Recently, I was testing out a few new metallics, trying to sort out what exactly I want to use on the F-104. In that test, I came away rather impressed with Mr. Paint’s Super Fine Silver. This little revelation stirred conversation about the brand itself, how it paints etc…especially since many people have never heard of them.

So I thought…what the hell…this would make a good test of not only the paint, but the new video rig. Have a gander:

Test Drive: Mr. Paint

How About Better Aftermarket Cockpit Sets?


Recently, some well meaning commenters have intimated that I am some kind of aspiring modeling dictator, telling everyone else what and how to model.

While nothing could be further from the truth (I will tell you what and how I think you should model), it got me thinking. If I was some kind of scale modeling il duce, what would I do with that bizarrely niche power?

I sure wouldn’t tell people how to pursue their particular flavor of the hobby. Instead, I’d level my proclamations at those make the kits and paints and yes, the aftermarket sets. Because there’s a whole lot of bullshit that you, me, and a whole lot of other modelers put up with that we simply shouldn’t have to. Not in this day and age.

Let’s start with cockpit sets.

Aftermarket Cockpit Sets are the Worst

With a few weird exceptions, aftermarket cockpit sets come in two flavors – resin and photo etch. The former is generally a total replacement for the kit plastic, while the latter is often employed more as an applique over the kit parts.


Resin’s big advantage is DETAIL, particularly detail in terms of texture, depth and complexity. Now that CAD and 3D printing are finding their way into the hobby, the amount of detail that resin sets can pull off is truly staggering.

The simple addition of a good resin seat can take even an out-of-the-box cockpit to the next level

Resin’s big disadvantage? That’s easy – FIT. Seats are one thing. But when we’re talking about full-on cockpit sets, the odds of them being drop-fit replacements for kit parts is almost zero. This leads to lots of sanding and test-fitting and swearing and – at least for me – is probably the most likely way to get me to shove a kit back into its box and move on to something different.

Lovely detail, but…ugh

I can hear it now.

“But…some modeling skill required!”

Screw modeling skill. If I’m going to be paying top dollar for an aftermarket pit, the damn thing should fit. Without having to hack the kit to pieces to do so.

Photo Etch

Photo etch’s biggest advantage is in recreating scale thickness. A great example is this lovely gunsight frame for Trumpeter’s 1/32 P-47:

It’s also got its uses for representing fine details – cockpit sills, instrument panel bezels and so on. But a lot of the PE on offer these days is the colored, console-detail variety.

Over the years, I’ve come to loathe color PE. It has this weird ability to look really great on the fret, and then go completely flat, limp, and fake-looking when you put it into your cockpit.

null_zps579a5262 (1)

So pretty…

HAF F-16D Eduard PE Fail 18

So awful

Part of the problem is that PE sucks at representing depth. The other part is that the color PE is often either off-color, grainy, or both.


A lot of times, Eduard (and others…but let’s face it…they’re the 800-lb gorilla here) will even oblige you to file off kit detail to install the PE, leaving you up a creek when you look on with horror at your shitty PE side consoles.

Even decent PE still looks depressingly flat

Even decent PE still looks depressingly flat

In my quest to avoid the fit issues of resin, and the color-matching and flatness issues of PE, I’ve increasingly been doing my damnedest to bring kit parts up to snuff, and use resin seats and other bits to goose the detail level.

Hobby Boss A-6E Intruder 05-30-14-1

1-32 F-104S Cockpit-2

But I would so much prefer to have the delicious detail of resin and/or photo etch, since for the most part kit cockpits aren’t the best.

Building a Better Aftermarket Cockpit

So, as modeling dictator, here’s what I would order on pain of death: Continue reading

Weathering Words

At work, everyone wants to own their little slice of “strategy”, to the point where the term itself has become – I won’t say meaningless – but certainly confused.

Over the past week, I’ve been on vacation. Away from the bench and largely away from the computer. I’ve done more following and reading than I have ranting…and I’ve had some time to think, if that’s what you call the random firing of synapses after long days of taking three kids around Disney World.

And it seems to me that a lot of the butthurt and fur-raising associated with weathering is similar – the term is too broad, too catch-all.

It confuses evidence and reference with technique. It conflates different types of weathering. And it sets up this weird and annoying “nobody is wrong” dynamic that, ultimately, does nothing for anybody.

If that’s the case, why bother talking and debating and digging up reference photos and seeking greater understanding at all?

So I thought it might be helpful to propose some new terminology to specify what we’re talking about. Which will no doubt raise the typical claims that I’m telling others how and what to model. A common, specific terminology – so evil, right? Continue reading

Bench Video: Finding a Rig

Let’s talk about video.

If there’s one request I get more than any other, it’s for more video content. And I always dodge, because, well, video is pretty work-intensive.

Photos by comparison are easy. Stupid easy if I’m just shooting bench progress shots with the phone. Still pretty easy if I’m doing photo table shots with the Nikon. Just fire up the lights, turn on the camera and go. Ingesting, editing and publishing is a breeze thanks to Adobe Lightroom and Smugmug.

Video, though. Man. There’s formats to deal with. There’s the huge file sizes. There’s editing. Uploading takes forever and a day. A while back I was working on a title animation, but I’m not entirely happy with it and finding the time to slog around in After Effects makes me tired just thinking about it.

I mean…needs new/more diverse images. Needs the music levels tweaked badly. Ugh.

But on top of that…there’s the issue of capturing video. To date, I’ve been stuck with a really janky snake-arm type thing for my phone, and two things about that. First, it’s janky and a nightmare to position. Second, until very recently I haven’t had a phone that could really do video very well (the second gen Moto X was not particularly strong in the image sensor department).

I mean…

Now that I’m rocking a Nexus 6P, video quality is better, but I’m lacking a good mount of the kind I’d like to do proper bench video. So I’m stuck to a kind of “here’s what I did” format. And that sucks.

So my mission for the next month or so – to install a workable video rig. One that can work with a variety of cameras, to boot. I mean…I’ve got the Nexus, but I’ve also got my Canon S120 that can do pretty good video, AND I’ve got a GoPro that’s been, honestly, just gathering dust for some time.

Plans for a Rig

So here’s the plan. I’ve ordered an articulating microphone boom arm…kinda looks like a desk lamp arm, and it more or less is.


So the plan is to mount this bad boy up, pair it with a 1/4″ adapter (since it has the standard 5/8″ microphone mount sizing), then install a tripod ball mount. The ball mount can then hold, well, whatever it needs to. And it’s ready to go – seen here with the GoPro mounted to it.

When that’s all said and done, I’ll be able to at least record proper overhead, bench progress videos, and even timelapses for shits and giggles. Stuff like this video, but without the janky snake arm and the fear of the phone just falling out of it.

Then I’ll just have to overcome the time suck of editing (and my tendency to sound like a total goober on camera). So…stay tuned…kinda.

“Just” a Hobby?


“Whatever. It’s just a hobby.”

“It’s your model. Do whatever you want.”

What if – bear with me here – but what if we all agreed to put aside these dodges when discussing various aspects of modeling?

Why? Because they add absolutely nothing to any discussion of any kind. And because, in my opinion*, they cheapen the hobby and our shared passion for it.

*NOTE: When I say opinion, I mean exactly that. I’m not making pronouncements or holding up commandments of modeling. This is not a manifesto. This is my soapbox and I can stand on it and say what I want, and you’re free to agree, disagree, or flat out ignore me. Isn’t that great!?! Continue reading

5 Years & 10,000 Likes


Earlier today, the Doogs’ Models Facebook page cracked 10,000 likes.

Holy crap.

When I started on this venture five years ago, I had no inkling it would attract the kind of following it has. My sincere thanks to all who read and follow and comment – this blog would literally not be what it is without your participation.

Once Upon a Time

Five years ago, I started this blog on a whim. Work was a bit slow, and with the economy in the toilet in late 2010, clients were hesitant to take chances on, well, anything. So I figured I would practice what I preached and see if I could make something out of (hopefully) useful and compelling content. And…it was a small way for me to give back to the online modeling community that really helped me find my feet and then some when I came back to the hobby.

I soon added the Facebook page for similar reasons…and it’s been a pleasure to watch both grow over time into what they are today.

Top Ten Posts

As a bit of a retrospective, I thought it’d be fun to revisit the blog’s all-time top ten posts:

10 – P-51B Build Report 1: Initial Inspection and Cockpit Assembly – A very oldie, the first kit I built when I came back to the hobby, and actually a repost from my old and now discarded personal blog. It has pulled down just shy of 7,700 views over the five years it’s been up.

9 – Photo Studio Upgrade – My upgrade from posterboard to a light tent to a full-on photography light table caught a lot of interest out of the gate and has racked up nearly 7,900 views.

8 – 1/32 HK Models B-25J Mitchell Part IV – Finish Out – The final stretch of the big B-25 build has garnered quite a lot of interest over the last three years, to the tune of 7,978 views.

7 – Tamiya P-51D Mustang Build Report 2: Natural Metal Finish – Natural metal finish always attracts a lot of attention (in this case just shy of 8,000 views), I think because it freaks people out so much. Strangely, this is I think the last fully metal finish I’ve done…I may have to rectify that.

6 – P-47 Razorback Double Build Part 3 – Painting – This is a real blast from the past, the double-build of the Tamiya and Revellogram Jugs. I’m guessing the unique bare metal elements of Magic Carpet have something to do with the 8,200 views.

5 – Thoughts on Tamiya’s New 1/32 Mosquito FB.VI – New Tamiya kits always generate a lot of interest…and I’ve found it fun and informative to offer up my own thoughts whenever the next 1/32 uber-kit is announced. The Mossie really attracted attention, with 9,500 views

4 – 1/32 HK Models B-25J Mitchell Part I – Assembly – At around 10,200 views, the big B-25’s assembly has proven my most popular build log to date.

3 – Technique – Black Basing – I’ve been happy to see this technique catching on more and more recently…I’m planning at some point to do an updated version of the tutorial with a better subject than an abandoned drone build. 10,570 views all told.

2 – Wingscale Announcement – A Sad Day for Audacity – This older post has managed to rack up 11,300 views over time, even though it does seem quaint now that HK Models has emerged from the carnage and given us several very good kits.

1 – The Problem with Panel Line Shading – Clocking in at more than 14,000 views in just over a month, well, this one struck a chord and inspired a ton of discussion.


Fetishizing the Enemy


Fellow modelers, we need to have a talk. Because…what the actual fuck?

What’s the deal with this hobby’s fascination with German crap?

A 109 here, a Panther there, I get it. In moderation, German subjects can be a nutritious part of a well-balanced modeling diet. But I frequently see it going beyond interest to fascination and, yes, fetishization of the tools and weapons and personalities of Nazi Germany.

Not even the tiny scales are immune!

Running the Numbers

Continue reading