Friday, 28 October 2011

I've started so I'll finish.....

Why do I keep finding kits I never knew existed but now I must have?! It's an addiction but i think I'm on the brink of either overdose or detox I'm not quite sure. See I've added another 4 kits since my last post about my stash and modelling-wise I have achieved the fixing of the undercarriage on one Tornado. Now stepping back I can see the imbalance and so the time has come to put the kit buying chastity belt on and get down to it!

The plan is to finish off my Tornado's and the decals on all of my other had finished projects (as well as other bits) do I can display them properly. It's actually starting to annoy me that I have half finished models waiting on the nice shelves screaming to be done.

So the 1:72 will come first, that's the 2 Tornado's GR1 and F3) the Phantom (FG1) the Buccaneer, the Gannet (MK4) the multitude of Spitfires and the few German aircraft I have.

Now I can see some of you shaking your heads, 'never going to happen' your saying, but no, I have decided it is going to happen or I will never finish anything and this is just the kick up the arse I need to give myself! So first task is to paint the Tornado GR1 in green and grey, I've got everything for it so this weekend it's all systems go.......

Oh hang on wasn't there that wessex kit on eBay?...........

Monday, 24 October 2011

A tale of two Tornado's

Well I showed in my last blog the Tornado which I was starting, the Revell F3, well a trip out on Thursday meant I doubled the build, with a Revell GR1! I bought it to do as a dual build as I guessed they would be of the same pedigree and I was very pleased at the look of the F3, well I opened this one and I was astonished, the detail is out of this world and I am sure to buy more of these. I will go in depth a bit more another time but for now here are the 2 together (GR1 F3) and a pic of the GR1 cockpit.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Stash in the Attic

All kit modellers have them, and I think we all actually love to have them.  The inevitable stash is the pile of our aspirations, of trips to shows and shops with the thoughts of 'Oh go on, its not too expensive' or 'Well I really want an X to go with my Y' or even 'Weeeeell she'll never notice at home if I get this one!'.  We have all done it for one thing or another but kits just seem so easy to keep buying.

My stash has transformed over the last couple of years, if you asked me last year what was in my stash it would have been just 1:72/1:76 German vehicles and figures.  Well its moved on quite a bit now!  I still have most of the figures and a few vehicles left but until I can find a suitable diorama or other excuse to build & paint them they will be staying where they are.  That is my 'stored' stash, kits which will not see the light of day for a while for whatever reason, but I may bring some of the vehicles out of the store if I find I have display room.

So on to my 'active' stash, all of the goodies which I have collected for immediate building. This does not include kits which I have started, they have their own pile!  (Which seems to be increasing, I must get around to getting somewhere to put these on display so I have the morale to finish them!)  The stash is as follows:

1:72 Aircraft

04375 Panavia Tornado F.3 Advance
04164 Supermarine Spitfire MkV (clipped wing) EP120 A-AE
04132 Hawker Siddeley Sea Vixen FAW.2
04338 Eurofighter Typhoon Twin Seater
04615 McDonnell Douglas F-4F Phantom II
04354 McDonnell Douglas F-15D Twin Seater

A02017 Supermarine Spitfire PRXIX PS888
A02082A Hawker Hurricane MkI

Ark Models
72032 Westland Wessex Mk.1 (With Eduard detailing kit)

241 Arado Ar196a

ADM7209 Supermarine Seafire F.45

1:48 Aircraft

A05121 BAe Hawk T1
A11002 DeHavilland Sea Vixen FAW.2

61058 Douglas A-1H Skyraider

1:32 Aircraft

JS-073 Messerschmitt Me109E (2 sets of decals extra!)

1:35 Military

35196 German Frontline Infantrymen (SS)
35009 Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf. F/G

00401 12th Panzer Division (Normandy 1944) figures

Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. H/J

There's quite a bit there to be getting on with as you can see!  I'm not one of these people who tries to put a timescale on these things, they will be done when they are done and I prefer it that way.  But which one to start first?  i think it will be the Tornado F3 or the Wessex, I'm in the mood for some Super Detailing!  Keep a lookout as I'm sure all of these will make it to the blog at one stage or another.

In the Office - Part 1

'The Office' is a phrase used by a lot of pilots instead of Cockpit. I think most of them use it as an ironic term to make the place they spend most of their time sound more 'normal' but nothing that goes on in here is anything like the average office!

In a kit this is the place I tend to spend most of my time. I feel that the more detail that can be included here, the better the model will be (obviously) but a well detailed cockpit will finish a model off whereas a badly detailed or unfinished one sticks out like a sore thumb and will ruin even the best model.

I detail depending on visibility, an open cockpit will be fully detailed, but the likes of the Vulcan or Victor will get a very sparse cockpit as there are only tiny windows and no openings.

So to my next project (I know I have figures on the go as well but I can only take so much at a time!). I am going to construct the Revell Tornado F3 in 1/72 and from looking it over it seems to be a fantastic kit. The fist thing I try and do is find pictures of the cockpit and a well thumbed issue of Airfix Model World has yielded a few fantastic images (the build is of the Hasegawa 1:48 model), it's amazing what you remember seeing months after you saw it! I will use the transfers in the kit as well as painting and weathering with acrylics and washes to get the best effects and this will be an 'in use' cockpit as will the plane (I don't like clean aircraft!).
Always try and find a source of info for the kit your are modelling, even if it is not the same scale there will be useful things you can take away from an article.

I will start with the base grey colour on the parts then construct all but the seats and add transfers then the seats (painted separately) and finally weather.

The detail in the real cockpit is immense and will be a task to replecate in 1:72!
Anyway it's late and I'm off to get more for the stash tomorrow so it's time for bed! I'll try and update on the new additions soon.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Soldiering On - Constructing 1/35th figures

I seem to have concentrated on these 1/35 figures recently, I think it's because they go together well and, more importantly, quickly!

This is my first blog tutorial and I hope to show you some simple techniques and tricks on how I do things. These will not be difficult to achieve and this tutorial only took around 2 hours for me to complete including taking photos so it will not take too long.

The figures I am using today are the standing models from the Tamiya BMW R75 motorbike kit (35016).

The equipment you will need is shown below. Some things are worth spending some money money on such as the scalpel. You can get cheap disposable ones but I always find these to be flimsy and not accurate enough. I use a Games Workshop one, it is not the cheapest but it has a good weight to it and also comes with a ton of blades. Also brushes are important. I got the grey one with some others of the same type from an art shop as they are fairly cheap but better quality than the kit manufacturers ones you find in model shops.

The first thing I always do is to paint all parts of figures on the sprue including equipment. This helps make sure everything is painted and also that paint does not find its way into places it should not be.  I usually paint the base colour (in this case green) and then add things like flesh and straps etc.  This just means it is easier to paint as ye tend to be more careful when painting smaller areas.  I don't mask these models as I find the time it takes does not justify the results.

Once everything is painted and dry I cut the parts off the sprues. I start with the main torso and then the arms/legs (the legs are part of the torso on this one). I will also fit anything that goes on the arms (weapons, equipment etc) so the arms can be positioned exactly.

I use a plastic plate from Ikea to keep a small amount of poly-cement on and a small pin to apply it. This helps to keep glue to a minimum and stops runs.

The main character is now complete enough to see what it will look like and to start to think about equipment placement. Now the instructions are a great place to start but they usually either show rigidly 'accurate' placement or completely inaccurate positions for these things. I prefer to look at images for this as you cannot get more accurate! Also colours for equipment can vary greatly the later in the war you get, 1944 you had Eastern and African front vets in Normandy and they would have old kit with them. Gas mask tins can be green, tan, grey or even white for Russian winter camo colours. Another piece of equipment which can change is the mess tin, they were issued in green or tan but can be personalised in the field and camo'd up or painted with personal details or unit logo's.

Once all details are added its time to touch up any parts that have lost paint or been glued.

The above can now be done on the other figure and then everything can be checked.

Now these figures can be added to the others ready for weathering (which will be covered in another blog) and positioning in a diorama.

Next, how to tackle the Pea-Dot on my SS figures!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

New Model Army

I've always been a 1:72/1:76 modeller, this was, because of space and cost, much more appealing to me.  Plus there is a lot of choice from many manufacturers, especially in the aircraft ranges.  So for 3 years I have happily glued away creating hundreds of  small models which I have been really happy with.  Ok one or 2 were not the best detailed or didn't have the most accurate parts but with them being so small I was quite happy with them.  Don't get me wrong, I like an accurate model, if it doesn't look right I will not be happy with it but for the most part I have been happy.

I was then tasked with producing a 1:48 Sea Vixen (the new Airfix kit available here for display in Hatton's.  This was my first foray into another scale but I have to say I enjoyed it immensely! I still have not quite finished the transfers but that is for another blog.  I was then also tempted by the 1:48 Seafire, the folding wings being the biggest draw, and I bought one, and again it is sitting half finished.  But that was it for the larger scales for the time being.  But then I saw a 1:35 Tiger Tank......

Well that was about 2 months ago and since then I have built up a small stash of 1:35 models.  The Tiger was followed by a Kettenkrad and a BMW R.75, then a SdKfz 251 all Tamiya.  Next came some Academy figures and finally I have some more Tamiya figures and a Panzer II.  I was very surprised when I first opened the Tiger to find a figure inside.  I have had a few figures in 1:72 kits but they have been bundles and not a standard issue.  But of course I jumped straight in and built most of the tiger.  Another first for me was the use of brass overlays on the outside.  This was to represent Zimmerit (anti magnetic) coating present on these late Tigers.

It was a bit of hit and miss but the brass went on fine.  It was me rather than the overlays that were the dodgy part!

So this has been sprayed in yellow and had the wheels attached, these have been painted fully on the sprue so they look better when added.  But of course my interest soon turned to the other models I had bought, namely the Kettenkrad and the BMW R75.  They were fully painted on the sprue before construction as painting things like the engine when they were constructed would have meant lots of masking.  They went together like a dream and I was massively impressed with the result.

The R75 and Kettenkrad, both still need weathering and some tiny transfers but are completely painted and detailed.
The Kettenkrad was made up with the driver and this was my first figure for 1:35.  I loved the fact he was built up from parts rather than one moulding as this meant he could be made to go exactly into the unit rather than having to chop away to make him fit.  Being a lager scale it was also very easy to paint him!  From this I also decided to move on to some of the other figures I had.  I wanted some who were not in battle poses but either standing or walking.  I found these in the Kettenkrad and Academy sets I had and these are the results.
L-R Tamiya, Academy x2, Tamiya x2

The Academy figures in the greatcoats were easy to paint and detail.  I do not mask any of my figures and all detailing is done on the sprue before adding.  This stops paint bleeding onto other parts and spoiling the overall look of the figure.  Again these need to be weathered but this will come later.  The 2 figures in the Splinter A camouflage were by far the hardest to paint so far, they required 5 different colours and a bit of artistic licence but I think the overall effect looks good and will look even beter after a quick weather and wash.

So 1:35 looks set to be my new modelling line for military.  I will still do other things and no doubt another new line will come along soon to change my direction again but for now I'm happy increasing my piles of plastic with slightly bigger lumps than usual!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Full Marks!

Well this is another first for me, a mobile post from my iPhone app!

Today I have been handed some coins from my Grandmas house. This might not sound much but the coins are mostly pre-war Reich Marks and Pfennigs. There are some other older coins including an 1851 Kreuzer (answers on a postcard please!). The most exciting in all of these though is the 1938 Reichspfennig complete with Swastika and Eagle! These will be added to the re-enacting materials along with some of the pictures I have also inherited (these will come with a later blog when I have scanned them).

So here are some of the coins from the collection.

Once, Twice, 5 times the Deltics!

For quite a few years the East Lancashire Railway (ELR) did not have a Deltic locomotive, that was until Martin Walker brought in 55022 to be based at the ELR as a home to operate onto the mainline from.  Around 18 months ago he also purchased 55016 off Harry Needle and the ELR had 2!

Some (in fact most!) of the voulunteers in the diesel group thought this was well enough...     ...until someone suggested a theme day for them!

This weekend sees the event of the year for all Deltic fans, and yesterday saw the arrival of 5 of these noisy machines to the railway.  Luckily only 16 was running (and only on one engine!) so the noise was kept to a minimum but I am sure this weekend everyone in the vicinity of Bury will know the sound (or is that howl?) of Napier.

D9016 (55016) arrives into Bolton St Station
All 5 Deltics will run on both days as well as D335 (class 40 40135) which will be running a shuttle service.  Full timetable and details can be found here.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Premier Blog

Well this is my first time as a 'blogger', and I must say I hope it will be the start of something that will take off for me and the reader. I will be mostly blogging about my modelling but I will also include posts about other modelling subjects and maybe even some military re-enactment and preservation things as well! So keep a look out for my modelling blogs appearing here soon.....