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  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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. Source: http://www.cybermodeler.com/special/ihe13.shtml V.P.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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,
  9. 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!
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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?
  13. My first build will be a EC-121K, early designation WV-2 by Jan H, auf Flickr WV-13 kit decals for a plane that used the Keflavik and Prestwick bases in the late 50's and early 60's by Jan H, auf Flickr Hunchback device and guppy bottom.... by Jan H, auf Flickr
  14. Hi all, a late start for me, I'd like to enter this build. Many moons ago I assembled the fuselage and tailplanes, hope it is well under the 25% limit. Just the boxart from Scalemates for now, will follow with images of the box contents as soon as I find a good replacement for my old Photobucket account.. Best regards Fabio
  15. I'm at the stage of needing a serious stash purge and I'm going to dispose of a number of kits which I know I'll never build. Several years ago I acquired a load of kits from the estate of a modeller who had died. These included a couple of Minicraft 777s in the American and United boxings. Both are still shrink-wrapped. I don't have a 777 in my collection and I've always rather liked it in Austrian livery which is available from F-DCAL. I know the kit suffers from "shape issues" apparently particularly affecting the nose but I can't find a clear explanation of what exactly is wrong and how it can be corrected. Can anyone advise me whether it is feasible and/or worthwhile to correct the Minicraft kit or should I just put the examples I have on eBay and build a -300ER from the Zvezda kit?
  16. 1/72nd Martin PBM-5/-5A Mariner kit by Minicraft - ref. 11669. Release is reported as imminent. The kit was presented at the Shizuoka Hobby Show 2013 Source: http://happy.ap.teacup.com/applet/runchickens/20130516/archive We need now a 1/48th injected kit of this beauty to replace the old POMK resin kit. V.P.
  17. Here's the Minicraft 1/144 Bf-110 I finished last weekend. It was an enjoyable build, but the model's fit wasn't very good. I chose the kit after I'd read an IPMS member review that said the fit was very good. I don't know what I did wrong, but the seam on the bottom where the wings met the fuselage was pretty bad and I had to fill with super glue and sand smooth. The bottom and top halves of the engine nacelles were mis-aligned so that there was over lap. I sanded these flush. The bright side of this kit was there was no raised detail and very little engraved detail, so I could sand the seams without any fear of removing detail! In retrospect I should've done this in 1/72, but I got the minicraft kit in a fit of nostalgia: when I was 13 I wanted the Revell "Squadron 144" Bf-110 in the worst way and never got it. Not much else to say. This is Rudolf Hess' Bf-110. I primered with Mr. Surfacer 1500 black and used Mr. Color paints. Minicraft got the paint colors wrong for this scheme. They showed two different schemes, but listed the same colors for both. I did some research and determined the scheme was RLM 74/75/76 with RLM 70/74/02 mottling. The out-of-scale over spray in the mottling is more evident in the pictures than to the naked eye. I'm still figuring out the wash: it's still a tad darker than I would've liked, but now I know it darkens when dull cote is sprayed on it, so I'll do it lighter next time! I should note that the gun in the back of the canopy didn't come with the kit. I had to make it myself. The other gripe I have about the kit is the gear bay doors. They are molded shut and you have to cut them apart if you are going to do a "gears-down" model. The plastic is very thick and results in gear doors that would probably be a foot thick in real life. I suppose you could sand them thinner, but holding on to them is a challenge because of their small size!
  18. Minicraft is to release late October a 1/48th Beechcraft Bonanza F33 kit - ref.11670. Source: http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LNDLRV V.P.
  19. Minicraft Model Kits catalog & brochure 2018 online https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0251/0463/files/2018_MCM_Catalog.pdf https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0251/0463/files/2018_MCM_New_Releases_Brochure.pdf V.P.
  20. Is the Liberator GR.VI the same as a Liberator B-24J? I have a B-24J kit but would like to do it as a GR.VI cheers Mike
  21. Work on my Short S3 Empire Flying Boat is somewhat slow, mainly due to a little diversion to build some engine cowlings. In the interim, I thought I'd add another build to this GB, this time a PBY-5A Catalina. The kit is by Minicraft in 1:144 scale and I intend (I think) to build it as is, straight out of the box. Mike
  22. This is the 1/144 MInicraft DC-8-63 kit modified to into a DC-8-55F by shortening the fuselage and using JTD-3B engines from an old Welsh Models kit. The original aircraft was purchased by Affretair (Rhodesia) in 1972 from Seaboard World Airlines but registered as TR-LQR in Gabon. In 1977, it was repainted in the colours of CargOman and re-registered as A40-PA in Oman as a flag of convenience. This effectively allowed the aircraft to continue being used on sanctions-busting flights from Salisbury to Libreville (Gabon), Muscat (Oman) and various points in Europe. Flights in and out of Rhodesia normally took place in the dark of the night and the aircraft was usually kept well out of sight, behind the Affretair hangar. In 1982, it officially reverted back to Affretair (Zimbabwe) ownership and re-registered first as VP-WMJ and then as Z-WMJ . It was eventually sold to Trans Air Cargo Service in 1997 and was scrapped in Kinshasa in 2005 after suffering an engine failure during landing. The decals are home-made. There's a sort of build in progress thread and a couple of additional photos here : http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234937676-minicraft-douglas-dc-8s-in-1144-one-down/ (I'm afraid it's all a bit messy, as I'm trying to build three DC-8s at the same time - not the brightest thing I've ever attempted !) Hope you like it. mike
  23. This is the Hasegawa/Minicraft 1/72 P2V-7 Neptune boxing from 1972 or 1973. I bought this second hand along with the Eduard PE and Mask set for it. Other than adding the PE, this will be an OOB build of the generic post WWII U. S. version in Navy Blue. I am hoping this to be an easy build as I need one after a couple of trying ones. Here is the box art and collection of sprues loose in the box It appears the fuselage halves have been taken off of the sprues and for some reason the locating pins have been sanded flush. I wonder if original owner didn’t realize what they were and thought they were sanding off sprue attachments? So, the prior owner has turned this into a short run kit without locating tabs, wonderful. So work begins with the cockpit. The kit is very basic with 2 seats, a floor and 2 bulkheads. There are also the pilot figures to help jazz it up, but I am totally rubbish at figure painting. So, I am hoping the Eduard PE set will help jazz this area up. I am not sure how much can be seen once the canopies are on, but looks to be very barren inside. First step is to locate the minimal floor console instrument panel and sand the detail down so the Eduard PE part can be attached. Next looking at the seats, there are some quite lovely and large injection marks that need to be dealt with. Next up the base coat of grey for the interior parts including the nose gear bay housing. I tried to come close to the colour on the PE and think it will blend in nice once a weather finish has been applied. A little bit of dirtying up and scuffing . . . Now to work on the PE stuff. There is a little box that sets at the rear of the seats on the rear bulkhead that has to be painted and bent into place. That fuzzy thing above it is the tip of a microbrush to give a sense of scale of this huge item. Why at my advanced age am I doing PE work on a 1/72 plane? I need magnifiers for my magnifier. Onto constructing the two control columns out of the PE. It consists of two pieces, the control column that has to be folded and the circular yoke. I have completed one and you can tell the size by the tweezer tip in the picture. Next up are the rudder pedals. Here is the PE part after painting, but prior to being folded. And here it is all folded up; only 3 more to go, yippee!! And all four looking somewhat uniform Now this is what the kit cockpit would look like if built straight out of the box. (Please ignore the center control PE part and imagine a really crappy, raised, blobby, plastic detail area.) No wonder there were figures to put in here. Otherwise, there would be nothing to see. I put the PE control panel in the starboard fuselage half and it fit quite nicely and jazzes the area up a bit. Now here is where I ran into problems. There are two PE side instrument columns that run between the fuselage wall and the cockpit seats. When I dry fit them, there is not enough room between the seats and the fuselage wall for them to fit. My choices are to cut down the instrument panel and lose some of its detail, or sand down the chunky seats to allow more room for the side control column. I decided on the latter. Did I dry fit prior to installing the seats and begin work on the seat belt placement; of course not. I didn’t get the prudent idea of checking the fit until the seats were firmly in place. So, I pried off the port seat and sanded both sides of it down, trying to not mess up the seat belts. I then placed the seat back and you can compare the size of the sanded seat to the original kit seat. The seat appearance is improved I think. The side console will now fit. I just have to pry up the other side and do that seat too. But, it is time to go to work to pay for my plastic addiction, so I must stop. All comments always welcome.
  24. Minicraft is to release a 1/144th Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules kit - ref. 14700 Source: http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/blog/1509254 V.P.
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