Tuesday, February 18, 2020

2020 NWSM February Show



Held each year at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, this year's installment had approximately 2,172 models on the table contributed by 72 modelers.  (The second largest model count in the show's history.)  The event is display only, with only one award presented as judged by the Museum Curators.  This year's winner was Russ Busy with his B-17F gunner vignette.  As is usually the case, I didn't take as many models as I should have, so here is only a small selection of the many amazing models on tables.


Eric Christianson's 1/32 HK Lancaster

The Curator's Choice

Russ's B-18 in 1/72

A nice 1/72 Harvard
Morgan Girling's 1/72 Caribou twin tail design concept

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Zvezda 1/72 British Bofors 40-mm MkI/II AA-Gun


Like many of my boondoggles, I blame this one on David M. Knights, Esq. He had mentioned that fellow modeler Mike Baskette was doing a retro build of the recently reissued Airfix 1/76 Bofors 40mm Gun and Tractor. I remember building the kit…in an MPC box..in high school and the discussion reminded me of the, probable apocryphal, story of the Canadian Forces pillaging museums, CFB Baden–Soellingen, and CFB Lahr for Bofors guns to refit Canadian Navy ships during the Gulf War. As much as the idea of building the Airfix kit again was of some interest, I’ve never warmed to 1/76 scale, so I searched out an actual 1/72 Bofors gun. And said search turned up this kit. Quickly ordered, I was impressed with what was in the box when it arrived. I guess it is part of Zvezda’s series of kits for war gamers, but it also looked like a nice model.



Modeled in a softish tan plastic…nothing like those old Airfix soft plastic figures, the kit is somewhat simplified..for example the gun sights are solid…but still a very nice replica of the Bofors gun. Included are four nice figures, a base…reminiscent of Matchbox 1/76 kits…and a rather thick flag. The gun itself is made up of slightly over 30 parts. Molding is pretty good, but there are some mold parting lines to remove and the fastidious will want to drill out the gun barrel. Otherwise, it looks like a nice simple…dare I say...it fun model.



So, to return to the story of Bofors guns defending Canada’s German air bases during the Cold War...it is indeed true. They were 40mm Bofors guns, but on what is called a Boffin mount removed from RCN ships. So I can’t use this kit for that, but I did find a nice photo of a Bofors on exercise on the West Coast to keep Vancouver safe from Japanese air attack. That will be my subject, if only I could find a 1/72 dog to add to the vignette!

City of Vancouver Archives # CVA 1184-629 captioned "Men firing a
Bofors 40 mm ack-ack anti-aircraft gun at University Point."

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Shapeways 1/72 CU-161 Sperwer


The SAGEM CU-161 Sperwer (Dutch for sparrowhawk) was a small UAV used by the RCAF in Afghanistan. Nicknamed the "flying ski-doo" based upon the resemblance of the sound of the engine to a snowmobile, they entered service with the RCAF in 2003, and were retired in 2009, after flying over 1,300 missions. As the CU-161 was the first Canadian Forces UAV to be used in combat, I wanted to add one to the collection.


Knowing that no plastic or resin kit existed of the type, I was excited to find one listed on Shapeways.  Excitement was dulled upon receipt of the item.  The general shape and size looked good, but the print was poor and not up to the standard of previous pieces I'd ordered by Shapeways.  Ragged edges, and rough surfaces overwhelmed the part.  (Maybe I chose the wrong type of material to have the item printed in?)  I had no idea how to proceed.


I tossed some Mr. Surfacer on the part, and it only looked worse. In the drawer it went.  Near the end of the year, Roy Sutherland posted about a 3D printed sci-fi figure that he was asked to paint for a friend.  His description of the print sort of sounded like my little Sperwer.  His solution was something like 10 coats of primer.  Sure worth a try.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

I Can't Wait...



Always the modeling highlight of the PNW model scene.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Happy Birthday MiG


Since today is the 70th anniversary of the first flight of the MiG-17 (January 14, 1950), it seemed like a great excuse to start the new Airfix MiG-17. If you want to see what is in the box, check out Dr. Miller's review at Model Paint Solutions.

More as the build progresses...

Monday, January 13, 2020

New Modeling Podcast


Friend of the blog David M. Knights and his fellow Kentucky colleague in crime Mike Baskette have started a new scale modeling podcast. Check it out at plasticmodelmojo.com.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019