Models for April 2023

It has not been a very productive month but things are starting to get rolling again and the a couple of things have rolled off the bench. One of the major distractions was the Modellers of Ballarat annual (except for covid) display day. It was a fairly modest event in comparison to some previous years but the club is only starting to find its feet again. I’ll put a link to some of the photos from the display here soon.

Messerschmitt Bf109C-1 in 1/72 by Heller
It comes the time in every modellers life when they have to make a Bf109. It seems to be written into the modelling DNA. That came for me recently but the only two Bf109s I have in my Treasure are the Heller Bf109B/C and the Heller Bf109K. I didn’t feel inclined towards making late war camouflage so the choice was easy. It actually turned out to be a very nice kit, coming as it does from Heller’s ‘Golden Age’. I actually enjoyed building this and I have the Bf109K saved up for when the urge overcomes me again.

Vought Sikorsky VS-44 in 1/144 by Anigrand
Never heard of this aircraft? Neither had I until Anigrand released this kit. It turned out to be of great interest, from the period of 1930s when air transport was evolving rapidly and flying boats seemed to be the future of long range flying. The kit itself was not overly difficult but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who wasn’t confident of the resin modelling skills. The painting was perhaps more challenging, getting a good finish on a model in this scale is always a challenge.

BIG Flying Boat Base
While we’re thinking about 1930s flying boats, here are some others to contemplate. (I started work on a Martin M-130 ‘China Clipper’ but I discovered that the Glenco kit is about 1/130 rather than 1/144 which made it useless for this kind of comparison. So far as I am aware that in the only kit available of that aircraft, so there remains an important hole in this collection.)

Short Empire Class flying boat in 1/144 by Welsh Models
This is a vacform kit with white metal parts such as the engines and propellers. It was not a fun kit to build and very primitive in comparison to modern day Welsh Models kits. The British had made a few earlier flying boats but this was the only modern 1930s design that was in the same class as the American flying boats that came into service in the second half of the 1930s.

Sikorsky S-42A in 1/144 By Air Craft Models
This is another vacform kit. In many ways this is the best model I’ve ever made, simply because of the challenges of turning a lumpy sheet of plastic into this complex shape. This is not a bad effort but I saw one of these at Expo which was a work of genius in comparison with my bumblings, and anyone who does rigging in 1/144 deserves a medal for that alone. Of course, the judges ignored it, I thought it should have been Best in Show.

Boeing 314 in 1/72 by Airfix
This is the only kit in this set that is injection moulded. It is now a very old kit and I wonder what possessed Airfix to make this just when the scale of 1/144 was beginning to make an impression on the market. Because of its age it is not an easy kit to make, raised panel lines and all that.

Latecoere 631 in 1/144 by FRsin
This is a rare and expensive resin kit which is not very difficult to assemble apart from the fragile retractable wing floats and the propellers. It represents the French entry into the modern flying boat scene but the prototype did not fly until 1942 and was taken over by the Germans. Another ten were made after the war but they were not successful and the six engines probably caused structural failures due to vibration from the engines.


Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde in 1/72 by Heller/Airfix
This is a fantastic model to look upon, as was the full scale Concorde. However, the kit was really difficult to make, as most who have attempted it will tell you.

Lockheed Martin RQ-170 in 1/144 by Matuo Ksatan
This little resin kit was more difficult to make than its tiny size suggests. Perhaps it was the tiny size that made it difficult, I’m sure this would have been much easier in 1/48 or 1/32, but where would the challenge be in that.

Airbus A.321 in 1/144 by Zvezda
I made this model using Hawkeye decals, one of the best sets they have so far made. The kit is also pretty good.


The three main objects of my attention at the moment are the Academy F-104C that has reached the paint box stage, the little Azmodel 1/144 Yak-40 kit which is also in the paint box while I hunt for the right shade of airframe grey for these Russian airliners. Talking about Russian airliners, the other one is a RusAir 1/144 resin kit of a Tupolev Tu-114 airliner. It’s turning out to be a relatively simple and enjoyable build, though I haven’t got to dealing with all those counter-rotating propellers you. There is also the beginning of work on a Hobby Boss Grumman F9F-2 which will end up being painted in that lovely shade of US Navy Dark Sea Blue.

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