF - released https://www.finemolds.co.jp/FP/FP40.html - ref. FP41 - McDD F-4E Phantom II (early) - USAF - released https://www.finemolds.co.jp/FP/FP41.html - ref. FP42 - McDD RF-4EJ Phantom II - JASDF - released https://finemolds.co.jp/FP/FP42.html - ref. FP43S - McDD F-4J Phantom II - US Navy - VF-114 "Aardvark" - released https://finemolds.co.jp/FP/FP43S.html - ref. FP46S - McDD F-4C Phantom II - Air National Guard - released https://finemolds.co.jp/FP/FP46S.html - ref. FP47S - McDD F-4D Phantom II - USAF - The First MiG Ace - released https://finemolds.co.jp/FP/FP47S.html - ref.72737 - McDD F-4EJ Phantom II - Tactical competition 1982 (306th Sqn) - released https://finemolds.co.jp/FP/72737.html - ref.72738 - McDD F-4EJ Phantom II - Tactical competition 1995 (301th Sqn) - released https://finemolds.co.jp/FP/72738.html - ref. 72743 - McDD F-4J Phantom II - U.S. Navy - “Midway 1978” - released https://www.finemolds.co.jp/FP/72743.html - ref. 72747 - McDD F-4CD Phantom II - Night Attacker - released release in March 2024 - https://finemolds.co.jp/FP/72747.html - ref. 72838 - McDD F-4EJ Kai Phantom II - JASDF Last Flight Memorial “Blue” - released https://www.finemolds.co.jp/FP/72838.html - ref. 72843 - MccDD F-4J Phantom II - US Marines - VMFAT-101 "Marlins" - released https://www.finemolds.co.jp/FP/72843.html - ref. 72846 - McDD F-4C Phantom II - USAF - Wolfpack 1967 - released https://www.finemolds.co.jp/FP/72846.html - ref. 72937 - MccDD F-4EJ Kai Phantom II - JASDF Phantom Forever, Thank you 1971-2021 - released https://www.finemolds.co.jp/FP/72937.html - ref. 72938 - McDD F-4EJ Kai Phantom II - JASDF Last Flight Memorial “Yellow” - released https://www.finemolds.co.jp/FP/72938.html - ref. 72941 - McDD F-4E Phantom II - Thunderbirds - released release in March 2024 - https://finemolds.co.jp/FP/72941.html - No ref. Special edition for Gifu Kakamigahara Air and Space Museum ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Connected or not to the Platz project? https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235037980-172-mcdonnell-douglas-f-4ej-phantom-ii-new-tool-by-platz-release-in-2019/ V.P.
  2. Finemolds is to release a 1/72nd Grumman F-14A Tomcat kit and a dedicated weapons set - ref. FP30 & FP-31 Release expected in December 2017. Source: http://www.finemolds.co.jp/iroiro/2017THS-new.html Reports as being the "Air Graphix/FineMolds" F-14D kit with changed parts: https://www.scalemates.com/kits/958331-finemolds-mg-789-2015-grumman-f-14d-tomcat V.P.
  3. News from All Japan Model and Hobby Show 2022, Finemolds is to release a new tool 1/72nd McDD F-15 Eagle kit Sources: https://twitter.com/ModelArtInc/status/1575657760808542208 https://twitter.com/Yodobashi_Hobby/status/1575656393721675776 V.P.
  4. I finished this model in August last year, and whilst I completed my work in progress thread, I didn’t get around to writing a RFI thread. Now that some months have elapsed and I’ve become accustomed to seeing the completed model (almost) every day on its “concrete” hardstanding base (scratch built), I think that I can reflect back on the build and bring out a few highlights. Yes, it took me about a year to complete, but that was because of other life pressures and the thinking and dithering time that ensued with my build. So, let’s get ion with it. In summary, this has to be the best-fitting F-14 Tomcat there is. The (2019 tool) Academy kit is also excellent, but there are some very clever assembly details with the FineMolds model that just helps produce a very robust end result. It has some wonderful details too; whilst some of these can appear a bit toy-like in their bare plastic, they look quite delightful once a few paint layers have been applied. Some details do warrant improving, and there’s plenty of aftermarket resin and PE available in this regard. In fact, with the details and assembly robustness, it should be the best 1/72 F-14 on the market… but for me, there was a serious let down which means that I could not hold it in such high regard - shape! Very early on, some shape discrepancies came to light. I will not list them all, as I’ve had to live with most of them but I did tackle two of them: Wings and wing-glove fairing. But before I go into these in detail, briefly the other items include the overall fuselage being too tall (especially around the nose and canopy), tail fins slightly disproportioned with fin “noses” too short, wing pylons oversized and ventral fins too short. All of these are subtle, but if you’ve built a cross section of the current 1/72 offerings as I have, the differences stand out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite satisfied by the finished article, but the shape issues are likely to prevent me making another of these in their present tooling. I imagine, that had I modelled it with all of the panels open and radome lifted (as you can choose to do), some of the shape issues might well be hidden, but personally, I found the choice of panels to open a little un-prototypical for anything other than on-maintenance… so then choosing to arm the aircraft would be just wrong. I did decide to open one panel, but this was based on observation of likely panels to be open when on the ramp… the refuel panel on the starboard side of the nose. There are no 1/72 kits on the marked that allow for this to be open, so my model is, in this regard at least, unique. I had a number of attempts at scratch building the inners of this panel and the door, the latter finally formed of a thin piece of plasticard with a shaped photoetch inner (to control the curvature easier), the former had a 1mm x 1mm neodymium magnet glued in as the fuel receptable; the scratch built fuelling hose attachment had a short length of steel pin inserted in the end to attach to the panel. Because I was opening this panel, I opted to open the refuelling probe too; photos tended to show this open when the refuelling panel was open… maybe it’s something to do with the fuelling process (I don’t know) but it looked good. Whilst lacking in a little detail, the attachment of this refuelling probe was by far the best I’ve seen on a kit in this scale, although I still needed to move the hoe that it plugs in to about 1.5mm aft to allow for correct placement. Other panels to open would be the “daily” panels on either side of the engine tunnels just aft of the main gear bays. These are something I’ll attempt on a future build, but again, no kits are available with these open in this scale today. What also put me off using the kit’s suggested open panels, were that the moulded panel doors were quite thick, and whilst the open spine details looked nice, the kit did not provide the removed panels to sit alongside the open bays whilst they were off (as most often seen in photos). So, the wings…. The kit wings are essentially too broad in chord. Whilst this possibly is liveable if these are all you’re comparing them with, put it alongside a Academy, GWH or Hobbyboss, and something will look odd. I covered this in a bit more detail in the early stages of my Work-In-Progress thread ... in fact it was the first thing I tackled. Taking the easy route initially, I detail-corrected and adjusted the “fit” of a pair of Hobbyboss wings to replace the FineMolds wings. Later, I decided to also modify the attachment of a pair of Fujimi kit wings. I quite fancied (again) a pair of dirty wings (slats and flaps only) rather than just the clean “sweep-able” Hobbyboss wings. I’d considered a pair of Hasegawa wings, but the Fujimi wings were more accurate and had a more adaptable “fit” for the FineMolds kit. One think that neither of the replacement wings (nor the FineMolds kit wings either) had, was the leading-edge anhedral crank at about 25% span; so far, only the 2019 tool Academy and GWH kits have this. So, nothing was going to be perfect. The wing glove fairings on the kit are a little too tall on their inboard edges (near the anti-slip panels) and present a too-straight upper surface when compared to actual photos and profiles. This was a relatively easy task to tackle, just by sanding back the top surfaces, flattening out the inboard-most edges and producing a more rounded profile than the kits parts. Once finished, the profile is better, but the overall shape of the glove fairing is still wrong, but much harder to rectify, so I left it as it was. My intention had initially been to portray VF84 Victory 201, BuNo 162702. Part way through my build the shape issues made me rethink this, and I decided for a more subtle scheme, picking VF11’s Ripper 101 (of which I found several photos online), using DXM’s excellent (double excellent in fact) decals. The decals did include a warthog face and tusks for each side of the nose, but given that this looked a bit comical and that I could find no photos of the aircraft carrying the markings, I left those off. The instructions in the decal set also showed an odd anti-glare panel demarcation, which made me wonder whether the aircraft had carried a completely different radome when those markings were carried; I wanted the nicely curved front to the anti-glare panel, so I felt my choice was vindicated. The other reason for picking VF11, was that having just finished my GWH build as a VF31 aircraft, the two would sit alongside each other well, both being Forrestal aircraft in the same period and having very close BuNos too 161858 (VF31) and 161855 (VF11)... practically twins! So, to summarise, I’ll not list out everything that I did to the kit, but the following image lists it all (I hope) out. Finemolds 1/72 F-14A detailed by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Origins by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Loaded up by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Back end by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Cockpit unmasking and checking by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Refueling hose connector by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Canopy by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Canopy underside by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Fuel hose test fit by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Ripper 101 from above by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Ripper 101 wings spread from above by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Ripper 101, Wings spread, Starboard rear by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Ripper 101 Starboard Profile by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Ripper 101 rear quarter by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Finally, before I go, I thought I’d just leave this final image for you to ponder. Having built the four “current” tool 1/72 Tomcats, I wanted to compare them shape wise, especially given my FineMolds experience. Initially, I set up a photo session, where I could place each model in the same orientation, with the nose wheel on the same spot on the level (x marks the spot) with my DSLR with it’s 100-400mm at 250mm focal length to minimise wide angle or tele-distortion and photographed each one. Initially, I overlaid each image atop each other, but that would be difficult to share, so I laid them out as shown. I shared this on a few Tomcat-focussed FB groups and received considerable interest and debate. I then acquired an early Grumman “blueprint” side elevation and overlaid that on each model (as shown). The line drawing lacked the spine strengthening strakes and vertical fin nose sections (because it was intended to depict the interior space on the centreline), but it illustrated the overall shape. I even had a comment on that post from the author of the drawing… which was great! Some them commented that this was inaccurate, and that the best option may be to use the artwork that appears in the Tamiya 1/48 kits… of which I had one in the stash. I duly laid that artwork out and photographed it, overlaying it on the Grumman drawing – 100% alignment! So, that silenced the doubters. Thus, here is the shape comparison image I shared with luminaries of our “toy” industry and others late last year. The models are listed top-bottom lower right. I think the Academy still has the best shape! And don’t worry about the canopy positions; I just need to find some longer pins. 1/72 F-14A Tomcat models' shape comparison by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr That’ll do for now. I’m taking a slight break from Tomcat’s at present, working a 1/48 chinook for a good friend… but I’ve another Tomcat sat here with all the additional bits to start working on, just as soon as time and focus allows… and it’s a 1019 tool Academy – still the best shaped 1/72 Tomcat so far. Thanks for reading.
  5. Introduction and reflections Having completed three 1/72 F-14As, the box of the first model I purchased continued to sit glaring at me on the shelf, and given that I was interested in seeing which of the current offerings could produce as close a decent representation as possible, I thought that it was about time to tackle the Finemolds model. It was an article on this model, with its posable nose cone and open panels, that I read that inspired me to have a go at building my own. I acquired one but its complexity put me off at first. Thus, my first build was the hobbyboss offering that took quite a bit of detail work to get to a point that I was happy with, but it got me used to the bits n pieces on these aircraft. The 2019 Academy tooling followed, and this one I enjoyed; not only is it quite a good and tight build, but it has a good level of detail that isn’t overly complicated to assemble. Detailing is done as with the others using resin, PE and some scratch-built bits. Shape-wise, it looks right too; the best of the bunch in this regard so far, I feel. I followed this with a GWH F-14A which has some good detail and options but is quite a complicated build; it’s certainly not one to start off with, but it came together nicely and also took a nice amount of detailing with resin, scratch built and PE bits. These were all written up at the time and the Hobbyboss model appeared in the recent Detail & Scale F-14 book, which I was really pleased with. They were also a lockdown low-morale boost … and kept me focused on a project when distractions were needed. I admit, that this has taken root and I continue to carry on with these; that stash won’t build itself. None of this could have been achieved without first reading through and routinely conversing with Tony Oliver who shared his original Tomcat builds on this forum and provided inspiration to many. It’s been good to keep in touch on other little projects and keep the info sharing going. Cheers Tony. I’ve been supported throughout by another good mate that offered suggestions and assistance throughout the build, and more recently a few new little parts to try out, one of which appears in this new build. Cheer Brian. The first three by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr To be honest, it seems a long time since I’ve written anything here; I’d not been idle with modelling; in fact I started the Finemolds build back in the early summer, but I’d given myself some other little projects in the form of a Verlinden deck tractor; my first full resin kit build, which turned out ok and for which I scratch built a towing arm. I made an Italieri carrier deck section, which I had to mount to some MDF as the section was warped, but that too turned out ok. As the GWH kit was modelled in “Fallon” or “Miramar” config, I made up a hard standing base from MDF faced with plasticard, with engraved concrete slab lines, all sized to fit within a Trumpeter display case. That too turned out ok. I’ll sort some photos of these all separately. So, apologies for the lengthy absence here. First thoughts Many have suggested that there are some shape issues with this model; some of these are more obvious than others, but realistically, I felt that the only way to identify these was to just “get on with it” and build one. There does seem to be something odd around the front end but I’ve been unable to put my finger on it; having all those open panels tends to disturb the shape anyway. My first intention had been to have all the panels open so that any shape issue was minimised. However, on looking at the detail of the boxes inside the bays, and the panel/doors themselves, I began to feel that they was all a little “toy-like” in appearance and began to wonder whether leaving them open was the right thing to do. The open spine parts looked nice, with the exposed conduits and pipework, but where photos of the real aircraft show these open, the covering panels are usually laid alongside. They’re not in the kit. I therefore felt that it might be ok to have the panels off and stored somewhere, but only is the aircraft was totally stripped, perhaps in maintenance, and that would involve having panels open and off that are not provided for in the kit. Thus, leaving the spine covered would seem a better option. The open panels on the nose looked interesting, but I struggled to find (m)any photos of real aircraft on the line with (just) those panels open; it seemed a bit of a random selection. I had bought a replacement brass canon barrel to display, but it seemed that again, unless on maintenance, leaving these panels open would seem incorrect, so all of these too would be closed off. Looking at some ramp-based photos, I thought that I would open one panel (at least) although no manufacturers’ kits seemed to offer this oddly, and that's the refueling panel on the nose. That would need to be scratch built. So, with just that one panel open, this would leave the “shape” to be seen fully. Let’s see how that goes. Shape correction – wings This is one of the obvious shape issues which “once you see it” is difficult to un-see. I think if you’re building a lot of these kits and you’ll sit them alongside each other, the shapes will at least all be the same so less noticeable (a bit like the choice in OO gauge class 47s – for those that know… Heljan, ViTrains or Bachmann. All good on their own, but look to be Fat, thin or about right when sat alongside each other). So, the wing. Yes it has lovely crisp and seemingly accurately placed panel lines, but it is a millimeter or so too broad in chord and the wingtip is the wrong shape. As I’d seen this, I spent some considerable time playing with options on how to fix this, from reshaping to replacing; the latter eventually winning out. As an illustration, the photo shows the green-grey plastic of a 2019 Academy wing sat atop the Finemolds wing; the two errors being evident. Wing comparison by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr The wings seemed a bit of a challenge to fix as narrowing the chord would mean a revision to all the panel lines that were then wrongly placed, so I decided to seek an alternative, and trawled the stash. Most models’ wings could be made to fit but some would take more work than others. I trialed Hasegawa, Fujimi, Academy, GWH and Hobbyboss. In the end, I opted for the Hobbyboss wings as their overall shape was good, and they looked to be the easiest to make reliably fit using the Finemolds fuselage wing pivots and adapting the Hobbyboss wings opening to suit. Yes, this means having a Hobbyboss kit on the stash shelf now less its wings, but I find that I tend to mix and match bits as and when so I wasn’t too worried… and I’ve enough to be getting on with. However, the wings have the grooved lines and panel covers that seem to be more of a work of fiction than observation, so some rework would be needed filling, sanding and rescribing the wing upper and lower surfaces, and adding detail where seemingly necessary to correct them and bring the detail up to a level that matches the rest of the model. Photo shows the port upper surfaces completed, compared to the untouched starboard wing; the gear tab is also cut off to enable post assembly fitting. Eduard PE access covers from the Hobbyboss set were used where needed to correct the placement; these were sanded almost flush to minimise any standing-proud of the wing. As well as the panel lines on the wings and flaps, the slime light covers and nav light covers were all wrong, so rescribed in the correct places. Tamiya black wash used to highlight the changes. Wing modification by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr The underside didn’t need as much work but I did detail fasteners to each access panel. The part join lines are still to be sorted here - but this was pre-glue. Wing underside by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Liberal application of sprue goo (first coat) on the starboard wing upper surfaces serves to show the rework that I undertook. Starting the second wing by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr On completion and assembly, I masked off that deep seem between the two parts under the flaps and sealed it with some putty. So, that was the wings done. Wing underside seam filling by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Nose section I spent some time playing around with the nose and cockpit parts, constantly looking at fit and shape and dry fitting everything over an over again. To be honest, and I know I’ll say it again, the kit’s fit is very good. The way some of the bits go together is really very very good and there are some clever means they’ve employed to aid this, but more of that to come. I wanted to check fit and sit of the cockpit and canopy; especially as the canopy looked quite bulbous.. but is it? I popped in some spare completed Aires seats to see how that sat inside the tub. A bit low! The kit parts looked like they’d sit similarly low. If you’re posing this with the canopy open it might not matter too much, BUT the large rear box section of the seat, behind the back cushion (parachute box?) should sit above the canopy rail in both pits; here it doesn’t. The other guide is how much space there is between the top of the seat top box and the inside of the canopy – quite a lot. My go-to comparison is that early scene in Top Gun, as Cougar and Merlin’s aircraft moves into view (actually VF213’s Black Lion 203) giving a lovely backlit nose profile where the position of the seats can be seen clearly. I know that the seats can be adjusted in height, and “Merlin’s” seat is very high, but is usually lower when the aircraft is parked… but still, the seat height would need adjusting. Danny Coleman’s DACO Tomcat book shows good photos of seat positions too. Seat test 1 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr I played around with bits of acetate sheet to raise the seat bases a bit, two pieces under each seemingly about right by the time I’d finished. Prepping height of Aires seats by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Which looked about right for a parked aircraft Seats test 2 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr General fit – test fit I took quite a few of the fuselage parts out of the box and did a few test fits, to enable wing assembly test fits too, and it was good to find that all parts went together rather nicely. I find it’s good to conduct a test like this, if for no the reason than to judge how parts fit together and how well, but to get a feel for the overall shape, and at this stage I didn’t think it looked too bad. Main parts test fit 1 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Test fit 2 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Canon As with most kits in this scale, none offer a representation of the Vulcan canon's muzzle; hardly surprising really as it’s very small. In two of my previous builds, I fashioned a simple representation using plastic rod, but my friend Brian has been experimenting with some 3D printed parts and sent me a little bag of parts that included several of these. The part (shown just taped to the side of the inside of the nose) is rather small and care is needed to trial fit it. It was not sized to fit the Finemolds kit, but by thinning out the inside of the canon muzzle and opening it a little, I was able to get it to sit nicely. Prepping the canon bay by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Once attached with some CA glue, it looked to sit nicely and it’s great to see each barrel opening in this scale. Canon test fit by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Cockpit The cockpit tub will always benefit from detailing. For some reason, I elected to not make use of the kit transfers and decided instead to use a spare set of Quinta 3D resin transfers that was for a GWH kit as I liked the finish that they give. The side panels and instrument panels were therefore (almost) sanded down so that the 3D transfers could be added later. I say almost, as the texture was quite pronounced; in hindsight, I could have stuck with the transfers over these to see how that worked. One thing I have found with these kits though is that the rear bulkheads, especially of the front pit, are very bland. At least with this kit, there was some detail, just not much. The photo shows the cockpit tub and a damaged (so not used) Aires cockpit tub with it’s lovely detail, that I would use as a guide to add some details in with wire, rigging line and plasticard. Two tubs by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr After some considerable work, the tub looks like this. The seat pistons are useful to help align the resin Aires seats once fitted, and whilst fiddly, the revised throttle quadrant was worth effort. Reworked cockpit tub by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr I did some work on the front and central coamings adding a little PE to the central one and some wire, and quite a few little bits of plasticard to the forward coaming to represent the indicator panels, camera and document slots. The rear “A” frame was also detailed with some wire and plasticard and rod pieces. In order to get tis to fit, I had to cut away the upper decking piece a little so that alignment improved. Cockpit bits n pieces by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Nose gear bay Eduard provides a number of PE items for the nose gear bay and I managed to use most of them, although one or two seemed a little fictious; the forward bulkhead boxes looked odd, so I made only one and used some plasticard to position the upper one. The Eduard PE set for this kit has much more to add on the sidewalls than for other kits, and I’ve often wondered why Eduard do not standardise on their parts, and why they seem to redesign each item for each kit, add some or leave lots out… bizarre! I added some lead wire to supplement the PE items, especially around the rear of the bay, making sure to leave room for the nose gear that I test fitted repeatedly but omitted to photograph Nose gear bay looking forward by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Nose gear bay looking forward by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Nose gear bay looking aft by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Cockpit ladder As I was planning to have the cockpit open, I wanted to have the steps down too. The kit parts are reasonable for the scale, but do lack fidelity. The Eduard PE item is fine, albeit a bit fiddly, but once assembled with some good thick CA glue (Zap a Gap green) and any holes opened back out again, the result was felt to look good enough for the scale. The opening needed a little opening out in the kit to accept the PE part, carefully cut away by dragging with a sharp blade at the opening’s sides. I also glued a 0.5mm high, 1.5mm dia plastic rod to the back and inserted a piece of 0.6mm wire, which I would use to secure the steps to the aircraft once finished (not shown in photo). Ladder comparison by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Refueling probe Yes, it’s just another detail that I didn’t need to include, but given that I was intending to open the refueling bay and photos tend to often seem to show the probe deployed when the panel is open (I wonder if it’s a system or air-lock prevention thing?) I opted to model it open. The probe itself is the nicest I’ve seen in any kit in this scale and has a level of detail that I added to for the GWH kit but didn’t feel compelled to need to add anything here, apart from thinning the covering plate a bit before fitting, the rest of it being good enough. BUT, as with the GWH kit, it's posed to sit too far forward. The photo below shows my repositioned hole made to accept the probe, about 1mm aft of the kit’s position, but far enough to close-up the gap otherwise left at the rear after assembly. The photo also just about shows the added braces and wires added in the bay…. Just enough. Nose probe bay by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Test fits show a good alignment with little gap at the rear. The photo also shows that I removed the slime light surrounds and scribed them back in; the kit parts are raised and shouldn’t be. I think there’s a better photo of the finished result later on. Refueling probe test fit by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr I had to bulk up the rear of the bay, otherwise when fitted there would be a large gap to the insides of the fuselage… which was just asking for trouble later should something slip inside. The photo also shows where the original hole for the probe was and where I moved it to. Rear of refuelling probe bay. Modified by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Refueling panel I wanted the refueling panel to be open so that I could depict a preparation scene once completed. I drilled and cut out the panel then carefully filed and sanded this back to a “squared” off rectangular opening. cut out for refueling panel by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr I lined the opening with a box made of thin plasticard then started to fabricate the refueling panel from a further piece of plasticard cut to shape. and using drills and a pin vice marking it to represent the items on the panel. The refueling port is quite dominant and I had the idea of using a 1mm diameter neodymium magnet; it’s about the right shape and size and will allow me to make a fuel hose and end attachment and use a further magnet to join them temporarily when displayed. The door was originally fabricated from some PE fret but despite the fact that it held the curve I’d made nicely, it was never going to be sufficiently workable for me to add the surface detail with the tools I have to hand. I therefore cut that back a bit to reflect the panel’s inner surface, then added a very thin outer of plasticard, which I could work the openings into. The curve of the brass section gave the plasticard something to bond to and keep its shape. Again… not perfect but probably good enough for this scale. The panel itself is just pushed in for the photos and was removed to leave an empty bay for painting etc. Afterwards, I made another panel that was a little more refined than the first. Refueling panel open by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Engine Exhausts As with my previous builds, I’m using the Aires items but I expect the inners will be a mix of Aires and Eduard as before. Aires doesn’t do exhausts for the Finemolds kit, but the ones for the Hasegawa kit are a perfect fit (as they are for the GWH kit)… I must get some more of those. The kit comes with a rear exhaust duct piece that is part of the fuselage build, which adds extreme strength to the back end. This needs the back end cutting off, leaving enough to permit it to still do its strengthening job. To see how much needed to be removed, I cut and prepped the resin parts and dry assembled the kit exhaust cowlings; I like the fact that the cowling and rear of the elevator fairing are separate in this kit. Holding the exhaust up to the rear fuselage shows how much must be cut away. Rear fuselage pre-cut by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr A razor saw soon makes light work of the plastic Plastic cut by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Reassembled, the exhausts sit neatly. Yes, I know I’ve put the open and closed exhausts on the wrong engines… but I couldn’t be bothered to change them over for the photo. Exhaust and tube test fit... by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Engine intakes There’s the need to assemble the intake trunking and smooth out any joining seal before painting; before that a few injection marks need dealing with. I did miss a few marks on other intake parts (ramp) but I don’t think they’ll be evident once it’s all assembled. Prepping the intakes by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr I prepped the other intake items and assembled the TF30 Compressor fan. The kit part had a couple of “fins” or blades missing unfortunately but I was able to find one in the box and made one from microstrip – which would hopefully be good enough. Here’s everything up to this point ready for final checking and priming. This also reminds me, that I decided to not replace the ventral fins on this kit despite them lacking some details… so I added the panel markings that is on the inside face of each and I’ll improve the towing arm when it’s assembled. The Nose leg is also shown in the photo in the box with the access ladder(s), seats and there’s the refueling panel piece. The Canopy frame has also been PE’d and a couple of bits of plasticard added too. Not everything here will be primed just yet – just those items that need it at this stage. The Intakes will be primed and painted pre assembly, the fuselage halves will get some black near in the wing boxes to darken the openings and the cockpit tub and sides will of course get primed and painted… along with the seats Layout of bits by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr And here are the bits that needed pain, now primed. Black bits are black base coat by Alclad II, sorry, HR Hobbies, sorry, Ammo A-Frame (is that the name? – I’m still buying HR hobbies) which is just beautiful; Grey is Ammo one-shot and white is Mission Models. Bits primed by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Configuration change I’d opened out the holes in the lower fuselage for the pylons I’d intended to need. I quite like that the instructions tell you what diameter of hole is needed for each hole; they’re not all the same! This included the fuel tanks, wing root pylons and forward phoenix missile pallets. My intention had been for fitting the forward pallets but leaving the rear ones off – a common configuration in late 80s, early 90s to allow a 2 Phoenix, 3 sparrow, 2 sidewinder (or mix thereof) to be fitted. I’d realised that in order to accurately compare the shape of this model with that of Academy and GWH, I’d really want a similar configuration, and given that photos of one of the two aircraft I intend to model was rarely seen with phoenix pallets (in photos I’d seen anyway) I decided to fill those holes I’d drilled – back filled with plasticard plate and then a piece of plastic rod of about the same size of the hole I’d made. Holes filled by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr I’m erring back to another Fallon/Miramar set up with ACMI and dummy AIM-9, but with fuel tanks too… this will help the “apron” scene for refueling – so I will need to make a fueling point too! Drat! Paint I’ll summarise as there’s nothing really clever here. Intake parts painted white and then masked for the light gull grey areas to be sprayed. This is “another” overall light gull grey bird, so the demarcation is the same as before, angled back from the intake lower lip. Masked off, the paint went down fine with my 0.2 sparmax airbrush. The TF30 compressor disks got a few dusting coats of HR Hobbies (I know it still says Alclad II on the bottle!) Steel, that didn’t penetrate through to the fan piece so gave some nice depth. Spinner was hand painted in a light gull grey enamel (Humbrol) The cockpit tub and cockpit insides were given a few light coats of Light Ghost grey (Mission Models) sealed with Aqua Gloss. Details picked out on the cockpit tub using Humbrol enamels, a fine brush and two pairs of reading glasses; some coloured tape pieces added into the mix for colour and texture. The seats and coamings were airbrushed a dirty black to lighten the tone a bit (mission models) then painted with Humbrol enamels in various shades of green/brown mixed from light olive and dark earth, some yellow, white, black and blue… to give the desired shades. The seats were treated to a few parts from Quinta (seat belts) and some PE from Eduard. I’d favoured the ejection loops from Quinta because previously the Eduard parts needed folding over and looked a bit naff as a result; with this set they didn’t and were painted on both sides, meaning that the loops were very fine. But unlike other Eduard sets, it lacked the seat top box labels (red with white writing) that lighten and add detail to the otherwise dull top box. Just to add a splash of colour, I cut little pieces of red tape and added these. Will see if these are good enough once I look back later on. The belts were a little too close to the seat cushion colour so I lightened the belts with some suitable grey/brown/green mix that was lighter than before. Seats 1 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Seats 2 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr The Quinta set for the GWH kit went down ok. The tub sizes aren’t identical, but it’ll be good enough once it’s all closed up. I had to fettle some of the decals to sit in the kit's gaps but at least that’s doable with a sharp blade - something you can’t do with coloured PE quite so easily. The control sticks are shown fitted here too after they were painted separately. Tub 1 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Tub 2 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr The coamings got their paint and shown here. The rear coaming had the scant detail picked out a little; front coaming similarly with the indicator panels given a little colour and some Molotov chrome penned into to the reflector face. Coamings by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Finally So, that’s it for now. I’m not getting as much building time as I’d like but it’s good to have a project on the go. I mentioned the scheme I’ve chosen but I’m still keeping my options open depending on how the shape looks further on into the build. I’d like to do this as Victory 201 with its tan radome and hi vis markings… as it’s taken me ages to find some VF84 flash/insignia markings I thought good enough (good registry and right type of yellow/orange colour) but now I have some. If the kit shape is too “off”, I’ll defer to VF11 Rippers scheme that will sit alongside my Bandwagon 202 on a ramp somewhere… so, we’ll see. Thanks for reading and I hope that my ramblings were of some interest. Cheers… Jonathan.
  6. I will be joining those building Me-410s, in an attempt to get a dedicated gallery posted, so they dont clutter up the main gallery 😁 Since the new Airfix kit hasn't reached distributors in the USA, I've dug out the kit from FineMolds. I've heard theres an issue with the size of the engines with this kit, but as I dont know the correct size, it shouldn't effect me too bad. I'll be sticking box stock with this build, most likely building the one with the large 57mm gun because its awesome 😆 Will take the sprues out this weekend for a wash. I've been looking forward to building this kit, glad this Group Build will be providing the opportunity.
  7. Hi all After posting my completed 1/48 Ki-43 (Oscar) https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235128016-ki-43-hayabusa/ a few weeks back its now sitting happily on its completed base. I wanted to put a bit more effort into the frame itself and thought of the idea of mimicking the aircraft's camo on some evergreen sheet with leftover decals and a ragged edging with balsa wood. I enjoyed making all the vegetation which is a mix of laser cut paper plants and bits of real leaves, varnished and painted, like on the main palm tree. There's even a butterfly and a big spider in there but I've forgotten to take a picture of these so you'll just have to believe me for now! I thought the cracked earth effect would show the range in climate experienced, i.e lots of heat after the monsoon drying up the mud. The pilot figure came with the Finemolds kits and it actually pretty nice. A few boxes left over from a T-34 and a tarp over a bit of foam completes the airfield clutter. I like to get a bit creative with the photography and set up the finished piece infront of my PC screen with a appropriate full screen image as a backdrop. Low angle is key! Thanks for looking! Graeme
  8. My intention, after I have finished something, I have got 3 models on the go from previous and current GBs, is this second boxing of the FineMolds F-4D. Probably doing a fairly clean IIAF example, though the very worn Republican ones still flying do have certain something about them. This would help balance the GB out from the mass of varied and interesting MTO stuff. Chris
  9. Hi all, Just wrapped up my first Japanese fighter i've built since i was a kid. I had a choice from the stash, an Eduard Zero or this Finemold Oscar. I wanted a challenge and the Oscar's schemes looked far most interesting than a boring old zero! I've always liked the look of the Oscar and the way the fuselage tapers down to an almost unbelievably thin section at the tail, such an elegant aircraft to my eyes. The Finemolds kit gives you options to build either a late or early Ki-43 II and i settled on the early version depicting Satoru Anabuki's aircraft from 50th Hiko Sentai in Burma 1943. The build was fairly straight forward although i did encounter a few difficulties in getting the cockpit to fit and with the wingroots. I really struggled to fill the join and sand it smooth enough, especially obvious when the silver was applied (so don't look too hard!). Built OOB, the only additions being the brake lines, ignition lines on the engine and a couple of machine guns made from tubing. Looking at @Zigomar's recent model I wish I'd made the effort to open the engine cowls but mine was all glued on before i saw his excellent build. Looking at pictures of the camouflage, the edges of the paint look quite rough, so smooth airbrush camo wouldn't do. I got round this by applying hairspray first, then free handed the camo with the airbrush and then rubbing away at the edges to achieve the effect i was looking for. A few washes and oils later and here we are. I'm debating on whether to do a little base for this one as an airfield in Burma sounds like it would be fun to have a go at. I've also just finished the airfield scene for it to sit on. You can see more pics here in the diorama section https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235129154-mingaladon-airfield-burma-1943/#comment-4750308, but here's a few anyway That's all and thanks for looking Graeme
  10. Something I've been playing with over the last couple of days. A poster to show the relative size and scale of some of the 1/72 Star Wars models out there. This is very much incomplete, as it only covers the ones I've built. I'll add further Bandai ones to it as and when I build them, but it's unlikely I'll be adding any more Finemolds subjects (regular TIE, Naboo Starfighter, Falcon etc.) as they're obviously going to be hard to get hold of. If you can't read the small text, you can see the full size version here. The full size dimensions are based on the upscaled dimensions of the models, assuming that they are 1/72 ( which, in the case of the Finemolds kits, many aren't). The photos are accurately scaled, so this is how big the models are in relation to each other. There are various listed dimensions for the "real" versions of these ships, so non of them could conclusively be called wrong, but some are certainly more out than others. One of the worse ones in regard to scale accuracy is Vader's TIE from Finemolds. There's more than one quoted size for the real one, depending on what source you use, but starwars.com and the incredible cross-sections book both list the length as 9.2m, which seems reasonable (around the length of a Spitfire). Based on that length, the Finemolds kit actually scales out at 1/123. Anyway, I've done the poster for anyone interested in seeing how these kits scale up next to each other. I've got the Bandai X and Y Wings to build (and the upcoming A-Wing) and I'll rework the poster to include them. Note: I didn't add my Snowspeeder as it's 1/48, but I could scale it to match the others, so I could add that one too. Andy
  11. Superb kit of a diabolical subject. An aircraft specifically designed to kill its pilot. Anyway, this is the rather excellent FineMolds kit of the 'Ohka' Kamikaze weapon. Tamiya levels of quality, engineering and fit and decent decals made this a hugely enjoyable build. Colours are based on the recent IWM restoration of their own Ohka, now on display in London. Finished in the markings of one of the aircraft discovered on Okinawa at the end of the war. (Keen-eyed readers will note that the IJN's lawn-keeping skills are nowhere near as good as the Luftwaffe's ) Anyway, hope you like the pics
  12. Hi, Despite my awful started/finished kits ratio and the late date in the GB, I'd like to enter with a Finemolds 1/72 F-4EJ Kai. It will be my first Finemolds Phantom and I'll build it as the last one built (17-8440). Good attention to detail by Finemolds, they provide two 301 Sqn badges: the one from Nyutabaru has 5 stars on the frog's scarf, the one from after the move to Hyakuri has more stars. I'll build it as I saw her at Nyutabaru. Cheers, Stefan.
  13. Hi everyone. I’ve raided the stash and found and started on the Finemolds ‘Hornisse’. I wonder if anyone can help on 2 issues. The aircraft depicted is yellow 7 from ZG26. The colour scheme is given as 70/71/76, a unique combination in my experience. The instructions also say the towel rail antenna, the canopy mast and fuselage guns were removed. Does anyone have any info to confirm any of this, particularly the source FM was presumably using. Further, the reason I assume the equipment was taken out was to save weight suggesting the a/c was used for recon. missions. If that’s so has anyone got any plans showing what other mods would have been made particularly the details of the camera installation? many thanks in advance for any help anyone can give 👍
  14. Hello All, This is my latest project: Kayaba Ka-go 1/72 scale model. The kit is quite good although there fuselage interior is very little detailed. So I decided to detail it a little buy adding the following itens: - Interior gasoline deposits; - scratch panels; - interior structure detail; - etc... Here are some photos. Best regards, Octávio
  15. FineMolds release of F-4 Phantoms rejuvenated my spirits to build one of my favourite aircraft. The F-4C limited release comes with seated crew making it easier to build the project I have in mind. The first years of US involvement with Phantoms saw them still in their original Light Gull Grey over White scheme. July 10th 1965 was the first air to air victories for Air Force Phantoms crewed by Captain's Roberts, Anderson, Holcombe, Clark, downing a pair of MiG 17s. This image gave some spark to the build with intentions of displaying an aircraft hooked up to a tanker. The only part of the refueling aircraft would be the boom, plugged into the spine AAR point. I will scratch the fueling boom using dense insulation foam and metal tubing and rod. Lucky for me the Digital Sim world has many visual resources and the important measurements came with the following image that outlines the lengths. The kit will require some backdating to bring it to 1965 standards, included is a slightly shortly radome chin pod. Although shortened already in this photo, I will check further as it may have to be shorten more still. Early Air Force Phantoms still had MB mk H5 seats installed and the important visual difference was the shroud around the upper section of the seat. This is one of a few excellent photos where you can see it. I trimmed the seat section slightly and using paper card to make the shrouds. Landing gear will be up and the fit of the doors was reasonable, nose excellent but a little less so on the main gear. The engine air aux doors are closed as well. The crew celebrating after the victory, the following day they received the Air Force Silver Star Award for the mission. The refueling for this mission took place prior to the engagement with the MiGs, so the aircraft will have fuel tanks and 8 missiles loaded. Early straight inboard wing pylons are needed along with early AIM-9s. The build is going well and I have a bit of work to finish on my F-15J also. Thank you for checking in.
  16. Last one of the year. The kit itself is amazing and l am happy with the details it provides. Because if the decals being in large pieces with carrier film, the surface of the model need to be really smooth, which in some places l could have done better. So no fault in the kit itself. Undersurface done in Tamiya X-2 White and the Light Gull Grey is from Xtracrylix. I can see myself building another one soon as the latest one has arrived from Japan. I do not like making promises or hopeful wishes but I would like to build more Japanese jets this year, so many schemes. Thanks for looking. Happy New Year Robert
  17. During the initial flight testing of what would become the Ki-15 Reconnaissance/light bomber, the newspaper Asahi Shimbun obtained permission to purchase the second prototype. The aircraft was given the designation Karigane (Wild Goose), flying on 19 March 1937, being named Kamikaze and registered as J-BAAI. It was the first Japanese-built airplane to fly to Europe and caused a sensation in 1937 by making the flight between Tokyo and London, for the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, between 6 April 1937 and 9 April 1937 in a flight time of 51 hours, 17 minutes and 23 seconds, a world record at the time. Fine Molds has reproduced this aircraft in 1/48 scale: And they did a pretty good job on it. Lovely details, nice plastic. Let's find out if I can set a record as well and get it done in a month!
  18. I've wanted to build Bf 109 G-2, W.Nr 10639 - Black 6 since I read Russ Snadden's book in 1993. Naturally I'm re-reading it again ! Captured by the Australians in 1942 (yes, I agree it should be in 'the Land Down Under') and generally test flown, displayed and mistreated by the RAF until Russ Snadden and his team took it in hand in 1972 and restored it. If you want to know more about the fascinating back story, read: I'm lucky to be old enough (?) to have seen it flying in 1997 at Duxford, (Flying Legends in July I think, I didn't write the date on the photo packet); (diorama idea?) I also count myself lucky not to have been there on Sunday October 12th 1997 when it last flew! So, to work! Another FineMolds offering, which should make life easy; Sprues, and some add ons; The fuselage will need some tiny alterations as Black 6 was built as a G-2 from an F-3 fuselage. More aftermarket, AND the all important Dave's Decals; (Oops, included the Yahu i/p and Rob Taurus canopy again). Hope to make a start this weekend. Cheers,
  19. So, my second build of Finemold's 1/72 Slave 1 is now finished. This kit is actually the Jango Fett version but I've painted it here in the original Boba Fett colours. The two kits are essentialy the same anyway, with just a few detail differences between the two. I made a few modifications to the kit to bring this one closer to Boba's ship, and also incorporated some of the details that have shown up in the ship's appearence in the Mandalorian. This build turned out a little more accurate than my old one, mainly because I paid closer attention to matching more of the subtle but distinctive paint and weathering aspects of the studio model. I can't imagine that I'll be doing one of these again any time soon, unless someone sees fit to re-release the kit, so it's been fun to get the chance to revisit the kit which I originally built back in 2014. The full build can be found here And finally, the old and new ones parked side by side. 2021 on the left, 2014 on the right Thanks for looking Andy
  20. Hi all, Here's my Finemolds F-4EJ Kai Phantom II. This is the 8Sqn boxing with the blue camouflage scheme. A very easy and enjoyable build, and despite its finesse, it's much easier to build than the Hasegawa ones. Like others have said, the kit decals are a bit thick, but they settle down nicely, and you can't even tell anymore under the flat coat. Painted with Mr.Color for the blues and various Vallejo Metal Colors for the exhaust area. Thanks for looking. Pete
  21. Bit of a blast from the past for me here - The old(ish) 1/72 Slave 1 from Finemolds, a kit that I originally built back in 2014. This time around I'm doing it as a commission build, so will be saying bye-bye to it once it's finished. As you can see from the box, this is the Jango version (the Boba version is as rare as hens teeth these days), but I'll be finishing it as Fett junior's ride in the more familiar red and green. There are a few external differences between the two kits, and a slightly different cockpit layout, but for the most part, I'll be building it straight from the box as the differences don't amount to much, and in some cases the Jango version is slightly closer to the current incarnation of Slave 1 as seen on the Mandolorian. First up is the cockpit, and this is a double decker affair, with the pilot sitting up top and a passenger compartment below. As mentioned above, the layout on this version differs slightly from the Boba S1 kit, principally with the crew seating. The Boba version has a single pilot's seat on the top deck, whereas the Jango version has three seats. Since the cockpit set used on Mando also has multiple seats on the flightdeck, this layout is a better match than the one in the Boba kit I've added a few extra details to the cockpit parts - a strip of photo etch on the front of the flightdeck, and a few random greebles on the walls - which will add a little more visual interest in the cockpit. This is all dry fitted at the moment, but is pretty much ready for paint. Hopefully I should get the first base coats on later today. Andy
  22. Finemolds is to release in July 2020 a limited edition 1/48th Messerschmitt Bf.109E-7 "Emil" kit from Japanese Army with maintenance Scene Set - ref. 48995 Source: http://www.finemolds.co.jp/202006-08NEW.html Plastic Tamiya V.P.
  23. Finemolds is to release in July a limited edition 1/48th Brewster B-339 Buffalo kit from Japanese Army with maintenance Scene Set - ref. 48994 Source: http://www.finemolds.co.jp/202006-08NEW.html Plastic Tamiya V.P.
  24. Something a bit left of centre and a first for the GB as well! A ship launched cruise missile. This is another Easter Blitz build, the kit includes 2 missile comprising of about 15 parts each (plus stands) Instructions and parts trees, not decals though! They went together rather quickly (including the stands) And then they were painted, first colour, grey of course) then the next grey and finally the stands I think I will try a wash on them and weather the VLS launch base next, and that will be it.
  25. Hello folks, Just completed my latest work on the table, a 1/48 J8M Shūsui rocket interceptor. As a Japanese copy of the German Me-163 Komet it was a less known topic, and Finemolds is the only game in town. The limited version I bought comes with a pair of cannon barrels so I made my Shūsui into a "what-if" combat ready model (The real one didn't pass beyond unarmed prototype stage). For a kit originally released in the 90's the assembly is super straightforward, apart from the built-in PE set I just replaced the plastic pitot tube on the left wing with brass, and it was ready for painting. I used the sole surviving Shūsui from the Planes of Fame Air Museum as a camouflage reference, but used green instead of orange (the colour for trainer/prototype aircraft). The upper was painted with dark green from AK interactive's WW2 IJN Aircraft Colours set. After masking I painted the bared lower using Gaia Colour's star bright duralumin. The roundels were painted too, after finding out the decals have become unusable after decades. The plane was weathered using MIG (filtering and washing), AK (panelining) and oil paints (color modulation and fake shadows) before a protective semigloss coating. I made a small round base using rigid foam covered with Tamiya's weathering paste. To better reflect the name of the aircraft (Shūsui means "Autumn Water" literally in Japanese) as well as the time it would've seen combat (Autumn 1945), I planted some yellow autum grass onto the base. Hope you enjoy the pictures. Some WIP pics: Cheers.
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