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February 26, 2012

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  • Panda’s Pz.38, Great Wall’s MiG-29, Eduard’s hot new Spitfire and more in the Reviews section

On the Bench

  • 1/32 Academy F-16D Block 52+ – Polish Air Force


April 22, 2014


There are a lot of things I just don’t understand about this hobby. Like the attraction to eggplanes.

But one that really flusters me? The way that some products will work like a damn charm on armor builds, but inevitably nearly ruin any aircraft they touch. And vice versa.

A few weeks (months?…you lose track of time with three little kids) ago, I was nearing the end of the road with my Challenger 1. It was time for the flat coat. And this is well-used armor, so I wanted dead flat. The solution was obvious – Alclad’s flat clear is the flattest flat clear I’ve ever used. It works a charm on aircraft.

The second it touched the Challenger is dusted and fuzzed up like nobody’s business. I literally had to sweep the dusting off with a stiff brush. Another go with Vallejo Matt Varnish worked perfectly.

Fast forward to last night. I needed to gloss the T-26 before moving into oil filters, so I pulled out Vallejo’s Gloss Varnish. It went down like a charm. So I figured, while I was at it, I’d spray down the MiG-21 to get it ready for panel washing.

I guess I forgot that rule that Vallejo Gloss Varnish SUCKS ASS on aircraft. Now I have a nice, rough texture on the wings.

I have no idea why this is the case. Why some products will work perfectly fine with one genre, but not the other. It’s all the same plastic and paint and clear coat. Apart from the shape there’s literally NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER. And yet…there has to be, because it seems like crossing the genre streams, particularly with clear coats, results in instant regret.

Am I alone in this, or does anybody else have similar horror stories?

1/35 Hobby Boss T-26 Mod. 1933, Part 1

April 20, 2014


At the beginning of April, Large Scale Modeller kicked off its first armor-only group build, focused on the Eastern Front from Barbarossa to Kursk. After batting around the idea of another T-34, I decided I’d go in a different direction and build a Soviet light tank instead – the T-26.

Hobby Boss – which, along with Trumpeter – appears to be on an “All Things Russian” tear at the moment – already offers several flavors of T-26, with more on the way. I chose the Mod. 1933 because, well, I don’t know really! My intention is to do this one quick and to have fun with it, not get all bent out over accuracy.

hb_82495_title Read more…

1/35 Trumpeter T-80BV, Part 3

April 19, 2014


Welcome to the Main Event

The T-80BV has been a slog of a build up to this point. Not a bad kit, by any means. Far from it, in fact. But still, the complexity and the high parts count make it rather…involving.

Now, the building is (mostly) done, and it’s time for the fun.

When we last left the T-80BV, it was ready for paint.

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So…to paint!

Read more…

Explainer: Track Types

April 18, 2014


Most modeling genres have a lot in common, and by and large the tools and techniques translate. Whether you’re building a tank or a car or a ship or an airplane or an AT-AT, you’re still going to have to glue stuff and sand stuff and prime stuff.

But each genre also tends to have a few idiosyncrasies that set it completely apart from the others. Aircraft have their canopies and ordnance. Ships have those damn railings. And with armor…the tracks.

Tracks are just…different from anything else in the modeling experience. And within armor, there are several different types of tracks to contend with. If you build armor regularly, you’re doubtless aware of them, but if you’re just coming back to the hobby, or thinking about it, or pondering maybe wandering away from aircraft to build a target or two, I thought it’d be helpful to put together a little primer on the general types of tracks you’re likely to encounter, and some of their strengths and weaknesses. Read more…

1/35 Trumpeter T-80BV, Part 2

April 18, 2014


The T-80BV build continues.

In Part 1, I tackled the tracks and running gear. This time around, it’s all about plowing through construction to get to the part I really enjoy – painting and weathering.

If you want the TL;DR version – this kit is a slog. It has a ton of parts, many of them tiny, and requires a lot of focus to get things where they need to be. On the plus side, everything fits rather well. Read more…

1/35 Trumpeter T-80BV , Part 1

April 18, 2014



Back in December, I pulled Tamiya’s Challenger 1 from the stash on a whim. Modern armor isn’t exactly my thing, but building the Chally has certainly piqued my interest to a certain degree.

So I’ve decided to keep the modern thing going with Trumpeter’s new 1/35 T-80BV kit. And, because the kit only includes glue-em style indy tracks (which I HATE), I decided to spring for Trumpeter’s separate Workable T-80 Track Set.

The T-80BV Main Battle Tank

Read more…

Armor – Getting Interestinger and Interestinger

April 18, 2014


When I got back into modeling in 2010, it seemed like the overwhelming trend in new armor kits was backfilling basically every single possible variant of every single World War II German ground vehicle.

Of course, that trend continues and, given the popularity of German armor, I doubt it will ever really go away. But over the last year-ish, I’ve noticed some definite changes afoot in the types of kits – and even in the manufacturers themselves – that are hitting the market. Read more…


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