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…

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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.

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.