Another future project

I picked up one of these off Ebay for a very good price and it arrived today;

Although this version is based on the US Marine Corps Osprey, typically I wanted to build a USAF one so you might be thinking “why did’nt he get a USAF version in the first place?” The answers to that question are (1) the USAF version is out of production, (2) the USAF ones that are available are asking silly money on Ebay and (3) all that differentiates the different versions is just one sprue (E for USMC and this Osprey and J for the USAF one).

Having looked online at the two sprues, the differences are mainly confined to the outer tail fins as the USAF version has extra bits nailed on plus there are a couple of different parts to add to the fuselage such as the dome on the nose ( a low-flying radar or something I believe) plus a couple of lumps that go underneath.

However having also looked at reference pictures online Hasegawa missed or simplified a few things too so regardless of which version you want to build, you are going to have to make stuff from scratch. Anyway I got a Wolfpak decal sheet that features a USAF Osprey based at RAF Mildenhall in 2019;

Images of this particular machine show some differences in the antenna arrangement on the upper fuselage plus the addition of what looks to be some type of counter-measure pods underneath the fuselage so these should be interesting to make.

Revell 1/72 Dornier 28 & Hasegawa 1/72 F-104G

With the ICM 1/48 O-2A getting close to being finished I’ve put these two back on the bench with a view to getting them both done.

Progress on the F-104 is slow due to the sheer amount of stencils that have to be applied but it’s getting there, the Dornier 28 I’m not so sure about as I had some issues with the decals. The biggest problem is that the decals were all printed as one instead of separately so you have to cut them from the backing sheet individually, also they are a bit on the thick-side so I’ve ended up with very noticeable edges around the decals.

I was hoping that a coat of gloss varnish would even it out but that didn’t work and so I left it for a while. There was too much work involved to scrap it but sourcing modern Luftwaffe code numbers, letters and the ‘Marine’ logo in the size that this particular aircraft featured has been difficult. It was pointless getting another sheet from HaHen as I would be just back to square one, however the Astra decal sheet I’m using for the F-104 is also available in 1/144 scale so this SHOULD provide me with the required size of decals. When it turns up I’ll measure the decals against the ones on the Dornier and if they are the right size (or near as dammit) I’ll remove the HaHen ones from the model, repaint and re-varnish as necessary, apply the Astra decals and then hopefully I will be happier with the model.

ICM 1/48 O-2A (late production)

Despite the very warm weather here in the UK at the moment, I managed to finish spraying the O-2 and it is now ready for gloss varnishing.

The grey needed a very light sanding as some areas dried to a gritty finish, once done the model was resprayed but with the addition of Tamiya lacquer paint retarder. Even the lacquer white sprayed well with some retardent in too.

The only gripe so far is after removing the masking tape from the roof of the fuselage, I managed to break the horizontal aerial in two however this will be replaced with brass strip as I wasn’t happy with the kit supplied item as it was too thick.

ICM 1/48 O-2A (late production)

I sprayed the model with a base coat of Tamiya LP-3 from their lacquer range today and even on quite a warm day here in the UK it sprayed very nicely;

The base coat threw up a couple of small issues such as the fit of the windscreen and the joint down the centre of the top cowling but these have now been rectified and the model is ready for the top coat of light grey.

ICM 1/48 O-2A (Late Production)

I managed to finish the build tonight so after a wipe over with IPA, this will be ready for masking and painting.

Not a bad little kit really, just a few niggling bits such as joints that needed filling especially the underside of the cockpit, around the nose and the underside of the wing roots. I have to say that the Aerocraft brass undercarriage and wing struts are very much needed as with the amount of weight required in the nose, the main gear would have collapsed already, plus the brass struts support the wings better as I’m sure the kit ones would have bowed outwards over a short space of time.

I just need to write this up for The Modelling News and you can read about the build in more detail there when it is published.

Something radically different

Last weekend I attended the American Classic Car Show at Tatton Park here in the UK (coincidentally it was the 4th July too) with my partner and family members. It was lovely to see the American cars but what caught my eye the most were the two Kenworth trucks there;

These trucks have always been a favourite of mine as going back over 35 years, I remember seeing a couple of models in a magazine at the time (possibly Scale Models International) and being impressed by them. I actually bought an AMT 1/25 Peterbilt Wrecker around the same time but never did it justice;

Fast forward to the present and for a few weeks now I’ve had an urge to build another truck but this time I would have the modelling skills to do it justice, also seeing the trucks at the show swung my decision to get one so this was delivered today;

It’s still the old AMT tooling from the late 70’s-early 80’s however it has been reboxed with new decals included. This is a definite advantage over buying a vintage issue as the decals would probably not be useable.

The kit decal sheet

The parts themselves are showing their age with large amounts of flash in places and mould-pin marks in some obvious areas plus the details are of it’s era too. Having said that the kit is a very useable platform to build on and with some extra work it can be turned into a great model, of course the biggest job will be to strip the chrome plating off as it looks horrible and will be difficult to cover up areas that have joint lines such as the fuel tanks and exhaust stacks. Before I do anything to the model all the chrome parts will be dipped in household bleach or caustic soda to remove the plating which having done it on the Thunderbirds Mole is not the most enjoyable of jobs.

Anyway here’s some photo’s of the parts;

the exhaust stacks are in two halves each side
moulded in instrument dials.
The chassis rails with many mould pin marks
These don’t look too bad….
….until you see the back.
The engine block.

There is a lot of simplification throughout the model and it will require some clean up but it can be improved upon and will stretch the old scratch building skills.

Whether it will be a turning point in my modelling interests remains to be seen but I do know I’m running out of steam (and patience) with WW2 German armour and have been looking for different subjects (witness the Jagermeister Porsche I built recently) so this should fulfill that need.

Italeri 1/35 T-34/85 Korean War

That’s that one finished! On this one I decided to push myself more on the weathering as I wanted to try out some techniques that featured in an article by Joaquin Garcia Gazquez in Model Military Int’l magazine, specifically using pigment powders mixed with acrylic gel. Also I wanted to try out snow effects too as I was aiming for the ‘first flurries of winter’ look instead of plastering it on.

Anyway here’s a couple of shots, the rest of them and a full write up will feature on The Modelling News very soon.

Tank weathering

Before going any further on the Italeri T-34/85 I’ve been experimenting with various pigments and fluids such as acrylic gloss varnish and Johnsons Kleer to try and achieve wet mud effects. Generally my weathering has been pretty reserved, monotone or just plain disastrous like the Takom Bergepanther.

For a test bed I’m using a Zvezda 1/35 Su-85 that I did as a build review and these are the results so far (ignore the pre-shading as I was testing something else);

So far I’m pretty pleased with the effects. I’ve been using pigments from Mirage and Alclad and they look OK (the Alclad is cheaper too) so I may get some more to play with. The next thing to experiment with is snow as I want the Italeri model to look similar to the box art so when it turns up I’ll try that on the test mule.

Italeri 1/35 T-34/85 ‘Korean War’

After gloss coating the model, adding the decals (all 6 of them) then gloss coating again to seal the decals in, I’ve made a start on the weathering. The first job was to apply a pin wash however my usual ‘go to’ (Mig Productions Dark Wash) is not dark enough so I mixed some in a pot with black oil colour and it looks much better to me;

The next job is to spray the model with a semi-gloss varnish as I want to see how it looks as opposed to a dead matt finish, after which I’ll spray the running gear and lower hull with a mix of dark brown and black then throw some pigments on it. Hopefully the model should be done this week then I can write it up for The Modelling News as part 2 of the build review.

Italeri 1/35 T-34/85 and Thunderbirds Mole

I’ve just finished spraying the base coats for both of these models;

The Mole was sprayed with a mix of Tamiya XF-18 Medium Blue and XF-24 Dark Grey while the T-34/85 was sprayed with AK RC073 Protective 4BO. After spraying the AK paint I added some Tamiya XF-15 Flesh into the mix and sprayed it between various panels, turret and hull sides to give the model a bit of contrast. Tomorrow they will both get a coat of gloss varnish prior to adding the decals and pin washes.

The last time I tried AK paints I was less than impressed as adding a weathering wash on the interior of the Takom Bergepanther, the paint reacted with the water and started coming off so since then I haven’t used them. That was a couple of years ago now and I believe AK have improved the paint since then so I thought I would try them again. I have to say the paint sprayed very nicely and with no issues considering the heatwave we are having in the UK at the moment so I may get a few more colours to try out. Also it’s worth pointing out that both the AK and Tamiya paints were thinned with Mr Hobby Self Levelling Thinner and I had no issues with either.

THE KIT BOX

Spencer Pollard's Scale Models

Model Airplane Maker

Building and improving scale models