Showing posts from January, 2014

A Sticky Situation

A Brief Guide to a Healthy Glue Relationship I have said it before but it bears repeating - glue is the most important tool a modeler should have at their disposal. After all, what else is going to hold the model together? Choosing the right glue shouldn't be a chore, so I'm hoping this post, as well as the posts from my fellow Unionites, will assist any one looking to find that perfect adhesive.
Glues can be like women - some may too clingy, while others may smell good but are simply after your money. The relationship between you and your glue must be beneficial. Do not settle on a glue. Find one that you are comfortable working with and make sure it pulls, or should I say holds, its own weight. Sticking with an adhesive just because its something you are familiar with is no excuse either (I'm looking at you, dad...) The way your glue behaves should make your life easier, not harder.

It's the Little Things

How Small Detail Can Have Huge Impact If there is one thing I like better than building a diorama, it is looking at a diorama some one else has made. I love a diorama that invites me in to soak up all the detail. Each aspect of the story line is clear, subtly directing my eyes about the scene, picking up little nuances here and there. While building my current Hind diorama, I wanted to add a little something more to it, so it was just concrete, dirt and rubble. So I scratch built a telephone pole. That is not a mind blowing addition, but it alters the silhouette and gives the viewer one additional item to look at.  A great diorama causes me to think man, I never would have thought to add that. Even better dioramas are the ones you can come back to again, and see something you had not noticed in prior views. Like this one:

I did not build this, and I am not aware of the creator. Never the less, the scene is fantastic from the building, to the ground work, to the vehicles to all the mi…

Sprue Cutters Union 26: Glue

Probably the most important tool a modeler has on their workbench is glue. After all, the kit is not going together without it. The hazards that glue pose to a modeler are well known, so much so that some one named their Facebook page after one common super glue dilemma. Most of us understand that it takes some finesse and dexterity to ensure the glue hits the right spot and you're not left wasting time sanding away a sticky finger print or two. Or worse. That is why I want to know...

- What glue(s) do you use, and how do you apply them? - This is similar to the paint topic we addressed a while back and just as simple. Considering the extensive selection of adhesives on the market, you just have to let us in on your preferences. Try to tell us what situations you will use particular glues in, and if you have any nifty tricks for application. And remember, safety first! Avoid the fumes...
How this works:Listen up noobs, all it takes is a passion for this hobby and a blog to go along…

Do You Have the Time?

When do you find time to model? Most people would look at our hobby and say we have far too much time on our hands. Based on last weeks' responses to the question of time management, I would think most of us would disagree with that assessment. Time is probably the cheapest, however, most elusive tool in a modeler's inventory. Check out the responses...
Fill 'n Sand
Miniature and Model Painting
Doogs' Models Motorsport Modeller Mattblackgod's World The Eternal Wargamer Yet Another Plastic Modeller Greg's Models The Combat Workshop
One thing is for sure, no matter how much or how little time we get, it is all time worth spent! Thanks for reading and keep a look out for this week's topic!
Don't Forget!All Current 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! Join the Union!

The Dilemma of a Terrible Kit

Bill Watterson, the genius behind the ageless comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, seemed know full well the frustrating experiences inherent in the hobby that we so love. While I can't say for sure that he is a fellow modeler, the theme appears time and again in his work on that classic strip. He captured the image of a frustrated modeler brilliantly in just four small frames. Whether Mr. Watterson was himself a builder of model airplanes or not, we can all agree that we have at least experienced the same exasperation of an uncooperative kit as Calvin has encountered here. I know I have.

Of course, Calvin is younger and less refined than most of us, but that doesn't mean we haven't at least thought of taking a hammer to an obstinate kit. We have all reached this crossroads at some point, and the question becomes, do we carry on, pouring more time and energy into a terrible kit? Or do we reach for the hammer and trash bin? I have built some crappy kits in my day considering the…

How To Make a Telephone Pole

For my crashed Hind scene, I wanted to add some urban flare, and give it a sense of civilization. A simple way to do that was to create my own telephone pole. It will also give some height to the diorama and give it a more dynamic silhouette.
Any way, here is an easy way to make your own telephone pole! Hope it helps...

First you need something to create the pole itself. For this I used the shaft of an old paint brush -

Then I sanded off all the red paint to reveal the more realistic wood underneath -

Next, something is needed to create the little cross beam that hold the wires. So I grabbed a tongue depressor but any wood of similar thickness would suffice. Cut a small piece out -

That should do.
Then I was wondering how to replicate the insulators that sit on top of the telephone pole. Luckily, I had a bag full of tiny electronic parts, like circuit boards and wires taken from an old digital camera -

The resistors found on a circuit board make perfect insulators -

Just trim the lea…

Time is of the Essence

When do you find the time to model? Modeling is a hobby, not a full time job. As unfortunate as that is, it also means I have to actually find time to work on a kit given that I have to participate less desirable activities like work to pay the bills and put more kits food on the table. Being married with three children, providing for them usually takes precedence over my menial pass-time. Since I am usually away from home for eight hours a day, I put a premium on the time I get to spend with the wife and kids when I get back. This means there is no time to touch a kit until after they have gone to bed.

Sprue Cutters Union 25: Time Management

Although I would love to build models for a living and become rich and famous doing this thing that I love, for now it is a simple hobby that I enjoy in my free time. I am sure many of us are busy with work, family, and our every day lives that interfere with how much model time we get. This week's topic comes as a suggestion from Fill 'n Sand...

- How do you find time for the hobby? - Are you a lucky modeler who can stack several hours together to get work done, or do you have to work in increments of less time, gluing parts together here and there. How do you manage the free time you do have to give some much needed attention to the project on your work bench? Of course, you could also mention how you find the time to answer these Union questions too...Just sayin'.
How this works:Listen up noobs, 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 Spr…

Warning: Contents May Cause Irritation

What do other modelers do to get under your skin? This week, the Union focused on what pet peeves we possess. More specifically, what do fellow modelers do to really agitate us. While I didn't respond to this task, some other great bloggers stepped up to the plate and addressed this as tactfully as possible. Take a look...
Motorsport Modeller Mattblackgod's World Miniature and Model Painting Yet Another Plastic Modeller The Eternal Wargamer Plastic Models - New to the Union!
Not too controversial or offensive I hope! Then again, perhaps its some advice to take with us in the future! Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed reading each post...Sprue Cutters Union is becoming the window to the modeler's soul! Thanks for reading and keep your eyes open for the next topic!
Don't Forget!All Current 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 pas…

Spice Up Your Modern Jets

It is not an uncommon gripe among modelers and aviation enthusiasts that modern military aircraft have a tendency to be rather dull. The brunt of such complaints usually fall on the aspect of paint color and camouflage scheme, or more accurately, lack thereof. If you look at most of the jet aircraft in the inventory of Western powers, they are not adorned with multi-colored patterns of greens, browns, and blacks as they were in the good ol' days of Robin Olds and Chuck Yeager.
Instead, we can expect to see monochromatic schemes featuring gray over gray, broken up only by the subtle outlines of low-viz gray markings. To some, its gray overkill. However, I am here to tell you that there are other ways to add some flare to the otherwise humdrum appearance of your model...

Get the Dirt on Jamie!

Meet the man behind the models... Although Jamie Haggo has been showcasing his skills online for several years now, I have only recently had the pleasure of following his work. He runs a well written and descriptive blog that is aptly named Haggis Models and if you are one to use Facebook, his work can be seen on his Scale Aircraft Weathering page. What you'll find there are some rather captivating works in progress, and completed projects that are underlined by Jamie's attention to detail and passion for the hobby, especially in regards to weathering. His techniques are incredible and combine to produce as realistic a finish as one might expect to see on the real thing. As soon as I had the notion to start this feature on my blog, I knew I had to have Jamie as one of my first guests. Fortunately, I didn't have to twist his arm too hard to agree... So, please sit back and enjoy as I briefly pick the brain of one Jamie Haggo!

Sprue Cutters Union 24: Pet Peeves

Time for the first real topic of 2014. The majority of topics so far have been rather introspective, and this one is one is hardly different. However, this week we get to examine the nuances of our fellow modelers and our reactions to them. We all have things that push our buttons, even in this rather sedate hobby of ours. It could be that guy on the forum who is constantly complaining about upcoming releases. Or maybe its the community's over use of a particular technique. Whatever it is, it eats at your soul, and grates on your being like nails on a chalk board. This week, I want to know...

- What do other modelers do that gets under your skin? - Now, I do not intend to start some sort of flame war between all the different camps of modelers out there. But it has come to my attention that what some modelers like, others quite abhor. What works for one, is detested by another. Keep in mind, these are all opinions and should be treated as such. I am just curious to know what gets …

What Is There To Talk About?

What topics would you like to see the Union address? Thinking of a specific talking point every week can get a bit taxing. So, this past week I shared the duty with the rest of the Union and took up a collection of ideas for future weeks' topics. What we got were some pretty good subjects...
Digital Sprue Fill 'n Sand Greg's Models The Eternal Wargamer Yet Another Plastic Modeller Mattblackgod's World
While we did not hit our usual level of participation, the responses were none the less helpful and interesting. Plus, several folks chimed in on the comments section without actually writing a blog post. I look forward to using these in the weeks ahead. Thanks for reading!
Don't Forget!All Current 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! Join the Union!

Some New Materials for Dioramas

Being fond of dioramas and vignettes, money cannot always be put toward kits and figures. I have to ensure the ground work looks convincing as well which is not the easiest thing to do if you don't have the correct material.

MiniNatur  So, I went on eBay and purchased two different kinds of MiniNatur grass tufts - one for summer and one for fall. They come in pre-made little clumps, meaning I won't have to make my own using paint brush bristles or the like, and they are easily stuck to the base with glue. They should contribute nicely to the overall look of the base and compliment the other grasses I use.

Vallejo Chipping Medium This is similar to the chipping mediums available from AK and I'm assuming it works just as well. This is intended to replace the hairspray which I have never been able to yield satisfactory results with. It is applied over the base coat, then over sprayed with the top color. I should then be able to use water to chip away at the top coat exposing…

Sprue Cutters Union 23: Something to Talk About

The first topic of 2014 has arrived. I am sure you are all still shaking off the debris of the holiday season so I will keep this fairly simple. Every now and then, I get a suggestion for a topic that the Union should address, several of which I used last year. Being that I am just one person, its always nice to get a little help coming up with some riveting discussion points to keep the Union moving. That's why this week I want to know...
- What three topics would you like to see the Union address? -
I am sure there are plenty of different aspects of this hobby we have not considered yet, therefore I am curious to see what you all come up with. I also wonder if we won't see any similar suggestions across different blogs as I am beginning to see that modelers tend to think alike. So, get out a paper and pen, scribble your suggestions down and leave them in the box (or preferably in the comments below). Thanks!
How this works:Listen up noobs, all it takes is a passion for this …

Mi-24 Hind References

Looking to Wreck a Hind? These may not be the best references if you're trying to build your Mi-24 as an operational attack helicopter. In my case, I wasn't. This decision wasn't based on my desire to create a wrecked chopper over a serviceable one, but rather the poor quality of the kit determined that for me. Any way, whether you find these useful for your build or not, they are none the less interesting to look at. I hope you'll be inspired. Keep in mind, I did not take any of these photographs and they are here for visual reference and discussion purposes only. Thanks.

Stale Stash: Time to Reevaluate

A current project has left me with a bad taste in my mouth... The stash is a prized possession of most a scale modeler. Like our own personal hobby shop, it is the stockpile bearing years and years worth of kits from which most modelers retrieve their next project, and it is the cache in which we store our latest purchases. It is generally something to be proud of - an investment in our hobby's future. But what happens when everything in your collection no longer holds its appeal? There lies a problem.