Scale Model News

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A ScaleModelNews eBook

Test Issue

ScaleModelNews Bringing model makers together

SMN Print Edition Concept

Masterclass: Make a digital diorama Classic kits: How to value your collection Superdetail: When to add it – and when to stop Readers’ Showcase: Your finest models revealed The Wow! factor: How to win prizes and make money Plus: News, Views, Reviews, Tests, Shows, Pro Secrets, Source Finder, and much more

Welcome The creators of ScaleModelNews magazine invite you to explore these pages: to improve your skills and techniques, to see other modellers at work and be a member of the world-wide brotherhood of craftsmanship that is modelling today. Our subjects range right across the modelling spectrum – from ships to sci-fi, aircraft to cars, you should find something to interest you!


SMN Print Edition Concept

Turn the page for a modelling feast...

Regulars Welcome to this free digital version of the hardcopy test issue produced in 2008. We needed that paper phase to proceed with the SMN website. What you will read in these pages is real enough, except the contributors’ names, which are made up for test purposes.


10 Showcase Your finest models revealed to the world at large, but only one of them is the ScaleModelNews Gold Medal winner...

18 What’s new? The hotline on all that’s new and interesting in the world of creative modelling, from kit releases to show reports.

24 Questions and answers Your modelling problems and queries, answered and explained by our panel of experts.

30 The odd spot


Talking models

Words of wisdom from your kindly editor, Mr J.



Tiny tip for better models. This month, what to do with old wine corks.


I want it now!

Readers’ requests for that unobtainable model. Here Dave Simmons makes his case for a 1:24 scale Vulcan jet.



Save loads of dosh – and get a free model – with an annual subscription.

Modelling’s unusual side, and this month we look at K9 from Doctor Who, dubbed ‘the dog’ by keeper Mat Irvine.

94 Blast from the past SMN Print Edition Concept

Looking back at the history of scale modelling.

95 DVD Included with every issue, a jam-packed DVD, full of useful information, videos, pictures and much more.

The concept cars are coming! See news pages for the lowdown.

Tutorials 64

Beginners’ special

Every issue we go over the basics, but reckon that even you advanced modellers stand to gain something, too.

66 This spectacular Corgi diecast sci-fi creation is from the Gerry Anderson Captain Scarlet TV series. It’s made to approximately 1:100 scale.

Sprinkle magic dust on your favourite miniature to give it the best chance of a medal-winning exhibition performance.



Preparing for showtime Power plants

Try motorizing with this neat conversion of a 1:700 scale battleship (above). The Iowa may be small, but it sure goes!


Custom corner

Mat shows you how to make that model car just a little different with some top tweaks and ace mods.

41 Revell’s secret plans


We go to Germany to gain a super-spy peep at some of the tasty treats coming from Revell over the next 12 months – there’s some awesome stuff on its way.


48 How it is made Inside a kit factory, part 1: This month, we investigate the creation of a prototype model. It’s a look at the awesome skills of craftsmen who actually get paid to make models!

56 Hollywood model-makers It’s not all computers or camera tricks in the movies – nice to know there’s still a thriving model-making industry, making everything from weapons to warriors.

Cover story 60 Create new worlds with Photoshop How we created the main cover image with a table-top race car, a ‘Luft 1946’ jet, bits from a car spares store and to combine them, withPhotoshop on an Apple computer.

Dragon Wagon

This huge tank transporter could take pride of place in your collection – but at something of a price.


Formula 1 racer

Has this 1:12 car got what it takes? Find out the best (and worst) features in our detailed build-up review.

SMN Print Edition Concept

Showcase Looking at your finest scale creations

On these pages we show a selection, month-by-month, of ‘la creme de la creme’ of modelmaking skills – and if there are extras in there as well, such as imaginative diorama work, or particularly good photographic techniques, then so much the better. And for the best of the best each month, there’s a tasty prize, just to make it all worthwhile!

Most modellers are male, so it is especially good to see the ladies showing off their skills in these pages. Anne Leach, of Milton Keynes, hand-crafted this 1:6 scale Buzz Aldrin figure from modelling clay. The spacesuit was sewn together from specially-chosen fabrics that simulated the real thing.

Gold SMN Award

Antony Stokes of Newquay, Cornwall, photographed this 1:18 scale Corsair against the view from his seaside home. The sea is an entirely appropriate backdrop, for the aircraft was among the best naval fighters of World War II. Paul is a keen fan of this large scale and has a huge collection of vehicles and fighting vehicles in his barn. We plan to show you inside in next month’s issue of ScaleModelNews.

This ED-209 from Robocop is yet another fine marriage between traditional modelmaking and the digital world. Reader Anton Robert, of Versailles, France, superdetailed ED-209 from a ready-made children’s toy. To the photograph, he added a red moon, hills and lake using the Bryce computer program. Finally all elements were brought together in Adobe Photoshop

ScaleModelNews tutorial: Digital diorama

Create new worlds with Photoshop At last – home computers let you rival the pros with ‘Air Race 2020’

Adobe Photoshop is the leading image manipulation software, and rightly so – it’s a pleasure to use.

Even the finest model stays just that in the real world, a miniature version of the real thing. Many modellers, particularly those interested in military subjects, like to take things a step further by creating micro-worlds in the form of detailed dioramas. Here is another, digital, way to make your models shine and it’s ideal for sharing your images across the internet or in printed media. The key to this new addition to the modeller’s armoury is the Adobe Photoshop computer image-editing program, which is available for both Windows PCs and Apple Macs. You’ll need deep pockets to purchase the full program, which costs several hundred pounds, but Adobe also makes a cut-down version called Elements, which is much cheaper, and even comes free with many printers. Simplified it may be, but Elements is still a good program and can do all

the things we show you on these pages. The other vital tool for a new-style diorama is a digital camera. We are well past the stage where the image quality of these cameras is an issue; in fact, camera makers are rapidly phasing out production of film products, so it won’t be too long before film-using die-hards are an extinct species. But the main argument for using digital cameras is also about quality – you can shoot and shoot again, until you are entirely happy with the results, without the cost of film or development coming the equation – it’s a nice place to be. Still, even the best digital tools aren’t too much good if your model is not up to scratch in the first place, though you can get rid of small imperfections in Photoshop. The best plan is to start off – as we did here – with first-class miniatures that look good in the first place.

SMN Print Edition Concept


Table-top photography

You don’t need an expensive studio, but you do need lots of light for sharp images. A sunny or bright-overcast day is best.



Side views and different angles

With a digital camera you can afford to take as many pictures as you like, photographing your subject from all angles – one of the extras might come in useful later. For example, this shot was used as the basis for one of the airborne racers in the main image.

Choosing the final angle


Choosing a background

Only you can decide which picture you like best. If in doubt use some technical basics as your deciding factors. Is the colour good? Is the focus crisp and sharp? Is the image easy to cut out against its background? Does the foreground look convincing?

We wanted a sci-fi flavour, so choosing an image like this seemed a good idea. But you can choose anything you like!



Combining the elements in one image

Photoshop works by having the various parts of the picture as ‘layers’. Here, the mountains are on the ‘background’ layer with vehicles on a ‘foreground’ layer. To blend the two, the back of the grey mat was blurred to give an impression of distance.

Details, details...

You can add a little blur to the racers’ tails to suggest speed. Now add soft airbrush vapour trails for the final touch.

Blast from the past Leading-edge creations from scale modelling’s younger days The 1950s was a period of high tension as the US and USSR squared off in early rounds of the space race. In these years, the US firm of Strombecker brought out a range of ‘space faction’ kits that showed realistic ideas for future craft. One of the best of these kits was this wheel-shaped space station, based on the ideas of German space scientist, Dr Wernher von Braun.

SMN Print Edition Concept

The spacewheel was popular because it would have given occupants a feeling of weight as it rotated. This model was produced by another US firm, Lindbergh. It included a pair of space taxis, docked to the central hub. This would have remained still, to to allow safe connections between station and spacecraft.

Eye candy

Great looking scale models caught in the camera lens this month


A ScaleModelNews eBook

Bringing model makers together

SMN Print Edition Concept

Seen against the setting sun, this Revell 1:48 SE5a is depicted just after takeoff on a night interdiction mission in 1918, its target, giant marauding Zeppelin airships. The kit was constructed ‘stock’, apart from the quartet of brass-tube rocket launchers mounted under the lower wings. The black finish was

sprayed with automotive-quality satin primer. The aircraft was photographed with a Nikon digital camera on a garden table, to be matched up in Photoshop against a sunset picture from the same camera. The only other tweaking in the final image was a small amount of blur applied to the propeller, to give a hint of motion as it spins around.

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