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  1. Season's greetings to all! This is my last completion for the year. A conversion of the Mitsubishi A5M4 two-in-one kits put out by Sweet in 1/144 scale. I've always loved the shape of the A5M. To me it's one of the prettiest fighters of the interwar period. It had quite a number of design changes too over the years and the shape changed significantly as it developed. I always expected that Sweet would released more versions of the kit over the years, but alas, they have stayed with just the A5M4. Full disclosure: I did start this one several years ago. However I abandoned it when it all went south on me and things got a bit explodey... The main differences between the A5M2a and later A5M4s is mostly in the fuselage, cowling and undercarriage. The 2a is noticeably more slender in plan view and the cowling tapers back sharply behind the engine. The headrest is much higher and more substantial than earlier models to incorporate some protection for the pilot in the event of a roll over. The windscreen was much smaller too and the decking over the two fuselage guns was a more complex shape. Other differences were the smaller wheel spats and a rather attractive slipper tank under the fuselage. When I first started this I was comparing the drawings of each version in my Maru Mechanic book and realised if I could employ some fiendish cunning, it might be possible to cut a wedge out of the forward fuselage and force the two fuselage halves together to make the A5M2a shape. The back end aft of the cockpit would stay the same, but the front end would be forced together in a vice and superglued to make the new cross section... Genius! I diligently set about this and performed the surgery. Then squeezed the ends together and cemented it all in place with my trusty old superglue. Some delicate reshaping of the cockpit opening followed and all seemed well. The wing join was too wide now, so some little wedges of styrene were added to take up the gap on each side. No worries. Once all this was done I pushed the fuselage into place and held the little Claude up by the tail to admire it... PLINK!!! The two fuselage halves flew apart and the cowling took off like a champagne cork. The wings flipped away end over end and I was left comically holding the two halves of the fuselage which had opened like a flower and split halfway down to the tail... So it turns out that superglue (particularly the water-thin kind) has a very definite expiry date and will cease to be super by any stretch of the imagination after a couple of years. Mine had set to a consistency similar to that of a sugar cube which you might feed to a horse that you didn't like very much. The solid plug of cyano that I fancied would keep the front of my A5M safely held together was just a gritty mess that could easily be scraped away with a fingernail. Grrr! The superglue went in the bin and the A5M went back into the box. There it stayed for several years until I dug it out again in early October. I fancied this would be a quick-ish job to make good on the repairs and get it out the door as a sort of palate cleanser after the Fe2b that I finished earlier. However it quickly got out of hand when I could not decide whether to go a silver one, or a brown/green camouflaged version. In the end I did both.. So anyway here they are. Tiny little things as always, but I'm rather pleased with them. Here's a couple of extra shots to hopefully give an idea of the changes between the A5M4 and A5M2a types. The differences in fuselage and cowling shape are much easier to see here: And lastly a bit of a glory shot with a suitable backdrop... Cheers!
  2. This little guy was a long time coming. I started it in about 2017 I think, and did a lot more during my first lockdown last year. In fact, it was all done bar the rotors, which I did the other night so I could boost my 2021 completion rate... I have (cough cough) five of these excellent little Sweet model kits (Sweet is the brand, it's Japanese). They were under ten bucks each from one or another of the major Japan-based websites. There are several boxings, covering both Westland and Sikorsky versions. In this kit, you can build this Belgian SAR chopper, or a German SAR chopper, or an Australian Navy ASW one (I am three quarters through the decals on my RAN version). There's a few other variants - a special boxing with JMSDF Antarctic exploration markings, a mix of other JMSDF markings, a version I don't have which includes RAF yellow SAR ones, and then a Sikorsky boxing with Marine Force One, the USN 66 helo used in Apollo recovery (I'm part-way through that too) and a NASA version. I am no expert on Sea Kings so I won't comment on their accuracy other than to say "they look like Sea Kings to me" and also "they're simple 1/144 kits" so a few shortcuts have been taken (with the winch, for example). You do get 5 or 6 bladed tail rotors depending on whether it's a Sikorsky or Westland version, and some of them come with the smaller, old-school dome radome instead of the big one I used on this kit. They seem to also come with a choice of sponsons. There's no cockpit detail behind that glass and the hull/fuselage has no windows at all so there's no interior to build. As a result these are incredibly fast with construction, but you can take a while with painting and decals. This one is performing a rescue drill in my backyard. The real Belgian Air Force Sea King SAR choppers were retired a few years back - March 2019. According to this website they'd served for 43 years, 60,000 flight hours, 3,309 rescue missions and 1,757 lives saved. Pretty decent record all round. I did the tint on the cabin skylights with my kid's green texta (marker pen). Works reasonably well for a small area. The paints are Vallejo acrylics, except for the orange which was Testors Modelmaster (I had a few shades of orange for these chopper kits, I forget precisely which one this was). Well, this was the first of my five Sweet Sea Kings. I'm pretty happy with how it came out and I have decided I am a real fan of bright orange on helicopters. thanks for looking!
  3. Here is the third of a trio of Sweet 1:144 "BoB Aces" Hawker Hurricane Mk.Is built back in 2009. It represents P2798/LK-A, flown by Flt Lt Ian R. Gleed, "A" Flight Commander, No. 87 Sqn, RAF, Exeter, September 1940. The kit was fully painted with brush except for the final matt varnish which was airbrushed. Thanks for looking Miguel
  4. Here are another couple of Sweet 1:144 Mitsubishi A6M2b Type 21 Zeroes which I built back in 2011 with unusual markings. As with the previous pair posted here, both were built OOB and painted by brush with only the matt varnish being airbrushed. First, ?-143, of 261st Kokutai (Fighter Group), Imperial Japanese Navy, 1943. Apart from the white bands, the other unusual detail is the underside painted dark green all over. Second, 53-102, of 253rd Kokutai (Fighter Group), Imperial Japanese Navy, 1943. This plane was apparantly flown by top IJN ace Tetsuzo Iwamoto (202 kills). The unusual detail is the number of kills on one side. Once completed I found that there seems to be some controversy over this option. It's based on memories (not photos) and it could well be an A6M3 type 22 or an A6M5. Thanks for looking. Miguel
  5. Here is another (the last) of my Sweet 1:144 Messerschmitt Bf 109Fs built back in 2008. It represents Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 "Yellow 7", of 9/JG3, Luftwaffe, flown by Lt Victor Bauer, in the USSR, in June 1942. I always liked these unique scheme used by JG3. The kit was fully painted and varnished with brush. Thanks for looking and all comments are welcome Miguel
  6. Here is another Sweet 1:144 early Hurricane Mk.I I built back in 2009. It represents H-22 of 2nd Escadrille (Les Chardons), 1st Group, 2nd Regiment, Royal Belgian Air Force, at Schaffen, in May 1940. The kit was built OOB and fully painted and varnished with brush. Thanks for looking Miguel
  7. Here are a couple of Sweet 1:144 Mitsubishi A6M2b Type 21 Zeroes which I built back in 2011 in unusual schemes. Both were built OOB and painted by brush with only the matt varnish being airbrushed. The first one is 2-1-128 of Junyou Kokutai (Fighter Group), Imperial Japanese Navy, in 1943. The second one is 81-181 of 381st Kokutai, 311st Hikotai, Imperial Japanese Navy, in 1944. Thanks for looking and, as always, comments are welcome. Miguel
  8. Here is the second of a trio of Sweet 1:144 "BoB Aces" Hawker Hurricane Mk.Is built back in 2009. It represents P2921/GZ-L, flown by Flt Lt Peter Malam Brothers, No. 32 Sqn, RAF, Biggin Hill/Hawkings, UK, July 1940. The kit was fully painted with brush except for the final matt varnish which was airbrushed. Thanks for looking Miguel
  9. Here are a couple of Sweet 1:144 Mitsubishi A6M5 Zeros I built back in 2011. These are delightful little kits which require a little work but nothing too complex and no filler. I built them OOB just adding the missing wing pitot tube from stretched sprue and, of course, the radio wire. They were both painted by brush and only the final varnish was airbrushed. 1. Mitsubishi A6M5 Type 52 Zero 53-104, of 253rd Flying Group, Imperial Japanese Navy, flown by W.O. Tetsuzo Iwamoto, from Rabaul Tobera AB, New Britain Island, in February 1944. 2. Mitsubishi A6M5 Type 52a Zero 43-118, of 343rd (Founder) Flying Group, Imperial Japanese Navy, Guam, from the Mariana Islands, in 21 June 1944. Thank you for looking and all comments are welcome Miguel
  10. As discussed in my A5M4 thread I thought I might do another Japanese fighter. As I had a detail set for a Zero, that's what I'll do. I have several sweet Zero, including a floater but the individual packs annoyingly don't have hinomaru, so the only option was the boxed A6M3 in the grey/green scheme. As is sensible tradition I start with the office.. The Griffon photo etch set works wonders and speeds up/looks better than what I normally spend days scratching.
  11. Here is another pair of Sweet 1:144 General Motors FM-2 Wildcat VIs I built back in 2007. Builds were OOB with just the wing probe being added from wire. They were both painted by brush with the final varnish being airbrushed. First: Wildcat VI JV640/"O", of 881 Sqn, HMS Pursuer, Fleet Air Arm, in Southern France, August 1944 during Operation Dragoon, the first combat use of the Wildcat VI. Secondly: Wildcat VI JV851/"J3-V", of No 794 NAS, Fleet Air Arm, Eglinton, October-November 1945. As always, thanks for looking Miguel
  12. Hiya, I picked this pack up some time last year from Martin at Coastal Craft models (the best 1/144 seller on the show circuit!). I am going to build both planes in the box to form a small diorama at RAF Boxted in April 44, with one Malcolm Hooded example as AJ-A and the other with the standard canopy. Going to be a quick build as I am intending to display at the IPMS Bolton show on the 19th!
  13. Started on the sweet A5M4 as flown by Saburo Sakai. Made a good start on the cockpit. The kit comes with no cockpit detail, apart from a basic seat. - I have used a Brengun PE Japanese seat instead. -Added internal structure, radios and side control boxes. Still need to add instrument panel and control stick. Even though i'm fully able to, ill refrain from doing pipework etc inside because let's be honest what I've already done will be barely visible.
  14. Hello! Here is my Sweet 1:144 North American P-51C-11-NT Mustang 278/44-10816 "Evalina", with the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force, at Fussa AB, Japan. This ex-26th FS, 51st FG, 14th AF machine flown by Capt. Strawbridge was captured intact in China in 1944. I built this OOB in 2007. It came in a "captured aircraft" (POW) release with decals for German, Japanese, Swedish and Swiss captured or interned aircraft. Sweet's P-51B/C kits are a delight to build. It was fully painted and varnished by brush. Thanks for looking and all comments are welcome Miguel
  15. Here is one of my Sweet 1:144 Hawker Hurricane Mk.Is which I built in 2009. It's an early variant and represents L1768, GG-K, of No. 151 Sqn RAF, at North Weald, UK, in May 1939. Thanks for looking Miguel
  16. Here is one of several Sweet 1:144 Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 kits which I built back in 2008. It represents "<<--", of Stab/JG54, Luftwaffe, flown by Geschwaderkommodore Major Hannes Trautloft, from Relbitsy, Russia, in March 1942. The kit was painted and varnished by brush. Thank you for looking and all comments are welcome Miguel
  17. Here is one of two Sweet 1:144 Nakajima A6M2-N Type 2 "Rufe" fighters I built OOB back in 2011. It represents 34-106, of the 934th Kokutai Hikotai (Flying Group Fighter Squadron), Imperial Japanese Navy, at Banda Sea Ambon/Enu Islands Maikoor, from March 1943 to February 1944. Thanks for looking and all comments welcome Miguel
  18. Hello All, It's been a long time - Sweet's 1/144 P-51B/C modified to a RAF recon Mustang. Thanks for looking. Ian
  19. This has been trundling along for a while, this build. But a burst of energy (oddly enough as I was off work sick) has seen it over the line. The FM-2 Wildcat needs no introduction, and if it does then there are plenty of better written potted histories than I could manage. Suffice to say it was the last of the Wildcat line, with a more powerful engine and a larger tail to compensate. The Sweet kit is also well known. The only edits I made to it were to put a spare seat in the cockpit (can't be seen); to widen the diameter of the cowling (as the Shelf Oddity instructions wisely advise); and to put the prop in my dremel to lathe down the somewhat exaggerated staggered hub into a spinner. I was very tempted to use the lovely Shelf Oddity etch set for this (https://shelfoddity.com/index.php?route=product/product&amp;product_id=58 quite challenging-looking but I think I'd be up to it). In the end, though, I've decided to save that or another 'cat... I did use the superb (https://shelfoddity.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=25) Shelf Oddity decals. These were an absolute joy to use, even considering all the many many little stencils I had to put on. Not a whisper of silvering and all perfectly well behaved. There is a small etch fret as well, so you can put rocket stubs and other little details on. I plan to do the blue and natural metal ones the decals provide for, so will use the full detail set and the subject-specific etch on a future build. The Naval Air Modification Centre (NAMU) trained mechanics and had a number of bright yellow aircraft assigned to it (including a rather fetching Helldiver). Here's my Wildcat parked up in September 1946... As well as being used to test things like HVAR rocket, they were used as trainers and tugs... I sprayed the whole thing in Mr Hobby 329 which worked well, but required quite a few layers to get the right depth and shade. I used oils, pencils and pastels to weather (I refuse to believe that a bright yellow radial remains clean for long). I was particularly smug about my little pitot which I scratch built... The aerials at the back caused me some grief, but I got there in the end (kept reminding myself that it was better than trying to rig a Gladiator...) And that's that. With something totally unrelated but also on the bench... And now this goes to join its sibling Wildcats... Thanks very much for looking!
  20. Just finished today. This is the 1/144 scale Hurricane Mk I by Sweet. Finished as YB-J of 17 Squadron during the summer of 1940. The cockpit was dressed up a fair bit and a new canopy was made. I also whittled down the propeller blades and moved the elevators. These aircraft by Sweet are great little kits and come two in a box. If you ever get the chance, I definitely urge you to have a go!
  21. Here are some shots of my recent Hurricane conversion. The base kit was a clear-moulded 1/144 Mk I from Sweet with lengthened nose, and scratchbuilt prop, spinner, canopy, cannons and later style exhausts etc etc. Painting is with Mr Color lacquers and weathered with oils and Pergamino .5mm pale grey pencil. Hope you like it!
  22. Hello All, Sweet Model Co 1/144 109F in its winter camouflage boxing. This aircraft depicts Hans Eckhardt-Bob's aircraft winter 41-42 in the Leningrad area. Finished with Gunze Acrylics, Oils and an Enamel wash. Ozmods Pilot, Propblur etch propeller blade. Apart from that it's OOB. It is for a group build over on kampfgruppe144. Drop by if you want to see some 1/144 stuff. Thanks for looking. Ian
  23. Hello Everyone, I've decided to do these wee ones as a starter for this GB (I'm STILL waiting for my P-47's), these will be nothing fancy and straight out of the box builds. Not that there is much aftermarket stuff for Hurricanes in 1/144. These models where previously built by Speedman back in October last year for the BoB GB. Mine wont be as good as his, but I will give it a bloody good go! Onto the pictures... I have absolutely no idea what Yuki-kun is saying and the same goes for NASA-chan. Dont ask me to read what the box says either except for the obvious. Got to love the way that Japan always has to "cutify" everything... But it does work I guess... :/ This could be handy.... Couldn't resist, the box for the Wildcats says "Two Cats in a Box!" this one just has a funky picture of Yuki-kun... I dunno.. 4 of the 5 schemes that you can build out of the box (the last one is on the box). They all look pretty much the same except for option 2 and 5, which are the ones I am going to do. This is one of the two I am going to do, I love the blue on the wing leading edges and the bolt. I am going to assume that the squiggly lines are green. I will have to read up laters. The second picture, I really like this scheme as well for some reason. Sprue shots, I am not sure why there is a clear sprue (not being able to read Japanese) I guess I will never know. They are really clear tho... thats a good start I guess. I like how the wings go together, also the canopy that's normal plastic on the sandy sprue. That'll be useful when it comes to sorting out the framing, result! Got to love all of the decals that you get in a box from Sweet models. Quite a lot of choice here and maybe something I could use on other models. I also have another boxing, which I might decide to do depending how well these go. This is the same boxing that Speedman made. I got a few models from Sweet over the years, this isn't my full collection as I have a few more Zero's, Sea Kings and the Mustangs you can see on the shelf. If I do get time for the second batch it will be using this for some kind of diorama, it'll probably be crap tho... All of the lovely bits you get in the box. Yay! So hopefully I will get some time to start these soon. Kind Regards, Dazz
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