Tuesday 8 December 2015

Airfix new-tool 72nd scale F4F-4 Wildcat in box build review (1)

still waiting for some Blenheim spares from Hornby, very frustratingly, although kit 2 is progressing nicely. Masked with Tamiya tape, no way am I paying virtually half the price of the kit for an Eduard mask. Took about 2 hours to do, lay the tape over the part and pencil around the raised molded frame, remove and cut out with a sharp blade..

..and then having had my confidence in Airfix somewhat dented with the Blenheim fiasco, I decided to start the new-tool Wildcat which looks to be a very nice kit. Here's where I am 10 minutes after opening the box...and after adding a bit of paint and the cockpit/instrument panel decals in the bottom pic..

The finished build can be seen on this blog here

Saturday 7 November 2015

new-tool Airfix Blenheim Mk I build on the bench (3)

..having discovered that following the instructions on this build is to invite disaster I've started a second kit. As seen already I've been rather unlucky with the fit of the transparencies on my first started build. One of mine was slightly twisted and short molded for good measure - and Airfix have no spares in stock. So I've started the second kit; here the forward fuselage sides have been attached to the rear fuselage parts before joining to the wing assembly, thus avoiding those large gaps seen in other builds. With the fuselage halves together the cockpit - here partially assembled - just clicks in from the rear before the wings/bomb bay are put together..here's some pics..

Thursday 5 November 2015

new-tool Airfix Blenheim Mk I build on the bench (2)

So far I've enjoyed a certain amount of good fortune with my various new-tool Airfix builds featured through out this blog . From what I've read on the forums, some modellers have had issues with deformed and short-shot parts and flow flaws in the clear plastic and other issues. I haven't experienced any of these - until now!  Now I've read all the builds of this kit - including the rather horrendous build review on the Airfix tribute forum with its huge gaps everywhere. I can see now why that particular build looks so bad. Not really the modellers fault at all - following the instructions is a recipe for disaster on this kit!

Now it would appear that the secret to a successful build of this kit is the nose section. Get that cracked and you'll nail it. That is, assemble the cockpit parts with the fuselage parts and then join them as two halves, sliding the seat/instrument panel/bulkhead assembly into the cockpit from the rear. Yes I can see how that will work. But you really need to get the canopy glazing assembled onto the cockpit sides first. Well, they don't both fit. While the port side is a reasonable fit, the starboard glazing extends around underneath the nose and was on my example slightly twisted. Getting the rather large lugs to hold was nigh on impossible. Cutting the glazing down - ie separating the small rear 'porthole' from the rest of the glazing - didn't really work either. And then I realised that the top part of the canopy (part G4) was short molded - there is no 'frame' around the front part of the glazing, leaving a large gap at the front, so there was no 'fit' there anyway. My first mails of complaint and request for spares have just been sent off to Hornby!

And a reply within twenty minutes,

Dear Customer
Thank you for your spares request. Unfortunately we do not have spares for your model, at the moment.
We will add you to our waiting’s list and confirming posting once the stock is available.
Sorry to cause inconvenience
Kind Regards
Airfix Spares

And a message from Steve for builders of this kit;

.".. If your transparency is short-shot, you may have some warp-age as well, which could explain the poor fit. Otherwise, get the nose right and the rest will follow. I found it made sense to add the nose parts to the main fuselage halves before considering any glazing. Because I wasn't going to have an open bomb-bay, I could also fettle the top of it so I could add the wings/bomb bay to the fuselage at a later stage. I also installed the undercarriage before glueing the wing halves together to get a nice strong joint. Assemble the engine cowlings before inserting the engines themselves - tolerances are tight. The new Blenheim kits are lovely when they're done, don't despair and don't give up! .."

My finished model can be seen on this blog here

Saturday 31 October 2015

new-tool Airfix Blenheim Mk I build on the bench (1)

New tool Airfix Blenheim is also on the bench. Another very impressive looking new kit - at least in the box. Having done some reading and dry-fitting there may be a few fit issues around the nose which attaches directly to the fuselage - to enable the MK IV to be modelled easily ! So the fuselage will be harder to do than it should be. There is no gun pack for a fighter version, that's in the Mk IV F boxing.The canopy looks a little toy-like too and all that glazing may require an investment in canopy masks. I can't see myself bothering to do that at nearly £7 a pop!

The finished model can be seen on this blog here

Friday 30 October 2015

Eduard new tool Fw 190 A-8 in 1:72nd scale on the bench in box review

On the bench - the new Eduard Fw 190 A-8 in 1:72. Looks very nice, lots of options and spare parts. Comes at a price though - in fact twice the price of a new-tool Airfix Fw 190! I can't say that I feel a new tool Fw 190 is going to be twice as good as another new kit, certainly not for modellers intending to build more than one...but we'll see..

Friday 16 October 2015

East Kent Scale Modellers club night, second Tuesday of the month, new tool Airfix Shackleton, Beaufighter

 Second Tuesday of the month is club night for the East Kent Scale modellers group. The group meets at the RAF Manston history museum. Only my second visit. The recent finishes and/or current builds go on the table along with photo albums, books and magazines. A chance to look at the latest museum exhibits and rummage around the shop, enjoy some modelling chat and pick up hints and tips of all sorts!

The new Airfix Shackleton in and out of the box ...

..new-tool Airfix Beaufighter finished by Stuart - liked Stuart's mix for the engine cowls; gun-metal and dark earth..

Sunday 11 October 2015

Hasegawa Bf 109 G-2 1:48th

Having finished the Eduard Gustav, I picked up the Hasegawa G-2 that I last touched back in October 2013. Painting well under way and I'm hoping to get this finished for Tuesday night's model club meet at Manston (East Kent Modellers)

finishing this one as per the box-top; the machine of  JG 54 Gruppenkommandeur Trautloft wearing large white chevrons and painted in various greens and browns

..and then popped up to the Battle of Britain memorial this afternoon to see the Vulcan on her last farewell flight

Monday 5 October 2015

first look in the box new-tool KP Mustang P-51 B/C and early P-51s in 1:72nd scale and the trouble with wing kinks

First look at the new-tool KP P-51 B/C Mustang in the box.

As a general rule most 72nd scale early P-51s are pretty inaccurate and a bit of a minefield. The Hasagawa kit - although probably the best looking model in this scale - had a number of errors; a cowling that flattened out over the exhausts, a P-51 D wing and a very shallow wheel well. Academy, although beautifully moulded, features an overly long windscreen which makes the canopy a little short along with the shallow style wheel well. Revell P-51 B/Cs apparently look good overall but the kit is let down by a very narrow seat and very poorly moulded clear parts and again a shallow wheel well. I am told that both the Academy and Revell wings are still not correct for a P-51 B/C. I haven't actually built the Revell kit yet but here is my Academy B/C (alongside the new-tool Airfix D in 72nd). I have a few of these in the stash and aside from the canopy which doesn't appear to fit too well, they are a decent kit..

The biggest problem on most 72nd scale P-51 B-Cs is the wing 'kink' but after comparing with the drawing below, the new KP kit looks to have this reproduced this area well. The problem on other kits seems to occur because the 'kink' on the P-51 D starts both further forward on the fuselage and further outboard on the wing than the earlier versions. Hasegawa put the start of the l/e kink at the right place on the wing, but too far forward (P-51 D place) on the fuselage; Revell did exactly the opposite, getting the fuselage location correct, but using the -51D wing starting point. Academy got the kink shape right, but by basically copying the Hasegawa kit fuselage, made the wing too broad.

drawing below by Martin 'Occa'

more from the KP kit - the 112 Sqd 'sharkmouth' option looks great...

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Eduard 1:48th Bf 109 G-6 Gustav - build review (4)

My completed Eduard Bf 109 G-6 model finished in the markings of ace Alfred Grislawski JGr. 50 summer 1943 Wiesbaden.

Unfortunately it is not possible to achieve a decent 'sit' out of the box and a bit of surgery is required. In the end I cut off the oleo part of the gear leg and replaced it with a shorter length of wire. I then carved out a bigger insert in the wheel well so that I could angle the gear legs forward much more than is possible if they are plugged in as intended. Not very neat at all I'm afraid, but good enough for photos. Otherwise this is a decent kit, very nicely detailed, lovely surface engraving, but just a little too large for 48th scale!