ONLINE CONTENT CODE: FSM1701
January 2017 /// Vol. 35 /// No. 1
Enter this code at www.FineScale.com/code to gain access to web-exclusive content
KIT REVIEWS 54 Tamiya F-14A
14 Form & Figure Painting female skin JOE HUDSON
56 AFV Club M60A2 57 GWH T-33A Shooting Star
17 Airbrushing & Finishing Masking the Black Falcon’s triplane MIKE GRANT
58 Arma Hobby PZL TS-11
20 Modeling smoke and flames Ignite your modeling with rayon fiber and LED tea lights ROBERT PIERSON
Iskra Bis “junior set” 59 Moebius The Penguin
25 Pint-size Panther killer Kitbashing a 75mm HMC M8 COOKIE SEWELL
58 Attack Squadron F2F-1/2
60 Kinetic F/A-18C Hornet
32 FSM show gallery
61 Bronco Panzer III Ausf A
IN EVERY ISSUE
2016 IPMS/USA Nationals
40 Disguising a Seehund
5 Editor’s Page
Dot camouflage for Bronco’s 1/35 scale German midget sub BILL PLUNK
7 Scale Talk 10 New Products
44 Catch the Express Building a multimedia Chicago Express Saab 340 FRANK CUDEN
52 Reader Tips
50 3 ways to mask canopies
53 Questions & Answers
Let me make one thing perfectly clear MARK HEMBREE
64 Hobby Shop Directory
66 Final Details Favorite FSM covers from 35 years FSM STAFF
47 Reader Gallery
64 Classified Marketplace
65 Advertiser Index
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, PO Box 62320, Tampa, FL 33662-2320. Canada Post Publication Mail Agreement #40010760.
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EDITOR’S PAGE By Mark Savage
Surveys: Just add a little more ...
YEARS If you’re an FSM subscriber — and they ever see another tank. For every maybe if you’re not — you’ve likely five who plead for us not to run received an FSM issue survey from us another story on sci-fi or ships, there via e-mail. are five who can’t believe there are We want to know what you like, not more of each. what you think of the various how-to On occasion the results do leave us stories, photo galleries, and scratching our heads. columns in each issue. Your The latest survey, for answers help us shape future instance, offers these Everyone issues as we head into our ideas: more on basic wants 35th year. modeling, more scratchmore of In each survey we ask a building and kitbashing, everything couple open-ended quesless-expensive kits (as if we they like, tions about what you’d control pricing), more airless of like to see more of, and brushing and weathering, everything less of. more sci-fi, more diorama else! Hundreds of you how-to, and — our favorite respond to each questhis time — more on buildtion and, trust me, each of us here ing models. reads your remarks. We thought we had that covered. There are some patterns: Truth is, everyone wants more of For every five of you who demand everything they like, less of everymore aircraft stories, there are five thing else! who ask for less aircraft. For every You see our quandary. There are five who want only tanks, five more only so many pages (yes, we know say they’ll cancel their subscription if you want more of those, too) and
only so many issues. Our solution remains to offer a variety of topics throughout the year – and a new one starts shortly. It’s not a perfect system. But that’s why we send the surveys. And please keep answering them. Invariably, we also have one or two “Aha” moments as we decipher each survey. The best is when a topic you suggest is already set to be in the next issue. You’re welcome!
P.S. That spiffy logo above celebrates our bringing you 35 years of awesome models and modeling know how. It’ll lead you to a number of special stories throughout 2017.
Off the sprue: What was your first car?
Editor Mark Savage msavage@Kalmbach.com
Senior Editor Aaron Skinner askinner@FineScale.com
Associate Editor Mark Hembree mhembree@FineScale.com
Assistant Editor Elizabeth Nash enash@FineScale.com
Editorial Associate Monica Freitag mfreitag@FineScale.com
A beautiful coppercolored 1971 Plymouth Duster. Bare bones, no carpet, no radio, and what me and my buddies called 4-70 A/C. Open two under-dash vents and crack open the two flip-out rear windows. Then drive 70 mph!
A 1992 Toyota Hilux 4x4 dual cab. Virtually unstoppable, this thing took me a lot of places, including deep into Kakadu National Park (Australia) and my favorite place, Fraser Island.
A 1961 Chrysler Newport, sky blue with a surface like the moon. At 70+ mph the fins would whistle. MPG? Sure it got MPG! You had to cross the wires in the steeringwheel hub to sound the horn.
My bright gold ‘97 Ford Mustang (named Sally, of course) was beautiful and temperamental. Prone to 360-degree spins, she wouldn’t drive unless it was 75 degrees and sunny. But she sure was pretty.
An olive green 1969 Ford Galaxy 500. I learned to drive in that car and had my first accident in that beast! My dad was teaching me how to drive in a park and tried to reach his left leg over mine to hit the brake. We hit a little tree!
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6 FineScale Modeler January 2017
Your voice in FSM
A brighter Future around the world
these pieces of equipment looks and imagine them as pieces of military equipment. Granted, the tracks aren’t quite the same. But this will still give you a good reference as to where mud collects and where it doesn’t due to the equipment’s movement. It also will show where rust occurs. It’s not a perfect comparison, but it’s pretty darn close.
For many years I read about the wonderful properties of Future floor polish without being able to find it here in Australia. I read with interest Mark Hembree’s article in the November issue, “In the past, it was Future,” which explained that the product is now referred to as Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish, or PFM. I – Randy Lawson Pleasant Hill, Calif. was, however, disappointed that the list of international product equivalents didn’t It takes all kinds to make a hobby include Australia. One thing that I love about our About a year ago, I found somehobby is the variety of careers thing at a Bunnings home-improve“The we modelers have, from brickment store that seems to be similar. For the benefit of all those Aussies M48A3 layer — like me — to dentist, car still scratching their heads about tank is dealer, welder, rocket scientist, race car driver, etc. Future, or PFM, try using Pascoe’s near When talking with others at Long Life Self-Shining Floor and shows or hobby shops, I generally Polish. It’s about $10 AUD for a 1-liter bottle, and $40 AUD for 5 dear to ask what they do for a living. Rarely do I hear the same vocation liters. my twice. Model building brings people Hope this helps! heart.” together who probably would never Congratulations on a fine cross paths otherwise, from geeks — magazine that goes beyond like me — to bodybuilders. Gotta love mentioning the techniques used this hobby. in building a particular model and actually Thank you very much for your magashows how they are applied. Well done. – Rafael Rodríguez zine. I love poring over every article. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia – Brian Miller Selinsgrove, Pa.
Finding tracks in your hometown I have been reading the ongoing debate on weathering tracks on military armor and wanted to offer some advice. How many of us really have access to full-size military armor? I know the answer to that: almost none of us. But how many of us have access to track-driven construction equipment, whether it’s a dozer, track loader, or an excavator? I’ll bet nearly everyone has some type of construction going on within driving distance of their home or job. You may not be able to go on-site, but you can probably see the equipment from close enough to get some kind of an idea. Take a look at how the mud and wear on
Modeling what you know I liked Aaron Skinner’s article on improving Dragon’s M48A3 in the September issue. The cover picture was impressive and I particularly liked the track. An accumulation of dirt and wear, but no rust, is quite realistic. The M48A3 tank is near and dear to my heart. The article brought back memories of when I trained with and handled the tank in my military days. I have built a good number of that tank with the old Tamiya kit for myself and friends. Now I’ll have to try the Dragon kit. – Ernest Brown Aurora, Colo.
A fitting tribute In the last two years I’ve built four tribute dioramas featuring Mr. Eldon Stolpe, a 93-year-old World War II veteran who served in the Ninth Air Force. The dioramas are of the four planes he often serviced in England: the P-51 Mustang, P-47 Thunderbolt, B-25 Mitchell, and the B-24J Liberator. The last one is featured in a scene from the D-Day invasion, and the others are those he helped build in a San Diego manufacturing plant. This photo was taken when he received my “Final Approach” B-24J at his home in Sioux City, Iowa. – Robert Pierson Dakota Dunes, S.D. Ed: “Final Approach” is featured on the cover and p. 20.
Now at www.FineScale.com Modeling smoke and fire Want to see more of Robert Pierson’s dramatic B-24J seen on p. 20? Details of the build and diorama are in “Online Extras” under the About Us tab.
Free desktop wallpaper Download a wallpaper of Attack Hobby’s 1/72 scale Grumman F2F built by Paul Boyer for Workbench Reviews and featured on p. 56 of this issue.
New Product Videos Want to know about a kit before you buy? Aaron Skinner and Elizabeth Nash host a twicemonthly video review of the newest models where they open the boxes to show what’s inside.
SCALE TALK lack of accurate seated pilot figures is exactly why my cockpits are “empty.” When is the last time we saw a seated 1/72 scale pilot figure included in a new kit? If memory serves me right, it was back in the 1980s. At that time, several manuafacturers did include pilots, but they were poorly done. After many years of modeling, I have used up all of my good 1/72 scale Monogram figures. I would rather leave my cockpits empty than put a crudely-constructed lump of plastic in the pilot seat.
Building the long-awaited Texas Is it realistic without a pilot? I enjoyed the article by Carl Knable in the November issue on converting an F-16 for Israeli service. But I wonder why he finished the model as a drone aircraft? It’s posed flying with a clever PETG rod stand, but there are no pilots aboard. After all that effort to be accurate and realistic, how could he miss something so obvious? Seriously, we need a good source of seated pilots in several scales and eras to fill
8 FineScale Modeler January 2017
– Mike Canty Bloomsburg, Pa.
Three cheers for Trumpeter’s USS Texas, and four cheers for FSM and the build article in the October issue. I grew up in Houston and have been on the Texas many times. Wanting to model it, I tried an early resin kit that was the worst I ever had! Excellent resin kits came later but were too pricey. So when I discovered Trumpeter’s Texas, I jumped at it. I have started work, following Bill Plunk’s lead. Once again, FSM comes to my help. Keep it up!
Carl Knable’s response: Mike’s comments on
– Jacob Eige Raleigh, N.C.
the cockpits of our model aircraft. They provide a good sense of scale for the aircraft better than anything else. For example, an F-18B/C is larger than an F-4. It doesn’t seem that way without a pilot. I think seated pilots are so important that I asked for more of them in FSM’s “Most Wanted Kits” survey.
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Found: ’59 Plymouth In the November issue, Carl Sardaro asked where he could find a ’59 Plymouth. One was produced as a dealer promotion by Jo-Han. A majority of my collection is promotional models like my ’59 Plymouth (pictured above). It is anything but minimal in detail. True, it doesn’t have an engine, common
with promotional models, but Jo-Han was noted for the intricate detail in emblems, dashboard details, etc. The car in good condition is somewhat rare and can be valued in excess of $100 by collectors. This is one of my favorites in my car collection. – Tom Gore St. John, Ind.
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NEW PRODUCTS Compiled by Monica Freitag & Aaron Skinner
Recon shows ICM Uhu crammed with detail With skinny twin booms and largely glass crew compartment, the Focke-Wulf Fw 189 is attractive. More than 800 of the maneuverable reconnaisance aircraft were built, and the Uhu (eagle-owl) as it was known was used extensively on the Eastern Front in World War II.
Typical of Ukrainian manufacter ICM’s recent aircraft kits, this new-tool 1/72 scale Fw 189 (No. 72291) features terrific moldings with fine recessed panel lines and fasteners. Raised details such as the wing-root walkways look good, but ribs on the control surfaces seems exageratted.
Detail marks the floor and walls of the cockpit, which has seats, controls, radio equipment, instruments, and plenty of ammunition for two sharply molded machine guns. The kit’s numerous clear parts have well-defined frames that should make masking a cinch.
Kit Series. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.
Decals provide markings for three Luftwaffe planes; no Swastikas are included. Available from Squadron, the kit costs $46.99. More info: www.icm.com.ua.
ARMOR KITS 1/35 SCALE
SR-71A Blackbird Bododian Express from Hasegawa, No. HSGS0217, $47.99.
Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero Type 52 Super Ace from Hasegawa, No. 08245, $72.99.
1/48 SCALE Multicar M-22 from Plus Model, No. 458, $93.30. Features 65 resin parts, photoetch and decals for three versions. Area-88 F-18A Tomcat Micky Scymon from Hasegawa, No. 64744, $84.99.
Russian Naval fighter Sukhoi SU-33 ”Flanker-D” from Zvezda, No. 7297, $29.95.
Mitsubishi G3M3 Type 96 attack bomber “Nell” from Hasegawa, No. 02218, $47.99. Junkers Ju 88A-5 Eastern Front from
M60A3 Patton main battle tank from AFV
Hasegawa, No. 07446, $94.99.
Club, No. AF35249, $74.99.
Kawanishi H8K2 Type 2 Flying Boat from Hasegawa, No. 01575, $129.99.
King Tiger SdKfz.182 Porsche turret with Zimmerit from Takom, No. 2046, $79.99. Look JGSDF Observation Helicopter OH-1 Ninja
B-52G Stratofortress from Italeri, No. 1378,
from Aoshima, No. 01434, $28. Military Model
10 FineScale Modeler January 2017
for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.
SHIP KITS 1/350 SCALE
King Tiger SdKfz.182 Henschel turret with Zimmerit from Takom, No. 2045, $79.99.
Russian main battle tank T-72B3 from Meng, No. TS-028, $84.99. Tyrannosaurus Series.
French pre-dreadnought battleship Danton from HobbyBoss, No. 86503, $58.49.
German Sub U-boat ACES Part 2 (4 kits) from Hasegawa, No. 30040, $29.99.
KV-220 Russian Tiger super heavy tank from Trumpeter, No. 5553, $64.95. Over 220 parts, including photo-etch.
PzKpfw. VI Ausf. B Kunigstiger with Henschel turret late production from ICM, No. 35363, $69.99. WWII German heavy tank.
Japanese Navy Battleship Mikasa full hull from Hasegawa, No. 43170, $67.99.
FIGURE KITS 1/24 SCALE Thunder Spirit Western Style Indian girl from ICM, No. MB24019, $14.95.
Russian ZSU-57-2 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun from Trumpeter, No. 5559, $76.95. 540 parts, including copper cable, individual track links and photo-etch.
M3 Stuart light tank from Italeri, No. 15761, $25.99.
U.S. self-propelled 155mm M40 gun from Trumpeter, No. 35351, $93.
Union Infantry - American Civil War from Italeri, No. 6177, $10.99.
Soviet assault gun ISU-152 from Zvezda,
Confederate Infantry - American Civil War
No. 6207. Contact your local dealer for price information.
from Italeri, No. 6178, $10.99.
LMV Lince United Nations from Italeri, No. 6535, $51.99. www.FineScale.com
NEW PRODUCTS Spotlight
Tough vehicle looks like an easy build Unlike the popular military Humvee, kits of the civilian Hummer have been scarce until now. Mengâ€™s 1/24 scale H1 (No. CS-002) is a detailed replica of the big, tough truck produced from 1992-2006. Molded in color, the kit includes a detailed chassis, suspension, and drivetrain,
including an engine with transmission and transfer case. The gear hubs sandwich polycaps that will leave the wheels movable. Nicely molded rubber tires slip over the hubs. Inside are four bucket seats, a sharp instrument panel and center console with decal dials, ridges on the bed, seat belt
attachments on the roof and floor, visors, and even a rearview mirror. The body comprises several parts including a movable hood and passenger doors. Photo-etched grilles dress up the engine and self-adhesive reflectors give the mirrors
realism. The color instructions show three body colors and decals provide badges. More info: www.meng-model.com.
Maschinen Krieger 44 Type MK44 Hammerknight from Hasegawa, No. 64110, $64.99.
MechatroWeGo No. 3 Retro from
Stearman Kaydet Collection from
Luftwaffe fighter Reconnaissance
Xtradecal, No. X72258, $8.75.
from Xtradecal, No. X72257, $8.75.
Hasegawa, No. 64745, $37.99.
Polaris A3 from Belcher Bits, No. BL15, $27. Includes decal markings.
Dassault Mirage F.1 Part 2 from Xtradecal, No. X72254, $10.45.
AIRCRAFT DECALS 1/48 SCALE
Trident D5 from Belcher Bits, No. BL16, $27. Includes painting instructions.
AIRCRAFT DETAILS 1/48 SCALE Ladder for F-104 Stearman Kaydet Collection from
Luftwaffe fighter Reconnaissance
Xtradecal, No. X48168, $10.50.
from Xtradecal, No. X48167, $8.75.
from Plus Model, No. AL4061, $10.
Ladder for F4 Phantom II from Plus Model, No. AL4050, $10.
F-16A La Vipera from TwoBobs Aviation Graphics, No. 48-252, $14.
Minuteman II from Belcher Bits, No. BL17, $27. Includes painting instructions and display markings. Minuteman III from Belcher Bits, No. BL18, $27. Includes painting instructions and display markings. British missile Beaufighter from Plus Model, No. AL7017, $9.70. British missile Hurricane from Plus Model, No. AL7016, $9.70.
Ladder for F15 I
More at www.FineScale.com Get an in-depth look at many of the books featured in FSM in the Products section of www.FineScale.com. 12 FineScale Modeler January 2017
from Plus Model, No. AL4060, $10.
1/35 SCALE M40 metal gun barrel set from Tamiya, No.
Ladder for Su-27 from Plus Model, No. AL4062, $10.
AFV Photo Album Volume 2: Armoured Fighting Vehicle on Czechoslovakian Territory 1945,
M50 Ontos and M56 Scorpion 1956-1970 - US Tank Destroyers of the Vietnam War, $18,
$49.99, hard cover, 176 pages, all black-andwhite photos, ISBN: 978-91-982325-2-3. From Stevens International.
by Kenneth W. Estes, soft cover, 48 pages, all black-and-white photos, ISBN: 978-14728-1473-9. From Osprey Publishing.
M60A2 Main Battle Tank In Detail Volume 2, $34.99, by Chris Mrosko, Brett Avants, soft cover, 126 pages, all color photos, ISBN: 978-09973774-3-9. From Sabot Publications.
He 162 Volksgager Units, $23, by Robert Forsyth, soft cover, 96 pages, black-andwhite photos, ISBN: 978-1-4728-1457-9. From Osprey Publishing.
The Gladius - The Roman Short Sword, $20, by M.C. Bishop, soft cover, 80 pages, all black-andwhite photos, ISBN: 978-1-4728-1585-9. From Osprey Publishing.
Operation MarketGarden 1944 (2) The British Airborne Missions, $24, by Ken Ford, illustrated by Graham Turner, soft cover, 96 pages, all black-and-white photos, ISBN: 978-14728-1430-2. From Osprey Publishing.
Lockheed Blackbird - Beyond the Secret Missions, $50, by
Luftwaffe Fighter Force - View from the Cockpit, $16, by
Paul F. Crickmore, hard cover, 472 pages, all color photos, ISBN: 978-1-47281523-1. From Osprey Publishing.
David C. Isby, soft cover, 238 pages, ISBN: 978-1-84832985-0. From Pen & Sword Books Limited.
The Thames 1813, $24, by John F. Winkler, soft cover, 96 pages, all black-andwhite photos, ISBN: 978-1-4728-1433-3. From Osprey Publishing.
Deborah and the War of the Tanks 1917, $44.95, by John A. Taylor, hard cover, 304 pages, ISBN: 978-1-47384834-4. From Pen & Sword Books Limited.
Navies in the 21st Century, $35, by
Worldwide Military No. 6 from Aero
Conrad Waters, hard cover, 256 pages, all black-and-white photos, ISBN: 978-147384-991-4. From Pen & Sword Books Limited.
Research Co., No. 1067, $12.95.
World War II Croatian Legionaries: Croatian Troops Under Axis Command 1941-45, $18, by Vladimir Brnardic, soft cover, 48 pages, all blackand-white photos, ISBN: 978-1-47281767-9. From Osprey Publishing.
Tempest Squadrons of the RAF, $23, by Chris Thomas, soft cover, 96 pages, all black-and-white photos, ISBN: 978-1-47281454-8. From Osprey Publishing.
Bazooka vs. Panzer - Battle of the Bulge 1944, $20, by Steven J. Zaloga, soft cover, 80 pages, all blackand-white photos, ISBN: 978-1-47281249-0. From Osprey Publishing.
FORM & FIGURE By Joe Hudson
Painting female skin Thin layers and glazes produce a smooth, soft complexion
I always find myself going back and forth with glazes or touchups to try and get it to where I’m satisfied. One thing to remember: You will never get it perfect. But if you can get it to where you are happy, you have won the battle!
ainting male figures, I lay in heavy shadows and highlights, then blend them. I can create or emphasize facial structure with the different shades. The same approach on female figures produces a really hard look, the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. Using glazes instead keeps transitions softer, and I simply adjust the glaze for deeper effects. That’s why I start with a base color close to the initial shade you want, allowing the glazes to enhance the flesh. The key is to keep the paints and layers thin! It takes me on average five or six layers per color. Here, I will be painting female skin tones on Nocturna’s 70mm Battle Chick (No. NS01), a resin figure from the Necrospace range. It appears to have been sculpted digitally, so before painting I had to smooth out a few spots where the layering was apparent. The post-apocalyptic warrior gave me a chance to use bright colors for clothes and weapons. 14 FineScale Modeler January 2017
Paints used Vallejo Model Color beige red (70.804) Vallejo Model Color Purple (70.959) Vallejo Game Air Red Terracotta (72.772) Vallejo Game Air Flesh (72.769) Vallejo Game Air Pale Flesh (72.703) Vallejo Game Air Squid Pink (72.713) Vallejo Nocturna Purple Shadow (74.011)
Next issue The eyes have it as Joe demonstrates techniques on Moebius’ 1/8 scale Penguin.
1 After cleaning and priming the resin, I applied a base coat of beige red mixed with a little purple shadow. I built up multiple thin layers with a fine brush on details such as the nose …
4 A fine brush defined edges of flesh areas, such as the collar of the warrior’s shirt, before I filled in the back of her neck with the base coat.
7 I brushed the same shadow glazes into the armpits, along the edge of the collar, and between the breasts.
10 To define the lips, I painted them with a glaze of red terracotta. A thin line of straight red terracotta on the underside of the upper lip separated them.
2 … and a larger brush for wide areas such as the cheeks, neck, and chest. The large brush minimizes brush strokes. I blocked in the face to give an idea of highlights and shadows.
5 For a gentler transition, I apply shadows differently on women. I applied thin glazes of red terracotta paint thinned with water under the chin and eyes and along the hairline.
8 The first highlights were a mix of the base coat and beige red. Remember to keep this mix and any other highlight shades thin.
11 Next, I deepened shadows in the warrior’s armpits, around her neck, and between her breasts with a thicker red terracotta glaze.
3 I repeated the process on the arms and legs. Here you can see the layered effects of the many thin paint applications. The goal is a uniform shade.
6 The tip of a fine brush is the perfect tool to better define the nose with red terracotta shadow glazes.
9 I brushed straight beige red onto the most prominent areas of the nose, cheeks, upper lip, and chin to further brighten highlights.
12 Boosting highlights, I added flesh to red beige and painted it as a glaze onto cheeks, nose, brow, shoulders, and more. This orange-peach shade adds life to the skin. www.FineScale.com
When adding highlights, brush with the shapes; on the bosom, I used the color to emphasize curves. It looks messy now, but subsequent glazes blend the layers.
In line with my decision to make her hair and gun purple (because why not), I applied thin glazes of purple eye shadow.
After glazing the lips with purple, I added a little squid pink to make them look slightly moist. Thin glazes of squid pink livened up her nose and cheekbone highlights, too.
I continued the shadow and highlight process on the rest of the figure to further define armpits …
… shoulders …
… and elbows, as well as the back of the neck and legs. This was a continuous back and forth process with glazes until I achieved the desired appearance. FSM
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AIRBRUSHING & FINISHING By Mike Grant
Masking the Black Falcon’s triplane Ace finishing for a movie villain’s fighter
lyboys (2006) was not a box-office success, Eduard released kits of several Flyboys fighters, but many aircraft enthusiasts enjoyed the including Black Falcon’s triplane, in 1/72 rather flying sequences. Carousel 1 (no longer in than 1/48 scale. Studying stills from the movie, I business) offered five 1/48 scale die-cast metal decided most of the markings could be masked replicas of Nieuport 17s and Fokker Dr.1s in and painted. The black-on-white falcon insignia markings from the movie. A friend of mine in could be resized from Eduard’s 1/72 scale triplane and produced as decals on a laser printer Philadelphia acquired four of these, but the last along with the serial number. I set to work buildone — a black Fokker Dr.1 flown by the archvillain the “Black Falcon” — was hard to find. To ing the model using Eduard’s Weekend Edition 1/48 scale Fokker Dr.1 (No. 8492). surprise him, I built a model to fill the gap.
1 Even out of the box, the kit’s cockpit shows adequate detail, considering how little is actually visible on the completed model. Thin black and brown artist’s oil washes emphasize detail.
4 After airbrushing engine parts with Alclad II polished aluminum, I brushed Humbrol brass (64) on the induction pipes. Black and brown washes added oily grime.
7 Removing the masks revealed a laminated propeller. Eduard provided tiny manufacturer decals for the blades, a nice finishing touch.
10 Tamiya’s Masking Sticker Sheets are 7" x 9.5" pieces of kabuki tape that can be run through a laser printer. I printed the artwork as fine black outlines, making it easy to see and cut out the individual markings with a knife. 18 FineScale Modeler January 2017
2 A surprise in the kit was Eduard’s Super Fabric seat belts, which are printed and die-cut onto flexible sheet. I peeled off the individual components, draped them over the seat, and attached them with white glue.
5 I base-coated the propeller with pale cream. Then, burnt umber oil paint was brushed on; I left visible brush strokes for wood grain. Once the prop dried, I airbrushed it with Tamiya clear orange (X-26) to seal the layers.
8 Painting the plane’s white markings over gloss black would have required multiple coats, so I painted the white areas first. Tamiya white (X-2) airbrushes superbly, and its hard, glossy finish helped the masks adhere.
11 Using the ribs for alignment and symmetry, I pressed the homemade masks into position on the wings.
3 Once the cockpit was complete, including the tubular frame, I installed it in the fuselage halves. Locating the parts required extra care as even a minor misalignment would have interfered with the fit of the middle wing.
6 I applied narrow strips of tape and misted on a mix of Tamiya clear orange, Citadel brown ink, and Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish from an airbrush. The transparent glaze raises the wood grain.
9 I could have hand-drawn the artwork, but using a computer drawing program ensured precision and symmetry. The sizes of the wing, fuselage, and rudder crosses were determined by measuring the kit parts.
12 The printed 1mm grid on the Tamiya sheet made it easy to cut 5mm-wide strips to mask the horizontal stabilizers.
A yellow fuselage stripe added a dash of color to the Black Falcon’s otherwise black-andwhite triplane. I airbrushed Tamiya lemon yellow (X-8) over the white base coat, then added masking tape.
I taped off the fuselage stripes parallel to the edge of the rear deck. Ready for the final step, I airbrushed Tamiya gloss black (X-1) mixed with Tamiya lacquer thinner, which helps the paint spray beautifully and dry quickly.
All of the masks performed perfectly except this one on the lower port wing, where some paint bled past the tape. Retouching with white made things worse, so I stripped the wing and repeated the entire process.
The Black Falcon art for the fuselage was taken from the instruction sheet of the 1/72 scale kit that I downloaded from Eduard’s website. After resizing them, I laser-printed the images on clear decal film.
From Master I purchased a pair of Spandau machine-gun barrels (AM-48-035), comprising perforated cooling jackets, turned-brass barrels, and a tiny photo-etched fret.
Compared to the exquisite detail of Master’s parts, the kit’s gun breeches looked basic. But painted black, lightly dry-brushed with dark gray, and mounted ahead of the cockpit, they really looked sharp.
Interplane struts received the same faux-wood treatment as the prop. I painted the metal brackets with silver enamel.
It is difficult to keep track of parts off the sprue, especially similar-looking but crucially different components. Clips held the pieces for painting, and I wrote part numbers on masking tape labels to prevent mix-ups.
Aligning the separate landing gear struts simultaneously proved impossible. So, I traced the location holes onto a piece of clear acetate and drilled them out. Now, I could see and align all four struts easily.
22 EZ Line was used for rigging. The finished model had to travel thousands of miles from Calgary, Alberta, Canada to Gettysburg, Pa., so I figured EZ Line’s flexibility maximized the chance it would arrive in one piece.
My friend was extremely pleased: “Been looking for it for years in die-cast, but yours is so much better in terms of details.” FSM
Modeling smoke and flames Ignite your modeling with rayon fiber and LED tea lights /// BY ROBERT PIERSON
Liberator down! Dramatic angles and creative effects brace Monogramâ€™s 1/48 scale B-24J for a crash in Robertâ€™s diorama.
The flickering LED lights include white “candles” with flame-like covers and a base with mini-stereo plugs to recharge them. I need to take it all apart to fit the model.
Gentle pressure popped the plugs loose from the plastic base. I was careful to avoid breaking the fine wires and soldered connections.
hen I began this project, I wanted to build a dramatic diorama. I envisioned a B-24J returning from a mission mortally damaged after encountering heavy flak and an Fw 190’s 20mm cannons. I wanted to portray it plunging into the English Channel a few miles short of its home base with two engines in flames. To do that, I needed a way to represent fire and smoke realistically.
Shot down in flames Browsing the aisles of a craft store, I came across a set of rechargeable LED tea lights (votive candles) for $25, 1. I thought I
Padded feet camouflaged the screws holding the recharging base together. I peeled them off and removed the screws to get to the parts inside.
One of the boards was surplus to my needs, so I separated them by clipping the wire between them.
could dismantle a couple of the lights and use the components to simulate raging fires in the stricken engine nacelles. To power the scene, I needed to disassemble the charging base and mount the components in the base. I peeled the rubber pads from the underside, then removed the screws they covered, 2. Next, I detached the three circuit boards from the base and carefully pried them up with a flat screwdriver, 3. Be careful to avoid damaging the soldered wire and circuit connections. I only needed one panel of charging ports, so I cut connecting wires, 4, but left a panel connected to the central board, 5.
I flipped the central circuit over the charging strip and attached it to the upper side of the plastic base with one of the pins inserted into a hole in the reverse of the original position, 6. I initially thought I’d use two ports to charge the candles outside the model. I changed my mind, deciding to charge them inside the engines to avoid disturbing the fiberfill smoke. Before moving on, I checked the unit to ensure it hadn’t been damaged.
Light my fire I started by removing the “flames” from the candles. I used one votive per engine, but I can imagine using more for a larger, more www.FineScale.com
That left a board with three prongs and the central control board.
After flipping the white plastic cover, I inserted the pin through one of the holes and screwed the central control board to the middle of the case. That left a stable, convenient length of charging ports.
Removing the covers from two of the candles revealed circuit boards, batteries, and a pair of LEDs. I gently bent the bulbs so they lay parallel to the board.
intense fire, especially in a burning armor scene. After disassembling each base, I carefully cut the base of the flames with a motor tool to reveal the bulb and its associated circuit board. Wear a protective ventilator and eye protection when cutting. Now for the scary part: I bent the bulb elements so they sat in the engine and the flames would be oriented correctly. Using caution, I gingerly and slowly bent the bulb and its wire into position, 7. Then, I tested the bulb unitâ€™s fit in the engine nacelles, 8, then anchored it with Blu-Tack poster
But what about the Liberator? Learn how Robert built the B-24, including battle damage, as well as the trawler, at www.FineScale.com/OnlineExtras.
I replaced the flame-shaped diffusers over the bulbs and tested everything to be sure it was working.
putty. This allows leeway to adjust the overcharging them or you risk damaging alignment and makes it easy to remove the the batteries, according to the instructions. light if it needs to be replaced. I positioned You donâ€™t have to use the white plastic the charging port and switch at the top of flame over the bulb; a brighter, more the nacelles for accessibility and convefocused glow results without it. I used the nience, 9. covers to diffuse and spread the glow, but To disguise the electronics, I painted the painted them with Tamiya clear red and circuit board and battery Tamiya flat black. clear orange acrylics paints. It looks good, To kick it up a notch, I applied but the trade-off is the Ammo of Mig Jimenez fuel loss of a little brightness. With planning stains to the entire unit and I smell smoke inside the nacelle, 10. Most and patience, Adding plumes of black of this work was hidden by you can create and gray smoke to the the fiberfill smoke I added fire and smoke nacelles was the easy part. I later. to serve as a used inexpensive rayon I charged each unit for fiberfill, which can be found about four hours, which captivating in craft stores and is used for allows them to run for focal point in pillows. It works great for around 10 hours. Avoid
your next build.
22 FineScale Modeler January 2017
9 Poster putty anchors the bulb and circuitry in one of the B-24â€™s nacelles. The soft material allows the position to be refined easily.
10 I disguised the circuit and battery with black paint and painted the flame with a little Tamiya clear red and orange.
Rayon fiber, which makes pillows soft, is also the perfect material for smoke billows. I teased it into a cloud and trimmed stray threads.
Airbrushing black and gray acrylics allowed me to control the shades of smoke in the plumes.
Keeping the density of the colors uneven and allowing a little of the white fiber to show adds depth to the smoke.
Hairspray tames flyaways in manes and flames, but use it sparingly so as to not saturate the rayon. www.FineScale.com
Meet Robert Pierson
15 Time to style: The hairspray will help the rayon hold its shape as I apply gentle pressure to refine the billows.
Now a semiretired family-law attorney in South Dakota, Robert loved AMT street rods and dragsters. “I would often chop the tops off these car kits, using plastic wood, of all things, to reattach them,” he says. “What a mess.” His interests moved to ships, including Lindberg’s motorized PT boat, which went to the bottom of the bathtub during a mission, before settling on his current focus: German aircraft and armor, preferably in 1/32 and 1/35 scale. His other hobbies include nature photography, bow hunting, target shooting, and attending classic British sports car shows, especially those with Triumph TR6s.
Just a trim: I used fine scissors to remove stray fibers, smooth the edges, and make the smoke neat and presentable.
I test-fitted the smoke a couple of times during the process to be sure the shape matched the nacelle and engine. After painting the B-24J, I secured the smoke with thin scenic cement.
smoke as well as ocean swirls and wakes if you are building a ship diorama. After removing a section of rayon from the package, I carefully stretched it and trimmed away strings and strands, 11. My goal was a shape that looked like a smoke billow. I recommend creating two or three plumes, rather than one, to avoid too uniform an appearance — what I call the “child’s colored ring stack or ice cream cone look.” Variety in the color and shape of the plumes adds realism. I painted plumes with both spray-can and airbrushed flat black, 12. Both worked well, but it’s easy to saturate the fibers with the spray cans. So, I like the airbrush for the ease of control. I kept the black uneven, letting gray and white show; not only did that add depth, but the light from the LEDs shows better 24 FineScale Modeler January 2017
in the lighter area, 13. While the paint was still slightly damp, I compressed the plumes with my fingers to neaten the edges and eliminate curls and frizz. These detract from the realism and give away the rayon origin of the smoke.
No, it’s hairspray To fix the shape of the plumes, I sprayed them with hairspray, in this case inexpensive AquaNet Extra Super Hold. Spray soft, short bursts 3-4" from the fibers, 14. I only depressed the button about ⅔ of the way each time; do not fully depress the nozzle or you’ll get droplets in
the fibers. If that happens, gently blot them away with a paintbrush. Then I lightly compressed the fibers to soften the edges and shape the plume, 15. Scissors removed flyaways, 16. I test-fitted the smoke plumes on the engine nacelles. Once I was satisfied with the positions, I attached them to the model with I built this diluted scenic cement, 17. diorama as a gift I tried supporting the for a 93-year-old smoke with wire, but that 9th Army showed. The hairspray Air Force firms it enough to lock it in place for the display. WWII veteran: Once the model was finEldon Stolpe of ished, I fired up the LEDs. Sioux City, Iowa. The result looks very much like engines on fire. FSM [See photo on p. 7]
Panther killer Kitbashing an accurate 75mm HMC M8 /// BY COOKIE SEWELL
Cookie used four kits and savvy scratchbuilding to model a Howitzer Motor Carriage M8 and ammunition trailer the way he wanted. But it was worth the trouble to tell the story of how a Stuart-based M8 stood toe-to-toe with a German Panther tank — and won!
here are times when you come across a story you know is true but still can’t believe — such as a Stuart-based assault gun taking out a German Panther. But as implausible as it seems, that one is backed up by the U.S. National Archives and a Presidential Unit Citation. About 20 years ago, my wife and I were at the National Archives in College Park, Md., researching the combat history of Staff Sgt. Lafayette Pool, 3rd Armored Division, who was possibly America’s topscoring tanker in World War II. While perusing the files of the 32nd Armor Regiment (Pool’s unit), I came across the typed input of a recommendation for a
Distinguished Unit Citation for the Reconnaissance Co., 32nd Armored Regiment, regarding actions taken near Mons, Belgium, on Sept. 3-4, 1944. Central to the recommendation was the destruction of a German Panther — by a 75mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M8! It was more than enough to inspire a model.
Planning the build Forty years ago, Tamiya released a kit of the HMC M8 based on its then-new M5A1. The turret was nicely done, and a simple interior was included, but Tamiya reused its M3 Stuart molds for the lower hull and tracks, rather than making a correct new hull pan and suspension. The result was a scale foot short; while the front end of the M5A1 and M8 were accurate, the compressed engine compartment made the tank look toylike. About 12 years ago, AFV Club released new U.S. light tank kits, including an M3A3, an early M5A1, and a late M5A1, plus workable T16 and T36E3 track sets www.FineScale.com
ValueGear resin bundles
After losing the original parts, I dug up spare taillights and made guards from styrene L beam.
AFV Club graft Styrene L girder
Drilled-out visor port
I cut the floor from the Tamiya kit and put in the AFV Club hull. Styrenestrip fillets faired it in.
The Tamiya hull roof part was nearly a drop-fit. I extended the rear with strip styrene and used styrene L girder for the deflector.
The modified Tamiya glacis, widened with strip styrene and with a graft from the AFV Club for the join: I drilled out the right-side visor for a replacement.
The sheet-styrene liner inside the glacis with notches at the edges fit the AFV Club bow: Some TLC and filing ensured it would mate with the roof.
for M3/M5 vehicles. These were all dimensionally accurate. However, a proper M8 kit did not appear. There are aftermarket resin kits you can use to convert the M5A1 to an M8, although they can be costly and hard to find. But because I already had an AFV Club late M5A1, an AFV Club single-link T16 rubber track set, and two Tamiya M8s
to play with, I decided to try my own conversion. I also had a Tiger Model Designs resin kit of the M8’s ammunition trailer (an M8 carried 46 rounds, and the trailer held another 93). Armor expert and modeler Steve Zaloga had M8 interior photos plus some action shots. With these and other references, I decided to give it a try.
Sources Howitzer Motor Carriage M8 (two), No. 35110, Tamiya, www.tamiya.com M5A1 Stuart light tank (late production), No. 35151, AFV Club, www.afvclub.com.tw M5/M8 T16 workable track kit, No. 35019, AFV Club
The AFV Club kit comes prepared for an M8 conversion, as the glacis and front hull top are separate and lower-hull detail is present; Tamiya’s glacis is part of the hull. Tamiya’s interior is greatly simplified, planned to be beneath a turret. But the hull floor is useful. By carefully trimming the sides, you can fit it to the AFV Club hull. The Tamiya mold provides an open driver’s visor with the glacis, but I opened up the co-driver’s visor as well (easy when you have two kits and don’t have to make the second part). There was no driver’s station in the Tamiya kit; with the open visors, that would have to be added. The ammunition trailer was not a problem; I had only to fit the trailer’s towing lunette (hitch) to the M8’s tow hook.
M8 ammo trailer, No. 353001, Tiger Model Designs, www.newtmd.com
Construction U.S. machine gun set, No. 1394, Academy, academy.co.kr U.S. tank crew, Northwest Europe, 1944, No. 6054, Dragon, www.dragon-models.com
26 FineScale Modeler January 2017
I started with the trailer; Tiger’s kit went together quickly. I accidently lost the taillights and their guards when I dropped it (we all have off days!) and had to replace them, 1. Unless you want to pack the trailer
Here’s one of the track-connector sprues with the pads glued in place. Make sure they are level (parallel to the bottom of the connector) and facing the same direction.
Now the track is coming together. When connecting the links, you can leave one connector attached to the sprue for easier handling.
The glacis interior completed: Note the two sets of steering controls (left one down, right one stowed) as well as the L-shaped levers for the visors.
with ammunition, leave its hatches closed. I topped off the trailer with two canvas bundles from Value Gear. Later, I used a razor saw to open the M5A1’s towing pintle and snapped it onto the M8’s lunette. I built the M5A1’s lower hull according to instructions, then took the two Tamiya interior sections and began cutting. They formed the center floor but were missing an extension that juts over the transmission for mounting the ammunition ready rack. I cut a section to shape from the second hull floor and spliced them, then fitted them to the hull with styrene-strip fillets, 2. The Tamiya roof and turret race are a pretty good fit, but a bit short at the rear. I added styrene strip to include a styrene L girder to match the M8 profile, 3. The Tamiya glacis must be cut off and
Spare parts grace the drivers’ compartment. The gear selector is for the M5A1’s automatic transmission. The portable fire extinguisher is always handy thing to have around.
modified to fit the AFV Club forward hull,
4. It also needs the AFV Club joint strip at
the bottom edge to be grafted onto it. This is the best way to get a good fit and the proper geometry between the roof and the glacis. It needed styrene strip at the sides to ensure proper width. I also cut out the right side view port by drilling four large holes and sawing the fixed one from the kit. I used a motor tool to burr the edges; liquid cement smoothed them. For simplicity’s sake, I glued a section of .010" styrene sheet inside the glacis, leaving room at the edges so it would fit the notches in the AFV Club hull, 5. I built the AFV Club suspension with no changes. But the AFV kit provides one-piece vinyl T36E3 tracks, and M8s used T16 tracks (flat rubber pads). So, I opted for the AFV
Club individual-link set. They are fiddly, to put it mildly: Cement one end to a link and let the other one hinge. This leaves them flexible, but far less likely to come apart! The easiest way is to cut off all the pads and trim them (a few strokes with a sanding stick cleans them up). The pads are then cemented to one link on the parts tree, ensuring all of them are going the same direction (they won’t work otherwise), 6. Once the link/connector sets are dry, cut them off and trim them (same for the extra connectors). Then, using a heavy styrene strip (.125" x .080") as a jig, cement a con-
More at www.FineScale.com Visit us to see the HMC M8 in action and get a closer look at its interior. www.FineScale.com
Interior showing the floor extension, left side ammo stowage, right side bins, and the two support pillars at the front. Styrene stock provided the junction box on the left side.
Completed ammo stowage assembly with 31 rounds in tubes. The dished tops are HE-FRAG; flat tops are WP/smoke. I saved this subassembly for later to make painting easier.
Making an artillery round is easy: Turn styrene rod at low speed and make sure you have enough to trim the shaped piece to length.
Not all of them turn out right, but the six finalists are now in their rack. They are loose, so they lean all over the place at this point.
The ready rack goes on the floor extension over the transmission. With interior elements in place, ensure that all items clear so the top fits properly on the hull.
The original Tamiya M8 turret, straight from the box. It was missing a lot, but was a good â€œmuleâ€? for test-fitting.
28 FineScale Modeler January 2017
16 Modified gun assembly: The new brace on the left side between the guards is apparent in photos, as are the manual trigger and automatic breech opener. From the right side, you can see new braces and breech handle, and the eyeshade for the gunner’s telescopic sight. Kadee coupler springs are just the thing for centering springs!
17 Initial turret assembly: The gun’s upper plate has been left off to add bolts to the trunnion brackets. Same for the rear roof section to permit fitting parts to the rear, such as the M1 carbines and a hydraulic fluid can and pump.
nector to the same side of an end as the one previously attached while trapping a second link between. You can make as many as you want this way (I do 10-12, then connect them), 7. Once the tracks were installed, I chipped up the pads with a cutting bit in a motor tool to show wear. M5s and M8s had overhead steering controls. I scratchbuilt these and the levers for the armored view covers. When not in use, the control levers clip to the glacis as shown on the co-driver’s side, 8. I scooped spare parts to detail the driver’s compartment, including two seats, a transmission, axles and brakes, a portable fire extinguisher, a gear selector (the M5A1 had an automatic transmission), and a base plate, 9. Then I added details inside the lower hull, 10. Thinly armored vehicles need supports to carry a heavy turret and gun, and the M8 had a pillar on each side behind the
drivers. I used styrene rod and added hex base mounts. Using .080" styrene tubing, I bolt heads sliced from Plastruct hex rod. I made 40 round containers; I mounted nine had to use a motor tool to mill out room in the proper sponson slot on the left side for the Tamiya turret race and mount to fit. of the hull. Each fits in a circular metal I mounted two .50-caliber ammo cans from foot, and the locking straps are made of an Academy machine-gun set as well as folding aluminum sections. The fire extinsome of the junction and fuse panels and guisher goes between the ammo storage wiring on the left side of the hull. Stowage areas. bins were fitted to the right side. The M8’s 75mm howitzer is a turretTamiya’s kit provides ammo stowage mounted version of the M1 pack howitzer, inside the hull, but it’s incorrect. Instead, 11 which does not share any of the M3 or rounds are stored on the right side, and 20 M4’s 75mm ammo. So, none of the ammuon the left, 11. I used styrene nition sets I had would tubes but filled them with do. But they were easy to sections of rod and milled make. I chucked segments the depressions found on of .080" rod in my motor most of the containers (they tool and, turning them at are pressed cardboard, as if low speed, used a sanding Factor by which they were big Daisy BB stick to shape the warheads’ a Panther tank tubes). I had some clear, ogives, 12. I needed six outweighed an rounds: pointed for HE, tinted styrene tubing that HMC M8 blunt for WP/smoke, 13. was the proper size for
Underside of the turret roof with the new hip ring for the .50 caliber installed as well as the detailed gun mount. The hip ring is trapped by styrene L girders to permit rotation.
Test-fitting the turret roof ensures it is flush.
Assembly is nearly complete. All front details are now in place, though some are yet to be glued. The lights have been drilled out for M.V. Products lenses.
Tools and stowage include four spare track links. Grousers from the M5A1 kit were used, but I made new racks from styrene L girder. Each two-piece grouser is installed in odd-even fashion.
There is a ready rack for six rounds (your choice!) which goes on the floor extension over the transmission. I made the rack from plastic scraps and C channel and used more of the tinted tubing for holders, 14. I tested all the interior assemblies in the hull to make sure they would fit along with the glacis and upper deck. I had to gouge a setback in the ammo storage on the left sponson to accommodate the Tamiya turret race I had added. Having verified all the
Thanks! To Steve Zaloga for the support and reference photos for the model, also to Timm Haasler for the detailed information on the short history of Panzer Brigade 105 and Panzer Abteilung 2105.
30 FineScale Modeler January 2017
fits, I proceeded to the turret.
Letâ€™s talk turret I had started to build one of the Tamiya M8s about 12 years ago, so I had a finished turret as a reference. A lot was either missing or wrong: key parts of the gun installation, turret storage, the reinforcement pillars inside the rear of the turret, stowage for small arms and grenades inside the turret, a can of hydraulic fluid, and stowage for two M1 carbines at the right rear. And, for some reason, Tamiya provided two HE rounds in a simulated rack, 15. Consulting other references, I modified or added parts, 16. I carefully bent the guards to the right profile and added new braces to each side in place of the kit braces. I made the trigger and breech opening from plastic scraps and rods, as well as two centering springs from Kadee HO scale
model railroad couplers. The telescopic sight was modified with a new eyeshade and forehead brace. Once the gun was installed in the turret and the basic parts assembled â€” periscopic sight, seats, race, sides and rear â€” I added further detail, 17. Two carbines were extracted from my spare parts (old Tamiya WWII weapons with clips removed). Ammo cans from the Academy machine-gun set were added at the rear of the turret, and bolt heads were sliced from Plastruct hex rod and added to the sides of the gun mount to replicate trunnion bolts. I added two support pillars, similar to those used in the hull, to the turret rear roof section. Other items include a rack for Thompson submachine-gun clips at the front left and grenade bins on the inside left of the turret. Hopefully, the details match the real deal. I removed the kit machine-gun hip ring
Scratch one Panther BY SEPTEMBER 1944, German forces were retreating in disarray while Allied forces were trying to block or eliminate them before they could reach the Siegfried Line and Germany. To that end, the U.S. 3rd Armored Division was deployed around Mons, Belgium, where the 32nd Armored Regiment was guarding key junctions west of town. On the morning of Sept. 4th, a German heavy tank was heard approaching as it led 150-200 foot soldiers. Vastly outgunned, American armored reconnaissance cars held their fire and were not detected. An HMC M8 also observed the Panther, yet it too escaped notice. The M8’s stubby 75mm howitzer could provide fire support — but it was no antitank weapon. Still, the American commander decided to attack before being discovered by a tank that could single-handedly decimate his entire company. He ordered an HE-FRAG round, and from about 150 yards the gunner succeeded in blowing
off the tank’s right track. At such close range, the report of the gun and the shell were virtually simultaneous and provided no direction. The German commander stopped and swung his turret from side to side, looking for the unseen assailant. The German troops had gone to the ground and, likewise, saw nothing. After a few tense minutes, the tank commander ordered the loader to get out and check the damage, probably figuring they had struck a mine. The loader opened the rear hatch of the turret to avoid silhouetting himself against the skyline. Incredulous, the American commander ordered his gunner to put an HE-FRAG round through the open hatch. That he did, and the Panther blew sky-high. The Germans behind the tank panicked and ran back down the road through a gantlet of small-arms fire from American reconnaissance elements. The U.S. National Archives holds a lot of information on
from the turret roof with a utility knife and made a new ring from curved styrene strip and .015" styrene cut to form a circular base plate, 18. The kit mount was modified to match the reference materials; I installed styrene decorated by more bolt heads to replicate the real fitting. Hip pads were cut from thick styrene, sanded to shape, coated with “glue soup” (sprue soaked in liquid cement until it turns syrupy) and installed. Finally, I mounted the ring using sections of styrene L girder to trap it while letting it rotate. When the roof assembly was finished, I test-fitted it with the front armor plate, 19.
Step back outside On the hull exterior, I added tools, stowage, lights, light guards, spare track, and other details front and rear, 20. I used the kit’s light guards rather than photo-etched parts, but I did thin them a little. I ground out the headlights to accept M.V. Products lenses later, after painting. Once all this was done, I dry-fitted everything prior to painting, 21. I prepared all major sections and subassemblies for painting, then airbrushed
The vehicles, but not the protagonists of this particular story. Hasty camouflage suggests the Panther was being repaired.
the 3rd Armored, but usually it is for the combat elements — and the heavier the action, the briefer the reports from the combatants. However, this action was typed up for a Distinguished Unit Citation (now Presidential Unit Citation), which troops display as a blue ribbon with gold surround on the right breast. It was awarded to them in July 1945. Recent information has filled in some of the blanks. The heavy tank was not a Tiger as initially reported (many
Americans called all German tanks Tigers), but a PzKpfw V Panther, apparently from Panzer Abteilung 2105, Panzer Brigade 105, 9th Panzer Division. The troops behind it were a mixed bag of paratroopers from the 6th Fallschirmjäger Division, Panzergrenadiers, and regular infantry. They were most likely captured and tallied as the 3rd Armored took 2,432 prisoners, killed or wounded another 227, and destroyed or captured 67 vehicles from various German formations.
22 The entire model after its coat of Floquil gray primer. I forgot to flip the glacis over for primer, so I had to go back, reload the airbrush, respray the glacis … well, you’ll see the rest in Part 2 as I finish this Howitzer Motor Carriage M8.
Floquil gray primer (no longer available) to give good footing to the acrylic paint that would follow, 22. Of course, when I put everything back together to photograph this step, I realized I had missed painting the outside of the glacis plate! Oh well … the paint was still mixed and waiting. In the next issue, I’ll show you the
rest of the finish for this plucky pint-sized Panther killer! FSM
Don’t miss Part 2! Now that Cookie’s got it together, see how he painted and weathered his M8 in the February issue of FSM. www.FineScale.com
IPMS/USA 2016 Columbia, capital of South Carolina and home to Fort Jackson, the U.S. Army’s leading center for basic combat training, hosted the annual gathering of the International Plastic Modelers Society/USA in August 2016. More than 2,000 models graced the tables in the contest room, presenting FSM’s Mark Savage and Aaron Skinner with plenty to shoot. Here are just a few of the models that caught their eye.
Videos and more photos Check out more of the models Mark and Aaron saw at the convention at www.FineScale.com. There’s a gallery there, along with two video reports.
▶ CHARLES LANDRUM
NORFOLK, VIRGINIA In late 1864, the Confederate navy attempted to break the Union blockade of Savannah, Ga., with the ironclad CSS Atlanta. Charles modeled that mission with Verlinden’s 1/245 scale kit, adding anchors, davits, and other details, and relocating the gun ports for accuracy. 32 FineScale Modeler January 2017
▲ ED ALLEN, ST. MATTHEWS,
SOUTH CAROLINA To replicate the kind of firetrucks he remembers from childhood, Ed rebuilt Monogram’s 1/24 scale 1950 Ford. “The cab and fenders are all that I used from the kit,” he says. “Everything else was either scratchbuilt or came from my spares box.” He made the ladders from bamboo and basswood, the hose from electrical wire, and printed the decals. The classic red is from a Krylon spray can.
JASON GRENOT WINDERMERE, FLORIDA
Jason equipped Meng’s 1/35 scale Toyota Land Cruiser with Verlinden stowage for the Libyan Civil War. After spraying a base coat of rust and a layer of Ammo of Mig Jimenez Chipping Fluid, he airbrushed the camouflage. Water distressed the upper layers. ▶ DENNIS DAVISON
LONGMONT, COLORADO Wingnut Wings’ 1/32 scale Fokker E.IV looked sharp after Dennis painted it with Tamiya acrylics and Alclad II lacquers. Oil paints added grain and texture to wood parts.
SHOW GALLERY AL KAMRAD FORT MYERS, FLORIDA Look closely at Al’s USS Hancock and you see a flight deck jammed with not only aircraft — more than 50 — but also hundreds of figures. His achievement is all the more impressive when you know the model is Dragon’s 1/700 scale carrier. “The ship was the easy part!” says Al.
▲ MIKE WITKOWSKI
WALLOPS ISLAND, VIRGINIA More than one hundred Loire 130 seaplanes were built during the 1930s for deployment aboard French warships. Mike scratchbuilt a beaching dolly for Azure’s 1/48 scale Loire, which he painted with Polly Scale acrylics and weathered with artist’s oils.
34 FineScale Modeler January 2017
▲ SCOTT SAMO
▲ ROBERT WALTMAN
Scott conscripted Tamiya’s 1/48 scale Spitfire Mk.Vc for Royal Australian Air Force service with Aeromaster decals and camouflage airbrushed with GSI Creos Hobby Color acrylics. Artist’s oil washes thinned with Turpenoid emphasized panel lines.
To model a Navy SEAL sniper in Afghanistan, Robert hand-painted Special Ops Models 1/9 scale kit with Vallejo acrylics. His only addition was the shemagh around the neck made from Apoxie Sculpt. www.FineScale.com
▲ DAVID NEELY
MOORESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA The Royal New Zealand Air Force operated several Skyhawks from 1970 until 2001. David built a 1/48 scale A-4K from a Hasegawa kit with a Quickboost resin seat, Eduard Brassin exhaust, Eduard “remove before flight” tags, and Steel Beach FOD covers. Airbrushed GSI Creos Mr. Color paints camouflaged the fighter.
▶ KEN BELISLE
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA Ken’s colorful U.S. Navy drone controller started life as HobbyBoss’ 1/72 scale F9F-2 Panther. He added a ventral fairing and antennas, then painted the model with Testors Model Master enamels. 36 FineScale Modeler January 2017
▲ TOM MOON
HOUSTON, TEXAS In 1924, the Fiat Mefistofele set a world land-speed record of 146.01 mph. Tom built Italeri’s 1/12 scale speedster out of the box, painting it with Tamiya acrylics mixed with Tamiya lacquer thinner.
◀ JIM MESKO
NEW FRANKLIN, OHIO Jim modeled a French Panhard AMD 178B in Cambodia in the early 1950s with ADV/Azimut’s 1/35 scale resin kit. He added extra machine-gun ammo drums inside the armored car, then airbrushed it with Pactra enamels. Washes, dry-brushing, and pastels finished the vehicle. ▶ MIKE J. IDACAVAGE
MARIETTA, GEORGIA Drawn to model Wally Schirra’s Sigma 7 because of colorful test panels used on the October 1962 mission, Mike added a ton of detail to Revell’s 1/48 scale Mercury spacecraft. The detailed cabin is difficult to see, but the exterior includes parts from a RealSpace detail set, scratchbuilt test panels, and a corrected retro pack. He mounted the ship on brass rod over a picture of Earth shot by Schirra from orbit.
ANTHONY TOW SMYRNA, GEORGIA Building Hasegawaâ€™s 1/350 scale IJN Mikasa out of the box allowed Anthony to focus on painting and weathering the early battleship using Testors Model Master acrylics. He masked individual planks on the wooden deck and sprayed different shades. The lower hull received multiple layers of paint with applications of salt masking in between to simulate corrosion. Pastels, washes, and pencils highlighted detail.
38 FineScale Modeler January 2017
Like what you see here and want more? Then plan to attend the 2017 convention in Omaha, Neb., July 26-29. More info: www.ipmsusa2017.com. ▲ JIM KIKER, CHARLOTTE,
NORTH CAROLINA Jim took Moebius’ 1/160 scale Orion III from 2001: A Space Odyssey to new heights with a scratchbuilt interior and rescribed panel lines. He masked individual panels for slightly different lacquer and enamel colors. To display the Pan American shuttle, Jim painted a wood plaque satin black, then filled it with stars. ▶ TIMOTHY KIRBY
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA Timothy customized Revell’s 1/25 scale ’37 Ford pickup, lowering the suspension and replacing the wheels with low-profile slim-line rims and tires from Pegasus. Testors gloss black and Model Master gunmetal trimmed the beach street rod; surfboards carved from Hawaiian koa wood fill the bed. ◀ CARLOS ESCOBAR
AREQUIPA, PERU Carlos built Hasegawa’s 1/48 scale Nakajima Ki-84 "Frank" out of the box and painted it with Testors Model Master and GSI Creos acrylics. Weathering was done with artist’s-oil washes and Mig and Tamiya pigments. FSM
Disguising a Seehund Dot camouflage for Bronco’s 1/35 scale German midget sub /// BY BILL PLUNK
ne of the more fascinating areas of weapon development in World War II for me has always been the “midget” submarine class of weapons. The Germans developed several different models before crafting the Type XXVIIB/B5 design known as the Seehund. Of the 285 boats built, not all saw active service and many were captured while still in the dockyards. Each sub had a two-man crew, two 21" G7e torpedoes carried externally, and a diesel/electric power plant that allowed for maximum speeds of 7 knots surfaced and 3 knots submerged. A Seehund could dive to 45 meters (nearly 150 feet).
Assembly I used Bronco’s 1/35 kit German Seehund XXVIIB/B5 Midget Submarine (No. CB35053) to represent a boat in the English Channel between January-May 1945. The build was pretty straightforward, as the entire kit has fewer than 100 parts and the majority of those go into the two torpedoes. That’s where I started, joining the halves of the torpedo bodies and carefully sanding the seams, taking care to preserve their curved shape. The twin-screw propellers were assembled, along with the warheads, fuse caps, 40 FineScale Modeler January 2017
and photo-etched (PE) whiskers, 1. Working slowly from bow to stern, I put the boat’s split hull together. Careful use of regular glue on the interior connections followed by liquid cement applied along the seam ensured the halves aligned for a solid join. Light sanding with fine-grit sanding sticks removed the seam line after the glue had set, 2. Small amounts of putty and careful sanding were needed where the cone of the drive shaft mated with the hull. The topside sail was cleaned up, and the periscope mast and the crew hatch around the conning tower were added, 3.
Painting Now the real fun began! I used Testors Model Master enamels throughout (except where noted), beginning with an airbrushing of insignia red (1705) on the torpedo warheads, followed with flat black (1749) on the fuse caps. The torpedo bodies received a foundation of gloss black (1747), 4. I airbrushed the propeller screws with non-buffing Metalizer lacquer brass (1417). While the torpedoes were curing, the airbrush got a further workout with the boat’s hull. A pre-shading of flat black was sprayed on all the weld seams and rivet lines, 5. As the hull cured, I returned to the torpedoes and airbrushed the bodies with non-buffing lacquer Metalizer steel (1420), 6. Then I assembled the torpedoes. The next challenge was creating the “dot” camo. This pattern was applied to the top hull and sail to conceal submerged boats from aircraft patrols while resting on sandbars or in shallow areas of the English Channel or off the Dutch coast. To avoid
1 I kept the warheads and propellers separate from the bodies for ease of painting and detailing.
3 I also added the torpedo mounts but left off the clear dome until the end of the build.
5 After pre-shading the weld seams, I airbrushed a custom-mixed base coat of 1:1 light gray (1732) and gunship gray (1723).
2 When gluing the hull, I left the rudder movable to allow for the maindrive propeller to install correctly inside its shroud.
4 Paintbrushes with lumps of Blu-Tack poster putty on their ends served as convenient painting handles for both the warheads and bodies.
6 Test-fitting the torpedoes ensured the warheads and propeller screws were lined up on both sides. www.FineScale.com
7 I used a template with three dots together to create the general pattern. Single-dot templates helped fill in the gaps but still left some dead spots in the pattern.
9 Because the torpedoes were carried externally, the Germans often greased them to protect against saltwater.
11 The pinwash was further adjusted and tightened using a No. 10/0 pointed brush and clean thinner. 42 FineScale Modeler January 2017
8 With the masking tape removed, IJN sky gray was used to carefully blend the edges of the spot lines with the rest of the hull.
10 My dot-filter application was a mixture of Testors Model Master enamel panzer schwarzgrau (2094) and light gray.
12 The main-drive propeller is permanently installed on the drive shaft.
The Seehund was derived in part from the British X-class submarines that attempted to sink the German battleship Tirpitz in Norway. The midget sub was hard to spot with the naked eye by patrols as it dodged naval mines and laid explosive charges beneath enemy ships.
unrealistic uniformity in what should be a toned down the sky gray areas. I thinned random pattern, I used three different-size the base coat mix to a 1:9 paint-to-thinner drill bits to create templates out of small ratio and sprayed a mist coat from 12" squares of flexible white styrene sheet. away. After masking off the dot areas, I airWeathering brushed light gray at a reduced pressure I airbrushed Pledge FloorCare Multiand worked slowly from the bow to the Surface Finish (PFM) on the hull and torstern, rotating the pattern to break things pedoes. The hullâ€™s few decals included up, 7. Empty spaces were closed up using a small spotter brush and applying more dots depth lines at the bow, mid-hull, and stern, by hand to create the final dot pattern. along with a few on the sail sides. Waltherâ€™s Moving on to the lower Solvaset brought the hull, I masked the dots and decals down tight, and a airbrushed Imperial Japanese second coat of PFM Navy sky gray (2117) to cresealed them. I applied a ate lightened and faded areas wash of thinned raw on the base coat, 8. The airumber (2006) to the torpeGross tons of brush was reloaded with the does, 9. The same wash was shipping sunk applied to the hull as a base-coat mix; I sprayed by Seehunds in foundation for dot filters, small amounts where variWWII. applied next, 10. ation was needed and
To get the details to pop, I applied a pinwash of thinned burnt umber (2005) using a No. 10/0 pointed brush, 11. The torpedoes were permanently added to their mounts. A light wash of burnt umber gave the main-drive propeller a bronzed look; it was installed on the drive shaft, 12. I sealed the entire finish with a spray of flat lacquer to tie everything together and remove any lingering gloss from the PFM treatment. The kit-supplied base was airbrushed with gloss black, with non-buffing Metalizer lacquer brass for the support arms. The PE plaque was glued in place with gel super glue to complete the stand. The last remaining detail was the clear dome for the conning tower, polished with a cotton T-shirt and placed with tweezers and liquid cement to avoid marring it. The Seehund is ready to hunt! FSM www.FineScale.com
Catch the EXPRESS Building a multimedia Chicago Express Saab 340 /// BY FRANK CUDEN
ometimes you need a change-of-pace model build, away from military aircraft, for instance, but something you have a particular interest in. That was the Welsh Models 1/144 scale Saab 340 airliner for me. It’s a multimedia kit with vacuum-formed fuselage halves, injection-molded wings, engines, and tail planes, along with white-metal props, wheels, and landing gear.
1 First I laid out the parts and added buckshot to the nose for weight. I had already glued the bulkheads into one fuselage half. The whitemetal parts will need cleanup. 44 FineScale Modeler January 2017
I’d seen a Saab 340 taxiing a few years back at the Des Moines, Iowa, airport, and it had caught my eye, decked out in the attractive Chicago Express markings. This was a feeder airline for ATA Airlines, formerly known as American Trans Air. Realizing that Draw Decals had issued a Chicago Express livery for the Saab, I decided to research photos on Airliners.net for details that I could add, then tackle the Welsh kit.
2 Before gluing, I drilled holes to add thinned plastic tubing to form the turboprop’s exhausts. Fuselage detail is good, so I’ll be able to deepen panel lines with a pencil.
3 After priming, I used Squadron white putty to fill seams. I wasn’t happy with definition of the three-per-nacelle air intakes, so I sanded them off and replaced them with plastic tubing.
4 The white-metal prop on the left is raw; the other has been cleaned and shaped with a motor tool, then wet-sanded smooth. Using a knife-edge file, I defined the line between the outer blades and inner prop cuffs. Two white-metal lower fuselage strakes were severely pitted, too, so I used styrene rod, filed and sanded, as replacements. I then ran thinned white glue along their seams to eliminate gaps.
6 Next, I attached the white metal landing gear, sacrificing some scale appearance by using kit parts. I also added retraction struts made of thin styrene rod. Because there is no nose-gear well in the fuselage, I used paint to define its outline. Note, too, the small, thin, half-moon fairings on the horizontal tail surfaces’ undersides; I made them from sheet styrene, sanding to shape before attaching.
8 There’s an optical illusion as the nacelles’ orangish trim stripes appear to slope downward but really are parallel to the fuselage stripes. I applied the logos and trim stripes in three sections, beginning with the forward fuselage. I had measured quite closely to the cheat line’s curves, no easy task as there must be a constant separation to ensure there is a thin blue line above the orange cheat line. I was off a bit on the rear fuselage’s underside, but white touch-up fixed it. All decals went down well, and a coating of Solvaset seated them without silvering.
5 I made the replacement intakes on the nacelles by using appropriately sized plastic tubing, then made angular cuts with a single-edge razor blade to form the intakes. I had used a spray-can automotive primer but was unhappy with the finish, so I wet-sanded things smooth again. Wisely, I returned to Floquil primer cut with lacquer thinner. Much smoother!
7 Using color photos from Airliners.net as a reference, I painted the airliner with Testors dark blue (No. 1111) and enamel white (No. 1145). I took extra care during masking, as the slightest bit of overspray would be visible. I still had to do a bit of touch-up after pulling off the Tamiya masking tape. Now I was ready to add decals.
9 I flipped the plane and slopped white paint into the main gear wells, adding a white rectangle decal to denote the nose gear well. It took several coats to cover the blue overspray. Then I added the Draw Decal de-icer decals to the wing’s leading edge. I cut them close to their edges to prevent any extra clear decal showing in adjacent areas. Although individual panels took a little coaxing with Solvaset, they conformed to the curves. A special refueling receptacle decal goes under the right wing, not the left as stated in the instructions. www.FineScale.com
Cutting the logos and cheat lines into three sections helped a lot. When I applied the Chicago Express logos and windows, I made sure to place the windows directly on the fuselage’s depressions, allowing the rest of the decal to be placed properly. To define the recessed panel lines, I used a soft drawing pencil to add depth. Applying light pressure avoids overemphasis.
Using a tripod holder, I addressed the underside, painting the gear legs light gray and adding homemade gear doors behind the main struts. I made two ventral strakes at the rear with .005" sheet styrene, then ran a thin bead of thin super glue over the joints. This faired them in nicely.
Photos show Saabs with various antennas, so I cut a few shapes from .005" sheet styrene, painted them white, and white-glued them in place, giving me wiggle room to center and align them. Once they were dry, I used copper armature wire to apply drops of thin super glue around their edges to mount them. I painted the exhausts with Testors Model Master steel (No. 1780) and dry-brushed Testors rust (No. 1785). Exhausts had previously been painted Testors flat black (No. 1749).
I used Draw Decals’ thin stripes around the spinners, adding several coats of Solvaset. I also scratchbuilt small windshield wipers and mounts from thin sprue, saving time by sliding the light gray sprue over a black marking pen. Two or three pulls and I had a proper wiper.
I then returned to the airliner fuselage’s underside to add antennas. I made my own nose wheel doors and main landing gear doors. I made that change as the white metal kit doors were a bit too thick for scale.
Finally, I used tiny Draw Decals orange 316 decals on each side of the nose-wheel door. Using a square file, I notched each wingtip to accept Microscale Kristal Klear for navigation lights. I followed with a couple coats of Tamiya clear green (X25) and clear red (X27), followed by Tamiya acrylic clear. Despite the kit’s dissimilar materials, simply using different glues made it seem like an injected-molded kit. It was a good break from my usual military modeling. FSM
46 FineScale Modeler January 2017
READER GALLERY ▶ FAUSTO MUTO
SALERNO, ITALY Comprising barely more than a dozen pieces, there’s not a lot to the resin/white-metal Bolt Action 1/56 scale M3 Lee — but Fausto made the most of the wargame piece with extensive finishing, using color modulation, washes, chipping, and treatments of rust and dust. He says the ease of assembly means modelers can devote more to the finish, which he enjoys more than anything.
KANG, YOUNGIN-SI, KYUNGGI-DO, SOUTH KOREA The 1933 Cadillac V-16 Town Car weighed close to 3 tons and was more than 18' long — which, even in 1/16 scale form, is a lot of car. Mr. Kang restored and repainted the old Academy kit.
BRUZUAL, HEREDIA, COSTA RICA Used as a reconnaissance plane and trainer in World War I, the French Caudron G.3 biplane had a wingspan of 44'. Gustavo’s spindly 1/72 scale model spans 71⁄4" — and it’s built from scratch!
▲ PAUL KUCK
BEL AIR, MARYLAND From Middle Cretaceous Egypt comes the largest carnivore known to man — the 50'-long Spinosaurus. From Pegasus comes this 1/24 scale lizard, painted by Paul with Tamiya acrylics and washes of Winsor & Newton artist’s oils thinned with Turpenoid.
▲ MASON DOUPNIK
CORONA, CALIFORNIA Mason backdated Academy’s 1/48 scale CH-53E to Desert Storm and used salt weathering to depict a temporary, fast-deteriorating paint job. He detailed with a Cobra Co. aftermarket set, added missing rivets, and painted markings through homemade stencils. 48 FineScale Modeler January 2017
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 www.Contribute.Kalmbach.com, or burn it all on a disc and mail it 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!
▲ TIM NELSON
KIRKLAND, WASHINGTON “You have entered a world of putty and files … a world where shapes are vague and details nonexistent, and distant dreams of completion are thwarted by glacial progress. You have entered (cue eerie music) the Vacuum-form Zone,” writes Tim. He faced down his own “vacuphobia” and used a Formaplane 1/72 scale Boeing B-9 bomber to render the Model 215/YB-9 prototype. He built an interior from styrene stock, printing his own decals for instruments, and made gun-tub rings by forming solder around styrene tubing. Two Monogram F4B-4 engines have exhausts made from rod styrene and wire. “I now expect Tamiya to announce a kit of it,” he says. ▶ WOLFGANG BUGL
SALERNO, ITALY The raised panel lines of the old Monogram 1/48 scale B-17G were cause for procrastination until Wolfgang got a set of Petr Dousek’s Rosie the Riveter ponce wheels. That’s when he sanded the Fortress, scribed new panel lines, and used the ponce wheels to impress rivets from nose to tail. Wolfgang took nearly eight months to model NineO-Nine of the 91st BG, based in England at RAF Bassingbourn. “The only problem now is where to put this beast,” he says. “My wife’s suggestion to store it in the garage definitely did not meet my approval.” BOB ROSENBURGH GRAHAM, WASHINGTON At the onset of World War I, to appease a firebrand U.S. senator from South Carolina (Benjamin “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman), the U.S. Navy designed the “maximum battleship.” The 1922 Treaty of Washington rendered the issue moot — but Bob wondered just how such a ship might look. Starting with Tamiya’s 1/350 scale USS Missouri, he used styrene stock to lengthen the hull, expand the decks and strakes, and add armor belts and two more barbettes to model “the greatest battleship never built.”
BUILDER BASICS By Mark Hembree
3 techniques for masking canopies Let me make one thing perfectly clear … Italeri’s 1/72 scale Ju 52 offers a masking challenge well met by Pat Villarreal of Rowlett, Texas, who used Tamiya tape on this crisply painted canopy. Each pane was covered by at least four pieces of tape; he got sharp angles by laying down triangles of tape at each corner.
here are parts of an aircraft model where you can get away with mistakes. The canopy is never one of them. Spots of glue or squiggly framework on clear parts can spoil a model more surely than anything. But if you’ve ever loused one up, you are in excellent company. That’s why you read so many articles and tips about it. Here are three of the most common — and reliable — ways of masking a canopy for painting.
top modeler, cleaned up the plastic, dipped the canopy in Pledge FloorCare MultiSurface Finish (PFM), and finished the frame with a flat clear, E. That takes a mighty steady hand, but it looks great.
Masking with tape Pre-cut masks For complicated framework or faint, illdefined panel lines, pre-cut masks are my favorite. Designed for specific kits, they are accurate and easy to apply. Slip the tip of a hobby knife under a corner of the mask and pull it from its adhesive backing, A. Place the mask on the model; align at least one side of the mask before burnishing it down, B. Not too hard, though — don’t distort the shape of the mask. After painting, press or gently rock the knife blade along the edge of the mask to break it from the paint, C. Gently turn up a corner of the mask and use tweezers to remove it, D. If it is stub50 FineScale Modeler January 2017
born, knife it again. You want those edges to be clean!
Adhesive foil Faintly molded frames or panel lines and a desire for very fine edges makes adhesivebacked foil a good choice. Aluminum or gold foil is less reflective than others, which makes it easier to see. Apply a little more than you need and burnish it down, A. Then, using a new hobby knife blade — and I mean brand new — trim along the frame, B. Use tweezers to pull excess foil away, C. After painting, a blunt toothpick is all you need to start lifting the foil, D. Walt Fink, a
If a canopy’s panel lines are raised in sharp relief, you can mask it with tape. But there is an essential caveat — it must be Tamiya tape or something equally thin and pliable so you can burnish it tightly to the framework, A. Once the outline is clearly defined, use a brand-new blade to trim, B. Work one panel at a time so the tape hews to the canopy’s curves. If you airbrush with acrylic paint and don’t coat with PFM beforehand, after removing the mask you can use a toothpick to clean up the lines, C. It will remove the paint without scratching the plastic. This still needs touch-up, D, but it sure beats painting it freehand! FSM
Masking with tape
READER TIPS By Mark Savage
Tips to help you stay on track Here’s a quick, simple, effective way I’ve found to render the rubber blocks found on tracks of modern armored vehicles. Start by painting the vinyl tracks a metallic color (I used Krylon stainless steel), 1. Once the paint is dry, rub the outside surface of the tracks lightly with a fine-grain sanding block, 2. If you keep the sanding block level and use a light touch, it will only remove the paint from the “rubber” pads, making them black while the rest of the track remains metallic. The abrasion also dulls the finish of the vinyl to give it a look of worn rubber, 3. This only works on black vinyl tracks. Yet even on tan tracks, like Dragon DS tracks, it’s a good way to prepare the Hey, parts is parts I found some really great modeling items at my local Hobby Lobby, but they are intended for jewelry making. The items are from Lisa Pavelka and are available at http://store.lisapavelka.com/. Useful for all types of model building projects, they are actually intended for making “steampunk” jewelry and include packages with watch guts of every shape, size, and description. No two packages are the same, and there are multiple sizes to choose from. They are sold by weight, the smallest being .5 oz. Old watches have gears, flywheels, screws, etc. that have dozens of modeling uses, such HAVE A TIP OR TECHNIQUE TO SHARE? Send a brief description along with a photo to email@example.com or visit www.FineScale.com 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) to the text and images upon payment.
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4 pads for paint. I used this technique on Revell’s 1/35 scale Leopard 2A4, and the finished product looks great, 4. Happy modeling! – Fred Jones Kingston, Nova Scotia, Canada
as aircraft trim wheels, main-gun elevation wheels for tanks, and car transmission gears. Uses are only limited by your imagination. Prices are $7 to $12 in-store for small packages. Larger packs are available online and cost more, but if you go in with some friends the price remains reasonable. I bought two 1-oz. packages and have more items than I will use in 10 lifetimes. The nice part about the packages is that someone else has torn the watches down for you. Scratchbuilders will see the value here instantly. – Douglas Summers Fernley, Nev.
Doing the jig for pastels Next time you need ground-up pastel chalk for a project, first make this pastel jig. You will need the following items: drywall screen, ¼" or larger wood square dowels, and super glue. First, cut and build your wood strips to the desired frame size. I made a 3½" x 1½" frame to fit the size of the sanding screen
Making this homemade pastel jig is easy.
that I had. Super glue the frame together and spray with accelerator. Next, run a bead of super glue gel around the frame perimeter, lay the screen over the glue bead, and spray with accelerator. Then trim off the overhanging screen material. No more clogged sanding sticks. – Ken Meyer Colorado Springs, Colo.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS By Mark Hembree Canopy conundrum Q I am building a Czech Model Ryan Fireball in 1/48 scale. I was cutting back a bit of the canopy using tape to support it. When I had completed this, I used Goof Off to rid the canopy of any adhesive residue. The canopy then got hazy, and I could not wipe off the haze. I thought I could use a plastic polish (like Novus), but that did not help. Then I figured Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish (PFM) might clear it up, but no luck. What could have caused the hazing in the first place, and can I eliminate all the junk I put on the canopy with glass cleaner without further damaging the canopy? – Phil Modica Naperville, Ill. A The culprit is probably Goof Off — it must have crazed the plastic. I found Goof Off has several variants. Though I don’t know which one you used, it seems it is not good for your canopy. We recommend Goo-Gone (in its original formulation) for removing adhesive residue without harming the plastic. Glass cleaner (like Windex) will remove the PFM, but it may interact with whatever else you have on there. I see the Czech Model Fireball has a vacuum-formed canopy. As you know, that stuff is a little more sensitive than the hard, clear plastic of some kits. You won’t be able to polish and buff it out. Glass cleaner probably won’t solve your problem. I understand the kit provides two canopies. If you have the second, I would use that. Otherwise, you may be able to get a replacement from Squadron (www.Squadron. com), which sells these kits as well as vacuumformed canopies. Thanks for writing, and good luck!
“Where others have failed, I will not fail.” – Capt. Nemo
Finding and building Nautilus
Can you advise whether Finescale Modeler magazine ever published an article about building a model of the Nautilus submarine to the original design of Harper Goff from the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? – Tony Munnik Pinetown, Natal, South Africa
Phillip Gore wrote a story for us in the January 2005 FSM called “Finding (Captain) Nemo” in which he built a 31"long (1/77 scale) multimedia model he bought online at Sci-Fi Matters. Asked for an update, Phillip replies, “As for the available resin Disney Nautilus models, this is what I know: Although Sci-fi Matters went out of business a long time ago, this kit is still available. The original pattern was done by Scott Brodeen. Currently, it can be purchased from Nautilus Drydocks (www.nautilusdrydocks. com) and Masterpiece Models (www. masterpiecemodels.com). I believe both of these companies are sanctioned to sell
castings from the original molds. Also available from Nautilus Drydocks and Masterpiece Models is a 16"-long (1/149 scale?) kit.” Additionally, you can find the 1/77 scale Nautilus (and others based on the Disney design, including a 4-footer!) at Monsters In Motion (www.monstersinmotion.com). Then there is Pegasus Hobbies’ Disneyesque 1/144 scale kit (pegasushobbies.net); Tim Kidwell reviewed it in the March 2014 FSM. Subscribers can see the review at www. finescale.com. Or, if you are are not a subscriber, you can order back issues at www.finescale.com/issues.
Cleaning models Q When I complete a model, the paint is usually not as bright as it was when I GOT A MODELING PROBLEM? Our Questions & Answers column is here to help. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit FineScale.com 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.
started the model. How do you clean a model when it’s complete without messing up the decals?
tack cloth. You might snag parts or damage the finish.
– Ivan Pechanec Wichita, Kan.
A brush with greatness
A The best way to get dust and dirt off a model is to not let dirt and dust get on a model. That would mean dust-free storage. However, the next best thing is a “canned air duster,” which is sold for blowing dust off electronic components. Be careful — if you get too close it’s possible to blow off small details (or even decals if they are not overcoated). I would not recommend any dust rag or
Q I enjoyed the “Glue FAQ” in the July 2016 FSM. You mentioned using a brush to apply liquid cement. What do you use to clean the brush afterwards? – Tim Schram Bradford, Ontario, Canada A The simple answer is don’t clean the brush! Best to dedicate one brush to glue and then you don’t have to worry about residue. I have a brush, marked with a little band of tape, that I use just for glue. FSM www.FineScale.com
WORKBENCH REVIEWS FSM experts build and evaluate new kits
Tamiya’s F-14A the new top cat!
ith its 1/48 scale F-14A Tomcat, Tamiya reaffirms its place at the pinnacle of the model-kit manufactur-
ing industry. Inspection of the parts reveals clean, precise moldings with crisp, defined panel lines throughout — none too deep, too shallow, too wide, or too narrow. The only omissions I could find were a couple of lines in the recess between the engines underneath. Two large decal sheets provide markings for three Tomcats: US Navy fighters from VF-84 Jolly Rogers and VF-2 Bounty Hunters, both in the early carrier-borne deployment scheme of gloss light gray over white, and an Islamic Republic of Iran air force jet in an attractive camouflage. The decals performed flawlessly, and I would have no hesitation in using them 54 FineScale Modeler January 2017
again. One neat inclusion on the decal sheet for the VF-2 jet is the representation of “duct tape” that was used to seal some joins on the actual aircraft behind the canopy. That is thorough research! Typical of Tamiya, the no-fuss instructions are clear and concise, with color callouts for Tamiya paints. The wonderful cockpit features accurate, cleanly molded, and easy-to-paint detail. Decals are included for several of the screens on the instrument panels that would be appropriate for a jet that is powered-up and manned. Thoughtful engineering made construction a breeze. Clever part breakdown eases assembly and ensures perfect fits. I encountered several instances where, at first glance, a subassembly or part did not quite fit. But with a little bit of encouragement, the part literally clicked into place.
I couldn’t help but smile at how precisely the parts fit. In fact several items, such as the ventral fins, tail hook, cockpit coaming, and intake ducts, stayed in place without glue. I did not need to use any filler at all on this build. Every single join fits so well that a quick cleanup with a fine sanding stick is all that is required to make seams disappear. Brilliant! The completed wings slip over a sturdy, functional wing-sweeping mechanism, so they can be installed after painting. The wing-glove bladder and finger seals (under and over the wings, respectively) can be left unglued and replaced with the appropriate parts if the wings are either forward or swept. Tamiya even included extra decal stripes for both wing-bladder seals to properly mark both options. Tamiya’s design offers several pre-paint-
ing opportunities that can reduce or eliminate the need for awkward masking later. For example, on the forward fuselage halves, you could paint the area around the cockpit before assembly and fill in the rest later. The forward-to-rear fuselage join provides a similar opportunity. Utilizing construction sequences like this with prepainting, it would be possible to paint almost the entire model with very little masking. Aligning landing-gear doors frequently provides a challenge, but Tamiyaâ€™s taken care of that, too. Positive location tabs for all of the doors make misalignment virtually impossible. The same can be said for the undercarriage; both the main and nose legs feature sturdy construction with foolproof mounting points that ensure alignment and structural rigidity. Some reviewers have complained that
the kit provides only clean wings with no option to pose the flaps and slats deployed, the speed brake open, or the nose gear compressed. This will only be an issue if you want to depict the model either in a takeoff stance on the catapult or in a landing configuration. I am pleased that I did not have to assemble a complex wing and do not miss the dropped slats and flaps at all. Out of the box, the kit produces an early F-14A. Later aircraft feature ECM bumps in several places and various chin pods. I hope Tamiya continues the series with perhaps a late -A, which could easily include parts to build a -B, plus a -D model. I spent a little more than 50 hours on my Tomcat and have no complaints. Tamiya has done for the F-14 Tomcat what it did for the F-16 Fighting Falcon, creating a kit which is accurate, easy to build, and a pleasure to work on in every respect. I
Kit: No. 61114 Scale: 1/48 Mfg.: Tamiya, www.tamiya.com Price: $115 Comments: Injection-molded, 381 parts (8 metal screws, washers, 3 vinyl), decals, masks Pros: Outstanding engineering for easy construction and painting; great decals Cons: Decal seat belts
enjoyed building this kit so much that I have another one on the go already! â€“ Matthew Walker www.FineScale.com
AFV Club M60A2 Starship
fter a long wait for a new M60A2, we now have three kits. AFV Club kit adds new parts to its previous M60A1, so there are a lot of extra parts left over. Molded in olive green, the kit includes clear plastic for vision blocks, light lenses, optics, and the commander’s cupola, two photo-etched frets, a metal gun barrel, string for the tow cables, and flexible vinyl dust covers for the main gun and commander’s machine gun. The tracks are onepiece vinyl runs. Among the sharply molded parts are a lot of small items. I had to remove a fair amount of flash, but there were only a few ejector-pin marks and they were invisible on the finished model.
Kit: No. 35230 Scale: 1/35 Mfg.: AFV Club, www.afvclub.com.tw Price: $69.98 Comments: Injection-molded, 777 parts (1 turned metal, 58 PE, 19 vinyl, 1 string), decals Pros: Turned metal barrel with rifling; choice of wheel types; color diagrams of complicated camouflage Cons: Vague folding directions for PE; some mistakes and omissions in instructions
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Critics complained that the cast texture of AFV Club’s M60A1 hull was too pronounced, but it’s subdued on the new M60A2 turret. The instructions include detailed color callouts, but many part numbers are wrong or not present at all. Fortunately, most were easily figured out. Also, the instructions are a bit vague in spots, so references were a huge help, especially for determining which parts are appropriate for which marking option. Decals for two MERDC camouflage tanks are provided. Construction starts with the lower hull; clean out the flash that covers the openings for the torsion bars. A new part is provided to model the M60A2’s extended hull. I hid the join with Mr. Surfacer 500. The kit provided both aluminum and steel road wheels. The instructions call for only one type, but period photos show both being used. Small vinyl O rings sandwiched between the halves anchor them to the suspension arms. Flash and minor imperfections on the inner surfaces mar the vinyl tracks. Aftermarket replacements are available. I painted the tracks separately, so I attached the inner halves of the return rollers only to facilitate track installation. The kit provides a partial driver’s compartment. Step 8 tells you to drill a hole next to the driver’s hatch; don’t, it is not needed. However, do drill out the four holes for the light brackets. Step 16 gives two options for fender supports, depending on the infantry phone box used; part C72 is for the phone mounted above the fender, L40 is for the phone on the fender. Photos will help decide which air cleaner to use, the alumi-
num or armored housing unit. You also have the option of fitting a wading trunk. There are no marks for the bends on PE brackets GA2 and GA3. Two mantlets — one with heavy cast texture, the other smooth — are included in the kit, but only one is shown in the directions. I used the latter because I could not find photos with texture. A bit of filler eliminated a gap between the turret halves. The most complicated assembly was the turret stowage racks. I found it easier to glue the PE floor to the bottom sections before adding them to the frames. The end bracket (L46) for the right basket suddenly appears in Step 31. I glued it on the turret first, along with L45 for the left basket. Then I attached the rest of the baskets and added the PE sides; they aren’t scored, so you’ll need to bend them by trial and error. I chose the summer MERDC scheme; there are pictures of these markings on the Littlefield Collection’s Starship in my primary references, M60A2 Main Battle Tank in Detail, Volume 1 (Sabot, 978-0-99737742-2) and Volume 2 (Sabot, ISBN 978-09973774-3-9). The scheme was sprayed with Vallejo Model Air colors: interior green (71.010), U.S. dark green (71.016), sand (71.075) and NATO black (71.251). The well-printed decals went on without silvering, even over the cast texture. However, the underlying colors bled through the decal of the cards on the turret. I spent 57 hours on AFV Club’s Starship. I recommend it for experienced modelers due to the numerous small parts and the complex turret baskets. It’s a fine model needing only a little stowage and mud to finish it off. – Mike Scharf
GWH T-33A Shooting Star
ssentially a stretched F-80 with a two-place cockpit, the T-33 was widely used by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and a multitude of foreign forces, not only as a trainer but also as a unit hack or transport, and even for ground attack on occasion. The tolerances in GWH’s 1/48 scale Shooting Star are extremely tight. I found areas where even the slightest bit of sprue gate left on a part interfered with fit. Time spent cleaning up parts ensures an easy build. Eight pages of instructions and a twopage addendum with part number corrections guide the modeler. A color diagram and well-printed decals provide three marking options: American, German, and Italian. Once I cleaned up the seat parts they snapped together. I found it easier to glue the sides (H3 and H4) to the seat pan first, then add the back and bottom. The multipart instrument panels have good detail. I attached the decal dials to the backs of the panels with white glue so I had time to align them, then glued on the rear plate. The side consoles can be painted or detailed with decals as I did. Separate the decals into front and rear sections, cut a slot for the throttle handle to slide through, and slice them along the sides of the raised panels. They looked great after multiple applications of Micro Sol. When I test-fitted the nose-gear strut, the fit was so tight I could not remove it. This is one of those examples of too many
coats of paint and weathering exceeding the tolerances. Following the instructions, I glued the strut only to break it later. Wait until final assembly to install the struts; they will fit after the fuselage is sealed. I was concerned that the provided plastic nose weight would not be heavy enough, but it does the job without putting excess load on the landing gear. I clamped the fuselage around the cockpit, too, because the fit was tight. The design of the intake trunks and the scale-thin trailing edges of the separate rudder and elevators impressed me. Rather than follow the instructions as I had with the nose gear, I left the mains, speed brakes, and flaps for later. I prefer the look of the T-33 with the canopy closed rather than open, but the instructions don’t give that option. However, if you cut the attachment tabs at the rearmost engraved line, the canopy fits in the closed position. I sprayed GSI Creos Mr. Color paints for the USAF marking option. The color list calls for Mr. Color C79 orange for the nose panel. However, C79 is shine red; I used C59 orange instead. There are a couple of other problems with the marking guide: The side view shows decals 2 and 3 — the red and white stripes — farther forward on the wingtip tanks than the top and bottom views. Place them farther aft where the diameter of the tip tank is constant or you will have problems. The decals are thick and opaque, so
Kit: No. L4819 Scale: 1/48 Mfg.: GWH, www.lionroar.net Price: $59.99 Comments: Injection-molded, 119 parts, decals Pros: Nose weight; great fit and engineering; tabs and recesses secure gear doors Cons: A number of small parts; construction order causes problems
you can paint the blue farther back on the tanks and the decals will cover. Curiously, the decals responded well to Micro Sol but Solvaset had little effect. Use caution separating the gear doors. There are engraved lines to guide you, but your saw blade could easily slip. The tabs and recesses provide strong attachment points for the doors. Use patience and slow setting glue to align the speed brakes and actuators. Consult the addendum for correct part numbers when adding the flaps. GWH’s wonderful T-33 was the quickest, easiest build I’ve done in quite some time. Finely engraved parts, good detail, three colorful marking options, great fit, and even a nose weight all add up to a ton of fun! – Andy Keyes
Attack Squadron F2F-1
rumman’s portly F2F biplane fighter was a follow-up to its initial two-place FF-1/SF-1 fighter/scout. As such, the F2F was the first U.S. Navy single-seat carrier fighter with an enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear. Attack Squadron’s release (it also makes the fighter in 1/48 scale) is a well-cast resin kit with photo-etched brass details and a one-piece vacuum-formed canopy. The part breakdown and assembly engineering is brilliant, taking cues from the classic Monogram biplane kits with cabane struts molded to the forward-fuselage upper deck. Minimal cockpit side wall detail is molded into the fuselage halves. The cockpit tub includes fore and aft bulkheads and fits perfectly into the fuselage. The separate seat receives a pair of PE seat belts that are too short. The instructions use a soft blue tint to indicate bonding surfaces between parts in each step, but in a couple of steps these tinted spots go awry or are hard to see.
The molding of the cabane struts with the fuselage and depressions molded into the separate lower wings and one-piece upper wing really make the assembly of this biplane quick and easy. After studying photos in Grumman Biplane Fighters In Action (Squadron/Signal), it seems that the kit’s locations of the interplane N struts are too far outboard. I moved them in 5mm, but it’s difficult to tell for sure what is right. The most difficult part of the project was installing the landing gear. The main strut and wheel are resin parts, but the retracting mechanisms, small doors, and reinforcing plates are PE and must be folded, curled, and glued to the struts and fuselage. Although the assembly diagrams
are adequate, it takes a lot of careful handling and fitting to get them positioned properly. Complicating matters, super glue or epoxy is required as typical plastic cements have no effect on resin and metal. Another complication is the propeller, molded with a separate hub and blades. I predrilled holes and threaded monofilament fishing line (.2mm) for the rigging. I then painted the entire model with Alclad II aluminum (rigging and all). I used Testors Model Master chrome yellow for the top of the upper wing. The decals went on fine. The vacuum-formed canopy seems a bit
Arma Hobby PZL TS-11 Iskra “junior set”
he TS-11 Iskra is the main jet trainer for the Polish air force, entering service in 1964 and still flying today! Arma Hobby has released a new injection-molded kit of the Iskra available in three different grades. This review is of the “junior” version, which is the most basic of the three, but still features plenty of detail, crisp moldings, and fine recessed panel lines. Clear parts are well done and the canopy framing is well defined, so masking and painting should pose no problems. Only one decal option is included. The upgraded versions include photo-etch and resin parts and a couple more decal options.
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Assembly starts with the cockpit. Side consoles are molded in with the floor and have decent detail. I painted everything dark ghost gray as instructed, then picked out the consoles with flat black and drybrushed the highlights. The twin stick and rudder controls are separate parts, as are the front and rear bulkheads. It’s noted in the instructions to sand a little off the circumference of the front bulkhead; it will prevent the fuselage halves from closing tightly if left undone. Interior ribbing on the fuselage sides was given a quick wash to bring out the details. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the halves fit together, requiring only a little sanding once the glue dried and rescribing of a few lines. I was also somewhat sur-
prised that there is no well for the front landing gear, just a hollow nose. On the plus side, it does make it easier to add the nose weight. When attaching to the upper wing, you will need to sand some of the thickness (.1mm) from the lower wing until it fits flush. Besides that, the rest of the parts fit flawlessly. Pitot tubes are molded into both ends of the upper wings, so you will need to be careful of them during the rest of the assembly. I found myself knocking into them several times throughout the build. Thankfully, I found they are fairly stout. Joining the wings to the fuselage was simple and needed just a spot of filler. A few antennas need to be added to the bottom, but there weren’t any marks to indicate the correct locations. I just guesstimated their positions. The landing gear is pretty well detailed, as are the main gear bays. I didn’t try, but it doesn’t appear that this can be built “wheels up” without quite a bit of rework on the gear doors.
Moebius The Penguin
U Kit: No. 72068 Scale: 1/72 Mfg.: Attack Squadron, www.attacksquadron.pl Price: $39.99 Comments: Cast resin, 47 parts (18 PE, 1 vacuum-formed canopy, 1 film instrument panel), decals Pros: Excellent detail inside and out; good fits; cabane struts molded to fuselage upper deck; good PE and decals Cons: Landing-gear retraction mechanism is tiny and difficult to assemble; questionable interplane strut locations
big when closed. I may try to open it later by separating the windscreen. The finished model looks right. It took 34 hours to complete; a lot of that time went into fussing with the landing gear and rigging. If reading resin and biplane in one sentence makes you break out in a sweat, take a deep breath and try Attack Squadron’s little F2F! – Paul Boyer
Kit: No. 70004 Scale: 1/72 Mfg.: Arma Hobby, www.armahobby.com Price: $17.99 Comments: Injection-molded, 55 parts, decals Pros: Nicely detailed cockpit; good fits and moldings Cons: No nose-wheel well
The model was sprayed with Alclad II duralumin, the antiglare panel dark gray. I sanded the leading edge of the main canopy just a little to get it to close completely. The decals went on flawlessly with setting solutions. This was my first experience with a Arma Hobby kit, and I’m impressed. It was a well-thought-out design with great fit and detail. I might just have to give one of the upgrade versions a try! – Mike Klessig
ntil recently, you could not find any new kits of characters from the 1960s TV series Batman. I was a huge fan, so I was thrilled when Moebius started a line of 1/8 scale heroes and villains from the show. The realistic sculptures are striking likenesses of the actors, as is the case with Burgess Meredith as the Penguin. The kit contains 47 well-molded parts, but you won’t use them all. Moebius thoughtfully provides extras for some of parts that might be lost or broken during construction. There are no ejection-pin marks in exterior surfaces and mold seams are minimal. Along with notes and suggestions for construction and painting, the fun instructions have campy sayings from Penguin. Building the two-part head was straightforward with an easy-to-eliminate seam at the neck. I test-fitted the monocle to be sure it would fit after painting, and was glad Moebius provided two of them; as I was trying to clean up the edge on one side of the part, it flew out of my hands, never to be seen again! I left the monocle and cigarette off for painting. I followed the instructions to assemble the body, arms, hands, and legs, except I left the hands separate from the arms, and the legs and lower torso separate from the upper torso, for ease of painting. This gave me access to the insides and underside of the coat, but I had to cut the tabs from the hands to slide them into place later. The seams on the coat arms and pant legs seemed too deep, so I filled them with Squadron green putty. A painted seam replaced them. I was concerned that the small plastic tab that anchors the figure to the base via his rear foot would be too weak to properly support the villain. I ended up replacing it with a metal screw so I could secure the figure with a nut. The kit offers open and closed umbrellas. I used the latter but assembled the open version. Moebius supplies extra ribs, and the instructions are clear, but I found it helpful to use the metal rod in the kit as an extra hand to align the parts. A penguin sidekick and nameplate finished the build. I hand-painted the figure with Vallejo acrylics over airbrushed primer. The kit has good detail, but there are a couple of areas that can be improved. The cuffs of the coat end flat; a small indenta-
tion would give the impression of depth. Second, the bow tie lacks a strap. I carefully painted one with shadows and highlights. I spent 15 fun hours building and painting the Penguin. It is the third Moebius Batman figure I’ve built, and I eagerly await the rest. They’re simple to build and a blast to paint. I recommend them to anyone who loves Batman. – Joe Hudson
Kit: No. 953 Scale: 1/8 Mfg.: Moebius Models, www. moebiusmodels. com Price: $34.99 Comments: Injectionmolded, 47 parts (2 metal rods) Pros: Good moldings and detail Cons: A few deep seams
Kinetic F/A-18C Hornet
et’s get right to it: Kinetic’s new F/A-18C takes off with options galore. The kit provides bumps and antennas for almost any version you want to build, posable canopy and speed brake, extended or retracted flaps, a nice little boarding ladder, and folded or extended wings. Underwing stores include three fuel tanks and two each of AIM-120B and AIM-120C AMRAAMs, AIM-9M and AIM-9X Sidewinders, GBU-87 cluster bombs, GBU-12 and GBU-38 laser guided bombs, and AIM-7M Sparrows. Three types of targeting pod are also provided: AAQ-28 Litening, AAS-38 Nighthawk,
Kit: K48031 Scale: 1/48 Mfg.: Kinetic Models, www. kineticmodel.com Price: $65.99 Comments: Injection-molded, 372 parts (24 PE), decals Pros: Terrific detail; a lot of options; great decals Cons: Pesky flash on some parts; some large sprue attachments; vague instructions
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and Sniper XR. Cartograf decals provide markings for seven Hornets: two U.S. Navy CAG birds from VFA-87 Golden Warriors and VFA-25 Fist of the Fleet; two aggressors — a Marine Corps fighter in greenand-brown splinter camouflage, the other wearing Navy blue-and-gray splinter camouflage; a Marine aircraft from the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center; a Swiss air force Hornet; and a Finnish fighter. The cockpit components go together easily and the detail is spot-on, although I would consider using a resin seat to take it to the next level. I assembled the intake trunks and exhaust cans in Step 4, but waited to install them until after the intake lips and splitters were on in Step 7. These parts help align the intakes; their attachments are vague. Step 6 provides a bunch of options for the nose, including an extended or retracted refueling probe; I chose closed. There are also four variations for the nose’s underside and the gun purge vents; I used C13. Don’t forget to drill holes for angle-of-attack probes and avionics bumps. Good references are indispensable for checking what’s appropriate for the version you’re building. The section forward of the cockpit is molded with the upper fuselage and is a bit flimsy. I ended up breaking mine, but it was easy to fix by gluing it to the nose section. The so-called chicken cutters have to be
sanded off for any of the American Hornets in this kit, but I’ve seen them on late-model F/A-18Cs; check references. From there, the major fuselage and wing components went together perfectly. Be careful installing the flaps in the down position; the extended hinges are fragile. Also, attach the covers (parts C9, C10, A4, and A5), then add the flaps, so you can adjust the fit for the correct spacing. There’s photo-etched wiring for the nose-wheel well, but the placement instructions are unclear. It took trial and error to get them right, and there was one I didn’t figure out until it was too late. In Step 22, the smaller struts on the main-gear legs are mislabeled as E18 and E21; they should be H18 and H21. Holes in the front walls of each bay need to be enlarged to accommodate the struts. Step 27 omitted the ladder retraction strut and brace, parts F12 and F14. Beyond that everything went smoothly. But be aware that the instructions aren’t always clear about what parts go with which version. Do your research. Designed by Fightertown Decals and printed by Cartograf, the markings performed flawlessly. I spent 32 hours building my Hornet, including painting. It will take a little experience to build, mainly sifting through the directions, but the result is a stunning Hornet. – Larry Schramm
Bronco Panzer III Ausf A
he first four versions of the PzKpfw III — Ausf A-D — were built in small numbers and were basically test vehicles, although some saw combat in Poland and Norway. Ausf A was unique with its coilspring suspension and large road wheels. MiniArt kitted Ausf B, C, and D versions of the Panzer III with leafspring suspension and small road wheels, and now Bronco Models completes the set with its Ausf A. Molded in light gray plastic, the parts show excellent detail, including delicate engraving and nice weld seams. The turret features the main interior components with optional open or closed hatches. A small photo-etch (PE) fret provides screens for the engine deck as well as interior frames for the turret hatches and other small details. Individual track links connect with tiny pins; a jig aids assembly. The road wheels have an unusual step in the tread that I couldn’t see in any photos. Clear plastic provides periscopes for the turret, glass for the vision ports, and lenses for the headlights. Markings are given for four vehicles, one two-tone brown and gray, the other three solid gray. No painting instructions are provided for the interior. Assembly starts with the hull and suspension. I had a little trouble getting the coil springs aligned, but they help in posi-
tioning the suspension arms. The road wheels and idlers trap small plastic caps, but it won’t be easy to leave them movable. Sloppy describes the fit of the road wheels; I built a jig to keep them in line while the glue dried. Step 9 indicates posing the transmission hatches open. But if you do, all that is visible is an empty hull. The well-molded track links feature hollow guide teeth and no ejector-pin or sink marks. They require only a quick clean-up of the three attachment points. The tiny plastic pins that join the links need to be carefully glued in place. A brush damp with Weld-On 3 worked well for that. The instructions call for 97-99 links per side, but I used 96 and found some sag on the right side and a little more on the left. I suggest gluing the tracks in place once they’re installed. The separate fenders have the option of showing the front and rear sections folded up or down. I admit that installing the fender pistons (A52, P22) was beyond my ability — the PE part was just too small and delicate — so I left them off. The turret interior was the biggest challenge, especially assembling and installing the seats for the commander and gunner. Both feature butt joints at important locations, which I bolstered with metal pins. A lot of detail painting went into the interior, but even with the hatches open, much of it can’t be seen.
Kit: No. CB35134 Scale: 1/35 Mfg.: Bronco Models, www.cn-bronco.com Price: $63.99 Comments: Injection-molded, 1,063 parts (46 PE), decals Pros: Clear lights, vision blocks, and periscopes; PE engine screens; basic turret interior Cons: Thick decals; sloppy road-wheel fit; fiddly tiny parts; butt joints for delicate items
After paint and clear gloss, the decals were applied. They’re a bit thick and required several applications of Solvaset plus prodding and pushing to settle the turret markings. I completed the Panzer III in 38 hours, with small parts, detail painting, and the individual track links adding time. The finished model perfectly matches the dimensions in David Doyle’s Standard Catalog of German Military Vehicles (Krause, ISBN 978-0-87349-783-1). I applaud Bronco for kitting this vehicle, but it will take a modeler of considerable experience to do it justice. – John Plzak
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ALASKA • Anchorage
www.anchoragehouseofhobbies.com Alaska’s best hobby supplier since 1964. Two stories, 6,300sf, 1st floor all R/C, 2nd floor general hobbies, plastics, trains, slot cars, telescopes & more!
ANCHORAGE HOUSE OF HOBBIES
2803 Spenard Rd.
ARKANSAS • Jacksonville
Headquarters for scale hobbies. Models; N-HO-O trains; gaming; tools; paints, etc. Discounts & special orders. Open 10-6, closed Sundays and Wednesdays www.railandspruehobbies.com
RAIL & SPRUE HOBBIES
1200 John Harden Dr.
CALIFORNIA • Burbank
Large selection of plastic kits, paints, and supplies. Special orders no problem Visit us in person or online www.houseofhobbies.com Secure online ordering
BURBANK’S HOUSE OF HOBBIES
911 S. Victory Blvd.
CALIFORNIA • Canoga Park
Kits, plastic & wood, Slot cars & toys. Rockets, paint, glue and tools. Trains from Z to O. Mon 10-5; Tue-Fri 10-7; Sat 10-5; Closed Sun & Big Holidays. www.scalemodelstuff.com
SCALE MODEL STUFF
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 www.brookhursthobbies.com
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
B.C.T. HOBBY & CRAFTS
201-C McCray St.
CALIFORNIA • Orange
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 www.militaryhobbiesonline.com
830 E. Lincoln Ave.
CONNECTICUT • East Windsor
Old & rare kits, largest selection in military kits, rockets, & cars. Exit 45 off I-91. 10 minutes from Bradley Air Museum. www.craftechobbies.com 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
TIME MACHINE HOBBY
71 Hilliard St.
CONNECTICUT • Milford
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. www.HQHobbies.com
394 New Haven Ave., Unit 1
FLORIDA • Ft. Myers
Plastic modeling kits. Paint, tools, scenery, accessories, & scale model railroads. Mon - Sat 10:00am-6:00pm; Closed Sun www.metrotrainsandhobbies.com
METRO TRAINS & HOBBIES
12951 Metro Parkway
GEORGIA • Blue Ridge
Huge selection of model kits & accessories. Ships, Armor, Aircraft, Figures, Cars and more. Visit: www.freetimehobbies.com for complete listing. Monday to Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-4
FREE TIME HOBBIES
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: hobbybunker.com
HOBBY BUNKER, INC.
33 Exchange St.
MASSACHUSETTS • Marlboro
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 @ www.sparetimeshop.com
THE SPARE TIME SHOP
Rt 20E Main, Post Rd. Plaza
MASSACHUSETTS • Norton
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. mymummy.com E: email@example.com
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CALIFORNIA • San Mateo
MICHIGAN • Owosso
Your source for plastic models, die cast and all supplies needed to finish your latest model. Mon-Sat 9:30-6, Sun 11-5. www.talbotstoyland.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
445 South “B” Street
COLORADO • Aurora
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. http://www.colpar.com
1915 S. Havana St.
CONNECTICUT • Cos Cob
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. www.michtoy.com
MICHIGAN TOY SOLDIER & FIGURE CO.
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.
ANN’S HOBBY CENTER
405 E. Putnam Avenue
MICHIGAN • Royal Oak (Metro Detroit)
1400 E. 11 Mile Rd.
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NEVADA • Las Vegas 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.
4590 W Sahara Ave Ste 103
NEW HAMPSHIRE • Dover
NEW JERSEY • Kenvil
NEW JERSEY • Magnolia (Camden) Huge foreign & domestic model selection all scales. Automobiles, aircraft ship, books, wargames, scenery, diorama supplies, parts, tools. Open 7 days
AAA HOBBIES & CRAFTS
706 N. White Horse Pike
NEW YORK • Buffalo
SECTION 8 HOBBIES
NEW YORK • Middle Island
MEN AT ARMS HOBBIES, INC.
NEW YORK • Upr Eastside GR Manhattan Visit our in-house Aircraft Model Museum. Foreign and domestic plastic and wood kits. Open 7 days.
JAN'S HOBBY SHOP, INC.
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 10-6, Sat 10-5, Sun 1-6 Web site: www.topshelfmodelsllc.com
TOP SHELF MODELS
OREGON • Beaverton 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.
TRAINS & THINGS HOBBIES
11145 Turkey Dr.
HO & N, Lionel trains. Complete line of plastic kits, military and architecture supplies. Open 11am-6pm M-F, Sat. 10am-5pm www.gandgmodelshop.com
G & G MODEL SHOP
2522 Times Blvd.
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. www.malhobby.com
M-A-L HOBBY SHOP
108 S. Lee Street
TEXAS • San Antonio
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 10am-6pm.
1029 Donaldson Ave.
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. www.piperhobby.com
13892 Metrotech Dr.
Plastic Model Specialists. Large selection of rare & out-of-production models. Large selection of detail parts. Largest selection of plastic models in South Seattle! www.skywaymodel.com
SKYWAY MODEL SHOP
12615 Renton Ave. South
CANADA–AB • Calgary
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 www.modelland.com email@example.com
MODEL LAND LTD
3409A 26 Ave. SW
CANADA–ON • Ottawa (Vanier)
Great selection of model kits, accessories, detail parts, magazines, tools & paints. www.hobbylandstores.com
119 S. Main St.
East Tennessee’s largest plastic model selection. 8,000 sq. ft. of hobbies & toys. Located in Knoxville’s premier shopping destination. Turkey Creek Area. Open 7 days a week.
WASHINGTON • Seattle
Excellent selection of lead miniatureshistorical and fantasy. Plastic models, wargames & modeling supplies. Books and magazines. 134 Middle Country Rd.
VIRGINIA • Chantilly
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.
COOLTRAINS TOYS & HOBBIES
106 W. Main Street
TEXAS • Irving (Dallas Area)
Full service hobbies, a full line of HO, N, 3-Rail, military, cars, boats, planes, dollhouses, scratchbuilding supplies, plus details-details-details! 590 Rt. 46
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 www.CoolTrains.com
TEXAS • Houston
Best plastic, resin & balsa kits from around the world. Scratch building & diorama supplies, reference books, large paint selection including Humbrol, Citadel & Testors #334 90 Washington St.
PENNSYLVANIA • Landisville (Lancaster)
TENNESSEE • Knoxville
OREGON • Hillsboro
Let your imagination run wild! Aircraft, ships, cars, armor, special orders, diecast cars, model railroading Z to G and more... 210 East Front St.
Your single stop model building shop. Michigan’s largest selection of new and vintage kits in all genres plus everything needed to build them. Wed - Sat 11-8, Sun 12-5 Visit us on Facebook. www.modelcave.com
OKLAHOMA • Owasso
DEAN’S HOBBY STOP
116 N. Washington Street
MICHIGAN • Ypsilanti-Metro Detroit
Full service hobby shop. Over 6,000 recently acquired models. All the supplies you need to build your model. www.hillsborohobby.com
One of Canada's leading model shops. Complete line of military & aircraft kits, decals, paints and accessories. Free parking. On Parle Francais.
HOBBY HOUSE, LTD
80 Montreal Rd.
CANADA–ON • Toronto Large selection of new & out-of-production kits. Accessories & finishing products. Servicing the hobbies since 1986. We buy kit collections. www.wheelswingshobbies.com
WHEELS AND WINGS
1880 Danforth Ave.
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We all have issues
arking the 35th anniversary of FineScale Modeler magazine, our staff takes a moment to look back and pick a favorite moment that perhaps we and our readers have shared. What was your favorite FSM cover? Here are the ones we remember best.
May 2016: Phillip Gore’s USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) I can’t get enough sci-fi, meaning I had a hard time putting down the May 2016 issue decorated with the big, beautiful Enterprise. What a great way to honor the 50th anniversary of Star Trek! That’s what I love about modeling: You can take a fictional TV show and create real, tangible items from that story, bringing you a little closer to the Final Frontier. – Elizabeth Nash
April 2016: Modeling rough seas, with Chris Flodberg’s HMS Howe The seas are as realistic as I’ve seen in modeling, and the ship looks like it’s really bursting through the waves. Super realistic and dramatic, something modelers are try66 FineScale Modeler January 2017
ing to achieve and exactly what we want on our covers. Plus the story was a great howto! – Mark Savage I thought the minute I saw it that it had an impact — the ship looks like it’s coming at you. Realistic water, good detail on the ship. – Monica Freitag
October 1999: Marco Lavagnino’s Salvadoran P-51 There’ve been so many great covers over the last 35 years, it’s hard to pick just one. I started reading the magazine with the February 1987 issue, so the pair of Testors F-19 stealth fighters on the cover is a special memory. Several through the late ’80s and early ’90s were purchased on trips to Gabba Hobbies in Brisbane with my friend
Jens, so covers like December 1989 with the B-17 nose, January 1991 with the natural-metal F-104, and March 1993 with the big F-4 stand out. Many of the sci-fi covers caught my eye because of my fondness for the subject matter, but if I have to pick one then it’s October 1999. I like the lively diorama and the classic outlines of a P-51 Mustang in an unfamiliar setting and camouflage. – Aaron Skinner
May 1990: Lewis Pruneau’s Cambodian bus A sentimental favorite of mine; it was the first issue of FineScale Modeler I ever worked on, and the feature story was my first writing assignment for FSM. Lewis Pruneau’s stunning vignette reminded me of my visit to Bangladesh less than two years earlier. He really captured the look of public transportation in that part of the world. By the way, there are 104 figures in, on, or around that scratchbuilt, beat-up Ford bus. – Mark Hembree
Grumman F-14A Tomcat ITEM 61114 The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy’s Naval Fighter Experimental (VFX) program following the collapse of the F-111B project. The F-14 was the first of the American teen-series fighters, which were designed incorporating the experience of air combat against MiG fighters during the Vietnam War. This specific model kit depicts the F-14A Tomcat variant. The F-14A was the initial two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather interceptor fighter variant for the U.S. Navy. It first flew on December 21, 1970. As a U.S. Navy fighter it fulfilled the dual roles of long range interceptor and air superiority fighter, and later bomber. Deployed from 1974 to 2006, it successfully employed a “swing wing”, which offered variable sweep. The F-14A, which covers most of the early variants, was the most prolifically-produced variant of the Tomcat. 79 were exported to Iran before U.S. Iranian relations began to deteriorate, and later took part in the Iran-Iraq War.
Specifications • Fuselage length: 398mm; wingspan: 212mm - 408mm (according to position of movable “swing wing”). • The streamlined form of the aircraft is accurately captured, complete with moving wing - it can be depicted at angles from 20-75 degrees. • The aircraft is depicted in a parked position, with the landing gear deployed. • Separate parts are included to depict the different airbag and sealing plate shapes. They can be attached and detached after completion of the model. • Poly caps are inserted into the horizontal stabilizers to allow their movement. • Opening canopy piece allows closer inspection of the detail in the 2-seater cockpit. • Ladder and step components can be built in deployed or stowed positions. • Comes with 3 marking options: 2 for high-visibility F-14As from the VF-84 (Jolly Rogers) and VF-2 (Bounty Hunters) U.S. Navy Fighter Squadrons, plus 1 Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) unit F-14A. • Extra parts are included to depict the refueling probe and its bay, which were uncovered on IRIAF F-14s. • Two highly-realistic figures are included to depict seated pilot and co-pilot. • A comprehensive set of U.S. Navy air-to-air missiles is included in the kit. • Parts depict air-to-air missiles: AIM-9 Sidewinders (x4), AIM-7 Sparrow (x4) and AIM-54 Phoenix (x4). • Features parts to recreate 267 gallon drop tanks. FOLLOW US ON
Tamiya America, Inc.
36 Discovery, Ste 200, Irvine, CA 92618