- 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
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.
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…
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…
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
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…
At last! Welcome to this build’s big moment of truth. Making this:
Look something like this:
Or…similar. While I was tempted to go for 100% fidelity…the “AMS” side of the Force…I have found that stressing so much about complete accuracy doesn’t really do anything except suck the fun out of builds. So for my forays into 1/48 jets, I’m making a conscious effort to strive for verisimilitude over exactitude.
Part I | Part II| Part III
With the cockpit sorted, it’s time to move on to the build portion of the build.
Overall, Trumpeter’s kit is straight-forward and hiccup-free. Still, there are a few areas to watch out for, and it’s probably a good idea to have a sanding stick or five on hand.
Salting the Shock Cone
Before construction can really begin, there are a few central bits that have to be sorted out. Namely the cockpit, engine, gear bays and the MiG-21′s distinctive shock cone. This cone can move forward and back, essentially regulating airflow into the jet engine. The MiG-21F-13 has a noticeably smaller shock cone than later Fishbeds such as the MiG-21MF and MiG-21bis, in large part because later variants placed the radar behind the cone.
For this particular build, the shock cone required some serious weathering.
Here’s how I tackled it. Read more…