Sunday, December 27, 2009

Xmas Presents

Just thought you might like to know what presents I got for Christmas

First off, to continue the 1:12 kick that I seem to be on

This is the Trumpeter 1:12 scale GT40. The Coke bottle (2 litre) is used to show scale!

Then to continue the Native American theme, I got the following items:

Firstly, a Young Miniatures resin 1:10 bust of a Blackfoot Raven Bearer. The problem with this is that there is only the photo on the box to work with. fortunately, our UK wholesaler has more pictures on their web site so I know what goes on around the sides and the back.

Secondly, a whitemetal Pegaso 75mm model of an Arapahoe warrior.

Adding to these, the Tamiya 1:12 Maclaren Honda MP4/6 - with metal suspension, steering etc.; 1:48th Monogram Catalina and the Young Miniatures 1:10 bust of a DAK officer, then I have a nice collection of models to keep me busy for some months.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A small break from the 1:12 complications

Knowing that I have another - rather larger - 1:12 car coming as a present tomorrow, I have started out on a small 1:72 aircraft as this is all I seem to be able to do when it comes to flying things.

I have got a Hobby Boss F-15C, which comes in aggressor 'Flanker' markings; i.e. to act as an SU-27 Flanker, Russian aircraft. This is the box which gives an idea of the finished item

I have now finished the cockpit - here are some photos


This cockpit is only 4cm long! The seat belts are made of painted Tamiya masking tape to simulate a 5 point harness.

I am experimenting with a new masking material. It is called Parafilm M and is a medical material. It has no adhesive but when you stretch it, it gathers static and seats itself perfectly to the canopy, whch has been dunked in Pledge Multi Surface Wax, We shall see how this comes out.

Christmas Day tomorrow so aI would like to wish all of my 'readers' a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More effort on the Tyrell

I spent some time last night working on the car. I fixed the retaining rods for the rear suspension and started installing the radiators. As you can see from the instruction sheet, there is plenty to do in each step. Don't forget that you can double click each photo to get an enlarged version. A back arrow may be necessary top get back to this blog page.

The following series of photos show the level of detail and complication. Somehow, I have to do the bottom part of the instructions above, which involve cutting all the pipe work and connecting it up!


Friday, December 18, 2009

At Last, I have my camera back

Here is a photo of the Geronimo bust that I finished a couple of weeks ago.

Still can't show the secret project. A few more days are needed on that.

I have sorted out the next few models. I have put the DAK officer on hold as I am really not sure about the headset. I have a couple of figures and a car kit coming for Christmas but more about them once the day is passed.

This means that all I have to get on with for now is the 6-wheel Tyrell and as that was my Xmas present for 2007, I guess I ought to finish it before I start this year's round.

That's about it for now. I still have to take another couple of photos of Little Moon and I will do that over the weekend.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Little Moon - Crow girl

I still don't have a working camera but Kev Baxter takes the pictures for the club meeting and came up with this.

She is listed as a 120mm figure but because she is a child she is only about 70mm high. She is a Crow Indian child and is dressed in her best clothes. She is holding her doll but that is round the back so I will post some more photos when I can. This now resides on Valerie's dressing table.

I have finished Geronimo and hope to have some photos later this week. I am also about 2 nights away from finishing the secret project. After that I have a Young Miniatures DAK Panzer officer and (maybe) a 1/48th Catalina. However, I really should be finishing the Tyrell 6 wheeler!

Roll on my getting a battery charger as I am now a good bit behind on photos.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Still no camera

Well my camera saga continues. I bought a charger from a UK web site, only to find that the charger was coming from Hong Kong, which took 10 days. When it arrived, it seems that I didn't notice the B on the end of the battery type and the B doesn't fit the standard charger. So.... I had to buy a replacement fitting, for which I paid extra to have it shipped in 3 days. It is now 8 days and no sign of it. My wife, Valerie, to make a point, bought one on Saturday for 1/2 the price with UK shipping so maybe, just maybe, I might get the visual side of this working again in a few days.

I finished the Little Moon Crow girl and took all three of the current figures to the club last Tuesday. That is the B-17 Waist Gunner, the Sioux Indian and Little Moon. As they were the only figures there, I might actually get some points. I did get some complimentary remarks.

I am now working on a Pili Pili bust of Geronimo (If Geronimo did a parachute jump, what would he shout as he left the plane?). I then have a Young Miniatures Afrika Korps bust to do, although I am a little intimidated by the complexity of the headset which is a composite of resin, etched brass and copper wire! I also need to complete the 6-wheel Tyrell, which currently has the engine mounted so is close to finishing. My next major project, I hope, is the Trumpeter 1/12 scale GT40 but this depends on my hints for Xmas presents.

My secret project is moving on well and is close to completion. When I can, I will publicise it but not until after Christmas. It has, however, been coated in the new Pledge Multi-Surface Wax - the replacement for Johnson's Klear/Future. I have to say that, in spite of the new product being cloudy (hence the change of name from klear, I guess) and having a much nicer smell, it works exactly the same as the old stuff.

My next experimental project is to get to grips with a product called Parafilm M which is a non-adhesive based film which appears to be excellent for masking.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No Pictures but...

My new camera has run out of battery and I can't find the charger...
Photos will follow, eventually!

I am continuing to prove the idea that I can no longer make model aircraft. In an attempt earlier in the year to disprove this theory, I managed to make a good fist of an Israeli F-16b. So, I thought that if I stuck to 1/72 then I might stand a chance. Airfix has just recently released two new spitfire moulds. I liked the PRXIX so had a go. the following is the list of errors:
1. Speaking to Ken Withey - one of my regular customers, I mentioned I was doing this. The subject of PRU blue came up. I mentioned that only a small part of the plane was in that blue and Ken pointed out that I had it wrong - the bulk of the plane was blue with only the wings grey. So back to the airbrush!
2. We had just taken delivery of a new book on modelling techniques which has a lot of talk about panel lines. So I tried their techniques and messed up the fuselage and I managed to rub some of the paint away, in spite of a couple of coats of Johnson's Future/Klear. The wings came up ok though.
3. (And this is the clincher) Whilst painting the canopy, I crushed it so that it split down the middle!

End of story...................

Photos will follow.

I am now working on a secret project - nothing to be seen until after Xmas - and on yet another Native American - this time it is a 120mm Pili Pili casting of a Crow Indian child. Again - photos as soon as I can charge my camera up.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I have been quiet, but...

I have been working on a Youngs Miniatures 10th scale bust of an aged Sioux Native American.

It has been a great two weeks and has created some interesting problems. The main problem I have though is how to take a photo of something as small as this and then blow it up. You get to see it warts and all, when the real thing looks much smoother and refined.

I will try and get some better pictures but here we go:

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The diorama base is too small!

So, I used the pumice to make the base. Sprayed it Vallejo flat earth and the brushed it liberally with Mig Russian Earth pigment followed by a spray of matt varnish to seal it.

The pumice has warped the base so it has to be re-done but just as well. From the photo, you can see that the Marder is placed too close to the edge and there is not enough room for the figures - D'oh.

Anyway, you can see what I am after. The diorama is to be called
"Warum sind sie rückwärts gefahren?

Or in English - Why did you reverse?

Next step - remake the base out of plywood and make it slightly better.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Figures and a base for the Marder

I have finished the ICM figures. It needed a bit of investigation but I think that I have the colours and marking right. They make a nice little group.

The base is a piece of foam board which I have coated with some Vallejo Pumice spread. This is a gritty concoction that you spread on and let dry it dries to a nice textured finish. I expect to spray it with an earth colour and then liberally cover it in MIG Pigment - Russian Earth and get some light grass down. I have pressed the vinyl tracks into the surface to get some track marks.

However, whilst taking the photos I forgot it was there and put the camera face down onto it. My camera lens cover is now stuck open! I managed to get the gritty pumice off the rest of it and I am hoping that the lens door will clear in time. I have made a small cover for the camera out of some chamois leather so having the lens open isn't a real problem. Ho hum!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I have made an easy way for you to access the blog.

Instead of the long winded version of before you can simply get to this blog now by entering into your browser.

GSM stands for gentle Scale Modelling, of course :-)

Note that there is also a blog counter in the top right hand corner. This is the number of accesses since 13th of September 2009.


Marder tracks are on one side

Here is a picture of the Marder having been weathered somewhat, with the track on the left hand side. As you can see, the track sags nicely along the top rollers. Just what I wanted.

If you look carefully in the saucer in the background, you will see the two tarp supports from the rear of the fighting compartment. One broke off and I had trouble fitting the track so I broke the other one off. I thought - as I have to sort one out then two can't be that different!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Tracks are Finished

Well t only took a week of evenings and a lot of Monday but I have finally managed 96 links on each side which I think will be sufficient for the diorama.

Here is the completed pair.

 and this is why I wanted to make them.
See how they are so much more flexible than vinyl tracks!

Monday, September 14, 2009

One track made

So it hasn't been as bad as I thought!. I have one side made already. Of course, I have found out some things I can skip and some tricks.

When I started this, I went and drilled all of the holes out and then tried to feed the wire through each pair. If fact, I have found that the best way is this:
1. Put two links together
2. Drill out the holes in both of them so that it is clear
3. Run the wire through, holding the pair as they are left after the drill has come out
4. Set a drop of super glue on the end.
I then put 2s into 4s and so on to make the full run.

All of a sudden, it's running much quicker.

Here is the first side presented along with the vinyl tracks so you can see why I am bothering.
As usual, click on the image for a high resolution version.

Off I go to make the next one - grin.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Friul Tracks

I am making the Marder and placing it on a diorama that will incorporate the maintenance crew that comes with the kit. However, I want to do it with a dropped track and I can't do that with the vinyl tracks that come with the kit. First off the dropped end won't lay properly and also the part left on the rollers won't sag as it should. So I have got a set of FriulModel white metal tracks. Now if you have never used these, what you get is a pile (210 in this case) of individual white metal track links and a roll of thin wire.

Step 1. Clear out the two holes across each track link to ensure good clearance using a 0.4mm drill. (420 operations)
Step 2. Cut a piece of wire and insert in into the holes thereby linking two track links together. (210 operations)
Step 3. Once inserted, place a dot of super glue on the end of the wire - the other end is blind so only one end needs to be secured. (210 operations)
Step 4. Cut each length of wire to length (210 operations).
I make this 1050 individual actions, assuming no fumbling, dropping etc.

Will I do this again? Maybe not!
BTW, I notice from the photo that one of the rear tarp supports on the Marder has got broken. Yet another little problem - smile.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Moving on with the Marder

I had to steel myself to attempt a free hand three colour camo for this. I have now done it and have started picking out the details.

Here we are.

(as usual, you can click on the picture to see a larger image).
Maybe looking at the larger image isn't a good idea. I now see where I have some paint filling in and touching up to do!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Making something easy for a change

I took the Tamiya Marder III home. This is the kit with the ICM maintenance figures.

The last time that I tried three colour camo, I made it very dark on a PzIV JadgPanzer so I need to get this one right.
The kit went together as any Tamiya kit does. It was bit complicated in parts and I made my usual silly mistakes. Once I told my wife 'you know that with a Tamiya kit, if it doesn't fit, then you have got it wrong'. I then proceeded to mess about with things and finally got the top of the chassis on incorrectly. Fortunately, it doesn't notice!

I bought a Jordi Rubio metal barrel for it which seems to be a bit thicker than the plastic one because the barrel clamp doesn't fit. I want to do a small diorama with a dropped track so I am getting some metal tracks this week.

Here are the pictures in grey primer. Tonight, I put the three colour camo on (tri-tonal - as MIG have it). I will post some pictures tomorrow. Hopefully, now I can get on with detail painting.

This has been fun so far.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Trash the Canberra and get on with the Tyrell

Having finished the Morser - see the finished article here - My
Flickr Account
-and also my Young Miniatures 1/10th B-17 Waist Gunner, I got on with the new Airfix Canberra PR9. Now as most of you will know I haven't been getting on well with aircraft for some time and this proved to be the same story :-( I like to blame it on Airfix but I think that it is 50% me and 50% them. I found it tricky to get the detail right for the specific Hemp and Grey PR9 but I also found quite a bit that I didn't like about the kit. At the point that I ran out of ejector seat warning triangles (which all looked too large in any case) I decided that it would look better on Harry (my grandson) 's ceiling than on my display shelf. Harry's ceiling is my aircraft graveyard. At 5 years old - he is not as fussy as me - smile.

I thoroughly enjoyed the B-17 Waist Gunner - the photos don't do it justice as they tend to blow up all the detail which isn't really meant to be seen at that scale. Still, if you see it in the flesh you will, I hope, appreciate it more.

I have now returned to my current long term project which is the 6 wheeled Tyrell that I got for Xmas last year. Here are some photos of the current state: Click on any image for a larger copy.

As you can see, all of the Tamiya chrome plate has been removed and it has all been 'alclad'ed with the various finishes.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I am horrified to see that the last item on my blog was dated March 2008!

I am back and modelling regularly now but am having some difficulties. It seems that I can no longer make aircraft models unless they are 1/72. Since Xmas, I have thrown away a 1/48 Tamiya Mosquito, a 1/48 Italeri Hawk and a 1/48th Eduard Il-16 Rata. All due to stupid mistakes.

Mosquito - Painted as a matt black nightfighter - the decals all silvered and looked like mirrors!
Hawk - Done in FRADU colours. I managed to misplace all of the yellow don't walk signs - which rather stood out on the gloss black finish. i then trod on the canopy - in the bin!
Il-16 - Finished in Spanish Civil War markings. When fitting the propeller, I placed my finger - with a blob of MEKPak on it - right on a decal and ruined it.

The big news is that I have finally finished my 1/35th Morser to sit behind the BR-52.

To see it in high resolution plus the Rata (from its good side!) go to

My Flickr Finished Models

Back at work from tonight on the Tyrrel. Hopefully I can get that finished soon as I have a list of models I want to get on with now.