- 1/32 Hasegawa Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate
- 1/32 Revell Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6
- 1/32 ProModeller Messerschmitt Bf 109G-4/R6
- 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
The Challenger continues!
In Part 1, the Challenger itself got built and received it’s initial paintjob.
In Part 2, I shifted direction to work on the display base.
This Part 3 has been a long time coming, as the Challenger got sidelined for a time so I could focus on finishing off the Me 262A-2a. In this build post, it’s all about the weathering, and making a second attempt at a display base. Read on! Read more…
Part I | Part II| PART III
It’s amazing how our tastes and interests change over time, isn’t it?
When I was a kid, the vast majority of the models I built were jets. Mostly 1/72 scale. It was only relatively late in the game – into junior high and high school, that I really started getting interested in World War II subjects. And even then, I kept building jets right up until I wandered away from the hobby. In fact, I’m pretty sure this 1/48 A-7E Corsair II was the last kit I completed in my first modeling “career”.
When I came back to modeling in 2010, I found I had no desire to build modern jets. None. Zero. Instead I found myself drawn to World War II and then Great War aircraft. Modern stuff, I figured, was all boring, naptime gray, and didn’t have the same historical import as subjects from the two most important conflicts of the 20th century.
Then, somewhere along the way, I began to get some small urges. I think Eduard’s MiG-21 line might have had something to do with it, or the glimpses of some stellar builds on various contest tables. I snagged a handful of modern 1/48 jets…but never touched them.
Last year, things came to a head. I decided that, damnit, I was going to build a jet. And more than that, I was going to build it in 1/32 scale. I even started accumulating a stash of 1/32 jets. Then I started working on Academy’s F-16I Sufa kit, and it was a slog from the start. Nothing went right, and I daresay it stole so much of my momentum that it kept me from at least one and maybe two more completions in 2013. After fighting it for something like two months, I finally said enough, and put it away in such disgust that I decided to abandon 1/32 jets and sell off my small stash of them.
Instead, I opted for 1/48 as my scale of choice for jets. Started snagging some kits with the proceeds gained from selling off the 1/32 stash, even.
Between family and work commitments, I can really only realistically make it to two shows per year – the Austin SMS show in October and San Antonio’s ModelFiesta, which went down yesterday.
If I’m honest, this year’s show was slightly disappointing.
On the contest side of things, the categories continued to be entirely unpredictable. Last year, 1/32 was packed with jets, props, and several Wingnut Wings WWI-era jobs. To the extent that several outstanding builds were completely shut out.
This year? There were something like nine entries? And half of them were mine.
1/48 scale fared really well this year, though, with lots of strong entries across both props and jets. And armor continued to be arguably the most represented category. There were cars and ships and sci-fi things, too, but those just don’t capture my interest.
Here’s a selection of the entries:
Ultimately, I came away with five awards.
In 1/32 , I also had a bit of fun with my poor French P-47. The drive to San Antonio managed to knock the cowl loose, leading to some quick field repair.
In 1/48 props, I got totally lucky. The field was split three ways, between Axis, British, and Other. I’d grabbed my P-51D Mustang on a whim, and it ended up taking 3rd in the Other category. Not too shabby considering the competition.
In armor, my 1/16 Pz.38(t) took 2nd in the split category of “Axis Light Tanks”. I’m just happy – it beat the other 1/16 Pz.38(t)!
On the vendor side of things, the tables were frustratingly light this year – particularly in terms of aftermarket. I miss Victory Models, with their routinely amazing selection of high quality decals and aftermarket. They weren’t at Austin, either, so perhaps they’ve pulled out altogether from the show thing.
Despite the weak showing, though, I still managed to find some excellent deals on 1/48 jets.
Overall, maybe not as overwhelming as it’s been in years past, but still a fun show with some very solid entries. I’m sure next year will see some of this year’s empty categories completely flip-flop, too, so there’ll probably be a good two dozen entries in 1/32…
It’s time to wrap this puppy up! The 262 has been a long time building, and finally, in Part IV, it all comes to completion. Strap in – here we go!
In Part III, I walked through my technique for masking and painting the putty lines on the Me 262. The result exceeded my expectations:
Part IV promises to be a longer post, bringing the build to a conclusion, or very near to it. Buckle up, and let’s dive in.
I dropped out of modeling around 1995, just as the internet was starting to become a thing. So when I came back in 2010, I was blown away by the sheer amount of scale modeling stuff that was out there on everyone’s favorite series of tubes.
My other interests – photography and music, cars and books and movies – had all moved online in increments, but for me, modeling was removed from that evolution. Seeing how well it acclimated to the internet, and how much I gained from all the various tips shared, is a big part of why I started this blog in the first place. To do my bit.
Lately, something similar’s been happening with Facebook. There are hundreds – probably thousands – of excellent modeling pages worth following, but finding them in the first place can be a bit hit or miss. So I figured I’d put the question to those of you who follow Doogs’ Models – what other modeling pages do you follow on Facebook?
Combined with some suggestions of my own, the following is a list of scale modeling pages worth your time. Of course, it’s almost certain that I’ve missed a ton of great pages, so leave a comment here or on the Facebook page if I’ve overlooked something. Read more…
The Combat Workshop‘s ”Sprue Cutters Union” is akin to a group build, only with blog posts instead of builds.
This week’s topic:
Show us your photo studio
A few months ago, I wrote a post about the evolution of my photo studio, so it seems a bit silly to rehash the same ground.
Instead, I think I’ll use this space to give an overview of what I use now, how I use it, and why.
Let’s start with the all-important capture devices. Read more…
The Combat Workshop‘s ”Sprue Cutters Union” is akin to a group build, only with blog posts instead of builds.
This week’s topic:
What glue(s) do you use – and how do you apply them?
In the beginning, there was Testors tube cement. And it was terrible.
Growing up, I used all of the “standard” modeling glues. The aforementioned tube cement. Testors Liquid Cement, which was a little bit better, but not much, because it still took a while to cure, and because I had no idea what I was doing. My favorite glue around the time I wandered away from the hobby was everybody’s favorite “when you absolutely, positively have to stick two pieces of anything together” adhesive – cyanoacrylate glue.
From the moment I first came back to the hobby, around 3.5 years ago, my go-tos and methods have changed completely. Gone is the tube glue – or any Testors products, for that matter. Instead I rely on a hodgepodge of options depending on what’s being glued, and when in the build.
Liquid welders. Liquid cement. Solvent. Call it what you will, this class of adhesive all works the same way, by literally welding plastic together.
Welders aren’t adhesives so much as chemical brews that melt polystyrene for a short period of time. Stick the styrene together, and when it re-hardens, viola, you get one hell of a strong join.
Testors Liquid Cement is the weak sauce version of this kind of welder. When I came back to modeling, I started using a higher-strength welder called Tenax 7R. The difference was downright revelatory.
With Testors, you’d brush it on, then wait. And wait. And wait.
With Tenax, you apply a tiny amount to the join you want to weld, wait maybe 15 seconds, and boom, it’s done. This stuff goes so fast that actual gluing is probably the fastest part of any build I tackle.
Tenax – like most solvents – is very thin and ultra-low viscosity. Not exactly a superfluid, but touch it to a seam and it will race down the length of that seam like nobody’s business. As such, a little goes a very long way. The trick, I’ve found, is getting the application right.
Personally, I use two methods. The Touch-n-Flow and the Microbrush.
The Touch-n-Flow tends to freak out modelers who’ve never used one. But it’s really very easy. Basically a glass tube with a metal syringe tube affixed in one end, the Touch-n-Flow uses a solvent’s capillary action.
To fill the Touch-n-Flow, all you have to do is put it into the bottle, then use suction to draw solvent up into the tube. Some people do this by literally sucking on the thing like a straw, which is crazy. I’ve found that a baby snot-sucker thing works much better.
Once you’re loaded, just lightly “draw” the Touch-n-Flow across the join like a pen. Keep a light pressure and steady pace…the goal is to create a uniform “bead” of solvent. Sometimes it’s great to hold the join together with light pressure as well, then increase pressure once the solvent is in place. When you have little spikes of melted plastic bubble up, you know you’ve got a great weld.
If the Touch-n-Flow clogs with plastic (and it will), just set it into the solvent for a few seconds. The plastic will dissolve and you’ll be good to go again.
As awesome as it is, the Touch-n-Flow has one glaring flaw. It downright sucks at edge joins (like top-and-bottom wing halves). The syringe tube is prone to jumping and getting solvent in places you maybe don’t want solvent in.
For these edge joins, I use a yellow microbrush instead. It works extremely well for applying solvent, so much so that it’s what I generally use now for most all out of sight welds, as well as for edges.
Methyl Ethyl Kickass
Last fall, Tenax failed me for the first time. After working extremely well on probably 30 builds, it showed rather poorly against the plastic Revell uses for their new 1/32 Bf 109G-6. To my horror, I found joins separating and welds just not biting the way they have on every other kit I’ve built.
I’d read somewhere that all of these solvents are basically just methyl ethyl ketone, or MEK. So…I had a bottle of MEK…poured a little into a smaller jar. Oh my god. It’s basically Tenax, but hotter. And far, far cheaper when bought by the quart.
Considering the ongoing panic about Tenax going out of production, and the price of similar substitutes, I foresee sticking with MEK for a long time.
Protip: Treat this stuff with respect. It’s very toxic so try to avoid contact with your skin or making cocktails with it. I don’t know that it requires a full-on respirator considering the very tiny amounts being worked with at once, but if you’re the hyper-cautious sort, wear a respirator too.
My use of cyanoacrylate – or CA – has fallen off dramatically since my discovery of powerful solvent glues, but it still has its place. These days, I use CA to:
- Glue resin, brass and other non-plastic materials to plastic and to each other
- Glue small items that will be under tensile (pulling) stress, such as biplane rigging or cockpit bracing wires
- Glue things that are load-bearing, like landing gear struts
I typically tend to prefer working with medium-viscosity CA, but I’ll also use ultra-thin on one end, and Loctite’s gel-like CA on the other.
To apply CA, I typically pour some into a bottlecap (Topo Chico FTW), then use a toothpick or old airbrush needle to apply. When I’m working with thin CA and need to deliver just a small amount to an area, say biplane rigging or aircraft aerial wires, I’ll whip out Uschi Van Der Rosten’s CA-ndle applicator tips.
I rarely use CA accelerator. When I do, I’ve found great success using the Touch-n-Flow for very targeted application. For instance, when rigging up an aerial wire on an aircraft, I’ll position the wire how I need it, touch it with the CA-ndle applicator to apply CA, and then drip a single drop of accelerator on top. So much cleaner than the traditonal pump spray.
Sometimes, super glue is overkill, or just not the right choice. When I’m gluing fairly delicate bits, or clear parts, I prefer to use PVA glue. This is white glue, or acrylic glue. Call it what you will. It’s all more or less similar.
My favorite PVA glue, hands down? Gator’s Grip. It’s got a surprisingly tenacious bond and is exceptionally resilient to sheering forces. Up above I talked about using CA for items under tensile (pulling) stress. Well, CA is exceptionally brittle, and so it tends to succumb to sheering (sideways) forces. That mass balancer or antenna? Knock it the wrong way and suddenly you’re on your hands and knees trying to find where the damn thing went off to.
With Gator’s Grip (and to a lesser extent the more widely available Micro Kristal Klear), you get ridiculous resistance to sheering. Hit that antenna, and it’ll go sideways, but fixing it is just a matter of tweaking it back to where it was.
As a caveat to that…PVA glue is terrible for anything that will be under tensile stress. It’s relative elasticity means that that pulling force will literally pull it free. So yeah. Don’t use PVA for biplane rigging or anything.
Every now and then, I really have to just glue the hell out of something. The landing gear struts on HK’s 1/32 B-25. That kind of thing. I need the strength of CA, but the extra time to get everything aligned.
When that need strikes, I reach for my 15-minute epoxy. It’s a pain in the ass to use. It’s goopy and stringy and smells awful. But it does its job.
Check out what others are using
It seems to me that every modeler uses a slightly different combination of glues to get from a box of parts to a finished model. Here’s the rundown of what others in the Sprue Cutter’s Union are using to make things stick to other things.