13 January 2017

Looking Ahead: The Aircraft Wish List For 2017

Around this time of year you will no doubt be seeing plenty of "New Year Resolution" posts, this post is one and at the same time isn't one of those type of posts.

After last year in which I completed just one kit and suffered a significant loss of motivation I've taken some time to reflect on what I want to achieve this year and come up with an "ideal" world list (actually, it's 3 lists) which I'm hoping will give me a sense of direction but not be so strict as to become too much of a chore to complete.

I've decided to break down the builds into 3 categories, ideally if I can complete one build from each to a reasonably high (for me) standard then I'll consider 2017 a success. Realistically I need to tackle some of the kits I currently own before buying new ones, sosome of listed won't become an option until I complete others.

Out of the box builds

My, as of yet incomplete, Typhoon build showed me that I don't have to buy photo-etch and resin extras to actually have a build that is both enjoyable while providing a sense of achievement and progress at the same time.

We're very fortunate that these days we have a good choice when it comes to out of the box builds. As I want to build these models in flight, to keep things straight forward as possible, the Airfix range is ideal as they always seem to give you the option of both, something I wish all manufacturers would do.

  • Airfix 1:72 Spitfire Mk.I/IIa (Owned)
  • Airfix 1:72 Bf 109E-7/Trop (Owned)
  • Airifx 1:72 Hurricane Mk.I (New Purchase)
  • Airifx 1:72 P-51D Mustang (New Purchase)

Airfix 1:72 Spitfire Mk.I/IIa

Airfix 1:72 Bf 109E-7/Trop
Airifx 1:72 Hurricane Mk.I
Airifx 1:72 P-51D Mustang

Detailed Builds

The next level of build involves a bit more detail, here I want to more work on the cockpit, either resin replacement work or photo-etch enhancement, or both. In such cases the canopy will be open so the aircraft will be modelled as it were on the ground and I will also consider building a display base.

  • Eduard 1:72 Spitfire Mk.IXc (Owned)
Eduard 1:72 Spitfire Mk.IXc

There's only one aircraft in this list, however I own more than one of these kits so I could, if I excel myself, possibly build more than one of the same aircraft.

Conversion builds

The final category is the most involved and challenging as it goes beyond the standard detailing and requires conversion work such as resin engines, super detailed interiors and so on. The kits I have in mind are:

  • Tamiya Mosquito FB Mk.VI (Owned)
  • Tamiya P-47D Thunderbolt converted to a P-47M (New Purchase)

Tamiya Mosquito FB Mk.VITamiya P-47D Thunderbolt

As I've said this is an an "ideal" world list but I think it will be useful to look back after a year and see if this list helped me focus. Of course I won't just be building aircraft so there will still be builds that aren't on this list, and hopefully some miniature painting as well.

Time to get 2017 started then!

08 January 2017

12 Day Modelling Challenge: Day #8

Day 8 and I’ve actually reached the end of the time I’d set aside for this modelling challenge, mostly due to what’s becoming a Christmas tradition, a dose of man flu. I’m going to extend the challenge through the rest of the month although it’ll be strictly weekend endeavours for the rest of the month.

I wasn’t feeling like airbrushing, as coughing and sneezing tend to upset precision painting, so I thought I’d sit down and chop up some plastic. After completing my test Empire miniature I set about raiding my bits box with the intention of creating a few figures for a Mordheim war band.

As I’d previously mentioned the Empire State troops are somewhat limited in poses, or more accurately, pose, as there’s only one. The Empire Archers set, mixed with a few different sets of Empire arms, however offer much more flexibility and as I want to paint up a wealthy band of Marienburg Mercenaries the long, expensive, coat look fits very nicely with the theme. These guys are going to be better dressed swords for hire, a cut above your average militiaman.

I really like to spend time testing poses and trying to make the figures look dynamic. This set, of which I had a nearly complete box of, offers plenty of opportunity to create such figures. After an hour or so of test fitting this is what I have, heads will be added later once I get more of a feel for the each figure.

04 January 2017

12 Day Modelling Challenge: Day #7

Day 7. I was happy enough with how the grey wash, that I tried on day 4, came out and so started washing the undersides of the Typhoon. Even though I'm still waiting for it to dry I can see a huge difference, it works really well on the panel lines, much more subtle than the dark wash that I've used previously.

I also got the Bandai Y-Wing started. Black undercoat to start with followed by several lighter shades of grey before a very light coat of white. And then, a coat of grey wash, which may or may not take it all the way back to being grey again. Guess I'll find out when it dries.

02 January 2017

12 Day Modelling Challenge: Days #5 & 6

My Christmas modelling challenge continued on day 5 with the completion of the Airfix Typhoon's decals, no pictures as there's only so many pictures of an unfinished model that a man can take...

After that I started adding the missile racks under the wings which usually the kind of slow and fiddly task WWII modellers get to avoid, but not in this case.

While I was waiting for the glue to set I started test fitting another model, a Bandai 1:144 scale Y-Wing Star Wars fighter, that I'd recently received from Japan. In fact it went together so well that it turned into an accidental part-build!

What a kit! Just four small sprues (plus a sprue containing a stand) but the amount of fine detail packed into such a small scale is incredible

After a few months of modelling malaise I find, suddenly, in such a small kit, my motivation comes surging back. If this kit is anything to go by I can't wait to try out a few more Bandai Star Wars kits. As well as the detail the way the kit is engineered is simple brilliant. For example, the two engines on a Y-Wing, at first glance, look the same. But actually there are slight differences and the kit is engineered so that the internal clips, pegs etc are shaped and positioned in such a way that you can't get them the wrong way round.

I honestly can't see myself bothering with any of the Revell offerings now.

31 December 2016

Kit List, What's In, What's Out - December 2016

Finishing my record of what I buy and sell during this year:

In - Purchases for December 2016
  • None
Total Yearly (April to December) Expenditure - £231.80

Out - Downsizing for December 2016
  • None
No sales, no purchases, this month. Although a great many model companies had end of year sales none them offered anything to tempt me into a purchase at this time as I have plenty to be getting on with and want to continue decreasing my stash over the coming months.

That bring this record to a close. There was one significant purchase which accounted for more than a third of my expenditure, the Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower board game. Apart from that the rest felt like I'd managed to reduce my purchases, but on the other hand I've haven't got anything built and so have I really got my stash under control?