It was a year of firsts and new opportunities. I went to Euromilitaire for the first ever time which as a thrill, especially as the Hetzer won a commended (she also one a Gold at Telford which was another first for me as I've never managed a gong in the AFV classes there before). I also set up the Scale Aircraft Weathering Facebook page which has exceeded my expectations in a massive way, I thought I may get a hundred or so "Likes" in total from modelling friends but we're at almost 1700 already and growing fast! That in turn has led to some other opportunities however I am sworn to secrecy so I'll leave that announcement to the appropriate time! I know, teasing or what!!!!
Ok, enough pre amble, on to the models of 201 in order of completion:
Hasegawa P-40M 1:48
This was my first completion this year and was also my first article in Art of Modelling magazine (the engine also featured in The Weathering Magazine). I think its fair to say I had great fun with this one and threw pretty much every bit of after market I could find at it as well as having a go at scratch building and even a small vignette!
Tamiya P-51B 1:48
This model was built straight from the box. I painted her in the scheme of Princess Elizabeth as this was a gift to a friend of mine who rates this aircraft as his favourite of all the warbirds he has flown (I know, jammy git or what!). I wanted to depict it how it appeared during it's wartime service hence the weathering! I used some old Aeromaster decals which were inaccurate so I ended up hand painting some corrections!
Tamiya Opel Blitz 1:35
I had a lot of fun this one. I used Lion Roar photo etch and Mig Productions resin tarp. It was the first time I had done a dusty desert vehicle so I learnt alot about tempering techniques to suit this arid environment. This one featured in Scale Modelling Now internet magazine.
Trumpeter F-100F Super Sabre 1:48
This model was done for Model Airplane International magazine and to make it a little different I decided to go with a Danish example. I also through a whole bunch of after market stuff at it however I did also do a lot of scratch detailing and conversion work. The scheme was great fun to do, the heat pattern on the rear was a challenge but I got there in the end!
Tamiya Jagdpanzer 38 "Hetzer" 1:48
I had great fun with this one and again it included a number of firsts for me; first go with a primer red finish, natural weathered steel and sprayed markings on an AFV). I took it to Euro and managed to get a commended which was a thrill, it also got Gold at Telford which meant I broke my duck there. However, feel free to look back at other blog entries for my views on that particular competition! This will appear in Art of Modelling next year some time.
Hobby Boss A-7A Corsair II 1:72
This was an interesting model. Built straight from the box, I used it as a canvass to try out some new techniques for an abandoned aeroplane. After a tip off from John Wilkes, I removed the carrier film from the decals by rubbing with white spirit, they then had a sanding sponge rub them to produce the chipped worn effect. I'm calling this technique a success. It was then weathered with filters and oils in my usual way.
Trumpeter MiG-21F-13 1:48
Once again I returned to the abandoned theme for this model. Again it was constructed straight from the box but I found a series of really neat photos from a Polish museum where scores of aircraft are in open air storage with predictable results. This model drove home the point that it is extremely important to study pictures of the real thing and not to blindly use techniques just for the hell of it! This will appear in AIR Modeller in 2014.
Dragon Junkers Ju-88A-4 1:48
I normally don't like building models, and this model reminded me why! I find all the detailing, filling, sanding and restoration of surface detail very tedious indeed, and with this one there was an awful lot of that going on! Anyway, the painting and weathering more than made up for it! This will feature in The Weathering Magazine some time in 2014.
Tamiya F4U-1 Corsair 1:32
This is my kit of the year, it was a stunning model to build which after the Ju-88 was a really nice refreshing change. I really went to town on the subtlety of the weathering despite it being quite heavy but again I wanted to go with realism rather than follow all the usual clichés! Part 1 is in the current issue of AIR Modeller, part 2 detailing the finishing will be in the next issue.
Hobby Boss MiG-17 Fresco C 1:48
This was another model inspired by a photo, I wanted to replicate the chipping and weathering I saw as accurately as possible. As for the construction, well, it was a major pain in the arse. The fit wasn't that great and I needed to do an awful lot of filling and sanding. Ideally I wanted to do a natural metal machine but very quickly I decided not to! Another one destined for The Weathering Magazine in 2014, look out for the Vietnam special issue.
Academy F-4B Phantom II 1:48
Another one which the construction turned out to be a pain in the rear although this was all down to me trying to shoe horn in the Aires cockpit and electronic bays. If I do another I think I'll not bother and look elsewhere for detailing. As with most of my models, I had intended to spray the markings using Miracle Masks however I made a cock up with the dimensions and as I had a deadline I needed to use the decals. The verdict, kit decals beautiful, better than any after market! CAM decals, brittle and difficult so I'll not use them again! This is another model destined for the Vietnam issue of The Weathering Magazine next year.
So that's it, 2013 almost done. So what for 2014? Well, next up will be a 1:32 Hunter with a load of goodies in Swiss markings, a really cool Wessex for Art of Modelling magazine to start with. I've also got a rather important assessment at work which is going to take up 4 months of hard study which will mean a drastically reduced output until its done. I'll still be whittling away but only a little bit here and a little bit there.
I wonder what the manufacturers are going to bring us? I know lots of people are excited about Airfix's schedule, not me though! The HK Models Meteor looks interesting but I'd rather a night fighter, hopefully we'll see that at some stage? I am looking forward to seeing AFV Club's F-104 though, I have a feeling its going to be far better than the Italeri kit, we'll see though. No doubt Trumpeter and Hobby Boss will be exciting, there seems to be no stopping them! All in all I think in modelling terms its going to be a great year for new stuff.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, a happy New Year and a prosperous 2014.