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  1. Minicraft Model Kits closing down ? To be confirmed. Source: https://www.aviationmegastore.com/en/modelling/lockheed-c130j-30-hercules-last-stocks-mincraft-has-ended-activities-minicraft-14700-134122.html Minicraft Model Kits official links: Homepage: https://minicraftmodels.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100054426042044 Twitter: https://twitter.com/MinicraftModels V.P.
  2. Since Zvezda released their superb Boeing 757 kit,Minicrafts effort sank even more in the favour of airliner modellers. As I had 2 of those in my stash,I thought if they cant be sold I might build them as well so I started work on both simultaneously. On both I chose to use the kits decals as they seemed nicely printed and I liked the respective liveries. The Eastern 757 was planned to build factory fresh as I found some pictures on the internet showing the 757 highly polished. First thing I did on the kit was correcting somehow the tail fin. It should be straight at the top and not raising from front to end. I sawed off a piece of it to get it levelled. The interlocking mechanism of the wings were cut off as well,it makes the alignment much easier. The most work was spent on the engines; As they come,they look terrible and if built and glued to the wings oob,the face upwards like on the 737MAX ,but more steep. First thing I did was sanding out the inlets on both halves,then inserting a piece of plasic tube to create a new seamless inlet. The nacelle also has a enhightened top were the engine mounts will be glued on to. Those were sanded off and that area flattened,so that the engine mounts will sit flush on the nacelles. Then the rear of the mounts were pressed down to sit on the hot section,glued on with CA glue. The mounts were cut down a bit to have a pointy end and straightened out.So if the engines are glued on the wing they will sit straight. The engine inlet and outlet rings were recreated by using evergreen 0.5mm plastic sheet,glued to the front,resp. end of the engines. Once hardened for about 2 days,the plastic sheet can be drilled open and then sanded to shape. This way no seam will be seen at the end. A lot of work but it improves the appearance of the engines tremendously,if you dont want to spend money on replacement parts. Some slight correction work was also done on the nose section to get it more 757 like. Here some putty and sanding did the job. The rest of the build is more or less by the book. For the metallic finish,I used Gunze chrome with some aluminium areas,with a gloss black base. The grey for the wings and tailplanes is Gunze grey 315 and the coroguard my own mix of Tamyia metallic grey and light grey. The windows are from Authentic Airliners and some metallic decal stripes were added to the fuselage to give a bit more detail to the metallic finish. Sealed with a thin layer of Gunze Premium gloss on the fuselage and semi-gloss on the wings. Cheers Alex With the AA 757,which can be seen in the other RFI...
  3. As mentioned in the RFI for my Eastern Airlines 757,I worked on both kits simultaneously. The mods I did are explained in the Eastern 757 thread,for the AA version I added the winglets,which come from a Eastern Express kit. They needed a fair amount of work to fit on the Minicraft wings...I always assumed the EE kits are simply copies of the Mincraft 757,but it seems not entirely. For the AA 757 I chose a more weathered look as pictures I found showed a quite worn and tired looking 757. The metallic look was created with Tamyia aluminium with a thin overspray Tamyia Mica silver from a spray can. Some silver decal stripes were added for more detail.The decals are from the kitwith the exception of the cockpit window being from Authentic Airliners. The cabin windows were printed on the stripes,so I could not use AA cabin windows. The coroguard panes are from a Flying Colors detail set,that I found in my spares box as well as some other details. The "AA.COM" logos on the winglets come from a Hasegawa 737-800 kit.They are a bit smaller than they should be but it was all I had in my stash.Most important that the logos are there at all... I sealed the fuselage with a light coat of Tamyia semi-gloss to tone down the metal and Tamyia matte varnish for the wings and engines. Weathering was done by using Humbrol graphite powder. Cheers Alex
  4. Claiming a spot. I'll be doing the classic/ancient/old (you decide) Minicraft Ventura Mk.II, with help from the DK Decal Ventura sheet. And the subject as the title says: Leonard Trent's AJ209 on the ill-fated Ramrod 16 raid.
  5. Hi all, I enjoyed so much the first GB that I joined the list for this one immediately after it was proposed! Again I have too many fitting kits to start, this time I made a decision to enter first an airliner, maybe this will be easier to finish and give me additional time for a second entry. So, my plan is to build the much cursed Minicraft B757 (not Zvezda, I still have to buy it) because I have it in my stash and this is a good excuse. Perhaps I will do some shape improvements, but we'll see. For sure the livery will be this: I made a return trip on it in 2006 for a holiday in Minorca. I have very good memories and the plane was quite comfortable compared to the run of the mill Airbuses and B737s. Cheers Fabio
  6. This is my DC-8-51 of the Finnish airline Kar-Air. The company bought the plane from Eastern Airlines and it was taken into use in November, 1971. The plane was used in chartered flights to southern holiday resorts and the flights at that time were quite moist to say the least. So the pilots gave the plane the nickname "Drunken Mike" after its call sign OH-KDM. The plane was also called "Viirupyrstö" or "stripe tail" because of its elegant livery. I modified the plane from the 1/144 scale Minicraft DC-8-71 kit. The fuselage of the DC-8-51 series was 11 metres shorter than the -71 so the kit's fuselage had to be shortened correspondingly about 7,8 cm. Luckily enough Minicraft had marked the cutting lines inside the fuselage for the different sub types of the DC-8. Before joining the fuselage halves together I had to add quite lot of weight to the nose in order to avoid the plane being a tail sitter. Another major modification was to install the right types of engines i.e. Pratt&Whitney JT3D-3 to the wings. In the aftermarket I found three alternatives, the Contrail, the Braz-models and the Authentic Airlines' resin powerplants. I chose the AA engines which were of high quality. To be installed they required slots to be cut in the wings of the kit. As to the front landing gear of the kit I had to cut it to the right length of the DC-8-51. I also added lots of scratch built details to the model. The decals for the DC-8-51 of Kar-Air are from 26Decals. I ordered cabin and cockpit window decals from Authentic Airliners. To paint the white areas of the fuselage I used Revell's 04 white enamel. The underside of the fuselage was painted with Xtracolor X139 and the coroguard with Xtracolor x150 (Canadian Voodoo Grey). For the the metal areas I used AK Xtreme's metal-aluminium.
  7. When I was a plane spotter in my teens some 50 years ago TWA and Pan Am were just about the only international US airlines I knew of. Unfortunately these nostalgic liveries have long ago disappeared from the skies. The story of Trans World Airlines ended in the 1990's when it went bankrupt and was purchased by American Airlines in 2001. As far as Boeing 727 is concerned, its maiden flight took place in 1963 and the production of the plane ended in 1984. In total 1832 planes were made. For me as a classic airliner modeller it was a must to have on my shelf models representing the both iconic airlines. For TWA's part I decided to build their Boeing 727-200 in the elegant delivery scheme. This three holer was quite an old kit by Minicraft in 1/144 scale, from somewhere in the late 90's. Detailwise it wasn't nearly the quality of Minicraft's current airliner kits. I had to do some puttying and sanding of seams but in all the model went quite well together. I also had to add some weight to the front so that the plane wouldn't be a tail sitter. I bought a Skyline Details' photoetch set for antennas, wipers, pitot tubes, etc. I also had to scratch build and correct several details. The decals I used were 26Decals for the livery, Authentic Airliners for the windows and Nazca decals for the stencils and coroguards. I painted the fuselage with white Tamiya Fine surface primer which I then sprayed with Tamiya clear gloss TS-13. The metal areas I primed with Humbrol gloss black and sprayed them with AK Extreme metal-aluminium. I finished the model by sealing the details with Humbrol Clear acrylic varnish and also used Vallejo and Humbrol colours for smaller details.
  8. My entry will be Minicrafts 1/144 Legend of Aviation, The Douglas DC-3. The kit comes with 3 decal options, I have gone for the all over orange KLM version. I have some concerns over the decals, as they are quite old, did test one and it seemed to behave itself so fingers crossed. Plan is to build this wheels up, as a desk display model. Build wise I am going with the Bruce Wayne Option, Planning to start about 3ish this afternoon, means I should complete it before the Indy 500 starts,
  9. Here's my 1/144 L-100-20 Hercules in TAAG Angola Airlines colours, just finished in the Africa GB. It's the Minicraft kit with a Welsh Models vacform fuselage, resin wheels and engine intakes (can't remember which brand - maybe Brengun or Reskit), and custom decals. The build was a bit of a challenge - there are probably easier ways to get to an L-100-20 (like starting with a C-130H-30 and shortening it). Build thread is here thanks for looking Julian
  10. Part two of my little gunship builds, and I'm doing the Hercules AC-130A ,the minicraft kit, its a simple construction, I've dry built it and there's nothing to report in the way of fit horror stories, even the wings will plug in after painting to make this far less stressfull while painting , theres a short shot on the underside of the port wing that'll need sorting first off , and you get a stand in the box too, so choosing the scheme, i was going to do "azrael angel of death", but the full wrap around sea scheme (surprise package) has seduced me ,I'm even tempted to do the early roman nose version of the prototype, also wrap around , it did see service apparently Short shot Schemes I like this one And this Next to its stable mate, dry built The wings do fit better than the photo suggests ,and although not shown, the clear section looks to fit quite well too Cheers all I'm off to do some glueing
  11. Here is a Minicraft 1:144 Heinkel He 111H-6 I built back in 2015. It represents 1H+MM, of KG26, Luftwaffe, based in Italy. It was built mostly OOB but using the Matador Models white metal cockpit part. The guns were are replaced by new ones from scrap plastic and stretched sprue. The missing underfuselage aerial, wing pitot and engine carburettor intakes were also made from stretched sprue. I also tried to improve the shapes of the propeller blades. General fit of parts was poor, especially around the underside gondola and wing roots. The kit was fully painted and varnished with brush. Decals were those of the kit except the swastikas which came from another sheet. Thanks for looking and, as always, all comments are welcome. Miguel
  12. Hola, Britmodellers. I took an unplanned hobby break in 2019, but picked up the plastic again a while back. After a few quick builds (a 1/144 EA18G and completing two Arma 1/72 Hurricanes that were largely built but unpainted when the break hit), I thought I'd tackle something more ambitious. I don't know what it is about the waning of the days but I often seem to pluck up the courage to deal with the bigger boxes in the stash at this time of year. I was all set to build the Minicraft B-24J but then a chance ebay purchase delivered the Eduard "Mission Centenarians" boxing of the B-24D to my door. Because the chances of me building two Liberators are so high. Oh, yes. Here's the obligatory box top shot: Ah, so pretty. I'll not post photos of the contents, 'cos I didn't take them before I started chopping them up. Also, the only camera I have right now is my phone, and that's got a crack across the lens. Combine that with my photography skills and things may look a little surreal at times... OK. Big decision #1. There are four options shown on the box, though the instructions have a fifth option (it's an earlier iteration of the fourth option). One of them isn't an actual mission centenarian, so what the heck it's doing here is anyone's guess. According to Mr Eduard, though, it "fits the theme of this release very well". No, it bloody doesn't. Anyway. Two/three are SE Pacific birds in olive drab, two are 15th AF birds in pink sand. For me it's got to be a pink one, and since only one of those options was an actual centenarian, it's going to be the box-art beauty, Chug-A-Lug. I've ordered some Vallejo paint as faded pinkish sand isn't a colour that I already have, and I'm beggared if I'll be trying to mix up enough paint to cover a viermot. This was a 98th Bomb Group airframe, survivor of Operation Tidal Wave (unlike an astonishing 35 of the 48 aircraft from the 98th BG on that raid), and eventual veteran of 105 raids. If you've got this far, thanks, and I hope both that you'll stick around and that the thread provides some entertainment value!
  13. This started out as a 777-300 conversion using 2 Minicraft 1/144 kits. But over time it was painted, decaled, sanded and repainted until I did not like the finish so it was stripped and had its GE90 engines removed. I then had a brainwave to add some spare GE CF-6 engines from a 747 kit to it. It was repainted again and I used 2 Australian Airline A300 decal sheets to finish it as a What - If. So I present to you my Australian Airlines Boeing 777-476ER...
  14. Boeing 707 D-ABOC “Berlin” was operated by Lufthansa from 1960 until 1976 and in 1974-75 it was used by charter subsidiary Condor. Since the classic Lufthansa blue stripe livery was already represented in my collection I thought D-ABOC in Condor colours would be an interesting addition. If it’s of any interest the aircraft which masqueraded as “D-ABOC” outside Berlin Tegel airport for many years was an impostor - an ex-El Al machine which never flew for a German airline. The real D-ABOC was broken up for spares at Tripoli in 1979. The Minicraft Boeing 707 has a few known accuracy issues, mainly the shape of the cockpit and the excessive nose-up sit of the engines on the 707-320B, but otherwise the kit isn’t too bad. If you want a totally accurate 707 you’re looking at Authentic Airliners or Welsh Models’ badly under-rated -336 but the engines on the Minicraft -420 don’t suffer from the sit problem so if you fix the cockpit and sort a few more minor things like the undersized ventral fin you end up with a decent, if not perfect, Conway-powered 707. The simplest way to deal with the cockpit is the Contrails Models insert, a straight replacement for the Minicraft clear section. However for this model I decided to try the complete replacement nose from Phase Hangar Resin Accessories which I think is a re-issue of the former Two Mikes part. It turned out to be beautifully cast and a good fit provided the fuselage is cut accurately. The weight of the resin also means you don’t have to worry about tail sitting. Apart from a replacement ventral fin the model is otherwise pretty much out of the box. Paint is Halfords Appliance White and Racking Grey with Tamiya yellow on the fin. Natural metal is mainly AK Interactive Xtreme Metal with some Rub ’n’ Buff. Decals are a mixture. Most came from a Two Six Lufthansa sheet with titles and logos of unknown origin found in the spares box and registrations from a sheet of RAF lettering (!) because the Two Six registrations were far too big. Detail decals including corrogard are from the excellent Flying Colors sheet and windows are by Authentic Airliners. If anyone has clear information whether Lufthansa/Condor 707s of this period had overwing exit markings please let me know. As far as I can see they weren’t carried so I’ve left them off but they can easily be added. It’s disgraceful that photographers in the mid-1970s failed to consider the needs of modellers 40-odd years later! It’s years since I last built the Minicraft 707 and I had forgotten how badly the engines fitted. When I attached the nicely AK’d nacelles to the pylons on the fully decalled model the result was, putting it politely, sub-optimal. That led to some interesting (and not entirely successful) filling and re-finishing in the course of which I managed to damage the natural metal on the left front fuselage (don’t ask) which led to some even more interesting re-finishing. The camera doesn’t lie but this time it has been persuaded not to look too closely! I still have a couple of Minicraft 707s in the stash and the next time I build one I will stick absolutely everything in place, including the engines, before painting. Thanks for looking and as always constructive criticism is welcome. Dave G
  15. Hello all, Just finished this latest build. the Minicraft MD-80 kit with Swiftair Real Madrid EC-JQV decals by TwoSix. EC-JQV was painted up in the Real Madrid livery in 2007 to carry the football team and VIP's around until 2009 when they stopped using the plane for political reasons. EC-JQV was scrapped in 2012 but it lives on in 1/144 scale! For a Minicraft build this wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, certainly better than the 737-400 kit, but that's not to say it's a doddle, still needed a fair bit of filler for the fuselage join, but the wings weren't actually too bad considering it's the fiddly interlocking system. I did a few 'dry' fits to find the 'spot' where it would lock in before putting glue on. The last few dry fits worked perfect so having nailed that, I put the glue on and then it didn't lock in as it just did the past few attempts but I got it in soon after. The stabilzers and engines went on very well, the wheel doors were the most fiddly things of all! Instructions could have been a little bit clearer but wasn't that bad. The decals are excellent and well recommended, they are designed for the Minicraft kit, the blue around the nose was a tad fiddly and required a little bit of blue paint to fill in a gap around the cockpit window as it doesn't quite fit, but that was no problem. I hope you like it and thanks for looking! James.
  16. At the iHobbyExpo 2013 in the US, Minicraft displayed the box art from a future 1/48th new tool Beechcraft T-34A/B Mentor kit - ref. 11671. Release is expected in 2014. Sources: http://www.cybermodeler.com/special/ihe13.shtml https://minicraftmodels.com/products/11671-1-48-beechcraft-t-34-mentor V.P.
  17. Here is the third of my Minicraft 1:144 Martin B-26 Marauders which I built back in 2014. It represents Martin B-26C-45-MO Marauder 42-107812/KS-J "Baby Bumps II", of 557th BS, 387th BG, USAAF, in 1944. I added a Matador Models white metal cockpit, opened up all the windows and thinned the turret guns as much as possible. Despite the white metal cockpit part, I had to add a little extra weight to prevent the kit from tipping on its tail. The gun barrels of the external gun packs were scraped off the fuselage sides and replaced with new ones from either plastic or metal rod (can't remember!). The kit was completely painted and varnished by brush. Thanks for looking and, as usual, all comments are welcome Miguel
  18. I received a nice pack of decals from Rich W on Friday so I decided to bring forward my attempt at a B777-300 conversion from the Minicraft kit. I started this yesterday. I am using a fresh kit as well as one of my older builds to make the stretch. I started by chopping up both kits, the built up kit was cut up to make the extended forward and rear fuselage sections while the new kit was cut up to use the centre fuselage and wings. So the 777-3 is obviously longer, what to do with the discards? Perhaps a 777SP I used some pieces from my A330-200 conversion to reinforce the joins, could this be a first in Airbus-Boeing co-operation (or is it Revell - Minicraft???) I am also using the Contrails GE-90 engines and raked wingtips for the build. The engines are average, not up to Braz standard. I have cleaned one up and I needed to sand the intake lip flat and reshape the lip as it was not straight. The rear of the nacelle also needed squaring up I assemble the right wing and then cut off the tip to add the rake tip. It was slightly over sized in chord so I aligned it to the trailing edge when gluing and then cleaned up the leading edge to match the Minicraft wing. I also tried to thin the trailing edge of the wing, this is an issue with the Minicraft kit. I took material form the inside of the wing and glued the halves together. I found this was not enough and proceeded thin it down from the outside from both top and bottom parts. Some rescribing of moving surfaces will be required later on.
  19. I may yet put up 12 entries for KUTA XII! Here's one of them though... It really, really shouldn't take too much to finish this off. Well, repaint the #3 nacelle and some decals.
  20. Heinkel He 111H-24 AEW "Blue A", the first of the H-24 series, Erprobungskommando Bremen, Luftwaffe, Germany (fictitious). Once the go-ahead was given for project Obertasse with the FuG 244 Berlin N-4 (later Bremen) rotating dish radar, it was proposed to use surplus He 111H aircraft as proof-of-concept machines due to the then unavailability of Ar 234s (the type chosen for the project) due to their need as bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. Three He 111s were converted to the new H-24 sub-type with all weapons removed, the Bremen radar in a rotating dish on a pylon on top of the fuselage, and several other detection and communications systems installed, the most noticeable being the thimble nose attached to the forward turret. All windows were covered and the top radio mast moved back. The aircraft were flown by Erprobungskommando (operational test detachment) Bremen. At first they flew only at night under He 219 fighter cover and although several problems were encountered, these were solved in over a month and the concept proved a success. Seven more conversions were made before the concept was finally applied to Ar 234s and other aircraft. Only one was shot down and two were destroyed on the ground. The survivors were later used for tests. (This history is, of course, fictitious. Project Obertasse was real though, but it was never built). Once I learnt of the Obertasse project in the third book of the "Luftwaffe Secret Projects" I always had the idea of making an Ar 234 in this configuration but without a readily available 1:144 kit I haven't yet been able to. The idea for this He 111 "what-if?" came when I fouled up the clear parts for a previous Minicraft 1/144th kit. I could restore clarity to the two main parts but not to the nose turret. It hit me that the He 111, having been designed also as a transport plane, would also be an ideal AEW platform, and like this recover what could have been a lost kit. Thus, I made up a non-exitant final sub-type. The kit was fully painted and varnished with brush. Decals came from spares. Thanks for looking and, as always, all comments are welcome. Miguel
  21. The MD-80 kit is,together with the DC-8 kit,probably the best airliner kit from Minicraft. Accurate in shape,nicely detailed and easy to build,its great fun to work on it. When I saw that decal set from DRAW decal,I knew I had to build one of my Minicraft MD-80s in that scheme. I remember in 1992 when Balair introduced this new livery,I often went to Zurich airport and took pictures of them and the then newly bought Airbus A310-300s After the merger with Geneva based CTA ,Balair was renamed BalairCTA but the colour scheme stayed and the planes got the nickname parrots. Those jets were among the most colorful ,even at that time ,and a true eyecatcher wherever they showed up. Sadly the "Mad Dogs" are pretty much non-existent anymore on our Swiss airports,I miss the sight and sound of them. DRAW decal provides both titles,but I opted for the simpler Balair title as I have an A310 to be made in the latter livery. All paints are Revell enamels clear coated with Gunze Gloss clear. Happy Hollydays,
  22. I'm regretting this already! But I was in search of a mojo restorer (maybe a B-17 what if), and seeing as 1:72nd is well catered for, and not being convinced that 1:48 is going to restore my mojo I thought, why not go the other way? So, I've got a minicraft 1:144 B-17G and some decals that apparently make it for Sally B... what could be more fun, a little bit off the beaten track and with some personal history from my South Cambs villages thrown in? Sally B it'll be http://www.sallyb.org.uk/index.htm Bit of an imposter as she never saw war service, but there were some bizarre mods in her life http://www.sallyb.org.uk/history.htm Photos to follow, but the mini craft kit has a decidedly 'toy' feel to it- maybe it'll actually match my skill level. And for all the discussion of interior paints, the mini craft advice is straight from the Rolling Stones- Pain it black (all of it!!) And the decals are rudimentary at best, and omit the crucial feature of Sally B, the yellow checkerboard on #3 engine Photos and progress coming over the weekend with a tailwind, but I'm in!
  23. I have wanted to do a conversion of an aircraft kit for a while, but not had the confidence to start one; or sure of which one to do. I have eventually overcome the doubts of my abilities and decided to convert a Minicraft 1:144 B-24J Liberator into a wartime PB4Y-2 Privateer. This will be trial and error; however, if I am successful then I intend get the Minicraft B-24D version and do another as a postwar Firebomber. For now though, I only have a drawing for a wartime version so will start with that. The donor kit will be this one: The drawing that I shall be using for reference will be this one: To help identify where to cut and the relocation of parts, I will re-draw the salient sections to 1:144 scale and print them off like this profile view: I will be happy if, at the end of this build, it at least looks like a Privateer! Mike
  24. Hello everyone! Here is Martin B-26G-25-MA Marauder, 44-68171 “8X/02”, of 1 Escadrille, GBM I/22 “Maroc”, Armée de l’Air, at St. Dizier, France, in May 1945. This was a conversion of Minicraft 1:144 kit I did in 2014 with the scheme markings from a Print Scale decal sheet. I added a Matador Models white metal cockpit, opened up all the windows and thinned the turret guns as much as possible. Despite the white metal cockpit part, I had to add a little extra weight to prevent the kit from tipping on its tail. The gun barrels of the external gun packs were scraped off the fuselage sides and replaced with new ones from either plastic or metal rod (can't remember!). The major point of the conversion was changing the angle of the main wings. The F and G models had the main wings raised 3,5 degrees at the front to help reduce the landing speeds. I managed to alter the tabs and root holes so the wings would sit at the new angle and then blended in the wings to the fuselage at the roots with filling and sanding. The kit was completely painted by brush with only the varnish being applied with an airbrush. Thanks for looking and all comments are welcome Miguel
  25. Joining you with this kit. To build as RAAF version, with these Frog decals. Here are the parts, some painting, but no construction. Some of you may recognise that light blue from my recent PB J Mitchell. Well this will also be re-airbrushed, similar colours to my Avenger. This kit cost me £5 from Chelt Model Centre in 1999, and has remained untouched ever since. With me wondering - why did I buy that?
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