Thursday, 11 December 2014

New Workshop Coming Together

We have been in our new house for almost three weeks and things are slowly coming together as to various items finding their new homes. The rest of the house has taken priority over my hobby room, but I have been setting it up in between other jobs around the house which cannot be done in the evenings. 

Space has been an issue from the start, I did not realise the room was this small from when we viewed the house back in July. Storage of my stockpile of kits was going to be the biggest problem, of which some will go into the old wardrobe that was in our Kyran's bedroom. But this would only have the capacity to hold only part of my stockpile, the rest would need to be kept in the loft for now. My old desk has also gone and I am now using the old computer desk we had in the old house as the previous owners of the house had left their desk which Kyran quickly took pocession of on the day we moved in. So I had the desk we were going to give to him. I have swapped the black plastic shelf unit with the smaller grey one and taken the old large bookshelf from the computer room to. 

Gradually, the workshop has grown to the state that will be seen in the accompanying photos, but there is still some work to be done to finish it off. I need to make some shelves to go into the wardrobe for stacking the kit boxes on, plus I need to store some toolboxes at the bottom of it to. My display cabinet I use to have above the stairs in the old house needs to be fixed to the wall. There are still some boxes that need to be unpacked and anything which is no longer required, either binned or sold/given to someone else who could use it. The time I think has also arrived to either sell or pack away some of my earlier builds to make room for some newer ones. But what do I get rid of? It is hard to decide! 

So, a couple more weeks and I think I will be in the position to get back to some serious modelling and finish off some old outstanding projects. 

Monday, 8 December 2014

Goodbye Luton, hello Hemsworth

It has been a few weeks since I last posted on here, this was down to the family upping our roots and moving Northwards to West Yorkshire. We have now been here for two weeks now and we are slowly getting the new house sorted out.  Things have progressed to the stage where I have now started to set up my new modelling room.  One thing, it is smaller than my old room in the old house, but this was in the converted loft space giving me plenty of room to work on and display the built models. Best of all was the storage area for hiding my stockpile of kits. This might have to be writtled down a little bit now. 

Last week, I popped down to meet the local IPMS branch for Barnsley. I was made very welcome by all of them and we had a good laugh. I think I will enjoy myself with this bunch and hopefully a start of visiting some new shows. One thing I can say about this area is that we have been made welcome by everyone we have met and everybody is so friendly around here. 

Once I have got the new model room sorted out, I will post a couple of photos of it on here and then get back to some model building very soon. So, watch this space. 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Isn't Moving A Right Pain In The A##E!

I just don't know how some people can just keep moving house every five or so years, it is just so disruptive and stressful. 

Well, we have finally got our moving date, 24th of November. It taken a while for the solicitors to be happy with the searches, etc, then trying to get the other parties involved to agree on a moving date. It is hard to think, we have been in this house for nearly twenty one years, almost to the day as we moved in here on the 3rd of December 1993. The biggest thing is that I am moving away from my birth town, I have never lived outside of Luton in my entire life. So it is a big leap for me, but it is for the best because Luton is no longer a nice place to live. When I think back to my childhood and what it was like here back then, to how it has now changed for the worst. At least, the town where we are moving to is more like what Luton use to be like, and a lot smaller with only just over 13,000 people living there. 

Now, onto the modelling side of my life. I have made some slow progress on the Diamond T, with some swearing coming out of the workshop because of it. I just wished that these people that design the kit and create the instruction sheets would try to build the bloody kit themselves using the said sheets! Maybe they might realise that sometime the sheets don't match up with what's in the box. But I will explain more about this in the next WIP posting of the Diamond T.

So over the next couple of months, there will not be much model building done because of the house move. Anyhow, about 98% of my modelling tools and equipment have been boxed up ready for the move in three weeks time. It is only when you are moving home and you start packing things up for it, that you realise how much stuff you have accumulated over the years in that house. In just my collection of unbuilt kits, I have got 19 boxes, 7 folding crates and 5 large kits strapped together. Let alone all of the built models and the various ongoing projects. That was bad enough, but then you forget about all of your paints, glues, tools, equipment, materials, display shelves, books, spray booth and workbench. That is when it starts getting scary, especially when you know the wife will see all of these boxes going into my planned modelling room in the new house. 

Well, that's a little update of what is happening in my world at this present moment in time. It is stressful, we're both tired from it all, but we have not got everything all set to move now and all three of us cannot wait until we move to the new house. Especially now that my modelling room will be in a proper room and not the converted loft!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Mirror Models Diamond T 968A Cargo Truck WIP #3

After several months of lack of enthusiasm, I seem to have got my mojo back for modelling. It's just a shame that we are in the middle of preparing to move house, so I am restricted in what I can do. The only problem I am having is finding that something I need to use is packed away in one of many boxes. Well, back to the Diamond T and an update on its progress. 

I did a little jump on the order of build from the instructions. The next stage of build was meant to be the final bits on the chassis like fuel tanks, steps and the cab. But I decided to start on the cargo body instead, which is typical for me to do. Tried to assemble as par the instructions, but due to the overlength of the body cross braces, I opted to construct both sides and fix them to the body floor. It also helped to hold the braces in place once they were trimmed as there is no location pins on them. Advance warning to anyone planning to build this kit, be prepared for some swearing and cursing during this stage of the build!

After the braces are fitted, the tailgate and rear brace are fitted followed by the benches. These can fitted in either the down or folded positions, I did one of each for this build. Another little warning for you all here. Take care handling the cargo body whilst you are building it. The uprights between the body sides and the upper slats are very delicate, do not put any pressure against them because they will bend or break easily. 

Along the side of the body, you will need to add some lashing hooks which have to be made from some bent wire. Make several extra hooks as you will lose a few to the carpet monster and you may not be happy with the shape of all of the ones you have bent up. In the first photo below, you will see that the rear mudguard is mounted to the extreme rear of the body, as show in the instructions and via the location holes in the floor. This position is incorrect as I discovered from looking at some side view photos of the real truck. The rear mudguards are meant to be the same distance from the rear brace as the front mudguards are from the front brace. They have also missed out supplying the support braces for them to. I also cannot understand why the rear guards are plastic, but the front ones are in etched brass!

As I was removing the rear guards to reposition them, they got slightly damaged along the joint area. So I had to repair these areas by using some Evergreen plastic strips sanding them to shape and size. Further strips of the plastic strip were used to make the guard braces so they would match the front ones. The mudguards are roughly 4mm from the inside faces of the end cross braces, as there is no reference points on the underside of the body to help you. I used the braces of the front guards to get the rough location of them and then transferred the measurement to the rear ones.

That is all for now, I will try and update further as I progress with the build. But I am not sure how much will get done over the next month as we approach the moving date which should be set later this week. So, until next time, happy modelling.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Mirror Models Diamond T 968A Cargo Truck WIP #2

It has been a productive week on the Diamond T. Had a couple of battles with the dreaded Carpet Monster, he won one and I won the other one. I just pray he doesn't raise his ugly head for a long while now. So, what progress has been done on the "T".

The chassis frame was assembled with a little confusion between the instruction diagrams and how the actual parts assembly together. This was on the front winch that sit between the chassis rails where the diagrams show the drive gearbox one way, but when you actually build it, it assembles the opposite way around. Not sure which way is correct, but the parts only assemble one way and not the other!

Said winch gearbox on nearer side of cable drum.

The rear suspension assembly is quite a detailed area of the chassis in this build. Once the main parts (ie. axles, springs and crossmember) are assembled, we start to add the brake actuators and the various bars that stabilize the axles from twisting. The following four photos show the detail of the rear suspension through it assembly over the last week.

The next selection of photos are the latest from a couple of nights ago with the wheels, engine and radiator test fitted to see how they looked when they are glued in place. You will also see that the transfer box, handbrake and various prop shafts have all been fitted to the chassis. If you are building this model yourself at any point in the future, you might find that the propshafts are a little longer then the spaces they are meant to fit. I just trimmed the location points where the shaft UJ's mount onto the axles and transfer box. On the front axle, there is a small disc which fits between the UJ and the extension on the transfer box. Firstly, mine was eaten by the carpet monster, so I scratch-built a replacement, which once I tried to fit the prop shaft prevented it from fitting. So I removed it and the prop shaft went into position without any problems.

Whilst getting carried away with building the chassis, I forgot to check the upgrade set to see if there was any kit parts to be replaced from it. So, when I checked, to my annoyance I found there was a few parts to be replaced from it. The first were these bump stops which the plastic parts are replaced by some etched ones. There is also a couple of parts on the rear of the chassis to be replaced, but luckily, I have not put the plastic versions on yet.

Well, that is all for this posting. There is a few more parts to be added to the chassis, these include the rear engine mounts and the cradles for the fuel tanks. I think there are a few other items to be added to, but I am not sure what they are until I look further along the instructions. 

Monday, 29 September 2014

Mirror Models Diamond T 968A Cargo Truck WIP #1

Here we go again with another magazine review build, the subject being one of my favourite military vehicles, the Diamond T. During my teens, I had built the Matchbox Diamond T Tank Transporter, and it seemed to wrangle its way to a little corner of my heart. To the point that I recently purchased the Revell release of the said ex-Matchbox rekindle that love of the truck. That was until I got the chance to build the new Mirror Models 1/35th scale Diamond T Cargo Truck, along with the upgrade set for a SMMI review build.

This review build has fortunately turned out to be the ideal project for me to do whilst we are in the process of moving. I can do all of the main construction and leave any painting until the end which should coincide with when we have moved and I have unpacked most of my modelling equipment and set up the new workshop. So, here is where I am up to so far. 

First here is the engine supplied in the kit. Mirror Models have tooled up a nice example with very good detail. This engine looks better then some of the ones you find in the models cars of the 1/24th and 1/25th scales. Supplied on the etched sheet in the kit, is this lovely fan which just need the blades bending before being glued onto the pulley. There is potential for adding extra detail such a hoses and wires, but I will not be doing it on this build.

The front axle is next. As this is a 6X6 truck, naturally it is a driven axle which you can pose in a steered position. It does not mention this in the instructions and the steering arm that mounts on the chassis does have a small tab to locate it in the centre position. What I did was to glue one of the brake drum backplates in position, then using the steering track arm, get the position of the other drum and glue everything in place.

The wheels were all straight forward to assemble, but do not forget to run some glue around the inner joint on the wheel rims. I forgot to do this and still need to do this job. The instruction say to assemble the wheels onto the brake hubs, but I am leaving them off so that the hubs can be added to the axles separately from the wheels. Plus I want to paint the wheels individually to. You will notice there is twelve wheels in the photo, two of them are spare wheels which mount on the headboard of the cargo body.

Last for this posting is the radiator. This just needs a little bit of cleaning up on the joints prior to painting, mainly down the sides of the radiator. Believe or not, this is made up of five separate parts including the cap.

More work has been done since these photos were taken on Friday evening. One thing I have noticed with this kit is the lack of locating pins for the parts. What ones there are, tend to be fairly small and the holes they locate into are not big enough to accommodate them. I have had to drill these holes out slightly in both width and depth. But like the ICM kits I have built in the past, you have to rely on you eyes to ensure the parts are lined up and the right way around when gluing them.

I will post later on this week with further progress of the chassis.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Kit Review Page Updated

Tamiya's great 1/24th scale kit of the Lotus Europa Special has been added to the Kit Review Page of this blog.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

On The Move!

Hello to all of you followers of this blog.

I am sorry that things have been very quiet on here for the last few months, but there has been a lot of other things taking priority at the minute. We are in the process of moving home, which we hope will happen by the end of October (fingers crossed). 

Having to get a few things sorted out on the house took priority and my time was diverted away from this great hobby. Now my hobby room has slowly been packed away starting with all of the unbuilt kits that took up 17 boxes, 7 folding crates and 4 large scale models stuck together in 2 bundles. It was whilst doing this that I thought to myself "Why did I buy so many kits!". Packing has continued with my tools and paints being packed away which is now 95% done. Most of my built models are packed to leaving just the ones in the cabinet over the stairs left. 

But there is a brighter outcome to this though!

We are moving to a bigger house with more bedrooms. So my hobby room/workshop will no longer be in the converted loft like in our current house, but in one of the spare bedrooms. No more trying to get my built models through the loft hatch in their boxes for transporting to a show. And there is one this I can tell you, falling out of the loft down the open hatch is not much fun. Especially when you have to repair the step and hatch mechanism afterwards.

This is going to be a big adventure for the family as we are moving from Bedfordshire up to West Yorkshire, to a nice small and quiet town called Hemsworth. Unlike my wife who has liked in several different locations, this will be the first time I have lived outside of Luton in my entire life. But the outlook is that life will be more relaxed up there and once we are settled into the new house, I can get my modelling back on track. There are a few unfinished projects that I would like to get finished off, like my F-15 Eagle and A-10 Thunderbolt to start off with. But the first priority on the model side is to get the new magazine build done, written up and photographed. The kit is the Diamond T Cargo Truck from Mirror Models with their upgrade set. Done a bit on it so far, but time has needed to be spent elsewhere.

So, if there are any of you who happen to live in the same area as we are moving to, let me know and we could possibly meet up at some point in time. Oh yes, another plus. Some new model shows for me to start visiting.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Built Kit Review Page

Since I have got back into the modelling hobby, I have built quite a few models. So I thought that it would be a good idea for me to give a short review on some of the kits that I have built in the past and on some of my builds that I will be doing during the years ahead. First, I will start by going over some of my past builds, there will be good ones as well as some of the bad ones. But remember, these views will be of my own opinion of how I found the kits and not necessarily those of the general modelling fraternity. As a new review is uploaded onto the page, I will post a message on the home page just to let everyone know which kit has been written about. The newest review will be placed at the top of the page with the oldest at the bottom.

The first kit which I am reviewing is Airfix's 1/72nd scale English Electric Canberra PR9.

Built Kit Reviews

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Opel Admiral Cabriolet SMMI Review Build WIP #5

Hi all

Sorry for the lack of updates on any of the projects which I have, but there is a lot of other things going on in my home life at the minute. So all I am going to try and concentrate on now is this current review build and the next one which I will post about soon.

Now, onto the Admiral.

In between all of the separate home ongoings, I try to get bits done to the car whenever I can. It is now in the final stages of the build and I am down to mainly doing the detailing items. The chassis was finished off and the chrome hubcaps were glued into place on each wheel. ICM supply decals to represent the painted inset details on each of the hubcaps. These did not go on that good compared to decals from other manufacturers, this was not helped by the roughness of the chrome plating on all of the hubcaps. After the decals were dry, I went over them with some Tamiya clear just to make sure they were sealed okay. This also has helped to hide the film from the decals a bit more. To finish off the chassis, I did an engine grime wash over the chassis and engine followed some oil wash in certain areas of the engine and running gear.

Once the washes were dry, I glued the chassis to the body and strengthened the joints between them by using some Zap CA. Once the body was secured to the chassis, I started to do a wash on the underside of the body using some more of the engine grime wash from earlier. This also covered any glue marks left showing between the chassis and body. Various items such as the seats, folded soft-top, headlight bodies, radiator grills and other trim have started to be added. 

Unfortunately, I have been writing this posting over a period of a couple of weeks. With the home stuff that has been ongoing and a holiday last week, my time has been diverted bigtime over the last four weeks. Since these photos were taken, work has progressed to the stage at this time in writing where the interior is finished, windows are fitted, external door handles added and the rear trim is in place. All that is left to do is to finish off the front trim, front lights, paint the number plates and add the final decals. I hope to get this finished in the next couple of days and I will post some new photos of the model.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Opel Admiral Cabriolet SMMI Review Build WIP #4

As usual, time is a thing that everyone has periods which they are short of, and the last couple of months have been that. Work, illness and having to get DIY done on the house has put a lot on my modelling projects on the back burner. Now that the bulk of the DIY is now done, I really need to get this one finished and off to the magazine for publishing.

Work on the bodyshell made a slow progress over the last couple of weeks when I had a bit of spare time. The seats, folded roof, door panels and floor have all been painted followed be a couple of coats of either satin or matt clear on the appropriate areas. The tyres were superglued onto the wheel rims and then fitted onto the front and rear suspension assemblies, so now more wonky wheels. 

Last weekend, I decided to start covering the chrome trim with some BMF (Bare Metal Foil), but to my disgust, I could not find my half used pack of chrome foil in my workshop. After turning over the workshop on Monday looking for it without any success, I ordered two new packs from Hannants which arrived in the post yesterday. So last night to foil the trim on the dashboard and doors, then finished it off this morning. The two bonnet halve still need to be foiled, but they are hardening off after being cleared earlier today.

The next stage will be to finish adding all of the interior and the exterior trim followed by a little bit more painting to the body. Once this is done, the bodyshell will be finished and ready to be mounted onto the chassis. As for the chassis, I have a couple of little items to finish off before this in my eyes can be called completed. The last items that will be added to the model will be the chrome wheel trims, then the front and rear bumpers. All of the glazing will be the last items that I am going to fit to the model, mainly to prevent any paint or glue accidently getting onto the parts.

More updates sooner then later, I hope!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.22

This was a quick build done to try and break the modelling block I was going through over the last few months. My plan was for it to be done in a matter of a couple of weeks, but guess what, it took over a month to complete.

The kit was one of Hannants Xtrakit models from MPM tooling in 1/72nd scale. Nothing fancy about the kit, but a lack of location pins made it a little bit more fun to build. The Mk.22 was built straight out of the box and I chose to do the camouflage scheme instead of one of the all-over silver schemes in the options. on the painting side, the main paints used were from the Xtracrylix range of colours, as per the instructions. I also used some paints from the Revell, Tamiya and Mr Hobby ranges. Instead of airbrushing the camouflage scheme, I went back to old school and hand brushed the entire model only airbrushing the clear at the end. Doing this brought back some great memories building models as a kid before the days of owning airbrushes, fun times.

During the final assembly, I drilled out the exhaust openings to improve their look prior to painting them. But when I came to fitting them in place on the fuselage, I discovered one of them had gone missing, the dreaded carpet monster had struck again! So some Quickboost Mk.22 exhausts for the Airfix kit were purchased, painted and then glued in place before the dreaded monster got hold of these ones. 

So, here she is. Nothing fancy, just back to basic modelling I did as a teenager. Looking at her, I think it needs a little more weathering to finish it off, but not alot though.