Tuesday, August 16, 2016


I have moved this blog to WordPress after learning that Blogsy, the best iPad app for blogging here is now defunct.

I'm now at: Models In Scale

Friday, August 05, 2016

An Explanation About the Changes in the Blog

I still enjoy modeling even though I'm in the modeling hinterland. I have found absolutely no one within a 90 mile radius that is into building models. Some of my friends here show polite interest when the topic (seldom) arises, or when I go somewhere with one of my models to show someone, but as far as I can tell, I'm the only one who actually builds models.

Looking back on my earlier posts I could see they had grown obsolete. Many were from fifteen years or so back when I didn't really know how to blog and pretty much threw stuff up against the virtual wall. I took most of that down, leaving more recent posts and one or two interesting ones from the past.

I think I'll use this blog as a way to keep in touch with my virtual modeling friends when I want to do more than just post photos on my iCloud sharing albums. I'll be able to make some comments about the build, model and actual prototype I'm modeling at the time, something much more difficult to do with just a photo album.

To cap this little post off, and start afresh, I'm posting a few photos of my old models that are significant to me because I had fun with them and think they are done well enough to put up for others to see:
Wingnut Wings Fokker Eindecker III

Wingnut Wings Fokker Eindecker III
Wingnut Wings Fokker Eindecker III
Wingnut Wings Fokker Eindecker III

Hasegawa FW 190 A5 in 1:32

Eduard 1:48 "Rata"

Wingnut Wings Fe2b

Wingnut Wings Fe2b

Wingnut Wings Fe2b

Wingnut Wings Roland C.II

Wingnut Wings Roland C.II

Wingnut Wings Roland C.II

Add caption Wingnut Wings Roland C.II

Wingnut Wings Roland C.II

Wingnut Wings Roland C.II

Wingnut Wings Roland C.II

Wingnut Wings Roland C.II

Wingnut Wings Roland C.II

Meng British Whippet in 1:35

Meng British Whippet 

Meng British Whippet 
Meng British Whippet

Meng British Whippet

I will be posting my soon to be completed Tamiya 1:35 Jagdpanzer IV/Lang then beginning to work on my Meng Renault FT-17 WWI tank which I will chronicle here.


Diorama by from BritModeler Forum

Models, in and of themselves, are interesting in their own right, as we modelers know. Sometimes there is more to a model than is possible to show without changing the accepted or well-known appearance of it. Many of the subjects we model are composed of far more than what we are able to represent and show from the outside. Aircraft, ships, cars, armor... all of these have far more parts and interest than what we normally can observe from without, and what we normally represent with our "standard" models.

A few years ago Eduard produced a model of the tank hunter Hetzer in 1:35 scale that was supplied with a full interior. Some of the detail bits were not there ofcourse, just like all of the cockpit detail is not present even on a Tamiya 1:32nd airplane. But, with a bit of ingenuity and spare parts, styrene and wire, the interior could be made to look even more realistic. I have one of these kits, completed, and it remains in my memory as one of my most favorite builds. I've looked for another, since they are long out of production, and although I found one or two, the prices they now command are too much for me. Modeling has moved on, especially in armor with the appearance of companies like Meng in Hong Kong, and Tamiya which still produces some of the best engineered and detailed model kits you can get.

Having a soft spot for WWI subjects I was initially enthused by the Tamiya British Mark V that was released last year.

Tamiya's 1:35 British Mk V motorized model

Unfortunately, it is a motorized version, and I want my models to be detailed and sit in one place. I also don't want to pay for motors and necessary transmission parts that I'm not going to need in the first place. So, I waited. Then, I found out recently that Meng has released this tank in 1:35 scale with a full interior. Brilliant. But, how can this be built and displayed so that the interior details are visible without cutting up or damaging the model?

One answer is a diorama, such as the one by ____ at the beginning of this piece. I like the general idea of building it so that it is obvious what it is, but not completed so that the insides are on view. But, I don't like not being able to display it as a fully functioning tank, as in the photo above.

I suspect, from looking at the instructions, that the top can be left unglued to the main body and lifted off to display the inside. I'm not at all certain that with the top in place it will not have gaps, etc. that detract from the model over all.

Another solution is to build the thing in essentially two models by constructing the internal structures and components as a separate model and displaying that alongside the completed and closed model. This is well illustrated using the plastic parts only – no paint or weathering – on the Perth Military Modeling site.

Meng British Mk V with internal components displayed separately

I'd like to build one of these since I'm in my WWI modeling phase right not but these considerations have given me plenty of reason and pause to continue to research and decide what I want to end up with.

I have finished the Jagdpanzer IV/Lang, except for the tools and spare track, and am beginning the initial phase of building Meng's Renault FT-17 tank, which I'm looking forward to. Future posts will include progress on this build as well.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Whippet at the Finish Line

Put the finishing touches on the Whippet yesterday. In general, this was a mostly fun build, interleaved with a few small episodes of problems. Some of these were my own doing, not reading and contemplating the instructions well. I think the sprocket issue, which I discuss in the previous post, could have been prevented by better planning on my part as to how to best lay the track on the model.

Meng's 1:35 British Whippet, "Firefly."

Here is a short list of things that you may wish to pay attention to:

The sprocket and track alignment, as previously mentioned.

Being careful with the small, perfectly formed hooks that adorn the side plates. Removing the sprue attachment points is an exercise in Optivisor meditation. A very sharp scalpel blade is essential. Fortunately, Meng includes extras. Also important - be very aware that these will break off the tank easily, so practice picking the model up from the front, back or at first by the engine hood vents. Making an assembly cradle would have been a good idea, which I didn't think of until too late.

Think about gluing the tracks to their frames.

Leave the top hatch unglued, or temporarily attached, until after the machine guns have been mounted and secured firmly in place. I failed to adequately glue one gun to its ball mount, so naturally I pushed it and it fell inside the closed turret structure... Off came the hatch. Gun retrieved. Hatch left off until all were securely in place.


Doing this again, I would subdue the track spuds' wood color even more. Of course if you choose to heavily weather and mud-up yours, then it shouldn't matter too much.

Get a bit more mud and dirt on the inside rear of the track frames. I can add this a bit later, but it was one of those "smack-the-forehead" moments when I realized they were not compatible with the outsides.

Painting and finishing.

Researching the colors of WWI tanks is even more mysterious than colors of WWI aircraft. But, from what I could tell, the general opinion at the time was that the British colors, as they left the factories, was very close to standard khaki. So, mine's covered with a base coat of Tamiya Khaki acrylic paint. I varied the tone (or hue, or color?) with thin washes of oil in burnt umber and burnt sienna. I also applied the light dirt and dark mud Tamiya weathering gunk, which was left over from an IPMS review I did long ago. Neat stuff, lasts an exceptionally long time, can be used wet or dry and I believe not as expensive as the wild range of Mig potions.

I'm not a fan of contrasting "pin" washes around every rivet, bolt and protrusion. Makes them "pop" out all right, like a pimple on an otherwise normal face. I chose to very lightly dry brush most of these items with some white oil paint. I think it makes them noticeable, but not like they are screaming to be seen at the expense of the model as a whole.


I'd recommend the kit especially if you are interested in the early development of the tank. Meng kits are on a par with the best. Close to Tamiya for design, fit and instructions. Certainly better than Dragon with their hieroglyphic, crowded fold-out monstrosities of instructions. I don't buy Dragon armor primarily because their instructions are too archaic and often confusing along with their absurdly high parts count.

The Whippet is unique and will be a good addition to any armor collection. I have Meng's Renault FT-17 riveted turret kit and I expect the same level of quality as shown by this one. And, I get to attempt some really funky French camo patterns.

As the anniversary of WWI continues, I plan to build these two along with, at least for vehicles, the Meng British Mark V Male, with full interior, the German land ship A7V, which could grab the award as the absolute most funky tank of all time. That one too has a full interior.

Somewhere in this, I'll have to complete my ww1aircraftforum.com's diorama group build, so one or more dioramas are in the offing.

If you like the early days of armor, these Meng kits are about the best thing going. Get some.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Meng's British Whippet WWI Tank

I'll forego all of the history and factual information about this tank. There is plenty of that kind of info out there on reviews and build articles. I'm focusing these days, over the next couple of years at least on WWI modeling. I've been interested in armor and when Meng came out with these WWI tank kits, I decided to begin with them. I bought the Whippet and the Renault FT-17, which is most likely the first "real" tank since it shares characteristics with modern tanks the other early ones do not.

Meng produces a quality kit. Excellent casting and details. Limited number of parts (that, and the poor instructions, are the main reasons I don't build Dragon armor), a quality instruction manual makes for a fun build. Mostly. Here, then, are the gotchas:

  1. The fighting structure, the odd-ball compartment at the rear of the tank, is composed of many differently shaped parts put together at different angles. This makes the odds of a trouble-free assembly problematic. There will be parts slightly askew and gaps. I'd say that Meng has a ways to go in order to come up to Tamiya's engineering standards in which it is very difficult to place a part incorrectly. Clamping will fix the misalignments. The gaps are addressed with sections of stretch sprue as fillers.


  1. The road wheels, all eleven thousand of them, come in two parts each. Much gluing but it goes fairly fast. However, the casting is not consistent so most of the holes through the wheels are not big enough and must be drilled out to fit the cast on axles. Or you'll break one of the axels trying to press a road wheel on, or remove one that is on the wrong axle.


  1. Idlers, sprockets, road wheels and return rollers: none of these can be seen once the tracks are on. None. So, if I build another Whippet, or perhaps when I build the FT-17, I'm leaving all of these off. Properly sized stand offs from plastic, perhaps the sprue from the kit, will be much easier, probably more sturdy and much easier than messing with all the running gear. The tracks, on my model, are glued to the frame anyway.

Tracks. A neat idea to have the track pieces snap together and flexible. A bad idea to have the track pieces snap together and flexible. They don't stay together especially when wrapping them around their frames.The sprocket doesn't rotate, so if you get an alignment issue there, you are toast. I clipped all the visible teeth from both sprockets in order to get a reasonable fit. On the next Meng with this kind of track, I'm gluing the links together and fitting the track to the vehicle before the glue sets hard. And I'm not installing the running gear at all.

Next comes adding the small bits, which I hate because I'll break some off anyway. Then painting, which will be a fun activity since there isn't any so-called camouflage on this thing. Some enhancing pin washes for detail, and some "dot filters" for wear and fading. Red and white stripes and couple of decals. I'm not going for the filthy, mud-ridden look. I'll dirty it up a bit, but keep it in pretty good condition.


That's the plan anyway.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Cancer be Damned, I'm Modeling Again

The short version is that I have successfully concluded a two year association with prostate cancer. Radiation treatments and a hormone therapy regimen seems to have killed my little invader. If not, they say that by the time it returns, if it does, and progresses far enough to cause me difficulties, I'll be dead of something else anyway.

So, I've been modeling more. I slowly built a Wingnuts Wings Roland C.II Early during my treatments. I'll post photos and some comments on that build. In brief: lovely. I've gotten into WWII IJN warships, especially those from the early years. I'm doing those in 1:700 scale, which has gotten me more in touch with my inner modeler and my Optivisor. I'll post some photos of what I have done so far, the IJN Akagi and the IJN Chokai heavy cruiser. My friend Rick Ewing sent me the dual Revell Kit of the German WWI cruisers Emsden and Dresden. I've built the Dresden and that about the time I'd re-read Castles of Steel. A worthy read if you are at all interested in WWI at sea. I'll do a post and photos of that build as well.

Being a Wingnut Wings nut and a student of the early years of WWI air, I had previously built the Eduard DH-2 in 1:72 and 1:48. Having completely goobered up the 1:48 kit, I bought another, which is partially done and in the box. I got smart enough to buy the Wingnut Wings DH-2 kit two weeks before it went out of production. That one will be coming up relatively soon. Probably before the first snow here at 7000'

Now, needing a larger scale and easier kit break from the 1:700 Fujimi IJN Chokai, I'm into the great 1:48 Tamiya F-16 Block 50 kit. Vipers are just cool, and there is nothing better than the Tamiya kits for those aircraft. So, I'll be putting up photos of that one which is in the decaying stage. I'll discuss all of the issues - mostly self inflicted - and observations about the build here. For now, dinner calls.

More soon.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mojo Returns

For a number of months, especially during this hard winter, my modeling Mojo fled. But lately, seemingly with the return of spring, it has also returned.
I pulled a halfway finished Starfighter from the shelf of doom, and finished that one. I've been resurrected a MiniCraft 1:144 JM-1 for IPMS review, and actually finished that one. No photos of the JM-1, however it is on The IPMS website. I will get around to photos of the Starfighter maybe later.
Did not much like the JM kit, too small, not all that well put together, and a hassle to build. It is now in the dust bin.
I ordered an Edward new 1:48 Spitfire kit and two MIG – 15bis kits from Sprue Brothers. I quickly begin one of the him MiG kits. Regardless of some issues that I precipitated, I finished it, fixed the issues, and it looks pretty good, and it was a fun build. I have now started on the next MiG kit and plan to add some additional detail.
A few notes on the build. Make sure they wing to fuselage join incorporates about it 2° anhedral. Be sure to add plenty of those weight. Also dry fit carefully all of the cockpit components so that they come together properly at the nose of the aircraft.
In my opinion this kit is not require the new Brassin cockpit set. It is quite detailed and much of that will not be visible once the fuselage is closed.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A kind of summary of modeling episodes to 'catch up' a bit, beginning with the Albatros D.Va

Occurred to me that I have not been keeping up with this blog as much as I would like to. So, to that end, I'm posting some photographs of models, and modeling stuff, that has occurred since my last post. I intend to return and flesh these out with some commentary later on. I'll admit to being pretty caught up in the final re-writes and edits of my historical novel, "The Q Fragments". I've done that now and plan to get it back into distribution via Amazon Kindle, and Amazon books within the next week or so.

Now, on to modeling....

Wingnuts Wings Albatros D.Va

Finished with Tamiya X-18 and a light gray dry brush

Finished Mercedes 160 hp engine

Oil paint
Kinda, sorta done... Note, I broke the seat rails and had to use styrene rod.

All 'out of the box' except for engine wiring.

My rigging method, with monofilament for strength.

Mono (0.005"), twisted wire 'eyes', steel tube sections.