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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 1




I suppose it was the magic words ‘Fieseler Storch’ that started it all. Just over a year ago I was flicking through a modelling magazine when I read that Tamiya were bringing out a brand new 1/48 version of my all time favourite aircraft. I was enthused.


Problem! I hadn’t done any modelling since the late 70’s, and anything in plastic for over 50 years! In the 70’s I scratch built a radio controlled 1/8 Storch in balsa, ply and fabric, with working throttle, flaps, ailerons, rudder and elevator and which flew beautifully. Fortunately I still had some of my old modelling tools like my Swann Morton scalpel and a very ancient Dremel if needed!


Now retired, with more free time and the promise of Tamiya’s kit on the horizon, I decided to gently work my way back into modelling and learn some new skills. I devoured magazine articles picking up hints and tips along the way and in January 2008, purchased a 1/48 Tamiya Spitfire MkVb to ease me into the world of plastic. I was very impressed by the fit and the superb detail, but it soon became obvious I had so much to learn about building techniques and finishing. Visiting various modelling websites, I became awestruck at the expertise of modellers such as Ted Taylor and Geoff Coughlin. I looked at my finished Spit and was disappointed, but very determined to improve. Have you noticed how the aces make it all look so easy? How annoying is that?


By February, I had discovered Graham Endeacott at Relish Models via the web and the new Tamiya Storch had arrived. The kit is beautiful and will make a fantastic model, but I was far from ready to allow my novice fingers to ruin my pride and joy. I set myself a learning curve of twelve months in which to hone my building techniques, my finishing skills and to eventually produce (for me), an acceptable model - one that could, I hope, approach the finish of those illustrated in magazines.


To concentrate the mind, I decided to focus on the smaller scale of 1/72 which would make my novice fingers and poor core skills do battle with even tinier parts. I may be open to criticism here, but I thought that if I could produce an acceptable model in what, for me, is a more demanding scale, then 1/48 and 1/32 may be a tad more comfortable? No pain - no gain? We shall see. This hobby does ‘bite’ doesn’t it - and I do like a challenge.


The decision was made and I thought that inexperienced modellers like myself, and even perhaps experienced ones, might be interested in the trials, tribulations and frustrations I encountered, the people I met along the way whilst seeking advice, and interesting websites visited. The Storch still remains in it’s box - just! Hopefully, this series will be finalised with a detailed build of the Storch.


More next week.




Peter Buckingham

Part 2