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 April 2019 is a 1/35th scale Winter diorama entitled “don’t drink the yellow snow”. The modeller is Trevor Griffiths.

MotM419 (1)

more to follow…….

The Model of the Month for March 2019 is a 1/72nd Revell ex Matchbox model of a Supermarine Stranraer Flying Boat by Keith Edwards.

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After having a bit of a break from modelling tanks and AFVs I thought I would like
to concentrate on aircraft for a change. I found this kit on eBay very cheaply. I thought I would build a sea plane, as it’s a bit different and challenging. When the kit arrived and I opened it, I thought “Oh dear – what have I bought? “
The kit looked really crude and old but as I started to build it, it went together really well and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When I finished building it I used Vallejo paints for the camouflage and then put some rigging on using ordinary fishing bait elastic, which works well for rigging as it’s very stretchy. The decals in the kit were so old and virtually unusable that I had to purchase a set from eBay, but the closest I could find in scale were for a Spitfire. I finished it off by presenting it on a base from Coastal Bases.


The Model of the Month for February 2019 is a 1/35th scale Dragon model of a Sherman Firefly Vc of the 13/18th Hussars in Normandy in 1944, modelled by Martin Crabb.

Having acquired this kit of a Sherman Firefly Vc some time ago and after purchasing Edwards Photo Etch set from Telford I though it was time I built it. The chosen finish of the tank was to be of a firefly from the 13th/18th Hussars, named “Carole”.

The kit is from Dragon and although goes together well it had the usual vague instructions, but this wasn’t much of an issue as I have built one or two Sherman’s.

During construction many moulded parts were removed and replaced with finer detailed photo etch. A bit labour intensive but the results are worth it. A turned metal barrel was added, and, on this build, I opted to use some Friul Model metal tracks, fiddly and time consuming once assembled were treated in burnishing fluid, which gave a fantastic rusted finish and after the raised area had a light sand back to clean metal; they are the most convincing tracks I’ve ever made.

Once all assembled and some suitable stowage chosen, it was on to painting. Primer was Vallejo’s olive drab, differing from most of my builds I did not pre-shade this model, instead I used a Mr Hobby modulation set, this gave shade and highlight effect and worked well. Decals were applied and stowage painted. The model was treated to some light dusty weathering and paint wear as I wanted to display it as D-Day plus a couple of weeks.

I had some metal British tanker figures which came from sifting through boxes of junk at a show. These were perfect for this build and painted using a mixture of Vallejo and Citadel paint. They add scale and realism to the model.

The search began for a base to set in. Jez found a plaster base and building façade in his stash and after some bargaining, involving a couple of pints, a deal was done.

One of my favourite parts of modelling is scenes. The base was primed, painted and detailed ready for foliage in record time. Coming to the end of the build we had a day of snowfall, this gave me the opportunity to finish with static grass, some clumps of plants and ivy added with the finishing touch of pre-painted etch nettles from Edward (a treat to myself).

With it all mounted on a simple mdf plinth I was done.

The Model of the Month for January 2019 is the Airfix 1/48th scale Sea Fury FB II by Ian Domeney

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If you’ve ever stood by the side of a Bristol Centaurus when that nice man in the cockpit pressed the starter button on a Royal Navy Sea Fury and watched the tiny puffs of smoke before the ground shakes as all eighteen cylinders burst into life then you’ll understand why the Sea Fury is my favourite propeller driven aircraft. In the air it looks mean and purposeful but oh the sound. Over 53 litres punching out 3,000 horsepower makes your knees buckle and the back of your neck shiver.

So it was no surprise that when Airfix released a 1/48 scale FB11 I was at the front of the queue to part with my pocket money. For around £22.00 it’s possible to build one of two examples straight from the box but I chose to model TF956 of The Royal Navy Historic Flight. This is the aircraft that Lt Cdr John Beattie parted company with over the sea near Prestwick. Some time ago I had acquired a set of decals and intended to use them on either of the two previously available kits by Trumpeter or Hobby craft. Reviews of the models were not great so the decals went into the stash for another day. Then the Airfix offering came along I was able to put them to use on what is really a beautiful kit. I did waste an extra £8.00 on buying a brass etch detail set for the cockpit. Had I realised that the kit items are pretty good and that when the fuselage halves are joined, everything disappears into a dark hole, I’d have saved my cash.

Construction is very straightforward with no surprises although some of the wing-fold mechanism isn’t included in the kit so I had to add the missing jacks and electrical wiring from the spares box. Painting was also uncomplicated until I messed up the black and white fuselage stripes. Even after careful measuring and double checking I still managed to position the 123 ident number in the wrong part of the banding. Doh! Rub down and reapply.

Anyway, there we are. Certainly a favourite of mine and I’m very pleased that you liked it enough to vote for it last month. Many thanks.

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

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


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)


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


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.

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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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