Came across this amazing decal sheet from Karaya while browsing eBay for another project. And I just had to have it. For the blue A-5 if nothing else.
Man, Karaya hasn’t done too much as of yet, but when they do something, it’s interesting. Captured 190s. A sweet resin Shvetzov M-82FN radial for Zvezda’s LA-5FN.
Looking forward to seeing what’s next.
Also…I’m going to have to invest in another A-5 down the road…
If I had to sum up 2011 in a single word, I’d probably go with “grinding”.
This has been a year. Two job switches. A layoff and a month and a half of unemployment. Building a house. A move (which we’re still recovering from!). A November of aggravating ailments and injuries. The hottest summer ever recorded anywhere in the United States.
On whole, I think it’s safe to say that I’m closing out the year from a much better place then when I started it. New house with a big yard and nice, big driveway for the kids to enjoy. A job I find enjoyable and challenging. A bench that’s miles ahead of my previous, cobbled-together effort.
But it’s been a grind nonetheless.
Fortunately, I’ve had modeling to lean on for much-needed decompression. All in all, I somehow managed to knock out a total of twelve builds over the course of the year. Check ‘em out below, and click the links to check them out in greater detail.
November 27, 2010 – January 12, 2011
What started as a recovery from a Monogram Jug gone wrong turned into one of the most enjoyable build experiences I’ve ever had. In my opinion the Tamiya P-47 is one of the absolute best 1/48 kits on the market.
December 24, 2010 – February 7, 2011
My reentry into armor builds after nearly 17 years away. I can’t recommend the Tamiya Sherman enough as an entry into tanks.
January 13 – February 18
My first 1/32 build and first time using Gunze-Sangyo Mr. Color paints. Enjoyed both immensely. The Eduard kit has its issues, but I love the extra presence that 1/32 scale lends.
February 13 – March 13
Planned as a nice, easy build after the involved paint schemes of the P-47 and Bf 109, the Mosquito ran into issues when bad decals and aggressive application of Micro-Set ate through the Vallejo paint. But overall…the Mossie is a cool plane I will be revisiting at some point.
February 23 – April 29
The Achilles looks a lot cooler than it builds. AFV Club’s kit is a mess of ejector pin marks, vague fits, poor location guides, and terrible instruction manual.
March 19 – June 18
My first biplane and first rigging job. So much fun, but wow did it take a long time. I have another Pup in the stash…the question is…when will I build it?
May 4 – June 21
First experience building Dragon armor. The Panzer IV is a very good kit, excellent detail and fit all around. The dreaded Dragon instructions weren’t awful, though I really need to find a better way to do snow.
June 23 – August 21
Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, it’s totally worth it. This kit is 110% amazing. I cannot wait to tackle Tamiya’s big P-51 in 2012!
June 22 – September 9
An excellent kit, if a bit lacking in the cockpit detail.
July 4 – September 11
Probably my favorite tank-building experience so far. The Panzer III doesn’t go together quite as well as the Panzer IV (mainly in the road wheels and return rollers), but it was so much fun that who cares. Looking forward to many future Dragon Panzers.
November 24 – December 22
My first build on the new bench. Nice and simple, exactly as I wanted, but the decals are an absolute failure, and the landing gear bested me. Still…great for knocking the rust off!
October 3 – December 27
One of the four tanks I built to the painting stage before packing up the bench ahead of the move. A solid, relatively simple kit.
- Tie: Tamiya Mosquito NF.II / Tamiya Fw 190A-3 – 28 Days
- Sopwith Pup RNAS – 91 Days
Most Viewed Build
- Tamiya P-47D Thunderbolt – “Hairless Joe” – 842 Views
If you look through my stash, it’s fairly obvious that most of my modeling interests are focused on World War II. Sure, there’s a biplane or two in there, and a few early jets, but the Second World War dominates the list.
Part of the reason is the machinery…which to me just has far more scrappiness and personality than the increasingly sterile equipment of more modern times. And that machinery, by and large, actually did stuff, be it flying combat air patrols over the front, escorting bombers, busting through the hedgerows of Normandy or what have you.
But I’m also drawn to those who operated the machines. The pilots and tank crews whose exploits are often passed over in the broader scope of the most epic war the world has ever known.
I zeroed in on Henry Brown from the first moment I read about him. Hailing from my hometown of Dallas and flying a P-51 named “The Hun Hunter ~ Texas”, Brown was one of the leading aces of the 355th Fighter Group flying out of RAF Steeple Morden.
In April 1944, flying his P-51B, Brown took on four Bf 109s to save two fellow P-51s they were stalking. A 20-minute duel against the four 109s ensued, with Brown pushing them out of a defensive Lufbery wheel and driving them off despite the fact that he was out of ammunition! A few months later, in October 1944, his P-51 was knocked down while strafing an airfield. His fellow pilot Chuck Lenfest landed to rescue him, but his plane became stuck. ANOTHER pilot, Alvin White, also landed, intending to give his plane to one of the two higher-scoring pilots, but they had already fled into the woods. Not long after, they were captured by the Luftwaffe and finished out the war in German custody.
Brown’s P-51D was every bit as distinctive as his earlier -B model, sporting the white spinner and cowl ring of the 355th and a distinctive dark green camoflage applied to the upper surfaces. On his -B it has been fairly well established that this was in fact RAF Dark Green raided from British stock rather than olive drab. There’s some debate as to which color his -D Hun Hunter wore, but I’m swayed more toward RAF Dark Green, which seems to have been the go-to for a lot of non-standard paint schemes throughout the 8th Air Force.
I’ve been planning to build both of Brown’s P-51s and have markings for both – in 1/48th.
But I’ll be building “Hun Hunter ~ Texas” with Tamiya’s big 1/32 P-51!
I managed to score myself a second 1/32 Tamiya Mustang for 50% off during Squadron’s ridiculous Black Friday sale. Since the first one is destined to represent Col. John Meyer’s “Petie 3rd”, I’ve been considering a more camoflaged scheme for the second, and Brown’s “Hun Hunter ~ Texas” seems like a logical choice! Especially since Tamiya’s kit offers the filleted or early filletless tail.
I’ll probably be building WR-Z early in 2012, as part of a double build with the old 1/32 Hasegawa P-51D alongside. Keep an eye out!
Back in April, I scored a really good deal on two Badger airbrushes – the 105 Patriot and the Renegade Velocity.
When I first picked them up, I was impressed by their solidity and their balance. They felt substantially different from the Iwata and Harder & Steenbeck airbrushes they joined in my stable, much in the way that Japanese, German, and American cars have subtle yet decidedly different personalities.
Yet, today, I sold both Badger brushes.
It’s simple. Or complicated. Or both. Read more…