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  1. I finished up my first entry in this GB a month or so ago, a Syrian air force Spitfire, and I assumed that would be it, but I saw the deadline got extended and I recently obtained a stash of 1/144 kits I've been excited to get into. So, let me see if I can complete this Bf 109F in the next few days! I've built some Sweet Hawker Hurricanes before and they were a joy to build, and this one looks like it will be a similarly wonderful experience. The box contains two sets of sprue, but I'll just build one for now. After ten wonderful minutes, here we are. The kit almost falls together on its own.
  2. Alright, alright, another excuse to dig into my new 1/144 stash, why not!? I'll build a Sweet P-51B Mustang in Swedish markings. I cut and washed the sprues tonight, but photos and more to come!
  3. I built three 1/144 Hawker Hurricanes in other GBs this year, and while they aren't what I'm used to, I did enjoy them. From left to right, these are a Sweet fabric wing Hurricane in Belgian markings; a Zvezda Hurricane in an Egypt-based RAF night fighter scheme (kit was kindly given to me by @Mjwomack); and a Sweet metal wing Hurricane in Australian markings. The Sweet boxes include two kits, so I have a leftover set of metal wing sprues from this kit . . . . . . which I will use with these decals . . . . . . to model an FAA Hurricane for this GB! These are the sprues in the Sweet box: I'll be working with the clear ones, which is a bit different isn't it!?
  4. I love Hawker Hurricanes and have built many of them in 1/72nd scale over the last two years (see: Hawker Hurricanes around the World), but 1/144 is NOT my comfort zone (actually I've never tried before). So, I thought, why not? I think I feel even less comfortable now that I look at the sprues, but nonetheless, here we go . . . First up will be the Zvezda Mk I kit, kindly supplied by @Mjwomack! I have three of Sweet kits (each allowing you to build two Hurricanes, so that's six total!), too, which look to be somewhat better quality than Zvezda, so we'll start with the Zvezda and see where it goes. The Sweet kits include extra propellers, so I should be able to steal one of those to replace the one missing from the Zvezda kit. I have a few decal options for this, and have not decided which way I'll go in terms of markings yet, but fairly confident I won't be using the Zvezda decals. There were two sets in this kit, including two canopies, but they are not impressive decals. Here are the sprues, including the stand, which I do think I'll use. Seven parts total for the a/c itself--one fuselage, one wings, two UC, two stabilizers, and the canopy! What have I got myself into!? 🥴
  5. Over in the Not My Comfort Zone GB I just finished up a 1/144 Zvezda Hawker Hurricane, the first time I've built in 1/144. I've built lots of 1/72 Hawker Hurricanes (see: Hawker Hurricanes around the World), including the only RAAF Hawker Hurricane: For this GB, I am going to use the Sweet kit to build a "mini me" version of the above using Shelf Oddity decals. This is the kit: The sprues (there are two kits in each box): The kit's decals, which I shouldn't need to use: And the Shelf Oddity decals (the set on the right are the RAAF ones): It won't be a long weekend here in Canada, but I think this is a manageable blitz build. Looking forward to it!
  6. 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!
  7. 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!
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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!
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
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