Bandai TIE Fighter in 1/72nd Scale

Bandai T.I.E. Fighter in 1/72nd Scale

by Mike Hanlon

I saw the original Star Wars movie when it was released in 1977.  I was 21 years old; I’m younger than that now.

Since it began, Star Wars models and toys have littered the landscape.  Models of Star Wars subjects have generally been treated as throw away toys with little regard for accuracy or scale.

International licensing agreements have added to the Hodge podge of kit availability and quality.  The original kits were produced by MPC.  Currently in the US and Europe, Revell holds the rights to produce kits, in Asia and Japan these rights are held by Bandai.  In the U.S., you cannot run down to the local hobby shop (if you still have one) and buy them.  They are readily available through E-Bay and Amazon from Japan. Bandai is primarily known for Gundam kits, basically giant, weird looking robots. These kits are also produced using state of the art molding techniques.

Their Star Wars kits do not require glue, but should not be thought of a “Snap Tight”, the tolerances are tight and the fit is amazing.

The T.I.E. fighter kit is molded in black and gray plastic and does not require painting to achieve acceptable results.  The kit also includes water slide decals and stickers, so it can appeal to kids as well as adults.  One challenge in painting the kit is that the instructions are printed in Japanese with no painting recommendations in English.  Searching the Internet yielded matches to Tamiya paints.  Fun fact, the original studio models were painted with Pactra Sea Blue.  On my model the cockpit and center pods were painted with Tamiya Neutral Gray, the solar panels were painted with Tamiya Rubber Black; Mig washes were used to highlight the panel lines.

I used glue on some parts, but mostly out of habit, it truly doesn’t need it.  The kit provides a clear part for the cockpit but also provides the same part in gray with no clear sections.  The studio models had no clear windows as they caused reflections.  I actually like the look without the windows.

The model goes together very quickly and was the most fun I’ve had building a model in quite some time.  If you like Star Wars, you owe it to yourself to try one.

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Minicraft P-3C Orion in 1/72nd Scale

Minicraft P-3C Orion, No. 1147, in 1/72nd scale

by Paul Gasiorowski

Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Exploración (EA6E) (Exploration naval Sqd)

The first P-3 Orion entered service in 1962. It was based on Lockheed passenger aircraft the Electra, shortened in the nose and a MAD boom added which added about 6 feet to the length of the plane. It is in use by several navies, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Norway, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Japan, U.S. Customs, Germany, Canada, Spain and others throughout the world. The US Navy is transitioning from the Orion to the P-8 Poseidon.

The model was obtained from a former member Dick Smith who had completed most of the kit except for the propellers and landing gear. I put it on a shelf in the garage where it sat for many years, collecting dust, etc. The reason to complete the kit was the theme for February which was “South of the Border”. I happened to find that the Argentine Navy had several of these aircraft, plus I was able to find a decal sheet for the Argentine Armada, more on the decals later.

Since the kit was mostly complete, I started off by washing the whole thing with soap and water and a toothbrush. Using a hairdryer to blow off most off the water and whatever got inside the aircraft. I then let it sit for a day or and shook it to make sure all the water was out of it. After doing some research on the colors, etc. and receiving the decals it was determined that the colors were Intermediate Blue (35164) and Gull Grey (FS36440). The colors used were Model Master Acrylics.

The decals were from The decal sheet calls out the following colors Grey 26440 Gunze Sango and Intermediate Blue 35109 Gunze Sango H56. The decals are a little different since they are produced as a mirror image, which requires you ‘flip’ the decal over before you apply it. This makes DEK L’s a little easier to apply because it reduces the risk of ‘curling’ or clinging to things. The decals are produced on a continuous piece of decal film, so accurate trimming is necessary. FYI, if you want to build an F-86 Sabre, they have a many different foreign Demo squadron decals. Some of the color schemes are very colorful.

The first thing I did was give it a couple of light coats of Tamiya Gray primer to make sure everything was covered and let it sit for a couple of days to completely dry. I did some rough masking prior to painting the lower fuselage with a couple of coats of Gull Gray. Then I spent some time masking off the lower fuselage and engine nacelles, this took quite a bit of time as I wanted the separation to look the same on all the engine nacelles. This was followed by several light coats of Intermediate Blue. The nose and glare panel on the front of the fuselage was masked off a given two coats of flat black. It was then followed with several light coats of “Future”. Letting is sit for a couple of days, I then glued in all the clear parts. The front windshield was not glued in because it was a great fit. I did give the edges of the windshield a touch of black highlighter on the bottom edge and touched up the upper edges with intermediate blue.

The decals came next, starting with the squadron emblem of the tail. The decal sheet came with a white decal the same size as the color decal, which helps keeping the colors from bleeding through. So I started at the back of the airplane on the port side and worked my way forward. I did the window frame decals the next day. The frame decals were kind of fussy to get down, so once I got them where they should be, I walked away. The following day I did the port side of the plane. There was some silvering of the large decals, especially the long “ARMADA ARGENTINA”. So it would take another coat or two to have a really glossy base. I have yet to knock down the gloss with a flat yet to see if the silvering goes away.

The next thing I worked on was the propellers. I painted the props with primer gray, followed by flat white 2 coats and then the Gloss Red (small bottle) tips, after I masked everything off. The spinners (2 pieces) were painted flat black. Then everything was glued together. The props don’t move because the original shafts were glued in and just attached with glue. Some of the shafts had to be sanded down a bit to make sure the prop assemblies sat flush with the nacelles.

The plane did not come with any missiles, but had the mounts. So I went to the 1/72 missile kit and dug out some Harpoons, which I assembled. I guess if you’re an Anti-submarine/Anti-ship plane you should be carrying some firepower. I painted these up in the appropriate colors and hung them under the wings. I finished the plane by adding some radio wire from the front of the plane to the tail. I used some small brass eyelets from a photo etch kit or the front attachments and drilled a tiny hole in the front of the upper tail and ran some nylon sewing line through it to

the eyelets in the front. After everything dried I ran a black felt tip along the wires to make sure they were visible. I touched up the hole it the tail with a dab of Intermediate Blue.

For not having to build the model from the beginning, it was a nice easy job to finish it. Dick Smith did do a lot of filling and sanding before I got to it. One thing this plane takes up a lot of space, about 18″ x 18″. Dick did give me the original box, which I thought just had the rest of the kit in it, but it was another whole kit.

Bonus pics (not in the PDF review)


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2017 February Meeting Notes

February 17, 2017 McKinstry Meeting
Theme: South of the Border/South America
Program: Using washes, Mike Hanlon

Notes by Paul Gasiorowski and The Tick

Attendees were: Paul Gasiorowski, THE TICK, Mike Hanlon, Lee Lygiros, Charlie Scardon, Bill Soppet, Dan Paulien, Steve Kumamoto, Frank Ress, Jim Batchelder, Brian Gardner, Mark Murray, and Carl Geiger

The meeting was held back in conference room I. With just 13 members attending in February, It is apparent that this room is a bit tight for our needs. After talking to the library, we seem to be stuck with just this option for now. It might be time to look for another option after meeting in this library since 1982.

Charlie’s suggestion last month that we theme the August meeting for the 75th anniversary of the Guadalcanal landings led Frank to suggest that we have dual-track themes for our meetings the next few years. We could continue both our usual eclectic themes and a WWII 75th theme each month, in observation of the events of WWII.  Frank agreed to come up with a list of candidate themes for WWII.

Program: Using washes, Mike Hanlon

Mike Hanlon demo’d his weathering/wash technique as applied to his Tamiya Me 262.

1/48th Scale Tamiya Me-262-A1 WIP: RLM81 Braunviolet, RLM 82 Lt Green over RLM 76 Blue Gray. RLM 81 and RLM 76 mixed from Tamiya paints/RLM 82 Gunze Sangyo H422 Lt Green.

Mike looks confident and knowledgeable. Carl looks at something else – but at least he’s color coordinated.

Wash on wings, Mig Dark Wash an enamel wash removed with odorless mineral spirits (Turpenoid) Advantages: Capable of creating streaks and stains. Disadvantages: Slow drying time, must be applied over an acrylic barrier if using enamel paints.

Wash on fuselage: Flory Models Dark Dirt Wash, a water based clay wash. Advantages: Very quick drying time; doesn’t damage underlying paint, removed with water. Dis-advantages: Can’t really be used to create the streaking effects possible with enamel or oil washes.

Mike working without his glasses…

Theme: South of the Border/South America

F-16B, 1/72nd, Hobbyboss, built by Paul Gasiorowski

The kit went together quite well. Seams at the fuselage/wing joint were almost non-existent. Paints used were Model Master Acrylics, dark seagGrey and blue grey upper fuselage and light gull grey lower fuselage. Decals sheet was from Zotz, which included markings for Netherlands, Norway, Jordan Italy, U.A.E., Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.

This was a 2 seat version of the F-16 used by Fuerza Aerea Chile. No squadron/unit/group  was given, but a guess based on tail serial would be Grupo no.3 at los Condores, AB. WHY isn’t this info on the decal instructions???

P-3B Orion, 1/72nd, Minicraft (Hasegawa), built by Paul Gasiorowski

A partial build that Dick Smith gave to Paul when he was moving to Arizona. (Amazing. Dick still has the 1st penny he got for shoveling the side alk back in 1902!!) It sat on the shelf for several years before Paul decided to finish the model.

Finishing the kit was quite easy. Masking of the nacelles took some time. Model Master Acrylics: intermediate blue and sea gray. Fortunately decals were found in Australia to meet the south of the border theme. Markings are from a DEKL’S decal release for a Chilean P-3B. Markings for Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Exploración EA6E. (Exploration naval Sq).

Crazy Charlie and his undersea fleet

Yep. That’s right… back again from the November meeting when he faked his own death.

Charlie’s been a busy boy this past month, playing with acrylics and Hydrocal 105. The result is he has finished 10 subs. And here we go… take it away Crazy Charlie.

“I made all the bases in my usual way. They are AMT car cases with a 1/4 x 1/4 square tube frame. I used Hydrocal 105 to make the water. Acrylic paints were used to color the water. I used Liquitex medium gel and high gloss varnish to over coat the paint and add swells along the hull. I experimented a bit with the Hydrocal to create the large swells on the Delta III kit and the results were good.”

U-3504 Type XXI U-boat, 1/700th, Skywave, built by Charlie Scardon

Model Master hellgrau 50 naval color with Vallejo yellow. Charlie added a black wash to emphasize the limber hole on the hull and replaced the oversized 20mm guns with .010 brass rod.

U-2338 Type XXIII U-boat, 1/700th, Skywave, built by Charlie Scardon

Model Master hellgrau 50 naval color with white stripe.

Soviet Oscar II, 1/700th, DML, built by Charlie Scardon

Floquil grimy black. Decals from kit.

Soviet Delta III, 1/700th, DML, built by Charlie Scardon

Floquil grimy black. Decals from kit.

Soviet Typhoon, 1/700th, DML, built by Charlie Scardon

Floquil grimy black. Decals from kit.

North Korean Romeo, 1/700th, Hobby Boss, built by Charlie Scardon

Hull is Soviet interior blue/green with Floquil weathered black deck. I added a wash to emphasize the limber holes on the hull. The railings were from some unknown PE sheet.

HMS Torbay, 1/700th, Arii, built by Charlie Scardon

A real pig of a kit. Panel lines were filled with .020 plastic rod and MEK. Makes Johan kits look finessed. Sail altered by adding some kind of array (purpose unknown) on the port side. Hey, Norris – you photographed the wrong side! It was made out of styrene rod and quarter round stripes. It was made to resemble photos I found on the internet. The paint is Vallejo 70.965 Prussian blue.

USS Pintado w/ DSRV Mystic, 1/700th, JAG, built by Charlie Scardon

Added periscope and sensor to sail. Periscope was made from a tear shaped strut from a WW1 aircraft. DSRV was modified by removing the solid disc that represented the propeller and guard. It was replaced with wire struts and a guard made out of scrap PE. Charlie annealed the brass on the stovetop. It was then rolled into a ring. Annealing removes the memory from the metal. The tiny propeller is from Toms Modelworks. The braces fro the DSRV are PE boat storage racks. The DSRV was painted silver and then coated with a translucent green. Other markings are decal. The Pintado is Floquil engine black and Testor white. The decal on the bow is from a DML kit.

USS Barb, 1/700th, JAG, built by Charlie Scardon

Periscopes and sensors were made the same way as the Pintado. The paint is Floquil engine black.

USS Scorpion, 1/700th, DML, built by Charlie Scardon

Painted with Floquil engine black and White Ensign ocean gray #17. The kit consists of a hull, two dive planes, and a rudder. Periscopes were made with brass rod.

And for perspective – USS Scorpion again. A picture really can’t do these outstanding miniatures justice! (Click the image for a REALLY close look!)


And a couple of parting shots…  The motley crew (some more than others).

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2017 January Meeting Notes

January 20, 2017 McKinstry Meeting
Theme: Prop jobs and ships – Korean War

Notes by Paul Gasiorowski and The Tick

Attendees were: Paul Gasiorowski, THE TICK, Mike Hanlon, Jim Batchelder, Frank Ress, Brian Gardner, Charlie Scardon, Steve Kumamoto

The meeting was held in the Cardinal Room. Everyone seemed to like it better than conference room I or the Hendricksen Room. It’s an in between size, but comfortable. (We’ve made inquiries, and the current library policy is that they’ll only make the Cardinal Room available to groups like ours if we’re bumped from a reservation in the Hendricksen Room. And, of course, the primary problem with that is that we can’t get reservations for the Hendricksen in the first place. Frank has requested that the library revisit this policy, due to decreased availability of the Hendricksen Room, but the response so far has been negative.)

Star Wars TIE fighter, 1/72nd, Bandai, built by Mike Hanlon

Built OOB, no English translation in the instructions or indication what colors to use. Mike used neutral gray and neutral gray with 20% white added. The base was made so other Bandai Star War pieces could be attached inline.

P-40B, 1/48th, Airfix, built by Mike Hanlon

Xtra Decals depicting a Russian P-40 1941-2. Vallejo paints were used including dark O.D. and neutral gray. Light blue was used to simulate painting over the U.S. Insignia as the P-40’s were delivered to Russia with U.S. markings.

F7F-3N, 1/72nd, Monogram, built by Steve Kumamoto

Scratch built radar operator compartment (seat, instrument panel, etc.) and nose wheel well. The rear canopy was vac formed over a plaster mold. The nose from canopy forward is a custom vac formed piece. Replacement props are Aero Club with square tips.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner, 1/144th, Zveda, built by Paul Gasiorowski

Paul reports the overall fit of this kit is very good – the wing to fuselage fit was so good that glue is not necessary to attach it to the fuselage. He used Model Master Acrylics. The model was built OOB. The kit decals were for a Boeing Demonstrator for United Airlines from F-Dcal. The sheet included decals for the windows. The clear kit windows were glued in and then sanded smooth to the fuselage. The engines were little kits in themselves containing about 15 parts each. When finished it’s a big kit, it needs about 1.5 sq. feet of space.

Read Paul’s kit review (soon to come) for additional details.

F-14 Tomcat, 1/48th, Tamiya, built by James Batchelder

Built out of the box, it was a good build – basically shake and bake. This kit is the best engineered Tomcat in any scale. Jim encountered no problems assembling it. Model Master paints used throughout. Clear blue was used to tint the canopy. The decals represent VF-84 Jolly Roger squadron.

Sea Fury F.B. Mk II, 1/48th, Hobbycraft, built by Paul Gasiorowski

Built OOB, including photo etch, Vac canopy, and resin side panels. Photo etch parts and resin side panels are hidden once the canopy goes on. There was no need for any filler to be used. Model Master acrylics. Decals for a British carrier based a/c during the Korean War.

Typhoon, Oscar II, Delta III, Ohio class, 1/700th, DML, built by Charlie Scardon

Work in progress.  Subjects listed top to bottom in left image.

What the???

The moment Steve notices that he scratch built the wrong type nose wheel gear section, and that the rear strut is backawards (sic)…

…and Charlie evidently couldn’t care less – he’s still tryin’ to figure out that new-fangled ‘smart’ phone…

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