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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 8




Almost a year ago I was enthused enough to buy the 1/48 Tamiya kit of the Fieseler Storch, my first purchase from Graham, but I had no idea how far plastic modelling had progressed technically since I built an Airfix kit some 50 odd years ago. Today, there are so many kit manufacturers, a seemingly bottomless pit of models, and an incredible number of specialist detailers and decal suppliers. The expertise and knowledge displayed by modellers in magazine articles is commendable and their model making very impressive.


What I particularly found refreshing during my 'apprenticeship’ was the helpfulness of these modellers and indeed everyone I contacted, whether by email, on the telephone or who I bumped into at shows attended in 2008. Aware I was a raw beginner, they took time to explain in great detail ‘how to do’ things, with the techniques used.


I quickly discovered that building models can sometimes throw up tricky moments and often found myself just staring at the thing, pondering the problems for some considerable time before biting the bullet and then getting stuck in - sometimes quite literally!


However good a builder you are, the ‘proof of the pudding’ is in the finishing, and this is the area I found most difficult. Probably the best investment I made was the cost of a one day beginners airbrushing course run by The Airbrush Company. I learnt such a lot , but I did not continue using the recommended double action airbrushes, finding the single action Badger 200 more to my liking and budget! The basic airbrushing principles are the same, and I hope that one day I may be able to ‘revisit’ the Iwata TR1 - it is a very nice brush.


As a recent convert to the hobby, it is very easy for me to take the excellence of modern kits for granted. This was brought home to me recently when I became very nostalgic at a recent show and bought a 45 year old airliner kit on a whim. To say it was inaccurate in quite a few areas would be an understatement, major surgery would be required for this model to be a reasonably accurate representation. Rejoice in today’s technology.

I don’t know whether Mr Tamiya, Mr Hasegawa or Mr Eduard ever visit Graham’s site, but if they do, may I place on record my wish list of four models:

  • 1/32 Bucker Bu131 Jungmann
  • 1/32 Bucker Bu133 Jungmeister
  • 1/32 Pitts Special S2 in Rothman’s Aerobatic Team livery c 1980 Middle East tour.
  • 1/72 Vickers Standard VC10 in BOAC livery (The one with gold BOAC letters)

As I write this article the Fieseler Storch is on the building board at last.




Like most things Tamiya that I have come across, this kit went together beautifully. Their attention to detail is fantastic and the fit perfect. I did add on a couple of Eduard bits and pieces via Graham‘s websit - things such as seat belts and cockpit details. I also chose to go with the winter camouflage version shown on the illustration sheet and fit the Storch with skis.




I have begun to add a new dimension to my modelling by doing some research on the web. It is truly amazing what can be discovered - in fact I found a mistake on the camouflage artwork supplied by Tamiya for the winter paintwork of VK+GS. I had managed to obtain a number of wartime photographs of operational Storch and lo and behold there was VK+GS with skis somewhere on the Eastern Front. Just visible under one wing tip was the unmistakable evidence of the oft times used yellow outer section. Tamiya show the under wing colour as completely RLM blue, but the tone from the black and white photograph on the wingtip under surface was identical to the tone of the yellow band around the fuselage just in front of the tailplane. This was added.




However, having been very pleased with build, I was now going undo all the good work by trying to reproduce the well known badly implemented whitewash white over the normal ‘summer’ camouflage. Endeavouring to be authentic, I decided to first paint the ‘summer’ camouflage, and then cover that with the winter white.




Looking closely at my stock of photographs, the winter whitewash was done very crudely - in some cases it was brushed on with domestic brooms! - and the ground staff were not too careful about covering identifying registrations and ‘Balkenkreutz’. Well, I did my best, but it broke my heart to cover up my initial paint scheme. I also decided to do my very first diarama to show the Storch in a snow setting.



I bought a picture frame from Wilkinsons for £2.50 and discarded the glass. This became my base. I then mixed up a load of Polyfilla and spread it across the frame and while it was still wet, dragged a wooden frame made from ice lolly sticks at the corresponding width of the Storch skis thereby creating the taxying tracks.




Tamiya, in it’s commendable kit also supply petrol cans and oil barrels adding realism to the diarama. Before gluing them with PVA to the base, I painted the Polyfilla with white emulsion and then while it was still wet, sprinkled some railway modellers ‘snow’ over the whole. A little thinned black oil paint was washed into the snow around the area in front of the neck of the ‘downed’ barrel and a couple of spots were placed under the Storch engine. Job done.




Well, that is my year’s learning curve done and dusted. It is now as Ted says, ‘Practice, practice, practice!’. Since I finished the Storch, I have bought two more! I did say it was one of my favourite aircraft. Graham supplied me with another Tamiya and I also bought the 1/35 Tristar Fieseler which I am in the middle of building.




In the meantime, while the original Storch was coming together, I started a 1/32 Hasegawa Fw190-D9 and this is now finished. I decided to have a twelve month ’reflection’ on my modelling experiences recently and compared the finishing on my earlier models to that of the latest, the Fw190. There is no comparison. My finishing has improved greatly and the Fw190 is, without doubt, my best finished model to date. I have also used the superb Radu Brinzan 1/32 seat belts - they are definitely the dog’s what sits!




Yesterday, I received from Graham the latest 1/32 Eduard Bf109E-1 !!


Busy, busy, busy - practice, practice, practice.


Perfection? Nowhere near it - but it is certainly fun trying to achieve it.


Peter Buckingham

Part 9