PCM Fiat G.55 – Splinter or RLM?

From the moment I cracked the box on Pacific Coast’s Fiat G.55, I’ve known exactly which livery I’ve wanted to do – an experimental sand/red-brown/green splinter pattern dating from 1944.

But over the past few days, a doubt’s been nagging at my mind. The splinter camo is indeed striking, but it’s also rather jarring, with large, jagged patches of color that I think confuse the Fiat’s lines. This is more apparent in physical representations – both scale models and actual aircraft – than it is in the profile card.

That doubt’s drawn me more and more to another livery – a G.55 wearing the RLM 74/75/76 camoflage so common to Messerschmitt 109s and Focke Wulf 190s.

The strike against the RLM scheme is its ubiquity. It was to the Luftwaffe what Olive Drab/Neutral Gray was to the USAAF, or Dark Green/Ocean Gray was to the Royal Air Force. At the same time, it’s rarely seen on Italian fighters, and I find it especially flattering to the G.55’s lines, making the fuselage appear longer and sleeker.

Which would you choose? Splinter, or RLM 74/75/76?

Have your say below! The poll is non-binding, since this is my build, but I’ll certainly take popular opinion into account before I start throwing paint!

P-47 Razorback Double-Build, Pt. 1 – Cockpits and Engines

Intro | PART 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Cockpits, Engines and Blast Tubes, Oh My

One thing about the Tamiya Jug. While it’s a fantastic kit, it asks for quite a bit of work before you start to feel like you’re making progress. Cockpit bits have to be primed, and while we’re at it, why not the engine, gear bays and doors, and so on. The kit is so dense with small subassemblies that could be primed and painted upfront that it’s hard to know when to say enough!

The Revellogram kit – just the opposite. Continue reading

HGW Microtextile Seatbelts

There seem to be certain aspects of modeling where perfection remains ever-elusive. The perfect paint. The perfect putty. The perfect method for masking canopies.

And…specific to aircraft…the perfect seatbelts.

There’s thin strips of tape with wire buckles. There’s lead foil. There’s photo-etch, which can be excellent, especially with Eduard-style color photo-etch. But photo-etch is stiff and difficult to pose realistically.

About a month ago, I read about these new seatbelts from HGW. They use photo-etch buckles and other hardware, but the belts themselves are made out of a “microtextile” that behaves much more like the real thing.

Since they cost roughly the same as Eduard’s PE belts, I decided to grab a few to give them a try. Stay tuned for a review, but so far, these things look very promising.

NOTE: These pictures were taken with an iPhone under less-than-optimal conditions and a lot of the fine detail is wiped out, particularly on the belts. They look awesome in person, easily on par with Eduard’s best, with stitch lines and the like.

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So, what do you think? Do these look awesome or what?

Razorback Giveaway!

After the smashing success of November’s giveaway, I just can’t wait another 11 months to host a second. So here we go!

Now…this giveaway will be smaller and less epic than the annual giveaway…and drawing straight from my stash. Why? Because I’ve run out of storage space, I have too many models I want to build, and rather than leaving ones I won’t get to for some time to sit on shelves unattended, I figured why not set them free to, um, sit on someone else’s shelves unattended?

First up…copies of the two Jugs I’m building at this very moment!

1/48 Tamiya P-47D Razorback – This kit is a beauty in just about every way. As I work through my second Tamiya Jug I’m more convinced than ever that this is one of the best 1/48 kits in existence. Period.

1/48 Monogram P-47D Razorback – One of the best of Monogram’s venerable old molds. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t hold a candle to the Tamiya kit, but it’s simple, solid, and goes together well. In the hand of someone not afraid to get their hands dirty and cut styrene, it could be turned into quite the stunner.

How’s This Going to Work?

Here’s the deal. The giveaway is live the moment this post goes up. It will run through January 31st, and on February 1st I will plug the entrants into a random picker to determine the winners.

To enter, I want to change things up a bit. As a kid, the models were all about the machine. Now that I’m a bit older, I find myself drawn more and more to the men who flew them and kept them in the air. The humanity and the story behind the aircraft are a passion all their own…so to enter this giveaway:

1 – Leave a comment naming your favorite P-47 pilot, and why. 

2 – Be sure to enter a valid e-mail where I can contact you, if you win.

And…that’s that! Let the fun begin, and best of luck to all who enter!