Model of the Month


Featuring the models voted Model of the Month by Poole Vikings Model Club members at our monthly meetings. Once the page holds a maximum of twelve models, then the oldest will be replaced by the newest giving a good idea of the contemporary modelling standards being achieved by Club members.

Our Hall of Fame post shows a gallery of single photos of former Models of the Month and other models by our members that have won prizes at our own and other shows.

At our own April Show each year we will try to feature the previous twelve models of the month together on the club stand.

The Model of the Month for May 2018 is a Trumpeter MiG-21 in 1/32nd scale by Matthew John

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more words to follow

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.




Photos 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.

I am well pleased with the result and it has spurred me on to start the other Phoenix vac form I have, of the bigger Sedburgh. Hopefully you will see that one in less than the start to finish build of this one! I also notice that Phoenix do a couple of other early Air Cadet gliders and I might be tempted to do those at some point.

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.

MotM1_18 sepia

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and some “fashionable ?” drone view shots.

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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. A young 2/5th Battalion officer is reporting his experiences to a RTR senior officer whilst some of his men 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 is by Paul Seeley, an exquisite 54mm vignette based around a Pegaso model of a Celtic Standard Bearer with a boar standard.


Lighting wasn’t good for photography at the meeting, and my usual camera struggled. My iPhone 6 did a little better although it still doesn’t do the model justice. here are some better photos and some words too.

small standard bearer 2

small standard bearer back

small standard bearer

Celtic Standard Bearer

Firstly thank you for all the kind comments and votes. Some of you will be aware that I’m a returnee to figure modelling after a bit of a break (30 odd years!) I’ve noticed a few changes, both in the quality of the kits and the materials used now. Back in the day I painted primarily using oils and good old Humbrol, but seeing the effects being produced using acrylics I’ve been persevering with them over the last 18 months or so and I’m glad I have.

So to the figure, which 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 is a 1/35th diorama entitled Sheffield December 1940 by John Levesley

grandpa sepia (2)

The lighting on club night was quite poor so I’ve re-shot the model in the garden at dusk. I’ve added a temporary backdrop to help with the model’s photographic presentation

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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.

This diorama is one in a series of 1/35th scale figures, dioramas and vignettes that I’m building. Initially the plan was to build items relating to my two grandfathers and four great uncles who served in the British Army during the 1914-18 war but will now include my grandfather, father, two uncles and one great uncle who served in the armed forces or as civilian volunteers between 1939-45. Finally I will include two ancestors who served in the Third Burma war and the 1815 Waterloo campaign. One of these dioramas, of the Royal Engineers Signal Service in 1917, already features elsewhere on this site.

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

Huey wins model of the month for October!

Now that was a surprise, as this was the first model I’ve finished in over a year.
So what about this UH-1H then?

Well 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 1/25th scale (?) derelict British Gas Transit Van with some lovely weathering.

MotM Transit (6)

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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.

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Many thanks to those who voted for my model, it has been said that the standard of model making in this club just gets better and better, the ‘bar’ is undoubtedly getting higher.

In 1940 the “schell programme” standardized and improved the productivity of the vehicles, the Steyr Type 1500A/01 was manufactured in Austria and weighed 1.5 tons, it had a 3.5lt v8 air-cooled engine that produced 85hp and could reach 100 km/h, it had a 4 wheel drive system and I believe was used in all theatres of war such as a staff car, radio and even as ambulances.

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

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and just to get a period feel


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.


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

DSCF8638 smallDSCF8645 small

photos by Malcolm V Lowe

The aircraft was built by Robert Noorduyn in Canada in 1934 and was designed to operate in the harsh conditions of the Canadian bush. The Mk1,2,3 were built in very small numbers, but the Mk4 was ordered by the Royal Canadian Air Force (79) and then by U.S.Forces (794) where they were known C-64A. The aircraft was able to operate wheels, floats and skis.

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.

Overall I think that the Matchbox Norseman makes up, with some additional effort, into a really nice model.

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