Next Level Tools

Back in June I posted my first video in my beginners series. It was a video about the most basic tools (in my opinion) a person needs to build a model kit.

With this next video I explore some of the many options available to further enhance one’s modeling experience.

Keep in mind that this list of tools and materials is by no means exhaustive and is what I use for now when building.



Finished At Last

At long last, the Tiger is finished.

TacticalJackalope from the Google+ community, YouTube Modelers, started a group build last August called That ’70s Build. The premise of the build was this: The build was to last from October 1 through December 31; the kit had to be a Tamiya kit manufactured sometime between the late ’60s up to ’85; and lastly, no aftermarket items. Scratchbuilding was ok, but no aftermarket parts or kits allowed. It had to be built straight from the box.

Enter the Tamiya 1/25 scale Tiger I. I have had this kit since the late ’80s. My brother bought it for me as a gift for a birthday, or some such. I didn’t build it right away because I intended to get really in depth on super-detailing it since I had some references with good closeups and interior photos and illustrations. The kit comes with a very basic interior and I figured I could expand on it.

Due to life, the project never happened, but I hung on to the kit. I eventually got back into the hobby, and here we are. The kit was introduced in 1969 as kit number 30611. It was reboxed by Tamiya a couple of times throughout the years, but the contents remained unchanged.

I didn’t actually start the kit until December 13th, so getting it completed by the deadline of December 31st wasn’t going to happen. But, I dove in anyway.

So, on February 15th, 2016, forty-six days after the group build deadline, I finally finished it. Being an older kit, it has its challenges, mainly in parts cleanup. The fit was fine, and pretty much anyone with a basic skill set could build a very nice representation of a Tiger with this model. There are some inaccuracies compared to the real vehicle, but in the end, it looks like a Tiger. And the larger scale makes it quite imposing sitting on the shelf next to the usual 1/35 scale kits.

All in all, I am really pleased with how it turned out. I hadn’t really planned on spending as much time on it as I did, but the more I worked on it, the more fun I had.

Without further adieu, here is a short video of my Tamiya 1/25 scale Tiger I.



Sgt Rock vs A Tiger!

Like many, I loved comic books as a kid. A story with pictures. The perfect way to while away the time on a summer afternoon.

I wasn’t much into the super hero comics, although I would read them from time to time. My favorites were the war comics. Our Army at War, The Haunted Tank, Weird War Tales, and my all-time fave, Sgt. Rock.

My supplier of these literary gems was B & F Hobbies, in Bakersfield, California. That was my go-to place for hobby supplies in the mid- to late-’70s, and even though I didn’t live in Bakersfield at the time, my grandma did, and we would visit once a week. Lucky me, B&F was only a few blocks away from granny’s house, so a friend, or brother, and I would walk down to look at the models and trains, and the freestanding, rotating racks of comics. We would buy a few each and hustle on back to grandma’s and spend the afternoon reading the comics, exchanging them with each other as we finished them.

I would read them over and over, eventually wearing them out. I had most of them for many years, but eventually they would just fall apart. Back then we didn’t “collect” them. We bought them, traded them, and read them again. Most of the time with sweaty, dirty hands (from playing outside… all day long). Often times we would embellish the illustrations with extra blood, carefully applied with a red, ball-point pen (markers would bleed though the paper, so we avoided those).  That’s what they were for.

One of the books I remembered the most from those years was one of special editions that had around 80 pages. They were generally a multi-chapter story with a couple of shorter stories near the end. These specials cost a whopping $1.00, so those were the ones that were really special. This particular edition of Sgt Rock had him and his squad of Easy Co soldiers squaring off with a Tiger tank in North Africa.

So, without further adieu, here is a quick video talking about this edition of Sgt Rock and my recent search to replace it, since I lost or tossed the original years ago.

I hope you enjoy.