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 August 2018 is a Revell/Monogram 1/24th scale Bell UH-1 Iroquois (unofficially Huey) by Jez Thomson.

 

more words to follow……

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 (1)

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. 

lanchester (1)

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 stationary 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 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.

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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.

DSCF1907 MVL

DSCF1898 MVL

DSCF1894 MVL

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.

gaulplusboar1

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.

 

 

 

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