Showing posts from October, 2013

Aircraft Wrecks: Examine the Possibilities!

Several days ago, I wrote up a short column about the many different ways a modeler can utilize destroyed armor in a diorama. It seemed to go over pretty well so I thought I'd offer up some references that will highlight some creative ways to use a wrecked aircraft for a scene.
In my opinion, the use of downed aircraft in dioramas is sorely lacking. There is probably one such scene for every four blown out tank dioramas. It probably has more to do with most aircraft modelers wanting to display their aircraft as naturally as possible and not as a hot mess like what you see above. Whatever the case may be, I hope this serves as some inspiration to get us thinking outside the box when it comes to destroying and displaying our model planes.

I don't have as organized a format to lay this post out like I did for the armor. I'm more interested is showcasing the different ways a wrecked plane can convey context in a certain scene. So, without further ado...Here we go!

You can alw…

An Unexpected Boost to the Stash

Modelers love to share recent acquisitions with fellow modelers. With the excitement of receiving a new kit comes a little bit of pride. It reminds me of bringing a new born home for the first time. Family and friends are present and you just can't keep from passing the little tyke around, and flooding everyone's news feed with photos and status updates. Inevitably, people start throwing advice at you about the proper way a child should be reared and warn you of the impending lack of sleep and poop filled diapers.

This is no different from when you bring a new kit home from the hobby shop, or where ever it is you go for your plastic fix. We proudly upload images of the box art, and display photos of the sprues and any aftermarket additions we might have splurged on. Our fellow hobbyists gather around, oooing and awing at our little bundle of joy. Of course, any one with experience on that kit will likely tell you the pit falls, warning you of the impending lack of sleep caused…

Hasegawa 1/32 Ki-43 Hayabusa: Mid Project Update

For the most part, I have ceased updating this blog with actual day-by-day progress shots of the project I'm working on. That is simply too demanding for the time that I have available. Hence forth, I'll just be doing a build preview, mid-production update, and final glamour shots. For WIP stuff, check out the Facebook page!

Any way, since abandoning the A-6 for the time being, I've picked up the Oscar that I started a while back and it really hasn't given me very much trouble. The molding is a bit old, and it shows in places, manifesting itself in the form of poor fit along the wing roots and other areas. Easily correctable, however, are these issues with a little bit of time, putty, and careful sanding.

I most enjoyed the interior, the details of which I supplemented with some parts from the spares bin and some scratch built seat harnesses made from masking tape and wire. The only disappointment so far being that the work done on the interior will not be easily seen…

Sprue Cutters Union #15: Everybody's A Critic

Modelers rely heavily on the comments, suggestions, and criticism of others in the hobby. That is why most of us are registered on twenty-five different forums, follow ten Facebook pages, read blogs like this, and subscribe to countless Youtube channels. We like to know what other like-minded people have to say. Encouragement goes a long way in this hobby. That said, we also like to offer up our own comments, suggestions, and criticism (maybe more so than we actually like to receive it) which is why we are registered on twenty-five...well, you get the picture. We are artists and artists thrive on criticism...

- What do you think makes an outstanding finished model? -
As individuals with different interests, we all have different opinions on what looks good and what does not. There is a lot of work out there to behold, and of course, not all models are created equal. So, when one happens to catch your eye and meet your approval, what are the characteristics of that build that move you t…

Review: Model Scaler App from Woodland Scenics

Several months ago my wife and I stepped into the 21st Century by purchasing our first set of Smart Phones. Samsung has essentially put the hobby world at my finger tips, allowing me to update the Facebook page, post Tweets, check email, and search reference photos on the Internet in the same amount of time it would take simply to turn on the ol' PC.
So, I was intrigued to see that Woodland Scenics has a free app available called Model Scaler. The interface allows users to convert any measurement to a specific scale with as much ease as it takes for you to use that same phone to calculate your 20 percent gratuity at your favorite restaurant. Though I don't often find myself in a situation where conversion is necessary, I figured I would give it a go any way.
Plus, its free and available for iPad, iPhone, Android devices, Kindle Fire, Mac, PC and Linux.

After the brief download and installation process, the app opens to an exceedingly simple user interface. There are a series …

State of the Union: What We Hate

Last week's topic gave us an opportunity to share and reflect upon all the aspects of modeling we hate. It's not all rainbows and butterflies at the workbench, and that is certainly clear from the responses...

The Eternal Wargamer Fill 'n Sand Yet Another Plastic Modeller Sven Harjacek Scale Models Jay's Scale Model Adventures Martin's Bench Corner A Scale Canadian Mattblackgod's World Doogs' Models David Knights' Weblog Miniature and Model Painting Scale Model Workbench The Combat Workshop Kermit's Bench
Uncle Damian's Garage and Hangar - New to the Union!
Give a warm welcome to Uncle Damian's Garage and Hangar, the latest blog to join the Union! Thanks for the continued participation! Keep an eye out for the next topic!
For all members, to help grow our respective audiences, don't forget to add the links from your fellow contributors onto your post.
If you want to join the Union, all you need is a blog and a passion for the hobby! Spread the word! Joi…

Sprue Cutters Union #14: What I Hate About This Hobby

Any modeler should find this week's Union topic fairly easy to answer. Most of us have a rather intense love/hate relationship with different aspects of the hobby. I could rattle off any number of things, like decaling, filling and sanding, photo etch, etc etc and this would be a really short post. While yes, I do hate those things, I don't hate them enough that it truly makes me want to flip a table in disgust.

So what does?

Indeed, sometimes the technical issues of a build really don't get along with me. I've had my share of silvering, or poor fit on a kit but really, who hasn't? Most of those issues are easy enough to overcome. My problem is that I am my own worst enemy. I hate myself. Well, that sounds a bit harsh doesn't it? I'm not saying I'm going to harm myself but there are times I feel like I should do myself a favor and go drown myself in a vat of Mr. Surfacer.

When a kit has a problem, like fit, that is one thing we all have to deal with. I…

Wrecked Armor for Dioramas: Examine the Possibilities!

Modeling wrecked armor is hugely popular. Lets take a look at some different ways a blown out tank can be used to amplify your diorama or vignette!
I don't think there are many armor modelers out there who would not like to attempt to build a wrecked AFV of some kind, if they haven't already. As a matter of fact, the first tank I ever built was an Iraqi T-69 that had recently been blown out along side the road. Though it certainly wasn't my best effort, my fascination with rusty ruins has been with me ever since.  A derelict vehicle, in any state, can add so much volume to a scene through context, composition, colors and textures, and are a great challenge for any modeler to hone their skills on. They can be a character in their own right, creating a story or sub-story just by sitting there. A wrecked tank is one of the most versatile elements of a diorama. Think about it. It conveys a sense of action, or previous action, terror, desolation, foreshadowing, and maybe even h…