Time for my first month's report on that thread I launched as a New Year's
Resolution: COMPLETE 2 models per month. Ah yes, those NYR's...
The two kits I finished were: Accurate Miniatures' TBF-1C in RNZAF
markings, and the AFV Club's British Scimitar in Op. Grandby markings.
In a nutshell, both kits are SUPERB, both went together without any putty
at all. AM's kit suffers from VERY poorly done instructions. Not being a
"Real Man", I do require instructions, and the poorly done exploded
drawing type instructions, supplemented with written instructions, do not
cut it for such a complex kit. The ball turret assembly is a pain as
well, very well detailed, but causing not just me difficulties. The
reviewer in FineScale Modeler got it wrong as well. Check out the real
The AFV kit went together like a dream, although the tracks, being ***
band type, are a pain. Also the need to paint the *** pads black on
each link was tedious.
Both kits were built OTB, and I have made a quantum leap in finishing
quality, by employing the "wash" method of enhancing detail, and the dry
brushing method. Both with spectacular results, considering it was my
first time. Just follow the many articles you have read carefully,
experiment with the various methods, and patience is a virtue. I myself
have settled on an automotive lacquer for the clear gloss, from PPG. This
is an acrylic lacquer, and is the best I have ever seen. Very tough
finish, takes the "wash" very well. I used artist's enamel oils, thinned
with mineral spirits. I initially tried gum turpentine, but this proved
to caustic, taking up the finish on first Future, then even the lacquer.
Stick with the mineral spirits.
For dry brushing, I take artists enamel oils again, Titanium White, place
a blob on a mirror (or any flat glass surface), and take my base color,
and mix it with the white to lighten the color. I picked the artists oils
because it allows the paint to remain "wet" for a much longer period, and
there is no "caking". I then just get progressively lighter, until I am
dry brushing pure white, the latter VERY frugally.
One DISADVANTAGE with the oils is that they take longer to dry, say a
couple of days. But then who's in a rush...!! Dullcoat the completed
model to seal everything in.
Next kit, I will experiment with pastel chalks.
Anyway, there you have it, two models built in one month. Simple to do,
if you build OTB, PLAN your work so you don't fritter time away ("only had
half an hour this evening, not enough time to do any modeling...." such
statements are crap, in this time you could have cut off say 10 parts from
the sprue, and cleaned them up. Next half an hour, dry fit and trim, next
half an hour, glue. Ten parts together, in short time spurts).
Have now got under way, the following:
Hasegawa 1/200th Boeing 767 in Air New Zealand markings
Hasegawa 1/48th Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat, with Jaguar interior, and White
Dog decals for FAA scheme, Canadian Ace
Academy Minicraft's 1/3th British Warrior to compliment the Scimitar
Another report at the end of February!!
By the way, I have found a very useful, no, absolutely NECESSARY, boost to
my modeling enthusiasm: a group of supportive modeling friends. Each
Thursday, a group of about 10 of us meet at one of two homes in rotation.
These are all excellent modelers, who are willing to share their knowledge
with someone like me, needing "enlightenment". We share ideas, work on
projects, and just shoot the breeze. We meet from 7pm til Midnight (yes,
productivity might not be that good at the office on Fridays any more...),
and getting a dose of this each week has given me the boost in enthusiasm
to keep me focused on building my two models per month.