Monday, 17 October 2016

Cobra: Work in progress.


I don't know about everyone else, but I am so busy these days that time in the studio is at a premium. Nonetheless, I have managed to steal an hour or two over the weekend to continue with my 1/35 USMC AH-1W Cobra.

First up, I have finished the nose gun. I did consider purchasing an aftermarket part for this, however with some very careful drilling of the gun barrels and some metallic paint, in this case Mr.Hobby Burnt Iron dry brushed with Tamiya Aluminium, I feel that the kit part stands up to scrutiny.

I have also finished painting the underwing rocket pods, these were painted and weathered in my usual fashion with some text added using white oil paint.

 Next came the tricky bit.......adding these beautiful Two Bobs Decals. If any of you build this kit using these markings in the future please do not add the landing skids to the airframe until the snake decal has been added! Believe me, your life will be easier! 
Still, after a struggle, I have got the snake decal on both sides of the airframe and it is beginning to conform to the airframe surface with generous helpings of Micro-sol decal solution.......

Hopefully, I'll have this bad boy finished soon! Take care and Happy Modelling!


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Trials and Tribulations......

Hello and welcome!

I have been rather pressed of late and as such my modelling time has been severely curtailed! Life happens and we all have our responsibilities so this week's post will not have any big news.

However I have managed to steal some hobby time here and there so I will show you where I am up to with my current projects......... 

First up, my Airfix 1/48 Spitfire Mk.Vb. I am sorry to tell you that this kit has fought me at every step. I am not enjoying this one at all and I have given serious consideration to giving up on it altogether! If it hasn't been one thing it's another so I after some thought I am going to save the 249 Sqn markings in the box and use them on a Tamiya Mk.Vb Tropical kit. 
In the meantime I will struggle on with the Airfix kit and try to make the best  of it. 

The fit of this kit is bad and I will not be buying another one anytime soon. I'm sorry Airfix, I really wanted to say good things about this kit. I'm gutted. 

Here is how the build looks as of this evening...........

Next and far more enjoyable is my 1/35 MRC AH-1H Cobra. This kit is coming along at a slow, but pleasant pace and I have now managed to fit the canopy frame after sewing up the fuselage halves. It looks a bit of a mess right now, but once I get the paint on over all that pre-shading it should begin to look like a Cobra!

So like I said earlier-not much doing right now but stay tuned as hopefully I will be able to get some more time at the bench and make some more progress. 

Until next time, take care and Happy Modelling!


Sunday, 18 September 2016

Work In Progress: USMC AH-1W COBRA.


I have worked hard on the interior for my 1/35th Cobra this weekend. Watching DVD's of Generation Kill is great inspiration for any USMC build! Armed with new inspiration I have managed to finish the figures for the crew and add a few details to the cockpit area.

The figure in front is the D-Toys resin figure. The one behind is scratch built by myself from figure parts in the spares box. I thought I did a fair job on that-you be the judge! 

 I added home made seat harness's, blocked off the pilots bulkhead and added some wiring to the new boxes on the pilots I/P. 
As usual, both instrument panels were hand painted by me as described in my previous posts. It has taken so many hours to get this part of the build completed that to me, it feels like a model in it's own right! 

I hope you like what I've done with this one! Take care and Happy Modelling!

Work In Progress: Spitfire Mk.Vb.


I have a thing about Spitfire's........I just can't help it! I love 'em! So it will be of no surprise to you that I have gone and bought another one! 

This is the new tool Airfix 1/48 Spitfire Mk.Vb, I have heard mixed reviews about this kit, what really grabbed my attention was the box art that portrays a RAF 249 Squadron Spit with Malta campaign markings. I love Malta Spits, so for me this was a no brainer! 

So with a weekend off work and my Dad taxi duties over with, I settled down in the studio with some hot, sweet, black coffee, some good tunes and Airfix's finest.......

Monday, 12 September 2016



Here is my completed Monogram 1/48 P-47N-1-RE Thunderbolt. This particular P-47 was marked "2 BIG and TOO HEAVY" and "SHORT SNORTER". The P-47N Thunderbolt was produced by Republic Aviation in answer to the USAAF request for fighter  aircraft with greater fuel range to serve as escorts to B-29's based in the Pacific Islands. 

The "N" was a redesigned Thunderbolt with larger fuel tanks in the wings and it had the distinctive tail fillet added to it's fuselage. With eight .50 cal guns and drop tanks, rockets and bombs this fighter really packed a punch to the japs in the pacific! 

Here are some pictures of the actual aircraft as she was at Le Shima island in May 1945:

The Kit:
The Monogram kit was released again in the UK by Revell as a limited edition and I had to have it! I had attempted this kit many years before and I did not do very well. I have always liked the nose art so when the kit was re-released I knew I would buy one as I wanted to lay this ghost to rest!

The moulds are quite basic by todays standards and I still do not like Monogram's strange engineering of having to fit the lading gear into the wings before wing assembly! One can only guess as to why they thought it was a good idea at the time!

That said, the kit fits together easily enough and before I knew it I was onto the painting stage. I used a new metallic paint this time, Xtreme Metal from AK INTERACTIVE:

I was well impressed with this paint! This stuff is great! If you put a decent primer over the model and spray this paint over it in a couple of thin to medium coats the plastic surface takes on the most realistic metallic sheen I have put on one of my models. 
A word of warning though, this paint does not suffer fools. If you have to sand a section back, you can't just over spray it. There will be a step in the paint and it will show. How do I know? Yes, that is right! I am the damn fool who did just that! Yes, I fixed it, but I also learnt a valuable lesson. 

I used both AK's Aluminium and Dark Aluminium shades for the NMF and I mixed my own shade of yellow/orange for the cowl ring and tail panels from Tamiya Acrylics. 

I had intended to build this model "Out Of the Box" but unfortunately the kits gun barrel's were  so bad I needed to replace the with resin ones from Quickboost. If you have not used any of their items before, do check them out as their detail sets are excellent.

I also used a decal sheet from Super Scale to replace the kits nose art decals as the kit ones were not well drawn or printed. The Super Scale sheet was much better and the decals went on effortlessly. 

I used AK Interactive panel liner enamel washes to weather the model and I used a matte finish from Vallejo Air to give a weathered appearance to the airframe. 

So did I lay the ghost of models past to rest? Yeah, I think so............

Hope you enjoyed this post! Take care and Happy Modelling!


Sunday, 11 September 2016

American Sniper: Completed display figure.


This is my tribute to Chris Kyle the US Navy SEAL whose story was portrayed in the movie American Sniper. During his service he saved the lives of hundreds of American troops and became the most deadly sniper in US Military history. After reading his life story and seeing the film I was inspired by this man's strength of character and dedication to duty.

I am not known for figure painting but I could not resist this excellent 120mm sculpt! I have displayed the figure on a plinth with the US NAVY SEAL TRIDENT and a military issue flag of Texas, the great state where Chris Kyle was born. 

I enjoyed this subject immensely and it has certainly wetted my appetite to paint more figures in the future. 

Thanks for looking and Happy Modelling!


Sunday, 28 August 2016



Welcome to my latest Work In Progress, this week sees the beginning of my old 1/35 scale Italeri A1-1W USMC Cobra attack helicopter. 

I bought this kit years ago and recently found it when going through my kit collection. It's been ages since I've built a helicopter and I really want to have a crack at this one!

The kit is a re-issue of the 1992 MRC moulding and it has stood up well to the passage of time. The decals were not so great so I am replacing them with an after market option from Two Bobs Aviation Graphics. 

The kit does not have the NTS upgrade so I will be making a few modifications here and there, but I will keeping this build as hassle free as I can as I want to enjoy building it as opposed to worrying about accuracy. 

I plan to end up with a Desert Storm machine something like this:

I have started with the cockpit, no aftermarket parts here, this is all hand painted by me!

Next came the pilot's instrument panel. There is a lot of raised detail here so it's worth careful painting to bring the panel to life.

The gunner's panel. Again this piece benefits from careful painting.

I want to display my Cobra with her crew so I found a USMC Cobra pilot from D-Toys. It's a fantastic moulding, but expensive! Plus I need two figures! 

I solved my problem by modifying a 1960's Huey pilot, I have added modern body armour, patch pockets and NVG gear.