Models for March 2023

Schneider Grunau Baby IIb in 1/72 by Kovozavody Prostejov
I like gliders, they are simple and elegant with their broad wingspan and fuselage unhindered by an engine (in most cases). The early ones, like this model, also have a kind of rustic charm about them, perhaps because they are not made using the strong and light weight materials of more modern gliders. The kit for this model only came to me a couple of weeks ago but I built it quickly, partly as something simple and quick to build but also because I was keen to see how it looked in comparison to the model of the Gruanu Baby I that I made several years ago from the CMR resin kit.

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-5 Wirraway in 1/72 by MPM
There’s probably a rule written somewhere that all Australian modeller have to make at least one model of a Wirraway. I have now met that requirement. It was not a pleasant experience and the kit has taken a long time to build, mainly because it is terrible in comparison to most modern kits. I made this model from the 1996 MPM kit but I have since learned that there is a Special Hobby 2010 kit which is much better. So be warned when it comes time to make your mandatory Wirraway, get one of them so you don’t find yourself struggling with the earlier kit. In any case, the model looks okay, thanks largely to the Aussie Decals decals.

McDonnell Douglas F-18A in 1/72 by Hobby Boss
There’s probably also a rule that Australian modellers have to make a model of a RAAF F-18 and I finally got around to it just after they have been withdrawn from service after something like thirty years. I really couldn’t recommend this kit unless you take it for what it is, a quick and relatively simple build that cuts a lot of corners and leaves out a lot of detail to achieve that simplicity. Friends recommend the Academy kit. Still, the simple Hawkeye decal set for this ARDU Hornet give it a certain attractiveness, for a modern jet that is.


Boeing 737-300 (VH-CZJ, Ansett Australia c.2000) in 1/144 by Revell/Minicraft
This is a model I made in 2009 using parts from Revell and Minicraft kits to make this variamt. The Hawkeye decals depict one of Ansett’s more colourful liveries.

BAC Lightning F.1 (XM137, Air Fighting Development Squadron, RAF, 1961) in 1/72 by Trumpeter.
This model is one of a set about thirty BAC Lightnings I made, this one in 2009. It represents the Lightning just at the beginning of its long career with the RAF when they were working out how to use it most effectively.

Boeing B-17B in 1/72 by Academy
Late model B-17s were definitely more efficient war machines, but not half as attractive as the early models, particularly before their lines were spoiled by camouflage paint. I made this model in 2008 and I wish I could remember what paint I used to get that lovely metallic finish.

The most active model on my work bench at the moment is the new Airfix Gloster Meteor F.8 which I am putting together for the Model Geeks ‘MiG Killer’ group build. It is an excellent kit and an interesting and pleasurable build. I’m also making progress on the Anigrand VS-44 but hot so much so with the Welsh Models Neptune. The Cessna 180 I was working on last month ended up in the rubbish bin. It’s not a bad kit and it’s nice to be able to build a civil light aircraft for a change, but I made the mistake of attaching the fragile undercarriage legs too early in the build process. So when two of them broke at the same time I decided they were too fragile to repair and into the bin it went. A replacement kit has been ordered and I won’t make the same mistake again..

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