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AIRCRAFT SPECIAL: 10 HOW-TO STORIES & REVIEWS! May 2015 Airbrush multicolor camouflage freehand - p.18






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Improve a vintage dive-bomber kit p.40 Update a Vietnam gunship with basic techniques p.24 OUR EXPERT BUILDERS EVALUATE 8 ALL-NEW KITS p.52 BONUS ONLINE CONTENT CODE PAGE 5

Vol. 33 • Issue 5

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CONTENTS May 2015 • Vol. 33 • No. 5 Online Content Code: FSM1505 Enter this code at to gain access to web-exclusive content.




Spraying streaks on an SM.79 Finishing an iconic Italian bomber AARON SKINNER



Detailing Tamiya’s big P-51 Rope in a better Mustang JOHN C. BACKENSTROSS

24 20

Helpful hints for a Huey Improve the UH-1C gunship JIM WECHSLER



Page 52

• Zoukei-Mura Horten 229

• IBG Diamond T 968 cargo truck • Airfix Supermarine Swift FR.5 • Eduard SSW D.III




Display base basics Display your models realistically

• Zvezda SdKfz 251/1 “Stuka zu Fuss”


• Revell Germany Landing Ship Medium

Improving Airfix’s classic Stuka Scratchbuilding dive-bomber details DAVE ROBBINS

44 44

• Revell Germany Airbus A400M Atlas



In Every Issue

Stretching a fuselage Lengthen without using a second kit MIKE MATHIEU



• Kitty Hawk F9F-8/-8P Cougar

Final Details The Boyer fellas, from Baltimore to Bronco

6 8 10 12 32

Editor’s Page Scale Talk Spotlight New Products Reader Gallery

50 47 63 65 65

Questions & Answers Reader Tips Classified Marketplace Advertiser Index Hobby Shop Directory

On the Cover Instead of visiting the aftermarket, John C. Backenstross improved his 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang with clever scratchbuilt parts.


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FineScale Modeler (ISSN 0277-979X, USPS No. 679-590) is published monthly (except for June & August) by Kalmbach Publishing Co., 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187. Periodicals Postage is paid at Waukesha, WI and additional offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to FineScale Modeler, 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612. Canada Post Publication Mail Agreement #40010760.

EDITOR’S PAGE By Matthew Usher

New technology and old friends WELCOME TO the May issue of FineScale Modeler! Here at FineScale Modeler HQ we’re headed toward summer. While yardwork and other outdoor duties are ahead, I’ll always make time for a little modeling, and I hope you will, too, no matter what season you’re headed into. Drone. It’s a simple five-letter word, but it’s a subject that’s entered the public consciousness like few others in recent memory. They’re a fascinating subject, and if you’re interested in learning more, I have a great special-edition publication to recommend. Produced by our sister publication, Discover, and edited by our own Tim Kidwell, Drone 360 is full of top-notch, meticulously researched information on these rapidly evolving flying machines.

Whether you’re curious about the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in law enforcement or itching to break into the quadcopter hobby, Drone 360 is packed with ideas and information to help you

IT’S A SIMPLE FIVE-LETTER WORD THAT’S ENTERED THE PUBLIC CONSCIOUSNESS get started. Look for Drone 360 on newsstands, or visit to order a copy. In its more than 30 years on the newsstand, many, many talented people have worked to make FineScale Modeler the best magazine possible. Recently we said farewell to one of our favorites, our Senior Graphic Designer Patti L. Keipe, who retired from

Kalmbach Publishing after a 27-year career. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many projects Patti brought her talents to during her time here, but for the many years I had the opportunity to work with her, she was always upbeat, enthusiastic, and seemingly never without a smile on her face. Although I will miss her talent and her presence in the office, I wish her nothing but the best in her retirement, a sentiment shared by all of us on the FSM staff. Thanks for everything, Patti! Want to learn more? For the latest news as well as modeling tips and techniques, visit our website at

Your Editorial Staff

Editor Matthew Usher editor

Associate Editor Mark Hembree mhembree

Associate Editor Tim Kidwell tkidwell

Associate Editor Aaron Skinner askinner

Editorial Associate Monica Freitag mfreitag

Publisher Mark Savage msavage

Contact Us Editorial: FineScale Modeler 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612 262-796-8776, weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Fax: 262-796-1383 Website:

6 FineScale Modeler May 2015

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SUBSCRIPTION RATES: single copy $5.99; U.S.: 1 year (10 issues), $39.95; 2 years (20 issues), $74.95; 3 years (30 issues), $106.95. Canada: Add $8 postage per year. All other international subscriptions: Add $12 postage per year. Payable in U.S. funds, drawn on a U.S. bank. Canadian price includes GST (Canada Publication Mail Agreement #40010760, BN 12271 3209 RT). Expedited Delivery Service: Domestic First Class, add $20/yr.; Canadian air, add $20/yr.; International air, add $45/yr. Letters, new releases, and new-product information are accepted as gratis contributions to FineScale Modeler. Feature articles and scale drawings are paid for on acceptance. All other submissions are paid for upon publication, at which time FineScale Modeler obtains all reproduction rights unless otherwise agreed. Instructions for submitting features, photographs, and drawings for publication are available from the editorial associate or online at Unsolicited material will be returned only if postage and envelope are provided. FineScale Modeler is not responsible for the safe return of unsolicited material. Printed in U.S.A.

May 2015 7

SCALE TALK Your voice in FSM Modeling to help grieving

I felt really connected to Aaron’s December 2014 guest editorial. During September and October, I nursed my mother in her final weeks of cancer. To help fill in the many hours of waiting, I moved my modeling gear to the family house and commenced building a PzKpfw IV. The tank became a focal point for the family. At first my sister teased me, but as the days became weeks and we spent more time around the table, her interest increased. We spoke about childhood, the present, and grieved while I modeled and we waited. By the time of Mom’s passing, my tank was done and we set about moving on. Modeling relieved my stress, and when we packed to go home, my sister asked me for the model. She, too, had found the quiet time while I modeled a source of strength. Sometimes the smallest acts make the most impact. – Leo Clayton Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia More Italian soldiers, please

I am currently building Italeri’s 1/35 scale Autoblinda Italian armored car. My plan was to use it in a vignette; I planned to place some Italian infantry walking alongside the vehicle. However, I’m going to have to model the armored car as a German version instead. Why? Because of the lack of kits of Italian soldiers in 1/35 scale. There are plenty of choices for German soldiers. I could, of course, still model the vehicle as an Italian one, put it in a vignette, and just do without the infantry. I’m appealing to manufacturers: Please produce some Italian (and Japanese, while I’m asking) infantry in 1/35 scale and have them in interesting poses, just like all those models of German, British, American, and Soviet troops. – Haydn Foulkes Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales Luftwaffe ’46

My only real complaint about FSM is that I tear through it in about 20 minutes and end up wanting more. But then I refer back to it as well as my other issues for information and inspiration. What I’d like to see is an in-depth article on how to rig a World War I airplane. The 1/32 scale Wingnut Wings aircraft really tempt me, but I am put off by the rigging. I believe there are new types of line and scale turnbuckles that would help, but I 8 FineScale Modeler May 2015

Lowell made his diorama of a German fighter escorting a wounded B-17 home the centerpiece of his model display at the Vigo County Public Library last December.

Library display his past December, I had the pleasure of placing a display in the Vigo County Public Library. The display’s theme was “Scale models and the books that inspired their build.” The purpose was to encourage reading, the scale model building hobby, the study of history, and appreciation of our veterans. Each model displayed was accompanied by the book that inspired its build and a short summary of the model and book. The centerpiece of the display was a diorama based upon the book, A Higher Call, in which a German fighter pilot refused to shoot down an ailing B-17. Instead, he shepherded the bomber to the North Sea and spared the lives of the crew. One of the models displayed


don’t have any idea on how to use them, or what tools might help. I believe such a how-to article would also be useful to ship modelers, too. I’d also like to see more science fiction in the magazine. Rockets, flying saucers,

was a post-Korean War Douglas B-26. It featured a short book my father wrote outlining his days and nights in the U.S. Air Force. I really enjoyed working on the models for this project. It gave each build a sense of purpose. I am told by the library staff that the display was well received, and I’ve been asked to do another this December. The next one will feature armor from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Blackhorse, during its time in Vietnam. My uncle served in the Blackhorse from 1966-67. I think it would be great to get this going all across the U.S. to promote the hobby, history, reading, and appreciation of our veterans. – Lowell Houpt Terre Haute, Ind. and movie vehicles would prove interesting. They tend to be a relaxing, easy build — a real break from rivet counting. And lastly, I’d like to close with a short complaint to the model manufacturers. I am tired of Luftwaffe ’46 models and

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SCALE TALK “paper” panzers. Come on, give us French armor. Some of the 1930s camo schemes are amazing. I’ve seen one with a blue band on top of the turret to mimic the sky. An investment in a mold of the Lorraine 37L APC chassis could be the basis for German self-propelled guns and antitank vehicles. The fact that Heller’s is the only kit of the SOMUA S35, just amazes me. The French halftracks of the early ’30s are really cool, to say nothing of the Char D2 infantry tank. Keep up the good work. I thoroughly enjoy the magazine.

Good news, Russell! Tamiya just released an all-new 1/35 scale SOMUA S35 (No. 35344). —Aaron Skinner, Associate Editor

First, it is extremely hard to paint wheels if the rims aren’t raised and distinct to create a “no-go” line for paint. Molding the wheels with more distinct rims would definitely help. Second, the same idea applies to canopies. Without distinct lines, it is nearly impossible for almost all of us to mask a canopy successfully. Alternatively (or in addition), I would love to see kit makers include masks for canopies and wheels. They don’t even have to be actual masks, just printed on paper so they can be traced into masking tape to make the real masks. Use a separate piece, please, so those who like to save the instructions for the kits they build don’t have to either cut them up or copy them, which can introduce slight errors in size.

Suggestions for manufacturers

– Dave Thewlis McKinleyville, Calif.

– Russell Jennings Austin, Texas

Mark Korda’s letter in the March 2015 FineScale Modeler (“Why not two sets of decals?” Page 8) inspired me to offer a couple of suggestions for kit makers that would definitely help modelers, especially less experienced or talented ones such as me.


Too many windows

Bill Plunk did a nice job on Marseille’s 1/32 scale Bf 109F-4 Trop in the January FineScale Modeler. However, he made a mistake — nothing a little paint won’t fix, I



think. The 109F only had a single small triangular window below the port side of the windscreen, unlike the E, which had this window on both sides. My first plastic model, which I actually painted with an airbrush, had specialty decals, scratchbuilt cockpit details, vacuumformed canopy, and was a conversion of the 1/72 scale Hawk Bf 109G kit. I made the same mistake and didn’t flash on it for years! I still have the model, and it has a place of honor on my model shelf. – Weldon Dunlap Mililani, Hawaii Let us know what you think! Comments, suggestions, corrections, and additional views on FSM articles are welcome. E-mail your thoughts to, or visit and click on “Contribute to FSM.” You can also mail typed or handwritten letters to the address on Page 6. Clearly mark “To the Editor” on the envelope. Please limit your comments to no more than 300 words and include your name and location.



Now at Download a desktop wallpaper Download a desktop wallpaper of the Kitty Hawk 1/48 scale F9F-8/-8P Cougar built by Paul Boyer for review in the May 2015 FineScale Modeler. Workbench Reviews Subscribers receive early access to upcoming reviews. Weekly free review Check out this week’s free model kit review. Article archive Search our article collection to find the answer to your modeling question. Tips database Subscribers can search our extensive database of reader-supplied tips. Model-finishing terms and definitions FSM regular Cookie Sewell clears up the confusion surrounding some of the more recent terms to come out of scale modeling, including color modulation, filters, and glazes, and goes over some well-known techniques, too.

Video issue previews FSM Editor Matthew Usher highlights what’s inside the current and past issues. New Product Rundown Associate editors Tim Kidwell and Aaron Skinner pick the hottest scalemodel subjects, open up the boxes, and tell you why they rock.

SUBSCRIBE AT FINESCALE.COM AND GET IMMEDIATE ACCESS The FSM+ icon indicates subscriber-only content.

10 FineScale Modeler May 2015


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SPOTLIGHT Compiled by Aaron Skinner

Soviet heavy hauler in 1/35 scale HobbyBoss’ KrAZ-255B jammed with details


ew this month is another Soviet military vehicle, a 1/35 scale KrAZ-255B 7-ton, 6 x 6 truck (No. 85506) from HobbyBoss ( Built to replace the KrAZ-214, the -255B has been operated by military and civilian users since the late 1960s. It’s earned a reputation for ruggedness and the ability to navigate almost any kind of terrain. HobbyBoss’ new tooling has fantastic examples of modern molding. The onepiece cab and the fenders are highlights. But I was impressed by the scale-thin radiator grille, and especially the open

12 FineScale Modeler May 2015

cooling louvers on the engine side covers. Behind the louvers lurks a detailed rendition of the KrAZ’s V-8, 15-liter powerplant with separate manifolds, plumbing, and belts. It connects to a great-looking drivetrain with multipart axles, brake cylinders, propeller shafts, transfer case, and leaf springs. The instructions don’t show the rear springs being attached, but it looks like, with careful gluing, it may be possible to articulate the rear wheels. Seven vinyl tires complete the running gear and the spare rack between the cab and bed. The cargo bed includes wooden tex-

ture on some of the parts. Troop seats can be posed lowered or stowed. Details abound in the cab: full controls (including pedals), an adjustable driver’s seat, decal instruments for the dash, and even a clear dome light. Optional parts allow the windshield panes to be posed open. Photoetched brass is used for mudflaps, bumpers, tie-downs, light brackets, steps, and jerry-can racks. Decals and painting diagrams provide markings for four vehicles: two Finnish KrAZ-255Bs, and one each in East German and Soviet service. HobbyBoss’ KrAZ-255B costs $87.99.

Vietnam-era colors from a new manufacturer


.S. Air Force aircraft that served in Southeast Asia and elsewhere during the Cold War have always been popular with modelers. That means it’s important to find the correct colors. Hataka

Hobby ( from Poland aims to aid that quest with its new USAF paint set (HTK-AS09). The set includes six 17ml (a little more than ½ oz.) eyedropper bottles. The colors included are dark tan, dark green, medium green, and camouflage gray for the standard SEA camouflage, night black for the underside of Strategic Air Command aircraft, and the air defense gray used for most USAF fighters. These are water-based, airbrush-ready paints. Each bottle has an agitator to mix the paint.

Hataka also has sets for Royal Air Force and Luftwaffe aircraft in North Africa, the Battle of Britain, and late World War II. Other sets include Polish air force colors and American air force and navy late-war camouflage. The USAF Vietnam War Era set costs $24.99. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

New Turkish company kits Turkish trainer prototype


love it when a kit introduces me to a subject I haven’t heard about. Such was the case when Tanmodel ( contacted FSM about its 1/72 scale Turkish Aerospace Industries Hürkuş-A (No. 2904). The aircraft is a two-seat turboprop trainer and groundattack aircraft being built for the Turkish military. Two

Hürkuş are currently undergoing testing. Not surprisingly, this is the first kit of the plane. Molded in white plastic, the parts feature engraved panel lines and raised features in the cockpit. The canopy’s detonation-cord emergency breakers are molded on. There is a little flash on the sprues and a couple of sink marks, but nothing a little filler and sanding won’t

remove. All of the control surfaces are separate; the instructions show how to modify the actuators to pose the flaps down. I really dig the 8-page instruction manual with its CAD diagrams showing new parts in different colors. Decals provide markings for the first flying prototype. Tanmodel is looking for an American distributor, but its

products can be purchased from several online merchants shown on the company’s website. The Hürkuş-A is expected to cost $15.

Tamiya’s PzKpfw 38(t) rolls onto the market


fter Tamiya ( produced kits of German Marders, modelers have wondered if a model of the Czech tank these self-propelled guns were based on might be forthcoming. Well, the wait is over, at least for model-

ers who like 1/48 scale armor. As expected, there are some common parts between the new 1/48 scale PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf E/F (No. 32583) and the Marder IIIs, including hull sides with suspension bogies molded in

place, running gear and link-andlength tracks, and metal weights for the hull. New parts for the upper hull and turret are sharply molded with crisp panel lines and neat rivets. There’s no interior detail, but a commander — or at least his torso, arms, and head with headphones — will fill the hatch if it’s posed open. Decals provide markings for two overall dark gray tanks on the Eastern Front in 1942. Tamiya’s little Panzer 38(t) costs $29. Now how about a 1/35 scale kit? May 2015 13

NEW PRODUCTS Compiled by Monica Freitag

AIRCR AFT 1/24 DETAIL SETS Hawker Hurricane Mk.I landing gear (for Airfix) from Scale Aircraft Conversions,

No. 24009, $19.99


Red Arrows Folland Gnat T.1 from Airfix,

No. A05124, $24.99.

Stinson Reliant SR-9 1937 Gullwing personal plane from AMT, No. AMT905/12,

$19.99. Pilot figure included.

Phantom P-51D Mustang from Monogram, No. 85-0067, $49.95. Transparent see-through working model.

Mirage IIIE from Kinetic, No. K48050, $63. Kinetic. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

1/32 DECAL SETS Fleet Air Arm/ RNZAF Corsairs

De Havilland Hornet F1 fighter from

Trumpeter, No. 02893, $48.95.

from Xtradecal, No. X32057, $13.50. Marking for four F4U-1A Corsair Mk. IIs: one in New Zealand service, three from the Royal Navy.

F-86D Sabre Dog from Revell, No. 85-5868,


Sea Harrier FA2 from Kinetic, No. K48041, $60. Kinetic. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.


P-40 Warhawk landing gear (for Hasegawa) from Scale Aircraft Conversions,

OV-10 Bronco landing gear (for Kitty Hawk) from Scale Aircraft Conversions,

No. 48279, $13.95.

No. 32093, $18.95.

Westland Whirlwind landing gear (for Trumpeter) from Scale Aircraft Conversions,


No. 48280, $17.95.

1/72 SCALE KITS Folland Gnat T.1 from Airfix, No. A05123, $24.99. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

C-45F/UC-45F WWII USAAF passenger aircraft from ICM, No. 48181, $50.99. Look for a

F-16CJ Block 50 Fighting Falcon with full equipment from Tamiya, No. 60788, $52. Look

detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

14 FineScale Modeler May 2015


F-35C Lightning II from Orange Model, No. A72001, $24. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.


Ju 87 G2 Stuka from Victrix Ltd., No.

VAC001, $37.50. Three models per box with telescopic pivoting flight stands. Undercarriage has options for both winter and summer conditions. 4 sets of decals included.

M50 Ontos from Renwal Blueprint Models, No.

85-7823, $23.95. Includes combat crew of 3.


Dornier Do17Z from Airfix, No. A05010,

$24.99. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.


Hawker Typhoon 1B from Victrix Ltd.,

Vantour landing gear (for Special Hobby/ Azur) from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No.

No. VAC002, $37.50. Three models per box with telescopic pivoting flight stands. Option for undercarriage to be built raised or lowered, 3 sets of decals including 2 for Normandy 1944.

72102, $17.95.


U.S. M19 tank transporter with soft-top cab from Merit International, No. 63502,


Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I/Mk.II from


Xtradecal, No. X72217, $12. Markings for 10 RAF day and night fighters. Designed for the new Airfix kit.

RAF Victor landing gear (for Great Wall Hobby) from Scale Aircraft Conversions,

Foreign Hawker Hunters from

Xtradecal, No. X72214, $13.50. Markings for 15 Hunters: two Indian, three Rhodesian, two Singaporean, and one each from Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Chile, Kenya, Qatar, Oman, and Zimbabwe.

No. 14418, $12.95.

AR MOR 1/16 SCALE KITS ZiL-131 Soviet truck with Soviet motorized rifles figures from ICM, No. 35516, $54.99. Somua S35 from Tamiya, No. 35344, $68.

German 105mm K18 cannon from Merit

International, No. 61601, $99.98. featuring reviews, product information, photo galleries, and more!

A description of our new-product announcement and review policies is available from Product News Coordinator, FSM, 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187, 262796-8776, fax 262-796-1383, or e-mail at FineScale Modeler is not responsible for content of external sites linked through our site. Visit our website at

May 2015 15






1938 Custom Ford van from Lindberg,

No. HL114/12, $24.99.


U.S. Navy Elco 80' PT Boat, early type from

Merit International, No. 64802, $93.


Soviet armored carrier riders 1979-1991

from ICM, No. 35637, $15.99.


PLA Navy Type 021-class missile boat from

Merit International, No. 67203, $125.

Jaw Breaker Wild Rail dragster from MPC,


No. MPC821/12, $23.99.

French Dragoons 1812-1814 from Zvezda,

No. 6812, $8. USS Yorktown CV-5 from Merit International, No. 65301, $179.98. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

AUTOS 1969 Cougar Eliminator from AMT,


No. AMT912/12, $23.99.

1913 Ford Model T Roadster from ICM,

1937 Chevrolet CPE - The Original Stovebolt from AMT, No. AMT899/12,

Christopher Columbus’ flagship Santa Maria from Zvezda, No. 6510, $10.75.

No. 24001, $59.99.

$25.99. Build it three ways (stock, custom or drag). Subscribers have exclusive access to model kit photos not published in the magazine! Simply go to

16 FineScale Modeler May 2015

Manufacturer/Distributor Directory Aero Research Co. Airfix 253-922-7194 1932 Ford Victoria Lil’ Viky from AMT,

No. AMT902/12, $25.99.


Nestlé Crunch monster truck from AMT,

No. AMT-911L, $22.99. Snap-It.

BOOKSHELF A-3 Skywarrior Units of the Vietnam War,

$22.95, by Rick Morgan, soft cover, 96 pages, mostly color photos and color renderings, few black-and-white photos, ISBN: 978-14728-0565-5. From Osprey Publishing.

Douglas AD/A-1 Skyraider Part Two - US Navy Squadrons, No. GB836 $55.95, by

Steve Ginter, soft cover, 272 pages, 740 blackand-white photos, ISBN: 978-0-9892583-6-4. From Ginter Books.


Aero Research Co., No. 1059, $12.95. 156 images of 26 different types of US Navy aircraft from the 1950s to the 1990s.

Revell 847-758-3200 • Monogram • Renwal Blueprint Models • Revell Germany

Dragon Models USA Inc. 626-968-0322 • Aoshima • Bronco • Concord • Cyber-hobby • Dragon • Fine Molds • Firefly Books • Fujimi • GWH • Master Box • Nuts & Bolts Books • Orochi • Platz • Riich • Showcase Models Australia • Zvezda

Round 2 574-243-3000 • AMT • Hawk • Lindberg • MPC • Polar Lights


Squadron Products 877-414-0434 • Encore Models • HobbyBoss • ICM • Meng • Roden • Super Scale International • Sword • True Details • Trumpeter

Hannants 44-1502-517444 • Xtradecal • Xtrakit Merit International 626-912-2212 • AFV Club • Kinetic • Merit Orange Hobby Osprey Publishing Pacific Coast Models, Inc. 707-538-4850 • Amusing Hobby • Asuka • Ebbro • HK Models • Kitty Hawk • Pacific Coast • Panda • Takom • Xactscale

Scale Aircraft Conversions 214-477-7163 Specialty Press 651-277-1400 • Classic • Crecy • Ginter • Hikoki • Zenith

Stevens International 856-435-1555 • Hataka Hobby • IBG Models • Meng • MiniArt • Noys Miniatures • Trumpeter Tamiya America Inc. 949-362-2240 Tanmodel Victrix Ltd. Zoukei-Mura Inc.

May 2015 17

Spraying streaks on Finishing an Italian bomber three decades in the making • BY AARON SKINNER


n 1984, Shane Hedlund read a story about the Savoia-Marchetti S.M.79. Inspired to build one of the Italian trimotors, he amassed items and references, intending to superdetail Airfix’s 1/72 scale model. Fast-forward nearly 30 years: Italeri surpasses Airfix with a modern tooling of the medium bomber, prompting a change of plans. Shane used a few parts from Pavla detail sets and and a bunch of photoetched metal from Eduard to dress up Italeri’s S.M.79. Parts that didn’t look right in twodimensional photoetched metal were scratchbuilt, such as the bomb-bay’s overhead trellis. He added missing framing and replaced the floor with styrene sheet and strip. Scratchbuilding enhanced the bomb aimer’s position, machine-gun mounts, ammo racks, spent cartridge tubes, wheel wells, and the engine, which received pushrods and cowl supports. Ammo belts were soft lead strips squeezed with pliers to serrate the belts. Shane primed with Mr. Surfacer 500 sprayed straight from the can. A great thing about modeling Italian planes is the myriad colorful finishes. “I wanted the most unusual camouflage scheme I could find,” Shane says. He found what he wanted in Warpaint Series No.61 — SavoiaMarchetti S.79 Sparviero, by Richard J. Caruna. To paint the camouflage, he used White Ensign Models Colourcoats enamels cut 20-30 percent with

Testors enamel thinner. (The coverage of these paints impressed Shane when he had to touch up the tan over darker colors.) The yellow on the cowls and white theater stripe are Floquil colors. After decals, a coat of Testors Model Master Acryl clear flat sealed the finish. Badger double-action airbrushes are his weapons of choice for painting. He used a 150 siphon-feed for broad coverage, and a Velocity topfeed for detail work. For general work, he sets the pressure at 30-35 psi but dials it to 20 psi and moves in close for detail work like the streaking. After airbrushing thin lines of black paint to preshade panel lines under the plane, he airbrushed light gray. Painting and masking the underside gave him a place to hold the model while applying the camouflage. Working freehand, Shane applied the camouflage colors progressively from lightest to darkest. Then he repeated the process to refine the color demarcations, correct overspray, and ensure the camouflage matched across open doors and hatches. He painted the final stages wearing an OptiVisor, probably more for his failing eyesight than pursuit of perfection, he says. Post-shading with lightened tones gave the bomber a little wear, but he kept weathering to a minimum. “I have three more S.M.79s in progress and plan on doing different styles of camouflage on each one. But I doubt I will go to such lengths to detail the interior,” he says. FSM

18 FineScale Modeler May 2015

Wash: Made mostly of fabric and wood, the S.M.79’s skin doesn’t show many panel lines. Shane used washes from The Detailer to emphasize them and other recesses.

Markings: Tauro decals marked the bomber for the 27th Gruppo, 8th Stormo, one of the first S.M.79 units sent to Africa in 1941. Shane layered three decals on the wing insignia to hide the dark camouflage colors beneath the white.

Camouflage: The tan and green areas defined where the brown streaks needed to be. Holding his Badger Velocity close to the surface, Shane sprayed at an angle away from the outside edge of the color area to get the sharpest possible line.

an S.M.79 Primer: A couple of coats of spray-can Mr. Surfacer 500, separated by light sanding, eliminated seams on the fuselage. Brushed-on Mr. Surfacer took care of small gaps elsewhere.

Antennas and rigging: As the build drew to a close, Shane strung EZ Line to replicate radio aerials and guy wires. Designed for model railroads, the elastic thread stretches taut but has flexibility to withstand bumps.

Meet Shane Hedlund Shane started building models as a kid in the mid-1960s. His hobby went on the back burner during his career in the U.S. Air Force and while raising two kids. He says his interest in modeling aircraft as well as his choice of profession probably stem from his father, also an Air Force verteran, who started his career flying B-25s in the South Pacific with the 13th Air Force. “I was lucky enough to marry an understanding wife who has tolerated my hobby, extensive library, and aviation art on the walls for the past 32 years,” he says. “I’ve been a member of the IPMS Eagle Squadron chapter in Raleigh, N.C., for 19 years.”

With more than 1,300 built, the S.M.79 is the most important Italian bomber of World War II. For modelers like Shane, it means hundreds of colorful camouflage schemes to try. May 2015 19

1/32 Scale

Detailing Tamiya’s

BIG P-51D 20 FineScale Modeler May 2015

Rather than visit the aftermarket, John made a few improvements to Tamiya’s P-51 with clever scratchbuilding.

1 Tamiya provides a great replica of the Packard Merlin engine, comprising more than 45 parts. I built it in subassemblies.

2 Referring to photos, I added styrene detail, including .040"rod spark-plug connectors and .060" rod for the PVC outlet.


Rope in a better Mustang with simple tips, styrene, and wire

I installed wrapped .024" guitar string in holes drilled for the braided cable on the intake and spark-plug wires. To replicate piping between the coolant pump and tank, I strung .035" aluminum wire with .090" styrene-tube couplers; 26-gauge wire plumbed the supercharger. I painted the engine Tamiya semigloss black and weathered it with brown pastels.


Tamiya’s 1/32 scale aircraft pack a punch, especially in the detail department. They contain hundreds of parts, including photoetched metal, vinyl tires, metal landing-gear supports, and canopy masks. After several days spent studying the instructions and parts for the P-51D Mustang (kit No. 60322), I was determined to build it straight from the box — mostly. I added detail here and there, scratchbuilding rather than sourcing aftermarket sets.

4 Tamiya’s three-part instrument panel looks great; decals attach to the back of a clear part, which is then inserted in holes in the panel face. Painting and dry-brushing finished the job. May 2015 21

5 The side walls were pretty complete but benefited from a little extra work to match photos. On the left fuselage half (top), I added 34-gauge wire going aft and connected the throttle to the console with .015" wire. The right received double and triple strands of 34-gauge wire.

7 I deepened holes in the M2 machine-gun cooling jackets by boring out the molded depressions with a No. 76 (.020") bit.

9 I removed a mold seam down the canopy centerline with sanding sticks and pads, then polished the clear plastic with Novus No. 2 fine-scratch remover. 22 FineScale Modeler May 2015

6 BarracudaCals cockpit stencil and placard decals make the cockpit look appropriately busy. But they are tiny, so I wore my OptiVisor when applying them.

8 There’s a lot new in the main wheel wells, including: a sewing-pin actuator; hose straps and tie-downs from Model Car Garage; .015", 26-, and 34-gauge wire fed through holes drilled in the gussets; and Tamiya metallic blue (X-13) paint to represent connectors.

10 To fill small gaps like wing roots, I prefer automotive spot-glazing putty: It’s creamy and goes on smooth. Tape protects detail around the gaps from damage during sanding.



I hollowed out the plastic oleo scissors (parts J11) with a micro drill bit and file to conform to the photoetched-metal parts (A4) that wrap around them.

After measuring the width of the oleos, I cut a piece of Bare-Metal Foil ultra-bright chrome just a little bit longer than necessary to go around the oleo. Before wrapping the foil around the leg, I tack one end in place with a tiny dab of super glue. This locks the foil in place while I burnish it with a round toothpick.



In preparation for Alclad II metallic lacquers, I primed the Mustang with Rust-Oleum gloss black acrylic lacquer. After two days, I wet-sanded the paint with 1500-grit sandpaper.

I airbrushed Alclad II airframe aluminum as a base coat, then masked and sprayed various panels Alclad II dark aluminum, polished aluminum, duraluminum, and white aluminum.



After painting the 75-gallon drop tanks Alclad II white aluminum, I drilled holes topside and added 26-gauge-wire fuel lines with connectors made from electrical tape and hose clamps from Model Car Garage.

Black artist’s-oil washes thinned with mineral spirits deepened panel lines; I applied dark gray and black pastels for exhaust and muzzle streaks. To corral my Mustang, I dressed up’s Tarmac Airstrip Bases #1 (No. PR32-008) with static grass, shrubbery, rocks, and ballast from Woodland Scenics. Scratchbuilt wheel chocks, and figures and a fueling unit from Verlinden finished the scene. FSM May 2015 23

1/35 Scale

Jim Wechsler is well known to FSM readers as an armor modeler. When he chose to build a helicopter, he realized it might be his first. “I’m not sure if I’ve ever built one,” he says. “Maybe when I was a kid, flying them around in my basement.”

Helpful hints for a Huey F Basic tips for the Academy/MRC UH-1C gunship BY JIM WECHSLER Visit our website for a guide to Jim’s past articles and his book, Building and Detailing Realistic Sherman Tanks, available from Kalmbach Publishing.

24 FineScale Modeler May 2015

or someone who usually builds armor, the Academy/MRC 1/35 scale UH-1C Huey gunship (kit No. 12701) may seem like a strange choice. But I think of this famous Vietnam veteran as a flying armored personnel carrier packing some pretty potent ordnance. Unlike the pile of products you can add to most armor models, there is not a mountain of aftermarket goodies to augment Bell’s famous chopper. However, Eduard’s “Big Ed” set (No. BIG3209) provides interior and exterior details, enhancements for the armament, masks for the glass, and prepainted remove-before-flight tags. With that, I sallied forth to improve the kit.

Styrene shim

Consoles painted, then masked

1 Inside, poor fits left some ugly gaps. But .010" sheet styrene served well enough for shims at the top corners of the bulkhead and along the left side of the floor. Sanding helped fit other pieces.

3 Eduard provides photoetched metal inserts for the pilots’ seat side panels, but Jim left them off. He did cut slots in the kit parts for the photoetchedmetal belts, though — and each belt had six or more parts! “Next time, I’ll add the metal buckles to masking tape,” he says.

2 Jim painted instrument consoles, but filling and sanding to fit meant much of the interior would have to be painted after it was mounted in the fuselage.

4 Jim left the co-pilot’s seat empty, but he seated the pilot figure, gluing the stick and collective in its hands to ensure a good fit at those points. The figure comes in the kit; its head is from a CMK set.

Seams smoothed with a swab

5 The last major items before closing up the fuselage were the troop seat and ammo bins underneath it. Jim made sure the photoetched-metal seat belts were naturally mussed up. He slightly repositioned the kit figure’s head and supplied an M60 from a Dragon set.

6 Squadron white putty at the edges shows the floor’s poor fit. Jim found he was better off gluing other interior elements to the fuselage rather than the floor as indicated in the instructions. He smoothed the putty while it was still wet using a cotton swab dipped in nail-polish remover. May 2015 25

7 Jim masked the instrument consoles, base-coated the interior flat black, then painted it dark gull gray.

8 After shaving molded details from the kit’s main instrument panel, Jim glued Eduard’s printed card to it and super glued the photoetched-metal plate over it. He dry-brushed with aluminum and detailed with other colors; a drop of 5-minute epoxy replicated glass on each instrument face.

“Cheating” along the edge

9 Rather than mounting the main rotor mast and linkages on the transmission according to instructions, Jim attached the assembly to the rotor blades. “The whole thing attaches to a ring on the transmission, so it’s easy to mount at any time,” he says. “It made sense to paint it all together and make sure it was all lined up.”

10 Faced with poor-fitting glass with no molded frame on it, Jim fudged a little with the masking to “straighten” the edges. Doing so also covered bumpy blemishes left from thick sprue attachments. A bit of putty further smoothed the installation.

Legend resin Kit-supplied ammo belt

Ends painted separately



Jim assembled the skids separately to ensure they were square, then mounted the fuselage on them and leveled the fit while the glue was still drying. Photoetched-metal details dot the underside — not really visible but, Jim says, “I paid for the metal, so I figured I’d use it.”

Mounting the weapons was a fiddly business; nothing aligned easily. Little of the Eduard set applied to this version’s armament, and the Legend Productions resin parts presented their own set of challenges. Jim left off the ends of the rocket pods for easier painting.

26 FineScale Modeler May 2015



After a flat black base coat pre-shaded the exterior, Jim applied Testors Model Master olive drab (FS34087), post-shading with lightened shades. Dry-brushing with Model Master Afrika dunkelgrau picked out rivet heads and other raised details.

Setting solution subdued the nose-art decal, but Jim couldn’t get the decals at the end of the boom to behave. Instead, he painted those markings and the stripes on the tail rotor. He oversprayed a flat clear coat, then unified the finish with a wash of raw umber artist’s oils and a final flat clear.



Off came the window masks, in went the crew: The co-pilot comes from CMK; the seated door gunner comes with the kit. A segment of fine solder wire makes a good bungee cord for the gun.

On the starboard side, a heavily modified Jaguar figure mounts his position as the other door gunner. Jim cut the figure’s legs and arms to get him into this position. “I really wanted him to be climbing into the chopper, he says, “so it was worth the effort.”

Main rotor mounted last

CMK figure

Landing skids square, level

Kit-supplied figure

Pre-shading varies drab, emphasizes panel lines Painted markings

Jim has a friend who flew in the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, 3rd Platoon “Mad Dogs” for which this Huey is marked. His chopper was No. 30, numbers not available in the kit decals. But his friend says the color looks right to him — and that’s good enough for Jim. FSM May 2015 27


Mike Butry made this display base for the 1/48 scale Tamiya P-51B Mustang built by his father, Bob.

These inexpensive, easy-to-make bases help display your models realistically BY MIKE BUTRY


o me, using a base to display my models not only showcases the piece, but also adds life and context to a static model. Here’s the easy and inexpensive method I’ve developed for modeling realistic display bases. Although the examples I show feature aircraft, the basic techniques could be used for a wide variety of subject matter.

28 FineScale Modeler May 2015

1 Unfinished wooden bases like these are available at almost any craft store. It’s easy to find one that’s not only in a style that’s to your liking and but will also fit nicely with your model. (Picture frames and plaque bases will work, too.)

3 I start by penciling in the section I want to cover with groundwork. When I’m satisfied with the result, I airbrush the edges of the base flat black. Don’t worry if you go over your penciled-in lines; any mistakes can be covered by the groundwork.

5 For the next step I add good old garden-variety dirt to the base. I start by applying a slightly thinned coat of white glue to the base using a flat brush. Here I’m using a ½"-wide brush; if you have a bigger base, use a bigger brush.

2 In addition to the plaque, you’ll need some standard white glue and some static grass, which is available in the model-railroad section of most hobby stores. You’ll also need some paints and brushes from your standard modeling toolbox.

4 Once the paint is dry I use a coarse-grit sanding stick to remove the flatblack paint from the edges of the base. This gives it a rustic, “antiqued” look.

6 I store my dirt in a small plastic container. While the glue is still wet, I gently sprinkle the dirt over the glue-covered area, making sure it’s evenly covered.

May 2015 29

7 Let the glue dry overnight, then tip the base to remove any excess dirt. If you’re unhappy with the results, you can repeat the process until you’re satisfied.

9 When the glue’s dry, you can use various earth-tone paints to break up the monochromatic static grass. You can do the same for the dirt-covered sections, too.

8 Once you’re satisfied with the dirt application, you can move on to the static grass. After applying thinned white glue to the areas I want to cover with grass, I use my thumb and forefinger to sprinkle it on.

10 Here’s the finished base, ready to host a 1/48 scale fighter.



Next I wanted to build a plank-covered stand, as the Germans used during World War II. Instead of painting the base, I applied a coat of light-brown varnish and let it dry thoroughly. To simulate the planking, I used .060" x .156" styrene strips. To simulate woodgrain, I used coarse-grit sandpaper and pulled it along the length of each strip.

I cut the woodgrained strips to various (yet similar) lengths — there was no standard in the field.

30 FineScale Modeler May 2015



Working diagonally across the base, I applied the first row of planks. I used the same thinned white glue I used to attach the dirt and grass on the previous base.

After completing the first row, I expanded the hardstand left and right, working slowly and fitting the plastic planks together carefully.



When the glue was dry and the planks were securely in place, I airbrushed them with a mixture of brown and black.

Dry-brushing the planks with various shades of brown broke up the monotony of the finish and helped bring out the woodgrain detail.

Here’s the completed German base with Dan O’Grady’s 1/48 scale Dragon Fw 190D. FSM May 2015 31



Using the Henschel VK 30.01 medium tank chassis to propel a powerful 12.8cm antitank gun, the Sturer Emil (Stubborn Emil) production run ended at two. Both vehicles fought on the Eastern Front, where one was destroyed. The other was captured at Stalingrad and is displayed at the Kubinka tank museum. David built Trumpeter’s 1/35 scale kit, replacing the “rubber band” tracks with Trumpeter aftermarket individual links and installing RB Models’ aluminum barrel and brass muzzle brake. He weathered with Vallejo and Secret Weapon pigments and shades of rust from AK Interactive.


Jason built Italeri’s 1/72 scale F6F-3 Hellcat from the box and liked it. “It’s an inexpensive, nice kit that looks good painted with Testors and Polly S acrylics,” he says.


Christopher set his Academy 1/32 scale F/A-18D on a ¾" plywood base surfaced with 80-grit sandpaper and edged with wood trim. He airbrushed the sandpaper with shades of gray, painted boundary markers, and punched holes to fit tie-downs from Tom’s Modelworks. The aircraft was heavily pre-shaded and weathered with an artist’s-oil pinwash and pastel chalks. Randy Fuller photo.

32 FineScale Modeler May 2015


“I love the looks of the L-1011!” says Brad, who built Otaki’s 1/144 scale kit. The fuselage is finished with Tamiya spray cans — Fine White Primer and insignia white (AS-20) — and dressed in Delta livery. He used styrene rod, strip, and sheet to deploy the flaps and slats.


A mixed-media kit from International Models Asia (IMA) provides resin, plastic, metal tubing, a lasercut bridge, and all the hull modifications and bridge-deployment gear Andy needed to turn the AFV Club 1/35 scale Churchill Mk.IV AVRE into a bridge layer. Additionally, he scratchbuilt to add: the large ram-cylinder hydraulic lines; a pressurerelief pipe; bolt heads on the slider rails and deployment arm; guides to the bridge supports; tools and stowage; and a floodlamp for the glacis plate. The model’s bridge extends and retracts as the real one did. The vehicle is shown as it would have appeared as the Allies fought through Normandy after D-Day.

May 2015 33



Chuck displayed Meng’s 1/35 scale bulldozer with Trumpeter U.S. Army figures he painted as Marines in MARPAT digital camouflage. He writes, “Individual track links, three pieces each. Nightmare!” The model’s tracks, blade, and ripper are all movable. ▶ CHRIS COMPORT MERRILL, WISCONSIN

A veteran model railroader, Chris raised a garage around Esci’s 1/9 scale Harley-Davidson WLA-45. Almost everything besides the bike is scratchbuilt, including: balsa boards scribed and drilled to look more like lumber; formed basswood handles for a paper shovel blade and soldered-brass pitchfork; papers, pictures, posters, manuals, and product labels found on the Internet and printed to scale; sheet-styrene cans; a clay ashtray; a stray headlight and steering wheel from a 1/8 scale Lindberg Model T; a set of wrenches laser-cut from 1⁄64" plywood; and so on. Furthermore, the display is wired for light and sound: The lights are craft pearls hollowed out for grain-of-wheat bulbs; the radio contains a headphone speaker and plays 1950s pop.

34 FineScale Modeler May 2015

SEND US YOUR PICTURES! Shouldn’t your model be in Reader Gallery? FineScale Modeler is always accepting new material from around the world. Upload high-resolution digital images (preferably unedited, RAW format) with complete captions at, or send prints or CD-ROMs to FineScale Modeler, Reader Gallery, 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612. Be sure to tell us the kit manufacturer, model, scale, modifications, paint and finishes used, and reason for choosing the model, along with your name and address. We look forward to seeing your work! ▶ LOUIS ARMOUR TUPELO, MISSISSIPPI

Louis writes: “There are lots of King Kong figures available as resin kits — but this 70thanniversary bust by Geometric may be the best available. Sculptor Mike Hill really captures the look of the 1933 Kong. I used acrylic craft paints and washes to paint this big chunk of resin. The eyes and mouth have a coat of 5-minute epoxy for shine. It’s about 10" tall.”


This Airfix 1/48 scale Canberra wears custom-mixed Argentine colors from the Falklands War. Jeremias added scratchbuilt parts, resin spare pieces, and an Aires wheel-well set; markings are a combination of kit and Aztec decals. It was a resurrection for the model, which was damaged by a falling shelf in Jeremias’ display cabinet. May 2015 35



Using Trumpeter’s 1/35 scale KV-1 Model 1941 as a test bed, Cristian experimented with mixtures of artist’s oils and dirt from his garden to weather and muddy up his tank. “It was fun and educational at the same time,” he says, adding that it was his first Soviet tank. He used a mix of Revell and Vallejo paints along with Vallejo pigments and Winsor & Newton artist’s oils.


Reading U.S. Air Force “triple ace” Robin Olds’ autobiography, Fighter Pilot, inspired Paul to build Olds’ F-4 Phantom II Scat XXVII. Paul painted camouflage on Academy’s 1/48 scale F-4C with Testors Model Master Acryls. He writes, “I really wanted a tight camo pattern. I did this by airbrushing with a lower pressure (12 psi) and very thin paint, working close to the surface. I also used a very thin mix of Tamiya smoke in shadowy areas.” 36 FineScale Modeler May 2015


Davide finished Revell Germany’s 1/48 scale Eurofighter Typhoon with Testors Model Master enamels, Alclad II titanium, and ProModeller (now Flory Models) washes.


Tamiya’s 1/32 scale F-16C/J is modeled and marked as a United Arab Emirates F-16E by George, who added Wolfpack, Aires, and Academy details to his Desert Falcon. He custom-mixed the colors with Tamiya paints. May 2015 37




To Raul, the best 1/48 scale model of the Me 262 is Tamiya’s clear kit. He says, “It is finished out of the box and still looks like you spent hours detailing!” He painted internal parts with Humbrol enamels. The external colors are Gunze Sangyo RLM 83 sprayed over RLM 76. ◀ RALPH RADFORD


Ralph writes: “I had not built a truck model for 10 years, but I still had some of the truck models laying around and falling apart. I went to Anchorage House of Hobbies and bought a new truck kit, but I wanted to include one of my old models. So, I fused two together, the old with the new, then bought a new AMT Fruehauf plated tanker trailer. So, it’s three 1/25 scale kits in one. This shows a truck that can make the long haul with fuel to remote towns in Alaska!” ▶ GLENN THORN MOORESTOWN, NEW JERSEY

Glenn says he marked Kinetic’s 1/48 scale F-5A with Belcher Bits CF-5A decals “won from a Canadian friend over a bet on a hockey game. Go Flyers!” Glenn added an Avionix F-5 ejection seat, painted the three-tone camo with LifeColor acrylics, and used Vallejo acrylics elsewhere. He filled gaps with Mr. Hobby’s Mr. Dissolved Putty and Deluxe Materials’ Perfect Plastic Putty. 38 FineScale Modeler May 2015



Bill built Academy’s 1/35 scale M3 Grant and modeled extra stowage for it, including British petrol cans from Ultrcast, a tow cable made from rigging thread, and a stowage box with duffel bags from his spares box. He gave the Grant a desert finish with Tamiya paints: black pre-shading followed by desert yellow (XF-59), flat earth (XF-52), and a lightened shade of field gray (XF-65).

Robert added metal grab handles and steps made from copper rod to Gaso.line’s 1/48 scale resin kit of the BTR-70. Karaya cable and cable ends from another kit replaced the kit’s cast version of those parts. He painted the personnel carrier with Tamiya Soviet green and used artist’s oils and colored artist’s pencils for finishing touches.

May 2015 39

1/24 Scale

Airfix’s 1/24 scale Ju 87 is a big model that screams for more detail. Dave dove in with a few easy to make additions to improve a classic kit.

A few improvements for

Airfix’s big Stuka Scratchbuilt details take a 1/24 scale Ju 87 up a notch BY DAVE ROBBINS


n December 1940, responding to defeats in North Africa, the Luftwaffe dispatched aircraft to support the Afrika Korps and the beleaguered Italians. The incoming planes included Ju 87Bs. I wanted to build one of these dive-bombers and decided to go big with Airfix’s 1/24 scale kit (No. A18002). It’s been around since 1975 and is widely regarded as one of the most accurate Stuka models. I ordered one from my local hobby shop and opened it as soon as it arrived. The first thing I noticed was the size of the model and how many parts there were. Airfix went to a lot of trouble to get this thing right. But there’s still room for improvement. 40 FineScale Modeler May 2015

Cockpit First stop is the seat; it’s OK but needs a little sprucing up for accuracy. I built the missing bar on top of the pilot’s seat with Evergreen styrene rod, 1. The floor looked plain, so I used styrene strip and artistic

license to jazz it up, 2. After attaching a few more parts, I airbrushed the cockpit with RLM 66 schwarzgrau. Detail painting and dry-brushing highlighted details, 3. Eduard photoetched-metal seat belts for the pilot and gunner finished the floor, 4. The separate side walls are designed to be glued to the floor before the cockpit is installed. I chose a different approach and glued the walls to the inside of each fuselage half. I sprayed them schwarzgrau, hand-painted the details, and dry-brushed a lighter gray for highlights, 5 and 6. The instrument panel comes in two parts: The clear section with raised faces fits into the gray plastic panel. I painted the

1 Take a seat and add details: Dave modeled missing brackets on the pilot’s seat with styrene strip.

4 Dave installed Eduard photoetchedmetal seat belts for the pilot and gunner.

7 Red and yellow buttons and lights help the kit’s instrument panel pop.



A lot of the Stuka’s cockpit is on display under the canopy, so Dave used styrene gizmology to dress up the floor.


Careful painting and dry-brushing add realism to the pilot and gunner positions.


Airfix provides a lot of detail on the Stuka’s cockpit walls, so Dave didn’t add anything, preferring to use paint to pick out features. The starboard ...

... and port sides received the same treatment. Dave’s attention to detail is obvious, including the yellow wires with silver clips.

8 In 1/24 scale, the Stuka’s fuselage halves are about 15" long. To ensure a solid fit, Dave glued and clamped the body, then let the glue set for several hours.

panel RLM 66, then colored details with fine brushes, 7.

Fuselage I installed the cockpit floor assembly on one fuselage half, then joined the fuselage and set it aside overnight to be sure it was solid before moving on, 8. The kit firewall wasn’t up to my standard, so I scratchbuilt a replacement. I traced the outline on sheet styrene, cut it out, then added the bomb swing-arm

attachment parts I’d cut from the kit firewall. Evergreen styrene strips, brass wire, and solder replicated equipment. Then I painted the firewall RLM 02 grau, 9.

Engine Assembly of the kit’s excellent Jumo 211 engine was straightforward. I painted the block Testors Euro gray, then weathered it with brown and gray washes and drybrushing, 10. For a better-looking radiator, I removed

9 Not enamored of the kit firewall (top), Dave scratchbuilt one with styrene sheet, strip, and rod plus wire and solder (bottom). May 2015 41




The Jumo engine block looks like it’s seen a bit of use thanks to Dave’s weathering washes and dry-brushing.

To build a better radiator, Dave cut away the plastic between the louvers.

After gluing black plastic and aluminum screen behind the vanes, Dave is ready to attached the radiator to the engine.



Careful painting and the installation of the kit-provided plumbing and wiring make the engine a kit in itself, according to Dave.

Dave confirmed that the engine fit the mounting arms, then set it aside for painting.




With the inner wings and tail on, the model begins to look like a Stuka. On a crowded workbench, the size of Dave’s project is obvious.

The detail Airfix supplied for the wing-gun bays seemed anemic to Dave.

So, he embellished it with styrene and wire as well as items from his collection of spare parts.

the plastic between the shutters and cleaned up the openings with files and sandpaper, 11. Aluminum screen over a black backing plate replaced the missing detail, and a coat of RLM 66 finished it, 12. The remaining engine parts were painted and attached, 13. After assembling the mammoth propeller and adding it the engine, I test-fitted the power plant with

the engine-bearing arms to ensure proper alignment, 14. I left the engine off for painting.

nents and the weapons, 16. I spruced them up with additional styrene structure and supports, wire plumbing, and compressedair bottles from my spares box, 17. With outer wings on, my big Stuka was ready for painting.

42 FineScale Modeler May 2015

Wings I assembled and attached the inner wing sections with the landing gear as well as the horizontal stabilizers and rudder, 15. The wing gun bays are simple and lack detail except for some structural compo-

Painting To finish the dive-bomber as an aircraft from I. Gruppe Sturzkampfgeschwader 3, I



Dave printed the black shield from the squadron emblem on clear decal sheet, then applied it over a circle of white decal.

Painting done, Dave added the final details, such as the canopy and antenna.

Germany’s bent-wing Stuka is an icon of World War II. Dave’s big-scale build is a fitting replica and a tribute to the idea that any kit can be improved with a little more detail.

airbrushed the undersides with RLM 65 hellblau. After masking, I painted the upper surfaces RLM 79 sandgelb to complete the Stuka’s basic Luftwaffe North African camouflage. Some squadrons modified the camo, overspraying it with Italian dark green. I freehanded a branched pattern of green stripes to match references. Finally, I masked and airbrushed the

white theater markings under the wings and around the fuselage.

Markings I used kit decals where appropriate, making the rest of the markings by cutting up black and white decal film. The squadron badge was a challenge, but I came up with a creative solution: I printed a copy of it in black on clear decal film. Then I applied it to a

disc of white decal on the model, 18. Sealing the markings with a clear flat finished the painting, leading the way to final assembly. I attached the canopy and installed the engine, 19. I spent a couple of years working on and off to finish the Stuka, and I’m happy with the results. Airfix did a nice job on the kit, and a few scratchbuilt additions made it mine. FSM May 2015 43

1/72 Scale

Looking to stretch an airplane and your modeling skills? Mike did just that when he took Aurora’s DC-9-10 to a longer -30 using cuts and skin grafts.

Stretching a fuselage without a second kit Converting Aurora’s DC-9 to a -30 BY MIKE MATHIEU


hen I was a kid, I learned quickly that box art was not a reliable indicator of the model within. I especially remember an Aurora’s DC-9 I picked up that had a beautiful picture of an Air Canada DC-9-30, the stretched version of the famous airliner. In fact, the kit was a reissue of the short DC-9-10. Armed with the modeling skills of a 12-year-old, all I could do at the time was to build it as it came. Recently, I came across one of these vintage kits and thought it might be fun to revisit. But this time, with 40 years of modeling experience behind me, I would make the plastic in the box look like the art on the cover.

Mind the gap The DC-9 was one of Aurora’s better offerings, accurate in dimensions for the initial production version and capturing the subtle contours of the little jetliner well. Converting the short -10 to a -30 starts with stretching the fuselage. The easiest way to this is to add sections cut from a second kit. But that isn’t practical when a kit is long out of production, fairly rare, and expensive to acquire. 44 FineScale Modeler May 2015

Instead, I built the new sections with styrene strip and sheet. To lengthen its DC-9, Douglas extended the body forward and aft of the wing. Starting with the left fuselage half, I sawed it apart. I lined the blade up so the cut fell midway between two windows. Using the right half as a splint, I taped the fuselage halves firmly together while I set the correct width for the gap, 1. This ensured that the left fuselage half remained straight during construction of the plug. The forward extension is six windows long. I drew up a template on paper to measure and set the spacing, 2.

Skin graft With everything lined up, I glued evenly spaced styrene strips across the gap and left them to dry overnight, 3. The next day, I added more plastic strips to bolster the joint and provide backing for the skin panels to come, 4. I planned to cut the windows out, so I left a gap along the window belt. Next, I laid sheet styrene over the strips to form the external skin. The fuselage cross section is oval, so it was easier to apply the skin in three pieces, 5. I curled the styrene to better conform to the

1 Working one side at a time means Mike can use the other half to keep the pieces straight around the join.

2 Mike created a template based on the window spacing of the DC-9’s fuselage. Placing it across the gap sets the length of the forward extension to six windows.


3 Four thick strips of styrene bridge the gap. Mike glues and leaves them overnight to ensure a solid bond before proceeding.


Additional strips reinforce the join and lay the foundation for the fuselage plug to come.

Mike curved heavy sheet styrene around a bottle in an oven to skin the DC-9. Putty and sanding blended the graft.

curvature of the body by taping styrene around an empty glass bottle the same diameter as the fuselage and baking it in an oven at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. The styrene sheet should be the same thickness as the kit’s plastic to be flush with the fuselage. If you can’t find the correct thickness or find working with thick sheet difficult, laminate thin styrene to the required thickness. This completes the left side’s forward plug.

windows long — and started the join with strips of styrene, 6. More styrene strips, overlaid as before with sheet styrene, completed the left side. Stretching the right side was a little easier; I started by sawing it apart between windows fore and aft of the wing. (I staggered the cuts on the right to give the fuselage a little extra strength.) Using the extended left half as a splint, I adjusted the pieces for the correct gaps, taped everything together, and glued in plastic strips, 7. Then, as before, I firmed up the joint with more strips and a skin of plastic card.

Additional surgeries Next, it was time to stretch the rear left fuselage. After sawing it apart between two windows, I splinted the right side on at the tail. I established the stretch with the paper template — it’s three

Taking wing The DC-9-30 also featured extended wings. I sawed off the botMay 2015 45

6 The still-uncut right half keeps everything straight as Mike cuts and stretches the rear fuselage.

7 Mike cut the left and right fuselage parts in different places to give the finished body more strength.

Meet Mike Mathieu

8 Replacing the upper wingtip with the lower tip from the opposite wing minimized filling in conspicuous areas when Mike extended the wings.

tom left wingtip and glued it to the upper right wing, 8. This left the gap to be filled with styrene and putty under the wing, where it’s less visible. I repeated the process for the other side, grafting the tip of the lower right wing onto the upper left. I cut out the rudder, built up its leading edge with putty, and reinstalled it for realism. After a little extra detailing at the top of the fin, I attached the horizontal stabilizers, setting them to the 3 degrees of anhedral typical of later DC-9 versions. I cut out the front passenger door, then built some internal detail as well as airstairs using styrene sheet, strip, and rod. 46 FineScale Modeler May 2015

AN AVID MODELER since the mid-1960s, Mike has finally gotten around to writing his first article for FineScale Modeler. Like so many other modeling-related projects, the article has languished partly finished for many years pending precious spare time amidst family, house, garden, car, and work. Mike has a soft spot for Aurora, since it was the only brand he could get at his neighborhood store when he started. Aurora offered a wide range of subjects that really appealed to kids of the day, including movie and TV subjects, planes, ships, and tanks. Like most kids, Mike built them all. These days, his focus is airliners. Mike’s models can be seen at IPMS Ottawa meetings or online at Yahoogroups Airliner Modelling Digest and Airliner Café.

I finished the model to resemble Aurora’ s box art as closely as possible, with one exception: To link the model to a historical event, I applied the registration CF-TLU, a DC-9 destroyed after an in-flight fire forced an emergency landing at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1983. The tragedy killed 23 passengers and led to mandatory smoke detectors in aircraft lavatories. A little elbow grease and lots of sheet styrene produced a DC-9-30 that I’ve always wanted, and I didn’t need to buy two kits. If I could show it to the 12-year-old me, I know he’d be suitably impressed, too. FSM

READER TIPS By Tim Kidwell Loose pilot? Don’t panic

Recently, I was working on a science-fiction scratchbuild with a canopy I had vacuumformed and attached to the fuselage. It was perfectly faired into the fuselage with epoxy putty. Imagine my horror when I saw through that carefully crafted canopy that the pilot was no longer glued to his seat! Not wanting to remove the canopy and redo the fairing, I did this instead: 1. Bored a small hole with my pin vise just slightly larger than a hypodermic needle. The hole allowed me access to the unseen area behind the cockpit’s instrument panel above the pilot figure’s feet. 2. I filled the hypodermic needle syringe with a little white glue. 3. Next, I jostled the pilot back into place by gently rolling and shaking the model. 4. Using the needle and syringe, I injected white glue into the freshly drilled hole. The white glue coated and puddled around the pilot’s feet and remained mostly out of view. 5. Finally, I set the model aside, made sure it was level, and let the glue dry. The white glue dried nearly transparent and all but invisible in that location. Do not use super glue. You risk fogging your canopy when dispensing it in such a confined space. I filled the tiny hole with a dab of putty (although a piece of sprue would have worked, too) and sanded it smooth. – Kenny Haverly Bardstown, Ky.

Use rigid plastic card to protect fragile frets.

do) into the plastic bag the fret came in, accompanied by a description or label, including the manufacturer. Make sure to round the corners so it goes in easier and doesn’t tear the bag. Store them flat or in a specific container to help prevent damage. – David Peterson Hillsboro, Ore. Easy way to measure a gap

Like many modelers, I use strip styrene to fill large gaps. However, I find it awkward to test-fit various thicknesses of strip to find the right fit. I use a feeler gauge to measure the gap. A feeler gauge consists of a dozen or so metal blades of various thicknesses; my gauge has blades ranging from .006" to .025" thick. You can combine two or more blades for thicker gaps. I insert blades until I find one with a nice snug fit, and I immediately know which size of strip (or strips) I need. You may already have a feeler gauge in your automotive tool kit. If not, you can find them at an auto parts or hardware store for around $10. – Christopher Bumgarner Beavercreek, Ohio

Protect your photoetched metal

I came up with a simple way to protect my photoetched-metal frets and save some space, too. After removing the photoetched-metal parts from the original packaging, I insert a piece of stiff plastic (usually recycled from plastic packaging, but any rigid plastic will Would you like to share an idea about a tool or technique? Send a brief description along with a photograph or sketch to “Reader Tips.” E-mail tips@ or visit and click on “Contact Us.” Tips are paid for upon publication; if you live in the U.S., we’ll need your Social Security number to pay you. FSM obtains all publication rights (including electronic rights) to the text and images upon payment.

Organize sprues

To keep my workbench less cluttered and make finding parts easier, I use a desktop file organizer. The sprues are sorted alphabetically and everything stays neat and close at hand. Inexpensive, but a real space and time saver, file organizers come in a variety of sizes. I’m using mine right now to keep track of the 13 sprues in Tamiya’s 1/32 scale Corsair. (I keep the clear sprue separate so it won’t be damaged.) – Marc Rocca Piscataway, N.J. Rubber-tipped tweezers

We are all tired of spending half our modeling time looking for parts we have launched into the great unknown, especially when using metal-tipped tweezers. So why

Jim Kline makes his own rubber-tipped tweezers.

not get a grip? Buy a bottle of liquid electrical tape. Dip the tips of your tweezers into the goo, let them sit for a few minutes and — Voila! — your own rubber-tipped tool. A bottle of the stuff costs about as much as a pair of regular old tweezers, and you’ll have enough liquid to coat several. Use it on your pliers, too. – Jim Kline Perry, Ohio Cutting mat protector

To save my self-healing cutting mat from blobs of super glue, cement, and paint, I tape a piece of wax paper to the surface. When the wax paper is sliced, glued and painted up, I tear it off and replace it with a fresh piece. – Sean Davis Metaline Falls, Wash. Dryer-sheet paint strainer

To really achieve a nice paint finish on my models when airbrushing — and keep the airbrush clear of unwanted particles at the same time — I always strain the paint using dryer sheets typically used in the clothes dryer. The dryer sheets strain the paint beautifully. Afterward, I just toss them in the trash. They make cheap and effective strainers. – Dennis Cermak Fraser, Mich. Recycling for better modeling

I am always looking for ways to recycle May 2015 47

READER TIPS materials from around the house for modeling. Since I have a 10-year-old son, I have a fairly regular supply of cough medicine at home. They usually come with a measuring cup, useful for mixing paints and pigments once the medicine is all gone. Another recycled tool I use is coffee stirrers. Made of wood or plastic, they are useful for stirring anything. – Hugo Garzon San Pedro Cholula, Puebla, Mexico

I cut holes in a block of soft foam to hold a couple of different-size bottles. Spray adhesive on the bottom keeps it stationary on the bench. I keep another foam block on the bench to hold knives. I sprayed adhesive on one side and it sits firmly on the table. When one side of the block gets chewed up and can’t support knives anymore, the block easily pops off so I can spray a different side and put it back. Then I’m back in business!

Rubber-band tie-downs

– Richard Davenport Lansing, Mich.

I use rubber bands to strap jerry cans, tarps, and other stowage on tanks or other vehicles. I paint a piece of appropriately thick rubber band, then attach one end to the model with a little super glue. After the glue dries, I pull the band across the stowed item and glue the other end in place. – Ross Black Shelby, Ala. Suggestions from my workbench

I cover the surface of my workbench with PLAS-TEX PolyWall ( It comes in sheets of .06" x 48" x 96" for about $25. It’s easy to cut to size with a sharp utility knife or a good pair of scissors. In my experience, it’s impervious to most solvents, including lacquer thinner, acetone, and alcohol, and it’s easy to clean — the only thing I can’t get off is super glue. The remnant makes a great backdrop for model photography. I bought a toothbrush holder at a dollar store; a ½" of cat litter in the bottom works perfectly to hold brushes upright.

Fix yellowed decals

For yellowing decals,put them under a full spectrum desk lamp until the yellowing goes away. – Timothy Anderson Oroville, Calif.

I use a round-handled hobby knife like a rolling pin to flatten small-gauge solder. It makes great seat belts and is very realistic once painted and installed. With practice, you can even thread photoetched-metal buckles with the stuff. – Ryan Harden Gainesville, Fla.

– Mike Walston Sarasota, Fla.

I cut and shape my photoetched-metal parts on the sticky side of a Post-it note. I found notepads at Wal-Mart that have the sticky on the whole piece of paper rather than just a band at the top, and they work well, keeping tiny photoetched-metal pieces from flying off the workbench while I’m removing them from the fret. – Jay Jerisek Port Orange, Fla.

Toothpicks to remove paint

You can remove paint overspray from a canopy by gently rubbing the dry paint with the tip of a wooden toothpick. To remove larger areas of paint, make a wooden chisel by cutting a toothpick in half at its widest point and whittling it to shape. The wood is softer than the plastic and won’t scratch it.

Antitheft rigging line

If you or your significant other goes clothes shopping and the store forgets to remove the antitheft sensor, don’t throw it away once you pry it off. Open it up and you will find a small spool of fine copper wire inside. I have found the wire works great for rigging, halyards, and arresting wires for 1/350 and 1/700 scale ships. – Jasondale Odum Las Vegas, Nev. Recycle old computer guts

48 FineScale Modeler May 2015

separated with a hobby knife, fit into tight spaces, and are easy to solder.

Work photoetched metal safely Flatten solder for belts

– Davis Gandees Lutz, Fla.

Items that might otherwise end up in the trash can be convenient on your workbench.

Wire from old computer parts can be used for a variety of scale modeling tasks, including lighting.

Before throwing out old computers, open them up and take out the wires. Those looking to add lights or other electronics to their builds will find the wires can be easily

Clay for nose weight

Remember the modeling clay we used as kids? Well, I found that it is great for adding weight to tail-heavy aircraft models. It’s flexible enough to mold into the noses of those aircraft and spaces around cockpits. It’s great for 1/48, 1/72, and 1/144 scales by itself, and you can add lead or another metal if needed. Just don’t use too much pressure when pushing the clay into position or you might crack the plastic. I also use clay as a way to hold and/or paint small parts. Take a chunk of clay, knead it for about 10 seconds, flatten it between your palms to get a piece about 2" x 4" and ¼"-½" thick, then press the pad to the top of your workbench. The clay keeps the parts from moving during painting. You can insert toothpicks into the clay to support small parts. Drop paint, glue, or anything else on the clay? Just replace it. I usually use two of these clay pads at a time and get about five or six models out of them before I need to replace them. Clay is inexpensive and available at toy stores and arts and craft stores. – John Zeb East Freetown, Mass.

Hide bare model interiors ere’s a quick, easy way to lend the illusion of depth to the windows of armored fighting vehicle models without going to the trouble of scratchbuilding an interior.


– Fred Jones Kingston, Nova Scotia, Canada

Paint the window transparent blue-green as usual and glue it in place.

Next, curl a piece of metal foil (I used the cap from a yogurt container) around a pen to curve it.

Tape the foil to the inside of the hull with the concave side facing the window.

From the outside, this gives the model a sense of depth you wouldn’t get by making the window opaque or by blanking it off.

Add realistic tire bulge

Do it with duct tape

Wax-paper palette

Use a shadeless table or desk lamp with a 100-watt incandescent bulb. Hold the tire to the glass base of the bulb (you might want to use pliers here — it gets HOT!) until the tires start to bulge and flatten. The slow progress of the heat is just enough to get the tire to realistically bulge in the sidewall and flatten a bit at the same time. It takes about a minute for a tire (solid or hollow) to start to bulge. Stop when you think it looks natural, and your model will look better than ever.

For certain applications, I’ve found duct tape to be a nice detailing media. Depending on your model, it can replicate certain surface textures. There are plenty of colors out there, from the standard gray to multicolor and patterns. You can easily cut duct tape on a piece of glass with a hobby knife, and the reinforcing string embedded in the tape makes a nice grid pattern to use as a rough measurement and cutting guide. It also doesn’t leave as many little fuzzy edges as surgical tape does.

I have a habit of walking away from the paint desk without cleaning my palette. To solve this problem, I have started using wax paper as a palette. It is cheap and disposable. A big plus is that a freshly painted piece can be put down without the cutting mat getting paint on it.

– Richard Vaughn Henderson, Nev.

– David Perrelli Wallingford, Conn.

– Branson Langley Staley, N.C. Thanks to all you faithful readers who take the time to share your scale modeling tips and tricks and help your fellow modelers. Keep them coming! — Tim Kidwell, Associate Editor May 2015 49

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS By Aaron Skinner Sealing pastels Q I’ve weathered a concrete hardstand and

asphalt taxiway on a diorama with pastel chalks ground to a fine powder. I want to seal them to avoid rubbing them off. Can I use a spray-can flat coat, such as Testors Dullcote, provided I spray lightly? – Jason Mitchell Browns Mills, N.J. A You can seal the pastels with a clear flat, but it is easy to blow them off. Also, the clear may affect the shade of the pastels. I’d test it first to see what effect it will have. Alternatively, a clear fixer like hairspray may be just the ticket. Some of the companies that produce weathering pigments sell pigment fixer designed to make the material adhere without altering the color. Play-Doh vs. Blu Tack Q Can Play-Doh be used the same way as

Blu Tack to mask camouflage on armor and aircraft? – Richard Fourzan El Paso, Texas A I don’t recommend Play-Doh. It will not come off the model as cleanly as poster putties like Blu Tack, which sticks to itself better than the plastic and usually comes away from the surface easily. Play-Doh also dries out quickly and will crack along edges, leaving inaccurate or indistinct lines. The other option, and the one I use a lot, is Silly Putty. It produces a sharper line than poster putty. Painting vinyl parts Q I am building a kit that has four machine

guns with ammo belts. The belts are a rubbery material, almost like a rubber band, and need to be painted tan, brass, and copper. What type of coloring media should I use? Enamel and acrylic paints split and Got a modeling problem? Our Questions & Answers column is here to help. E-mail, or visit and click on “Contact Us.” We are not able to conduct lengthy research, such as answering questions on markings and unit histories. We publish letters of general interest in the magazine; however, mail volume and space limitations prevent us from printing every question. Please include your name, town, state, and a daytime phone number.

50 FineScale Modeler May 2015

To vary the panzer gray on Tamiya’s 1/48 scale Marder III, Rick Lawler mixed light gray and medium blue with German gray (bottom).

Interested in color modulation Q I really enjoyed Cookie Sewell’s article about color modulation in the January 2015 FSM. I’m building an Israeli M60 and wondered if AK Interactive or Mig makes any colors that would work on a sand/buff color? – Scott Tait, Langley, British Columbia, Canada

A Glad you liked Cookie’s color modulation story. I looked around, and the only set I can find that might be close, at least for the sand colors, is Acrylicos Vallejo’s Desert War Zenith Transformation Set (No. 71.153). Zenith transformation is essentially the same principle as color modulation. You can mix your own colors to do color modulation. After picking the paint you want to use as a base color, mix lighter and darker shades by adding white and black to small amounts of the color. They don’t need to be wildly divergent, just enough to make a difference. Then apply those much as Cookie did: Darker shades lower and underneath, graduating to lighter shades on the sides, and the lightest shades on top. Rick Lawler mixed his own color modulation shades with Tamiya acrylics to paint a 1/48 scale Marder III in the September 2009 FSM. Fraser Gray used a similar approach, again with custom-mixed Tamiya paints, on a 1/35 scale IS-2 in September 2011. Back issues can be ordered by calling Kalmbach customer service, 800-522-6644 (international 262-796-8776) or online at

crack when dry. I’ve even considered paints used for cloth. Any help will be great. –Jim Gourgues Altoona, Fla. A Painting vinyl can be problematic, because plasticizers that give the material

flexibility often repel paint. Acrylic paint almost always works better; enamel never dries on some vinyl, such as tires on car models. Look for a primer designed specifically for plastic. Rust-Oleum makes one in a spray can that works well. These primers are de-

signed for use on hard-to-paint plastics and have been known to adhere to old vinyl track and make it possible to paint them. I know a few modelers who have had luck dipping vinyl parts in Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish (PFM). After 48 hours, paint seems to stick pretty well. But PFM doesn’t always stick to the vinyl. If nothing else works, I suggest attaching the part, being sure you don’t need to bend it any more. Then you can paint it and, hopefully, the lack of flexing will prevent the paint from coming off.

1 After painting Trumpeter’s USS Cole neutral gray, Aaron masked the top of the waterline.

2 Then he sprayed a coat of oxide red on the lower hull.

Mixing for scale effect Q I read a sentence in a back issue of FSM

about “black scale effect” and want to know more. For example, I know that the same subject in three different scales should not be painted with exactly the same shades of color. I can’t remember if large-scale models should be slightly darker or lighter than the true color. – Mike Glasgow Sammamish, Wash. A Scale effect refers to the idea that the intensity of colors appears to diminish the farther away they are. It’s something to do with physics and air and particles and water vapor — but for the purposes of modeling, the smaller the scale, the greater the distance (in effect) that we view it from. So, it will look more realistic if the paint is a tad lighter than the full-size vehicle. Because almost all models are smaller than the subject they represent, and most model paints are matched to their full-size counterparts, scale effect is applicable to any model regardless of scale. To make it work, add white to the colors before painting. As if physics wasn’t bad enough, there’s math involved here, too. Someone came up with a formula to govern how much white to add: Halve the scale of the model and use that number as the percentage of white. For example, if you are painting a 1/48 scale model, mix 24 percent white and 76 percent color. For 1/72 scale, the mix would be 36 percent white; 1/35 scale would 17.5 percent; 1/16 scale, you’d use 8 percent white, and so on. You get the drift. It’s not an exact science, and whether or not to do it is really a matter of personal taste. I think it is a more important consideration for dark colors on small-scale models. Muting blacks, dark grays, and dark greens can prevent them from looking too stark.

3 Aaron aligns strips of tape with the edge of the upper hull mask.

5 All that’s left before airbrushing flat black is to remove the tape guides.

4 The strips guide masking for the lower edge of the boot stripe.

6 Removing all of the masking reveals a straight, even bootstripe.

Getting a straight, even waterline Q How do you paint the black waterline on small-scale ships so that it is in scale with the ship? – Larry Maciaszek, Bollingbrook, Ill.

A If you are painting the waterline or boot stripe on a ship, the easiest thing to do is mask it. I paint the hull above the line, then mask, 1, and paint the antifouling color below the waterline, 2. Don’t remove the masks yet. Determine the width of the boot stripe based on the painting diagrams or references. Now cut a series of short tape strips the width of the stripe and place them with one edge butted against the mask for the upper hull, 3. You don’t need them all the way along the hull; space them a few inches apart. Run tape along the bottom edges of the tape strips, 4. The result should be two strips of tape running the length of the hull parallel to each other. Remove the spacing strips and paint the stripe black, 5. When you remove the masking, you should have a neat, black boot stripe, 6. FSM

May 2015 51

WORKBENCH REVIEWS FSM experts build and evaluate new kits

This one of two complete Jumo 004 turbojet engines included in the kit. You can leave the fuselage clear to see them or display them on the stands provided.

Zoukei-Mura Horten 229 takes wing


he Horten Ho 229 has to be one of the most futuristic aircraft designs to take to the air during World War II. The Horten brothers’ design was so far ahead of its time that in the early 1980s a team from Northrop-Grumman, working on the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, traveled to the Smithsonian Institute’s facility in Spring Hill, Md., to study the partial Ho 229 being stored there! Zoukei-Mura’s all-new Ho 229 is the first-ever 1/32 scale model of the aircraft. Cleanly molded in clear and gray plastic, the kit’s details follow the usual ZoukeiMura style of extensive interior and structural parts. Clear exterior parts give you the option of showing interior detail while leaving the exterior intact. No crew figure is

52 FineScale Modeler May 2015

included, but Zoukei-Mura offers separately a pilot and ground crew figures related to the Ho 229. I had mixed emotions on this build. It was hard to decide if I should build and paint it (or not) to display all that interior detail, or treat it more as a traditional model and emphasize the external aspects. Before jumping into assembly, I carefully studied the instruction manual — all 46 pages! Zoukei-Mura’s high standard of providing multiple-aspect diagrams and photos for complex assemblies is commendable (and in this kit, essential). Following the instructions, I started construction by building up the engines. Two complete Jumo 004 engine replicas are provided. The detailing is remarkably complete — even the compressor fan assembly

is present — and includes 27 parts for each of the two engines. The central cage-frame parts are beautifully executed, with two upper and lower frame parts that are amazing one-piece moldings. I was stopped in my tracks for a moment (OK, several moments) by the complexity of the assembly diagrams, but once I started putting parts together I was impressed with the precision and fit. Be prepared to put a lot of time in here, as there are more than 60 parts for this phase. All flying surfaces are separate parts, so they can be posed in deployed positions if you desire. The exterior skin parts are clear plastic. Be careful removing them from the sprue, as clear plastic is more brittle and sometimes does not cut cleanly. Also, any paint

Masks for the canopy and windshield are included in the kit and make painting a snap. Subscribers have exclusive access to model kit photos not published in the magazine! Simply go to

on the clear parts must be applied to both interior and exterior surfaces to avoid a translucent effect. I found the wing-panel fit a bit problematic. The upper and lower wing parts didn’t fit over the interior framework smoothly, but a bit of glue and pressure brought things into alignment. Make sure you get the wing locking pins/plates (parts G6 through G19) into their positions smartly; they can affect the wing-root fit of the exterior wing parts. I found the landing gear assemblies were neat and attached well to the frame. They hold the weight of the completed model without a problem. I painted my Horten with Gunze Sangyo Mr. Hobby Color Luftwaffe acrylic paint.

The decals are not for any specific aircraft, but they provide numbers, identification bands, and national insignia. Thin and well-printed, they applied perfectly over my semigloss paint surface with some help from a touch of decal solution. My primary reference was Jet Planes of the Third Reich, by J. Richard Smith and Eddie J. Creek (Monogram Aviation, ISBN 978-0-914144-27-4). I completed my Ho 229 in 57 hours, and it is an impressive model. It’s a complex build aimed at experienced modelers. But if you are a Luftwaffe aircraft enthusiast and prepared to meet the challenge, you will want to add this one to your collection. – Jim Zeske

Kit: No. 08 Scale: 1/32 Manufacturer: Zoukei-Mura, Price: $152 Comments: Injection-molded, 315 parts, decals, masks Pros: Great detail; the scale is really a plus to the presentation; terrific instruction booklet Cons: Some difficult/balky fits

May 2015 53


Kitty Hawk F9F-8/-8P Cougar


his is the first 1/48 scale injection-molded kit of Grumman’s swept-wing Cougar since … well, since forever. The Cougar was the principal carrier-borne fighter of the mid-1950s, paving the way between the straight-wing jets of the Korean War

Kit: No. KH80127 Scale: 1/48 Manufacturer: Kitty Hawk, Price: $49.95 Comments: Injection-molded, 276 parts (18 photoetched brass), decals Pros: Subtle recessed panel and rivet detail; detailed gun/camera bay; good shapes; lots of options; decent fit; beautiful decals Cons: Gun/camera bay detail forever hidden; no explanation of options in instructions; compressed nose gear strut; Sidewinders too modern

54 FineScale Modeler May 2015

period (Panthers and Banshees) and the supersonic era (Tigers, Skyrays, Demons, Crusaders, and Phantom IIs). Kitty Hawk’s single-seater follows its two-seat TF-9J trainer kit, and, not unexpectedly, includes many of the parts common to both versions. However, this kit comes with two complete sprues of parts for the photoreconnaissance F9F-8P as well. It appears that Kitty Hawk at one time planned on issuing the -8P as a separate kit, because one of the clear sprues has all the camera windows and a spare canopy. Another large sprue contains ordnance and pylons. The Sidewinders provided are AIM-9Ls, but late Cougars carried AIM9Bs. Options include early- and late-service Cougars, and folded or spread wings. Subtly recessed panel lines and rivets mark exterior surfaces. The cockpit detail is good, with photoetched-metal instrument panels and consoles, and decals to provide color. Oddly, there is no throttle lever. The photoetched-metal harness appears too skinny and short. Detailed landing gear bays are let down by wheels that seem simplified and a nose strut molded compressed with an undersized scissors. I replaced the oleo section with a longer piece of styrene rod and fashioned a new opened scissors.

I had read online reviews of Kitty Hawk’s two-seat Cougar criticizing it for its quality of plastic and glue compatibility. I had no such problems. But you’ll have problems building the kit if you don’t do a little research and carefully study the optional parts. The instructions don’t help, showing but never explaining the options. In a nutshell, of the marking choices provided on the decal sheet, all the jets had the early Grumman seat. Only the photo Cougars had splitters, some may have had underwing pylons, and some of the relevant squadron’s jets had refueling probes. Study photos of the jet you build. Step 4 offers a lot of choices. Photos show most early jets didn’t have tiny raised air scoops and anti-collision beacons, so I left them off. The intake splitters were not on the jet I chose, so I left them off. Notches for the splitters in the intakes are filled with small shims in Step 11. I carefully assembled and painted the detailed gun bay in Step 5, thinking that I could attach it to the fuselage and leave the

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IBG Diamond T 968 cargo truck nose cone loose. That way I could remove the cone and display the detail. That didn’t work, because it’s nearly impossible to get the cannon barrels aligned exactly with the openings in the nose every time it is replaced. Leaving the nose off or attaching it permanently were my only choices. I suspect the same problem would apply to the camera bay detail and photo nose. If you want to fold the wings, follow the assembly steps. But if you want to spread them, you’ll have to leave off the little hooks (parts Nos. E37 and E38) on the inner faces and sand away some hinge detail so you can get a flush fit. A long, thin tab on the upper surface of the wing root fits into a slot on the upper surface of the outer wing when it is folded. The tab must be removed to spread the wings — you can use it to fill the slot in the outer wing section. I wanted to check the fit of both attitudes, so I folded one wing. When properly installed, the slot/tab and little hooks hold the folded wing at the proper 80-degree angle. I airbrushed my Cougar with Testors Model Master enamel gloss sea blue and applied Alclad II polished aluminum for the leading edges. I painted the tips of the wings, stabilizers, and fin gloss red, although decals for the wingtips are provided. I was pleasantly surprised with the decals. They appear accurate and, after just a few judicious slices, the designs formed perfectly around the compound curves of the nose with help from Solvaset. In addition to the VF-121 bird, the decals include markings for a gray-andwhite jet from VF-61 (the refueling probe is appropriate for this one), a Blue Angels performer, and two recon aircraft: a gray-and-white plane from VFP-61, and a white-and-orange photo Cougar from a training unit. The instructions’ full-color marking illustrations are gorgeous, but some items are not quite right. The photo Cougars should have intake splitters. I spent 29 hours on this blue beauty — and it makes me want to build more in 1/48 scale, a break from my 1/72 scale focus. You don’t have to be an expert to build this model, but you should spend time with references and studying the kit options to make it right! – Paul Boyer


o fulfill the U.S. Army’s need for a 4-ton cargo truck, Diamond T produced the 968. The truck’s initial steel bed was soon replaced with wood to conserve precious resources. In 1941, the dashboard was modified to military standard instruments; these vehicles were designated 968A. Besides the basic cargo version, the same chassis was used for dump truck and wrecker versions. In addition to the cargo truck, IBG Models of Poland has produced a dump truck, a wrecker, and an unusual asphalt tanker on the Diamond T chassis. The light gray parts show excellent detail but, typical of this scale, some small parts are a bit heavy. Rather than mold the cab windows, IBG provides a thin sheet of clear plastic that’s printed with the window outlines. Surprisingly, they do not include an outline for the rear window of the cab. But the sheet is large enough to make one. The kit has a complete chassis and engine, but there’s no provision for an open hood. The cab comes in several parts, with a full interior and separate doors that can be posed open or closed. The cargo bed is the wooden version, and the troop seats can be posed up or down. Well-printed decals feature two marking choices, as well as several others (likely for future versions of the kit). The instructions feature clear assembly drawings but the marking diagrams are a little dark, making it tricky to determine the exact position for some of the decals. I started assembly with the engine and chassis. The chassis has the front springs and rear axle mounts molded in place, so if you build your frame straight and square all six wheels should touch the ground. I left off the wheels for painting. Next I built the cab. The parts fit very well and no filler was needed — this was the case with the rest of the kit, too. I was disappointed that the headlight brush

Kit: No. 72019 Scale: 1/72 Manufacturer: IBG Models, Price: $26.95 Comments: Injection-molded, 125 parts, decals Pros: Full motor and chassis; detailed with posable doors; thin, clear sheet provided for windows; excellent molding Cons: Some parts heavy for scale (mirrors, grab handles); solid-molded headlight guards; no rear window

guards were molded solid. Advance modelers will want to replace them and the overscale mirrors. I left off the windows, roof, and the back of the cab so I could paint the details once everything was sprayed with a base coat of Tamiya olive drab (XF-58). The cargo bed went together easily, but the grab handles/steps on the rear fenders are heavy and could use replacing. The decals went on perfectly over clear gloss with a touch of Microscale Micro Set. After a coat of Tamiya clear flat, I assembled the cab and added it and the bed to the chassis. For the mirrors, I punched out discs of thin Mylar film and applied them using Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish as an adhesive. It only took me about 12 hours to build my Diamond T. Built straight out of the box. The model really looks nice and delicate. A little time spent improving a few parts will make it a stunner. – John Plzak

May 2015 55


Eduard SSW D.III


any years ago, Eduard decided to make model kits instead of just supplying accessories for them. The first kit was a 1/48 scale Siemens-Schuckert SSW D.III, the quick-climbing, pugnacious World War I

Kit: No. 8256 Scale: 1/48 Manufacturer: Eduard, Price: $34.95 Comments: Injection-molded, 168 parts (78 photoetched metal, 2 film), decals Pros: Well-engineered for ease of assembly; good selection of markings; terrific molding Cons: Lozenge decals come up short; exaggerated rib detail complicates decal application

German fighter. A lot of kits later, Eduard returns to its roots with an all-new tooling of the SSW D.III in 1/48 scale. This new kit shares only subject matter and Eduard’s name with its predecessor. The initial ProfiPack boxing consists of 78 injection-molded plastic parts, 78 photoetched-metal parts, two pieces of film, a set of masks for the wheels, and four decal sheets. Markings include five very colorful options, all using the supplied pre-cut lozenge decals. Unlike the original kit, the interior is mostly injection-molded parts with a handful of photoetched metal, including prepainted belts and an optional seat back. The detail on this is nice, but the wood grain is unconvincing to my eye; I repainted mine. Much of the interior is assembled on top of the lower wing. This fits the fuselage exceptionally well despite the complex shapes, and the incorporated lower cowl panel features open cooling slots — very impressive! Eduard provides two options for the guns — fully injection-molded guns, or plastic breeches and barrels detailed with photoetched-metal cooling jackets and replacements for plastic levers. I decided the 3-D plastic parts looked fine. I used the

photoetched-metal jackets after annealing them. Be aware the gun barrels need to be thinned to accept the metal front and back plates (parts PE12 and PE19). The engine, firewall, and engine bay details look wonderful, but none of the details behind the engine can be seen. The fit was so good, I left the firewall and engine off until after painting and finishing. Large gaps around the horizontal stabilizer surprised me, but I eliminated them with Deluxe Materials Perfect Plastic Putty smoothed with a wet finger. The control surfaces, landing gear, and struts fit fine. I sprayed Tamiya gloss black (X-1) as a base for the lozenge decals to hedge against minor rips or tears showing. You might want to use a different color; the lozenge decals are too small to wrap around the parts, so the black shows at the edges. For example, the upper-wing lozenge has no overlap to cover the wingtips. Eduard provides extra lozenge decal sheet, but the pattern is not printed in the same direction as the pre-cut lozenge and the colors are very different. I cut small pieces to cover both upper and lower wingtips as well as the center cutout in the upper wing. I couldn’t bring myself to cut thin sections for the

Revell Germany Landing Ship Medium


total of 558 Landing Ship Medium and its rocket variant were built during World War II. Primarily used in the Pacific, the shallow-draft ships were first launched in May 1944. Each required just six week to build. Employed first as beach-assault vehicles, they were often kept on station for an extended time as “sandscrapers,” delivering supplies from offshore deep-draft cargo ships to locations without harbor facilities to support troops ashore. Revell Germany’s kit includes 17 sprues and three separate hull sections for a total of 428 parts. There are decals to mark four ships, a spool of thread for railings, and a 20-page, 68-step instruction manual. Color callouts are included, and the box art deserves mention as a nice reference, too. The sprues are reminiscent of a 1960s kit; you’ll spend a fair amount of time trimming, sanding, and filling gaps. There’s a 56 FineScale Modeler May 2015

little bit of flash on the parts, but there are significant seams to be removed. Although it’s not mentioned in the instructions, the interior of the hull is scored so waterlining the model will be easy. Assembly begins with the lower hull halves. The only fit issue of the five sections was in Step 6, where a visible gap around the rear of the hull had to be filled. Flipping the hull over starts the interior deck construction; make sure to pay careful attention to drilling stanchion holes in Steps 13 and 14 before mounting the upper deck to the bulkheads. In Step 16, Part I25 needed 1mm shaved off the starboard side to fit snugly. I appreciated the engineering of the movable ramp and bow doors in steps 17-19. This feature provides options for dioramas or display. Overall, the fit of parts is good and should present no problems for the reasonably experienced modeler.

I used a mixture of Tamiya, Badger, and Testors Model Master acrylics to recreate the haze green 5-HG, Navy green 5-NG and dull black camouflage scheme of the LSM on the box art.

front and rear of the interplane struts; that would have been eight individual strips to match with the corresponding pattern. The prominent wing ribs and their sharp stitching caused another decaling problem, piercing the decals during placement. I had a hard time draping the ribtape decals to lay down over the stitching. On the bright side, the remaining decals behaved once in place and settled with some setting solution. After struggling with the lozenge and rib tapes, it was almost a relief to start rigging the biplane. Eduard’s photoetchedmetal turnbuckles worked well, but the

instructions don’t show which type goes where. I used the simple “ring” type (No. PE24) on the upper ends only. The attachment points are actually on the struts and not the wing, so I was able to begin rigging without the upper wing in place. I used medical suture for rigging, looped through the buckles and then back through small sections of stretched plastic cottonswab shafts. After attaching the upper wing to the struts — perfect fit — I tensioned the wires. I used elastic thread from Uschi for the tail control wires, and to rig the center section and landing gear.

I finished the little black barrel in 25 hours. Despite the great fit and wonderful details, this kit requires a bit more work than it should. The poor fit of the lozenge decals, exacerbated by the over-defined ribs, bears most of the blame. New decals would make this kit a winner. – Chuck Davis

With the basic vessel complete, I turned my attention to the payload. The kit includes nine vehicles: three each of M4A2 Shermans, M8 Greyhounds, and GMC CCKW 21/2-ton trucks. I found all three K sprues in my kit warped, stressing Part K134, the turret and gun of the Shermans. I modified one Sherman to a flamethrower

M4A2 after finding the cannon barrel snapped. All of the vehicles build nicely. Don’t rush Step 64, rigging the stanchions for lifelines. The stanchions are fragile and limber, so I replaced the kit’s thread with stretched sprue, which needed less tension to look right. The kit provides a few extra stanchions in case of breakage.

While some aspects of the kit are out of scale (such as the gun-tub splinter shields), the ship’s length and beam are perfect. My main reference was U.S. Warships of World War II by Paul Silverstone (ISBN 9780870217739). This was a fun kit to build. While there were a few fit issues, most were easy to overcome with basic modeling. – Mark Karolus

SSW in progress You can see photos and read more about Chuck’s progress as he builds Eduard’s SSW D.III. Simply go to

Kit: No. 05123 Scale: 1/144 Manufacturer: Revell Germany, Price: $52.95 Comments: Injection-molded, 428 parts, thread, decals Pros: Fun build; display options; good engineering and vehicles Cons: Out-of-scale details; some fit issues

May 2015 57


Airfix Supermarine Swift FR.5


he Supermarine Swift was a fallback option for the Royal Air Force in the event Hawker’s Hunter didn’t pan out. Problems with the Swift’s development led to one setback after another, but — like the Vigilante and Voodoo — the aircraft became a highly successful reconnaissance platform. Airfix’s new kit replicates this Swift variant, the FR.5, arguably the most attractive. Its inboard wing extensions and saw-tooth outboard wing sections give the aircraft a wicked-looking scimitar-shaped planform. Comprehensive three-color instructions

Kit: No. A04003 Scale: 1/72 Manufacturer: Airfix, Price: $18.99 Comments: Injectionmolded, 63 parts, decals Pros: Great engraved detail; optional parts; outstanding decals Cons: Problems fitting cockpit into fuselage

58 FineScale Modeler May 2015

include diagrams showing angles for attaching the beautifully engraved and detailed parts. The seat and cockpit walls are nice, though not highly detailed. Options include a belly tank, posable flaps, control surfaces, and canopy, and two seat inserts, one with molded-in belt detail and one without. Decals are provided for the instrument panel and side consoles. Clear camera windows or optional blanking plates are included, plus closed gear doors for displaying the aircraft in flight. There is no stand in the kit. I had real issues trying to fit the combination nose wheel well/cockpit tub assembly into the fuselage. Finally, I sawed the well and tub apart and installed them separately. But the cockpit still sits too low. The instructions specify 2 grams of nose weight, but there’s little room for it. So, I snipped off the lugs atop the nose-wheel well to make room. I installed additional weight beneath the cockpit as well. Most of the fuselage seam and the forward wing-to-belly joint needed filler. Once I was over the fuselage hurdles, the remaining parts fit nicely and the build went smoothly. The landing gear, wheels, and wheel wells show excellent detail. The gear struts have trunnion mounts at their upper ends, like the real aircraft.

The main wheels mount to the struts with an elongated pin-and-slot arrangement; the slots aren’t in the center of the wheel hubs, so the model’s stance can be altered a little, depending on how the wheels are attached. The flaps’ attachment points on the wings are small. That makes them more fragile than most of the rest of the model, second only to the pitot boom, which I broke twice. (I finally discarded it and replaced it with hypodermic tubing.) The clear parts are a little thick. The painting instructions don’t show the reinforcing edges of the canopy’s Plexiglas (“Perspex” to Britophiles) sliding section. However, the box art does. So, using that as a guide, I painted those edges light gray. I added shims beneath the clear gun/ camera sight to raise it to its proper height and compensate for the low position of the cockpit tub. Painting instructions reference Humbrol colors, but I used Tamiya acrylics, mixing my own PRU blue for the undersides. Two markings options with full stenciling are provided. The decals were practically flawless. The cockpit fit problems necessitated spending slightly more than my usual building time for a model this size — about 20 hours. However, the finished product looks … well … pretty swift — I think, anyhow. – Walt Fink

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Zvezda SdKfz 251/1 “Stuka zu Fuss”


he German army added Wurfrahmen 40 rocket launchers to SdKfz 251 halftracks to provide powerful fire support to fastmoving panzer divisions: 28cm shells contained high-explosive warheads; 32cm projectiles, incendiary. In action, the crew dismounted and remotely fired the rockets from their frames. Though not as accurate as artillery, they were effective when used in large numbers. Zvezda has resurrected its 2006-vintage SdKfz 251/1 Ausf B by adding the rocket frames and ammunition. Previous reviews have mentioned the inaccuracies of this model, and they have not been corrected in this kit: wrong detail on the suspension; interior of an Ausf C instead of the morespartan Ausf B; and an MG34 machine gun should have been included instead of the MG42. The model is molded in light gray plastic with flash, sink marks, and mold shift that required reshaping many of the parts. There is no photoetched metal in the box, so good old-fashioned modeling skills are

60 FineScale Modeler May 2015

all you’ll need. The directions are clear and include callouts in Humbrol paints for all of the detail along the way. Since this is an open-topped vehicle with a complete interior, you need to study the directions to plan on how to build the model and paint the interior. Construction starts with the engine, which shows enough detail to look good with the hatches open. The hull is composed of multiple panels: Any one that is slightly out of place will cause problems later in the build. The suspension unit comprises multiple pieces, with the cross members needing to be trimmed to fit. I skipped ahead to Step 10 to start construction of the hull. I glued the firewall and seat bottoms to the floor, then glued the lower side walls and lower rear hull panel using the upper hull to keep everything lined up. This unit was then glued to the suspension pan. Lower front panels and the front plate came next. I tried to use the hood (Part D25) to line these components up, but this part was damaged in my kit (I tried to fix it

as best as I could). I completed the driver’s compartment so it and the engine compartment could be painted. The instrument panel is a decal applied to the dashboard, but there is no detail there to show where the gauges should be. The rear doors are supposed to be workable, but if you want to display them closed you should glue them in place for a better fit. I scribed slots in the wood seats to emphasize them. With the interior painted, I was able to glue the upper hull components. Everything lined up except the hood, which took trimming and filler. The side vent covers lack hinge detail but you can add it with styrene strip. Glue the storage boxes to the fenders, then glue the fenders to the model for a stronger bond and to make sure they are in the proper place. The front suspension is designed to

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Posing the hatches open exposes the halftrack’s engine, which looks good straight from the box.

pivot just like the real thing. It can be made steerable if you melt the pins that the tie rod (Part C37) attaches to. The tracks can also be workable if you are careful with the glue. Links interlock with the track pad to hold everything in place. The tracks suffer from mold shift that needs to be cleaned up for the two links to interlock. Also, many of the pads are marred by sink marks. Directions call for 55 links per side, but I added one more link to each run to give the tracks natural sag. Otherwise, you need to glue the upper run down to the wheels. The rocket-launcher assemblies complete construction. The kit supplies three each of the 28cm and 32cm rockets with their wood crates; you can show them mounted on the launch frames or stow the frames. Markings are supplied for the projectiles. Directions are to paint the frames the same color as the rockets, but I found pictures of the frames as natural wood so I painted them that way. With an Ausf B, there’s only one choice of exterior color: panzer gray. Tamiya German gray (XF-63) was the main color I

used, with AK Interactive dunkelgrau base (AK163) for highlights. I hand-brushed details with Vallejo, Tamiya, AK Interactive, and Humbrol paints; Mig Productions and AK Interactive filters and washes provided weathering. Two marking choices are given, one for the 8th Armored Division and another unknown company; both vehicles are from 1941. The decals are in register and showed minimal bleed-through on the dark gray background. There was no silvering and they were easy to handle. Dimensionally, the model is close to the drawings in Schützenpanzer, by Bruce Culver and Uwe Feist (Ryton, ISBN 9781-930571-29-7). Another great reference was Armored Transport SdKfz 251, by Waldemar Rogowski (GPM, no ISBN). Even with no photoetched metal, this was not a throw-together model. With all of the small parts and the need to rework many of them, it took me 51 hours; most of the time went to cleaning up the tracks and trying to fix the fit at the front. Still, it builds into a respectable model,

and it’s the only plastic kit of an Ausf B SdKfz 251. I recommend it to experienced modelers. – Mike Scharf

Kit: No. 3625 Scale: 1/35 Manufacturer: Zvezda, Price: $34.95 Comments: Injection-molded, 631 parts, decals Pros: Detailed engine; easy-to-use decals; good detail without photoetched metal Cons: A few damaged parts; poor detail in some areas; inaccurate in some respects

May 2015 61


Revell Germany Airbus A400M Atlas


he A400M Atlas, Airbus’ military transport, bridges the gap between the C-17 and C-130. Derived from its earlier 1/72 scale release, Revell Germany’s new 1/144 scale Atlas is impressive. But it shares some challenges with its big brother. The exquisitely recessed panel lines and full interior reflect the kit’s high level of detail. The kit offers several options, including posable landing gear and cargo doors plus different propellers. The decals provide three marking options: a French test aircraft and two transports, one each from the German and French air forces.

Kit: No. 04859 Scale: 1/144 Manufacturer: Revell Germany, Price: $30.95 Comments: Injection-molded, 150 parts, decals Pros: Excellent engraved surface detail; options for props, landing gear, and cargo doors Cons: Large sprue attachments on delicate parts, notably the props; decals prone to silvering

62 FineScale Modeler May 2015

Some of the 50 easy-to-follow steps won’t be needed, depending on which display options you choose. I followed the guidelines, but deviated in a couple spots to accommodate painting. The kit calls for 40 grams of ballast, but I installed 7 grams and the nose stayed grounded. With one exception, the parts fit well and required only a little sanding or filling. Mating the wings and fuselage was the only problem. I inserted styrene shims to close gaps at the lower wing roots; these areas are tough to reach and the shims reduced the amount of filler I had to use. The joins forward and aft of the wing in the upper fuselage also required filling and sanding. Follow the instructions’ sequence for main landing gear assembly. Wheels must be glued to the gear struts before part C8 is glued into place; otherwise, they cannot slide onto the axles. (You can probably guess how I know this.) The delicate props must be handled with care as they are delicate and, unfortunately, large sprue gates on each of the eight blades complicate removal and cleanup. After breaking two blades in short order, I glued the props to their respective hubs to help support the blades. This worked well and I didn’t detach any more blades. (This was a problem on the 1/72

scale A400M, too.) Pay attention to placement of the props, as they are handed — the two on each wing spin toward each other to reduce torque. The paint guide is for Revell colors only. I used Tamiya RLM gray (XF-22) as a close match for the main color, then randomly misted on other grays to break up the monochromatic finish. Research revealed the cargo doors to be a darker gray, so I sprayed them medium sea gray. Check references for the natural-metal areas on the engines, because they differ between aircraft. The decals presented some challenges. Even after two hefty coats of clear, the markings still showed silvering, particularly the walkway stripes. The props’ yellow warning stripes are too small and don’t bend around the rear of the blades as they should. I cut them in half and touched them up with yellow paint. If I were to do this over, I would paint them outright. Overall, Revell’s kit makes a very nice model of the new Atlas. It measures close in scale and definitely captures the bulky, powerful look of the real aircraft. I spent 43 hours building the kit and would recommend it to experienced modelers who can handle the construction challenges. Even in 1/144 scale, its size and appearance will make an eyecatching addition to any collection. – Phil Pignataro


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COLPAR’S HobbyTown USA We carry a huge inventory of plastic model kits from around the world! Full Line of Detailing Accessories. Airline models, Decals, Books, Promos, Die Cast Collectibles, Historical & RPG Games & Miniatures, Airbrushes & parts. Large Paint and Tool inventory. Full line R/C department. We ship worldwide.

Classified Marketplace This section is open to anyone who wants to sell or buy scale modeling merchandise. FSM reserves the right to edit undesirable copy or refuse listing. For FSM’s private records, please furnish: a telephone number and a street address. All Copy: Set in standard format. First several words only set in bold face. If possible, ads should be sent typewritten and categorized to ensure accuracy. Coming Events Rate: $35 per issue (55 word maximum). Ads will contain the following information about the event: state, city, sponsoring organization and name of event, meet, auction or show, dates, location, times, admission fee, name and/or telephone number and/or email of person to contact for information. Name, daytime telephone number and street address of the person providing the information is also required but need not be included in the ad. Unless otherwise requested, ads will be published in the issue month that the event occurs in. Additional months are available at the $35 per issue fee. Please specify issue date(s). Word Ad Rates: 1 insertion - $1.13 per word, 5 insertions - $1.08 per word, 10 insertions - 99¢ per word. $20 minimum per issue. Count all initials, single numbers, street number or name, city, state, zip, phone numbers each as one word. Payment must accompany the ad. To receive the discount you must order and prepay for all ads at one time. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. Send Your Ads To: FineScale Modeler – Classified Marketplace, 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612. Phone toll-free: 1-888-558-1544, Ext. 815, or fax: 262-796-0126. E-mail:

Specializing in hard-to-find & OOP kits.

We have over 8000 kits in stock from old Aurora to new releases. Please contact us for a FREE catalog. Please specify cars or military. Check with me before you sell.


COLPAR’S HobbyTown USA To order call: 1-800-876-0414 1915 S. Havana St. For information: 303-341-0414 Aurora, Co 80014

Modeler’s Mart


Large selection of kits, supplies and more !

We Buy Collections!



70A East Jefryn Blvd., Deer Park, NY 11729 (631) 243-1882 • FAX (631) 243-1883 e-mail:


COMING EVENTS NV, LAS VEGAS: IPMS, Las Vegas Best of the West 20 Contest and Swap Meet. NEW VENUE: Riviera Hotel and Casino, 2901 Las Vegas Blvd. S. Saturday, April 18, 2015, 9:00am4:30pm. $10.00 fee includes 3 entries. Under 18 free entries. Facebook “Best of the West IPMS Las Vegas.� E-mail Joe Porche, or 702-296-9976. Rules/ Registration Forms/Room Rates IPMSLV.ORG/ TN, CROSSVILLE: 31st Annual IPMS / Middle Tennessee Modelers Association Scale Model Show and Contest. Main Exhibit Hall, Cumberland County Fairgrounds, 1398 Livingston Road 38555. May 16, 2015. Free admission. Contact Info: Randall Cooper 931-456-9803 or Bill Carlo 931-788-3842 or email or Facebook

FOR SALE CANOPY MASKING AND MORE! WWW.EZMASKS. COM List $3.00. Chris Loney, 75 Golf Club Rd., Smiths Falls, ON, Canada K7A 4S5. 613-283-5206, SHIP AND AIRCRAFT MODELS. Built for display. For additional information contact, Ray Guinta, PO Box 74, Leonia, NJ 07605. THOUSANDS OF MODEL KITS for sale. All types from Old Aurora to new releases. Send a 70¢ SASE to: Dean Sills, 116 N. Washington, Owosso, MI 48867. Specify Military List. Phone: 989-720-2137. Fax: 989-720-0937. E-mail:

WANTED A BIG BUYER OF AIRCRAFT, Armor, Sci-Fi, Resin, Hybrid or Plastic kits. We buy collections whether they are small or large- Worldwide as well. Call Don Black toll free 1-866-4627277. Don Black, 119 Bernhurst Road, New Bern, NC 28560. E-mail AIRCRAFT, ARMOR, SCI-FI, FIGURES, AUTO, ETC. Buying kit collections, large or small, worldwide. Top prices paid. Call Jim Banko 610-814-2784 or mail list to 122 Independence Ct., Bethlehem, PA 18020, fax 610-439-4141. E-mail: CASH PAID FOR PLASTIC MODEL COLLECTIONS. Call Tracie in Michigan 248-814-8359. Fax: 248-814-0385 E-mail: 

MODEL CAR AND TRUCK KITS. Unbuilt or built. Any size collection. Good prices paid. Please contact: Fred Sterns, 48 Standish, Buffalo, NY 14216. Phone: 716-838-6797. Fax: 716836-6057. E-mail: WANTED: ORIGINAL “NAUTILUS� MODEL, not the one currently available, but the one that lights up inside. Richard Davidson, 16162 Sher Lane, Apt. #23, Huntington Beach, CA 92647 YOU WILL NEVER FIND TIME TO BUILD ALL THOSE MODELS. Unbuilt kits, diecast aircraft, military books. Milam Models, 519 DiLorenzo Dr., Naperville, IL 60565, Phone: 630983-1407, I WANT TO BUY YOUR UNBUILT MODEL KITS. Any size collection. Dean Sills, 116 N. Washington St. Owosso, MI 48867. 989-720-2137. Fax: 989-720-0937. E-mail:

MISCELLANEOUS 1ST AND ABSOLUTELY THE BEST MUSEUM-QUALITY MODELS. IPMS Nationals winner building aircraft and armor to your speciďŹ cation, including conversions and scratchbuilt. Call BC Models for quote and information at 913-385-9594 or visit FINESCALE MODELER AUTHOR and IPMS medalist will build your favorite aircraft, specializing in metal ďŹ nishes. Contact John Adelmann at 563-556-7641 or

Your classified ad can:

Tell ’em what you’ve got Tell ’em what it will do for them Tell ’em how to get it

Don’t wait any longer! Place your classified ad today! 888-558-1544 x815 Closing Dates: Published 10 times a year. Jan. 2015 issue closes Oct. 14, Feb. closes Nov. 7, Mar. closes Dec. 10, April closes Jan. 7, May closes Feb. 17, July closes April 14, Sep. closes June 15, Oct. closes July 8, Nov. closes Aug. 10, Dec. closes Sept. 9.

May 2015 63

Local Hobby Shop Directory Local Hobby Shop Directory listings are available for the next ten issues for $275 (payable in advance) or at $37 per issue (billed to established accounts for a minimum of ten insertions). Ads will be set in standard listing typography. All insertions must be consecutive and may be invoiced if you have credit established with us. No mention of mail order business permitted. For information call 1-888-558-1544, ext. 815. Closing dates listed in Classifieds section.

ARKANSAS • Jacksonville

Headquarters for scale hobbies. Models; N-HO-O-G trains; gaming; tools; paints, etc. Discounts & special orders. Open 10-6, closed Sundays and Wednesdays

CONNECTICUT • East Windsor

Old & rare kits, largest selection in military kits, rockets, & cars. Exit 45 off I-91. 10 minutes from Bradley Air Museum. or Visit us on Facebook.


CONNECTICUT • Manchester


Large selection of plastic kits, paints, and supplies. Special orders no problem Visit us in person or online Secure online ordering


394 New Haven Ave., Unit 1

CALIFORNIA • Canoga Park

Kits, plastic & wood, Slot cars & toys. Rockets, paint, glue and tools. Trains from Z to O. Mon-Tues 10-5, Wed-Fri 10-7, Sat 10-5, closed Sun & Big Holidays.

CALIFORNIA • Garden Grove

Rewards program for 10% back on purchases. Plastic aircraft, armor, ships, cars, decals, books, paints, tools, miniatures war-games. Mon-Thur 11-8, Fri 11-midnight, Sat 10-midnight, Sun 11-7

Huge selection of model kits & accessories. Ships, Armor, Aircraft, Figures, Cars and more. Visit: for complete listing. Monday to Friday 10-6, Saturday 10-2


Model planes, car, ships & figures. Model train scales: Z, N, HO, O & G. Paints, tools. R/C & parts, incl. service. Craft & educational kits, supplies, products. Clinics available. Tu-Sat 11 -6; Sun 12-4.


14269 Imperial Hwy.

Stop in ONCE! A customer for LIFE! We have 10,000+ models, tools, supplies, 23 paint lines, 50 model mags, 5,000+ books. Est. in 1973, open 7 days, Th & Fr 'til 8. Visit us @




New Products, Old Kits & Great Service! Everything you need to build plastic models Armor, Aircraft, Ships, Cars, SciFi and more. M-F 10:30-6pm, Sat 10:30-5pm, Sun 12-5pm

Rt 20E Main, Post Rd. Plaza



6,000 model kits, old and new: Autos, armor, planes & sci-fi. Reference books & supplies. Open T-Th 11-7, F 11-8, Sa 10-5. Rt. 495 to Rt. 123E, behind Dunkin’ Donuts. www. E:




830 E. Lincoln Ave.



Wide variety of plastic kits. Old Nascar Kits - please call. Mon - Sat 10-6. Closed Sunday.


250 E. Main St., Rt 123



Your source for plastic models, die cast and all supplies needed to finish your latest model. Mon-Sat 9:30-6, Sun 11-5.

We moved! Thousands of model kits from old Aurora to new releases. Mon 4pm-7pm, Tues - Fri 11:30am-5pm. Sat 11:30am-4:00pm E-mail:



Large inventory of models from the world over! Detailing accessories, research publications, games, trains, R/C, tools, and supplies. Easy access from D.I.A.

116 N. Washington Street

New & Old Toy Soldiers, Historical Miniatures, Models and Figure Kits from Around the World. Our famous selection of hobby supplies includes scenics, paints, reference and more.





1400 E. 11 Mile Rd.

MICHIGAN • Traverse City

Planes, tanks, cars, ships, rockets, plastic and wood kits. Trains. Authorized Lionel dealer & repair. Die-cast, RC, slot cars, structural and diorama supplier. Special orders welcome.


405 E. Putnam Avenue


MICHIGAN • Royal Oak (Metro Detroit)


1915 S. Havana St.


Huge foreign & domestic model selection all scales. Automobiles, aircraft ship, books, wargames, scenery, diorama supplies, parts, tools. Open 7 days


706 N. White Horse Pike


Visit our in-house Aircraft Model Museum. Foreign and domestic plastic and wood kits. Open 7 days.


FineScale Modeler! 64 FineScale Modeler May 2015


OHIO • Columbus


206 Graceland Blvd.


Oklahoma’s largest plastic kit, paint and aftermarket inventory. Planes, cars, trucks, armor, ships, trains and sci-fi. Special orders welcome! Mon - Fri 10-7, Sat 11-6, Sun 1-5 Web site:



119 S. Main St.

OREGON • Beaverton



Large Selection New & Used Kits Military books, tools, paint, airbrushes Full line hobby shop open Tue - Thur 10-6, Fri 10-7, Sat 10-4




Frank Cuden used aftermarket parts scratchbuilt and to sharpen Emhar’s 1/72 scale F3H Demon – p.20


106 W. Main Street


Imported & Domestic Aviation Books & Plastic Kits. Paint, Decals, HO, N trains, R/C, U/C airplanes. Mon 1-6, Tue-Wed 12-6, Thur-Fri 10:30-7. Sat 10:30-6.


108 S. Lee Street


Scale modeling from beginner to expert. A wide selection of aircraft, armor, autos, figures, ships, & sci-fi. Lots of reference material, detail parts, decals, tools, & eight lines of paint. Open Tues-Sat 10-6pm.


1029 Donaldson Ave.


VIRGINIA • Chantilly

Minutes from Dulles Airport & New Dulles Air & Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center. PLASTIC! PLASTIC! PLASTIC! Kits for aircraft - armor - ships - cars Daily 12-8; Sun 12-5.


13892 Metrotech Dr.


Plastic model specialty shop. New and old kits, foreign, domestic, books, paints and other accessories. We also buy collections.


14351 Warwick Blvd.


We are a full line hobby shop. Huge model selection. Gundam, supplies, tool, educational, kit, parts, kite, game. Huge selection, paint, train & R/C items.


19332 60th Ave. W.



Plastic Model Specialists. Large selection of rare & out-of-production models. Large selection of detail parts. Largest selection of plastic models in South Seattle!


12615 Renton Ave. South


Specializing in R/C models and accessories, helicopters, planes, cars, trucks, boats, plastic, die-cast & model rockets. M T W F 9:30-6, Th 9:30-8 Sat. 9:30-5


3409A 26 Ave. SW


CANADA–ON • Ottawa (Vanier) One of Canada's leading model shops. Complete line of military & aircraft kits, decals, paints and accessories. Free parking. On Parle Francais.


80 Montreal Rd.


CANADA–ON • Toronto

Complete full line hobby shop. Z, N, HO, O, Lionel, and LGB. Open Mon-Fri 10-8, Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5. 12024 SW Canyon Rd.


2522 Times Blvd.

CANADA–AB • Calgary

Great selection of model kits, accessories, detail parts, magazines, tools & paints.




NEW YORK • Upr Eastside GR Manhattan

1435 Lexington Ave.

HO & N, Lionel trains. Complete line of plastic kits, military and architecture supplies. Open 11am-6pm M-F, Sat. 10am-5pm


PENNSYLVANIA • Landisville (Lancaster)


210 East Front St.



134 Middle Country Rd.


VIRGINIA • Newport News


2243 Seneca St.

Let your imagination run wild! Aircraft, ships, cars, armor, special orders, diecast cars, dollhouse miniatures, model railroading Z to G and more...

Your modeling skills will





445 South “B” Street

NEW JERSEY • Magnolia (Camden)

Excellent selection of lead miniatureshistorical and fantasy. Plastic models, wargames & modeling supplies. Books and magazines.


33 Exchange St.


NEW YORK • Middle Island

Largest store in area, easy access via I-93, Rt. 1, and the T. Complete line of model kits & supplies, plus toy soldiers, figure kits, games, etc. Shipping available. Info:




MASSACHUSETTS • Malden (Boston)


201-C McCray St.


590 Rt. 46


11145 Turkey Dr.

TEXAS • San Antonio

WNY’s largest selection of models!!! We specialize in models. New, old, rare and vintage. Tons of detail and weathering products, paint, tools and so much more!


767 Kailua Road


NEW YORK • Buffalo

Wide selection of plastic model kits, paint, books, magazines and tools. Located on the beautiful windward side, a scenic 20 minute drive from Honolulu. Mon - Fri 10-6, Sat 10-5, Sun 11-2


CALIFORNIA • Hollister


HAWAII • Kailua, Oahu


12188 Brookhurst St.


4167 East First St. (by KFC)


#334 90 Washington St.

East Tennessee’s largest plastic model selection. 8,000 sq. ft. of hobbies & toys. Located in Knoxville’s premier shopping destination. Turkey Creek Area. Open 7 days a week.

TEXAS • Irving (Dallas Area)

Full service hobbies, a full line of HO, N, 3-Rail, military, cars, boats, planes, dollhouses, scratchbuilding supplies, plus details-details-details!

GEORGIA • Blue Ridge






7259 Canoga Avenue


Come visit our new store! Plastic modeling kits. Paint, tools, scenery, & accessories. Scale model railroads & rockets. Mon-Sat 10:00am-6:00pm. Closed Sunday.

12951 Metro Parkway


4590 W Sahara Ave Ste 103

TENNESSEE • Knoxville

TEXAS • Houston

Best plastic, resin & balsa kits from around the world. Scratch building & diorama supplies, reference books, large paint selection including Humbrol, Citadel & Testors

FLORIDA • Ft. Myers




Extensive selection of armor kits & Verlinden accessories. Military, auto & aircraft plastic models. Photo-etched parts. O gauge train sets. Open Tues - Sat 11-6, Sun 12-5.


911 S. Victory Blvd.





103 W. Michigan Avenue

While in Las Vegas, come see our wide selection of models and detail accessories. Less than 5 miles off the Las Vegas strip Hours Mon-Fri 10-7, Sat 10-6, Sun noon-5.


71 Hilliard St.

Your single stop model building shop. Michigan’s largest selection of new and vintage kits in all genres plus everything needed to build them. Wed - Sat 11-8, Sun 12-5 Visit us on Facebook.

NEVADA • Las Vegas

Largest hobby shop in NE. Military, cars, trucks, plastic models, diecast cars, trucks. Planes, RC planes, cars, trucks, slot cars, rockets, Breyer, Detailing supplies, games! Mon-Wed 10-6 Th-Fri 10-9 Sat-Sun 10-6


1200 John Harden Dr.


144 North Road

MICHIGAN • Ypsilanti-Metro Detroit


Large selection of new & out-of-production kits. Accessories & finishing products. Servicing the hobbies since 1986. We buy kit collections.


1880 Danforth Ave.


SINGAPORE • Singapore

Old kits & latest releases. Good selection of unusual model kits & accessories. We stock electric trains & slot cars. Open 7 days, 1pm-8pm. In the Katong Shopping Centre.


865 Mountbatten Rd #02-91/92



February 2015 Academy’s 1/72

scale F4F-4 Wildcat


PLUS STEP-BY-STEP: Repair a can opy p.30 Model a big -scale desert Messerschm Tips and trick itt p.25 s for scratchb uilding arm or p.40 7 ALL-NEW KITS BUI LT AND REV IEWED BY OUR TEAM

– p.38

No matter what you like to model, it’s in FineScale Modeler.

Go to

Finescale Modeler magazine_____59

We believe that our readers are as important as our advertisers. If you do not receive your merchandise or a reply from an advertiser within a reasonable period, please contact us. Provide details about what you ordered and the amount you paid. If no action is obtained after we forward your complaint to the advertiser, we will not accept further advertising from them. FineScale Modeler magazine, 21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53187 The Advertiser Index is provided as a service to FineScale Modeler magazine readers. The magazine is not responsible for omissions or for typographical errors in names or page numbers.


Full Circle Hobbies ____________63

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Aircraft, Armor and Ships Excellent products, prices and service equal more value for your dollar! (208) 861-6851

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Cedar Creek Trading Post ______63

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To advertise in the Website Directory, call 1-888-558-1544, Ext. 549

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FineScale Modeler ? Browse through more than 25 years of back issues to ďŹ nd the one you need! Each back issue of FineScale Modeler includes: t)PXUPGFBUVSFTCZFYQFSUNPEFMFST t3FWJFXTPGUIFMBUFTUNPEFMLJUTBOEQSPEVDUT t(SFBUQIPUPTPGSFBEFSTNPEFMT t"JSCSVTIJOHBOEmOJTIJOHUFDIOJRVFT t"OENPSF

Complete your collection TODAY!

Go to P18671

May 2015 65

Website Directory

Ad Index


The Boyer fellas, from Baltimore to Bronco

I built this display as a Christmas gift for my father in 1974. It’s sort of a “time warp” showing the military aircraft we flew in during our service. My father served in World War II, although he didn’t see combat. He was a sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Forces as a radio operator. He flew two or three ferry missions in 1942 in Martin Baltimores that he knew as A-30s. These planes had large, protruding belly fuel tanks added. His trips involved flying from the States to South America, then over the South Atlantic to Ascension Island, and from there to Africa and the British colony of Gold Tell us what you think: Register to join our forum. It’s free!

Coast (now Ghana) where the aircraft was turned over to the Royal Air Force. As I recall, he got to fly in a “clipper” back to the U.S., but I don’t know which type of aircraft it may have been. Thirty years later, I was also a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, serving a tour as a still photographer (smile, you’re on Combat Camera) in Vietnam and stationed at Tan Son Nhut (a South Vietnamese airbase near Saigon). I documented every aspect of Air Force service, including flying backseat on forward air control missions in the North American OV-10A Bronco.

66 FineScale Modeler May 2015

Frog’s 1/72 scale Martin Baltimore is done up in the standard RAF desert scheme of middlestone and dark earth topsides with azure blue on the underside. I cobbled up a belly tank by vacuum-forming sheet styrene over a modeling-clay master. Dad had no photos of this strapped-on contraption, so I just guessed from his descriptions. I “improved” the air intakes on top of the cowls and vacuum-formed all of the glass areas. The OV-10A is the old 1/72 scale Revell kit done up in COIN (counter-insurgency) gray and white with individual number decals to represent the serial of one of the Broncos I flew in. I vacuum-formed the canopy and opened all of the hinged sections. To represent what my Dad

and I looked like at the time of our service, I modified and painted two 1/72 scale Preiser Luftwaffe figures. I’m no figure painter, and finishing the tiny 1"-tall figures didn’t come easily for me — so I don’t mind telling you that they’re pretty rough. I had two engraved plastic labels made; then I attached everything to a wooden base and covered it with a clear acrylic case. Rough figures notwithstanding, my father really loved this diorama, and it held a special place in my parents’ home for many years. Dad passed away 10 years later, and after Mom passed, the diorama came back home with me. The nostalgia I feel for the 30-year time span of the diorama is doubled when I realize that I made this display 40 years ago! FSM

Profile for Alex Chernyak