Friday, December 21, 2018

Figures, Figures and still more figures

Since spending some money on new figurines, I decided that I should finish off those that have been sitting there half complete for a couple of years.

Firstly I will cover my painting of the first two Scale75 figures. I have already covered the painting of the Coldstream Guardsman and now I will discuss the painting of the Brunswick hussar. This figure had to be painted almost entirely in black so I purchased a box of Scale75 black-and-white paint set which gave me the various shades that I needed. My friend Mark showed me how to paint very fine lines so I pulled out the trusty paint brushes that he purchase for me and off I went. As an experiment I purchased a Trumpeter turntable. I made some videos of my figurines turning on the turntable to put them in as good a light as I could. I also downloaded some royalty free music to go along with the video.

First off then is the Brunswick Hussar. This is a figure of a soldier that fought at the Battle of Waterloo and went very nicely with my Coldstream Guardsman.

Having finished this off, I purchased a 90 mm Metal figure from Alexandros Models in Greece. This is of a Japanese troll called One-Ni- Kanabo. It is sometime since I have made a metal figurine and it was obvious that this was going to take some effort to hold whilst painting and also in putting together. I drilled holes in each of the major parts and superglued brass wire into them so that I had something to hold on to whilst painting. As with all my figurines nowadays I gave it a coat of Tamiya white primer which gives a very good base for all my acrylic paints. I had to get some advice from the Internet as there are no instructions, as usual, with this figurine so you're left pretty much to yourself. It seems that these trolls always have red colour skin. Fortunately I already had a pack of Andrea red paintsso I had all the shades of red needed to give definition to the skin.

Now I started off on painting those figurines that had been in the box for at least a year. In fact they were stored in our storage room so I had to travel down there to retrieve them. First up came quite large Fantasy figure from Dark Star. This is a goblin called Gobsaki. He has a predominantly green skin so yet again I had to go off to buy a set of paints. This time it was a scale 75 set called Natures green paint set. This set is used for painting some of the steam punk figures thatScale75 make but it was a very useful set of paints for my green goblin. He was half completed and was painted in completely the wrong colours so I gave him a full coat of Tamiya white primer and started again. I had some fun with this because there was some tartan type painting on the top of the sword sheaths which needed some very careful touching in with the smallest brushes that I had. In fact it all worked out very well and I'm very pleased with the result

The next thing I worked on was a native American chief. Unfortunately I have lost the box for this item so I had no idea on the manufacturer and have no idea on be original figure. This meant that I had to make up the colours to be used. I did make it simpler by painting his chest cover,which I presume was made from beads, in a single colour rather than separate coloured lines. I'm not very happy with this figure as the face has been moulded with very deep features and also looks very like Captain Peacock from "Are you being served." This disturbs me - grin. Anyway I continued with it and finished it so it is another one that I can put on the shelf and forget about.

My next project is to complete the Tommies War figure of a private in the 10th Scottish Italian Kings (Liverpool Regiment )1916 but I will cover that in the next blog entry

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Trumpeter 1:72 Westland Wyvern

This has been on the go for a few weeks. There have been times when I felt like throwing it but I have recovered it into something that is almost worth looking at!

The Wyvern is a strange beast - a propellor driven aircraft in the 1950s - so, clearly in jet territory. It first flew in 1946 but took until 1953 to go into service and was only to last until 1958 on active duty. It did take part in Operation Musketeer - the Suez Crisis in 1956. One set of markings in the kit is for one of these but I didn't fancy the yellow and black operational markings - I have a bit of an aversion to D-Day stripes or their ilk. I chose WL879 of 813 squadron, HMS Eagle in 1958.  As I had a friend that served in Fairey Gannets on Eagle, I always have a soft spot for that ship.

OK, down to the kit. I thought that I would make it with the wings folded - an in-kit option - however, the hinges went rogue on me and broke at a crucial time, so I had to go back to a spread wing version. The outer wing parts didn't have any attachment points to the main wing. I ended up having to use superglue to stick it all together. I then had a terrible job of cleaning up the aforesaid superglue. I was not happy with the finish left on the wings but there is a decal that goes on over the join so it all ended up OK. 

Painting was a bit fun. I used paints from my Vallejo Coastal Command/FAA set, namely Extra Dark Sea Grey and Sky TypeS. I kept finding out that I had painted the wrong aircraft - the propellor boss is a different colour along with the winglets on the tailplanes. Eventually, I went back to Google and found that the actual aircraft seems to differ from that shown so I followed the images on the web. After fitting the undercarriage I gave it a coat of Xtracrylix matt varnish. Finally, I fitted the cockpit canopy and the navigation/formation lights.

Overall, it wasn't a bad kit but it could have been better. The instructions had some errors - I particularly liked "floding wing'  in a few places, but I bet their English is better than my Chinese! I was worried that I would be unhappy when finished but, actually, it's not bad. I wouldn't take it to any club (if I went to any ever again!) but it will be OK in my shelf collection of Fleet Air Arm aircraft.

Yet again, the photos have been taken on my iPhone 6s and  run through Helicon Focus. I have a nice little tripod for my phone now which came with a bluetooth remote release. This means that I can touch the screen where I want the focus; let the camera steady; fire the shutter. I take 6 images that come to gather for a single shot. This ensures that all parts of the image are in focus.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Scale75 Coldstreamer

I take a break from plastic modelling sometimes and paint up a figurine. This time, it is a Scale75 Coldstream Guardsman posed after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The Coldstreamers put up a h**l of a fight at Hougoumont during the battle -a fight that Wellington considered to have been crucial in holding out until the Prussians arrived. This figurine is modelled after the fight so needed a bit of dirtying up.

The model is - surprise, surprise - 75mm  (approx 3") tall. It is a resin moulding and comes in eight parts - the body, two arms, the musket (with a hand moulded on), his side pack and water bottle and, lastly, the head of the bayonet plus the end of the bayonet. As usual, there are no instructions - just the photo of the finished article on the box.

It was very cleanly moulded. I decided to paint all of the parts before putting it together. A quick spray of Tamiya with primer and I was off. I have a box Andrea reds and greys. These contain five shades from a base coat though two dark shades and two light shades. These set off the coat and the trousers perfectly.  I had some trouble with the white flashes on the blue shoulder pads and cuffs as it took me some time to realise thatches were in twos - the Coldstream Guards motto is "Nulli Secundos" or "Second to none". This was supposedly put in place when they were made 2nd in the line after the Grenadier Guards in spit of being the oldest guard's regiment.

Anyway, I got that sorted and was close to finishing when I had to sort out the bayonet. This came in two parts. On went on the wait and had the fitting for the musket in a belt loop. The rest of the bayonet hangs below the soft bag (containing musket charges?) so I had to put a touch of super glue on it, stick it up behind the bag and hope for the best.

The final touch, before the coat of flat varnish, was some Lifecolor Mud - this set comes with paints and powders and did a nice job of making the rousers look a bit sad.

It all worked out well. Here are the images. Please remember how small this is and how every blemish shows like a beacon in an enlarged photo!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Three models finished - is this a record?

Since the last blog I have managed to complete three models.

  • 1:72 RAF F-86 Sabre (Hobby Boss)
  • 1:72 Eindecker EIII (Airfix))
  • 1:48 Supermarine Seafire XV (Special Hobby)
Each had its own problems but then I wouldn't be happy if everything went to plan - would I?

Hobby Boss 1:72 F-86 Sabre

This was made for the Ipswich IPMS monthly meeting. TheOctober meeting had a theme - F-86 - so I thought that, just for once, I would build an entry. I wanted to do an RAF one on the basis that most people would build out of the box and thus come up with US examples. This meant that I had to start buying! First off, finding a nice 1:72 F-6 wasn't that easy so I settled on the Hobby Boss version, forgetting that it was one of their "easy" kits. This means that the fuselage is in one piece and there is a minimum number of parts. I started out by knocking off the probe on the starboard wing - brilliant beginning as usual. I got some way through the kit and realised that it wasn't the best in the world so went back onto my trusty suppliers and purchased am Academy kit of the same aircraft. 

The Academy kit had a terrible fit around the cockpit so I went back to the Hobby Boss. I did recover the probe from the Academy kit and installed it on the Hobby Boss one so it wasn't a complete waste of time. I also purchased a sheet of decals for RAF/RCAF Sabres and chose one for Squadron Leader A.F. Osbourne, DFC, from 66 Squadron, Linton-on-Ouse in 1954. In the end, I was quite pleased with the result.

There were only four F-86 on the table and one was a "work-in-progress". I haven't seen the report of the meeting but I bet that no one voted for mine.

Airfix 1:72 Eindecker

The Ipswich club meeting for November had a WWI theme (to tie into the 100th anniversary of the armistice) so I thought that I would break the habit of a lifetime (well almost) and build a WWI plane. The last time that I did this I was around 15 years old when I built a 1:72 Merit Albatros. I picked the Eindecker, now, as I had a plan. I was going to rig this using the black stretchy thread that I bought some time ago. The kit went together very well. I had plans for the rigging.

The plan was - drill holes where the rigging goes into the wings; lightly attach the rigging to a piece of wire and thread it through the holes; glue the ends where needed. Unfortunately, the "lightly attach the rigging to a piece of wire" failed miserably as the hole that I would have had to drill would have been way to big and looked dreadful. Plan B was to fit wires through the holes with super glue and attache the stretchy thread to that. This resulted in a dreadful mess - super glue blobs all around. Then, when I cut one of the wires, I cut it too close and the mount was lost. Lastly, I ran out of the black thread with two left to go so my old Aeroclub white thread was called into action. 

In the end, it was done and I now have a little model of Ernst Udet's EIII. I decided that I couldn't face going to the Ipswich club as I always feel like an outsider there. Never the less, it looks OK in a photo and from a distance. It has inspired me to have a go at a 1:48 Eduard version or maybe even the 1: 32 Wingnut Wings. My friend, Mark, has promised to show me how to make turnbuckles. Wow!

Special Hobby 1:48 Supermarine Seafire Mk.XV. "Far East Service"

This was purchased to complement the 1:48 HawkerSea Hurricane. I was a bit wary, having had problems in the past with these supposedly short run kits. However, it went together reasonably well. There was one difficult moment. I was working on the cockpit and released the front bulkhead from the sprue.  I left it on the table whilst I did some other work on the seat. When I turned back to it, the part had disappeared. Now the first thought was that the "carpet monster" had it but lots of searches by both me and my wife failed to find it. In the end, I used the rear bulkhead as a model and created a new one.

Everything else went according to the instructions and I had no further issues, including using the Eduard seat belts.

The serious problems came when I started to put the decals on. I chose a set of markings for early 1946 but the first decal that I tried to put on the plane broke up into little pieces. Because all the markings in the kit used these decals, I wasn't able to complete the aircraft. The way out was to buy a new set of decals. Soon, from my regular suppliers, came a set of Kits World decals for Seafires. On arrival, I realised my mistake - all of the aircraft on the sheet were bubble canopy versions. Back to the ordering page and a set of Model Alliance decals arrived shortly after. These are for the same style of Seafire as I had but - not quite -. However, these were the only two sets of decals available for the Seafire so I had little choice but to go with the later set. The only FAA one that fitted the colours that  had painted the model was SW912, "134/T' of 804 NAS, HMS Theseus, 14th Carrier Group, February 1947. This was probably a bit too late for my mode;, which is a Seafire F Mk XV. However, beggars cannot be choosers. As it is, I am very happy with the final result. The model took a lot of work, being from a short run manufacturer but ended up very tidy.

There is an explanation on the decal sheet about the strange combination of markings on the wings. It goes as follows:

"SW912 is painted in the post-war FAA scheme of extra dark sea grey upper surfaces and Sky  Type 'S' fuselage sides and under surfaces to Pattern No. 2. 1-3-5 proportioned post-war roundels were applied but it appears that this aircraft was fitted with a replacement outer wing section from a temperate Sea Scheme camouflaged aircraft, which retained the war period 'Type C' roundel above the wing and the smaller 32 inch diameter 'Type C' on the wing undersurfaces.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Let's play catch up. Lots of modelling done!

At last, I seem to have thrown off the blanket that stopped me getting on with anything other than sitting down, reading and falling asleep. Medication has a lot to do with this so I have been taking some time to get it all into some sort of balance. I thought that it would be good to do a recap of the last few months and highlight all of the successes that I have notched up. They may not be award winning but they are quite good and, given my physical and mental state, the best that I can come up with. So here goes....

My friend Mark bought me a 1:48 Hawker Sea Hurricane to go with the Vallejo set of Coastal Command paints. I have related how the undercarriage got broken and how it had to sit on a Trumpeter "flying" stand. Was it needed, though, was a pilot. Fortunately, I hadn't thrown the plastic away, so I was able to retrieve the pilot from the kit (good old Airfix still gives us pilots!). I painted him up and gave him a"Flying Officer Kite" handlebar moustache. (Flying Officer Kite was a BBC Radio character from 1947, supposedly with a handlebar moustache).

Next up is a Mk.I Hurricane, again from Airfix. This one is straight out of the box.

I then got started on my little BanffStrike Wing series. First off is an Airfix 1:72nd scale N.A. Mustang IV (P-51D) in 65 squadron markings. This was a fun project. I had to research the camouflage pattern -"Firewall", it seems but reversed on this plane. The chosen aircraft was one that was crash landed in Sweden after a battle with FW190s over the Kattegat. I also had to construct the serials and squadron codes from alphabet sets as there are no 65 squadron decal sets available. Lastly, it seems that the aircraft was painted in the US before shipping so the colours aren't the regular Ocean Grey, RAF green and Medium Sea Grey but US equivalents. Fortunately, the Xtracrylix range has the correct FS colours so I was able to finish it off correctly.

Next in the Banff set is a "TorBeau" - a torpedo armed Beaufighter X. Again, I worked from a photo of a crashed plane - this time one damaged in the famous "Black Friday" episode over Norway. The chosen aircraft was PL-O of 144 squadron, which crash-landed back at Dallachy after being hit by a FW190 and managing to fly back from the Norwegian coast with substantial damage. Again, I had to handcraft the serial and squadron codes for this one.

Lastly, in the series of completed planes comes a 66 squadron N.A. Sabre. This was made for the themed night at Ipswich IPMS last week. As usual, I got very little recognition of my presence or of my contribution, but there we are. I bought the Hobby Boss (HB) kit, forgetting that it was one of their "easy" builds.  I managed to break off the pitot tube and gave up on it fairly quickly. I then purchased the Academy kit but found that it was even worse than the HB one. I retrieved the pitot tube and fitted it to the HB one so that was, at least, complete. I purchased a set of RAF decals as I wanted it to be a bit different from how I expected the table to go. I had to fill the nose with lots of liquid lead but it still needed a little bit of tacky-wax to hold the nose down. I don't expect to get any points in the competition, even though it was one of only four completed Sabres on the table.

So, that is it for now. except for one 120mm resin figure that has been sitting on the shelf for about 18 months after my friend Mark gave it to me to "finish" When I got it, it was complete and mounted on a stand and had been undercoated. I started to paint it but lost confidence in being able to finish it correctly. Recently, I decided, in my new frame of mind, that I would restart it. I managed to find good quality images of the finished model on the maker's web site so off I went. I am very pleased with the final result. Now I see photos, I realise that it needs some more matt varnish to take the shine off.

That's about it for finished models. I have thrown a few new starts away as I was unhappy with them. My current projects are:
  1. 1:48 Kitty Hawk T-28C Trojan
  2. 1: 48 Special Hobby Hawker Seafire F Mk.XV
More on these in the next post.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Beaufighter finished and Whitley trashed!

First - the Whitley. The kit is moulded so that lots of different marks can be made. Unfortunately, this results in a rotten fit where it matters along the fuselage and around the wings. Try as I might, I could not get these "trenches" filled to any sort of decent finish so it went the same way as the Whitely that I threw away some years ago - in the bin, broken up. One day, I will get a BOAC plane to go along side my Mosquito!

I finished the "Torbeau" in PL-O colours from 144 Squadron, Dallachy, as it was on Black Friday.

The Airfix kit comes with a 144 Squadron aircraft but I wanted to make PL-O as this one is in the famous photo having done a belly landing after being hit on that fateful day. It did make it back to Dallachy, though!

I had to make up both sets of serials for PL-O and NE831. Mind you, I always have a problem and this time it is that one of the clear nav. lights has fallen out. I will try and rebuild using Krystal Kleer but it may be something that I am stuck with. There is always something!

My last recent effort has been to make a Hobby Boss easy build F-86 Sabre for the forthcoming Ipswich club themed competition. It turned out harder than I thought because the kit isn't very accurate and I used Ocean Grey as the base camouflage on the upper surfaces when it should have been dark sea grey! I have bought some decals to enable me to do an RAF Sabre so I had to keep going. I have ordered a new F-86 kit from Hannants - namely an Academy one. This is considerably dearer. I have always found Academy kits to be of good quality. I have until 23rd October so 17 days to get this done - without any mistakes!

I am getting some practice by building a Revell F4U Corsair in Royal Navy clipped wing version. This is going together nicely, albeit with some masking tape compressing joints as the kit is quite old with lots of flash.   Photos will come later.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Interim Report - Three kits in progress and a new stash

I have been busy building up a stash fund! I have lost my hobby room for the foreseeable future so I have had to reconsider how I spend my time. The decision was that I had to clear myself of all of my model railway as I think it is probable that I won't go back to model railways once the room becomes available again.

I have decided - along with some good pressure from my wife - to go, full tilt, back into plastic modelling and to improve my music capabilites. I have spent the last couple of weeks disposing of the model railway. There are two sets of funds coming from this. The money from the current railway is to go into a new, upgraded concertina (see My Other Hobbies blog). Any money from other stuff is going into a stash fund. So far this fund has reached around £350 so I am on a bit of a roll!

This is the current stash:

1:72 Revell Shackleton
1:72 Revell Texan
1:48Airfix Sea Fury
1:72 Tamiya Mosquito
1:48 Special Hobby Seafire
1:32 Kitty HawkT-28C Trojan

I am going to specialise on FleetAir Arm aircraft, as I determined six years ago, but got a bit distracted. As you can see, though, there will be a few US Navy planes included.

I am waiting to get to the IPMS Brampton show this coming Sunday where my stash money will be it quite extensively. In the meantime,  I have three models on the go, two of which are needing some third party parts. I am working on the following:

Airfix 1:72 Whitley - intended to be in BOAC colours so has been "civilianised".

Airfix 1:72 Torbeau (Torpedo fitted Beaufighter) Banff Strike Wing - custom decals.

AFV Club 1:144 Sea King

Why are they all unfinished. Well, the Whitely has some bad fit issues and I keep putting off starting painting it. There is a bad fit on the rear fuselage and also on the starboard wing join. I do need to get one top coat on and see the real issue as it always looks worse in primer. The Torbeau  has had its custom serials added but I messed u the roundel position. I am waiting for a new set of decals from Hannants. The Sea King is a lovely little kit but to move on I need to mask some windows. As I don't have any masking fluid, it has to wait until the show on Sunday. 

Remember: Click on any photo for a slideshow.