Thursday, July 26, 2012

Life is Rough on South Lake Union

A couple of photos of Kenmore Air de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Turbo Otters taken this afternoon at the South Lake Union base.  It was a beautiful day in Seattle.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Well, That Didn't Work So Well...

So much for decal week...  After a good start, things kinda dropped off as life got in the way.  I'll finish up the planned reviews, but it might not be until August.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Now It Has Gone Too Far...

When something from pop culture hits the modeling world, you know it has become totally overexposed.  Who expected that an erotic novel would be used to sell model paint?  (Of course, who expected that a self published BDSM novel would top the bestseller list?)

Rising Decals Donated Birds II

With my new found interest in Japanese World War Two aircraft I have started building up a collection of kits.  Sadly, many of those kits, especially a few of the old Mania kits I have found, have decals that are either missing, uninspiring, or just well past their use dates.  When I spotted this sheet online, I knew I had to have it. Much like the presentation Spitfires that were given to the RAF by different sources, certain aircraft were paid for by Japanese individuals and groups and six are featured here.  Options include a beautifully minimal natural metal Ki-43, a field camo Ki-51, two trainer Ki-9s, a Ki-27b in green, and a Ki-49.  While the Ki-49 doesn't really interest me much, I love the other options.  The field camo on the Sonia will be hard to paint, but will look wicked if I can pull it off.  The decals themselves are well printed and look really nice.  You get everything you need to do each aircraft.  Of course the instructions are in colour and provide all you need to know about the schemes, though the colour callouts are only in Mr. Color.  (Not a problem for me, I'm a fan, but it might confuse some.)  I can't wait to get my hands on Rising Decals new Zero Part II sheet that has just been released.  Watch this space!

CH-147F Flies

Today Boeing announced that Canada's first CH-147F Chinook successfully completed its first flight on June 24 in Pennsylvania.  The inaugural flight lasted more than 80 minutes and confirmed the initial airworthiness of the aircraft, including its new electrical system and cockpit.  It is expected that the first CH-147F will be delivered to the RCAF in 2013 and they will be based at CFB Petawawa.

Modeler's Note: My understanding is that the CH-147F is based on the MH-47 which Italeri and Revell have issued.  Both kits are the Italeri plastic and it appears that only the Italeri kit is currently available.  While not the most modern Chinook kit on the market, it still holds up very well and is arguably the best Chinook in 1/72.  Sadly, it suffers from Italeri's insane overpricing trend of the last few years.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Authentic Decals War Gifts: Presentation Spits

Unlike many in the modeling world, I tend to be pretty laid back about the items I purchase.  It is unlikely I'll overreact anytime soon and call a kit a piece of crap, a travesty, an abomination, or a disaster because it is 1 mm short.  (Heck, when I'm done sanding my kits, I'm sure I take off a millimeter or two.)  But sometimes even I get disappointed by a product.

I had no idea who Authentic Decals was when I first saw this sheet illustrated.  I knew they were from somewhere in the former Soviet Union and had 411 Squadron's Spitfire II "Venture I" as an option.  I ordered the sheet and sadly what I received was a product more fitting of 1973.  Sure, there is a nice colour instruction sheet...with the odd choice of light blue standing in for sky undersides...but it was the decals that were a slight shock.  Generally, if there is a yellow ring on the roundel it is out of register.  The fin flashes are unusable, most of the nose art is slightly primitive looking, and the rank pennants are quite dreadful.  The straight black stencil lines are not straight.  Oops.  The good news is most of the serials and codes appear usable.  Sure there are 14 neat Spitfire options on the sheet (only enough roundels and fin flashed to finish an early and late scheme), but what good is that if most of the decals are indifferent?

I'm sure this sheet would have been raved about in the 1970s...but it is 2012 and modelers expect better.  I have no idea how well these decals will actually work, but the printing and artwork quality suggests giving them a miss.

Monday, July 9, 2012

f√ľndekals Lance Wade Spitfire Mk. VIII

At the Dayton Regional I picked up a couple of decals sheets from a new manufacturer named f√ľndekals.  They have decided to take a new approach to decal production of doing simple one subject sheets with no printed instruction.  (In all majors scales, for those that believe scales other than 1/72 actually exist.)  In this case, the single option is for American RAF pilot Lance Wade's Spitfire Mk. VIII JF472 of 145 Squadron.  The sheet has roundels, fin flashes, serials, and codes.  No muss no fuss.  Everything is perfectly printed and the roundel colours are spot on.  Btw, the right code is not misprinted as it may appear, it is cleverly printed to be covered over by the squadron codes.  You are directed to to download an instruction sheet for decal placement and scheme information.  I really like this idea of affordable small sheets with one about some RCAF subjects, guys?  I think a certain American Spitfire pilot commanding a RCAF Squadron would fit perfectly in your line...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Decal Week

Since we are stuck in a drought here in North East Ohio, it seems only right to have a decal week on the blog.  It has been so long since I've seen the rain that I'm ready to get on a plane to Seattle forthwith just to remind myself what it looks like.  Heck, with all this incessant sun I'm not sure if I'm in Akron or a totally unstylish LA.