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    Hasegawa F6F-5E in GLORIOUS SEA BLUE…or “Another one rescued from…….wait for it……..THE SHELF OF DOOOOOOMMMM!

    December 6th, 2014


    This is the Hasegawa F6F-3 that I screwed up while TRYING to remove the plastic for the windows behind the cockpit. After a time…long time, I decided to fix it and build a -5 version. After looking through all of my Hellcat pics one, the -5E, jumped out at me and said “BUILD ME” (Maybe I should lay off on having late night hot cocoa?). I decided to add a few aftermarket items including the True Details cockpit & wheels, Obscureco cowling, Squadron canopy (just the sliding part as the kit part does not fit), Quickboost AN/APS-4 radar pod and some wiring for the brake lines and engine. IMG_5585IMG_5591 I used Tamiya XF-17 to finish it and used a hodgepodge of decals to come up with these markings.-5E As you can see, this particular Hellcat had an argument  with the island of the USS Sangamon (CVE-26)….I believe the island won. The Hasegawa F6F kit is a pretty easy build and is fairly well detailed out of box but I was suffering from a slight bout of AMS and wanted to try and do more. in case you’re wondering, the -5E was equipped with the AN/APS-4 radar pod that was jettisonable (Yep, had to look up the spelling on that!)IMG_5588 and the thinking was if you needed to, you could drop it. I’m sure some bean counter said “LIKE HECK! You aint droppping one of these or I’ll have your @#$!” So they used the AN/APS-6 instead and called em F6F-5Ns, thus ends our brief history lesson. Back to the kit, one thing that I don’t care for are the wing tip lights as Hasegawa does not provide these and I should have scratched some out but I was getting lazy by that time….NEXT TIME!  The engine is pretty nice and just needs the harness to spruce it up a bit. I used some craft wire from Michaels (Love those craft stores!!) and it turned out fairly nice.IMG_5615IMG_5600 The True Details resin cockpit is nice but I had to scratch out a radar screen as the -5E was a little different from the -5N, not really a big deal but it was small. HEY, I know it’s there and that’s what counts!IMG_5569IMG_5555 I am becoming more of a fan of the resin seats with the harness molded into it. MUCH easier for me than pre-painted P/E. The canopy on this kit is just…..well….ahhh…..let’s say goofy. The wind screen fits perfect but the canopy or sliding part didn’t fit in the open OR closed position. I ended up using the kit windscreen with the Squadron vac. canopy and life was good…..very good.IMG_5552IMG_5553 I used the True Details resin wheels and as usual, they looked nice. The brake line is more craft wire from Michaels and I should mention the gauge but I forgot what it was…sorry! I used a semi gloss coat for the upper surfaces but left the underside a little more glossy as the sun doesn’t normally shine there….at least I hope not! The external tank was flat coated due to many pictures I have seen of those looking rather rough. I used pencil lead for the exhaust and shell ejection chute staining. IMG_5594IMG_5601 All in all I am happy with how this turned out and it is a lesson for me to not give up because I mess up a bit. (Trust me, I wanted to round file this when I messed up the rear windows) Anyway, I hope you like. (HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE A HELLCAT IN GSB??????) Thanks for reading my ramblings!!!!!

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    Pro Modeler & Revell of Germany 1/48 F4U-5N and -5NL in gorgeous GSB!!! OR Two more off the SHELF OF DOOM (add echo effect).

    July 9th, 2014

    I decided since I had two of these kits I would build em both at the same time as it would make things easy…..right? Both are out of box except the True Details cockpits(Very, VERY nice set) and both are in Korean War era markings. Really, is there anything more lovely than Gloss Sea Blue?!!! 🙂 IMG_5095 IMG_5099The Navy bird is a -5NL of VC-4 (The NL is the winterized version with deicers on the wings and tail)and the pro Modeler decals from the kit were used. The Marine version is from VMF (N) 513 and is a basic 5N with a hodge podge of different decals used. (My rant….WHY THE BLEEP CAN’T WE GET DECALS FOR MARINE/NAVY GSB AIRCRAFT!!!!) You will notice that the Navy bird has the flash suppressors and the Marine doesn’t, WHY?, I’m not sure.IMG_5077 IMG_5119You will also notice the bomb load on the Marine bird. Steve asked why and I didn’t want to take up too much time at the meeting, it’s because their first job is to support the infantry. (Remember in the Corps…you’re a rifleman first all the other jobs come second!)IMG_5075 IMG_5109I mentioned how nice the True Details pit was. My meager skills don’t do it justice but the detail is quite nice and was pretty crisp. I like the fact they give you the different control panels for the basic -5 and one for the -5N(I did NOT want to scratch out a 48th scale radar scope…That’s for Larry!)IMG_5091 IMG_5092IMG_5121 IMG_5123These kits are pretty easy to build and the only problem area is the cowl/cowl flaps/engine/fire wall assembly. After having built one of these before I decided to build that area as a sub-assembly and then attach it to the fuselage. It worked out pretty well for me and the next one will be built the same way.(Yes, there are more to build…insert evil laugh here) Next time the engine will get detailedIMG_5070 as will the landing gear, I got lazy and was kind of ready for another shelf of doom kit to finish.IMG_5073 IMG_5111The Navy bird is the Revell of Germany kit in that bloody awful blue plastic finished with Testors Model Master Dark Sea Blue with a coat of Future and the Marine Corsair is the Pro Modeler kit in the light grey plastic finished with Tamiya XF-17 Sea Blue and a coat of Testors Semi-gloss. I did use a little pencil lead for some exhaust staining but not too much…..they looked too nice to dirty up!IMG_5084 IMG_5115All in all I am pleased with how these came out and may have to do a -4 one of these days or maybe a -5 in reserve markings…oh the possibilities!!!!

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    Revell 1/48 Messerschmitt Me 410 B-6/R-2……and its canopy from H.E. double hockey sticks!

    May 23rd, 2014

    Ok, so maybe the canopy isn’t that bad, but it is a pain and I think over the years it has got worse….much worse! This is the anti shipping version of this aircraft and was so successful that the Luftwaffe built thousands of them…..well maybe only 2 or 3, OK so I exaggerated a bit. This kit still goes together well as I had very few fit issues and you get some nice P/E in this boxing. (I think this is the 5th or 6th boxing of this kit originally issued in 1997….WOW is this thing OLD!)Photo etch.IMG_4937Gunners tub.Finished cockpit.As you can see the cockpit has a pretty good bit of detail but that pre-painted P/E is just plain ugly. I’m not sure why they put that pebbly(is that a word?)finish on it but it ruins the look. The canopy is still the big problem with this kit and took me a great bit of time, much cussing and many sighs before getting it to sit ALMOST right.IMG_5044IMG_5041IMG_5040I decided to do a fictional scheme on this kit loosely based on NSG 9 and KG 77 aircraft. I used Testors Acrylics for the RLM 74, 75 & 76 and Tamiya Dark Yellow for the meander pattern. I thought would look pretty cool and was not disappointed.Right side.Left side.The radar array is very small and very fragile and was a total pain in my neck….really, I got a cramp while trying to place this onRadar masts.Radar array installed. and after placing it the clear piece on the nose had an argument with the fuselage piece and are now separated….sigh. (domestic arguments are always a pain!) One issue you may have with this boxing is if your an accuracy modeler due to the fact that you have the radar array but no radar console/screen/set for the cockpit….and if you find a picture of it SEND ME A COPY! For the price you really can’t beat this kit as it’s less expensive than the Meng kit and even without the P/E there is still  pretty good detail. I hope Hobby Lobby gets some in as I would like to do a Zerstorer or maybe even do the conversion to the 210 with Hungarian markings…now THAT would be cool!

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    Italeri 1/32 F-104G or as I like to say..The F-104 “Bat outta…well you get the point.

    April 9th, 2014

    For some reason the song from Meat Loaf pops in my head when I see one of these and I don’t know why! Well, here it is in all it’s glory. I really hope the AFV kit is better….not sure it can be worse. Do you all remember the Revell 32nd scale kits from the 60s? You know, the 109F sometimes G, F4U-?, P-51B ish? Yes those kits that had some detail in the cockpit and you even got an engine!!! Really cool…BACK THEN! Well this kit is just like those, except it’s just a wee bit more expensive. This thing retails for a mere $170 and really should be priced around the $70 range but what are ya gonna do. As I said you get a decent looking engineEngine on stand along with a boarding ladder, engine stand and tail stand.Engine stand, boarding ladder, tail stand These are all nice but maybe they should have put more effort into the actual aircraft instead? Don’t get me wrong, the kit builds up easily, the fit is pretty good and it looks like an F-104G, but at this price I expect a little better molding and more accuracy.(I know, I know…rivet counter!) The decal sheets are stunning as you are given options for 10 different schemes. One of the first things I noticed was the panel lines on one side of the fuselage are softer than the other side. The photo etch for the cockpit is pretty much worthless and I didn’t even bother to use it. As for the cockpit…well…you get one.(Lets just leave it at that) You are given two styles of exhaust nozzles and one is in the closed position(not many on the ground are positioned like this), and both are soft on detail.104 front 104 Left side 104 Right side

    You do get a lot of ordnance and the external fuel tanks, something my 1/48 Hasegawa kit lacked. I used Tamiya, Model Master and Alclad to finish this(alclad dull Aluminum is the bottom color, REALLY nice stuff!) Is this kit better than the 32nd Hasegawa kit? I’d say at this price, NO. If I sound a bit harsh, it’s because I like the 104. It just looks really cool and since watching one scream over my head(roughly 40-60 ft) back in 87 I have developed a fondness for this rocket…I mean plane.104 top 104 Bottom view 104 Rear viewI was a bit harsh in my conclusion for the review and IPMS edited it. Here is the original version…Conclusion: This is the part I was not looking forward to. This kit goes together pretty well and looks like an F-104G but for the price I’m not sure I can recommend it. If you just want a basic kit that looks like a 104 You can find the Hasegawa kit at less than half the price of this one. If you are really into accuracy and want to detail it up…again the Hasegawa kit is the one to start with. You need aftermarket sets to help up but you’re going to need those for the Italeri kit also and the cheapest I have found this kit is on sale for $115 while the Hasegawa kit can be had for under $60. It’s up to you, the reader, if you want to spend that kind of money.104 left rear 104 right rear 104 nose

    Well I hope you liked it and like I said it looks like a F-104 and the cammo scheme is just freekin awesome but I advise you to wait till the AFV kit come out before spending money on this.

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    ICM 1/35 G917T (1939 production) German Army Truck.

    March 21st, 2014

    I could descried this truck like this, (In my best bad hollywierd German accent) “Zis ees zee vonder veapon zat veel win zee war! AHHAHAHAHAHA!!!” or like this (In my best good ole boy accent) “This is my Ford truck, we haul stuff in it, on the road, in the country….then we get drunk.” Ok I heard you, I’ll shut up and tell you about the model. This is a truck built in a Colonge Ford plant and roughly 25,00 were built from 1939-1941. ICM has done a very nice job in bringing more of the soft skin vehicles out, (That new Typ 2,5-32 with Shelter, WWII German Ambulance Truck looks pretty cool!) and this one is very nice. They give you enough detail that OOB it looks pretty darn good but still could use some scratch work. (See the engine pic.) One thing about ICM is their molds and how thin some of the plastic really is. Never mind that you can break it easily just by bumping it, some parts are a challenge just to get off the sprue! (My steering wheel was in 5 parts when I got it and it was only spose to be 1!!)G917T Left front G917T Right sideG917T Engine

    The assembly is pretty straight forward and I had no real bad fit issues but I did not care for how the tires went together. I know, only the two outer rear tires show the seam, but that is enough.G917T Left side G917T Underside G917T Front

    The suspension, drive train & exhaust all look nice when finished but the instructions threw me into a fit of rage, well maybe just a heavy sigh, when they had me put the exhaust on AFTER the front suspension. Maybe they wanted to challenge the builder??? The doors can be posed in the open or closed position but the contact points are REALLY small if you want them open. (Mine broke off on the way to the meating!) What is kind of annoying is that the hood can’t really be posed open unless you do a little scratch work, not sure why they did that. Also the tail gate is closed and unless you do surgery and scratch work, it’s going to stay that way.G917T Right front G917T Rear G917T Top view

    I used Testors Acryl  ‘Panzer Schwazgrau’ to paint this. Eventually I will weather it some which is why the underside was painted straight from the bottle. The cab and metal parts of the bed had a small bit of white added and the wood bed had more white added just for a lightly faded look. The decals are nice and crisp went on sorta ok. (Took a good bit of Solvaset to set a couple down though). If you have not built one of the ICM vehicles, try to pick one up at a show, if you can get a deal. They really are pretty nice.G917T Left rear G917T Right rear

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    Hasegawa 1/32 Me 163B

    March 20th, 2014

    IMG_4770 IMG_4768 IMG_4764 IMG_4759For an older kit, it still builds up nice, and the Eduard P/E set adds quite a bit of detail to the cockpit. Yes I know the Meng kit is newer, faster, stronger…er wait, I was just watching the ‘Six Million Dollar Man’! Anyway, I did add some scratch work to the exhaust nozzle as Hasegawa kind of missed the boat on that. (I have seen the Meng kit and they did too!) I did sand down the cheese cloth ailerons and rudder a little and wish I had sanded more…next time, right? I replaced the antenna and pitot tube with wire as the plastic was just a bit too thick. The landing skid was a bit of a hassle as they really only let you buil it in the extended position unless you want to do some surgery (I didn’t!)IMG_4755 IMG_4756. The RLM 76 is Testors enamel but for the other two colors(RLM 81 & 82) I used the new or almost new Vallejo Air brush ready paints. I did have to add a drop of water to thin these just a bit. (I used a special water for this, the dirty brush cleaning stuff!). The decals are from the kit and for Hase. decals…they went on easy!

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