Fine Scale Modeler Vol.33 Issue 06 Kitbash a preproduction T-72 – p.26 Weather with pigmentsp.32 Model a record-breaking interceptorp.46 Superdetail small-scale armor p.40...

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Kitbash a preproduction T-72

– p.26

July 2015


Aaron Skinner’s step-by-step guide will have you painting like a pro! – p.20

111 M O RE TH AN

HOW TO Weather with pigments p.32 Model a record-breaking interceptor p.46 Superdetail small-scale armor p.40 OUR EXPERT TEAM BUILDS AND REVIEWS 9 ALL-NEW KITS






Vol. 33 • Issue 6




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CONTENTS July 2015 • Vol. 33 • No. 6 Online Content Code: FSM1507 Enter this code at to gain access to web-exclusive content.



Mottling a mid-war Messerschmitt A step-by-step guide to finishing a German fighter AARON SKINNER



Kitbash a preproduction T-72 Take three kits and turn them into one spectacular Soviet tank


40 40


Page 52

• Wingnut Wings Felixstowe F.2A


• Orochi M3A3 Bradley




Weathering with pigments A simple finishing technique for a better model

• ICM C-45 Expeditor • Italeri Short Stirling Mk.IV • Tamiya SOMUA S35


• PlusModel U.S. Motor Grader

Hefty detail for a tiny model The SdKfz 9 FAMO was more than 30' long — but in this scale, the model measures 5"!

• Tamiya F-16CJ Fighting Falcon


• OrangeModel F-35C • Wolfpack T-2C Buckeye






66 66

Conquer a record-breaking Skyray Modifying Tamiya’s 1/48 scale F4D to build the fast climber


What’s your psi — and why? Considering one of airbrushing’s basic elements — air pressure

In Every Issue 6 8 12 14 34

Editor’s Page Scale Talk Spotlight New Products Reader Gallery

50 51 63 64 65

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

On the Cover FSM Associate Editor Aaron Skinner’s step-by-step guide to airbrushing camouflage starts on page 20.


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 our forum. And it’s free!

Subscribers: Click on “Register,” enter the customer number from your subscription label, and throughout your subscription you’ll have unlimited access to bonus features, more than 1,400 kit reviews, and a database of more than 14,000 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 offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to FineScale Modeler, 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612. Canada Post Publication Mail Agreement #40010760.

EDITOR’S PAGE By Matthew Usher

Top airbrushing tips and armor advice WELCOME TO the July issue of FineScale Modeler! As usual, the team here at FSM HQ (as well as our many worldwide contributors) put a great deal of effort into this edition, and I’m sure you’ll find their work informative and inspirational. Airbrushing is one of the most popular topics among our readers. It’s one of the hobby’s most versatile tools, and nothing applies a more realistic finish. That’s particularly true of complex camouflage schemes. In a special six-page installment of our Airbrushing & Finishing column, FSM’s Aaron Skinner shows how to apply a complex, mid-war mottled camouflage scheme to Zvezda’s 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 in clear, easy-to-follow steps. Aaron covers everything

from hard- and soft-masking techniques, to paint thinning ratios and air-pressure settings. The step-by-step instructions are great, and the finished model looks fantastic. I’m sure you’ll find the piece motivating.

I’M SURE YOU’LL FIND THE PIECE BOTH INSPIRING AND MOTIVATING Elsewhere in the issue you’ll find a great armor-construction story from master modeler and longtime FSM contributor Cookie Sewell. Cookie’s never been one to let the lack of a kit stop him from building what he wants, and that’s certainly the case with the project he illustrates here. Using three kits and a solid portfolio of kitbashing and scratchbuilding skills, Cookie builds a Soviet-era prepro-

duction T-72. I’m sure you’ll find the tips and techniques he shares helpful, no matter what you build. Have you visited lately? If not, give our site a visit the next time you’re online – it’s packed with great modeling information and advice. Take a look around, and let me know what you’d like to see more (or less) of on our digital side. Thanks for tuning in, and 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

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:

6 FineScale Modeler July 2015

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 Timothy Kidwell Associate Editor Aaron Skinner Editorial Associate Monica Freitag Art Director Tom Ford Illustrator Kellie Jaeger Photographer William Zuback Production Coordinator Cindy Barder 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 Jen Zalesky, Ext. 620 SELLING FINESCALE MODELER MAGAZINE OR PRODUCTS IN YOUR STORE

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, Editorial, Publisher Kevin P. Keefe Senior V.P., Sales & Marketing Daniel R. Lance Vice President, Consumer Marketing Nicole McGuire Advertising Director Scott Bong Corporate Art Director Maureen M. Schimmel Art and Production Manager Michael Soliday Circulation Manager Cathy Daniels Single Copy Specialist Kim Redmond ADVISORY BOARD John Noack, Paul Boyer, Shep Paine, Bob Collignon, Cookie Sewell, Pat Covert, Rusty White, Pat Hawkey ©2015, 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: single copy $5.99; U.S.: 1 year (10 issues), $39.95; 2 years (20 issues), $74.95; 3 years (30 issues), $94.95. Canada: Add $8 postage per year. All other international subscriptions: Add $12 postage per year. Payable in U.S. funds, drawn on a U.S. bank. 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 $20/yr.; International air, add $45/yr. 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.

July 2015


SCALE TALK Your voice in FSM 1/35 Scale

Convert scale drawings to the work at hand. Make copies of your plans to use as templates; glue them right to the plastic for large parts, such as hull plates.

Lower-hull components: Add details while the parts are still lying flat. Glue the plates in place after the parts and panel lines are on.

Common scratchbuilding materials • • • • •

Scratchbuilding the SS-Ki, a World War II Japanese engineering vehicle, was a challenge Harvey was happy to take — and he was reasonably sure that no 1/35 scale kit was forthcoming. Here, he shares tips you can use to get started when you decide to take on the scratchbuilding challenge.

Tips and tricks for

Soft wood, such as basswood or balsa Casting resin Brass sheet and rod Photoetched metal Bolt heads and other details from Grandt Line and Tichy Train Group • Molded kit parts from your spare-parts box (regardless of original scale) • Good old styrene sheet, rod, tubing, and other assorted shapes in various sizes TIP: Hobby shops with model railroading supplies probably have the best selections of styrene, brass, and other scratchbuilding materials. Visit craft and hardware stores for supplies not usually found in hobby shops.

Fenders can be scored and folded for sharp angles, or heated and bent for curved ends.

scratchbuilding armor No model, no problem — you can build your own BY HARVEY LOW

WHAT DO YOU DO when you want a model but there is no kit? Instead of patiently waiting for it to appear, why not scratchbuild it yourself ? The right measurements, materials, and a few specialized tools can make scratchbuilding easier and more rewarding. These tips can be applied to simpler projects for armor, cars, and aircraft, too.

The most important part of this scratchbuild is a sound, square hull. The hull dimensions will determine the accuracy and proper scale of everything else you add to it.

Sources for Japanese vehicle

Take to the Skies with AMT! AMT continues to reintroduce more historic aircraft kits from original vintage tooling! First released in the late 1970s, these 1/48 scale kits were all about detail, easy assembly and fun in modeling. Positive parts locators ensure every piece is going where it is supposed to, for the finest replicas possible. The newest reissue in the series is the Beechcraft G17S Staggerwing, a classic biplane of the 1930’s. It joins the Stinson Reliant SR-9 in a line of kits that are perfect for beginners and seasoned modelers alike!


Fly by your local hobby store, or shop our model kits online at! AMT and design is a registered trademark of Round 2, LLC. ©2015 Round 2, LLC, South Bend, IN 46628 USA. Product and packaging designed in the USA. Made in China. All rights reserved.

8 FineScale Modeler July 2015

FineScale Modeler is the best magazine that I’ve seen over the 48 years that I have been building models. I’ve been a subscriber for nearly 25 years. In your February 2015 issue, I read the articles about painting Japanese tanks and scratchbuilding a Japanese SS-Ki engineering vehicle. What source did Harvey Low use to develop his plans for this unique and obscure vehicle? I’d love to build one for my collection of World War II Japanese tanks and support vehicles. On another note, a few years ago you asked how many unbuilt kits your readers had in their stashes. At last count, I’m down to about 1,600. During the last year, I’ve built 55, started another 60. And I’ve given nearly 400 to wounded warriors in the last five years. – Robert Wigman Waco, Texas

Robert, thanks for writing. We contacted Harvey, and he said that the August 2011 issue of Ground Power magazine (No. 207) from Japan’s Galileo Publishing was his primary source. In it are period plans from which Harvey was able to draw his own. You can find Ground Power issues from various sources online. — Tim Kidwell, associate editor A few observations

I just received and read through the April issue — great stuff ! However, I, like Ernest Brown, am critical of the entire weathering

A grid and a straightedge help ensure alignment. While Harvey has the vehicle squared up, he adds a support arm to the hull front.

February 2015 41

40 FineScale Modeler February 2015

process. Most, if not all, AFVs and aircraft are kept spotless so they can fight properly. They may look terrible after a fight is over and have not yet been cleaned up. Also, one particular item consistently seems to be overlooked: how and where which glues are used. It would be nice to have glue application pointed out more often in the how-to stories. Why aren’t more aftermarket manufacturers advertising in FSM? Are there more outlets for aftermarket parts than Dragon, Sprue Brothers, and Squadron? And hasn’t World War II been over for 70 years? Yet there are comparatively few models of modern military vehicles. I’ve built all that WWII produced. The only hobby store I used for many years closed, and there is no worthy replacement — no instructors, no craft shows, no nothing — so everything has to come from this magazine. Keep at it! – Alex Sickert Jenkintown, Pa. Better view of landing gear

Frequently, in your Workbench Reviews, references are made to excellent landinggear detail. Wouldn’t it be possible to place the aircraft on a mirror so we can see the detail the reviewer sees? For example, in his review of the Airfix 1/72 scale Bristol Blenheim Mk.I in the January 2015 FSM, Chuck Davis says he “left off the nice representation of the Blenheim’s complicated main landing gear until after painting.” While there is an


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July 2015


SCALE TALK oblique view of part of the starboard main landing gear, a view of the entire landing gear might have given us a better appreciation of what he is describing. Likewise, in the same issue, Aaron Skinner reviewed the Freedom 1/48 scale X-47B and says, “the gear detail really stands out when a dark wash is applied over a coat of white paint.” It would have been nice to see what he is describing. – Paul Sayles Misawa-shi, Aomori-ken, Japan Hi Paul, thanks for reading FSM. Using a mirror in photos often creates a confusing background that makes it hard to see other details on the model. However, all is not lost! We usually take about 10 photos of every review model from various angles, including the bottom and landing gear, and post them to as subscriber exclusives. If you’re a subscriber, you can log in and go to the review. — T.K. Underwhelmed by overweathering

At age 69, I have enjoyed scale modeling since 1953 and never more than now. I have seen some amazing changes. However, I’ve


been a bit exasperated by what I’ve seen in FSM and Scale Auto as well as another model-car monthly: the overuse and overexecution of rusting, weathering, and overspraying in an effort to achieve a higher level of verisimilitude. Some of the effects are really effective, especially if photographed with skill, but, in my opinion, many have been taken to baroque levels, turning the models into parodies. In FSM’s April 2015 Scale Talk, I noted a letter from Ernest Brown, an armor vet who was somewhat anguished by a rust treatment on tank tracks; I have to agree. The fad of rust, drippy or weathered paint, and so forth has led to significantly inauthentic presentations, and you modelmag guys have aided and abetted this aberration, much as the full-size car publications have with the rat rods. I knew it had gone amok when I saw a 1/25 scale Chevy Cameo Carrier pickup truck modeled as a junkyard dog (as if !) with severe rust perforations in the bed sides in a Scale Auto car-show edition. The modeler, in his ardor to impress, had completely ignored the fact — a fact any old gearhead could have clued him in on — that the glamour



Chevy had fiberglass rear fenders that degrade in a totally different way. A small thing, I know, but gee whiz! Your armorbuilding contributor apparently fell into the same trap. I am restoring and, in many cases, rebuilding a few dozen kits that I built/ started/saved from about 1956 to 1965. Almost all are classic American iron, including some rarities. I’m having big fun using new glues, resin parts, photoetched goodies, and almost-like-chrome paints. I’ve purchased a number of new kits, including a few resins, and patronize our local modelatorium, Paradise Hobbies. I’m building a selection of cars — often needing major modifications of stock kits — to replicate many of the real cars that made life fun and challenging back in the day. I still build to the utmost of my skill to make clean, exemplary cars that reflect the skills I learned with the real items. Of course, in competition, my models — even the accurate Kustoms that I like best — don’t garner first prize. But I love ’em! Thanks for hearing my cri de coeur. – Wick Humble Chico, Calif.



Now at Download a desktop wallpaper Download a desktop wallpaper of the Tamiya 1/35 scale SOMUA S35 French tank built by Jim Zeske for review in this issue of FineScale Modeler. Read the review on Page 57. Workbench Reviews Subscribers receive early access to upcoming reviews. Weekly free review Check out this week’s free model kit review. Article archive Search our article collection to find the answer to your modeling question. Tips database Subscribers can search our extensive database of reader-supplied tips. Matthew Walker’s Rafale B We featured Matthew Walker’s French air force 1/48 scale Rafale B in the April 2015 issue but couldn’t fit in all the wonderful photos in the story. Not to worry — here they are, showing off Matthew’s remarkable finish.

Video issue previews FSM Editor Matthew Usher highlights what’s inside the current and past issues. New Product Rundown Assciate editors Tim Kidwell and Aaron Skinner pick the hottest scale-model subjects, open up the boxes, and show you why they rock.

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

10 FineScale Modeler July 2015


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July 2015



SPOTLIGHT Compiled by Aaron Skinner

Ferdinands and Elefants detailed

Cold War fighter, hot new kit Trumpeter’s Fishpot looks terrific in the box


rumpeter expands its growing line of Sukhoi fighters with a 1/48 scale Su-9 (No. 02896). This is the first kit of the Cold War interceptor known to NATO as Fishpot. It’s an all-weather, single-seat aircraft capable of Mach 2. More than 1,110 were built; they served Soviet air defense squadrons from 1959 until the 1970s. Molded in gray plastic, Trumpeter’s Su-9 shows fine recessed panel lines and rivets. The engine vents — molded open on the fuselage sides — are particularly nice. There’s detail inside the wheel wells and jet pipe. A large shock cone and radome fill the intake, mostly blocking the view through the fighter. A fan fronts the engine deep in the fuselage. The tiny cockpit includes a slidemolded KS-4 ejection seat, instruments


esigned by Ferdinand Porsche, the heavy tank destroyer SdKfz 184 is popular with modelers and the subject of numerous kits. Using archival sources, German armor expert Thomas Anderson details the development of the vehicle and analyzes its deployment in Ferdinand and Elefant Tank Destroyer (Osprey, ISBN 978-14728-0721-2, $34.95). The 256-page hardcover volume makes fascinating reading and is filled with many never-before-seen photos.

Frogfoot at war

with decal dials, side panels, and controls. It should look sharp under the crystal-clear canopy. Trumpeter supplies separate ailerons and flaps; the latter are fitted to be posed down. Four Kaliningrad K-5 (NATOreporting name AA-1 Alkali) air-to-air missiles arm the aircraft. A pair of drop tanks round out the stores. Decals provide markings for two rather plain Soviet air force interceptors. Trumpeter’s Su-9 fills a hole in any collection of Soviet fighters. The kit costs $61.95.


ollowing in the tradition of the Il-2, Sukhoi’s Su-25 has been the Soviet and Russian air force’s closesupport aircraft since the early 1980s. Known to NATO as the Frogfoot, the aircraft has been used in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Ukraine as well as the Middle East and Africa. These operations are detailed in Su-25 ‘Frogfoot’ Units in Combat (Osprey, ISBN 978-1-4728-0567-6, $22.95), by Alexander Mladenov. With tons of photos and more than 30 color profiles, the 96-page softcover book is a great reference.

An encyclopedia of U.S. trainers


eed to know what kind of trainer was used when? Check out E.R. Johnson’s American Military Training Aircraft: Fixed and Rotary-Wing Trainers Since 1916 (McFarland, ISBN 978-0-7864-7094-5, $45). The 480-page book lists hundreds of planes with a description and specifications for each. Photos and three-view drawings accompany most entries. It fits perfectly with Johnson’s other books on American military aircraft. For more information and to order, visit

12 FineScale Modeler July 2015

Different materials and approach produce big Spitfire, Millennium Falcon


eAgostini Model Space produces big-scale kits from different materials and sells them in an unusual way. It’s a subscription — kind of like a magazine — and each month you receive a box of parts with instructions and information about the subject. That stretches out the cost and breaks a large project into easily manageable blocks. The subjects include race and sports cars, motorcycles, ships, aircraft, and a studio-scale Millennium Falcon as well. The 1/12 scale Spitfire Mk.Vb is a good example of the kind of kit you can expect.

The airframe is built from die-cut wood frames and stringers. Cast-metal parts form the leading edges, prop, spinner, and more, and the entire airframe is skinned with sheet aluminum. Some of the panels can be removed to reveal internal components. The landing gear moves, as do the control surfaces and propeller. One of the installments provides lights, and there’s an option to install a motor to turn the prop. The most recent release is a detailed replica of a Millennium Falcon filming min-

iature built for “The Empire Strikes Back.” The 31"-long model weighs 24 pounds and includes lighting and engine effects. The external skin comes prefinished, but other details, such as the quad laser cannons, require painting. Both kits come with extensive instructions, including background information on the vehicle you are building. You can order both of these and other kits at The Spitfire costs $49.99/month for 24 months; the Millennium Falcon is $59.99/month for 25 months.

Eduard adds more modern aircraft ordnance to its 1/48 scale arsenal


eed weapons to hang under your 1/48 scale aircraft? Look no further than the latest offerings from Eduard’s Brassin catalog. Finely cast in resin with clearly marked cut points and no pinholes or warping, these are beautiful accessories. The latest releases include a pair of GBU-10 Paveway I bombs (No. 648171, $14.95) with separate forward fins and optional guidance heads. The box contains decals and instructions.

Next is a set of six late M117 750-pound bombs (No. 648189, $19.95) with decals and optional nose pieces for different fuses. Decals provide the yellow stripe and stencils. Finally, there’s a set of six Mk.20 Rockeye II cluster-bombs (No. 648168, $19.95). It includes decals and optional covers for the nose fuses. For more information, visit

July 2015


NEW PRODUCTS Compiled by Monica Freitag 1/48 SCALE KITS


C-45 Expeditor Part 1 from Caracal Models, No. CD48076, $13.99. UC-45J Expeditor BuNo 51244, NAS Miramar 1962; RC-45J Expeditor BuNo 66459, VC-5 NAS Cubi Point 1969; UC-45J Expeditor BuNo 51244, NAS Miramar 1962; TC-45J Expeditor BuNo 39237, NAS Oakland 1960s; TC-45J Expeditor BuNo 03555, NAS Iwakuni (Japan) 1960s; C-45B Expeditor 43-35448, USAAF 1944; C-45G Expeditor 51-11446, USAF 1961.


C-45 Expeditor Part 2

Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-12 from HobbyBoss,

No. 81719, $28.99. F-4G Phantom II Wild Weasel from Revell,

No. 85-5994, $54.95.

from Caracal Models, No. CD48079, $13.99. Expeditor 3TM 1391, Training Command Royal Canadian Air Force 1960s; Expeditor 3TM 1533, 4th Wing - Royal Canadian Air Force 1966; JRB-4 BuNo 44596, Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force 1960s; Expeditor Mk.II HB275, No.231 Group, Royal Air Force 1945; SNB-5 N51259, Air America 1968. PT-17/N2S Kaydet

Spitfire Mk.VIII from Eduard, No. 8284, $49.95. ProfiPack Edition.

1/48 DECAL SETS AEG G.IV Late from Wingnut Wings,

No. 32042, $229. AEG G.IV Early from Wingnut Wings, No. 32034, $229.

1/32 DETAIL SETS Pfalz D.IIIa landing gear (for Wingnut Wings) from Scale Aircraft Conversions,

No. 32094, $15.95.

F-35 Anthology Joint Strike Fighters Part One (for Kittyhawk) from Furball Aero-

Design, No. 48-038, $15.99. For 9 F-35A Lightning IIs. Covers USAF, Royal Australian Air Force, and Royal Netherlands Air Force. F-35 Anthology Joint Strike Fighters Part Two (for Kittyhawk) from Furball Aero-Design,

No. 48-039, $19.99. For 6 F-35B and 4 F-35C’s. Covers USMC, USN, and Royal Navy aircraft.

Wires and stretchers from Eduard,

No. 32367, $22.95.

Phantoms Part One Redux — Air Wing All-Stars from Furball

1/32 DECAL SETS VF-103 Jolly Rogers F-14B from Cam Decals/Milspec Decals, No. ACL32-F14-011, $15.

Aero-Design, No. 48-006, $19.99. Re-sized for the Academy kit.

USAF T-6G Texan

from Caracal Models, No. CD32014, $13.99.

VF-84 Jolly Rogers F-14A from CAM Decals/

Cam Pro Decals, No. P48-034, $12. VF-103 Jolly Rogers F-14B from CAM

Decals/Milspec Decals, No. AC48-F14-011, $12. F-4 Phantom data stencils from CAM Decals/Milspec Decals, No. DS48-F4-001, $12.

14 FineScale Modeler July 2015

from Caracal Models, No. CD48063, $9.99. US Army Air Corps PT-17; US Navy N2S2, NAS Corpus Christi, 1943; US Navy N2S3, 1942; Royal Canadian Air Force PT-27; Chinese Air Force pre-delivery markings.

F-100D/F in Vietnam Part 1 from Caracal Models, No. CD48064, $14.99. F-100D 56-3035 Miss Dial, 306 TFS, Tuy Hoa; F-100D 56-3053 El Viejo Cazador, 510 TFS, Bien Hoa; F-100D 56-3163 Day Tripper, 308 TFS, Tuy Hoa; F-100D 56-3456 Darlene’s Dear, 355 TFS, Tuy Hoa; F-100D 56-2927 Thor’s Hammer, 309 TFS, Tuy Hoa; F-100D 55-2932 Nashville Sound, 90 TFS, Bien Hoa; F-100F 58-1222 Misty FAC Protester’s Protector, 612 TFS Det.1, Phu Cat; F-100F 56-3764 Misty FAC, Phu Cat; F-100F 58-1226 (early Wild Weasel). F-16 CAS Vipers from Caracal Models, No. CD48056, $14.99. Marking for 9 close-air support F-16s in “lizard” camouflage. F-16C 83-0128; F-16C 83-0129; F-16C 83-0130; F-16C 83-0131; F-16C 83-0132; F-16C 83-0144; F-16A 78-0008; F-16B 78-0096; F-16B 75-0752 (GD technology demonstrator). OV-10A Bronco from Caracal Models, No. CD48068, $14.99. OV-10A Bronco 67-14658, 19th TASS, USAF (Vietnam); OV-10A Bronco 67-14649, 22nd TASS, Wheeler AFB, USAF; OV-10A Bronco 68-3792, 19th TASS, Osan AFB, USAF; OV-10A Bronco 67-14698, 20th TASS “Misty”, Shaw AFB, USAF; OV-10A Bronco BuNo. 155405, VMO-6, US Marine Corps (Vietnam); OV-10A Bronco BuNo.

155427, VMO-6, US Marine Corps; OV-10A Bronco BuNo. 155444, VMO-1, US Marine Corps; OV-10A Bronco BuNo. 155425, VMO-2, US Marine Corps; OV-10A Bronco BuNo. 155499, NATC, US Navy; OV-10A Bronco BuNo. 155471, VAL-4 “Black Ponies”, US Navy (Vietnam); OV-10A Bronco “0068”, Venezuela Air Force.

Russian missile R-40R AA-6A “Acrid” from

Plus Model, No. AL4043, $17.60. . Russian missile R-40T AA-6B “Acrid” from

Plus Model, No. AL4044, $17.60. .

F-16C “Florida Makos” 482 FW Flagship

from Caracal Models, No. CD48055, $10.99. 2014 NAS Oceana Airshow Review — Air Wing All-Stars

from Furball AeroDesign, No. 48-040, $19.99.

2-stage Merlin conversion engines set for Tamiya Mosquito from The Creative Works of

Alfred Wong, No. 48001, $30.

1/72 SCALE KITS MQ-9 Return of the Reaper from Caracal Models, No. CD48077, $10.99. MQ-9 709-EG. Escadron de Drones 1/33 “Belfort”, French Air Force 2014; MQ-9 09-140, Italian Air Force 2013; MQ-9 10-162 (ZZ205), 39 Sqn, Royal Air Force 2014; MQ-9 11-0166, 163 RW, California Air National Guard (USAF) 2014; MQ-9 07-0032, 432 Wing, Creech AFB USAF 2014; MQ-9 07-0027, 29th Attack Sqn, Holloman AFB USAF 2013; MQ-9 09-0072, 174th Attack Wing, New York Air National Guard (USAF) 2013; MQ-9 Ikhana, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center 2008. F-15C/D Lakenheath Eagles from Caracal Models, No. CD48080, $14.99. F-15C 84-0027 (one Mirage F-1 and one MiG-29 kill) 493FS flagship - 2014; F-15C 84-0019 (two Su-25 kills) 493FS - 2013; F-15C 86-0156 (two MiG-29 kills) 493FS - 2013; F-15D 84-0044 493FS 2013.

1/48 DETAIL SETS Saab Viggen landing gear (for Tarangus)

from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 48281, $19.95. Spitfire Mk.VIII cockpit (for Eduard) from Eduard/Brassin Line, No. 648199, $39.95. Spitfire Mk.VIII engine (for Eduard) from Eduard/Brassin Line, No. 648200, $44.95.

Saab JAS-39C Gripen from Revell Germany, No. 04999, $17.95. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

Caracal Models, No. CD72028, $13.99. T-45C Goshawk BuNo. 165080, VX-23, NAS Patuxent River; T-45C Goshawk BuNo. 167099, VT-21 “Redhawks”, NAS Kingsville; T-45C Goshawk BuNo. 165088, VT-9 “Tigers”, NAS Meridian; T-45C Goshawk BuNo. 165629, VT-7 “Eagles”, NAS Meridian; T-45C Goshawk BuNo. 165609, 150th Goshawk, NAS Meridian. C-123B Provider from Caracal Models, No. CD72027, $13.99. C-123B 57-6289, USAF MATS; C-123B 54-0568, USAF; C-123B 54-0560, USAF C-123B 54-0679, USAF Strategic Air Command, 1962; C-123B 56-4375, “The White Whale” (Gen. Westmoreland’s personal transport), USAF; C-123B 54-0593, USAF 310th SOS, Phan Rang AB, 1968. F-16 CAS Vipers from Caracal Models, No. CD72031, $13.99. F-16C “Florida Makos” 482 FW Flagship

from Caracal Models, No. CD72033, $8.99.


MQ-9 Return of the Reaper from Caracal

Rafale M landing gear (for Revell) from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 72103, $13.95. Do 17Z interior S.A. (for Airfix) from Eduard, No. SS522, $14.95. Self adhesive. Do 17Z mask (for Airfix) from Eduard, No. CX411, $12.95. Mask. Do 17Z landing flaps (for Airfix) from Eduard, No. 72597, $22.95. GBU-10 Paveway 1 from Eduard/Brassin Line, No. 672 051, $9.95.

Models, No. CD72034, $8.99. MQ-9 709-EG. Escadron de Drones 1/33 “Belfort,” French Air Force 2014; MQ-9 09-140, Italian Air Force 2013; MQ-9 10-162 (ZZ205), 39 Sqn, Royal Air Force 2014; MQ-9 11-0166, 163 RW, California Air National Guard (USAF) 2014; MQ-9 07-0032, 432 Wing, Creech AFB USAF 2014; MQ-9 07-0027, 29th Attack Sqn, Holloman AFB USAF 2013; MQ-9 09-0072, 174th Attack Wing, New York Air National Guard (USAF) 2013; MQ-9 Ikhana, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center 2008.

Folland Gnat landing gear (for Airfix)

from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 72104, $10.95.


Spitfire Mk.VIII landing flaps (for Eduard)


from Eduard, No. 48834, $24.95.

F-4 Phantom data stencils from CAM

Spitfire Mk.VIII surface panels (for Eduard) from Eduard, No. 48835, $19.95. Gnat T.1 S.A (for Airfix) from Eduard, No.

VF-103 Jolly Rogers F-14B from CAM

49707, $29.95. Self adhesive details. Gnat T.1 for Airfix from Eduard, No. EX452, $10.95. Mask. Spitfire Mk. VIII seatbelts (for Eduard) from Eduard, No. 49704, $10.95. Superfabric.

T-45 Goshawk from

Decals/Milspec Decals, No. DST2-F4-001, $10. Decals/Milspec Decals, No. AC72-F14-011, $10. VF-84 Jolly Rogers F-14A from CAM Decals/ CAM Pro Decals, No. P72-020, $10. VF-84 Jolly Rogers F-14A from CAM Decals/ CAM Pro Decals, No. P72-020, $10.

Spitfire Mk.I/V landing gear (for Airfix)

from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 48282, $13.95. Mirage III/V landing gear (for Kinetic) No. 48283, $16.95; Focke-Wulf Ta 152 landing gear (for Zoukei-Mura) both from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 48284, $15.95.

MiG-15bis Super 44 dual combo from

Eduard, No. 4442, $22.95.

July 2015




C-119 Boxcar landing gear (for Roden)

from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 14419, $12.95.


M1A2 SEP V2 Abrams from Dragon,

No. 3556, $67.99. Modern AFV Series. P-8A Poseidon “VP-16” from Hasegawa, No. 10811. Contact your local dealer for price information.

Cougar 4x4 MRAP from Panda,

No. PH-35003, $59.99. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.


Saladin Mk.2 from Dragon, No. 3554,

$67.99. Black Label Smart Kit. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM. Tiger I Ausf E (Early Production), Wittmann’s Command Tiger from Dragon, Leopard 1A5 from Meng, No. TS-015, $79.99. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

No. 6730, $79.99. 1939-1945 Series, Smart Kit.

Harbin Z-9WA military utility helicopter

from Bronco Models, No. NB5046, $9.99.

M60A1 Patton from AFV Club, No. AF35060,

Loyd Carrier No 2 Mk.II (tracked artillery tractor) from Bronco Models, No. 35188,

$80. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.


PzKpfw III (FL) Ausf M with Schürzen from Dragon, No. 6776, $64.99. 1939-1945 series, Smart Kit.

Russian heavy tank KV-85 from Bronco

Harbin Z-9C military utility helicopter from

Bronco Models, No. NB5047, $9.99.

AR MOR 1/32 SCALE KITS Twin Forty with combat crew from Renwal

Blueprint Models, No. 85-7822, $28.95.

16 FineScale Modeler July 2015

Models, No. 35110, $59.99.

Small transport crates from Plus Model,

No. 452, $20.60.

M48A2GA2 from Revell Germany, No. 03236, 75mm Pack Howitzer M1A1 (British airborne version) and gun crew from Bronco

Models, No. CB35173, $37.99.

German battery charger from Plus

$39.95. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

Model, No. 444, $27.90.


AEC Matador (mid-production type) from Panzerbefehlswagen 35(t) from Bronco

AFV Club, No. AF35239, $77.

Models, No. CB35205, $57.99.

Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf H late production from Tamiya, No. 32584, $33.00.

1/72 SCALE KITS IDF Sho’t Kal Dalet with battering ram BMPT Terminator (Russian fire support combat vehicle from Zvezda, No. 3636,

from AFV Club, No. AF35277, $88.

$49.99. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

M65 Atomic Annie 280mm heavy motorized gun from Dragon, No. 7484, $74.99.

Morris CS8 with body Mk.III from Plus T-34/85 No. 112 factory production from

Model, No. 441, $118.20.

Academy, No. 13290, $49. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

1/35 DETAIL SETS PzKpfw V Panther Ausf D (for Zvezda)

from Eduard, No. 36306, $32.95. Subscribers have exclusive access to model kit photos not published in the magazine! Simply go to

PzKpfw V Panther Ausf D Schürzen (for Zvezda) from Eduard, No. 36307, $32.95. PzKpfw V Panther Ausf D Zimmerit (for Zvezda) from Eduard, No. 36308, $49.95.

Black Label. Smart Kit. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM. featuring reviews, product information, photo galleries, and more!

July 2015



MILITARY FIGURES 1/35 SCALE KITS German soldier-bicyclist, 1939-1942 from

Master Box Ltd., No. MB35171, $19.99.

JGSDF Type 73 heavy tank transporter and Type 74 tank from Aoshima,

JGSDF Maneuver Combat Vehicle (prototype) from Aoshima, No. 010174, $27.99.

No. 009963, $54.99.

Manufacturer/Distributor Directory Aero Research Co. Cam Decals Caracal Models Dragon Models USA Inc. 626-968-0322 • Aoshima • Bronco • Cyber-hobby • Dragon • Fine Molds • Fujimi • G.W.H. • Master Box • OrangeModel • Orochi • Platz • Riich • Showcase Models Australia • Zvezda • Concord • Firefly Books • Nuts & Bolts Books Eduard Great Planes Model Distributors 217-398-6300 • Hasegawa • Italeri McFarland and Company Inc. 800-253-2187

Merit International 626-912-2212 • AFV Club • Kinetic • Merit Osprey Publishing Peregrine Publishing 516-759-1089 Plus Model 38-7220111 Revell 847-758-3200 Revell Germany Round 2 574-243-3000 • AMT • MPC • Polar Lights • Lindberg • Hawk Scale Aircraft Conversions 214-477-7163 Specialty Press 651-277-1400 • Ginter • Crecy • Hikoki • Zenith • Classic

Squadron Products 877-414-0434 • Encore Models • HobbyBoss • ICM • Meng • Panda • Roden • Super Scale International • Sword • True Details • Trumpeter Stevens International 856-435-1555 • AK Interactive • Freedom Model Kits • Hataka Hobby • IBG Models • MiniArt • Mirror Models • Noys Miniatures • Trumpeter • Lanasta Tamiya America Inc. 949-362-2240 The Creative Works of Alfred Wong 416-424-2680

British infantry Somme Battle Period 1916

from Master Box Ltd., No. MB35146, $17.99. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of WWI.

1/72 SCALE KITS French Foot Artillery 1812-1814 from

Zvezda, No. 6810, $7.50. Russian Dragoons 1812-1814 from Zvezda,

No. 6811, $7.50. Russian Foot Artillery1812-1814 from

Zvezda, No. 6809, $7.50.


Project Vanguard satellite from Hawk,

No. HL603/12, $18.99.


Wingnut Wings Wolfpack Design

Baraccuda from “Conan, The Boy in Future” from Aoshima, No. 009468, $54.99.

18 FineScale Modeler July 2015

BOOKSHELF Gunboats of World War I, $17.95, by Paul

Wright, soft cover, 48 pages, all black-andwhite photos, ISBN: 978-1-4728-0498-3. New Vanguard, from Osprey Publishing.

Self-propelled antiaircraft guns of the Soviet Union, $17.95,

by Mike Guardia illustrated by Henry Morshead, soft cover, 48 pages, color and blackand-white photos, ISBN: 978-1-4728-0622-2. New Vanguard, from Osprey Publishing. Aces of the Republic of China Air Force, $22.95, by Raymond

Cheung, soft cover, 96 pages, all black-andwhite photos, ISBN: 978-1-4728-0561-4. Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 126, from Osprey Publishing.

ELECTRONIC MEDIA F&F Tigercat Aircraft Walkaround from

Peregrine Publications, No. #12, $10.

Skymaster from Aero

Research Co., No. 4006, $12.95.

USAF Boss Birds No. 2 from Aero Research

Co., No. 1058, $12.95.

July 2015




A step-by-step guide to finishing a German fighter




Mottling a mid-war Messerschmitt FIN

German ace “Assi” Hahn, credited with 108 aerial victories, ordered his aircraft kept clean and well maintained.


n 1940, the Luftwaffe adopted new camouflage for day-fighters. Topsides received two-tone splinter of RLM 74 graugrün and RLM 75 grauviolett. These colors extended as much as a third of the way down the fuselage sides to meet the underside color, RLM 76 lichtblau. A mottled pattern of one or both of the top colors, sometimes accompanied by RLM 02 grau or RLM 70 schwarzgrun, covered the sides. The mottling was often added in the field, so the pattern differed between units and individual aircraft.

20 FineScale Modeler July 2015

Applied in real life with a spray gun, these spots are where an airbrush earns its keep. Getting them to look right for the scale means getting in close, working with low pressure, and thin paint. Luftwaffe ace Hans “Assi” Hahn flew a Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 based in France in summer 1941. With Zvezda’s 1/48 scale kit (No. 4806) and decals from Eagle Strike (No. EC 51), I built that aircraft and airbrushed the mottled camo. All paints used are Testors Model Master enamels.

1 After masking the canopy, I airbrushed it with RLM 66 schwarzgrau (No. 2079) to match the interior color. The pressure was 20 psi.

3 Next, I sprayed RLM 04 gelb (No. 2072). With small amounts of color like this, I mix the paint and thinner straight into the cup on the airbrush.

2 Hahn’s fighter had a yellow rudder and chin. Yellow paint is notoriously translucent and difficult to apply. To be sure it was bright, I started with a base coat of flat white (No.1768).

4 To paint a decal background on the rudder, I copied the scoreboard, sealed it with clear packing tape, and applied Tamiya tape. A metal straightedge guided a No.11 blade as I cut around the marks to make a stencil.

5 It only took a little gray paint to cover the area. I turned the pressure down to 12 psi to avoid lifting the tape (left). Removing the mask a few minutes after painting minimized a ridge forming along the edges (right).

July 2015


6 I darkened RLM 76 lichtblau (No. 2086) with a few drops of intermediate blue (No. 1720) to base-coat the underside. At 15 psi, I sprayed a light coat along the tape to help seal the mask, then painted details and corners.

8 I sprayed the darkened lichtblau high on the sides of the fuselage to ensure it reached the edges of the upper camouflage colors. Later, I sprayed lichtblau straight from the bottle inside panels to post-shade the finish.

7 Satisfied that the nooks and crannies were covered, I turned the pressure to 25 psi and sprayed a wider pattern for the underside.

9 Smooth paint is key to a great finish. Lightly rubbing the lichtblau with 2000-grit sandpaper knocked down any texture built up by airbrushing. I repeated this step at every layer.



Be mindful of areas like wing roots and other corners where swirling air from the brush can deposit dry paint particles. I checked my progress with my fingertip.

For a slightly soft edge between the colors, I rolled out worms of poster putty and pressed them into place on the model.

22 FineScale Modeler July 2015



Post-it notes provided a perfect low-tack mask for the vertical stabilizer. A little tape on the outside edges kept them from moving.

I protected the fuselage around the wing root with tape. Hahn’s Bf 109 had black stripes painted along the wing root, so I wasn’t too fussy about the tape’s alignment.



Painting the upper surfaces began with RLM 75 grauviolett (No. 2085) sprayed at 20 psi. Later, a lightened shade sprayed into panel centers postshaded the dark gray.

Moving to the fuselage, I sprayed the masked edges first. Holding the airbrush perpendicular to the surface ensures just enough paint passes the putty’s edge to form a tight yet slightly soft edge.



I kept the paint pattern tight while spraying the top of the fuselage to minimize the amount of paint in the air. You want to avoid spraying directly down into the space along the mask and creating a sharp demarcation.

Poster putty masked the upper-surface camouflage as well. A toothpick refined the edges as I pushed and prodded it to shape.

July 2015




I airbrushed RLM 74 graugrun (No. 2084), starting along the putty edges. I post-shaded panel centers with a slightly lighter shade.

Before airbrushing the mottled gray and green on the fuselage, I tightened the setscrew to limit paint flow to a tiny amount (top) and removed the needle cap to get in close (bottom). Don’t hit the front of the brush!



I set the pressure at 15 psi and thinned the paint just a little more than normal — about the consistency of 1-percent milk instead of 2. Keeping the brush 1⁄3" above the surface, I started spraying RLM 75.

The tiny pattern and low pressure mean there isn’t a lot of paint hitting the surface, so I can slowly build up the color. It’s important to keep the pattern random and vary the density for the right look.



Spraying thin paint close to the surface is a recipe for spiders — thin circles of paint with tendrils of color. Don’t panic: Add a little paint to your mix and correct the mistake by airbrushing a little lichtblau later.

I repeated the process with RLM 74. The enamels performed well, but the airbrush’s tiny opening can easily be occluded by drying paint. Keep a cotton swab and thinner handy to clean it.

24 FineScale Modeler July 2015



I airbrushed more lichtblau to refine the pattern and correct mistakes. Don’t hesitate to repaint an area several times to get it right.

After several color passes, the mottling looks even and free of blemishes such as spiders or runs.



To mask the round front of the exhaust track, I cut a semicircle out of the edge of a piece of tape. Then I cut the tape in half at the circle (top) and applied it, aligning the edge of the circle with the rest of the mask.

I sprayed the exhaust section with aircraft interior black (No. 2040).

I applied the decals over two coats of Testors Glosscote. Hahn’s machine was kept clean, so the only weathering I added was a light wash of brown artist’s oils and a little chipping and scuffing along the wing roots. FSM

July 2015


1/35 Scale

Kitbash a


T-72 A specialist in kitbashing and scratchbuilding, Cookie took three models from different companies and fused them to make a single Soviet-era preproduction tank.

Take three kits and turn them into one spectacular Soviet tank • BY COOKIE SEWELL


enjoy modeling Russian and Soviet armor — same country, different dates! One tank I’ve always wanted to add to my collection was the very first model of the T-72: the Object 172M preproduction model used for testing before the vehicle was accepted for service in 1973. Because there isn’t a kit of the 172M, I decided to make one.

From my large stash of 1/35 scale Soviet-era armor, I chose a Tamiya T-72M1, a SKIF T-64A, and a Trumpeter T-64 Model 1972. The first two are more than 20 years old, and they’re derided on Internet forums for a variety of reasons, but both contain parts quite useful for kitbash26 FineScale Modeler July 2015

ing (combining parts from different kits to build a unique model). The last is an accurate model of a T-64A Model 1969 or 1972 with just minor detail errors. Essentially, the Object 172M is an early production T-72 chassis with the original glacis and a complete T-64A turret with a

little surgery to fit a Nizhniy Tagil autoloader and radio gear. It used a 2A26 gun without shrouds. Instead of skirts, its fenders wore rubber deflectors and hastily cobbled front mudguards. Pooling these three kits and my research, I was ready to make a new model I couldn’t get any other way.

The hull I began by removing the glacis plate from the Tamiya T-72M hull with a motor tool and saw bit, taking care to preserve the driver’s window. Its shape is unique and would be a pain to sculpt later. I made a

1 The new glacis is now in place. Deluxe Materials Perfect Plastic Putty, an acrylic that can be worked with water and fingers, smoothed it into place. The putty also repaired dings made by misses with the cutting wheel.

2 The trick when you make a mistake is knowing how to correct it. The new extensions to the sides of the glacis fit well and look like I planned it all along … NOT!

3 The rough fit of the new engine air intake and exhaust in place at the rear of the hull: Minor cracks were filled in with putty before detailing. The holes on the right fender (for the Czech fuelfeed system) were later filled in as well.

4 New fenders fitted to the bottom of the upper hull: You could simply cut strips of styrene and cement them in place as sponson floors/fenders, but this is a sure fix and easier to align.

new glacis from sheet styrene and used the old one as a template to make mounting holes for the original kit pieces, which I would be using, 1. When I test-fit the glacis to the lower hull, I found I had cut it too narrow. So, I had to add a pair of 2mm extensions. Some .080" styrene strip glued to the glacis perimeter provides a little extra for sanding to shape later on, 2. The T-72’s engine deck was removed the same way as the glacis: carefully with a motor tool. I cut a new deck plate from sheet styrene to fit the hole. I scratchbuilt the air intake with .030" x .080" and .030" x .030" styrene strip for the frame. I cut the louvers on a NorthWest Short Line Chopper II to make sure they were all the same length and square. A .020" x .080" strip divides the louvers in the intake center, and a length of 45-degree angle styrene trims the box. The radiator exhaust is a flat plate glued under the opening with .030" x .080" styrene strips glued in place, 3.

5 The lower hull sports fitment strips for the upper hull; the modified auxiliary fuel-tank racks (tabs removed); and the modified lower glacis lip.

Because the 172M didn’t have skirts, I carefully measured and trimmed styrene sheet to glue across the width of the hull to serve as fender bottoms. The fenders reach just beyond the tumblehome of the panniers on the sides of the upper hull, allowing me to add detail with styrene strip, 4. Of course, once the styrene sheet was glued in place, the lower hull wouldn’t meet the upper hull. I added .040" x .080" mounting strips along the edges of the lower hull and the bottom of the glacis, 5. The self-entrenching device on the front of Trumpeter’s T-64 was better than the one on Tamiya’s T-72, so I adapted it to the latter’s chassis, 6. Further, it was the correct choice, because the T-64 device is the same as the 172M — Tamiya’s represents a later design. I glued the hull halves together.

Hull details The suspension went on without trouble. I did fill the rear of some of the arms to hide

gaps and slits. I also added shock absorbers to the road-wheel arms in the 1, 2, and 6 positions. I used the Tamiya tracks (the Friulmodel tracks I planned to use were one link too long). I did keep the Friulmodel drivers. Once the entrenching blade was in place, I couldn’t get the locking arms on the right side to fit straight, 7. I did what I could to correct it. Unless you flip the model over, it doesn’t show. A pair of single-link Trumpeter RMSh track links went on the rear of the hull; the hinge holes were drilled out to replicate the originals. The 200-liter auxiliary fuel tanks came from the Trumpeter kit, too. I fashioned an unditching log from ¼" styrene tube, two ¼" discs punched from styrene sheet, and two strips of .010" x .080" styrene for the attachment straps, 8. I scored the log with a razor saw to give it wood grain, then lightly sanded to remove burrs and shavings. Plastruct styrene hex rod, cut thin, made excellent bolt heads on the engine deck. July 2015




The Trumpeter self-entrenching blade mount and lower glacis are mounted on the Tamiya hull. I had to fill in most of the holes, as none of these tanks were fitted with mine-clearing plows or rollers.

9 I did not notice until after I assembled them that Trumpeter left the filler ports off the fuel tanks! These were easy to add with styrene disks and hex-rod bolt heads.

Autoloader bump-out


The finished entrenching blade assembly fit fine except for the right-side locking bars. Measure twice, cut once — and it still doesn’t fit. Argh! The front-shock absorber links (white styrene) and filler in the road-wheel arms are visible.

The rear of the tank with its new unditching log, along with spare tracks and Trumpeter auxiliary fuel tanks.



Now in Technicolor! The various parts and their origins are easily discerned. Note that all headlights were ground out with a motor tool before installation so they could accept plastic lenses.

The metal deflector plate under the exhaust outlet, attachment bolts for the fender flaps, and the Friulmodel metal drivers in place of the Tamiya parts.

Bulge for radio equipment



The right rear side of the turret shows the added radio bulge and a thickened cupola. The new bulge and ejector hatch for the autoloader are also in place.

The massive slot for the SKIF machine gun is now gone and the Tamiya gun mantlet assembly has been fitted to the front of the SKIF turret. Perfect Plastic Putty smooths the surface.

How I make bolt heads quickly: Cut the hex rod into four equal lengths. Stack them in a “square” and glue one end of the rods together with fast-drying liquid cement. Then, using a Chopper II, make four or five passes and — BANG! — you have 20 bolts. I used the same technique to make 28 FineScale Modeler July 2015

filler ports and pressure relief valves for the auxiliary fuel tanks, 9. On the glacis, I made cable tie-downs from Contrail styrene tube and strips, and added bolt heads. Styrene rod served as sealed cable runs for the headlights and marker lights. Because the mudguards on

the 172M looked like they were thrown together just before heading out to the testing grounds, I removed the fender tips, trimmed them back a bit, added large rubber mudguards made from .010" sheet styrene, detailed with more strip and bolts, and reattached them, 10.

Main sight housing





The big, naked 125mm 2A26 gun barrel from the Trumpeter kit mounted on the Tamiya mantlet cover: I also used an old photoetched-brass collar at the base of the gun on the mantlet cover. The four hex-rod bolt heads stand out on the fume extractor.

The left side of the turret is completed with the OPVT (snorkel) tube, tarpaulin tie-downs, night sight, upgrades to the master gunner’s sight head, and other details. Note the standoff tubes for mounting the rear stowage bin — they did have to clear the autoloader bulge after all.

Antenna base

Stowage bin

Snorkel mount


Turret rear view: Details include the marker light, antenna base, lifting hooks, and other odds and ends.

PKT machine gun

17 Right side: The Tamiya commander’s hatch along with the new searchlight and details added to the slave-head side of the gunner’s sight.





Front of the turret: gun, searchlight, auxiliary headlight, identification light, and sight-head details.

Alignment of the main gun and the searchlight is essential, because in real life it raises and lowers with the gun.

Alignment of the barrel with the ejector hatch and autoloader bulge is critical on the real tank — same here.

I made fender details from .010" x .030" styrene strip, added bolt heads, and completed the rubber flaps with .015" x .010" strips. The steel guard beneath the exhaust outlet is .020" styrene strip with a section of .030" half-round to replicate the reinforcing bulge pressed into the plate, 11.

The turret

I cut a rectangular hole in the upper rear portion of the turret. Why? The Nizhniy Tagil autoloader did not work the same as the T-64’s Kharkov and needed a bump-out to function properly. I created the bump with sheet styrene and putty. I also added a bulge to the right side of the turret for the

The SKIF turret needed minor modifications to fit the Tamiya hull — mainly, the notched ring in the upper hull needed to be removed. I went at it with a knife and sandpaper. Once that was done the SKIF turret fit correctly, snug in the opening.

July 2015




The stripped-down parts after their initial coats of paint have been applied: Brunswick green is certainly a very black green.

The hull and turret with a Pullman green top coat: Better, but still looking a bit dull.



The hull and turret after a light overspray of coach green: This paint trifecta is a pretty good match for the factory-applied paint on most T-72s during production in Nizhniy Tagil. It matches well with the lighter colors from Poland and Czechoslovakia.

The model after detail painting: The wheels are easier for me to handbrush on the model. I don’t use masks, and, with Tamiya’s standard building process, this is the easiest way to paint the tires. Hold the brush steady and rotate the wheel with your other thumb.



The decals are down on the Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish, thanks to Solvaset. After this, the fun begins with washes and dry-brushing.

One thing I remember from my days washing vehicles in the Army is the splatter they pick up exiting the wash points. I wanted to replicate that; very thin paint and very low air pressure to the airbrush did a bang-up job.

radio mounts and thickened the side of the commander’s cupola. I cut a small hole in the rear of the turret for the circular autoloader ejector hatch and used the hinge from the Tamiya kit, 12. Up front, I added the rear section of the Tamiya gun mount and filled the oversized machine-gun port, 13. I assembled Trumpeter’s nice 2A26 gun barrel, sanded it smooth, and added four bolts to the fume extractor, 14. The barrel is set at about a 9-degree angle, accurate for the T-72 internal travel lock. The main sight housing was too low and lacked details. Styrene strip, hex rod, 30 FineScale Modeler July 2015

and a photoetched-metal sight shroud from the Trumpeter kit rectified the problems. I fitted new rails made from .030" styrene rod to the turret sides, and attached the OPVT snorkel tube from the Tamiya kit to the left rear, 15. I built a stowage bin by modifying a lid from the Tamiya kit and making the rest from styrene sheet, strip, rod, and halfround. Trumpeter had a nice fitting for the base of the snorkel mount, and Tamiya’s antenna base worked well, 16. The master and slave heads for the gunner’s sight received photoetched-metal faceplates from the Trumpeter kit. I used

the complete commander’s hatch assembly from Tamiya, but I removed the details from the door and the liner sections from the front. I modified the Trumpeter searchlight mount to match references and added cables made of stretched sprue, 17. Tamiya’s PKT coaxial machine-gun mount went over the notch in the turret.I made its muzzle from stretched sprue. I attached a small light to the right side of the turret; the rear designator light was turned around to shine forward and finished with a clear lens, 18. When installing the searchlight, make sure the axis matches the gun’s elevation

27 I toned down the green a bit more with an application of yellow dust and an overspray of Floquil dust for that final, flat finish.

19, and that the gun barrel aligns with the autoloader bulge at the back of the turret, 20. These are important details that, if missed, will stand out dramatically.

Finishing — the broad strokes Fifteen Object 172M tanks were used during tests, also called “Star Runs,” for the Soviet army. They wore a number on the front of their turrets (from 1 to 15) and also had the last four digits of their serial numbers painted on the searchlight cover. I chose tank No. 13 with a chassis number of 1021 (an approximation of the actual tank’s number). First, I disassembled the model — a good thing about Tamiya models is that, if you use the stock wheels and tracks, they tear down easily for painting. I base-coated the entire model with Floquil Brunswick green enamel. The tracks received a coat of Floquil boxcar brown, 21. Next, I shaded the upper works and center of the wheels with Floquil Pullman green, 22. Lastly, I airbrushed a light overspray of Floquil coach green onto the upper parts of the model. It’s a bright green on its own, but works well to simulate “Protective Green No. 2” in conjunction with the other colors, 23.

Finishing — the details To start, I put the wheels back on. It’s relatively easy to turn them with one thumb while laying down a smooth coat of paint with a brush on the tire with the other hand. The tires, mudguards, and side flaps

are flat black; the mantlet cover is Model Master field drab (FS30118); and the unditching log, Floquil primer, 24. Next came a coat of Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish (PFM) to seal the paint and ready the tank for decals and weathering. A small sheet of HO scale diesel locomotive numbers from Walthers provided the two sizes I needed — a large 13 on the right, and a small 1021 on the left. I got the decals to settle with a little Solvaset, 25. I started weathering by applying a coat of AK Interactive dark brown for green vehicles. It is very color-dense; I recommend diluting it with mineral spirits 25 to 50 percent. After letting that dry for two days, I dry-brushed the tank with Abteilung 502 artist’s oils, which have color combinations appropriate for armor modeling. For drybrushing the vehicle, I cut olive green about 1:1 with white snow. To weather rubber parts like the mudguards, road wheels, and mantlet cover, I made a mix of equal parts white snow, faded gray, and light mud. While those areas dried, I treated the tracks with AK Interactive track wash (diluted about 30 percent with white spirit). When they had dried, I dry-brushed them with Rub ’n Buff silver leaf. The unditching log got a wash of thinned black artist’s oils. Then I dry-brushed it with Testors flat wood. These tanks were either filthy or kept parade clean. I wanted mine clean with a bit of spatter to show it had been driven

28 The turret with the slave and master gunner’s sight lenses still wet with Microscale Micro Kristal Klear. On an actual service vehicle, the identification light would be reversed and have a red lens and number masks on it to identify the tank at close range at night. For the “Star Runs,” it was reversed and used as an extra headlight.

while wet. I loaded my airbrush with a mud-colored wash, turned the pressure to 5 psi, and splattered some grime on the sides and belly, under the fenders, and on the backs of the road wheels, 26. Testors Dullcote provided a flat finish. I adjusted the tank’s hue a bit with some ModelMakerZ yellow dust, then topcoated everything with Floquil dust, 27. I used three .0128" clear plastic lenses and one .0128" black lens for normal lights and an infrared, 28. And with that, my unique Object 172M was finished. Remember, no matter what the gurus on the Internet think, those old “stinkers” you’ve got in your stash can be turned into jewels. FSM July 2015


1/35 Scale

A reader asked if Bill would give some pointers for weathering with pigments. We passed along the request, and, of course, he said yes!

Weathering with pigments A simple finishing technique for a better model BY BILL PLUNK


hy weather models of armored vehicles? Because it’s important to provide context for the vehicle’s condition and how it got that way. Every vehicle has a story, from being factoryfresh to a well-used veteran and, potentially, a bombed-out hulk. In any case, a vehicle that’s been in the field for any length of time will accumulate dirt and wear. Pigments provide an excellent way to create that effect. They come in many brands, but they all have one commonality: They are a dry powder that, with a little creativity, can bring your next model to life. 32 FineScale Modeler July 2015

1 Pigments are finely ground powders that usually include a binding agent to help them adhere. Applying a flat coat to a vehicle adds extra tooth to help powders grab on and stay put whether you apply them wet or dry.

3 A wet application works best for mud. Tap water, with a drop of liquid dishwashing soap to break the surface tension, serves as the carrier. Two droppers’ worth of water is added to create a thin, wet mix.

5 Let the pigments air-dry. Drying time will vary, but an hour or so should be enough. Don’t handle the model until it’s dry. The pigments will look lighter and somewhat messy. Don’t panic!

7 Refine your weathering with wet and dry cotton swabs. A wet swab will remove almost all of the pigment, leaving a stain; a dry swab will create a dusty look. Use wet swabs first; use the dry to make further adjustments.

2 How much should you use? For an average-size vehicle’s hull and suspension, a teaspoon or two is enough. For this vehicle on the Eastern Front, I’m using Mig Productions dark mud.

4 Apply the wet mix using an old sable paintbrush, and paint it into nooks and crannies. The carrier should flow smoothly. Stir the mixture occasionally to keep the pigment from settling.

6 Remove excess pigment with stiff-bristled brushes to level things out and clean up some of the mess. A combination of round and square brushes gets into tight spaces. Wear a dust mask!

8 After a couple of hours of careful work, you’ll have a fully weathered, muddy-looking hull and suspension that’s ready for tracks. FSM

July 2015




“I decided to take advantage of a harvest field and a sunny Sunday morning to get some pictures of my 1/16 scale radio-controlled Shermans,” says Keith. The M4A1 (left) is made by Matoro; the M4A3 by Heng Long. Keith stripped both tanks and repainted them with Humbrol spray cans.


“This is an old 1/24 scale Heller kit with a lot of detailing to overcome the rather basic molding of the times,” Mike says. He built the Blower Bentley Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin raced to third place in the 1930 French Grand Prix. Mike detailed the engine, attached engine-hood straps, and put wire mesh around the gas tank. He didn’t stop before he installed the brake-actuation rods front and rear. ◀ RAY SMITH CONWAY, ARKANSAS

Ray scratchbuilt a 1/32 scale Fokker D.VIII cutaway — from paper. He writes: “There are more than 1,100 pieces involved, including more than 400 in the engine. Paper tubes were sprayed with Testors Metalizer, buffed, and sealed. The spoked wheels are scratchbuilt. The propeller is 18 layers of card stock. Fuselage, horizontal stabilizer, and rudder were made using pattern jigs; the paper was rolled into a tube, wetted with alcohol, and curved around the form … Electronic kits by Leif Ohlsson, Eric Goedkoop, and Salvador Ortega were used as the basis and the inspiration for the propeller, wheels, and airframe.” 34 FineScale Modeler July 2015


“This model depicts the ‘Akutan Zero,’ named for where it was found and recovered,” Chris writes. The fighter was shot down attacking the Aleutian Islands in 1942 in a far-flung part of the Battle of Midway. Chris built Tamiya’s 1/32 scale A6M2 and finished it with custom-mixed Tamiya acrylics. Some of the markings are painted, but he used Yellowhammer decals for numbers and stencils. His friend Dana Nield took the photo. ▶ FRANK LOCKLEAR THOMSON, GEORGIA

Over three months, Frank spent 85 hours building Meng’s 1/35 scale M2A3 Bradley with BUSK (Bradley Urban Survival Kit). He weathered the fighting vehicle with artist’s oil washes and pastels.


Research materials collected over years informed Mark’s choices in custom-mixing Tamiya and Testors Model Master paints to finish Polar Lights’ 1/350 scale “Star Trek” USS Enterprise from the original series.

July 2015






Azur’s 1/48 scale Arsenal VG.36 serves as a base for Fredrik’s “what if” aircraft: a Merlin-powered VG.40 in Swedish colors, “a plane that never left the drawing board before the invasion of France in 1940 and never flew in Swedish colors,” he says. “It’s finished with Gunze Sangyo paints to look like a Swedish volunteer plane in Finland during World War II.”

Myles got a charge out of scratchbuilding a 1/48 scale ABB 145 kV hybrid breaker/disconnect for an O scale model railroad substation. “It’s essentially turned aluminum and soldered brass with some accent pieces done in styrene,” he says. Myles built it in a month.


Going the gamut on Hasegawa’s 1/350 scale Nagato, Chris used all three of Hasegawa’s kit-dedicated photoetched-metal accessory sets along with a wood deck from Artwox. He hand-brushed most of the model with Vallejo paints and floated it in a sea of Celluclay painted with acrylic craft colors. EZ Line rigging topped off the Japanese battleship.


“The Lightning simply doesn’t look right unless it is pointed straight up, screaming for altitude,” Travis says. He added a Cutting Edge cockpit and Model Alliance decals to Airfix’s 1/48 scale Lightning F.3 and mounted it on a custom-formed clay base.

July 2015




Bill had Germany, 1945, in mind when he built AFV Club’s 1/35 scale Churchill Mk.IV. He used AFV Club’s aftermarket working tracks and painted with White Ensign olive drab.


Boeing’s 767 was a far cry from Ethiopian Airlines’ first planes, a group of five war-surplus C-47 Skytrains bought in a joint venture with TWA in 1946. Billy finished Hasegawa’s 1/200 scale 767-200 in its 1984 delivery colors with Tamiya, Testors Model Master, and Alclad II paints. The decals came from Liveries Unlimited.

38 FineScale Modeler July 2015

SEND US YOUR PICTURES! Shouldn’t your model be in Reader Gallery? FineScale Modeler is always accepting new material from around the world. Upload high-resolution digital images (preferably unedited, RAW format) with complete captions at, or send prints, CD/DVD-ROMS to FineScale Modeler, Reader Gallery, 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612. Be sure to tell us the kit manufacturer, model, scale, modifications, paint and finishes used, and reason for choosing the model, along with your name and address. We look forward to seeing your work!


Assembling Andreas Miniatures’ 1/8 scale Roman Centurion was no walk in the piazza for Randal, but he likes the result. He polished the armor with a nylon brush in a motor tool, then stained it with ivory black artist’s oils and highlighted with silver printer’s ink. Flesh, fabric, and leather are painted with artist’s oils over enamels. Randal says, “The feather crest that came in the kit looked clunky, so I scratchbuilt one with sheet styrene and a horsehair crest made from paintbrush bristles.”


Mike opted for French markings on his Revell 1/72 scale Spad XIIIC-1. He painted the five-color scheme with Testors Acryls and used stretched sprue for the rigging.


Starting with an AMT 1/25 scale snap kit, David built Ryan Newman’s U.S. Army Chevy Impala. David built a roll cage for the interior and applied decals from DAP Designs to add to his collection of militarysponsored NASCAR racers.

July 2015


1/72 Scale

If you think 1/72 scale armor leaves little room for detail, think again — with patience and ingenuity, Rato shows what great things can come in small packages.

HEFTY DETAIL for a tiny model

The SdKfz 9 FAMO was more than 30' long — but in this scale, the model measures 5"! • BY ROGÉRIO “RATO” MARCZAK


ome time ago, while working on a 1/72 scale Wehrmacht retreat diorama, I wanted a halftrack to tow a cannon. I chose Trumpeter’s German 18-ton SdKfz 9 Type F3 FAMO heavy halftrack, late version (No. 7252) — a nice kit with a realistic engine that I wanted to do my best to show off.

Engine details I didn’t follow the assembly sequence on the kit’s instruction sheet. Instead, I used white glue to temporarily mount the road wheels in the early stages of contruction, 1, but left the body off the chassis for easier painting. The engine firewall was almost completely devoid of detail; to show prominent parts, I added filters, a fuel pump, a horn, throttle links, and plumbing according to research photos, using styrene bits, copper 40 FineScale Modeler July 2015

wire, and gizmos from my spares box, 2. I also detailed the radiator and cut off the louvers from the hood’s side panels (parts C22 and C23) to show off the engine, 3; often, these panels were left off, particularly during hot weather, to aid engine cooling. I installed radiator hoses of thick solder wire, 4. I went overboard with the engine, detailing it as much as I could without discarding the kit parts to add generator belts, a new cooling fan, caps, and cables using

styrene scraps, 5. The result is an engine that’s much better than stock.

Tracks and wheels Given a choice of rubber or plastic tracks, I thought the plastic individual links had more detail and a better sag than the rubber bands. They were a real chore to build, though, not to mention that the rubber shoes are separate parts. I joined 48 links on each track run, using a kit-supplied jig to form the upper and lower halves, 6. I matched them to the wheels before the glue dried; once they were dry, I removed and set them aside. At this point, I took off the road wheels to paint them separately. The front wheels have plastic hubs and vinyl tires. I don’t like flexible parts, so I made a couple of copies of the assembled wheels in resin, 7.

Modified hood panels



That is a lot of detail in 1/72 scale! Rato tacked on the road wheels with white glue to help align the chassis, but removed them later for painting.

Copper wire, styrene bits, and spares-box odds and ends added detail to a virtually blank firewall.

3 Cutting up the hood was the first step in Rato’s efforts to show off the engine.

Radiator hose

Single vinyl track Individual-link tracks

Water reservoir

4 More styrene details on the engine, and radiator hoses made of solder wire.


5 Rato made scraps of styrene sheet, rod, and strip into additional engine parts.


6 Single “rubber band” tracks would be quicker and easier, but Rato chose the individual-link tracks for their detail and realistic sag.


Rather than use the kit-supplied vinyl tires, Rato preferred to cast copies of the front wheels in resin (right).

Paint precedes parts: Rato airbrushed areas he knew he wouldn’t be able to reach later.

Detail painting revs this engine: a black base coat, dry-brushed gray and metallic, and a rust treatment for the manifold make details pop.

Painting, Stage 1

I sprayed the body and chassis Tamiya German gray lightened with about 25 percent flat white for scale effect. A little Gunze Sangyo clear gloss in the mix made it semigloss, which would improve flow of the weathering washes and make the Tamiya flat colors look less grainy. I liberally faded the panzer gray by adding a few drops of flat white to the airbrush cup, further thinning the mix and spraying the fender tops and other areas that would be more exposed to sunlight. Then I handpainted the road-wheel rubber with out-ofproduction Aeromaster tire rubber.

Weather rolling in

Before proceeding, I airbrushed dark gray where I wasn’t sure the airbrush would reach after adding more subassemblies, 8. Next, I painted the engine with Floquil engine black as a base coat, dry-brushed with gray artist’s oils, and picked out details with silver, dark gray, and pure black, 9. The exhaust collector was rusted with paint, pigments, and Rustall; the valve cover was dry-brushed with silver; and I rubbed some details with powdered graphite. I had fun simulating oil leaks with Tamiya smoke and LifeColor Tensocrom filters.

It would be impossible to weather the chassis with the tracks and body in place, so I started this now. A general wash with dark brown artist’s oils produced shadows and contrasting details, 10. When this had dried, I applied CMK and AK Interactive earth-colored pigments, 11. The first, being coarser, is ideal for dry mud and debris stuck under the chassis. I fixed the pigments with Testors thinner. AK Interactive’s European earth, diluted with Windex, simulated light dust collected in recesses and corners, 12. Once it’s dry, July 2015





Artist’s oil washes deepen details, making high points stand out all the more.

Plenty of pigments under the fenders, where mud builds up.

Rato pushes pigments into corners and recesses where dirt and mud would collect.

Styrene shims

Dry-brushed silver raised detail

Blank spot to receive details

Brass tube




When test-fits indicated floating front wheels, Rato detached the front axle and slipped in shims to make sure the rubber met the road.

Kit-supplied thread was too fuzzy to replicate metal cable; Rato chose another brand of thread and gave it metallic treatments to make it worthy of a winch.

A bit of brass tube opens the exhaust pipe. Rato added other details to the rear that he made from styrene scraps.




The tracks are painted with Testors Model Master track brown enamel followed by generous amounts of pigments.

To preserve scale effect, Rato resolved to prevent the panzer gray from getting too dark. He hit the high spots hard with lighter shades, knowing that weathering would tone it down.

Plenty more pigment under the fenders. Now is the time to make sure the spare tire is installed underneath.

you can remove excess with a stiff brush. Test-fitting the tracks to the road wheels, the front wheels wouldn’t touch the ground. I detached the front-suspension anchor points and installed disks to shim the front end and ground the wheels, 13. Trumpeter provided fuzzy thread for the steel cable, and painting it made it even fuzzier; I chose another type of thread, painted it semigloss black, and rubbed it with Humbrol Metal Cote polished steel,

14. Dry-brushing the winch case with silver highlighted its bolts. I would later add the end of the cable hanging outside the rear chassis. I installed brass tubing for the hollow end of the exhaust pipes, and I referred to photos to detail the tow coupling, 15.

were hand-painted Aeromaster tire rubber. I applied the same pigments as on the chassis and rubbed some black pigment along the inner sides of the tracks to show contact with the road wheels, 16. Painting the bed, I didn’t want the panzer gray too dark. After the base coat, I added white to the mix and highlighted. I followed a dark brown (almost black) pinwash with dry-brushed gray artist’s oil, then returned with the airbrush to spray an even

42 FineScale Modeler July 2015

Tracks, bed, and cab Tracks were painted Testors Model Master track brown enamel, while the rubber shoes




Rato detailed the firewall with paint and dry-brushing, and the vehicle sides with stretched-sprue handles he formed in hot water.

No decals were provided for the instrument panel — Rato got these from Mike Grant and Reheat.

Front step



The act of stringing the track knocked excess pigment off, a happy coincidence as far as Rato was concerned. He thought it looked more natural that way.

Rato had to force the body forward on the chassis to ease the mudguard up against the front step.



Heavy weathering sets in: Chipped paint, dust, and dirt are all part of the look Rato wanted for a heavily used utility vehicle.

Tamiya buff airbrushed down low gives a realistic appearance of dust accumulation throughout the vehicle.

Airbrushed buff

lighter shade of panzer gray on the sides and the cargo area. I liked the enhanced contrast, 17. I treated the underside with earth-tone pigments before attaching the body and tracks, 18. Firewall details were painted with panzer gray and black, 19. I added handles to the sides using stretched sprue formed in hot water and glued in holes I drilled along the side plates; using plastic assures a strong bond to the already painted body. Details were dry-brushed with artist’s oils.

Deviating from the kit instructions to try to produce better fits, I glued the side plates in place and installed the instrument panel, 20. Then, when I found the top of the console (Part C28) was too short and left gaps on both sides, I shimmed it up with styrene and carefully sanded it to preserve its shape. Oddly, no dashboard decals were provided in the kit; I applied Mike Grant and Reheat instrument decals. After a flat clear coat and dry-brushing, a drop of clear nail polish on each instrument replicated glass.

Chassis and body After mounting the engine, I installed the tracks, 21; no problems except that a couple of rubber shoes came loose. As a bonus, all the handling shook most of the pigments from the shoes, making them look more realistic. I also turned the front axle ends slightly. The body went onto the chassis without incident, 22. But, once it was fitted on the chassis’ frame, I had to slide the body forward a millimeter or so and hold it in position until the glue was set. This was July 2015


Air-filter hose Struts




An air-filter hose may not seem like a vital part, but its prominence on this engine makes it worth Rato’s extra efforts. Brass rod serves for struts under the hood.

Same goes for the horn; Rato turned out a metal one on a lathe.

Masking, then airbrushing dust outside of the wiper path made the windshield look more real.

necessary to make the tracks’ mudguards duck correctly under the curved rear of the engine panels. Moreover, the distance between the track and front mudguards would have prevented a tight fit of the metal steps between the two.

Brake light

More weathering Then I started down that long road of weathering to chip the paint, expose metal, produce scratches, dust the frame, and dirty the truck bed, 23. I started by dry-brushing salient areas with light gray artist’s oils. I also played a bit with a lightened shade of the camouflage color, followed by what I call an “airwash,” a post-shading of dark brown applied to recesses, panel lines, joints, and shadowy areas using a finetipped airbrush. These techniques can be applied in no particular order. Later on, I would dust even more of the model. You can always rechip paint here and there to contrast new and old chipping. I applied light chipping in the bed; because it’s dirtier, chipped paint would show less there. Most of my efforts in that area were devoted to sand- and earth-colored pigments: I applied them dry, then poured in the fixer with a round brush, dabbing to blend the pigments in certain spots. Don’t do it all over the place; if you get carried away, let it dry and smudge the excess with a short bristle brush. After the pigments, I applied oil pools using LifeColor Tensocrom acrylic effects. I retouched the paint chipping around corners and on the floor to show scratches produced by heavy parts being dragged over the cargo bed. For the final dusting, I airbrushed a very thin mix of Tamiya buff, concentrating on the lower part of the vehicle, 24, and occasionally switching to Tamiya flat earth or washing with AK Interactive’s Dust Effects 44 FineScale Modeler July 2015

Added handle

Tailgate latch Cable end

28 Added detail on the rear include the winch pulley, cable end, and a brake light on the right mudflap. Chains on the tailgate latches are braided solder squeezed with pliers.

enamel using a round brush. A hairdryer helps speed the job. Building layers of dust over previously applied pigments produces a fine effect. Think about where dust accumulates on a vehicle, but, more important, go easy in 1/72 scale — even slight exaggerations are obvious.

The last bits The time had come for finishing touches. I made an air-filter hose by coiling stretched sprue around a piece of wire, 25. This way, I could shape the hose to connect it properly. Struts beneath the hood are brass wire dulled with Blacken-It, weathered, and inserted in holes I drilled in the firewall and radiator. Now, with the sprues almost empty, I looked for missing details. Kit parts for the width indicators looked rough; I replaced

them with metal. I also replaced the kit’s oversized horn, turning a new one on a lathe, 26. I painted and weathered the engine hood and windshield. The kit provides acetate sheets to be cut and used as glass. Before attaching the windshield, I masked wiper arcs and misted them with Tamiya buff, 27. After painting the front wheels, I weathered them with pigments and acrylic paints. I added a few more things to the rear panel of the vehicle, too, including a missing handle on the towing arm, exposed metal on the winch pulleys, and a brake light, 28. Chains on the cargo door latches were made by pressing twisted wire with flat pliers.

Cargo Since this vehicle would be towing a can-




If you have a cargo bed, you should have some cargo. Rato heavily weathered gun anchors and stakes.

Rato added more stowage and made bows from the bed’s canvas cover, bending brass wire around kit-supplied forms.

Final details dot the side of the FAMO. Rato kept the engine hood removable so he could show off his superdetailed engine.

Rust: Rust-colored watercolor pencils and Rustall are effective on the edges of bent or dented metal.

Scratches: Prismacolor pencils in various shades of gray simulate fresh scratches.

Worn metal: A soft graphite pencil and powdered graphite replicate worn metal in high-traffic areas.

Chipping: A fine brush and Vallejo paints work well. Also, an almost-dry sponge with just a little paint on it can save time and produce random paint chipping.

Mud and dust: Dry pigments are sealed with fixer; Rato used Mig, AK Interactive, and CMK products.

Now, with a full cargo bed, Rato’s SdKfz 9 is ready to rumble, looking well used and battle-savvy with several layers of weathering.

non, the cargo bay should have some related materiel. Mostly, I selected parts used to secure the cannon, 29. These heavy metal pieces are always lying on the ground, so I abused them with chipping and dusting. It was challenging to show earth and mud stuck to 12 tiny metal stakes. I also used Humbrol polished steel to show exposed metal at the ends, worn by soldiers hammering them down. Other items thrown in the bed include: a couple of fuel drums from a Hasegawa

Isuzu fuel truck; fuel and water cans; a wooden box; and a canvas tarp from my spares box, 30. Individual bows for the cargo bed’s canvas cover are not provided in the kit (all five are molded together, Part C21). Instead, you get a jig for making your own. So I did, using .5mm brass wire to eyeball a couple of these. Final assembly included mounting the front wheels, installing the windshield (in open position), and tacking on climbing

loops between the doors, 31. I left the engine hood unglued so I could pose it on or off to display the engine. Some of the engine detail turned out to be a waste of time because it will not be seen, and there are other things I wish I had added under the hood. Still, I do believe there is a level of detail that, once achieved, can distract the viewer from missing details or flaws. But never, under any circumstances, say that to a judge at a contest! FSM July 2015


1/48 Scale

Conquer a record-breaking


Modifying Tamiya’s 1/48 scale F4D to build the fast climber BY DARREN ROBERTS

On May 22 and 23, 1958, U.S. Marine Maj. Edward LeFaivre set five time-to-climb records in a Skyray. Darren built the aircraft for the son of a man who helped maintain that airframe for Douglas.


odel building is rewarding: When the last decal goes down or the last difficult part is glued, there’s a sense of satisfaction and a job well done. Every so often, the accomplishment isn’t just personal but is shared with someone. Such was the case when I received a call from a gentleman asking if I could build a model for him. It turned out his dad worked for Douglas and had helped maintain the F4D Skyray that set five time-to-climb records. He’s even pictured in one of the photo-

1 Douglas Testing Division F4Ds had instrumentation switches in place of the radar scope. I sawed the scope from the bottom of Tamiya’s instrument panel (top), and replaced it with a scratchbuilt instrument package using styrene sheet and rod. 46 FineScale Modeler July 2015

graphs I used for reference! I gladly accepted the job and got started with a little more vigor than usual — after all, this model was going to someone else’s display case. There are two 1/48 scale Skyray kits on the market — one dating from when the fighter was new, the other much more modern. I used Tamiya’s 1998 kit (No. 61055), but, believe it or not, I snagged some details from the ancient Lindberg offering recently re-released by Round 2 (No. 70212).

2 After assembling and painting the cockpit, I installed it in the starboard half of the forward fuselage. A couple of fishing sinkers ensured the model wouldn’t be a tail-sitter.

3 The kit provides the option to fold the wings, but I wanted the wings down. I used resin braces from Steel Beach (No. SBA48131) to reinforce the wings at the fold.

4 For the world-record flights, Douglas removed the tail-bumper skid and arrestor hook. I cut the equipment from the lower fuselage (left), backed the void with sheet styrene (center), and filled it with 2-part epoxy putty (right).

5 I applied the same putty to fill the gun ports and weapon pylon locators under the wing, then sanded everything flush.


6 To make painting and masking easier, I modified the pitch trimmers to be removable. It was a simple matter of cutting the trimmers from the bar connecting them.


The record-breaking Skyray had a long test boom fitted to the nose. It’s not in the Tamiya kit, but Lindberg’s F4D represents the prototype and includes the boom. I cut off the tip of the nose (left), and grafted on the Lindberg boom (right).


After applying Steel Beach vinyl masks (No. SBA80024) to the windshield and canopy (left), I attached the clear parts and airbrushed them black (right) so the frames matched the cockpit.

A shot of dark gull gray followed for the windshield, glare shield, and nose (left). Then I masked those areas with a combination of Steel Beach vinyl and Tamiya tape (right).




I sprayed Alclad II white primer (No. ALC-306) — my standard base coat for Navy white — then masked for the bright trim to come. I applied Steel Beach pre-cut vinyl to control surfaces; Tamiya and blue painter’s tape cover stripes on the wing and tail.

I shaped a kneaded eraser into a snake, rolling it to mask the demarcation between the white and gull gray on the forward fuselage.

After a coat of Model Master Acryl light gull gray, I tried something new for weathering: Rather than airbrushing pre- or post-shading, I ran a black Micron pen along engraved panel lines.

July 2015




I wiped away excess ink with a damp cotton swab, then misted on the base color. This accented the panel lines but prevented them from looking stark. Maybe “mid-shading” will be the next big thing!

I pulled up the tape, revealing the white underlay for the color to come. I masked the edge of the international-orange band on the rear fuselage with Tamiya tape. To catch overspray, I covered the surrounding area with blue painter’s tape and Post-it notes.




I removed the pitch trimmers that I’d pushed into place earlier and masked the red areas on the wings and vertical stabilizer with Tamiya tape, painter’s tape, and Post-it notes.

The last three digits of the Bureau Number (BuNo) were on the tail in white. Instead of decals, I marked 745 using Steel Beach number masks, then sprayed insignia red.

Skyray wing leading edges were left unpainted but were protected against chipping and salt-air corrosion with Corogard. I masked them and sprayed Alclad II dark aluminum.



Apparently, the aircraft’s starboard main gear doors had been replaced and left unpainted. I sprayed the larger front door Alclad II dark aluminum. But photos show the rear door was lighter, so I painted it Alclad II aluminum.

I used kit decals for the national insignia and stencils, but the test aircraft was pretty plain otherwise. I applied thin red stripe decals to the speed brakes and the painted gear-bay doors.



I applied the kit’s F4D-1 stencil to the tail and found what I needed for the BuNo on an F-4 Phantom sheet. Using a brand new No. 11 blade, I carefully cut out individual digits (left) to form the number (right).

To replicate the ray design on the nose, I folded a small rectangle of paper in half and drew half of the design on it.

48 FineScale Modeler July 2015




After cutting along the line, unfolding the paper produced a perfectly symmetrical template for the ray.

I traced that onto white decal paper with a No.11 blade and applied the decals to either side of the nose.

Before installing the ejection seat, I opened the holes in the rails with a pin vise.




To add realism to the wingtip position lights, I drilled small holes in the center of the molded depressions.

After painting each depression silver, I placed a drop of Tamiya acrylic paint into the drilled holes — clear red on the port wing, and a mix of clear blue and clear green on the starboard — to simulate a colored bulb.

I finished the lights with a drop of Microscale Micro Kristal Klear for the lenses. The result is an improvement over the kit lights.



I drilled out the oil drain on the Skyray’s belly (left), then applied lamp black artist’s oils with a light touch to show fluid streaking from the hole (right).

The exhaust nozzle on the record-breaker was a bit different from the one in the kit. I robbed a nozzle from a Monogram 1/48 scale Voodoo and shortened it 5mm, then removed the nozzle from the Skyray’s jet pipe.



I glued the modified Voodoo nozzle to the Skyray burner can, then attached the engine fairing from the Skyray.

After masking the tail, I sprayed it and the modified nozzle Testors Model Master Metalizer burnt metal.

32 I closed the canopy and added thin, red stripes behind it with decals. Steel Beach intake plugs (No. SBA711) detailed with Eduard Remove Before Flight tags capped the project. The smile on the face of the gentleman I built it for made it extra special. FSM July 2015


QUESTIONS & ANSWERS Aaron Skinner Pre-shading with a pen? Q I’m considering pre-shading panel lines

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on a model using a Super Sharpie permanent marker. The aircraft has been sprayed with Tamiya primer, and I plan to use Tamiya acrylics as a top coat. Can this be done without any problems? – Phil Modica Naperville, Ill. A Permanent markers, such as Sharpies, don’t work well for pre-shading; there are just too many unknowns and variables. The ink and paint are often incompatible, with either the ink bleeding through the paint or the paint dissolving the ink. Beyond that, the pen’s lines have sharp edges; for pre-shading, it is better to have feathered edges like those left by airbrushes. Darren Roberts used a Sakura Micron pen for very fine panel-line shading on a 1/48 scale Skyray (Page 46). The Micron ink is art quailty and didn’t react with paints Darren sprayed the model with. FSM’s photo setup in focus Q I would like to know what kind of cam-

era, lens, flash equipment, and camera settings FineScale Modeler uses. – William Winter Micanopy, Fla. A Here’s what we use: The camera is a Fujifilm Finepix S3 12-megapixel digital SLR with a Sigma 18-200mm zoom lens. Good lighting is the most critical thing when it comes to getting good model photos — you need as much light as possible to get the most depth of field possible so all of the model is in focus. We use three old, trusty Vivitar 285 flashes slaved to the camera through a combination of sync cords and a radio transmitter. One flash in a soft box mounted above the booth provides overall lighting; the others are mounted in front on either side of the model for fill lighting. With the camera set at ISO 100 (the digital equivalent of film speed), we shoot with shutter speed of 1/90th second and set the aperture at ƒ/19 or 22. You can get similar results with smaller, less expensive setups. Because we shoot a lot of different types and scales, our booth needs to be flexible in size. If you shoot primarily armor or cars, the booth can be much smaller. I made a booth to use at home that has brooder-lamp reflectors fitted with 100- or 200-watt equivalent compact fluorescent bulbs. I recommend the CFBs because they

run a lot cooler than equivalent incandescent bulbs, which can set stuff on fire if they are too close. I cut holes in the sides and top of a box, covered the holes with diffusers made from an old white cotton sheet, then placed the lights behind them. I bought a relatively simple 12-megapixel point-and-shoot camera with this setup and have gotten photos for three books and several articles.

Steady as it blows Q I’m currently working on a 1/72 scale

Cessna O-1 Bird Dog. Ready to paint, I set the model on an old turntable, which allows even access to all areas. The problem is the model gets blown by the air from the airbrush. Can you suggest ways to keep the model steady during painting? – Shishir Phansalkar Mumbai, Maharashtra, India A Plastic models are often pretty light, so fast-moving air can be a serious problem. You can try taping the model to the turntable or using some kind of clamp. There’s no single fix, because each model is different. I usually hold the model, either by an area that doesn’t need to be painted or with some kind of handle inserted in the model. The latter method works well for jets, because the exhaust is usually just right to hold a rod. Tracing Revell’s German cousin Q I’m a relative newcomer to the hobby —

I’ve been building for about five years. I was hoping you could clarify the difference and origins of the two Revell brands, American and German. I’ve built kits from both manufacturers and there are many differences. – Jeff Baldwin Jericho, Vt. A Revell has a long history that is reflected in the two entities. Revell Germany was founded in the mid-1950s as a subsidiary of Revell (USA). Initially, it marketed the American company’s kits. However, by the 1970s it was developing its own. An independent product-development facility was opened, but Revell Germany continued to operate as a subsidiary and both companies shared kits over the years. In the mid-1990s, Revell merged with Monogram; in 2006, Revell Germany split from Revell and became independent. In 2007, Revell was purchased by Hobbico, which five years later purchased Revell Germany, returning it to the fold. FSM

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6RYLHW6PDVKXS Our two titles dealing with Soviet space programs available in this special combination offer. Peter Alway's Twelve Soviet Missiles, a survey of Soviet military missiles from the 1950’s and ’60s, makes the perfect companion for our critically acclaimed N-1: For the Moon and Mars which tells complete story of the N-1 Superbooster. Get both of them together at a significant savings!

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x Smythe-sewn Hardcover binding Low-tack Post-it Full Adhesive Roll from 3M just might become your go-to source for quick masking jobs. This stand for needle files lets you organize them and keep your workbench neat. It could be used for paintbrushes, too.

A stand for needle files

I made a handy stand for my needle files using the plastic spacers that come in boxes of CCI .22-caliber long-rifle ammo. I started with two sizes of styrene tube: one that will fit inside the holes of the spacer, and another that will slide like a sleeve over the smaller tube. Cut a wood block to your desired dimensions and drill four holes to accept the styrene tubes. Cement the smaller tubes into the wood. Cut the larger tubes into three sections: feet, middle, and cap. I used the length of the file handles as a guide for the length of the middle sections. Assemble as follows: feet, ammo spacer, middle section, ammo spacer, cap. I finished off the caps with punched styrene discs. This stand makes it easy for me to find the file I need and gives me more room on the bench.

Post-it version 2.0

x Over 100 pages of Dimensioned Drawings and hardware analyses

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Keep a model log book

Since 1996, I have kept a logbook for every model I build. I record the kit manufacturer and kit number, scale, date built, and the time it took me to build it. I list paint colors, brands, and reference numbers. In remarks, I rate the kit’s pros and cons and contest results, if any. Being able to reference the paint info helps down the road with other models and when filling out registration slips for contests. – Alan Edwards Olga, Wash. Make flexible cables

I place peel-off labels on the lids of the paint jars I’m using for the model I’m working on. I write the letter of the paint color indicated in the model’s instructions on the label for easy reference. – Greg Qualtieri Waterloo, N.Y.

– Tom Zuchowski Clemmons, N.C.

Easy-to-reference paint labels

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Modelers, rejoice! 3M has listened to us. Now, instead of using up your valuable Post-it notes to easily mask that perfect panel line, just pick up a pack of Post-it Full Adhesive Roll — basically Post-it tape.

Small-diameter electronic shrink tubing works well for flexible cables and is readily available in several sizes and types. I obtained 1⁄16" clear and 9⁄64" black tubing, just what I needed for fuel lines and control cables on a motorcycle model I recently built. Just hold one end and rotate the tube over a heat source (a soldering iron works well) until it has shrunk completely.

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ARA Press 785 Jefferson Ave. Livermore, CA 94550 (925) 583-5126 July 2015


WORKBENCH REVIEWS FSM experts build and evaluate new kits

Wingnut Wings’ Felixstowe builds like any biplane, only bigger


espite the Felixstowe F.2A’s importance during World War I, this is a model that simply should not exist in 1/32 scale — except that it comes from Wingnut Wings, a company not known for following rules. Unquestionably the largest kit in Wingnut’s catalog — the wingspan is 36" — the F.2A has been released in early and late versions, along with a “Duelist” kit that also includes a Hansa-Brandenburg W.29. As you would expect, the parts count is high — 377. But be careful: Many of the pieces that go into this large aircraft are fragile, including the center-section struts that are connected with scale fuel lines. Mine broke into three pieces. The fully appointed interior requires

52 FineScale Modeler July 2015

you to paint a lot of wood. Decals are included for placards and dials on the fuel tanks, flight engineer’s panel, and T-truss supports as well as the instrument panel and cockpit fittings. Rigging instructions are provided to install the myriad control lines inside the airframe, although I skipped that step. The fuel lines on top of the tanks lack positive locators, and I had difficulty aligning all of the joins. But that was the only fit problem I encountered inside. Wingnut advises mounting the Lewis guns in the waist before assembling the fuselage. But I worried about broken barrels. I attached the mounts and saved the guns for later. Modelers wishing to build U.S. Naval Air Service Felixstowe F.2A N4291 (Option C2) will require additional

Scarff ring brackets and should contact [email protected], which will send a small photoetched-metal fret containing these parts free of charge. After many hours painting and assembling the interior, the fuselage went together quickly and cleanly. The only gap that needed filling was at the aft end of the upper deck — and the instruction book said it would be there. Before attaching the inner part of the wings and tail, I taped the waist hatches in place. Then I masked and painted the hull’s dazzle camouflage. The tail components fit snugly and the struts pop into place, making glue almost unnecessary. I applied the decals next and found them to be a bit more fragile than I’m used to from Wingnut Wings.

Before adding the wings, I built the Rolls Royce Eagle engines, which are fully detailed with external piping, radiators, and screens. Once the power plants were painted and mounted, I installed the upper wing’s center section. The struts connect to the internal T-truss supports, but I couldn’t get them to sit properly. I suspect I trimmed too much off the bottom of the struts. I applied glue at the junction of each strut and the upper deck through the waist and over-wing maintenance hatches. Then, I added the hull support struts. I assembled the lower wings and let them dry overnight. Next, I glued the struts to the lower wing and left the assembly overnight again. The outer upper wings fit easily. I bent the struts and popped them into place one by one, clamping the wings with tape as I progressed. A drop of super glue secured each strut. I left the huge ailerons detached until near the end, because the attachment points are very small. In theory, you can remove the wings for transport. But I can’t

see anyone attempting that after assembling the wings and struts. Rigging this beast looks daunting, but if you take it section by section it is logical and manageable. The rigging diagrams are mostly adequate, but the drawings aren’t always clear about where the tailplane control lines enter the hull. There are premolded holes for rigging placement — helpful if you want to drill holes through surfaces to pass lines. I used elastic EZ Line from Berkshire Junction for rigging, and nylon monofilament suture for control lines. Because many of the control lines are divided by kit-supplied photoetched-metal splitters before reaching the control horns, I assembled them off the model. Building the beaching trolley and support stands finished the behemoth. I spent 118 hours on it and could easily have spent more. I skipped some external lines and all the internal ones, and it still took me almost 12 hours to rig. Masking the striped camouflage didn’t make things easier — that alone took six hours.

This is a model I never expected to see. With care and time, it can be built into a showstopper. It isn’t for a novice, but if you’ve built a few biplanes, give it a try. – Chuck Davis

Kit: No. 32050 Scale: 1/32 Manufacturer: Wingnut Wings, Price: $269 Comments: Injection-molded, 377 parts (45 photoetched-metal), decals Pros: Engineered for ease of assembly; terrific detail Cons: Fragile aileron attachments; decals brittle, slightly translucent

July 2015



Orochi M3A3 Bradley CFV


imilar to the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, the M3A3 is used for scout and reconnaissance missions. It packs a bigger punch than the M2, with more internal storage for its TOW missile system and 25mm cannon. Most M3s have been fitted with BUSK (Bradley Urban Survivability Kit) armor to increase crew protection in urban environments. Meng Models released a 1/35 scale Bradley that is the Cadillac of kits with its full interior and detailed engine. But sometimes it’s nice to have a simpler option. This is where Orochi’s Bradleys shine. Orochi offers two M3A3s: The Deluxe Edition includes a figure, a metal barrel for the 25mm cannon, and metal tracks. The Standard Edition I built doesn’t include those bells and whistles — but that doesn’t mean it lacks detail! The kit contains 10 sprues of sharply molded parts with no flash. A small fret of photoetched brass is included as well, and those parts help tremendously to round out the finished model. The only marking option is a single sand-colored vehicle. The 13-page magazine-style instructions feature a brief history of the M3 Bradley and 31 easy-to-follow steps that I followed throughout. The engineering is spot-on, and construction could not have been easier. I used just a little filler to smooth seams; the fit of 54 FineScale Modeler July 2015

the parts is simply outstanding. The BUSK armor on the side skirts proved a little tricky to assemble, but it’s not a problem if you take your time to ensure everything is aligned. Each track link needed to be cut from the sprue and cleaned up; it’s not difficult, just time-consuming. After that, the links click together and stay that way. They are very sharp, and there’s no need for aftermarket tracks. The turret is well detailed. I applied leftover AFV Club self-adhesive film to the windows to give them the anti-reflective sheen of the real things. The kit doesn’t supply any stowage to fill the turret basket, but there are plenty of aftermarket options. Pre-shading panel lines and a few of the BUSK-armor boxes broke up the monochromatic appearance of the desert camouflage. I finished the model with Testors Model Master U.S. Gulf armor sand enamel (No. 2136). Decals went on over a coat of clear gloss without silvering. Light weathering completed the 35-hour project. This was a refreshing build, not only for its simplicity but also because of the fit of the parts. If you are looking for a detailed but not overly complicated Bradley, or if you are a beginner with a yen for armor, take a look at Orochi’s kits. They won’t disappoint! – Chris Oglesby

Kit: No. IM002 Scale: 1/35 Manufacturer: Orochi, Price: $36.99 Comments: Injection-molded, 496 parts (8 photoetched-metal, 8 vinyl), decals Pros: Crisp detail throughout; workable individual-link tracks; smart use of photoetched metal Cons: No figures or stowage; only one marking option

ICM Beechcraft C-45 Expeditor


erived from the classic Beechcraft Model 18, nicknamed Twin Beech, the C-45F, (later redesignated UC-45F) Expeditor served the U.S. Army Air Force as a military transport during and after World War II. Of more than 1,100 built, 26 were given to the French air force and 126 to the Italian air force in 1944-45. The sturdy box contains gray and clear plastic sprues in separate resealable plastic bags, along with a 16-page instruction book and decals for four aircraft. Assembly starts with the fuselage interior, so I carefully masked the clear parts inside and out before installation. Steps 1 through 14 went smoothly, and there are no mold seam lines or flash to contend with. In Step 15, I ran into problems. First, some of the scale-thin parts for the engine mount and landing gear had broken on the sprue. Then, both the engine mounts and landing gear required three or more parts to come together at the same time. This proved to be a struggle with only two hands, but

after a little stress, blue language, and several tries, I got the mounts and struts installed. The rest of the build went smoothly. I was concerned about the windshield, because it needed to fit between the nose and the roof. I was able to slide the windshield in from the side after carefully removing the masking tape from the inner surfaces. To finish my C-45 as an American transport in England in 1944, I decanted Tamiya spray-can aluminum (TS-17) and airbrushed the airframe. The anti-glare panels are painted Testors Model Master olive drab; the leading edges, tires, propellers, and black stripes Floquil engine black. I masked and painted the invasion stripes. I floated each thin, fragile decal off the backing paper into a puddle of water on the model, then maneuvered it into place and blotted away excess liquid. Microscale Micro Sol, carefully brushed only over the decals, settled them without silvering. I added antenna wires made from stretched clear sprue. Measurements indicate that the C-45 is a fraction of an inch short in length and wingspan. It doesn’t matter to me; it looks

Kit: No. 48181 Scale: 1/48 Manufacturer: ICM, Price: $50.99 Comments: Injectionmolded, 128 parts, decals Pros: Longoverlooked subject; fine scribed detail; excellent fit; good clear parts Cons: Some thin parts broken in the box; steps 15 through 24 are difficult

like the aircraft I helped push into a hanger in Manitowoc, Wis., when I was 15. I’ve already bought another ICM Expeditor, and I can’t wait to put it together — I just have to figure out how I want it dressed. – Allan Jones July 2015



Italeri Short Stirling Mk.IV


big huzzah! to Italeri’s new Stirling. Molded in gray, its recessed panel line and rivet details are perhaps a little more pronounced than some modelers might prefer, but, happily, they are much moderated by a coat of paint. The landing gear is beautifully molded and, just like the real thing, looks like building a bridge from flimsy pieces — but is rock-solid once finished. A little plastic surgery (shown in the instructions) allows you

Kit: No. 1350 Scale: 1/72 Manufacturer: Italeri, Price: $59.99 Comments: Injectionmolded, 297 parts (43 photoetchedbrass), decals Pros: Nice detail; good fit of flying surfaces to fuselage Cons: Issues with fit of the bomb-bay doors; stubborn decals

56 FineScale Modeler July 2015

to pose the model with retracted gear, but there’s no stand in the kit. Flattened mainwheel tires enhance the stance of the finished model. Detailed wheel hubs, flame-dampening exhausts, and other parts are nicely done. Posable control surfaces and a fret of photoetched metal are included. Crew-compartment detail is basic but fairly extensive, and the aft entry door may be posed open. Unfortunately, closing up the fuselage leaves only the flight deck easily visible. But I know the detail is there. The Mk.IVs were designed for towing gliders. As such, the kit includes a strop guard aft of the belly hatch plus the glider tow yoke. The only armament is the tail turret. The instructions specify gluing the fuselage and wing bomb-bay doors closed — I had issues getting all 18 to fit flush. Take care when smoothing the seam along the wings’ leading edge. You don’t want to sand through the thinly hidden holes I assume hint at the next Stirling Italeri plans to release. The fit of the wings and tail to the fuselage is excellent, allowing them to be attached after painting. So, masking was easy. Inside each nacelle and cowl ring is a multi-armed sprue support that must be removed. It’s difficult to remove the attachment nubs, but necessary. The close-fitting engine and nacelle parts have to be installed

precisely so the photoetched-metal cowlring supports will properly align. Dimples mar the cabin windows, and Italeri missed the upper frame of the copilot’s windshield. But the clear parts are otherwise nice. Except for the tiny parts, the model’s sturdy — a good thing, since I whacked its extremities several times. I wonder if the real Stirling was as tough. The kit provides markings for three D-Day and one later aircraft. I chose No. 295 Squadron’s D-Day version for its nose art, invasion stripes, and slightly unusual code letters. Plus, they spell my grandson’s name — he builds models, too, so he’ll get a kick out of that. The decals were a little stubborn. I used setting solution to convince the invasion stripes to conform to the airplanes’ compound curves. The ailerons’ stripes are separate decals and are supposed to be applied before the control surfaces and photoetched-metal parts are attached to the wings. The instructions don’t note this and neither did I, so I had to perform a little decal surgery to make things work. I spent 44 hours building my Stirling. The contrast between the dull, weathered aircraft and its just-applied bright invasion stripes makes a great-looking model. —Walt Fink

Tamiya SOMUA S35


he SOMUA (Société d’Outillage Mécanique et d’Usinage d’Artillerie) S35 was one of the best-armed and -armored tanks at the start of World War II. Though hampered by an inefficient crew layout, it served throughout the war. Captured S35s were used extensively by the German army. Tamiya’s much-anticipated all-new S35 fills a gap in any collection of important WWII armor models. Finally, the old Heller kit can be retired. Tamiya’s kit is beautifully molded in dark yellow plastic. The molding does a fine job of representing the cast surface texture found on the real vehicle. Notable features include individual-link tracks, a commander figure, and metal chain. I started construction by assembling the lower hull. The hull tub is one piece, a nice change from the trend of multipiece hull tubs. The lower hull is completed with side-mounting plates for the suspension and the lower hull front. The driver’s hatch can be posed open or closed. The seven-piece main bogie units went together neatly. Unfortunately, in spite of all that nice detail, most of the suspension will not be visible. The turret assembled without a problem. However, there is no gun or interior turret detail. The turret hatch can be posed open or closed. The commander’s dome has a separate part for the visor so it also can be posed.

The upper hull attaches to the lower with a clip at the front end; at the rear, vinyl grommets lock down pins to hold the part in place. I did use some cement to secure the attachments. The driver’s hatch and the crew hatches can be posed open. The side engine hatches are separate parts. Tow chains (from real chain links), a tarp, and vehicle tools make up the exterior details. Strangely, there are no mounting brackets on either the tools or the hull! Tracks are provided as individual links that clip together. I thought this was neat and would make assembly easy. Instead, I found them fragile and difficult to assemble. When I threaded them through the suspension, they tended to separate. Checking the links, I found that the tiny connecting pins were broken. I believe attaching the links as shown in the instructions caused the breaks. A better way is to work one side and then the other into the attaching link. Also, I used two extra links (104 versus 102) per side to give more play and eliminate the separation issues. I would consider using aftermarket tracks on a future build of this kit. Clear parts are provided for the headlight and taillight. I painted my S35 with Tamiya acrylic paint. Decals are provided for three vehicles. They applied well over a gloss coat. I did find the white’s translucence allowed darker colors to faintly show through. My primary reference was Focus No. 2:

SOMUA S35, by Pascal Danjou (Editions du Bartotin, ISBN 978-2-917661-01-7). Also useful was Panzerkampfwagen (Somua) 35 S-739(f ): The French Somua S35 Tank in German Service 1940-45, by Jochen Vollert, Tankograd Wehrmacht Special No. 4020, no ISBN). I finished my SOMUA in 35 hours — a little longer than anticipated due to the problems with the track assembly. Tracks aside, I enjoyed building this model from Tamiya. I highly recommend it to all 1/35 scale armor modelers. – Jim Zeske

Kit: No. 35344 Scale: 1/35 Manufacturer: Tamiya, Price: $68 Comments: Injection molded, 416 parts (220 vinyl, 1 white metal), decals Pros: First new tool S35 since the Heller kit; high-quality moldings Cons: Individual-link tracks difficult to join and keep together

July 2015



PlusModel U.S. Motor Grader


odels of military construction equipment have been scarce, but PlusModel has released an all-resin kit of Caterpillar’s No. 12

Motor Grader. Designed in the 1930s, the 10-ton vehicle is still being made today, albeit with many enhancements. During World War II, the U.S. military used the grader in all theaters of operation for building runways, roads, and bases of operations. Molded in greenish gray resin, the kit features 249 pieces — some very small — that show just a few air bubbles. A couple of parts arrived broken in the package but were easy to repair. The one-piece cab, blade frame, and detailed engine all impressed me.

Kit: No. 426 Scale: 1/35 Manufacturer: Plus Model, Price: $169.70 Comments: Resin, 282 parts (31 photoetched-metal), decals Pros: Detailed engine; good fits; smart use of photoetched metal; clear resin headlights; photo CD of the kit under construction Cons: Some air bubbles in the castings; instruction sequence not always logical

58 FineScale Modeler July 2015

The kit contains more than two dozen photoetched-metal parts. A small decal sheet provides markings for two graders. The instruction booklet features handdrawn assembly diagrams. They can be a little confusing regarding exact part placement, but PlusModel includes a CD with photos of the model under construction that help clarify things. A few parts were misidentified, but it was clear to see from the photos what the correct parts should be. I mostly followed the instructions’ order of assembly, but a few steps are better done differently. For example, the kit has you add the rear-wheel assemblies to the frame in Step 3. But they aren’t keyed for alignment, and it’s almost impossible to get all six wheels to touch the ground without fitting the front wheels. Working in subassemblies, I assembled the detailed engine except for the various pipes that pierce the hood. Double-check the alignment of the radiator support (Part 26) when attaching it to the front of the engine. I got mine canted slightly — super glue is very unforgiving — causing problems later when I fitted the radiator and engine covers. If I could do it again, I’d leave the support loose so it could be adjusted. I built the front axle but left it off until after the first round of painting. The kingpins (Part 12) attach to the main axle with a butt joint that I reinforced by drilling some holes and inserting fine wire. After detailing the driver’s compartment, I built the scarifier, the comb-like device between the front wheels and blade. It was not always used on graders; you could leave it off if you prefer. I attached detail parts to the frame that weren’t dependent on other assemblies for

positioning, then built the blade mechanism. I airbrushed the subassemblies Tamiya olive drab, then post-shaded with olive drab lightened with desert yellow. The tires are painted German gray. I installed the front axle, minus the steering linkage, then added the rear wheels, reinforcing the weak join with brass tube. Placing the model on glass during this process ensured all six wheels touched the ground. Once the rear wheels were set, I secured the front axle and added the steering linkage. Next, I added the cab and side shift rack (Part 72). While the model was still on the glass, I installed the scarifier, raising it off the ground slightly and adding the support arms. I was worried the blade would be too fragile to suspend, so I rested it on the glass while adding its control arms. Fit was good throughout, and I used just a dab of filler to blend the front and rear frame sections. The decals laid down beautifully over a Vallejo clear gloss. I replaced the kit’s copper-wire steering shaft with a rigid brass tube. Finally, the engine cover was installed: I had to adjust the fit because of the crooked radiator mount. This may have been one of my most challenging builds to date. I spent 42 hours on it. I was impressed with the quality of the castings and fit of the parts. The finished model matched almost exactly the dimensions in a Caterpillar brochure I found on the Internet. You’ll need some experience, especially with resin, but PlusModel’s grader is the only game in town — and the finished results are well worth the effort. – John Plzak

Tamiya F-16CJ Fighting Falcon


hen I heard Tamiya was going to issue this kit, I asked myself, “Do we really need another 1/72 scale F-16?” After building Tamiya’s new kit, the question is, “Do we really need any other 1/72 scale F-16?” We may never know why Tamiya’s initial release was packaged without underwing pylons, fuel tanks, or a typical weapons load. But Tamiya has made up for that with this second release; the box even states, “with full equipment.” Indeed, this boxing includes: two 370-gallon tanks; a 300-gallon centerline tank; pairs of AIM-9M and AIM-9X Sidewinders; two AIM-120C AMRAAMs; two AGM-88 HARM missiles, along with an AN/ASQ-213 HARM targeting pod (two actually, one for mounting on the left side of the intake, one for the right); an AN/AAQ-33 Sniper XR pod; an AN/ALQ-184 ECM pod; and, of course, all the pylons necessary for the load you choose. It’s clear that the base kit is a modular design and that future issues may give us a two-seater, earlier Falcons such as A and B models, and the Pratt & Whitney F-100-

engined versions with the smaller intake. Gorgeous surface detail (fine and nottoo-deeply recessed panel lines), thoughtful assembly sequence, and astounding fit make building this kit a modeling dream. Everything fit perfectly; no filler was needed, and only minimal sanding on the few visible glue seams. Top this off with well-detailed pods and weapons and a nicely sculpted seated pilot figure, and you’ve got the makings of the best F-16 kit in this scale. Best, yes — but not perfect. I was disappointed that the canopy was not molded with the characteristic tint present on most F-16s. Also, there is no detail inside the afterburner once you get past the nozzle. If you’re careful, you can hide the seams as you assemble the intake. But the duct is fairly shallow. The 23-part main landing gear struts and bay assemblies require patience and dexterity. The decal sheet is a beauty, providing markings for three Falcons and loads of tiny stencils for the airframe and ordnance. Tamiya’s instructions are among the best in the business, and they include a separate background story along with a diagram charting the progression of the many production variants.

I spent only 26 hours on the li’l Viper; painting and decaling were about double the assembly time. Small parts and precise fits require a moderately skilled modeler. The next one I build should be easier, and I plan on doing several more. I wonder which version Tamiya will do next? – Paul Boyer

Kit: No. 60788 Scale: 1/72 Manufacturer: Tamiya, Price: $52 Comments: Injection-molded, 149 parts, decals Pros: Exquisite detail; perfect fit; great modern weapons; beautiful decals; parts breakdown suggests many more possible variants Cons: Untinted canopy; shallow intake; no afterburner detail

July 2015



OrangeModel F-35C Lightning II


he saga of the F-35 continues. The latest (and quite possibly last) manned attack fighter, with versions to satisfy the needs of practically every air arm, is still undergoing testing and acceptance by its major customers. The F-35C, made for U.S. Navy carrier duty, differs from the others in having a larger wing with folding outer panels and beefed-up landing gear for those punishing catapult launches and arrested landings.

Kit: No. A72-001 Scale: 1/72 Manufacturer: OrangeModel, Price: $39.99 Comments: Injection-molded, 169 parts (64 photoetched-metal, 2 wire) Pros: Good detail inside and out; mostly good fit; tinted clear parts; wings can be posed folded; external weapons pylons; hangar-deck tug included Cons: Cockpit collides with nose-gear bay; insufficient color guidance; poor decals

60 FineScale Modeler July 2015

This is the first C kit available in 1/72 scale. Coming from relative newcomer OrangeModel of Shanghai, it features good detail inside and out. The crazy-quilt radarabsorbing-material (RAM) panels are raised on this kit. Bonus features include a compact hangar-deck tug and photoetched-metal parts to make four tie-down chains with tightening gears. The kit has a detailed weapons bay and external weapons pylons. Weapons included are a pair of AIM-9X Sidewinders, two AIM-120 AMRAAMs, and a GAU-22 gun pod for the centerline. You can pose the wings folded, and the canopy can be open if you choose. The instructions clearly show the assembly steps and detail painting, but they fall down when it comes to the overall paint colors. “Dark grey” is all you get for color suggestions on the airframe, saying nothing about which particular dark gray you should use and nothing about the different color of the RAM panels. OrangeModels’ website reveals a threesheet set of masks (No. A72-002-48) for the various RAM panels, canopy, and wheels, but the masks were neither provided with the kit nor mentioned in the instructions. OrangeModel also makes a set of four resin Kongsberg/Raytheon Joint Strike Missiles (now under development) to arm the model (No. A72-005-68). I was impressed with the fit of the parts as I installed the cockpit tub, landing gear, and weapons bays in the upper and lower fuselage/wing moldings. The ejection seat

is impressive, with bolstered cushions and photoetched-metal harness and pull-handle. The separate side-stick and throttle seem large for the scale. Inner faces of the intakes fit particularly well. With everything clicking right along, it was soon time to close the fuselage — and that’s where I had trouble. I may have done something wrong, but I can’t see how. The bottom of the cockpit tub collided with the top of the nose-gear bay and prevented the forward end of the fuselage from closing properly along those sharp, stealthy lines. I had to grind away the top of the gear bay to get the fit reasonably close, then used gapfilling super glue on the remaining seams. The canopy is lightly tinted and looks great, but there is no mention of the black inner bow. Is it a brace? An antenna? I used a strip of black decal there. OrangeModel gives you a simple mount for opening the canopy, but it must be glued to the very front of the clear area in the canopy. I decided to leave the canopy closed. The landing gear is well detailed, but I found I couldn’t install the nose strut in the bay without clipping the wingtips off Part E18. The weapons bay doors are complicated but well designed, and fit as directed. I didn’t try, but it looks as though they can be closed if you leave off the hinge mechanisms. The underwing weapons pylons are a nice addition but, interestingly, there are no pins or holes to mount them. The instructions show shaded areas where they should be installed.

Wolfpack Designs T-2C Buckeye To check the fit of the outer wing panels, I installed one folded, the other spread; they fit fine either way. The little aircraft tug was fun, but the photoetched-metal parts for the casterwheel guard and seat are difficult to handle. I didn’t attempt to build the photoetched-metal tie-downs; each ¼" tightener is made from 12 separate pieces. No way! But I’d welcome a resin casting someday. So, it came to painting. The proper color applied to the F-35s is FS36170, and I couldn’t find a model paint to match it. Instead I used Testors Model Master engine gray (FS36076). I just couldn’t bring myself to paint all the RAM panels without the requisite masks. The decals were trouble. You have a choice of high- and low-visibility markings for VFA-101. While the high-vis insignia and emblems are good, the gray stencils and warning placards are printed in translucent ink and have a visible pattern. They disappear when applied to anything but white. I’ll be looking for aftermarket decals soon. It was a quick build with a simple paint job (lacking the masks to do the RAM panels), so I needed only 22 hours for my F-35C. It appears accurate, but new, developing aircraft often change in detail. So, we’ll see what the future holds for OrangeModel’s rendition. – Paul Boyer


odelers of 1/72 scale aircraft rejoice! Finally a state-of-the-art kit of the Buckeye has come. Many of us have been holding on to the toylike Matchbox kit, but we can now pass those old kits to the kids and grandkids. Wolfpack’s new kit features a decent interior and recessed exterior detail. Features include posable flaps, separate canopy and windscreen, and an extra set of landing-gear doors if you want to close the bays. The cockpit interior is good, but the otherwise well-detailed seats have no harnesses. I just made a quick set for mine with painted masking tape. Decals provide detail to the instrument panels. The parts breakdown and assembly sequence is reminiscent of the Two Bobs/ Special Hobby 1/48 scale Buckeye — nothing tricky or particularly difficult. I had to fill small gaps at the front and back edges of the belly pan, but otherwise the fit was fine. The instructions have a couple of items that need clarification. The diagrams for the “flap down” and “normal” positions look the same but indicate you may need to “cut pins.” It doesn’t show the flaps in the down position. I just pressed the flaps into the wing and they held in the dropped position. I suppose you’d have to shave the little mounting tabs off for the raised position. Also, the mounting of the retracting arms for the inner main wheel-well covers isn’t clear. But once you start fitting them, you’ll see there is nothing to worry about. I painted the model with a flat white primer, followed with gloss white overall,

and then masked for the orange panels. I used Testors Boyd sunburst (or Chevy engine red) as it is more vivid under fluorescent light. The instructions erroneously suggest “fluorescence orange.” The Cartograf decals are excellent and provide markings for Buckeyes from VT-9, VT-10, and VT-23. All the markings fit perfectly and went on with no problems. I spent 18 hours on my model, more than half on painting and decaling The finished Buckeye looks just right sitting next to my other Navy trainers. It’s a great start for Wolfpack’s 1/72 scale lineup, and a boon to fans of the scale. – Paul Boyer

Kit: No. WP10005 Scale: 1/72 Manufacturer: Wolfpack Design, Price: $30 Comments: Injection-molded, 70 parts, decals Pros: Good exterior and interior detail; no assembly problems; separate flaps; two sets of landing gear doors for open or closed position; excellent decals Cons: No harnesses for seats; errors in the instructions

July 2015


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Specializing in hard-to-find & OOP kits.

We have over 8000 kits in stock from old Aurora to new releases. Please contact us for a FREE catalog. Please specify cars or military. Check with me before you sell.

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

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We carry a huge inventory of plastic model kits from around the world! Full Line of Detailing Accessories. Airline models, Decals, Books, Promos, Die Cast Collectibles, Historical & RPG Games & Miniatures, Airbrushes & parts. Large Paint and Tool inventory. Full line R/C department. We ship worldwide. COLPAR’S HobbyTown USA To order call: 1-800-876-0414 1915 S. Havana St. For information: 303-341-0414 Aurora, Co 80014



CA, BUENA PARK: Kit Collectors Exposition & Sale, UFCW Hall, 8550 Stanton Ave. Sunday, July 12, 2015, 9:00am-3:00pm. Admission $5.00, children under 12 free w/adult. Thousands of rare, hard-to-find model kits and collectibles! Free Parking! Information: Edie Keller, 714-826-5218 or PO Box 38, Stanton, CA 90680, [email protected] Facebook @Buena-Park-Model-Kit-Collectors-Expo

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]

FL, ORLANDO: Modelpalooza 2015. Wyndham Orlando Resort, 8001 International Drive, 32819. September 18-20, 2015. Rooms $92 single/double. Reservations: 877-999-3223. “Open” Judging Rules. Junior, Basic, Advanced Skill Levels ($20 Registration). $5 walk-in. Free Modeling Seminars. 81 Vending Tables ($50, $45 for 5 or more). Contact: [email protected] Information: PA, CARLISLE: PENNCON 2015 IPMS Model Show and Contest. U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center, 950 Soldiers Dr. Saturday, September 19, 2015, 9:00am-4:30pm. Show Theme: FANTASY & SCI-FI. “Make & Take” for kids 15 and under. For more info go to: or contact Chet Mohn, 717-774-4803 E-mail: [email protected] TX, AUSTIN: ASMS Capitol Classic 2015. Presented by Austin Scale Modelers Society. Norris Conference Centers, 2525 West Anderson Lane. Saturday, October 10, 2015, 9:00am5:30pm. Show Theme: “Faster Than Fast!”. Model contest, vendor tables, door prizes, seminars and Make & Take for kids. Visit: or contact Randy Bumgardner at [email protected]

FOR SALE CANOPY MASKING AND MORE! WWW.EZMASKS. COM List $3.00. Chris Loney, 75 Golf Club Rd., Smiths Falls, ON, Canada K7A 4S5. 613-283-5206, [email protected] 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]

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]t 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] 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]

MISCELLANEOUS 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 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] Closing Dates: Published 10 times a year. Jan. 2015 issue closes Oct. 14, Feb. closes Nov. 7, Mar. closes Dec. 10, April closes Jan. 7, May closes Feb. 17, July closes April 14, Sep. closes June 15, Oct. closes July 8, Nov. closes Aug. 10, Dec. closes Sept. 9.

July 2015


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ARKANSAS • Jacksonville

Headquarters for scale hobbies. Models; N-HO-O-G trains; gaming; tools; paints, etc. Discounts & special orders. Open 10-6, closed Sundays and Wednesdays


1200 John Harden Dr.



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


911 S. Victory Blvd.


CALIFORNIA • Canoga Park

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


7259 Canoga Avenue


CALIFORNIA • Garden Grove

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


12188 Brookhurst St.


CALIFORNIA • Hollister

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


201-C McCray St.






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


830 E. Lincoln Ave.

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


144 North Road


CONNECTICUT • Manchester

Largest hobby shop in NE. Military, cars, trucks, plastic models, diecast cars, trucks. Planes, RC planes, cars, trucks, slot cars, rockets, Breyer, Detailing supplies, games! Mon-Wed 10-6 Th-Fri 10-9 Sat-Sun 10-6



71 Hilliard St.


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


394 New Haven Ave., Unit 1


FLORIDA • Ft. Myers

Come visit our new store! Plastic modeling kits. Paint, tools, scenery, & accessories. Scale model railroads & rockets. Mon-Sat 10:00am-6:00pm. Closed Sunday.


12951 Metro Parkway


GEORGIA • Blue Ridge

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


4167 East First St. (by KFC)


HAWAII • Kailua, Oahu

Wide selection of plastic model kits, paint, books, magazines and tools. Located on the beautiful windward side, a scenic 20 minute drive from Honolulu. Mon - Fri 10-6, Sat 10-5, Sun 11-2


767 Kailua Road


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


33 Exchange St.



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

CONNECTICUT • East Windsor


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


Rt 20E Main, Post Rd. Plaza



6,000 model kits, old and new: Autos, armor, planes & sci-fi. Reference books & supplies. Open T-Th 11-7, F 11-8, Sa 10-5. Rt. 495 to Rt. 123E, behind Dunkin’ Donuts. www. E: [email protected]


250 E. Main St., Rt 123




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

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


445 South “B” Street



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


1915 S. Havana St.



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.



MICHIGAN • Traverse City

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


405 E. Putnam Avenue


MICHIGAN • Royal Oak (Metro Detroit)

1400 E. 11 Mile Rd.



103 W. Michigan Avenue


NEVADA • Las Vegas


4590 W Sahara Ave Ste 103


64 FineScale Modeler July 2015


#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


NEW YORK • Buffalo



2243 Seneca St.


NEW YORK • Middle Island

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


2522 Times Blvd.


134 Middle Country Rd.


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



1435 Lexington Ave.

OHIO • Columbus

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


206 Graceland Blvd.


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



OREGON • Beaverton

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.


We are a full line hobby shop. Huge model selection. Gundam, supplies, tool, educational, kit, parts, kite, game. Huge selection, paint, train & R/C items.


19332 60th Ave. W.



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


12615 Renton Ave. South


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


3409A 26 Ave. SW


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


80 Montreal Rd.


CANADA–ON • Toronto

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



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



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

Call Today to

find out more! 600 PIXELS


CANADA–AB • Calgary

Great selection of model kits, accessories, detail parts, magazines, tools & paints.

1-888-558-1544 Jim Hagerty, ext. 549 600 PIXELS



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

106 W. Main Street


VIRGINIA • Newport News

WNY’s largest selection of models!!! We specialize in models. New, old, rare and vintage. Tons of detail and weathering products, paint, tools and so much more!

12024 SW Canyon Rd.


11145 Turkey Dr.

TEXAS • San Antonio

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

119 S. Main St.

East Tennessee’s largest plastic model selection. 8,000 sq. ft. of hobbies & toys. Located in Knoxville’s premier shopping destination. Turkey Creek Area. Open 7 days a week.

TEXAS • Irving (Dallas Area)

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

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TENNESSEE • Knoxville

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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.



PENNSYLVANIA • Landisville (Lancaster)

Let your imagination run wild! Aircraft, ships, cars, armor, special orders, diecast cars, dollhouse miniatures, model railroading Z to G and more... 210 East Front St.

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



116 N. Washington Street

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July 2015




What’s your psi — and why? The master modeler’s tool for fine results is the airbrush, providing precise demarcations, soft-edged patterns, and thin layers of colors, all without obscuring fine surface details. But a lot of things have to go right to make any one session of airbrushing successful — good airflow, a clean airbrush, properly thinned paint, etc. You could write a book on it — and, in fact, several people have, including FineScale Modeler Associate Editor Aaron Skinner, whose book on airbrushing will be available from Kalmbach Books in plenty of time for Christmas 2015. Since the art and science of airbrushing are founded on fundamentals, let’s consider one of its most basic elements — air pressure. I asked around the Kalmbach offices to get expert opinions from a few editors at FSM and Model Railroader magazine.

Easy does it MR Senior Editor Jim Hediger uses a notably light touch. “I have an ancient Binks Wren single-action airbrush,” he says. “I still use a lot of old Floquil railroad lacquer paint applied using a spray booth and the proper personal protective

Bryan McDermott airbrushed the squiggly “wave mirror” pattern on his 1/48 scale Do 217K-2 (loosely based on the Monogram ProModeler kit), mixing automotive paints for RLM 76. The blend was about 95 percent thinner — and he sprayed the pattern freehand, blasting through hairpin curves at 40 psi! (Do not try this at home.)

mask. Most painting is done in the 15-20 psi range. Dusty weathering is applied in the 5-10 psi range, depending on the color.” Says MR Senior Editor Dana Kawala, “I use a Paasche H airbrush, usually at 15-20 psi for acrylics, 15 psi or less for weathering work, and 20 psi (or higher if the paint requires it) for spraying primer or color over a large area. I rarely use enamels, but when I have used them I set the pressure at 20-25 psi.” Using only acrylic paints, MR Associate Editor Cody Grivno works at both ends of those ranges: 15 psi or lower for weathering, 15-20 psi for other weathering and certain general painting, but 20-25 for most

Heavy weathering is the right look for this HO scale commuter car and helps highlight detail on its trucks. The effect is achieved by low-pressure airbrushing — a light dusting of earth tones applied at 5-10 psi. 66 FineScale Modeler July 2015

other work. He says, “The manufacturer recommendations are just that — recommendations. You may have to use a setting a little above or a little below the recommended range, but that’s OK. The goal is to get even coats that dry to a uniform sheen.”

Works for everything Building and painting everything from armor to zeppelins, Aaron works with a wide range of pressure settings. His answers apply to paints that have no specific guidelines, he says, “as opposed to Testors Metalizers and Alclad II, which do.” He’ll work below 15 psi for special applications, such as post-shading, but the low setting can result in splattered edges. He’ll dial up to 15-20 psi for detail work and spraying masked edges. Most of the rest of his painting is done between 20-30 psi, “my sweet spot,” he says. “I'll breach the 30-psi mark on occasion, especially when I want to keep the pattern tight,” he says. “These high pressures produce less feathering along the edge of the paint pattern.

“I don’t usually alter the pressure from paint type to paint type. It has much more to do with application. Detailing requires lower pressures, but the best way to ensure a smooth finish is to spray at higher pressures, 25-30 psi.” He also cites paint thinning and proximity: thinner paint and closer work require lower pressures.

It’s your turn Now that we have these sage opinions, we’d like to ask yours: What is your preferred psi setting? Please note: • whether you use acrylic paints or enamels • what your usual setting is for each type of paint • and for what applications you would change those settings. You may respond directly to me by e-mail at [email protected], or you can post your comments in the FSM Forum at And, if you like, send along a high-resolution image of one of your models as an example. We’ll need your answers by June 15. We look forward to hearing from you! FSM

academy ... A Focus on Military N EW




A Passion for Precision







While some companies pride themselves on making all types of kits, Academy’s laser focus is on creating military with spot on scale accuracy. We strive for shape and contours that are blueprint perfect. When possible, you’ll find Cartograph decals and photo-etched parts; details that are crisp with subtle, ultra fine panel lines… no glaring gaps; surfaces that are pleasing to the eye and smooth to the touch… 1/48 F-4J Phantom II VF-84 Jolly Rogers (12305) and just the right amount This Vietnam era, U.S. Navy aircraft has detailed cockpit, a full of parts to assure detail complement of external stores, photo-etched parts, Cartograph decals. without being tedious. On rare occasions when we venture into categories other than military, we approach them with the 1/35 Tiger 1 “Late Version” (13314) Features include photo-etched engine same consistent quality, and of course, our Passion for Precision. If you grille mesh, Cartograph decals. Newly think your skills match our passion, see these kits at your hobby shop and tooled parts include late version road wheels, upper hull surface, upper turret visit us at surface and hatches. N

Academy … a Passion for Precision

1/35 T34/85 Factory 112 Production (13290) The kit accurately captures the robust 85mm gun and three- man turret. Photo-etched engine grille and six optional markings.


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