Hall of Fame

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.

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.

small standard bearer 2

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

HUEY (1)

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.

MotM Transit (3)


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

MotM817 (1)


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


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other Vikings prize winners at Salisbury were:

Dave Lovel; Gold, Silver, & 2x H/C. all for small AFVs. 

Greg Lock, Gold for Si Fi.

trevs hetzer


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

T97 5_17 (5)

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

Bf109 5_17 (2)

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.

Bf 110 MotM April 2017 DSCF6921 (1)

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

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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

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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

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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

Dave Lovells CP_7 tractor commendedDave Lovells T89 Gold

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 Turneys Seehund Gold

Mark Turney won a Gold for his 1/35th model of a Seehund miniature submarine.

Matthew Johns Rheintochter R-3P gold

Matthew John’s 1/35th scale model of a Rheintochter R-3P missile also won a Gold.

Malcolm Lowes GWR van 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's Corsair Commended

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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Model of the Month February 2015. Mk IV Tadpole tank 1/35th scale by Clive Hillman

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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

smal P-38

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.

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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

Typhoon ZYY

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

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Model of the Month for May 2013. NEUBAU-FAHRZEUG Nr 3-5 made by Trevor Griffiths

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