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Paul Brown

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About Paul Brown

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 07/06/1956

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  • Location
    Chelmsford, innit!
  • IPMS Branch
    Locate & Cement, Rivenhall
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  1. We have some friends that live in Aberystwyth, although they'll be moving to Carmarthen some time. We've stayed near Aberystwyth a few times and I have to say I'm smitten. When Welsh friends wax lyrical about Wales, I get it, 100%. If you like scenic roads, try driving from Aberystwyth to Rhayader via Devil's Bridge. OK, that's not the North, but I did cadet training staying at Bethesda hiking the Glyders, absolutely stunning.
  2. SoD (Shelf of Doom), that place where a project that started in a burst of enthusiasm and optimism goes to lay down and die, an undignified death, unfinished.
  3. You might find this interesting: Flightpath accessories
  4. Yes, although sometimes I might just pick up some consumables like Milton Keynes this year - half a dozen jars of Mr Color.
  5. Er, you did read that correctly. This is a set of PE brass templates used to create weathered, faded, dusty, splatter effects using an airbrush. The templates are 63x63mm, quite small, but even with a large model there is probably enough randomness for them not to look repetitive if set at different angles, reversed etc etc. How close you hold them to the surface you are spraying will determine edge hardness. I have seen similar templates used with great effect, but I would suggest subtlety is the key. Here's some close ups. You might be familiar with the idea of black basing and marbling - I've watched the videos, but in all honesty I'd rather, erm, watch paint dry than try a technique that turns painting into a feat of endurance. These could well give you similar results in a fraction of the time.
  6. 1/25 '55 Chevy Indy Pace Car Aficionados of cool wheels, aka 'petrolheads,' will recognise this car as a '55 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible. The Chevrolet Bel Air is an iconic US automobile from the fifties, all chrome, glitz and big fins. The '55 model was the second generation, rather more modern looking than the first and powered by either a big (up to 3.9 litre) straight six, or small block V8 (up to 4.6 litre). I'm a big fan of open top motoring and the convertible is a very pretty thing, but for me the coupe has better lines, but that's by the by. If you wanted a stylish pace car to get the race rolling, then this Chevy has to push all the right buttons, especially with its bright two-tone bodywork and slick looking graphics. It's not a coupe, but I like it a lot. The kit, as you might have guessed is a rebox, unsurprisingly as Revell have a huge catalogue of Revell/Monogram 1/24 and 1/25 automotive tooling to choose from. In this case the provenance is Monogram, first released in 1995. For as long as I can remember Monogram car kits were well thought of and I can remember being introduced to them way back, probably in the mid-sixties and to my then young eye they certainly seemed to cut the mustard. So let's take a look at the kit without any further comment until after you get to take it in, runners and components in no particular order. I've got to say the box art has strong 'buy me' appeal, the artwork is delightful. The box warrants its size and is well stacked with parts. So how does it shape up? Well, I'd say not too bad. The parts are mostly cleanly moulded although there are signs of a little flash here and there, nothing that should be particularly troublesome. Detail is good, if a little soft, but I would expect that, given the age of the tooling. Conversely, the folding hood has a very realisting looking fabric effect, that as a former soft top car owner I think is entirely appropriate in this scale. Sadly I won't be using it as I think the car looks a lot prettier with the hood down(!). The main body shell is very nicely moulded and quite trick for what I would think is pre-CAD design, as are the supplementary body parts. The floor has a nice carpet texture and the dash is complemented with decal dials. Moving on to the 'chrome' runner, all I can say is 'my eyes, my eyes'. It's very bright and whilst I get it - 90% of people building the kit will use the parts straight off the runner - the chrome effect could do with removal and painting in more appropriate colours, especially as there's a lot of good paints available these days to replicate brightwork, although some may prefer to use foil. You will also note that some of the body trim is moulded on, whilst other parts are on the chrome runner to be added. In order to get a matching finish the chrome parts would need to be repainted. The transparencies are cleanly moulded, the 'white' transparencies being glossy, but sadly the wrap around screen suffers from distorsion and the quarter lights have sink marks. The latter can be fixed by sanding and polishing, but the screen is next to impossible to fix. To be fair it's a horrendously difficult thing to replicate in model form. The red rear light lenses look pretty much like real red rear light lenses, no quibble there. Tyres are in vinyl, not completely regular in shape, but this might improve once on the wheels. They have a nondescript tread pattern, but not much will be visible on a finished model. I have mixed feelings about the whitewall inserts, in theory they are a lot easier to work with than trying to paint a white wall, although with the masking methods now available it's a whole lot easier than days of yore. The problem I foresee is actually getting the inserts to stick to the tyre and how well they fit the recess. The decals, as we have come to expect nowadays, are nicely printed and with good colour density. That's about it for the kit components. I've added the front page tp the now standardised instructions, plus the required paints pages and paint guide for your convenience. Whilst the paint guide has colours flag keyed, some of the tones are very similar, which is a bit perplexing. Have no fear, there are very detailed painting references in the body of the instructions. In summary, this is a good looking kit, albeit a product of its time, quite complex without being boggling. There is enough detail on the parts you wouldn't normally be looking at, underneath and under the bonnet to keep it interesting, whilst leaving ample scope for super detailers to add stuff to their heart's content. Getting a good paint finish is going to be challenging, so all in all the Level 4 skill rating is probably warranted. I'd like to congratulate the person who did the promo/instructions model, it's at a level we all might aspire to and shows what can be done with the kit. Recommended to Bel Air fans* and those with a couple of car kits under their belt with no fear of red paint! *Whaddya mean you're not! Go give your head a wobble! Review sample courtesy of Revell.
  7. That explains it. I think you'll find Airfix have a policy of clearing the warehouse of any surplus stock, it caused quite a fuss when they dumped club edition kits in the same manner.
  8. 20 Spitfires? If seller paid a fiver each from Lidl looks like they're a bit out of pocket!
  9. The importers this end undoubtedly have a lot to do with it, I'd be sceptical that Hasegawa do themselves. I'm reliably informed that Hasegawa (and Tamiya) RRP in the far east compares with what you might pay for European products here. If there's any traders here that stock Hasegawa, look away now. I'll buy direct, or if they appear in somebody else's box, although sadly the cooperation with Revell seems to be at an end.
  10. The price is the price. I worked briefly for a manufacturing company and soon learned that what the punter was paying bore no relation to what the goods were actually worth, or what they cost to manufacture. The price was determined by what the money men thought a punter might pay for a product. The mark up was beyond astronomical. I'm not suggesting that plastic kit manufacturers work with astronomical mark ups (although it's perfectly possible), but I would suggest that the price is almost certainly determined by what they think the punter will pay. Disparity might further be explained by volume being manufactured, or geographic location. The price of products from the far east is often quoted, but it cuts both ways. In the far east, local products are cheap as chips, whereas European/US products are disproportionately high.
  11. Plastic modelling is cheap as chips, believe me. If you don't believe me try railway modelling. Or golf. Or boating. Or flying. Performance cars/bikes? Yep, hideously expensive. The thing about this hobby is you can cut your cloth to suit whatever budget you have. Ignoring the fact I have an unfeasible stash (I'm SABLE+) and needn't spend another penny on new kits, have more tools than I can shake a stick at and probably enough consumables to keep me going for a year or three...ignoring all that, I could still pop down to Hobbycraft and pick up a starter set for a tenner, nick the wife/daughter's nail files and sharpen up a penknife and have a blast for an afternoon/evening. Cheaper than going down the pub with the lads and sprinkling it up a wall an hour later. New kits less than perfect? Couldn't give a damn, wants it, buys it, fixes it. Go forth, build, have a hoot.
  12. Kg30 were actually equipped with A-1s at the time of the Forth raid (their aircraft were delivered Sept 1939). A-4s and A-5s didn't become operational until 1940, the A-4 later in the year because of a delay with engine issues. A-5s were a stop-gap, being A-1s fitted with the A-4 wing. There's no A-1 kit in 1/72 (bit of a mystery really, although there's a rather splendid 1/32 kit by Revell), the closest to an A-1 is the A-5 by Zvezda. Conversion to A-1 is relatively simple, the wing tips need trimming and you need to acquire the Falcon Clear Vax set No. 9 for the A-1 canopy. The Zvezda series of '88 kits are not at all bad.
  13. 1/35 Fordson W.O.T. 6 I am only an occasional armour modeller, even less with softskins, so when this one came my way my interest was piqued. It also meant I had to do some research! Fortunately for me the kit is a re-box of one first released by ICM early in 2018, so it wasn't too difficult to get a handle on what's what with it. I did know that Fordson was the commercial arm of Ford UK and that they manufactured vehicles for the British Army, but W.O.T. 6, what's that all about? Apparently it stands for War Office Truck number 6, there being quite a range of Fordson types that entered service. Truck is not really a British term, mostly we have lorries, but I'd guess truck reflects on Fordson's US roots. It was powered by a 3.6 litre V8 developing 75 bhp that could propel it (coincidentally) to 75 mph. Not a massive amount of power, but I'd guess it had lots of torque. It was a 4WD vehicle that featured an additional reduction gearbox to improve ride quality. The 6 was based on the 8 (confusingly out of sequence), but had a longer wheelbase to carry a three ton load. W.O.T 6s were often used close to the front, so some armament could be carried if required, via a circular hatch in the cab roof. They saw service in North Africa, South and North West Europe from 1942 and were also used in the Far East post war. The W.O.T. 6 was developed to match other manufacturers vehicles from the same War Office spec, notably the Austin K5, Bedford QL and Karrier K6 and about 30,000 of them were manufactured. Denmark bought the W.O.T. 6 for their army, the last one being retired in 1974 (if it ain't broke, don't fix it). Now for a geek moment that might stand correction by those that actually know about these things. The most common variant was the GS (could that refer to General Service), but the kit is supplied with a Machinery body, as in machine tools. Think mobile workshop. OK let's progress to the kit itself and what you get, as ever starting with some box art. We have an image of an aggressively posed W.O.T. 6, nicely rendered and appealing to the eye. The box is impressively large for what I guessed would be a relatively small model, also it is marked with a skill level 5. There is a reason for that, the box is satisfactorily full of plastic components and upon removing the instruction booklet it felt pretty thick. It runs to 35 pages with 98 steps, not bad. Let's check out the plastic, first off frame A. This contains the cab, a chassis rail and flatbed ends. There are no obvious areas of flash and detailing on the parts looks to be right up there. Frame B contains the flatbed, sides, another chassis rail, some exhaust bits and a delicately moulded spade, for the use of. More of the same, pin marks are minimal, not in obvious place and should be easy to deal with. Some very nice detailing and I'm glad to see that the designer resisted the urge to add engraved wood graining to the timbers, it's not really appropriate even in the relatively large scale of 1/35 (IMO). On to frame C and this is where it really starts to get complicated. That's the beginning of all the cab interior, engine transmission and suspension. The quality of the moulding and detail is to a very high standard. Here is frame D which is provided in duplicate. This is mostly stuff for the flatbed, including some stowage in the form of Jerry cans and very delicate and fragile looking frames for the canvass tilt. I think there's some lamps also lurking in there. The wheels come in there own separate frames. As with the rest of the kit the wheels are very nicely moulded and detailed. The last knockings is a bunch of ancillary bits and transparencies, plus a small PE fret. The tyres are very nicely done in the rubbery vinyl that auto and AFV modellers must be very used to. The PE fret is welcome (to me) on the basis that it is the only way to properly replicate fine meshes. The transparencies are thin, glossy and whilst not of optical quality, reasonably distortion free. You get a modelst little decal sheet - not many are required - offering two options, either a vehicle of the 7th Armoured Division 'Desert Rats Royal', RASC Hamburg 1945, or one from the 50th Northumbrian Division, Tyne and Tees Division, RA HQ, Holland 1944. The decals are thin with vibrant colours. I'd be a little worried about paint under the white insignia 'grinning', but that might not be a problem. As mentioned previously the instructions are extensive. The kit is sufficiently complex that personally I'd be following them fairly religiously, but YMMV. Old hands may well feel that there are better ways to complete the model. They are too extensive to make me feel like proofing them, but beware, there have been typos, errors and admissions with other sets of instructions. If you do find any don't be afraid to point them out, we pass anything on to Revell and they are grateful to be made aware of any problems. I'm including the fly sheet that has a nice image of a completed model, the paints required and scheme layouts for your use should you need them. Hit the link below for the Full Monty. OK, a few discussion points. I'm not sufficiently qualified in Brit softskins to be able to comment on the accuracy of this kit, but comparing the promo build with images of the real thing it looks pretty good to my untrained eye. The level of detail is very good, verging onto the exquisite in places. I have read in a couple of places that the tyre are post war pattern rather than wartime. Also, in some quarters the fact that the kit represents a Machinery body rather than GS has resulted in a slightly negative press. Yes, the Machinery variant was less common, but a truck is a truck is a truck as far as I'm concerned. In respect of the tyres and the body type it is possible to get resin replacement tyres and also resin machinery to mount in your W.O.T. 6. The fact that these issues have arisen is almost certainly due to the kit being based on an extant and roadworthy example of a W.O.T. 6. There may be some who would query that no canvass tilt is supplied with the kit, which is a fair point, but the reality is that moulded tilts rarely look particularly realistic. Plus if you cover the flatbed with a tilt there's a lot of nice detail that would be lost to sight. My suggestion would be if you really must have a tilt, make your own out of suitable fabric, or even some carefully cut pieces of aeromodeller's tissue applied with white glue. With or without a tilt the finished model should look very good, especially if given an appropriate paint job. I'd recommend this product with little or no qualification to armour/softskin fans in this scale, build carefully and you will be rewarded. I must say it doesn't seem all that long ago when ICM kits were regarded as iffy, but they've really upped their game over the last couple of years, this is a kit that looks like the real deal. Link to instructions Review sample courtesy of Revell.
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