Fine Scale Modeler Vol.35 Issue 02

FineScale Modeler (ISSN 0277-979X, USPS No. 679-590) is published monthly (except for June & August) by Kalmbach Publishing Co., 21027 Crossroads Circ...

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February 2017 /// Vol. 35 /// No. 2

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KIT REVIEWS 52 Merit International HMS Ark Royal

16 Form & Figure Painting large-scale eyes JOE HUDSON

54 Academy F/A-18F 18 Airbrushing & Finishing Weathering a harried jump jet AARON SKINNER

55 Zvezda T-35


20 Setting the scene for a Corsair

57 Eduard Spitfire Mk.IXc (late)

Groundwork, weathering, and a palm tree put this plane in the South Pacific BILL PLUNK

58 Special Hobby Mirage F.1CE/CH 58 Revell Germany Embraer 195

24 Floating a Spitfire When life gives you a basic kit, you scratchbuild the details MAX OTTEN

59 Grand Models T-6A Texan II


28 Modeling then and now From Shep Paine to new school KARL LOGAN

5 Editor’s Page

Finish a kitbashed M8 75mm HMC COOKIE SEWELL

7 Scale Talk


EagleQuest 2016

10 New Products 34 Reader Gallery 51 Reader Tips

48 Living in a Yellow Submarine Sky of blue, sea of green, and lots of styrene in between on AMT’s sub RANDY FORGO

62 Questions & Answers 64 Hobby Shop Directory

66 Final Details Artistry vs. accuracy? KARL LOGAN

60 Meng M1A2 SEP Abrams TUSK I/TUSK II


40 Pint-size Panther killer: Part 2

44 Show Gallery

56 Takom Type 69-II

64 Classified Marketplace


65 Advertiser Index

FineScale Modeler (ISSN 0277-979X, USPS No. 679-590) is published monthly (except for June & August) by Kalmbach Publishing Co., 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187. Periodicals Postage is paid at Waukesha, WI, and additional offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to FineScale Modeler, PO Box 62320, Tampa, FL 33662-2320. Canada Post Publication Mail Agreement #40010760.



By Mark Savage

Everything old is new again I sometimes think in themes, often year in an annual special issue — imagining theme songs in my head as Great Scale Modeling, which we lovtheir background music. ingly called GSM. It was last “Just sit right back and you’ll hear published in 2011. a tale, a tale of a fateful trip … ” No, Many of you at the shows ask us not that theme. when we’re going to bring back Great I’m thinking of modeling Scale Modeling. themes: for instance, our That got us to thinking Would you recent issue on 100 years of (always dangerous), and buy a new tanks and our look at modwe started asking ourand eling Pearl Harbor-related selves the same question. kits to mark the attack’s That brings me back to the improved 75th anniversary. theme in that headline atop GSM? I see themes at plenty the page. of shows and contests we The concept of delivering attend, and I see oodles of models a wish book of inspirational models is that don’t always fit neatly into what placed GSM among our most themed categories. popular special issues throughout our That got me to thinking about all 35 years. the great models we photograph at So please help us decide. the big shows we attend. We try to Would you buy a new and cram as many as we can into our reg- improved Great Scale Modeling special ular issues. But, believe me, we have issue? plenty more. We’d pack it full of the best modWe used to bring even more of els we find at shows we attend, plus these inspirational builds to you each some special surprises that we have









For more information on modeling, visit

This was the last Great Scale Modeling issue, which featured models from various shows.

in mind from our FSM story vaults and, well, a few other goodies. But if we tell you everything now we’d have to … well, you know! So let us know if you want to see GSM return. Please vote online at

[email protected]

Off the sprue: What’s the best dish you cook?

Editor Mark Savage [email protected]

Senior Editor Aaron Skinner [email protected]

Associate Editor Mark Hembree [email protected]

Assistant Editor Elizabeth Nash [email protected]

Editorial Associate Monica Freitag [email protected]

I’m praying my wife does not read this. She’d say scrambled eggs challenge me. Not true! But, I have made good pumpkin and pecan pies and even attempted my favorite, sugar cream, but it didn’t exactly solidify as it should.

There’s nothing better than a big pot of chili. I enjoy slicing and dicing meat and veggies, tossing them in a pot with spices, and simmering for hours. It’s even better the next day, if there’s any left!

I have to pick just one? Guess my trademark is Christmas dinner with prime rib beef roast and Yorkshire pudding. The latter is always good, but it only comes out just right every other year.

Stuffed with lemon, thyme, rosemary, and slathered with sea salt and butter, Engagement Chicken is a potent dish. But be warned: Legend has it that whoever eats it will propose promptly. So serve wisely.

What? Just one? All of mine are gems, but if I must pick one I’ll go with stuffed green peppers. It’s still the dish that will bring my two (adult) kids to the table on time, every time.


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EDITORIAL Senior Editor Aaron Skinner Associate Editor Mark Hembree Assistant Editor Elizabeth Nash Editorial Associate Monica Freitag

ART Illustrator Kellie Jaeger Photographer William Zuback Production Coordinator Cindy Barder

CONTRIBUTING MODELERS Paul Boyer, Federico Collada, Andy Cooper, Raúl Corral, Frank Cuden, Phillip Gore, James Green, Joe Hudson, Rick Lawler, Karl Logan, Harvey Low, Rato Marczak, Chris Mrosko, Bill Plunk, Darren Roberts, Chuck Sawyer, Cookie Sewell, Bob Steinbrunn, Cristóbal Vergara, Jim Wechsler, Adam Wilder


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RETAIL, TRADE ORDERS, AND INQUIRIES Selling FineScale Modeler magazine or products in your store: Phone 800-558-1544 Outside U.S. & Canada 262-796-8776, Ext. 818 Fax 262-798-6592 E-mail [email protected] Website

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SPECIAL EMAIL & WEB ADDRESSES Ad Sales [email protected] Letters to the Editor [email protected] New Products [email protected] Reader Gallery Reader Questions [email protected] Reader Tips [email protected] Non-toxic • Non-flammable • Easy to Use • 0% Shrinkage • Waterproof • Superior Strength & Detail

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©2016, Kalmbach Publishing Co., all rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced in any form without permission. Printed in the U.S.A. Allow 6 to 8 weeks for new subscriptions and address changes. Subscription rate: single copy $6.99; U.S. 1 year (10 issues), $39.95; 2 years (20 issues), $74.95; 3 years (30 issues), $94.95. Canadian: Add $8.00 postage per year. Canadian price includes GST, payable in U.S. funds. All other international subscriptions: Add $12 postage per year, payable in U.S. funds, drawn on a U.S. bank. BN 12271 3209 RT. Not responsible for unsolicited materials.


Your voice in FSM

The “problems” of modeling

Just like new

Over the past five years I’ve moved several Perfect timing with the article in the times and therefore had to take a hiatus November issue on using Pledge FloorCare from model railroading. To keep busy, I Multi-Surface Finish (PFM), formerly picked up a scale model aircraft kit, known as Future. and then another, and another, and Not long ago, I was “I need to then a subscription to FSM. Do given a very old 1/8 scale you see where this is going? model of a ’78 Corvette. I find a After a 30-year absence from was just to the point of basement scale modeling, I cannot believe installing the “glass.” But large the talent, technique, and techthe piece was showing its enough nology that is now prevalent in age after roaming around the the hobby — all of which I can box for many years. for two use when I resume model railThankfully, using PFM hobbies.” roading! made the glass look better Now I need to find a place than new. to retire with a basement large enough for So thank you again for the nice tutorial. – Bill Daniels two hobbies — what a great “problem” to Auburn, Wash. have! – John Nordin Naperville, Ill.

Bigger models, please!

I attended a contest at the IPMS Livonia, Mich., chapter and saw one of Dan Jayne’s cutaways on display. It was hugely popular with the crowd and photographers. It’s wonderful that his talents as a modeler continue to be recognized.

It’s amazing how FineScale Modeler readers seem to be dialed-in on all subjects and have such broad interests. My favorite genre is cars and trucks, specifically in 1/24 scale. I keep hoping to see more kits made in this important scale. I’ve filled my cabinets with models of everything from the dawn of the motor car to modern racing cars. Still, it would be wonderful to find and add other subjects in the same scale. One example is light aircraft. These “cars of the sky” would be a natural addition to the genre, but all of the small planes I have seen released are tiny — 1/48 and 1/72 scale. These planes are relatively the same size as cars plus wings, and they would show scale relationships wonderfully. Add classic speed boats, SUVs, light helicopters, and maybe even classic air racing planes, and the scale would be complete. (Occasionally I dream of a 1/24 scale locomotive. But that would be a monster!) How about it? Anyone else want to see some larger 1/24 scale subjects besides motors to expand this important scale?

– Chuck Stewart Norton Shores, Mich.

– Jake Maring Algoma, Wis.

Dan’s Focke-Wulf Fw 190 next to his memorial feature in the October FSM.

Dan Jayne’s legacy lives on

The cover of the ship’s turnover ceremony program.

More info on USS Vigor I was pleased to see the model of the USS Vigor (MSO-473) built by Gordon Stiller in the Show Gallery of the Midwestern Model Ships & Boats Contest in the December issue. The ship was decommissioned from the U.S Navy in 1972 and sold to Spain. I was her last executive officer and participated in the turnover. She was modernized in the 1960s. The deck gun was removed and a variable depth sonar installed. She lasted another 27 years after being renamed Guadiana in Spain and was decommissioned and scrapped in 1999. – Michael Cosgrove, Cmdr., U.S. Navy, ret. Kerrville, Texas

Now at Online Extras On p. 40, you’ll find Part 2 of the “Pint-size Panther killer” feature and learn how to finish this M8 75mm HMC. Find out how Cookie Sewell constructed it in Part 1, online now.

Free desktop wallpaper Style your computer screen with a background wallpaper of Special Hobby’s 1/72 scale Mirage F.1CE/CH built by Phil Pignataro for Workbench Reviews and featured on p. 58 in this issue.

New Product Rundown Want to know about a kit before you buy? Aaron Skinner and Elizabeth Nash host a twicemonthly review of the newest models where they open the boxes to show what’s inside.


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SCALE TALK Show us your space!

I would like to see more pictures of other modelers’ workshops. Here are some photos of my own space. I am a 72-yearold man with Parkinson’s disease. I find that spending time

in my workshop surrounded by my models, tools, paints, glues, and all the rest of my mess is great therapy for my mind. It also helps keep the tremor monster under control by making me practice my

fine motor skills. I hope other modelers with PD also find modeling helpful. Get out of your recliner and go build! – Ronald Butz Williams, Ore.


Ed.: We want to see everyone’s workshop! Send photos to [email protected] or share them on our Facebook page. Just search for “FineScale Modeler magazine” online. We promise not to judge the mess! FSM

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NEW PRODUCTS Compiled by Monica Freitag & Aaron Skinner


Italeri extends big-scale Mirage III Building on its successful 1/32 scale Mirage IIIC (FSM July 2016), Italeri has released a Mirage IIIE/R (No. 2510). Many of the parts — engine, wings, landing gear, weapons, and cockpit — are shared with the previous kit. The E is 12" longer than its predecessor, so this kit

includes new fuselage parts and ventral fin. Optional nose halves and clear parts are provided for the reconnaissance version; cameras and racks detail the interior and the hatch can be posed open. Also new: 1,700-gallon drop tanks, Barracuda ECM pods and a Phimat chaff dispenser, and

photoetched muzzle vents. Fine recessed lines and rivets mark the parts and there's plenty to see in the wheel wells, cockpit, intakes, and exhaust. Cartograf decals provide markings for six Mirages: two French, and one each from

Australia, Switzerland, South Africa, and Spain. Italeri’s Mirage IIIE/R costs $129.99. More info:


Mitsubishi F-2B “21 Squadron Return to Matsushima AB” from Hasegawa, No. 07439, $62.99.

1/72 SCALE

EA-18G Growler USS Ronald Reagan CVW-5 CAG‚ from Hasegawa, No. SP344,

Wellington Mk IC from Italeri, No. 1383, $34.99.


Kawasaki Ki-61-I tei (Tony Army fighter) from Aoshima, No. 022887, $17.

F2H-2/2P Banshee from Kitty Hawk,

Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk.V from

No. KH80131, $65. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

Airfix, No. A08016, $39.99. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

F-15C Eagle Gulf War 25th Anniversary from Italeri, No. 2763, $32.99.

Super Étendard from Kitty Hawk, No. KH80138, $44.99. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

Blohm & Vosss BV P.178 bomber interceptor jet with MK-214 50mm cannon from Bronco Models, No. GB7002, $36.99.

10 FineScale Modeler February 2017

Correction: In correct author of the book Malaya and Singapore 1941-42 - The fall of Britain's Empire in the East is Mark Stille.


Marder I 7.5cm Pak.40/1 auf GwLrS(f) SdKfz 135 from Panda Models, No. PH-35006, VBL Milan (French Army 1987 - present) from Tiger Model, No. 4618, $63.95.

$59.95. Includes photoetch parts. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

M1A1/A2 Abrams main battle tank 2 n’1

MIM-104B Patriot from Dragon Models,

from Rye Field Models, No. RM-5007, $98. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

No. 3558, $119.99. Surface-to-air missile (SAM) system PAC-1 with M983 HEMTT. Smart Kit. Black Label. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

Bergepanzer 38(t) Hetzer mit 2cm FlaK 38 from Dragon, No. 6399, $67.99. 1939-1945 series. Smart Kit.

JS-2m ChKz Production Type 51 with Soviet Gen 2 weapons from Dragon/, No. 9151, $42.99. Magic track.

WWII British Humber Mk.I Scout car and AFV crew set from Bronco Models, Nagmachon IDF early heavy APC from Tiger Model, No. 4615, $99.95. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

No. CB35009SP, $52.99.

StuG III Ausf E from Dragon, No. 6688, $79.99. 1939-1945 series. Smart Kit.

Soviet Su-85M tank destroyer with Soviet infantry equipment from Dragon/CyberRussian BMPT-72 Terminator II from Tiger Model, No. 4611, $99.95. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM., No. 9152, $42.99. Magic track.

SdKfz 162 Jagdpanzer IV A-0 from Dragon, No. 6843, $64.99. 1939-1945 series. Smart Kit.

For more than 17,000 product listings visit



Desert Storm Abrams from Rye Field Models Apparently, we are living in the Age of Abrams as every month brings forward a new kit of the American main battle tank. Rye Field Models entered the fray last year with a 1/35 scale kit of the latest version, an M1A2 with TUSK (FSM, November 2016). Now comes a backdated M1A1

(No. RM-5006) representative of Abrams used during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. It shares parts with Rye Field’s previous kits, including sharply molded upper and lower hulls; the former features good nonskid texture on horizontal surfaces.

Jagdtiger Henschel Production Type with 12.8cm PaK 80 (L/66) from Dragon, No. 6827, $72.99. 1935-1945 series.

SdKfz 182 King Tiger Henschel turret with Ziimmerit 2 in 1 from Dragon, No. 6840,

The hatches are posable, but there’s no interior. A couple of sprues of stowage dress the exterior and there photo-etched grilles cover engine vents. New in this kit are linkand-length T156 track appropriate for early M1A1s.

Decals provide markings for two U.S. Army and one Marine tank in early 1991. The kit costs $54.95. More info:

IDF Magach 3 main battle tank from

Berge-Panther mit aufgesetztem from

Dragon, No. 3567, $59.99. 50th Anniversary The Six-Day War. Middle East War Series.

Dragon, No. 6835, $79.99. PzKpfw IV turm als Befehlspanzer. 1939-1945 series, Smart Kit.

Panther Ausf D V2 Versuchsserie from

G6 Rhino SANDF self-propelled howitzer

Dragon, No. 6830, $69.99. 1935-1945 series.

from Takom, No. 2052, $72.99. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

Hanomag SS100 from Takom, No. 2068,

German sWS supply ammo vehicle and armored cargo version 2 in 1 from Bronco

SdKfz 182 King Tiger porsche turret with Ziimmerit 2 in 1 from Dragon, No. 6848,

$44.99. WWII German tractor.

Models, No. CB35214, $64.99. 1935-1945 series.

$69.99. 1935-1945 series.

$69.99. 1935-1945 series.

Welcome new manufacturers! Below is contact information for the new manufacturers in this issue. Please visit for a complete list. HGW Models

12 FineScale Modeler February 2017

Goodman Models Facebook:



1/700 SCALE


USS Missouri BB-63 from Academy, No. 14222, $35. Look for a detailed review in an upcoming issue of FSM.

French rucksacks WWI from Plus Model, No. 4052, $11.50.


Plus Model, No. 487, $78.80.

AIRCRAFT DETAIL Michael Myers (from John Carpenter’s Halloween) from

1/35 SCALE

Farmhouse from

H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man from

1/32 SCALE

Moebius Models, No. 903, $39.99.

Moebius Models, No. 970, $39.99.

Robin - The Boy Wonder from Moebius, No. 951, $34.99.

Battles of Smolensk & Roslavi 1941 from Dragon, No. 6791, $17.50.

B-17 seats w/o seatbelts (for HK Models) from Resin 2 Detail, No. AC32028, $9.99.

MISCELLANEOUS No soldier left behind - MWD Down from

P47D Thunderbolt seatbelts (for Hasegawa, Revell, and Trumpeter) from HGW Models, No. 132532, $15.99. Pre-cut laser cut micro fabric seatbelts with photoetch buckles.

1/35 SCALE

Master Box Ltd., No. MB35181, $16.99.

F-35 Lightning II pilot from Plus Model/Aero Line, No. AL4064, $11.50.

Sopwith Pup landing gear (for Wingnut Wings) from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 32111, $16.95.

USAAF command and liason radio set from Resin 2 Detail, No. AC32030, $7.99.

Trash from Plus


Model, No. 486, $17.90.

from Plus Model, No. 491, $20.

USAAF oxygen tanks (set of 8) with and without brackets from Resin 2 Detail, No. AC32002, $7.99.



Spitfire Mk I/V seat belts (for Airfix and Tamiya) from HGW Models, No. 148538, $12.99. Laser cut micro plastic seatbelts with photoetch buckles.

1/48 SCALE Double and triple line rivets, .90mm spacing 291 cm from HGW Models, No. 482014, $7.99. Wet transfer: similar application as decals, but when transfer foil is removed only text or symbol remains to surface, without any glossy film around.


A-20 Havoc main wheel set (for AMT) from Resin 2 Detail, No. AC48065, $7.75. Tony Army fighter.

1/72 SCALE Wright R-3350 from Plus Model/Aero Line, No. AL7015, $17.90. Turbo compound engine for P2V Neptune, Martin Marlin, C119 Flying Boxcar.

Fw 190 Landing Gear (for Eduard) from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 72132, $11.95.

AIRCRAFT DECALS P-40C landing gear (for Bronco) from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 48316, $14.95.

F2H-2 Banshee landing gear (for Kitty hawk) from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 48317, $16.95.

4-color lozenge upper and lower faded with transparent blue from

Canvas-type with white base, 20 segments 60mm x 32mm from HGW

HGW Models, No. 532030, $16.99. Lozenge faux fabric textured decals 7" x 10".

Models, No. 532032, $16.99. Lozenge faux fabric textured decals 7" x 10".

F-14 Tomcat Landing Gear (for Tamiya)

HGW Models, No. 232002, $19.99. Wet transfer: similar application as decals, but when transfer foil is removed only text or symbol remains to surface, without any glossy film around.

from Scale Aircraft Conversions, No. 48318, $18.95.

Oval templates, positive rivets from HGW

from Resin 2 Detail, No. AC48082, $5.99.

US WWII Korea 50-gallon fuel drums (set of 4 in 2 styles) from Resin 2 Detail, No. AC48068, $4.99. 2 styles: one dented and one un-dented. 14 FineScale Modeler February 2017

Boeing B-47 Stratojet, $16, by Nico Braas, soft cover, 56 pages, all color photos, ISBN: 978-908616-241-3. From Lanasta.

1/32 SCALE

P-47D Thunderbolt stencils (for Hasegawa, Revell, and Trumpeter) from

B-17 late model exhausts (for Monogram)

Fiat G.91, $16, by Arno Landewers, soft cover, 56 pages, all color photos, ISBN: 978-90-8616-170-6. From Lanasta.

Models, No. 322016, $7.99. Wet transfer: similar application as decals, but when transfer foil is removed only text or symbol remains to surface, without any glossy film around. .

Austro-Hungarian Cruisers and Destroyers 19141918, $18, by Ryan K. Noppen, soft cover, 48 pages, all blackand-white photos, ISBN: 978-1-47281470-8. From Osprey Publishing.

French Foreign Legion 1831-71, $18, by Ryan K. Noppen, soft cover, 48 pages, all blackand-white photos, ISBN: 978-1-47281470-8. From Osprey Publishing.

The SAS 1983-2014, $19, by Leigh Neville, soft cover, 64 pages, all color photos, ISBN: 978-1-4728-1403-6. From Osprey Publishing.

More at Check out our New Product Rundown (NPRD) videos as Elizabeth Nash and Aaron Skinner have fun looking at the latest kits!


Hard sanding blocks give you an edge No matter the kit or project, it seems like sanding is a necessary evil in modeling. That means your workbench has to have a supply of sanding supplies and grit isn't the only choice you have to make. The medium is also a choice of sandpapers, sanding films, foam sanding sticks, hard sanding sticks, sanding bows, sanding twigs, and more. Each is designed for a specific purpose, whether smoothing a large area, sanding a seam while maintaining a curve, or removing hard-to-reach filler, all of them are useful. Super Sanding Blocks from Goodman Models elegantly address the problem of sanding in corners. Flexible sanding sticks don’t hold an edge and round right angles. Mounted on sturdy precisely cut acrylic, Super Sanding Blocks have no give. That’s not ideal for sanding a seam on a rounded fuselage, but it’s perfect for sanding right angles or for flattening a joining surface on plastic and resin parts. The set includes six grits — 80, 180, 220, 320, 400, and 600 — identified by color dots. They can be cleaned with a plastic bristle brush for extended usefulness. Goodman Models Super Sanding Blocks cost $20. For more info and to order visit

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FORM & FIGURE By Joe Hudson

Painting large-scale eyes Layers of colors focus attention on a Batman villain


n smaller figures, the rule for eyes is often that less is more. Shades and small brush strokes hint at eyelashes, whites, and irises. But big figures, such as the movie characters and monsters that have been popular since the 1950s, require a more detailed approach. A modern example is Moebius’ 1/8 scale kit of the Penguin, as played by Burgess Meredith in the 1960s Batman TV show. Molded in white plastic the kit has good detail, especially around the eyes. Note that the eyes are slightly different — the villain’s right eye is more open than the left due to his monocle. The techniques used here will work for eyes in 1/10 scale and larger. Paints Vallejo Model Color 70.822 German Camo Black Brown Vallejo Model Color 70.904 Dark Blue Grey Vallejo Model Color 70.918 Ivory Vallejo Model Color 70.944 Old Rose

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Next Issue Vallejo Model Color 70.950 Black Vallejo Model Color 70.957 Red Vallejo Model Air 71.090 Blue “Blue Angels” Vallejo Nocturna 74.015 Pale Flesh Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish

Joe paints the uniform and overcoat of a weary GI at the Battle of the Bulge.

1 After spraying the head with Vallejo gray surface primer, I basecoated the hat, hair, and flesh. This helps frame the areas and gives me an idea of how the rest of the face will appear.



I lightened the blue with dark blue gray and painted the center of the iris, but I left the edge the original color. An even lighter shade finished the iris.

I sealed the eyes with Pledge FloorCare MultiSurface Finish (PFM). This adds depth and realism, and protects them so you can correct mistakes without affecting the base coat.


Another thin layer of PFM sealed the latest iris work.

It is important to have a brush that holds a point. It doesn’t have to be super fine; in fact, a larger brush will hold more paint and prevent drying at the tip. I use a No. 0 for detail work.


When painting eyes or other small details that come in pairs, I go back and forth between them and make small corrections. This helps ensure they remain uniform.



To begin the irises, I painted a dot of blue at the center of each eye.


Once I mark the center of the eyes, I add to the dot, making it larger from the center, until the size is right. Working from the center keeps the iris round.



I painted the eyes with pale flesh, actually a grayish white. You also can mix white with a little gray or black. Never use pure white because it will produce a popeyed look.


I applied a black dot at the center of the iris for the pupil.

I painted the top eyelash with German camo black brown. Always err toward the skin, versus the eyeball; it’s easier to touch up the flesh.




After mixing flat red and old rose, I applied a dot to the inside corner of each eye.

Using a moist brush, I drew the red along the bottom edge of the eye for realism.

Finally, I painted highlights on the whites of the eyes with a mix of ivory and pale flesh. Then I sealed them with PFM. FSM



Weathering a harried jump jet

Decals: The Sea Harrier’s markings came from the kit and were applied with help from DACO Decalsetting solutions. If a decal crossed a recessed panel line, Richard carefully cut the film and added more setting solution to settle it.

Disciplined approach for camouflage that’s anything but boring


arrier-based aircraft take a pounding from the elements, and Royal Navy Sea Harriers were no exception. Besieged by sea air and salt as well as the dirt and heat from the jet nozzles, the medium sea gray camouflage didn’t remain uniform for long. Richard Van Zandt reproduced those effects on Kinetic’s 1/48 scale FA2 with layers of pre- and post-shading followed by washes. He studied photos to nail down typical weathering patterns, paying attention to the places dirt and grime accumulated. He also noted how the airframe was maintained and in particular how touch-ups were applied. With photos, notes, and observations in hand, he had definite ideas of how the Harrier should look. He painted the FA2 with GSI Creos Mr. Color paints cut with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner for airbrushing. “If you do not use this product, the paint will dry as it’s being sprayed and you will get spider webs clinging to any sharp edge or corner,” he warns. The ratio of paint to thinner varied depending on coverage and the effect required. For full coverage, he uses 2 parts paint and 1 part thinner; for thin lines and seethrough effects, he uses equal parts paint and thinner. For general painting, he sprays at 15-20 psi, but he will adjust it to as low as 5 psi for thin paints. Richard’s preferred airbrush is a double-action Iwata HP-B connected to a compressor with a dual-stage regulator and inline water trap. He keeps the compressor in his garage for noise abatement, but the switch is indoors at his workbench. He typically shuns primer — none was used on the Sea Harrier — but will spray Alclad II Gray Primer & Microfiller on resin parts and plastic in some newer kits made in China which he has discovered repel Mr. Color. Richard began painting with black pre-shading. “Anytime you have a single color overall, you must do something to give the paint character or you are going to have a very boring paint job,” he says. Pre-shading provides a head start because it introduces variability to subsequent shades if the density is kept thin and random. Next came a base coat of medium sea gray. To further break up the finish, he sprayed selected panels with thin layers of darker and lighter grays and even white. A mist coat of medium sea gray blended the layers. After masking the nose, Richard airbrushed it dark sea gray; other panels were painted tans, black, or gray. FSM 18 FineScale Modeler February 2017

Exhaust stains: The rear swiveling exhaust nozzles darken the sides of Harriers. Richard airbrushed the stains with thin Tamiya smoke.

“On Les Aura” (We will have them) Motto of 801 Naval Air Squadron

Meet Richard Van Zandt RICHARD BUILT MODEL spacecraft when he was 10 and quickly gravitated toward aircraft that he hung from the ceiling of his room. High school and college brought other priorities, but he took up the

hobby again in his mid20s — about the same time he started flying, eventually making captain on regional airliners. “Being around real aircraft on a daily basis goes a lot toward my view on

Patchy colors: For added drama, Richard selected several panels and airbrushed thin coats of dark gull gray, dark ghost gray, or haze gray. A little thinned white depicted panel fading in a few spots.

Camouflage: Richard mixed equal parts thinner and medium sea gray and airbrushed the mix in thin layers over a mottled preshading. Rather than painting the entire model, he sprayed each panel individually, varying the direction and density of the spray pattern.

weathering of aircraft,” he says. “They come out of the paint barn clean, but they don’t stay that way long.” As a member of what he calls the rapidly graying generation of modelers, Richard regu-

Washes: Over several thin layers of Pledge FloorCare MultiSurface Finish, Mig Productions dark gray and brown washes emphasized panel lines and enhanced the pre-shading.

larly competes at local, regional, and national model shows. He’s the vice president of IPMS/ Memphis, near his Olive Branch, Miss., home, and a member of the online chapter, IPMS/Vagabonds.

Mottled pre-shading: In addition to spraying panel lines, Richard randomly applied dots and smudges of flat black to panels and surfaces. Thin applications of the camouflage show this color shift and break up the finish.

Richard modeled the last Sea Harrier built, giving it 801 Naval Air Squadron markings it wore at the end of its career in 2006. Clear coat: Testors Model Master Acryl clear flat thinned with isopropyl alcohol dulled the shine of the finish.


Setting the scene for a Corsair

Groundwork, weathering, and a palm tree put this plane in the South Pacific BY BILL PLUNK


hen people think of World War II Allied fighters, often the first that come to mind are the Mustang and the Spitfire. But, for me, the gull-winged Vought F4U Corsair is iconic. Perhaps it was watching all those reruns of Black Sheep Squadron, but it’s always held a special place in my heart. So, I decided to try to re-create that South Pacific Solomon Islands imagery with a Tamiya 1/48 scale F4U-1A Corsair (No. 61070) and some detail help with Eduard products ( photo-etch, or PE (No. 48381), and precut canopy masks for both the 1A and 1D (No. EX033). Breaking with the cockpit-first custom, I started on the Pratt & Whitney R2800 radial engine. All paints are Testors Model Master enamels except where otherwise noted. 20 FineScale Modeler February 2017


Aerial victory ratio of Corsairs vs. enemy aircraft in WWII – U.S. Navy

1 I hand-painted the cylinders with non-buffing Metalizer gunmetal followed by a light drybrushing of steel to bring out the detail. The ignition wires are Eduard PE.

4 Solvaset settled the kit’s instrument-panel decals into the raised gauges on the kit’s panel.

7 I airbrushed my custom yellow chromate as necessary, including the main gear bays and flap interiors.

10 The wings received oil coolers and main spars. After adding the insert behind the pilot seat bulkhead, careful sanding removed the slight join seam along the nose and dorsal areas.

2 I mixed a yellow chromate with RLM 04 gelb and medium field green to hand-brush inside the cowl and its flaps.

5 Details were hand-painted, with an emphasis on the side arms of the cockpit. I added Eduard seat harnesses to the pilot’s seat, completing the cockpit for installation.

8 Joining the fuselage halves, liquid glue and finger pressure were enough for the front half. Aft, I needed rubber bands and some small clamps on the tail.

11 I joined the outer wing halves, then built the full wing. I airbrushed more yellow chromate on exposed areas under the wing where deployed flaps reveal interior metal.

3 I installed only PE that would be plainly visible. I airbrushed interior green on the cockpit components, fuselage inner walls, and wing bottom (which includes the cockpit floor).

6 Eduard PE provided wiring and other details for the gear bays.

9 While the fuselage set, I glued and clamped the wing roots to ensure everything lined up.

12 I supplemented Eduard precut masks with blue painter’s tape and airbrushed interior green to show the inside color. Then I airbrushed dark sea blue for the exterior color.





I pre-shaded by airbrushing panel lines with flat black.

The three-color camouflage begins with the darkest color, dark sea blue, on the wings and upper fuselage.

I lightened the dark sea blue with light gray and airbrushed selected panels to create tonal variations; another pass with the original dark sea blue blends the shades.




I masked large areas of dark sea blue but left a little overlap to feather and soften edges. I airbrushed intermediate blue, removed the masks, and airbrushed gentle curves around the cockpit over small worms of poster putty.

A final round of masking and airbrushing flat white created the third color for the underside. I randomly sprayed light gray to vary the flat white sections.

With major paint work complete, I installed the engine module and the flaps. Wing lights were painted with Tamiya clear red, orange, and green.




I reworked kit parts for the tail wheel and hook to accept Eduard PE. Solid plastic was drilled out and shaped with a needle file to show the lightening holes.

On the main gear, I used PE to replace scissor joints and add brake lines and door-hinge springs.

I cleaned up the propeller, airbrushed it flat black, and hand-detailed the hub with intermediate blue. Careful masks and airbrushing gelb produced prop-tip markers.




I prepped for decals by airbrushing Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish (PFM). Solvaset sank the decals into panel lines and prevented silvering. A second coat of PFM sealed the decals.

Nothing says “South Pacific” like a PSP (piercedsteel planking) runway. I installed two sections of Eduard’s 1/48 scale styrene PSP (No. 8801), using a razor saw to angle them for visual interest.

I primed the PSP with flat black and followed with an airbrushed base coat of burnt umber. Randomly airbrushed rust and leather helped break things up, and burnt orange artist’s pastels deepened the look. The soil base was Woodland Scenics Mold-A-Scene plaster; I let it set for 24 hours.

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I sifted real dirt through fine vinyl mesh onto the plaster, applied Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement with a pipette, and added more sifted dirt to soak up the cement and bond with the plaster. A spare PzKpfw III wheel mounted on a toothpick created wheel ruts in the wet dirt.

I sawed three Tamiya 1/35 scale barrels down to a 1/48 scale height and weathered with washes of rust, leather, and gunmetal, along with burnt orange artist’s pastels. Drops of gunmetal were applied to the soil and allowed to soak in like real spills.

For a palm tree, I wrapped a dry stick of elm with .5mm solder wire covered by blue painter’s tape for bark. After a flat black primer coat, I airbrushed with a 1:1 mix of light gray and panzer dunkelgelb. Highlights were a 7:3 mix of Afrika grunbraun and light gray.




I cut up silk leaves from an artificial plant and, wearing an Optivisor and armed with a small pair of curved scissors, I made many small cuts to turn the leaves into fronds. I super glued wire to the fronds’ undersides and airbrushed them medium field green. I rooted each frond in a ball of 2-part Aves Apoxie Sculpt putty at the top, then super glued it. A wood pencil shaving formed the collar for a coconut.

Weathering matched the Corsair to its base. Starting on the sea blue sections, I applied a dot filter using small bits of light gray, intermediate blue, and the light gray/sea blue mix. I worked one panel at a time and used a square-tip blending brush dampened with thinner to blend and remove the dots, leaving behind the desired fading and tone variations.

Intermediate blue was also weathered, but with armor sand and a light gray dot filter. Flat white areas got a raw umber wash. Using a pointed 18/0 brush, I applied a pinwash of burnt umber to underside panel lines, correcting with clean thinner in a brush. I applied the pinwash topside, too, area by area.

Kit-supplied pilot

Dot-filter weathering

Eduard PSP

Homemade palm tree

Woodland Scenics groundwork Panzer road-wheel ruts Sawed-off Tamiya fuel drums

With a finishing coat of Testors lusterless flat and a radio aerial made from EZ Line fine black elastic thread, my Corsair was ready for action. FSM


Floating a Spitfire When life gives you a basic kit, you scratchbuild the details /// BY MAX OTTEN


lthough plenty has been written about the Spitfire, that did not mean creating a Spit with floats would be easy. With the various marks the Spitfire went through, and the fact that no floatplanes are still in existence, it is difficult to establish exactly what one looked like. However, we do have reference materials and photographs. So while I was expecting to add detail to Trumpeter’s 1/24 scale Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb Floatplane (No. 02404), I was not expecting the major surgery the model required. In the end, however, the detailed scratchbuilding showed through.

Detailing the firewall The kit’s firewall looked pretty barren. To add my own detail, I cut everything off, filled in the holes, and started anew. The bottom of the firewall connects to the wing support structure inside the fuselage, which I built from styrene and a sheet-metal cover plate. I made the bolts fixing the wings to the support from metal wire, which turned out to be a mistake because the excess hard material could not be removed without damaging the firewall. 24 FineScale Modeler February 2017

Fortunately, the excess is at the back. When putting in the wing-support structure I had to cut back the fuselage, which weakened it. I strengthened it by gluing plastic plates made from material I removed onto a place where it would not be visible: just behind the firewall and out of sight from the cockpit. The kit-supplied hydraulic-fluid tank’s shape looks accurate but is far too small. I sanded the front and back plates of sheet styrene to give it the required curvature.

Inside, styrene connects the two plates and sheet metal forms the rest. The remainder of the items on the firewall were made of disks and hexagons of different thicknesses of styrene, sprue, and metal wire, 1.

Scratchbuilding the engine I planned to have the engine exposed, with the top and side cowlings off. I thinned the edges of the top cowling, cleaned up the severe ejector markings, and hollowed out the reverse side of the top bulges. I put metal strips around the edge of the internal structure and glued 1mm styrene rods where the fasteners are located. I scribed missing fasteners on the outside at the front and back of the panel. With side cowlings made from brittle, transparent plastic, I thinned the edges as far down as I dared, 2.



The original firewall (left) and the end result (right). I recommend buying coarse and fine punchand-die sets. Much of the scratchbuilding would have been difficult or impossible without them.


The inside of the side cowlings: Fasteners are made of styrene rod, curving structures from copper wire, hinges for the oil-fill panel from sheet metal and metal rod, and the ribs by folding sheet-metal strips into a U.


To create the flaked paint on the bottom of the engine, I painted aluminum, covered it with salt, then painted black over that. Scratching off the salt exposed the aluminum underneath.

The engine and firewall mounted on the right-hand half of the fuselage. Note the reinforcing sprue and sheet styrene at the back of the firewall to keep it in position and strengthen the whole assembly.

I ran into lots of problems with the Scratchbuilding the missing coolant engine as each step generated more difficul- pipe took me several tries. The three-way ties. junction is made from pieces of sprue glued There was a ton of piping and wiring together, with holes drilled for the wire missing from the kit. The coolant header from the pipes. tank at top front has pins where a pipe I don’t know where Trumpeter got the should be connected, but no such pipe is reference for the engine top, but it doesn’t present in the kit. look like any Merlin I have seen. The head The front plate had ugly ejector marks covers are too wide and thick (though that that were difficult to fill. Other missing is easily corrected). But when placed on the details include the prominent suppressor on engine guiding pins they are too close the port side and several struts on the together, resulting in the cylinder V-angle engine mount. being off. The distance between the covers Even the oil tank is the wrong shape should be at least 13mm (as given, it is and doesn’t sit in the right place. 9mm, 10mm if you So, I did what any modeler sand away the sides). would do: I started modifying The best you can get on things. the kit without messing I threw out the kit’s oil with the shape underPounds the tank and scratchbuilt a new neath the covers is floats added to one inside the lower part of 12mm. So, I removed the the Spitfire’s the fuselage. The outside guiding pins and moved overall weight, structure, where the fusethe covers outward. lage plates under the nose The covers also miss the causing a are fixed against the oil Rolls-Royce lettering (at 40 mph speed tank, is made of sheet the very least there should reduction. metal and styrene rod. be a flat panel where the let-


ters once would have been). The number of bolts on the side of the covers is incorrect, so I removed what was there and replaced them with styrene rod, 3. There is a support bar underneath the top cowling over the centerline of the engine. On the kit, this support is too wide to be usable. In reality, it was removable anyway. So that’s what I did. I also removed a centerline support from the kit that runs over the coolant header tank (as that doesn’t exist in reality) as well as the supports coming up from the side toward the back. I left the front supports in place. The mount doesn’t have any guiding features at the bottom. I put in small blocks of sheet styrene with a hole drilled in the center, only partway through, where the lower struts would be bolted onto the wing support, 4.

Adding to the cockpit Overall, the cockpit doesn’t look too bad. However, the floor is totally wrong. The floor of a Spitfire cockpit is the bottom of the fuselage. The fuselage is a self-contained




Here is the finished instrument panel. The red lines are fuel lines — one at the back against the firewall, the other on the left for the drop tank. On the floor and the right-hand side you see the hydraulic lines for the undercarriage (not used on the floatplane, but they would still be there).



A real seat is made of Bakelite, which is an orange-brownish color. I mixed paints until the color matched reference pictures, then drystippled with yellow and red.

unit that continues between the wings. The wings are attached to the center section of the fuselage. Instead, most models, including this floatplane, use the top of the bottom wing or some spurious “floor.” I ended up throwing this away and made my own out of sheet metal with styrene strips. In hindsight, maybe this wasn’t the best choice. It was reasonably easy to bend into shape, but very difficult to get a good fit. The styrene strips running the length of the plane were difficult to put in with super glue and very hard to align. I scratchbuilt the I.F.F destruction buttons, including the two large switches on the right. The windscreen de-icing tank received more detail, such as the bolts on the circular front panel made from Archer Fine Transfers. I added the oxygen control valve, tubing, and oxygen hose. 26 FineScale Modeler February 2017

The right-hand side of the cockpit: Toward the right is the frame supporting the antenna mast base. I drilled a hole in it and inserted a metal rod, giving it a stiff support to make the mast less prone to misalignment or breakage.

Scratchbuilt details on the control column included the gun button (the one in the kit is for machine guns only and lacks the cannon-firing control), the brake lever at the back, and air pressure lines made of lead wire. The horizontal bar at the bottom is the radiator-flap control bar.

The instrument panel received a scratchbuilt main fuel-cock control, fuel-priming pump, and fuel-gauge selector. The fuel lines were made from lead wire. The real things have a spiral reinforcement that I approximated by rolling the wire underneath a sharp knife at regular intervals, creating circular grooves, 5. The throttle quadrant is fine except for the control wires. The trim controls are about 10% too large. However, they are nicely shaped and were difficult to scratchbuild, so I kept them, 6. The kit-supplied seat did not look accurate, so I created a new seat from sheet styrene using a blown-up picture from my Seafire III detailing kit. The seat belts came from Eduard; the buckle is also made of sheet styrene, 7. The seat-control lever was scratchbuilt

from sheet styrene and styrene rod. Reinforcements at the front of the seat were made from sheet metal with bolt heads from styrene rod. The foot pedals were too wide, so I cut them back. I replaced the tops with sheetmetal bands. They were mounted with the rudder fully deflected, which I would reflect in the positioning of the control surface, 8. The compass top was laser-printed and coated with Pledge FloorCare MultiSurface Finish (PFM) on both sides to keep glue from bleeding the picture, 9. I joined the fuselage halves with regular glue. Once finished, I added the floor sections to the cockpit. While there were fit problems gluing the wings to the fuselage, I solved them by sanding and applying super glue to the gaps. I painted both radiators with Testors



Everything is coming together here. All of my separate scratcbuilt pieces are in place except for the seat.



The bottoms of the floats are complete. Pre-shading was followed by a top coat of yellow.

Model Master Metalizer titanium, then highlighted the big radiator ridges with aluminum dry-brushing, 10.

Painting A tryout on an old surplus Spitfire wing showed that pre-shading was very effective in making color variations without having to worry about being very precise. I used my airbrush with its finest nozzle. Panel lines received more pre-shading, rivet lines less. I masked the tops and painted the float undersides, first pre-shading, then following with a top coat of yellow mixed with 50% mineral spirits, and then a coat of PFM, 11. To create the camouflage on top of the floats, I masked the bottom, pre-shaded the top, masked where the green would be, and applied the gray top coat. Next, I masked the gray areas and applied the green lightened 10% with white. The same procedure was repeated for

The big starboard radiator housing is fine, but lacks the actuator arm so that would later be scratchbuilt.

The underside of the model pre-shaded: The elevators and rudder were given an overall coat of the gray used for the pre-shading. Masking tape covers the parts where the floats will be attached.

the rest of the model, 12. The four canopy parts were coated with PFM diluted 50% with alcohol. The inside color was airbrushed first, then the outside color over that. The navigation lights were painted on the sprue with transparent Tamiya red, green, and orange; the back sides were painted aluminum. I added the decals farther aft than Trumpeter shows.

Final assembly I found the hood too wide for the fuselage, so I created runners from .5mm styrene rod and glued them on the inside. I noticed that the kit used the normal Spitfire tail-fin edge, while floatplanes had straight leading edges with an enlarged fin area. I made a new leading edge by building it up from pieces of styrene sheet, layer by layer. I started with 1mm for the center, making sure that fit. Next I glued .4mm sheets on either side, modified the whole

thing so it fit, and started tapering toward the top. I repeated this until I had a piece that fit well. I removed the paint from the old leading edge and put the new edge on, then sanded it all to shape. The reflector for the gunsight needs to be at a 45-degree angle, but if you put it up that way it doesn’t reach the supports. So, I sanded off a bit from the bottom part of the supports until it fit. For the upward-facing lens, I punched out a 3mm disk of transparent plastic, painted the underside aluminum, and glued it between the reflector supports. I then applied several drops of PFM until it had a clear, convex surface. I also dipped the gunsight reflector in PFM before super gluing it into position. The final steps consisted of gluing the cockpit door, pitot, and the radio aerial mast. Finally, after 850 hours, my Spitfire was afloat. FSM



then and now From Shep Paine to new-school finishing /// BY KARL LOGAN

Karl looked to chronicle the evolution of finishing techniques from the 1980s to today’s school of modeling art — all on one model so you can see it for yourself.


n summer 2015, the modeling world was saddened by the passing of renowned modeler, historian, artist, and author Sheperd “Shep” Paine, whose works inspired millions of modelers with innovative techniques and artistic methods. When Shep followed his seminal How to Build Dioramas (Kalmbach, 1980) with Modeling Tanks and Military Vehicles (Kalmbach, 1982), it was just in time for a 17-year-old aspiring modeler (me) to purchase it along with two or three 1/76 scale Matchbox minidioramas. I remember scouring the pages for hints, devouring the text, and being amazed by the photos of Paine’s work. There was nothing like it then, and that dog-eared, stained volume 28 FineScale Modeler February 2017

still occupies a place of honor in my research library. Back then, I would complete a kit every week or two. These days, a model takes me two months or more. A panoply of new modeling methods and products is partly to blame: pre-shading, post-shading, pinwashes, panel fading, color modulation, chipping, oil-dot filters, filtering, splattering, etc., all techniques that take practice and research to apply correctly. Reflecting on this, I thought it would be interesting to show those developments on one model. A “then and now” build could portray the progression from Shep’s methods to today’s “new school.” Instead of a contemporary “shake and bake” kit, I chose an older (1995) Tamiya

StuG IIIG Frühe (early) version (No. 35197), which still has many of the features that characterized 1980s armor models: open sponsons, “rubber-band” tracks, molded tool clasps, etc. This would allow me to show how an older tooling could be upgraded to modern standards.

In the beginning Hull and suspension assemblies were straightforward. I sanded the wheel edges, 1. New tires actually had a raised seam on them, but I wanted to show a vehicle in use. First “then/now” point: I applied Cavalier’s resin Zimmerit to the left side, making it the “now” side of the model, 2. I wouldn’t have done this back then. Next, I cut out a panel of plastic card to



New road wheels actually did have a seam in the middle. Karl sanded off the seams to show wear, smoothing the work with plastic cement.

Resin Zimmerit

Resin plates of Zimmerit — a relatively new way to model the patterned, nonmetallic paste applied to German armor to thwart magnetic and sticky bombs.

3 Using sheet styrene to block the view through an open hatch was something Karl would not have bothered with in the 1980s.

One-piece vinyl track


Masking tape



A drop of flux, a bit of solder, and a hot tip will firmly join these PE pieces.


5 “Rubber-band” one-piece vinyl track provides the measure for individual-link tracks.



Individual links

Karl lays out individual links and brushes them with Testors plastic cement.


The Testors cement remains tacky, allowing time to manipulate the track. Wads of tissue hold the proper sag.

On the “now” side, PE represents fine details such as tool brackets and skirt mounts. With this, the model is ready for primer.

The PE metal must be primed to take subsequent layers of paint. Schürzen plates are pierced with an awl to depict bullet holes.

block the open hull/fender areas visible through open hatches, but, again, only on the left side, 3. (As a youngster, I didn’t usually bother with this.) I finished construction with most of the stowed tools on the “then” side; I would use photo-etch (PE) to secure the tools on the “now” side. Speaking of now, a product I consider essential to soldering PE (rather than attaching it with super glue or epoxy) is Adam Wilder’s soldering flux. It flows like water and makes soldering PE easy. I soldered the side skirts’ mounting structures on the “now” side, 4. The PE skirts have the advantage of individual plates; the kit provides a one-piece molding. On the right track run, I would install the kit-supplied one-piece tracks (standard

for the ’80s). On the left, I would use Dragon individual-link tracks, the best affordable option for setting tracks with the necessary sag. I laid down the one-piece track to estimate the right length for my individuallink run, 5. Then, on a segment of masking tape with the sticky side up, I laid out the individual links, gluing them together with a liberal application of Testors liquid cement, 6; it has the best strength-to-drying time for this. Once the tracks are joined, but not yet stiff, you can pick up a length and wrap it around the wheels and suspension. I placed balled tissue between the track and fenders to create sag between the return rollers, 7. Only the inside wheels of the return rollers are glued on. Set the

model aside overnight to let the glue dry; then you can slide the track off the wheels to paint it separately. Mounts for the armor skirts (schürzen) would be glued on, but the plates would be left off until the model was painted. I punched the plates with an awl to simulate bullet holes as seen on many StuGs. After installing tools with PE clamps on the “now” side, the model was ready to paint, 8. All paints are Testors unless otherwise noted.

Painting Because of the PE metal, I primed the left (now) half of the model with acrylic gray primer, 9, and followed with a dark brown pre-shading, 10. The right half (“then” side) remained bare plastic, my earlier practice.





Pre-shading postdates Karl’s old painting procedures.

Chipping the road wheels with a hobby knife shows realistic wear.

On the left (now) side, pre-shading shows through the base color.




The contemporary technique leaves dark preshading at the edges of the skirt plates.

Masking protects the “then” side from postshaded highlights.

Custom-cut hand-held masks improve the aim of airbrushing for highlights.




Oil dots ready for blending. Don’t be scared …

… no, really, don’t be scared. A brush wet with thinner begins to blend the colors.

Keep thinner in the brush and drag the colors downward.

Likewise for the wheels: I used a hobby knife to chip and ding the rubber wheels on the left side to show wear, 11. The entire model was then given a base coat of unaltered dunkelgelb (dark yellow). Painting the port side, I left shadowy areas in creases and undersides (like fenders), 12. I simply painted the skirts dunkelgelb on the right side, but on the left side I left hints of the pre-shading at their edges, 13. The interior was painted white and weathered with a wash of raw umber artist’s oil. The next step was to highlight the left side. I carefully masked off the right side to shield it from this modern practice. Then,

using a mix of the base coat and white, I carefully airbrushed to highlight panels, 14. This step was repeated on the skirts and, to some extent, the wheels. Masks cut from index cards prevent overspray in certain areas, such as around the commander’s hatch, 15.

Lisa) and, working quickly, use the toothpicks to place small dots of each color in a random pattern on the model, 16. Wet a wide, soft brush with thinner and draw the dots downward; the thinner blends and combines the colors, 17, 18. Keep going until almost no color is left. You don’t want an obvious sheen of rainbow colors, only a subtle tint, 19. You can use the wet brush, already stained with the color mixture, to paint a thin layer on smaller areas. I did this on the model’s left side, being careful to restrict the color flow to that side only. On the “then” side, I gave the model a 1980s-style treatment of raw umber wash only, 20. Testors’ new Acrylic Wash would have rendered the same results, but this is the ’80s. Dig? Setting the hull aside to dry, I went to work on the tracks. On both sides, I air-

More weathering tips See Testors’ Scale Workshop on for Karl’s video on oil-dot weathering. 30 FineScale Modeler February 2017

Weathering Single-color vehicles can benefit from “oildot” weathering, a technique from the Spanish school of modeling that produces a subtle patina of varying, overlaid hues on the base color by blending a light wash of artist’s oils in vivid colors: red, white, yellow, and blue. The application looks scary, but there’s nothing to fear if you understand it. Squeeze small blobs of each oil color onto a palette and lay a toothpick next to each. Now wet the model with clear, odorless thinner (such as Turpenoid or Mona




The thin color coat lends depth and variety to monochromatic surfaces.

On the “then” side, old-school washes call out detail.

Tracks are tracks: Karl paints them the way he always has. Here, an orange wash provides a layer of corrosion.




Testors Acrylic Wash deepens details on this road wheel.

Karl applies Testors Acrylic Wash as a pinwash to pick out bolts, rivets, and recessed lines.

Dry-brushing still has its place in Karl’s weathering regimen. He mixes a lightened shade of the base colors to highlight raised details.




Airbrushing a dusty shade down low on the vehicle replicates accumulated road grime.

Karl crosses the chronology line to apply drybrushing to the contemporary finish, too.

Using a sponge as an applicator keeps paint chips looking random.

brushed the same dark brown pre-shade, then an orange-brown artist’s oil wash, 21. (I still paint tracks the same as ever.) The last step on the rubber-band tracks would be dry-brushing, first with a metallic gray and then silver for the highlights. On the indy-link side, I would perform the same steps but follow with additional weathering. I weathered the tools in similar fashion for the metal parts. For wood, I paint the part tan and then use combinations of rust and burnt umber to replicate wood grain before applying a light wash of raw umber artist’s oil. I used Testors’ new Acrylic Wash to weather the wheels, 22. This raw umber wash flows nicely into crevices and seams

like an oil wash. I also used it for pinwashes to call out details such as bolts, panel lines, hatch outlines, etc., 23. I still consider dry-brushing a valid technique. It’s somewhat passé in new weathering disciplines, but in the ’80s it was nearly mandatory for armor modelers. So, I dry-brushed a lightened shade of dunkelgelb in a heavy application reminiscent of years past, 24. I would repeat this on the “now” side, but more subtly and with the addition of metallic gray-brown to show wear and tear. Another weathering technique from Shep (still viable today) is to airbrush paint as a dust effect, 25. I used this simple technique on the “then” side, spraying a mist about halfway up the lower hull.

And more weathering The next application to the “now” side was chipping and scratching to distress the finish by replicating the various dings, scratches, and chips in paint on a battleworn vehicle. Some modelers feel this is an overstatement, but I think it’s an important visual cue with significant artistic value. Chipping can be done in one, two, or three dimensions. In 3-D, the chip appears as a penetration of the top base coat, then the primer coat and, finally, to bare metal. This is best effected by painting a lighter base-coat chip. Inside of that, paint a primer-colored chip; on most German armor, it will be red oxide. Finally, paint a metallic gray or rust brown to show the bare metal. Not every chip or scratch





The chipping color can be intensified by brush painting.

Testors Acrylic Wash works well for fuel and oil stains, too.

An old Verlinden technique of weathering with stippled paint requires no pigments for mud on the lower hull.




On the “now” side, mixing plaster into the paint makes it more like mud.

Spattered mud adds highway mileage to the weathering.

Don’t forget to treat the inside of the tracks, too, cautions Karl.




Dark colors and clear gloss add wet mud to the visual mix.

Rust is a must for battle-weary veteran vehicles.

Karl draws a red line in time: on the left, “now,” on the right, “then.”

should be so dramatic; some may be only superficial. Others should stop at the primer color. Varying the size and intensity of chips and scratches produces a morerealistic and artistically pleasing result. I like to begin chipping with a variation of dry-brushing. I load up a wide brush with a metallic gray and then, rather than

with broad strokes, I use the brush like a palette knife, dropping and dragging the side of the brush against the model, especially the edges of the superstructure and fender edges, 26. This concentrates the treatment on key areas rather than the more-random action of brush strokes. You can use a sponge or piece of foam to apply chipping. Cut a small, square piece of Shep Paine’s legacy packing foam and dip it in linen paint, then dab to make tiny, random chips, 27. Shep Paine did not live Larger chips were then painted in Shep Paine’s to complete his new and layered to varying degrees, 28. I ARMOR book on tank modeling, Modelers Guide gave heavier emphasis to the commandbut friends and associer’s hatch and the engine deck, where ates finished it for him. more traffic and wear would occur. Order Shep Paine’s Armor The tires were painted gray black, Modelers Guide at kalmweathered with a wash to give them a brownish rubber shade, then lightly dryproduct/book/12805. brushed with tan to model a layer of dust. With Contributing Editor

Jim DeRogatis

32 FineScale Modeler February 2017

On the “now” side, I used Testors Acrylic Wash to add rust and fuel/oil streaks, 29. Returning to the other side, I stippled burnt umber and dark earth paints to show dirt above the wheels and suspension and on the lower hull, something I learned as a novice inspired by Francois Verlinden’s paint-as-weathering technique, 30. Back on the “now” side, I mixed the same dark earth with plaster to make a grainy soup of mud I applied carefully between the links of the indy-link track run and along the suspension arms; when it dried, it looked like old mud caked in the suspension, 31. Then I spattered the suspension and wheels with dark tan and burnt umber, 32. You can do this with a stiff-bristled brush loaded with paint or even a mix of paint,

Dry-brushed highlights

PE brackets/mounts

Pinwashed bolts

Chipped paint

Individuallink tracks

Single-piece vinyl track

Resin Zimmerit

dirt, and plaster to depict dirt and mud To the left, weathering the old-time way; to the right, an accumulation of “new school” finishing techniques. Which is better? That’s up to you. thrown up on the vehicle. Either use your airbrush to blow gunk off the bristles or simply flick the bristles with a finger to randomly splash the model. However, prac- brush to apply Wilder metallic gray pigBefore adding the skirts, I used a combiments and add sheen on the track sides and nation of four different rust and earth coltice first to get a feel for it; different mixfaces. Only then did I tures and brushes can produce ors to add rust patches to the “now” panels, 35, showing one of the advantages of using mount the tracks on different patterns. separate skirts — I was able to omit some the model. A commonly neglected area plates to show off the weathered running of painting is the insides of Finishing touches gear. tracks. They should be propAt the last, I mixed clear I painted a red stripe down the middle erly weathered to show where StuG III Ausf G gloss, burnt umber, and to divide “then” and “now,” 36. One side is the wheels and sprockets more “traditional,” the other perhaps more dark tan to make a “wet” contact metal faces. This is produced from “radical” in modeling terms. mud I stippled and why I never paint tracks December 1942 Whatever side you choose, do so for brushed on the lower hull while they’re on the model. to March 1945, your own satisfaction. A hobby can devolve and suspension, 34. This I dry-brushed inside the five times more variation between flat and into mere drudgery-guided-by-dogma if tracks with metallic gray, glossy mud is often overyou lose the magic and courage it takes to then used a lighter applithan all looked; any vehicle in the be bold and creative. To me, Shep Paine’s cation of silver to pick previous field will have both. This is legacy is the inspiration to push my own out highlights and guide models why I never apply an overall boundaries. I hope this project inspires horns, 33. On the “now” combined. side, I used a makeup Dullcote flat finish. someone, somewhere, to do the same. FSM





BARRERAS, MONTEREY PARK, CALIFORNIA “This is my first time building a Navy bird and I had a blast!” says Anthony. “Accurate Miniatures did a fantastic job and was really ahead of its time,” he says of the 1/48 scale SBD-5 Dauntless kit.

34 FineScale Modeler February 2017

SCOTT WITHERS CANTON, MICHIGAN “U-82 Resurfacing” is the name of the spectacular display Scott built around Revell’s 1/72 scale Type VIIC U-boat. Diving deep, he incorporated Eduard photo-etch, Nautilus wood decking, EZ Line rigging, and .5mm wire lashing down the deck gun. The fine finish comprises Tamiya acrylic colors, AIM pigment, and AK Interactive streaking grime, dark wash for wood, light rust wash, and chipping fluid. “This was a real challenge and went way outside my comfort zone. I modeled my approach to the seascape on the methods of Chris Flodberg,” Scott says, referring to the April 2016 FineScale Modeler cover story.


GLENDALE, NEW YORK John armed Tamiya’s 1/35 scale ISU-152 with an Aber barrel, Eduard photo-etch, and Friulmodel tracks. During World War II, the Soviet selfpropelled gun was dubbed “Beast Killer” for its effectiveness against German armor such as the Panther, Tiger, Elefant, and Nashorn (rhinoceros). It was also used in artillery roles and as an assault gun, carrying its 152.4mm gun into the 1970s.




GEMERT, NORTH BRABANT, NETHERLANDS Working with plans developed from a paper model, Nico hammered out a 1/33 scale Grumman J2F-5 Duck in .5mm stainless steel. “I look at the forms and lines of planes, then think of how I can convert these shapes to the unruly steel,” he says. He turned, drilled, milled, and soldered brass for the engine. A lifelong modeler, Nico says, “I spent my first pocket money not buying sweets but aircraft kits!”


SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH There are choppers, and then there is what Rich built: “The organ donor bike for this custom build was a 1980 Tamiya 1/6 scale FLH Classic Harley-Davidson,” he says. 36 FineScale Modeler February 2017


ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA Dragon’s 1/35 scale kit was the starting point of this knocked-out Jagdtiger. “The biggest challenge was the interior,” Sean says. Bargainhunting online, he says, “I found a Verlinden King Tiger transmission in Malaysia, a bolt set in Japan, and a lot of used parts on eBay, including a Tamiya upper hull, a Verlinden photo-etch interior set, and a radio set from a Dragon StuG III.” Scratchbuilding and spare parts took him the rest of the way.



WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND Jeremy used pre-shading to delineate his Airfix 1/72 scale Folland Gnat, painted in the lemon yellow of the Yellowjacks, the Royal Air Force aerobatic team that preceded the Red Arrows. He gave it a gloss of Johnson’s Klear, known in the U.S. as Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish.

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 burn it all on a disc and mail it to FineScale Modeler, Reader Gallery, 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612. Be sure to tell us the kit manufacturer, model, scale, modifications, paint and finishes used, and reason for choosing the model, along with your name and address. We look forward to seeing your work! ◀ STEVE COOK

WEST ALLIS, WISCONSIN Steve made the executive decision to build Hasegawa’s 1/48 scale Gates Learjet. He says, “This is a nice kit to build because you can paint so many different schemes.”



NEWMARKET, ONTARIO, CANADA O Canada! Marcel pulled some Photoshop magic out of his hat to display a Hasegawa 1/72 scale CF-18 in a Royal Canadian Air Force 75th anniversary scheme.


COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA Building Tamiya’s 1/35 scale M1A2 Abrams, Tyler painted with Tamiya acrylics and finished with Mig pigments and washes. He usually sticks to World War II but decided to try his hand at something contemporary. “I will definitely be building another modern armor subject,” he says.


SANDPOINT, IDAHO The Ferrari 312T4 enjoyed a 5-year run from 19751980 before being passed by the 126C, Ferrari’s first turbocharged Formula 1 racer. Stephen painted Tamiya’s 1/12 scale 312T4 with Testors Model Master Italian red and applied IndyCal decals, “some of the best I’ve ever worked with,” he says.

38 FineScale Modeler February 2017


STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN After acquiring Academy’s 1/48 scale Hawker Hunter, Fredrik says, “When I got my hands on this secondhand kit I could not resist building a Rhodesian Air Force FGR.9” He added resin details from PJ Productions and photo-etch from Eduard, along with a few odds and ends he built himself. GSI Creos paints and MAV decals finished the fighter.



MURRYSVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA When James decided to do a Napoleonic figure, he thought, “What better than Napoleon himself?” He painted an Andrea Miniatures 90mm (1/18 scale) figure with Vallejo and Andrea Miniatures colors and added an eagle pried from a keychain made by AntikCostume, a French company. The base’s groundwork includes violets, “Napoleon’s favorite,” says James.

EAST STROUDSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA Manuel went big with Warriors’ 1/9 scale U.S. Army Ranger BAR Gunner at Normandy — June 6, 1944. He airbrushed and handpainted with Tamiya acrylics, made his own helmet, liner, and BAR straps for the resin figure, and gave it eyes from Archer Fine Transfers.




Panther killer Finishing a kitbashed M8 75mm HMC /// BY COOKIE SEWELL

When he decided to build an accurate 1/35 scale M8 75mm HMC, Cookie knew what he wanted — but he needed four kits and plenty of savvy to get there.


n Part 1 of this story ( January 2017 FSM), Cookie Sewell told you the incredible story of how an M8 75mm Howitzer Motor Carriage bagged a German Panther tank. To quickly recap: On Sept. 4, 1944, near Mons, Belgium, the U.S. Army 32nd Armor Regiment was guarding key road junctions west of town when it observed a Panther tank approaching, followed by a column of German foot soldiers. Fearful of being detected and destroyed by the tank, an M8 commander decided to take the first shot. He only managed to knock off the Panther’s right track, but when a crewman emerged from the tank’s More at Visit us to see Part 1 of this story as well as interior details and wartime shots of the M8 HMC in action. 40 FineScale Modeler February 2017

turret to inspect the damage, the M8 put a shell through the open hatch and blew the Panther to smithereens, sending the German soldiers in full flight. Many of them were captured, and the 32nd received a unit citation. Armed with references and a compelling story, Cookie modeled the Stuart-based vehicle — but it wasn’t quite that simple. In 1/35 scale, he combined: two Tamiya M8 HMCs (No. 35110); an AFV Club M5A1, late production (No. 35151); an AFV Club single-link T16 rubber track set (No. 35019); and a Tiger Model Designs resin kit of the M8’s ammunition trailer (No. 35300). Along the way, some surgery and scratchbuilding was required to correct the hull’s shape and dimensions. Obviously, the construction phase of the project was successful. And so was the painting: Here, Cookie tells how he finished this unlikely Panther killer.

1 I used Floquil gray primer (no longer available) to have a good, hard enamel base for subsequent acrylic paints. I gave it three days to dry, then painted the interior Tamiya flat white (XF-2).

3 Then internal components were painted and installed. I added magazine pouches, canteens, binoculars, a few other odd pouches and packs, and put two Thompson machine guns behind the drivers’ seats. Spreading some mud on the floor gave it a lived-in look.

5 Two months out from D-Day, this cross-country vehicle needed heavy weathering. I mixed Tamiya khaki (XF-49) and khaki drab (XF-51), thinned it a bit, and airbrushed the suspension and belly of both the M8 and trailer as well as the trailer’s wheels.

2 Army regulations required that open-topped vehicles have fighting compartments and turrets painted olive drab. This I did by masking the white, then airbrushing the floor Tamiya RAF dark green (XF-81).

4 Selecting from the Acrylicos Vallejo U.S. Army olive drab modulation set (No. 78.402), I used only the base, primary, and highlight colors. This is what the model looked like after the first two had been applied, as well as the suspension colors. I stuffed toilet paper in the open turret to prevent overspray.

6 The Vallejo highlight color brightened and defined the upper portions of both items.




For black parts, especially tires, I use flat black rather than a color such as tire gray; weathering leaves a premixed hue like that looking too light. I used two different colors on the canvas bundles, a different shade of dark green on the tool handles, and a different olive drab on the .50-caliber ammo can.

9 … but I misaligned the only star on the vehicle, the one that goes above the mantlet on the turret — plus I bumped the lower half of the star while the decal-setting agent was drying and ripped it in several places. Argh!

I coated the model with Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish (PFM), which protects the paint and improves flow for washes and weathering. It also provides a smooth bed for decals. After all that, you would think I’d have had better luck …



There was nothing else for it: I soaked the mantlet in brake fluid, which strips paint, decals, and most things short of cement that go bad.

After 24 hours the brake fluid had done its job. I repainted, waited, then coated with PFM and applied another decal section. I avoided having to soak the turret by touching up that part of the star with white paint.




The hardest part of the decals was the POM (processing for overseas movement) European theater marking on the front right fender. It took six tries, as it needs backgrounds and small sections of model railroad striping for the proper white/olive drab/white bands of the 32nd Armor Regiment and the unit ID number (also model railroad decals).

The rest of the markings came from the kit’s decals sheets, Archer Fine Transfers, and Pre-Size Model Specialties dry transfers aligned on Walthers clear decal paper and coated with Microscale Liquid Decal Film. I was not sure what the trailer identifier would be, so I used a common 3rd Armored Division number and added a T.

I weathered with AK Interactive brown wash, then Abteilung 502 oils, which can be layered or mixed with pigments or powders for texture. Dampen a swab with mineral spirits to correct the wash or remove excess. Knocking off a lower grille added mileage.

42 FineScale Modeler February 2017




After dry-brushing produced highlights on raised details, I applied a coat of Testors Dullcote. Powders and pigments from ModelMakerZ and Doc O’Brien’s imparted a dusty look and gave the machine gun a Parkerized finish. A coat of Floquil dust unified the various weathering effects.

A vehicle with a trailer virtually requires a display base to prevent damage to both. Plaques like this are available at craft stores. I sanded it down and gave it a light oak stain, then three coats of satin varnish, sanding between each coat. I designed the label on my computer and printed it on glossy photo paper.

I attached the build to the base with contact cement, but I thought it still needed something. A figure from Dragon’s U.S. Tank Crew, NW Europe 1944 (No. 6054) added life and scale.




M.V. Products lenses lit up the headlights.

I painted taillights and reflectors by placing a dot of white paint on them, then using Testors stoplight red metallic (No. 2724) to give them a proper glow.

I was hoping AFV Club would release a full kit of this some time ago. If such a kit is now released, you can thank me for bearing the curse of converters and scratchbuilders: “If you build it, the kit will come.” FSM

About the markings I had no photos of this specific M8 HMC. But after 30 years on the 3rd Armored Division (I was assigned to the G-2 section of 3AD in 1986), I had good references to replicate this forgotten warrior. The 3rd used a standardized scheme of assignment during World War II. Each regiment had nine companies from A to I, with three in each battalion (though the makeup varied, based on perceived mission). The rest of the regimental and divisional elements used the following letters: J, K, and L were for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd battalions, respectively; M was for the ordnance/mainte-

nance company; and R was for the reconnaissance company. (P was for division headquarters.) Many vehicles had names starting with their assigned letter (e.g. Staff Sgt. Lafayette Pool’s famous M4A1 In the Mood was I-34, 3-32 Armor). Numbering varied from the early days of one up per unit through more-organized ones that indicated the platoon and position of the vehicles. For the reconnaissance units, x1, x2, x3, and x4 were M8 armored cars; x5 was an M3A1 halftrack; and x6 was the M8 HMC. As this was 1st Platoon, the numbers would be R-11, R-12, R-13, R-14, R-15 and R-16.

The 32nd Armor Regiment split the numbers — originally to allow for a white star in between — and the 33rd Armor Regiment put them together but used a hyphen between numbers. The 32nd painted the numbers in yellow on the vehicle sides when they came ashore on D-Day. Driving across France, some units painted them out or got the new 1st Army black-and-olive drab camouflage with stars and numbers removed from the sides. All vehicles still sported one overhead white star for aerial recognition. Reconnaissance companies appear to have kept their initial mark-

ings. Registration numbers were all in the USA 4051xxx block, with weight classifications in yellow and black as either 15 or 16 tons (with trailer included). The vehicles were also marked with a D-Day shipping data block that provided size and weight to personnel loading transports bound for France. The last marking was the

POM (processing for overseas movement) European theater code of three colored lines and a number painted on the right front fender of the vehicle. While more of an administrative accounting number, most vehicles that were originally moved to France bore them through the rest of the war (replacement vehicles usually did not.)



EagleQuest 2016

In June 2016, Squadron hosted the 25th annual EagleQuest model contest and get-together in Grapevine, Texas. The event included seminars, warehouse shopping, and a peer-judged contest featuring 311 models across every genre from 116 entrants. FSM senior editor Aaron Skinner jetted to Dallas for the event and took these photos.

More photos Check out additional images from EagleQuest with information from the builders at OnlineExtras.


SONOMA, CALIFORNIA After adding seat belts and new gun barrels to Hasegawa’s 1/48 scale SBD, Thomas painted it with Tamiya acrylics to model an Atlantic Fleet Dauntless. Oil washes and pastels weather the antisubmarine aircraft that sits on a carrier-deck base made from basswood.


FRISCO, TEXAS Brad describes Tiger Models’ 1/35 scale AMX-10RCR as "a very cool French subject." He replaced the kit wheels with resin from Blast; the same company made the stowage. Over black primer, he painted the camouflage with Tamiya acrylics. Post-shading and oil washes weathered the finish.

44 FineScale Modeler February 2017


ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA Suspended on clear acrylic rods, rockets streak toward an unseen target. Derek crewed HobbyBoss’ 1/72 scale F4U-1 Corsair with a resin pilot, then decanted Tamiya spray-can colors to airbrush the tricolor camouflage.


HENDERSON, NEVADA Italeri’s 1/35 scale MTB Barchino makes for a target on a base that Bill says he bought “long, long ago.” He built the boat out of the box and finished it with Tamiya acrylics and oil washes.


WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS Airfix’s 1/144 scale BAC-111 represents a prototype of the British airliner; Reese reshaped the nose, relocated wing fences, and added landing lights to build a production version. Humbrol enamels finished it in Braniff International livery.




MAGNOLIA, TEXAS Maverick and Goose keep up foreign relations in an iconic scene from Top Gun. Richard re-created the moment in 1/72 scale with Testors’ Tomcat and Italeri’s MiG-28; both were built out of the box and painted with Testors Model Master acrylics.


HOUSTON, TEXAS Tom built AFV Club’s 1/35 scale SdKfz 263 out of the box and painted it with Tamiya acrylics cut with Tamiya lacquer thinner. Hairspray served as a release agent for the chipped desert camouflage. Panel-line washes, drybrushing, and steel-colored pigments finished the weathering.


CARROLLTON, TEXAS The model is out of the box, but the finish is out of this world! Marc sprayed Tamiya’s 1/24 scale Mercedes 300SL with Tamiya gray primer and lightly scuffed it with sandpaper. Then he sprayed a flat black base coat followed by five layers of Tamiya spray-can gloss black.

GIL GONSOULIN KENNER, LOUISIANA In his vignette, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!” Gil updated Jaws with the help of an Industria Mechanika flying craft and a Pegasus great white shark.


TUCSON, ARIZONA Jeff wrapped netting around the sniper rifle of Bandai’s 1/144 scale Zaku II. The camouflage was applied with Tamiya acrylics sprayed through a small square mask. Artist’s oil washes and pastels weathered the Gundam mecha, which sits on Celluclay groundwork with rocks and cactus from Jeff’s yard. FSM

EagleQuest XXVI Preparations are underway for the 2017 event, slated for June 16-17 at the Embassy Suites Dallas DFW Airport North. More info:


Living in a

Yellow Submarine Sky of blue, sea of green, and lots of styrene in between shine up AMT’s toylike reissue BY RANDY FORGO


ife may have been easy for the Beatles aboard the Yellow Submarine, but building a model of it was a challenge. MPC originally issued the kit in 1968 with kids in mind. AMT’s 1/25 scale reissue appears unchanged after almost 50 years. In addition to a two-piece hull, the kit features a three-wheel “roll & go” design, a hidden buoy, and an elastic propeller drive. Definitely fun, but not the look I was going for. Primarily a car modeler, I wanted to improve my skills by working with a new genre. Who would have thought that a windup toy based on an animated movie could teach you so much! I ended up discarding most of the gimmicky parts — including the hand crank used to propel the sub when submerged in water — and making extensive modifications to the hull. My focus was on creating a sub with striking colors and clean lines. 48 FineScale Modeler February 2017

1,200,000 Number of copies of Yellow Submarine sold within four weeks of the song’s U.S. release on August 5, 1966.



In the town where I was born, lived a modeler who sailed to sea. However, this modeler only had the box art and an old cassette as research material. With the help of the Internet, I confirmed the cassette cover art was the more accurate choice as far as color scheme was concerned.

3 Numerous molded-on pins and holes helped with the hull alignment, but they were removed from the bilge to make room for a thin strip of styrene used as backfill to help bridge the 3mm gap that ran along the length.

6 The periscope mounting panel (also indicated as a recessed cover for a buoy in the kit instructions) was supposed to fit between two molded grooves in the periscope tower, as pictured. Instead, I ground away at the grooves to bring the panel flush with the top of the tower.

4 Gluing the hull was a complex procedure requiring a large vice, rubber bands, and numerous clamps to align the long seam between the halves.

7 After much sanding, the flush-mounted periscope panel creates a smoother, more streamlined appearance.

A test-fit of the two-piece hull with the “roll & go” wheels clearly showed where most of the filing, filling, and sanding would take place to smooth the hull.

5 I glued a second length of thin styrene on the outer side of the gap. After filing and sanding, the panel lines were carefully rescribed using the back of a No. 11 hobby knife.

8 I filled mold-release holes on the rudder and removed the top and bottom hinge pins. I used a pin vise to drill a hole through the rudder and inserted a length of tubing. A small metal axle would be added in final assembly for a hinge.





I filled holes for the orginal screws using scrapstyrene rods that were filed and sanded smooth. The hole in the bow intended for the elastic propeller windup crank was also filled with styrene.

Once complete, the model would hang from a small chrome display stand. I drilled a hole into the periscope tower and would thread fine gauge fishing line through after the model was painted, but before the painted character panels were added.

After the final filling, sanding, and priming, the hull received white primer coated with Testors clear gloss. Each color on the hull was wetsanded to a glossy finish.




Extensive masking was needed to achieve a clean three-tone finish. The paint scheme didn’t follow existing panel lines, so careful masking was required. Humbrol gloss yellow (69) was airbrushed for the darker shade and then mixed with Humbrol gloss white to create a paler yellow.

Admittedly, painting isn’t my strongest skill. So, instead of attempting to paint the dominant red hull stripe with another tricky masking job, I opted to use automotive pinstriping. The result is a clean, straight, smooth finish.

Ready to do final assembly, I threaded fishing line down through the periscope tower and out one of the hatch openings. A small washer was tied to the end to keep the line from slipping back out the periscope hole.

15 The fishing line goes unnoticed when looking at the periscope tower. I predrilled holes for the rudder hinge before painting and installed the rudder afterward. After final assembly, minor filling, sanding, and painting concealed the hole in the tail. And our friends are all aboard! The port side hatch opens to reveal Chief Blue Meanie, and the starboard-side hatch houses Captain Fred. With that, the Yellow Submarine was finished. So we sailed into the sun! FSM 50 FineScale Modeler February 2017

READER TIPS By Mark Savage





Creating an aotake finish is easy Japanese aircraft from the World War II era had wheel bays finished in an anti-corrosion paint known as aotake, a bright metallic blue that creates quite a dramatic effect. Here is a simple way to reproduce the notable Japanese finish. UV light quickly dries plastic I love to build armor — tanks, halftracks, and so on. I’ve found that some kits do not offer clear parts for headlamp covers, running lights, or mirrors. I’ve tried many products, including epoxy, but all either yellow over time or just don’t look right. Enter Bondic liquid plastic weld, a clear HAVE A TIP OR TECHNIQUE TO SHARE? Send a brief description along with a photo to [email protected] or visit FineScale. com and click on “Contact Us.” Tips are paid for upon publication; if you live in the U.S., we’ll need your Social Security number to pay you. FSM obtains all publication rights (including electronic rights) to the text and images upon payment.

First make sure you have masked the wheel bay area completely, 1. Second, airbrush a coat of a very shiny color in the wheel bays. I like to use chrome silver, 2. Third, airbrush a light coat of Tamiya clear blue, 3. plastic that dries in four seconds using UV light. This product is amazing for modeling! I can paint the inside of a headlight and then put a dab of Bondic on it, manipulate the Bondic with the applicator and then zap it with the light (all included in a Bondic kit). It does not hurt the paint job (acrylic or enamel), will stay put, and will not yellow! I’ve used it to make windshields for armored vehicles using a mold made from Silly Putty, repaired a canopy on a 1/24 scale F-14 Tomcat, added beautiful running lights on a Marine version Stallion and revitalized a cockpit on an F-15 Eagle, making “glass” over each gauge on the control panel. You also can fill gaps, make rivets, and easily secure wires for landing gear, chains, and ropes.

It’s that easy. You have now reproduced the aotake finish in your aircraft’s wheel bay, 4. – Pablo Bauleo Fort Collins, Colo.

It’s sandable, paintable, and easy to work with. I recommend it! – Jason Boulger Pownal, Vt.

Mind those oars For new modelers like me, pay attention to the length of the oars when building a Viking longship. They are different lengths! I found out the hard way. – Davil Campbell Mechanic Falls, Maine

Cheap paint palettes I keep a stack of 3" x 5" index cards handy to use as disposable palettes for putty, glue, or small paint jobs. They’re inexpensive. – Bill Hardie Jacksonville, Fla.


WORKBENCH REVIEWS FSM experts build and evaluate new kits

Merit’s big carrier fit for a king


est known for its part in sinking the Bismarck in May 1941, HMS Ark Royal saw almost continuous action from the beginning of hostilities in September 1939 until its sinking in November 1941. The first purpose-built aircraft carrier — those before had been converted from other classes — Ark Royal boasted large hangars, a hurricane bow, a rounded-down stern to reduce turbulence for landing aircraft, and double the antiaircraft armament carried by contemprary Allied carriers. Merit’s kit is finely molded in gray plastic with just a few areas of flash and nice detail throughout, including eyebrow gutters above the portholes. The air wing comprises five Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers, four Fairey Fulmar fighters, and four Blackburn Skua dive-bombers. All are molded in gray plastic with good detail; the biplane Swordfish are kits themselves with 15 parts, including photo-etched (PE) struts and rigging, but there’s no provision to fold the wings. Decals provide aircraft roundels and the ship’s flight-deck stripes.

More at Subscribers can check out more photos of FSM review models: Go to 52 FineScale Modeler February 2017

The 16-page, 37-step instructions are OK, but PE bending and placement guidance is vague, especially for parts around the edge of the deck, such as the antenna mounts. I recommend starting with Step 14 and joining the hull halves and internal braces. Some of the brace mounts are obscured by the recessed sections installed in steps 1-13; there’s plenty of room to add those assemblies after the hull is together. Step 14 also requires the installation of a PE railing around the fantail, but that interferes with installation of the angled supports (parts E9, E10, and E11) in Step 16. I suggest adding the supports first, then sectioning the railing between them. In Step 20, hold off installing the life rafts until the last of the eight deck-edge antennas are mounted in Step 28; the support braces will get in the way of the rafts. Flash mars all of those plastic braces that must be removed to fit the nice PE antennas and platform details. The drawings for bending the details in steps 24-26 are incorrect, so examine drawings of the finished assemblies to get them right. A word of caution: The detailed two-part PE safety rail at the stern is handed. The port side is curved, versus starboard, which is straight. Bend the fragile upper rails carefully to conform to the platform below.

Step 30 adds the nicely rendered PE wind fence to the flight deck and completes the hull. The island went together quickly, and the fit of the railing to it and the mast make for a relaxed build. The two-part PE frame for the funnel fit perfectly. All of the aircraft are great, but the highlight is the Swordfish biplanes. Minor flashing mars the biplanes’ tail wheels and windshields, but they include forwardraked struts for the main landing gear, torpedoes, and PE wing struts. I checked the model against drawings and it appears to be accurate. However, the kit lists the kit as 1939 yet includes some items added in 1940. To build an accurate 1939 Ark Royal, omit the degaussing cable molded on the hull, the crash barrier, and the Fairey Fulmar fighters. Research also revealed that the Type 285 Yagi radar antennas added to the Mk.V HACS directors in Step 22 were never fitted to the carrier. The only kit parts I would replace are the pom-pom directors (D14), which look like lollipop searchlights rather than the optical Mk.III units fitted on Ark Royal. This was a fun build with a few challenges. With excellent PE features to build and enhance, it would provide a full season of modeling entertainment. – Mark Karolus

Kit: No. 65307 Scale: 1/350 Mfg: Merit International, Price: $179.98 Comments: Injection-molded, 547 parts (92 PE), decals Pros: Excellent PE and aircraft; beautifully molded anti-aircraft guns Cons: Poor pom-pom directors resemble lollipop searchlights



Academy F/A-18F Super Hornet


he latest in Academy’s new line of press-fit kits, the two-seat Super Hornet combines superior detail and ease of assembly. The kit is labeled MCP for Multi Color Parts; the main assemblies are gray; tires, seats, afterburners, and extra vertical stabilizers are black; and landing-gear struts, maingear bay, and intake interiors are white. A once-piece clear canopy is included. The easy-build, no-paint theme continues to a sheet of self-adhesive markings.

Kit: No. 12535 Scale: 1/72 Mfg: Academy, Price: $35 Comments: Injection-molded, 94 parts, decals and stickers Pros: Excellent surface detail; good cockpit; fine fit even without glue; easy to build Cons: Stiff decals; flat intake lips; no choice for open canopy

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For experienced builders, a comprehensive waterslide decal sheet with markings for two VFA-103 Jolly Rogers jets is included. Surface detail comprises fine, shallow recessed panel lines and fasteners. The largest part incorporates the upper fuselage from just aft of the radome to where the exhaust nozzles are attached and includes the top of the wings. To this you simply press fit the bottom wing surfaces and the lower fuselage while trapping the horizontal stabilizers (molded as a single part), intakes, and main landing gear bay. The nose gear bay is molded into the fuselage. The cockpit tub with two-piece ejection seats (no harness detail, though), sticks, and instrument panels slips into the upper fuselage. All that’s left of the airframe then are the nose and vertical stabilizers. Excellent describes the fit throughout. Everything presses together — not so much a snap-fit as a squeeze-fit — and glue isn’t needed. If you are fussy about visible seams, careful application of liquid cement and an extra squeeze will clean up most of them. The only noticeable gaps were at the rear of the bottom forward fuselage and where the nose attaches to the forward fuselage. I used glue to reinforce the attachment of the landing gear and secure the Sidewinders to the wingtip rails.

I was impressed by the molding of the underwing stores. The kit provides a pair of 500-pound JDAMs, two AIM-120 AMRAAMs, four AIM-9X Sidewinders, and three drop tanks. Academy nails the toed-out alignment of the pylons. I was disappointed by the flat edges of the intake lips, the lack of an option to pose the canopy open, and the decals. The last are thin but stiff and resist most decal solvents. The kit includes decals for the black around the canopy, including the framing. After applying them, I blasted them with a hairdryer on hot to shrink them to the surface. This worked, albeit not as well as solvents would on thinner decals. I painted my model with Testors Model Master enamels sealed with Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish for decals. Testors Model Master Acryl clear flat finished the job. I spent 26 hours on my Super Bug, much of it holding a hairdryer. An unused upper fuselage section indicates a singleseat E is coming. There’s no single-seat canopy is in this kit, however. Beginners can slam ... er ... squeeze this one out in a couple of hours if they use the stickers and don’t paint the model. Experienced modelers will reshape the intakes, add harnesses to the seats, maybe open the canopy, and find other decals. – Paul Boyer

Zvezda T-35


vezda’s new T-35 kit captures the imposing bulk of the only widely produced five-turreted tank perfectly. The large box is filled with huge sprues; if your workspace is on the smaller side you’ll need to find a larger place to build. The dark green plastic parts feature crisp details, no flash, and slidemolded gun barrels. The only part I had any problem with was the wraparound antenna; it was brittle and the part was broken in my sample. Thoughtful part breakdown and good fits made this behemoth a joy to build. On many kits, assemblies such as turret halves would normally require filler to eliminate seams. Zvezda’s turrets fit so well that light sanding made joins disappear. Weld beads, rivets, and bolts are crisp and clearly defined. I encountered only two areas that required modification for fit. In Step 10, remove the three center rivets from Part D24 so Part B58 fits properly. Second, the lower run (B1) on the linkand-length tracks appears to be one link

too long. I trimmed one link from the end that mates with Part B14. Unlike the majority of tank models, construction of the T-35 began with the upper hull and turrets. All of the turrets have some interior detail. The smallest have gun breeches; the main turret has a full basket with seats, controls, and the breech for the 76mm cannon. The fit of the turret roofs is snug without glue, so I left one of each loose to display the inside. Small clips added in Step 10 hold the turrets in their races, but I left them off for painting. Weld lines and fine rivets mark the tub for the lower hull. The running gear needed little cleanup and went together smoothly. It’s a shame that the side skirts cover up so many lovely details, such as the mud chutes and springs. I could not find any photos of a T-35 with missing skirts, but I left a section off to display some of the suspension. In addition to a straightforward build, painting and weathering proceeded smoothly. I left the skirts off to paint the

Kit: No. 3667 Scale: 1/35 Mfg: Zvezda, Price: $49.99 Comments: Injection-molded, 493 parts, string, decals Pros: Perfect fits; a ton of details; fine moldings Cons: No interior beyond the main turret; brittle antenna

suspension, then attached them for consistent weathering. If you enjoy Soviet and Russian armor or want something different in your collection, this large kit is a must. The finished model is an impressive 11" long and about 4" tall, but it’s the small details that demand a closer look. The only thing I would add is a figure to illustrate the scale of this beast. – Chris Cortez



Takom Type 69-II


ith the loss of Soviet support after the Sino-Soviet split, China developed its own arms industry. The Type 69 was that industry’s first main battle tank. Based on the T-54, it incorporated parts copied from a T-62 captured during a border conflict in 1969. Some Western technology was introduced in the 1980s, and more than 2,000 Type 69 were exported. Takom’s kit represents a Type 69-II in Iraqi service. Fine detail marks the gray plastic. Features include individual track links separated from the sprues, clear headlight lenses and periscopes, and two photoetched (PE) frets. A nice touch is the

Kit: 2054 Scale: 1/35 Mfg: Takom, Price: $54.95 Comments: Injectionmolded, 696 parts (63 PE, 3 vinyl), wire, decals Pros: Clear headlights and periscopes; fuel lines for external tanks; wire tow cable, separate fenders Cons: Heavy detail on the tires; tricky PE light guards

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inclusion of actual twisted wire for the tow cables. Decals provide markings for six vehicles: four Iraqi, one Iranian, and one Thai. Fiveview diagrams clearly show the camouflage and markings with Ammo of Mig Jimenez color references. No detail-painting instructions are given. The assembly diagrams are good, but a couple of times I had to search other views to confirm part placement. Assembly starts with the lower hull. Unfortunately, the initial release of the kit provides an incorrect lower hull. If the front plate (V2) has clipped rear corners, you have the wrong parts. It should be square, as should the first suspension points. Takom has corrected parts available; check with your retailer or contact the distributor for your region. You must choose whether to build the regular or command version when adding the rear plate in Step 8. Takom provides separate wheels and tires. The real tires come out of a complex mold that leaves distinctive raised lines. These are a little overstated on the kit parts, but light sanding will mitigate the effect. You may think masking won’t be necessary because the parts are separate, but the outer wheel rim is faintly molded on the tires. The track links have two slightly raised ejector-pin marks on the flat surface that can be removed with a couple of swipes of a file. The instructions call for 92 links per side, but I used 86 for a perfect fit. Happily, the separate fenders make

installing the tracks after painting easy. I built both fenders off the model except for the rear fender braces (TP19, TP18, L6). Takom supplies pipes for the external fuel tanks, a welcome addition. The PE headlight covers show an excellent tread pattern, but you need some chops to bend them. It’s a shame Takom didn’t offer a plastic alternative for those who fear the brass. Turret assembly went smoothly, but I had minor issues issue fitting the bottom plate until I realized I was using the wrong one. It pays to check those part numbers. The nicely molded turret stowage baskets fit well, but folding the PE sensor cover (TPa-7) was challenging. The molded vinyl mantlet dust cover looks great, but I had issues attaching the laser rangefinder to it; no matter what I did, it wanted to point down, not level. The two-piece gun barrel fit well, only needing a few dabs of filler where I was a little heavy-handed removing the sprue attachments. I painted my Type 69-II using Tamiya paints, then applied decals over clear gloss. They laid down with a touch of Microscale decal solutions. After weathering the tank I added the wheels and tracks, then installed the fenders and tow cables. I spent 26 hours on my Type 69, and the model matches perfectly the dimensions I found on I was impressed with the model; it shows good detail and offered just enough challenge to keep it interesting. – John Plzak

Eduard Spitfire Mk.IXc (late)


eginning life as the Royal Air Force’s stopgap fighter to engage the Fw 190, the Spitfire “Nine” with its Merlin 61 engine became Britain’s most-used fighter in Europe. Now it’s the subject of another super release from Eduard. Comprising beautifully-engraved plastic parts, a fret of pre-colored photo-etch (PE) details, and a 17-piece mask set, this is one gorgeous kit. Options include: open or closed canopy, posable ailerons, narrow- and broad-chord rudders, large and small belly tanks, a choice of stores, and six marking options. The instructions include four-view color painting and marking illustrations plus a separate page for stencil placement. With PE parts, the cockpit looks great when built up. The fit is terrific. I used just a little filler on the lower cowling. Once all of the cowl parts are glued together, sand the nose flat to give the propeller back plate a flush mating surface.There’s no internal retaining grommet on the prop shaft, which will

make it easy to get the prop to sit close to the body. Thinking a natural-metal finish would show off the model’s beautiful surface detail, I built the Spitfire from No. 601 Squadron. Optional red or black code letters are included for this bird, and extra decals for some of the smaller stencils are supplied as well. The decals were perfect, period, and settled perfectly into all of the surface engraving, including the rivets. I omitted the optional belly tank. Latemodel Mk.IXs had increased internal fuel capacity, and I preferred the sleek lines of a clean aircraft. You’ll have a bunch of leftover parts for the spares box after building this kit, including wingtips, stabilizers, gear, and stores, because parts are included for at least two more forthcoming Spitfire variants from Eduard. I spent 22 hours building the Spitfire, on par for a single-engine fighter with PE. I would’ve liked a drawing showing the correct angles for the main gear struts, but

Kit: No. 70121 Scale: 1/72 Mfg: Eduard, Price: $24.95 Comments: Injection-molded, 210 parts (29 PE), decals, masks Pros: Excellent fit; beautiful recessed detail; terrific decals Cons: None

that’s a personal preference and I won’t fault the kit for it. In fact, this is the first FSM review in which I can honestly say I had no complaints. (By my count, that’s one out of 52!) I’d highly recommend this kit to modelers of all skill levels able to handle small plastic and PE parts. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly why this model pleases my sense of proportion so much, but Eduard successfully captured the curves, contours, and sit of the Mark IXc. –Walt Fink



Special Hobby Mirage F.1CE/CH


ay what you will, but I think modern French fighters are sexy — and Dassault’s Mirage F.1 is no exception. It is a sleek machine with clean lines that ooze high performance. Special Hobby captures that look in 1/72 scale nicely. I built the F.1CE/CH; the suffixes designate export versions for Spain and Morocco, respectively. Exquisite surface detail marks the parts, quality that extends to wheel wells, doors and the cockpit. These are the best mold-

ings I’ve seen in any Special Hobby kit. The excellent engineering makes for a straightforward build. I stuck with the instruction’s assembly sequence, but left off pitot tubes, canopy, and exhaust for painting. The exception was the nose pitot molded integrally with the radome; it’s begging to be knocked off or bent during construction. I suggest removing it cleanly before it breaks and reattaching it later. I used a little filler to eliminate seams on the airframe, but a couple of areas need more

work. Styrene shims between the intakes and fuselage smoothed the contours, and I trimmed the vertical stabilizer tabs to clear the interior exhaust bulkhead (Part 42). The horizontal stabilizers should be parallel to the ground, but because of the fuselage curve they have anhedral. Trim the posts or open the holes in the fuselage to correct the angle. Finally, check the lower wing sections. If the ends near the fuselage aren’t flush with the upper halves, the wings won’t fit into the fuselage.

Revell Germany Embraer 195


he Brazilian-built Embraer 195 regional jet can carry more than 100 passengers. More than 150 are in service around the world. Molded in white plastic, Revell’s beautifully molded ERJ has fine recesssed panel lines. The thin trailing edges on the wings and stabilizers impressed me, especially the delicate shark-fin winglets incorporated with the upper wings. Typical of Revell Germany airliners, the fuselage windows are open but no clear 58 FineScale Modeler February 2017

inserts are provided. It’s up to you to apply decal windows or use Microscale Kristal Klear or another window maker. The GE CF34 engines comprise eight parts. I appreciate that the front of each engine is a single part; no pesky seams. Position of the landing gear is the only option, but no stand is provided to pose the plane in the air. Some parts show minor flash, and all six flap fairings have sink marks that require filler.

Revell Germany has improved its instructions, with color assembly drawings on glossy paper making part placement, color callouts, and decal location easy to read. Way to go, Revell Germany! Designed by DACO and printed in Italy, the decals provide markings for a bird from Italian carrier Air Dolomiti. The model went together without problems or filler. Be careful handling the fuselage to avoid breaking the delicate molded-on antennas.

Kit: No. SH72289 Scale: 1/72 Mfg: Special Hobby, Price: $22.99 Comments: Injection-molded, 169 parts (7 resin), decals Pros: Outstanding surface detail; wide range of external stores; excellent decals Cons: Some fit problems

The clear parts are excellent, but some small parts had minor fit issues. The beautifully printed decals went on without problems. Special Hobby’s Mirage features good detail, decals, accuracy, and external stores. It’s a straightforward build, but I recommend having a few kits under your belt because of the small parts. I enjoyed my 29 hours making this model so much, I purchased Special Hobby’s two-seat F.1B/BE! – Phil Pignataro

Kit: No 04884 Scale: 1/144 Mfg: Revell Germany, Price: $12.95 Comments: Injectionmolded, 55 parts, decals Pros: Terrific decals, fits, and engines; great new instructions Cons: Minor flash and sinkholes; delicate antennas molded in place

I left off the stabilizers and wings for painting. After a coat of Tamiya white primer, I sprayed the body with GSI Creos Mr. Super Clear gloss. The decals performed perfectly, but I used a little setting solution to settle the one-piece tail marking over the rudder hinge. Thanks to the great fit and excellent decals, I enjoyed building Revell Germany’s Embraer. It makes a colorful addition to my growing fleet. – Jon Hergenrother

Grand Models T-6A Texan II


xperiencing déjà vu? If you read my review of the Isracast T-6A (October 2016 FSM), you might have that feeling. But no, despite being the same subject, scale, and medium, Grand Models T-6 is not Isracast’s kit. The parts breakdown is similar: onepiece fuselage and one-piece wing. Differences are: metal weight cast into the nose that keeps the nose wheel grounded, and separate ailerons, rudder, and elevator. The well-detailed resin parts have minor flash on most mold-parting lines. The pour stubs on some of the small parts are equally small, so it’s difficult to determine what to remove. The cockpit interior features excellent ejection seats, and instrument panels molded with their coamings. Photo-etch and decals detail the panels. The coamings are different, but the instructions are vague about which one goes in the front and which goes in the rear. The one with the more rounded shape goes in front. This is one example of the unclear instructions. In addition, no part numbers are given on the instructions or the PE fret. The PE parts are tinted orange in the diagrams and most are shown in place. Tiny parts, such as blade antennas, oleo scissors, and pitot tubes, are barely visible in the drawings and easy to miss. The instructions show how to make lights for the wingtips by heating clear plastic sprue (not provided) and pressing it through a hole in the PE fret. Cool idea, but then where do they go? Nav lights on the T-6 make up the front corner of the wingtip, not an easy shape to fashion. The instructions also show a front view with locations for six underwing pylons and the ordnance that can be carried on each. But the kit comes with only four pylons and just a pair of drop tanks and gun pods for the armed variants.

The vacuum-formed canopy fits pretty well. Once the canopy was in place and the separate fin/rudder assembly attached to the fuselage, I could see subtle but noticeable differences in overall shape and size of the profile contours versus the Isracast kit. Comparing them with a profile photo of an full-size T-6A made it clear that Grand Models got the sizes and shapes right; Isracast’s shapes are lower and more streamlined. The nose gear strut with reinforcing wire has a correct nose wheel and small fender. Decals provide markings for two Greek T-6s, and one each for U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Israeli, Moroccan, Iraqi, and Mexican planes. Well-printed, the decals went on without problems. I spent 23 hours on this model, most of it painting, decaling, and carefully fitting the canopy. Grand Models captures the shapes of the Texan II. – Paul Boyer

Kit: No. GM-72001 Scale: 1/72 Mfg: Grand Models, Price: $38.75 Comments: Cast resin, 71 parts (26 PE, 1 vacuum-formed), decals, reference CD with photos of actual aircraft Pros: One-piece fuselage and one-piece wing simplify assembly; good photoetched parts, good decal sheet Cons: Vague assembly instructions





rom a box crammed with parts, Meng’s Abrams allows you to build one of two versions of the up-armored M1A2 — TUSK I, with extra protection for the hull and hatches, or TUSK II, with more protection for the hull, some for the turret, and added equipment topside. Features include working tracks and suspension, posable hatches, optional stowage, clear vision blocks, lights, and optics,

Kit: No. TS-026 Scale: 1/35 Manufacturer: Meng, Price: $88.99 Comments: Injection molded, 1,647 parts (22 PE, 22 vinyl), decals Pros: A ton of details and options; track assembly jigs; two versions Cons: Fit problems; twopiece barrel; multi-part track links

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and markings for four American tanks in Iraq. The suspension’s working torsion bars installed easily, but the plastic lacks strength and some of the arms were weak. The working suspensions is a nice idea, but it’s not really necessary for a static model. I painted the hull and running gear before moving on. The fit of the upper hull (B1) is imperfect, with an overhang at the bow that I sanded flush. (A fellow modeler encountered the same mismatch.) I also ran into problems fitting the rear hull subassemblies, and the photo-etched grilles were bowed and required flattening to fit the engine vents. Meng provides a jig to assemble the multipart working tracks. I appreciated the assembly system, which leaves the track pins and guide teeth on the sprue as they are attached to the track pads. It means far fewer small parts to clip and align, making a tedious task go a whole lot smoother. Optional fender skirts account for different versions. The skirts assemble from multiple parts and don’t fit flush; I removed the locators from the back side to fix the problem. The turret is broken into subassemblies, including a gun barrel molded in halves. Careful gluing and sanding cleaned up the

seam on this essential part. The .50-caliber machine gun ring gets sandwiched between the upper and lower halves of the commander’s cupola; careful gluing allows it to turn. I liked the optional smoke grenades for the turret launchers — it looks like the kit provides L8A3 and M82 grenades — but I left them empty. I wish the covers often seen in photos had been included. Vision blocks for the commander’s cupola are a tad snug, and it’s possible to break the assembly getting them in place. I covered all of the periscopes with red Mylar from birthday party favors to replicate the distinctive coating. I painted the vehicle with Tamiya desert yellow (XF-59) and weathered with pastels to represent the dust of Iraq. The decals went on with a little decal solvent; the markings have a flat finish. I referred to M1A2 SEP Abrams Main Battle Tank In Detail by Chris Mrosko and Brett Avants (Sabot, ISBN 978-09973774-0-8) throughout the build; it has good pictures of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment tank in the marking options. I spent 61 hours on my Abrams, and it looks great. However, the fit issues and overall complexity mean this kit is best suited to experienced modelers. – Tom Foti



Which glue will do it for you?


I was wondering what glue is best when adding photo-etched parts? I’m currently working on a Revell F-15 Strike Eagle like the one in your November 2015 issue. But it didn’t say what type of glue was used. – Michael Heffner Indianapolis, Ind.


Styrene cement will not work for attaching metal parts. Most people use super glue. You can get it in various viscosities: thin super glue will flow

around a part, while gel-type super glue will be tackier. That can come in handy when you are trying to position a part or combination of parts. With either type of super glue, once the part is in position a touch of accelerator will fix it in place. Another glue you can use is white glue (like Elmer’s) or its tackier counterpart, a craft glue such as Aleene’s Tacky Glue (available in most craft and hobby stores). A similar glue I like is Pacer’s Formula 560 Canopy Glue. It is tacky, dries fairly fast, and has flexibility — making it a little less likely that you’ll knock the part off if you bump into it. One thing about using super glue — in and around a cock-

pit, super glue fumes can fog clear parts. If you clear-coat the clear plastic — I like to use Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish, but you could use

Simple Green for airbrushes

Properly framing a question

Q Does anyone ever use Simple Green rather than Windex for cleaning an airbrush after using it to spray Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish? I would like to have something without ammonia in it.

Q I am having a rough time with a canopy. Couple of questions: In your article, “In the past, it was Future” (November 2016 FSM), you coat with Pledge FloorCare MultiSurface Finish (PFM), then paint the frames. Do all types of paint stick to PFM? Do tape or masks mar the PFM coat? I think I read somewhere, do not paint the frames and then coat with PFM. Makes the paint on the frames look weird, I suppose.

– Robert Graham Maryville, Tenn. A I have not used Simple Green for this but other people have. Asking around, I have not found any reason to not use it. I can’t tell you if it works as well as Windex or any other glass cleaner with ammonia in it, but I haven’t heard that it can hurt. Some even use a mix of Windex and Simple Green. Regardless of what you use, follow with water to thoroughly rinse. I don’t know what Simple Green may do with prolonged exposure, but leaving ammonia in your brush can etch the metal — and you don’t want that. GOT A MODELING PROBLEM? Our Questions & Answers column is here to help. E-mail [email protected], or visit and click on “Contact Us.” We are not able to conduct lengthy research, such as answering questions on markings and unit histories. We publish letters of general interest in the magazine; however, mail volume and space limitations prevent us from printing every question. Please include your name, town, state, and a daytime phone number.

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– Chuck Stewart Norton Shores, Mich. A Chuck, we may have answered your question in the January 2017 FSM with “3 techniques for masking canopies.” The canopies in the article were treated with PFM either before or after masking and painting. Each way has pros and cons. Treating with PFM beforehand makes it easier to remove adhesive residue after removing the masking. I have not had trouble with either acrylic or enamel sticking to PFM. However, if before PFM you mask and paint with acrylics, you can use a toothpick to clean up edges while the paint is still gummy (within the hour). Then, when you are satisfied with the frame painting, you can improve the look of the clear plastic by applying PFM. However, PFM will leave the frame finish glossy. If that’s not the look what you want, you could give everything a few

another kind of clear gloss — the coating will protect the part and prevent super glue fumes from fogging, or crazing, the clear plastic.

more days to dry, then mask again and spray a clear flat. But, in the article, after applying PFM and letting it dry thoroughly, Walt Fink used a fine brush to apply clear flat to the frame. That takes a steady hand — but Walt is a steady guy!

How to find that book Q FSM’s November 2016 New Products Spotlight featured a book by David Koller entitled LVTP5 — Landing Vehicle Tracked Personnel. I’m trying to find it: I tried the publisher’s website but it isn’t in English. It is a Swiss site. Amazon’s site says it is out of print, limited availability. Is there anyplace else to get the book? – Chuck Nevin Florence, Mont. A This book is available at Highgloss’ website,; if you have a PayPal account you can get it there. Remember when you are looking for a book that the ISBN is a sure-fire term to search. By Googling this book’s ISBN, 978-3-033-05259-8, I found it listed on several websites. However, it does seem to be in limited supply — I got similar messages regarding availability — so going directly to the publisher may yet be the best bet. Yes, the site is Swiss, but there’s enough English there for you to e-mail them. English should not be a problem — and everyone in the world speaks Dollar!

Everyone in the world speaks Dollar!

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Modeler’s Mart To advertise 888-558-1544 ext. 549

WE CARRY THE BEST from A-Model to Zvezda

and 50,000 items in between! Cool Stuff


Great Prices!

Find it with our easy-to-use search engine


Specializing in hard-to-find & OOP kits.

“Since 1969” "Your Spare Time is Our Business"


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.


Custom-made acrylic boxes, frames and bases to display your treasured collectibles.

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.

We Buy Collections!


 t'BY [email protected] COLPAR’S HobbyTown USA To order call: 1-800-876-0414 1915 S. Havana St. For information: 303-341-0414 Aurora, Co 80014




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]

Closing Dates: Published 10 times a year. March 2017 closes December 6, April closes January 10

COMING EVENTS OH, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB. IPMS Region 4 2017 Convention hosted by Wright Field Scale Modelers. Hope Hotel and Conference Center. Just minutes from the National Museum of the US Air Force. April 7-8, 2017. Raffle, Secial Awards, Huge Vendor Area, Seminars and more. Full details at Contact: Brian Duddy, 937-331-8135 or [email protected]

64 FineScale Modeler February 2017

70A East Jefryn Blvd., Deer Park, NY 11729 (631) 243-1882 • FAX (631) 243-1883 e-mail: [email protected]




WI, MADISON Mad City Modelers 22nd Annual Model Show, Madison Labor Temple, 1602 S. Park Street. Saturday, March 4, 2017. 9am-4pm. Theme Award - Anything Tamiya. 57 Categories; 13 Best Awards; Huge General Raffle + Grand Prize Raffle. Food on site, vendors, and slideshow awards presentation. Info: Bill Wedeward (920) 478-8214; [email protected] or

A BIG BUYER OF AIRCRAFT, Armor, Sci-Fi, Resin, Hybrid or Plastic kits. We buy collections whether they are small or large- Worldwide as well. Call Don Black toll free 1-866-4627277. Don Black, 119 Bernhurst Road, New Bern, NC 28560. E-mail [email protected]


AIRCRAFT, ARMOR, SCI-FI, FIGURES, AUTO, ETC. Buying kit collections, large or small, worldwide. Top prices paid. Call Jim Banko 610-814-2784 or mail list to 122 Independence Ct., Bethlehem, PA 18020, fax 610-439-4141. E-mail: [email protected]

ATLANTIS MAIL ORDER HOBBY SUPPLY Deep Discounts on Thousands of New Kits. Send $2.95 for Catalog to: 9 Connor Lane, Unit-G, Deer Park, NY 11729, 631-499-6733

CASH PAID FOR PLASTIC MODEL COLLECTIONS. Call Tracie in Michigan 248-814-8359. Fax: 248-814-0385. E-mail: fl[email protected]

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

PLASTIC MODEL AIRPLANE COLLECTION. 30 year collection. 1/72, 1/48, and 1/32 scale. Call James at 682-234-7059 for price list. 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] WOODEN SHIP MODEL KITS BlueJacket Shipcrafters, America’s oldest wooden model maker has produced the finest ship model kits since 1905! With over 75 ship model kits from museum quality to kits for the beginner, we bring maritime history alive with exquisitely detailed model ships from the early days of sail, to square rigged and clipper ships, to the warriors of WWII, and the workhorses of the sea. Visit us at to enter the world of wooden ship modeling.

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: 716-836-6057. E-mail: [email protected] YOU WILL NEVER FIND TIME TO BUILD ALL THOSE MODELS. Unbuilt kits, diecast aircraft, 1/18th scale model airplanes, military books. Milam Models, 519 DiLorenzo Dr., Naperville, IL 60565, Phone: 630-983-1407, [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]

Local Hobby Shop Directory Local Hobby Shop Directory listings are available for the next ten issues for $275 (payable in advance) or at $37 per issue (billed to established accounts for a minimum of ten insertions). Ads will be set in standard listing typography. All insertions must be consecutive and may be invoiced if you have credit established with us. No mention of mail order business permitted. For information call 1-888-558-1544, ext. 815. Closing dates listed in Classifieds section.

ALASKA • Anchorage Alaska’s best hobby supplier since 1964. Two stories, 6,300sf, 1st floor all R/C, 2nd floor general hobbies, plastics, trains, slot cars, telescopes & more!


2803 Spenard Rd.


ARKANSAS • Jacksonville

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


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 10-5; Tue-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.






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.

MICHIGAN • Royal Oak (Metro Detroit)

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


CONNECTICUT • East Windsor

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

Plastic modeling kits. Paint, tools, scenery, accessories, & scale model railroads. Mon - Sat 10:00am-6:00pm; Closed Sun


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 10-5, Saturday 10-4


47 Dunbarton Farm Rd.


HAWAII • Kailua, Oahu

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


767 Kailua Road


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


33 Exchange St.



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



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



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




1400 E. 11 Mile Rd.


MICHIGAN • Traverse City Let your imagination run wild! Aircraft, ships, cars, armor, special orders, diecast cars, model railroading Z to G and more...


210 East Front St.


MICHIGAN • Ypsilanti-Metro Detroit

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.


103 W. Michigan Avenue


NEVADA • Las Vegas









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



NEW YORK • Middle Island



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.






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


106 W. Main Street


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.


11145 Turkey Dr.


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


2522 Times Blvd.


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


108 S. Lee Street


TEXAS • San Antonio

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


1029 Donaldson Ave.


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


13892 Metrotech Dr.


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


12615 Renton Ave. South


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

Great selection of model kits, accessories, detail parts, magazines, tools & paints. 206 Graceland Blvd.


345 E. Main St.


Excellent selection of lead miniatureshistorical and fantasy. Plastic models, wargames & modeling supplies. Books and magazines. 134 Middle Country Rd.

Full service hobby shop. Over 6,000 recently acquired models. All the supplies you need to build your model.

VIRGINIA • Chantilly

WNY’s largest selection of models!!! We specialize in models. New, old, rare and vintage. Tons of detail and weathering products, paint, tools and so much more! 2243 Seneca St.


TEXAS • Irving (Dallas Area)

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


119 S. Main St.

TEXAS • Houston

Best plastic, resin & balsa kits from around the world. Scratch building & diorama supplies, reference books, large paint selection including Humbrol, Citadel & Testors #334 90 Washington St.

Oklahoma’s largest plastic kit, paint & aftermarket inventory. Planes, cars, trucks, armor, ships, trains & sci-fi. Special orders welcome! Tue - Fri 10-5:30, Sat 10-5, Sun 1-4:30 Web site:

TENNESSEE • Knoxville

While in Las Vegas, come see our wide selection of models and detail accessories. Less than 5 miles off the Las Vegas strip Hours Mon-Fri 10-7, Sat 10-6, Sun noon-5. 4590 W Sahara Ave Ste 103


OREGON • Hillsboro

OHIO • Columbus

Thousands of model kits from old Aurora to new releases. Mon 4pm-7pm, Tues - Fri 11:30am-5pm. Sat 11:30am-4:00pm E-mail: [email protected] 116 N. Washington Street

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


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


1880 Danforth Ave.


Ad Index

Alpha Precision Abrasives, Inc._____ 6

FineScale Modeler Binders_______ 63

Sprue Brothers _________________ 6

as our advertisers. If you do not receive your

ARA Press_____________________ 8

FineScale Modeler magazine _____ 63

Squadron Mail Order __________ 4, 9

Aves Studio ____________________ 6

Hornby America ________________ 8

Tamiya America, Inc. ___________ 68

Colpar’s Hobbytown USA _______ 64

MegaHobby.com_______________ 64

Testor Corporation _____________ 15

Dean’s Hobby Stop _____________ 64

Michigan Toy Soldier Co.________ 64

Today’s Acrylic ________________ 64

Dragon Models USA ____________ 2

Micro-Mark ___________________ 8 ________________ 64

Evergreen Scale Models _________ 15 _____________ 64

Wingnut Wings, Ltd. ___________ 67

Fantastic Plastic Models _________ 64

ParaGrafix ____________________ 15

Zvezda USA __________________ 61

Fastcap LLC ___________________ 6

Roll Models___________________ 64

We believe that our readers are as important merchandise or a reply from an advertiser within a reasonable period, please contact us. Provide details about what you ordered and the amount you paid. If no action is obtained after we forward your complaint to the advertiser, we will not accept further advertising from them. FineScale Modeler magazine, 21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53187. The Advertiser Index is provided as a service to FineScale Modeler magazine readers. The magazine is not responsible for omissions or for typographical errors in names or page numbers.



Artistry vs. accuracy? H

ow much weathering is too much? Whether it’s piling mud on an armor piece or accenting panel lines on planes, the artistic vs. accurate debate among modelers spurs a perpetual cyberwar of opinion. Model finishing has taken huge strides in recent years. Schools of artistic techniques have spawned new product lines to support them and given rise to a new vernacular: filters, oil-dot weathering, panel shading, pigment fixing, color modulation, etc. The most skillful practitioners are hailed as the new masters. Backlash is inevitable — criticism, derision, and the everunapologetic “real (insert subject) don’t look like that in real life.” Online, communitybusting flame wars and forum exoduses ensue. As a firm advocate of the artistic side, I embrace and advocate the new “tricks.” However, on Finescale Modeler’s forum, I asked members to discuss and help define the issue. What constitutes an accurate finish vs. an artistic one? Are there certain exclusive steps? Do they preclude the “new school”? Why forsake the very techniques that have propelled us forward from Shep Paine and Francois Verlinden? I was surprised to find little dogmatism among my forum mates. Most considered themselves visitors to both camps. Significantly, though, I found

Join the conversation! What’s your philosophy on weathering, pre-shading, post-shading, pigments, and paint chips? Write to [email protected]

In the April 2005 FSM, Tony Mucaro and Pat Hawkey lampooned weathering protocols.

the most vocal proponents of accuracy were combat veterans — guys who had worked around these vehicles. And that was an epiphany. I have long defended the artistic style: exaggerated visual cues to what I felt about the theatre of war, its trauma and violence. But are we of the artistic camp overdramatizing or even idealizing war and military service? When we dent and rust a fender or chip paint down to the red primer, are we like Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan gamely emptying our pistols at oncoming Tiger tanks? Those of us who have never seen the ugly face of war can only imagine it. But to a serviceman, all that

66 FineScale Modeler February 2017

dirt represents laborious hours in the motor pool or hangar. Excess grime could earn a reprimand or, worse, conceal mechanical issues. Intimacy with the subject undoubtedly influences their perspective and modeling style. The emergence of Facebook as a modeling community may exacerbate this polarization. People filter out those whose style doesn’t reflect or complement their own. (It’s one of the reasons I still prefer online forums.) Pursuing these answers has enlightened and humbled me. When I see a model that is cleaner than I might finish it, I’m going to think twice before suggesting that it could be

“improved” with some technique. And I hope when servicemen/modelers see one of my artworks that they understand its motivations. If everyone’s models looked alike, if one style came to dominate modeling, what a boring hobby it would be! Whether you consider yourself a modern art modeler, a strict traditionalist, or even an abstract artist, surely you’ll agree that enforcing conformity would curtail the very thing that drives new modelers to take up glue and paint — the desire to create something uniquely your own, however imperfect or praised. Long live that impulse in all of its varied, nonconforming glory! FSM

Grumman F-14A Tomcat ITEM 61114 The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy’s Naval Fighter Experimental (VFX) program following the collapse of the F-111B project. The F-14 was the first of the American teen-series fighters, which were designed incorporating the experience of air combat against MiG fighters during the Vietnam War. This specific model kit depicts the F-14A Tomcat variant. The F-14A was the initial two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather interceptor fighter variant for the U.S. Navy. It first flew on December 21, 1970. As a U.S. Navy fighter it fulfilled the dual roles of long range interceptor and air superiority fighter, and later bomber. Deployed from 1974 to 2006, it successfully employed a “swing wing”, which offered variable sweep. The F-14A, which covers most of the early variants, was the most prolifically-produced variant of the Tomcat. 79 were exported to Iran before U.S. Iranian relations began to deteriorate, and later took part in the Iran-Iraq War.

Specifications • Fuselage length: 398mm; wingspan: 212mm - 408mm (according to position of movable “swing wing”). • The streamlined form of the aircraft is accurately captured, complete with moving wing - it can be depicted at angles from 20-75 degrees. • The aircraft is depicted in a parked position, with the landing gear deployed. • Separate parts are included to depict the different airbag and sealing plate shapes. They can be attached and detached after completion of the model. • Poly caps are inserted into the horizontal stabilizers to allow their movement. • Opening canopy piece allows closer inspection of the detail in the 2-seater cockpit. • Ladder and step components can be built in deployed or stowed positions. • Comes with 3 marking options: 2 for high-visibility F-14As from the VF-84 (Jolly Rogers) and VF-2 (Bounty Hunters) U.S. Navy Fighter Squadrons, plus 1 Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) unit F-14A. • Extra parts are included to depict the refueling probe and its bay, which were uncovered on IRIAF F-14s. • Two highly-realistic figures are included to depict seated pilot and co-pilot. • A comprehensive set of U.S. Navy air-to-air missiles is included in the kit. • Parts depict air-to-air missiles: AIM-9 Sidewinders (x4), AIM-7 Sparrow (x4) and AIM-54 Phoenix (x4). • Features parts to recreate 267 gallon drop tanks. FOLLOW US ON



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