Fine Scale Modeler Vol.32 Issue 05

Simon Harrison used multiple kits and aftermarket details to build Erich Hartmann’s Bf 109G-6 – p.38 May 2014 OUR EXPERT TEAM BUILDS...

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Simon Harrison used multiple kits and aftermarket details to build Erich Hartmann’s Bf 109G-6 – p.38

Superdetail a World War II U-boat p.24 Build a great-looking multilevel display base p.36


fantastic reader models p.30

SHOWCASE: Roy Chow’s amazing Studebaker truck p.28



Takom Renault FT 17 p.54

Zvezda Sukhoi Su 2 p.61


Vol. 32 • Issue 5



May 2014 • Vol. 32 • No. 5 Online Content Code: FSM1405 Enter this code at to gain access to web-exclusive content.




It may be green, but it doesn’t


need to be drab


Breaking up a monochromatic scheme JAMES WECHSLER

Page 54



Building and detailing a U-boat

The right tools make all the difference




• Airfix Gloster Javelin



• Takom Renault FT French light tank

• Master Box Mk.I Male British tank

Modify a Soviet “Studer”

• BPK Boeing 737-200

Scratchbuilding a bed to model

• Hasegawa N1K2-J Shiden Kai “George”

a Lend-Lease dump truck


• Zvezda Sukhoi Su-2


Multilevel display bases Easy and interesting model display





Kitbashing Erich Hartmann’s Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6/U2


A cool conversion in winter white SIMON HARRISON


Working with white-metal Not all kits come in plastic


• Minicraft KC-135E 63

• G.W.H. F-15B/D

In Every Issue 6 8 12 14 30

Editor’s Page Scale Talk Spotlight New Products Reader Gallery

50 52 64 64 65

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

On the Cover First-time FSM author Simon Harrison admits he has a thing for Messerschmitts. He cut up two of them to model German ace Erich Hartmann’s plane, and why not? He has plenty more!


Get more at! Visit our website! You can enjoy more modeling photos and feature articles, access additional modeling resources, get industry news, see previews of upcoming issues, or register to participate in discussions on our Forum. And it’s free!

Subscribers: Click on “Register,” enter the customer number from your subscription label, and throughout your subscription you’ll ha li i ed c e o s f at mor tha 1, 00 kit reviews, and a database of more than ,000 products!

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 ofces. Postmaster: Send address changes to FineScale Modeler, 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612. Canada Post Publication Mail Agreement #40010760.

Editor’s Page By Matthew Usher

A new book from an old friend WELCOME TO the May issue of FineScale Modeler! Hopefully you’re enjoying your summer, while still finding some time to head inside and work on a project (or two) at the workbench. This issue has a great variety of stories. Perhaps not surprisingly, one of my favorites is our cover story, Simon Harrison’s fantastic depiction of Erich Hartmann’s Bf 109G-6/U2 in 1/48 scale. Simon combines parts from different kits (otherwise known as “kitbashing”) and adds aftermarket details to build a great representation of Harmann’s winter-white fighter. Simon’s story is filled with great building and detailing information, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, no matter what you build. Another one of my favorite stories in this issue covers another

German fighter, although that may be where the similarities end. Kelly Wionzek shares his techniques for working with white metal as he builds a 1/72 scale Halberstadt D.II in Turkish

IT WILL MAKE A GREAT ADDITION TO YOUR SCALEMODELING LIBRARY markings. While all-metal kits like the Halberstadt are somewhat uncommon, white-metal detail parts (such as replacement landing-gear legs) are popular on the aftermarket. The story’s a great primer for modeling with materials other than plastic, and the finished model looks great, too. One of our favorite authors, Chris Mrosko, has an all-new book out, Building Dioramas. Chris

is a world-class, award-winning modeler, and his book is full of his expert tips. It will make a great addition to your scale-modeling library. Ask for it at your local hobby store, or to order a copy online, visit www.KalmbachStore. com. You can also call 1-800-5336644, Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT. (Outside the US and Canada, call 262-796-8776, ext. 661.) The book (No. 12476) costs $21.99. Until next time, enjoy the issue!

[email protected] Want to learn more? For the latest news as well as modeling tips and techniques, visit our website at

Your Editorial Staff

Editor Matthew Usher editor

Associate Editor Mark Hembree mhembree

Associate Editor Tim Kidwell tkidwell

Associate Editor Aaron Skinner askinner

Editorial Associate Monica Freitag mfreitag

Associate Publisher Mark Savage msavage

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


FineScale Modeler

May 2014

Customer service (subscriptions, renewals, and consumer products): 800 533 6644, weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT; outside the U.S. and Canada 262 796 8776 ext.421 Fax: 262 796 1615 [email protected]

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Editor Matthew W. Usher Associate Editor Mark Hembree Associate Editor Tim Kidwell Associate Editor Aaron Skinner Editorial Associate Monica Freitag Art Director Tom Ford Senior Graphic Designer Patti L. Keipe Illustrator Jay W. Smith Photographers Jim Forbes, William Zuback Production Supervisor Helene Tsigistras Production Coordinator Cindy Barder Group Circulation Manager Kristin Johnson Circulation Coordinator Carly Witkowski Associate Publisher Mark Savage CONTACT US

Customer Sales and Service 800-533-6644 Advertising Sales 888-558-1544 Group Sales Manager Rick Albers, Ext. 652 Ad Sales Representative Jim Hagerty, Ext. 549 Ad Services Representative Cassie Spoerl, Ext. 620

3 Models Available!



Lindberg kits have always been proudly made in America. The tradition continues with Round 2’s acquisition of the Lindberg and Hawk brands! Several classic and iconic models are already on retail shelves, with many more planned for release in 2014. Look for the ‘Made in the USA’ decal on every Lindberg scale model! They’re the finest kits designed, engineered and produced in the USA.

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Tell your favorite hobby shop you want quality American made models. Tell them you want Lindberg!

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Phone 800-558-1544, Press 3 Outside U.S. & Canada 262-796-8776, Ext. 818 Fax 262-798-6592 E mail [email protected] Website KALMBACH PUBLISHING CO. President Charles R. Croft

Vice President, Advertising Scott Stollberg Vice President, Editorial, Publisher Kevin P. Keefe Vice President, Marketing Daniel R. Lance Corporate Art Director Maureen M. Schimmel Managing Art Director Michael Soliday Corporate Circulation Director Michael Barbee Single Copy Sales Director Jerry Burstein ADVISORY BOARD John Noack, Paul Boyer, Shep Paine, Bob Collignon, Cookie Sewell, Pat Covert, Rusty White, Pat Hawkey ©2014, Kalmbach Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Title is registered as trademark. This publication may not be reproduced in part or in whole without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations used in reviews. Postmaster: Periodicals postage paid at Waukesha, Wisconsin, and additional offices. Send address changes to FineScale Modeler, Kalmbach Publishing Co., 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: U.S., 10 issues, $39.95; 20 issues, $74.95; 30 issues, $106.95. Canada, 10 issues, US$47.95; 20 issues, US$87.95; 30 issues, US$126.95. International, 10 issues, US$51.95; 20 issues, US$98.95; 30 issues, US$142.95. Canadian price includes GST (Canada Publication Mail Agreement #40010760, BN 12271 3209 RT). Expedited Delivery Service: Domestic First Class, add $20/yr.; Canadian Air, add US$20/yr.; International Air, add US$45/yr.

HL201 Southern Belle Paddle Wheel Steamship HL105 1957 Chevy® Ragtop HL413 B-70 Bomber VISIT ROUND2MODELS.COM OR CONTACT YOUR ROUND 2 REPRESENTATIVE FOR MORE INFORMATION!

4073 Meghan Beeler Ct South Bend, IN 46628 574.243.3000 GENERAL MOTORS Trademarks used under license to Round 2, LLC LINDBERG is a registered trademark of Round 2, LLC ©2014 Round 2, LLC, South Bend, IN 46628 USA Designed and made in the USA All rights reserved

Letters, new releases, and new product information are accepted as gratis contributions to FineScale Modeler. Feature articles and scale drawings are paid for on acceptance. All other submissions are paid for upon publication, at which time FineScale Modeler obtains all reproduction rights unless otherwise agreed. Instructions for submitting features, photographs, and drawings for publication are available from the editorial associate or online at Unsolicited material will be returned only if postage and envelope are provided. FineScale Modeler is not responsible for the safe return of unsolicited material. Printed in U.S.A.

May 2014


Scale Talk Your voice in FSM

Much appreciated

A special thank you to FSM for including my X-3 Stiletto diorama in your 2013 IPMS National Convention coverage ( January 2014). You obviously had a lot of models to choose from, and this exceeds any recognition that I could have received at the convention. I’ve entered the diorama at local and regional shows, and placed “Best of ” in the special X-planes theme at the Tulsa, Okla., IPMS show. I’m mostly interested in building and upgrading older kits. It challenges my skills and may also reflect my age. I enjoy FSM; it continues to provide some of the best “bedtime stories.” Keep up the good work! - Myron Schmidt Newton, Kan.

Myron, you’re very welcome! And great work! — Aaron Skinner, Associate Editor Happy memories

I just picked up the January 2014 issue and opened to Workbench Reviews. The review of Trumpeter’s 1/32 scale A-6 Intruder (Page 62) brought back good memories. I worked with VA-75 Sunday Punchers as an ordnanceman third class during the first Gulf War. I’m planning to save up for this model and find some decals for my old squadron. - Kenneth Oakley Cadillac, Mich. Aftermarket mayhem

I was skimming through the latest edition of FSM and came across a couple of letters regarding a letter I’d missed in the November 2013 Scale Talk: Tony Proctor’s “An average modeler.” Judging by the responses I’ve read, it seems I’m not alone in seeing things in this hobby that leave common sense behind. Over the last few year, I’ve read many an article in various modeling magazines where an author spends $40 or more on a basic kit, at least twice as much on aftermarket parts to detail the interior, engines, weapons bays, and the like, and at least twice as many hours on the build as he spent on the costs of the kit and aftermarket parts. Then, after all that work, we see the fuselage, chassis, engine bay, wheel wells, and everything else, all closed up, forever hiding the details inside. What in the name of sanity is the point in doing all of that work unless you’re going 8

FineScale Modeler

May 2014

to cut away various parts of the model to show the detail work? Don’t misunderstand me: I’m aware of the fact that the average modeler isn’t going to buy a modeling magazine featuring articles from other modelers of comparable skills, and I greatly admire those people who can create those masterpieces. I know it’s their money and time, and I know that aftermarket-parts makers are only responding to the demands of the advanced hobbyist. Still, it’s bad enough when model manufacturers include parts that will never be seen once the model is done. But to go one step further and voluntarily buy more subassemblies that ultimately no one will ever be able to admire? When I’m looking over the instructions of a kit on my workbench, planning the build, I tell myself, “If a subassembly won’t be seen when the kit’s built, don’t waste any time, glue, and paint on it!” After all, for the vast majority of us, this is supposed to be something we do to distract ourselves from the worries in our lives. All of that cement and paint would be put to better use on parts of the kit that you and others are going to actually see when the model is finished. Thanks for letting me vent. - Russell J. Mitchell Orlando, Fla. Is it really a lightning strip?

I was very impressed by Darren Roberts’ F-14 Tomcat (February 2014): good techniques and hints, and super pictures. However, I want to comment on Picture 35, where Darren calls out a “lightning strip” on the canopy. On full-size F-14s, this is a thin metallic strip that attracts and bleeds off electrostatic charges produced as the aircraft moves through the air, not, as Darren’s callout implies, to discharge lightning strikes. As Darren states, it is very thin — so thin it could be represented by a pencil line in 1/48 scale. Still, a good detail that is not normally found or mentioned on models. - Ron Brown, CSM (Ret.) Dumfries, Va.

Ron, thanks for writing! After receiving your letter, we contacted Darren. His information regarding the lightning strip comes from two sources: a former F-14 maintainer who confirmed both the name and metal strip’s function, and the Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) F-14 flight manual. The latter

Darren Roberts added a lightning strip to his F-14 Tomcat featured in the March 2014 FSM.

says: “The cockpit is enclosed by a one−piece, clamshell, rear−hinged canopy. Provisions are included to protect the pilot and RIO from lightning strikes by the installation of aluminum tape on the canopy above the heads of the crew.” — Tim Kidwell, Associate Editor Enjoy your hobby

I have read, with interest, recent letters in Scale Talk from modelers who have participated in the hobby for decades. Many write about the improvements they’ve made over the years pursuing a rewarding and enjoyable hobby. And it is sad to read about some modelers dropping out because they could not compete with award-winning models. That is not what the hobby is or should not be about. Not all of us have the time, money, or ability to replicate every nut, bolt, and cockpit detail. The main objective of this hobby should be to relax, have fun, and try to improve your skills as the opportunity presents itself. It is OK to admire and learn a thing or two from expert work, but the only persons we need to impress in this hobby are ourselves. Take the time to pat yourself on the back when looking at your latest masterpiece. When the hobby becomes work, it’s time to find another hobby. - James Allman Grayling, Mich. Let us know what you think! Comments, suggestions, corrections, and additional views on FSM articles are welcome. E mail your thoughts to [email protected], or visit and click on “Contribute to FSM.” You can also mail typed or handwritten letters to the address on Page 6. Clearly mark “To the Editor” on the envelope. Please limit your comments to no more than 300 words and include your name and location.

1:48 Scale

• All new tooling • Multi piece detailed engine • Fixed support struts and landing gear • U.S. Navy and Army decal versions. 85-5264

©2014 Revell Inc., Elk Grove Village, IL 60007. All rights reserved. MAY14

May 2014


Scale Talk Don’t compare. Enjoy.

Dave Bockhorn’s letter in the February 2014 FSM saddened me. He wrote that he was distressed by the degree of modeling detail to which many of his peers had risen, to the effect that these efforts had grossly overshadowed his own, and, as a result, he gave up building models. I see this as tragic! I am 70 years old and have been modeling since I was 13, and I’ve never come close to the level of models that I see in FSM. However, I revel in the sublime degree of “perfection” which others achieve. It fuels my desire to improve my work. I may not have that many years left to build scale aircraft, but I love my hobby and encourage all modelers to enjoy what they do. Don’t compare your efforts to that of others. Find pleasure and satisfaction in what you do and what you produce! - Prof. Henry Dittman Crestview, Fla.

Perseverance and success

I built my first model, with my dad’s help, at age 6. It was an F-111, and, in truth, he probably built more than I did. But all I remember is that it was perfect.


Here I am, 44 years later, and I’ve worked my way up to being an average modeler. I’ve been in a club (IPMS Space Coast) for more than 20 years, learning a lot about being a better modeler and trying to enter a model in each contest. While I admire the quality of the models that win, winning is never my goal. I enter to participate. I like quality kits because even an average modeler like me can make a good-looking model. I may change the paint colors or apply different decals, but, for the most part, I just build out of the box. Anything more becomes tiresome and, for me, takes the fun out of it. Then I get bored and the model ends up back in the box unfinished. With enough coaxing from my fellow club members, I decided to see how good of a model I could really do and enter it in a contest — but still just an out-of-the-box build. So, I picked a kit of my motorcycle: Tamiya’s 1/12 scale Honda CBR 1100XX Blackbird. I put into it all that I’ve learned over the 20-plus years in the club and from reading Finescale Modeler. I practiced techniques on spare parts and still had to redo several parts until I was satisfied it was the best I could do.



Endeavoring to build the best model he could by using only the parts out of the box, Rob Buery won first place with Tamiya’s Honda CBR.

My CBR won first prize in the contest. So unexpected was the honor that other members had to tell me because I’d missed the announcement. I was so excited, my fingers were numb and the gold medal slipped out of my hand and hit the floor. I’m glad it was metal! I’ll continue to participate and enter in the contests. I may never win anything ever again; but that’s OK — I got one!

- Rob Buery Marietta, Ga.



Now at Workbench Reviews Subscribers receive early access to upcoming reviews. Weekly free review Check out this week’s free model kit review. Article archive Search our article collection to find the answer to your modeling question. Tips database Need modeling advice? Subscribers can search our extensive database of reader-supplied tips.

Video issue previews FSM Editor Matthew Usher highlights what’s inside the current and past issues. How-to Want to use super glue as a filler, apply a wash, or rescribe panel lines? Trying to get your airbrush to work the way you want it to? FSM’s editors show you how! New Product Rundown Associate Editors Tim Kidwell and Aaron Skinner pick the hottest scalemodel hobby releases, open up the boxes, and show you why they rock.

Desktop wallpapers Download a desktop wallpaper of the Pegasus Hobbies 1/144 scale The Nautilus reviewed by Tim Kidwell in the March 2014 issue. Also, don’t miss the desktop wallpaper of Airfix’s 1/72 scale Gloster J-8/Gladiator Mk.II built and reviewed by Phil Pignataro.

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


FineScale Modeler

May 2014

May 2014


Spotlight Compiled by Aaron Skinner

Well-engineered Lightning II from Academy


fter more than a decade of design and development LockheedMartin’s F-35A is undergoing pilot training and is expected to enter operational service in 2016. The 5th Generation fighter seems to have found favor with kit manufacturers in the last couple of years, with new kits in 1/48 and 1/72 scales. The latest to hit shelves is Academy’s 1/72 scale Lightning II (kit No. 12507). As with some other recent Academy offerings, the F-35A is molded in multi-


FineScale Modeler

May 2014

colored plastic (MCP), in this case dark gray, medium gray, white, and black. Initially reminiscent of Matchbox kits, the different colors are used as they are on the real plane. For example, black tires get fitted with white wheels and white intakes fit inside gray lips. Although most builders will paint the model — colored part breakdown makes that easy — this feature is a nice nod to novices. The parts feature crisp molding, with petite engraved lines, raised panels, and sharp trailing edges and intake lips. Separate weapon and gear bays fit into the lower fuselage half. Optional doors allow the weapon bays to be posed open or closed. AIM-120 missiles and a choice of GBU-31 and GBU-38 bombs are included for the bays. Both types of bombs and AIM-9X Sidewinders can be

used on the optional underwing racks. Other options include a pilot for the well-appointed cockpit and a posable canopy. Painting instructions indicate mixing silver with gunship gray and dark gull gray for the fuselage colors. Decals provide markings for three F-35As, one each at Edward, Eglin, and Nellis air force bases. Distributed in the United States by Model Rectifier Corp., the F-35A costs $39.

“Forbidden Planet” cruiser powers up


olar Lights recently released a deluxe edition of the fabulous 1/144 scale C57-D space cruiser (kit No. POL916) from the science-fiction classic “Forbidden Planet.” This version of the model incorporates all of the basic plastic from the original kit — you can read my review in the December 2013 FSM — with a circuit board added. It has a motor to rotate the engine cage and red LEDs to provide the proper running glow. It’s a simple addition to the model that provides even more display options. Produced by Round 2, the C57-D costs $59.99.

Grex improves on a great design


ith instantly recognizable neongreen hand-grips, Grex airbrushes have quickly become one of the most distinctive tools on workbenches. The company has also established a reputation for quality, easy-to-use airbrushes and I’ve spoken to a lot of modelers who are converts to the brand. FSM recently received the latest version to Grex’s classic Tritium, in this case the TS

side-feed. The Tritium features Grex’s pistol-style trigger. We also received the Genesis XGi, a top-feed brush. The Genesis features a top-mounted trigger, but includes a soft polymer grip to make it more comfortable than traditional airbrushes, especially for extended painting sessions. Both styles are available with either top- or side-feed. Both brushes come in a sturdy plastic container with several different paint reservoirs as well as quick-fit needle caps, a magnetic system that allows for instant changes from standard to crown caps. We plan to put the brushes through their paces in an upcoming issue of FSM. In the meantime, visit www.grexairbrush. com for more information. The Tritium costs $299, the Genesis is $208.

ICM joins the Blitz bandwagon


ot as well known as it’s larger brethren, Opel’s 1.5-ton Blitz served the German military throughout World War II, and more than 15,000 had been built by the time production ceased in 1951. Several manufacturers have

produced kits of the 3-ton Blitz, but ICM’s is the first mainstream 1/35 scale kit of the 1.5-ton Typ 2,5-32 (kit No. 35401) I am aware of. Molded in dark tan, the parts show beautiful molding — distinct panel edges, uniform

louvers, and fine detail parts; the open grillework on the nose has to be seen to be believed. Features include a complete engine and drivetrain, detailed cab and driver controls, separate windows, and rubber tires. Decals provide markings for four German army trucks, three in dark gray, the other dark yel-

low and green. Distributed in the U.S. by Squadron, the Typ 2,5-32 costs $47.99.

May 2014


New Products

Compiled by Monica Freitag



Air National Guard F-4C/D Part 3, No. CD48038, $15.99; YF-23,

Edition. Look for a detailed review in an upcom ing issue of FSM. From Eduard and Associates.

No. CD48048, $14.99. From Caracal Models.

1/32 DETAIL SETS F-104 Starfighter landing gear (for Italeri), No. 32079, $17.95. From Scale

USAF/VNAF A-1E Skyraider,

Aircraft Conversions.

No. CD48046, $15.99. From Caracal Models.


Mitsubishi A6M3/3a Zero Fighter Model 22 (Zeke), No. 60785, $26. From Tamiya

America Inc.

Messerschmitt Me 410B-6/R-2,

No. 85 5990, $31.99. Pro Modeler. From Revell.

1/72 SCALE KITS USAF F-35A Lightning II, No. 12507, $39.

MCP (multi colored parts). Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM. From Academy, available from Model Rectifier Corporation.

English Electric Lightning F.2A ,

No. A04054, $24.25. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM. From Airfix.

1/72 DETAIL SETS F-4 Phantom II landing gear (for Hasegawa), No. 72081, $11.95; B-29 Superfortress landing gear (for Airfix),

Japanese A6M5 Zero, No. 85 5267,

$13.59. From Revell.

No. 72082, $14.95. From Scale Aircraft Conversions. Focke-Wulf Fw190 F-8/A-8, No. A02066,


$13.25. From Airfix.

US Marines AV-8A Harrier, No. CD72017, $13.99; YF-23, No. CD72016, $12.99. From

Caracal Models.

MISCELLANEOUS DETAIL SETS Hand-made wood laminate propellers. MQ-8B Fire Scout UAV helicopter,

No. 72010, $44.30. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM. From Pacific Coast Models, Inc.

De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth,

No. A01025, $9.95. Look for a review in an upcoming issue of FSM. From Airfix.

1/48 DETAIL SETS Mitsubishi A6M Zero landing gear (for Hasegawa), No. 48247, $12.95; Fairey Firefly landing gear (for Special Hobby), No. 48248, $13.95; Saab Lansen landing gear (for Tarangus), No. 48249, $16.95; Sea Harrier FRS.1/FA.2 landing gear (for Airfix), No. 48250, $16.95. From Scale

Aircraft Conversions. MiG-15bis, No. 7056, $24.95. ProfiPack


FineScale Modeler

May 2014

Price deter mined by blade and scale: 2 blade 1/48 $25, 1/32 $30, 1/28 $35; 4 blade 1/48 $33, 1/32 $40 and 1/28 $45. The Micro Group LLC.

SUBSCRIBER-ONLY CONTENT More than 13,000 product listings online at


cab, No. 63501. Contact your local dealer for

price information. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM. From Merit International.


M24 Chaffee Korean War,

US 155mm M198 towed Howitzer,

No. AF35209. Contact your local dealer for price information. From AFV Club, available from Merit International.

Ford GPA amphibian 1/4 ton 4x4 truck,

No. 35336, $40. From Tamiya America Inc.

No. 61602. Contact your local dealer for price information. From Merit International. FineScale Modeler magazine receives new products from a variety of manufac turers on a daily basis and we are now able to share all of them with you through our interactive exclusive FSM product database. Click on the Product News link at U.S. M19 tank transporter with hard top German 15cm sFH18 Howitzer,

No. 61603. Contact your local dealer for price information. From Merit International.


Manufacturer Directory Aero Research Co. 6468 Valley Wood Dr. Reno, NV 89523 1263

Model Rectifier Corporation 80 Newfield Avenue Edison, NJ 08837 732 225 2100

Round 2 4073 Meghan Beeler Court South Bend, IN 46628 574 243 3000

Moebius Models PO Box 229372 Glenwood, FL 32722 386 956 4133

Scale Aircraft Conversions 3795 Shady Hill Dr. Dallas, TX 75229 214 477 7163

Osprey Publishing Elms Court, Chapel Way Botley, Oxford, England OX2 9LP 44 1865 727022

Specialty Press 39966 Grand Ave. North Branch, MN 55056 651 277 1400

Pacific Coast Models, Inc. 2987 Wiljan Court Santa Rosa, CA 95407 707 538 4850

Tamiya America Inc. 36 Discovery, Ste. 200 Irvine, CA 92618 3765 949 362 2240

Flyhawk Model

Peregrine Publishing 70 The Promenade Glen Head, NY 11545 516 759 1089

The Micro Group LLC 9719 S. 248th St. Kent, WA 98030 253 854 3702

Merit International 17421 B East Gale Ave. City of Industry, CA 91748 626 912 2212 www.merit

Revell 1850 Howard Street, Unit A Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 847 758 3200

Zenith Press 400 First Avenue North, Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55401 612 344 8100

Airfix Hornby Hobbies Ltd. 3900 C2 Industry Drive East Fife, WA 98424 Caracal Models PO Box 92141 Austin, TX 78709

British Ordnance QF 8-pounder Mk.IV anti-tank gun, No. AF35217. Contact your

local dealer for price information. Special parts, first edition only. From AFV Club, available from Merit International.

Dragon Models USA Inc. 1315 John Reed Ct. City of Industry, CA 91745 626 968 0322 Eduard and Associates Obrnice 170, 435 21 Czech Republic 420 47 611 8259

AAVC-7C1 assault amphibian vehicle command model, No. AF35S70. Contact your

local dealer for price information. Special parts, first edition only. From AFV Club, available from Merit International.

Model Miniature 88 en Fournirue 57000 Metz, France http://model

May 2014


New Products 1/48 SCALE KITS


SMS Derfflinger 1916, No. FH1300,

$59.95. First Commemorative Edition. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM. From Flyhawk Model. German Horch Kfz.15 “North African Campaign,” No. 37015, $60. From Tamiya

America Inc.

BAE Warrior British Army (Operation Herrick Afghanistan), No. A07300,


$36.95. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM. From Airfix.

WWII German EMC naval mines,


MILITARY FIGURES 1/72 SCALE KITS French soldiers with Milan ATGM, No.

MM R127, $12.25. Resin. From Model Miniature.

No. AF35261, $25. From AFV Club, available from Merit International.

Topol SS-25 “Sickle” Russian intercontinental ballistic missile launcher, No. Big Foot track for AAV7/ M2A2/CV90,

No. AF35271, $13. From AFV Club, available from Merit International.

5003, $44.95. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM. From Zvezda, avail able from Dragon Models USA Inc. M151 Mutt with car cover, No. MM R131, $18.44. Resin. New molds. From Model Miniature. AMX-10 RCR with 3rd Hussard,

No. MM R123, $37.01. Resin. New molds. From Model Miniature.

U.S. SAM FIM-92 Stinger”with crew,

No. 7416, $4.50. From Zvezda, available from Dragon Models USA Inc. Soviet SAM SA-18 “Grouse” with crew,

No. 7412, $4.50. From Zvezda, available from Dragon Models USA Inc. U.S. Browning machine gun with crew,


No. 7414, $4.50. From Zvezda, available from Dragon Models USA Inc.



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


FineScale Modeler

May 2014

HMS Belfast 1942 photoetched (for Trumpeter), No. FH350117. Contact your

local dealer for price information. All metal carved bridge. From Flyhawk Model.

Saturn V with lunar module,

No. AMT846/12, $25.95. From AMT, avail able from Round 2.






Grandpa Munster,

No. 934, $34.99. From the TV series “The Munsters.” From Moebius Models. “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” USS Defiant NX-74205, No. AMT845, $31.95. From

AMT, available from Round 2. Herman Munster,

No. 933, $34.99. From the TV series “The Munsters.” From Moebius Models.

Robot B9, No. 939, $54.99. From the TV series “Lost in Space.” Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM. From Moebius Models.

featuring reviews, product information, photo galleries, and more!

1/8 SCALE KITS Mars Attacks Martian Warrior,

No. 936, $39.99. Based on Topps trad ing card series. From Moebius Models.

May 2014


ARA Press The Spaceship Enthusiasts’ One-Stop Data Shop!

N-1: For the Moon and Mars Now Available for Pre-order!

New Products 1/25 SCALE KITS

F.E.2b/d vs Albatros Scouts Western Front 1916-17,

Three years in the making by an international team of experts in Russia, England and the US. The complete story of the N-1 from its origins as a booster for missions to Mars and Venus to the abrupt change with a directive from the highest levels of Soviet government to “beat the Americans to the moon!”

Ships in Early January

“The Jetsons” capsule car, No. POL913,

$29.95. From Polar Lights, available from Round 2.


$18.95, by James F. Miller, soft cover, 80 pages, few color photos, mostly black and white, ISBN: 978 1 78096 325 9. From Osprey Publishing. Aces of the 325th Fighter Group,

$22.95, by Thomas G. Ivie, soft cover, 96 pages, few color renderings,all black and white photos, ISBN: 978 1 78096 301 3. From Osprey Publishing.

“Forbidden Planet” C-57D Space Cruiser,

• The complete history of the Soviet

moon rocket that was kept secret for decades

No. POL916, $69.95. Deluxe Edition. Includes lighting set. From Polar Lights, available from Round 2.

• Over 400 photographs and illustrations, most in color

• Over 100 pages of Dimensioned Drawings and hardware analyses.


• 235 Pages, 80 lb coated stock • Smythe-sewn Hardcover binding

Convair Advanced Designs II,

Only $39.95! (plus shipping)

$39.95, by Robert E. Bradley, hard cover, 176 pages, more than 350 black and white and color photos, ISBN: 978 0 85979 170 0. From Crecy Publishing,

Please visit our website to order on-line. All Credit Cards and PayPal accepted. Call or write “[email protected]” for shipping options. Sales Tax added for CA orders

ARA Press 785 Jefferson Ave. Livermore, CA 94550 (925) 583-5126 18

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May 2014

available from Specialty Press.

Combat Somme 1916 British Infantryman versus German Infantryman,

$18.95, by Stephen Bull, soft cover, 80 pages, few color render ings, all black and white photos, ISBN: 978 1 78200 9 146. From Osprey Publishing. 42cm “Big Bertha” and German Siege Artillery of World War I,

$17.95, by M. Romanych & M. Rupp, soft cover, 48 pages, few color render ings, all black and white photos, ISBN: 978 1 78296 017 3. From Osprey Publishing.

Lockheed A-12 - The CIA’s Blackbird and other variants, $18.95,

by Paul F. Crickmore, soft cover, 64 pages, all color photos, ISBN: 978 1 4728 0113 5. From Osprey Publishing.

Space Museum, hard cover, 144 pages, 150 color photos, 25 black and white photos, ISBN: 978 0 7603 444 53. From Zenith Press.

USAF F-4 Phantoms Part 5,

$12.95. Contains 161 images. From Aero Research Co.

ELECTRONIC MEDIA Me 262B-1a/ U1 Night Fighter - Walk Around 1,

P-80A,B,C and R Shooting Star, Walk Around #8,

$10. From Peregrine Publishing.

$10. From Peregrine Publishing.

X-15 - The World’s Fastest Rocket Plane and the Pilots Who Ushered in the Space Age,

$30, by John Anderson and Richard Passman. Licensed by Smithsonian National Air &

May 2014







The U.S. Marine Corps’ LAV-AD packs a wallop with a 25mm Gatling gun and eight Stinger missiles. James gave his 1/35 scale model added punch by breaking up the green finish with easy tricks and techniques.

It may be GREEN, but it doesn’t need to be DRAB Tips and techniques to break up monochromatic camouflage ¥ BY JAMES WECHSLER


et’s face it: If you build armored fighting vehicles, odds are you will eventually build one that’s painted plain old green — far and away the most common color used on AFVs. During World War II, most American, British, and Soviet vehicles were this monotone. Watch just about any WWII war movie and you’ll see fleets of Shermans or T-34s in solid green trundling over the battlefield. This trend continued after the war, with U.S. and Soviet tanks and vehicles painted dark green well into the 1970s, when both countries introduced multicolor camouflage. Unfortunately, from a modeling perspective, dark green is a color that can completely wash out most AFVs, no matter how intricately detailed they may be. Few things are as frustrating as 20

FineScale Modeler

May 2014

spending time building and detailing a model, only to see it turn into a big green blob once it’s painted. So, what do you do? You could simply avoid those schemes. Sure, most Shermans were olive drab, but a few weren’t; many people model the exceptions. Other classic tricks include bright markings, like the big, white stars on U.S. vehicles or the large, handwritten slogans on T-34s. Or, you can load up stowage or troops. These are great ploys, and I’ve used them myself. But what if you want to model an AFV where none of these options exist? Must you live with a boring, green lump? The solution is to break up the finish — as I did when I built a U.S. Marine Corps LAV-AD (Air Defense).

1 BASE COAT: Painting and weathering are one long continuum toward the finished result. Most of what I do during painting sets up the model for weathering. First, I paint the model flat black. This adds depth to the shadows and recesses as the painting progresses.

3 PANEL FADING: Next comes another layer of panel fading with a lightened shade of olive drab. I use Testors Model Master enamels, which include faded olive drab. I prefer using premixed colors so I don’t have to worry about touch-ups. I go lighter and less carefully to give the model even greater color variation. Compare the near and far sides of the hull in the photo. This method has been called several things, but the term I like is “clouding.” A cloudy look is what you are trying to achieve.


2 FIRST LAYER: I’ve found I get the best results using panel fading or postshading. I airbrush olive drab in the center of each panel. (A panel is any part of the model that is demarcated from the next part by a weld seam, a change in angle, a corner, or anything else that sets it apart.) I start in the center and work to the edges, but I leave a boundary where black is visible. I’m not careful; a little variation gives a greater sense of depth.

4 DRY-BRUSHING: I believe in dry-brushing to highlight detail, but I apply it right after painting rather than later. The washes and weathering that follow blend the dry-brushed points into the paint, so the model still has the accents without a stark, unnatural appearance. My favorite color to drybrush over dark green is Testors Model Master Afrika dunkelgrau, a tan gray. I use a wide, flat brush, lightly catching edges and raised areas. In this photo, the front 2⁄3 of the hull has been dry-brushed. DETAIL PAINTING: When you don’t have bright markings to break up a monochromatic finish (the LAV-AD has just a few black stencils) stowage and weapons make all the difference. The most common items are pioneer tools and machine guns. Turret-mounted machine guns, such as an M2 on U.S. vehicles or a 12.7mm DShK on Soviet vehicles, are focal points. So, spend a little extra time painting them. The same goes for pioneer tools. On the LAV-AD, the spare tire is prominent. I painted it with Testors Model Master U.S. Army helo drab and gave it a light dry-brushing. May 2014



6 FILTERS: My final painting (as opposed to weathering) is a filter applied over a coat of clear flat. The flat absorbs the paint subtly, altering the base color. I mix filters from 10-20 percent Winsor & Newton artist’s oils — I prefer raw umber for military vehicles — with 80-90 percent Mona Lisa Odorless Paint Thinner. I like this thinner because it’s strong enough to thin oil colors but won’t attack the paint. I paint it across the model with a wide brush, removing any puddles with a clean brush. I applied a filter to the front 1⁄3 of the hull; notice the subtle difference.


MORE FILTERS: Filters blend underlying colors and darken the entire finish. The effect is more stark on lighter colors, so the areas I dry-brushed darken more and blend into the the body. My goal is an integrated look for the model, so I apply the filter to details such as tools and machine guns, too, and go right over decals.


DUST: I mist a mix of 1 part Tamiya buff to 4 parts thinner onto parts of the vehicle I want dusty. The color is so dilute that it will appear to be having no effect. But after five or 10 passes, the appearance begins to change. I apply dust to the vehicle’s underside, behind the wheels, and a little way up the hull. I don’t spray the wheels; they’re better weathered with pigments. For a desert vehicle, I repeat this process with Tamiya deck tan, which is much lighter. But it’s best to start with buff; deck tan is too stark by itself. Photos show vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan covered in dust. But in 1/35 scale, accounting for the size difference and not overdoing it prevents the model from becoming monochromatic again.

PIGMENTS: Pigments are basically powdered paint with a bonding agent. They can be applied in many ways, but I like to use them dry for a dusty effect. It’s highly concentrated color, so careful application is the best approach. I used a large brush to apply a mix of lighter earth color Mig Productions pigments to the LAV-AD’s lower hull and blew loose powder off the model. I concentrated on the tires, using a wide brush to liberally apply pigment. I rubbed off excess using my thumb, primarily, and a woman’s eyeliner applicator for hard-to-reach areas. I wanted highlighted areas to appear rubbed clean, while recessed areas show compacted dirt.


Building and Detailing Realistic


To get more of James’ terrific modeling, pick up Building and Detailing Realistic Sherman Tanks (Kalmbach, ISBN 978-089024-789-1). He shows you how to add aftermarket details, paint, weather, add figures, and build dioramas using four stepby-step projects. There’s also a gallery of 48 other Shermans he built. To order the 104-page book for $21.95, call Kalmbach customer service, 800-533-6644 (international 262-796-8776) or visit



STOWAGE: Photos of Allied tanks in WWII show enough stowage to make the Beverly Hillbillies envious — packs, tarps, ration boxes, you name it, all in different colors, provide several ways to add variety. Unfortunately, photos of LAV-ADs reveal almost no external stowage (probably to maintain a clear field of fire for the Gatling gun). However, I saw some with boxes strapped to the sides. I added a couple of colorful boxes of bottled water to the starboard side; that little splash of color is a big help that, together with the spare wheel on the port side, proves a little stowage can go a long way.

FIGURES: Adding a few crew figures can break up the finish and make a model more dynamic. Think about WWII U.S. tanks: Crewmen wore buffcolored jackets, and that light tan contrasts nicely with an olive drab tank. A bunch of crewmen sticking out of a tank can add a lot of color and life to the model, but even a single figure can make a difference. For the LAV-AD, I placed a crewman standing up through the turret hatch. He’s wearing desert camouflage, so the tan colors stand out. Plus, he’s at the top of the model, where he draws your eye. I added even more color by having him hold a Coke can.

12 DISPLAY BASE: I love dioramas, but I don’t always want to build a fullblown scene. Most of the time, a small, simple base is all I need to give a model context. Plus, a simple base can provide more variety for a green tank, because even a base barely bigger than the model will easily be the second largest item after the model itself. The trick is to set your model on a base that offers contrast. Avoid placing a tank on a grassy field. Consider a cobblestone road instead; gray stones contrast with and complement a green tank. If I put a model on an earth setting, I usually add rocks, gravel, or a small wall for contrast. In the case of this LAV-AD, it’s operating in Iraq, which is

sandy and dusty. Perfect. I can justify placing the model on a sand base, and the base’s light color greatly enhances the look of the green hull. The base is 1⁄8" styrene sheet from Plastruct, painted tan with a spray can and trimmed with a black marker. The sand is just that — sand. I live near the beach, and I fill a bag with sand whenever I go. I mix in a wall-repair product called Fix-ItAll, a white powder that looks like plaster of paris and dries hard. A tiny dab of brown paint softens the white. Then I add water and white glue to make a paste that can be spread with a putty knife. The large rocks are plaster, tinted gray and cast in Woodland Scenics molds. FSM May 2014


1/350 Scale

Inspired by the film “Das Boot,” Anders bought AFV Club’s 1/350 scale Type VIIB U-boat and donned his handy Optivisor to build his first submarine.

Building and detailing a U-boat

The right tools make all the difference BY ANDERS ISAKSSON


watched Wolfgang Petersen’s World War II submarine epic “Das Boot” in the mid-’80s and have had an interest in contemporary submarine warfare ever since. Strangely, it took me until recently to get around to building a U-boat model. I settled on 1/350 scale because of the convenient size and the ample selection available. While the film depicted life aboard U-96, a

Type VIIC, I went with AFV Club’s Type VIIB because reviews hailed it as an outstanding kit. The kit offers some options regarding plastic or photoetched-metal details, but many of the fine plastic details and rails are undeniably thick for the scale. To increase my model’s scale fidelity, I purchased the Type VIIB U-boat detail set from Voyager Model (No. VN35001).



Following the kit instructions, Anders assembled the pressure hull first and then installed it between the light-hull halves. 24

I chose to finish my U-boat as U-48. Famous for sinking 55 ships over the course of the war, it accounted for more than 300,000 tons sent to the bottom, making it the most successful Type VIIB commissioned. To begin my build, I put on my Optivisor, because helping your eyes is not only good for you, it makes for a good model.

FineScale Modeler

May 2014

A pair of spacers cut from styrene strip widened the light-hull topside, creating a better fit for the upper hull and deck.



A little putty and sanding cleaned up the join between the upper and lower hull. Anders prefers sanding sponges to refine curved surfaces.

The conning tower was the first area to receive photoetched-metal details from the Voyager set.

20mm antiaircraft gun Wintergarten Radio directionfinding loop Access ladder

5 “The right tools make the job easier,” Anders says. He uses a bending tool to shape most of his photoetched-metal parts.



However, sometimes you have to use ingenuity. “I shaped the rail for the wintergarten by placing it on a fine-grit sanding sponge and gently rolling a hobby-knife handle over it,” Anders says. “It fit perfectly!”

Although the Voyager set provided photoetchedmetal hatches and covers for the conning tower’s sides, Anders found the kit’s details acceptable.




A Flex-i-File and fine tweezers make cleaning up small, irregularly shaped pieces easier, if not easy.

AFV Club’s stand left Anders wanting more. He made his own and started by drilling two holes in the keel with a pin vise to accept metal posts.




He drilled matching holes in a decorative wooden base and inserted the posts, made from steel pins. A modeler’s square helped ensure the pins were straight.

Anders disguised the pins with brass-tube sheaths he cut with a razor saw and miter box.

Citadel Chaos black primer from a spray can base-coated the model.

May 2014




A few weld beads had disappeared while Anders sanded the join between the upper and lower hull. He restored them with Tamiya putty thinned with nail-polish remover and applied with an old brush.

With the base completely masked, Anders airbrushed a thin coat of Tamiya German gray (XF-63); he thought it a good match for Schiffsbodenfarbe III Grau 1 (RAL 7016).



Anders masked the lower hull with short lengths of masking tape to make sure to get a good seal. Note that the ballast tanks are masked above the waterline.

Everything above the waterline (except the ballast tanks) received a coat of Tamiya medium sea gray (XF-83).



To achieve a weathered appearance, he airbrushed the deck with a mix of Tamiya German gray and flat brown (XF-10). “The deck was done freehand, except near the bow and stern where I used Post-it notes,” Anders says.

The deck received a wash of AK Interactive engine grime to deepen engraved details, while a wash of black artist’s oils emphasized recesses along the hull and around the conning tower.



Various shades of red and brown Vallejo acrylic paints stippled onto the hull simulated rust.

Anders applied more rust patches and stains with a sponge. First, he dipped the sponge in the desired color. Then he dabbed off most of the paint on scrap paper before sponging the model.


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May 2014



Not satisfied with the weathering on the deck, Anders completed another round with AK Interactive and Mig pigments.

Anders made a tour around the boat with an artist’s pencil to pick out tiny rust spots. Dots of brown artist’s oils, pulled down the sides of the hull with a broad brush dampened in mineral spirits, simulated more general rust and grime.



Heavily thinned Tamiya NATO black (XF-69) airbrushed on the rear made convincing diesel exhaust stains.

At this point, Anders finished the base, slid on the brass rods and permanently attached U-48. Lycra thread attached with super glue provides the boat’s rigging. Once the rigging was run, he hand-painted it with Vallejo black gray (No. 862). Tiny, carefully placed drops of paint made the boat’s blocks.

“It felt good to finish this icon among U-boats,” Anders says. He attributes his success to having the right tools, especially an Optivisor, which helped him complete U-48 without losing any parts. “It’s likely I’ll start a new submarine project soon, and I might include a few crew members. Maybe I’ll build a diorama!” FSM

May 2014


Showcase Roy Chow

His interest piqued by contemporary photos of a Lend-Lease Studebaker US6 dump truck in Soviet service, Roy endeavored to model the unique vehicle using ICM’s 1/35 scale kit.

Modify a “Studer” From a photograph comes a Lend-Lease dump truck


tudebaker US6 2½-ton trucks became one of the most prevalent vehicles the Soviets acquired via the Lend-Lease program. More than 200,000 arrived in the Soviet Union, in more than a dozen configurations — including a dump truck. Roy ran across photographs of a US6 dump 28

FineScale Modeler

May 2014

truck variant and was intrigued by the sidedumping design. After some research, he discovered that there were, in fact, two versions, the US6 U12 and U13; the latter had a winch, the former did not. With fewer than 150 in service, all shipped to the USSR, Roy knew

U.S. War Department, 1943

a Studebaker dump truck would make a unique model. ICM’s 1/35 scale US6 Studebaker truck served as the basis for his build, providing him with the chassis, engine, and cab. The dumping bed and other details would have to be scratchbuilt.

Spare-wheel mount

The kit provided Roy with three main challenges: small parts that needed careful removal so they didn’t soar into the ether, fragile plastic, and no parts numbers on the sprues. Studer dump trucks were short-framed, and ICM’s kit has a long-frame wheelbase. To fix this, he removed 10mm from the main chassis rails directly aft of the cab, and another 8mm from each rail aft of the rear suspension — about 14" and 11" scale reductions. Because Roy reduced the truck’s length, he made new drive shafts from styrene rod. While the kit supplied a nice engine, he wasn’t going to display the truck with the hood open. So, Roy only assembled and finished the parts that you’d be able to see from underneath. A feature of the short-wheelbase Studers was the spare-wheel mount behind the cab, which he scratchbuilt, along with a stowage box. Inside the cab, he covered the seats with foil for some texture, made a sun visor from sheet styrene, and added a power-takeoff lever to operate the hydraulic lift. The dumping bed started with an 85mm x 63mm piece of .030" sheet styrene for the bottom. The front and rear walls are .020" sheet. Roy used styrene C-channel from Evergreen to make the frame supporting the bed. Putty, liberally applied, hid unsightly seams, but he had to rebuild some parts more than once. Roy made the hydraulic ram from various bits of styrene tubing and left it removable so the truck could be displayed with the bed down. The hinges are styrene with brass-rod trunnions. The dumping bed extension is .010" styrene sheet with brass mesh covering the window. The Studer’s overall finish is olive drab. Roy used the “hairspray method” to distress the dumping bed: He sprayed a mix of gunmetal and medium gray onto the bed and walls. After it had dried for 24 hours, he applied a coat of hairspray, waited 15 minutes, and followed with a coat of Tamiya red-brown acrylic. Once it was dry to the touch, he used a brush and water to scrub away the red-brown paint, revealing the gunmetal underneath. A graphite pencil, pigments, and a wash of mineral spirits, white artist’s oils, Winsor & Newton Liquin, and Testors Model Master British Gulf armor produced a dusty, used appearance. FSM

C-channel styrene

Jerry cans Hydraulic cylinder

Allied taillights

With the dumping bed up, the chassis frame and rear suspension are exposed. Roy added extra details to these areas, including bolts made from shaved styrene rod, and brake lines made from copper wire. Bits of styrene rod glued to the wheel rims represent valve stems. Studebaker dump trucks had a narrower and taller fuel tank with a mount for two jerry cans. Roy scratchbuilt the tank and mount and pulled the jerry cans from his spares box. Dumping-bed extension

Rain gutter Windshield actuator

Headlight guard

Stowage box

Dry-transfer markings

Roy made rain gutters for the doors from plastic strips and added “barely noticeable” photoetchedmetal wingnuts he’d rescued from his spares to the hood. To show the windows partially cranked down, he cut the clear parts in half with a razor saw and glued them in place. He replaced the windshield actuators with thin solder flattened to shape with a pair of pliers. The headlight protectors are made from styrene rod. Without plans or scale drawings, Roy extrapolated dimensions from the few photos he had. The dumping bed’s sides were too tall on his first attempt. Striving for accuracy, he removed the sides from the bed, cut them to the correct height, and reattached them.

May 2014


Reader Gallery



In the United Arab Emirates air force, F-16s are known as “Desert Falcons.” George built Tamiya’s 1/32 scale F-16C/J with parts from Wolfpack, Aires, and Academy to model an F-16E. He painted it with custom-mixed Tamiya colors.

To portray a tank of the 8th Estonian Rifle Corps, 3rd Baltic Front, 1944, Panagiotopoulos built Dragon’s 1/35 scale T-34/76 Mod 1943, painted it with Gunze Sangyo acrylics, and used a weathering wash from Flory Models as well as Winsor & Newton artist’s oils and Mig pigments. He finished with Testors Dullcote.


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May 2014


Ivan built Eduard’s 1/48 scale Albatros D.V as flown by Manfred von Richthofen, “The Red Baron,” in 1917. He gave it a factory paint job, then overpainted the tail and the wings’ upper surfaces red. “Science fiction, armor, and dioramas are among my favorites,” he says. “However, no subject is as dear to my heart as the fighting machines of early aviation. I enjoy replicating these truly multimedia constructions of metal, wood, and fabric in their bold schemes and markings.” ▶ ALLAN AGATI MANILA, PHILIPPINES

“I’ve always liked the way the Seasprite looked,” Allan says. “I got my hands on an Airfix kit and decided I would challenge my own skills.” Allan gave Airfix’s 1/72 scale kit a run for its money, rescribing it and scratchbuilding a new cockpit. He used a motor tool to remove the landing-gear covers and opened an access panel forward of the main rotor to display an engine he superdetailed. The model depicts an SH-2F Seasprite of the HSL-33 Sea Snakes antisubmarine squadron.


“This figure diorama is named ‘Winner and Loser’ and is based on the 1991 Gulf War,” Ricky says. “I combined different 1/16 scale Verlinden figures.” He made sandbags and a wool pullover for the Iraqi soldier from epoxy putty. Woodland Scenics provided fine sand for the groundwork.

May 2014


Reader Gallery


Antonio built Tamiya’s 1/35 scale Panzer II for action in North Africa. “I only added a folded-up tent made of paper tissue, stowed on the back and tied with string,” he says. He painted with Tamiya acrylics and applied pre-shading, washes, and dot filters. The figure is a modification of the kit’s tank commander, painted with artist’s oils. Antonio covered a plywood base with plaster groundwork, embedded garden pebbles, and unraveled rope for bushes. “The diorama depicts a tank commander trying to locate himself in the middle of the desert,” he says. “This was my return to dioramas and armor.” ▶ JIM JAMES ORLANDO, FLORIDA

According to starwars., “The Royal N-1 starfighter featured the best elements of Naboo design, being aesthetically sound and adhering to the Naboo’s love for curves and aerodynamic shapes.” James built Finemolds’ 1/72 scale kit and added a scratchbuilt crew ladder to make the craft look like it’s hovering.

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 com plete captions at, or send prints or CD ROMs to FineScale Modeler, Reader Gallery, 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 531871612. Be sure to tell us the kit manufacturer, model, scale, modifications, paint and fin ishes used, and reason for choosing the model, along with your name and address. We look forward to seeing your work!


FineScale Modeler

May 2014


Dan painted Alpine Miniatures’ 1/16 scale Panzergrenadier with Vallejo and Citadel acrylics. The base is a stained box from a craft store; the groundwork is Silflor grass planted in epoxy putty.


Modeling a Canadair Sabre Mk.5, Eric detailed the landing gear and cockpit of Hasegawa’s 1/48 scale kit using wire and sheet styrene. He used paper masks to paint the camouflage with Testors Model Master enamels. Markings are from Leading Edge. Eric says, “This depicts an RCAF bird of 1 Wing, based in France during the late ’50s and early ’60s.”


Building Italeri’s 1/48 scale kit, Jeremias modeled an SNJ of the Aviación Naval Argentina, enhancing it with Eduard photoetched metal and decals from Aerocalcas Argentinas. He says, “The kit was a real pleasure to build, and the Eduard set fits great and adds good detail.”


Late in World War II, FockeWulf fighters were assigned to protect Me 262 jet fighters during takeoffs and landings. Using Tamiya’s 1/48 scale kit with Aeromaster decals, Pablo built this Fw 190D-9 as a member of Jagdverband 44’s “Papagei Staffel” (“Parrot Squadron,” nicknamed for the bright undersides that alerted German gunners to the friendly aircraft). Pablo says, “I often wonder how they would have looked with their red bellies against a blue sky.”

Reader Gallery



Mike says he finds undersea warfare “deeply” interesting, collecting all the books and films he can on submarines. So, when Riich Models released a 1/200 scale late-war USS Gato, Mike dove right in. Among the many modifications he made based on his references, he: replaced the deck stanchions with wire; added an access hatch at the aft torpedoes; scribed additional hatches in the deck; added an ammunition passing tube aft of the tower; scratchbuilt a 40mm Bofors gun and added photoetched-metal railing on the aft cigarette deck; added ladder rungs to the sides of the tower; added bridge fittings; and relocated the searchlight.

Senior historian and operations officer of the Museum of South Texas History at the Hidalgo County Historical Museum in Edinburg, Tom revamped a 1/12 scale Ford Tri-Motor acquired by the museum to add engines and a cladding of thin, corrugated metal. He says, “It’s a model of planes flown by Pan American on runs between Brownsville and Central America in the 1930s.”


“The model represents the lead bird of No. 11 Squadron (Tigers) in the Swiss air force,” says Thomas. He detailed Hasegawa’s 1/72 scale F/A-18C with Eduard photoetched metal, painted with Polly Scale acrylics, applied Zotz decals, and weathered with pastels. 34

FineScale Modeler

May 2014


Douglas C-54 Skymasters wore the warbonnet scheme of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad in the Santa Fe Skyway, which started up in 1946 but was derailed by the Civil Aeronautics Board’s denial of common-carrier status in 1947. Tom covered Mach 2’s 1/72 scale plane with Bare-Metal Foil and Vintage Flyer decals. May 2014


Steve created a unique, multilevel display base for his Bronco 1/35 scale 17/25-pounder “Pheasant” antitank gun to add visual interest and emphasize certain features of the model.


DISPLAY BASES An easy and interesting way to show off your model • BY STEVEN ANDREANO


ne simple way to better tie a model into a base and create interest is to use multiple levels. For example, you can display a tank passing over a narrow ditch, or a gun deployed behind a wall. The key to such bases is not to make them so detailed that they detract from the model — simpler is better. All you’ll need to build an effective base is some foam styrene, airdrying clay, sheet styrene, wood glue, and some dirt from your backyard. Oh, and your model, of course!


FineScale Modeler

May 2014

1 Planning is important. Make the base large enough to protect the model, but not so large that the model is overwhelmed. For my Pheasant, I wanted to have a resin wall at the top of a ditch and the gun positioned behind it.

4 The styrene strips nicely hide the foam block’s pebbly texture. I painted the sides with Tamiya flat brown (XF-10), which I thought worked as a good neutral color that didn’t distract.


2 I replaced my original block of foam styrene with a thicker one to make the ditch more prominent; it also helped reinforce the illusion of an overhang. Then I drew and cut lengths of .020" sheet styrene to cover the foam block’s sides and rear.

5 To make the base’s top, I rolled air-drying clay into a thin sheet and glued it to the top of the foam block with wood glue.


3 You have to be careful when gluing foam styrene; plastic cements and some super glues will melt the material and leave you with a goopy mess. Wood glue is a safe bet.

6 Before the clay fully cured, I used water and an old brush to texture and shape it to the foam and create the edge of the ditch.


I sifted dirt from my backyard through a fine sieve. After attaching the gun base and wall and covering the base’s top with diluted wood glue, I spread the dirt liberally over the surface.

An old brush comes in handy for applying diluted wood glue to the ground cover to ensure good adhesion.

Once the dirt dried, painting began with a base coat of Tamiya desert yellow (XF-59).




I misted highlights of Tamiya buff (XF-57) on the wall and ditch.

Washes of various dark brown shades added detail and differentiation to the ground cover, ditch, and wall. At this point I glued the gun in place.

The Pheasant is finished! Notice that I’ve tried to prevent dead space by adding an ammo box and several spent rounds. Also, I’ve created interest by avoiding perpendicular angles — the gun’s barrel is set at an angle, and the ditch is not parallel to the base’s front. FSM May 2014


Kitbashing Erich Hartmann’s

Bf 109G-6/U2

Even if kitbashing isn’t necessary, it sure is fun — and a great way to develop skills. Simon’s Bf109G-6/U2 is an aggregate of spare kits and parts.

Join two kits to build the winter mount of Germany’s top ace • BY SIMON HARRISON


wap-meet Messerschmitts are cheap and plentiful. For this project, I grafted the tail of a 1/48 scale Revell Bf 109G-10 to the nose of a Hobbycraft G-6. Both kits can be had for $10 or less. I got my Hobbycraft kit for free and used a Revell kit I’d built years ago, stripped of useful parts and slated for the round file. I chose Hartmann’s winter white 109 for a few reasons: My wife liked the look of it, I wanted one, and white paint (as any auto-body mechanic will tell you) hides a multitude of sins.

Fuselage cuts Hobbycraft’s Bf 109 is passably accurate, but the fuselage from the cockpit aft lacks detail. Revell did a much better job with its kit. Using a needle in a pin vise, I scribed each fuselage along the first panel line behind the cockpit. I finished the cut with a razor saw, 1. I pared the base of the FuG loop from the Revell tail and squared up the front opening with a nail file. Comparing the Revell and Hobbycraft parts showed a close match, 2.

Office job The Hobbycraft kit’s former owner cemented the fuselage halves together. So, I worked a hobby knife into the seams and popped the assembly apart. The parts had been treated with a primer that 38

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was impervious even to oven cleaner. I cleaned them up as best I could, then set about detailing the cockpit. My mantra — representation, not duplication — means making things look busy but knowing where to draw the line. I left the molded-in detail alone and added eye candy using brass wire, copper strands, styrene scraps, bits of spare instrument panels, and masking-tape seat belts, 3. The rudder pedals came from Reheat, and I filched a spare instrument panel from a Hasegawa kit. I airbrushed the cockpit parts with a blend of Testors flat black and flat white enamel approximating RLM 66 schwarzgrau, then hand-painted details with 0 and 10/0 brushes and Testors and Humbrol paints. Testors Model Master flat gull gray was the perfect color to dry-brush over the cockpit’s almost-black features. A wash of 10 drops of water, 5 drops of Jo Sonja acrylic flow medium, and a brush-load of Pro Modeller acrylic rubber added shadows. It pays to dry-brush lightly before detail painting, as fine detail can be hard to see on dark colors. Drops of Microscale Micro Kristal Klear simulated instrument lenses, 4. I dropped in Hobbycraft’s exhausts and oil cooler and closed the nose. The instrument panel has no locator, so I super glued scrap styrene to the back of it for support. I inserted the panel, snaking it up into the nose before gluing in the cockpit floor from underneath.

1 Willy Messerschmitt was thoughtful enough to provide modelers with panel lines as guides for easy cuts. Simon started each cut with a needle in a pin vise, then finished with a razor saw.

3 Spare parts, chopped-up instrument panels, and styrene, copper and photoetched-metal scraps fill the cockpit. The trim wheel is a model railroad part.


2 Hobbycraft’s G-6 nose meets Revell’s G-10 tail. The former’s rear end was clunky, and Hartmann’s G-6/U2 needed a tall tail. Note the cutout for the more-accurate Hasegawa windshield.

4 The seat belts are masking tape with wire buckles. A lick o’ paint, some dry-brushing, and a wash bring out the details.


Not all kit manufacturers agree on an aircraft’s dimensions, as seen by the Revell and Hobbycraft rear fuselages. Sandpaper is a great equalizer.

Where the plastic colors meet, there shall a panel line be. Labeling tape is flexible, but sturdy enough to guide sharp implements during scribing.

Tail of a different feather While the nose and tail matched in depth, the Hobbycraft fuselage was portly compared to Revell’s. I curved styrene strips to match the inside of the fuselage and glued them into the tail as rudimentary locators while I fiddled with alignment, sighting along the nose and matching the upper and lower seams. Thank heavens super glue is forgiving on butt joints, as my first attempt went sideways (literally) and I had to break off the tail and reattach it properly, 5. Once I had the tail sorted, I locked it in place with super glue, applying it liberally to fill the seam. To blend the thin tail and fat nose, I began by scraping the sides of the forward fuselage from the cockpit back with a No. 10 blade until it matched the rear fuselage. Then I attacked the area with a coarse nail file, followed by wet-sanding with 400-grit sandpaper wrapped around a small, hardwood block. I rescribed the panel line by laying down a thin strip of Dymo label tape as a guide for a needle in a pin vise, 6. I’ve used all sorts of designer panel-line scribing devices but always come back to a

sewing needle. The advantage is it cuts fast and makes lines that match the width of those found in most 1/48 scale kits. Several light passes are all that’s needed.

On the nose Fixing the nose proved tedious. Removing the gun bulges attached by the previous owner left areas of melted and pitted plastic from the styrene cement. Super glue and sanding filled the rough spots. Then I rescribed lost detail. To replace the Hobbycraft windshield with a more-accurate Hasegawa part, I had to rework a section of the upper fuselage to blend the cowl. I carefully sanded to flatten the curve of the Hobbycraft fuselage. Later, a small slice of stretched sprue made the de-icing pipe’s fairing on the port side. According to references, the Bf 109G I was modeling had the small cooling scoop and the bulge for the oil pump on the starboard gun blister. Hasegawa provides a good part for this; I needed to find May 2014




A little plastic surgery and some spare parts improve the nose. Most of it came from the Hobbycraft kit, except for the Fujimi gun bulge on the port side, and …


… the Hasegawa gun bulge with the small scoop and blister for the oil pump on the starboard side. You can see the Hobbycraft exhaust in place.

Simon cut the flaps from the Hobbycraft wing. Rounded strip styrene forms the leading edge; a bit of strip styrene serves as the mount for the inner lower flap.




Inboard flaps in situ: Hasegawa’s instrument panel adds a lot to the cockpit. The yellow fuel line is wire; the in-line sight glass/filter is made from bits of wire insulation.

Colored plastic from toothbrush handles makes good wingtip marker lights. Simon cut notches in the wings with a razor saw.

Sanding and filing shaped the colored styrene chunks for the wings. After painting, Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish (PFM, formerly Future) made the lights shine.




A few easy modifications to the Revell parts produced a more-dynamic tail. The trim tab actuator is a scrap of photoetched metal.

Basic techniques produce advanced results: Clear sprue, stretched and heated, becomes a lens on the Messerschmitt’s tail.

Simon carved styrene to form the MW50 boostsystem cover and made seat-belt buckles from electrical wire.

a blister for the port side. I used one from an old Fujimi kit and reworked both parts so they matched. Before attaching the blisters, I wrapped 400-grit sandpaper around the upper cowl and sanded the mating side of the bulges to get the proper shape. I modified the supercharger mounting flange — it should accommodate the shape of the port bulge — then super glued the gun blisters in place. After a couple of failed attempts, I attached and blended the upper cowl panel and incorporated guns, shimming it up with styrene because it sat too low. I trimmed a couple of gun barrels to fit the troughs, bored out the muzzles with a new No. 11 blade, then glued them in place. Hobbycraft’s supercharger intake looks OK but seems to be too close to the fuselage. I glued a .020" styrene spacer to the mounting surface, scribed a line around its lip, added a stretched-sprue weld bead to it, then set it aside to be added after I’d attached the wings. 40

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Hobbycraft’s nose is a shade too long, but there was enough meat at the front to allow me to shorten it by sanding the plate behind the prop. That moved the small front cooling scoops forward. I knocked most of the curve off the upper cowl from the bulges forward and increased the angle back from where the spinner mounts. After scribing new panel lines, I added the long, upper piano hinge from stretched sprue. To replicate a small bump just aft of the port gun aperture, I located and drilled a hole through the cowl with a No. 78 bit in a pin vise, then beveled the edges of the hole with a larger bit. Then, I flared stretched sprue by holding it near an open flame; this gave me a domed shape that would become the bulge. I snipped the dome and the section of sprue below it from the end and slipped it into the hole I’d drilled in the cowl. Because of the bevel left by the large bit, the flared end of the sprue sat just right. After a few adjustments, I had a nose I liked, 7 and 8.



Multiple masking materials: Scotch Magic Tape on the windshield, strips of Tamiya tape for the hood, and hardware-store masking tape over yellow trim areas.

Simon mixed colors for the factory finish using Testors Model Master enamels and applied them with his airbrushes.



Next, Simon sprayed thin, white enamel over the camouflage, keeping the density uneven. The summer scheme is faintly visible, especially along the leading edges.

Simon painted over a decal 7 on the fuselage with hand-brushed and sprayed paint. PFM prepared the surface for more markings.

Making a flap I wanted to pose my Messerschmitt with its flaps down as seen in most photos of parked Bf 109s. That option wasn’t offered in the Hobbycraft kit, and the wings were already glued together, so I had my work cut out. I scored along each flap’s hinge line with a needle until I could wiggle it free. I glued 2mm styrene strips to the leading edge of the outboard flaps, rounding them with a nail file. Things got tricky with the inboard flaps; they’re split, and what I had cut from the assembled wing wasn’t. Attempting to cut them apart, I trashed both upper flaps. So, I replaced them with sheet styrene. I glued a .010" styrene strip inside the leading edge of each inner flap to mount them, 9. I attached the wing next. After addressing the wing-root seams with files and sandpaper, I cleaned up the flap openings and thinned the inside edges of the wing. Then I installed the flaps, 10. For wing lights, I sawed notches in the wingtips and installed bits of clear, colored plastic from toothbrush handles, 11, super gluing them in and forming them with files and sandpaper, 12.

Rather than try to remove the balance with the rudder, I scribed along the vertical hinge line and snapped the rudder free, then sawed open the cutout for the balance weight, 13. I sanded off the triangular fairing and trim-tab extension on Revell’s rudder, backdating it. I blanked off the rudder’s leading edge with 2mm sheet styrene, sanded it round, then notched it to accept a rudder balance made from styrene strip. The Flettner tab came from scrap photoetched metal. I drilled out the taillight fairing with a No. 80 bit. Later, I added a bulb made by holding stretched clear sprue near an open flame to form a dome, 14.

Tweaking the tail I cut the elevators from the horizontal stabilizers and removed the trim tabs. After cleanup, I attached the elevators with Micro Weld, which gave me time to tweak the droop.

More details The pitot is brass wire slipped into brass tubing; the tail wheel and boot are spares from a Hasegawa kit, offset to match the rudder’s angle. I installed Hobbycraft’s main landing gear, adding copperwire brake lines secured by thin strips of masking tape. I installed a cover for the MW50 boost system on the cockpit’s rear after carving it from laminated styrene sheet. The seat-belt overhang was attached to a length of sprue I’d added to the bulkhead. I made buckles from wire and chips of styrene. The base for the FuG loop came from a Dragon Fw 190, 15. May 2014





Aggressive decal solvent Solvaset softened the tulip petals around the nose. But Simon still had to perform surgery to fit the decals over scoops and ridges.

Some petals on top and underneath the cowl had to be sliced length-wise to get the spacing just right.

Careful work with fine brushes and black and white enamels hid the resulting scars. Errors can be fixed by erasing them with paint thinner on a fine liner brush.



The black 7 is barely visible under the chevron. Most of the decals Simon used came from Aeromaster

Washing in this case means making a mess. Simon applied a watermixable oil-paint sludge wash to highlight panel lines.

I cobbled together a propeller assembly using the Hobbycraft spinner and backing plate, a K&S brass-tubing cannon port, and reshaped Otaki Bf 109G blades. I masked the canopy hood with Tamiya tape and the Hasegawa windshield with Scotch Magic Tape. I used hardware-store masking tape for the cockpit opening, trimming it with a new No. 11 blade.

— but the white distemper was the reason for the build, so I carried on. I masked the windshield because it remained RLM 74. For the whitewash, Testors Model Master flat white mixed 1:1 with thinner covered as well as I wanted it to. I sprayed it with a double-action airbrush, not worrying about neatness or uniform coverage. How much is enough? When you reach the point you think you should spray just a little more, stop. I had a white-butnot-too-white paint job with the factory camo barely visible along the leading edges of the wings, 18. I sealed the paint with Pledge FloorCare Multisurface (PFM, formerly Future) finish. My sources indicated the chevrons on the fuselage had been applied over a painted-over numeral — probably 7. I applied a spare black 7 from an Aeromaster decal sheet, bathing it liberally with Microscale Micro Sol. To mostly obscure the numeral, I dabbed by paint hand, then misted Testors Model Master flat white over the decal with an airbrush, 19.

Winter camouflage Painting started with the yellow trim. I used a 1:1 mix of Testors Model Master gloss chrome yellow and flat yellow enamels; the gloss smooths the finish, while the flat improves coverage. A week later, I masked with thin strips of tape, 16. Extensive surgery requires priming to cover the plurality of materials and to indicate problems. While I was shooting the interior color on the canopy frames, I sprayed most of the forward fuselage as well. I approached the winter camouflage the way it was done in the field: white sprayed shoddily over the summer finish. In this case, the finish was Testors Model Master RLM 74, 75, and 76 enamels tinted for effect and sprayed through a singleaction, internal-mix airbrush. I cut business card masks for the camouflage pattern on the upper flying surfaces and applied mottling on the fuselage, 17. I could have just finished the model there To see how Simon photographed the lifelike winter scene at the start of this article, as well as more images of the finished model, visit


FineScale Modeler

May 2014

Pesky petals Most of the markings for this model came from an Aeromaster sheet (No. PAF48-04). But I used a few spares from SuperScale for the tulip petals around the nose. I applied Aeromaster petals for the top and sides — those come in two parts, black overlaid on white — concerning myself with spacing and alignment. I saturated them with Solvaset, but had to slice, prick, and prod them, especially over the small scoops above the exhaust shields, 20. I cut the upper petal right down the middle to get it to align. I had to pull the same stunt with the lower petals, which came from SuperScale, 21. Now I had a real mess on my hands — but I was committed. Bolstered by the thought that I couldn’t make matters



An hour later, Simon removed most of the wash with water-dipped cotton swabs and soft cloths.

Simon ground equal amounts of brown and black pastel chalks into a plastic lid and applied the mix with brushes. Wet cotton swabs can be used to correct mistakes.



Some weathering techniques simply require drawing details right on the model; black pencil streaks simulate fuel spillage on the fuselage.

A drop of dark paint, streaked in the direction of the airflow with a fine brush moistened with thinner, added oil and coolant leaks.

worse, I touched up with Testors flat black and flat white enamels, using fine brushes. I fixed errors by removing misplaced paint with paint thinner on a 0 brush or by cutting away the misbehaving decal, 22. I brushed on PFM to blend the paint and decals and hide brush strokes; with PFM’s leveling properties, almost all evidence of my ham-fisted touch-ups vanished. The rest of the Aeromaster decals went on easily, and the 7 that I had applied earlier peeked through from under the chevron, 23.

I thinned dirty brown paint and augmented the exhaust stains with an airbrush, carrying the overspray down the fuselage to reflect the stains seen in period photographs. Various fluid leaks were drawn on with a black Prismacolor pencil, 27, or painted on with a drop of thin, flat black streaked in the direction of the airflow, 28. I shaved graphite pencil lead onto a business card to provide dust for gunpowder stains around the muzzles on the cowl. More Dullcote sealed all this work. Using a silver pencil, I applied paint chipping on the wing where Hartmann and the ground crew would have walked. The antenna and canopy stop are 8/0 UNI black fly-tying thread. I secured the antenna in tiny holes in the tail and fuselage with super glue, then tightened it with heat from a just-extinguished match. For the canopy cord, I taped a piece of the thread to the lids of two paint bottles, stretched it taut, and then applied super glue to keep it rigid, 29. Once the super glue set, I cut a piece and attached it with Kristal Klear. I brushed on Dullcote to touch up glossy glue spots. The photoetched-metal ventral antenna is a spare from a Dragon Fw 190, the aileron mass balances came from the Hobbycraft kit, and the wheels are from Fujimi. As a finishing touch I bent K&S brass wire into the shape of a starter crank, slipping a piece of brass rod over one end to form a handle before I popped it into place on the port cowl.

The fun part I mixed a wash of Cobra raw umber water-mixable oil paint, Higgins black ink, Jo Sonja’s flow medium, and tap water and brushed this sludge along panel lines and into nooks and crannies, 24. An hour later, when the wash was dry to the touch but not set hard, I removed excess with bits of old T-shirt and cotton swabs dipped in water, 25. Wheel wells, landing gear, guns, and exhausts received enamel washes. I do this so I can remove mistakes with thinner. A coat of Testors Dullcote sealed my work and provided a rough surface that was receptive to pastel chalks. I applied them with a makeup brush, a cut-down scrub brush, and cotton swabs, 26. I rubbed pastel powder into the paint with the scrub brush, then blended it with the swabs. In addition to the exhaust stain, I applied gray powder to break up the white camouflage and used white pastel to soften the panel lines.

May 2014


A PROFESSED MODEL-HOLIC usually with a Messerschmitt on the bench, Simon, from Wainwright, Alberta, Canada, has been modeling World War II airplanes for more than 30 years, taking on Luftwaffe subjects as his skills improved. Winner of numerous provincial awards, he occasionally contributes to the IPMS Edmonton newsletter. At one time, he kept the wolf from the door by building on commission. But now he models to unwind after teaching music, coming home from gigs as a rock guitarist/vocalist, fixing old water cooled Porsches, or working in the administrative department of a company that does live immersive training for the British and Canadian armed forces. This is his first article for FineScale Modeler.

29 Super glue has a multitude of uses; here, Simon uses it to coat and reinforce fly-tying thread for the canopy stop.

Why sew sow’s ears? I don’t keep close track of the time I spend on projects, but I do keep a (lazy) eye on how taxing my hobby is to my wallet. The Revell kit had been built years ago and thus, shall we say, it was fully amortized. The Hobbycraft kit had been given to me by an IPMS club pal. If I’d bought them at a swap meet, they’d probably have been $5 each.

Hobbycraft spinner, Otaki blades, and brass tubing

Photo by Roger Harrison

Meet Simon Harrison

Let’s say I spent $20 on shop supplies — paint, glue, styrene, brass, thinner, brushes, and whatnot. The decals cost $24, but there are markings for six models — so call it $4. I’m into this model about $34. I estimate I spent 30 hours building. So $34 divided by 30 hours gives me an entertainment cost of $1.13 (Canadian!) per hour. You can’t rent a movie for that! Or go for a beer! Cheers! FSM

Cockpit detailed with spares-box goodies, styrene, brass, and wire

Thin enamel whitewash

Painted-over marking Hobbycraft nose with Fujimi and Hasegawa details

Revell tail with backdated rudder

Silver-pencil chipping Pastels and thin paint Sludge-wash panel lines

The Eastern Front proved tough for men and machines. To build Luftwaffe ace Erich Hartmann’s Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6, Simon grafted a Revell tail onto Hobbycraft nose and wings, and gave the plane a thin whitewash to replicate field-applied camouflage for a Russian winter. 44

FineScale Modeler

May 2014


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1/72 Scale

One of the early World War I aircraft designs, the Halberstadt D.II was eventually replaced by quicker, more agile fighters. Kelly started with the decades-old C.A. Atkins 1/72 scale white-metal German D.III kit to model Hans-Joachim Buddecke’s D.II Turkish fighter.

Working with

WHITE METAL Not all model kits come in plastic BY KELLY WIONZEK • PHOTOS BY PEG RISLAHTI


esiring to build a Halberstadt D.II rebadged for Turkey and serving over Gallipoli in 1915, I decided to convert an old white-metal 1/72 scale Halberstadt D.III kit from the nowdefunct C.A. Atkins. Although the casting is beautifully detailed, it’s little wonder, with the complex construction and difficulties of working with metal, that this and similar kits survived but a single run. 46

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White metal is soft and pliable, but, unlike plastic, its surface is unforgiving. It can be cut or scratched easily and isn’t readily repaired. So, I proceeded cautiously, with emery paper and hobby knife in hand.

Warming up Inside the kit’s plastic bag were only a few parts, but the shapes looked correct and to scale. Some of the finer details were a bit

soft, but nothing so severe a little carving, digging, and rebuilding wouldn’t fix it, 1. The fuselage’s tail end turned out to be a bit narrow. To fix the problem, I made a tapered spacer with some energetic sanding and a piece of 2mm-thick sheet styrene, 2. Once the shim was shaped appropriately, I pinned the fuselage halves in place and super glued the styrene to the fuselage’s starboard side for now. I trimmed the



Not many parts come out of the D.III’s bag, but Kelly knows appearances can be deceiving.

Kelly made a tapered shim from sheet styrene to widen the rear end of the fuselage and trimmed away the excess.



Noting the kit ailerons were the wrong shape for a Halberstadt D.II, Kelly removed the cast-in control surfaces from the upper wing and replaced them with a pair fashioned from styrene.



On the wings, several layers of primer, followed by a thorough scouring of emery paper between coats, finally resulted in a surface ready for paint.

excess styrene flush with the fuselage top and bottom. The ailerons molded on the upper wing were correct for a D.III, but not a D.II. After scoring around the line between the ailerons and wing with a hobby knife, I removed them with a fine razor saw and cleaned up with a precision file. The plans in Classics of WW1 Aviation: Halberstadt Fighters (ISBN 978-0-948-41486-2) served as the reference for my scratchbuilt styrene replacements, 3.

Surface prep Some of the parts were in rougher shape than I’d first thought. I corrected inside the front portion of the fuselage with a No. 10 curved-edge blade and emery paper, 4.

“Notice the slag heap,” Kelly says. He uses a curved hobby knife and emery paper to scrape the surface of the metal parts smooth both inside and out.

Kelly hand-painted the fighter’s interior walls, cockpit, and engine. Notice the styrene spacer glued to the fuselage’s starboard side.

Similarly, I reworked the surface of the wings, removing rough patches with the knife and smoothing with the emery paper. Additionally, I primed the wings and buffed them again with the emery paper to get them ready for paint, 5. Nearly every surface needed this sort of attention before being attached.

The cockpit I used bits of brass and plastic and some thread to detail the rudder bar, joystick, throttle, choke, pump, and various dials and switches inside the cockpit, 6.

Almost disaster While drilling a hole for the elevator control lines, I snapped off my 1⁄64" bit. If this

7 When a broken drill bit refused to come out, Kelly decided to take a gamble and amputate the D.II’s rear end. He replaced it with a shaped piece of resin from his spares box. May 2014




One consolation for performing the surgery was that running the elevator and rudder rigging turned out to be much easier.


After widening the fuselage and making a new tail to fit, Kelly realized the kit’s elevator assembly was too narrow.

Splitting the elevator in two, Kelly drilled out the ends of a short length of styrene rod and glued the elevator halves on either side.



The top of the upper wing and bottom of the lower wing show grooves to seat the hooked ends of Kelly’s scratchbuilt struts.

The wire struts are test-fitted into the upper wing to make sure the grooves are deep enough.



Kelly takes a bent wire, adds two layers of trim tape, successive coats of Mr. Surfacer, and coaxes the struts into the correct shape with emery paper.

Using a cardboard template to make sure he gets their angle right, Kelly super glues the struts into place on the top wing.

model had been plastic, it wouldn’t have been a big deal: Grab the bit with a pair of pliers and pull it out. But because it was white metal, the bit stuck fast, and drilling through it wasn’t an option. The only remedy I saw was to make a small mess into a bigger mess to save the whole: I amputated the Halberstadt’s tail just in front of the broken drill bit, using a sturdy saw blade fitted in my hobby-knife handle. After filing and smoothing the edges of the cut, I made a replacement by 48

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shaping a piece of resin from my spares box, 7. On the upside, drilling the holes for the control lines and running the rigging was a lot easier with the resin piece, 8. On the downside, the single-piece elevator no longer fit, 9. To rectify the problem, I cut a length of 1⁄16" plastic rod to the fuselage’s width and drilled both ends. Then I snipped the connector between the elevators in half and inserted them into the rod, 10.

Making better struts While working on the cockpit and rear fuselage, it occurred to me that my Halberstadt was going to be small but weighty. So, how to keep the plane’s heavy components from pulling it apart? Taking a hint from an old aftermarket product, I settled on scratchbuilding my own struts using 3⁄64"-diameter brass wire bent at the ends to hook onto the wings. With that in mind, I drilled holes through the top and bottom wings. Because




Kelly test-fits the bottom wing to the struts — it fits!

Surveying the parts, Kelly determined that he’d wait until the very last before attaching the undercarriage, elevator, tail skid, and rudder.

The lower wing is super glued to the fuselage and then the upper wing is carefully mated to the lower.



Kelly bends the strut ends into the grooves on the lower wings, super glues them in place, and finshes up with putty, sanding, and paint.

With the rigging complete, the final step was to apply the German crosses and cover them with the black square used by Turkey.

they’re staggered, the holes needed to be angled correctly. Working with a needle file, an old No. 11 hobby blade with a broken tip, and a 1⁄16" drill bit, I made grooves in the wings to seat the wire hooks, 11. I test-fitted the wires to make sure they would fit the grooves, 12. Satisfied with the fit, I wrapped each strut in two layers of Pactra trim tape secured with super glue. I used Mr. Surfacer to taper the strut ends, 13. With sanding and painting, I made the struts the proper thickness and shape. After measuring the interior lengths of the struts, I trimmed them so the wings would remain secure at the correct distance apart. I thinned the ends of the wire struts with a file so they would be easier to bend during final assembly. I made a cardboard template to ensure the strut angles were correct as I glued them into the upper wing, 14. A test-fit of the bottom wing showed that all of my efforts had paid off, 15.

Putting it all together

Weighing in at more than a pound despite a wingspan of slightly less than 5", Kelly’s tiny 1/72 scale Halberstadt D.II pushed his modeling skills, patience, and persistence. The best help came from two old friends, he says: emery paper and primer.

I painted the D.II’s various subassemblies and proceeded to put it all together, 16. The wings were attached with super glue, 17. I bent the ends of the struts into their recesses on the lower wing with the tip of a file and applied more super glue, 18. After adjusting the wings slightly to get the stagger just so, I filled the grooves for

the struts with putty and super glue, sanded them smooth, and painted. Once the engine, propeller, and empennage were added, I rigged my D.II with black thread. Because I was modeling an aircraft sent to the Dardanelles in Turkish service, I applied German crosses to the wings and fuselage before covering them

with the black square insignia employed by Turkey, 19. Though a challenge, metal models can be rewarding and provide subjects that aren’t available in plastic. But remember, they’re heavy. This diminutive bird would be ounces in plastic, but mine weighs more than a pound! FSM May 2014


Questions & Answers A clinic for your modeling problems By Aaron Skinner

Enamels or acrylics for faces Q In “5 Steps to Fantastic Faces,” (October

2009 FSM), Jim Wechsler recommends using Testors Model Master wood and tan enamel. I made a trip to the hobby store purely on this recommendation but mistakenly bought Testors Acryl. I prefer acrylics anyway, but don’t know if they’ll produce results as good as Wechsler’s figures. Do you know anything about this?

– Jason Burke Shoreline, Wash. A I recommend using the enamels. They take slightly longer to dry, so it’s easier to do things like dry brushing and blending. You can experiment with the acrylics, but I think they are too thin to brush well for this kind of application. Australian equivalent for Future? Q I have read about using Pledge Future

floor polish (now known as Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface finish) on clear parts, but it’s not available in Australia. They do sell Pledge Tile Magic 5 in 1, which says it can be used on all types of tiles — ceramic, granite, marble, quarry, linoleum, and vinyl. It’s not completely clear; there is a green tinge to it and it is scented. Would this product be OK to use on clear parts? – Simon Wallace-Tarry Eureka, New South Wales, Australia A I don’t have a good answer for you be cause I can’t find much info about the prod uct and they don’t seem to sell it here in the U.S. You could try it, but if it has ammonia in it, it may attack acrylic paint. Also, if it’s particularly aggressive, it may go after the plastic. Many Australian modelers use Pascoe’s Long Life Self Shining Floor Polish. It ap pears similar to Future, but may contain am monia, so be cautious around acrylics. Got a modeling problem? Our Questions & Answers column is here to help. E mail [email protected], or visit and click on “Contact Us.” We are not able to conduct lengthy research, such as answering questions on markings and unit histories. We publish letters of general interest in the magazine; however, mail volume and space limitations prevent us from printing every question. Please include your name, town, state, and a daytime phone number.


FineScale Modeler

May 2014

Slow-setting super glue Q I have been have problems with super

Help rigging sailing ships Q I have started building 17th-, 18th-, and

glue not curing, even hours after application. The temperature in my workshop is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit with about 20 percent humidity. Any ideas?

19th-century sailing ships, but I can’t find any references to help me rig them. The instruction sheets just don’t cut it. I’ve even purchased books on the sails and rigging of old sailing ships; these are even more confusing.

– John Thomas Pittsburgh, Pa. A My guess is the low humidity is the problem. Super glue works by reacting with moisture in the air. That’s part of the reason it sticks to skin so well, because of the moisture in skin. I have trouble getting super glue to set in my house in the winter because the gas furnace makes the air very dry. You could try putting a humidifier in the room where you model, but the quick fix for the problem is to apply a little accelerator. It’ll set the glue fast. Be careful to apply small amounts so as not to affect the plastic: Accelerator can strip paint. Fitting aftermarket parts Q I have long had this question about af-

termarket parts. Most of sets seem to be designed for use with a specific manufacturer’s kit. Wouldn’t the parts fit, or be able to be slightly modified to fit, another manufacturer’s kit of the same scale? Is there a reason they specify a particular manufacturer’s kit? I realize there are different variants each manufacturer produces, but it seems some parts could be used in multiple variants. – Vincent Weston Omaha, Neb. A You ask a good question. The basic an swer is that the parts are usually designed to fit best into a specific kit. Different manu facturers will do things slightly differently and in some cases the dimension of the model may differ slightly. That’s why it’s best to use the aftermarket sets for the rec ommended kit. It is possible to use them with other kits as I did a few years ago when I added a resin cockpit to a Sea Harrier. The NeOme ga set was designed for the Airfix kit, but I used it in the Tamiya SHAR. It took a little extra work, but nothing I couldn’t overcome with careful dry fitting and sanding. As far as variants go, the answer is you can, but sometimes they may not be right. Things like cockpits and engine nozzles can change from version to version. Research your subject before purchasing the parts.

– Richard Strzalka Naguabo, Puerto Rico A I am not an expert in the art of building ships from the age of sail, but FSM Associate Editor Tim Kidwell has built several. Here’s what he had to say: “Rigging ships can be one of the most rewarding parts of building model ships. It is also one of the most frustrating aspects. “It sounds like you’ve already started in the right direction by buying books. There are a couple of books that I think every ship modeler should have on his/her shelf: The Art of Rigging, by George Biddlecombe (Dover, ISBN 978 0 486 26343 4), Rigging Period Ship Models, by Lennarth Peterson (Naval Institute Press, ISBN 978 1 55750 970 3), and Ship Modeling Simplified, by Frank Mastini (International Marine Ragged Mountain Press, ISBN 978 0 07 155867 9). “The first book will give you a historical perspective regarding rigging invaluable to become versed in terminology. Peterson’s book will give you more practical knowl edge when it comes to running the rigging. Ship Modeling Simplified helps take the sting out of some of the most difficult chal lenges we face while building ship models. “Every ship has its own rigging plan (and will vary over the course of a ship’s life). If you’re building a specific ship, you should try to find the rigging plan for the correct era. It will show you exactly where everything goes rather than you guessing. I suggest contacting preservation societies or the museums that maintain the ship you’re modeling. You might also find the rigging plans online usually for a price. “If you’re building a kit that is generic or fictitious (Zvezda’s Black Swan, for in stance) the best you can do is study the rig ging plans of similar ships and do your best approximation. If it makes sense to you, it’s unlikely that your friends or famly are going to know one way or the other. Also, don’t get down on yourself if your first ship’s rig ging isn’t perfect. Your next one will be far better, and the one after that superior to the previous. Take it from me, it’s about getting

through that first build, no matter how gut wrenching, because your experience will make the next one that much easier. And don’t sweat getting all the knots correct at least, not yet. There’s plenty of time for that down the road. “Finally, you might consider joining a model shipbuilding forum, like Model Ship World, They have an entire section devoted to masting, rigging, and sails.”

Painting bare-metal airplanes Q What paint is the best to finish a

bare-metal B-17? – Harold Cheek Kingman, Ariz. A There are a few choices for natural metal finishes. Each has advantages and disadvantages regarding application and handling. The easiest method is to use silver or alu minum enamel paint. Tamiya’s bare metal silver in the spray can does a pretty nice job. It’s easy to apply, but doesn’t necessari ly appear realistic. Testors Metalizer lacquers are easy to find in most hobby stores. All are available in ready to airbrush bottles; some come in spray cans. Some can be buffed for more shine. They look best over bare plastic, but the finish is thin and fragile, so it can come off after handling and is difficult to mask be cause the tape will pull it up. It sticks better over primer, but doesn’t tend to come up nearly as shiny. The third option, and the one I use for most of my metallic finishes, is Alclad II lac quers. They are airbrush ready straight out of the bottle, and, I think, look the most like metal. The bad news is that the application process is the most involved. These paints have to be applied over primer. The high shine finishes like polished aluminum and airframe aluminum need a gloss black base for full effect. That means a lot of prep work. The advantage is the paint is tough and you can mask over it, often within 30 minutes, so you can quickly achieve multi tone finishes. No matter which finish you choose, sur face preparation is the secret. The model needs to be as smooth as possible, because metallic paint will highlight any imperfec tions, whether a scratch to divot. Sanding and filling are the keys. One method that can work well, espe

Aaron added a little white to medium sea gray then sprayed the inside panels to break up the stark underside of Airfix’s 1/48 scale Spitfire Mk.XII.

Post-shading explained Q What is post-shading and how do I do it? – Michael Ratcliffe, Orange, Mass.

A Post shading is a technique modelers use to alter the appearance of paint on a

model. It breaks up the finish, especially on monochromatic schemes, and makes the model look more dynamic and realistic. After applying the base color say olive drab on a tank mix a little white into the paint used; it doesn’t take much. Then airbrush this into panel centers, staying away from the edges. The result should be a subtle difference between the edges and centers. You can lighten the base coat further and concentrate in just the center. Or you can add black and spray it along the panel lines and in recesses. There are no hard and fast rules as to how to do it. I lean toward the less is more school, trying to keep the effect as subtle as pos sible. That goes for mixing the colors. Adding yellow (instead of white) to green col ors gives a warmer result, for example. I did a story about post shading in the February 2009 FSM. If you are a sub scriber, we have a video on the website demonstrating the technique.

cially if you want to have a multicolored fin ish, is to spray the model with a reliable, tough base layer, such as Tamiya bare met al silver. Then you can mask and spray Met alizer and/or Alclad to add panel details.

Fuel truck mystery Q The gallery of models from the 2013

IPMS/USA National Convention ( January 2014 FSM) includes a 1/48 scale diorama of an X-3 being readied for a test-flight; it’s surrounded by figures, trucks, and other equipment. The caption mentions who made many of the accessories, but there was

no mention of who made the fuel truck. Do you know who the manufacturer of this model was and is the kit still available? – Don Scatena Downers Grove, Ill. A I believe it is a long out of production Revell item, the 1/48 scale White gas truck (kit No. H 1402). It features a White 3000 series tractor hauling a 6,000 gallon Fruehauf tank trailer. Originally released in 1956 with markings for Mobil, the kit has been re popped a couple of times in the UK and here as recently as the 1990s. FSM May 2014


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Reader Tips Solutions and innovations By Mark Hembree

Deluxe airbrush hookup wanted to improve the air supply to my airbrush. The problems I had were a little moisture in the ⅛" supply hose and, I thought, slight pulsations at certain pressure settings. I solved these issues with a 24" vertical section of ½" copper pipe. Using various fittings, I attached a moisture trap to the bottom of the pipe, and two ¼" quick couplings mounted at a 45-degree angle to the top. This assembly separates moisture in the normal fashion at the trap. Any mist that might get through condenses on the walls In addition to a pretty swanky paint booth, in the larger copper pipe, where Donald installed an extra-long vertical airsupply pipe with a moisture trap at the botit then drains down to the trap tom and two quick-connect terminals at the reservoir. top. When it’s time to paint, he’s ready to roll. The bonus feature is this larger air capacity between the compressor and the airbrushes seems to dampen any pulsating caused by the compressor. Additionally, all my airbrushes are ready to go as soon as I flip the switch.

I Paint mixing and cleanup proceeds at better than a snail’s pace when Gerald uses his escargot serving platter for an acrylic paint palette. A little bit of water takes the paint off the porcelain for the next project

Serves paint or escargot

I have found the perfect paint palette! My wife and I were shopping at a food and beverage specialty shop, and as I browsed the cooking and eating utensils a dish caught my eye: The six depressions looked perfect for paint. I found it was a porcelain escargot serving plate. It works great for mixing acrylic paints and weathering washes. After painting, all you have to do is add a bit of water, let it sit for a minute, then wipe the porcelain clean with a paper towel and you are ready for your next round. – Gerald Baker El Paso, Texas For decals and baseball cards

After years of building kits, we all end up with stacks of unused decals. I have found that a semirigid baseball-card holder (sometimes called a trading-card page) is great for decal storage. The material is acid-free and will not attack the decal; you can keep decals from curling and protect them from moisture. You can see what’s inside, and the pages are made to be held in a ringed binder to keep your spares neatly organized. – Matt Piccolo Las Vegas, Nev. Would you like to share an idea about a tool or technique? Send a brief description along with a photograph or sketch to “Reader Tips.” E mail [email protected] or visit and click on “Contact Us.” Tips are paid for upon publication; if you live in the U.S., we’ll need your Social Security number to pay you. FSM obtains all publication rights (including electronic rights) to the text and images upon payment.

– Donald Poggemiller, Burlington, Iowa Easy paint identification

Satin clear

Vallejo recommends mixing its paint by rolling the bottle between your hands or on a table. However, doing this can wear the name and number off the label. To prevent that from happening, I wrap that portion of the label with clear tape. No more missing names or numbers! While you're at it, put a drop of the paint in the dimple on the cap to make it easier to find your color without having to pick the bottle up, especially if you store your paints in drawers like I do. – Gene Best

When you need a satin finish, Krylon UV Archival Varnish works great. It has the right sheen and provides protection against ultraviolet light. The big can is a bargain, too. It can be found at art stores. To ensure compatibility with underlying paint, always test it first. – Richard Daymont

Fort Wayne, Ind. Packed with bottles

I use empty half-liter (16.9-ounce) water bottles to cushion kits for shipping. They are flexible, light, and durable. – Thomas Voss East Windsor, N.J.


FineScale Modeler

May 2014

Gulfport, Miss. Mini clothespins

A while back, I was having my car’s oil changed at Wal-Mart and was wandering around the store, killing time. In the arts and crafts area, I saw the neatest thing: miniature wooden clothespins, about 1" long. When I tested one, I discovered that they had a surprising amount of spring tension. Not only that, but a 50-count bag was $1.97! We are all modelers, so I don’t need

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When other clamps don’t fit the task, tiny clothespins are handy in a pinch.

to explain the possibilities these things have. Go on, indulge yourself and spend a couple of bucks! Ð Dan Drake Roanoke, Ind. Wrap ‘em to keep ‘em

Use plastic wrap to keep small parts from escaping as they are cut from the sprue; it clings to plastic parts quite well. I usually use a sheet on either side of the parts. Make sure the wrap makes good contact with itself around the part being removed. Ð Paul Trimble South Bend, Ind. Use rubble for rubble

Smashing actual brick can be useful for some dioramas. Find (or buy) a red or gray brick, take it outside to a garage, driveway, or sidewalk, wrap a towel around it, and smash it with a hammer. Keep swinging to

Nothing looks more like smashed brick than smashed brick. Wear eye protection while breaking up masonry.

chip and crush the bits to scale. (And, for heaven’s sake, please wear eye protection.) If you want to paint pieces of brick, I suggest enamels. Throw in weathered pieces of snapped, broken, and twisted Popsicle sticks for realistic debris. Ð Brent Summers

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Sherwood, Ore. Use a smart phone for scale

When building my train set, I found that Woodland Scenics has a scale calculator app for smart phones. If you’re out shopping and need to make a scale calculation, this is a convenient feature to have at hand. Ð Jason Burke Shoreline, Wash. Raised lettering on tires

If you are searching for a solution to making tire lettering, wheel designs, knockoffs, or maybe an old hubcap, try this: Find a photo of exactly what you want, convert it to black and white, size it to scale, and take it to your local stamp shop (business stamps, date stamps, etc.) They will make a nice rubber stamp from which you can make a reusable mold and castings. I use Amazing Casting Resin (available at hobby shops), and it is a very quick turnaround — less than 45 minutes from start to finish. Once you have the stamp, you can brand as many tires as you want. And if you don’t want the lettering to be raised, you can skip the resin casting and simply use the rubber stamp. Ð Jack Reynolds Upland, Calif.

Jack provides two-dimensional logo art to a local shop that makes a rubber mold for him. From there, he can make impressions in a mold for casting resin — or, you could pass up the resincasting and use the stamp as, well, a stamp.

Parafilm M seals the deal

I’ve seen Parafilm M (for sealing test tubes or beakers) used as masking to keep paint out. But here’s a way to keep paint “in.” When you open a new bottle of paint and don’t plan on using it again for a while, cut a strip of Parafilm M and stretch it around the bottlecap and neck. It will help preserve the paint for the next time you need it. Ð Dean Bergstrom Rome, N.Y. May 2014


Workbench Reviews FSM evaluations of new kits on the market

Renowned Renault gets big-scale detail


ollowing a current trend toward larger scales in plastic models, new manufacturer Takom debuts with a 1/16 scale Renault FT-17 French light tank. Entering World War I in 1917, it was the first production model with its main armament in a fully rotating turret. Many countries used or copied it (the United States built it Takom filled the Renault with detail in the engine bay and fighting compartment. Some of it can’t be seen easily on the finished model, it all benefits from careful painting.


FineScale Modeler

May 2014

under license as the M1917), and some of the little tanks soldiered on to World War II. The Takom kit is mostly in primer-red plastic, with the tracks molded in dark gray. The photoetched-metal fret is precoated in primer red, too. A metal chain is included. There is a basic interior and reasonably

complete engine compartment. However, no shells are included for the large racks in the hull and turret, although all the hatches are separate to help show off this detail. Several surfaces are marred by numerous ejector-pin marks and prominent mold seams. The directions flow logically, starting with the engine, transmission, radiator, and other interior components. Detail painting is called out in each step. I left out major interior components for easier painting. FT-17/M1917 WWI Tanks Walk Around, by David Doyle (Squadron Signal, ISBN 9780-89747-636-0) shows additional options for painting the engine, which I used to augment the kit instructions. Unfortunately, most of the transmission can’t be seen once the hull roof is glued down; it’s up to you to decide how much work to do in this area. The hull is built from seven panels, and the fits are good and plumb. Rivets found on the track sprue are meant to be shaved off and glued to the hull roof; I lost more of these than I was able to attach. I painted the interior with Tamiya flat white (XF-2 ) and weathered with washes, chipping, and oils stains. The seat could use

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some texture. For ease of painting, I left the rear skid off until later. I decided to prepaint the road wheels, sprockets, and interior components of the suspension; after assembly they would be tough to reach, and unpainted red plastic would be obvious. Be aware of the direction of the bolt detail on the front idler. The round heads should face the hull. The tracks comprise three parts per link and 32 links per side. They were easy to assemble and remained workable; I left them off until after painting the hull. The turret detail is not up to the standards of the lower hull. The actual turret was cast and should have a rough texture. But the casting numbers and rivets are well represented. Fit of the turret halves was poor and needed filler to hide the seam. Careful: The seam between the turret roof and sides is supposed to be there. The rear doors were meant to be workable, but the fit was so sloppy I glued them shut. There is no hinge for the turret hatch; I glued that shut as well. Three marking options are given: French, U.S, and a postwar Polish tank.

However, only one view of each vehicle is given, and only the French and U.S. vehicles are shown in color on the side of the box. I did find color diagrams of the Polish tank in The Renault FT Light Tank, by Steven J. Zaloga (Osprey Vanguard, ISBN 978-0-85045-852-8) and Polish Tracks and Wheels 1: Renault FT-17/NC1/NC2/TSF; Renault R35/40; Hotchkiss H35/39, by Adam Jońca (MMP, ISBN 978-83-6142101-6). Make sure the model is primed; that red plastic is hard to cover. I used Tamiya flat dark yellow (XF-60) as the base coat, Vallejo medium olive (850) for the camouflage color, and various Vallejo and Humbrol paints for details. Washes and dry-brushing finished out the weathering. The decals were translucent and brittle; some broke apart while I tried to snug them around rivet detail. Takom’s first kit is an impressive start. I took 43 hours to complete mine, with a large amount of time spent painting the engine and interior. Aftermarket companies have already started their additions to the kit, and only a little more work would make

Kit: No. 1001 Scale: 1/16 Manufacturer: Takom,, from Pacific Coast Models, 707-538-4850, Price: $109 Comments: Injection-molded, 511 parts (16 photoetched metal, 1 chain) Pros: Interior and engine included; preprimed photoetched metal Cons: No shells for gun; one view shown for camouflage

this model a stunner. With its detail, good fits, and easy-to-use photoetched metal, it’s a fun build for modelers of all skill levels. And it would look good with any 120mm figures you have in your stash. – Mike Scharf May 2014


Workbench Reviews

Airfix Gloster Javelin


ritain’s Gloster Aircraft Company produced three fighter designs that were mainstays of the Royal Air Force. The Gladiator of the 1930s was the last British biplane fighter. In the 1940s, the Meteor became the RAF’s first operational jet. The Javelin, the last of the three designs, and Gloster’s last aircraft, was the first British combat aircraft designed for allweather and night operations. The big delta-wing, twin-engined interceptor was capable of meeting incoming

Kit: No. A12007 Scale: 1/48 Manufacturer: Airfix, 44-1428-

701191,, from Hornby America, 253-922-7203, Price: $69.99 Comments: Injection-molded, 222 parts, decals Pros: Flawless molding; great options and engineering; easy construction; good instructions; inclusion of ladder and FOD covers Cons: Color callout reference Humbrol numbers only; no harness detail


FineScale Modeler

May 2014

bombers at altitudes in excess of 50,000 feet. It served with the RAF from 1956 to 1968, including deployments to Singapore during the Malaysian Confrontation as well as Hong Kong and Zambia. Although the Javelin has been reasonably well served in small scale, the only 1/48 scale offerings have been vacuumformed. After Airfix released its terrific 1/48 scale Sea Vixen a couple of years ago, I hoped they would follow up with the Javelin. They have and it was well worth the wait. This kit represents the FAW.9, the ultimate version of the fighter. Typical of modern Airfix kits, the bluegray plastic parts show crisp lines, no flash, and the majority of the ejector-pin marks will be invisible on the finished model. Color callouts throughout the instructions refer to Humbrol paint numbers, but no mention of color names. The three-part nose-wheel well features structural and mechanical detail. It attaches under the cockpit tub, which has molded-in instruments and controls on the side panels. Each ejection seats comprises six parts including separate cushions and rings. No harnesses are included. Decal dials embellish molded detail on instrument panels. The cockpit gets sandwiched into a two-part tub which is itself swaddled in the nose halves. The intakes impressed me. They extend all the way to the front fans and attach to either side of the cockpit. A bracket aligns them, helps position the whole assembly inside the lower fuselage,

and serves as spars for the large wings. Another bracket does the same for the exhaust trunks, adding a second set of spars. By the time the upper fuselage is added in Step 32, and the wings in Step 53, the airframe is sturdy and handling reveals no sloppiness. Bonus points for engineering and buildability, Airfix! Speaking of the wings, you need to decide early whether to pose the airbrakes extended or retracted. Airfix provided parts for either option, but they must be glued in before the wing halves are assembled. I chose closed. Other options include ventral slipper tanks, refueling probe, open or closed flaps, open or closed canopies, and raised or lowered landing gear. Many of these options involve using different parts or opening locators. These are clearly marked in the instructions, but it pays to mark the options you want to use before you start so you don’t get caught short. The kit features movable ailerons and posable rudder, elevators, and trimming tailplanes that can be left movable, although the instructions don’t show it. One of the nicest touches in this great kit is the inclusion of a boarding ladder and FOD covers for the intakes and exhausts. I filled the radome with lead sinkers to ensure the nose stayed grounded. The basic airframe went together easily. I used a little putty around the base of the vertical stabilizer and along the wing roots to eliminate minor gaps.

Master Box Mk.I Male British tank

G With the landing gear, flaps, underwing stores, and canopy off, I airbrushed the model with decanted Tamiya spray can colors — RAF dark green (AS-30) and RAF ocean grey (AS-31) on top, and gloss aluminum (TS-17) underneath. I masked the with Silly Putty and Tamiya tape. The Cartograf-printed decals applied pretty well over a coat of Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface finish (PFM, formerly Future) and a little help from Micro Sol. When a couple of the larger markings resisted settling into panel lines, I used Walthers Solvaset. The aggressive solution caused the ink to run in a couple places. After a coat of PFM, I applied a dark brown artist’s oil wash to panel lines and recesses. I sealed that with a mix of gloss and semigloss, as RAF Javelin’s appear to have been kept pretty clean. The rest of the small parts went on without a hitch, although the main landing gear is a tad fiddly as you have to thread various bits and pieces through internal structures. After about 40 hours, split about evenly between construction, painting, and decaling (there are a lot of stencils!), my Javelin was done. The finished model captures the look of the brutish fighter perfectly. Airfix has done a terrific job producing a well-engineered model with lots of options and features that goes together well. – Aaron Skinner

reat Britain’s Mk.I Male was among the very first tracked, armored fighting vehicles, entering action in World War I at the Somme in 1916. Master Box’s kit of this historic vehicle is molded in soft plastic with one-piece tracks, movable cannon, and — not labeled on the box — a photoetched-metal fret for the grenade screen on top. No decals or other markings are included. Building the hull from multiple pieces was no problem. The only trouble was removing the springs from the sprue. They were a little fragile, and one end broke off. The trailing wheel assembly is built from multiple pieces with a photoetchedmetal detail added on the axle. The wheels were a little awkward, with the locator pins being shallow. I had to drill out holes so the wheel would fit over the axle. Be careful when assembling the track guides (parts C6, C3, C4, and C7) so you don’t install them upside down. Make sure the notches are lined up on the bottom; this is where the track joint will go. I glued one of the track guides to the hull side, let that dry, then added the spring and wheel assemblies along with the other track guide. This left the wheel assembly free to pivot up and down. I had a small gap on one side of the hull-track guide that I filled with white glue. I super glued the tracks together. The gun casemates were built and added to the track guides with no issues. The cannons can be moved up, down, and side to side. Vision ports can be positioned open or closed. While assembling the A-frame for the grenade screen, be mindful of the drawing that show parts D17 and D11 in place. You

have to cut out the X on top before adding the photoetched-metal screen. It is thick and out of scale, but the addition of the screen really improves the look. The early camouflage schemes were elaborate, but, when it was found that the tanks were soon covered in mud, they were painted brown. Using the box art as a guide, I painted the hull with Tamiya khaki, and the tracks/trailing wheels Tamiya gunmetal. My model is lightly weathered with Tamiya pastels. It took me three quick hours to build and finish this tank. With its features and ease of assembly, this kit adds to your possibilities in building WWI trench warfare dioramas. I hope Master Box releases more tanks from this time period. – Tom Foti

Kit: No. MB72001 Scale: 1/72 Manufacturer: Master Box,, from Dragon Models USA, 626-968-0322, Price: $22.95 Comments: Injectionmolded, 48 parts (5 photoetched metal) Pros: Good detail overall; easy assembly Cons: Minor fit issue; simple track detail

May 2014


Workbench Reviews

BPK Boeing 737-200


njection-molded models of 1/72 scale airliners are rare, so BPK’s new 737-200 releases are welcome additions indeed. BPK’s model is more accurate and better detailed than the old ’60s-era Aurora and Monogram kits. It’s a big kit, mostly in light gray plastic but with resin, vinyl, sheet brass, and lots of photoetched metal. Decals are for one air-

craft: a Canadian North airliner with an attractive blue and white scheme and a polar bear logo on the tail. Vinyl masks are provided for the windscreen, passenger windows, and for separating the blue and white sections on the aft fuselage. This particular kit is the combination freight/passenger version of Boeing’s 737, with gravel-protection additions for operat-

BPK’s Pratt & Whitney JT8D enignes have good detail front and back, including fans and intake sleeves. The protrusion under the pod is a vortex dissipator to keep debris out of the engine. 58

FineScale Modeler

May 2014

ing from remote airports in Canada — something a little different. I’ll state it upfront: This is a kit for an experienced modeler who wants the challenge of a limited-run kitmodel with issues often inherent in that genre (such as the absence of locating pins). Most pieces will require some fiddling for fit and alignment. Instructions take a logical sequence to complete the build, but a few steps need extra attention. Cockpit detail is adequate; I sealed the rear bulkhead’s door opening to keep sanding dust off the inside of the windscreen, although not much detail is visible when everything is in place. Passenger windows come in the form of two long, rectangular, clear strips with the windows engraved. You have to remove part of each fuselage half, plainly marked, to install these strips. In hindsight, it would be best to leave a lip to support the clear pieces, making it easier to blend them into the fuselage. Tabs along the longitudinal fuselage seam and between the nose section and fuselage help alignment. To make this joint stronger, I flooded the inside of the seam with 5-minute epoxy. After installing the main gear-well assembly in the lower fuselage, I added the wings. Two spars extend from the wheel

wells, but I had to trim these quite a bit to match dihedral on both wings. The lower surface of the wings didn’t quite mate with the fuselage; lots of filler was needed for a smooth transition. The engines went together relatively quickly, though I couldn’t get the brass sheets rolled into the proper shape for the exhausts (I used exhausts from my spares). There’s space behind the compressor blades to add ballast, supplementing that already in the nose. While nicely detailed, the landing gear did not fit into the attachment spaces provided in the wings nor in the nose well. For the main gear, I opened its locating holes in the wings so I could angle the bases of the gear in and twist them into place. After getting them straight with shims under the retraction arms, I glued them with 5-minute epoxy. I filed two grooves into the fuselage to accept the Y-shaped nose-gear strut; the slots are hidden by the gear doors. Gear assembly instructions are vague, but pictures in Boeing 737 at the Gate, by Robert Tidwell (Squadron Signal, ISBN 0-89747651-4) were very helpful, particularly with the gravel FOD plate behind the nose gear. With all the sanding and filling needed,

the surface detail suffers; I spent a lot of time rescribing the main panel lines. I sprayed the model with Tamiya’s Fine Surface Primer (white) for the base color. Color callouts are for Gunze Sangyo paints, but I found H25 to be too light and used H15 bright blue instead. The vinyl masks for the fuselage presented problems: They didn’t exactly match the shape of the decals and they left residue which was difficult to remove. (The residue might have stuck because of the primer.) I suggest photocopying the blue decal and transferring that to your favorite masking medium. The decals were a challenge, too. The smaller ones worked fine, but the large, blue-and-yellow wave did not. It was extremely fragile and fractured as I positioned it around the compound curves of the rear fuselage and matched the demarcation line of the mask. I eventually grafted sections from the kit’s spare decal. It looks acceptable, but I wish it were better. Overspraying the decal sheet with clear decal film might alleviate this problem. Given the difficulties mentioned above, I spent about 90 hours on BPK’s B737-200. It has the potential to be a real showstop-

Kit: No. 7202 Scale: 1/72 Manufacturer: BPK (Big Planes Kits), Price: $106 Comments: Injection-molded, 254 parts

(66 photoetched metal, 6 vinyl, 4 resin, 2 brass sheets) Pros: Detailed landing gear; masks for the windscreen, cabin windows, and medium blue area on the aft fuselage; optional parts for gravel kit Cons: Fit issues; awkward setup for clear passenger windows; fragile decals

per, but only with large doses of patience, time, and skill. I would recommend it to only the more-experienced modeler. If you are up to the challenge, look to this and BPK’s other 737s (including the T-43A). – Phil Pignataro May 2014


Workbench Reviews

Minicraft Boeing KC-135E


aving built three of Minicraft’s outstanding DC-8s, I have been looking forward to its newly tooled KC-135E — and now I can say Minicraft did not disappoint. Quality and finesse really set this kit apart. It’s a fairly simple build. Parts are molded in light gray plastic with finely engraved panel lines that look really nice for a 1/144 scale model. Same holds true for the landing gear and tires, and the wings’ trailing edges are razor thin. The decal sheet, printed by Cartograf, has markings for two aircraft, either the

Kit: No. 14627 Scale: 1/144 Manufacturer: Minicraft, 847-429-

9676, Price: $44.99 Comments: Injectionmolded, 58 parts, decals Pros: Good

engineering; nearly perfect fit; great decals Cons: Overscale exhaust edges


FineScale Modeler

May 2014

Kansas Air National Guard from 2004 or a New Jersey Air National Guard plane with flamboyant “Tiger Meet” markings. The decals were in perfect register, as one expects from Cartograf. Other than the two sets of decals, the only other option in the kit is whether to build the landing gear up or down. However, no stand is provided; if you want an in-flight pose, you’re on your own to come up with a display. Construction was straightforward and easy thanks to the precision engineering and fit. I started off with the fuselage halves — don’t forget to add some nose weight to keep the model from being a tail-sitter (even though the model does come with a tail stand, just like the real thing). The fuselage halves fit pretty well, but I did have to be careful cleaning up the seam around the raised ribs that encircle the very aft fuselage. I used a small jeweler’s file to get between the ribs without messing them up. Next came the clear windscreen section and the wings. Once again, the fits were almost perfect. A few passes with a sanding stick on the rest of the seams and it was time to paint. I used Tamiya light gray primer out of the aerosol can for my Air Mobility Command Gray. It was a little lighter than the actual color, but in this scale it looks right to me.

With the wings and fuselage painted, it was time to assemble the engines. I really like how Minicraft molded the front of each engine in one piece — no worrying about sanding those pesky intake seams. The front engine fan section gets added from the back side of the front duct. I decided to assemble and paint the engines before attaching them to the wing. Testfitting them proved my plan. My only minor complaint was with the engines: I felt the exhaust was a little thick around its circumference. I ended up using a fine circular cutter in a motor tool that matched the radius of the exhaust opening and thinned the plastic edge to look more to scale. The Cartograf decals went on with no problems, performing flawlessly as they settled into all the recessed panel lines with no silvering. I did use a little bit of Micro Sol here and there where they needed a little prodding. The main landing gear and gear doors were the final pieces. They, too, fit perfectly and looked convincing. I found Minicraft’s KC-135E a really easy kit to assemble. Sharp engineering with razor crisp parts and a simple monochromatic paint scheme made this almost a weekend build — and the finished model looks like a KC-135E. – Jon Hergenrother

Zvezda Sukhoi Su-2


esigned as a reconnaissance and ground-attack aircraft, the Sukhoi Su-2 first flew in 1937. No match for German fighters, it was withdrawn from frontline duty in 1942. Zvezda’s newly tooled kit is molded in light gray, soft styrene with recessed panel lines and rivets (mostly on the wings, since the real aircraft had aluminum wings and a wooden fuselage). The box provides a complete engine, detailed bomb bay, landinggear bays with structural ribbing, and posable ailerons and rudder. The elevators are molded to the horizontal stab and would have to be cut out if you wanted to pose them. You have a choice of two instrument panels, one with raised detail and the other with a flat face meant to receive an instrument-panel decal. I used the decal on the raised panel, though, and a little decal softener made it conform. The printing of the white surrounding the instruments was a little large and looked toylike to me. If I were to do it again, I would paint and drybrush the panel instead of using the decal. The rest of the cockpit detail was sparse, other than a delicate control stick and rudder pedals. The side consoles were completely bare. The gunners station had more detail than the cockpit, with the turret and its petite machine gun, radio equipment, a recon camera, and miscellaneous gizmos. Zvezda also included two outstanding figures with the kit, beautifully molded and detailed. You can build the model with the gear up, bomb bay closed, and turtle deck in

front of the rear turret lowered. (However, no stand is included.) The clear parts were thin, with finely molded framework on the canopy. If you want to display the cockpit open, there is an open-cockpit piece to replicate the look of the pilot’s section pulled back over the rear glass. It didn’t look convincing and would have been harder to mask, too. I found the clear plastic flexible and somewhat foggy. Assembly was trouble-free. Fit was outstanding — I used only a little bit of filler on the rear of the underwing fuselage seam. The finishing instructions are clear and easy to follow. Paint callouts are for Humbrol enamels. The kit has markings for two aircraft, one in a black/green over blue scheme and the other a winter white. I used Tamiya spray can black green for the upper fuselage, Testors Model Master flat black and Soviet blue for the underside. In hindsight, that blue should have been much brighter. I gloss-coated my Su-2 with Gunze Sangyo Mr. Hobby Mr. Super Clear. Though hard to find and expensive in the U.S., it gives an outstanding fast-drying gloss coat in one application. After giving the gloss coat adequate time to dry I applied the decals. They were thin and in register, but translucent. I also had some of them silver in spite of placing them on a glossy surface. I used Testors Model Master flat lacquer to tone down the glossy finish, then added the landing gear and bomb-bay doors. The final part I still had to place was the rear turret. I ran into a problem with it not wanting to fit, due to interference from the

canopy section in front of it. After some careful bending, I was able to get it in place. But when I left the side pieces and top hatch until later, my faithful feline modeling companion dispatched one of the pieces to parts unknown. So, my kit has only a partial turret on it. I spent about 18 hours building my Su-2, the longest of which I spent masking the multipanel canopies. It was an enjoyable build, and I was impressed with the quality of the moldings and the fit of the parts. I’m looking forward to see what Zvezda comes out with next! – Jon Hergenrother

Kit: No. 4805 Scale: 1/48 Manufacturer: Zvezda,, from Dragon Models USA, 626-968-0322, Price: $39.95 Comments: Injectionmolded, 163 parts, decals Pros: Finely molded parts; outstanding fit; nice figures Cons: Decals prone to silvering; odd clear plastic

May 2014


Workbench Reviews

Hasegawa Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden Kai “George”


he Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden Kai (Violet Lightning Modified, Allied reporting name “George”) was one of the primary Japanese Navy fighters at the end of World War. Strangely, its origins can be traced back to a floatplane fighter design (Kawanishi’s N1K1 Kyofu, or Mighty Wind). This all-new N1K2-J finally provides a modern alternative to the ancient Doyusha

Kit: No. ST33 Scale: 1/32 Manufacturer: Hasegawa,, from Great Planes Model Distributors, 217-398-3630, Price: $70 Comments: Injection-molded, 160 parts (4 vinyl), decals Pros: Straightforward build, good detail, excellent fits Cons: Decals fragile, translucent


FineScale Modeler

May 2014

“George.” Hasegawa’s kit is beautifully molded in neutral gray plastic and provides a complete engine, drop tank, pilot figure, open/closed canopy options, and posable flaps. I started construction with the cockpit module. Many of the parts are separate, which helps accentuate the detail. The completed cockpit builds into a separate unit that neatly slips into the assembled fuselage. The engine assembly is complex but results in an impressive-looking replica. Make sure you study the alignment points noted in the instructions: Misalignment will cause the exhaust stacks to be out of position. Hasegawa has gone to great effort to provide a sturdy and well-aligned build. The fuselage has no fewer than three bulkheads, and there are several locking tabs as well. These help align the horizontal tail planes and wing attachment. The wing assembly was an easy build. Hasegawa has included a wing spar, so the proper dihedral is assured. The wing fits perfectly to the fuselage and needs no filler. A thing of beauty! Out of the box, the separate landing flaps are designed to be installed in the extended position. I found they were a tight

fit at the hinge attachment points; I recommend a dry run before painting. If you want the flaps retracted (the normal state on the ground), you need to modify the parts according to the instructions. I painted my George with a combination of Gunze Sangyo Aqueous Hobby Color and Mr. Color for Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft. I used AK Interactive chipping solution to replicate the wear and tear seen in photos of these aircraft. Decals are provided for two aircraft. They applied well but required care — I found they cracked easily. Also, the yellow stripes were translucent, allowing underlying colors to bleed through. I used Model Art No. 304: Kawanishi N1K1/N1K2-J as my primary reference. Also, I found Famous Airplanes of the World 53: Kyofu, Shiden, Shidenkai, by Ichiro Mitsui (Bunrin Do) useful. Both had photos and color drawings of the aircraft I chose to model. I completed my George in 20 hours. I have found Hasegawa’s 1/32 scale fighters are pretty straightforward, and this one was no exception. It’s a build that can be handled by modelers of all skill levels. If you like 1/32 scale fighters, don’t pass up this kit. – Jim Zeske

G.W.H. McDonnell-Douglas F-15B/D Eagle


reat Wall Hobbies’ release of the F-15B/D was exciting — I am a huge fan of the Eagle! Since we haven’t had a newly molded Eagle in some time, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this kit to see how it stacked up with older molds by Hasegawa and Academy. Tightly packed in the box are 22 trees of gray styrene parts. A small photoetchedmetal fret is included, as is a clear film containing parts for the HUD. The molds are crisp and flash-free, with fine panel-line detail throughout. Clear parts have excellent clarity and are scratch-free, but there is a pesky seam down the centerline of the canopy that needs attention. Instructions are an easy-to-follow 26-page magazinestyle booklet with 18 construction steps. A brief history of the F-15 is on the front cover, and a parts-tree breakdown and decal placement guide are included. Pay attention as you move along with your build to make sure you are using the correct parts for your chosen variant (U.S. or Israeli air forces). You will have many options: Avionics bay doors can be posed open to expose impressive detail, the radome can be canted to show the radar, and full engines can be exposed if you so choose. The build starts in the cockpit, and detail here is excellent. The instrument panel is great, with individual decals for each dial; tedious, yes, but the outstanding results are well worth the time and effort. The ACES II ejection seat is poor however; shoulder harnesses are molded in place, but there are no lap belts. Also, the pilot seat sits a bit high in the finished cockpit. Wait until the very end to attach the HUD, as it is easy to break off.

The fuselage has a GPS unit molded in the fuselage, making this an updated MSIP jet (something the older Hasegawa and Academy molds didn’t have). However, the GPS looks under scale. Additionally, the kit provides all the communication antennas you need for a modern aircraft. You can choose to have the intakes in an upward position or tilted down. Same goes for the speed brake. These assemblies fit well and needed little filler to smooth out. Wheel-well detail is poor, but the landing gear is nicely done, as are the tires. Be careful with the front landing gear, though — I can see this snapping off very easily during transport. (A cast-metal set may be a better idea if it becomes available.) Weapons are packed separately and are well-executed. The only option for U.S. birds is the AIM-7 Sparrows, an odd choice because the Air Force phased them out of service years ago in favor of the AIM-120 AMRAAM. The wing fuel-tank pylons are not correct for modern U.S. F-15s either, but they do look correct for Israeli Eagles. I left mine off and mounted my missiles to the fuselage pylons. Using Testors Model Master paints, I pre-shaded panel lines, and then proceeded to airbrush the camouflage scheme freehand according to references. Once it was painted, I hit the entire model with a gloss clear coat to prep for decals. You can choose from two sets each of U.S. and Israeli markings, but the decals are a letdown. Many of the stencils silvered, as did some of the larger decals. The decals did not react to any solvents I tried (Micro Sol and Solvaset) and would not settle into recessed detail. They have a flat finish, too.

My model took me 40 hours, about what I expected. Much of that time was spent detailing the cockpit. I was impressed with the ease of the build, but the few inaccuracies were disappointing. Additionally, aftermarket decals are a must: There are plenty of them out there. I would recommend Great Wall’s F-15 to anyone with the experience of a few kits. This one was a pleasure to work on, but, if you want an accurate U.S. Air Force Eagle, you have some work ahead of you. Ð Chris Oglesby

Kit: No. L4815 Scale: 1/48 Manufacturer: G.W.H.,, from Dragon Models USA, 626-968-0322, Price: $109.95 Comments: Injectionmolded gray, 237 pieces (7 photoetched metal), decals Pros: Crisp molds; fine detail; easy build; full engines, avionics bays, radome, speed brake, posable intakes Cons: No boarding ladder or figures; accuracy issues for U.S. Air Force variants; poor decals; fragile landing gear; pilot’s seat sits too high; weapons load inaccurate for U.S. F-15s

May 2014


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Tis section is open to anyone who wants to sell or buy scale modeling merchandise. FSM reserves the right to edit undesirable copy or refuse listing. For FSM’s private records, please furnish: a telephone number and a street address. All Copy: Set in standard format. First several words only set in bold face. If possible, ads should be sent typewritten and categorized to ensure accuracy. Coming Events Rate: $35 per issue (55 word maximum). Ads will contain the following information about the event: state, city, sponsoring organization and name of event, meet, auction or show, dates, location, times, admission fee, name and/or telephone number and/or email of person to contact for information. Name, daytime telephone number and street address of the person providing the information is also required but need not be included in the ad. Unless otherwise requested, ads will be published in the issue month that the event occurs in. Additional months are available at the $35 per issue fee. Please specify issue date(s). Word Ad Rates: 1 insertion - $1.13 per word, 5 insertions - $1.08 per word, 10 insertions - 99¢ per word. $20 minimum per issue. Count all initials, single numbers, street number or name, city, state, zip, phone numbers each as one word. Payment must accompany the ad. To receive the discount you must order and prepay for all ads at one time. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. Send Your Ads To: FineScale Modeler – Classifed Marketplace, 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612. Phone toll-free: 1-888-558-1544, Ext. 815, or fax: 262-796-0126. E-mail: [email protected] Closing Dates: Published 10 times a year. Jan. 2014 issue closes Oct. 15, Feb. closes Nov. 15, Mar. closes Dec. 11, April closes Jan. 10, May closes Feb. 11, July closes April 15, Sep. closes June 16, Oct. closes July 10, Nov. closes Aug. 18, Dec. closes Sept. 11.


GA, MARIETTA: 2014 Atlanta Con, Lockheed Martin Local Lodge 709 Union Hall, 1032 South Marietta Parkway, Zip Code 30060. Saturday, May 10, 2014, 9:00am-5:00pm. Admission $5.00/person, 12 and under free. $10.00 for unlimited model entries. For more information go to or contact Bill Johnston at 678-308-7308 or [email protected] NC, RALEIGH: RDUCON 2014 “The Working Man’s Show,” hosted by IPMS Eagle Squadron Wake Tech Community College, 9101 Fayetteville Rd. Saturday, May 3, 2014, 8:00am5:00pm. Vendors, Raffle. Contest Entries: $15.00 for 10 models, $1.00 each additional, $5.00 off for IPMS members. Admission: $10.00 Family, $5.00 Adult. Details: or 919-753-3153 NJ, WHIPPANY: JerseyFest Model Kit & Statue Fair. Marriott Hanover Hotel, August 1-3, 2014. Vehicle and figure models, hobby supplies, pre-painted statues, collectibles, classes, demos, contests, exhibits, top vendors and artists, movie effects legends presenting. Over 15,000 sq. ft. of luxurious show space with over 115 vendor tables. NV, HENDERSON: International Plastic Modelers Society, Las Vegas Best of the West 19. Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino, 2800 S. Boulder Hwy. Saturday, May 3, 2014, 9:00am4:30pm. $10.00 fee includes 3 entries. Facebook “Best of the West IPMS Las Vegas”. E-mail Joe Porche, Contest Chairman [email protected] or 702-296-9976. Rules/Registration Forms/Room Rates IPMSLV.ORG/ TX, DALLAS-FT. WORTH: ScaleFest 2014 hosted by IPMS-North Central Texas. Grapevine Convention Center, 1209 S. Main St., Grapevine, TX 76051. Saturday, May 31, 2014, 9:00am-5:00pm. Contest theme: Campaign in Normandy, 1944. Admission $9.00, under 18 $1.00. Door prizes, Make ‘n’ Take. Vendor tables available. Details at Contact [email protected]


CANOPY MASKING AND MORE! WWW.EZMASKS.COM List $3.00. Chris Loney, 75 Golf Club Rd., Smiths Falls, ON, Canada K7A 4S5. 613-283-5206. NEW KIT PRICES ARE CRAZY! Why pay new prices on a re-issued older kit? Rare-Plane Detective stocks thousands of old, hard-to-find and collectible plastic kits from the last fifty years at SANE PRICES! Aurora! Revell! Tamiya! Hasegawa! Monogram! And MANY MANY MORE! One year catalog subscription (6 issues) only $15. Specifiy full color e-mail version or printed B&W catalog. You always get more hobby for your money at Rare-Plane Detective, 2325 Western Avenue, Suite 6, Las Vegas, NV 89102, 702-564-2851, [email protected] ROBSHOBBIESANDTOYS.COM Plastic, diecast model kits. Airplanes, cars, military armor, ships, sci-fi, toys. Mail order only. 407-384-9719, SHIP AND AIRCRAFT MODELS. Built for display. For additional information contact, Ray Guinta, PO Box 74, Leonia, NJ 07605. THOUSANDS OF MODEL KITS for sale. All types from Old Aurora to new releases. Send a 70¢ SASE to: Dean Sills, 116 N. Washington, Owosso, MI 48867. Specify Military List. Phone: 989-720-2137. Fax: 989-720-0937. E-mail: [email protected]


1/48 SCALE Collect-Aire models, Grumman AF Guardian. Don, e-mail fl[email protected] or 304-754-0122. A BIG BUYER OF AIRCRAFT, Armor, Sci-Fi, Resin, Hybrid or Plastic kits. We buy collections whether they are small or large- Worldwide as well. Call Don Black toll free 1-866-4627277. Don Black, 119 Bernhurst Road, New Bern, NC 28560. E-mail [email protected]

AIRCRAFT, ARMOR, SCI-FI, FIGURES, AUTO, ETC. Buying kit collections, large or small, worldwide. Top prices paid. Call Jim Banko 610-814-2784 or mail list to 122 Independence Ct., Bethlehem, PA 18020, fax 610-439-4141. E-mail: [email protected] BUILT PLASTIC MODELS WANTED. I buy built kits. [email protected] Cell: 773-387-1400 BUYING UNBUILT KIT COLLECTIONS! 200 kits or 2,000! Especially looking for 50s & 60s kits (Aurora, Revell, Monogram, Lindberg, etc.), Ships, Space, Sci-Fi & Figures, decals and aftermarket items and more! We spent over $50,000 on collections last year! Pickup often available. Send list: Jeff Garrity, 2325 Western Avenue, Suite 6, Las Vegas, NV 89102 or [email protected] If collection is too large to easily list call 702-564-2851. CASH PAID FOR PLASTIC MODEL COLLECTIONS. Call Tracie in Michigan 248-814-8359. Fax: 248-814-0385 E-mail: fl[email protected] I WANT TO BUY YOUR UNBUILT MODEL KITS. Any size collection. Dean Sills, 116 N. Washington St. Owosso, MI 48867. 989-720-2137. Fax: 989-720-0937. E-mail: [email protected] MODEL CAR AND TRUCK KITS. Unbuilt or built. Any size collection. Good prices paid. Please contact: Fred Sterns, 48 Standish, Buffalo, NY 14216. Phone: 716-838-6797. Fax: 716836-6057. E-mail: [email protected] SUPERSCALE DECAL, 480866 F-8E Crusader, VF-11 Red Rippers, need copy or original, will pay. Dave, 949-433-9632. WANTED: AURORA ORIGINAL ISSUES: Godzilla’s Go Cart, King Kong’s Thronester, Mad Barber, Mad Doctor, Mad Dentist. Boxed kits, built-ups, parts, boxes, anything related to the above kits. Also wanted all sealed Aurora 1960s figure kits, store displays, promotional posters, factory builtups. Please email: [email protected] YOU WILL NEVER FIND TIME TO BUILD ALL THOSE MODELS. Unbuilt kits, diecast aircraft, military books. Milam Models, 519 DiLorenzo Dr., Naperville, IL 60565, Phone: 630983-1407, [email protected]


1ST AND ABSOLUTELY THE BEST MUSEUM-QUALITY MODELS. IPMS Nationals winner building aircraft and armor to your specification, including conversions and scratchbuilt. Call BC Models for quote and information at 913-385-9594 or visit CUSTOM MODEL DECALS Recreate old decals or make new. Specializing in vintage WWII nose art insignia. Rubdown or self-stick vinyl. GETCUSTOMART.COM Click on Modelers Corner FINESCALE MODELER AUTHOR and IPMS medalist will build your favorite aircraft, specializing in metal finishes. Contact John Adelmann at 563-556-7641 or [email protected]


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1200 John Harden Dr.


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 - Sat 10-8, Sun 10-6


71 Hilliard St.



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


394 New Haven Ave., Unit 1


GEORGIA • Blue Ridge

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


4167 East First St. (by KFC)


GEORGIA ¥ Clarkesville

Huge model selection: Cars, military, planes, ships, figures, etc. Full art supply store has all accessories including diorama. Plus comics, toys and more! Visit or Facebook.


107 LaPrade Street


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



When traveling, bring FineScale, look up a shop and stop in.


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


7259 Canoga Avenue


CALIFORNIA • Garden Grove

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


12188 Brookhurst St.


CALIFORNIA • Hollister

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


201-C McCray St.


ILLINOIS ¥ Elmhurst

For over 60 years largest hobby shop in the Chicago area at 6,800 sq. ft. Plastic models, paint; RC: cars, planes, helis, boats; Slot cars: HO, 1/32; Rockets. We ship world-wide, Email: [email protected]


121 N. Addison Ave.

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


33 Exchange St.




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


830 E. Lincoln Ave.



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


Rt 20E Main, Post Rd. Plaza




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


1915 S. Havana St.



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 DunkinÕ Donuts. www. E: [email protected]


250 E. Main St., Rt 123


CONNECTICUT • East Windsor

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




FineScale Modeler


NEVADA • Las Vegas

Large selection of Osprey military books, figures and plastic models. Affordable prices, 40-75% off retail. Open every day (expect Tuesday) 10am-7pm Inside Craig Discount Mall


4821 W. Craig Rd.


NEW HAMPSHIRE ¥ Dover 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.





NEW JERSEY ¥ Magnolia (Camden) Huge foreign & domestic model selection all scales. Automobiles, aircraft ship, books, wargames, scenery, diorama supplies, parts, tools. Open 7 days


706 N. White Horse Pike



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


116 N. Washington Street


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


1400 E. 11 Mile Rd.


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



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


103 W Michigan Avenue


MISSOURI ¥ St. Louis

May 2014



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



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


1435 Lexington Ave.


Large selection of aviation and military books and magazines, general hobbies.



Both complete stores. Great selection of Model Kits, accessories, detail parts, magazines, tools & paints.


Graceland Shopping Center Reynoldsburg

614-888-7500 614-866-5011


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


119 S. Main St.




OREGON ¥ Portland

Armor, aircraft ships and car models. Historical and fantasy games, miniatures, military history reference books and magazines. Open 10am-6pm every day.


3350 NE Sandy Blvd




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


106 W. Main Street


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


108 S. Lee Street


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


1029 Donaldson Ave.


VIRGINIA ¥ Chantilly

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


13892 Metrotech Dr.


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


14351 Warwick Blvd.



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


12615 Renton Ave. South


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


3409A 26 Ave. SW


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


80 Montreal Rd.


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


1880 Danforth Ave.


SINGAPORE ¥ Singapore

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


865 Mountbatten Rd #02-91/92


Run your Retail Directory ad in the next issue of FineScale Modeler!

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


2522 Times Blvd.


OHIO ¥ Cleveland (Lakewood)

17112 Detroit Ave.

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


NEW YORK ¥ Middle Island

PENNSYLVANIA ¥ Landisville (Lancaster)

Areas largest selection of models and model supplies. All popular paints including Tamiya, Humbol, Floquil and Testors. Open 7 days a week. Also, large selection of military diecast. 15037 Manchester Rd.

Military oriented hobby shop. Armour, naval & aircraft models. Aftermarket products, dioramas and diorama products, books, mags, tools, paints, war videos & more. Call for hrs.

OREGON ¥ Beaverton

MICHIGAN ¥ Traverse City

210 East Front St.


NEW YORK ¥ Deer Park

134 Middle Country Rd.


TEXAS • Houston

VIRGINIA ¥ Newport News

Car, Plane, Military, Models, Trains, Paints, Tools, Diecast. Art Supplies, Wood & Wood Models Open Wed., Thur., Fri., Sat. 11:00 to 6:30.

848 Long Island Ave.


11364 Parkside Dr.

TEXAS • San Antonio

Full service hobbies, a full line of HO, N, 3-Rail, military, cars, boats, planes, dollhouses, scratchbuilding supplies, plus details-details-details! 590 Rt. 46

East TennesseeÕs largest plastic model selection. 7,500 sq. ft. of hobbies & toys. Located in KnoxvilleÕs premier shopping destination. Turkey Creek Area. Open 7 days a week.

TEXAS ¥ Irving (Dallas Area)

OHIO ¥ Columbus

MICHIGAN ¥ Ypsilanti-Metro Detroit


144 North Road



Planes, tanks, cars, ships, rockets, plastic and wood kits. Trains. Authorized Lionel dealer & repair. Die-cast, RC, slot cars, structural and diorama supplier. Special orders welcome. 405 E. Putnam Avenue


MICHIGAN ¥ Royal Oak (Metro Detroit)

Your source for plastic models, die cast and all supplies needed to finish your latest model. Mon-Sat 9:30-6, Sun 11-5. 445 South ÒBÓ Street



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





4590 W Sahara Ave Ste 103

35-16 30th Avenue


CALIFORNIA • Canoga Park

TENNESSEE ¥ Knoxville

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.

NEW YORK ¥ Astoria L.I.C.

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

911 S. Victory Blvd.

NEVADA ¥ Las Vegas


Call 1-888-558-1544 ext. 815 for more information.

Academy's F-35A Lightning II

The F-35A Lightning II has been called “the most fexible, technologically sophisticated, multirole fghter ever made.” This single seat, single engine, 5th generation combat aircraft has it all… stealth, supersonic speed and advanced avionics. Academy’s newly tooled 1/72 USAF F 35A Lightning II is a spectacular kit. A few of the features include: • A spot on replica of its radar evading stealth contours • A complete arsenal of weapons • Positionable landing gear, canopy and weapons bay doors • Detailed cockpit interior • A slew of weapons’ markings plus aircraft decals for three diferent squadrons . And while we couldn’t match the original’s speed, take a look at the photos and you’ll see that we captured its realism with a Passion for Precision.


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