A Year In the Making

Greetings one and all.

As I was checking out my oft neglected blog here, I discovered that exactly one year ago, I announced an upcoming project: The Revell 1/32 FW190 F-8.

https://groganbrett.wordpress.com/2017/05/

Just this last week, I finished it!

So, here is a little background on the project for those who don’t wish to go back through the archives: My son bought this model a couple of years ago and decided he didn’t want to build it (at least any time soon), so he gave it to me. I had looked at some possible schemes to do when I eventually decided to buy the kit myself, and setteld on Black 3 from Eaglecals, set EC#166.

Eaglecals FW190

I chose this particular scheme for a couple of reasons.

First, the color scheme is unusual for a WWII Luftwaffe aircraft, in that the lower wing and fuselage and fuselage sides are bare metal with a light mottling on the sides and tail, as well as tail control surfaces retaining a red-oxide primer finish.

Second, the backstory about this plane and pilot is fascinating. On May 8th, 1945, the pilot, Fw Eugen Lörcher, decided it was best to head west to avoid the advancing Russian forces. So, he grabbed his fiance, stuffed her into the fuselage via the radio compartment door, and made good his escape.

After I decided what I wanted to do with this model, I started. Assembly was pretty straightforward and went well. By the time I was ready for paint, I had to decide what I wanted to do as far as what brand of paint I wanted to use, as well as overcome the fear of finally tackling a bare metal finish aircraft. After a bit of research I decided on Vallejo Metal Color.

By the time I decided on what to use, hot weather was here and I didn’t want to risk messing up the paint job, so I decided to put painting off until cooler weather.

In the meantime, I got bogged down with too many projects going at the same time, and enthusiasm waned on modeling in general. Once I realized what was bogging me down, I girded up my loins and knocked each kit out, one at a time, saving the Fw190 for last.

After a bit of work, I finally completed it… almost exactly a year after starting.

So, without further adieu, here a are a few photos.

And with the completion of this kit, I can start afresh (on ONE kit) and get the groove going again.

Until next time…

2017… A Pretty Productive Year

Hello, faithful readers!

As the title suggests, I have had a pretty decent year in model construction and completion. I managed twelve kits completed… the last just under the wire!

This year I also tackled some new products and techniques that have (I hope) taken my abilities ever so slightly higher.

I have also managed to produce quite a few videos on my YouTube channel that have been pretty fun to do. In addition to my regular reviews, build logs and general blabbing about model related subjects, I introduced a new series… “Plastic Models For Beginners.” This new series of build videos takes the beginning modeler from the very basics to slightly more advanced techniques. I plan to make this an ongoing series and it has met with some very positive feedback.

So, without further prattling on, I will end with a slideshow of the completed kits for the year 2017. They are in order chronologically.

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Photobucket… Sorry Folks

As most people are aware, Photobucket has pulled a fast one.

Recently, Photobucket (PB) has changed the rules. No more third party linking of photos from PB unless you want to pay $300.00 a year for the privilege. Fat chance.

Many people are quite upset about this situation, and rightfully so. What this means is I can’t link my photos from PB to my blog, or any forums, or anything else. The really lame thing is that PB gave no warning. I got nothing via email notifying me of this change.

So, if you want to check out any of my blog posts before this one, you are free to do so. Lots of jolly text, but no more photos.

What I was going to do, was go to PB and download all of my photos to my computer and then upload them to Flickr, but it appears there is some kind of “glitch” that won’t allow me to do it. So, I will give it shot and see if I can do it via individual photos, but I don’t hold out much hope.

So, sorry about PB being lame, but things should go on as usual after this. Just with a different photo hosting site.

And as for the old stuff… you’ll just have to use your imagination.

A New Aircraft Project

I have been wanting to start this new aircraft kit for a while now, but wasn’t too sure what kind of scheme I wanted to go with, hence my delay on moving forward.

The kit, which I obtained from my oldest son, is the 2015 release of the Revell of Germany, 1/32 FW190 F-8, kit number 04869.

38-HN-Ac-Revell-Focke-Wulf-Fw190F8-1.32

When the kit came out in 2015, the reviews were generally positive, and after having (mostly) built the Bf109 G-10 that was released in 2013 by Revell, I figured it would be a good kit. My son bought it for himself, but decided he was going to pass on it for now and gave it to me.

Once I cleared the bench of most of my lingering projects, I started looking for a particular aircraft I could build. Usually, when I build a kit, I like to go for something unique, or with an interesting backstory. After a bit of searching I came up with a solution.

On May 8, 1945, A feldwebel in the Luftwaffe named Eugen Lörcher, decided, with the Russians closing in, to “get out of Dodge,” as the American saying goes. Like most German military personnel, the idea of being captured by the Russians was not the least bit acceptable. So, Fw Lörcher rounded up his fiance, packed her into the fuselage via the radio access panel, and headed for home from his base in Czechoslovakia. Flying at low altitude to avoid enemy fighters, but leaving himself open to ground fire, he eventually made a successful belly landing near his parents home. He and his fiance were unharmed, and eventually got married. I have also read that he and his wife returned every year to the crash sight to toast their successful escape with champagne.

After I decided on this scheme, I had to find a decal set for this particular subject. After a short search, I found a set from EagleCals.

Eaglecals FW190

The markings I will be using are for Black 3 at the bottom. Another reason I chose this particular aircraft, is the somewhat unique paint scheme. The fuselage sides and lower surfaces are bare metal, with a very faint mottling on the upper sides and tail, with camo colors on the top of the fuselage and the tops of the wings. The elevators and rudder are coated with red oxide primer.

Another interesting tidbit on this project: I have never painted a bare metal finish model of any kind.

Should be interesting.

At this point of the build, I have built and painted the cockpit components, assembled the aftermarket seatbelts, and started painting the inside fuselage parts for assembly.

20170521_092903

I will be painting this plane with Tamiya paints for the most part, with the exception of the bare metal which will be Vallejo brand metal paint.

So, stay tuned if you want to follow along. This won’t be a blow by blow build log, but more of an occasional update as I progress.

After Almost Four Months!?

Yes, indeed. Four months, and nothing to show for it on my partially neglected blog.

I have not been idle in that time though. I have actually finished a few kits and embarked on some additional endeavors related to my modeling activities.

As I outlined in my January post, I have started my Plastic Models For Beginners series on my YouTube channel. Thus far, it seems to be quite successful. I have recently hit 500 subscribers, and I think that has to do in large part with my beginners series. There has been quite a bit of positive feedback and at least one subscriber has purchased the same kit that I used in the first series, the old Tamiya Panzer II kit in 1/35 scale, and is using the videos as a build along kind of thing. Also, the videos seem to be helping others get into the hobby, and even improve on what they are already doing. This makes me quite stoked. Showing videos of my work just to show it is alright, but to actually offer something useful is what I am after.

I am currently in the midst of the second kit right now and am posting the videos as I go. The current kit is Tamiya’s old mold of the SdKfz 222 Armored Car in 1/35 scale. This kit is slightly more complex than the Panzer II was, and also offers the additional challenges of a metal barrel and a couple of photo-etch parts that are included with the current release.

As for non-beginner related builds, I recently finished the Eduard Messerschmitt Bf109E-4 PROFIPack Edition in 1/48 scale. As you have probably gleaned from my usual subject matter, I am not much of an aircraft modeler… that is, up until now. I have discovered the one ingredient that always held me back from aircraft, but I will talk about that in a future post. I finished this plane in the markings of Franz Von Werra. I find his story to be quite interesting which is why I went with this scheme. I am so inspired, in fact, I have dusted off the Revell Bf109G-10 Erla in 1/32 scale I started a long time ago, so I can finish it!

So, that is it for now, and I will leave you with some parting shots of the Eduard kit. Stay tuned for more updates…

Happy New Year!

The title says it all! I hope all of my throngs of faithful readers had a wonderful 2016, and hope that 2017 proves to be even better.

In my tiny modeling universe I have had my most productive year since my return to the hobby. I got quite a few kits completed, one kit in limbo, and one on the bench. I also have one kit waiting in the “stash” (my stash consists of two kits) that is going to be part of a group build starting today.

I also have a four kits and some supplies on the way from my favorite online hobby supply, Scale Hobbyist. Great place.

One of the kits I have on the way, is Tamiya’s 1/35 Panzer II, kit number 35009. This kit has been around since 1971. Why would I order such an old kit, you ask? Well, I am starting a new series on my YouTube channel called, “Modeling for Beginners.” I plan on doing a series of videos, doing a step-by-step, starting with the basics, using the most basic set of tools and supplies. Then with the next kit I feature, I will get a slightly more detailed kit, and use some slightly more advanced techniques. A kind of growing together thing.

I have posted my idea on my channel and it has received some decent enthusiasm and even brought some new subscribers. My whole plan for my channel all along has been to be helpful in some way, and not just showcase my models.

With that in mind, I will probably only be posting here once a month, or so. Update kinds of things and maybe some photos of my completed models. Since my audience is growing on the YouTube channel, I want to focus my efforts there.

Enough of that. So, to close off this year (and post) I am attaching one photo each of my completed kits for 2016. Not a bad years work, if I may say so!

Carry on chaps, and chapettes, and see you next time.

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A Halftrack of A Different Color… pt 2

Assembly has commenced on the Tamiya Sdkfz 251/9.

As is my custom, the wheels are assembles, but not attached to facilitate ease of painting later.

Everything to this point assembled and ready for interior paint.

Interior parts painted and assembled.

Gun assembled and ready for paint.

Interior weathered a bit. I may add a bit more, but will see later…

Ran into a bit of fit issue on the tool boxes. It took quite a bit of clamping to fix it.

Attached the fenders and scratched a conduit for the light.

Ready for paint.

Ta da! Base coat applied. I like to use Vallejo primer in the appropriate color for a base. Saves a step by not having to prime then paint.

Next time will be a bit of hairspray and a coat of Tamiya OD to begin some light chipping.

Until next time… adios!

 

A Halftrack of A Different Color

For my next project I will be tackling a subject I have never done before… a German halftrack.

The kit I have chosen is the Tamiya Sdkfz 251/9.

While perusing the interwebs for ideas and research, I found some interesting photos of vehicles of this type. I was quite surprised when I came across this one

It is the same vehicle pictured above, captured by the British and used by them during action in the Netherlands. This photo piqued my interest.

While looking for info on the unit markings, I found out that a booklet and decal set is available pertaining to this and other vehicles captured by the allies during WWII. I did a quick search online and found it.

And here is the vehicle in the booklet

After inspecting the kit contents, I opted to order some aftermarket tracks since the kit tracks are very basic, with no detail on the inner portion that contacts the road wheels. At the suggestion of a few modelers on a Google+ group I am a member of, I ordered a set of the single strip type for the Sdkfz 251 series manufactured by AFV Club.

So, that is the kit and extras. Next time… assembly begins.

November Already…

… and it is time for an update.

Last post saw the completion of the Academy Sherman M4A3 with T-34 Calliope. It was a fun kit, especially with the self inflicted update challenges I did. The end result came out better than expected.

 

My current project is the Dragon 1/35 scale M7 Priest, Early Production.

Most of the construction is complete, and it has been great so far. Construction is a bit different than the Tamiya and Academy kits I am used to, but with a bit of simple planning and care, it isn’t anything that can’t be overcome pretty easily. Look for a post soon discussing the construction soon.

After I wrap up the M7, I will be starting the Tamiya 1/35 Sdffz 251/9.

I will building this one pretty much out of the box as far as construction goes, but the paint will be different. I will be painting this one to replicate a vehicle captured by the British during Operation Market Garden. I have a decent photo to work off of and a decal set for this particular vehicle. Again, a post will be coming up about this one.

The only other kit I have waiting, is the new tool Tamiya 1/35 M10 Tank Destroyer. I have a photo to work off of for this one as well. It will be portraying a tank destroyer supporting the 76th Infantry Division during their push across Germany.

Many, many posts ago, I mentioned Shepard Paine as one of my early influences in modeling. Recently, a new book, Shep Paine’s Armor Modelers Guide, was released. I have yet to get it (I’ll probably order when I am done here!) but it got me thinking about those years long ago, perusing Shep’s Tips For Building Dioramas from the old Monogram kits. I always admired his work, and as I have gotten older, I appreciate it more, knowing now what kind of deadlines he had and the primitive models he had to work with. Back then, I could only dream of turning out finished models like he did.

Now however, I think my skills have improved enough that I could almost pull off some of the things he did. Notice I say almost… So, I have started to get the urge to finally try to duplicate what Shep did. My first and favorite introduction to his work was the Monogram Sherman Hedge Hog. He did some simple scratch built modifications, and made a really nicely done diorama depicting a Sherman plowing through a hedgerow supported by infantry during the fighting in Normandy.

So, I will have to start looking for one of the old kits with the diorama sheet in it, so I can give it a try. I’ll post updates on this one as they develop.

And… that is it for this time. Stay tuned for further stuff soon, and if you aren’t building models, give it shot. If you are, keep it up and have fun!

Academy M4A3 w/T-34 Calliope Update

Wow.

I had good intentions with this kit and writing a build log. Really, I did. But, I just counted the photos and realized that over 100 photos with commentary is a bit much, so I will give a few comments and then post pics of the finished model.

First of all, I want to mention that this is my second Academy kit. The kit overall is pretty nice. There are a few detail things that are not to my liking, but easily fixed. Engine hatch grab handles come to mind. The ones on the kit are the solid, molded on type, and those were easily shaved off and replaced with some of the extra handles that come with the kit.

Fit is generally good with some not-too-difficult modifications to the rocket tubes to get everything to come together smoothly.

I built the kit mostly from the box, but added wiring to the rocket launcher assembly, and reworked the springs on the rocket launcher mounts to look a little better.

I also replaced the kit tracks. The ones in the kit are the rubber chevron type with extended end connectors, usually referred to as duckbill end connectors. The vehicle I was building had the steel chevron tracks, so I opted to go after market. The brand I chose was Kaizen.

I have messed with Kaizen tracks once before and really liked them, so I thought I would give them a try again. They are much cheaper than the metal tracks that are available and seem to be better quality than some of the other brands.

The one snag I ran into was that the drive sprockets were too narrow for the tracks. So, I had to cut the sprocket apart and add a spacer to make it wider.

Here is a photo of the tank I was recreating

m4_sherman_t34_calliope-1

And here is my version

And a few more.

And that, is that.

For my next review, I will cut back on the photos and be a little more general, with emphasis on modifications or fit issues.