Showing posts from July, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #2 - My Words of Wisdom

Thomas Edison once said, "Genius is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration." Or something to that effect any way. Though this rings true of modeling for me today, that wasn't always the case. In my early days, the projects took on about 99 percent inspiration and only about one percent of hard work. What I lacked in technique was certainly made up for in enthusiasm. There were seams left exposed, gaps left unfilled, brush strokes in the finish, and foggy canopies. But I loved the hobby. I lived, breathed, ate, and slept modeling. (My wife would argue that hasn't changed)
I've been modeling for over ten years now, and like to think that I am but a shadow of my former self. The enthusiasm and inspiration are still high, but the amount of perspiration I am willing to pour into a model (not literally, because that'd ruin the finish) has been on the rise since. Of course, this is owed in great deal to more years under my belt but also due to the amoun…

Revell 1/72 PT Boat - Part I

Welcome to the introduction to the next big project here at the workshop. It is Revell's 1/72 scale PT Boat (as if you couldn't read the title). Its a classic kit that shows its age but hopefully it will finish nicely.

This kit was purchased by my father about four years ago as part of our tag team modeling alliance we have. Our pact ensures that when he buys a kit, he puts it together and I paint it for him. It is a well orchestrated plan that allowed him to return to the hobby without having to spend so much time and money on it purchasing paints and other tool. Its a deal that I appreciate because painting is my favorite part of this hobby, and if it wasn't for his interest in different subjects, I wouldn't have ever thought to work on a PT Boat. So I get a little diversity on my modeling palette as well.
The kit was bought rather cheap from a model show, that if I recall correctly, was in Runnemede, New Jersey. He built it swiftly and has been sitting o…

Sprue Cutters Union #2 - Words of Wisdom

Last week's assignment for the Union had modelers talking about their first experience building a model all on their own. It was a fairly successful venture down memory lane, and this week I'd like to expand on it slightly. We were all noobs once, that was pretty clear. If we only knew then what we know now, imagine the possibilities.

- Words of Wisdom -
Pick the top three most significant things that have impacted your modeling, good or bad. For example, a technique, tool, advice, resource, etc. Share it with the rest of us! We learn from achievements, and from mistakes!
Remember, all it takes is a passion for this hobby and a blog to go along with it! All you have to do is write a post in response to this topic by Sunday and you can be a member of the Sprue Cutters Union. Take a look at the Sprue Cutters Union page for more detail. Once you've written your post, either email me the link or drop the link in the comment section below.
The goal is to send new readers to our si…

"Call the Ball" Weekend WIP

If you've been following me enough you'll know that often times the weekend tends to distract me from my main project. Though I already stated I will be working on a PT Boat full time now that I've finished "The Hunt", I got a little side tracked on Saturday by a little F-14 I had sitting in my stash. Sometimes you need a quick pick-me-up build to get you amped for the next big kit. At least I do any way.

So, off of the shelf I grabbed the 1/144 F-14 Tomcat from LS and put it together in only about two hours. One of the most fantastically easy builds in the history of my modeling experience, the hardest part was ensuring the cogs that swept the wings back and forth lined up so that the action was correct. I messed this up once as a matter of fact, but otherwise, it was picture perfect. The fit couldn't have been better.

Detail is scarce, but come on, its nearly the length of my index finger. Never the less, I added two fuel tanks under the fuselage because I…

The Union Dues: Your First Model

Last week's task for the Union was to write about the first model they ever built on their own. For the first ever Sprue Cutters Union assignment, the response was pretty satisfying and it was interesting to read some fellow modelers' first experiences with the hobby. In case you missed them, here are the contributed articles. Give them a read!

Doogs' Models
Yet Another Plastic Modeller
Kermit's Workbench
Eternal Wargamer
The DogChuffers Scale Model Workshop
Martin's Scale Models
The Combat Workshop

Six blog (and one Facebook) responses, not too shabby!
There was even great participation via the comments section on both The Combat Workshop's Facebook page and this blog, as a lot of people shared memories of their early modeling lives. Read some of the comments here.
The next topic will be posted shortly.

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,…

"Welcome to Hell" - Finished!

Well, that didn't take long. In just about two days of work, this little vignette is complete. Its really simple. There were no fancy techniques or fun tips for me to share really. It was just a cool way to blow off steam and find a way to display a 1/144 scale T-55.
When I last left off, the base structure had been completed and needed paint and final touches. This was all accomplished last night, so here it is from start to finish...

I started by painting a black strip along what is intended to be a road.

Around the edges of the road I painted dark brown which I lightened in several layers to create a mud and dirt effect...

Sand mixed with brown oil paint creates some rubble piles in the streets...

Test shot with the tank in place. The fingers give a nice sense of scale, eh?...

Now for the building. Layeres of gray were sprayed and lightened in the same manner as the brown dirt...

A thin coat of tan was sprayed over the gray to vary the color slightly...

The tank was then repai…

"The Hunt" - Finished!

Yes, after a couple of weeks off due to work restraints I was finally able to finish the last couple of steps for this diorama. All that needed to be completed was the rework and repaint necessary on the Weequay alien figure.  After sealing his joints with super glue and milliput, I painted him using Vallejo acrylics, matching his original colors as best I could. A wash using burnt umber ink and some dry brushing gave him a lightly weathered appearance. He'll just need a dull coat to take a bit of the shine off of him.
Nothing beats finishing a project. Its exciting, and especially after a diorama like this, I feel quite a sense of accomplishment.  What did I learn? I believe the next time I won't get so complicated with the water. I'm not totally sold on how it turned out. In certain angles it looks more like textured earth than murky water. I'm not so sure the base had to be quite so large either. But it is what it is. Over all, I'm happy with it. I think it repl…

Sprue Cutters Union #1 - My First Model

I remember the birth of my interest in modeling like it was yesterday. My father took me to the local hobby shop to pick out a model as a reward for doing so well in school. Though I don't remember my age precisely, I'd venture to guess that I was around eight or nine at the time. Until that date, I had been scarcely exposed to the hobby, having only seen the finished results of my father's hard work on a shelf here and there. But it was this trip to the shop to purchase an A-10 Thunderbolt II that would spawn a passion that has been in me ever since.

However, that A-10 was not my first build. As a matter of fact, I doubt I so much as helped my father cut or glue anything. You see, in these early years of my modeling career all I ever wanted to do was play with the finished airplane, at of course my father's expense. I'd poke my head in his office, check his progress and await the moment the paint had dried and the decals had set. Then it would be mine to fly arou…

Sprue Cutters Union #1 - Your First

The Sprue Cutters Union is ready to go live and I'm excited to kick it off! This inaugural assignment should be an easy one for all you model bloggers, and may even be a little nostalgic. So, for our first task I thought it would be a good idea to get to know each other a little better, but rather than telling me your name and all that personal mumbo-jumbo I thought we'd skip to the chase. Lets get right into the gritty details...I want to know:

- What was your first?? -
Tell the community about the first model you ever built without the help of any one else. In other words, your first solo. Of course, the length of your post and the amount of detail you include is all up to you. Extra credit if you still have the model in your possession, though if you do - pics, or I won't believe it!

Remember, all it takes is a passion for this hobby and a blog to go along with it! All you have to do is write a post in response to this topic by Sunday and you can be a member of the Spru…

Introducing the Sprue Cutters Union!

Welcome to the Sprue Cutters Union! I have been blogging for some time now and have been following the works of other bloggers and social media pages for an equal amount of time. I am constantly impressed by the quality and quantity of work that can be found online. So much so that I decided to create an avenue by which fellow modelers convene to share their work, thoughts, and musings about the hobby thereby generating traffic for themselves and blogger counterparts. This idea was not without its inspiration, however.
If you've been following my blog long enough, then you'll know that on occasion I have been known to participate in the League of Extraordinary Bloggers run by Brian from Cool and Collected. That site is dedicated to fans and collectors of pop culture items like toys and other bits of nostalgia. I decided to apply the same concept to my blog only with a focus on scale modeling, but I'll pretty much be following the same format just for the sake of simplicit…

Our Trip to Washington...(or how I learned to stop worrying and love the GPS)

So, it isn't often the wife and I are able to get out of the house for more than just a day. In fact, we haven't taken a vacation, just the two of us, since our honeymoon back in 2006. Three kids will do that to you. So will a fear of driving to locations I am not familiar with. For as long as I've known my beautiful wife, she has always wanted to go to Washington DC to check out the monuments and for an equal amount of time, I have resisted. That trip entails not only driving some where I am not familiar with, but also city driving - both of which are on my list of things I hate to do (the list also includes cleaning the gutters, and stretching sprue). I live a stones throw away from Philadelphia and I've driven in the city a grand total of, you guessed it, zero times. Don't like it.
But with time so grows confidence. So also grows the feeling of intense guilt when the wife says I never take her to these places. So for Valentines Day I promised her a trip to DC t…

"The Hunt" WIP - Episode IV

This episode begins with some good news - the base work is finally finished! Always nice when one aspect of a build reaches completion. All that is left is to complete Wedge's alien adversary and this diorama will be done.
There is a little bad news, however, and that is that I will be busy for the next two weeks with work (no, real work, not model work) which will seriously cut into my activities. So, even though I'm nearly done, it may yet take a while to finish. I'll get updates posted when I can, but otherwise, remain calm and work on your own models...

So, I poured the second layer of Realistic Water and added some acrylic gel medium to create some texture to imply a slight current. After the medium dries, I dry brushed it in hopes it appeared as white caps on fast moving water. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't...I haven't decided yet.

Looks okay for my first attempt at this sort of thing. You never know unless you try right?
Well, that concludes this episode,…