Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Waited A While

I've waited for this one to be reissued for a long, long time. My most-eagerly-awaited reissue was the Moon Bus from 2001, but this was number two. Or maybe it was number three - someone (maybe Renwal) made a kit of a "nuclear-powered bomber" back in the very early 1970s, a vast delta-winged thing somewhat like an XB-70, complete with parasite fighters. I'd love to have that thing again (and it pains me to think I probably set the old one on fire).

I had to go see my oncologist today and I stopped at the hobby shop on the way, as I often do. I didn't really see anything that caught my eye, and was about to leave with nothing to show for the visit but a handful of Testors acrylic paints, when I spotted this on the "new and groovy" shelf. Score!

I haven't even opened the plastic yet, but I'm positively giddy with excitement. Well, mostly I'm giddy with excitement because I got a good report from my oncologist; the groovy model is just a bonus.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rommel's Rod

I do enjoy those goofy "concept" hot rod models from my youth - the Beer Wagon, the Tijuana Taxi, the Lil Stogie and so forth. This is Rommel's Rod, complete with undead skeletonized versions of the Desert Fox himself, along with his driver. Good clean fun, at least as long as you don't have an aversion to the undead.

About the only thing I did to the kit was saw notches in the edges of the one-piece track assemblies so they wouldn't look quite so toylike. I also left out the engine. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with a 1/25th scale supercharged straight-eight engine, but something will occur to me, I'm sure.

Then it was just a matter of Testors Afrika Mustard overall and RLM-02 in the interior.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Some Relief

I had so many things going all at the same time that in the end I wasn't getting anything done, so I buckled down and finished three WWI biplanes, partly because I like biplanes and partly because like a man undoing his belt buckle after a big meal, I needed to find some extra room. So now I only have about fifteen projects going, not eighteen. Well, we take progress when and as we find it.

Revell's 1/72nd SE 5A. I quite enjoyed this model. It probably doesn't pass serious muster as a kit because it has no interior, and it probably doesn't pass serious muster as a model because I just can't bring myself to rig a 1/72nd scale biplane, but I had fun, and I guess that's the main thing. Amusingly, the pilot figure in this kit is identical to the pilot figure in the Fokker D.VII kit, so I put the German pilot in the British fighter, and the British pilot in the German fighter, just to be perverse. If you disregard the RV in the background, you might almost thing the SE 5 was preparing to fly a mission from some desert aerodrome, perhaps near Damascus.

Normally I use Tamiya "Khaki Drab" to simulate the paint (dope?) on British WWI aeroplanes, but this time I used Testors "Field Drab", which is a little lighter and browner, and a good deal easier to brush paint to boot.

Now, on to Rommel's Rod, whose nose can just be seen in the upper left corner of the top picture.

I always imagine that other modelers have clean, organized, efficient workbenches - places for everything, paints stored in nice racks with the labels out, brushes organized by size and type and handle color. Mine's always a mess. My paint storage solution isn't a very good one, and I have to write the name of the paint on the lid with a silver Sharpie so I can find what I'm looking for. There are odd bits of hacked-up plastic everywhere, brushes dropped wherever they happened to end up, toothpicks, swabs, half-built models, scraps of decal sheets for models I've long since finished... It's such a mess. And just look at the surface of my bench; it looks like I've been butchering cattle, and I suspect I'm the only modeler on the planet lazy enough to test my airbrush by spraying the front edge of my workbench...

Sigh. It isn't easy being me.

The Flying Circus

Revell's 1/72nd scale Albatros D.III. A nice inexpensive kit, but without any cockpit interior at all and armed with guns that look suspiciously like pieces of uncooked spaghetti. I don't think the decals are even dry in these pictures.

Revell's 1/72nd Fokker D.VII. Another nice inexpensive kit, but it has MUCH better machine guns than the Albatros. The blue is Testors Acrylic "French Blue".

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Group Photo

They aren't all completely finished, and I still have to build a base or something, but here are the AMT 1/2500th Enterprises in all their glory.


This one amuses me. I didn't know that Challengers could float, or that they carried torpedoes, but there it is, proof on the model box, that Challengers are really Motor Torpedo Boats.

So Captain Rachel Garrett shows up at Starfleet HQ, and they tell her she's going to command the USS Enterpise.

"What an honor!" she says. "That ship is basically the flagship of Starfleet!"

"No, we meant the EnterPISE."


I do feel bad about this one. The guy put in so much excellent work on the decals and he must have slapped his forehead many times when he saw he'd misspelled "Enterprise" on one of the main decals in the AMT 1/2500 Enterprise-C kit. I didn't even notice it myself until I was sitting and staring glumly at the model waiting for paint to dry. (And it isn't as though I never misspell words either, do I? DO I??)

As you can see, the Enterprise-C decals are basically workable, but are wrinkly around the phaser banks. I think when I build this kit again (and I will) I may just paint the blue portions as there's no real Aztec pattern in them and it wouldn't be THAT hard to mask and spray.

Too Cold To Decal

An in-progress shot of the AMT 1/2500th Enterprise-D. I went outside this morning thinking I'd apply some decals, but it's about 35 degrees and I don't really feel like dipping my fingers (or decals) in ice water.

But here you can see the coverage and excellence of the decals that came with the AMT kit. Any errors in alignment are mine. The only thing that isn't a decal so far is the NATO black phaser bank, and as you can see, it needs some touch-up too. Oh, and the red and the yellow on the warp nacelles.

The kit looks very toy-like and simple as built, but the decals completely transform it. While I don't think the decals are as good as the ones in the AMT 3-Enterprises set, they're still pretty good, and one thing is for certain - when you get done applying all these decals, you'll be a whiz at decaling.

Note the Enterprise-C nacelles off to the side - though the decals are harsh and unforgiving, they can be made to work if you're patient.