A gallery showing a single photo of former Models of the Month and other models by our members that have won prizes at our own and other shows.
BMSS (British Model Soldier Society) at Reading, September 2021.
The BMSS hold an Annual show but also run an Interbranch competition for the various branches separate to the Annual Show. However, as a result of the covid outbreak, it was decided to hold them together this year.
Two of our members, Paul Seeley and Ian Groves entered both individually and jointly as Dorset/Poole BMSS. The quality of entries in the competitions was incredibly high and there were a bigger than normal number of entries per class as modellers had been busy during lockdown. While predominantly figure based, there were also classes for AFVs, Dioramas, flats and busts as well as civilian figures. While some of the branches had 4 or 5 members plus entering models in the Interbranch, Paul and Ian were very pleased to come third out of 8 different branches.
Paul won 10 Golds, 3 Silvers and a couple of Bronzes while Ian picked up a couple of Bronzes in the AFV and Converted /Scratchbuilt classes as well as a Gold in the Interbranch for small scale AFVs class.
Here are some of Paul’s models. I’m told there are more on our Facebook pages.
The Chilly detour – 2 Golds and the Lynn Sangster award
Tatanka Hunt – 2 Golds
Old Lady of Bali – 2 Golds
Atheas King of Scythia – Gold and Silver
Ian Groves provided the next four photos.
The Mark 1 won a bronze in the AFV class and gold in the Interbranch Small Scale AFVs.
The Dying Durotrigan Warrior was a bronze in the converted/scratchbuilt class.
Model of the Month for March 2020 was of a BTM-3 Trenching Digging Machine by Allan Parker
I would like to give a big thank you to everyone that voted for my model to be Model of The Month.
As some may realise, the BTM-3 is an engineering vehicle employed for digging trenches, based on the T-54/55 chassis which the Soviet Union had in abundance.
The kit is manufactured by Trumpeter in 1:35 scale with individual track links, a detailed engine and transmission. I noticed they omitted the radiator from the engine bay which you would see if you modelled the engine cowling open. I could easily have bought a resin radiator but that would just add extra expense which I didn’t need. Instead, I went for the easier option and decided not to show the engine or engine bay.
As usual, the mouldings were of a very high standard with little, if any, flash to be removed and all the parts fitted together well with very little extra work required. It was that straight forward that I completed the build in about two weeks.
I then moved on to the bit that took the longest, which turned out to be the painting and weathering. I started off with a nice green enamel (Humbrol 117) which I dry brushed with pale yellow (Humbrol 74) and then a home brew water based wash to give me a nice combination of wear, shadow and grime. I next tried an artist’s sepia pencil to give me random patches of rust and rust chips which I thought on green looked really effective. Next, I loaded a small round paint brush with dry track rust MIG pigment. I brushed this carefully on to a number of the upper surfaces to depict wear and neglect plus a little on the roof of the cab and engine cowling to try to make it look like the BTM-3 had been left out in the weather.
To give the impression that my model had just been excavating a trench, I spent a bit of time applying small amounts of Tamiya Diorama Texture Paint, Soil Effect (Dark Earth), to parts which would either have been in direct use as part of the excavation process or built up slowly on surfaces that would have had soil collect as it fell loose from the rotary excavation head. The paint is actually an acrylic paste with a gritty texture which I bought at a show many moons ago and had forgotten how realistic it looked for depicting freshly dug earth. I had tried, unsuccessfully, to create a similar effect with plaster of paris and some earth pigments but it just didn’t have the realism I got with the diorama texture paint.
Because of the quality of the kit, the well-defined logical build steps and the fact that it is different to the normal run of the mill armour models, I think it is suitable for both novice and experienced model builders alike.
Model of the Month for February 2020 was of a German MG Team by Trevor Griffiths
The idea came having seen these Alpine figures advertised on a website, I contacted Steve Kirtley who is the supplier of Alpine figures both 1/35th and 1/16th. He was expecting a delivery of these and other figures before Telford, I arranged to pick these up with some others which I did so on the Saturday at the show, I think these are some of the best resin figures available in todays market.
I wanted a simple scene to “show” them off, the groundwork is some sand from Bournemouth beach and given a wash to tone it down a bit, the grass is from Woodland Scenics, the fence posts are balsa wood and the barbed wire is Verlinden from my stash, I have had the tree for as long as I can remember but I am unable to remember where I got it from, but it is very good. I understand it was the tree that members voted for and I can only apologise for putting the two figures in the way, silly me!!
I cut the blocks off the figures, cleaned up the seam lines with the back of my modelling knife and a very gentle bit of filing, I gave all the parts a good clean in some soapy water and when dry primed all the parts with grey Halford primer from a rattle can. I decided to paint both jackets with the ” pea dot ” camouflage, one trouser has German grey uniform the other with the camo Italian pattern, a good many Germans wore these if they could get hold of them.
The uniforms are all painted using Vallejo paints , the faces and hands with Andrea flesh paint set. The painting of the jackets themselves started with flat earth for the base colour and from there Flesh, German dark brown camouflage, German camo bright green were used , then using these colours the “pea dot”camo was applied which is very testing on the eyes, so many breaks and lots of tea later, the figures jackets were finished. I made a sling for the rifle from a yogurt lid, painted up the weapons , a drop of super glue and job was done.
I always have trouble trying to paint faces, but I must admit these two are some of the best I have painted, as you know I always try to put a figure with any tank/vehicle I build to give it scale, so the more faces I paint I should get better, well that is the theory anyway! I do have a good many other figures to paint including 1/16th and some busts so watch this space.
Many thanks for voting for the tree perhaps I should have twigged this sooner and branched out in this direction (yes that is really bad, I know)
Model of the Month for January 2020 was a model of HMS Naiad by Austin Stack.
Here’s Austin’s words –
HMS Naiad, Royal Navy Dido-Class Light Cruiser in 1940 as part of the 15th Cruiser Squadron in Home Waters in 1/700 scale from the Flyhawk kit.
The Dido-Class, of which Naiad was a relatively early example, were a class of sixteen Light-Cruisers intended for trade protection that had a developmental relationship to the Arethusa-Class that preceded it. They became, by virtue of the significant battery of High-Angle 5.25 guns carried, useful AA units in the Mediterranean especially relieving Malta. It was there in 1942 that this particular ship was lost south of Crete to a torpedo from U-565.
This model is constructionally straight forward. I used the standard kit but there is a deluxe version available and even a wooden deck. I used the plastic guns supplied as I thought they looked OK. The only things I changed were the railings for something finer (GMM superfine) and the masts, both as supplied were perfectly OK but I like a little more finesse and to do so was not difficult.
This was actually a stop-start project. I became aware of different opinion regarding ‘West’ or ‘Western Approaches’ colours (Whites, Greens, Blues) and ‘East’ (three colour grey and even black) that caused me to shelve this build for a couple of months until I found some documentary evidence as to what Naiad in 1940 actually looked like! There’s a famous and much reproduced picture of Naiad in the Eastern Mediterranean in 1942 with all guns blazing skywards against Italian air attack but by then, Naiad had been wearing the dark grey hull and light grey upperworks scheme that was typical for that time and theatre for nearly a year. So very interesting but not very helpful.
I would say to anyone who likes small scale ships who hasn’t done one before or done one in a while to consider Flyhawk’s lovely little models. But do the research
Austin has also provided two more views below –
Martin C sent the top photo but also shots of the other models on the table so I’ve added them this time.
Model of the Month for December 2019 is an American Liberty Ship by Jez Thomson. The kit is we think by Trumpeter, 1/350th scale and is of the WWII Liberty Ship SS ‘Jeremiah O’Brien’
Feeding the Ducks – Anas tempus pascens
Since I was bitten by the “ship” bug I have looked for models that either relate to my family or are slightly different. Additionally teaching Economics introduced me to one William Deming. A mathematician he was given responsibility for organising the Liberty/Victory ship programme in the USA. Building ships faster than the Axis powers could sink them was a major contributor to the successful waging of war. At the end of the war some genius put Deming in charge of the economic reconstruction of Japan, and we all know what that did to the world’s economies!
Well back to the model – Issued for the 60th anniversary of Overlord this kit of the Jeremiah O’Brien has become something of a rarity. I found it in the kit swap at Telford a couple of years ago and purchased it. I rather liked the box art and decided to try and re-create it so a quick raid to the L’Arsenal stand saw me buy both DUKWs and various cargo sets. This French company produce a wide range of beautifully cast resin vehicles and accessories in various scales but especially in 1/350 and I recommend them to anyone wishing to create scenes in this scale. Fortunately for my sanity I was unable to find an etched brass for the kit so was working straight out of the box.
Planning the diorama led me to a sheet of Perspex as the base with some simple strip for the frame. Once the final layout had been decided the ‘ducks’ were cut down to waterlines and their positions allocated. The sea was kitchen roll and PVA, pushed around to achieve the wave effect and finally painted in oils and acrylics.
My biggest problem was getting an accurate plan for the hoisting systems and the derricks. Plans on the internet are rather vague so I was left with guesswork until Mark Husband pointed me towards the Romsey Modellers online magazine. (Well worth a visit) Tony Adams had recently visited the actual Jeremiah O’Brien, which is preserved on the West Coast of the USA, and taken some brilliant photos. These along with a bit of artistic licence and logic led to the system on the model as you see it. Running blocks were scratch built and added and I am pleased with the result, it may not be perfect but it gives the impression I wanted. The cargo net was a teabag from a box of fruit tea – I believe they call it ‘upcycling’ these days! The paint scheme was simple greys just needing some rust effects to be added. The JO’B had crossed the Atlantic 4 times and also did 11 runs to support the Normandy landings so would have been rather battered.
Cables were added using the Uschi rigging material. (A wonderful bit of stuff if you haven’t yet come across it) Cargo was added, both the L’ Arsenal pieces and scratch built as well as crew from Eduard sets. Finished in time for the animal themed display at Telford the Latin actually translates as “Ducks feeding time”
Thank you for your votes, I enjoyed the challenge and the building of this little diorama, especially the total LACK of etched brass!
Model of the Month for November 2019 was a KP Models 1/72nd scale model of a LVG CVI by Austin Stack
The LVG C. VI was a multi-role two seater used extensively for photographic, artillery and troop cooperation work by the German Army Air Service in the later stages of 1918.
The basis for this build is the 1/72 Kovozavody Prostejov (Czech) injection molded plastic kit which is a collaboration with the excellent Ardpol of Poland. They have come up with something very nice and alot like the original resin kit in terms of wings and fuselage.
Struts, engine, exhaust, and guns however I replaced with 0.8mm brass rod from Albion Alloys sanded to an aerofoil section (laborious work as you can no longer obtain ‘Strutz’ or equivalent material), a Roden plastic Benz engine and Spandau and a rather lovely cast brass Parabellum by Mini World of Ukraine, a manufacturer I’m a bit of a fan of.
Using Windsock datafile 17 which covers the type plus some photos of Shuttleworth’s restored example (which I have seen flying on summer evenings) I fitted the interior out with the usual seatbelts etc plus a radio set with aerial spool and a camera.
I pre-drill the holes for struts and rigging using the drawings, ignoring and filling any already present, as I use the ‘through the wing’ method, so for me its the way to go for straight and square. It’s true you obviously have to then sand off the strut ends and polycarbon fishing line ends after and restate ribs, etc before painting, but it does give a stronger model.
The decals are Techmod four-colour Lozenge toned down with thin oil washes and varnishes and the wood effect on the fuselage is Humbrol 103 (matt cream) applied by brush over pre-sprayed Army Painter or Citadel acrylic white primer.
Then watercolour (I use Cotman) variations of burnt umber, raw umber and burnt sienna being careful to not use too much of the latter as redness can be overpowering and be difficult to rectify, thinned with ordinary tap water and a tiny touch of washing -up liquid.
After sealing the whole area with a good matt acrylic varnish I masked-off sections and repeated the above procedure except with oils of the same basic shades as before using basic enamel thinners to get the paint so thin and yet the pigment is not suspended in the solution as dots of colour. This is also a reason not to worry about brush work too much when applying the heavy thick matt Humbrol at the beginning. It all gives the washes and tones something to soak into and develop warmth and ‘life’ in the patina of the base paint.
The Model of the Month for October 2019 is a model of an Algerine class minesweeper, HMS Rattlesnake – modelled by Jez Thomson
I first saw the kit at the Avon show in 2017 and it was added to my “possibilities” list then. After research confirmed that HMS Rattlesnake, my father’s last sea-going billet in the Royal Navy, was an Algerine it moved from possible to a “must have”! Produced by Starling Models, a small company specialising in naval vessels this multi-media kit is a
real delight. Highly detailed resin and incredibly fine etched brass; it is clear that they cut their teeth on 1/700 scale kits, all combine to create a fine end product. Starling give the modeller the option of an early or late version, differing mainly in the anti-aircraft armament. This is important as the class was immense with over 400 being built and used by several navies during and after the war. Apparently they were still in use during the late 1960’s in the Far East. Used as escort vessels as well as minesweepers the class proved itself to be a versatile and effective vessel.
The build itself was reasonably straightforward although fiddly, especially with the very fine brass components. Patience; and the willingness to walk away from the workbench before totally losing it was essential. A couple of minor alterations were made, introducing some of the Pontos Oerlikon barrels to replace broken resin ones but otherwise it was straight from the box.
There are various stages on the build documented on the Poole Vikings Model group Facebook page. Not all but enough to give an idea of the sequence and progress made. If you haven’t investigated this page I would recommend it, it also helps keep one focussed on the task in hand as advice and feedback – usually positive- is forthcoming and very welcome.
Painting was based on various photographs available on the Web and reference books on navy camouflage. The decal sheet allows any combination of pennant numbers and the spares are now safely ensconced in my files ready for future use. The halyards and radio aerials were added using the Uschi stretchy material, the .005 and .003 sizes. I am really impressed with this stuff, it is so versatile and forgiving for clumsy oafs like myself and is far and away the best product I have found for these jobs adding the finishing touch to any ship model. I now have to go back and rig those ships that are looking somewhat bare. A small case from the Web and a simple display option completed the build. I would however suggest, with respect, that my friends and colleagues at the Vikings seek out the nearest Specsavers, but thank you for voting Rattlesnake as model of the month.
The Model of the Month for September 2019 is a Tamiya 1/35th scale Jeep in Canadian service, June 1944 modelled by John Levesley.
The model represents a Jeep serving with the 1st Battalion, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles in Normandy on the afternoon of D Day, June 6th 1944. The officer, made from a figure from the MiniArt British Officers set represents an officer waiting to rendezvous with a British self propelled anti tank troop allocated to support his battalion. The officer and jeep will eventually be mounted beside a Bronco Bailey Bridge kit over which an OP carrier and an Achilles are approaching the rendezvous.
Modifications to the jeep are quite minor based on online photographs and most modifications are to the front. The wing/fender shielded light is repositioned over the left hand headlight, the right headlight is obscured by a bridging plate. Two extra jerry cans are mounted on the front bumper, one (with the white cross) for water. The arm of service markings are home made, the HQ diamond and serials out of the spares box. I realised later that the serial should start CM not CZ so its due a change. The stowage comes from a variety of after market sources.
The “rotated” stars are deliberate. They are common on photos of Canadian vehicles in Normandy onwards in NW Europe. Except for the Medal of Honor, US five point stars always have one point upwards. Apparently some Canadian units at least liked to indicate the Allied star didn’t have to.
The Model of the Month for August 2019 is an H K Models 1/32nd scale B-25 Mitchell by Ian Domeney
I expect that, like me, you tend to build models that have a specific place in your range of interest. It’s no secret that I concentrate on 1/48 scale Fleet Air Arm subjects so when a friend asked me to build him a 1/32 scale WW2 US light bomber, I was initially reluctant. Seeing the contents of the box and the number of after-market accessories that he had added, swayed my mind. The immediate impression of the kit is the physical size of the thing. The box is the size of a suit case and the plastic weighs nearly as much as your average baggage allowance. This really is a super kit with excellent detail in the cockpit and engine areas. But my friend had decided to go down the full extras route by adding replacement wheels and tyres, propeller blades and brass gun barrels. He also provided etch brass cockpit and bomb aimers compartment and decals to represent “RUTHIE” an aircraft from the Eastern Mediterranean campaign.
The build was a long and arduous process in which just about everything that could go wrong……did. I struggled with the tiny pieces of brass in the cockpit. Some of which had to be folded several times to fabricate items which were already reasonably accurate in the existing plastic. The transparencies were nerve wracking to work with. Crystal clear but delicate and numerous. The main issue with the build was the need of an incredible amount of weight in the forward fuselage to prevent a “tail sitter.” I packed lead into every available space under the cockpit floor and bomb aimer’s position. I even managed to find a little space behind the engines where slithers of lead could be hidden.
Painting was another issue. All went well until a final coat of clear varnish was added to seal the decals. This coat went milky as it dried. My guts knotted as I watched this last task potentially wreck the whole finish. I walked away!
Standing on the patio with a mug of coffee and a heavy heart, I wandered how to resolve the problem without stripping the entire airframe and starting again. Just then, a few drops of rain fell on the paving slabs and I noticed that the colour of the concrete intensified wherever the water fell. It was one of those illusive light bulb moments. On the underside of one wingtip I sprayed a minute area with Johnson Pledge. The milky bloom disappeared and didn’t return as the pledge dried. I sprayed the whole aircraft. The result is as you saw at the meeting. The final job has been delivered to its owner and I’m now back on the Fleet Air Arm trail.
Thanks for voting the Mitchell as model of the month. With such a superb selection of models on display, I consider myself very fortunate to have come away with the award.
The Model of the Month for July 2019 is a Tamiya 1/35th scale White M3A1 Scout Car in the markings of B Squadron HQ Troop, GHQ Liaison Regiment “Phantom”. This Squadron was located near Dover whilst supporting “Operation Fortitude”, April 1944. The model is by John Levesley
The WhiteM3A1 scout car was used as a specialist vehicle by the British forces in Italy and NW Europe and was rarely used as the light armoured (but heavily armed) troop carrier vehicle favoured by the Americans and Russians. It was used by the British Reconnaissance Corps, including Scottish and Airborne units. Armoured car units used the White as an ambulance for casualty evacuation in the battlefield and it was a popular utility vehicle for command duties. It was also used by the GHQ Liaison Regiment, known as “Phantom”.
Phantom started as a small unit within the British Expeditionary force in France in 1940. Its role was to gather information on the positions of allied and enemy forces and report them back into the command structure to help the RAF establish the bomb line when planning missions. Its reports proved equally invaluable to army commands who were able to gather up to date information on the battle. Personnel were motorcyclists, drivers, radio operators and coders and they were a mobile force.
After Dunkirk the unit evolved, based on their experiences in North Africa, Greece and Italy. In 1944 the unit became nominally part of the Reconnaissance Corps and then the Royal Armoured Corps and wore the black beret but with their original regimental or corps badge. The unit was based on Squadrons sub divided into troops, each troop having a White radio car, jeeps and motorcycles. Specialist squadrons served with the SAS and with the airborne forces. Two Phantom stations were at Arnhem and maintained communications with their Squadron until the very end. Their task in Normandy and later was to collect and collate information on the location of allied units and enemy units, the identity of enemy units and transmit it in code to Army GHQ in London. The data was then used by GHQ to follow and command the battle. Army groups, corps and divisions would now be aware in near real time not just of their own situation but also on the situation of units to either side of them. So successful were Phantom that at the request of the American forces in NW Europe some Phantom squadrons were also embedded within US Corps and remained so until the war in Europe ended.
The Tamiya kit is a recent release and is excellent, it is however a Russian/American light troop carrier not a British radio car and photos of British M3A1s are not common and don’t seem to show the interior. Thankfully Andy and Sue Parlour’s book “Phantom at War” gives enough information so that the radio equipment can be identified. Essentially in April 1944 the White would most likely have been equipped with a type 22 transceiver plus amplifier and two R107 receivers. Mention is made of L shape long wire aerials about 100 feet long and of using two interlocking 9 feet long wooden poles as an aerial mast. The type 22 radio also used vertical ground mounted aerials and all three aerial designs are shown.
I used a Resicast Type 19 radio transceiver as the basis of a type 22 though it may be a little too big. I found photos online of the amplifier and receiver and produced boxes decorated with decals of the front panels. The location of the radios was guess-work but the two receivers fitted nicely side by side across the vehicle on a scratch built radio rack based on the rack in the Tamiya universal carrier. Several seats were left out, the type 22 was fitted at the rear of the vehicle. The White’s interior was a mini operations room filled with maps, log books, signal pads and one time code pads. On the back of the vehicle I borrowed an equipment locker and canvas tilt from the rear of the Tamiya universal carrier kit – neither will be missed as the carrier is to be converted into an artillery OP carrier. The crew are from the Mini Art British tank crew some having had their heads replaced with Resicast heads wearing berets, goggles and headsets. They have the Phantom right sleeve “P” marking on their denims, made from a home-made decal. The wooden mast location is based on photos of an M3A1 in use as a divisional command vehicle. The canvas cover hoops should perhaps be beefier, they are made from Albion Alloys brass rod wrapped around a home made former.
The decals are by Star Decals. No white stars are displayed yet as the scout car is operating on the home front as part of the programme to deceive the German forces into thinking the invasion might be in the Pas de Calais region of France or even in Norway. Phantom squadrons had all the necessary equipment and skills to support this work, including B Squadron in Kent.
The Model for the Month of June 2019 is a 1/72nd scale diorama by Henry Goodall featuring an Italeri model of an Airspeed Horsa Mk I assault glider with airborne troops loading a jeep.
Loading the Horsa –“Left hand down a bit – then, hard right!”
This 1/72nd scale glider diorama, inspired by the photograph below, captures a common sight on local Allied airfields in Spring 1944. It depicts British Paratroopers struggling to manhandle an airborne jeep into a Mk.I Horsa glider, in preparation for the Allies assault on D-Day June 6th 1944. The combination of a careful driver and manpower was needed to load a jeep, trailer and ammunition into a glider, via metal gutters which allowed the jeep to be driven up to the level of the side entry door.
Some jeeps were airlifted with a small artillery piece, ammunition and gun crew. On landing in France the tail section of the glider was removed and the gutters placed so that the jeep could be easily driven out of the rear of the aircraft. Later for Operation Varsity in 1945, the Rhine Crossing, the Mk II Horsa had a side hinged nose section which made the loading easier, when the jeep could be driven straight into the fuselage from the front.
Kits: Italeri Horsa (1970s moulding), Airfix jeep and Paratroopers, Italeri and Fujimi fuel cans, Czech Master medical pack, scratch built radio, battery, ammunition boxes, tarpaulin and stores. Landing flaps and jeep loading gutters modified from Eduard Lancaster BI/III flaps etch.
The Model of the Month for May 2019 is a 1/7nd scale Slingsby T21 Sedburgh glider by Terry Howlett
Sedbergh Air Cadet Training Glider circa late 1970’s
After building the Cadet Mk3 which was voted model of the month in February 2018. I decided to build its bigger cousin, the Sedbergh. These were very popular back in the days and used mainly for air experience, being side by side seating. This meant the instructor didn’t have to shout as loud as in the tandem seat Mk 3!
This is now the third vac form kit I have ever built, and although it did involve a lot of modification and scratch building for accuracy, I’m now well gone on vac forms in general.
As was the case with the Mk 3, I decided to build, paint and decal the fuselage as one complete unit, and the wing as the other. The two main parts would then be brought together at the very end.
The usual approach to vac forms followed. All parts need cutting and refining before they are assembled. For this one a lot of Milliput was used behind the cockpit inside the fuselage as a lot of re-shaping was needed in this area and the plastic was very thin. Also, the main wing attached here and I wanted some solidness to hold what turned out to be a relatively heavy wing. The corresponding wing centre section also had lots of Miliput inside. That way both areas could be drilled and a brass pin inserted for attaching the wing. Milliput + brass pin = strong!
The lower fuselage profile in the kit was completely wrong compared to some very accurate plans I had been given, so this whole area was re-profiled using Milliput. Fin and tail planes also had to be re-shaped and improved.
The wing itself was the biggest challenge. The kit parts did not have the correct double dihedral of the real aircraft, so to rectify this I first made a brass former of the correct shape for the main spar. I used some reasonably solid brass bar, which would be too heavy inside the plastic wing, so I then constructed a plastic spar from four lengths of square section plastic, superglued together, using the brass spar as a former. When this was fully set and rigid, the wing parts were assembled around the new spar, with break points in the wing at the changes of dihedral. Happy to illustrate this to anyone remotely interested, as I still have the brass spar together with lots of photos throughout the assembly!
The seats, cockpit, controls and instrument panel were all scratch built. Just as in the Mk 3, the main bracing struts are aerofoil brass made by a company called Stutz, which sadly are no longer available. I added seat belts from masking tape, and painted in the details of the buckles etc. I scratch built the under-fuselage skid and wheel enclosure, and used a suitable white metal wheel from the spares box for the centre wheel.
Painting required careful masking to achieve the red, white and grey scheme which had some tricky curves on the fuselage. The cockpit had been painted during assembly so this was masked off then the whole fuselage was given several coats of Alclad white micro filler undercoat. This helped make sure everything was smooth and blemish free. The tail section and fin flashes were also airbrushed, again with several stages of masking.
The wing was similarly treated. Then the centre parts of the wing were airbrushed in my own mix of Light Aircraft grey and then masked out ready for the red outer wing sections to be airbrushed.
The red used was Xtracrylics “Red Arrows Red” which looked a perfect match in this scale for the RAF training red used on these gliders at the time.
A coat of Klear was airbrushed on ready for decals which were home made on my PC and printed on decal paper for the serials and Air Cadet lettering. The roundels are good old Modeldecal.
I had to fabricate two minute windshields from clear plastic. These were cut from the clear parts of some tablet strips which usually contain my blood pressure tablets! I hand painted the very thin pale blue edges (this was tape on the real thing). They were then dipped in clear acrylic varnish and gently placed onto the model. The varnish ran into the join with capillary action and hey presto, set solid after 30 minutes. All that remained was to touch up the black anti-glare with matt black around the windshields.
The wing and the fuselage were then ready for final assembly using a small wooden jig to align everything. Slow setting superglue was used for the wing joint to the top of the fuselage and the struts. Fuse wire was used for the aft tail plane supports and the tail skid and finer fuse wire to fabricate the very small split pitot tube that sits on the nose just ahead of the twin windshields. On the real aircraft, the crews usually attached a small piece of string or coloured ribbon which would flap behind the tube when in flight, right in front of the two crew – this was actually a very useful indication of yaw which could be corrected by use of the rudder!
I notice that Phoenix do a couple of other early Air Cadet gliders and I might be tempted to do those at some point.
Thank you all for your votes and words of support on this one!
The Model of the Month for April 2019 is a 1/35th scale Winter diorama entitled “don’t drink the yellow snow”. The modeller is Trevor Griffiths.
Having more recently painted a bust of a Medieval footman and then the 1/48 Airfix Seafury I have for a long while thought about doing a diorama, I have had the German figures in winter uniform for a while ( and a few others in my “stash” ). I came across the wooden lifting bridge when looking on the Fields of Glory website (F.O.G.) and decided that is what I would use, I purchased a couple of trees from Platform models on Alder hills and set about building a diorama, balsa wood was used for the framework, polystyrene cut to shape to help with the raised groundwork coated in polyfiller, the bridge which too had to be built and glued does actually lift but as I was going to put figures on it I did glue it in the down position, I changed the “rope” with a small chain I had (my other half has not missed it yet!) as I thought this looked more effective. The bridge was given a wash to make it look oldish and also a wash of slime green to make it look in keeping with the surrounding area, it was held in place with good old super glue and the “water” which is from Woodland Scenics which was poured in, I left this a good three days to cure to be on the safe side, it went cloudy at first but does clear eventually to show the river bed which I had painted beforehand. The snow is again from Woodland Scenics held in place by w/s cement which was painted on and then the snow sprinkled on the groundwork I then sprayed it on the trees and then sprinkled the snow on from above onto the branches to try and make it look more natural. I decided in the end to use six figures five from Alpine miniatures and the one holding the panzerfaust ( I cant remember who this is made by). As my face painting seems to be slowly improving with encouragement and advise from Ian Groves, I was pleased with the way they all turned out, the figures uniforms were all painted using Vallejo and Andrea acrylic paints, all given the paperclip pin to fix them in place and finally the soldier on the left leaving his mark on the ground hence “don’t eat the yellow snow”.
The Model of the Month for March 2019 is a 1/72nd Revell ex Matchbox model of a Supermarine Stranraer Flying Boat by Keith Edwards.
After having a bit of a break from modelling tanks and AFVs I thought I would like
to concentrate on aircraft for a change. I found this kit on eBay very cheaply. I thought I would build a sea plane, as it’s a bit different and challenging. When the kit arrived and I opened it, I thought “Oh dear – what have I bought? “
The kit looked really crude and old but as I started to build it, it went together really well and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When I finished building it I used Vallejo paints for the camouflage and then put some rigging on using ordinary fishing bait elastic, which works well for rigging as it’s very stretchy. The decals in the kit were so old and virtually unusable that I had to purchase a set from eBay, but the closest I could find in scale were for a Spitfire. I finished it off by presenting it on a base from Coastal Bases.
The Model of the Month for February 2019 is a 1/35th scale Dragon model of a Sherman Firefly Vc of the 13/18th Hussars in Normandy in 1944, modelled by Martin Crabb.
Having acquired this kit of a Sherman Firefly Vc some time ago and after purchasing Edwards Photo Etch set from Telford I though it was time I built it. The chosen finish of the tank was to be of a firefly from the 13th/18th Hussars, named “Carole”.
The kit is from Dragon and although goes together well it had the usual vague instructions, but this wasn’t much of an issue as I have built one or two Sherman’s.
During construction many moulded parts were removed and replaced with finer detailed photo etch. A bit labour intensive but the results are worth it. A turned metal barrel was added, and, on this build, I opted to use some Friul Model metal tracks, fiddly and time consuming once assembled were treated in burnishing fluid, which gave a fantastic rusted finish and after the raised area had a light sand back to clean metal; they are the most convincing tracks I’ve ever made.
Once all assembled and some suitable stowage chosen, it was on to painting. Primer was Vallejo’s olive drab, differing from most of my builds I did not pre-shade this model, instead I used a Mr Hobby modulation set, this gave shade and highlight effect and worked well. Decals were applied and stowage painted. The model was treated to some light dusty weathering and paint wear as I wanted to display it as D-Day plus a couple of weeks.
I had some metal British tanker figures which came from sifting through boxes of junk at a show. These were perfect for this build and painted using a mixture of Vallejo and Citadel paint. They add scale and realism to the model.
The search began for a base to set in. Jez found a plaster base and building façade in his stash and after some bargaining, involving a couple of pints, a deal was done.
One of my favourite parts of modelling is scenes. The base was primed, painted and detailed ready for foliage in record time. Coming to the end of the build we had a day of snowfall, this gave me the opportunity to finish with static grass, some clumps of plants and ivy added with the finishing touch of pre-painted etch nettles from Edward (a treat to myself).
With it all mounted on a simple mdf plinth I was done.
The Model of the Month for January 2019 is the Airfix 1/48th scale Sea Fury FB II by Ian Domeney
If you’ve ever stood by the side of a Bristol Centaurus when that nice man in the cockpit pressed the starter button on a Royal Navy Sea Fury and watched the tiny puffs of smoke before the ground shakes as all eighteen cylinders burst into life then you’ll understand why the Sea Fury is my favourite propeller driven aircraft. In the air it looks mean and purposeful but oh the sound. Over 53 litres punching out 3,000 horsepower makes your knees buckle and the back of your neck shiver.
So it was no surprise that when Airfix released a 1/48 scale FB11 I was at the front of the queue to part with my pocket money. For around £22.00 it’s possible to build one of two examples straight from the box but I chose to model TF956 of The Royal Navy Historic Flight. This is the aircraft that Lt Cdr John Beattie parted company with over the sea near Prestwick. Some time ago I had acquired a set of decals and intended to use them on either of the two previously available kits by Trumpeter or Hobby craft. Reviews of the models were not great so the decals went into the stash for another day. Then the Airfix offering came along I was able to put them to use on what is really a beautiful kit. I did waste an extra £8.00 on buying a brass etch detail set for the cockpit. Had I realised that the kit items are pretty good and that when the fuselage halves are joined, everything disappears into a dark hole, I’d have saved my cash.
Construction is very straightforward with no surprises although some of the wing-fold mechanism isn’t included in the kit so I had to add the missing jacks and electrical wiring from the spares box. Painting was also uncomplicated until I messed up the black and white fuselage stripes. Even after careful measuring and double checking I still managed to position the 123 ident number in the wrong part of the banding. Doh! Rub down and reapply.
Anyway, there we are. Certainly a favourite of mine and I’m very pleased that you liked it enough to vote for it last month. Many thanks.
The Model of the Month for December 2018 is a 54mm vignette of a 1st Century AD Auxiliary of the Roman Army by Paul Seeley.
Something Wicked this way comes
Thank you to everyone who voted for this figure. I bought him a while back and had planned a small vignette with him, but needed a simple figure to try out the new ‘Darkstar’ metallic paints I’d just bought so I grabbed him out of the pot of primed figures. (The paints are lovely by the way – very thin and don’t have the ‘glitter’ effect that a lot of acrylic paints have) One drawback of the casting is the shield which had deeply engraved lines of the pattern on the face of it so I carved off the boss and rim and sanded it to a more realistic thickness. Sculpting a new boss with rivets wasn’t too much of an issue, but I’ll admit the metal rim had me stumped and the figure sat half finished for a while. I tried a few different ideas and eventually decided that a scale version of the original method was the best way; I cut a strip of tie fishing lead out and carefully glued it to the rim of the shield and then pushed and spread it around both sides with a small toffee hammer both to form the rim. The cast spear was also cut from his hand and a new one and made from wire and lead sheet. The rest of the painting was done in my usual acrylics using a couple of Angus McBride illustrations as a guide for the clothes and painting the revised shield design. To create an overall colour harmony every colour had some light brown mixed with them which is a great tip if you are doing something with lots of different colours to prevent it looking disjointed. I managed to beak off the leg after painting whilst I was fitting it onto the base – arrrrrgh as they say in the Beano (At least that’s what they used to say – I’ve not read one for ages so perhaps they say something different these days?) Unfortunately this meant taking it off, re-gluing/pinning and filling and then repainting the leggings of both legs so that they matched again.
I’m really interested in telling stories (even with a single figure) so an autumn woodland scene was created for him. (Roman Auxiliaries were often used to screen the main body of the legion when moving through enemy territory) I pictured our hero, plucked from his home, deposited in a hostile foreign country cautiously moving through a heavily wooded area just as he hears a noise. . . .
The main part of the trees are from a Buddleia with smaller branches cut from a Rock Rose pinned on with acupuncture needles and the joints blended from Polyfilla. The tree roots were sculpted in situ and the groundwork materials include dried herbs, compost, plant roots and small mosses as well as road dust and DAS clay. The leaves are cut out using three different leaf punches and everything is then coated in thinned PVA before painting with acrylics (Unpainted base material looks out of place and natural materials will fade over time)
The Model of the Month for November 2018 is a Transformer model by Clive Hillman
Metal Armor Dragonar – Tamashii Spec XS-17 XD-01SR Dragonar 1 Custom – Limited Edition (also known as a Gundam)
I primed it all with a red primer except for the main body which was blue, this I primed white. I rubbed it down in places to show dark areas underneath added some other colours for shading. The main body of armour came in two parts and then there were a lot of detail parts to add to complete it. After priming I sealed the surfaces with Pledge and covered the model components with hair spray then painted them with a dull yellow. All pieces were then rubbed down in certain areas and different shades of rust were added before putting everything together. Most paints used were Model Air.
Decals are pre-printed on a silver foil and were self-adhesive. These were added and were easy to sand down in places, then the whole thing was coated with a matt varnish. The base was something I had already made, added different shades of sand stuck down on a layer of PVA glue. I added some rocks from the garden, washed and sprayed white. This was a nice kit which I just took some time to complete.
The Model of the Month for October 2018 was “Born to be Wallace” by Sarah
“Welcome once more brave travelers to the dark recesses of my mind”
This model was given to me by a fellow strange person and I was challenged to paint it. Uninspired by the box artwork (I might just say, I love Wallace and Gromit) I finally discarded Gromit and the sidecar and concentrated on Wallace and the bike. Inspired by 70s Mullets and Rockers I used Milliput to create freehand, the jacket and glamorous hair, choosing to give a nod to Monty Python on the back patch. The trousers became jeans, the hands became gloves and the “five o’clock shadow” enhanced an already classic face. Using acrylics, I used lots of washes and blended colours to try to create jeans and jacket with some age to them. The bike went through several colour changes but purple won the day and finally the use of rust products made it a young barn find. Upon placing Wallace on the bike it was obvious that he was now too heavy for it to stand up by itself so a new plan had to be thought of. During the base creation I used some plastic “cobble” sheet, gravel, scale bricks, bushes and flowers. Using layering I created a small corner of car park complete with debris, oil stains and rotting bushes along with the wet look.
So plan B for the bike:- Tiny blocks either side of each tyre did the trick. Yes it’s unorthodox but it worked. So there you are. A young Wallace having fun with a classic Triumph. Now that’s class! This was the culmination of a mad thought. Thanks for enjoying my madness.
The Model of the Month, for September 2018 was a 1/35th scale King Tiger/Tiger II by Trevor Griffiths.
This model of the King Tiger also known as the Sd.Kfz.182 was the early version having the Porsche turret, the final version had the Henschel turret although both turrets were made by Krupp, the main reason for the change in design is because if a shell from enemy fire could be deflected downwards and effectively blow the turret upwards disabling the tank and possibly killing its crew.
Perhaps like some of you I was undecided what to build next, I have Mark Turney to thank for building this kit. Last June while at the Salisbury show I hadn’t seen anything that grabbed my attention, Mark came back with this kit and told me he only paid £30.00, the kit had choice of Zimmerit or not etched brass screens and individual track links which I thought was very good value. I decided towards the end of the show to purchase one and I am pleased I did.
Most King Tigers you see may have had the three tone German camouflage pattern on them, but I wanted to do something different to that hence only the two colour scheme on this model.
The model is an Academy kit and fit of parts is very good although a lot of cleaning up to do after cutting parts off the sprues. The Zimmerit comes in two sheets and is very flexible, it is attached by normal plastic glue and only needs minimal trimming once dry, you can chose to build the kit and leave the Zimmerit off. Some photos show the tank with Zimmerit completely down the hull sides and some stop where the track guards are fitted. I decided to leave it stopped so I could show the undercoat primer showing to add a “bit” of red oxide colour, the track guards themselves come as one piece in the kit but I had a set of etched brass ones in my “stash” so I chose to use these with a few missing , it’s the only addition I made otherwise the model is made straight out of the box.
I always feel if it ain’t broken don’t try to fix it so I pretty much stuck to my usual method of priming with Halfords can of grey, the model was sprayed with Tamiya paints the details picked out with Vallejo. I did use a filter to bring everything altogether and then a dark wash was used as a “pin wash”. The tracks took a while to clean up and put together but were workable when finished, after painting a coat of track wash was used and then they were given a coat of weathering powder to tone them down, a metallic weathering powder was rubbed on the tracks to polish them up, job done.
The figures in the turret are Alpine figures the two in the hull are MK35 , these are some of the best figures I have ever painted and am really pleased with them, three of them have the “pea dot” pattern uniforms (first time I have tried this). I had to make platforms out of plasticard both in the turret and in the hull for the figures, a bit of cutting and filing was needed for the two in the hull but got there in the end, all the figures were painted with Vallejo for the uniforms and Andrea for the faces and hands.
Overall I enjoyed making this kit and how it turned out, so onwards and upwards and on
The Model of the Month for August 2018 is a Revell/Monogram 1/24th scale Bell UH-1 Iroquois (unofficially Huey) by Jez Thomson.
Blame Allan Parker! A series of conversations led to Allan introducing me to Claude Du Pont, ex Royal Marine, ex- US Airborne LRRP who wanted someone to build a Huey to represent his usual ride in Vietnam in the early 1970’s. Claude had the Revell 1/24th kit of the Huey B, the short fuselage version, but felt that he wouldn’t be able to complete it. Unable to resist a challenge I took on the commission.
The kit is an old one with all the shortcomings of kits of this age, some quite unsubtle mouldings and figures that make a seated Buddha look animated. So to the build – I started with the interior of the cockpit and cabin. Pilots’ seats were given a bit more detail and the two aircrew underwent quite drastic alterations to place hands on various controls and heads repositioned for better effect. Gunsights and other small additions were made to the cockpit and the overhead view screens were painted using glass paint to get the “greenhouse” effect. The crew cabin was stripped out and new seating added using micro-tubing and masking tape. E-mail conversations with Claude provided details of colours and other small but relevant details.
There are not very many good 1/24th scale figures around but a trip to Frome Model Centre provided me with the Tamiya rally mechanics set as a basis for the two gunners. Again surgery was required to get the positions needed- a lot of Duro went into both body and uniform at this stage. Claude’s information indicated that the weapons carried were not all standard, but varied according to crew choice and mission. The MA2 .50 calibre machine guns were sourced from Shapeways, a 3D printing company. and are superb. The mounts were concocted from various bit from the rally mechanics set – a bonus this! The X-134 mini guns had to be scratch built. A combination of laser cut profiles, styrene tubing and Matt’s micro tubing (what did we do before Albion Alloys?) allowed a reasonable representation of this modern Gatling gun. The belt feeds were part of the original kit.
Painting. The helicopter was quite straight forward, Undercoat, having masked off the interior and screens, then dark grey (not black) in areas for stripes, then kabuki tape to mask off the stripes followed by the OD final coat. Once the tape was stripped off I was pleased with the result and only a little touching up was needed. Weathering was quite light except for the smoke effects on the exhaust and area where the downdraft dirties up the tail. The figures were a different matter. The pilots had been done in simple OD but the gunners, I decided, would be in tiger stripe kit. Almost a mistake! Very complex in the original with at least 4 different colours and spots as well as stripes, the first attempts were disastrous. I finally decided to simplify the situation, used just three colours and focussed on the stripes only. End result I was actually pleased!
Claude came to collect the finished article at the meeting and his reaction justified the effort put in. I get the impression he was rather pleased with the end result. He bought some very interesting photos of his time in Vietnam and we spent a long time talking. When you are able to get the information directly from the people involved it does let you take the modelling to a new level – both in terms of the details and, when you get it right, the level of satisfaction.
The Model of the Month for July 2018 was a 54mm Art Girona figure of Agamemnon King of the Mycenae. The model is by Paul Seeley.
Agamemnon, King of the Mycenae (or Mr Shouty man)
Whilst rummaging through the models on the shelf I came across this lovely Art Girona figure. The casting is showing some signs of age, but the face is just fantastic and the wonderful pose just drew me in. Upon close examination I discovered that part of the edge of the shield was missing which gave me a bit of a problem since it was too small to use putty on, but definitely too big to ignore. A bit of old school work with the soldering iron re-built the missing section with soft solder (happily without melting any of the rest of it in the process) All that was then required was to carve in the detail till it matched.
Painting is in acrylics and followed my usual practice of doing the biggest areas first starting with the white clothing (which doesn’t use any white at all) The base colour is Deck tan which is gradually lightened with Off white (a very useful mixing colour) Deeper tones were made by adding German camo brown to the Deck tan. These colours give a ‘warm’ white that works well for linen. To provide a contrast the fringing was mixed using Off white & Basalt grey which gives a cooler white. The bronze armour base was a mix of a Dark brown and Brass. Once dry I gradually lighted this by adding more brass and then shaded using Smoke and very thin washes of Dark green and Dark brown going back and forth till I was happy with the contrasts. The shading on the back of the shield is done wet in wet using a piece of sponge rather than an airbrush.
The eyes had tiny holes to mark the pupils which is something I don’t like so they were filled in before I started the face using Brown sand as a base colour for the skin. Painting eyes is always tricky, but a good brush helps and the willingness to re-do until you are happy. Eye ‘whites’ are painted first with Light skin, then the irises added in a mid brown followed by a line of darker brown for the top lash. Once the rest of the face was complete its back to the eyes, shade the iris ,add a pupil then finally add a tiny catch-light of pure white (The only use for pure white on a figure IMO)
The boots caused a fair amount of ‘choice’ language and some re-modelling and sharpening of the details using Duro putty until I was happy and I don’t want to talk about the boots which are a nightmare to paint.The base was made from my usual Das clay coated with road dirt and grit. The arrows are the third batch I made (each being more realistic than the last) The shafts are acupuncture needles with the fletches cut from tissue paper. Gluing three onto the shafts at the correct (ish) angle in the correct position was ‘entertaining’ and also means you are unlikely to see any Agincourt diorama in the near future. Feel free to use the comment facility above if you have questions about anything else.
The Model of the Month for June 2018 is a Copper State Models 1/35th scale RNAS Lanchester 4 wheel armoured car in Mesopotamia in 1916 by John Levesley.
The kit fits together well out of the box, but the instructions are at times vague about what fits where, and it can be a problem. Dry fitting is recommended throughout, especially the front axle assembly and the turret. The only problem I had was with the turret in that the turret base diameter seemed smaller than the turret itself, but it may just have been me. The Vickers gun is OK but the model would benefit from a better after-market item.
The RNAS colour scheme and markings used on the model is one of several simple options in the box, there is also a Belgian option whose colour scheme is positively psychedelic. I did add stowage etc from after-market suppliers and the spares box. This triggered my main grouse about this not inexpensive kit – no interior, no tools, no stowage and no transparencies for those huge headlights (also no resin or etch parts but they were not missed). Happily, the headlight lenses are the same size as a household stationery punch so it’s easy to produce them from clear plastic card. The tail light can be glazed with Krystal Klear.
Prints and photographs show that in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq and Iran) the British Army had learnt the lessons of Gallipoli and now wore shirts and shorts but retained the cork sun helmet rather than adopting the wide brimmed hats favoured by Anzac troops. The figures are adapted from two of the Revell Anzac figure sets that include four helmets, four heads, four upper bodies with shirts, eight arms in shirt sleeves and eight legs in shorts – plenty of scope for kit bashing. The middle eastern figure is by Evolution Miniatures.
The Model of the Month for May 2018 was a Trumpeter MiG-21 in 1/32nd scale by Matthew John
The Model of the Month for April 2018 is a Tamiya 1/35th scale Krupp Protze light truck by Jonathan King
The ‘light’ class general specification for a chassis had been drawn up by the old Reichswehr in 1929 before the army was reorganised and expanded under the Nazi regime. Several famous vehicle makers offered designs including Mercedes and Magirus but by far the best known; because of its distinctive front; was the Krupp L2H 43 and its successor the L2H 143.
To the German soldiers the L2H was known as the ‘Krupp-Schnauzer’. The distinctive low snout like front is courtesy of the flat four air cooled engine which permitted the sloping engine cover and resulted in excellent forward visibility. As well as the flat four engine it also boasted a sophisticated all independent suspension system differing from other 6×4 vehicles of the time. Production ran from 1933 to 1936 and the unit was in service in various guises up to the end of the war. The rear of the truck had many flavours of body design ranging from an armoured version for command purposes (SdKfz 247) to the personnel carrier used by infantry (Kfz 70). Other versions included a mover for light guns (Kfz 69) and a searchlight truck (Kfz 83).
The kit is one of the Tamiya 1/35 military miniature series. As usual with Tamiya the kit is very comprehensive having more than enough accessories to fill the rear of truck with ordnance, fuel cans and weapons to meet any configuration you desired. It was quite nice not to have to bother with decals in the quantity usually found on aircraft. There were only a few to add and in this case the vehicle registration and divisional marks applied were appropriate for Wehrmacht 5th Panzer Division.
Even though it can’t be seen when it is stood on its base the chassis and underside is very intricate with all the suspension links for the two back axles, gearbox, prop shafts and engine nicely detailed. There were no issues assembling anything. The great time consumer was the painting and weathering. Having always built aircraft this was my first venture into armour (only just armour perhaps.) so the weathering process; rust and mud; was something to be experimented with. The rust was particularly interesting, having tried chipping, painting on AK rust effects I ended up using a rust mixture I made up myself consisting of steel wool soaked in cider vinegar for a week or two. Worked well if a little smelly due to the Hydrogen Sulphide given off.
The only items not included in the Tamiya kit were the cobbled street base, barrel with a homemade no entry sign and Military Policeman offering directions to the driver through the use of his ‘lollipops’. The base was purchased as a one-piece plaster unit (Fields of Glory Models).
I was very pleased with the outcome and particularly enjoyed the change of subject away from the usual aircraft topic…I can see a Panzer II on the horizon.
The Model of the Month for March 2018 is a model by Mark Turney of a 1/72nd scale S100 E Boat with a 2 cm flakvierling gun mount as on May 8th 1945.
Revell 1/72 S boat
Model kit is a typical example of Revell, little flash good instructions etc. I decided to make the S boat as it would of been on the last day of the war, in need of repair, paint worn away, rust everywhere. The basic colours were done with the AK German warship vol 1 and 2 paint sets.
The rust I used was the LifeColor dust and rust set, the set gives you 4 rust colours Dark shadow, base colour, rust light shadow 1 and rust light shadow 2, First I used light shadow 1 for the general area then light shadow 2 on top of the first coat but a little bit smaller area then base (smaller area ) then the dark shadow, a tiny bit in the area that is worn way or dented, scratch etc. After that I used AK naval ship enamel washes to bring out the details, light dry brushing to highlight the rise details.
The LifeColor Tensocrom paint set was used for oil, smoke, kerosene and fuel stains on small areas of the deck and sides of the ship to the water line. MIG pigments light rust was used in the general areas to show surface rust. I carried on repeating these processes until I thought I had the right effects.
The Model of the Month for February 2018 is by Terry Howlett, its the Phoenix vacform 1/72 scale of the Slingsby Cadet training glider.
Photo by Malcolm V Lowe
Kirby Cadet Mk3 Air Cadet Training Glider of 615 Gliding School, RAF Kenley circa January 1971
This aeroplane is very special to me having spent many hours as a teenager flying in these and the bigger Sedburgh. The subject of this model, XA301 was one of three on hand to RAF Kenley during 1971 when I completed my A&B cert gliding course. I am still amazed that at 16 years of age you could qualify solo in these, but not drive a car till you were 17. Happy days!
This is only the second vac form kit I have ever built, and I can say they tend to be easier than people realise, although do need some thought and perhaps a little scratch building. Because of the delicacy of the model and the fact that most of the intricate work is around the cockpit, I decided to build, paint and decal the fuselage as one complete unit, and the main wing as the other. The two main parts would then be brought together at the very end.
I started by cutting all the parts out carefully with a scalpel. The main parts (fuselage, wings) were rubbed down on a flat piece of emery paper to get the thickness right. This is very much trial and error against the drawings to ensure everything joins up properly and is the right thickness. These were then glued together using a little liquid poly to tack join, then when aligned I ran superglue into the joins for strength. Some internal plastic strips were also used for strength between the fuselage halves.
I wasn’t overly happy with the definition of most of the detailed parts and so I scratch built the seats, instrument panel, front skid and struts. The main bracing struts are aerofoil brass made by a company called Stutz. I acquired a mixed pack of these some years ago. Sadly you can no longer get these but I have enough to help on a few more models like this one. I added seat belts from masking tape, and painted in the details of the buckles etc. I scratch built the under-fuselage skid and wheel enclosure, and used a suitable white metal wheel from the spares box.
When both fuselage and Wing assembly (separated) were complete, painting could begin, firstly with the cockpit details. When the cockpit painting was completed, it was masked off completely. The fuselage and wing were then airbrushed in Alclad white micro filler primer and when completely dry lightly sanded and polished. Then I airbrushed the areas that were to be dayglo in Revell enamel no 25, luminous orange with a dash no 332, luminous red. Next a light coat of Johnsons Klear and let that set completely. I then masked and airbrushed on the black anti-glare parts and when that dried masked it off.
The next bit was quite time consuming as I had to mask out all the dayglow areas completely to give the whole of the Wings and fuselage a couple of very light coats of Alclad Dull Aluminium. I found this replicated the dull silver colour of the doped linen covering very well. Another coat of Klear and the two components were ready for decals.
Modeldecal roundels were easy to source, but the Air Cadet wording and serials were a challenge. I designed them on my PC using a suitable font and printed them onto clear blank decal paper which I bought online. I made several repeat decals for everything as sometimes the inkjet printer can smudge on printing onto this special decal paper. Also, I made sure to airbrush a coat of clear acrylic varnish to seal the ink and stop it running when immersed in water. Once all the decals were on and sealed, I had to fabricate two minute windshields from clear plastic. These were cut from the clear parts of my daily blood pressure tablet strips! They were dipped in clear acrylic varnish and gently placed onto the model. The varnish ran into the join with capillary action and hey presto, set solid after 30 minutes. All that remained was to touch up the black anti-glare with matt black around the windshields.
The two parts were then ready for final assembly using a small wooden jig to align everything. Slow setting superglue was used for the wing joint to the top of the fuselage and the struts. Finer fuse wire was used for the strut braces and tail-plane supports along with the tail skid.
The Model of the Month for January 2018 is a 1/35th scale diorama by John Levesley set in November 1917, of a British Mk IV tank during the battle of Cambrai. The tank is accompanied by figures of soldiers from both the Royal Tank Regiment and the 2/5th Battalion Yorks and Lancs Regiment.
The diorama was built for two principle reasons. At Scale Model World 2017 our club had a themed display telling the story of the battle at Cambrai, whose centenary was just a few days after the show at Telford and the diorama was to be included as part of that display. The second reason was that my Grandfather served with the 2/5th Battalion Yorks and Lancs regiment and on the first day of the Cambrai attack they followed the tanks to take the second objective of the day.
The tank model is the Takom Mk IV, built out of the box except for adding extra items in the hull top storage. The markings were out of the decals hoard box. I couldn’t establish a serial for “Elf” and to be honest I’m not sure of its “sex” either but chose to build it as a male tank as I already had a Cambrai female tank model from F Battalion. The front of the tank and the side sponsons show evidence of rifle and machine gun hits on the armour plate and fittings. Cambrai was fought in late November over well drained ground with a thin soil topped with poor grass over a natural chalk bed rock. The weathering and base effects attempt to reproduce this.
This tank “Elf” was one of a number tanks from E Battalion Royal Tank Regiment that was seconded to G Battalion to support the attack on the second objective, the Hindenburg line’s support trenches. “Elf” was renumbered as a G Battalion tank for the attack and survived the action. I’ve modelled it here after the attack with some of the crew who have obtained captured items; a Mauser, binoculars and a helmet. Some of the 2/5th Battalion soldiers gaze at the tank they earlier followed into battle.
Most of the figures come from two Master Box sets with two additional Tank Crew members from Verlinden. The RTR figures carry their battalion’s colour flash on their shoulders and helmets, the 2/5th figures have a battle patch – a green diamond- on their sleeves. The diamond is the patch for the 187th Infantry Brigade of the 62nd West Riding Division; green indicates the junior battalion of the brigade.
The Model of the Month for December 2017 was by Paul Seeley, an exquisite 54mm vignette based around a Pegaso model of a Celtic Standard Bearer with a boar standard.
Celtic Standard Bearer
The figure is a good one produced by Pegaso in white metal several years ago. Mine had sat on the shelf for about a year before I decided it’s time had come. The main problem is the way it has been cast means the arms are separate from the torso and the hands are attached to a rather bendy standard. I wanted to replace the shaft with a piece of piano wire for strength so I needed to cut the hands off, then drill them for the new shaft (without losing any fingers) and then make sure that everything lined up correctly when it was glued together – definitely the trickiest part of the figure.
The figure was assembled using 24 hour Araldite leaving off the arms and sword because they would interfere with painting. It was then primed using grey automotive primer and painting commenced using Vallejo and Andrea acrylics. There is some flexibility with colours on a figure like this bearing in mind the Celts well documented love of design and colour. I tend to start by blocking in the main areas of colour to get a feel of the overall look and work out where the shadows and highlights will appear. Since I tend to be a bit of a messy painter this is easier for me than the traditional approach of painting the face first. Once I’ve decided where the light is coming from I paint in lighter tones and shadow areas (ignoring folds in the cloth till later) and blend these using a very thin glazes of the original colour. I then mix up an even darker and a lighter version of the colour and start working on the creases. I’ve got several small plastic pallets with 6 wells for the paint which I and rather than clean as I go along I just pick up a fresh pallet when I start a new colour. The paint used for the shadows and highlights is very thin and it might take 10 or 15 coats going back and forth to get the transitions smooth. Once I’m happy with the overall colour the patterns are applied with a brush with a fine tip and plenty of light. No secret here, just take your time and correct any mistakes using the background colour. The tricky part is applying highlights and shadows to the stripes and tartan!
Couple of tips for would be figure painters – Firstly I add a tiny amount of one colour to every mix (In this case it was Napoleonic green) and secondly if it all goes wrong don’t panic because Dettol is here. (This can be carefully painted onto an area to remove acrylic paint – just wash it off well under running water and continue as if nothing has happened. On this figure I decided that the blue tartan trousers that he had originally didn’t work so they had to go)
Once the basic figure was painted the remaining parts were added using tiny pins drilled into the joints and a lot of bad language. A couple of extra bangles made from twisted fine wire helped tidy up the wrist joints.
The basic groundwork is Das clay and the broken stump is a twig with roots added in Milliput. Soil was applied using coffee grounds sprinkled onto thinned PVA. Once dry various grass clumps were glued in place and trimmed with scissors to make them less regular in appearance. Small flowers were added using painted chips of balsa wood. Then, using photos for reference, mosses and bits of sponge were used to add some variety to the groundwork. One or two leaves added a few splashes of autumn and broke up the expanse of green. All the groundwork was then painted in acrylics to provide a uniformity of finish and echo the lighting on the figure.
The Model of the Month for November 2017 was a 1/35th diorama entitled Sheffield December 1940 by John Levesley
The diorama shows a civilian Firewatcher going on duty in the evening, in the City of Sheffield in December 1940. My grandfather “Ted” Levesley served as a Firewatcher during the winter of 1940-41 when many British cities suffered massive damage and loss of life from air raids. Sheffield was bombed heavily on both the 12th and the 15th of December 1940.
The stonework is a gypsum plaster Great North Road base, the railings come from a MiniArt staircase kit. The plain plaster stonework moulding was first sprayed with a base coat of glass varnish, then it was acrylic painted with various sandstone shades for the walls and lighter/greyer shades for the pavement. It then received a black ink wash. Once dry I brushed on a Humbrol black weathering powder to reproduce the sooty wall grime.
The three figures come from various sources. The firewatcher climbing the stairs was originally a Miniart tram passenger, modelled climbing onto the tram. I repositioned the right hand, added glasses, a tin helmet and both a soldier’s WW1 khaki haversack serving as a gas mask case and a binocular case from one of the boxes of British figures and soldiers equipment available these days.
The policeman is a Wee Friends resin model, the news vendor a Verlinden resin model with a new head from Hornet (the original head had a very American flat cap) The vendor’s apron advertises the three Sheffield newspapers and the poster a show at Sheffield’s Lyceum theatre. All the figures are painted with acrylics (mainly Vallejo). For flesh tones I use up to four shades of flesh, blended together by using a flow enhancer in the paint on the palette to slow down drying.
The Model of the Month for October 2017 is by Graham Young, a 1/72nd scale ESCI model of a Royal Australian Air Force Huey
It’s Huey number 5 in my collection of Bell’s iconic helo and Vietnam era aircraft.
The model is by Esci and it is probably at least 25 years since it was released, but despite its age stands up well against most contemporary offerings with its finely engraved surface detail and neatly moulded parts. Esci produced some really good 1/72 scale mouldings back then, with their range of F-4 Phantoms setting the trend for things to come. Also they produced the first quality Sea Harrier, still available under the Italeri label.
The only potential drawback with this model is the fuselage seam that runs across the cabin roof with raised anti-slip detail around it. Fortunately I was able to make a good joint here without any extra work! Italeri have overcome this with their more recent Huey B and C offerings by moulding the cabin roof as a separate piece. That’s progress for you! Revell have a Huey D/H in their range, but I’ve not seen it to compare. Is it the old Esci kit I wonder?
The model is pretty much ‘straight from the box’, using the basic ‘gunship’ weaponry included in this boxing. I chose this Royal Australian Air Force version as, in part, it is unusual to see this marque of Huey equipped for this role. US forces mostly used the earlier B and C variants as gunships prior to the arrival of the Cobra, allowing the extra load carrying capacity of the Ds and Hs to be used for transport or medevac tasks. (Esci provided for both of these options in other boxings of the kit).
The RAAF, along with other arms of the Aussie military, played a small but significant part in the Vietnam conflict, deploying number 9 Squadron’s Hueys UH-1Hs to the country. It is reputed that due to the effectiveness of the Aussie ground forces, ably supported by 9 Squadron, the Vietcong preferred to walk around rather than through their area of operations. 9 Squadron’s personnel comprised of both Australian and seconded New Zealand aircrew during its time ‘in country’, training on Royal Australian Navy Huey Bs, where required, before operating in the field.
Although 9 Squadron worked alongside their US Army colleagues, they obviously had need of gunships to support their own ‘slicks’ into hot LZs. Hence an ‘H’ model gunship.
To the kit I added the two M60 door guns – remember AeroClub? – , along with the ammo boxes, side armour and belts for the crew seats, and safety straps for the door gunners from painted lead foil. You may also have seen a couple of personal weapons – M16s – and aircrew helmets as well in the main cabin.
I thought long and hard over how to replicate the ammo belts for the mini-guns and M60s, as there are no after market alternatives. They are after all a crucial part of the weapons fit and are essential to the finished look of the model. I did consider 1/76th scale tank tracks but they were too thick and rigid over the required lengths, so in the end I resorted to ordinary masking tape, folded over and painted grey with silver detail. They could do with being a little thicker I think, but objective achieved none the less.
I masked and sprayed the ‘eyes’ on the nose and hand painted the whiskers around the windscreen – although not as colourful or just plain rude as many US Army Hueys, the nose decoration was the other factor in choosing this subject. This is about as far as the Aussies seemed to go in personalising their helos and was easy to replicate. Xtracolor Faded Olive Drab was used for the overall finish, with a light dusting of exhaust black over the rear fuselage to imply some ware and tear. The final touch was the White conspicuity bands on the upper surface of the main rotor blades, helping to add some more interest to the finished subject.
The Model of the Month for September 2017 is by Clive Hillman, a 1/24th scale derelict British Gas Transit Van with some lovely weathering.
The Ford Transit van was an Italeri 1/24 th scale kit which I thought was a very good kit. Instead of a standard clean van I thought I would do a rusty version. I primed parts with a red primer coated with vanish then a coat of hair spray.
I then painted top half with white and bottom half blue and a bit of scrubbing with a small stiff brush and water soon brought back some of the red underneath then added different shades of rust. For top at the back of van I used chilli powder to look like texture rust. The glass was sprayed with hair spray to fade. The wind screen was left out but I used glitter bits to look like shattered glass.
I used an old piece of wood for the base to make the scene look abandoned, an enjoyable kit.
The Model of the Month for August 2017 is a 1/35th Steyr 1500 by Trevor Griffiths
UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP
The kit itself is from Tamiya, the figures are Alpine resin, I think this a lovely little kit and every stash should have one it just goes together so well. I had it in my head from the start that I would make a small diorama that would be a winter scene, I thought if I did a captured vehicle that would be a bit different and the Russian red stars would also add a bit of colour as I tried to keep the rest of the diorama in muted colours and show the Russian ground wet and muddy as best I could.
I used my normal way of painting things with Halfords primer and Tamiya paints, the stowage and figures were hand painted using Vallejo Acrylics, “if it aint broken don’t try to fix it” I did try some new methods during the course of the build which I will explain later.
The groundwork is Tetrion all Purpose filler, the fence is costa coffee sticks, the tree came from the garden trimmed to suit, the stowage, wheels (with winter chains) windscreen cover and the ‘sticks’ on the front are resin from a company called Black Dog, this set was made for the Steyr but they do make many others for different vehicles and tanks. The Alpine figures are some of the best on the market, the heads and arms are always a good fit.
The fence was first primed then sprayed with Tamiya desert yellow, given a couple of coats of hairspray then Tamiya flat red, next using an old brush and some water took off some of the red to give the fence a worn look, finally light streaking and dark streaking grime to make it look mouldy were added, the base of the tree was given the light streaking grime to blend it in, the streaking grime are an A K Interactive product.
The wet mud is from AMMO (mig) and is just painted onto the mudguards, wheels and then the base which I had already painted dark brown by hand, it takes about 24hrs to dry and can be made to “sit up” once it starts going off. The snow is from woodland scenic soft flake snow, scenic cement can be sprayed on or brush painted (I brush painted this time) and then the snow sprinkled on after, the leaves I picked up at the Romsey show and are from a company called Basecraft and stuck on with white wood glue.
Reverting back to the steyr I tried something I have never done before that is the mud splatters on the vehicle, I have seen it on youtube so decided to have a go, basically paint is loaded onto a brush and just using the pressure (about 1 bar) from my airbrush hold the brush close to the vehicle/model and spray it on, this was definitely twitchy bum time as I said it was a first for me but luckily it did work and I will be using this method again sometime.
I have tried to explain where I got “things” from and the methods I used, if I’ve not explained it very well and you wish to know more please ask.
Many thanks again. Regards Trevor
The Model of the Month for July 2017 was a 1/35th scale diorama showing members of the Royal Engineers Signal Service in 1917 – by John Levesley
The Royal Engineer Signal Service repairing and re-laying telephone cables amongst the rain, floods and mud of the Battle of Passchendaele between late July and mid November 1917.
The Royal Engineer Signal Service was responsible for telegraph, telephone, signal despatch, and later wireless communications from headquarters down to brigades and for artillery communications down to batteries. Regimental signallers were then responsible for communications within units and from units to brigades. In addition to the telecommunications techniques available in 1914-18, use was made of despatch riders, runners, carrier pigeons, flags and light signals. Horses were used extensively to pull general service wagons and cable laying wagons and dogs were used to both carry messages and lay cables from cable spools strapped to the dog’s back.
My great uncle, Sapper Signaller John Tyas (Jack) Levesley, served with a company of the Royal Engineer Signal Service and received several shrapnel wounds including a badly wounded leg, in the Autumn of 1917 during the Battle of Passchendaele. He survived and recovered but never returned to the front line.
The model uses an excellent Great North Road Models casting of a trench and the figures are from the Masterbox set MB35146, entitled British Infantry, Battle of the Somme. Changes to the figures were:
To exchange their weapons for tools (contemporary photos of the RESS in the field show them not carrying many weapons),
In the case of the sappers to remove their boots and puttees and replace them “gumboots short” – actually German field boots but with the creases and soles part-filled with “Perfect Plastic Putty” to look more like “wellies”.
The officer had his swagger stick removed and he has a replacement left arm without an imperious pointing gesture.
Some of the tools come with the figure set, on the equipment sprue, others are from the spares box. One or two tools are either captured German items or French equipment. The cable reels are Bachmann HO model railway cable reels, the heavy cables are solder, the various cases and boxes come from Model Railway sources. The morse telegraphy box and amplifier are each scratch built into a shell of three model railway cases. The hand tools come I think from a Verlinden 1/48th set of etched Luftwaffe tools, the blanket is thin lead sheet, moulded into shape in situ then primed and finally painted with a mixture of grey pigment and fixative.
The trench was painted with a series of brown and grey brown water based washes, with some black washed into the creases and recesses. I then used a variety of Tamiya weathering media either to dry-brush the sandbags or in suspension to reproduce the mud on uniforms, equipment and boots. The muddy trench bottom and puddles is done with “Solid Water”, laid in three very thin layers, each coloured during mixing with pigments. The trench nameplates are produced on a home computer. I’ve rather assumed that the trench had been used by the South Yorkshire battalions of the 62nd West Riding Division, probably the 2/4th (Hallamshire) and 2/5th Battalions of the Yorks and Lancs. Campo Lane is a very old street in Sheffield running through the legal quarter near the Cathedral. Redmires was a large camp west of Sheffield where many local battalions were trained.
At the Salisbury show 2018, Paul Seeley won three awards; a gold, silver and a Highly Commended for his exquisite 54 mm figure models two of which are shown here
other Vikings prize winners at Salisbury were:
Dave Lovel; Gold, Silver, & 2x H/C. all for small AFVs.
Greg Lock, Gold for Si Fi.
Trevor Griffiths, Silver, large AFVs,
Malcolm Lowe, H/C in small AFVs, small aircraft & civilian vehicles.
The Model of the Month for June 2017 was a pair of Matchbox 1/72nd Noorduyn Norseman of the Norwegian Air Force and the Swedish Air Force — by Alan Jones
photos by Malcolm V Lowe
Norway obtained 8 ex USAAF in 1945, plus 1 ex-civilian machine in 1952. During 1953/54 15 ex-RCAF aircraft were purchased. The type was retired in 1959. Sweden purchased three to fulfil the light transport/ambulance requirements.
The kit is quite accurate but needed quite a lot of detail to be added to get it to an acceptable finish. The Norwegian version was on floats and beaching gear as seen in one of my reference books. The float undersides had to have ‘vanes’ fitted and sanded to make ‘channels’. Then the rudders needed to be moved and reshaped bumpers fitted (Milliput) plus tie-downs and control cables. I purchased a set of beaching wheels and supports from KHEE-KHA Models in Alaska and used some1/72 metal tail wheels, from my stash of bits from the old Aeroclub range, as the jockey wheels. The cabin was fitted out with the kit’s pilots seats and four more plus some cargo nets to the rear of them, from spares box. All internal paint was from Vallejo acrylic range. The aircraft was painted with Humbrol Metalcote aluminium and the floats had anti slip top surfaces from Humbrol with the undersurfaces was Vallejo silver grey. A coat of Klear was brushed on followed by decals from the spares box and then I finished the aircraft with a thinned coat of Humbrol Matt Cote. The floats were left as painted to get a slightly different hue.
Getting the aircraft to sit on its floats was a nightmare for me – it nearly flew out of the window on several occasions. Eventually I got it done, but I had to modify the forward struts of the float attachments to the style used by the Norwegians. This involved cutting away the pole type one in the kit and manufacturing a much more streamlined one. I did one side cut/glued and left for about a week and then repeated the opposite float in the same way – it worked. I found this version quite a long and labourers slog.
The Swedish version was quite a lot easier to build. I did equip the aircraft with two stretchers and seats doctor/nurse plus walking patients. A small bulkhead was placed behind the right hand pilots seat. Again I used Vallejo acrylics for interior. The fuselage needed to have an extra window each side, between the rear door and aft bulkhead. The skis came from KORA Models they were Gladiator skis and modified. These were a wooden base with metal runners and an aluminium dome towards the front section plus an oleo damper (Albion Alloys) and tension wires. The rest of the aircraft was painted with Vallejo white primer and two coats of light orange – I must say I was quite impressed with the ease of coverage and by using a Acrylic Brush I manage to get a great finish. The decals came from Middle North Design, Hobby Centre, Helsingborg, Sweden. The same procedure as the Norwegian version as regards, Klear and Humbrol Matt Cote. I enjoyed the Swedish build.
The Model of the Month for May 2017 was another dead heat between
Dave Lovell’s 1/72nd scale Type 89 Japanese tank
Most of what I build has more to do with the box art than the subject and this little kit was no different, manufactured by IBG Models this is a beaut, crisp, clean, zero flash. The moulded detail is fantastic link and length tracks and to finish off a fret of etch this is true shake and bake. It falls together, once built the whole thing was sprayed with Humbrol aerosol primer not cheap but works every time. I’m a great believer in if it works for you don’t change it. Next up I pre shaded with Tamiya NATO Black also squirted it in all the hard to reach places. Next up I used Mr colour IJN Grey there are two shades one slightly paler than the other, the paler one used to fill the centre of panels and hatches then a very light coat of the darker one was sprayed over the whole thing. Mr colour thinners were used throughout. Various filters and washes were used in the weathering and detailing. These being applied and then washed back and removed using a brush lightly aspirated with odourless thinners. Having finished the model I decided the bottom half was not dirty enough so applied some more wash, then not taking to much notice started to remove it with thinners. Yep you guessed, paint thinners thinking that’s strange the paints coming off. Managed to stop before to much damage was done. So in the future I will try and read my labels.
Trevor Griffiths 1/48th scale Messerschmitt Bf109e RUSSIAN FRONT 1942
Having recently built the Spitfire I decided to have a go at another wing thing. Over the years I have seen in photographs and at shows German aircraft in white winter camouflage and thought that’s how I would do mine, the kit is from Tamiya in 1/48th scale. I also decided to get the Eduard etched cockpit detail set plus canopy mask set, although the Tamiya instrument panel is fine I replaced it with the Eduard one, a bit of filing to smooth the surface and a couple of drops of superglue “job done”.
Suffice to say the rest of the kit went together with no problem. As the aircraft was going to be finished In white rather than use my usual Halford rattle can grey primer I used the white undercoat one, having seen an aircraft in the book I purchased I decided on the one with the yellow nose wingtips and tail.
I began by pre shading the panel lines with Tamiya grey paint xf24, I have seen more and more model makers doing this including on tanks and vehicles etc so I thought I would have a go at this as well, next came xf2 white but allowing enough of the pre shading to still show through, the underside of the aircraft was sprayed with xf23 light blue, masking off the nose wing tips and the band round the fuselage, next came the yellow xf3. I was happy with the finish so the aircraft was then given two fine coats of Humbrol gloss varnish from a can.
The panel lines were then given a wash to enhance them, again I was happy with this so another coat of gloss varnish was sprayed on the model ready for the decals, I used most of the decals for the kit from the box but I did purchase an extra set from Hannants because in the book there was an “yellow 8” 109, I got a set with the number 8 in yellow as this was just what I wanted.
All the decals went “down” very well and when dry were sealed with yet another coat of gloss varnish, eventually the model was given a coat of Mr Hobby matt varnish to tone down everything. All the detail painting was picked out using Vallejo paints before any coats of varnish. The canopy had the masks put in place and sprayed dark grey, when dry the masks removed and fixed to the aircraft, I was very happy with the finished model.
The Model of the Month for April 2017 was a diorama of an Italeri 1/72nd Messerschmitt Me110 G-4 R/3, NJ.G.1/III Gruppe, Arnhem 1944, by Mike Parker.
I opted for an overall ‘squiggle’ random pattern in grey. I now needed to devise a method of achieving this random pattern effect. After much trial and error I came to the conclusion that my present skill with brush and airbrush would not achieve the desired result. It was time to rely on some of the skills from my days as a technical illustrator. I reasoned that I could use a soft pencil, with a matched grey tone, to apply free hand this complex pattern; or so I thought. Research informed me that this style of camouflage to aircraft of the day was often hastily applied with a vast variety of outcomes, often due to the competence of the paint sprayer and his skill (or lack of) with a spray gun. This finish often covered existing markings and in this case at least only applied to the upper surfaces.
My first attempts proved fruitless, after selecting a suitable soft pencil I practiced on a test piece of prepared plasticard, yet to no avail. It simply didn’t look right. It was then I reasoned that in my own limited experience of spraying aircraft, that only certain coverage can be obtained, due to the practice of how the spray gun is handled. Only certain radial motions, limited by the joints of arm and hand can be achieved. This may seem a little extreme, but once taken on board, the desired effect (after some practice) proved effective and this technique I applied to the model.
The next big task of most night fighter aircraft was the radar aerials. As with many kits the ones supplied do not do the rest of the model credit. Earlier in the build I purchased online some turned brass alternative aerials and proceeded to assemble them. This required some ingenuity, with a strip of card and some cut down icelolly sticks glued together, a suitably little jig came into being. This allowed me to accurately super glue all the elements with precise spacing and alignment. Next the ‘antler’ style frames, ‘out of the box’, were cleaned up and required 0.8mm holes drilled into each of the ends. Finally gluing these to the nose of the model, allowing to set, followed by gluing the brass aerials into the previously drilled holes. Later undercoated and brush painted.
The Model of the Month for March 2017 is a fabulous 1/48th scale model of a de Havilland Sea Devon by Ian Domeney, built from the Magna Models resin kit.
Magna Models are all resin moulded items with white metal or pewter details and vac-formed transparencies and are produced using what can only be described as cottage industry techniques. The fuselage is in two pieces, split vertically with a rather neat tongue and groove method of trapping the tail fin between the two halves. Each main plane is moulded in a single shot, which considering the amount of resin, has worked very well, there being little or no distortion over the length. The panel lines are nicely understated but clear enough to be emphasised if required. The little bag of white metal parts contains the propellers, oleos and control columns together with exhausts and undercarriage doors. Just in case of accident, two vac-formed canopies and fairings are included but surprisingly no spare cabin window transparencies.
Completing the parts count are the engine nacelles, tail-plane, wheels, cockpit details and cabin seats. Initial progress on the build was quite swift but came to a grinding halt when I attempted to fit all the vac-formed cabin windows. The fit was less than satisfactory with little opportunity to improve the general effect so I took the somewhat risky decision to remove the entire side of the fuselage at window height and fit a clear plastic insert which could later be masked off to produce the glazing apertures.
I’d already decided that I would finish the aircraft as an Admiral’s Barge which explains the red leather and gave me the chance to use the remaining contents of a can of Ford Mondeo green aerosol that I’d used previously on a Sea Vampire. Gentle sanding of the airframe revealed dozens of tiny air bubbles just below the surface of the resin so copious quantities of filler were needed before Mr Halford’s own primer was applied overall. Finally the undercarriage and propellers were added together with various aerials and ancillaries from the spares box. At last it was complete. De Havilland C Mk20 Sea Devon XJ350 of 781 Sqn based at Lee-on-the-Solent as an Admiral’s Barge during 1961.
Model of the month for February 2017 was a 1/35th scale ZSU-23-4 of the Syrian Army, built by Allan Parker
ZSU-23-4MZ Shilka (Meng)
The kit itself is very well moulded and requires almost no clean-up. The instructions are very clear and allow you to build one of four versions of the Shilka, plus you get a fret of photo-etch brass to enrich the finish. The thing that really made me want to make this kit was the fact that you get the complete drivers compartment to construct, plus you get the detailed mouldings for the inside of the ammunition stowage bins. Neither of these enhancements was offered with the Dragon kit.
I started off by studying the instructions and the painting guide. You could build a ZSU-23-4V1, ..M, ..M2 or …MZ. I wanted to build a …MZ and put markings on from a unit of the Libyan Army as I had seen featured on the news in the not too distant past. However, the nearest country I could find that operated the …MZ was from the Syrian Army. Neither of these sets of markings is provided and so I found Star Decals had just what I was looking for. It was important to decide early on which version I was going to build as Meng provide instructions as to precisely which locator holes to open up for use in later build steps to accommodate components specific to the version I wanted to build.
I’ve been building various Trumpeter model kits recently and they seem to love providing track in the form of individual plastic links with separate guide horns for each link. I was pleased to find that Meng, whilst their track was provided as individual plastic links, had the guide horns moulded in. Having said that and despite taking extra care, I couldn’t get the track to look realistic so I resorted to buying white metal track from Sector35. I just love the natural sag from the weight of the white metal links.
Model of the Month for January 2017 was a Valom 1/72nd kit of an Armstrong Whitworth Albermarle built as P1383 ‘G’ 297 Squadron at RAF Stoney Cross in the of Autumn 1943 built by Henry Goodall.
Fuelling has just finished as the aircrew arrive to board the aircraft and receive secret papers from a dispatch rider. These will be dropped tonight to the French Resistance together with arms, ammunition and radio equipment. The containers are checked by a corporal and aircrew member, as another airman carried the parachute strops to the aircraft. Before long ‘G’ George will soon be airborne on another dangerous single aircraft night mission.
My grateful thanks go to everyone who voted for the Albemarle diorama this month. The inspiration for this build was meeting the daughter of the wireless operator of this aircraft, P1383 ‘G’ George, while on holiday in 2014. His logbook records several equipment drops to the French Resistance in late 1943 from Stoney Cross, in addition to his modest note “All crew awarded DFCs”, as the lead aircraft dropping the first ten 22nd Independent Para. Coy. Pathfinders on the Ranville DZ ‘N’ on D-Day.
I decided on a busy pre-mission diorama, to show off this unusual aircraft, once described as having “no vices and no virtues”. The 1/72 scale Valom kit has many of the common short run kit failings, including no locating pins and holes throughout, poorly fitting engine nacelles and inaccurate fuselage to cockpit canopy, nose canopy, rear fuselage windows and skylight joints.
However, with much dry fitting and patience, building up with filler, superglue and PVA glue etc., I was able to overcome most of these challenges. There is no real cockpit floor locating ledge, so repeated dry fitting was required, and lead sheet, to prevent it being a ‘tail sitter’. The offset dorsal turret lacks seating lugs, so these also have to be created. The decals are for a 297 Squadron aircraft, which operated from Stoney Cross; they seat well with Microsol/Microset. I modified them for the specific aircraft being built; however, obtaining a good style and colour match with Xtradecal WWII Bomber Command decals proved problematic.
Having masked the nose canopy over the navigator’s compartment before painting, I later discovered that the glue had spread to fog part of the windows. A desperate e-mail to Valom produced a positive response; two sets of clear sprues arrived from Václav Lomitzki in the Czech Republic within 4 days, free of charge – what great service!!
The base (DisplaysUK – Christchurch) was augmented with sheet styrene, to enable fixing the model to the base with metal pins. I used Halfords Wet & Dry 240 for the Stoney Cross dispersal, with Gaugemaster autumn grass mat; Lifecolor Tensocrom oil and fuel spills and Paynes Grey/Burnt Sienna oil paint mix (dried puddles) completed the base. The accessories were mainly from the WWII Airfix Bomber Resupply set, the refuelling ladder and chocks by Flightpath, and figures from the Revell RAF Pilots & Ground Crew set. The fragile transverse glider tow apparatus broke easily; I substituted wire.
Painting was airbrushed with Humbrol matt enamels, vehicle camouflage was Lifecolor Panzergrau acrylic over Humbrol Dark Earth. Figures were painted mainly with Lifecolor acrylics, the Mae Wests with matt enamel, their straps and the container parachute strops were thinly cut wine bottle lead foil. The drop containers were sculpted from old sprue and drilled, wooden steps scratch built from sheet styrene and the ‘wheelbarrow’ scratch built from wire, with Flightpath etched wheels. The refuelling tubing was 0.8mm wire, with the spout 0.4mm wire.
Overall, it was a very satisfying build/challenge and will go into the FONFA Museum with copies of pages from Bill Pomfrey’s logook.”
Model of the Month for December 2016 was a 1/700th scale model of H.M.S. Aurora by Austin Stack.
Post-war Arethusa-class light-cruiser HMS Aurora by AMJ Stack.
This is my take on HMS Aurora in 1/700 scale, as she may have looked in November 1945.
At this time she was one of the Royal Navy units in the Eastern Mediterranean. She was engaged intercepting shipping carrying illegal immigration to Palestine from Europe. The new Middle East was evolving and would soon unravel tragically. In the world, suspicion and distrust began to define East from West. Cold War began.
There’s not an awful lot to say about this kit that has not been said already about Flyhawk’s wonderful little light cruisers. These are not the 1/700 offerings your uncle used to give you for Christmas way back in the days of Green Shield Stamps! To build, this kit is without vices. You can put your plastic card away as you won’t be needing it on this one.
There are aftermarkets for this, a wooden deck and brass main gun barrels for example, but I didn’t bother. I was more than happy to go with what was in the box. I could have replaced the quad ‘Pom-Pom’ mounts for Niko resin ones, but there was so little benefit that I decided to save them for something else instead. You can’t get better than Flyhawk
in plastic at the moment.
All I changed was the railings for GMM ‘Gold Plus Ultrafine’ (0.003), which GMM state is ‘virtually at the extreme limits of current technology…’ and ‘approaches the limits of human skill and dexterity as required for the successful use of these railings’. These look more scale-like. The other thing was the masts. As supplied they are quite nice but as its always been one of my favorite ‘bits’ about modelling ships, I made them from 0.03 brass tube, bought locally at the same place I get all my supplies.(Westbourne Models).
Model of the Month for November 2016
There was a dead heat in the voting at the club meeting on November 2nd.
Sharing the award was a 1/35th model of a sIG33 15cm Heavy Infantry Gun by Terry Howlett
The SIG33 is one of a number of models that had been started some years before. It is my first completed AFV model for about 40 years! It is the old ALAN kit and needed an immense amount of tidying up and refining to turn it into something decent. The barrel was replaced by a small piece of aluminium tube and the wheels were heavily distressed with the trusty scalpel and files and lots of liquid poly to generally get them looking well used.
The build was carried out in several sub component parts. The gun cradle and chassis, the gun shield and attached components, the gun barrel and breech mechanism, and the two wheels. I reduced that to three main sub-assemblies by attaching the completed shield to the cradle. Painting then took place with the model in the three subassemblies.
Initially everything was airbrushed with a couple of light coats of Tamiya Hull red. After that each sub-assembly then was given a coat of Johnson’s Klear. A few days later and it was time to give everything several light airbrush coats of the base German Yellow which was mixed from Tamiya Acrylics. Next came the tricky part, masking for the camouflage. I used A cheap brand of blue tack to cover up everything that was to remain German Yellow, and over sprayed the German Green mixed Tamiya Acrylics. Finally, more blue tack onto those parts which were to remain green ready for the German Red Brown. I left all that for a few days then removed the blue tack to find a very neat looking three colour pattern! Very fiddly stuff but well worth it I think. At this stage I brush painted some of the tooling and airbrushed the sighting poles on the gun shield and the sight itself after some VERY careful masking! Then more weathering on those parts before the three sub-assemblies were then airbrushed with another fine layer of Klear.
I really enjoyed the next stage which involved some subtle weathering. I used mostly Tamiya Acrylic filters (diluted and tinted shades of the base colour). When everything was thoroughly dry I used Humbrol enamel based washes, usually of much darker shades than the underlying colours. There was a small amount of dry brushing of metallic parts and one or two areas which benefitted from dry brushing.Finally, all sub-assemblies were glued together and the model given a couple of very light airbrushed coats of Tamiya Acrylic flat varnish diluted with Isopropyl and ethyl Alcohol.
and the Master Box 1/35th figure set of British Infantry, Battle of the Somme, 1916 built by Clive Hillman as a sombre and moving monochrome memorial, the only colour some red poppies.
I started with a kit of British 1916 Somme soldiers from a MB kit. I primed it with Halfords grey primer first but this made it hard for the figures to stick. The pavement base was a pre-made plaster cast which I gave two or three coats of primer, filled the cracks with dark dirt filler then went over with a black wash followed by a coat of varnish. The figures were painted with several different shades of grey, to keep it looking sombre.
The only colour to this piece were the poppies which were made from a photo etch kit and then painted (awkward or what). I put a pre-made wall that I primed and put a black wash on to define joints on the pavement then I added the poppies followed by the figures. This was then added to a slate backdrop and put on a base covered with sand and primed to keep to maintain the grey colour.
I enjoyed this kit and a special reminder of the events 100 years ago this summer.
Model of the Month for October 2016 A Private in the Dorset Regiment in WW1 by Jez Thomson
120mm WW1 Infantryman of the Dorset Regiment 1916
A resin kit from Imperial Gallery comprising a dozen well cast parts. Originally depicting a soldier of the Lancashire regiment this has been altered slightly to represent an infantryman of the Dorset regiment in 1916. Sounds spectacular but only meant the re-sculpting of the cap badge and a simple attempt to paint the brass Dorset shoulder flash.
Construction was simple but several dry runs are needed to check positions for the extra accoutrements and this led to a small amount of material being removed to ensure a really good fit – all of about 30 minutes work – a testimony to the quality of the original and the casting. Painting was entirely by hand using almost entirely acrylics – Citadel, Vallejo and Lifecolour, except for the flesh areas (sorry Ian!) boots and woodwork which is done in oils over an acrylic base.
I tended to use colours “straight from the pot” and then relied on filters and glazes to add shadows and highlights. Various sandy tones were used for the highlighting and browns for the shadows and for emphasis in certain areas.
The only “serious” alteration made was to replace the water-bottle straps as the originals did not do justice to the quality of the rest of the model. Other straps were built from lead and aluminium foil as required added towards the end of the build and then blended in to the cast versions.
Thank you for your votes this has been a very enjoyable project – I will be looking at more of Rob Hardwick’s figures in the future – which by the time you read this will have been donated to the Gillingham Branch of the Devon and Dorset Association to help raise funds at their annual dinner.
Model of the Month for September 2016 was a wonderful atmospheric model of …… a Zombie Burger van. It can only be adequately described by its maker, Sarah and her words follow below the pictures. We leave you with one thought, what are the Zombies’ burgers made of?
“Hello…here is the description of my model, they say a little chaos liberates you, so I present the apocalyptic burger van ,because zombies need to eat to…in the spirit of using free stuff I started with an old picture frame ,creating a base with clay ,adding mounds and texture ,upon that came brown paint and dried tea leaves. The whole base evolved at its own rate, grass, leaves mud and broken brick piles ..generously donated was the main event of the ice cream van and zombies ,the joy of deconstructing the van and ripping off the wheels was the best part and thanks to Tom for teaching me how to use MiG powders for the classic rust effect. The Zombies were a challenge, but they came out well and looking hungry. I enjoyed painting these guys. The coup de gras was leaving the tune on the van which I felt added a fun factor to the tableau. I don’t think my methods will ever be as organized as my esteemed colleagues, who I learn from and am inspired by, but I’ve never been normal ,so thanks for enjoying my mad world….X”
Model of the Month August 2016 was a dead heat.
Joint winners were
Jonathan King with his 1.48th scale Stuka
This Ju87 G-2 comes from the eastern front where it was used in the specialised anti tank role with 37mm cannons fitted instead of the usual dive bomber configuration. The kit was from Italeri (2722) and a straight forward build with good quality detailed parts and some photo etch for the interior. It’s not the most graceful of aircraft but since I built a 1/24 version of the dive bomber many years ago I have always appreciated the angular and purposeful looks (a product of the inverted gull wings) . There are a few variants of G2 kits available but I chose this kit as it had the option of the detailed Jumo 211 inverted v12 engine which could be left exposed to help make the diorama more interesting.
On the downside there is a lot of canopy to work with and get wrong.. this did go wrong when the masking didn’t go as planned and resulted in an order for a replacement and trying again. The exterior masking and painting proved much easier and as it was my first attempt with an air brush went better than expected. Standard acrylic Luftwaffe colours from Mr Hobby were used and seem to work well. Weathering effects were added little by little; this is all very new to me and a whole new skill to try and master. The slowly slowly approach allowed me to get the effect I was looking for but not without thinking I was going to mess up a perfectly good looking paint job..
The diorama was put together using coffee stirring sticks for the decking, stained and covered with some aggregate here and there. A couple figures, some packing crates and oil cart completed the scene which I tried to keep simple.
Austin Stack’s model of the French Battleship “HOCHE
This is my 1/700 take on the French pre-dreadnought Hoche in 1890. This is a Combrig resin kit from a Russian company well known for it’s range of ships of this era.
I won’t comment on the quality of the mouldings, the detail, the research and the fit of parts here other than saying that the kits are very good and straight-forward to build if one pays attention to planning. One works from drawings in plan and profile and an exploded view. So do be careful not to get yourself ‘locked-out’ by finding areas inaccessible as you progress. It’s easily done take my word for it!
The model needed portholes surrounds (I used a period-looking set from an old Artist Hobby
sheet of PE) and some torpedo nets and booms (rolled-flat wire from an electrical cable and some painted button thread). I used only a few parts from the kit’s PE (a bit heavy to my taste but perfectly acceptable) using GMM
and Five Star
PE instead and I replaced the main and secondary batteries with turned-brass products from Sea Master
The finish is Humbrol bases with water colours (mostly to represent woods) and oils (mostly for painted metals). A finishing coat of matt varnish ties it all together. Rigging is sprue and crew are Dream Model
(RN actually, couldn’t find French)!
The base is 10X10 mahogany (seasoned, by Amarti) that I have mitred and pinned with brass dowel, stained rosewood and varnished. The sea is 80 though plastic card painted maritime blue and after the model was fixed (very early in the build as usual) I used acrylic Vallejo clear Water Effects to sculpt a sea and used the same but with Windsor and Newton white acrylic added to it at the ratio of one part white to twenty parts Vallejo just to get a little bow wave and prop wash going.
Model of the Month July 2016. Master Box 1/35th scale injection moulded kit “British infantry before the attack, WW1 era” by John Levesley
The model is the Master Box 1/35th scale injected moulded kit “British infantry before the attack, WW1 era”. The model contains five figures and a section of trench. I’ve used just four figures, the fifth is a great model of a British Staff Officer who is staying behind but I chose not to include it. The figures are representative of British troops in 1916, and are built out of the box except for the addition of strips of thin lead sheet for rifle slings. I also used some “Perfect Plastic Putty” to give the impression the helmets have cloth covers over them – a feature seen in many photographs of British troops on the Somme. I haven’t added divisional or brigade insignia to the uniform, they are proving difficult to research for 1916. Some sources say that they were not in fact worn in the front line.
The trench is a simple build. The instructions don’t mention it but the trench can be built, single sided but twice the length; sufficient extra duckboards and fire steps are included. The duckboards have optional cut outs that can be combined with moulded fillets of “earth” so the trench can be modelled with an angle at the half way point. The barbed wire is made from a model railway accessory, rewound to a wider diameter, sprayed a rust colour and sprinkled with two different colour rusty pigments. The wooden frames are stained cocktail sticks. If I built it again I would add sheets of corrugated iron that were often used to reinforce the lower half of the wooden trench walls.
I made extensive use of pigments to colour wash and texture the sandbags, firesteps and duckboards. Crushed blackboard chalk was used to represent the natural chalk of the Somme basin. Earth and grass were model railway texture material and the poppies are also model railway accessories. I also made washes of the chalk to colour the trench walls, based on a colour online photo I found of a restored trench on the Somme battlefield.
The Y&L cap badge and Y&L Sheffield shoulder flash are genuine WW1 period uniform items.
Model of the Month June 2016. “Stepping the Steppe” 1/35th scale Josef Stalin IS 2 by Martin Crabb
Construction was straight forward with no major fit issues, the separate track links were brilliant, not magic tracks but they pushed together tightly with no glue, meaning they could be fitted and shaped to form the track sag only gluing when happy.
Moving on to the painting, starting with a Russian green primer followed by some white primer to give some pre-fade to the panels. Base coat was Vallejo’s model air Russian green. This was then slightly lightened with some radome tan to enhance fading to the paint.After painting the white air recognition markings I gave it a quick clear coat and applied the decals. Once this was done I noticed the decals were translucent and showed green. A coat of heavily thinned US dark green brought the tone of the white stripes down to match the decals and also enhanced the modulated look. Highlights were dealt with by using Russian uniform green.
Weathering wise I did not want to go too heavy, so worn paint was depicted with a rub of the ever helpful graphite pencil, a small amount of rust, dust and stains were added to create a used look.
Successes at the Salisbury Show 2017
both of these 1/72nd scale (oh yes they are) models are by Dave Lovell
Dave received a Commended for his Russian CP-7 artillery tractor. However his Type 89 Japanese tank won not only Gold but also two Best in Show awards, one from the judges and one from Models for Heroes. Dave describes building this model in our May 2017 entry to the Model of the Month post on this site and his techniques for painting 1/72nd armour are described on our Hints and Tips page via the tab above.
Mark Turney won a Gold for his 1/35th model of a Seehund miniature submarine.
Matthew John’s 1/35th scale model of a Rheintochter R-3P missile also won a Gold.
To cheers (yes really) our Chairman Malcolm Lowe received a Gold for his 1/76th scale model of a GWR van owing something to the old Keilcraft model though few of its original bits survived.
Ian Domeney was Commended for his 1/48th scale model of a Vought Corsair IV KD659 flown by Sub Lt John T Dixon, No 733 Naval Air Squadron, Trincomalee, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) 1945
Model of the Month May 2016. 1/72nd scale Westland Lysander Mk IIISD by Henry Goodall
I used the original 1973 Airfix 01004-5 Westland Lysander III (SD) moulding, re-boxed as No. 02053 in 1998. It is still the most widely available and accurate 1/72 scale Mk III (SD) kit, although the similar Matchbox kit can also be found, via the Internet. The latter’s deeply engraved panel lines on the fuselage and wheel spats need to be reduced. Both kits use (incorrect) lugs to attach the wings to the cockpit; the Airfix as part of the clear cockpit assembly and the Matchbox as part of the wings. These need to be removed for a vacuum canopy to be installed. My photos of the Shuttleworth Lysander enabled me to replicate the metal tube construction and oil tank, supporting the junction of wings and fuselage, with a Falcon FNCV2272 Clear-Vax canopy replacing the thick plastic kit offering.The leading edge slats were fashioned from sheet styrene and the slots sculpted out of the wings. The flaps were set in the fully down position and the tailplane positioned for landing.
The kit wheels are too narrow; I used aftermarket Typhoon/Tempest wheels, which approximate to the Lysander’s wheels, although both spats and wheels need to be trimmed to achieve a good fit. The Kora DS7250 resin engine cowling and exhaust are more accurate than the Airfix one; the Matchbox cowling is in between, for accuracy. The kit decals were modified to depict MA-J and the ‘Jiminy Cricket’ nose art painted onto decal material and attached normally. Apart from these modifications and the scratch built propeller, instrument panel and external tank fuel pipe, the kit was built ‘straight out of the box’.
Model of the Month April 2016. Tamiya’s 1/35th scale Matilda Mk II(1941) and Challenger MK 3(1991)tanks by Martin Crabb
After a long while away from modelling, due to starting a family, one of my passions is building Tamiya kits of the 70s& 80s. Many of these were well beyond my pocket money in my youth, but are now very affordable. I have found that they are great kits to build, unlike some! The two kits in the display are both Tamiya; the Matilda Mk1 being a 70s kit and the Challenger 1 Mk3 from the early 90s, both sourced from a car boot sale for a tenner!
The Matilda depicts a 7th Armoured Division vehicle from the ‘Africa’ campaign 1941 and the Challenger a vehicle from the 7th Armoured Brigade, Kuwait 1991. With there being 50 years between the two I thought they would make a good partnership and show the progress in armour and weaponry development.
The kits were built straight out of the box. There were no instructions with the Matilda but I sourced them very quickly on the internet. Both kits had no major fit issues, making them very easy to build. The only addition I chose to make was using some iridescent self-adhesive for the optics on the Challenger.
After priming with Vallejo white primer they were pre-shaded with black primer to give a faded/bleached look to the panels. Base coat was Vallejo’s Iraqi sand which was further highlighted with pale sand to give the paint a more bleached effect. After a quick gloss coat the decals were added and a pin wash given to darken the recesses. Vallejo desert dust pigment was used to weather the vehicles and some rust and soot added to highlight exhausts, making them look used. The whole model was then matt coated to finish. The base was kept simple with some plastering sand sieved onto PVA to add interest.
Model of the Month March 2016. 1/700th scale USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) by Austin Stack
The USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) was a battleship commissioned in 1916. It was like it’s sister the Arizona at Pearl during the Japanese attack. Repairs took until 1942. It was involved in most of the major campaigns of the Pacific during the last three years of the war, having several major refits. During the bombardment of Guam in 1944, the Pennsylvania fired more heavy shells in a single campaign than any other ship in history. My model depicts her early in 1945.
This is the Dragon kit of 2008 manufacture in my favourite 1/700 scale. I’d had it two years in my stash waiting for additional reference (on the net) to show up but when none did I decided to just go ahead early in January this year. Dragon ‘enjoyed’ a reputation in my old club for poor fit second to none and this kit didn’t disappoint on that score, there being problems throughout. However, my decision to use a real wood self-adhesive deck from Blue Star Admiral and all that that entails probably meant I created as many problems as I was presented with.
After the deck has been laid and all the 40mm and 20mm shields and all the anchor runs that had been removed in order to facilitate this had been reinstated, the model built quite conventionally. I had an obvious difference in scale thickness between the photoetch shields and breakwaters and the plastic ones so I attempted to reduce the latter from the insides with a rotary tool. For the main 14 inch guns and the secondary 5 inch battery I used Sea Master turned brass barrels. Very simple to use and more convincing in my opinion. For the AA, Nico models resin quad 40 mm mounts were used but I replaced the barrels with wire as they were finer than the 20mm Gold Medal Models (GMM) I used for this battery. All doors, which are handed, came from Five Star. All ladders, various radars, catapult, crane, and ship’s yardarms came from the GMM set USN Battleship. The anchor chains and crew are Eduard.
Model of the Month February 2016. 1/48th scale DHC Chipmunk by Ian Domeney
The aircraft is a Chipmunk T10 of the Royal Navy Historic Flight, operated by the flight to act as a trainer for aircrew to keep current on tail draggers and retains its Light Aircraft Grey and Signal Red colour scheme it wore during its time with the Britannia Flight at Roborough.
The kit is by Aeroclub and is a very simple limited run injection moulded item with white metal undercarriage and a vacformed canopy. The build was quite straightforward with the fuselage split vertically with the fin as an integral part and both the main and tail planes as single items. In fact the whole kit comprises of only twenty three pieces.
Everything fitted together nicely and needed very little filler but the cockpit detail is a little sparse. I enhanced the area with reference to as many interior photos as I could find. (How did we ever build plastic models before the internet)? I’m especially pleased with the canopy framework which I scratch built from various odds and sods. I added some after market seat belts and then cut the canopy from the windscreen to display the finished kit with this slid back. I usually find vacformed canopies a bit of a nightmare but this again was quite easy to handle.
Model of the Month January 2016. 1/35th scale M32 tank recovery tank by Keith Edwards.
The model kit was an Italeri M32 Sherman Recovery Tank. It’s been sitting in my stash cupboard for years, but we have a mini competition at work where someone picks a type of model to build and as the subject this time was ‘recovery vehicles’ it was the perfect time to build this one. The build went ok, and even though there were a lot of really fiddly bits, I was quite impressed with the kit. I decided to incorporate some figures on a base. These were by Alpine and a company called Bravo 6 which, once painted I was really pleased with. I already had the base, which was by Dio and once all assembled I think went together well.
Model of the Month December 2015. 1/32nd scale Fokker Eindecker, Wingnut Wings by Matthew John
Right from the off I was hooked, slowly but surely learning the vagaries of the Wingnut Wings plans and build sequence. These are by nature complex aircraft to replicate and the full colour instructions help enormously, highlighting in blue the current build section. I used a combination of Uschi van der Rosten wood grain decals and rigging thread to get that almost steampunk look many cockpits from this era have. The fuel tanks and lines were painted a combination of brass and copper and I used Albion Alloys nickel silver wire for the internal control lines.
Whilst the fit of these kits is very good, they are made to very tight tolerances and any deviation from the norm does mean some fiddling to get the two fuselage sides to marry up with no problems. This kit did highlight my modelling deficiencies and I did have to fudge certain areas, most notably the cockpit, machine gun fittings and the engine cowling. However, the main elements went together very nicely and as the plans showed (there are some excellent photos throughout the instructions) no two Eindeckers were ever built exactly the same way and my Eindecker is testament to that. I’d chosen to build Max Immelman’s aircraft and as this showed a paint I didn’t have (Fokker Green) I instead opted for Mr Hobby RLM02 and from all the colour plans I’d seen, this was, IMHO, pretty much a perfect match.
Model of the Month November 2015 (no meeting in October). 1/48th scale Delta Dart by Matthew John.
F106A Delta Dart 1/48 scale Trumpeter
The Delta Dart was a subject I wasn’t overly familiar with until Jason Lake at LSA Models sent me one as a return on some credit I’d built up. Jason had asked me what I’d like and I replied, oh any old cold war jet. If I’m honest, the box art didn’t fill me with a burning desire to build it either, its side on view not really capturing the Dart’s sleek yet slightly menacing design and I would have undoubtedly passed it over in a model shop. Upon opening the pretty big box though I started to feel a pang of real interest, lots of sprues, a wonderfully clear canopy and even some photo etch. The beautiful design of the Dart became more apparent with each completed section and by the time I was fitting the carefully masked and sprayed air brakes I was totally smitten with this plane, so much so I may well have a go at a Dagger in the near future.
Model of the Month September 2015. 1/72nd scale Diorama; Sopwith Camel by Jim Smith.
The idea for this diorama came whilst researching Sopwith Camel colours. I found a photo of one of the US Navy Camels (they had six) taken at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 1920. Fitted with a hydrovane forward of the undercarriage and Grain Flotation gear to assist in ditching at sea they were with the fleet, experimenting with flying off platforms fitted above the gun turrets on the battleships. Both these inventions were developed and tested at the RNAS Experimental Depot Grain. This made for a different looking Camel, and with its unusual mode of transport and variety of uniforms on show this was a scene just waiting to be depicted in model form. The model of the Camel is the Airfix offering which is very basic but does look like a Camel and I happened to have one to hand.
Model of the Month August 2015: Airfix 1/72nd scale Tiger Moth by Henry Goodall
The stimulus for this build came when I was helping the FONFA (Friends of the New Forest Airfields) Trustees to clear out the old association building, prior to moving all valuable items into storage, until the new building becomes available next spring. Amongst the piles of various material, old boxes etc., we discovered an original Tiger Moth Mk 2 Maintenance Manual, which appeared to date from the mid-1930s. I suggested that I could find a ‘good home’ for it, with retired Sea Harrier and Virgin Atlantic 747-400 pilot, Lt Cdr David Morgan DSC, the highest scoring ace in the Falklands Conflict. The Trustees agreed and, much to my surprise, David offered a flight in his Tiger Moth, in exchange. To repay this kind offer, I decided to model his Tiger Moth, as a ‘thank you’ for the upcoming flight. I first met David through the good offices of a friend and fellow Virgin Atlantic pilot, while sitting in the ‘jump seat’ for the take off from Washington-Dulles and landing at London Heathrow, in 2000. David was the First Officer on the flight
Model of the Month July 2015. Revell 1/72nd scale MERKAVA Mk III by Dave Lovell
Made by Revell, I don’t think its a recent moulding but despite its age, its a sharp piece of work very crisp and flash free. Its also made from decent plastic. I know that sounds daft but you guys will know what I mean. No problems at all with the build, this is a true shake and make, the only slow part was the link and length tracks, not that there were any problems but at 1/72 these are a bit fiddly, This was a whole lot of fun for under a tenner, there is so much detail in this kit it would be a shame not to try and do it justice. I hope some of this makes sense, if not please ask at the next club meeting as most of what I’ve learnt has been by asking questions at club.
Model of the Month June 2015. The Battle of the Atlantic — the sinking of U-225 by Henry Goodall (photos by Henry too)
The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest running battle of WW2, fought between September 1939 and May 1945 by British, Canadian and United States’ escorts, protecting convoys of merchant ships carrying essential supplies to Britain, against the German U-Boat ‘Wolfpacks’. In his memoirs, Winston Churchill recalled “The only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril”. The battle reached a peak in early 1943, after which the numbers of Allied ships lost fell, as the number of U-Boats sunk rose. This was due both to improved radar and sonar in the escorts and to the increased operational range of shore based patrol aircraft.
Model of the Month May 2015. ‘High in the Empty Blue’by Henry Goodall
The great uncle of a personal friend, Lt. Robert Sloley, the only son of the South African High Commissioner, transferred to the RFC from the Royal Garrison Artillery and was promoted to temporary Lieutenant on 1 July 1917. Posted to the elite 56 Squadron, he scored 9 victories in six weeks during August and September, two being shared. Two days after his final victory, he was shot down and killed, in combat with four Albatri, on 1 October.
I researched his operational career and decided to depict one of his victories, using several scales in the diorama to give depth to the aerial battle. September 14th was the one that stood out as being an ideal subject, when a group of 56 Squadron SE5s attacked eight Jasta 26 Albatros scouts, west the Belgian village of Zandvoorde.
“Capt Bowman (SE5A “M”) led 56 Squadron ‘C’ Flight and elements of ‘A’ Flight (Lts Jeffs SE5A “D” and Sloley SE5 “E”) on morning patrol at 12,000 feet in a strong westerly wind, encountering eight enemy Albatri below, which scattered. Bowman chased one down through cloud, which eventually crashed near Menin. Sloley attacked one with a red nose and tail, firing 50 rounds and sending it into a spin; he then attacked another, painted grey with a blue tail which, after another 100 rounds, became his fourth victory.”
Model of the Month April 2015. Tamiya 1/35th scale Cromwell MkIV by Trevor Griffiths
I found the resin turret and accessories from Black Dog models, I liked the idea of the camouflage on the turret just to make the kit just that bit different from the standard kit, I decided to attach the hedge cutter from the start, I also scratch -built the “box” holding the petrol cans, the other items came from various accessories, Tamiya, Verlinden, Black Dog, AFV, the figure from the Mini-art British tank crew (35078). I left the front mudguards off as most of these got damaged when cutting through the hedgerows anyway, they would have been removed by the crews
Model of the Month March 2015. 1/48th scale Me 262 by Mark Turney
Model of the Month February 2015. Mk IV Tadpole tank 1/35th scale by Clive Hillman
The Mk. 4 “Tadpole” was made by EMHAR. I first gave it a coat of grey primer followed by spray coat of Modelair green and brown colours. I then gave it a covering of dark dirt weathering letting that dry, then rubbing it back with cotton wool before dry brushed a reddish brown powder on. The hand painted figures are a from a set made by Master Box,. I used real dirt for a realistic look then finished with a coat of matt varnish all over.
Model of the Month January 2015. SU 27 Flanker 1/48th scale by Keith Edwards
I usually like to make AFVs, but I thought I’d like to try something different for a change. This was my first attempt at an aircraft build for many many years and I found myself enjoying the challenge very much. I’ve always thought the SU27 Flanker a beautiful aircraft so it had to be the one to build first.I upgraded the exhaust nozzles with Aires replacements, and a Quickboost replacement nose cone, and Scale aircraft white metal landing gear. The cockpit had lots of resin and photo etched bits – very fiddly and time consuming, but worth it.
Model of the Month December 2014. Potez 63/11 1/72nd scale by Jim Smith
The kit is a Heller 1960s vintage and as such has raised surface detail and virtually no interior detail, but it appears to be basically accurate and the detail is nice and restrained so the model looks ‘right’. Having seen on the web, during my preliminary research, a picture of a model with all the crew hatches opened up, I thought I would try the same. Firstly I set to and cut out the hatches and as the glazing moulding was very thick had to replace much of it with clear plastic sheeting . The original nose glazing was used, it looked OK and I would have struggled to mould a replacement. Next on to the interior, I used the floor, instrument panel and control column from the kit the rest was built up from scrap plastic, two seats from the spares box , seatbelts and levers from photo etch.
Model of the November 2014. Captured British Mk IV (female) tank 1/35th scale by Trevor Griffiths
The kit itself did go together quite well although I did have a problem in a couple of places where a small amount of filler was required between the joints, nothing too testing thankfully and I didn’t lose any of the rivet detail. The chain driven drive sprocket at the rear were included in the kit but once the side plates were fitted couldn’t be seen so it kind of defeated having them really. The tracks themselves could have been made workable but I chose to glue them straight onto the tank. The painting of the vehicle was straightforward , Halfords grey primer then Tamiya paints, starting with the blue/grey XF – 18 then yellow XF- 60 red brown XF- 64 , the whole model was given a coat of MIG- P241 wash, a mixture of 30% paint (Humbrol 160) 70% thinners was made up and each rivet was given a “pin wash” plus all around various other raised detail, the tracks were painted Humbrol 160 and then when dry MIG European earth “dusted on” and then using MIG fixer was left to dry.
Model of the Month October 2014. HMS Intrepid (L11) by Ralph Dodds
The HMS FEARLESS kit was first released by Airfix in 1964 and represents an above average model of the period. There was some flash and a fair amount of injector moulding pins to remove but overall the basic shape was about right for FEARLESS as she was built. Unfortunately, ships change in various refits and it is true to say that no two ships of the same class will ever be identical. So there were lots of changes required to bring the kit up to 1981 INTREPID standard. These included extending 03 deck to the after end of the superstructure, extending the bridge rear screen, scratch building the OUTs’ navigation cabin aft of the bridge and correct shape LCVP davits, updating fore and main masts to reflect the correct height and platform configuration etc etc.
Model of the Month September 2014. Panther Ausf D with 3.7 Flak 1/35th scale by Trevor Griffiths
I bought this hobby-boss kit last April at our show, it is one of those models that catches your eye and you say to yourself yes I’d like to make that. Not long afterwards I saw a DVD by A K Interactive on how to use washes, filters, fading and oils etc, so I purchased the DVD. I decided that I would try these methods on this model. I was outside my comfort zone having never tried all of these things on a model in one go, my models tend to come out ‘clean’, so this was one small step for mankind one big step for yours truly…..
Model of the Month August 2014. Dragon by Kip Watson (for his daughter Kimi)
The model was very simple to put together only seven parts, with the normal pitfalls with resin, the biggest was loosing detail when using filler. My eyesight’s not as good as it used to be. So there was a lot of re-sculpting of scales looking through bottle bottom lenses.
There’s not a lot of factual research on the colour of dragons so the sky’s the limit…. pardon the pun.
All of the paint was Tamiya and air brushed start to finish. The final highlights were added with a brush… a rarity for me.
Finally the dragon needed somewhere to stand… it had to be hot…. Kimi liked it, but said the dragon would be burning his feet.
Lockheed P38J Lightning. by Henry Goodall
Winner of the Bruce Arterton Trophy at the 2014 Poole Vikings Model Show. The P-38J ‘Curly Six’ O-8L 44-23568 was the personal aircraft of Captain Jack L. Reed of the 393rd Fighter Squadron, 367th Fighter Group, during the summer of 1944, based at Stoney Cross and later at Ibsley, Hampshire, before the Group moved to France. The Minicraft 1/48th scale kit was enhanced with aftermarket additions, including Paragon resin/etched flaps and gun bay, Flightpath ladder & service gantry, Aires resin Allison engine, Eduard etched brass cockpit, ammunition belt etc., Squadron vacuform canopy, Teknics ladders, toolbox and ground crew, Verlinden pilot, airfield accessories set and ground crew. The aircraft aluminium finish was airbrushed with Alclad; additional painting was with Humbrol enamels and figure painting with LifeColor acrylics.Aerials were 12/0 Orvis fishing line. The lower part of the open starboard engine and panels were scratchbuilt (wire and lead foil), as was the airfield dispersal base (Halfords wet & dry 240), which simulates concrete at 1/48th scale well. The pattern was taken directly from one of the 393rd FS dispersal pans at Stoney Cross. The wood base and case was from Widdowson’s Acrylic Display cases.
Model of the Month July 2014. 1/72nd scale Dornier Do17 by Andy Sweet
I originally built this Airfix Dornier 17e during one day in 1972. Forty odd years later and it was removed from a dusty cardboard box and gradually re-worked over a couple of months.
Model of the Month June 2014. 1/35th Austin 10hp Utility (Tilly) Diorama by John Levesley.
The Austin Tilly is the standard Tamiya 1/35th scale kit built out of the box. The kit contains options for early and late Tillys, and a good reference source to get it right is Michael Shackleton’s “Tilly Colours”. This model has the earlier wooden tailgate, hubcaps, twin “civvie” style headlights, early trafficators and a narrow slat radiator. The canvas tilt provided is right for an early model too. The only add-ons are the tailgate chains that are from the spares box, a left over from an American HO model railroad flat car. The basic model colour is airbrushed plain Khaki Green G-3 overall, my own mix of Tamiya paints- 80% Khaki Drab, 20% Flat Yellow.
Hawker Typhoon 1b by Tom Rayer
Hawker Typhoon 1b is the Airfix 1/72 model A02041 that can be built as the 247 Squadron, No.124 Wing 2nd Tactical Air Force that can be modelled with June 1944 Invasion markings. The alternative decals in the kit are for 439 Squadron, No.143 Wing 2nd Tactical Air Force. Airfix have given the option for the model to be built, with the wing mounted guns panels displayed in the open position, or in the closed position. My model was voted into 1st place at the May 2015 Torbay Military Modelling Society show in Group.3 Model Aircraft 1/72 scale.
Model of the Month, May 201. T-90 Tank built by Allan Parker from the Zvezda T-90 in 1:35 scale.
Model of the Month for March 2014. SONDERFAHRGESTELL:, , made by Trevor Griffiths
Model of the Month for May 2013. NEUBAU-FAHRZEUG Nr 3-5 made by Trevor Griffiths