Friday, 27 December 2013

A Year Of Completed Work

The year is drawing to a close in the next few days and it is time to look back at what I have done over the last twelve months. My initial thoughts were that there was not many completed models this year, but once I started to go through them, I was surprised at what had been done. The reality was that the last year has been more productive then I had imagined. So lets go through what has been finished this year.

Republic P-47M Thunderbolt

The year started with the completion of this aircraft, Hasegawa's 1/32nd scale P-47M in the scheme of one of the US 56th Fighter Groups aircraft. The second largest aircraft I have built so far and a joy to build. I even got "Commended" in class in the IPMS(UK) Nationals this November with her which was great once you saw the other great models it was up against. 

1996 Chevrolet Blazer

This was the second one of the year completed. A project that was started well over a year before and sat on the sideline for a while until I decided to get the Blazer back out and complete it. It upset a friend of mine that I decided to cover the car with mud, but I wanted to build a 4X4 that was being used and not the usual "Chelsea Tractor" that is the normal use of them over here in the UK.

EE Canberra PR9 XH135

Not exactly a new build, but the conclusion of a long journey of XH135. This model was completed a couple of years before, but I was never happy with the finished model then, so in my eyes it was not completed to my vision of what she was meant to be. With the two sister aircraft being built, I saw how this model was meant to be and some alterations were done to her. These were to open up the canopy, add an engineer inside, add an access ladder with ground-crew standing on it, replace the aerial and ad the POV covers. Now she was truly finished!

Curtis Helldiver 

"Filler and sanding" This was the story behind this model and the reason it sat in my "On-hold" pile for eighteen months. The model was the re-released old Airfix kit from back in the late 60's from what I remember, so basic in its detail, etc. Plenty of filler was required along the fuselage and the folding wings option did not pan out as I hoped. But it was decided to get the model back out after sitting packed away for a while and get it finished off. In the end, the outcome was not too bad and resulted in a pleasing model from such an old and outdated kit.

Jaguar XJ-R8 LM

This was the Hasegawa Silk Cut kit, which was originally going to be built was as one the the Le Man cars, but the decals were very brittle and kept breaking up. So it was decided to repaint the body and finish it as a car privately owned and raced. I salvaged what I could from the two sets of Hasegawa "Silk Cut" decals sheets I had and with the addition of left-over sheets from various automotive and aircraft models to come up with this colour scheme.

2007 Nissan R35 GT-R

One of my dream cars, the Nissan R35 GT-R. I just had to get one for my model collection and this will be the first of many I think. The kit is from Aoshima and comes with the full engine in the kit. A great model to build and it sits with pride in my cabinet for everyone to see.

EE Canberra PR9 XH134 & XH131

Unfortunately, I have not taken any decent photos of these two completed models yet, that is going to happen very soon as I catch up with all of the models needing photography. So here is an photo that was taken on my phone earlier this year. The aircraft at the front is XH131  and the middle aircraft is XH134 in the retirement scheme she ended her RAF career in. XH135 can be seen in the rear of this line-up.

Iron Man War Machine

This is really not my model, it was Kyran's what he chose to buy at Duxford and handed it to me to build for him. This is not my usual area of modelling, but it was fun to do and was something different to do. This is a 1/9th scale figure from Morbeus.

1935 Mercedes Benz G4

This 1/24th scale model of the Mercedes Benz G4 from ICM was a magazine review build for Scale Military Modelling International which appeared in the November 2013 issue of SMMI. A large model once built and a pleasing result at the end.

Supermarine Spitfire FR. Mk.XIVe

This Academy 1/48th scale model of this Spitfire was a club competition project and also a means to try out a new method of masking for the camouflage for me. This is a great kit to build and I would like to get another one to build sometime. I strongly recommend anyone to buy this kit.

M561 Gama Goat

Another review build for SMMI, this time Tamiya's 1/35th scale model  of the M561 "Gama Goat" prior to the release of the kit. A strange but interesting choice of vehicle for Tamiya to release, yet it builds up as a very good model with plenty of scope to modify it into the various different versions they went through in their service. This is due to be out in the February 2014 issue of SMMI.

Monty's Humber Snipe

This is the final one of the year (unless I get the Gannet finished)and it is another review build for SMMI. This is the re-release of Airfix's 1/32nd scale kit of Monty's Humber which dates back from the 70's. In general, not a bad kit and it builds up okay, but it is the figures that come with the kit that lets it down. I hope this will be in a future issue of SMMI in the new year.

When you look back at what you have done over the last twelve months, that is when you realise that is has been a productive year on the modelling side.  There are some projects that I would have liked to have got finished this year, but this did not happen. So now is the time to start going through what on-going projects there are and make a list of what needs to be finished first!

A Happy Modelling 2014 To You All

Monday, 23 December 2013

Monty's Humber Finished

This will be the final finished project of the year I think, unless something else gets done before the month is out.

Well, this was handed to me by Andy Evans from SMMI at Telford this year to build for a magazine review. Though not my usual scale for cars, I accepted the kit and set about building it.

The tooling of this kit dates back from the 70's and is another of Airfix's recycling of their old kits. Unlike some of the other re-releases of old kits from their range, this tooling has survived pretty well and there was not much flash or any incomplete parts on the sprues. The detail of the parts are still crisp, but remember this is 1970's tooling so it is not up to the standards of more recent releases. My only grumble about this kit is the figures, the quality of them brings the kit down so I have left them out of the finished model.

In general, the building is okay, just a few little fitting problems and the steering wheel is also delicate. Unfortunately, my resident "Carpet Monster" decided to attack and walked off with the steering column for the Humber. Hence after a couple of hours searching the workshop and checking through the bins in here, I had to scratch-build a new one from a length of plastic. The model was painted mainly with Tamiya paints, but Humbrol, Mr Hobby and Revell paints were also used.

You will see a full review of this model in SMMI in the coming months. By the way, the Tamiya Gama Goat review I did a couple of months ago will be in February's issue of SMMI.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Mick's Modelling Website Updates 14/12/13

Now that I have recently acquired my photo light cube, I now can start to catch up on taking the photos of my completed models from over the last eighteen months that I have not done. 

The first two models that have been added ti the gallery section on my website are my 2007 Nissan R35 GT-R and the Spitfire FR. Mk.XIVe models. There are about another nine models that need to have photograph taken of to bring everything up to date on the site. 

2007 Nissan R35 GT-R

Supermarine Spitfire FR.Mk.XIVe

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

An Aid For Photographs

I had been after one of these for a while, but never took a serious look thinking they were expensive to buy. But no, they're not if you look in the right places.

This is a 80cm X 80cm X 80cm light cube, fully collapse-able and comes with four coloured backdrops to go inside. Also comes with a front cover that has a hole in it to stick the lens through if needed. Cost, under £9.00 on EBay! Yes, under a tenner. If you search around, I have seen these going for up to £30 and more. 

The idea is to shine your lights onto the cubes sides and the light is diffused around the cubes interior cutting down on shadows under the item being photographed. A bit better then using a white sheet and directing the workshop lights down onto the model. Still play with it at the minute and experimenting, but I need to dig out my halogen flood lights to provide lighting from the sides. By the way, that is a 1/24th scale Nissan R35 GT-R in the cube, just shows how big this one is.

Below are a few photos I have been playing with for now.

Monday, 25 November 2013

F4 Corsair Diorama WIP #1

I know, another project started!

But this is one with some difference. During this past year, I have managed to pick up two of Tamiya's 1/48th scale models of the Vought F4U-1A corsair kits, one of them being having a motorised propeller. Both kits have the same set of decals in them, so the idea came into my head about building a diorama using both aircraft.

This is the scene that I am trying to recreate. We are on the deck of an aircraft carrier in the Pacific during WWII, one of the Corsair's is sitting with the wings in the down position with the engine ticking over. The other aircraft has the wings folded and is being towed out onto the deck by the tug to its start-up position. The pilot for the aircraft being towed, is standing on the wing of the other aircraft talking to the pilot sitting in the cockpit.

So far, most of the work done is on the non-motorised Corsair. As can be seen in the photos below, this aircraft is not far off from painting. The good thing about these Tamiya kits is that the wings can be removed by sliding them off the hinge units. This will be great for when they are being transported around and save the risk of them being damaged. Both of the Corsairs are being built straight out of the box, I have not bothered with adding any extra detail to them and will enhance the models with weathering, etc.

The motorised Corsair is still in the early stages of building at the minute. In the instructions for this model, Tamiya say to drill a hole through the underside between he main wings for the wire to pass through into the plastic base supplied with the kit. The sight of this wire hanging between the undercarriage spoils the look of the model. So I am re-routing the wire out of the tail-gear bay and connect a small two pin connector to ease connection to the power supply and avoid securing the model to the base. Modifications have been done to the cockpit area to route the wire through here to the tail of the model. Now I just need to get a small two pin connector to finish this off.

The tug has also been built and is near to the painting stage. This is the same tug that Tamiya supply with another release of the Corsair, which was given to me by a club member as he did not need it. I just need to do a little modification to the tug prior to it being painted. 

I will take some photos of the other Corsair and the tug soon and post them in the next WIP posting of this project.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Monty's Humber WIP #01: SMMI Review Build

Here is another build that I am doing for the SMMI magazine. It is the re-release of the 1/32nd scale model of Monty's Humber from Airfix. For an old kit, from the 1970's I believe, this is not a bad kit considering the age of the tooling. So far it is going together without any issues or problems. You will be able to read my full thoughts on this kit in the review to be found in SMMI over the next couple of months. Keep watching here for postings on the progress of this build.

Monday, 18 November 2013

It's been a while!

Hi All

It' s been a while since my last posting on here, but the last month has been very busy with family stuff, a magazine review build and the workload from my job. This has combination of both things has reduced time spent on general modelling, posting on here and trying to update the club's and my websites.

Gama Goat Review Build:

This was the Tamiya Gama Goat pre-release example for the SMMI review build. To be honest, a great little kit with scope for plenty of conversions if you want. I am expecting this to be in this months issue of SMMI, but it has not been confirmed yet. I was hoping to have the model back for the IPMS(UK) Nationals at Telford, but it was still in the studio for photography. So here are a few photos I took on my phone for now.

Mercedes Benz G4:

This went out in last months (November) issue of SMMI and to my surprise it was a three page spread. I compared it to a 1/35th scale version of the G4 whilst at Telford last week, my one dwarfed it. It is also big compared to other 1/24th and 1/25th scale car to.

Wishlist For Next June:

On Saturday morning at Telford, Airfix unveiled a future release from their 2014 range of new kits. This was a 1/24th scale Hawker Typhoon and the detail is fantastic. Remember what their Mosquito was like,  Airfix has carried on with this level of design and properly a bit further. The likes of Tamiya and Trumpter better watch their backs, Airfix is definitely upping their game. Here's a few photos of the test shot builds on display.

Okay, time's getting on and the wife will be shouting for me to go downstairs. So to round off this post, I will finish off with this photo.

My 1/32nd scale Republic P-47M Thunderbolt got a Commended award in its class at the Nationals in the competitions. The competitions were a tough one this year with space running out on the tables and the quality of entrants was excellent. I definitely need to up my level of modelling for next year.

Anyhow, I will try and update my WIP's during this week, things will back to, well kind of normal for a few months.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Helmo Photo Work

Over the last few years, some of my models have appeared in the gallery sections of the Helmo website. This is the official website of the Hellanic Modellers Group in Greece and they have a very good website with lots of information on.

My friend over in Athens asks me to send over some photos of some of my models to post up in their galleries. He does his magic touch and photoshops one of the photos I send of each model for the title on each gallery page. His work is great and I always wait to see what he does next everytime I send a new set of photos to him.

Here are the models of mine that he has done is magic with and a link to their website.