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 December 2018 is a 54mm vignette of a 1st Century AD Auxiliary of the Roman Army by Paul Seeley.

Paul has sent in some replacement photos as the lighting in our meeting venue is very unsympathetic to figures – just click on them to get a larger picture and play “spot the squirrel” (see below). I’ve retained just one of the old photos as its shows the figure from a different viewpoint

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Something Wicked this way comes

Thank you to everyone who voted for this figure. I bought him a while back and had planned a small vignette with him, but needed a simple figure to try out the new ‘Darkstar’ metallic paints I’d just bought so I grabbed him out of the pot of primed figures. (The paints are lovely by the way – very thin and don’t have the ‘glitter’ effect that a lot of acrylic paints have) One drawback of the casting is the shield which had deeply engraved lines of the pattern on the face of it so I carved off the boss and rim and sanded it to a more realistic thickness. Sculpting a new boss with rivets wasn’t too much of an issue, but I’ll admit the metal rim had me stumped and the figure sat half finished for a while. I tried a few different ideas and eventually decided that a scale version of the original method was the best way; I cut a strip of tie fishing lead out and carefully glued it to the rim of the shield and then pushed and spread it around both sides with a small toffee hammer both to form the rim. The cast spear was also cut from his hand and a new one and made from wire and lead sheet. The rest of the painting was done in my usual acrylics using a couple of Angus McBride illustrations as a guide for the clothes and painting the revised shield design. To create an overall colour harmony every colour had some light brown mixed with them which is a great tip if you are doing something with lots of different colours to prevent it looking disjointed. I managed to beak off the leg after painting whilst I was fitting it onto the base – arrrrrgh as they say in the Beano (At least that’s what they used to say – I’ve not read one for ages so perhaps they say something different these days?) Unfortunately this meant taking it off, re-gluing/pinning and filling and then repainting the leggings of both legs so that they matched again.

I’m really interested in telling stories (even with a single figure) so an autumn woodland scene was created for him. (Roman Auxiliaries were often used to screen the main body of the legion when moving through enemy territory) I pictured our hero, plucked from his home, deposited in a hostile foreign country cautiously moving through a heavily wooded area just as he hears a noise. . . .

The main part of the trees are from a Buddleia with smaller branches cut from a Rock Rose pinned on with acupuncture needles and the joints blended from Polyfilla. The tree roots were sculpted in situ and the groundwork materials include dried herbs, compost, plant roots and small mosses as well as road dust and DAS clay. The leaves are cut out using three different leaf punches and everything is then coated in thinned PVA before painting with acrylics (Unpainted base material looks out of place and natural materials will fade over time)

The final touch was a small red squirrel head which can be seen peeking out from a fork in the roots of one of the trees. (This was sculpted from a tiny blob of Greenstuff on the end of a cocktail stick)

Squirrel

the squirrel sculpt

 

The Model of the Month for November 2018 is a Transformer model by Clive Hillman

 

Metal Armor Dragonar – Tamashii Spec XS-17 XD-01SR Dragonar 1 Custom – Limited Edition (also known as a Gundam)

I primed it all with a red primer except for the main body which was blue, this I primed white. I rubbed it down in places to show dark areas underneath added some other colours for shading. The main body of armour came in two parts and then there were a lot of detail parts to add to complete it. After priming I sealed the surfaces with Pledge and covered the model components with hair spray then painted them with a dull yellow. All pieces were then rubbed down in certain areas and different shades of rust were added before putting everything together. Most paints used were Model Air.

Decals are pre-printed on a silver foil and were self-adhesive. These were added and were easy to sand down in places, then the whole thing was coated with a matt varnish. The base was something I had already made, added different shades of sand stuck down on a layer of PVA glue. I added some rocks from the garden, washed and sprayed white.  This was a nice kit which I just took some time to complete.

Model of the Month October 2018, “Born to be Wallace” by Sarah,

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“Welcome once more brave travelers to the dark recesses of my mind”

This model was given to me by a fellow strange person and I was challenged to paint it. Uninspired by the box artwork (I might just say, I love Wallace and Gromit) I finally discarded Gromit and the sidecar and concentrated on Wallace and the bike. Inspired by 70s Mullets and Rockers I used Milliput to create freehand, the jacket and glamorous hair, choosing to give a nod to Monty Python on the back patch. The trousers became jeans, the hands became gloves and the “five o’clock shadow” enhanced an already classic face. Using acrylics, I used lots of washes and blended colours to try to create jeans and jacket with some age to them. The bike went through several colour changes but purple won the day and finally the use of rust products made it a young barn find. Upon placing Wallace on the bike it was obvious that he was now too heavy for it to stand up by itself so a new plan had to be thought of. During the base creation I used some plastic “cobble” sheet, gravel, scale bricks, bushes and flowers. Using layering I created a small corner of car park complete with debris, oil stains and rotting bushes along with the wet look.

So plan B for the bike:- Tiny blocks either side of each tyre did the trick. Yes it’s unorthodox but it worked. So there you are. A young Wallace having fun with a classic Triumph. Now that’s class! This was the culmination of a mad thought. Thanks for enjoying my madness.

 

The Model of the Month, for September 2018 is a 1/35th scale King Tiger/Tiger II by Trevor Griffiths. 

 

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This model of the King Tiger also known as the Sd.Kfz.182 was the early version having the Porsche turret, the final version had the Henschel turret although both turrets were made by Krupp, the main reason for the change in design is because if a shell from enemy fire could be deflected downwards and effectively blow the turret upwards disabling the tank and possibly killing its crew.

Perhaps like some of you I was undecided what to build next, I have Mark Turney to thank for building this kit. Last June while at the Salisbury show  I hadn’t seen anything that grabbed my attention, Mark came back with this kit and told me he only paid £30.00, the kit had choice of Zimmerit or not etched brass screens and individual track links which I thought was very good value. I decided towards the end of the show to purchase one and I am pleased I did.

Most King Tigers you see may have had the three tone German camouflage pattern on them, but I wanted to do something different to that hence only the two colour scheme on this model.

The model is an Academy kit and fit of parts is very good although a lot of cleaning up to do after cutting parts off the sprues. The Zimmerit comes in two sheets and is very flexible, it is attached by normal plastic glue and only needs minimal trimming once dry, you can chose to build the kit and leave the Zimmerit off. Some photos show the tank with Zimmerit completely down the hull sides and some stop where the track guards are fitted. I decided to leave it stopped so I could show the undercoat primer showing to add a “bit” of red oxide colour, the track guards themselves come as one piece in the kit but I had a set of etched brass ones in my “stash” so I chose to use these with a few missing , it’s the only addition I made otherwise the model is made straight out of the box.

I always feel if it ain’t broken don’t try to fix it so I pretty much stuck to my usual method of priming with Halfords can of grey, the model was sprayed with Tamiya paints the details picked out with Vallejo. I did use a filter to bring everything altogether and then a dark wash was used as a “pin wash”. The tracks took a while to clean up and put together but were workable when finished, after painting a coat of track wash was used and then they were given a coat of weathering powder to tone them down, a metallic weathering powder was rubbed on the tracks to polish them up, job done.

The figures in the turret are Alpine figures the two in the hull are MK35 , these are some of the best figures I have ever painted and am really pleased with them, three of them have the “pea dot” pattern uniforms (first time I have tried this). I had to make platforms out of plasticard both in the turret and in the hull for the figures, a bit of cutting and filing was needed for the two in the hull but got there in the end, all the figures were painted with Vallejo for the uniforms and Andrea for the faces and hands.

Overall I enjoyed making this kit and how it turned out, so onwards and upwards and on

 

The Model of the Month for August 2018 is a Revell/Monogram 1/24th scale Bell UH-1 Iroquois (unofficially Huey) by Jez Thomson.

 

Vietnam 205

Blame Allan Parker! A series of conversations led to Allan introducing me to Claude Du Pont, ex Royal Marine, ex- US Airborne LRRP who wanted someone to build a Huey to represent his usual ride in Vietnam in the early 1970’s. Claude had the Revell 1/24th kit of the Huey B, the short fuselage version, but felt that he wouldn’t be able to complete it. Unable to resist a challenge I took on the commission.

The kit is an old one with all the shortcomings of kits of this age, some quite unsubtle mouldings and figures that make a seated Buddha look animated. So to the build – I started with the interior of the cockpit and cabin. Pilots’ seats were given a bit more detail and the two aircrew underwent quite drastic alterations to place hands on various controls and heads repositioned for better effect. Gunsights and other small additions were made to the cockpit and the overhead view screens were painted using glass paint to get the “greenhouse” effect. The crew cabin was stripped out and new seating added using micro-tubing and masking tape. E-mail conversations with Claude provided details of colours and other small but relevant details.

There are not very many good 1/24th scale figures around but a trip to Frome Model Centre provided me with the Tamiya rally mechanics set as a basis for the two gunners. Again surgery was required to get the positions needed- a lot of Duro went into both body and uniform at this stage. Claude’s information indicated that the weapons carried were not all standard, but varied according to crew choice and mission. The MA2 .50 calibre machine guns were sourced from Shapeways, a 3D printing company. and are superb. The mounts were concocted from various bit from the rally mechanics set – a bonus this! The X-134 mini guns had to be scratch built. A combination of laser cut profiles, styrene tubing and Matt’s micro tubing (what did we do before Albion Alloys?) allowed a reasonable representation of this modern Gatling gun. The belt feeds were part of the original kit.

Painting. The helicopter was quite straight forward, Undercoat, having masked off the interior and screens, then dark grey (not black) in areas for stripes, then kabuki tape to mask off the stripes followed by the OD final coat. Once the tape was stripped off I was pleased with the result and only a little touching up was needed. Weathering was quite light except for the smoke effects on the exhaust and area where the downdraft dirties up the tail. The figures were a different matter. The pilots had been done in simple OD but the gunners, I decided, would be in tiger stripe kit. Almost a mistake! Very complex in the original with at least 4 different colours and spots as well as stripes, the first attempts were disastrous. I finally decided to simplify the situation, used just three colours and focussed on the stripes only. End result I was actually pleased!

Claude came to collect the finished article at the meeting and his reaction justified the effort put in. I get the impression he was rather pleased with the end result. He bought some very interesting photos of his time in Vietnam and we spent a long time talking. When you are able to get the information directly from the people involved it does let you take the modelling to a new level – both in terms of the details and, when you get it right, the level of satisfaction. Added to that the bonus of winning MoM so I was well chuffed. Thanks to all of you

Jez

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 stationery punch so it’s easy to produce them from clear plastic card. The tail light can be glazed with Krystal Klear.

Prints and photographs show that in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq and Iran) the British Army had learnt the lessons of Gallipoli and now wore shirts and shorts but retained the cork sun helmet rather than adopting the wide brimmed hats favoured by Anzac troops. The figures are adapted from two of the Revell Anzac figure sets that include four helmets, four heads, four upper bodies with shirts, eight arms in shirt sleeves and eight legs in shorts – plenty of scope for kit bashing. The middle eastern figure is by Evolution Miniatures.

The Model of the Month for May 2018 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.

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