April 2019Let’s start with the last of the Fokker F-27s and Fokker 50s that I’m planning to make. This is the Eastern Express 1/144 kit that comes with Virgin Australia decals. There’s nothing very remarkable about this kit which goes together with a minimum of fuss. Moving in to 1/72 here are a couple of resin kits. This Castel C.25 originally appeared in Jean Pierre Dujin’s little plastic bags but has, more recently, been re-released by FSC Dujin in a cardboard box with the original Dujin resin parts but also a small etch set that provides some seat belts and a rather splendid decal sheet. Only the most foolhardy of modellers would attempt this colour scheme, and I’m not one of them. Even applying these large decals was something of a test of nerves. I’d never heard of Croco Models until their kit of the Aero Commander 520 (there is also a kit of the 560) appeared in the Aviation Megastore catalogue. An early Aero Commander has been on my ‘want’ list for decades, and finally here it is. The resin casting is very good but the crash moulded transparencies are very poor by comparison, so the trouble I went to to make the cabin look interesting is lost. There are the usual fit problems, and trying to sand flat the wing and tail junctions with the fuselage – without damaging the control surface corrugations – was a challenge. As well as these civil markings, the kits comes with US Army and US Air Force decals. I’d recommend this kit to anyone who already has some experience with resin kits. On the military side; I’ve been looking for something to replace my very old Modelmaster Armee de l’Air camouflage paints. I haven’t been happy with the acrylics I’ve seen so I was delighted to see that Hakata had released a set of French colours in lacquers. I am not happy with the green in the set and have chosen a green from the new AK Real Color lacquers instead, but I am delighted by the quality of the Hataka lacquers and will be using them a lot in the future. As a test for these new paints I decided to have a go at making the Bloch 150 series fighters, starting with the RS Models Bloch 151. It has a nice little cockpit, but you can’t see very much of it since it is finished in the French dark blue grey scheme. The Hataka paint flows very nicely through the airbrush and required only two coats for good coverage. I hand painted the other top side camouflage, which would have been a disaster with the old Modelmaster paint. I’m declaring myself well pleased with this new paint and you can expect to see a couple of Bloch 152s, a 153 and a 155 in the forseeable future as a result. Delving back into the mists of time here are two that I made previously The F-Rsin Bristol Brabazon is the first kit that I paid over $100 for. That seemed outrageous at the time but is becoming more common these days. It is a difficult kit in that the moulding is the wing trailing edges was very uneven and I had to replace them with plasticard. Painting this kit was the first time that I used Tamiya TS-83 and I didn’t read the instructions about using a black base. As a result, the finish is a bit uneven, but the thing does glow fantastically. I have plans to repaint this model one of these days, but I’m not feeling brave enough at the moment. I don’t quite remember when I made this but it is finished in ye olde Testors Metalizer, which nobody uses any these. I know that it is a difficult paint to use in many ways but on this WB-47 (an ancient Hasegawa kit) it looks fairly realistic for an aeroplane that has seen a lot of flying.
July 2018The memory chip in my camera was getting a bit full so I’ve spent the morning decanting it to the places where the images belong. Along the way I found pictures of some models that I’d put out to be viewed at our local club meetings. So, in scale order with 1/72 first, here they are: A Sparrowcastings French Chard D2 A Sparrowcastings French Panhard 178 A Hobby Boss French Dewoitine 520 in Vichy markings A SBS Models deHavilland DH-88 in French services late in 1938. (There seems to be something of a French theme here.) A Sword Douglas F3D2 Skyknight in a US Navy scheme from around the time of the Korean War. A Hasegawa Grumman F11F flying with the US Navy demonstration team, the Blue Angles A Hasegawa Focke Wulf Fw190G-3, a German World War II fighter captured and test flown by the US Navy. (Another theme?) A Matchbox Gloster Gladiator I. This is an ancient model I probably made some time in the 1970s. It was so pretty that it got me into this hobby again A Hasegawa Mitsubishi J8M1, a Japanese version of the German Messerchmitt Me163 rocket fighter A RS Models Miles Magister trainer. I’ve made this as A15-1 which was brought out to Australia in 1940 to test against other primary trainers. Apparently the RAAF didn’t like it because this was the only one they flew. A Huma Messerchmitt Bf209, the high speed one built to win the world speed record just before World War II. A Frog Dassault Mirage IIIO, the Australian version of the Mirage III. Being A3-3, this was probably the first one assembles in Australia. It’s in the early bare metal scheme Another Focke Wulf Fw190, the A-5 version. As the SNCAC NC.900 they were reconditioned by France after the war from ones made in France for Germany during the war. They had been so skillfully sabotaged by French workers that it was almost impossible to find their faults and were therefore dangerous to fly. Finally, in this scale, an Italeri Aerospatiale Super Puma in the scheme flown by the Argentine Army in Antarctica in the 1980s Moving to the more civilized scale of 1/144 we have some nice airliners. First the Airbust A.300-600ST (Beluga), a nice Revell kit with, if my memory serves me right, 26 decals. This is how number 3 looked when it appeared at the Avalon Air Show in 2003 A Red Roo Models reboxing of the Fly Models Douglas DC-9-30 around the end of the 1970s when they flew in the Ansett Airlines of Australia Delta scheme A Doyusha Fokker F-27-200 in the scheme of Airlines of South Australia as it would have appeared around the end of the 1980s. Hawkeye decals, of course. An Authentic Airliners Fokker F-28-4000 which flew for a short period in the scheme of Airlines of Western Australia, around the same time as the Airlines of South Australia F-27. It was a fad with Anett Transport Industries airlines which did not last long. The reason for the discolouration around the titles is because the decals were very old and had aged too much for me to do much about improving them
Here are photos of the models that I put on the table at our most recent Modellers of Ballarat meeting. The Zvezda Ilyushin Il-62 is a big beast of an airliner, perhaps the biggest of the narrow body intercontinental airliners – if you don’t could the stretched DC-8s. For my money the kit is a bit over engineered with some parts not necessary with the current state of slip-molding and the like. Still, modellers these days seem to use the part count of a kit as part of its value, so I have to endure it. The decals are from BOA, generally very good although there is some vagueness in the instructions which led me into error. The TAA F-27-200 is the second of what will be a set of five F-27 that flew regional services in Australia from the very late 1950s through to the 1990s. (Although TAA was a national airline it also flew regional services in Queensland with F-27s.) This Doyusha kit seems a lot older in design and style than it actually is, being first published in 2000, but it is clean and simple to make from the box and looks like a F-27. The TAA decals are from Hawkeye. This Revell kit of the Focke Wulf Fw190F-8 seems quite antiquated in comparison to some more recent kits, but it is still suitable for me and I got it on a special. Looking through my box of decals I found some nice ones for the earlier Fw190A-8 so I made it in that version, which meant a few little modifications. According to the Fw190 experten in our club there are still some errors in accuracy and painting, but it’s good enough for me and looks like one of those aeroplanes. The other night Valma and I were watching a movie which had a couple of these in it, the slightly later version with the missiles under the wings. This is the reconnaissance/observation version of the General Atomics RQ-1A that came in a box with Italeri on it, but I read somewhere that this is actually a Platz kit. This one came straight out of the box, it’s a delicate little model. This is the Fiesler Fi103, also known as the V-1. I don’t know where I got this kit, it was combined in with something else which may have been the old Frog Supermarine Spitfire XVI. There’s not much to say about this except that it is a very simple little kit. I don’t, as a rule, make tank models (having made a lot of them earlier on) but I do allow myself the luxury of French tanks, and there are a lot of them. This little one is a Lorraine 38L VBCP, a transport tank converted to accommodate a few soldiers. It can’t have been very comfortable in there, but I guess it was better than being shot. The kit is from RPM who make a few interesting little French items.