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A personal site dedicated to 1/72 1/76 scale miniature modeling

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December 7, 2015

The USAAC faces off with the Japanese in 1941.The Japanese are a Navy A6M2b (Hasegawa) in Pearl Harbor markings an Army Ki-43I (Fujimi)in the markings of Lt-Col. Kato in Burma and a KI-27a in Nomonhan markings (Hasegawa-Mania) standing in for an ICM Ki-27b in Philippne campaign markings. On the US side we have two Pearl Harbor birds, Lt. Rasmussens' P-36A (AML) and Lt. Taylor's P-40B (Airfix), a 34PS P-35A (Special Hobby)in the Philippines and a 17th PS (prov.)P-40E (Academy) as seen on Java in February 1942.

Sadly the P-36A was shot down a minute after this shot was taken when the camera came crashing down on it. The canopy is in pieces, the cockpit bits loose, the propeller broken and the metal finish ripped in parts. Sadly Lt. Rasmussen was decapitated in the event. Here are some pictures of the plane taken prior to the crash.

Here is an early Claude at the start of the Sino-Japanese war in 1937. I have a Special Hobby Hawk III in the works to go against it.

June 12, 2015

I'm trying something new, like finishing some models. My workbench is so cluttered it's become a miniature version of a junk yard.

Two planes that book-end the war against Japan: Lt Rasmussen's P-36A at Pearl Harbor (AML model) and a Soviet P-63A (Toko model)in Manchuria in August 1945.

Tamiya F4U-1D in RNZAF colors, Sword P-63A in Chinese colors, Airfix Spitfire 22.

The Macchi 202 is not a new build. I realized while building the 205 that I had mounted the wrong spinner on the 202. The 202 has a pointed spinner,the 205 a blunt round spinner. This is what happens when you open the boxes to compare kits of similar planes. An interesting side note is that the severe silvering around the smoke ring decals has all but disappeared with age.

September 28, 2014

Getting back into modeling after a couple months' hiatus working on scale 1 projects around the house.

Desert army 3-tonners: from left to right Custom Miniatures Bedford OYD, Matador Ford MCP FC60, Custom Miniatures Ford WOT6, Airfix Bedford QLD (the old one with a scratchbuilt GS body), Milicast Chevy CMP with type 12 cab.

I have several more in my stash, a cab 13 CMP from Milicast, an Austin K5 from Custom Miniatures,the old Airfix Austin K6 with a Wee Friends GS body and a Chevrolet CC60L from WeeFriends/CMSC.

Trux Chevy coated with Light Stone and ready for weathering.

April 19, 2014

The old Trux resin Chevy 1311 Indian Pattern finally received a complete makeover. The grille has been modified to a 1939 model (16 bars under narrow decorative name band, the 1940 grille has a wider band and 15 bars). The fenders have been puttied to extend further forward. Sidelights have been added on the front fenders. The steering wheel has been moved to the right side and an instrument panel has been added from sliced plastic rod, mirroring the one from the SHQ Chevy. Headlights from an Airfix Opel Blitz have replaced the toonish originals. The solid resin under the instrument panel has been drilled and gouged out to make some leg room and vastly improve the look of the model. The GS body has been scribed on the inside to figure the wood planking. A semblance of a front axle completes the work.

April 16, 2014

2 Tillies progressing. The Morris gets a crew of suitably cut up old plastic figures. The rear guy is the RAF driver from the Emergency set without his legs and left arm. The right arm was carved to represent a rolled up shirt sleeve. The front passenger looks like an Airfix British officer but I can't remember what kit he came in. The driver is the guy climbing into the Matchbox Diamond T tractor. The huge head was replaced with one from the Preiser set with various police in summer dress. The Morris will be light stone and the Austin is now getting a caunter camo scheme.

I dusted off my stash of Custom Miniatures trucks and put together the Bedford OYD. It matches perfectly the scaled down drawings in David Jane's British Military Transport booklet but is too large according to most other blueprints. Its cab and front end is much larger than all other kits of the OY, OX or MW series. See for yourself the difference with the Cromwell model. As I posted the pictures I realized that I forgot to shoot the preview...

March 31, 2014

Some new builds progressing:

The old Fujimi Valentine nearing completion. The turret is from the Cromwell Valentine, of which the hull is a write-off due to serious dimensional errors. The drybrush does not appear at all in the pictures so it's going back to the workshop.

The Matchbox Humber MkII is finally done. The changes come to 6 towing eyes, 2 mirrors, 2 flimsy carriers, 2 blanket rolls, a turret hatch periscope, and an AB commander figure.

March 29, 2014

I finally located the photos of the Morris PU. These were on my cellphone, please excuse the bad lighting.

  • 1/76 MMS Morris PU 8cwt GS Truck

    March 24, 2014

    Here are a pair of early war British trucks, the Morris and Humber FWD 8cwt trucks, both models from MMS:

    Here is the armor previews that should have been posted long ago. The Morris will have its preview up as soon as I locate the photos:

  • 1/76 MMS Humber FWD 8cwt GS Truck

    March 23, 2014

    Updated Matchbox Honey. The original .30in caliber Browning MG barrels, which are actually thicker than the 37mm gun, have been replaced with resin barrels from Quickboost. I strongly recommend ref. 72055, the B-25J gun set, which provides 15 .50in cal. barrels for about 5 USD. The difference in caliber is not noticeable at this scale. The model was finished with a wash of sand pigment.

    Completed MMS white metal A9CS with AB figure.The Fujimi Matilda needs more weathering and the spotlight reattached.

    Matchbox Humber almost done, waiting for the AB commander figure. The base still needs some work.I switched the unit code marking to reflect the armoured car regiment of an armoured division. The original "67" code is for a tank unit.

    March 22, 2014

    The Trux resin Chevy WA's front end remodeled with Tamiya gray putty based on the picture at the middle of this page .

    March 13, 2014

    The Humber's POW carriers are complete. I added some rolled tarps on top as seen in several period pictures.

    The Matilda is getting a new caunter paint job, based on Mike Starmer's booklets and the ArmouredAcorn drawings, from sand, brown and light blue to Portland stone, slate and silver grey. The pattern is considerably different, too. The old one was patterned after the Fujimi instructions.

    The A9 is also getting a light upgrade. What I thought was the silencer is actually a mesh grille that was camouflaged, so that has been fixed. The commander's front hatch needed a periscope. The figure is from AB. The census number was also added, based on the very useful table at the MAFVA web site, which gives number ranges for all AFVs. The decals are from I-94. They also have small RAF and French roundels for 1/144 planes, which will be useful for British trucks and French tanks. Their decals are crisper than Aleran's. The tiny numbers are fully legible and the film strong enough to allow individual digits to be cut and manipulated without disintegrating into pieces.

    Two Dodge command cars ready for weathering. The decals are a mix, stars from Aleran and Almark (an old sheet salvaged with 3 coats of Microscale decal film), vehicle ID numbers from Almark, the larger ones on the WC57 and from I94 on the WC56. The small ID numbers and bumper markings for vehicles of the 23rd armored infantry battalion, 7th armored division, are from a 15mm scale sheet from I94. It actually works better in my view.

    March 6, 2014

    The Humber is still in the workshop. For some reason, all the stowage was left off when I originally built the model. I have a never touched set of flimsies from CSMC which will be put to good use. The POW carriers will be plastic strip. Two lifting eyes on the rear deck were added. matching the front ones. Still missing are a periscope on the front commander hatch and a pair of handles on the front hull. It's amazing what you find when you start looking at pictures of the real vehicle.

    The old Trux Chevy WA Indian pattern 15cwt truck is getting a makeover. The grille has always bothered me. It has the proper shape for a 1939 or 1940 model but has the bar pattern of the 1938 model with 4 wide and 16 narrow bars instead of 16 evenly spaced wide bars. The 4 narrow bars have 5 gaps so I figured that by filling 2 of the 5 gaps I would have 2 wide bars instead of the 4 narrow ones. As a test I puttied one side of the grille with fine Tamiya white putty and scored the 3 gaps I needed before the putty set, using the grooves from the unputtied side as guides. We now have 15 wide bars. The grille being too short, I added putty to the bottom, which will give space for the 16th and last bar. It doesn't look to bad, considering I was prepared to write off the model. I'm thinking of using this technique for the SHQ LRDG WA.

    March 3rd, 2014

    With the simple rebasing out of the way more substantive upgrades are next.

    The Katie is getting a new set of wheels from CSMC (now carried by Wee Friends). I managed to retain the plastic rear axle. One the rear wheels broke off. The remedy for this is to drill the axle stub with a fine bit (0.7mm or less). The hole must be large enough to be able to insert a small length of 15 or 20 thou steel wire to at 2mm. Superglue in place and voila! The new wheel is ready to be inserted. If the wheel's hole is too large, superglue a plug into the hole and drill out a smaller hole, using the same bit as for the axle.

    The old Matchbox Humber MkII armored car received a new set of mirrors made of plastic strip with corners sanded round and 8 thou brass wire. I also added a pair of lifting eyes just aft of the mirrors, based on photo evidence and a 6 thou brass aerial on the turret. The last picture shows the Humber in company of a Daimler MkI and a Marmon Herrington MkII, the latter both from MMS.

    The Matchbox SAS Jeep, modeled as a lighter equipped LRDG Jeep, has an exhaust pipe and a chassis protection plate, mimicking the better detail on the Dragon Jeep.I took the opportunity to replicate the detail on the other Matchbox Jeep from the Morris C8 and 17-pdr gun set.

    I have sorted all my unbuilt models and couldn't resist starting a few. So here we have some white metal models from MMS in various stages of completion. From left to right:
    front row : Tatra T57K, Hillman, Morris and Austin tillies, Adler Kfz13 with SHQ crew (ref# PP1)
    back row : Morris PU, Morris CS8, Dodge WC57, Dodge WC56, Unic P107

    February 25, 2014

    I just realized that he bottom of this page is chopped off and that the first 6 months of 2012 are missing, including the link to the older updates starting in 2004. It is now fixed thanks to waybackmachine, which had a copy of the page from June 2012, including pictures. It's pretty amazing that they would archive this website, given its very low traffic.

    As I have to remount the models that came unstuck from their bases, I'ma taking the opportunity to revisit the older models from decades ago and bring them to current standards so that they don't look out of place with the more recent builds. At minimum, I give them a sand pigment wash, especially to the tires, which have reverse weathering (dark tread valleys and highlighted tire surface, where in reality sand and must accumulates in the creases and the surface in contact with the ground is darker). My desert bases are mostly Humbrol 121 with Humbrol 72 edges (don't ask why, it must have seemed like a good idea back then). They will all be 121 overall with a copious sand pigment wash for texture.

    Airfix Morris CDSW : just tire weathering and updated base.

    Airfix Matador : this kit was upgraded in 2009 with larger wheels from the Airfix Scammell so this time work is limited to weathering the tires and the base and replacing a lost a side mirror.

    Matchbox Diamond T : filled all the round ejector marks in the tractor's cargo bed, dark wash followed by sand pigment, tire weathering and updated base.

    Matchbox Leyland Retriever : tire weathering and updated base.

    Matchbox Dingo : tire weathering and updated base.

    Firing Line FordWOA2 : tire weathering and updated base.

    MMS Ford WOT2E : tire weathering and updated base.

    CSMC (now Wee Friends) Bedford MWD : tire weathering and updated base. The clear acetate windshield has aged badly, taking on an orange tint distinctly visible in the pictures.

    Matador Ford 01TN3A : tire weathering and updated base.

    Matchbox Chevrolet 1533 : tire weathering and updated base.

    February 8, 2014

    Finally back online. We moved in November and I am finally sorting out my modeling gear, which has been stored in boxes since August of last year.

    My planes were individually covered in bubble wrap and placed in a box with dividers (the type used to pack glasses).To my considerable relief damage has been limited to antennas, radio wires (pretty much all of them), and the odd propeller blades (individually glued blades unstuck, not broken). The worst surprise has been the Revell Hellcat which had cracked and peeling decals. It probably has nothing to do with the move but I had to find another set of decal on Ebay for replacement numbers.

    The magnetic bases on my figures and vehicles really paid off. I crammed all I could in a metal toolbox and the rest in an old Ikea metal computer stand. Most of the damage incurred was self-inflicted when I rolled the stand over a paved driveway and noticed parts lying around on the way back. The vibrations shook most models off their bases, plus a number of tarps that were not glued in place.

    I only kept a basic set of tools in a pencil boxe during the transition period. This is as far as I could get on the MMS Unic half-track without access to paint. Thr front roller has bee positioned lower based on pictures of the actual vehicle. There is something wrong in the way the lower chassis and the roller support frames line up with the radiator onthe model aand I am still working it out. The solid cab windows were cut out as well as the rear compartment access hatches. it looks like these had no doors but I may be wrong. The Notek light base on the left front fender was filed off for a French Army vehicle. Pigtail hooks will need to be added front and rear.

    I have a considerable backlog of previews. Let's start with models which have since been completed.
  • 1/76 MMS Dodge 1.5t 6x6 Cargo Truck

    July 2nd, 2013

    This MMS Panzer IV D has been on a shelf for over a year. The bare rear hull panel needed detailing and research on the position of the antenna trough on the right side turned up contradictory results. Some pictures show the antenna root behind the hull angle break, some just ahead. I went with the first in order to use the kit trough, which is shorter than the scaled down Bradford drawing.

    June 27, 2013

    Batch of Russian planes progressing: Amodel Yak 1 and Yak 9U, Dakoplast Yak 9 and Toko P-63A

    June 2nd, 2013

    P-40B at Pearl Harbor. The markings are for Ken Taylor's mount. He shot down 3 Kates and one Zero on December 7, 1941.

    May 30, 2013

    With the long awaited BEF set (thank you Zvezda!) completed, here is a group shot of British infantry in WW2. The jungle green figure is actually an Aussie with US type long gaiters. The Matchbox figures are actually more appropriate for 14th Army types. From left to right: BEF 1940 (Zvezda), Tunisia or Italy 1942/43 with SMLE rifle(ESCI), khaki drill in North Africa, Iraq, Syria, Malaya, or Burma 1941/43 (Airfix), Northwest Europe 1944/45 with Mk4 rifle (Caesar), Paratrooper 1944/45 (Revell), Australian in New Guinea (with US long gaiters) 1944/45 (Airfix).

    May 22, 2013

    Zvezda BEF 3 inch mortar ready for paint:

    May 21, 2013

    Completed Zvezda BEF infantry:

    Hat late war and Zvezda BEF Vickers MMGs:

    Zvezda Russian PTD crew slowly progressing:

    May 20, 2013

    Zvezda BEF infantry before final flat coat and weathering:

    1944 infantry from Caesar and 1940 infantry from Zvezda illustrating the equipment's evolution. The most visible differences are the entrenching tool, the respirator bag, and the rifle. The 1944 figure shown is not carrying the haversack but could well have one.

    May 16, 2013

    Grainy iPhone photo of Zvezda BEF infantry painted, varnished and ready for dark wash:

    May 8, 2013

    Sword P-66 Vanguard painted in OD and neutral gray and marked in Chinese colors. The instructions call for dark green over light blue but I highly doubt that the Chinese would have bothered to repaint these Lend-Lease planes. P-66 operations in China are peripherally discussed in Richard Dunn's account of the P-43 Lancer's use by the CAF.

    AML P-36A fully decorated. Matte Baremetal aluminum foil was used for the moving surfaces. It is thicker and stiffer than the old chrome sheet I had and is actually more difficult to apply.

    Apr. 14, 2013

    Sword P-66 Vanguard ready for paint.

    AML P-36A covered with Baremetal foil. Say what you will but no spray-on metal finish comes close to foil for the appearance of shiny metal. The fabric control sufaces are Alclad white aluminum. It appears much darker and out of place. The left aileron lost most of it due to manipulation during the foil process. I have matt aluminum foil on order to redo the control surfaces. A trim tab needs to be added to both ailerons.

    Mar. 25, 2013

    Revell P-47D30 finally completed:

    The largest single engine fighter of the war next to one of the smallest if not the smallest. See for yourself:

    Revell Me 262 finally completed as well.

    Work in progress. The pictures were taken several weeks ago and things have progressed quite a bit since then.
    From left to right. Front row : Spitfire IX (Hasegawa), Spitfire Vb trop. (Hobbyboss), Spitfire XII (XtraKit-Sword), Macchi 205 (Italeri), Fw 190 A3 (Tamiya). Back row : P-2=36A (AML), P-66 (Sword), P-40B (Airfix), P-63A (Toko), Yak 9 (Eastern Express-Dakoplast), Yak 1 (Amodel), Yak 9U (Amodel), Hawk 81A (Airfix)

    The three Yaks in construction with the Hasegawa Yak 3:

    Mar. 11, 2013

    Revell British paras finally completed:

    Zvezda BEF infantry progressing:

    ICM I-16 type 24 completed:

    Feb. 13, 2013

    Ostmodels BT-7 slowly progressing. The guide teeth were a challenge. They are made from plastic strip, cut into 1.5 mm squares, filed into shape and superglued in position. I broke the very brittle resin tracks several times in the process and had to rebuild portions suing plastic strips. 4 fuel tanks, headlights, two hooks in front, two d-rings in the rear, 3 lifting eyes and a DT gun in the turret need to be made from scratch material.

    Zvezda's Art of tactice figures and guns are a welcome break from more involved modeling projects. The build part takes minutes and the detail level is higher than most kits. BEF Infantry and Vickers machine gun crew. The MMG is missing the condenser can, which I will source from the Hat set.

    The PTRD is a very large and cumbersome weapon in reality which the model's oversized barrel reinforces.

    Soviet 1927 model 76mm infantry and 1939 model (61-K) 37mm LAA guns. Their wheels are small for 1/72 and match similar sized wheels in 1/76 (122mm gun for the large ones and GazAA/BA-6 for the 5 hole wheels) so I considered the whole models acceptable for 1/76. They include gunsights, which are usually missing in most traditional kits.

    Jan. 12, 2013

    A belated Happy New Year to all modelers of good will!

    Continuing on with early Soviet subjects, here is the diminutive Komsomolets tractor. The rear seats should hold 6 crew members but only 4 1/72 riders will fit.

    Here is the preview of the kit which I had forgotten to post in due time.

    Air cover for the Soviets. Boris Safonov's I-16 type 24.

    For those wondering, the stands are made from bent coat hanger wires (from the dry cleaner) superglued to 2in square metal wargame bases lined with magnet sheet on the bottom.

    3 Revell British paras ready for final flat varnish. The previously completed rifleman had his camo colors refreshed to stand out more. I used Polly Scale German green and red brown, the two colors that usually go on dark yellow panzers.

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