I’m gonna need a bigger boat…

2This fine garage kit arrived today from Patrick Delaney in the USA. 1/6 resin sculpt of Quint from Jaws…

Cheers Patrick – he arrived in one piece and the likeness is awesome. really looking forward to starting this one!

I reckon he’d look good leaning up against something so It’ll be fun thinking up a suitable prop to scratch build alongside him.

 

“Farewell an’ adieu to you fair Spanish ladies…”

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Painting Kelly’s Heroes…

1One of my favourite movie stars – Clint Eastwood AKA Kelly of Kelly’s Heroes…

I’ve just finished this one, my second attempt at painting a bust and as it happens a lot harder than the first one I did. I have to say the likeness on this one isn’t that great, it looks like Clint from some angles, from others it looks more like Willem Dafoe. So there you go – two for the price of one – Kelly’s Heroes and Platoon at the same time 😉

I had all kinds of problems getting the satin bomber jacket looking like something I could live with – took about 20 coats before I was happy with it. As always I made a ton of mistakes but learned tons of new tricks!

Click here to see the reveal photos…

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Figure Painting Build Log – Lt. Col. John Frost (Paras) – Arnhem 1944

MartyAs I’m learning the ropes of figure painting I thought I’d put up a build log (paint log perhaps) of the 1/9 V-Bust from Mitches Military Models of Lt. Col. John Frost who commanded the 2Battalion of the Parachute Regiment during the battle at Arnhem in 1944.

Ok, that’s Marty Feldman in the photo – but those eyes!

If you’ve never tried figure painting I highly recommend you give it a go! It’s amazing how much you can hone up your brush painting skills with miniature painting techniques, which can then be applied to aircraft or armour modelling.

Click here for the build log…

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Polishing off the 1/12 F16 Cockpit…

30Well it’s taken almost 2 years, but the Italeri 1/12 F16 Cockpit is practically finished.

In the final build log update for this build I get the helmet assembled, scratch build some new oxygen hoses, weather up the tub and seat and titivate the base with some Alclad 2 Chromed diamond plate.

Final reveal pics will be up in a couple of days 🙂

Click here to read all about it…

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Ed Force One – last call for passengers boarding flight 666

21Well I don’t want to come across as negative, but “thank god that’s over!” 😉 This is definitely one of those builds where the joy is not so much in the making of the kit, but in the bit where you get it finished, stand back, light your pipe, and admire your handy work.

The Minicraft 757-200 kit is a dog, but with the awesome Iron Maiden decal set from BOA decals, it can be turned into something altogether more interesting.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Ed Force One, this is the tour vehicle of the British Heavy Metal band Iron Maiden. Not only that, but the aircraft is piloted by the bands lead singer Bruce Dickinson who is a qualified civil pilot. For their current world tour (Book of Souls 2016) they have gone the whole hog and are using a Boeing 747-400 as their “tour bus”. Not sure if I’ll be doing the Book of Souls version of Ed Force One any time soon 😉

Click here for the final reveal photos…

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Unshelving the Minicraft Boeing 757-200…

My shelf of doom isn’t looking too bad these days, I have two kits under the bed of doom (which is a bit more permanent) but the actual shelf of doom only consists of two kits, the 1/48 Phantom FGR.Mk2 and the Minicraft 757-200 aka Iron Maiden’s Ed-Force One…

This kit has fought me all the way.

To start with it’s just a bit of a crap kit. The wings don’t fit very well, the cockpit section doesn’t fit very well, the moulding is very soft, the undercarriage is ‘orrible and the straw that broke the camel’s back as it were was the engine pylons. Oh dear.

Have a look at the photo below to see what I mean. After many many weeks of fettling, sanding, fixing, filling, painting, polishing, more painting and more polishing I was nearly at the finishing line. I did a quick dry fit of the engines and they looked like this. The red line shown below should be pretty much horizontal.

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When I hit this point I’d just about had enough and consigned her to the shelf of doom until such time as I had restored enough patience to deal with the engines.

There she stayed for a good few months until this weekend when I decided to give her another coat of looking at.

My first thoughts were to heat the pylons and bend them into shape. But in the end I decided to sand out a section in order to rotate the engines into the correct position. As shown below you can see where I have pencilled in the area to be removed.

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And below you can see an original pylon (top) with a re-worked pylon (bottom).

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Suffice it to say that the pylon modification worked a treat and the engines are now at a much better angle than before.

With this mojo building breakthrough I managed to crack on and finish the rest of the build. Oh yes, she still had quite a few problems to throw at me, but she’s finally done.

I’ll crack out the decent camera in the next day or so and put up some final reveal photos 🙂

 

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Captain John Miller – resin bust completed…

12Today I got around to finishing off my Young Miniature US 2nd Ranger Battalion resin bust today (that’s Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan to you and me).

All I needed to do was add a few minor tweaks and get him mounted on the base which arrived from El Greco Miniatures. Then it was out with the decent camera to take some final reveal pictures…

Had a real blast painting this one, definitely nice to get artistic and leave the airbrush hanging up for a change.

Click here for the final reveal photos…

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Painting Captain Miller…

It’s been ages since I managed to get some serious bench time what with pressures of work and all that, but for Xmas from my wife I got a Young Miniatures “US 2nd Ranger Battalion” figure. Or “Tom Hanks as Cpt John Miller from Saving Private Ryan” if I’m not very much mistaken 😉

I’ve wanted to have a go at figure painting for some time now, and after swotting up on some tutorial videos by the massively talented Dave Younguist (www.lastcavalry.com) I took the plunge…

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I also got the Andrea Flesh Paint Set for Christmas “The easy way to paint skin” as they say…

The instructions are a bit hard to follow in the flesh paint set, but after a bit of research on YouTube I got the hang of what they were talking about with “1st lights”, “2nd shadows” etc…

Gotta say I’m really pleased with the results!

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This is a 1/9 scale figure, so the head is in reality about the size of a grape.

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And here’s a few shots of the (almost) finished article…

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Andrea flesh paint for the face, with Citadel used for the sweatshirt and Vallejo acrylics for everything else.

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The box art looks great but was a little too dark and saturated for my taste, so I opted for more faded colours which were more faithful to the film.

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Am waiting for a base to arrive in the post so I can get it mounted and will put some proper pics taken with the SLR in the Completed Builds section when done.

Next up – 3 figures from Mitches Military Models from Kelly’s Heroes (another favourite film).

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I wouldn’t name my aircraft company something that reads like “Boing”…

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I’ve had something a little different on the go this week…

 

No, I haven’t finally got around to training for the 2016 Skegness naked hula-hooping half marathon. That starts next week. This week I have cracked open a little build I’ve had hiding in the stash for a year or so.

 

I don’t usually build civilian aircraft. As much as I love flying in these silver birds (apart from being cooped up with other peoples farts and sneezes for 14 hours at a time), civil aviation just doesn’t light my fire as much as military aircraft do.

But this one is going to be a little different…

I’m not going to reveal the final form of this Bo(e)ing 757-200 just yet, suffice it to say that I have a very special decal set lined up for her courtesy of those fine people at Boa decals..

Your choice is fairly limited when it comes to building a 1/144 scale 757-200, in fact it’s pretty much limited to Minicraft. So given that array of choice I decided that the Minicraft kit would be the one I would choose. It was either that or the Minicraft but the Minicraft won.

This is a pretty simple kit, in fact so simple that I won’t bother with a build thread because it would be more like a build page. The kit goes together as two fuselage halves, two wings and two horizontal stabilisers. Stick a bit of glass in the front and you’re pretty much at the filling and sanding stage…

As you can see below, there are 9 steps in the instructions, spread over 2 pages. Given that step 2 is the same as step 3 and step 5 is the same as step 6 and step 7 is the same as step 8, it’s more like 6 steps. So they could have left out the parts diagram, and got it down to one side of A4.

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Not that I’m complaining mid you! It’s quite refreshing to build a fairly large model that is so quick to build.

And also it reminds me that building civil airliners is quite different from building military jets… With military jets it’s all about details. Photo etch, resin cockpits, ultra realism. Details and heavy weathering. Whereas your average civil airliner is all about cleanliness and simplicity. No pre-shading, no chipping of paint, no smoke stains and bleached paint work. In fact it goes as far as no windows. Even though this kit has clear front windows, they will be painted over and the windows will be represented by decals.

Ok, I’m sure people do go to town on civil airline models, and that it is possible to introduce a stunning level of scale effect and believability. But for me I’m just enjoying doing something a little more abstract, free from the shackles of trying to make something look “real”.

 

So here she is, the progress so far…

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Most of the fettling has been completed now, just a few little bits (as you might see) in the wing root to sort out and then she’ll be ready for a bit of primer to see how she looks…

After that, a bit of top coat, a bit of Klear and a lot of decals.

Can’t wait 🙂

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It’s all about the plastic…

This month the Sprue Cutter’s Union over at The Combat Workshop asks  “What are you’re imperatives?”

SCU October 2015

“…We all get lazy at times but let’s face it, there are areas of this hobby that modelers cannot get skimpy. Whether it’s a part of the assembly process, a finishing technique, or a particular tool, what do you think are the essential aspects you cannot afford to cut corners on during a build? What are your imperatives?”

For me there are many imperatives in building a model, each stage of the process is something that needs to be done properly whether it’s construction, preparation, painting or finishing – everything adds up to form the finished article. Skimp on any one of those and you run the risk that all those hours of work and attention to detail will leave you with a build where you’re left wishing you’d done things a bit differently.

But if I had to pick one area where I spend more time than any other it’d have to be prepping the plastic…

8Yep, good old sanding and fettling.

The way I see it is the better you get your plastic, the better the finished model will look.

Nothing ruins the scale effect of a model more than a dirty great seam line running down the top of the fuselage. Except perhaps a dirty great seam line running across the leading edges of the wings. Or a mis-scribed panel line where you slipped with the scribing tool and overshot the mark. Or sink marks that you swore weren’t there before you applied the paint. In fact any manner of plastic related skives can return to haunt you when the model is finished – and at that point there is nothing much you can do about it.

One thing that a lot of the pro-modellers that I admire seem to have in common is that their plastic prep is immaculate. Even before they apply a coat of primer, their kits could win awards. Seams are all filled and sanded, re-scribing is accurate and neat with no over-runs, riveting is clean and tidy and not a sanding scratch in sight.

Now, I don’t aspire to exhibit OCD when is comes to prepping the plastic, but my approach is that as long as I can see a problem with the plastic (a seam line, a dent, a sink mark, ejector pin mark etc…), it means I still have more work to do.

frankThere are those times – such as this evening when I had been working on a kit for a couple of hours and my attention span started to waver…

I cocked up a few panel line re-scribes (too impatient to properly set myself up for the scribe), and thought “Hmmm… That’ll be alright”… “If I rub some spit into it, no-one will notice”… “I’ll give it an extra squirt of paint to cover it up.”… “I’ll weather over that bit later.”… “Maybe I could stage a fire…”…

But in the end I knew that the proper thing to do is walk away from it, come and write a blog post such as this, and tomorrow with renewed enthusiasm I’ll actually take care of those minor cock-ups and they won’t come back to haunt me at the end.

 

That’s not to say that I won’t succumb to another form of cock-up such as knocking a bottle of thinners over the finished model, but that would be typical, not an imperative.

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