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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 11





One of the most useful modelling ‘tools’ I have come across is actually on the web. It is the Britmodeller modelling website. It is a very popular site and covers most aspects of modelling from military and civilian aircraft, armour, maritime et al. Each section is subdivided ie for military aircraft there is ‘WWI’, ‘Between wars’, ‘WWII’, ‘Cold War’ etc with each having a ‘Ready for Inspection’ spot for those brave enough to submit photographs. The majority of models submitted for inspection are mouth watering and inspiring. It certainly gives you plenty of ideas on finishing and presentation. There are also photo illustrated build threads which I have also found very useful especially in the diverse methods used by different modellers to produce the same end result.



I have also found the forums very helpful for answering modelling questions such as types of paints, their use, camouflage colour equivalents. In fact any question asked is usually answered within a short space of time. My record is just 3 minutes from submitting a question to receiving an answer. Beginners like me have been welcomed and it is like having a 24/7 model club - one I thoroughly recommend.



Boyed up by my pleasing finish of the Fw190, I chose another 1/32 Hasegawa kit as my next ‘victim’ - the Bf109G-6. As has been my experience with Hasegawa so far, this kit went together very well indeed and in next to no time was ready for the painting stage and little or no filler had been required during the build. The aircraft looks great with the slats extended and the flaps in the down position. I also chose to show the aircraft with the engine cowls closed and therefore no engine finishing was required.




As I already had a set of Eduard seat belts for this model I chose those instead of my normal belt of choice produced by Rady Brinzan. Scratch building is not my forté really, but I chose to make a starting handle and fitted that into the relevant hole on the starboard side - something that I haven’t seen done but I am sure that someone must have at some time. And while I had the pin vice out I drilled the undercarriage legs to facilitate the fitting of thin wire ‘brake lines’ which I think add a certain amount of authenticity. With this kit though it meant sanding off the moulding in brake lines which I didn’t like.




As usual I chose White Ensign Models enamels from their Luftwaffe range using Humbrol enamel thinners in roughly a 60/40 ratio thinners/paint. I like to spray very thinned coats of colour until I get the desired effect. I also did something I haven’t done before and that was to spray paint the fuselage and wing ‘Balkenkreuz’ markings as I just wanted to ‘give it a go’. “Why waste time?” I hear you say, when there are perfectly good decals out there to do the job. And why use Tamiya tape for masking these when you can buy mask sets already cut? The answer is, I just wanted to try to do it myself.




The measurements were obtained from the decals themselves and then it was case of measuring three times, cutting once and using eyeball technology to line them up correctly. I found the wing markings the easiest because of the flat surfaces, and the fuselage ones were more difficult because of the curvature. However, five hours later, job done. Madness? Yes, but very satisfying and I feel that painted markings do have that slight edge over decals and no silvering! Anyway another learning hurdle cleared.




My next hurdle was painting the spinner spiral in black and white. Yes, there was a decal, but I wanted to find out how difficult it was to do. Not too difficult actually, just quite fiddly. I cut out a pattern from the decal and pencilled that very lightly on to the white painted spinner. Then using very, very thin strips of Tamiya tape, I masked the outline ready to receive the black paint. The result was very nice and again very satisfying to do it yourself.




Using my WEM enamels which I leave for 24 hours or more before handling again, does give you more time to do other things like making another model in tandem! I started another Fieseler Storch! This time it was the 1/35 (yes 1/35) Tristar kit from Graham’s emporium of modelling paraphernalia. The kit actually contains two huge canopies, one pre coloured dark green and one in clear.




Again, this kit went together very easily and yet again, little or no filler was required and instead of the usual German camouflage, I went for an Italian scheme that was provided in the kit. The camouflage was a tad tricky but using a home made mottle cut out mask, the camouflage went on very nicely. I am glad that I chose this Italian scheme because I learnt a very valuable lesson. Never assume that kit manufacturers get their research right.




I fitted the decals exactly as per the instructions and the decal illustrations. When I submitted pictures of the Storch onto the Britmodeller website it was received very well with some nice comments but one very knowledgeable soul spotted that the top port (left) wing decal was facing the wrong way. I checked and double checked and then discovered that the kit was wrong and they had printed the decal and produced the illustrations incorrectly! Never assume anything is correct! Lesson learnt.



More next week.


Peter Buckingham.

Part 12