Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Now the basic construction of the Stug is finished, all of the tools, periscopes and hatch covers have been added to the model. The next stage is adding the extra details like spare tracks, cables, bags, tarpaulins, etc. and weathering. I will try the weathering with oil paints again as well as pastels and powders. 

The figures still need to be painted, this will be fun trying to paint the faces again. Mind you that is one side of my modelling that I intend to improve this year. I also need to start to plan the base for this model. We have our club show this weekend, so I think it will be a look around to see if anything takes my fancy.

So here are a few more photos for you to have a look at.


Sunday, 29 January 2012

49 Mercury Custom WIP #1

This new project is for a group build for Milton Keynes SMC. It's called "Hot Rod Build-off" and was created after a chat between a couple of other members and myself. The idea was for the three of us to build some custom car models. From this, we expanded it to include as many members if they wanted to join in. The rules are very simple;

Donor kit must be 1/24th or 1/25th scale.
The car must be pre-1960 when manufactured.
Donor kit can be either a stock, customed or hot rodded.
Any aftermarket items can be used in the build.
To be completed by the end of October 2012 for Telford.

I have finally decided to go with this kit, but it took me over a month to choose it from my many pre-1960 cars in my stockpile of kits. So far I have only built the basic engine block and gearbox, and cleaned up the body shell. So the only photo going up at the minute is the box. I will take some photos of the model once some more progress has been done to it.

MiG-31 Foxhound WIP #8

Slow progress on this project to. A couple of days ago, I got the dark grey areas painted on the fuselage on the nose and tails. I have now masked up around the cockpit to paint the small black area on that. This should be done tonight I hope, depending on if I get the little bit of painting finished in the house for "She who must be obeyed!".

Anyway, here a couple of photos for now.

Saturday, 28 January 2012


There are those weeks when you just don't get enough time to do what you want to and the last couple of weeks have been them. But there has been some progress on the StuG even though it has been a little slow for my liking.

I persisted with the "Magic Tracks" (not so magic in my opinion) and used them on the model. The end plan was to build them up in sections then whilst the glue was still wet, place them on the model. These ones are a bit more fiddly then my Panther 2 tracks because of there size, so now I know what to do different on my Panzer IV's I have. 

Due to the stage that the build is at now, I cannot really take it to work with me leaving the any work having to be done at home now. But I have been able to take the figures to work with me and build them whilst sitting on a loading bay.  Last night I got the camouflage done on the hull, in 20 minutes believe or not. I was happy with the outcome and fellow members from the club agreed earlier today at our display.

Anyhow, more updates to come later as more work gets done.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Website Update!

Over the last couple of days, I have been doing a little refresh to my website. A couple of the old pages have been deleted and these have been replaced with a new "Stockpile" page. I have also created a new banner and buttons to change the look of the site. 

Over the next few months, I plan to expand the "Hints & Tips" area of the site with some outstanding pages. I will also add the salt weathering "how to" that I did on this blog a couple of months ago. There are a few new models to go onto the gallery once I have taken some proper photographs of them.

So keep a lookout on here for any updates that happen to the website.

Mick's Modelling Website

I will do an update on the StuG III in the next day or so.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

MiG-31 Foxhound WIP #7

Just a quickie on this project tonight.

I have got some base colour on the MiG at last! First I used some Xtracrylix paint on it first, but I think it does not like Tamiya primer. The paint would not cover the model properly and tended to bead together. That was on Friday night, so today I went over the rough patches with some fine wet'n'dry and tried it again using the Xrtracolor enamel version of that colour. The end result, no problems this time. So this will be left overnight to dry properly before I can mask the nose to paint that. So a little more painting to be done, then decals and final assembly followed by a little weathering.


After some thinking over the last few days, I have decided to go with the kit's tracks. The choice was use these or wait until I can pick some replacement ones from the club show in three weeks time. So I started to glue a couple of lengths together to fit under the road wheels just to see what they looked like. For some reason the tracks are handed, but we cannot see why this has been done.

Onto tonight. I know a lot of armour modellers assemble the tracks onto the models before painting them. But I like to paint the individual links, assembled section or vinyl tracks prior to fitting them to the painted hull. Any weathering I can do whilst they are on the model. My method for individual links are to place each one onto the sticky side of some masking tape that has been taped to a board. Spray one side of the track links then replace the tape and turn the links over to paint the other side. It's a tedious task, but it is the easiest way I think to do it.

Another update on this project will arrive in the next couple of days.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Today's Escapade In The Library!

Well, another Saturday spent on the club's display at Milton Keynes Central Library. It was the usual banter going on, with Richard Thomas on the receiving end again (sorry Richard). I know he'll be reading this soon!

I decided to start on the tracks for the StuG III whilst I was there and glued together a couple of short lengths to sit under the road wheels. The rest will be painted first and glued into sections with a slow drying glue as I fit them to the hull. One near incident though! I had the StuG hull sitting on my painting turntable on display, then this sweet little came up and started to spin it. A quick grab of the table stopped the StuG from being transferred to the Luftwaffe. After being a short period of being driven mad by the tracks, I put them away until later. Sometimes individual track can be therapeutic, other times you pull your hair out doing them. Today was one of them.

So the rest of the modelling time was spent on a couple of 1/144th scale MH-60G Pavehawk's from Dragon that have been sitting on the side partly done for a few years now. I thought it was time to get them finished as there is four of them to build in the box. So I finally finished the construction on the first one, three years to build a small model like that. Only paint and decals left to do on this one now, all over Grey it will be. The second one has the interior done and the fuselage glue together. This one will be in the Green and Grey camouflage when it is painted. Now there are two more which have not been started, but when these get done, one will be in the "Desert Storm" and the other? I don't know as there is only three different scheme in the kit, so I might just paint it multi coloured for a laugh. 

At lunchtime I had to pop into Model Zone to get some matt Black paint. 


Yes, I came out with the paint. But also in the bag was an Airfix 1/48th scale Canberra B.2 and an Academy 1/35th scale US Marines Sherman tank with snorkel gear. Mind you, I got the Academy 1/35th scale Achilles last week too. They were bargains, less then half price, plus I wanted the Canberra to go with my other two, the B(I)8 and PR9. I know, slap wrist again, but I will retire one day in the future!

Friday, 13 January 2012


Some progress has been made on the StuG over the past week. The hull received it base colour along with the wheels and sprockets. To finish the sprockets off, I went over the areas that would have some wear on them from the tracks with some Steel paint. The remainder of the wheels had the tyres painted with Mr Hobby Tyre colour. Once these had dried, they were then glued into place on the hull suspension ready to take the tracks.

Now this is the sore point. Yesterday, I started to assemble the tracks for this model. These are Dragon's "MagicTrack" system, which everyone tells me are great as they just clip together and you wrap them around the sprockets and wheels. Hell do they! This is the second Dragon kit I've had with "MagicTrack" and they do not clip together. These need to be glued together with a slow drying glue, just like the Tamiya ones. The trouble with these tracks is the size of them and they are handed. So I have to make a decision on this project, do I use the kit ones or buy some aftermarket tracks for the StuG! Watch this space for the outcome.

Anyhow, the tracks can wait for a few weeks and I can get some replacement ones at the club show in February. For now I can continue with the model, there is the camouflage to do with the tools and figures to be assembled and painted. The tracks can be done towards the end prior to weathering.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Black Buck One WIP #1

Now, this was a project that had been bubbling away in my head for at least a couple of years before I started it. My original plans were to have the Victor re-fuelling either some Lightning's or Tornado's, but some bright spark at the club planted the idea in my head about doing it with a Vulcan. Once the cogs started to turn, it developed into recreating one of the Black Buck Raids from the Falklands War.

I already had the models in my stockpile, but the initial delay in starting was how to mount these two large models for in-flight re-fuelling, but also make them transportable. Once this was worked out, I first started to build the Vulcan and its mounting system, then the Victor. Now, this project has been on hold for several months  whilst other project took over. But it is time to blow the dust off them and try to get them finished for Telford if possible. So here are a few photos to show what they look like at the minute.

MiG-31 Foxhound WIP #6

Well, it's been a slow week so far on the model building side so far. But a little progress on the MiG has been done and it is not far off for some paint to go on. Over the weekend, I got the cockpit canopy sections masked up and the cockpit interior painted. Then on Monday night, the ejector seats were fitted to the cockpit and the canopy section glued into place on the fuselage. The canopy was then given a couple of coats of the interior colour then left to dry overnight. Tuesday evening consisted of a few light coats of white primer to cover the interior colour on the outside of the canopy.

Before any colour goes onto the fuselage, I need to finish adding a few more bits and pieces on it followed by another light coat of primer. I also need to prepare the undercarriage bay doors for painting too before the paint is applied. The final finish on this model is going to be the all over Grey scheme rather then the Grey and Blue scheme. I might take this to work tomorrow to catch up on it and hopefully get ready for paint tomorrow night.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Helmo Website

Helmo is the website of the Hellenic Modellers in Greece, and over the last few years I have had many correspondents with Thanos Mentzelopoulos who runs their website. Over the last couple of years, he has put a few of my models on their gallery and done his wizardry with some great editing of the photographs. So here is a link to their website, just go and have a look at it.

Hellenic Modellers Website

Here are the links to the most recent of my models added to their website.

Westland Wessex HAS3

Morris Mini Cooper S

Chevrolet Corvette C6

Antonov AN-124 "Ruslan"

I would like to say thank you to Thanos for publishing my models on the Helmo website.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

MKSMC Display at MK Central Library

On the first Sunday in February each year, Milton Keynes Scale Model Club holds their show called ModelKraft. In the lead up to the show, the club has a display of models in Milton Keynes Central Library during January with members present each Saturday. We do this firstly to promote the hobby, then the club and ModelKraft. This is the fourth year I have been involved with the displays and usually there for three of the four Saturdays.

We try to build our current build projects whilst there, but we can spend a lot of time talking to visitors in the library. There is a cross reference of people that come up to the display that include people thinking about getting back into the hobby, newcomers to modelling and children who are fascinated with the models on display and how we build them. But it is not just modellers who come and ask questions. Yesterday we had a computer animator enquiring about our models and using models in some frame by frame animation. We tend to spend more time talking then building, but that's how it goes.

Another plus side, is Model Zone is three minutes walk from the library and we can't resist popping in there to see what offers are on. Yesterday I picked up an Academy 1/35th scale Achilles Tank Destroyer for £12.99, bargain if I say so! Well here's a photo of the display with a few members hard at work, or chatting!

Monday, 2 January 2012

MiG-31 Foxhound WIP #5

Just a little update on this one.

Over the last couple of months, the only work done on the MiG had been cleaning up joints and making up the missiles and external tanks. So tonight I've given the fuselage a coat of white primer to show up where I've got to finish sorting out the joints and re-scribe any panel lines that have sanded or filled. 

So whilst the StuG III is getting ready for primer and paint, the MiG can go to work with me for the missiles and externals to be finished, and the fuselage finished too.