Sunday, 24 November 2013

SprueCutters Union # 18 - Inspiration

- Where does the inspiration for your next build come from? 

I was struggling this week to think up an answer to this, been busy thinking of other things, and not really in the modellers analytical frame of mind... thinking I might skip it this week, then today I saw a post on the The Aviationist it sums up what gives me inspiration...
I've said it before I'm an action junky as far as planes and models go, and these photos, are the stuff that gets me all plastic fondlerly(?)

So inspiration is easy with cracking images like those, now finding the time and scale back what I think I can to my achievable levels.........

You never know I may even do a bit more on the A-10B I've started..

All the best


Check out all the inspiring posts for the other Unionists...

Minature and Model Painting
Mattblackgod's World
The Eternal Wargamer
Yet Another Plastic Modeller

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Happy surprise...

Hi folks,

Been browsing Hyperscale and noticed the preview of the Zvezda 1/48th Su-2, and had to stop and have a second look...

That is a stand!, and is that crew under that canopy?

Oh yes,

Figures on the sprues!

As an inflight guy, seeing a company produce a new tool kit, with stand and crew figures... just got to get out the happy dance...
All the best


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #17: Go Big or Go Home

Well what a big question for the union this week, - If you had the resources, would you attempt one HUGE project? -

Easy, no, no way, nada.

A big project would be sure fire, started and guaranteed not completed project. I need to see the end in sight, and a huge time wish detail packed project, I would fail completely.

The only way a huge project would happen, is if I was part of a group, and was doing a portion of a project, then the incentive to not let the others down, and people to interact with would carry me through.

I do admire the tenacity and dedication that people put into huge projects, the finest details, the sheer size of some things, the width and breadth some projects cover, all too overwhelming, full of traps and side tracks for me to wander down though.

So I'll stick to my one subjects, at least I have a better chance to finish them.

All the best


* Who is struggling to find some modelling time lately.

Check out the other Union Members BIG HUGE posts:
Kermit's Bench
Lt. Smashs' Models
Digital Sprue - New to the Union
The Scale Workshop
Miniature and Model Painting
Migrant's Wanderings
Scale Model Workbench
The Eternal Wargamer
Doogs' Models
Mattblackgod's World
Yet Another Plastic Modeller
Motorsport Modeller
The Combat Workshop

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #16: Brush Up

This week's question posed byt the Unions esteemed leader is: What is your preferred airbrush/paint brush manufacturer? 

As most, by primary paint coverage instrument was the brush, and whatever our small stationery/hobby shop stocked, the good old Hayden white synthetic brush, Which once I found you put a section of cut drinking straw over the ferule and bristles kept a good point, I also learnt that by washing the brush in a mild detergent solution after finishing a Humbrol enamel painting session they seemed to last longer as well.

Then I saw some modelling books showing airbrushes, oh gosh one of my first "tool lust" periods, I must. must. need. need to have one of those! The dual action looked too complicated and was too expensive, but one Xmas I got a Badger 250 single action, external mix. siphon with a pressurized air can and a car tire valve adaptor. After using the air can, it was out with the spare car tire, and regular trips down to the service station to refill it, I was a slave to pressurised air.

Was it the must have tool? Well I was impressed with the smooth coverage, I think the first thing I painted was a Tamiya King Tiger and the mottling was fun, then a a gloss red Kawasaki GPZ400. (which introduced me to masking tape) looked great, much smoother than my brush work. But I had impressions of paint fine lines and using it like a one stop hair line  to 4 inch coverage tool, which it certainly wasn't, I thin the finest width line I ever got was about 3mm

After the work, girls, work, and family hyatis, I got back into the hobby, and since I had more cash to spend, I had to get myself an airbrush, those dual actions still looked too complicated and much too expensive for my Scrooge blood, so I bought a Tamiya Sprayworks  basic set, an internal mix gravity airbrush, with a compressor, that runs on RC batteries, or a separately available power adaptor. As soon as I got it I put together a power supply to run the compressor. What a revelation this tool was, almost met my ideal of thin lines to broad strokes and what a finish, I had moved to acrylic paints Gunze Aqueous and wow they spray great, only thing here is they are more expensive than Tamiya (the Scrooge again)

So after a bit of playing, it has a single action trigger with a thickness adjustment on the top, I decided it was good, but not fine enough for me. One of the benefits of the Tamiya Sprayworks system is that they do other airbrushes with adaptor parts so you can you them on the compressor that comes with the basic set and I purchased my next airbrush the Spray-Work HG Super Fine Airbrush a 0.2mm needle brush, that feels like a quality instrument (I did see on the web that they are made by Iwata Medea but what you read on the web ....), feels lovely in the hand, and can with the supplied valve use it with the Spraywork compressor.

When used with the Sparaywork compressor and valve it effectively has no dual action, no down action to start the air, just pull back for paint, which was fine for a while, great results I could go reasonably fine, once I played with paint thinning, but I started to get the itch for n air supply that didn't motor boat away, or wobble about, so I bought a generic compressor with a small air tank.

Put the dual action valve part back on the Spray Work HG airbrush, connect her up and we have a proper dual action air brush, it was like night and day, that adjustable air pressure and control with the dual action, wow, it turned the airbrushing from a laying down of paint, to an engaging organic process, I feel alive! oh well it was very exiting..

After bathing in the joys of cleaning the gunk of varnishes out of the Tamiya HG, I decided to get a second airbrush a generic Chinese cheapie, about $30NZD, makes a good second airbrush, and I use it just for varnishes, to keeping the Tamiya for paint.
0.3mm gravity fed dual action, feels solid in the hand, not quite the good fine fit and engineering of the Tamiya, the bowl has sharp corners so harder to clean out..
Chinese Generic
Tamiya HG Super Fine

Sprays nice fine lines..
and sprays the varnishes etc just fine.

Certainly not the quality of the Tamiya, but it works ok, and does me as a second airbrush, certainly you couldn't complain at the price.

So after my long winded airbrush history, I will just present my current favourite brushes...
I discovered these in a one off auction on our local internet auction site, (Scrooge factor again) and wish I could find more, they are GSI Creos Mr Brush brushes, and they are fantastic the bristles keep their shape, hold paint well, and hold their tip, the bristles are longer than normal, leave nice strokes, the handles are sticky rubbery and quite fat so are nice to hold, they feel like a solid quality thing, a real delight to use.

So there are my instruments of painting mayhem, looking forward to seeing the Union's mix of painting instruments..

All the best


Check out the other Union members:

The Combat Workshop
Lt. Smash's Models
Kermit's Bench
Migrant's Wanderings

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #15: Everybody's A Critic

This weeks question for us to mull over is - What do you think makes an outstanding finished model? -

There seems to be multiple models/subjects and styles that can make me stop and go

I mean I appreciate a pig's ear kit turned into a silk purse, and some of these marathon efforts certainly stop me in my tracks, as I have battled with a few ahem, challenging builds. So assembly/scratch building skills must be one of those things that I can appreciate.

If something has that 'real' look, the combination of weathering affects, stops me too, so those wicked finishing skills must be something to make me wow.

Hands down makes me stop and go "wicked" every time, is the action model/diorama involving figures, bring the human element/scale to a subject and I'm all yours.
There has been an example on Hyperscale this week, a Hellcat on fire diorama,
from an image that someone found on the web.

I'm an action scene sucker, and this little one is my latest "Totally wicked", you can feel the heat, and the drama "Run man, run!" I've been recalling this little diorama since I saw it, putting myself in the pilots place, trying to imagine feelings of getting out of there.

All the best


Check out the other Union members thoughts here:

Yet Another Plastic Modeller
The Eternal Wargamer
Motorsport Modeller
Mattblackgod's World
Miniature and Model Painting
Scale Model Soup
Scale Model Workbench
The Combat Workshop
Martin's Bench Corner
The Scale Workshop - New to the Union
David Knights' Weblog
The Classic Kit Junkie

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #14: The Worst Part Is...

This weeks topic for the Spruecutters Union to give bit space to is: "What element of the modelling hobby ticks you off? When does this hobby really get under your skin?. "

Well lets go through the process:

  • Research photos and schemes for a subject- oh yes, much fun, in fact I probably spent waaaay too much time looking at photos and scheme.
  • I used to hate cutting parts from the sprue, so much destruction, and troubles caused, but I've been using an etched razor for doing that and I find I get a much better result - so yes it's fine.
  • Adding little bits of plastic details - oh that is fun, in fact knowing where to stop sometimes is an issue of self control, but damn it's fun. 
  • Adding crew members giving the human scale - a highlight for me. 
  • Masking canopies,  I sort of zone out and enjoy the process. 
  • Fill'n Sand-ing well of course I enjoy that, the hands on working the plastic, feeling it with your finger tips, just connects me to the thing I'm working on. 
  • Painting, now that is another highlight, I really enjoy airbrushing, the controllability, the challenge, and the immediacy of the result - oh yes, bring it on. 
  • Ah, now we get to decalling, nope not a positive process it just leaves me cold. 
  • Posing an photographing the finished model, is enjoyable too.

So overall the main negative for me is decalling, especially using old kit decals, it always seems to be a lottery, and involves much much more colourful language than any other step.
The dunk... "Don't shatter, don't shatter... Nooooo!"

The position and adjustment... "Let go, let go...... Why are you folding up!"

The vanishing.... "Where did that decal go, I just put it on the model?..... Arrgh on my finger!"

No definitely not the fun part, I enjoy the result of adding decals, but I certainly grit my teeth and force my way through it.

All the best


Here's the Union members hates, go check them out, they are much much more erudite than me.. and if you want to join in check out HERE

The Eternal Wargamer
Scale Model Workbench

Saturday, 19 October 2013

A-10B Conversion - Cocking about

Hi folks,

A bit of enjoyable fiddly imagineering happening in the cockpit..
Some spurious screens and dials in the cockpit, I think its ready for a bit of paint now.

I've started building a couple of  ACES II ejector seats,
 First attempt but I was not happy with it, so had a rethink:
Here we are with the new seats. Still have to build the head rest/top part of the seats, but I'm happier how these look.

The Monogram figure is the headless one in the seat, he has a mask on and the visor down as moulded, but I'd like a head with the visor up as well, so I'm trying to modify the Airfix legless pilot head into a similar helmet as the Monogram one. I'll remove the Airfix head once I'm happy with it. Then the intention is to make a mould so I can cast a few.

All the best

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #13: Prep and sand

This week's Union's query posed is "How do you prepare for your next build?"

The first part my preparation is always the research, looking at photos and schemes. First up a Google images search, a look through and a peek at Wings Pallette. A very enjoyable pastime, which I gladly spend time doing, and is probably one of my enjoyable part of a build. 

If the subject has to be modified, or needs part scratch building, I'll start thinking about the strategy for that, including thinking about what I can steal from other kits. A good rummage through the spares is normally included as I may find something that points me at another project, so much promise in a good sized spares box.

Since I normally build in flight a look at the spare pilots and figures is always in order, looking for the right era, and size, those pilot figures vary widely in size for all being one scale.

Once I've confirmed subject, have a scheme in mind, a plan for any modifications, and figures sorted, it's time for a good plastic wash behind the sprues, and we can let the Fill'n Sand begin..

All the best


Here's the other Union members Preping Rituals:

Kermit's Bench
Martin's Bench Corner
Fill 'n Sand
Sven Harjacek Scale Models
Yet Another Plastic Modeller
Motorsport Modeller
Miniature and Model Painting
Doogs' Models
D. Knights' Weblog
The Migrant's Wanderings
The Eternal Wargamer
The Classic Kit Junkie - New to the Union
A Scale Canadian
Scale Model Workbench
Scale Model Soup

Sunday, 13 October 2013

A-10B Conversion - fit and fitout

Hi folks,

After a bit of dry fitting I found I sanded too much off the vacforms..
had to add some strips to spread the fuselage out so the vac canopy would fit and the kit nose cone fit better.

The rear join will need a good filling; the vac plastic is very thin on some of the corners, so will need some rear support.

 Cemented the nose under section on one half, and made new undercart bay doors, as the kit ones, were terrible fit in the closed position.

Instead of trying to make the vacform cokpit tub fit, I thought I'd build it, also means I can add a couple of bulkheads to give the fuselage some rigidity.

I've found a Monogram A-10 pilot figure to use for the crew, just have to buy some mould making silicone.

All the best

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #12: What do you like?

What do you like? is the question posed this week for the Spruecutters Union.

I am a confirmed plane model fan, due to a childhood diet of Commando war comics, Battle Action's Johnny Red, movies such as, Battle of Britain, 633 Squadron, Final Countdown and Top Gun.

All that daring do and excitement is why I don't build many planes with undercarriage down, as I try to capture that childhood wow feeling.

Those action scenes are what sells a model to me as well:

A great action box art, will have me drooling over a kit, and I think the plane ones used to be the most exciting to me, though I did do the odd tank model, I'm sure this was due to Roy Huxley's box art on the Matchbox armour kits.

The half track with the quad 50 cals oolaalaa.

So what do I like? Going over my thoughts, I think an action story is actually what I like, and an aircraft model with wheels up, pilot in seat, and prop blur, have to be in action..

All the best

The Union members likes:

Martin's Bench Corner

Sunday, 6 October 2013

A-10B Conversion - the plastic cutting begins..

Hi folks,

Well I finally laid hands on plastic, no not that kind of plastic.. decided to have a crack at an A-10B using the "Falcon Triple Conversion V: F4H-1 canopy/nose / HC-130P / A-10B"
I've already used the F4H-1 conversion, which comprised a new nose, a new shape canopy, on an old Revell F4E kit set.

For this project I got a cheap Academy A-10 Warthog. The kit had been partially started, wings and engines and cockpit had been cemented, but they easily separated, into their components.
So tonight I started on the vacform bits, and made the first kit hacks.
The Falcon set, has the two new fuselage nose sections, a cockpit tub, the taller fins, and two vacform canopies.

The vac bits cleaned up easily, and I cemented the fins together, and the new nose sections onto the rear fuselage halves. Once the cement is dry I'll think I'll reinforce the joints.

Not sure if I'm going to do wheels up or down, depends if I can fidn some jet jockey crew in my spares.


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #11: Your Hang Outs

Seeing the Sprue Cutters Union weekly topics and posts, has teased me out from under the keyboard to join in.

This weeks topic is the where we hang out and interact with other modellers.

Take 2 of my union post. I had an issue with the Android version of Blogger, overwriting my posted piece with a draft I had started a couple of days ago... ahh Technology.

Growing up in a small farming servicestown in New Zealand I assured myself that I must be the only person who built models, it certainly wasn't something that anybody seemed to talk about, and if I did bring it up with any school friends, or when they visited home, it never aroused any interest.

So when the local stationary shop, held a Monogram competition, any kit as long as it was Monogram, I naïvely assumed I'd be a prize taker. A Monogram Albatross, was resurrected and duly slapped with a red coat of paint, and a Red baron entered.

So the day of the results came and I was gob smacked when there were at least six more models and of course mine didn't place, I seem to remember a truck was the top prize winner.

During the later years, I did find the odd person who made models, though it tended to be I used to make models when I was younger, and wish I could again. It tends to be an embarrassing topic to bring up, not the “macho” Kiwi bloke thing to do, is the impression I get. Certainly when it gets brought up, usual by wife talking to other modellers partnter “Bob, Jim builds plastic kits as well” usually result it muted, “ummm yes” and rapid interest in other areas of the room.

Nowadays my social modelling is very virtual, on this great interweb, following blogs, and a couple of relaxed modelling forums. It's really great being able to give and receive positive encouragement, pick up tips, ideas, and generally be inspired by the creative modelling community.

Another thing is that it is available any time I fancy, I don't have to wait for a monthly meeting but can get my fix, anytime and on the smart devices any where.

More Union members musings:


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Apologies abound and some stash expansion....

Hi folks, 

Well here is another of those posts where apologies poor forth, for lack of blog activity. 

As no model construction has been done, no blog updates, though the stash has been expanding thanks to our local internet auction site...

 The Forger, I have always though the V/STOL planes were/are so cool, the Harrier rocks! and the Yak-38 was always the mysterious Russian Harrier, so seeing this had to be acquired.
The two biplanes I acquired after a burst of enthusiasm, due to some bedtime reading of Mike Grant's wonderful books (Book1) (Book2), where he turns pigs ears Airfix old bips into little gems. Helps to build up my false sense of ability, these I will probably hide away, until I read another fantastic Mike Grant biplane build...
I saw the doucmentary "Dambusters: Building the Bouncing Bomb" and thought I have to build a DC4 with the "modern" bomn on it. So in a flurry I got a couple of cheap Minicraft DC6 that will I hope to mpdify one to be close to the actual one.
This I had to get as it had the Naval version in it, wahay, woo hoo, happy day! until the box arrived and the Naval version nose cone is missing, rats!
Not my preferred scale, but I used to like CHiPs show, must be Ponch on the bike!
 A cheap Ju88, one of the planes that evokes the nasty enemy in Commando comics.
 A very cheap A-10, the cockpit had been started, the plan for this though is I have the Falcon Vacform conversion set for the B version, the two seat Night/All Weather attack version.
I've certainly seen some subjects that are stirring the juices again, and I regularly check out the Hyperscale Airfix forum, always has a couple of good group builds running, and coming up soonish is a Baby boomers group build and an Airfix Chipmunk single kit build which are tempting me, though I'd have to buy a Chipmunk.

So what will catch my eye, one of the models I have dallied with, cast aside, who now forlornly lies with their unfinished passions, or a nice fresh boxed thing, with lots of promises of adventure and mysteries to come?


Friday, 26 April 2013

Revell Monogram 1/48 First Lunar Landing

Hi folks,

Well been working on this one for a while now, started it for a group build on UAMF, and got the LM done, and have just finished the base and astronauts to go with it.

Quick box and content view..

The self adhesive foil, I used for the sides of the descent stage, but I found that easter egg foil wrappers stuck on with craft PVA worked better, I could get smaller wrinkles and conform it to small radii, important for the legs and framework. Though the adhesive foil was handy cut into thin strips for the foil bindings on the legs, and the major V support struts.

I replaced the Ascent stage view ports with plasticard, and painted them, rather than using the yellow film supplied.
Modified a couple of antennas, but left fairly much as is the box, there is a good bit of flash and mould misalignment to clean up, but to me a solid little kit.

Some of the references I used:
A fantastic build on Arifix Tribute Forum
Scratch-built LM-5
Project Apollo Archive
My Space Museum

 The base has the shadows mould on and I'm still not sure if I like them or not, but it was enjoyable painting the base and astronaut figures and all the equipment.

 I really enjoyed painting the astronaut figures, painting the visor reflections was fun.
One scratch build was a camera for the front of Neil Armstrong.

and blast off!...