Thursday, November 21, 2013

November 2013 Issue of RCN News Magazine

This issue's modeling column features a 1/72 Sea King round-up.  You can download the magazine and/or buy your print copies here.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

2013 Cincinnati Scale Modelers Contest

On October 12, 2013, I had the pleasure of attending the Cincinnati Scale Modelers Contest and Swap Meet, held once again at the Scarlet Oaks Vocational School and Girls’ Reformatory - oops, sorry, that last part may have been fantasy. Total entries were down a little from previous years. There were 260 models on the tables and, as always, the quality was good, though 1/48 outpaced 1/72 this year.

The vendor area was excellent. I held off on the new Starfighter decals F9F Panther sheet, but did succumb to the new Airfix Harrier GR.1.  Somehow I was able to withstand all of the John Vojtech's Czech kits. I spent more time at Cincinnati selling kits and chatting rather than taking photos and happily sold almost everything I brought. Money seemed to be changing hands at a brisk pace in the vendor area.

I always have big fun at this show - good vendors, good models, and lots of conversation with friends both old and new.

Here are a few of the 1/72 aircraft on display, along with a 1/144 interloper.

A nice Ohio Guard A-7D.

A captured Raiden.

Crazy well done camo.

The Airfix Chipmunk.


The new Meng F-102.

A very colourful German Fouga.

Steve Nelson's Airfix Mosi on a stick.

A Tamiya Mosquito.

The Dragon 1/144 U-2.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #14: The Sequel is Never as Good as the Original

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is: What do you think is the worst part of the hobby?

You mean besides the fact we don't have a new tool 1/72 scale Fleet Fort and all kits aren't $1.00?  Well, as I have said before canopy masking sucks!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #13: Help Yourself Out to Some of My Disaster

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is:  How do you prepare for your next build?

This best way for me to discuss how I prepare for a build is to give an example, but I gotta be honest here - I'm crazy.  Nothing I write below can be justified as the thoughts or actions of a sane person.  But nonetheless, here is a look into my mind:

Last Saturday at the Cincinnati Scale Modelers Contest, I purchased the new Airfix Harrier GR.1.  I've long wanted to model XV741 as it appeared in Canada for cold weather testing at Cold Lake in the winter of 1969.  Thanks to a Harrier fanatic friend I have a nice photo of this aircraft in July of 1970 with a Canadian flag on the intake.  Awesome.  Was the flag on both sides?  Dunno.  I would really like it to be so, but I can't confirm it either way.  There is also some video of this aircraft showing it was painted with red wingtips and outriggers during its time in Canada.  (Fast forward to about 6:50.)  But the bad news is I don't see the flag in the video. Indeed, most of the photos are from the wrong side, and yes, it is possible that the flag wasn't on both sides of the airplane, but in order to start the model I need to know.  (Oh, did I mention that in the photo, the Harrier does not appear to have the red wingtips and outriggers.)  So here I am wanting to build a model of a Harrier with red wingtips and outriggers and a Canadian flag on each side of the airplane, but I can't confirm the airplane was actually painted that way.  I know it is my model and I should just build it how I want; but the former history major in me wants it to be correct.  (Oddly, my artist friend Smith would be aghast that I would even consider doing so.  In his opinion, a modeler should be concerned only about creating an impression, not an exact replica.)  So, I guess I will go build something less interesting that is better documented.  And people wonder why I never finish anything...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #12: Full Canuck

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is: What do you like to build?

Scale:  1/72.  It just seems right.  (Ok, I'll admit it...1/144 is a necessity for larger subjects and I do own a few 1/48 kits; mostly Spitfires.)

Subjects:  Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy aircraft.  I occasionally stray into 50s and 60s US and UK jet territory, have an odd attraction to MiG jets, and I really enjoy USN and FAA subjects.

Aesthetic:  I'm more of a colour and markings and aircraft history kinda guy, than Mr. Detail. Good thing too, I don't have the skills to be Mr. Detail...

Manufacturer:  Tamiya kits are nice and all, but I really appreciate the new tool Airfix kits. Subjects I enjoy, a style that suits my skills, and at a nice price.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #11: Church of the Divine Scale

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is:  Where do you gather?

When I took up the hobby again after law school, I soon started attending local IPMS meetings. But I soon became tired. The meetings were too structured, mostly it was talking about minutia and club "business", politics would rear its ugly head, and they just were not that much fun.  The meetings remind me of classroom lectures and I really didn't learn much about modeling from them or get excited to attend. Not to mention, one of the clubs decided it was for "elite" modelers and became more about contest wins than anything else. I just didn't fit in with the one club and didn't seem to get much from the other, so I have drifted away from both groups.

Luckily, I met some wonderful modelers who became fast friends. One Saturday afternoon, an idea was born:  Why not start a group of 1/72 scale modelers that gathered once a month to hang out, share tips, and actually build?  Thus the Divine Scale Society was formed.  What started with a few guys has grown to groups of eight to ten, and each gathering is a great time consisting of models, modelers, good conversation, and great food. One of the things I love about the group is that, because we are actually working on models, we can watch techniques demonstrated in a "real life" setting.  I learn so much from these meetings and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow builders.  Sadly, splitting time between two cities means I don't get to attend the DSS meetings as much as I would like and I miss them.

Happily, a few of the local West Akron modelers and I try to gather once a month in one of the modelers’ basements to build and BS.  These are by far my favorite gatherings and I enjoy everything about them.  We share tips and techniques, catch up on each other's projects and more importantly we discuss anything and everything.  These guys are among my closest friends and there is both great conversation and much laughter each time we get together.  These guys inspire me not only to be a better modeler but also a better man.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #10: Don't Want No Cash, Don't Need No Money, Ain't Got No Stash...

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is: What are your spending habits?

For a long time, I could spend freely on modeling with almost no ill effects.  I was lucky.  I had more expensive hobbies - aviation - so a few hundred bucks spent on kits every month seemed like nothing.  If I was sad or depressed, some new kits would make it all better.  If I saw something cool, I'd order it.  I'd order from the UK, the Far East, Australia.  It wasn't that cost didn't matter, it just didn't matter that much.  I was addicted.  My addiction lead to the Closet of No Hope, with more models than any sane person should have.  And while hitting the "order" button on my computer felt great, I would look at the number I'd amassed, and would feel like I was drowning.  There was no joy, just the reality of tens of thousands of dollars spent on kits that will never get built, while I put off things that I actually need and enjoy:  new glasses, vacations, sporting events and clothes.  "I can't afford that," I'd say.  Then I'd turn around and spend $100 on models.

As I've tried to become a healthier person; I've realized that I was addicted to collecting kits.  (I'd delude myself that I was going to build them all, but when the number exceeds the amount I could build in my lifetime, that becomes a ridiculous assertion.)  The truth is that I was buying things to make myself feel fill holes in a life that I let get away from me.  That changed in 2011:  I ended a marriage that wasn't working.  I quit my job and opened my own company.   After many major life changes, I feel more in control; more complete.  I no longer need to buy kits in order to feel whole, and I'd rather have a collection of kits I truly love instead of a closet full of things that remind me how lost I once was.  With a future cross county move in the works, I need to reduce rather than increase the size of my collection.  This doesn't mean I don't buy new kits...Hello, Airfix Lancaster Mk. II...but I am more thoughtful than I was in the past.   Now my challenge is to differentiate between a healthy, pleasurable hobby and my regrets of the past.  Sometimes, I catch myself feeling guilty over what should be a reasonable purchase.

I was talking with my girlfriend earlier this week about my occasional guilt and she reminded me of an idea we'd discussed before: eliminate the guilt by setting a budget specifically for kits and stay within that budget.  So that's what I'm going to do.  Yesterday, I read Mike Grant's post and realized this is how he operates.  I think it's an excellent idea.  Rather than using kits as a salve for all that is wrong in my life, I'm looking forward to enjoying both my life and my hobby.

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributor's posts within your own response. So here are a few posts from some of the other members:

Mike is on a budget.
Welcome Bill to the Union.
David is a librarian.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013 OHMS Model Show

On Saturday September 21, 2013, I had the chance to attend the Oregon Historical Modelers Society Model Show at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.  Held in the Space Museum building, it was a nice event and probably about equal in size to an average Region 4 show.  (The official count was 423 models entered by 103 modelers.  The total number of models was up from 359 in 2012.) With a full scale P-51D, Corsair, SR-71, and various space items overlooking the model area, it was a fun venue for a show. There were a decent amount of vendors, with Rare Plane Detective being the most well known, and some great deals. The Evergreen campus is an interesting place: part air and space museum, part water park (with water-slides spiraling downward from the 747 on the roof), and part vineyard, it seems it has something for everyone...including the Spruce Goose! 

Here are a few of the 1/72 aircraft on display:

A KP MB-200 in Luftwaffe markings?

A High Planes Mirage in Israeli markings.

I assume this Boeing YP-9 was scratchbuilt.

An A-Model Brawny.

A nicely done Breda.

A Delta Caproni.

Nice to see a CF-104 at the show.

The new Meng F-102 in camo.

A shiny Gamma.

A South American Junkers.

A Fine Molds Lorna.

An A-Model Mary.

A nicely done Airfix MiG-15.

NASA Predator.

A Pucara.

RCN Sea Fury.

What is an AScale Canadian show report without a RCAF Spitfire?

An African SU-7.

The Sword T-33 done up in Guatemala markings.

A Testors T-45 Goshawk.

Not often you see a Trans Maldivian Airways Twin Otter at a model show.

A RAF Typhoon.

A nicely done Frog Whitley.

A well done MPM A-20 Havoc.

B-10 diorama.

Even though it was 1/48, this was my favorite model at the show.  It was really well done and I loved the choice of subject and scheme.

P.S.:  In what may come as a shock to many Region 4 show organizers, the model room stayed open during judging.  Oddly, the sky did not fall and the world did not end.  Wake up Region 4 clubs!  It is a model show; closing the model room during judging and keeping your attendees from looking at the models is ridiculous and needs to change immediately. I don't care what bogus arguments you make to justify having to close the room - there is no good reason for doing so and it’s nice to see the west coast clubs being a bit more creative in their thinking.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #9: When I Paint My Masterpiece

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is:  What paints do you use?

I don't paint that much, but when I do, I prefer Mr. Color.  These Japanese synthetic lacquers are almost perfect.  Thinned with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner they spray so beautifully that even an airbrushing dunce like me can get a great finish.  They dry fast and rock hard and have a good selection of colours.  So why aren't they perfect?  They are smelly, and they are lacquers, so I'm sure they are quite toxic.

My other favorite is Tamiya's acrylics.  Not as durable as Mr. Color, a primer is almost a necessity, they spray very nicely; though not as smoothly or as easily as Mr. Color.  (Occasionally, they can be temperamental.)  Much more common on hobby shop shelves, Tamiya's one major drawback is its limited selection of military colours.  I delude myself thinking they are less toxic because they are acrylics.  Of course, I use Tamiya Lacquer Thinner to thin them, so, well, ok, maybe I should just stick to the Mr. Colors...

As for brush painting...I haven't found a paint in 2013 that is actually good for brush painting. Some claim Vallejo, which have the added benefit of being non-toxic, but they still need a primer, and I'm not quite sure I've got the hang of them yet, either by brush or in the airbrush...especially the latter.  But more experimenting is in order.

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributor's posts within your own response. So here are a few posts from some of the other members:

Mike has many favorites.
The Eternal Wargamer is all about the Citadel acrylics.
Jay likes Vallejo Model Air and Tamiya.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #8: Living in the Model World

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is:  How has living in the small scale world influenced your day-to-day view or understanding of the 1:1 world?

There are days I wonder if I am even a modeler at all. I don't finish many kits and, quite honestly, my answer to the above question is not much. Sure, FS 17100 will always mean something to me, but when someone mentions eggplant I will start to wonder what is for dinner. Yes, occasionally, I look out the window at the wing of a jetliner and notice that the panel lines do look shaded and there is weathering there, but my outlook on the world is more influenced by my legal and pilot training. My legal training taught me to question everything and I think my view of the world from the skies has been more influential than anything I've learned from scale modeling. It relates back to a statement I made a few weeks ago that I think I'm more a frustrated pilot and wannabe museum creator and curator than a modeler. I like looking at airplanes, but I like looking at airplanes fly. I'm the guy who wants to see it moving, not taking photos of every little detail.  I'm more interested in the history and machinery than the details.  I yearn for the freedom of flight.

This was brought into focus by a conversion the other day with Kentucky Law Pirate David Knights.  Earlier this week, the Heritage Flight Foundation lined up a bunch of Grumman Cats on their ramp in Everett. I sent David a photo of the planes that I downloaded from Facebook and he said "he would have loved to have been there."  I mentioned that because of the bad weather there was no flying, which was a bummer.

He said, "flying didn't matter to him."

That sounds like the answer of a modeler.  My statement sounds like the answer of a pilot. I build models because I can't own and fly a Hellcat, Spitfire, or Hurricane. They are a little static reminders of the dream. Yes, I like working with my hands and it gives me something to do with my minimal spare time, but if I had the funding I'd give up on 1/72 and go work in 1/1 scale. It seems to me David is actually more interested in 1/72 than 1/1. I guess he is the real modeler...

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributor's posts within your own response. So here are a few posts from some of the other members:

David is always on the lookout for modeling help.
Mike works in a little Dylan.
Scale Model Workbench says modeling gives him a greater appreciation of humanity.
Yet another plastic modeller is obsessed.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Flying Heritage Collection Battle of Britain Day

Ok, so they were off by a week and a day.  Ok, the Spitfire was a later model, but it was still totally fun. The Messerschmidt Bf-109E and the Spitfire Vc took to the skies yesterday after a short weather delay to entertain all in attendance.

And what is a post from Paine Field without a Dreamliner?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #7: My SO

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is: How does your significant other view your hobby?

She bought me an Italeri Sunderland for Christmas and, after hearing me complain about canopy masking, ordered some masks for my Airfix Zero and had them shipped from the Czech Republic.  What more do I need to say?  She rocks!

Of course, it is more than that.  I appreciate her support.  I appreciate her listening to my struggles with the hobby over the last few years.  I always appreciate her input and opinions on said struggles.  (In fact, my post a few weeks about my new attitude about fun in the hobby is a direct result of some of those discussions.)  I appreciate her assistance in culling the stash to reasonable proportions when I feel it's starting to overwhelm me.  I appreciate her attending the odd model show.  I love that she says things like, "Why don't you have all the modeling guys over to your place?  I'll cook," and actually follows through.  I really appreciate her proof reading all of my modeling essays.  The list goes on and on.

She knows that I enjoy the hobby (though sometimes it doesn't look like it), so she supports my activities in any way she can.  (Although I will admit, she makes odd paint colour suggestions for my kits...  No, baby, the Spitfire will wear the Day Fighter Scheme, not purple polka dots.)  I'm a very blessed man to have such an amazing woman in my life.

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributor's posts within your own response. So here are a few posts from some of the other members:

David is the Brad Pitt of modeling.
Mike's wife's Sabre save.
The Eternal Wargamer's Warhammer Widow.
Yet another plastic modeller's supportive girlfriend.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #6: Not Gonna Do It! Wouldn't Be Prudent!

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is:  What will never make its way on to your workbench?

I know this is almost heretical among scale modelers, but the answer is easy; anything with a swastika.  While I'm not against Fw-190s or Bf-109s per se - in fact, I plan to build one of each in captured RCAF markings - World War Two Luftwaffe aircraft bother me deeply.  (Not to mention, the Bf-109 may be the most over-modeled subject in the history of plastic scale modeling.)  I don't understand how modelers can build these subjects and not be impacted by the historic mass murder of innocents perpetuated by the Nazis.  What kind of satisfaction do they gain from showcasing this global shame?  (About the only thing creepier than all the Luftwaffe models on contest tables are the reenactors who dress up as Germans.  WTF?)  Sure it is history, but personally, I don't want my display case to provide any memories of an ideology that was responsible for the holocaust.  Not to mention, most non-modelers find it really creepy and odd.  Generally, I don’t care much what others think, but this is one of those times that the general public is right and modelers are missing the bigger picture.

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributor's posts within your own response.  So here are a few posts from some of the other members:

Havoc Models doesn't want to work with vacuforms.
Lt. Smash isn't down with eggs.
The Eternal Wargamer is all about the game.
Yet another plastic modeller isn't gonna sculpt.
Scale Model Workbench wants to keep the fixed wing aircraft away.
Build the world with me objects to the scantily clad female figures.
Doogs isn't feeling the airliners or the cars.
Kermit is not amused by the visible cow.
The Migrant is not feeling Tamiya Corsair fever.
Our fearless leaders is not into the ugly.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #5: Getting philosophical

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is:  What is your modeling philosophy?

I would love to get all high brow and explain how I am a modeling existentialist. A modeler disoriented and confused in the face of an absurd hobby. A man so disconnected that my thoughts alone prevent me from finishing a kit. A modeler full of angst and despair at his lack of modeling success and completion. But that would be inauthentic...possibly even inaccurate. (A fatal flaw maybe?)

It is true I don’t finish much and it is also true that the hobby does, at times, fill me with angst, but they aren’t part of my philosophy. For many years I struggled with the fact that, ultimately, I want to build the perfect model. (Notice I didn’t say an award winning model. I really don't care about that stuff.) I want to build a model that looks like what I have in my mind's eye when I purchase the kit.

I am a frustrated pilot and wannabe museum creator and curator. I can’t buy a real Tomahawk (or Spitfire, or Mustang, or...) right now (finished in RCAF markings, of course), so I settle for a 1/72 version. I’d like a model to look like a scale representation of its fictional real life counterpart. Not an exact replication of a 400 Squadron Tomahawk in 1942, but a slightly cleaner show plane that is flown with some regularity. So that means, while it won’t be 100% authentic, or slavishly copied from a photo, it will be well built, with no seams, no decal issues, no paint issues. Obvious shape accuracy will be corrected. Colours and markings will be mostly correct, but occasionally with a few slight changes because I think they are cool. I'll add seatbelts to the cockpit, but I don't need resin and photoetch accessories just to add detail. The cockpit will be closed, as will all the panels. It also won’t be weathered so much I wouldn’t be willing to fly it and it won’t be so glossy that your eyes hurt...we aren’t taking 1970s warbirds here...

Sadly, my name is not Mike Grant and I don’t have the skills to build that perfect model as I envision it. That vision hung me up for years and put me in a position that I don’t finish many models. I bought them. I started them. Then as soon as I made a mistake that destroyed the perfection I put them aside. I was miserable. Everyone ragged on my for not finishing and I started to get frustrated and press. The next one will be perfect. Nope, mistake. Ok, the next one will be perfect. Nope...eject...and on and on...

I started to realize perfection is both unattainable and unnecessary. These are just plastic toys, right? Even a less than perfect model on the shelf is better than no finished model on the shelf. So, right now I’m focusing on fun and enjoying the process. Rekindling my childlike sensibilities I had as a young boy when building a kit was the most exciting thing ever. Sure I’m going to take care. Sure, I hope I turn out an OK model, and, sure, I try to improve with each kit, but right now the focus is on fun. Fun is my new philosophy.

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributor's posts within your own response.  So here are a few posts from some of the other members:

Mr. Knights is getting better all the time. (He can't get much worse.)
Yet another plastic modeller's trying to keep it simple.
Martin wants to enjoy it all.
Kermit is all about fun.
Havoc Models wants to keep it simple.
MattBlackgod says anything goes.
The Eternal Wargamer is a rebel.
Scale Model Workbench says if it feels good it's alright.
Doogs is about the Zen.
The Combat Workshop is all about his enjoyment.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Modeling Airliners

Title: Modeling Airliners
Author: Aaron Skinner
Publisher: Kalmbach Publishing

Airliners are something that I’ve always wanted to build, but for which I never really found the time , nor have I, shockingly, ever purchased any kits.  However, it appears to be the golden age of airline modeling with new kits being released every month, so I decided to order this book from Amazon and see what it had to offer.  (That, and I’m kind of addicted to modeling books.)  My order was not without some trepidation, as Mr. Skinner is a Fine Scale Modeler Editor and FSM has reached a level of simplicity to be almost useless.  Vapid articles with no detail and the most basic tips and techniques pummeled into the ground issue after issue.

However, I should not have been worried; this is a nice book.  It is an 80 page softcover book with colour throughout.  Chapters include construction, painting, decals, conversions, detailing, weathering, and of course a model gallery.  All the models are very well done, and each chapter is well illustrated.  What it does not do is skimp on words, and there are clear, but not overly simplified, descriptions of each step and technique.  Mr. Skinner’s technique to fill windows is both backwards of what I would have tried and quite genius.  Shockingly for 2013, there is even a vacuform build!  Everything you need to know to build airliners is here.  Sure, all the basics are covered, but there is enough meat here that even the experienced modeler will pick up a few tips and techniques.  Very well done.  Now to get a DC-8 and some Canadian Pacific decals...

Sunday, August 18, 2013

September 2013 Issue of RCN News Magazine

This issue's modeling column features an inbox review of the Kinetic 1/48 Tracker and a review of Valiant Wings Publishing new Sea Fury book.  You can download the magazine and/or buy your print copies here.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tomahawk Update

Remember that Airfix Tomahawk from last December? I hit it with a coat of Mr. Surfacer 1000 last night. Looks pretty good, but it still needs some seam work.  The real problem here is I can't decide on a scheme.  It will be either a 400 or 414 Squadron aircraft in the Dark Green/Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey or a 403 Squadron aircraft in Dark Earth/Dark Green over Sky with a black and white wing.  Decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #4: The Worst

Well, I said from the first
I am the worst...
It never hurts to work in a little Keith Richards in a modeling blog now, does it? And it is very apropos being that this week's Sprue Cutters Union question is "What is the worst experience you've had with this hobby?"

It really is an easy question for me.  I used to claim that I was afraid of my airbrush, but I have learned to tame the beast.  (Or at least realized that your skills at the airbrush are in proportion to how much you use it.)  But every model there is one experience that I fear and that I lack even average skills...canopy masking.  Always the worst experience I have with the hobby on each and every aircraft.  I think I fear it even more than snakes.  Heck, it stalls almost every project to the point that I almost never paint a model because I'm in fear of pulling up the masking and seeing paint on the clear parts, catawampus frame lines, and other such self inflicted disasters on the once pristine clear parts.  Everyone says, oh man, it is easy.  Just use little strips and squares of Tamiya tape.  Really?  You tell that to the guy who couldn't cut a straight line if his life depended upon it?  Nope, it just isn't going to happen.  Yea, Eduard masks help in theory, but my fear is so entrenched that I even am afraid of using that shortcut.  Maybe I should just take up open cockpit biplanes.

I guess I'll just end with a quote from Mr. Chris Robinson:
Help yourself out to some of my disaster...
Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributor's posts within your own response.  So here are a few posts from some of the other members:

Mr. Knights cops out and refuses to answer the question.
Lt. Smash's British Scout Car.
Yet another plastic modeller's box opening frustration.
Mattblackgod's World's space constraints.
Martin's Scale Models's frustration at forums.
Doog is tried of the killjoys.
Kermit's Bench's expensive Galleon.
Combat Workshop's Sharpie frustration.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

RMC Sabre 5

Now painted in camouflage, here is a nice photo my Dad took of the Royal Military College Sabre 5 23221 in 1968 at Kingston, Ontario.

Modeler's Note: There have been many 1/72 scale Sabres, but the best way to a Canadair Sabre 5 is the recently issued Airfix kit.  It isn't perfect...the wing fences are in the wrong place, some of the fuselage scribing is wrong, and the wheels are pretty bad...but it is a nice build, has accurate shapes and is very reasonably priced.  Oddly, many online love the Fujimi kit, but its fuselage is fat and bloated, not to mention the speed brakes are square.  The Hobbycraft/ Academy kit is "derived" from the Fujimi kit and suffers the same deficiencies.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #3: Playing favorites

I recently ran across The Combat Workshop blog that has started a modeling "blog carnival." I was immediatley suspicious...would there be scale clowns? After being assured it was just a loose assocation wherein a bunch of blogs get together and write on a similar topic, I decided to join in. Called the Sprue Cutters Union, this week's question is "What is your favorite model kit ever assembled?"

For a died in the wool 1/72 scale fan, my answer will probably come as a surprise.  Sure, there are tons of awesome 72nd scale kits out there, but my favorite model kit is the Sweet 1/144 Hawker Hurricane.  I am a huge Hurricane fan, so I decided to venture outside of my normal scale.  I was so glad I did!

It may be the only kit I have ever build without using any filler.  The parts were crisply molded, the surface detail is fine, it fit together with total precision, and most importantly for a 1/144 kit, it looks like the subject it is supposed to depict.  (Often, many of the old school 1/144 kits only resembled their subjects if you squint real hard.)  In fact, it might be more accurate than all of the 1/72 Hurricane on the market.  A pure pleasure.  I did mine up as a Malta PR version and even managed a good job on the canopy framing.  (Heck, it must be a good kit, I placed at a Regional with it.)

One added bonus is that you get to use the pun "sweet" as a review of the kit...

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributor's posts within your own response.  So here are a few posts from some of the other members:

The DogsChuffers Scale Model Workshop's Opel Blitz.
Yet another plastic modeller's indecision.
Kermit's Bench's He-111 and wooden schooner.
Doog's Models' Spitfire VIII.
The Combat Workshop's Caribou.
The Eternal Wargamer's Shadowsword.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Hobby Boss 1/72 Spitfire Vb Day One

Tonight I decided to start the Hobby Boss Spitfire Vb "Easy Assemble" kit.  Sure it has issues, but I hope to correct them with the use of spares from Airfix Spitfires.  After less than an hour, here I am.  Easy, indeed.  My goal is to actually finish it this week and I hope to post progress each day.  It will be done up as "Buzz" Beurling's T-L/EP706 with my interpretation of a "Malta Blue" scheme.