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Showing posts from 2015

FlightPose Adjustable Stand Review

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The majority of aircraft models we see are finished with their landing gear down. Considering an aircraft does spend most of its lifetime planted firmly on the ground, this makes sense. Furthermore, it is not often that a kit is accommodating enough to allow for a wheels up configuration. It takes more time ensuring the landing gear doors fit correctly, and should they not, fill and sand the ensuing gaps and seams. Then, of course, there is the issue of creating a base and stand to support the flying model. For the intrepid modeler who does wish to display an aircraft in flight, the solution to the issue of support can be found in a FlightPose adjustable stand.


A few months ago, I purchased one for the Revell 1/72 F-22 I built for a friend. It was my first experience with FlightPose, and a good one, so when I decided to model my latest project - Hasegawa's 1/72 F-105B - with it's wheels up, I naturally opted for one of these stands for my own use.
Since I have found them so u…

October SCU Roll Call

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October was a very successful month for the Sprue Cutters Union. An unprecedented seventeen bloggers contributed to this month's topic! See what they all had to say about what they feel is the most important part of modeling...

Blog RollThe Scale Workshop ShutterAce The Eternal Wargamer Scale Model Soup Kermit's Bench The Commonplace Modeler Around the Sprue Yet Another Plastic Modeller Life In Scale Scalebrain Workshop Ninetalis Scale Models Doogs' Models Jim D's Models Making Models Will Pattison Motorsport Modeller The Combat Workshop
Here's to another great month and a bunch of great responses! Watch this space for November's topic, or keep an eye on Facebook for updates!

Rant About Weathering

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Weathering is an essential aspect of model making. There have been volumes written about proper techniques and materials needed to master tonal variation, washes, filters, chipping, stains, steaks and so on. There are even magazines and Facebook pages dedicated to giving your model that realistic used and abused look.
But is it realistic? While weathering is popular it is also fairly divisive. Not everyone believes in a worn finish and prefers a clean aircraft to a dirty one. That's fine and dandy. Clean aircraft exist just as much as filthy ones. They aren't as fun to model or as attractive to behold, but hey, it's your thing not mine.  A little friendly disagreement ain't so bad. We're all grown ups, and I can tolerate another person's preferences (however erroneous) as the next guy. What I can't tolerate are absolutes, like when a modeler says "a jet would never get that dirty", or "you've over-weathered it". People like this atta…

Worst Box Art

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They say you only have one chance to make a good first impression. Model kits make their first impressions with their box art. While I've never based my decision to purchase a kit solely on what is essentially the hobby's version of a profile picture, a well done work of art does go a long way to inspire me.  Here is a short list of box art that I consider some of the worst, and least inspiring. 
Hasegawa Real Thing
Hasegawa has been known to make some pretty attractive box art, but their trend toward using photographs of the real thing are just boring.
Revell's MiG-21PF Revell's box art is typically OK. This one makes the list, however, because I'm not sure why this Fishbed would have it's air brakes open while in afterburner. 

All of Testor's Box Art Basically the modeling equivalent of still life, it's just objects arranged in a some what photogenic manner that aren't even marginally better than the WIP photos I produce at my workbench. And what&…

All About That Kit

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What Is Imperative?  This month the Sprue Cutters Union is discussing what we consider the most important aspect of modeling; areas that we refuse to cut corners or skimp on. The answers so far have been varied and quite relevant, from decals to the paint finish to even showing a little patience (gasp!) These are all important factors that can truly make or break a model if it's builder refuses to address them properly. Originally, I had intended to follow the same line. I was going to rattle off a few things in one post and call it good until I wrote the article last night on growing my stash, and it hit me. 
It's Obvious!  It's the kit. The kit I'm building is the single most important aspect of the build. Well, duh, you say. I wouldn't blame you for rolling your eyes at this point because, after all, you can't model without a kit in the first place. But take a seat and let me explain.

The project you are working on right now had it beginnings a long time ag…

What Influences Your Stash?

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About two years ago, spurned by an uncooperative Revell kit, I made up my mind to approach the models I buy a different way. Prior to this decision, I had just been throwing my money at various kits simply because they were available for a low price at my local hobby shop, or worse, the arts and craft store.
My stash was soon filled with an assortment of inexpensive, ubiquitous Revell kits and even cheaper and more primitive ESCI and Heller boxes purchased for next to nothing at nearby model shows.  The collection of models I had amassed was substantial but lacking in quality. The majority of my model sessions were bogged down by lengthy periods of having to correct issues such as poor fit, filling gaps, sanding seams, and apologizing to the wife for my bouts of fitful screaming. Something had to change.  I reached the tipping point while building Revell's Mi-24 Hind. The struggle to fit the canopy, among other things, was more than I could stand. I looked at my stash and realize…

September SCU Roll Call

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Ten total participants drafted some well thought out responses to September's Sprue Cutters Union topic. Read what they all had to say about what all modelers can't agree on...Scales!

The Eternal Wargamer
Scalebrain Workshop
Ninetalis Scale Models
Around the Sprue
The Commonplace Modeler
Shutterace
Jim's Models
Will Pattison
Doogs' Models
Motorsport Modeller
The Combat Workshop

A big thanks to all those who found time to participate this month! Be sure to watch this space for October's topic, or keep an eye on Facebook for updates!

My Scale Philosophy

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A Response to September's Sprue Cutters Union Topic
I like to consider myself a well rounded modeler. I have never been one to limit myself to a single subject, and will try my hand at just about anything whether it be an aircraft, armor, or dioramas. This goes for scale as well. Though I do normally have to consider where I am going to be able to store the finished model, or even the kit box, I am not one of those modelers who works only in a specific scale. Reducing my options to only one scale would inevitably be constantly disappointing. How many times have you heard a fellow modeler lament that the latest Tamiya release won't be boxed in his scale?
I would rather keep my options open. Never the less, for the most part each scale has its benefits as well as its drawbacks. For what its worth, here are my opinions on various scales...

1/144 This scale is not particularly popular, either in the community as a whole or with my own preferences. However, I have built one kit in…

Building a More Realistic Jet

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Accuracy...you're doing it wrong. If you have been on the internet at all today you would have seen that Doogs' Models posted a lengthy article rejecting the long-standing and ever popular technique known as pre-shading. It has generated a lot of views and conversation which has been both positive and negative. While I have been known to utilize that technique, and still do to a lesser degree, Doogs' has a point. Regardless of how I feel about pre-shading, his article got me thinking about other aspects of finishing a model that do not jive with real life examples.

The point of modeling is to recreate an accurate representation of the real subject in a smaller scale. While some folks did not appreciate the subjective tone of Doogs' now viral post, he was simply pointing out that in no way is pre-shading an accurate portrayal of what we typically see on an aircraft.
What I do for a living allows me the unique perspective of comparing actual fighter aircraft on the flig…

August SCU Roll Call

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The ball has been rolling on the new Sprue Cutters Union for two months now, carried by the momentum of continuous participation. The August topic was answered by no less than eleven different bloggers. Follow the links below to read their take on whether spending time on detail that won't be seen on the finished model is a worthwhile undertaking.

Doogs' Models Migrant's Wanderings The Scale Workshop The Museum Modeler The Eternal Wargamer Yet Another Plastic Modeller Shutter Ace Kermit's Bench Around the Sprue Jim's Models Motorsport Modeller
Commonplace Modeler
Ninetalis Scale Models
Thanks for participating! Be sure to follow the blog and my Facebook page to catch the next topic of conversation!

1/35 Master Box "Hand to Hand" Diorama Completed

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Its been a while since I added a completed work to this blog. Here is my latest, untitled work. The figures are from Master Box's exquisite Eastern Front Hand to Hand Combat set. They are nicely molded and I found the poses to be acceptable for the idea I had in mind. While the set features four figures (two Soviet, two German) I only used three as the second German did not fit well into the story line I had planned.
The Panther turret and the T-34 hull are both from Dragon and were built many years ago. They were in fairly bad shape, victims of a move across town and from my own inexperience as a modeler back then. So, I reused them in this setting, giving them new paint jobs and weathering them quite a bit to fit into the ruined environment. Though the turret is sitting on top of the T-34, my intent was not to imply they were once attached. Instead, in the chaos of battle, the turret landed atop the T-34 hull after becoming explosively dislodged from it's rightful, albeit p…

Sprue Cutters Union Update

Hi all! I am writing this brief post to let all of you know that the Sprue Cutters Union will no longer be hosted on this blogspot. Instead, I have given the Union its own space to grow, considering how this blog doesn't move as quickly as it once did.
If you are interested in following the antics of a few eccentric modelers, I encourage you to follow the link to the new Sprue Cutters Union blog and join the site.
Thanks!

5 Ways Online Hobby Shops Can Improve

Its not just decent selection and fair pricing... Online shopping has made our lives so much more convenient. There is no shortage of retailers representing the hobby on the internet, and of course, I have a few favorites I return to for my must haves. Never the less, I have made a list identifying areas where I believe online shops could profit and in turn benefit us modelers. Let's begin, in no particular order.

Get a Blog
I would like to see more online shops get into the business of blogging. Currently, Squadron.com maintains a blog attached to their website and even Eduard, which functions as a company producing scale model products and a seller, has a functioning blog. Unfortunately, they are the exception and not the norm. While most online retailers are fairly active on social media, as well they should be in this day and age, I would like to see them adopt a blog.
Facebook and Twitter has made it ultra simple to stay current on up coming releases, sales, and other update…

Stess Free Modeling

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What do I work on when I need a relaxing build? One of the most common positive attributes given to our great hobby is that it is relaxing. It truly is, considering how we tend to work in solitude, perhaps listening to our favorite tunes or drift in and out of an interesting documentary on the television. No one bothers us. It is simply us versus the model. But sometimes that model is a stronger opponent than we might have estimated. What started as just a regular build soon turns into an ugly cage match against an unrelenting heavy weight who throws a mean right hook in the form of poor engineering and your only defense is more filler and lots of sanding. Soon your balance is off, your breathing is labored and that documentary is looking more and more interesting. As much as the hobby can be relaxing, so it can also suck the life out of you. It is at this point I like to throw in the towel and give myself the chance to harness my chi. I'll take on a small project that I know wil…