Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Holidays!

It's currently snowing outside, and it's been a long time since I posted anything.  So I hope everyone has had a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Ramadan, winter solstice or whatever you happen to celebrate, and wish you have a better 2013 than 2012.  I at least hope I have a better model completion rate in 2013 than I did in 2012, with blog updates to match.  I only managed to finish one kit (and bought many more than that).  Which brings me to the last update on my 1/72 scale M4A1 "Derby".  I took it to my local IPMS show, MarauderCon, and managed to take Best Armored vehicle.  I can still compete with it at other IPMS or AMPS shows, but this brings Derby to a close on my blog.....unless I pursue my original idea of putting it on a diorama base with a Panzer IV Ausf. J.

Next up is a shelf queen that I've been struggling with for years.  Fujimi's 1/72 scale A-4C.  While I love the kit, it has fought me all the way, and frequently gets put back on the shelf of doom.  I'm close to finishing it, but have manage to break off almost every delicate small part on the kit.  Hopefully it will be one of my early finishes for 2013.

Last up for this posting is my Hobby Boss 1/48 scale KV-1 Ekranami.  The last time I posted anything I had  finished painting and was starting the weathering.  The only problem was that I didn't like the results, so off it went to a Windex bath, and time to start painting again.  I'm going to try AK Interactive's 4BO Green color modulation set, and see how that turns out.

While stripping the paint off I manage to loose one of the photo-etch fender supports.  It seems like I'm always managing to loose some kit part or another, and I've gotten quite good at making a replacement.  Well the fender support was no exception.  The brass Hobby Boss uses is quite thin, and for a while I was stumped on what to do.  Fortunately the Hobby Boss photo-etch fret provides more than enough extra brass to make a new one.  All it takes is some cutters, drill bits, files, sand paper, and about 2 hours!  Ugh...I hope I don't loose another one.  Is it perfect?  No, but more than good enough to put between the two tool boxes on the right fender, and no one will ever know.

While the models was stripped I took the opportunity to make some corrections to the kit based on information available on Neil Stokes' excellent site 4BO Green.  Neil wrote what many consider the KV bible: KV - Technical History & Variants.  It's a great book and an invaluable reference, but Neil also maintains the 4BO Green website with great supplemental material: book addendum's, model reviews, etc..  Among the information are very helpful lists of corrections needed to kits to make accurate versions of respective KV's.  For a late maufactures Ekranami that involves removing the circular weld marks on the sides of the turret roof, filling the hole in the engine hatch, and omitting the saw from the fender (it was moved to inside the toolbox by the time late Ekranami's were produced).

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Just about done

I'm just about finished with my M4A1, and over all I'm quite happy with the results.  There just some minor touch-up painting to do, and a little more weathering and I'm done.  On to the Firefly!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A bunch of new updates

First things first, wow radical changes to the blogger interface!  Fortunately it look fairly intuitive, so hopefully there will be improvements, but it's hard to complain when its free.  Now onto the model news!  First there is my M4A1 Derby.  I'm still not finished, but I'v finally got some tracks on it, donated from a spare M4A1 late that I plan on converting into an Israeli Super Sherman.  I've also started weathering the lower chassis, and still need to do the top.  I still need to paint the tools add the headlights and figures and add some scale rope to tie down the pallet on the rear deck.  Hopefully I'll have it all done for IPMS NoVa's Model Classic, we'll see.

Nest up is Mike Lampros's Revell 1/72 scale P-51B.  I've got the cockpit all buttoned up in the fuselage, and the wings on.  The fit of the canopy was terrible, so I spent a lot of time sanding, shaping and polishing it.  After I was done, I still wasn't happy because you couldn't see much of the cockpit.  So I pulled out the JLL razor saw and started chopping it up.

Next up is my Academy 1/72 scale P-40N in RNZAF markings. I started the kit years ago, decaling went horribly wrong and it's sat on my shelf of doom ever since.

Last but not least is my Hobby Boss 1/48 scale KV-1 Ehkranami.  I really love this kit, and hope really Hobby Boss gets back into the 1/48 scale armor market.  As I understand it the HB kits are basically scaled down Trumpter KV's which are suppose to be very accurate.  I recently picked up Neil Stokes' KV book, and it sure looks accurate to me,  I can honestly say it was a blast to build.  Decals well that was another story.  They're nice and thin and stuck like glue the second they touched the kit surface that was coated with a liberal wet coat of setting solution.  They wouldn't allow any positioning, very strange.  I'm not sure what I'll do for markings, but a lot of KV-1's didn't carry any.  I'll be starting the weathering next.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A rare non-armor post

It's been quite a while since I've posted anything to the blog, but the my biannual trip to New Zealand, and my usual winter modeling slowdown struck. I haven't done much productive modeling in months since I got back. I did have a disaster with the M4A1, the DS track cracked and split when I put them on the tank! To be fair to Dragon I think it was the Tamiya spray primer that caused the problem, but I was so close to finishing the little M4A1 to see the tracks split nearly blew me over the edge. They're ruined, and unusable. Fortunately I've got plenty of spare Shermans, and just need to pull a set out with a fresh drive sprocket.

So onto the airplane! It's Revel's little 1/72 scale P-51B. The kit was one from an IPMS DCers collection, who passed away over a year ago, Mike Lampros. The club had the intention of building several of the kits in honor of Mike, but we've never brought them all in complete. So I'm trying to finish it off and bring it in to a meeting this year. Mike was a great guy, who always was ready to lend a hand and a veritable walking aviation encyclopedia.

So here is the cockpit nearly complete and ready to be sealed up in the fuselage. I just need to finish painting the pilots seat.