Page 1



Ph m oto et e al tc de he ta dils Pi w gm ea en th t er in g St su eel sp -sp en ri sio ng n

W tra ork ck ing s

Bill Plunk’s 1/35 scale Meng FT-17 – p.22

W as he s


H pa and to int ol ed s

Massimo Santarossa’s 1/72 scale Spark Vark – p.40

HOW TO Th ca ree m -c ou ol fla or ge

Airbrush fire damage p.20 Model a captured German staff car p.27



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Vol. 33 • Issue 7


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4 FineScale Modeler September 2015

CONTENTS September 2015 • Vol. 33 • No. 7 Online Content Code: FSM1509 Enter this code at to gain access to web-exclusive content.




Heavy hauler and fire damage Up-armored transport and destroyed tank AARON SKINNER



Build and paint Meng’s FT-17 Simple tips for a little World War I tank BILL PLUNK


Model a German staff car Build a captured Mercedes-Benz 770K STEVE GUTHRIE



Finish an F/A-18A Hornet as a Spanish EF-18 Gando Hawk Small details make all the difference RAÚL CORRAL



Build a super Spark Vark Finishing fundamentals can put a charge in Hasegawa’s EF-111 Raven MASSIMO SANTAROSSA

44 40

Armor in a small-scale vignette Dragon’s SdKfz 222 rests at the oasis MIKE FLECKENSTEIN

66 44



Page 50

• Merit USS Yorktown • AFV Club M60A1 Patton • Kinetic Sea Harrier FA2 • Airfix Dornier Do 17Z • Dragon Saladin Mk.2 • Panda Hobby Cougar 4 x 4 MRAP • Revell Germany Gripen • Airfix Folland Gnat T.1 • Dragon M65 Atomic Annie atomic cannon • Hataka Hobby acrylic paint sets • Tamiya Panzer 38(t) Ausf E/F




In Every Issue 6 8 12 14 34

Editor’s Page Scale Talk Spotlight New Products Reader Gallery

48 49 63 64 65

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


What’s your PSI — and why? FSM readers in pressure situations

On the Cover Modeler and author Bill Plunk has always been partial to World War II German panzers, but this month he’s in World War I on the other side of the trenches with Meng’s 1/35 scale Renault FT-17.


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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.


The Cold War is hot in modeling AT A RECENT IPMS CLUB meeting, a friend mentioned his latest project: Trumpeter’s 1/48 scale PLA J-8. It’s a Chinese fighter that looks more like a Sukhoi Su-15 than the MiG-21 it’s based on. Talking about it, we both remarked that we wanted to build an Su-15. Turns out, both of us are inspired by the same tragedy — the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 by Soviet fighters in 1982. For years, every time a story about that event ran in my local paper, the same grainy black-andwhite photo of an Su-15 appeared alongside it. The big-nosed interceptor’s exotic lines stood out, even in that poor reproduction. I was hooked. The 12-year-old me hungrily sought information about the “Flagon.” That led me to other Soviet aircraft with names like Tupolev and Ilyushin, Antonov

and Yakovlev. The nightly news was chock-full of images from the fighting in Afghanistan, and I found more inspiration in Frogfoots and Hinds. And I built many of the few Soviet subjects that were available at the time. Earlier in the day, before the club meeting, I examined HobbyBoss’ new KrAZ 255. It joins what seems like a never-ending stream of Soviet or Russian military truck kits from Trumpeter, ICM, Roden, and others. In the 1980s, kits of contemporary Soviet vehicles, especially armor, were even harder to come by than aircraft. Except for Tamiya’s T-62, there just wasn’t much to be had. Then came glasnost, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and, finally, the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was like the floodgates opened. ESCI produced kits of T-55s and

T-72s. I still remember the first Dragon kits I encountered: BMPs, BTRs, BRDMs, Su-24s, Tu-95s, SCUD launchers, T-80s. I was in heaven, finally able to lay hands on the vehicles I had only seen in fuzzy May Day parade photos. Of course, university and work conspired to eat up my time at the workbench. Many of the kits I bought at the time sit, unbuilt, in my basement right now. Many have since been replaced by better and more accurate kits. Awesome, right? Anybody who builds Soviet and Russian models must acknowledge we are in a Golden Age. Almost every new kit list shows that these subjects, once largely absent from the modeling world, have become mainstream. Having lived through the last couple of decades of the Cold War, that’s something I couldn’t have imagined.

Your Editorial Staff

Editor Matthew Usher editor

Associate Editor Mark Hembree mhembree

Associate Editor Tim Kidwell tkidwell

Associate Editor Aaron Skinner askinner

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Publisher Mark Savage msavage

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6 FineScale Modeler September 2015

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SCALE TALK Your voice in FSM About weathering

I read the July 2015 Scale Talk letter, “Underwhelmed by overweathering,” by Wick Humble, with a bit of interest and a different perspective. I just can’t agree that the weathering techniques used today have no place. I haven’t been in the hobby as long as Wick, but I’ve been modeling since the late ’70s. So, I have some perspective. I always have been and always will be an armor modeler. Being a member of AMPS and schooled in the artistic perspective of that organization, I realized long ago that each model is the modeler’s artistic impression of the subject. Our models are representations of the real thing, not the real thing, so they should never be judged strictly on what a real vehicle looks like when you are standing next to it. I enjoy weathering; painting has always been my favorite part of the hobby. I think it makes the scale subject look more realistic. And, again, the finish is the choice of the modeler. With the proliferation of these techniques, I’d say a lot of artists think that type of finish looks cool, too. – Jerry Stokes Lynchburg, Va. More or less rust?

I’m observing the discussions about bright versus rusted armored vehicle tracks with a bit of humor. Both groups are correct. A tank in action will have the metal in the tracks polished by the dust, sand, rocks, etc., as it moves around the battlefield. However, a tank that has been sitting outdoors for 50 years at a museum will probably have severely rusted tracks. Unfortunately, since most of us only see the tanks at museums, that’s all we know. Build a model of a tank outdoors at a museum and rust it up (and mispaint it if you want) as much as you want. – Alfred Franceschi Albuquerque, N.M. 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.

8 FineScale Modeler September 2015

Thomas has been building scale models for practically his whole life — and he has shelves and shelves full of completed gems to prove it.

Enjoy your hobby! After many years, I’ve decided to write FSM. I am 87 years old and remember kit manufacturers such as Megow, Stromecker, and Comet. I have built quite a few, as you can see from my collection. My point in this correspondence is to praise your magazine and hope modelers don’t have to make museum-quality models — just enjoy the effort as I have done these many years. – Thomas E. Metz Covington, La.

Whether to weather

I have read a lot about weathering in FSM lately. I was a crew chief on an F-105 during the Vietnam War. I was also a modeler and looked at things from that viewpoint. Here is what I noticed about the Thuds, and I believe most of these observations apply to most other aircraft and armor too: My bird flew combat, on average, four days a week. (The other days were maintenance downtime and weather holds.) An operational aircraft was not pulled from the flight line for the wash rack or paint shop. This was done during phase inspections or major maintenance. So they got dirty. High speeds sucked all the oils, grease, fuel, and other bodily fluids out of the most tightly sealed compartments. This tended

to find its way to the belly because the planes sat outside in the rain. The belly was also streaked with pink, especially behind landing gear and flight controls. Hydraulic cylinders leak small amounts of fluid that lubricate the shiny part of an actuator. This red fluid becomes pink streaks. All leading edges are dull aluminum. This is due to the fact that dust in the air erodes the paint. This happens very fast. Even aircraft that have been recently painted have eroded paint. Indeed, this happened all over the aircraft. Paint did not chip, but rather was simply worn away. Sometimes, insignia simply disappeared. If the erosion was bad enough, the natural metal would start to show through. I saw an F-4 with paint so badly eroded that the

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SCALE TALK bare metal showed through at least 50 percent of the plane. As to the “official” colors that so many are obsessed over, forget it. Those Federal Standard colors are a suggestion, to say the least. (Remember there was a pink submarine in World War II. They painted it gray, and then it turned pink in the sun.) The Thud was supposed to have SEA camouflage, and did straight from overhaul. The ones painted on-base were more or less two-tone. Don’t know if they just mixed the greens together or what, but they didn’t look the same. The colors will be duller than those in the books. Remember, the paint is being eroded by the air and they sit outside in the sun and monsoons. The radomes hit bugs and stuff that removed little bits of rubber paint and allowed the fiberglass to show. I don’t know about armor, but I’m sure the same rules apply. If it’s in combat, they ain’t worried about appearance. One of our club members got gigged by a judge because he had rust on a tow cable. “Tow cables never rust,” he was told. Yeah, I’m sure Russian commanders wouldn’t put a


tank into combat with rust on the tow cable. In other words, builders can weather as they want, depending on the time and place the model is to represent, and there is no such thing as too much weathering. An automobile can be either showroom new or a barn find. It’s up to the dealer. Build them for you, not someone else. If you like it, it’s a winner. – Chet Mohn Cumberland, Pa. Alternative nose weight

In the July 2015 FSM, Darren Roberts builds a Tamiya 1/48 scale F-4D Skyray (Page 46). In Photo 2, he adds a couple of fishing sinkers inside the nose of the aircraft so the model won’t be a tail-sitter. I use plumber’s putty instead and find it works much better. You can easily mold it into any shape to fit in any space, and it weighs more than enough to keep the nose down. Plus, it doesn’t come loose and rattle around. – Terry Cornell Bowling Green, Ky.



Correction In the May 2015 Reader Gallery, Page 35, we mistakenly attributed the sculpture of the King Kong bust. The caption should have credited Mic Wood as the sculptor.



Now at Download a desktop wallpaper Download a desktop wallpaper of the Kinetic 1/48 scale Sea Harrier FA2 built by Andy Keyes for Workbench Reviews in the September 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. Matthew Walker’s Rafale B If you build modern military aircraft, you’re going to end up with a lot of gray planes. But paint weathers quickly. Matthew Walker achieves that wear and tear with a combination of preand post-shading.

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 scale model subjects, open up the boxes, and tell you why they rock.


10 FineScale Modeler September 2015

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2BKSM September 2015


SPOTLIGHT Compiled by Aaron Skinner

Build a brace of MiG-15s from Eduard

Royal Class kit offers four complete models and more


duard ( continues to pursue the “1/72 scale revolution” with a Royal Class incarnation of its terrific MiG-15 (No. R0011). Eduard defines its kits under a multitiered system with the Royal Class at the top of the pile. These are genuinely premier items; this one is no exception. To begin with, the box features four complete kits — three MiG-15/-15bis and one MiG-15UTI. The single-seat fighter has been around for about a year, but this kit marks the first flight of the two-seat trainer UTI. These are essentially four ProfiPack kits, so you get all of the plastic, four frets of prepainted photoetched metal (one for each model) and a set of precut masks with enough to cover all four models. The dark gray plastic parts are beautifully molded with fine panel lines and rivets. The glass-smooth surface provides a good foundation for naturalmetal finishes. Optional wing and chin parts are provided for early- and lateproduction variants. More than 17,000 MiG-15s were built and they served in more than 40 air forces, so there are a lot of markings to choose from. Eduard provides 18 options on the big Cartograf-printed sheet with a separate magazine of color instructions. In addition to naturalmetal aircraft, there are camouflaged MiGs from North Korea, Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. Royal Class kits always come with extras. For the MiG-15, there are a set of Brassin resin drop tanks and a pair of Brassin ejection seats. If you enjoy a little refreshment at the workbench, Eduard has you covered with a Bohemia crystal tumbler emblazoned with a colorful logo. Finally, the pièce de résistance: A chunk of aluminum cut from a Czechoslovakian MiG-15 and mounted on a Perspex stand. This terrific package costs $99.95.

12 FineScale Modeler September 2015



Make room for the Conqueror


ike the American M103, Britain’s Conqueror was a heavy tank designed to provide long-range antitank support. It carried the same 120mm gun as its U.S. counterpart and was deployed only in Germany from 1955-66. Dragon ( has released the first all-plastic kit of this behemoth (No. 3555) under its Black Label brand, and it looks great in the box. The lower half of the hull includes the fenders and their brackets, and the panels on the engine deck are crisply molded. Other highlights are a detailed suspension, Dragon Styrene vinyl tracks and mantlet dust cover, and a nicely molded turret with posable hatches. Decals provide markings for two British Army of the Rhine tanks in the 1960s. Dragon’s Black Label Conqueror Mk.II costs $72.99.

Moebius scales down the “BSG” Viper Mk.II


oebius Models (www. owns the “Battlestar Galactica” modeling market and has been keeping fans extremely busy. The latest kit is a subject we’ve seen before in a new scale — The Mk.II Viper in 1/72 scale (No. 957) — and you get two of them in the box! These little Colonial Viper Mk.IIs look like scaled-down versions of Moebius’ terrific 1/32 scale kit. A few things have been simplified — one-piece wings instead of two — but the models feature a detailed cockpit with pilot and controls. There’s an option to have the landing gear extended or retracted. A pair of stands is included. Construction follows much the same process as the bigger Viper, including building the front and rear sections separately then joining them. Decals provide two sets of markings, including all of the stripes and insignia. Pilot names and serial numbers give options for six different ships. These look like fine additions to Moebius’ thriving “BSG” lineup. I appreciate the 1/72 scale Vipers because they are in the same scale as the Fine Molds and Bandai “Star Wars” ships. That makes for a great scale comparison and shows just how small the Viper is. The pair of Vipers costs $34.99.

BOOKSHELF Witchcraft spells fame, success for bomber


y focusing on a single aircraft in The Famous B-24 Witchcraft — The Enchanted Liberator (Schiffer, ISBN 978-0-7643-4888-4, $39.99) aviation historian Perry Watts illustrates the role B-24 bombers played in the Allied victory in World War II. The 168-page hardcover follows Witchcraft from construction at Ford’s Willow Run, Mich., plant in December 1943 to England and back to the U.S. for scrapping at war’s end. In addition to introducing readers to the crews who flew and maintained the aircraft, Watts details each of its 137 missions. There are a bunch of photos, but the book is less a modeling reference and more a history that gives your models context.

Catch up with the Blackbird


ressed in black and capable of flying faster and higher than any other manned aircraft, the SR-71 represents Lockheed’s Skunk Works at it best. The secrets of the spy plane — known to it crews as “Habu,” after a venomous Okinawan viper — are disclosed in the latest entry in Osprey’s Air Vanguard series, Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird by Paul F. Crickmore (ISBN 978-1-4728-0492-1, $18.95). The 64-page softcover book examines the aircraft’s rise, details its systems, and recounts its service over the world’s flashpoints — Yom Kippur, Vietnam, North Korea, the IranIraq War, Yemen, Libya, Lebanon, and, of course, the Soviet bloc. Lots of photos and illustration provide references and inspiration for SR-71 projects.

Soviet SST in detail


n the 1960s and ’70s, the battle for aeronautical supremacy between the West and Soviet bloc reached its zenith with the development of supersonic transports. Two entered service: the Concorde and the subject of the terrific new book, Tupolev Tu-144 — The Soviet Supersonic Airliner, by Yefim Gordon, Dmitry Komissarov, and Vladimir Rigmant (Schiffer, ISBN 978-0-76434894-5, $59.99). The 272-page hardcover book covers the deltawinged speedster from conception and design to testing and redesign. Other chapters discuss the prototypes and production aircraft, the Tu-144’s service with Aeroflot and the two high-profile accidents that ended that career, and subsequent work as a test bed. There’s also a comparison with the Concorde. Hundreds of photographs, illustrations, and profiles support the text. This is a one-stop resource for building ICM’s 1/144 scale Tu-144. FSM September 2015


NEW PRODUCTS Compiled by Monica Freitag Dassault Mirage III from Xtradecal,


Lavochkin La-7 156 IAP from Hasegawa,

No. 07398, $50.

F-86D Sabre Dog from Kitty Hawk, No. KH32007, $109. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

No. X72219, $7.50. Dassault Mirage III (8) Mirage IIIRS R-2112 Fliegerstaffel 10 Swiss Air Force 1980s; Mirage IIIEO A3-25 75 Sqn RAAF Butterworth 1981 three-tone grey camo; A3-42 77 Sqn RAAF Williamtown 1969; 90-560 560 7 Sqn Pakistan Air Force 1990s; 90-513/513 7 Sqn Pakistan Air Force Exercise Saffron Bandit 2012; Mirage IIIE 4-BE Esc de Chasse 2/4 La Fayette France 1980; Mirage IIIR 336 Esc de Reccon 3/33 Moselle 1980; Mirage IIIZ 842 3 Sqn SAAF Waterkloof 1980s. For Kinetic.

1/32 DECAL SETS VF-103 Jolly Rogers F-14B

from Milspec, No. AC32-F14-011, $15. Also available in 1/48 (No. AC 48-F14-011; $12) and 1/72 (No. AC 72-F14011; $10).

Northrop P-61B Black Widow “Last Shoot Down 1945” from GWH, No. S4802, $82.99.

B-17G-85-DL Sentimental Journey CAF Museum in Mesa, Arizona and B-17F27-BO Wulf Hound, captured by the Germans and used by the Luftwaffe for testing, from Kits-World, No. KW148135,



Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I from Airfix,

Saab AJ/JA-37 Viggen from Twobobs,

No. A05126, $24.99.

No. 48-245, $16.


D-704 “Buddy Pod” aerial refueling store

from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 32095, $24.95. For A-1, A-4, A-6, and A-7.


from Eduard/ Brassin Line, No. 648 169, $14.95.

F-86D/K Sabre Dog landing gear (for Kitty Hawk) from Scale Aircraft Conversions,

No. 32096, $17.95. SE.5a “Hisso” landing gear (for Wingnut Wings) from Scale Aircraft Conversions,

No. 32097, $15.95.

Hawker Hurricane Mk.I from Airfix,

No. A05127, $24.99. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

1/48 SCALE KITS 1/48 DECAL SETS F-14A Tomcat VF-84 Jolly Rogers, USS Nimitz, 1981 from Cam Pro, No. P48-034,

$12. Also available in 1/72 scale (No. P72-020; $10).

Spitfire Mk.I seatbelts fabric, No. 49078, $12.95; RAF WWII seatbelts super fabric, No. 49079, $10.95; RAF WWII seatbelts late super fabric, No. 49080, $10.95; Luftwaffe WWII seatbelts fabric, No. 49081, $10.95; USAAF WWII seatbelts, No. 49082, $10.95,

all from Eduard. T-38A Talon “Holloman AFB” from

Wolfpack, No. WP10004, $53.

14 FineScale Modeler September 2015


AIM-9E Sidewinder from Eduard/Brassin Line, No. 648 196, $12.95; Lewis Mk.II WWI gun from Eduard/Brassin Line, No. 632 049, $7.95.

Short Stirling Mk.III/IV from

Spitfire Mk.V gun bays from Eduard/

Brassin Line, No. 648 198, $19.95. Beriev Be-6 “Madge” from Trumpeter,

No. 1646, $119.95. 1960’s Soviet Flying boat.

F4F Wildcat landing gear (for Tamiya) from

Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 48285, $18.95. Su-9 Fishpot landing gear (for Trumpeter)

Handley Page Halifax B.III from Airfix,

from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 48286, $16.95.

No. A06008A, $29.99.

Xtradecal, No. X72219, $8.99. Shorts Stirling Mk.III and Mk.IV (8) Mk.III EF411 OJ-K 149 Sqn RAF Mildenhall; LK516 WB-J 90 Sqn RAF Tuddenham 1944; LJ516 EX-B RAF Lakenheath 1944; Mk.IV LJ875 QS-B 620 Sqn Cheers for the Beer at the Getsumin RAF Fairford 1944 D-Day stripes; LJ850 QS-Y 620 Sqn Yorkshire Rose RAF Fairford with chalked guidelines for D-Day stripes May 1944; LJ566 D4-N 620 Sqn Yorkshire Rose II RAF Westcott 1945; LK171 WE-S Gp Capt W.E Surplice 295 Sqn Shooting Stars last flight from RAF Rivenhall 2 Nov 1944 crashed in Norway; LJ865 D4-D 620 Sqn Get In RAF Gt, Dunmow.

Hurricane Mk.I landing gear (for Airfix)

Douglas C-47 Dakota III from

from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 48287, $12.95.

Kits-World, No. KW172127, $11.50. Markings for a BOAC Dakota III, 1945; Deutsche Lufthansa DC-3, D-ARPF (ex- KLM); South African air force C-47, 6877, known as the ‘Dazzle Dak.’


Blohm & Voss BV P178 dive-bomber jet

from Bronco Models, No. GB7001, $37.99.

1/72 DETAIL SETS C-123 Provider tail surfaces from Plus Model, No. AL7012, $13. Aero Line. T-2C Buckeye “US Navy” from Wolfpack,

No. WP100045, $30.

F-35A/B Lightning II landing gear (for Academy) from Scale Aircraft Conversions,

No. 72105, $12.95. T-2C Buckeye landing gear (for Wolfpack)

from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 72106, $11.95. F-84E/G Thunderjet landing gear (for Academy/Italeri) from Scale Aircraft

Conversions, No. 72107, $11.95. Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I from Airfix,

No. A55213, $15.99. Starter set includes poly cement, 2 paint brushes, 6 acrylic paints. Avia B.534 4. série from Eduard, No. 7428,

$16.95. Weekend Edition.

1/72 MASK SETS Defiant Mk.I (for Airfix) from Eduard,

No. CX414, $9.95. Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I from Airfix,

No. A02069, $9.99. Subscribers have exclusive access to model kit photos not published in the magazine! Simply go to

September 2015



Vickers Vanguard from Airfix, No. A03171,

$13.99. Markings for British European Airways and Invicta International.

German A7V tank (Krupp) from Meng,

No. TS-017, $89.99. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.


VCL light amphibious tank A4E12 Royal Netherlands East Indies Army from CAM

(Combat Armour Models), No. CV35-003, $46.99.

Boeing 787-9 from Hasegawa, No. 10721,

$35. Markings for All Nippon Airways.

Chevrolet C15TA from IBG Models,

No. 35020, $44.95.


Jet Engine (real working model kit) from

M6 heavy tank from Dragon, No. 6798, $72.99. Black Label. Smart Kit.

SdKfz.234/2 Puma from Tamiya, No. 37018, $61. Vehicle parts from Italeri.

Airfix, No. A20005, $59.99.

PzBeobWgV Panther Ausf D early production from Dragon, No. 6813, $62.99. 1939-

1945 series.


Otter light reconnaissance car from IBG Models, No. 35019, $44.95. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

Tauchpanzer III Ausf H from Dragon,

No. 6775, $67.99. 1939-1945 series. Smart Kit.

Horch 108 Typ 40 WWII German personnel car from ICM, No. 35505, $44.95.

16 FineScale Modeler September 2015

FineScale Modeler magazine receives new products from a variety of manufacturers on a daily basis and we are now able to share all of them with you through our interactive exclusive FSM product database. Click on the Product News link at

U.S. M1 57mm anti-tank gun (early version) on M1A3 carriage (5 figures) from

Riich Models, No. RV35019, $49.99.

PzKpfw IV Ausf D with 5cm KwK L/60

from Dragon, No. 6736, $62.99. Smart Kit 1939-1945 series.

Versuchsflakwagen Fur 8.8cm FlaK 37 Auf Sonderfahrgestell (PzSfl IVc) from

Bronco Models, No. CB35174, $74.99. Gun parts supplied by Dragon.

Manufacturer/Distributor Directory Aero Research Co.

PzKpfw IV Ausf A mit Zusatzpanzer from

Dragon, No. 6816, $69.99. 1939-1945 series. Smart Kit.

Airfix 253-926-9253 Ammo of Mig Jimenez Custom Aeronautical Miniatures • CAM Pro • Milspec

SdKfz. 131 Panzerjäger II für PaK 40/2 Marder II Early Production from Dragon,

No. 6769, $64.99. 1939-1945 series.

Dragon Models USA Inc. 626-968-0322 • Aoshima • Bronco • Combat Armour Models • Cyber-hobby • Dragon • Fine Molds • Fujimi • G.W.H. • Master Box • Platz • Riich • Showcase Models Australia • Zvezda • Concord • Firefly Books • Nuts & Bolts Books Eduard Flex-i-file/Alpha Abrasives

M270A1 MLRS from Dragon, No. 3557,

$59.99. Modern AFV Series.

Friulmodel Great Planes Model Distributors 217-398-6300 • Hasegawa • Italeri

Hannants 44-1502-517444 • Xtradecal • Xtrakit Kits-World Maus Werx Miniature Masterpiece Merit International 626-912-2212 • Merit • AFV Club • Kinetic Moebius Models 386-734-3599 Osprey Publishing ParaGrafix 508-431-9800 Peregrine Publishing 516-759-1089 Plus Model 38-7220111 Revell 847-758-3200 • Monogram • Renwal • Revell • Revell Germany

Scale Aircraft Conversions 214-477-7163 Schiffer Publishing Sprue Brothers 610-593-1777 Stevens International 856-435-1555 • AK Interactive • Flyhawk • Freedom Model Kits • Hataka Hobby • IBG Models • Lanasta • MiniArt • Mirror Models • Noys Miniatures • Trumpeter Squadron Products 877-414-0434 • Encore Models • HobbyBoss • ICM • Kitty Hawk • Meng • Roden • Super Scale International • Sword • True Details • Trumpeter Tamiya America Inc. 949-362-2240 Twobobs Aviation Graphics

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

September 2015




FIGURES 1/8 SCALE KITS Catwoman (1960’s “Batman” TV series)

from Moebius Models, No. 952, $34.99.

1/16 SCALE KITS Jagdpanzer IV L48 July 1944 production with Zimmerit from Dragon, No. 6369,

Soviet battleship Marat from Zvezda,

Japan Ground self defense force tank crew set from

No. 9052, $89.99.

$59.99. 1939-1945 series. Dragon with Zimmerit.

Tamiya, No. 36316, $32.

1/35 DETAIL SETS Leopard 1 German track from Friulmodel, No. ATL-158, $33.75. Friulmodel 180 links, two sprocket wheels. Leopard 2 track,

No. ATL-159, $33.75, 180 links; D9R bulldozer, No. ATL-161, 90 links, $30; Mark V wide track, No. ATL-160, $33.75, 180 links, two sprocket wheels, two idler wheels. All from Friulmodel. LED search light Set A, No. AB3568, $14.99; LED search light Set C, No. AB3570, $14.99.

German Z-32 Destroyer from Dragon,

No. 1065, $54.99. Smart Kit Modern Sea Power.


Tenryu Japanese Navy light cruiser from

Hasegawa, No. 357, $27.99. Water Line Series.

Both from Bronco Models. WWI British infantry with small arms and equipment from Tamiya, No. 32409, $26. Set


contents product of ICM. “Man Down” U.S. modern Army, Middle East present day from Master Box Ltd.,

1/35 SCALE KITS HMS Naiad light cruiser from Flyhawk, No. 1112, $79.95. Full hull. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

No. MB35170, $15.99. God’s Blessing from Bronco Models,

No. CB35206, $27.99.

1/1200 SCALE KITS Volksstrum. Ammunition to the front line

from Master Box Ltd., No. MB35182, $18.99. 2 figures. British X-Craft submarine from Merit International, No. 63504, $50.


Blue Devil Destroyer Fletcher-class USS Melvin DD-680 from Lindberg Line,

Table Top Navy: USS North Carolina and USS Intrepid from Lindberg Line, No.

HL419/12, $24.99. WWII American battleships.

No. HL212/04, $74.99.

Modern UK infantrymen, present day from

Master Box Ltd., No. MB35180, $16.99. 18 FineScale Modeler September 2015




Aggressors No. 2,

Maus Tools Solder and Flux Kit from

No. 1049, $12.95;

Maus Werx Miniature Masterpiece, No. MTFS, $14.99. Contains 1 oz. of premium liquid flux and a roll of “44” grade solder for soldering photoetched metal, wire, and other metal parts.

Civil Collection No. 4, No. 5009,

$12.95. Both from Aero Research.

from Dragon, No. 11004, $49.99.

P-40B Tomahawk from Peregrine Publications, No. 29, $10. Walk Around. F11F-1 Tiger from Peregrine Publications, No. 37, $10. Walk Around.



Space Shuttle with cargo bay and satellite


“Battlestar Galactica” Colonial One from

Moebius Models, No. 945, $39.99.

The CA-ndle holder and replacement tips, No. 5555. Brush Magic

No.DLMAC19 , $.12.65; Strip Magic No. DMLAC22, $11.90; Plastic Magic No. DMLAD24, $8.40. All from Deluxe Materials Limited.

Contains 1 blade holder, 8 replacement tips in four sizes; Flow-thru applicator kit, No. 9611; Micro finishing cloth abrasive tapes, No. 15129. Check website for accurate pricing. All from Flex-i-File. Shape Shifters from Alpha Abrasives/Flex-ifile, No. 0908, $11.99. 10 sanding files. Masking tape for curves from Tamiya, No.


87177-460 2mm; 87178-460 3mm; 87179-460 5mm, $6.50 each.

X-wing fighter photoetched-metal set from ParaGrafix, No. PGX191, $14.95. For Bandai and Fine Molds.

Braided hose from

Tamiya, No.12662 2.0mm outer diameter; 12663 2.6mm outer diameter, $6.

MISCELL ANEOUS WWII ammunition colors from Ammo of Mig


Jimenez, No. A.MIG 7124, $22.50.

WWI German tanks Smart Set

from Ammo of Mig Jimenez, No. A.MIG 7144, $15. Set contains dull green, ochre earth, clay brown, grey high light.

Pin Flow solvent glue applicator from

Deluxe Materials Limited, $13.

Depot (laser carved wooden parts) from

Plus Models, No. 447, $59.40.

September 2015


Heavy hauler and Loading an up-armored transport with a destroyed tank • BY AARON SKINNER


xcited to build HobbyBoss’ 1/35 scale Heavy Equipment Transport System, Joe Szczygiel researched it online. Photos of a HET carrying a destroyed Abrams in Iraq gave him a plan of action. Joe built the M1070 prime mover largely out of the box, but bolstered the crew’s protection with plate-metal armor cut from .010" styrene sheet. Salami-sliced styrene hex rod mimics the bolts securing the plates to the truck body. He cut and ground the hull and turret of Dragon’s 1/35 scale M1A1 Abrams to replicate fire damage, then removed each rubber block from the tracks with a round burr in a motor tool. The truck, trailer, and tank were painted with Tamiya acrylics thinned 1:1 with 91-percent isopropyl alcohol. Joe applied them with a Grex Tritium gravity-feed brush, which he describes as versatile, “great for coverage and detail work without changing needles.” Power for the brush comes from a compressor with a 6-gallon tank. “I like to work out of the tank for long sessions of uninterrupted, consistent air,” Joe says. He works at 30 psi for base colors and 25 psi for tighter camouflage.

To paint the cab’s desert camo, he mixed 4 parts buff (XF-57), 4 parts deck tan (XF55), and 2 parts desert yellow (XF-59). Desert vehicles don’t oxidize much, so it’s easy to overdo wear on modern vehicles, Joe says, explaining why he eschewed heavier weathering on the truck. After spraying the hood and trailer with NATO green (XF-67), Joe outlined the camouflage pattern with a mechanical pencil following military specifications from the Internet. He sprayed NATO black (XF-69), then NATO brown (XF-68) freehand, starting in the center of the marked areas and working out to the edges. To give the the raw-metal add-on armor the right appearance, Joe airbrushed a layer of NATO brown. He stippled on ground pastel chalk, starting with dark red-brown, then medium brown. Finally, a muted orange color added fresh surface rust.

Rubber cement is key to the pièce de résistance — the Abrams. Joe selectively applied the sticky liquid between colors — German gray (XF-63), then a mix of NATO brown and buff, and finally the sand mix used on the cab. (Make sure the cement is dry before painting.) A stiff brush and a finger removed the masks. He sprayed a couple of spots of white to simulate ash left on the skirts by melting stowage or equipment. Gray and black chalk dust produced a smoky, charred layer; referring to a photo kept it realistic. FSM

Handwriting: Joe used a white Prismacolor pencil to apply marks left by welders on the steel-plate armor.

Moisture damage: To replicate stains left by condensation dripping from the rooftop air conditioner, Joe spilled Tenax 7R liquid cement on the paint. “A risky move with a pretty good payoff,” he says.

Scuff marks: Joe added tire marks to the resin Jersey barriers by applying paint to a 1/35 scale tire and running it into the wall while the paint was still wet. 20 FineScale Modeler September 2015



fire damage



FIN Meet Joe Szczygiel

Melted stowage and rubber: Joe set fire to pieces of black plastic sprue and pushed them against paper, creating dozens of little black, misshapen piles. He glued them together and refined the shapes with generous applications of Tamiya Extra Thin Cement. He didn’t paint the blobs, but added soot with black pastel chalk.

NOW 53, Joe built his first model — a 49-cent Pyro car — when he was 6, and has been building ever since. His focus is armor and aircraft, mostly helicopters, from Vietnam through today, but he’ll occasionally build a dragster or muscle car. Joe and his wife, Maryann, live in Buffalo, N.Y., where he is an active board member of the IPMS/Niagara Frontier chapter. You can find him in several online modeling forums where he goes by the handle “Mother.”

Tires: Joe sprayed the tires with Tamiya German gray. “I have a hot-chocolate can full of real Iraqi sand sent [by] a friend; I ground [a little] into each wheel,” he says.

Details of the scene

Accessories: For visual interest, Joe added Meng water bottles and Tamiya drums to the display. The cardboard boxes and other litter are scaled images that he printed, then cut and folded.

Base: After routing the edges of a 7" x 26" piece of wood, Joe painted it black. He dug the dirt from under a friend’s porch, sifting it to remove stones and other debris.

For more views of Joe’s Iraq War diorama, go to

September 2015


1/35 Scale

Building and painting

Meng’s FT-17 It was neither the first tank nor the most powerful, but the Renault FT’s place in history is indisputable. Main armament mounted in a central fully-rotating turret would become the norm for tank design.

Simple construction and finishing tips for a little World War I tank • BY BILL PLUNK


he 100th anniversary of World War I has brought a flood of new armor kits from the conflict, including the Renault FT. Though not as glamorous as the iconic British Mk.IV, it was built in large numbers and widely used during the last year of the war and after, even into the 1940s. Often referred to as the FT-17, the light vehicle

was one of the first tanks employed by U.S. forces. I wanted to build one of those — a tank from the American 304th Tank Brigade at Verdun in October 1918 — using Meng’s 1/35 scale riveted-turret FT-17 (No. TS-011).

Squaring the hull To ensure detail inside and out, especially the heavy riveting,

22 FineScale Modeler September 2015

Meng molded the hull in separate panels. After assembling the floor and driver’s area, I taped the roof and side panels in place to test the fits, 1. There’s not much interior in this edition of the kit, so I closed all of the hatches. I cleaned up the driver’s visor and nose hatches and attached their handles, then set them aside.

Using tube glue on the side panel gave me time to refine the fit before I flowed in liquid glue to firm it up. The hull roof came next; I attached it at the same time as the driver’s hatches and other front plates to be sure to align everything correctly. Finger pressure and patience were essential, because the panels were too small for rubber bands



Short of hands, Bill taped the hull plates together to check for fit problems before glue.

A combination of slow-setting tube glue and liquid cement gave Bill time to align the multipart hull.



Bill improved the 37mm main gun by boring the muzzle deeper.


A lot of parts come together to form the turret, so Bill prepared them all ahead of time. The numbers on the inside surfaces helped him keep track of what went where.


It’s taking shape: Test-fitting the completed turret and hull showed everything was proceeding smoothly.

Pay attention when building the running gear. The parts look similar, but they are unique to the left and right sides.

or clamps. The engine compartment covers completed the hull, 2.

liquid glue into the seams locked the plates together. I added the commander’s hatch to the rear and installed the cupola to complete the turret, 5.

Angling the turret I assembled the gun and breech, and installed it in the turret’s front plate. A micro drill bit deepened the barrel muzzle opening, 3.

The octagonal turret’s separate side plates were carefully removed from the sprue and cleaned up. To avoid confusion about placement, I marked each part’s interior face and laid them out around the base, 4. I applied glue to the bottom joins only and used the roof to get all eight sides lined up. Flowing

Tracking the suspension Assembly of the little tank’s complex suspension started

with the road-wheel bogies and return-roller frames, 6. The parts are handed — different from left to right — so I assembled them one side at a time to ensure I got everything right. Adding these to the sponsons, along with the drive sprockets and idlers, formed the suspension units, 7. Next, I

September 2015




Bill attached the kit-supplied steel springs with super-glue gel. It produces a solid bond but doesn’t flow, minimizing the chance it will impede workability.


More metal parts and springs help articulate the suspension where it meets the hull.


Along with the spring suspension, the kit features working individual-link tracks that click together.

Gator Grip glue provides working time so you can refine the fit of photoetched-metal parts, such as the identification plates.



A light base coat allows a little of the dark brown primer to show through, adding depth and interest to the camouflage.

Poster putty produces a hard edge when used as a mask. Bill pushed the putty over and around surface detail with a toothpick.

added the metal struts and springs as well as other details on the lower hull, 8. After test-fitting the suspension to be sure everything sat level, I removed it for painting. The tracks clicked together easily. I assembled 32-link runs for each side, 9, test-fitting

Testors Model Master enamel Italian dark brown (No. 2111) to check seams. So, the next day, I airbrushed a base coat mix of equal parts Model Master dunkelgelb (No. 2095) and light gray (No. 1732), 11. Once that dried, the masking fun began: The tank I was modeling had three-color, hard-

them on the suspension for proper tension. Rounding out the hull, I built and installed the unditching tail and added the photoetched-metal insignia placards, 10.

Striping the tank I had primed the model with

24 FineScale Modeler September 2015

edged camouflage. I rolled BluTack poster putty into worms and carefully pressed them against the surface with a wooden toothpick to outline the next color, 12. I sprayed Model Master French khaki (No. 2106) at lower pressure to prevent paint from bleeding past the mask, 13.



Checking the alignment of colors between the running gear, turret, and hull showed a couple of areas that would need touchups later.

Another layer of color means another application of Blu-Tack masks.



Bill softened the camouflage with a misted application of the yellow-tan base color.

After painting the tracks, Bill taped them in place on the suspension to align the running gear during installation.



Hand-painting finished the details, including tools, exhaust, and stowage.

Smudges of burnt umber enamel beat up the hull around the running gear before the washes and mud to come.

The next day, I applied more Blu-Tack masks for the brown sections, 14, and airbrushed a mix of equal parts Model Master military brown (No. 1701) and leather (No. 1736). After touchups, I blended and faded the finish with thinned base color misted over the subassemblies from 12" away, 15.

Laying the tracks The tracks received a base coat of Model Master burnt umber (No. 2005), then were used to help align the suspension while I glued it in place, 16. I hand-painted the metal portions of the tools with Testors nonbuffing Metalizer gunmetal; light dry-brushing

with Model Master steel created wear. The wood portions were painted with a base coat of equal parts dunkelgelb and light gray, followed by a wash of leather. Before attaching the exhaust, I painted it burnt umber and detailed it with artist’s pastels, 17.

Dry-brushed steel added bare metal to high spots on the tracks. I hand-painted the contact surfaces on the idlers and sprockets with Metalizer nonbuffing steel, then dry-brushed them with burnt umber enamel. Using an old brush, I stippled the lower hull with burnt umber to replicate scuffs and

September 2015




Overall washes, such as the thin raw umber enamels Bill applied to the FT-17, darken the finish. It’s a foundation; more layers will lighten it.

Pinwashes emphasize detail by deepening the shadows around rivets and between panels.



Mixing soap into the wet pigment mix breaks up the surface tension and allows the mud to be painted on the model.

Painting dry mud pigments over the tracks ties them into the vehicle, making them look like they belong after they are installed on the model.

scratches; later weathering steps muted the contrast, 18. Between sealing coats of Pledge FloorCare MultiSurface Finish (PFM), I applied the decals. Separating the turret number from the heart minimized silvering over the rivets; a little Solvaset settled the markings.

Western Front weathering A day after the final PFM coat, I used a medium sable brush to give the vehicle an overall wash of thin Model Master raw umber enamel (No. 2006), 19. Dot filters followed: I placed spots of light gray, raw sienna, and the camouflage base over the model, then drew them down the surfaces with flat brushes dampened with thinner. Tight spots necessitated different blending brushes. To make details pop, I flowed a burnt umber pinwash around rivets and recesses with

a pointed 10/0 spotter brush, 20. Clear thinner refined the effects. Model Master lusterless flat from a spray can dulled the shine and sealed the washes. I applied a wet mixture of Mig Productions dark mud pigments, water, and dish soap to the lower hull and suspension with a sable brush, 21. After air-drying, excess pigment was removed with a combination of stiff-bristle brushes and wet and dry cotton swabs. The tracks received a layer of Mig dry mud pigments before being installed on the vehicle, 22. Finally, I applied a small amount of dry mud pigment to the lower hull to tie it into the tracks. For fun, I knocked together the kit-supplied base to create a trench vignette that immediately transported me back in time to 1918, when this little guy was considered cuttingedge technology — the king of the hill! FSM

26 FineScale Modeler September 2015

Meng provides a neat display base with the kit that shows the seminal tank in its natural environment. Bill painted the groundwork to match the weathering applied to the vehicle.

1/35 Scale

Model a German

staff car

Building a captured Mercedes-Benz 770K in 1/35 scale • BY STEVE GUTHRIE


’ve been building models of Canadian army vehicles for years, but recently I bought a 1/35 scale ICM kit of the Mercedes-Benz 770K staff car (No. 35533). This vehicle, which served with the First Canadian Army, required a whole new set of modeling skills. By late World War II, the First Canadian Army was truly a multinational force containing Canadian, American, British, Polish, Belgian, and Dutch units.

The commander in chief of Netherlands forces was Crown Prince Bernhard, the son-in-law of the reigning monarch Queen Beatrix. Having always had a taste for exotic high-powered automobiles, Bernhard “liberated” a Mercedes 770K for his own use — the vehicle had been used by Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Nazi Reichscommissar of the Netherlands. The prince drove the car as it was found, except for the addition of Allied vehicle

1 Many car kits feature a one-piece body, but ICM’s Mercedes-Benz is not one of them. Instead, it comprises a number of parts that all have to align perfectly to look right and to allow other kit parts to fit. Be prepared to do a lot of fitting, filing, filling, and sanding.

One owner, low miles – it’s a steal! Steve models a Mercedes-Benz staff car commandeered by Dutch Crown Prince Bernhard.

markings, his royal standard, and a Dutch license plate. For a guy who focuses on military subjects, this kit presented a few challenges. I had to master several new skills, including gloss black paint, leather seats, and lots and lots of chrome trim.

2 Attaching the fenders and running boards to the body requires extra attention. The rear fenders need coaxing around the corners of the trunk. The front fenders attach to the running boards with a weak butt-joint that I reinforced underneath with thin sheet styrene. September 2015


3 The tubular chassis includes most of the front suspension, and it’s an easy assembly. I replaced fragile, round kit parts such as the tie rods with styrene rod.

5 Whereas the rear suspension features solid attachments for the brake drums and tires, the front is a bit frustrating. You’re expected to attach the brake drums to the suspension with a tiny butt joint, then cement the wheels to the brake drums. Given the kit’s rather brittle plastic, I didn’t expect that to hold. So, I drilled a hole through the brake drum to the front coil springs and glued a brass pin in place with two-part epoxy, making it rock-solid.

7 Painting the wheels proved challenging with a rubber tire, a glossy black wheel, and a chrome hubcap. I masked the wheel and tire, airbrushed the hubcap silver, then brush-painted the wheel and tire.

28 FineScale Modeler September 2015

4 The thin plastic of the independent drive shafts between the differential and the rear wheels cannot support the model, so I replaced them with brass rod. When the chassis and body are mated, other kit parts need to be added to hold the rear suspension in place. Take your time and dry-fit everything before getting out the glue.

6 The wheels and tires assemble in five layers, producing crisp tread detail. There’s no engraved separation between the wheel and tire, so I added thin styrene strip around the rim. I disguised the joint in the strip by drilling a hole and inserting a bit of rod to represent the air valve.

8 I decided to paint the rest of model using spray cans: I had never used them before, and many car modelers get great results with them. I settled on AeroPro gloss black acrylic automotive paint I purchased at a local automotive-supply store.



After spraying the car with Tamiya gray surface primer and allowing it to thoroughly cure, I sprayed gloss black. I worked slowly, my head full of advice and warnings about mist coats, wet coats, and the dreaded orange peel — a bumpy finish you can get if you spray from too far away.

I gave the paint a week to dry before using 4000- to 25000-grit sanding pads to smooth it out. As a final touch, I buffed up the finish with Meguiar’s PlastX clear plastic cleaner and polish (available at many auto-parts stores).



Setting the body aside, I took on the brightwork. I made changes to the front bumper for Crown Prince Bernhard’s ride, replacing the kit’s license plate with one made from dry-transfer lettering and a strip of black decal film. The right fog light was replaced with a general officer’s “star plate” from Airfix’s “Monty’s Humber.”

I airbushed the bumpers, grille, lights, door handles, and window cranks with Testors Model Master Metalizer stainless steel, then buffed them with a soft cloth. To enhance the molded radiator grille, I applied a pinwash of black artist’s oils.



Bare-Metal Foil trimmed the chrome body work. Using a new No. 11 blade, I cut a piece of foil a little larger than the area being covered. I laid it over the molded features, pressed it around details with a toothpick, then burnished it down with a cotton swab.

Adding foil trim to the side windows was a snap, and it looks much better than I could ever do with paint. After applying the foil, I put each piece into an individually labeled plastic bag. When it came time to attach the windows and windshield, the fit was good enough that just a tiny drop of white glue held things in place. FSM

September 2015


1/48 Scale

The U.S. has exported the popular F/A-18 Hornet all over the world. A huge fan, Raúl had to dress one as a member of Spain’s famed Gando Hawks.

Finish an F/A-18A as a Spanish EF-18 Attention to small details makes all the difference • BY RAÚL CORRAL


ou may not know this, but the F/A-18 Hornet is my favorite jet fighter. A couple of years ago, I had the great pleasure of touring Gando Air Base on Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands, where the Spanish air force’s Hornetflying 462 Fighter/Attack Squadron — named the Gando Hawks after its smiling, hawk-face emblem — is based. One of the squadron’s pilots, Lt. Caballero (nicknamed “El Cañonero”), took the time to walk me around the base and an actual F/A-18 (EF-18 as 30 FineScale Modeler September 2015

it’s known in Spain). There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to model one of these battle-ready beauties. I picked up a HobbyBoss 1/48 scale F/A-18; this would be the first Hornet I built in that scale, and I felt it would be a good starting point to model the Spanish version. Luckily, I had notes and photos from my time at Gando to help out, and El Cañonero graciously continued to answer my questions during the build. I also picked up an Aires resin cockpit (No. 4371) and decals.

1 The kit’s cockpit was a bit spare, so I bought an Aires resin replacement. While the detail was fantastic, it didn’t fit inside the fuselage.

4 To add a bit of realism to the model, I cut the rudders free with hobby knives and posed them deflected.

7 The rest of the Hornet went together without difficulty. I airbrushed light coats of Tamiya flat black (XF-1) to pre-shade the airframe and cockpit.

2 I sanded both sides of the resin cockpit tub until they were almost translucent and nearly broke apart. Thankfully, I was able to get it into place with patience and super glue.

5 While the kit’s slats, flaps, and flaperons came separately, they were positioned for flight. They are always drooped when the Hornet is parked.

8 The undercarriage, inside of the speed brake, and wheel wells received a coat of Tamiya flat white (XF-2).

3 Test-fitting was essential, because there was a lot of surgery performed on the forward fuselage to fit all the parts. I used super glue and Humbrol flat black enamel (No. 33) as filler.

6 I went to work modifying the flight controls and hinges, taking care to maintain the distinctively fine space between the flaps and flaperons.

9 After letting the white dry for 24 hours, I applied a wash of Humbrol flat black enamel and thinner to add depth to recessed details.




Another 24 hours later, I dry-brushed Humbrol white enamel (No. 34) on the landing gear where the wash was too dark.

I picked out molded hydraulic lines and wires inside the wheel bays with Humbrol yellow (No. 69), sea gray (No. 27), and flat black.

I painted the cockpit with Testors Model Master dark ghost gray (No. 1741) and dry-brushed the side panels with Humbrol camouflage gray (No. 28); red and yellow details added color. September 2015





I followed the same procedure for the instrument panel. Humbrol gloss black (No. 21) went on the MFD displays. Highlights are flat white.

Tamiya olive drab (XF-62) went over the seat’s black base coat to color the cushion and parachute container. The harness is a 1:1 mix of olive drab and Mr. Hobby RLM 79. Stencils came from Fightertown Decals (No. 48046).

I dry-brushed the avionics bay and deck with Humbrol light gray (No. 64) and decided I’d leave the canopy open to show off the detail.



A smidge of Humbrol Clear Fix put just the right sheen to the instrument panel displays. Just a little color and a photoetched-metal HUD and the cockpit components were done.

I’ll admit the Aires cockpit set was a headache to build and finish, but, in the end, it was worth it.



After masking what I’d already finished, I was ready for the final phase of painting.

Checking my references, I sprayed an initial coat of Mr. Hobby FS36375 gray (No. 308) onto the airframe, followed by light coats of Testors Model Master light ghost gray (No. 1728) on panel interiors.

32 FineScale Modeler September 2015



I mixed a filter of Mr. Hobby FS36375 and Tamiya flat white and ran it into selected small panels and places near movable parts, such as flaperons, rudders, and flaps.

I finished missiles and underwing fuel tanks the same way.



I made a 2:3 mix of Tamiya dark gray (XF-24) and Mr. Hobby FS36118 (No. 305) for the dark gray areas on the leading edges and air intakes.

I hand-painted the blue diamonds on the fins using a template made from Revell masking film. Not perfect, but I’m happy with the result.




After a coat of Tamiya gloss clear (X-22), I applied decals from Fightertown (No. 48046) and F-4Dable Models (No. 48001) to represent fighter C.15-87 of Wing 46.

Another coat of Tamiya clear, then a pinwash of 1:1 Humbrol red brown (No. 100) and flat black. Excess was removed with a cotton swab

Finally, the exhaust nozzles and cans were finished by hand with Tamiya flat black and titanium silver (X-32) and highlighted with a graphite pencil. FSM September 2015




Maher added Eduard photoetched metal and an RB Model metal barrel to Tamiya’s 1/35 scale T-55A to depict a Syrian tank. “No specific period,” he says, “but T-55s with these markings have been used from the 1980s to the present.” ◀ STEPHEN NELSON SANDPOINT, IDAHO

An April 2006 FSM article by Tomasz Menert inspired Stephen to build a large-scale Emil. He finished Cyber-Hobby’s 1/32 scale Bf 109E-4 with Testors Model Master enamels. “I think when the 109 is all buttoned up it shows beautiful lines,” he says. “Getting all the engine panels and windscreen to line up proved to be a challenge, but worth the trouble.” ▶ STEVE WRIGHT SHEFFIELD, SOUTH YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND

Steve conjured the dragon Vermithrax from Pegasus’ 1/32 scale kit, modeling the antagonist of the 1981 movie “Dragonslayer.” Steve says, “The thing I liked about this kit is the direct eye contact between slayer and dragon.”

34 FineScale Modeler September 2015



Armor expert and author Steven had some fun pouring detail into Meng’s 1/35 scale A7V. He writes, “I wasn’t willing to spend the time to scratchbuild an engine, so I decided to make a convincing ‘semi-scale’ engine that is the right size and shape even if the details aren’t precise. I don’t build many trucks or cars, so I don’t have many engine bits in my stash. I ordered the engine sprue for the Fokker D.VII from Wingnut Wings and chopped it up for parts to make two parallel motors. The one on the right side is not very visible on the finished model, so I concentrated on the left- (near-) side engine. Not perfect, but it looks the part. Some other engine may be better suited — MiniArt’s early PzKpfw III?”


Working with Revell Germany’s 1/72 scale F-4F, Panos installed stabilators from an old Esci kit to make it an E variant. He added two resin seats from Quickboost, detailed the landing gear with fine wire, and applied Israeli markings from Sky’s Decals. He painted the scheme freehand using Gunze Sangyo acrylic colors: H313 (FS33531 yellow), H312 (FS34227 green), and H310 (FS30219 brown) for upper surfaces, and H308 (FS36375 gray) underneath.

September 2015




The Admiral Graf Spee was a “pocket battleship” designed to circumvent the Treaty of Versailles — although, with a full load, the Deutschland-class heavy cruiser was in violation even before it sank nine ships to the tune of 50,000 tons. Alonzi built Heller’s 1/400 scale kit to depict the ship in 1939. ◀ GEORGE CLOVER CATHEYS VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

Returning after a 30-year break from modeling, George says, “A lot has changed, including my attention to detail as I have gotten older. I have done a lot of studying with FSM and practicing in the last year, and I am really excited with how things are progressing!” He modeled Robin Olds’ Scat II using HobbyBoss’ 1/72 scale P-38L-5LO, adding a photoetchedmetal harness, a resin wheel set, aftermarket decals from Kits-World, and an ordnance stencils set from Warbird Decals. ▶ RUSSELL DIRKS POST FALLS, IDAHO

In 1985, Gaston Rahier won his second straight Paris-Dakar Rally astride a 1,000cc BMW R80G/S. Russell recalled the occasion with Tamiya’s 1/12 scale bike.

36 FineScale Modeler September 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! ▲ ALLAN AGATI BACOOR CITY, CAVITE, PHILIPPINES

On a business trip to London, Allan bought an Airfix 1/72 scale Widgeon. When he got home, he smoothed out and rescribed its panel lines, scratchbuilt an interior and landing gear, corrected the rudder, opened the port engine nacelle, and scratchbuilt an engine to model a U.S. Coast Guard Grumman J4F-1 of the 1940s. He finished with Gunze Sangyo lacquers. ◀ ROBERT SCHVEYTSER FAIR LAWN, NEW JERSEY

Robert used brass rod to replace all the grab handles on Gaso.line’s 1/48 scale resin BRDM-2. He finished the Soviet reconnaissance vehicle with Tamiya acrylics, artist’s oils, and pencils. ▶ RICHARD DAVENPORT LANSING, MICHIGAN

An outgrowth of the Me 309 project, intended to replace the Bf 109, the Me 509 placed the engine behind the pilot (similar to Bell’s P-38 Airacobra). But when the 309 was canceled, so was the 509. Richard enhanced Trumpeter’s 1/48 scale kit with a seat harness and brake lines, and finished it with Testors Model Master enamels.

September 2015




Jonathan topped off Accurate Miniatures’ 1/48th scale Yak-1 with a Squadron vacuum-formed canopy and Eduard seat belts. He painted the plane with Polly Scale acrylics and weathered it with pastels. “The snow is real!” he says.


Building Dragon’s 1/35 scale kit of the “Coelian,” a drawing-board Flakpanzer based on the Panther chassis, David deployed an Eduard detail set, RB Model barrels, Bronco tracks, and a few parts from his spares. 38 FineScale Modeler September 2015



Hans drove Revell Germany’s 1/24 scale VIP-class Neoplan Cityliner N1216 HD to a fine finish with Humbrol enamels.

Ercan marked Hasegawa’s 1/48 scale F-16C as a Turkish participant in Tiger Meet 2012 and made it look gr-r-r-eat!

September 2015


1/72 Scale

My Hasegawa 1/72 scale EF-111 Raven “Electric Fox” (No. SP93, also No. 51593) dated to 1992, but the level of detail compares well with contemporary model kits.

Basics for building a super

Spark Vark Finishing fundamentals can put a charge in Hasegawa’s EF-111 Raven BY MASSIMO SANTAROSSA


o doubt about it — the F-111 Aardvark is one cool bird. The first production aircraft with variable-geometry wings, it entered service with the U.S. Air Force in 1968. Before its retirement 30 years later, it had distinguished itself in battles over Vietnam, Libya, and Iraq. And it was fast — by the time an enemy aircraft figured out what it was up against, the F-111 was in the next time zone. In “clean” configuration (with wings swept), its speed generated enough heat to blister paint and melt its canopy. 40 FineScale Modeler September 2015

If the F-111 was cool, the EF-111 Raven was even cooler. In the early 1970s, as electronic warfare (EW) grew more sophisticated, the Air Force went shopping for EW aircraft. Grumman was awarded a contract in 1974 to convert the F-111A to the EF-111; eventually, 42 such aircraft were completed. Pilots and crew dubbed the electronics-laden bird “Spark Vark.” One can easily see the Raven has lovely lines. To me, that bulbous avionics pod atop the fin and the two-tone gray scheme make it even more exciting. Even more endearing to me, this airplane went into battle unarmed: Its job was to protect the guys

delivering the weapons. Only later was the EF-111 given two AIM-9 Sidewinders for self-defense.


World Air Power Journal, Vol. 14, Autumn/Fall 1993, Aerospace Publishing, ISBN 978-1-874023-33-3 “Aardvarks and Electric Foxes,” Mike Ingram, Model Aircraft Monthly, May 2002

1 I dressed up the cockpit with Eduard’s Zoom set for the F-111D/F (No. SS175). However, I still had to use the kit’s instrument decals for a proper Spark Vark. Quite a bit is visible under that large canopy, so the detailing pays off.

4 The exhaust is a smorgasbord of metallic shades. To replicate this effect, you need reference photos and a good selection of Alclad II metallic paints. I started with a base coat of Testors Model Master gloss black enamel.

7 I added missing detail on the wing-glove seal using a UMM-USA scriber. This will be more visible after it’s painted tan and treated with a pinwash later.

2 Flowing a wash of Payne’s gray artist’s oil into the wheel wells brought out the detail there.

5 After applying the various metallic shades, a wash of lamp black artist’s oil deepened recessed details.

8 Finely engraved panel lines in the Hasegawa molding are easily lost during construction and sanding. A scribing template comes in handy for restoring hatches and other engraved shapes.

3 An oddity of the Hasegawa kit is the lack of locator pins. Several of the large pieces simply butt together. Clamps make sure mating surfaces stay put.

6 The result is realistically varied colors on the exhaust.

9 Apoxie Sculpt two-part epoxy putty is ideal for filling gaps, as it has adhesive qualities as well. Put tape on either side of the work area to protect surrounding surfaces.




A finger dampened with water smooths the putty and minimizes sanding.

Once the putty dries, a quick swipe with a sanding stick perfects the patch.

In 1/72 scale, pre-shading might look overdone. So, I airbrushed a black pre-shade but sanded much of it away. It’s something like an inverse panel-line wash.

September 2015




Fine panel lines will remain visible under a light coat of gray.

I airbrush the window gasket its interior color before overcoating with the exterior colors of Testors Model Master light gray and dark ghost gray.



Several passes with a light top coat preserve the shaded panel lines underneath. Thinner paint works best for this.

It takes lots of tape to vary the panels in different shades of gray. It’s timeconsuming, but worth the effort.

Wing-root seal



More shades of gray, more depth and variety in the finish. Note the tan wing-root seal.

The secret to a smooth gloss coat is to start with a smooth surface. Light buffing with a soft cloth takes the texture out of flat paint.

Drat! Silvering!



Previous pre-shading notwithstanding, additional dark artist’s oil washes lend further emphasis to deeper recesses.

The dreaded scourge of silvering: Air trapped under the decal prevents proper adhesion.

42 FineScale Modeler September 2015



To repair silvering, poke tiny holes in the decal film …

… and flow in more solvent to bring the decal film down to the model surface. You may need to do this more than once to eliminate all silvering.



Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish (PFM) provides a smooth acrylic base for decals and oil washes. You can airbrush it on or simply hand-brush it. It levels as it dries, and brush strokes disappear.

The kit’s wheel wells look good as molded. Flattening tires where they meet the ground adds realism to the plane’s stance.

Static dischargers



Gator’s Grip Acrylic Hobby Glue works well for attaching the last few fiddly bits. Water-soluble, it won’t damage paint, is tacky, and dries strong. By not sweeping the wings back, I was able to show off the red insides of flaps and slats to give the gray jet vivid, colorful contrast.

Static dischargers are made from 2mm lengths of smoke-colored quilting thread held in place with just a touch of super glue. FSM

September 2015


1/72 Scale

Dragon’s SdKfz 222 rests at the oasis BY MIKE FLECKENSTEIN


he German SdKfz 222 Leichter Panzerspähwagen (light armored car) was a widely used design originally built on the Horch 801 chassis with a 3.5-liter engine. It was upgraded with heavier front armor, a 3.8-liter engine, and hydraulic brakes as 989 were built from 1936-1943. Plans for further upgrades were shelved in 1943 in favor of the eightwheeled SdKfz 234. With a top speed of 85 kph (52 mph), the SdKfz 222 supported heavier reconnaissance vehicles in fire control and

44 FineScale Modeler September 2015

engaged enemy armored scout vehicles with its 2cm KwK 30 cannon and 7.92mm MG34 machine gun on a coaxial mount. The armored car served German campaigns on every front from 1939 to the end of World War II. My build began with some 1/72 scale palm trees I had picked up at a model show several years before. I had never gotten around to using them because their trunks were just a length of plain wire with no texture. Then one day, while tying my shoes, inspiration hit me — the thin shoelaces

looked just like the bark on a 1/72 scale palm tree trunk! Suddenly, I had the makings of an Afrika Korps vignette. It would be spring 1941, early in the siege of Tobruk: At a nearby oasis, a SdKfz 222 pauses for a break; the commander scans the horizon, the driver grabs a bite, and the gunner tries to round up some fresh milk. Central to the scene is Dragon’s 1/72 scale SdKfz 222. Kit No. 7393 is a “1+1” boxing containing two complete vehicles. I built one and used the other for parts.

Axles cut 2mm



References indicated narrowing the axles about 2mm. I attached the rightside crew door but left the one on the other side open to show off the interior. Also, I drilled out the ends of the exhaust pipes.

The shovel on the left upper hull is not mentioned in the instructions, but I noticed it and added a mounting strap made of .005" styrene. I also added mounting brackets for a jack on the rear fender. Leaving the right front fender off for the time being would make it easier to fit the upper and lower hull halves later.

Intake screen Styrene stock

Sheet styrene

Diamond-plate flooring



Scratchbuilding helped fill the interior: I added a floor made from embossed diamond-plate brass and a rear bulkhead using sheet styrene and an engine intake screen. More white styrene sheet and strip provided other details.

Vision blocks, a dashboard, and a fire extinguisher are added inside the upper hull.

Added styrene

5 For the turret, I built the 2cm cannon according to instructions but added a base to it along with a control wheel and pedals.

6 The kit’s photoetched-metal grenade screens were easy to form, and they fit perfectly. I attached them with super glue. September 2015




7 A vignette needs a cast of characters to tell the story: I cobbled various Preiser figures together to get the poses I wanted. The goats are Pegasus farm animals

9 The display base is a 1⁄4" slab of oak cut on my table saw and routed along the edges. I sealed it with clear lacquer before spreading white glue and sprinkling it with fine sand and gravel. After pressing vehicle tracks into the surface, I set the base aside to dry overnight. Next, I sprayed the groundwork with buff and dry-brushed it with light gray. Then I planted the palm trees and some sparse desert flora using Silfor MiniNatur tufts (No. 73724). The road sign is made from distressed styrene sheet and strip, and painted with Tamiya wooden deck tan (XF-78) and dark brown artist’s oil wash. I printed the letters on clear decal film.

8 I removed the unrealistic wire trunk (lower) from the beautiful photoetchedmetal palm fronds and replaced it with a shoelace, skewered with wire for rigidity. After super gluing the trunk, I painted it with Tamiya buff (XF-57) and dark brown artist’s oil wash. The laces look just like palm bark!

10 The vehicle interior is Tamiya flat white (XF-2) washed with dark brown artist’s oils; other fittings are detailed in various Tamiya colors, washed with artist’s oils, and dry-brushed for highlights.



I painted the turret interior with Tamiya dark gray (XF-24) and airbrushed the vehicle’s exterior Tamiya desert yellow (XF-59).

The gun barrel is Tamiya gunmetal (X-10). I weathered with a wash of dark brown artist’s oils to deepen rivets and panel lines, and dry-brushed the high spots with lighter shades of the base colors. Equipment and personal gear painted off the model could now be stowed aboard.

46 FineScale Modeler September 2015

Photoetchedmetal palms

Mike’s vignette has everything most military modelers need — a German armored car in Afrika Korps colors, sand, palms, figures, even goats. What’s not to like?

Shoelace trunks Home-printed on clear decal Silfor tufts

Pegasus goats

Sifted sand/ gravel

Meet Mike Fleckenstein MIKE, 67, built models from age 5 until he joined the army in 1968. Ten years after returning to civilian life, he got serious about modeling when he joined a Washington, D.C., IPMS chapter in 1982. He was president of that group for four years and worked on the club newsletter recognized as the IPMS/USA Newsletter of the Year in 1999. He also belongs to the Northern Virginia IPMS, where he serves as vice president and manages the club’s annual contest. Retired from a career in computer software development, Mike and his

wife of 41 years, Carol, live in Fredericksburg, Va. Besides traveling to England every other year to attend the Scale ModelWorld show in Telford, he has attended almost every IPMS/USA National Convention for the past 25 years and is a senior national judge. In addition to modeling, Mike’s hobbies include audio, music, and photography. FSM

September 2015


READER TIPS By Tim Kidwell Paint bare metal faster

You can save time and effort by not using gloss black paint to prepare surfaces for bare-metal finishes. Gloss paint must be allowed to dry completely, and fingerprints find their way onto shiny surfaces, requiring sanding and another coat of gloss! Here’s a better way: Paint your aircraft with flat black. When it’s dry, sand off the overspray to create a smooth surface. Wipe the entire model with a tack rag and then apply light coats of Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish (PFM). The key to application is to do sections, not the whole model at once. Begin with the top side of one wing and let it dry. Then proceed to other areas. Constantly check for lint and fuzz. Remove imperfections with a fine sanding pad and reapply PFM to the sanded areas. It will get to a point where you can apply heavier coats of PFM without having any flaws in your finish. Set the model aside to cure for a day or so (not weeks like when you paint with gloss). After that, you are ready to apply your metal finish to a smooth, clean, and shiny surface. – John Adelmann Peosta, Iowa Use those expired credit cards

I use my expired credit, ATM, and assorted plastic cards for several modeling purposes. I cut them into various-sized pieces to serve my needs. I use strips to mix paint and epoxy glues. I use square pieces to hold a spot of super glue to dip into. Sometimes a piece can be glued out of sight to reinforce thin hulls and seams. I also use them for scratchbuilding. Plus, you don’t have to worry about shredding your cards or someone you don’t trust getting hold of them. – Cliff Field Sr. Hewitt, N.J. 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.

48 FineScale Modeler September 2015

this happens, use a piece of packing tape to lift the dust and other bits from the sides. Once it’s clean, store your masking tape in a resealable bag or tape dispenser. – Jodil Willems Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Really dusty

Tired of trying to hold tiny parts with tweezers while gluing, Glenn Hoover uses Silly Putty to keep the little buggers stationary.

Silly Putty clamp

Ever have a hard time assembling a cockpit seat? Most times they come in three or four pieces. I got tired of having the pieces fly across the room from my tweezers and clips. Try Silly Putty. Just push the pieces into the Silly Putty in the correct orientation and glue. I imagine this technique could be used for a variety of small-parts assembly situations. – Glenn Hoover Gloucester City, N.J. Remove chrome plating

I found that if you want to remove chrome plating from plastic, soak the plated parts in 91-percent isopropyl alcohol for an hour or so; the chrome will bubble up and you can scratch it off with your fingernail, a cotton swab, or other tool. – Jeff Koehn Rocky Mount, N.C. Easy paint remover

To remove paint from model parts, soak them in a solution of 1:1 Simple Green and water. Use a weight to keep the plastic under the solution if you have to. After 24 hours, the paint should peel right off. Then rinse the parts with cool water. It’s nontoxic, and you can use the solution over and over. I strain the paint out and store it in a tightly lidded container. It is a chemical though, so keep it out of the reach of kids. – Preston Hoover Deltona, Fla. Clean your masking tape

Dust and other particles can stick to the sides of a roll of masking tape while it’s lying in your toolbox or on top of your workbench. This compromises the edge of the tape, possibly ruining your paint job. If

To give my Special Hobby 1/32 scale X-15’s flat black finish that real dusty appearance from landing on a dry salt-lake bed, I swept up a pile of dust from the garage floor and set the model down a distance away from the pile of dust. I turned a leaf blower on low onto the pile of debris. When the dust had settled, the flat black finish looked like it was wearing dust kicked up from the lake bed. – Dennis Cermak Fraser, Mich. More than a towel in your lap

We’ve all heard about working with a towel in your lap to catch errant parts. I go a step farther and keep a large, dark, solid-color towel on the floor, too. I have saved many pieces that would have been eaten up by the tan carpet. Also, keep a small flashlight handy; aimed across the towel, it makes finding small parts so much easier. – Larry Maciaszek Bolingbrook, Ill. A flashlight helps find parts

Reading about people dropping parts brings to mind my method of finding them: Instead of shining my flashlight around when needed, I shine it parallel with the floor so the resulting shadows really make the parts stand out. A more desperate measure I have also used is to purposely drop a similar part to see what it looks like on the floor. Most small parts, once they hit the floor, do not look like what you would expect. – Paul Sobol Westlake, Ohio Use artist pens for panel lines

To highlight panel lines or create exhaust stains, try using Faber Castell Pitt Artist pens. They come in a variety of colors and can be wiped away with your fingertip. Draw over the panel lines and rivet detail and wipe away! The pigment ink is archival. Try a good art-supply store to get them. – Peter S. Arakawa Edison, N.J.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS By Aaron Skinner Doing away with dust Q A simple question: For those of us who

don’t have covered display spaces, what’s the best way to clean dust off our models? There are few things more frustrating than breaking a part or having dust mar your models. – Dave Valliere Edmond, Okla. A Dust is a never-ending problem for modelers, and there’s no perfect fix except avoiding it from the get-go. You can try blowing it off with canned air, but delicate parts are easily blown away. I like using a gentle tack cloth because it picks up the dust without a lot of scrubbing. There’s less risk of damage, but it will snag delicate parts like pitots and antennas. Try wetting a cotton swab to clean around small, delicate parts. Vacuum-formed canopy pros, cons A Is there an advantage to using vacuum-

formed canopies? What are the disadvantages? – Joe Frawley Hemlock, Mich. Q The main advantage of vacuum-formed canopies is they can be much thinner than injection-molded plastic canopies. This means they are closer to scale-thin and can be clearer. The disadvantages are that vacuum-formed canopies need to be cut out of the carrier sheet and can be easily damaged in the process. Build first, paint details later Q Mike Kirchoff ’s 1/48 scale Panther Ausf

G (April 2015 FSM) provides an example of something that’s bothered me for a long time: Is it really possible to build an entire model first and paint it later, especially all of the details? For example, Mike glued the shovel to 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.

1 Aaron masks the linoleum decks on an Aoshima 1/700 scale Japanese cruiser with small strips of Tamiya tape.

3 Mike paints Trumpeter’s 1/200 scale USS Arizona’s gray, then masks all of the vertical surfaces.

2 The masking takes time, but it makes painting quick and easy. Aaron moves the airbrush around to reach all of the surfaces.

4 Then Mike sprays the wooden decks tan. He later masks around small deck fittings and airbrushes them gray.

Masking and painting ship decks Q I have been modeling for many years and would like to start building ships. I’ve read several shipbuilding articles in FSM and been impressed by the sharp color demarcations between the horizontal — decks and walkways — and vertical surfaces. What I would like to ask about is the common practice on U.S. ships of painting the horizontal and vertical surfaces different colors. I am wondering how the builders accomplish such crisp, clean lines. I assume it is some form of masking. What are the best techniques for masking, and what are the best masking materials to use? – Jeffrey Owen, Germantown, Wis.

A Masking is the best approach, but it is time consuming for ship decks. I paint the decks first. Next, I cut a lot of small bits of tape and carefully fit them around the details and edges of the decks, 1. Then it’s a simple matter of painting the vertical

the Panther’s hull before painting. At the end, it looks great with a dark blade, wooden handle, and camouflage-colored brackets. Can people actually do that? I’m a 60-something-year-old modeler whose hands are not so steady anymore. – Richard Leganza New Britain, Conn.

surfaces, 2. It’s a lot of work, but the results are worth the effort. Alternatively, you can try Mike Ashey’s method of masking and painting: He paints the vertical surfaces first, masks those, 3, and then paints the decks, 4.

A The short answer is yes. I do it all the time because I prefer the strong glue attachments I get by adding the tools first. (Paint can interfere with glue.) It does take a steady hand, a fine brush, and, in my case at least, an OptiVisor to paint details this way, but I think they look just fine. Weathering blends them into the surface. FSM September 2015


WORKBENCH REVIEWS FSM experts build and evaluate new kits

Merit’s big Yorktown is a masterpiece


erit International’s 1,100part kit represents the first USS Yorktown as she was at Midway shortly before being sunk by Japanese torpedoes and bombs. The 12" x 30" box has 16 sprues of gray plastic, 15 clear sprues for the aircraft, and 5 large photoetchedmetal frets. The flight and hangar decks and hull are separately, securely packaged. The gray parts show few sink marks, but some of the clear propellers were warped. Hull plates and vertical butt straps are over-scale — a micrometer shows they would stand out 14" from the hull on the full-size ship. So, before starting construction, I spent four hours shaving and sanding the hull for a better appearance. Step 1 revealed minor warping at the bow that prevented part of the hangar deck (No. V2) from sitting right and could have lead to fit problems later. Gluing and clamping may fix the issue and prevent some of the fit problems I encountered. Steps 2 and 3 create the busy forecastle and introduced me to the kit’s excellent photoetched metal. The railings fit perfectly and the bends are marked just right. Step 4 instructs you to build 25 of the 50 FineScale Modeler September 2015

20mm gun mounts, but you only need 17. Also, there’s an anomaly with Part P25 on the 5" guns — four are smooth and four have boxes. There’s no mention in the instructions, so I teamed like parts. The base of the mount (No. P22) appears to be for a later version of the gun; the footplate could be removed to make it more accurate. Careful construction allows the 5" guns to elevate. Leave the photoetched-metal railings off the gun mounts. Watch the alignment of the forecastle pylons when fitting the deck framework (No. E11) in Step 5. Pay attention when adding the catwalks to the bow because the instructions are a little vague. The instructions indicate attaching them a step ahead, but I recommend adding the photoetched-metal platform and ladders (parts PE-B7 and PE-B8) as you attach the girder E12 because they need to be lined up correctly. Use ladders PE-B21 instead of PE-C21 in Step 6. Pay attention in steps 8 and 9 as the orientation of some hangar wall sections changes in the sequence and others do not, creating confusion. Rather than try to assemble the long wall sections, then install them, I attached them a section at a time.

The warp I mentioned earlier caused problems here — the hangar walls proved to be a bit too long, especially on the port side, which needed 1mm removed at the join between parts A12 and B8. Removing the locator pins from the starboard side wall (Part B2) improved the fit, but it was still a squeeze. One of the kit’s highlights is the inclusion of the internal supports for the flight deck, visible in the ceiling of the hangar deck. Test-fitting revealed that girders N2 and longitudinal stringer B3 cross under the midships elevator. If you want to lower the elevator, cut B3 at the end of girder N1 and shift it to port, then cut both N2 girders and mount it to the port wall only. (Check Step 14 for how it will look if left as is.) I left the flight deck free in two pieces so it could be removed to view the hangar. The instructions show the photoetchedmetal railing (parts PE-A3 and PE-A18) bent around the hangar-deck catapult horns, but they should run straight along the line of the deck. In Step 15, I encountered a couple of too-short railings (parts PE-A25 and PE-D10); also, Part PE-C19 should be PE-C22.

Kit: No. 65301 Scale: 1/350 Manufacturer: Merit International, Price: $180 Comments: Injection-molded plastic, 1,104 parts (288 photoetched-metal), decals Pros: Cleanly molded parts; excellent photoetched metal Cons: Vague instructions; overly pronounced hull plates; clear plastic aircraft parts needed cleanup

The island is a wonderful bit of engineering, comprising 172 plastic parts and near-perfect fits. Delay building the aft legs of the tripod structure in Step 16 until Step 18 because the apex of the tripod is too tight to pass through the lower platform (Part F20). Platform Part L15 was too wide to fit between the amazing photoetched-metal primary flight control (Pri-Fly) structure and the bridge. I sanded 1mm from it to fit. The starboard bridge wing labeled Part Q12 actually is Q6, and Part PE-A26, an L-section of railing not listed in the instructions, fits the part’s rear edge. Also omitted in the instructions are parts L53 and L58 that combine to form a

secondary gun director on top of the wheelhouse. Finally I assembled the aircraft. There was flash on some of the F4F-4 Wildcat parts, and the propellers for the Devastators were warped. Note that the TBD’s wings should fold back almost to the canopy, not vertical as shown in the instructions. The decals went on smoothly. They include a variety of aircraft numbers within each squadron. Oddly, while 30 national insignia are required for each type of 5 aircraft, only 24 are printed for the SBD-3. For reference, I used That Gallant Ship: USS Yorktown CV-5, by Robert Cressman (Pictorial Histories Publishing, ISBN 9780-933126-57-2) and Yorktown-class

Aircraft Carriers in Action by Robert C. Stern (Squadron/Signal, ISBN 978-089747-543-3), as well as the website I finished my Yorktown on Memorial Day, a fitting tribute to the U.S. Navy and the role the ill-fated ship played in turning the tide of the Pacific War. This wonderful-if-complex kit accurately portrays the carrier’s graceful lines, although the 20mm guns look a little undersize on the finished model. The photoetched metal is exceptional and actually fun to work with. My only complaint is the instructions; the small illustrations offer vague placement directions. – Mark Karolus September 2015



AFV Club M60A1 Patton


he M60A1 was the first major revision to the M60 Patton, with a new turret design that created a different profile for the tank. The M60A1 was used extensively by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps after 1963, as well as the Israeli army during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. The tank remains in wide use around the world. AFV Club’s new-tool M60A1 is welcome and long overdue, as the other available kits date to the 1970s. Cleanly molded

Kit: No. AF35060 Scale: 1/35 Manufacturer: AFV Club, Price: $80 Comments: Injection-molded, 637 parts (2 white metal, 43 photoetched-metal, 19 vinyl), decals Pros: High-quality molding; precisely engineered Cons: Some parts thin and fragile; photoetched-metal parts have no plastic counterpart; recoiling barrel makes assembly complex; a few instruction errors

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in dark olive plastic, this deluxe kit includes a turned-metal gun barrel, detailed driver’s compartment, fording trunk, vinyl mantlet covers, searchlight, and photoetched-metal detail parts (from Voyager). Numerous unused parts may foretell future versions. I started construction with the suspension. The suspension arms are molded with full-length torsion bars, some of which needed a bit of sanding. The two-part hull mountings create a tight fit. Make sure you install them correctly by aligning the key ends in their locating holes. You will find the assembled arms are a bit movable. The bogie wheels assemble with a front and back wheel sandwiching a vinyl washer. The bogies used for this kit are the aluminum version, but there is a second set included that represents the succeeding steel version. The latter goes unused and may be another sign of future releases. Take care when installing the wheels — they are a tight fit, and the axles are very flexible and fragile. AFV Club includes a gimmicky recoiling-gun option, and this complicates assembly. The instructions are not clear regarding the main gun’s breech. I was stumped until I figured out parts E43/44 need to be assembled around the barrel, not separately as the instructions show. The main turret parts went together without a problem. You have a choice for the main gun and machine gun mantlets. Parts are provided in plastic for the uncov-

ered version, and vinyl parts are included for canvas dust covers. Using the vinyl covers will prevent movement of the mantlets. The turret basket is built up from plastic and photoetched-metal parts. I found it challenging, as the plastic parts are thin and fragile. I could have used an extra set of hands to help get everything aligned! Be prepared to spend some time building the engine deck: All of the hatches and grab handles are separate parts! There are a few errors in the instructions in this area, too. The vertical engine door hinges are not numbered; they are D22/D23. Locations are reversed for parts C91 and C92. The plastic surface is textured rather heavily, particularly on the hatches and hull front, but it looks OK under a coat of paint. I painted my Patton with Ammo of Mig Jimenez 1973 Sinai gray. The decals performed very well. The kit scales out right on the money according to published dimensions. My primary reference was Patton: A History of the American Main Battle Tank, by R.P. Hunnicutt (Presidio, ISBN 978-0-89141230-4) I completed my Patton in 40 hours and was pleased with the finished model. While the high parts count might be beyond beginners, experienced modelers will be able to knock out an impressive model. I highly recommend AFV Club’s new Patton, especially if you like modern tanks. – Jim Zeske

Kinetic Sea Harrier FA2


ith improved weapons capabilities, the FA2 was a 1993 development of the Sea Harrier vertical-takeoff and -landing fighter that served the Royal Navy until 2006. Kinetic’s brand-new Sea Harrier comprises 271 parts, including two sprues dedicates to ordnance, photoetched-metal wing fences, and a crystal-clear canopy. Markings for 28 aircraft from five squadrons are provided. They include several special-anniversary, decommissioning, and squadron-disbandment schemes. Full sets of stencils are provided for all of the choices. I started construction by choosing the only non-gray decal option, the blue and white anniversary scheme celebrating the Sea Harrier’s 25th anniversary. Construction options included in the decal section are not mentioned in the assembly instructions, so check both places before starting. I had to do a lot of cleanup before gluing anything together. The engraving and molded details look fantastic, but there are mold seams and flash on nearly every part in the kit. Careful painting brings out the detail in the cockpit, where there is a choice of early or late instrument panels. The ejection seat doesn’t look quite right, and a nasty seam bisects the headrest. I built up the front of the headrest with a bit of styrene to cover the seam and make it more accurate. An aftermarket resin seat would be even better. Kinetic deals with the Harrier’s unique shape by building the cockpit, front gear bay, and engine face as a subassembly. This creates fit problems and complicates masking and painting. I sanded the cockpit’s sides so it fit the

fuselage, but I misaligned the cockpit, gear bay, and engine. This caused a gap in the belly. I left the intakes off for easier painting and masking of the engine ducting, but had to fill seams and repaint the area after attaching them. Installing aftermarket FOD covers would be an easy solution. The engine nozzles are connected so they move together, but it’s difficult to squeeze the mechanism into the fuselage. At final assembly, the nozzle wouldn’t fit into the mounts. I ground away the mounts with a motor tool and the nozzles fit fine; save yourself trouble and omit the whole assembly. To get a flush fit between the wings and the fuselage, I sanded the mounting ridges. Tight clearances hamper paint coverage under the wing roots. It would be wise to at least apply a base coat to the fuselage before installing the wings. Leave the horizontal stabilizers until final assembly, because a couple of decals fit around the pivot points. In an attempt to avoid filling seams, I mounted the windscreen with liquid cement. Big mistake! The windshield fits so low to the instrument panel shroud that capillary action drew the glue up under the clear plastic and crazed it. It was masked at the time, so there was no way to fix it. The instructions don’t mention the decal for the canopy’s explosive cord; it’s located between the large orange decals and checkerboard rudder decals. But it doesn’t match the molded impression on the canopy; I traced it with a white Prismacolor pencil instead. The photoetched-metal wing fences are nice, but I had to replace one with sheet styrene after it flew out of my tweezers. To improve the fit, I cut slots in the wings with a razor saw. I painted the model with Tamiya royal

blue and gloss white for the body, Testors Model Master gunship gray for the radome, and neutral gray for the drop tanks. I spent about eight hours applying more than 150 decals; they went on OK over clear gloss. The three-piece roundels for the lower wing looked like trouble, but two applications of Microscale Micro Sol settled them. I couldn’t conform decal Nos. 3, 4, and 5 to the lower fin, so I painted those areas instead. Kinetic’s Sea Harrier presents challenges. But, with patience, an experienced modeler can produce a fantastic representation of the FA2. It matches published dimensions exactly and looks good compared with photos. Two full trees of ordnance cover any weapons load imaginable, and the detailed, engraved panel lines rival the best I’ve seen. - Andy Keyes

Kit: No. 48041 Scale: 1/48 Manufacturer: Kinetic, Price: $53.99 Comments: Injection-molded plastic, 271 parts (8 photoetched-metal), decals Pros: Beautifully engraved details; great decals for 28 marking options; more ordnance than you can use Cons: Gimmicky nozzle alignment device doesn’t work; flash on nearly every part; fit problems

September 2015



Airfix Dornier Do 17Z


y first impression of Airfix’s new 1/72 scale Dornier Do 17Z? In a word, details! Fine surface and interior details grace the fuselage halves, wings, and nacelles, but it’s the array of additional parts for the cockpit and bomb bay that put this kit a cut above the rest. Also, the entry hatch, control surfaces, flaps, and variable-incidence horizontal stabilizer are separate parts and can be posed however you like.

Kit: A05010 Scale: 1/72 Manufacturer: Airfix, Price: $24.99 Comments: Injectionmolded, 173 parts, decals Pros: Nice fit; great instruction sheet and decals; extensive interior detail Cons: No swastikas on the decal sheet; canopy frame detail is a little on the soft side; belly antennas not included

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The excellent three-color instructions feature component diagrams illustrating correct positioning and flight-control travel limits. For the internal weapon load, you can choose between 50kg and 250kg bombs plus an auxiliary bomb-bay fuel tank. Overall, the parts fit great. A little sanding was needed on the starboard engine mount and the lower right wing, and a little filling and sanding helped hide the fuselage seams. For easier access to the aft upper fuselage seams, I cut the one-piece elevators in half and installed each independently after finishing the seam work. The scale-thick landing gear is excellent and includes weighted main tires. Both main-gear retraction braces were broken on my sample — I suspect a packing problem — and repairing the delicate parts was difficult. The mudguards mount between the main gear legs and don’t have much bonding area. The well-done Bramo engines have separate rear accessory cases and intake manifolds along with separate exhaust collector rings. But once they’re inside the cowlings, you won’t see much of them. Unfortunately, only the aft faces of the detailed firewalls are visible. The cowlings are four-part assemblies; the small T-shaped top sections needed some light sanding to get them to seat flush around the exhausts.

There’s no stand in the kit, but optional parts are included to pose the aircraft in flight. It’d be a shame to hide that beautiful interior detail. However, when I painted the model, those parts came in handy to keep overspray out. Clear parts are a little on the thick side, and the frame detail for the canopy is somewhat soft. I omitted the kit’s four crew figures and added masking-tape seat belts instead. The two towel-rack antennas on the aft belly, typical of German aircraft, aren’t included in the kit. Cartograf decals provide excellently rendered markings for two aircraft with full stencils — but no swastikas. Extra decals are given for alternate stenciling and are noted on the data instructions, which are easy to overlook. Color callouts reference Humbrol paints and RLM numbers. For you superdetailers, Airfix has already gotten you pretty far down the road with this kit; just leaving off the cowls would showcase the engines. I spent 28 hours completing the build just out of the box, which is a little more than usual for a model of this size. Most of that was due to the extensive clear areas which needed masking; 56 little separate panes in all. But don’t let that discourage you from building this detailed honey-for-the-money kit from Airfix. – Walt Fink

Dragon Saladin Mk.2 armored car


he Alvis Saladin entered British service in 1959. It featured sixwheel all-wheel drive, with the front four wheels used for steering. Armed with a 76mm main gun, the vehicle was equipped with both antipersonnel and antitank ammunition. The Saladins served in many conflicts around the world and were sold to several nations. Until now, if you wanted a 1/35 scale plastic kit of the Saladin, the only game in town was the old, inaccurate, difficult-tofind Tamiya kit. Now Dragon has released this brand-new kit of the Saladin Mk.2 under its Black Label line. While the kit is beautifully molded in gray plastic and features excellent detail, there are a number of surprising omissions. Most notable is the lack of detail on the interior of the hatches. The kit also lacks a .50-caliber gun mount on the turret, despite having a .50-caliber gun tripod mounted on the front fender (albeit missing one of its legs). The canvas main-gun shroud seen on most Saladins is missing, and the exhaust is simplified. The kit does have a nicely detailed suspension. The six wheels are molded in Dragon Styrene. They have an accurate tread pattern, and there are no mold seams to remove. Only one piece of photoetchedmetal is included — a screen for the rear intake. Decals are provided for six subjects, but, strangely, the vehicle on the box art is not included in the marking options. I started by gluing the hull together. Follow the directions carefully as you add the suspension parts. Some look identical — but aren’t — so work carefully. It’s

important to leave the front steering arms movable so you can adjust them later when you add the connecting arms to the wheels. The fenders fit perfectly. I left the wheels off until I finished painting the model. The turret assembled quickly and easily. The only error I found in the instructions was the location of the periscope in Step 15 — it should go behind the commander’s hatch. Though it’s not noted in the instructions, you could leave this periscope off and close its cover. While the main gun is designed to be movable, mine was too loose to stay in position. So, I glued it in place. The reel on the back of the turret is for a spool of communication wire, so I wrapped thin lead wire around it. The antennas provided in the kit are thick and short; I drilled out the mounts and added stretched-sprue replacements. The painting diagrams for the blackand-green vehicles show only three views: one side and the back and front of the vehicles. Complete views really would have helped. When I decided to paint my vehicle in the scheme of the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars (deployed in Brunei in 1966), I found a photo of the exact vehicle which showed it in a solid-green paint scheme instead of the black-and-green scheme on the instructions. I used Tamiya dark green as my base color and highlighted it with applications of RAF green and NATO green. I applied the decals over a coat of Vallejo clear. A little Solvaset helped the decals conform to the rivets on the rear plate. After adding a light dusting of Tamiya earth and buff to show light road grime, I gave the vehicle a

wash of black artist’s oil paint, then drybrushed it with Vallejo dark green lightened with medium flesh. I spent about 18 hours building my Saladin: pretty quick thanks to the excellent fit and the monochromatic paint scheme. The finished model measured favorably to the dimensions in Ian Hogg and John Weeks’ The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Military Vehicles (Book Sales, ISBN 978-0906286-75-3). Despite some disappointments along the way, the finished model really looks like a Saladin armored car. I think the corrections the model requires are well within the skills of most modelers. After all, isn’t adding detail to make your model a bit different from everyone else’s what modeling is all about? – John Plzak

Kit: No. 3554 Scale: 1/35 Manufacturer: Dragon, Price: $79.99 Comments: Injection-molded, 243 parts (1 photoetched-metal, 6 vinyl), decals Pros: Clear lenses for lights; tires have accurate tread pattern Cons: Lack of detail on hatch interiors; no turret gun mount; no canvas cover for the main gun

September 2015



Panda Hobby Cougar 4 x 4 MRAP


ith mines and IEDs an ever-present threat on today’s battlefield, vehicles must withstand deadly blasts to keep the crew intact. Built by Force Protection, Inc., the Cougar is designed with crew survivability in mind. Used primarily by the U.S. Marine Corps, the Cougar has been keeping its soldiers safe on the front lines since 2004. The number of parts nicely packed into

Kit: No. 35003 Scale: 1/35 Manufacturer: Panda Hobby, Price: $59.99 Comments: Injection-molded, 578 parts (67 photoetched-metal, 4 vinyl), decals Pros: Impressive interior detail Cons: Poor fits; soft detail; lots of flash

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Panda’s box will make your head spin: 15 sprues and a photoetched-metal fret hold 578 parts. Four vinyl tires are included. Much of the molded detail is shallow, and many parts have flash to clean up. The instructions are a 20-page magazine-style booklet with a sprue breakdown and separate decal placement guide in color. The directions do not call out colors, so you will need good references. The instructions present 20 steps to complete the Cougar. I did find a few errors in the directions: Part X8 should be X9 and vice versa; Part F12 should be F13 and vice versa. Starting with the chassis, from the getgo you will find this is not an easy build. Parts do not seem to line up at all. For instance, the ball joint/wheel assembly: There was no way to mount it correctly so the wheels stood true. Instead, they pointed in. I had to break off the ball joints and super glue the wheels so they stood straight. Most of the time you spend on the build will be on the interior of the model. Details include all the radio equipment, a Blue Force tracker, and other computer hardware; options abound for different equipment as well as various anti-IED devices. Many of the interior parts are tiny and fragile. Seat belts are molded into the seats. Sadly, most of this stuff will never be seen

— but a person who likes to add a lot of detail will enjoy the effort. After the interior is complete, it’s time to add the upper portion of the body to the lower portion. The fit of the body halves was poor; there was about a 1⁄16" gap that I filled with shims and sanded smooth. Once that was complete, I mounted the vinyl tires on the wheels. I was disappointed by the fit of the tires to the rims; there is a huge gap where the tire and the wheel join. An aftermarket set of wheels may be in order. Turret assembly went well, but detail on the .50-caliber machine gun is soft. I would replace it with an aftermarket weapon or something from your spares. I painted with Testors Model Master enamels (No. 2136, U.S. Gulf armor sand). Decals went on over a clear coat with no issues; only one set of markings is included. When the paint dried, I lightly weathered my Cougar with a gray wash and pastels. The build took me more than 50 hours to complete — far more than I had expected. Although the fit of the parts was a challenge, I’m happy with the results. I wouldn’t recommend Panda’s kit to a beginner, but someone looking to meet a challenge to achieve satisfying results will enjoy devoting the time to this good-looking model. – Chris Oglesby

Revell Germany Saab JAS-39C Gripen


find the JAS-39 Gripen an interesting contrast to its predecessor, the AJ/JA-37 Viggen. The latter is a heavyweight — a powerful brute of a fighter — while the former is a lightweight, agile aircraft employing the latest technology. Advances in electronics and engine design allowed Saab to produce a relatively small aircraft packed with multimission capabilities. Revell Germany’s newest release represents the latest version of the Gripen and offers two marking choices: a colorful Czech aircraft decorated for the 2014 Tiger Meet, and a Swedish fighter that flew in a 2013 Air Force Red Flag exercise. Molded in light gray plastic, the kit has nicely engraved panel lines, and adequate detail in the cockpit, wheel wells, and speed-brake wells. A nice touch is the variety of external stores and the option to pose several parts in open/closed or extended/ retracted positions. The company’s familiar booklet-style instructions have explodedview diagrams that show how to transform the 116 pieces into a great-looking model in 33 steps. Construction begins with the cockpit, which looks good and busy with the kit decals and some dry-brushing. I made belts and harnesses from masking tape and added them to the ejection seat. Watch the decal placement numbers here; I missed some initially. Although it’s not mentioned in the instructions, I added ballast to the

nose cone to make sure the nose gear would stay on the ground. Even with the kit’s modular construction (for a possible two-seater), overall fit is very good. The leading edges of the wing and the inboard lower-flap inserts will require careful filling and sanding for a smooth fit. The landing-gear pieces are delicate, so use care when removing them from the sprues. The canopy of my kit had a short seam line perpendicular to the sides of the canopy which I could not remove. A couple of coats of clear gloss minimized the problem. Note: The real canopy has a seam running down the middle, so don’t remove the one on the model. The painting guide references Revell Germany’s own paint line, but FS numbers are also provided for the main camouflage colors. I used Gunze Sangyo paints for the upper and lower surfaces. To break up the monochromatic look of the model, I sprayed random areas with lighter and darker grays. Pictures from the Internet provided good references. After a couple of clear-gloss coats, I applied the decals and they behaved well. Once the Tiger Meet decals were in place and dry, I trimmed the excess with a sharp hobby knife. The decals have flat carrier film, and I had some silvering beneath the clear areas. I applied white glue to the colored bands on the missiles to help them conform to the tight curves. A

final pass with Vallejo’s satin finish blended everything nicely. The model’s dimensions are almost spot-on, and the kit exudes the sleekness of the actual aircraft, even with a full weapons load. I spent just more than 30 hours on the build, and I’m very pleased with the result. I would definitely recommend this kit to any modeler who’s interested in modern jet fighters, regardless of skill level. – Phil Pignataro

Kit: No. 04999 Scale: 1/72 Manufacturer: Revell Germany, Price: $17.95 Comments: Injection-molded, 127 parts, decals Pros: Good engraved surface detail; air refueling probe, speed brakes, landing gear, and canopy can be displayed open or closed; weapons load Cons: Canopy had some difficult-toremove mold lines; some flash on smaller parts; see-through intakes

September 2015



Airfix Folland Gnat T.1


didn’t know much about the Gnat, a British fighter turned trainer, but I was expecting a model similar in size to the T-38 or Fouga Magister. Nope: This ornithological wonder is small, Cessna 182-size — actually the 182 is larger. I checked the scale twice. Yep, this is 1/48. I can’t imagine how small this bird is in 1/72 scale. The parts are superbly molded, crisp and clean with no flash. The one-piece cockpit tub matches the fuselage halves flawlessly. Two seat options are available: One is smooth with no cushion or belt details if you choose to have the pilots; the other, without pilots, has all the detail molded on. The decals for the instrument panels look fantastic. Airfix did a wonderful job of executing full intakes that extend to the compressor blades, although much of them won’t be seen on the finished model. The exterior of the intakes, which form part of the fuselage, are separate pieces. I thought this could be trouble, because the

Kit: No. A05123 Scale: 1/48 Manufacturer: Airfix, Price: $24.99 Comments: Injectionmolded, 96 parts, decals Pros: Well engineered; good fits; great decals Cons: Instructions lack color names

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fuselage is weak without these parts. Turned out not to be the case, thanks to Airfix’s great engineering. All of the wheel wells are detailed, separate, and fit perfectly. There’s an option to open holes for a stand, although one is not provided in the kit. Airfix sells one (No. AF 1006) separately. The long forward-opening avionics bay cover in the nose is designed to be posed open. You’ll need to remove two molded brackets to close it. The final step before closing the fuselage is to assemble and install the jet pipe. This was the only trouble I had. First, the exhaust in my kit was disfigured; it’s not a deal-breaker, but it required super glue and sanding to correct. Second, the two tines that hold the jet pipe are too small, making the assembly difficult to position. They broke during masking, so I cut them off and pushed the exhaust into place after painting. It’s tight enough to stay without glue. The wing’s one-piece upper wing attaches to lower halves and features movable ailerons and separate flaps with the option to pose them up or down. The rudder is also movable, but the elevators are molded solid to the horizontal stabilizers. I chose the flaps-down option, and they popped into place with no glue required. Part of the upper fuselage is incorporated in the wing assembly. I was impressed when it dropped into place with no fit issues, needing only a little sanding above the intakes. Straightforward describes building the detailed landing gear. The main-gear tires are weighted, but the nose tires are not. A little sanding fixed that. Optional parts supply open and closed canopies. Mine showed minor scuffs which

Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish eliminated. The canopy fit perfectly with no further work. The Cartograf decals laid down beautifully. This kit provides two marking options: No. 4 Flying Training School, Royal Air Force Valley, Anglesey, Wales, 1973, and one I chose because of the fluorescent orange and aluminum: Central Flying School, Royal Air Force, Little Rissington, Gloucestershire, England, 1964. Color callouts refer to Humbrol paint numbers only. I like Humbrol, but the paints can be hard to find. I checked Humbrol’s website for paint names and equivalents. I painted the scheme with Tamiya spray-can gloss aluminum and Testors fluorescent orange. The Gnat is a great kit that I enjoyed building. It was well engineered, so I didn’t have to shoehorn any parts into place, and the decals were awesome. Keep up the great work, Airfix! – Caleb Horn

Dragon M65 Atomic Annie


he M65, heavy, motorized, 280mm long-range mobile gun entered service in 1951. The massive gun carriage was slung between two tractors that operated similarly to a hook-and-ladder firetruck. Only 20 were built before being retired in 1963. On May 25, 1953, at the Nevada Proving Ground, the M65 became the first artillery to fire an atomic shell. Dragon’s new Black Label 1/72 scale tooling of the M65 contains 268 parts molded in light gray plastic with clear styrene windows. Three marking choices are provided, including a test vehicle from the Aberdeen Proving Ground. You can build the gun stowed for travel or in its lowered position. Because the catwalks on the gun carriage are molded stowed, you’re limited to building the gun either ready for travel or in the down position. When the gun is in its actual traveling position, the barrel is locked facing front; this option is not available. Overall, the parts show crisp detail with slide molding being used for the main part of the gun barrel and some smaller parts. There is no flash, but I filled numerous ejector-pin marks on the underside of the two tractors with .005" styrene discs. Many of the locator holes are oversized, so a little filler is needed to hide them. The directions are divided into three sections: one section for each tractor, and one for the gun carriage. I followed the directions for the most part, fixing missing

details along the way. I filled the winch spools with nylon thread to represent cable and covered the open backs on the boxes (Part F10) mounted on the tractor undercarriages. In Step 5, Part E32 should be F32. I also drilled out the mufflers (parts E13 and E28). The tractor interiors are basic, but well done for what they are. With all of the undercuts present on the gun carriage, you need to plan how you want to paint the gun before you start construction. I left all the wheels and cranks and the ammo crane off the carriage sides until it was fully assembly. I also waited before attaching the ramming mechanism (Subassembly J from Step 19) and carriage feet until after painting. I airbrushed the gun Tamiya black green (XF-27) after Step 24, and joined the gun carriage halves after the paint dried. At this point, I recommend gluing the outer housing of the gun elevation pistons (F20 and F21). But leave off the pistons and elevation arms until the model is done for easier painting and to prevent breakage. Parts B37 and C23 fit poorly, so I added a styrenestrip shim to fix the problem. I finished shading the model with black green. While the instructions recommend Testors Model Master RLM light green 82 (No. 2091), I chose AK Interactive’s U.S. Army olive drab (No. 4011) from its Vietnam paint set. Various Vallejo, AK, and Humbrol paints and washes helped detail the gun. Dragon put all three marking options on one page, meaning small diagrams that require a magnifying glass to decipher which decals go where. While Cartograf provides reference numbers on the decal sheet, they do not appear in the directions.

Also, the decals are tightly spaced on the sheet. So, be careful when cutting them out. I accidentally sliced through the bottom of one group. When fully assembled, the M65 with tractors measures nearly 14" long — that’s huge for a 1/72 scale vehicle! Even with the low parts count and the absence of photoetched metal, this model took 34 hours to complete, much of it spent filling ejector-pin marks, painting, and weathering. This model will make an impressive build for modelers of any skill level. To add more detail, such as air-brake hoses, consult U.S. Army Gun, Heavy, Motorized, 280mm M65 Atomic Annie, by Michael Franz and Jochen Vollert (Tankograd; no ISBN). Viewing footage of test firings on YouTube helped, too. – Mike Scharf

Kit: No. 7484 Scale: 1/72 Manufacturer: Dragon, Price: $74.99 Comments: Injection-molded, 268 parts, decals Pros: Good overall fit; great detail on tractor exteriors Cons: Painting and marking guide too small; correcting molded-on detail requires major surgery

September 2015



Hataka Hobby acrylic paint sets


t’s truly a golden age for acrylic paint users. It seems that not a month goes by without a new brand of paints hiting the market. Many of the new manufacturers sell paints in sets that are designed for individual eras, vehicles, or nations. Hataka Hobby of Poland is typical of this style, marketing its paint in individual colors as well as sets tailored for specific subjects. Each 17ml dropper bottle contains an agitator to aid mixing the water-based acrylics. These paints are low-odor.

Manufacturer: Hataka Hobby, Price: $14.99 for 4-color sets; $22.99 for 6 colors; $29.99 for 8 colors Comments: Water-based acrylic paints, 89 colors matched to military standards Pros: Tough finish; accurate colors; easy cleanup; low odor; good coverage Cons: Minor tip-drying in the airbrush

60 FineScale Modeler September 2015

So far there are 89 colors in the fastexpanding catalog, and 18 sets (mostly for aircraft). Those include boxes to paint U.S. aircraft of World War II through today, Luftwaffe subjects, the Royal Air Force in WWII, and Israeli, French, Soviet, and a couple of Polish aircraft. The most recent set covers French armor of WWII. Hataka sent FSM the USAF paint set (Vietnam War) which consists of Air Defense Command gray, night black, and the four colors used in TAC or SEA camouflage: dark tan, dark green, medium green, and camouflage gray. At the time I tested these paints, Hataka’s thinner wasn’t available. I used distilled water and Tamiya and Vallejo thinner. All worked, but I suspect the proprietary thinner might provide ideal results. For hand-brushing, I dipped the brush in a little water to wet the bristles. After blotting most of the water, I dipped it in a puddle of color. It brushes on smoothly, but needs more than one coat for full coverage. The paint seems a little thick to airbrush straight from the bottle, but it can be done. I got better results with a few drops of thinner in the airbrush cup. The paints go on smoothly and cover well at most pressures, but I had better results at 20-30 psi. I sprayed the SEA colors on a 1/48 scale Phantom, a large model, and encountered

some tip-drying, especially with a fine (.2mm) nozzle. This is an issue common to acrylics and is easily fixed by keeping a cotton swab damp with thinner handy. What impressed me most was how tough these paints were. Applied over Vallejo primer, the paint was undamaged by masking tape. When I sanded the surface to remove some roughness at the wing roots from vortices in the airstream, I didn’t sand through the color anyplace. A light rub with 1500-grit sandpaper produced a smooth surface between coats. I masked the Phantom’s camouflage, but freehanded post-shading, weathering, and touch-ups. Working close, I found the paint atomized well for a smooth, feathered demarcation between colors. Cleanup was easy. I flushed the airbrush with water, then used lacquer thinner to remove any paint from the works. Several people have commented that the colors look accurate, especially the contrast between the two greens. As with any acrylics, Hataka paints need a little practice to know what thinning ratios work for your airbrushing style. Take the time to try them and I think you’ll be impressed by the finish and accuracy. Given the speed at which the range of colors is expanding, I’m sure I’ll be using more of them soon. – Aaron Skinner

Tamiya Panzer 38(t) Ausf E/F


ith the occupation of Czechoslovakia, the German army pressed a large number of locally built military vehicles into service. Among those was the LT vz. 38 light tank, which became the PzKpfw 38(t), with t standing for tschechisch (Czechoslovak). Tamiya’s newly tooled 38(t) consists of 144 dark gray plastic parts with four poly caps and two metal plates. Two marking options are for overall gray Eastern Front tanks in 1942, one from the 22nd Panzer Division, the other from an unknown unit. Fit of the lower hull’s five parts is excellent, and everything ends up square without much effort. I left out the metal ballast until just before closing the hull. It was easier to assemble the tracks without the extra weight. I temporarily attached the road wheels to build the link-and-length tracks. Be careful cutting the tracks off the sprues, especially the individual links that wrap around the drive sprockets and idlers; they are easily broken and no spares are provided. I deviated from the instructions’ track assembly order. I found it easier to start with the individual links around the sprocket and idlers. Once they were dry, I

aligned them with the upper run using the molded sag over the return rollers to ensure proper placement. Then it was easy to assemble the bottom runs. Suspension detail is simplified, but little of it is visible with the road wheels attached. I glued a piece of screen from my spares box inside the engine vent to hide the barren interior. I filled holes and ejector-pin marks under the fenders, then installed the ballast and upper hull. The fit was perfect. I added details to the hull, leaving off the spare track links and tools for painting. Only the wire cutters are molded in place. The driver’s hatch is molded shut. The five-part turret needed just a little filler around the rear plate (part H8). The fiddly, multipart commander’s cupola required filler around most of its joints. The separate commander’s hatch has minimal interior detail, but a commander is fitted to fill the space. The cannon features a hollow muzzle, but the coaxial and hull machine gun could be carefully drilled out for a better appearance. I painted the tiny model with Tamiya German gray (XF-63), breaking up the monochromatic finish with AK Interactive’s Dunkelgrau Modulation Set (AK 160). I marked it for the 22nd Panzer

Division — the more dramatic option — and the decals settled over the prominent detail with a little Solvaset. I spent 20 hours on my 38(t), much of it painting and weathering. Tamiya’s 1/48 scale armor kits are perfect for a weekend build or as a break from complex projects. Beginners looking to gain experience and advanced modelers wanting to add detail and stowage will enjoy this model. – Mike Scharf

Kit: No. 32583 Scale: 1/48 Manufacturer: Tamiya, www.tamiya.usa Price: $29 Comments: Injection-molded plastic, 150 parts (4 vinyl, 2 metal), decals Pros: Nice detail; easy build; metal ballast gives model heft Cons: Tools a little basic; cupola needs filler

September 2015










Discover better ways to paint, weather, decal, and finish your projects! Ultimate Guide to Finishing will show you how to: • Finish your aircraft, armor, cars, and more. • Apply decals without fuss and frustration. • Get the airbrushing and weathering effects you want. • Work with metallic paints and products. • Simulate realistic wood grain.


Reserve Print or Digital at P25581

Or Call 800-533-6644 Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CT. Outside the U.S. and Canada, call 262-796-8776 ext. 661 Ultimate Guide to Finishing will be available in mid-November 2015. • *Free standard shipping to U.S. addresses only. Sales tax where applicable A59F5


North America Dealer for Ultimate Modelling Products



Modeler’s Mart


Large selection of kits, supplies and more !



$29.95 Dept. #200 • Email: $7

Wood, paper, resin, static and R/C kits. Miniature Figures. Architectural Kits. And More...

(510) 889-6000 $10 off your next order of $100 or more. Use code FSM15SP (good thru 11/30/15)

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.

We Buy Collections!



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:

COMING EVENTS AL, HUNTSVILLE: Huntsville Plastic Modelers’ Society 39th Annual Model Show. Jaycees Building, 2180 Airport Road. September 26, 2015. 8:00am-4:00pm. Free admission. Model Registration: $10.00 ďŹ rst model, $2.00 each additional, $2.00 IPMS discount, $1.00/model for 16 and under. Vendor tables $25.00. Vendor Info: 256-270-0820, General info:

What’s New? Watch the New Product Rundown

video in FSM’s email newsletters. Don’t miss it. Sign up today! IL, SCHAUMBURG: The Military Miniature Society of Illinois holds its 41st Annual Chicago Show at the Chicago Marriott Schaumburg, 50 N. Martingale Rd., Schaumburg, IL. Saturday, October 24, 2015, 9:00am-4:00pm. For more information contact Pat Vess ( 630-730-2492) or website NY, POUGHKEEPSIE: HVHMG 2015, Celebrating 29 years, Elks Club Lodge, Overocker Rd. October 17, 2015. Sponsored by IPMS Mid-Hudson. Registration 9:00am-noon. More information at: or contact John Gallagher at 845-4624740 or PA, CARLISLE: PENNCON 2015 IPMS Model Show and Contest. U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center, 950 Soldiers Dr. Saturday, September 19, 2015, 9:00am-4:30pm. Show Theme: FANTASY & SCI-FI. “Make & Take� for kids 15 and under. For more info go to: or contact Chet Mohn, 717-774-4803 E-mail: TX, AUSTIN: ASMS Capitol Classic 2015. Presented by Austin Scale Modelers Society. Norris Conference Centers, 2525 West Anderson Lane. Saturday, October 10, 2015, 9:00am5:30pm. Show Theme: “Faster Than Fast!� Model contest, vendor tables, door prizes, seminars and Make & Take for kids. Visit: or contact Randy Bumgardner at CANADA, AJAX, ONTARIO: Ajax 35 Model Contest. J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate, 1355 Harwood Ave. N. Saturday, October 24, 2015, 10:00am-4:00pm. Admission: $5.00, Model entry $2.00 to max $15.00 (no limit on models). Sponsored by IPMS Toronto, IPMS De Havilland & Peel Scale Modelers. Contact: Bernie Hengst: 705-878-1740 or Visit:

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, PLASTIC MODEL AIRPLANE COLLECTION 45 year collection, 450 models by type, manufacturer and kit number. Call Don at 203-377-7793 or e-mail SHIP AND AIRCRAFT MODELS. Built for display. For additional information contact, Ray Guinta, PO Box 74, Leonia, NJ 07605.

“Since 1969� "Your Spare Time is Our Business"


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

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:  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: 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: 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,

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 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.

September 2015


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


1200 John Harden Dr.



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


911 S. Victory Blvd.


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.


7259 Canoga Avenue


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


12188 Brookhurst St.


CALIFORNIA • Hollister

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.


201-C McCray St.






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


830 E. Lincoln Ave.

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.



144 North Road

CONNECTICUT • Manchester

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



71 Hilliard St.


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.


394 New Haven Ave., Unit 1


FLORIDA • Ft. Myers

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

GEORGIA • Blue Ridge

Huge selection of model kits & accessories. Ships, Armor, Aircraft, Figures, Cars and more. Visit: for complete listing. Monday to Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-2


47 Dunbarton Farm Rd.


HAWAII • Kailua, Oahu

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



767 Kailua Road

MASSACHUSETTS • Malden (Boston) 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:



33 Exchange St.


Wide variety of plastic kits. Old Nascar Kits - please call. Mon - Sat 10-6. Closed Sunday. 14269 Imperial Hwy.

CONNECTICUT • East Windsor


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 @


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:



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:


445 South “B” Street



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.


1915 S. Havana St.




405 E. Putnam Avenue


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.


103 W. Michigan Avenue


116 N. Washington Street


MICHIGAN • Royal Oak (Metro Detroit)

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.

NEVADA • Las Vegas


4590 W Sahara Ave Ste 103

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


FineScale Modeler! 64 FineScale Modeler September 2015



NEW JERSEY • Magnolia (Camden) 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


NEW YORK • Buffalo



NEW YORK • Middle Island



NEW YORK • Upr Eastside GR Manhattan Visit our in-house Aircraft Model Museum. Foreign and domestic plastic and wood kits. Open 7 days.


1435 Lexington Ave.


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:



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


106 W. Main Street



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


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.

119 S. Main St.

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


Excellent selection of lead miniatureshistorical and fantasy. Plastic models, wargames & modeling supplies. Books and magazines. 134 Middle Country Rd.


VIRGINIA • Newport News

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! 2243 Seneca St.


11145 Turkey Dr.

TEXAS • San Antonio

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





590 Rt. 46

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)

PENNSYLVANIA • Landisville (Lancaster)


210 East Front St.




#334 90 Washington St.

TENNESSEE • Knoxville

TEXAS • Houston

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.

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



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.

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.

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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.

Model Rectifier Corp.__________68

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Pace Enterprises ______________11 ParaGrafix ____________________9

Alpha Precision Abrasives, Inc.____9

ROLL MODELS We carry the best from A-Model to Zotz and 43,000 items in between! Find it with our easy-to-use search engine. 763-545-0399

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Roll Models________________9, 65

Bluejacket Shipcrafters _________11 Cedar Creek Trading Post ______63 Colpar’s Hobbytown USA ______63

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Sprue Brothers ________________9

Squadron Mail Order ___________2

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Go to September 2015



What’s your PSI —and why? In the July FineScale Modeler, we asked several editors here at Kalmbach about their pressure settings for airbrushing. As expected, the applications and reasoning varied from person to person — and provided plenty of useful information from knowledgeable modelers. So, we decided to to continue the discussion via e-mail and on the FSM Forum at Here is what a few of you had to say and share with us. Bill Plunk, El Paso, Texas I work almost exclusively in enamels. My psi settings depend on how thin the paint mix is, the coverage (which dictates the choice of nozzle, needle, and, in turn, psi), and the limitations of my ⅛-hp compressor/moisture-trap combo. I use an Aztek A470 (metal body) airbrush with interchangeable nozzles, each with different psi recommendations. For base or primer coats and broad coverage, I paint at 20-25 psi and rely on the airbrush’s double action to get the desired flow. For fine lines, I use finer nozzle tips and drop down to 10-15 psi, again adjusting the double action. Paint/thinner ratio, nozzle/ needle diameter, and distance from the subject are the “three amigos” in achieving predictable, consistent results. Patrick Stack, Springf ield, Ore. In my view, Bill Plunk nailed it. I use a variety of airbrushes, but mostly a Badger 100G doubleaction and 200G single-action, with different needle/nozzle sets. I mainly use Testors Model Master enamels, and sometimes Tamiya or Vallejo acrylics, all at 12-18 psi. For fine detail, such Tell us what you think: Register to join our forum. It’s free!

as freehand camo with thinned enamels, it’s 12-14 psi; for extremely thin paint, as low as 10-12 psi in multiple light coats; for primers, base coats and larger coverage, perhaps as high as 16-18 psi. Temperature, paint type, nozzle size, and the particular task will determine the pressure. I might ignore the gauge and just rely on my test-spray results, adjusting until I see the effect I’m looking for. Bryant Dunbar, sales representative, Grex – One thing that dictates psi is the specific needle/ fluid nozzle size. This often is overlooked when the question is asked of experts. Some airbrushes provide multiple nozzle configurations, some have only one size, and still others provide multiple needle/nozzle configurations as extras to accommodate various media and scales. For instance, someone who sprays inks for detail work may want to work with a .2mm nozzle, as inks have very low viscosity. If that same person wants to spray automotivegrade paints — much higher viscosity — they will need a .5mm nozzle. If the compressor setting remains the same for both, the actual psi expelled differs greatly. So, it’s important to know the medium and the nozzle configuration to appropriately answer the question of psi.

66 FineScale Modeler September 2015

Frequent FineScale Modeler author Bill Plunk airbrushed this Dragon 1/35 scale Tiger in late-war camouflage using a fine tip at 10-15 psi.

With either enamels or acrylics, I prefer a .3mm nozzle at 20 psi when the airbrush system is closed (no air being expelled). When I press or pull the trigger, the psi on the regulator usually settles around 16-17. I find this is a good base setting, as I thin my paints to a 1:1 ratio most of the time. When I teach an airbrushing workshop, I start all my students out using the same .3mm nozzle configuration. For the majority, this is perfectly acceptable. For those who are more heavy-handed with their airbrush triggering, I adjust them down some and they gain confidence. Having an MAC (Micro Air Control) valve on the airbrush comes in handy in these cases. Richard Vaughn, Henderson, Nev. I've been modeling for more years than I care to remember. The Binks Wren airbrush is still my favorite. I use a 20-pound CO2 tank with dual gauges and airbrush at around 90-110 psi. I just can’t go along with the low pressures (20-30 psi) because I love the fine results of the high pressure. I also do some 70mm, 90mm, and 200mm figures and I airbrush inks for these resin

pieces — still at high pressures. Ayhan Toplu, Ankara, Turkey [Mostly] at 15-20 psi with the exception of fine work at 40-50 psi. I almost always use Tamiya acrylics, cut with Tamiya thinner about 50:50 (or 35:65), paint to thinner. The thinning ratio is generally color-specific. I usually spray Alclad II at around 15 psi; it atomizes easily. The exception is when I’m looking for fine lines/small detail; then, I will go up to 50 psi. I’ve found it creates less overspray. I assume this is because: 1) higher pressure optimizes atomization; 2) higher pressure in the cone of air coming from the airbrush controls the paint pattern more tightly; and 3) paint that does spread into the air cone will dry very quickly due to the high pressure and fine atomization. High pressure for fine work was the reverse of what I expected. However, I did some comparative testing using the same batch of identically thinned paint and with a distance cap fitted to the airbrush to keep everything as equal as possible, changing only the pressure — and I got finer, cleaner lines at 50 psi. FSM

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