Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Two small aircraft

 I have found it hard to concentrate due to my medication so I have just managed a couple of simple Revell 1/72nd scale fighters. They have been good fun to make in spite of some stupid errors.

First off is a little North American P-51D Mustang. This is an old kit and needed a lot of trimming to get rid of the flash that results from an old mould. I am not sure that the nose is shaped correctly. It looks a bit thin to me.

The second is another Revell 1-72nd scale model of a Chance Vought F4U-1A Corsair, VF-17 Squadron USN, Bougainville, Solomon Islands, Feb.1944. This was a lovely little kit and went together brilliantly. It was the first time that I have used EZ-Line to make the radio aerial. It worked fine.

There are two silly stories about this. One is that I lost the canopy so had to buy a second kit to get one so that I could finish the model. The second  story is about the decals. The first lot were very fragile. In fact the stars and bars on the port wing broke up and it was tricky to get it back into one. Then I lost one of the number 3 that goes onto one of the undercarriage doors. I was thinking how bad this would look when I remembered that I had two kits so there was a 2nd set of decals available. The paint that I used were 22 years old at least. I bought them around the turn of the century for an Accurate Miniatures Grumman Avenger that, actually, I never finished. They have been in my paint box ever since. They were still very usable. Also, I used Blue Tac when spraying the different colours of the camouflage but I found that, although it worked well, it make any touching up look wrong. 

In the end I was very pleased with the finished model.

I am now stuck into building another model railroad so to see what is happening there, go to Gentle Model Railroads

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Catch up

 I haven't been too good at modelling over these last few months - software, playing the tin whistle and now the soprano saxophone. Have finished a few models so I will quickly go down the list.

Tamiya 1-24th scale Mercedes AMG -GT3 - Haribo racing colours. In 2016 HARIBO Racing Team entered the Mercedes-AMG GT3 "Haribo Racing, No.88" for the seventh race of the VLN long distance driving championship at the Nurburgring, ultimately finishing 2nd. This model uses a special Zero Paint to match the Hairdo colour plus aftermarket decals.

Revell 1-216th scale Star Wars Millennium Falcon

Revell 1/112 scale Star Wars X-Wing fighter

Tamiya 1\35th scale M10 Achilles on a diorama depicting the Normandy Bocage in 1944. The white space is for the brass plaque that turned up too late!

These two figures are from Hidalgo-Beneito. The one on the left is an infantry sergeant from the Zulu wars in 1879 whilst the other is for a soldier in the Battle of Ginnes in 1885 during the Mahdist War. 

OK, that is it for now. Maybe the next one will be a Tamiya Ford Mustang GT4.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Fujimi Ken Miles GT40

 Well the plan was to make a Fujimi GT40. Firstly, I had to acquire a kit. This was an EBay job as it isn't in the current catalogue.

Luckily, I still had some of the paint left over so getting the right colour wouldn't be an issue. So, off I went. The whole process went very well but, somehow, it didn't click. Maybe having made three before took the shine off. I got everything done except for the glass and that's when it started to go wrong.

Firstly, my little PVA dispenser wouldn't work properly - it needs the little tube cleaning and I couldn't find any wire thin enough - so I used MicroScale KrystalKlear. This didn't hold too well so I used little MEK to get it fixed. The came the tragedy. I realised that I hadn't painted the PE grill that goes across the back of the car. I carefully masked out the surrounding area and sprayed it the correct blue. Ahhh. It's a grill! so the paint went through as well as on. Now, all of the windows had a fine coating of paint on the inside. I experimented with cleaning the back window and that just made it worse. 

I decided to throw the whole thing away but then I thought that I had spent a good deal of time on the model and it was a tiny way away from being finished. It needed the front "red" hooks and the fuel filler cap installed plus the two external exhaust stacks. I squeezed the body on, with the windscreen popping out again so I took it off again. Having re-glued all the windows and having left it for a few hours, I tried again. The body went on and the exhausts went on fine. Finally, I had to fit the rear tyres. I then noticed that the nearside (UK style) front wheel had become detached from the brakes. So, of came the body - again!- and the wheel was refitted. The body then went on without issue so now it was finished.

Was it worth finishing? I think so. How does it compare to the Meng version?

Firstly, you can see that the Meng is higher than the Fujimi.  (You can enlarge any image by clicking on it).

Next, you can see that the decoration panels are different colours. Looking on the internet it is really inconclusive because it depends on how the photos have been processed but it look likely that the Meng option is nearer to the right colour. 

The other main difference is in the shape of the back window. The Meng is much squarer than the Fujimi but I can't find and real reference to back either up. The final difference is in the build - the Meng body is designed slightly differently. It has the lower parts to the body fitted to the chassis so that there is a break line between it and the upper part. On the Fujimi it is all a single moulding. This looks better, in that there is a distinct gap on the Meng. However, I was unable to get the body to sit down on the chassis satisfactorily so it looks worse. Plus the engine cover is pivoted on the Meng, which is a nice idea as, supposedly, you can lift to see the engine. However, it doesn't sit down correctly and the breather on the engine catches on the body panel making it difficult to lift it out.

Overall, they both went together well and were both fairly enjoyable builds. I went for the Fujimi because ~I didn't like the way the three body parts fitted on the Meng but having messed up the Fujimi windows, its the Meng that looks better. Oh well!

Anyway, here are the business shots of the Fujimi.

I have a Tamiya Mercedes GT3 in the stash so that might be next as I already have the right Zero paint colours and some interesting decals. However, I have a Ford Mustang coming as an Xmas present which I hope to build as the Bullit car. I am also hoping for a 1968 GT40 and a Tamiya Mustang GT4 as extra presents so it looks like car heaven for a few months.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Subisidiary to Meng GT40

 Excitement all round. I have just finished watching Ford v Ferrari with Matt Damon and Christian Bale. 

Very enjoyable. However, I am a big fan of this 1966 Le Mans and the ending didn't quite get it right! Ken Miles didn't cross the line first and then find out that he came 2nd. Bruce Mclaren edged his car into first right at the line. However, the film got it right in that, even if McLaren hadn't done that, he would still have won because he started further back at the start and the race was judged on distance, not final position! Here is my take on the end of the race.

At the club last week we got to sit down and compare the two models. The consensus was that the Fujimi was the better kit all round. The body fitted, the suspension was much more delicate and detailed and overall it looked just that bit more like a GT40. 

In fact, I am so disappointed with the Meng kit that I have just ordered the Fujimi example.

I still have plenty of the Zero Paints colour left. The kit should be here next Monday.

In the meantime, my 2nd copy of the Hasegawa S-3A Viking has arrived so I am starting that .

I have got the fuselage together and added the nose weight. I didn't paint the cockpit grey as it can only be seen through the canopy so any grey will do!. I did paint the seats though.

I must crack on so that I am ready for the GT40!

Thursday, October 07, 2021

The new Meng Le Mans 1966 GT40

 As you will know, I am a big fan of the GT40 as I was there in 1966 - well waking up every hour or so to check on the positions of the Fords v the Ferraris over that weekend. Also, I have both Bruce McLaren/Chris Amon car and the Dan Gurney one (with the extended roof) - both from Fujimi kits. I was very excited when Meng brought out their 1/12th scale version but was less interested when I found out the price! However, they then released a 1/24th scale version and that I had to have.

I decided that I should do it in Ken Miles' No. 1 which meant going to Hiroboy.com for one of their fabulous Zero Paints. Needless to say, I had to buy some cleaner for it. I then made a bit of a mistake going for their 2-Pack varnish as this, I have found in the past, is tricky to use as it goes off quite quickly and there is always the chance of it solidifying in the airbrush.

When I was at St. Ives for the show, I got talking to a guy from the Mildenhall club who recommended something called Gauzy Agent. One of the traders had some. I must say that it works very well but it seems to be a dead ringer for Future, of which I have a stock anyway. I used it and it came out well so I will stay with that for now.

I don't have a lot to say about the build as it went together very easily. The suspension, at both ends, was a bit fiddly but it got together somehow. The main problem is that I can't get the body to sit down on the chassis properly. I have left it un-stuck as I didn't want to risk ruining the paint job (as you can't brush with Zero Paints) and I can now open it up to show off the engine and the interior. Any way here goes with the slides.

Click on any image to see a larger version.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Airfix Bristol Beaufort Mk. I

 I bought this after seeing some good reviews. I also know how good the latest Airfix kits are so I had high hopes. I took the box down to the club and showed them how a 1:72nd scale model could have 106 instruction steps! It all seemed a bit daunting so it stayed on the shelf for some time.

Looking at my "huge" stash of 4 unstated kits and the BR-52 in progress, I didn't have too much choice for my next model. In fact, it was a good model to make. I made some stupid errors, as usual, but all in all it worked out OK.

Most of the complication comes from the complete interior.

As you can see from the picture below, most of it can't be seen once the fuselage is glued together

Thos struts coming from the fuselage are very good when it comes to fitting the wings. Just for once, there was no filler required along the wing roots.

Normally, when doing British WWII camo, I spray the background colour and then hand paint the seconds once but this time I decided to spray both colours so a complex bit of masking took place. This is a combination of normal 10mm Tamkita Kabuki tape and 5mm Tamiya flexible. Just force this work OK and everything looked good afterwards.

Once it was painted, it was time to fit the undercarriage. I always leave this and the aerials off until last as I have a habit of breaking them whilst painting. The undercarriage was quite complex but every part had a notch to go in, all except the curved bit on the front which was a case of stick it where it stays!

Here is the finished plane on the workbench. I will note the issues at the end of the blog.

Here is the finished plane in its full glory.

Problems and issues

Well, there were no real problems except for the difficulty I had putting together the turret and its gun. I just didn't seem to be able to get the guenon the ring and then get the two turret transparencies to go on using my normal Titebond yellow PVA. Then I made the real mistake of changing back to my standard MEK. This was going OK until I got some on my finger and than got some on the glass and so it went downhill. As a result, the turret glass is no longer transparent!

Secondly, I left the chin gun and aerial off until last. I stuck the chin gun on and the realised that I had put it over the hole for the aerial so I removed it, simultaneously putting the aerial down. Guess what? They both disappeared and are no longer to be found. I have searched the desk and the floor but they are gone! So, the model is complete (?) without them. As I never pick a model up once it is finished and in the cabinet, I won't ever see the issue but, actually, do I care? Not much as it was a fun build and looks good on the table. At least I got some nice comments at the club, which is unusual.


Well, that's it and on to the next one. The stash is getting a little sparse and may only real options are the Airfix 1:48th Sabre, the Tamiya 1:48 P-38 Lightning or back to the BR 52, Wait and see.