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Found 23 results

  1. We reviewed this puppy mid February, and as I'm a sucker for a late war jet, I dug in straight away to see what I could do with it. As I said in my review, it's not a shake-and-bake kit, so you'll definitely have to apply some of those fabled modelling skills to building it. If you're the type to get all uppity because some flying surfaces are too corrugated, walk away This isn't a Luft'46 subject in some ways, because a partially constructed example was captured at the end of the war, and there are pictures of it languishing outside some buildings, covered with US soldiers and staff posing in front of it. The Americans liked it so much that they took it back to the US and finished it, calling it the X-5. It's the grandfather of the swing-wing generation of fighters and bombers, so it has a place in history. This boxing is the Night Fighter option, and RS sent me the one I was most likely to be tempted by, and they were right. I was. I started off with the cockpit, which was nice, and fitted the fuselage nicely. I added some HGW seatbelts, and detailed the IP with Airscale instrument decals, basing my dabblings on a cut-down sub-set of the Me.262's panel, with the following result: Those HGW seatbelts really are the donkey's whiskers, aren't they? Absolutely worth the faff and fiddle of putting them together. I curse and I swear, but keep going back for another set, and will continue to do so The exhaust was pretty simple, although the outer tube had a big mould seam around it that needed removing. It's a tight fit too, and as I wanted to pop it in later, I replaced the styrene tube with a length of brass tubing of the correct diameter that I had lying about, reusing the centre dooh-dad, and repainting it in the same burnt metal shades. The intake is a simple tube, and again I had to do some fettling later in the build, so all that metal shading was lost under a load of Black 4.0 paint yesterday. This is modelling There's just a blank at the back end of the intake, so no detail was lost, and even with a bright light, I can't really see anything inside. It also works because the airframe is black. Happiness The wheels are moulded in halves, and they looked familiar, so rather than having to carefully sand the seams whilst trying to avoid the raised circumferential treads, I looked up late WWII German aircraft wheels, as I expected them to be reused from another design to save development costs. My first guess was Me.262, but they're way too fat and large. It turns out that they're scarily close to the wheels of a late war Bf.109, so that's what I went with, picking up an Eduard resin set. You can see just how close they are below: Very nice, although the kit wheels are decent, I just couldn't be bothered sanding the seams because I'm lazy The wings were pretty simple, consisting of two parts that glued together as you'd expect. I decided to cut out some wingtip lights and cut out areas that I thought would be the likely site, and glued in some clear acetate after drilling a depression in it that I painted red and green, hoping I'd get the right wing matched with its light The white line is a piece of styrene strip that I used to tidy up the edges so they'd fit better. They got covered up with liquid mask pretty much straight away, and haven't been seen since. Once I'd got the cockpit, intake, and gear bays in the fuselage, I joined the two halves, and set to work on the seams. They took some hiding TBH, partly because the styrene is quite soft, but I was also using soft sanding sticks. Once I'd stopped doing that, the seams disappeared, and I could put the parts together for a test-fit. After seam filling, I had some panel lines to reinstate, which turned into a complete rescribe, so all the panel lines looked the same. Then it got silly, and on a whim, I decided to rivet the entire airframe, which I've never done before. I used the Galaxy Model riveting tools that I've had lurking about for almost 4 years, and have barely used. I've certainly used them now! Over the course of an evening and the next morning, probably 4 hours in total, I marked out the rivets as I reckoned they might appear, again, using the Me.262 as my guide, as the wings were intended to be the outer wing panels off that aircraft at one point. It's probably not the best or most accurate riveting that a model has had in the world, but I'm quite pleased with it, and it has added some extra visual interest, as well as distracting from any mistakes I've made along the way. The top pic is just after I'd finished with some of the pencil still visible, the second shot is later on after a bit of tidying up, and re-filling a few lengths of the seam that had eased or cracked during handling. There was a much fettling and filling of the various mistakes too, tidying up lines that weren't quite square, and making good, plus drilling out four tiny holes in the nose cowling to help me locate the radar antennae later on. once I was done, I glued all the major parts together, and it turns out the tail fin tab was slightly wide, and it split the rear of the fuselage, which I had to make good. The whole thing received a unifying coat of primer and a good buffing to remove any rough patches, then I put it aside for a few days while I was busy with other stuff. I dipped the canopy in Klear and left it to dry, masking it up with narrow lines of tape, which I in-filled with scrap pieces once I'd finished. I glued it on after putting the gunsight on the coaming, which I'd also covered with a sheet of 0.25mm styrene to ensure the seam stayed hidden, replacing the moulded-in glass with two squares of acetate, making sure they didn't interfere with the sharply raked windscreen. The canopy got glued on with GS-Hypo cement, and was taped down and left to cure overnight. Last night I did some choosing of shade, having decided to depict the scariest decal option that's based on an all-over black airframe with little wiggly clouds of grey all over it. I might as well, as I like to make things difficult for myself Here's the base coat, which isn't black, it's a dark grey called Gunze Tire Black H77, which is very dark, almost black, but not quite. I'm going to lighten it with further coats, then noodle the camo grey over the top. That's the plan, at least I noticed in that pic that the paint is a bit thin on the fuselage centre section, so it's just as well I have the paint still in the 'brush. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some modulation on it this evening, and will post up some pics when I do. I'm determined to finish this one, as I have too many sitting close to the finish line that I'm thoroughly ashamed of. Wish me luck!
  2. I’ve been drooling over this new one from Special Hobby even in its 1:72 scale form, and I’ve literally just posted the review of it this avo here, plus the masks that you can get to cover up the canopy during painting. It’s always a danger to pull parts off the sprues to tape it up, mainly because it sometimes leads to reaching for tools, and we all know that often results in the dreaded… MODELLING! This is one of Special Hobby’s shorter-run kits, and isn’t going to be a shake-and-bake wünderkit that falls together by any stretch of the imagination, but that’s not why we’re here. There’s a little roughness here and there around the seamlines where the parts join together, and the fact that it includes resin detail parts is an indication that it has been tooled this way, as not everyone will be interested in this little racer. Me? I’m interested I started mucking about with the fuselage halves, and soon began putting cockpit parts together. It’s not your average cockpit due to its custom racer ethos, and there was a modicum of confusion in my mind about where to put the two fairings that cover up the drive shafts that pass through the cockpit area, which was resolved by test-fitting the rear bulkhead so you know where to butt the rear of the tubes, as the slight step in the rear that corresponds with the interior of the wing root fairing, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Once the parts were cleaned up, it went together well enough, although you will need to place the support under the seat/floor part as a bit of a leap of faith after enlarging the notch a little to ensure it will fit. I used liquid cement to give me wiggle room and that did the trick. I also assembled the 2-into-1 gearbox at the front that converts the two input shafts into two concentric prop-shafts, and managed to partially sand away a box-shape on the top, so replaced it with styrene stock. Oopsie! This helped me get everything lined up in my head, and to guess where I needed to make any adjustments. Only the tip of the port fuselage had a slight missing bit right near the join-line, so I built that up with styrene and sanded it to shape. I’ve also been fiddling with the wings and the tail, tidying them all up first, then checking where any alterations are needed. I scraped the trailing edge of the wings, and thinned out the openings to the gear bays to give them a more realistic look, but I overdid it and need to put some small quantities of Milliput into the undercuts, and smack my own wrists for getting carried away I’m going to use Milliput for the easy clean-up to minimise any post-cure sanding that would be difficult due to the location of it, not to mention irritating, even with some fancy narrow sanding tools at my disposal. The tail was a similar proposition, needing a little fettling, and the addition of the resin pen-nib fairing at the rear. It needed some test-fitting and sanding/slicing, and the bottom portion of the fillet was slightly lop-sided at the bottom, so I added a bit of sheet styrene to it and trimmed it to profile, then slimmed it down until it fitted better. I also decided to move the tail assembly back by half a mil, so the fairing and the rudder trailing edges matched better, and while I was there, to get it to fit more snugly, I trimmed a few swipes of a sanding stick off here and there so I got maximum contact surfaces too. I’ve prepped two of the three grill combs that slide into the slots in the leading edges of the tail, and they’re possibly the hardest parts to prepare due to how close together they are. I have a set of stainless-steel sanding tools from Galaxy Tools, but they’re a bit thick at 1.4mm, but the smaller DSPIAE ones are only 0.5mm thick, even with one layer of self-adhesive sandpaper attached. I used one of those plus a #11 blade to even up the two halves of the moulds and smooth them out, then gave them a quick coat of liquid glue to get rid of any swarf. Two down, one to go That canopy is really nice! Can you see the wiring on the IP? I figured that I would be able to paint the cockpit with much of it in situ, so trapped the seat assembly in position between the two halves under the drive shaft fairings, leaving the bulkhead and instrument panel as a separate assembly after wiring up some of the dials at the back with some lead wire and fitting it to the coaming for a third assembly. The gearbox and front bulkhead are similarly loose so I can paint it better, and I think the front bulkhead will need slimming at the front because it projects forward from the fuselage a little. The inner face has some nice strengthening detail on it, so I’ll make sure that doesn’t get mashed in the process. Moving forward, I noticed there were some fairly big seams running down the props, so decided to put the contra-prop together while I was getting everywhere dusty. Each prop is separate, and there are two per boss, fixing into a cylindrical slot with a peg making sure you get the alignment of the blades correct. The moulding seams were actually quite easy to remove, complicated only by their small size, but I soon had them done, taking care to put the right pair on the right hub. As usual there was a bit of fettling needed to get everything fitting nicely, but once they were, they were rather nice and dainty. I reamed out the axle holes to get them on the prop shaft and test fitted them, which was when I found that the bulkhead sticks out a bit too far. That’s easily knocked back with a sanding stick though, which I’ll get round to later. With the cockpit basics in place, I elected to close up the fuselage, which I did with super glue (CA). It’s not the standard method for plastic kits, but I wanted the joints to be strong, and as there’s going to be a bit of sanding of seams to get a smooth surface, I also wanted it to be available to work on soon after gluing. Most of the gluing could be done from the inside thanks to the lack of wings at this point, so I started under the cockpit floor, then worked back along the top of the fuselage spine, all of which can be done from within, topping up with CA applied from outside by running a gluey old blade along the seam. With the seam glued, I immediately sanded them back roughly, and will sort them properly later on after a bit of primer gets sent their way. I’ll probably give the canopy a dunk in the Klear tank to increase the clarity even further, then mask it with the masks I also reviewed this afternoon here. Catch you next time
  3. I've been waiting for this one to arrive for a while, so after talking to the good folks at Albion Alloys I was kind of excited After doing the review here, I couldn't resist pulling a few bits off the sprues to have a look at it. One thing led to another, and before the day was over I'd been gluing things together and adding filler here and there. It's a simple kit because of the shape of the airframe, incorporating the wings and engine nacelles into the fuselage, so it didn't take too long for me to get some things done. I put the engines in their buried nacelles together loosely first, so I could see how it all went together, to give me an idea of how they would look inside the main gear bays, and which parts would need painting. it's a weird-looking thing, and I'm not going to complain about the shape of the engines, trunking and so forth because I just can't bring myself to, as it was never meant to be 100% historically accurate inside Here it all is in the lower fuselage: I did decide that the roof of the bay would be a bit bland by the time it was together, so I decided I was going to put some ribbing that mirrored the rivet-lines on the outside of the skin, so I did a little measuring up and drew a rough sketch on the upper fuselage interior: I broke out the styrene strip. This time some 0.1mm x 0.25mm from Evergreen, and hasn't that stuff gone expensive lately? A couple of minutes later (maybe an hour or so) we ended up with this: It'll need a little tidying up once the glue is fully dry, as I glued my finger to it at one point Still, it should look OK through the keyhole shapes of the gear bay apertures though, so I'm not going to worry unduly. This is meant to be a fast build... yeah, so why did I do all that ribbing? I'd also already decided that I was going to add a skin to the nose gear bay, as there are a pair of ejector-pin marks there, and it would be more trouble to try to fill and make good. Using a bit of tape as a template, I cut a piece out of some 0.25mm sheet, and then cut some notches for the ribs and sanded it until it fitted neatly. After I'd taken the pics, I glued it in with some CA instead of liquid glue, so it didn't melt if a pool of glue formed underneath, which was likely thanks to the depressions that led to the process. I also added some ribs going across, just because I felt like it, and it helps to distract the eye from the notches. There weren't two bays, I just PhotoShopped the two picks together. you can see the feather in the middle if you look hard What else? I glued together the intakes and filled them, then used some custom sanders I made from wooden rods with sand paper glued round it, as well as some of my Galaxy Tools stainless tongue sanders. I put together the weird-looking engine-ish parts and smoothed them off, and also smoothed out the exterior of the intakes too, as they'll just about be visible through the bays. I'm not going to worry about the location pegs, as life's too short, and I also disappeared a couple of ejector-pin marks on the bulkheads while I had the filler out. The cockpit had a few underneath, and that too will be visible after, so I filled those and primed both sides to check for lumps. I took a quick pic of the cockpit put together while I was testing it, and it looks pretty good! Here's another pic of the assemblies before the primer. There's an outside chance I may have to put this on the back-burner shortly, but I'm going to press on while I can, in between another cluster of migraines I seem to be having again
  4. I couldn't very well leave this kit in the box after reviewing it here the other day. I spent a while sorting out which one to do, as there's a fair amount of preparation needed for the main parts with drilling and such, although it didn't take too long once I'd decided to do the last in-service option when XV666 was a HU.5. Why? Because I liked the weathering that was evident on the grey exterior, as she was a working girl back then. Parts got nipped from the sprues and pretty soon I had a pile of sub-assemblies, having crossed through all the sections I wasn't going to need, which did actually come in handy As you can see, there's a fair bit of detail for me to work on, and you'll also notice that I've pre-prepared a few of the exterior parts such as the spine and nose cone, as they needed some adjustment, and it was useful to have them around while I had the primer and filler out. I filled some of the ejector-pin marks on the inside of the fuselage inserts, which as suspected you can get away without doing them all, as you can see below: It's only a few less, but less is still less I also joined the tip of the underside to the rest of the keel under the bird, and taped it into place along with the fuselage halves to make sure it fitted at the correct angle: Then I got me poster paints and crayons out to put a bit of colour on the interior, starting with the floor, taking time to make up some lists of what goes where, as I'm not the world's best when it comes to memory. I hope I've got the colours somewhere near right, but it's too late now! I gave the rear a coat of grey and a few slightly lighter shades noodles on, then did the same with the black-ish cockpit and bulkhead, having glued in all the controls beforehand. A note here, those controls seem to have tiny cold-front joints along their slimmest areas, as all four managed to break a little too easy. Not a problem per se, just something to be aware of. I was looking at some pics for the instrument panels, and noticed the airframe in question had nice shiny collective sticks, so I dabbed a bit of silver on to add some interest. I built up the crew seats as complete assemblies, then detail painted them, using some Citadel colours for the orange cushions, which resulted in this: The instrument panel and centre console are supplied with decals, so I painted up the basic shapes of the consoles, dials and such with some very dark grey, then dabbed the tips of the various switches with white paint dryly applied to my best brush. I noticed that most of the centre console decal was buttons, so I carried on painting the buttons white, cutting out the single dial and inserting it where it went on the top-right of the console. Why? The button painting was going well, and with decals you can always misalign them, so I took it out of the equation. A similar thing occurred to me about the main panel, so I sliced it up into strips of 3 dials each, with the occasional stencil or replication of something else, which let me centre all the dials within reason, although I did screw one up, so had to raid the other decal for spares. Any missing dots were replicated with paint, and I was happy with the results: I'll matt it down later and put some gloss back in the dials before I glue it into position, but in the meantime I had time to put the various elements of the cockpit together. I've just remembered that I have forgotten to paint up the panel for inside the canopy, so I guess I'd better get on with that soon 🙄 The next step is to paint the rest of the equipment in the rear compartment, and that's already underway with a coat of grey that's been treated the same way as the others, and I've begun painting the seats, which are going to take a while because there are 11 of 'em, and I brush-paint slowly through lack of practice. I've tested one and am happy with the colour though, and will give them a bit of shading later. I'll also remember to paint the backs of the seats, as a couple will be seen through the windows. Now I have a couple of questions for the great and knowledgeable masses of Britmodeller: The instructions would have me painting the lower covers inside the fuselage in Humbrol 25 blue, but I've not been able to find any pictures of that. Is that right? I can't imagine it isn't, but I'm wondering if my conversion is close or otherwise. Coincidentally, @Casey converted it to Army Painter shades in another thread today, and it was a more RAF blue. I really want to put some seatbelts in there, as it'll be kind of obvious they're not there on those bright orange cushions. I've looked and found nought What's the colour of the canvas bulkhead at the back of the passenger compartment? Thanks for reading
  5. After last year's zero builds, I've already got to the heady heights of three completed models so far this year and I'm determined to keep up the impetus, despite the other pressures and the almost constant need to sleep After doing a review for a number of aftermarket sets from Eduard for this kit, it tempted me to start another build. The seat especially was hugely tempting, as the detail on that is mind-blowing You can see the full review and more pics here for the seat, and a full review of the kit itself, here. I started nipping bits off the sprues Sunday (I think?) night while my mate @stringbag was over to talk about models, and I gradually built up a mass of sub-assemblies that are all going to be painted silver, as well as the cockpit, which will be "black". I've given them all a coat of black primer, which will be a shadow coat for the silver and dark grey later, and I also used it to check the seams on the tail booms, which have a long visible seam running top and bottom, so they need to be just right and invisible as possible. I've also glued together the wing tanks, which are three parts each, and I'll leave them to set up for at least 48 hours before I begin working on the seams. To be fair to the designers, they fit pretty well considering they're in three pieces, so well done Airfix The aftermarket I'll be using are the sets I've recently reviewed, like the seat above, the SPACE instrument panel, seatbelts, and I've also got the PE set on the way from Hannants, as I'm not happy with the oleo-scissor links on the gear legs, which is a minor weak-point of the kit. They're moulded as overlapping triangular blocks, and let down an otherwise good-looking kit. Sure, they won't be seen much once the stubby little thing is sitting on its legs and the bay doors are on, but I just couldn't leave them as-is. Here are a couple of pics of the various sub-assemblies I've made so far, covered in black primer: I'll be squirting some more MRP metallics on the majority of the parts shortly, after having some success with it on my Claude last month. Now, does anyone know where I've put my lead shot for the noseweight?
  6. This might be the first outing for this kit on the forums, god knows I built it fast enough! Apologies for the photos, it's just too big to get any decent pics 🙄 There's a comprehensive build thread detailing the pros (loads!) and cons (relatively few!) of this very nice new kit by Revell. The BM community contributed loads of links, photos, insights and critiques to make it a decent reference for anyone else wanting to build this. The aircraft depicted represents Article #974, one of the most colourful and celebrated airframes. It was stuck on Midway Island in 1969 following a generator failure. During its enforced stay of over four days, it received a painted gear door art of the island's famous Gooney Birds courtesy of a naval officer's artist wife. In addition it had tail art of a '1' (for Det 1 at Kadena AFB in Okinawa) with the habu viper coiled around it and the word ICHI BAN (Number One in Japanese) This is a very good kit. The fit ranges from excellent at best to okay at worst. Surface detail is well-represented with fine panel lines. Also it's MASSIVE at 68cm long! I had been waiting for this kit since pre-ordering from Jumblies Models in Norwich in April, so when it arrived on 9 December I tore into it straightaway! I also got another one from Jadlam, both cost under £75 posted so I would say the kit is well worth the money. Well, there it is. Fit and accuracy are both good enough for most modellers, so if you want a big Blackbird for your display shelf, it's a no-brainer. Feel free to ask any questions but please don't be offended if I steer you towards the build thread, there's so much information there it should be your first stop. All the best and festive greetings EDIT: For completion's sake, here are the finished engines and stand: I went for boring grey for the stand to better contrast the engines and black airframe. This is built from the box, with no filler used at all. The bleed air pipes aren't even glued, they just slot snugly into place. The interior of the jetpipes is brush painted with Vallejo Model Color, everything else is various blends of two colours (AK Xtreme Metal Titanium and Burnt Metal) with a finish of Colourcoats Corticene to represent that heated titanium look. This is the ensemble, it's difficult to get a good photo! It looks a bit incongruous up on a stand with open canopies and compressed oleos, but at least it fits the shelf! Well anyway, that's the end of the odyssey...took exactly a month to build. This is a real gem in my collection, I may never part with it All the best, Alan
  7. After reviewing this little gem from Eduard, I decided to give it a whirl, especially as I'd got a bunch of their aftermarket bits and bobs to go with it. It would be churlish not to really here's a pictorial run-down of what's there: Obviously, I'll not be using both sets of wheels, and there's a bit of overlap in the sets with seatbelts and a few other bits, but I'll probably hold those over for another build or something else later. I've been putting a few bits together over the last few days, and have managed to achieve a bunch of sub-assemblies that are now stuck to coffee stirrers and cocktail sticks ready for painting. The 3D printed cockpit is a bit of a jaw-dropper, so I began with that after I'd cut all the printing bases away and made good. Beautiful detail! I've mixed up a bottle of my favourite Gunze Mr Colour from the given recipe for the interior green, so should be ready to go with that when I get a minute. I've still got to decide what colour everything is to be painted though, as I've kind of lost the plot, and I think it's my first aircraft of this era from the American arsenal. I'll be making a few stuff-ups on the way, so if anyone's got any advice, just let me know in a calm and pleasant manner, and I won't break down in tears. Anyway, the cockpit. You can't get too far toward closing up the fuselage without making up the landing gear, and I'm going for the BRONZE set that I reviewed the other day. Minimal clean-up, and really nice and dainty. I'll be hanging a pair of resin wheels off the bottom too, using the later wheels, as I'm doing the last decal option, F for this build. lastly, the engine, which is all from the kit parts, even though there is a resin engine out there somewhere. That's all ready to go, and I might add some ignition harness wiring if there isn't a PE one in the various sets I've got. My mind's a blank as it stands: ....and why haven't I made any more progress? A combination of other stuff, including migraines, taking my mum to hozzy for an important appointment about her peepers, and taking our 12 year old Christopher for his birthday treat with the family. He got to drive Super Cars around a track on the Wirral (yes, a 12 year-old driving expensive cars). He got to drive three cars himself, including a Ford Mustang GT, a Maclaren P1, and his personal favourite, the Aston Martin Vantage (I think?). Here's a pic of him piloting his favourite with one of the instructors, who were all friendly and very encouraging. I know he's my son and I'm supposed to think he's brilliant, but he did really well, going faster and with more confidence on each successive lap, and needing little help apart from a few half turns in the car parking area so he got to the correct place to park. We got the videos of his performance, which includes an in-cockpit camera and one of the track he's going round, plus a photography dude in a red Audi taking pics as they all went round. I watched another kid go off in a Lambo while Christopher was out, and the instructor had to leap at the wheel as the kid was about to plough straight into the front corner of the Ariel Atom I was going to play in later I kept expecting to hear a crash while he was out Once he'd done four laps in each one, he also got a 3-lap trip round the circuit in a tricked out Mazda MX5 (Miata for the Americans) that was going hell-for-leather, but he seemed to take it all in his stride, smirking all the way around while the tyres wailed on every corner. Caz treated me to a neck-breaking ride in an Ariel Atom, a car I was familiar with from Top Gear and which I knew was fast, but didn't quite know it was THAT fast. My neck was aching horribly for an hour afterwards, but it was an absolute hoot that was over way too soon. They squeezed my massive head into their biggest helmet, and helped me into the cockpit, which is tiny and open at the sides, and the lack of doors made it very difficult for me to get my legs over the side, as they don't work like they used to and I had to lift the first one over They got me in eventually, strapped me down in a four-point harness and off we went. The helmet was super-tight, but I managed to slide my shades back on inside the visor, and after the first acceleration caused my head to clang against the rear fairing, I braced myself and started to get into it. The driver was so used to driving it that he had it almost diagonal and shrieking like a banshee on most corners, pushing its tyres to the absolute limit of their grip with a fabulous staccato howl coming from the rubber on the fastest corner. at the end of each lap Three laps took about 0.1 seconds, and I was into it by the start of lap two, bracing my neck against the lateral-G as we approached the next corner. That driver must have immense neck muscles! I almost had to keep the helmet, but managed to get it off in the end, and Caz said I was visibly shaking when I struggled out, probably buzzing from the adrenalin rush. My poor system isn't used to it any more I'll be back to my usual levels of lethargy in a few days, and can recommend having a go if you get the chance. Much fun, but not conducive to getting any modelling done
  8. I've been building this one since I finished the review you can find here, and used some of the many aftermarket sets that we got at the same time to bump up the detail a little. Painted with Gunze Sangyo Aqueous paints, and using the kit decals with their peel-off carrier film, which I'm sold on. From memory, here's a list of the AM I ended up using: 648777 Cockpit Set 648768 Wheels Late 648779 Bronze Gear Legs 648766 Exhausts & Gun Barrels I used a very time-consuming painting method that I'm sure has been tried by lots of other folks before, but it needs quite a bit of patience in un-gumming the airbrush in between sessions, painting each panel and in-between the rivet lines separately with a slightly lightened shade of the base coat. Takes some time and gives you a neck ache, and although it works on these dirty, faded subjects, would probably be useless on a clean aircraft TBH. You can see the work in progress in the WIP area Here's a bunch of pics I took: Spot the two little holes! I had a lot of fun, and the detail is phenomenal OOB, and even better with the extras I used. I can't wait to see what's next from Eduard
  9. After reviewing this kit (here) that was sent to me by Eugen of Dora Wings from the Ukraine just before the shutters came down in what is bound to be one of the terrible events of this century (that's all I'll say on the matter, you keep your own counsel), I wanted to thank him for the sample, and sent a message. So far he's not replied, but I hope he's ok. If he manages to read this at some point, I want to send my best wishes to him, his family and friends, and the wider Ukraine. I got the urge to build it, and I'm not too brilliant at resisting urges like that, so I opened up the box again and started hacking parts off. This is the third kit I've started recently, and I'm hoping to get them all through to completion at around the same time because I'm tired of not completing models. I've got the new Eduard Zero going here, and a Wingsy Kits Claud on the go here, which came to a grinding halt when I realised I'd got no suitable paint for the cockpit! I've since got those from Albion Alloys and Air-craft.net, so thanks to both of those lovely folks moving on, I began putting assemblies together on the Vengeance for the long two-seat cockpit that has the bomb bay running along the underside, the tail wheel bay and the engine. all of which will be needed to close up the fuselage. The kit's got some excellent detail from the box, with a lot of PE ready to further improve on that, which has taken me a while to get put together, but I'm not the fastest modeller in the world, and I've been doing other stuff in the background, such as sleeping a lot. The cockpit was made up into what seemed like an infinite number of sub-assemblies, with some of them are total works of art, such as the framework that supports the gunner's seat, which has to be seen to be believed. Surprisingly, I found that easy to put together thanks to the quality of the moulding, scraping away all the mould-lines as I went. The seats were also nice, as was the main panel, with decals to put behind the PE panel, which I did in a one-step process using Klear as both the decal setting solution and glue for the panel, so that everything could be lined up neatly before setting. Here's a group picture of the assemblies, erm, assembled. Sounds like a Marvel film: This all got a squirt of grey primer then a coat of either Gunze Chromate Yellow Primer (C352), or Zinc-Chromate Type-1 (C351), lightened hither and thither and then glossed'n'washed with some Ultimate washes. Some touch-ups, amalgamation of various sub-assemblies and re-gluing back the PE parts to the sidewalls 2 or 3 times (I can't help being clumsy!), I finally got it into position within the fuselage, along with the tail-wheel and its bay. I'm not terribly far off closing up the fuselage now, at which point I'm going to do the same for the Claud, but in the meantime I've put together the engine, which is currently in black primer as I write this. I also built up the engine cowling, partly because I was dying to see how it went together. The short answer is "brilliantly!". The longer answer is still brilliantly, but it took some careful and fun PE wrangling and was only achieved thanks to some exceptional moulding by Dora. The main cowling was in two halves with a separate lip that goes together nicely. I did a little fettling of the joins so they fitted flush, and then turned to the intake in the bottom of the lip. That's a separate styrene part with two PE splitters that fit into little grooves in the main lip. I glued those in first and then added the styrene top section, using plenty of liquid glue to get it to squish out when I put a bit of pressure on it. That worked well, and clean-up was minimal. The cooling flaps are PE and fit into gaps in the rear of the cowling. I cut each one off in turn so I didn't get them confused, annealed each one and rolling them carefully in my rolling tool, using the largest 19mm roller. With a negligible amount of tweaking of the PE, and a bit of scraping of the ends of the gaps, I got each of the four cooling flap sets to fit into the cowling really neatly in the closed position. A lot of the credit goes to Dora's designers, and they're going to look great with a bit of paint on them (the flaps, not the designers!). The half-circle recesses in the rear of the cowling is where the exhaust stubs poke through, and they needed a little bit of work to make them more in-scale with reality. Those were made up and scraped thin the following session, using my Galaxy Model motor tool to get the thickness down, then scraping the edges with a sharp '11 blade. Once I was happy, I melted the interior surface smooth with some liquid glue. They got a coat of black primer at the same time as the engine, and are now brown, waiting for me to put some rusty/hot shades on them. The pic below shows them before they were semi-melted: The next job is to finish up the fuselage closing and paint the engine. Whether I can be bothered to wire up the spark plugs or not remains to be seen. Doing that task on the Zero nearly drove me (more) (than usual). The gear bays have been painted and put to the side, and I've just realised that I've forgotten to take a single picture of them
  10. After reviewing this puppy here the other day, I thought I’d give it a go at actually completing a model for once. It’s a nice-looking kit and I like the Zero, and I also like Eduard’s kits, especially their recent ones. I started following the instructions (I know, weird eh?), and prepped the fuselage halves with the instruments and boxes, stripping off the moulded-in detail that’s replaced by the PE parts from the sheet to give it a bit more finesse. A lot of the PE is pre-painted so can’t be put on just yet, so I moved onto the rudder pedals, and here I made my first mistake. If you glance at the instructions, you might think that you just have to remove the pedals by nipping them off. That’s not the case, as I found out when I offered up the new PE pedals. I’ll fix the damaged part later, but pinched another set of pedals from the other set of sprues, nipping off the front of the pedal then sanding and scraping the arms back and attaching the new pedals. I’m also using the 3D Printed Brassin seat, which you can see here along with the resin wheels and the bronze gear legs. That was work of a few seconds, and I attached the brackets to the frame, offering up the seat to ensure they were in the correct place. The adjuster has the semi-circular track nipped off and replaced by PE, with the front face curved to match the sides. After annealing it in a flame, I found it fitted one of my rolling “pins” perfectly and once that was done I secured it with a tiny amount of CA applied by blade. The cockpit floor has an equipment box moulded into it, which has some of the detail removed and replaced by four T-shaped controls later. They’re pre-painted too, so I drilled some 0.3mm locating holes in the top and left them off for now. The clear panel in the floor fits well, and even includes two pieces of kabuki tape for each side. GS-Hypo cement secured that in place, then I added the detail bits to the floor in the suggested order. The same removal of the front detail was needed on the cockpit sides, and again on the instrument panel, then the guns were mounted onto that weird-shaped replica of the ammo feeds. You can quite easily get those the wrong way round if you’re a nitwit, so take care. They fit well one way, and while they’re setting up, align them so they’re both pointing in the same direction. The fuselage halves have a little bay for the arrestor hook, which fits really well and can be glued into one half of the fuselage for painting before you close it up. The same can be done with the landing gear bays, and these fit really nicely into the lower wing with a bit of care. The inserts with the blisters fits incredibly well, with a bit of flash, and I mean a tiny fraction of a millimetre around the edge of the hole making the fit absolutely perfect. I also made up the elevators with a very slight droop in the flying surfaces, then made up the two banks of pistons of the Sakae engine as separate sub-assemblies for painting, and possibly adding some wiring if I have time. I was really looking forward to making up the cowling on that jig, and I wasn’t disappointed. Each part was test-fitted just to be sure, but there was very little prep-work needed, just a bit of care with the application of the glue. The finished cowling is superb, to say the least I put all the resin/bronze components of the landing gear set through the sanding/chopping up process, and made up the drop-tank, which also fits together really neatly, but has a seam running through the filler cap depression. I reamed that out a bit and punched out a 1.9mm circle of 0.1mm styrene sheet, putting it in with some CA so it didn’t melt, and using a pointy bit of Blutak to hold it steady during gluing. It's all waiting to be primed now, which is the next task after cleaning my airbrush Couldn’t resist doing a tape-up after all that fun with knives and glue: I’ve got a bit of research to do on colours, but some of you chaps have already got a thread going on the subject, so I’ll ask any questions there rather than muddy this thread
  11. We picked up one of these little resin kits from Ali at Telford on Saturday, and reviewed it here. It's a subject I wanted to do as I have a Supermarine Type 224, the original and unsuccessful Spitfire, in the cabinet already, and this would look nice by the side of it, showing what a knock-back and some re-design work can do to an idea. I do have the Paragon set, but as that's getting more rare by the day, I thought you guys would like to see how this full resin kit goes together, as it's a lot easier to come by, and saves you having to take the razor saw to a Tamiya Mk.1 Spit. The fact that Ali also asked me to do a review build might have some bearing on it too, maybe I always do what Ali asks, or he's mean to me Anyway - all frivolity aside, I started cutting the parts from their casting blocks as I was processing the photos I'd taken, and about an hour later I had a surprisingly small number of parts on my desk, and the spares for the other decal options still on their blocks in the supplied bag. So far so good Test fitting of the major parts showed good fit for the parts, and just a little fettling of the wing to fuselage was done to improve it further. The cowling is a tiny bit narrower than the fuselage, possibly due to mould shrinkage, but adding some slivers of styrene sheet under it and a spreader bar within the cowling, and it fits almost perfectly. I've primed inside the fuselage now, and noticed that there's a thinned out line around the cockpit access door on the port side in case you felt like opening it up. The tail feathers were a piece of cake to fit on, so I did it, not bothering to offset the rudder, as I just fancied cracking on. The wings are a single part, and the nav lights on the wingtips were solid, so out came the razor saw, cutting along the panel lines to remove a little triangle from the leading edge of the tips. I cut a couple of chunks of thick acrylic sheet and drilled a hole in each one, filling it with clear red or green Tamiya paint, before gluing them into the recesses with a generous helping of CA to plug any gaps. Careful to keep the bulb central on the wing, I then added more CA to further strengthen the joint. My Dremel's battery was low, so I hand sanded the block to the shape of the wing tip using progressively finer grades of stick, polishing it back to clear with a polishing sponge. I'll do the other one in a minute, once I've finished this post. Not pictured are the cockpit parts, which have been glued into assemblies to ease painting, the wheels and prop, which have been painted with Alclad Gloss Black primer, and the gear legs. The gear legs have two grooves in them that accomodate the lugs on the gear leg covers, but as I'm using the original "first flight" scheme as my subject, I cut some small pieces of 0.5mm styrene strip, glued them into the cleaned up grooves, and then sanded them to shape once cured. This gives a more realistic rounded profile to the legs for my chosen scheme. Apart from the painting, I can't see this taking very long at all
  12. When we received the new Border 1:35 Bf.109G-6 we got it reviewed PDQ so that people could have a look at this sort-of new scale venture, from a relatively young company, and you can see it here. We're used to 1:35 AFVs, and a few helicopters that have been scaled to go into AFV dioramas, but this is one of the first mainstream kits of traditional winged aircraft, and that's worth a look. Could this be the new de facto larger scale that attracts the AFV modellers so they can have everything in their cabinet in the same scale? I know that's an attractive proposition, as I seriously considered 1:48 armour when I first got interested in the genre thanks to @Dads203. I went with the de facto 1:35 for my AFVs on his advice, and stuck with 1:48 for my aircraft. 1:72 scale modellers have had that for a while now, although there's not a huge range (that I've seen) of new kits coming out in wee scale. Anyway, I'm wittering. It's my first 1:35 aircraft, and my first Border Model kit, so I was interested to see how things went. It's well-detailed, has plenty of parts, a complete engine with optional clear cowlings, some weapons, and a few goofs, which I've already outlined in the review. I'm not one to throw up my hands and scream "unbuildable", as we're all human and therefore fallible, so I just shrug my shoulders and carry on. If a thing bothers me enough, I'll see if it's fixable, or I'll leave it if it's too hard or I'm not feeling particularly adventurous. Here we go! The first item up was the engine, which goes together quite well. I've left it in a few sub-assemblies to make it easier to paint, and be aware that there are a few pins that are slightly larger than their sockets, so keep a pin-vice with a drill bit handy, and test fit everything, which is a good idea whatever you're building, be it shake-the-box or short run. The details on the top of the ancillary "block" can be put on at the wrong angle, so check the instructions carefully before you apply the glue. F23 needs to point slightly upwards, which won't happen if you put them on upside down, and D62/63 need to be set square, as there's no key on the pin. Get that right, and you'll be smiling. The little tanks on the sides of the engine block have tight pins, so adjust those accordingly (they're not in the picture). Also, the centreline gun can be put in at any orientation, but check the humps and bumps then compare them with the instructions before you glue them in. Here's a pic of the majority of the engine, surrounded by supercharger, engine mounts, cowling, pilot and so forth, all ready for priming. You might notice that there are some seams on the exhaust stacks, which I added from stretched sprue, because the perfectly servicable moulding seams that are on them at outset have to be sanded away to remove one of the sprue gates on the elbow. it didn't take long to do the job, and I know it's a bit over-scale, but I quite like the look of them. Be sure to set all the exhausts to the same angle to the engine, or you might have some issues with slotting them into the cowling later on. If you let them sag, it'll bite you in the bottom. I've also knocked up the insides of the cockpit walls after filling the ejector pin marks, only two of which are visible, as I suspect the ones at the front will be shrouded in darkness. There's a bit of filler behind some of those detail parts, so learn from my wasted effort Detail is nice in there too, so I'm looking forward to painting that little lot up. The figure is especially nice, as you could probably tell from the pics in the review, but the pic above came out a bit soft because I've focused on the IP and engine, so focus was drifting off a bit. You can see the IP coaming on the left of the pic, with the basic nose gun bay visible with a few un-filled ejector pins. Frankly, I'm ok with that, as I'm going to leave the Beule closed up and opaque. I'm not yet decided on the clear cowlings, whether to use them or not. I might. I might prop one cowling open or leave one cowling clear. Who knows? Not me. It's nice to have options though I also knocked together the wing inserts that hold the wing guns' ammo chutes, which are drawn back-to-front on the instructions with the slots for the ammo chutes in the front, and as I found the design odd and intriguing, I first nipped off those parts from the sprues while I was writing the review. It took a wee while for me to figure out what was up, but once I did it was a simple enough fix. The artist got it backwards, and also drew the cylinders in slightly the wrong place. No harm done if you read the review or this build thread before you start gluing. If you're interested, I've been giving feedback to Border on the kit via Albion to assist them with future projects, all being well. Go me! You can see how they should go together in the pic below. Since then I've been filling the ejector pin marks on the inside of the flaps and the head armour, and I've also been making up the landing gear. The main gear having movable oleos is cool, but in reality it also leaves a little bit too much "slop" in the strut, allowing the axle to twist round a few degrees each way, so I set them to minimum and flooded it with glue, which also made fitting the scissor-links easier, as there was one less moving part in the equation. Check the width between the receivers on the strut before you start gluing the oleo parts in, as I had to adjust mine with a swipe of a skinny sanding tool - one of those cool stick-on Galaxy Tools ones. We likes The wheels build up really well, and they look great once done, and I'm just waiting for the glue to fully cure before I sand off the bead of plastic I squeezed out, with a similar technique used for the drop-tank. The last sub-assembly made up so far is the prop. I got the metal blades in my goody bag, but I opted to use the styrene ones anyway, as I'm lazy. There's a bit of prep-work on the metal blades, so I left them in favour of the plastic ones. Both plastic and metal blades fit into the two halves of the boss very well, with the pins ensuring they're all at the same angle and the correct way round. I clamped them closed while the glue set, and have another tiny bead of melted plastic to remove tomorrow. I foresee some primer in my near future Don't forget to smash that like button & subcribe, as it really helps me out. No wait, that's not me. Ignore that part.
  13. 'Wonga Bonga' Sopwith Camel F.1 1:32 Wingnut Wings. The Sopwith Camel hardly needs any introduction, as one of the most successful fighters of the First World War and the mount of may aces. This is the superb Wingnuts Wings kit 32074 Sopwith F.1 Camel "Clerget", Reviewd here which comes with five different finishing options. It is a difficult choice as they are all so good and I ended up buying another kit as I couldn't decide on just one! In the end I went for this one as it had a natural metal cowl area, varnished ply cockpit area, and the fin with the Sopwith factory markings on, plus the name Wonga Bonga' on the side. The 'Wonga' refers to the Gotha bombers that apparently made that engine sound 'wonga-wonga-wonga' etc, and the 'Bonga' is the Camel itself, knocking the Gothas out of the sky. It was based at RNAS Manston from July to August 1917. It is a lovely kit, to the usual exceedingly high standard that Wingnut Wings set. I would not say that it is one of the easier kits to build, the cabane struts are vulnerable to being knocked off during the build, so care is necessary. Fortunately I kept all four of mine intact, and the danger is passed once the top wing is on. A few 'In progress' pictures to give some idea of how much interior detail is included. The cabane struts are moulded integrally with the fuselage side frames. The rigging is stretched sprue. Wooden areas are Griffin Alkyd oil paints over Tamiya 'Deck tan'. This is my second WnW Camel build, and I like this kit so much I still have three more in the stash! Thanks for looking John
  14. It seems like an age since I last completed anything, and after receiving the first batch of review kits from new(ish) company AMK - Avantgarde Model Kits, I thought I'd give one of their latest offerings a trip round the block after kicking the tyres in the review here. The build was pleasant and uneventful, with some very nice fit and detail to be had straight out of the box. Apart from the nose wheel attachment being a little weak and feeble, all of the minor problems i had were self-induced, and I thoroughly enjoyed the build. Painting was done mostly with Gunze Sangyo paints, and as I was left with splinters from scratching my head over the East German scheme I'd chosen, I opted for H302 and H406 over H418 in the end, with a random yellow doing the job for the nose and wing accents. The decals went on well, although the carrier film wasn't the thinnest, so if you're using the kit decals, remember to overcoat them with some gloss clear varnish and sand back where you can in order to minimise or hide the edge of the film. Enough waffle... pictures! The build thread can be found here if you're interested. What's next? If I told you, I'd have to kill you
  15. After my review (available here) of this fairly new kit that I first saw at last year's Telford, it's now readily available, and although the price tag isn't for the casual browser, it is a superbly designed multi-media kit. It has a large monocoque moulding of the fuselage and wings that have faired over openings for cockpit, wheel bays, intakes, exhausts and a small grille aft of the cockpit. These need attacking with a motor tool unless you have the patience to chain-drill it all out, which I don't. I've been waiting for a nice sunny dry day when I had a bit of energy and some time to myself, a combination which is hard to find at the moment. Today I managed it, and took the battery powered Dremel out with a selection of bits and started hacking. A lot of dust was created in the process, and the orifices were tidied up with sanding sticks and diamond files of various profiles. I wore a respirator for the whole job, as although I was outside the dust from fibreglass is quite nasty, and even though I was quite careful, I still managed to get a few fibres stuck in between my fingers. The whole area was washed down afterwards, as was the airframe, just to wheedle out any dust that had accumulated during the process. A couple of slips were made with the Dremel, but these have all now been made good with some CA and sanded back flush. Now for a couple of pics: I've been breaking out the resin parts from their casting blocks and preparing those for use over the last week, and that's now pretty much done. You might see the big lines of glue/resin inside the cockpit area, and I think I'm going to have to take the Dremel to those before I can fit the cockpit in, as a quick test-fit revealed that they were in the way. I'm suspecting that the Dremel might see some more action in this area you know
  16. I reviewed this one and went straight on to building it, mainly because I fancied it (in a non-biblical way), so off I went. It's pretty much OOB apart from a few alterations I made to the wing-mounted landing light and due to a few of my own screw-ups, and of course you have to bear in mind that it's a short-ish run kit, which always needs more care and attention to fit and finish than a mainstream kit. It's my first try at an all-over natural metal/silver finish, and I'm reasonably pleased with how it has come out The exhaust staining is perhaps a bit over-done, but I think it adds a bit of drama to the scheme, and the red spinner also helps to lift it a bit too. I chose to paint the gear legs green as an accent, although many examples have silver legs, but green ones are seen. What else? Paints were Gunze, with Alclad white Aluminium as the main shade, which needed straining due to this weird degradation that seems to occur with their metallics, which renders then gritty in the bottle after a few years in stock. Anyway - on to the pics: I'm sure I've probably forgotten a few things, but I'm certain the world won't stop spinning as a result, and as I'm not competitionally inclined, I don't care now I've called time on it You can see the build thread here, and thanks for watching I'll be appearing in an Me.262 ST Group Build here next if you fancy heckling as I go along
  17. I reviewed this puppy a couple of days ago here thanks to @dora(of the Wings variety, not the explorer), and wanted to have a go at putting it together, as with it being a short(ish) run type of moulding, it would be useful to our members to see how it goes together. This type of moulding needs a little more care in construction than your average big-box, stack-em-high type of kit, and preparation of parts is bound to take longer, with test-fitting and fettling an essential part of the model building process. We know all that of course, but it bears repeating just in case some of us aren't familiar with the term I started with the cockpit as per instructions, and have built up a number of assemblies, scraping seams on all the parts, which transforms them and makes construction much easier. There's a shade of mould-slip on a few parts, but nothing too difficult to sort out with just a soupçon of modelling skill and patience. The nose gear bay builds up under the cockpit, so that was done too, as they'll both be interior green, as will the main gear bays etc. Those have just come out of the ultrasonic bath to remove any lingering mould release, which is more likely on short-run kits. Apologies to those that I'm teaching to suck eggs, but not everyone's familiar Anyhoo, while those bits are drying off so I can photograph them, I thought I'd show you a little off-piste non-OOB modelling I've been doing on the leading edge landing light in the port wing. There's a clear part included in the kit, but I wasn't too happy with it, so initially I cut and shaped a piece of 4mm clear acrylic sheet with a view to drilling a shallow hole to represent the light. After a bit of retrospective research on what it actually looked like, I realised the lamp is large and mounted on a flat bulkhead in a square sided enclosure. Back to the drawing board. Version 3 involved squaring off the curved edges of the aperture, building up a little 3-sided box with a recess for a 3mm self-adhesive cabochon (a what?) that's often used in dress-making for rhinestones and sparkly bits, but also looks very like a scale light that some companies sell to modellers at inflated prices I bought a few sheets off eBay in various sizes for a couple of quid for a few hundred of the little blighters. Money-saving tip of the day I also drilled a few holes in the side walls, just like the real thing. That's about the only deviation I'm planning apart from any losses or breakages, which I'll come to later! That's where we're at right now, and that little assembly will be painted up after being glued into the closed up wing (post painting of the wheel bays & their insertion). The cabochons in the foreground will be glued into the recess you can see, as I don't want to rely on the adhesive, in case it falls off later on and rattles around. I was tossing around the idea of using a clear piece of acetate or @woody37's idea of using a piece of sellotape, but as I've got to make good the curved edge, I'll use the acetate block and mask the shape of the outer cover so it looks proper. That would be tricky with tape, and could look a bit of a mess. The cockpit went together ok, apart from the control column pinging out of my tweezers, hitting my shoulder and totally disappearing. I've nabbed one from an Eduard P-39, and will cross that bridge when/if I come to it later I also lost the handle on a lever on the right of the cockpit floor, so I made up a new one from a piece of rod that I sanded to a handle-shape & glued on. I think the nose gear bay sides need a bit of fettling before I close up the fuselage, as they're holding it a little wide, and contributing to a fit issue I've discovered/made for myself on the wing root. I'll talk more about that later on when I've glued the fuselage and wings into their separate assemblies. You might remember that the intake on the spine of the aircraft was an insert, but beware - there are two in the box! Guess how I found out? Yep - fettled and glued the wrong one in! I pulled it off the next day and glued the correct one into each half of the fuselage, and for avoidance of doubt it's the one with the hole in the rear face that you put a bit of mesh over. That's fitted fairly well after a bit of fettling, and I will smooth it out properly during the fuselage closing process. The main gear bays fit inside the wings with a bit of sanding down of the mould edge flairs, but I wanted to be absolutely certain they weren't going to baulk the closure of the wings later on, so I scribbled on their backs with marker pen, then dry assembled the wings. Where the marker had transferred to the top wing I scraped off a bit of styrene with the side of a curved blade until fit was nice and loose. It's more of a precaution than anything, as I hate having to adjust parts after I've spent ages painting them. While I was test fitting the fuselage halves together, I decided to test-fit the nose insert, which has the two cannon ports in the top. Fit straight off the sprue was pretty bad in fairness, but was a bit better once I'd removed any moulding artifacts and flash. It's still going to need a blob of filler here and there, but it's far from unbuildable! I'll get that squared away once the fuselage is glued together, while I work on that wing root. I'm not 100% sure what's going on there, but once the parts aren't slopping around due to being taped together, I'll be able to get a better handle on it and formulate some sort of plan for dealing with it. Happy days! I'll take a few snaps of the cockpit, wheel bays & such once they're dry.
  18. After reviewing this little chap from Mirage Hobby the other day here, I decided to use it as a quick fun build as a break from the upgrading of the forum software The build progressed quickly in between sessions on the site, and apart from altering the seams along the hull edges so that they were on the sides, rather than the tops, there were a few seams to fill, all of which were fairly drama-free. It helped to have some references, and I still have a few rivets here & there to reinstate, plus an L-pprofile strengthening plate to add to the front mudguards, and a few little touch-ups here & there. The tracks were a bit tricky, and with only three links left over, you need to keep the carpet monster away from them at all costs. The vinyl tracks were actually easy to do, as you just cut them to length and join them with a drop of CA. I also stuck them to the wheels to get the characteristic sag you see on the photos, which worked quite well. The main tracks were of course link & length in styrene, so the sag was added by wedging them in position and softening the links with a bit of liquid glue, enough to lock-in the sag. One thing worth of mention is that throughout the model the sprue gates were very short, making for a small gap between parts and their runners. This made it difficult to use side-cutters, which tended to deform the parts, so I used a CMK razor saw blade for the most part, held between my fingers for better control of the pressure used. it led to much less damage, and was a surprisingly easy way of getting the parts free The side seams were designed to fit with the side plates added outside the deck, but on the real thing this is reversed, so when I had glued them together, I filled the seams and scribed in some new ones on the sides, and even though most of them are now hidden by fenders & such, I'm glad I did it. The exhaust shroud was thinned down extensively, as it is little more than steel sheeting, so it was generally thinned by sanding the inside, then the edges were bevelled to give a greater impression of thinness. The cart needed similar seam-filling work on the apron around the top plus some sizeable ejector pin marks needing removing, and the mudguards were also blended into the side fairings for a bit of extra finesse. There doesn't seem to be any texture to the main surfaces, partly because the steel is quite thin, but I added a little texture to the exhaust silencer and drilled out the exhaust pipe, which will get a bit of a rusted up look during painting. Here she is with a bit of primer squirted on last night:
  19. Making a plywood fuselage on plastic! Albatros D.Va (OAW) 1:32 Wingnut Wings Wingnut Wings released this kit last summer, as the third in their line of Albatros kits. A review can be found Here Having built the WNW Albatros D.V before, I want to try to improve my build technique on this one. The main thing I noticed on my first build was that all the interior components were a tight fit, and closing the fuselage around it was a bit of a struggle. The tolerances are so tight on these kits that any paint on mating surfaces will reduce the accuracy of the fit. With that in mind I took the simple step of lining all the bulkhead locations inside the fuselage halves with thin strips of Tamiya tape, before spraying with Halfords primer. The woodwork was done with a sprayed coat of Tamiya 'Deck tan', followed by a coat of Johnsons Kleer. The wood grain was done with Griffin Alkyd tube oils paints. Blends of mostly Raw Sienna with a dash or 2 of Burnt Umber and/or Light Red. I mix them 'on the fly' in an old Pringles lid.I shade at a time is done, they only take a bout 4 hours to dry so there is none of this 'waiting 1 week' for the tube oils to dry. I then redid the stringers in Deck tan, and went over them with near Raw Sienna. The idea was to create a series of different looking wood effects. One done, the tapes were pulled out of the bulkhead locations. All the bulkheads were scraped on their mating surfaces, and they all fitted like a dream. The fuselage closes up nicely around them with no pressure needed. Main components ready for assembly; Other interior fittings; The fuselage just pressed together in a 'dry' fit. The seam is virtually non existent, and the best I have yet achieved. I'll be masking off the bulkhead loactaions on all future builds, it has made a big difference! I'm going to include a couple of MDC's 'Wings Cockpit' resin figures, the 'Groundcrew man assisting Pilot' These are beautifully cast, but need priming and painting. Test filling the pilot revealed that he will have to go in before the fuselage halves are glued. And he will hide most of my interior painting and detailing. Oh well! The ground crew man sits astride the fuselage, helping the pilot secure his straps and flying helmet' Test fit; Finally, I am going to try Uschi van Der Rosten's Woodgrain decals on the fuselage. Thanks for looking John
  20. Wing Gundam EW Build Review Colonies Liberation Organisation Mobile Suit XXXG-01W 1:144 Real Grade (RG) Bandai Shane sent this new release over for review, which you can find here if you're interested - there's a load of multi-coloured sprue pics before I set to cutting the bits off. It's number 20 from the Real Grade grade range, and is the latest in a growing range of highly detailed Mecha kits that must number in their hundreds if you cover all grades and scales I've built a trio of Bandai's Star Wars kits, which are equivalent to the High Grade (HG) kits, so although I've not built a Gundam before, I'm familiar with the style of assembly, and in awe of their engineering ingenuity. This is my first Gundam, so I'm going to take it easy on the build, doing little or no pre-painting of parts before assembly. I'm easily confused these days anyway, so I don't want to try to run before I can walk in the genre, so I'll limit my "painting" to a little light weathering and maybe some detail painting after construction. Let the battle commence! First up are the leggies, which have the RG skeleton at their core. In case you didn't read the review, they're co-moulded on the sprue so that the ABS and Styrene parts don't adhere to each other, leaving you with a part that is mobile. The pic below shows the left leg in the relaxed straight position, while the right leg is in (almost) fully extended kneeling/leaping position, which shows the huge range of movement they have built-in. Sure, you might not want to play with them even though you can, but it gives you a massive range of dynamic poses that you can show off the finished article. I've not yet put any of the armour parts on yet so you can see the skeleton, but that's the next step. I'm also not sure how much of the skellington will be visible after (I suspect very little), so I've only cleaned up the sprue gate marks, and left the moulding seams. On the subject of sprue gates, there are quite a few, as there were two injection processes, one for each plastic type, but the factory have made a neat job of removing the first injection sprues, leaving only a little pip to clean up. I might be wasting my time cleaning them anyway, but this is all new territory, so I won't lose any sleep over it. I shall hopefully learn from any mistakes I make on the way Having just had to mark all the points of movement, it's quite incredible that this is all fitted into a part that is barely 7cm tall when stood up. Hats off the designers at Bandai Sorry about the dust all over the parts... didn't notice until later
  21. I reviewed this kit here and the Upgrade set here at the beginning of September, and thought that as this is my first P-47 kit of any manufacturer, I'd crack on with it. Life's been doing its best to stop me, but I've managed to get the cockpit and wheel bays almost ready, so thought I'd better start a thread. The kit has a Brassin resin cockpit. which is rather nice, and augmented by pre-painted and raw PE for the instrument panel and levers. It is pretty straight forward to paint and put together, but make sure you get the fore and aft bulkheads square to the floor, as it will make the side walls easier to get in once you're done painting. Pre-painted PE belts are included, and a little bit of the paint came off on some of the sharp folds, but that's a first for me, so perhaps there wasn't such good adhesion with my set. I've been experimenting with Gunze Sangyo Mr Color paints for this build, as I felt like a change, and had heard good things about them. Sure enough, they're very nice to spray, but I suffer from a lack of breadth of colours, which I'll have to rectify soon. The extra upgrade set includes a bunch of parts for the gear bays, which replace a lot of the moulded in detail, and those are quite easy to fit whilst the wings are separate from the fuselage, although you'll have to make sure you don't bend the skins when adding them to the fuselage later. So far I've managed to avoid it, but you never know with my clumsy mitts. I've just finished constructing the PE deck behind the pilot, which requires a little sanding of the fuselage top (indicated in red) before it will sit flat on the fuselage. The extra effort is worth it though, as the detail is much crisper once done. I also removed the moulded in exhaust flaps on the underside of the nose, which were replaced by a new set from the Upgrade set, and here I was cautious cutting away, as you can quite easily go to large and end up with a bit of repair to do. They do look much better hollow with scale thickness to the walls, so again very much worth the effort. The wings were a piece of cake to put together, needing very little in the way of anything before they were glued together. The forward cannon inserts were pretty poor though, so I aligned the top as well as I could, then glued thin strip into the gaps, using CA as filler and some coarse sanding sticks before I polished it to a nice shine. I chose to remove the short cannon stub moulded into the inserts, and decided to pick up some of the excellent Master barrels that are available for this (or any other) P-47 kit. I've drilled out all the holes for a snug fit, and will insert them once I'm ready. The detail and curved muzzles are worth the effort if you're going to the trouble of adding all that PE. Other than those I'm sticking to OOB... Promise! A bit more detail painting, then a coat of flat varnish, and I think I'll be in a position to close up the fuselage.
  22. After finishing my Jug last week, I was looking round the workshop for a new project and decided that I'd be a good lad and finish off a few that had stalled close to the finish line as it were. The Gripen started as an OOB project, but I ended up adding a few other review items to the mix to spice it up, add some additional detail and generally showcase a few other bits and bobs. The list is fairly short, and included the resin AIM-9L Sidewinders and AIM-120Cs from Eduard, some brass AoA probes and pitot tubes from Master (48075 which doesn't seem to be listed on their site), and a NATO refueling probe tip, again from Master. paint was a mixture of Xtracrylic and Lifecolor, with a bit of Tamiya Smoke and NATO Brown used for the dirt. As usual with my stuff, it's not a show-winner, but I enjoyed the build, and am pretty satisfied with the 3' view Onto the pics: Hope you like, and the build thread can be found here if you have the patience
  23. I've managed to go all these years without having a P-47 in my stash, until this reboxing of the Academy kit came along from Eduard. It's got some nice resin bits, and some PE that give the kit a lift, which coupled with the additional upgrade set result in quite a comprehensive package. I treated myself to some aftermarket barrels from Master, and she was painted with Gunze Mr Color paints, with the exception of the white, which was Alclad White Primer, as it's the best white around if you ask me. I had quite a few screw ups along the way, most of which revolved around the decals and the paint, but managed to recover each time, and can confirm that they were all self-induced. it's the most complex paint scheme I've done yet, and I really enjoyed the challenge, although it did make me scratch my head every now and then. You can find the build thread here if you're interested Enough waffle - the pics! Now what?
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