10 September 2014

Review - Vallejo Model Air

RRP - £16.99 (8 colour set), £31.99 (16 colour set)

Time for something a little different, a paint review. Vallejo's model air range are specially designed for airbrushes and to be honest I'm lost for words...!

Overall Score: Incredible, so easy to use, just perfect!

OK so in all seriousness I tried these out of curiosity, partly because I didn't feel like mixing Tamiya paints to get RLM (Luftwaffe) colours when I could get them ready mixed. Typically the 8 colour set consists of 6 colours, a matt varnish and thinner.

I've tried the Model Colour range, for brush painting, and I was not impressed so wasn't expecting much. The Model Air paints themselves seem to have a resin like texture which means they flow nicely and are not too wet. For me they've been an absolute revolution and have had as big an impact on what I can do as changing my airbrush did.

I've found that camouflage patterns are much easier to do with paint that is less "wet." And just to show, the picture below took me very little time to do.

The more eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that the model in question is Airfix's 1:72 Bf 109E-4, I'll write more about that later. I'm making plans to retire my Tamiya paints and starting to replace them with the Vallejo Model Air range so I'll leave you with an interesting video on airbrushing with Vallejo paints.

09 September 2014

Space Hulk to be re-released?

So it looks like the Games Workshop are about to re-release the 3rd edition of Space Hulk. If so, well done to them!

I missed out last time back in 2009 and have since been trying to get hold of a copy ever since. Why? Well the game contained some pretty good miniatures that were something I would not normally paint and, believe it or not, I actually wanted to play the game. Expected price seems to be around £70 / £75 which seems in line with the price for similar games.

Of course it was a limited edition last time which meant a lot of copies were bought by by profiteers rather than gamers. A quick look on eBay and I see copies without miniatures selling for £50 and upwards! On Saturday, (13th September 2014), it looks like karma is going to strike, I can't say I'm that sorry.

So here's a few pictures, supposedly from the next issue of White Dwarf.

Basically the rumours seem to suggest it'll consist of the same set of miniatures, as the pictures show, and an additional mission and some new tokens.

Anyway, I'm off to offer £30 best offers to a few eBay sellers who seem to want a rather unrealistic £200 for an out of date, second hand version of a (soon to be) current game. Until next time.

10 August 2014

Building a 1:72 Scale Base

Just a quick post to show a base I've been working on for my Tamiya P-51D. I decide that I wanted to add some context to the model, rather than just having it standing on a shelf on it's own.

So the base of my base was one of Trumpeter's display cases, the 170mm square one. To this I added some very fine sand, airbrushed brown. Then I added several packs of Bregun's 1:72 PSP Marsden matting. This proved to be somewhat awkward, if you want to use this stuff then I recommend a smooth surface, the fine sand made it hard work.

I airbrushed another coat of brown paint over the whole base, a slightly lighter shade than before before drybrushing the PSP with Citadel Chainmail. Then the PSP was washed heavily with brown Citadel inks ensuring all the holes in the PSP were brown rather than silver. Oil stains were added by leaving a large pool of brown ink to dry.

Then I added brown flock around the PSP and green static grass. Wheel chocks were made from a wooden cocktail stick, the paper drop tanks were from my spares box (probably from an Academy kit).

Finishing touches included a tool box and tools from Bregun and the pilot figure which came from CMKs USAAF Korean War pilots set (F72 110). The CMK figure was nicely detailed for the scale, I highly recommend this set.

So far I'd say it's about 90% done, just a few more bits to add. So to finish this post, a few pictures with the P-51D Mustang.

04 August 2014

Completed Review - FineMolds TIE Fighter - Part 2

Scale: 1:72, RRP - £24.99 (UK import price)

So back to blogging after a break and where better to start than with the FineMolds TIE Fighter. In my previous build review I pretty much covered how well this kit went together, so there isn't much more to say. I will make a quick mention of the masks that were included with the kit for the glazed parts, these were excellent and the decals went on without any problems, despite their small size.

Really all that's really left to do is show some pictures of the finished model.

If you read the my earlier posts, (the build review and this one), then it's not going to come as much of a surprise when I tell you that this is a fantastic kit. Beautifully detailed, authentic looking (when compared to the original film models) and all at a sensible scale. And to top it all off it goes together remarkably well.

The only difficultly for me was understanding the Japanese instructions, but as this kit was only intended for release in the Japanese domestic market that's completely understandable.

Simply put, this is, without doubt, this the best kit I've built to date. Yes, it even out-preforms my favourite model company, Tamiya!

Overall Build Score: 5 out of 5, an essential build for sci-fi modellers (and others). Perfection in model form, a kit that's well thought out, well engineered and true to its film roots in every way.

20 July 2014

On How Time Flies...

It's been a while, this blog and modelling have taken a backseat somewhat over the last month or so, but in the coming weeks I hope to be back at the workbench and therefore back posting.

First up we had the football World Cup. It only comes around every four years but when it does I like to watch as much as I can. So that was a month's worth of evenings gone! Then my hobby room had to revert back to the main use of a spare room, housing guests. Of course it's not good form to be spraying paint and using all manner of glues in the room you're housing your guests.

One of my guests did manage introduce me to War Thunder, an on-line flight game/simulator which happens to be set in my favourite era, WWII to the Korean war. As it happens this is giving me more ideas for future builds, provided I take a break from playing it...

So those things aside, it's just the nice weather that's keeping me outdoors rather than indoors at the moment. This being Britain though, it won't last and so I'll be beating a retreat back to the hobby room sooner rather than later.

Fine Molds 1:72 scale TIE Fighter is complete, I just need to find time to write about it. In the meantime I'm working the display base I mentioned in a previous post and that's not really worthy of a build review.

Until next time.

09 June 2014

What's On The Workbench? #3

Bit of quick post, so what's on the workbench at this time?

Well of course Fine Molds 1:72 scale TIE fighter is nearing completion, I'm just itching to write my final review but it's not quite done yet.

Hopefully one day of good light at my desk can see the final details painted and the decals on. But trust me, this one's worth the wait!

Apart from that, I have started work on something else, between coats of paint on the TIE fighter. I'll reveal exactly what in a later post.

But for now a sneak preview, it doesn't exactly fall together thanks to some interesting choices for the sprue runners...

06 June 2014

D-Day 70th Anniversary (& Invasion Stripes)

Today of course is the the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Rather than modelling I've been reading numerous articles and looking at many photos of this historic day and one particular photo has caught my eye, from a modelling perspective.

Reading the account that goes with the photo it tells how ground crews were only told the night before that they had to paint invasion stripes and so used anything from paint brushes to brooms to get the job done. And then, of course, being England there was a storm and it rained all over their paintwork...

So from a modelling perspective I was wondering. Is this the one time when we modellers don't want a fine airbrush finish? Would a rough brush finish actually turn out a more accurate model?

As an aside to this I've seen so many other photos, but the one that made me think the most was this one of General Dwight D. Eisenhower meeting with men from E Company, the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (Strike) of the 101st Airborne Division prior to their departure.

When your realise that almost every man in this photo would not survive the next day, certainly not the next week, it brings home the reality of the subjects we choose to model. Something we should never forget.

30 May 2014

Build Review - FineMolds TIE Fighter - Part 1

Time for an update on FineMolds 1:72, a kit which appears on my to-do list for the coming year.

Upon opening the box it's one of those kits where you instantly notice the detail. The parts are full of little details, which is probably down to FineMolds having access to the original production models from the Star Wars films.

So naturally, I was keen to get started, and like any aircraft build you start with the cockpit, and in this case the excellent little pilot model. The cockpit consists of front and back halves, a floor and two inner side walls and then the pilot, his seat and controls. The side walls are painted black and then decals are added to give the red interior effect (I believe these are moving dials in the film, but it's been such a long time since I've seen them that I may be mistaken).

The rest of the interior is coloured grey, I used Tamiya's XF-53, neutral grey and dry-brushed with various Citadel greys to add a bit depth. The pilot is all black, again dry-brushed to bring out the details. FineMolds also give you some decals for his helmet and shoulder pads which are tiny! With these added he was ready to be seated.

All this went together smoothly, the fit is excellent, clip the front half on and the cockpit was pretty much done. There is a clear panel for the front but I decided to leave this off and paint it separately and so just masked the cockpit front as it was.

Next up were the wings. I believe the technical term is solar collector arrays so forgive me if I refer to them as wings from now on. These consist of a flat panel and then two frame pieces which clip onto either side. The flat panels were sprayed with Tamiya's XF-69, Nato black. I them picked out a few sections and over sprayed them with XF-61, German grey to add a bit of contrast.

After attaching the frames to the panels it was time to fix them to the cockpit and here I encountered my first (minor) problem. The fix initially seemed a bit lose and had me wondering how I would get then to settle at the correct angle. It was only then that I realised I had to apply more pressure and then the wings snapped into place. In fact, they fitted so firmly I doubt glue would be needed to hold them.

I think there may well be something in the instructions to tell you all this but the instructions are completely in Japanese. This is because this model, and the license, are only for the domestic Japanese market and so there's not a word of English to be found like you find in so many other Japanese kits.

And there you have it, in no time at all a TIE fighter built, next up would be painting it which I'll cover in my next post.