1/32 HK Models B-25J Mitchell – First Look Review

I recently joined the review team over at Scale Plastic & Rail. While that won’t impact my posts here, from time to time you’ll likely see posts announcing a new review I’ve published over there.

The first of these is for that crazy-anticipated kit, HK Model’s new B-25J Mitchell.

You can check the review out HERE, and stay tuned for the impending build log right here! I’m in San Antonio for a long weekend at the moment, but work begins on the big B-25 just as soon as I get home!

In the meantime, here’s a taste of the monster!

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On the Bench: 1/48 ProModeler Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver

The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver

Throughout much of its development and early deployment, the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was plagued with problems, delays and disappointments. It was disliked by aircrews and carrier skippers and dismissed by foreign governments, who cancelled their orders in droves. By the SB2C-4, the teething problems were largely ironed out, and the massive dive-bomber found its adherents. But you know what they say about first impressions. Continue reading

On the Bench: 1/48 Monogram Ju 87D Stuka

The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka

It’s strange how certain aircraft are just instantaneously associated with certain chapters of World War II. When you think of Pearl Harbor, Wake Island and the early Japanese march across the Pacific, it immediately conjures images of the A6M Zero. Battle of Britain? The Spitfire and Hurricane. The US daylight bombing campaign will always be associated with the B-17 Flying Fortress, just as the firebombing of Tokyo and atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will always be linked to the B-29 Superfortress. Stalingrad? The IL-2 Sturmovik.

And when you think about the German blitzkrieg, you immediately think of the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka. Continue reading

Where the Magic Happens

“I’m going to tackle that kit one day…I just want to build my skills up on some cheap kits first”

How many times have you heard this? Come across it in some forum or another?

How many times have you said it yourself?

It’s easy to fall into the “need more experience” trap. It’s a tantalizing justification. A thing that novelist Steven Pressfield calls “Resistance”. Yes, with a capital R. Resistance is the enemy of work, of creativity, of accomplishment. Caving to Resistance and falling back on needing more experience does one thing – keeps you firmly rooted in your comfort zone.

Want to build up your skills? Step out of that comfort zone and take on a project that intimidates you. Maybe it’s the dollar signs attached to a certain kit, or the daunting task of rigging a biplane or doing a water base for a ship. Maybe it’s risking your pretty, shiny build to the vagaries of chipping or salt weathering.

It all comes down to fear. Fear of failure. Of not doing the kit justice, and so on.

But what’s the worst that could happen? You ruin the kit? Of all the things we do in life, modeling carries one of the lowest failure costs out there. Nobody gets hurt if you ruin a kit. Nobody gets fired. Maybe some money gets blown and some plastic winds up in the trash, at worst. And even if that happens, you have mistakes you can learn from.

But I also think you will be less likely to make those mistakes when you bust out of your comfort zone.

Being on edge makes you pay more attention and, in my experience, churn out better work than you otherwise would.