Sunday, December 09, 2012

A bit of a cop-out with colours

I have been messing around trying to decide what colour to paint the body shell of the Mustang. Remember that this is going to be VERY shiny. I tried a mid blue but couldn't get that to be consistent across the body - I am doing all of this on the bonnet so that I can quickly clean anything off and not harm the overall shell. I wiped that off and went for a LifeColor matt blue but again, problems with shading across the area. I then hit on using Xtracrylix Gloss Dark Sea Blue - that went on really  well but I only have 1/2 a bottle and that won't do the whole car - and as Hannants won't send paint on its own........ Valerie suggested that I think of a black body shell.Now that was a blinder because I am in love with Vallejo Black Polyurethane Primer - it goes on well, sprays directly out of the bottle, sticks like the proverbial, dries quickly, has a very even finish and can be touched up without showing any edges.

Here is the result. This should look fantastic when it has a few coats of Johnsons Klear on it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Hobby Boss Sea Hawk

I am back on my Fleet Air Arm journey, at least while I think about painting the body of the Mustang.

I have just started to build the Hobby Boss Hawker Sea Hawk FGA.6 in 1/72nd scale. These Hobby Boss kits are very nice. Well moulded, no flash, great fit and very clear instructions. This one will be done is Operation Musketeer markings; i.e. The Suez Crisis when all the aircraft involved wore black and yellow stripes in the hope that our gunners wouldn't fire on them - some hope! Normally, I would have done the other scheme but a) I don't much go for the Dark Sea Grey and White, I much prefer the Duck Egg Green underside and b) the black and yellow strupes come as decals so I don't have to worry about painting them!

This is the box art so you know what I am talking about.

I have started work on the cockpit. One of the interesting things I have found since being retired is that I can now think about doing things slowly and carefully - viz: the care I took over all the small decals on the Mustang. This is something that I didn't do before - I always wanted to get on with things. However, now I have the modelling table in the living room and can model at any time of the day or night that I fancy, I am finding that I sit down little and often and do all the fiddly bits - then let them dry before touching them further.

Anyway, here are some shots of the cockpit. the eat belts are my usual Tamiya masking tape. I even used Gator's Grip acrylic glue to glue on the transparent part of the gun sight. I would have just used Plastic Weld and hoped in the past! I also filed off the moulded on bits on the cockpit tub which represent the various controls on the side and the control panel. Filing them off gave a much better base to the decals which now sit flat. Didn't used to do that :-(

Saturday, December 01, 2012

More Action on the Mustang

I am working on getting a fully completed rolling chassis ready for the Clacton Club next Thursday 6th December. I am getting very close to that point. Here are photos of the current state of progress. I am very pleased with how this is coming together - just for once. 

This first shot is of the overall model. The bright blue item in the engine compartment is painted according to instructions but I hate it. I am going to paint it black along with the rest of the compartment.

This shot is of the seats. The white stripes are actually decals. These were given lots of MicroSet and they have settled into the seat moulding very nicely.

I normally hate placing decals but since working on the corporate identity of my model railroad freight cars, I have quite taken to the task. Mind you, being retired with lots of time to do things probably helps. The decal sheet that comes with the Mustang is very comprehensive. As you can see here, there is a decal on the window switch with little up and down arrows. These needed a lot of MicroSet to get them to settle correctly.

Here is a shot of the dashboard. Now tell me that this isn't the real car!

This is a close up of the centre console. The climate control panel is a decal as are the Shelby labels. The three little switches on the console sat nicely - I like the hazard warning light switch. There is a Shelby decal on the gear shift including the gear layout, but you can't see that!

This highlights the steering wheel. As you can see, all of the switches on the spokes are there.

I am REALLY enjoying this build. Mind you I still have the body to do and that is where it all went pear-shaped with the 1/24th version - so fingers crossed!

For the picky amongst you, there is a breather to be fitted to the engine and also the battery is still to be installed!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Working hard on clearing the decks - Mustang under the cosh!

Having finished the AEW3 Gannet I am now trying to clear my workbench of the 1/12th Ford Mustang. It is a great looking kit but has been very disappointing given that making it is the same experience as making the 1/24th scale one, which I did last year. One always hopes that 1/12th brings greater detail but, as described in an earlier blog, that is not the case here.

Never mind, that is all water under the bridge and in fact it is coming together and looking very nice. I have yet to start on the interior or the body work but what we have here is a "rolling" chassis. Don't forget that you can click on any of these to see a much larger version.

Firstly, the complete chassis on its wheels

This is the underside view
This is a close up of the underneath of the engine compartment - as you can see, no working suspension or steering in this kit!
Rear Suspension
A close up of the nearside (whoops sorry, wrong side of the Atlantic) offside front wheel
Lastly, on overview of the engine department. There is one breather still to be added to the engine but that comes later.
BTW, it may look as though it has working springs but that is an illusion. They are actually painted black in the inner grooves so that they look like real springs!

After I have taken this to Clacton on Thursday, I will start work on the interior.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Brief Grandson Interlude

Had my grandson Harry over to stay for the weekend. He always enjoys making models with me - or so he says - maybe he is just being nice. No, seriously, he does enjoy the process and always takes it very seriously.

This time I picked up an Airfix 1/76th battleground scene from the local Modelzone (where has that great SBX Models gone then?). This comes with two tanks - a Tiger I and a Sherman plus a ruined building, lots of figures and bits plus a nice moulded base.

Harry made the Sherman.

and the ruined building.
I made the Tiger
and painted the battleground base
He has taken the rest home to do with his Dad over the coming weeks. I hope to get a photo of the finished item.

What a great way to spend a weekend.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

This folding wing idea is going to work!

I have played around with the wire, bent it a bit this way, and then back again and I think that it is actually going to work. here are some photos of where I am at the moment. Nothing is stuck and nothing is trimmed. However, the supporting rod that goes from the wing stub, past the first fold, with a peg into it to support it and then on up to the wing tip, actually can be put in place without bending. I have to get the other wing set up and then I will glue and trim. After that, it is a case of filling and patching the paint - that's not going to be easy so I might have to live with the final finish - oh well, nothing I do is perfect so there we go!

This last picture shows that I still have to get the alignment right on the upper join but this is very close to a 'done deal' as we used to say in the City.

I think that the application of some matt black paint to the bits of brass rod that show will actually disguise them enough so that they will only be seen if I point them out. Mind you, as I normally point out my faults then it is likely that they will not go un-noticed. I am sure my speed in owning up has cost me many a point on the club table in the past

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

One Gannet down, one to go!

I have decided that I must finally finish the other resin Gannet. Now this is an interesting one. The reason that I have a resin version is that I need to build a COD Mk4 (COD = Carrier Onboard Delivery) and the plastic kits only do standard versions - the COD didn't have a dustbin radar and a few other changes.

Now we come to my 'friend' Ken - who was kind enough to get me the kit free and gratis courtesy of his links with CMR. However, he did me a real disservice by also getting me the wing fold! Now a plastic kit with a wing fold tends to give you some support buts that will hold the wing in - roughly - the right angle so you can stick it together. No such luck with this resin kit. You get a complete new set of wings with all the fold details beautifully provided - but no means of getting everything held in place securely or at the right angle. This has held me up for nearly a year but I have now, in a flush of enthusiasm, decided that if I can finish the AEW3 then I can finish the COD as well.

Plan A (there is no plan B - heard that before?). Drill some holes through both parts of the wing - insert some brass rod and super glue it. These will then act as hinges so that I can bend the brass rod to get the right angle and the rods will give everything some structural integrity.

This is where I am so far - and so far so good!

This is where the model stands at the moment
 This is the type of fitting you get in the kit - nicely to scale
but not much good for holding anything in place
 So now we have some brass rods in place
 Here are the holes in the bottom wing that will receive them

I have also drilled up the end of the wing which sits on top of all this and fitted rods into that as well.

I now need to glue it all together and then bend until the angles are right. All that will be left to do then is to fit the nice little detail bits and to fill in the holes. Oh, I forgot, I have lost my little supply of the Vallejo paint mix that I used for the basic colour. I do have some Xtracolor enamel that is the correct shade so I am hoping that this will cover up the filler.

Just so you know, this is what the wing fold has to look like at the end:

Monday, October 08, 2012

Hooray - The AEW3 Gannet is finally finished!

Ken Withey picked this kit up for me from the Alley Cat stand when he went to Telford last year so I have had this for 11 months now. It has sat languishing in the cabinet without legs, wheels and props while I contemplated what to do about building up two sets of propellers when what I had was two resin prop bosses and 8 white metal prop blades. I decided last week that I would cheat and use the props for a Trumpeter kit that I have lying here (it's the donor kit for canopies to replace the vac form ones in the COD Gannet that I still haven't finished - but that is another story. The more I thought about it, using plastic props would have been a cheat because I was either going to crack this resin thing or not - no half measures.

So, Saturday afternoon I sat down and had a go at the kit set up. Amazingly, it was quite easy. I am getting a bit more used to super glue now. However, I did fill in the gaps around the end of each prop blade when these should be clear - but I was pleased just to get everything in the right place. The resin canopies seem like a good idea. I framed them with painted Tamiya masking tape and then gave them a dunk in Klear to make sure that the tape stays on.

Anyway, this time I won't give you a list of all that is wrong. I know how many things there are and if you can spot them then kindly be quiet. I have made - AND FINISHED - a resin aircraft and I think that is a pretty good achievement. Anyway, here are the photos. Don't forget that you can double click and get bigger views - but that might not be a good idea - grin.

This one is for John Sillett - although this isn't the one he ditched in Singapore, it is one that he is listed as flying so that is something.

One last comment - it is stuck to the base - which is painted the colour of a Carrier deck - because it is a tail sitter. However, with a resin body, there is no space to put any weight in so there is not much you can do about it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

So, I have finished something but...

Well, I have finished the Dauntless but now I have taken some photos, I am not sure that I should have bothered. From a distance it looks fine but up close you can see that the canopies are a 'sort of' fit and when photographed, look dreadful.

Still, I have done the best I could with a really c**p kit - at least that's my story and I am sticking to it.

Things to note about this one:
  • The canopies sort of fit
  • I have lined the canopies out using Tamiya masking tape rather than trying to either mask them up or hand paint them. It looks fine at normal viewing but up close you can see that the tape is a bit thick.
  • One of the undercarriage doors went 'ping' away when I was trying to fit it using some tweezers. Hence, both doors have been replaced with thin plastic card. they actually look better and fit better.
  • I broke the landing hook when cutting it off the sprue so I had to make a new one out of brass wire.
  • The radio aerial is made of my usual stretchy thread.
Well here are the photos - no comments accepted about the quality of the build - grin.

Monday, October 01, 2012

At last I am getting back into the swing of things

The Airfix Dauntless is moving such that it is nearly finished.

What is left to do?

Well I broke the landing hook so I have to make another one from brass wire.
I have to fit the canopies
There has to be an aerial wire from the large aerial post on the front back to the tip of the tailplane.

Then it is all about a bit of varnish and finishing up.

One bad thing. there is a very poor join between the starboard wing and the fuselage and my attempts to smooth it out haven't worked. Hence I have left it but I am not happy - however it is a c**p kit - all poorly moulded bits, lots of flash and rivets that you can cut your finger on.

The whole point was to get back into modelling in the new place with as little effort as possible and this has achieved that.

Next step is to get back to the kits I haven't finished. This means the 1/12th Mustang and the two resin Gannets - gulp!

Here are some pictures of the Dauntless as it stands at the moment.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

But asking for trouble!

So I sit there and go through my stash. Why can't I make my mind up? This is why I only aver used to have one kit at a time and just make that one!

I decided that I needed a challenge for my first start up (forget that I am half way through a 1/35th Valentine tank and a 1/12th Shelby Mustang car!). Sitting in the stash was one of the old SBX mistakes - kits that I bought for customers that were either cancelled or I duplicated. Normally, these would have been E-Bayed out but this one got missed as it was a very late event in the SBX story. What is this wondrous kit that I am all fired up to make? An Airfix 1/72 Douglas Dauntless - recent release but on of their, what I call, shrapnel boxes. This means that it is a latest release but a very old kit that comes in a poly back of bits of plastic that might be of some shape but with each piece noted for its flash - oh - and it must have rivets that can cut your finger if you run one along the fuselage.

Anyone who remembers the shop may remember that I had a very nice 1/48th Dauntless on my display shelf in the early days - an Accurate Miniatures kit so I do like the aeroplane and love its involvement in the Pacific war. SBD - Slow but deadly! So I am making it up as an SBD-3 from the Battle of Midway. I have even painted the pilot and gunner - mainly because without them the cockpit was just some square bits of plastic! This is where I got to last night:

Back on track

I think I am back up and running. After a few weeks settling into the new apartment and getting used to a new way of life, I now have my modelling desk in operation.

As I still had a trade account, I indulged myself when we closed SBX . I got myself a new extractor unit and a TR0 trigger revolution Iwata airbrush! This is what the desk looks like.

I think that this set up should be very conducive to sitting there modelling. As you can see, I have an extractor unit, a large cutting board, a Daylight light and two drawer units. The top unit is full of paint and Alcad - mostly Vallejo but with some special colours in Lifecolor, Xtracrylix and (avery few) Tamiya. The bottom unit is full of tools and modelling materials such as brass wire, etc. I have a separate stash of glues and masking material and a large stock of Vallejo polyurethane primers. I spent quite a lot on back up materials whilst I could still get a trade discount. For instance, my favourite glue is Plastic Weld which is a highly volatile solvent containing Dichloromethane. Sticks instantly and evaporates almost instantly so you can slosh it on the outside of a model and it never marks anything - just sticks very quickly. I now have 12 bottles! That should last me some time. Plus, things like my favourite primer - Vallejo Black Polyurethane primer - I got in boxes of 6!

I also arranged to get a Sonos 3 speaker network audio unit in the room. This is fed from a central network hub and can play different music from that coming out of the 5 speaker unit in the living room or can be grouped with it to play the same. I now have brilliant access to all of my old jazz plus Internet radio etc.  My trusty Mac Mini is close by for any check up on web information. Plus, I have my stash to work through. I should be the happiest bunny around!

Monday, September 10, 2012

My current stash and work in progress


Make Code Description Scale Quantity
Fly FLY72006 A/W Whitley Mk V - Vingtor BOAC decals Decals 1/72 1
F-Rsin Plastic FRP4033 CV-990 Garuda - Left over from SBXBX 1/144 1
Eduard ED1172 NATO Falcons - Academy F-16 + Resin etc Resin etc. 1/48 1
Eduard ED1170 P-38J over Europe - Academy P-38J + Resen etc.8J + resin etc. 1/48 1
Airfix AX04049 HS Buccaneer - FAA 1/72 1
Trumpeter TU01629 Fairey Gannet AS. Mk 1/4 - FAA 1/72 2
Trumpeter TU01630 Fairey Gannet T.Mk 2 - FAA 1/72 1
Tasca TAS24002 Pz,Kpfw.II Ausf. F -  1/24 1
Special Hobby SH72066 Fairey Firefly TT Mk.4 - FAA 1/72 1
Eduard ED7078 Grumman Hellcat Mk.I/Mk.II Combo FAAo - FAA 1/72 1
Perry Miniatures PMBH80 British Napoleonc Hussars 1808- 18151815 -  28mm 1
Special Hobby SH72036 Sikorsky HO3-S1 - FAA - Westland Wessexd Dragonfly 1/72 1
HobbyBoss HB87251 Hawker Sea Hawk FGA.6 - FAA 1/72 1
Admiral ADM7209 Supermarine Seafire F.45 - FAA 1/72 1
Ark Models ARK72032 Westland Wessex HAS Mk.1 - FAA 1/72 1
Airfix AX02022 Douglas Dauntless - Left over from SBXm SBX 1/72 1
MiniArt MT35071 British Desert Tank Riders - For Valentinealentine 1/35 1
CzechMaster Resin CMR146 Bristol Sycamore - FAA Resin 1/72 1
CzechMaster Resin CMR231 De Havilland Sea Venom - FAA Resinsin 1/72 1
EBRO EMSF1 Team Lotus 72C Gold Leaf -  1/20 1
AZ Model AZM7282 Supermarine Attacker F.1 - FAA 1/72 1

Work In Progress

Revell RV07089 2010 Shelby Mustang GT500 -  1/12 1
CzechMaster Resin CMR118 Fairey Gannet COD - FAA Resin + WingfoldWingfold 1/72 1
Alley Cat ACRK72001 Fairey Gannet AEW. Mk.3 - FAA Resinsin 1/72 1
AFV Club AF35185 Valentine Mk II -  1/35 1

Everything is in place

I have sorted out my hobby room in the new apartment. It has a dedicated modelling table. I have bought an extractor for airbrushing and I have invested in a trigger Revolution TR0 airbrush which might stop my knuckles hurting during extended spraying sessions.

Now to the problem. Those of you who know me know that I have never maintained a 'stash'. I have always bought a kit - made it - and so on. As I was about to lose my trade purchasing ability, I have stacked up on kits. Now, I look at the list and can't make my mind up what to build. I open one box after another and put them all back!

Make your mind up David!!!!

I will make a list of my stash - you will be puzzled by the variety of kits - in any case, I am - grin.

Monday, August 20, 2012

David is retiring and SBX is closing

Just a short note to tell everyone that we have closed SBX Models because Valerie and I are retiring to the Ipswich Waterfront!

For more information go to the shop blog

Friday, July 27, 2012

Progress on the Valentine

I have been working steadily so that I don't do anything silly. Then I take some photos and immediately start noticing things like grab handles not right. Still I am progressing.

Here is where we are.

One of the really interesting things about this kit is its innovative use of slide moulding. Slide moulding means that you have to 'slide' extra bits of the mould into place once the two main parts are mated. Normally, you could not mould some things without this process. It also means that these extra bits have to be removed before the mould can be separated.  This kit has working suspension using moulded plastic springs. These have to be moulded using slide technology. You can see the holes in the side of the main sprue where the rods were inserted. The result is as follows: Yes these springs are really moulded in one piece, are fitted individually around the main shaft and do work!

I have started work on the turret but I am now at the point where I have to start doing some spraying so I am leaving that until tomorrow. More photos this weekend.