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.

26 May 2014

Cold War Jets at RAF Bruntingthorpe

Yesterday I decided to head out to RAF Bruntingthorpe, with a friend of mine, to visit a Cold War Jets open day. Partly I wanted get a bit of inspiration for my Cold War jet goal which I've set myself for the next year as well as see the jets in action. The day features various jets from the era doing taxi runs along the runway at Bruntingthorpe, but no take-offs, so that spectators can get much closer to the aircraft than they would at a normal air show.

As we'd arrived their early we were able to get out onto the runway where a couple of the larger aircraft, a Handley Page Victor, a Hawker Siddeley Nimrod and an English Electric Canberra were getting ready for their runs. The Victor has become famous locally, after an accidental take off back in 2009 so I grabbed a few quick photos before heading over to the Canberra.

Handley Page Victor

The crew of the Canberra were kind enough to let me grab a few photos of the cockpit through the entry door, hopefully they'll prove to be useful should I decide to model one at some point in the future.


English Electric Canberra
Next up was the Blackburn Buccaneer, since my last visit the collection seems to have acquired a few more which was good to see, including one in a Gulf War (the 1990's) desert camouflage scheme which of course was the last time the RAF Buccaneers were used in combat.


But of course, the highlight of this show are the two English Electric Lightnings that are based here which I've written about before. With the new releases from Airfix the Lightning is currently high on my wish list when it comes choosing a Cold War aircraft to build. I have to confess my photographs are better on my previous post so I'll leave you with a short video.


It's a lot louder than the video makes out, you might be able to tell from the reaction of the people in the crowd!

17 May 2014

San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

I don't usually post links on this blog to things I've found on the internet but tonight I'm making an exception.

Earlier I logged into flickr for the first time in a long time and suddenly one of my feeds was showing old photos of WWII bomber nose art. The feed led me to an album of photos of the 90th Bomb Group including this particular aircraft and it's crew, Moby Dick.

I had a feeling I recognised this aircraft, turns out I did, it's one of the Mission Centenarians that feature in the Eduard kit of the same name, (kit 2111), that I'd been looking at a few nights before.

Anyway, there a whole lot more, this album is one of many from the archives of the San Diego Air & Space Museum, check them out.