First off is the Micro Mir McDonnell Douglas MD11 which has a particular fascination as I flew in one of these to Europe in 1993. The contrast between the Qantas cabin service to Singapore and the Swissair service through to Zurich was remarkable. The kit is big and solid and fairly easy to assemble. It comes with Finnair decals and engines but since I wanted to make the Swissair version I had to get new decals and engines which, fortunately, come in the form of a Welsh Models conversion kit. The most challenging part of the conversion was merging the new tail engine into the kit, which is really not too difficult. What really held me up was the apparently simple choice of the colour of the lower fuselage, it looks black, but not quite, and the decal instructions are no help at all so, eventually, I bit the bullet and used the darkest shade of blue I could find, and it doesn’t look too bad. The end result is a pretty impressive model.
For some time now I’ve been working myself up to making a fewAirbus A.320s in Australian and New Zealand liveries. I stared off with a Welsh Models Air France A.318 some years ago and now it’s time to get going on the rest. I intended to start with the Revell A.319 in the new British Airways retro BEA scheme but then I discovered that there was an A.319 on the Australian register, flown by Sky Traders. It had a very pleasant orange, white and grey scheme which did not require any titles (which would have been beyond my capabilities) so that’s the subject of this model. There is nothing really difficult about these Revell 1/144 A.320 series airliners apart from a little wing modification for the A.319s and A.320s which takes only a few minutes and rudimentary modelling skills. (I see that Sky Traders is now flying a new livery which would be much more difficult to replicate than the scheme that I’ve done here.)
Moving along on my A.320 obsession, here is a Skywest A.320, made possible by a sheet of Southern Skies decals which is now out of print, as far as I can tell. The only thing difficult about this is the blue of the tail which I mixed myself. Southern Skies released decals for three SkyWest airliners, a Fokker 50, a Fokker 100 and this A320. Fortunately for me I mixed enough paint for all three models, but only just, the paint cup on my airbrush ran dry just as I finished painting the tail on this one. Apart from that, this was a fairly routine build.
At a recent local scale modelling club meeting another member and I were talking about the aesthetic values of the current range of European jet fighters. Naturally the Dassault Rafale came out on top of the list and this inspired me to make a model of one. The kit I had in my Treasure was the old Italeri one which was released around the time that the Rafale entered production so I doubt that its appearance reflects the look of current operational Rafales. In any event, the kit offered only the decals necessary to represent the first production Rafale as it appeared at a display at Farnborough, painted overall gloss black which made the process of building this kit so much easier. I think that when I get around to building some operational Rafale models I’ll use the more modern Hobby Boss kits which seem to be well regarded, I wouldn’t recommend this kit for that.
Here are two that I made earlier, both late World War II US Navy as it turns out.
This Vought F4U-1D was made from the Hasegawa kit and is about as far as I ever went in detailing a model with the drooped flaps and detailed cockpit – made at a time when there were no aftermarket kits to help with these things. I don’t know if it shows up in these photos, but the surface is lightly crazed all over, my first experience of what happens when you airbrush lacquers over enamels. After all the effort I’d put into this kit I was quite disappointed by the result, but it’s not too bad and it was too late to do anything about it anyhow.
Then there is this Vought XF5U, another Hasegawa kit. These were very difficult to find at the time and I tried my best to make this a lovely looking, as it should be. Unfortunately my skills at the time were not up to it and the surface is very rough. When I completed this there was no such thing as on-line auction sites and I thought I’d never see another of these kits, so I put up with the end result. But looking at this model now I think I might try finding another kit on the internet and see if I can’t make a better model of this one next time.