Sunday, 14 January 2018

Circle cutter review

I received a new circle cutter that I saw advertised by Uschi Van Der Rosten recently. It was claimed that it could cut circles down to 1.5mm so I bought one just to see if that claim held up.
I do have an Olfa compass cutter that I bought years ago but the cutting diameter is limited to around 5mm or more even after cutting down one side of the compass point.

The advantage of this circle cutter is that the blades can be found in box cutter type knives that are readily available in hardware stores, when blunt you just break another blade off the strip and replace it.
It's quite a compact design and feels quite sturdy when using it, and as to the claim it can cut circles down to 1.5mm diameter then they are quite correct!

The plastic sheet I used for the test was fairly thin and if you own a round punch and die set you can punch discs easily up to 2mm, however you can only go to a certain thickness before a punch won't work. Compared to the Olfa cutter it's very obvious just how smaller the gap is between the compass point and blades on this new cutter;

and remember I cut down one side of the Olfa cutter too.
In conclusion this is a useful addition to the modelling tool inventory, particularly if you scratch a lot of parts for projects and it fills the gap between 2mm and 5mm discs that I couldn't cut before. Recommended!

Circle cutter courtesy of my credit card and available from Uschi Van Der Rosten

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Takom Leopard C2

While I'm in the mood for finishing stuff I applied a dark brown wash over the model a few days ago and today I painted the tools and ice cleats on the front glacis plate with Vallejo black and the canvas mantlet cover with Vallejo English Uniform.
Tonight I sprayed the model with Winsor and Newton matt acrylic varnish from their Galaria range and when dry I'll start the weathering and finally get it finished;

I was looking at the tracks earlier and the track pads need some TLC as they are far too regular and tidy so I shall attack these with a grinding tool in Dremel drill before painting them.
As to the actual model I 'was' planning on doing an actual vehicle that Takom had supplied markings for but it transpires these were fictitious ones for an OPFOR (Oppostion FORces) vehicle during an exercise. This threw me a bit as the model was already built and I had to find a picture of a Leopard with all the tools and ice cleats attached but with the minimal amount of markings. I had the Echelon decal sheet for Gagetown Leopards and the option for the C2 on the sheet features a sabretooth tigers head but I just couldn't find any reference pictures for it.
In the end I decided to do it as a generic vehicle based on what reference pictures I had so please forgive me but I had to get this model moved on.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Airfix 1/48 Hurricane Mk I finished

The first one for 2018 (yes I did start it last year but...). Not a quick build as the wing roots on my example were a shocking fit but altogether it looks the part and it's quite nicely detailed. Aftermarket goodies were limited to an Eduard Zoom set for the interior, HGW seatbelts and Eduard 'Brassin' wheels and exhausts and it was painted with Mr Hobby acrylics.
One thing I would do next time is to just paint the roundels on the upper wing rather than use the decals as it would have been easier but apart from that and the few issues I had I quite enjoyed the build.
So here ya go, Hawker Hurricane Mk I R4118 UP-W from 605 sqn, Royal Air Force;

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Airfix 1/48 Hurricane Mk I

Time to get this one finished as it's been hanging around for long enough;

I sprayed the exhaust staining starting with a very thinned Tamiya X-19 Smoke then a thin coat of light grey was sprayed in the middle, after this the model was sprayed all over with matt varnish. The undercarriage door interiors and gear legs were sprayed with Vallejo aluminium and now it will all be left to dry for a couple of days as I'm back in work tonight, hopefully I can get it finished at the weekend.
Looking at the model it's going to be another '4 footer' in that it will look great from 4ft away but wouldn't stand up to any close inspection as to me it's not that good.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

E-75 tank destroyer and stuff I've finished this year

This will be my final post for the year and the Hurricane, Leopard, E-75 tank destroyer and ZiL-131 all are still on the bench as although I was hoping to finish at least one of them, the illness I had earlier this month came back and I've spent the Xmas holiday recovering.
Anyway this weekend I'll be concentrating on the E-75 as construction is nearly finished...or it was until I test fitted the track and wheel assemblies.
I like to keep them as separate assemblies as it makes painting easier however for some reason they seem to have shrunk and just would not fit even though I left them to set on the hull. I tried to stretch them a bit by dunking the assemblies in very hot water but all it did was loosen a couple of links so I broke them again and fitted an extra track link in each side. Some of the wheels had come loose but because of the extra link it's thrown out the spacing for the ones still attached so I removed them all and cleaned off the superglue that was used to hold them in place.
I must say this area has been problematical since I did the tracks as the VERY short axle stubs on the kit, coupled with the loose-fitting resin wheels have proved troublesome all along so I'll fit the wheels after everything has been painted;

Some you win, some you lose....

As for 2017 I surprised myself by actually finishing six models although admittedly the S-3 Viking WAS started a few years earlier;

So there it is, the end of another year! Again I've bought more kits than I'll ever need but I really don't care, I enjoy getting them. 
I haven't a CLUE what will be on the bench next year (apart from what's on it now) as I don't really make plans and generally go with the flow with whatever grabs my attention.
Happy new year people and thanks as always for taking an interest in what I do. See you next year!

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

E-75 tank destroyer

I've been away from the bench for a week or so due to illness but because I'm feeling better I decided to make some progress on the E-75 tank destroyer. Like the E-50 Heimdall I built earlier this year I've decided to add the armour plating over the engine grills that were found on late-war panzers, Then I thought of the Panthers found in Italy that had additional spaced armour welded to the top of the turrets so using paper templates I marked out where it would fit on the roof of the E-75....of course it would have been so much easier if I had thought of it BEFORE sticking everything on the roof but never mind.
I made the templates and transferred the shapes to 0.20 thou styrene sheet then cut them out, .75mm rods cut to 2mm lengths were glued in various places underneath and left to set.
The engine grill plates were just rectangles and circles again cut from .020 thou styrene sheet (or plastic card for the purists out there) however the .75mm rods were inserted into pre-drilled holes, this way it makes painting easier as they will be all added last;

One thing that I didn't feel looked right was the raised detail on top of the gun mantlet so this was removed and Mr Surfacer applied to re-texture it. I'll probably need to put a couple of coats on as when I last looked you could still see the remains of the raised detail;

Another thing I'll be adding (although you'll probably won't be able to see it) is the lower part of the periscope sight in the commanders cupola and yes I'm basing it on a submarine periscope just for the hell of it :o)

The aim is to actually get it to turn when I've somehow managed to fit it into the roof of the superstructure.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Airfix 1/48 Hurricane Mk I

After putting the decals on I had a slight problem with the upper wing roundels in that a raised detail on the wing prevented the decals bedding down and I had to slice them with a scalpel. This left noticeable marks on the decals so after a think I ordered some masking film and when it arrived I used the measurements taken previously and cut out the roundels with a compass cutter.
The next problem was actually matching the paint to the decals so after some experimenting I mixed Tamiya XF-17 Sea Blue with XF-8 Blue and XF-1 Black until it matched (to my eye at least) the roundels. The areas were sprayed and it looked a very near match but then I sprayed some Alclad Aqua Gloss to seal the paint and the rest of the decals and it looked perfect!

I'm very pleased with that! The next job is to paint the fin leading edge red then I can start weathering the model and hopefully I'll have it finished by Christmas...although I'm not saying WHICH Christmas. :o)