Sunday, 8 January 2017

LRDG Diorama Part 1.


Hello!

This new project has been begging to be built for quite some time now and I am delighted to have eventually broke sprue on the wonderful 1/35 Tamiya British LRDG Command Car.

As regular readers will know, I have always been fascinated with desert warfare especially that of the British Long Range Desert Group. This unit was the origin of the British Special Forces and their tactics and guile are still taught today in the modern army. 

The LRDG were small squadrons of heavily armed and self sufficient raiding parties that would drive across the desert far behind enemy lines in order to attack enemy positions and cause as much havoc to them as possible. 

Their main mode of transport were modified Chevrolet trucks and Willys Jeeps. The men who operated in them were volunteers selected from every section from the British Army and of course their exploits are now the stuff of special forces legend. 

This kit was a gift from a good friend who knows of my interest in LRDG and he could not have chosen a better kit! 

What we find in the box is the 1/35 Tamiya Chevy truck with the addition of weapons, figures and stowage from the original issue of the kit, plus the welcome addition of some very well sculpted Master Box figures and equipment. 
Essentially, what we have here is a diorama in a box. What's not to like? 

So, lets get into this build and see what's what.


The build begins with the chassis assembly, this is the frame, engine, transmission and wheels. The only point to pick up on at this stage is that Tamiya's original instructions printed an incorrect diagram of the brake drum/axle rotation. Make sure you dry fit this step first!  One other thing-This kit's tyres are moulded in rubber with a superb tyre tread but a very annoying seam. I found scraping the seam away with a scalpel was the most effective way to remove it.


Next follows the forward body which allows us to attach the seat, stowed rifles and other accessories. The curved headlight casings need to be fitted carefully in order not to leave any gaps.  

 The rear cargo area can be assembled with the radio hatch open or closed. I have chosen the open position as the instrument panel has raised detail that I will be able to dry brush later on in the build. 
 Here we have all three sub assemblies fitted together. It beginning to look the part now!
 While the chevy's glue was drying I set about building a display base for my diorama. This is a wooden base with filler and scenic material mixed up to make a textured ground surface. When dry, the groundwork was airbrushed with my own mix of sand paint and the plinth was sprayed gloss black. I think this makes for a visually interesting contrast. 

My next job was to begin painting the vehicle in its desert scheme. For this model I wanted to try out the sand and blue camouflage used in North Africa.
I mixed my own sand shade from Tamiya acrylics desert yellow/flat yellow/flat white.
The blue was straight from Tamiya's light blue which is just a touch darker than RLM 76. I airbrushed the blue camo freehand without masks. 



As the paint cures, I will begin work on the figures and stowage for the vehicle.
This will take some time.......






Monday, 2 January 2017

The New year Revolution!




Hello and Happy New Year!

So what's in store for this blog and my bench this year? 


Well, there will be no list of kits that I am going to build for the year. Whenever I do that, it never works out and I end up building something else entirely! 


One thing I will do is have a good clear out in the studio as I have too much stuff in there! 


I have boxes of modelling magazines stacked on the floor taking up space, hundreds of kits in my stash with no hope of ever being built in my lifetime, so some of it has to go! 


Yes, I will have to consign old, unloved kits to ebay oblivion! I don't want to do it but it needs to be done. So next weekend I will be having a sort through my stash.

I don't know about you, but looking through the stash often brings back memories and provides renewed inspiration for long forgotten subjects, which make me talk myself into "Well I'll keep that one." This is my trouble, I love my older kits! I have to choose between more kits and less space or less kits and more space. Decisions, decisions........

Then there is the problem of display space. My shelves are full of completed builds and some will have to go. I am not sure about how I will choose what has to go as I love them all. The good and the bad! 

I don't know what the answer will be. Should I give some away? Sell a few? Would anyone want one? Will I end up breaking them for spares? 

Speaking of spares, I have four deep draws of them! I can't fit anything else in there either!

So I guess the theme here is out with the old and in with the new. 

I never thought I would want to take anything out of the studio, I never imagined that I would run out of space! But there we are. Times change, people move on. 

Hence, a New Year Revolution! 

I want this blog to be better in both content and presentation so I will have to produce better models as well as articles. With that in mind I am going to pick a project to start this month and I intend to write an informative and entertaining "Step by Step" build article. 

As far as modelling goes there are some skills that I need to work on. I am still learning all the time and I really want to produce a quality diorama this year. I enjoyed my "Generation Kill" diorama so much that I want to do more. So my figure painting, detailing and weathering require improvement! 

As I said before, no kit list. But, I can promise warbirds, armour, that diorama and maybe little bit of sci-fi too. An eclectic mix of models that I'll enjoy building and all being well, that you may enjoy seeing. 

Happy Modelling!

Darren.

Monday, 26 December 2016

2016: The Scale Model Hangar review of the year.


Hello! 

As 2016 draws to its end I would like to sit back and mull over the past year and see what it and I brought to my hobby. It has been eventful! 

This blog has taken off and has a regular following, my Facebook hub has become a great place to see and marvel at the work of scale model artists from around the world and I renovated my workshop. Now aptly known as The Scale Model Hangar! 

The workshop was the biggest project of the year. Exactly one year today the terrible flooding that hit the UK took its toll on my modelling space. In this instance flooding the ground all around the base of the workshop which is located in the woodland garden. It was not until my summer leave this year that I had time to carry out repairs and renovations. I could not have done this without the help of my family and friends who took time off work and brought tools, expertise and great humour to a hard going but excellent couple of days that helped me restore my workshop to good health once again. 

To all of you, THANK YOU! 

Once again my sanctuary was warm and dry. Here are a few pics of the Hangar sat at the back of the garden that I hope will convey why I love spending time there so much. It really is a most special place.






And so, I was able to get back to the bench and start anew! This year saw me improve my figure painting, my airbrush control and I also I was able to try out some new technique's! I hope to continue improving and build better, more realistic looking models. I also want to publish better quality work in progress articles, this takes time and planning so I will get a good photo-setup sorted. I already have many projects planned for the coming year and I want to share them with you, so stick around OK? 

Looking back upon 2016, here are the projects that I completed. A varied mix of subjects as you will see! I hope you enjoy them and if you would like to see more, you can find each article right here on this blog. 


First to see the finish line was this lovely 1/48 Airfix Seafire Mk.F.XVII. A nice straightforward build with aftermarket decals from Freightdog models.



Next up was this wonderful kit that was a gift from my mate Frank. He knew I was dying to get hold of Hasegawa's Bf-109 G-10 in JG 300 markings! Thanks to his great kindness and generosity I was able to realise my dream! 

I titled this piece "The Eagle and the Wolf"




Following on, Tamiya's 1/48 P-47D Bubbletop. This was a nice straight from the box build. I had these markings in a box for years and wanted to emulate the work of a truly inspiring modeller who is sadly no longer with us. 



Feel the Force! After watching The Force Awakens I just had to build some new T-70 X-Wings! These snap together kits from Revell answered the call. Repainted and modified, these were great fun to work on!



Next up, a special one for me. I had wanted to build this particular aircraft for many years and at last I was able to. This 1/48 Accurate Miniatures Fleet Air Arm Avenger was one of the most rewarding builds of the year.




2 BRAVO: Generation Kill diorama. I loved the book, I loved the series. I had to build this! A lot of work but also a lot of fun to do. 






Imperial Sandtrooper: This 1/12 Bandai figure was sheer joy to build and weather! If you have not tried one of these kits then you should! If Bandai did 1/48 aircraft, they would the competition out of business! 



More figure modelling! This time a 120mm resin sculpt of a US Navy SEAL "American Sniper" I am proud of this one as I worked hard to develop and improve my figure painting skills.



Too BIG and Too HEAVY! Monogram's 1/48 P-47N-1-RE Thunderbolt. This is a kit I built at the beginning of my modelling career, many years ago! The first attempt did not go so well! So this is my second attempt at this stunning warbird and this time I am much happier with the result!



Callsign Warrior: 1/35 USMC AH-1W COBRA

I love this one! I enjoyed this so much! MRC kit, Two Bobs decals, crew figures AM and scatched, plus a little modding here and there! This one put a huge smile on my face!




Academy 1/48 Mig-21. My weathering experiment! I learned a lot that I can carry through to my future builds.




So there you go! Eleven build this year! A great new workspace and lots of fun!

Thanks to all of my model building friends for sharing this hobby with me!

Special thanks to Eric and Frank who share this journey with me and always have my back. 

I hope 2017 brings all of us good health, peace, love and happiness. And of course more models!

Take care and Happy Modelling! 

Darren.








 











Saturday, 24 December 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS!



Hello!

I just wanted to wish all of you who enjoy this blog a very Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have the most wonderful time, may peace and goodwill go with you!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Darren

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

From RUSSIA with Love.....Academy's 1/48 MIG-21 MF


Hello and welcome back to The Scale Model Hangar! 

Yes, it's been awhile and all I can tell you is that I am not at the bench as often as I would like to be these days! Today I had some much enjoyed free time and I spent the afternoon fine tuning my latest work, Academy's 1/48 Mig-21 MF in Soviet Air Force markings.

I came across this kit whilst going through my stash looking for a simple OOB
 (out of the box) build that I may try some new weathering idea's on. I was attracted to this kit years ago by it's box art scheme and the fact that I had never built one before. 

Academy's kit is well tooled and comes with some nice under wing stores considering it's age now. However it's cockpit is fairly uninspiring and the decals are the dreaded Academy old style extra thick ones. Nonetheless, this kit proved to be an entertaining and positive experience.

I did intend to do this one completely OOB but, well what if I added a few scratch built bits here and there? Nothing wrong with that is there?

So I added some sidewall panels to the cockpit form plastic card and I took extra effort with the raised detail on the kits instrument panel. I also added some hydraulic lines to the landing gear legs and used some carefully cut spare decals to pass for Russian stencils on the rocket pods. Apart from those mods, everything else is straight from the stock kit.




The fit of the parts was good and only minimal filling was required with some Mr.Hobby dissolved putty. If you haven't used it yet-You should! It's great for those small gaps. 

The best part of this build for me was the painting and weathering, I love airframes with desert scheme's! Tamiya acrylic's were used for the three basic colours: Flat Brown/Desert Yellow/Sea Grey. 
To my complete surprise (and to my friends!) I managed to spray the camo pattern freehand! The only masking was the underside demarcation line and the green panel on the tail! A nice tidy job then! 

I sealed it all i with a hard gloss coat and after a long drying time I was ready to crack on with the weathering. 

FROM A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW......

Usually I will pre-shade my model aircraft along its panel lines, however on this occasion I elected not to as I was going to try something new. This time I put the paint straight onto plastic and sealed it with a clear gloss coat.

The weathering process for this model began with highlighting the panel lines and rivets with AK Interactive's enamel Panel Liner for desert camouflage.


I have always been sceptical about panel liner products but after using this one I am sold! It's thin enough to run down the panels and get into any recessed area. It is also formulated to a tone of colour that will blend into desert paint schemes seamlessly. I went all over the airframe panels and rivets with a small brush and I also used the wash to add some stains and streaks to the aircraft.
All of this work was sealed in with Vallejo  matt coat acrylic.

The next phase of weathering was the use of oils. I added dots and streaks of white,yellow and ochre paints all over the airframe. These oils were blended in with an old stipple brush and the process was carried out panel by panel until I had reached the desired effect.

I really enjoyed this build and I learned a new way to weather my models along the way. I have some photo's of the finished model to share with you, I hope you enjoy my latest work.

Happy Modelling!

Darren.