Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Under my skin

There are some aspects of this hobby that I really dislike. Masking canopies is one of them, and so is making seat harnesses. My most intense loathing though is reserved for photo-etch. It can't be sanded, paint won't stick to it, it bends at the slightest touch and the tiniest parts launch themselves into oblivion. So it was with some trepidation that I accepted a request from the editor of Airfix Model World to build the Eduard 1/72 strip-down Fokker. Apart from styrene wing spars, cowl, prop and a few odds and ends, the kit is almost entirely photo-etched brass. Fortunately it's superbly engineered and the problems I had were all self-induced: folding parts back-to-front, and knocking the model off the workbench for example. I can't honestly say I enjoyed the build, but it did overcome some of my fear of photo-etch. The full article is in the August 2014 issue.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Japanese Hybrid

The trouble with writing a modelling blog is that, even if you're working on something almost every day, there really isn't much to report until a build reaches a significant stage, or it's finished. But this one's done, now: Dragon's 1/72 Ke-Nu. Like the real tank, Dragon's model is a hybrid of two of their Japanese armour kits, so there are lots of parts which don't get used. Everything went together really nicely. The DS tracks were great to work with and replicating the sag was very straightforward.

It was enjoyable to do an armour piece for a change, and it was equally nice to have the build published in the July issue of Airfix Model World. The magazine has quite specific writing criteria that took some getting used to, but they're a joy to work with – very professional, plus they actually pay in a timely manner. (Since I'm still waiting for several payments for articles published in SAMI, the earliest dating back to the September 2013 issue, I'm finding little motivation to write for them any more)

Friday, 23 May 2014

Fallacious Ford

Not quite a new build, this AMT 1/25 '32 Ford had been sitting unloved for years in my stash, until a Group Build on the Unofficial Airfix Modellers' Forum rekindled an interest. The concept was to build an aviation-themed car kit, and there were some really creative solutions. This particular kit was awful – soft mouldings, loads of flash, indifferent fit of parts – but I derived a perverse sense of enjoyment in building something other than a plane and totally spurious. I went with a 'yellow-wings' theme and scratch built a cockpit using sheet styrene and spares from an old Airfix 1/24 Bf109. The biggest challenge was the gloss paintwork – I simply don't know how you car guys get those rich, deep, mirror-like finishes. I used Tamiya spray-paints and they behaved superbly, which I then polished using Tamiya compounds. Unfortunately the application of U.S. markings necessitated a few coats of Future/Pledge, and that somehow seemed to take the edge off the factory finish I was going for. Still, I learnt a lot and am tempted to build another car (probably not an AMT kit, though).

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Eduard 1/72 Bf110E

Another couple of months have gone by without a post, but then again I haven't been at the bench much so not a lot to report. A full build article of the 1/72 Eduard Bf110E that I built a few months back has just been published in the June 2014 issue of Tamiya Model Magazine, and currently on the bench is the old (albeit in a new box) Airfix 1/144 Boeing 737.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Slow start

Despite my best intentions at the beginning of the year, 2014 is turning out to be somewhat lacking in the model production area. The only completion so far is the Airfix 1/72 P-51D, a humble kit that has all the makings of a classic and a serious contender for the best 1/72 Mustang kit in my opinion – if not in tooling quality (though it's very nicely done), certainly in value. For a change I finished it as a restored warbird, 'Stang', having seen and photographed the real aircraft in a museum in Arizona. The spurious blue camo appealed to my contrary side (much like the red 'Millie P' on the old Revell box top which I'd love to do some time). The only change I had to make was to add a second seat in the cockpit and create the ALPS-printed decals.

Oh, and thanks Nigel for the gentle push to post again!