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Good Morning everyone :) 

I've been threatening to do this for a while, so I thought now is as good a time as any (its hitting 30 Deg C here and I'm supposed to be cleaning the storage unit today, so yes, good excuse)  :) 

Round about 1988/89, I came across what would become my first love in modelling, Bikes!, mainly Tamiya bikes, but a good few other manufacturers have been done since. At that time I built exclusively AFV's and Armour, (No, no Spitfires :) ) so one afternoon, probably a Saturday I decided to give one a go. I bought two of them and off I went. 

(whizz to 30 years later...) 

I've wanted to build those first bikes again for quite a while, and I now have the first 5 I built again... (starting from the top) 


So I thought, why not do a build of them all :) This is going to be a fairly longish thread, but I'll try and make it fun and informative all sorts of other stuff... (hey, who knows, even those people in Scotishland and the Spitfireists might enjoy it) :) 

So if you'll permit me, lets go for it :) 



I don't know why I chose this one first, I suppose it looked cool, and I liked the smaller engined bikes. Three things I do remember though, I could not get the nice shiny finish like it had on the box with Humbrol Aluminium,(I was not a friend of the Rattlecan yet), the decals didn't want to behave properly like they looked on the box, (I was not a friend of Microsol yet :)), and I just could not get a nice finish on the seat with Matt Red...(I was in the process of falling out with Humbrol Paint)

The entire bike was painted with Humbrol with a brush and I was a bit ever so proud of myself when it was finished, yeah, it didn't look like it did on the box, but the bug had definately bitten me. 

A couple of weeks later I was in the UK for a Holiday and I found myself in a model shop and there was a guy in there that got me on the right path. He was on about something called an Airbrush? or if not, spraypaint, and stop using Humbrol and use Tamiya Paint. But I do remember he had all the time for me and my questions... 

Whizz forward 30 years... 

Funny how now, all that stuff is like second nature :) 

First thing I did was check out the decals, and they were just naff, so I decided to paint it all instead. Tamiya TS 17 Gloss Aluminium, over which I airbrushed X4 Blue and X7 Red and then added the separate smaller decals, and then everything was covered in 2 coats of Tamiya Clear.



Also made a start on the frame and engine

Frame is painted AK Xtreme Metal Aluminium. I still need to give the engine a wash with X19 smoke, and sort out one or two things. Most of it is hidden by the fairing so I'm not going to a lot of detailing on it.


So that's where I am for the moment, more to follow :) 

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43 minutes ago, Gorby said:

This sounds like an interesting project.

I have considered redoing the first aircraft/Airfix kit I ever built (early 1970's), but I suspect I'd find the Airfix 1966 tooling of the B-29 a tiny bit frustrating. :X:

Really? why? :) 

I have always wanted to do that huuuge B29 from Monogram in 48th scale... but where the hell do you put it 

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19 minutes ago, Mad Steve said:

I have always wanted to do that huuuge B29 from Monogram in 48th scale... but where the hell do you put it 

Very tempting, but it would take me several eternities to build and like you say, where do you put it when it's done. At least you've got the servants quarters. :wink:

19 minutes ago, Mad Steve said:

Really? why? :) 


I have wondered why I have the urge to do the Airfix B-29 again. Perhaps it's trying to rediscover the magic that first made me fall in love with modelling. But unless I glued everything together in under an hour; use an entire tube of glue (even on the bits that shouldn't be glued); don't use ANY tools at all; and don't bother to paint anything, it really won't be the same experience will it? :/

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Nice one Steve, I used to build Tamiya bikes and F1 cars, like you brush painted and lots of frustration with the decals pre Microsol days.

13 hours ago, Mad Steve said:

It was magic just gluing stuff together on a saturday morning, but trying to make that kit 'acceptable' in todays standard.... ?

Saturday afternoons building models using Airfix tube cement and old painting by numbers paints, watching Rallycross on Grandstand and waiting for the footie results on the Teleprinter. What's "acceptable" today is entirely up to the person that's doing the building. 

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Afternoon Everyone :) 

Well I did a little bit more, Just a bit. 

I've got the swing arm in. Swingarm is AK Xtreme Metal Aluminium, and the rest is basically Semi Gloss Black 


I remember back then looking at the catalogues of an evening (I was a sad excuse for a teenager) and thinking the bikes and cars in the Tamiya Catalogue are so perfectly built, I just wanted to build like that one day. I was never, (and still aren't), interested in modeling competitions and seeing what I can win. Its always been more like every kit is a challenge and its a challenge to finish it off nicely. I'm the only one that it has to impress and its only going to sit in my display cabinet its whole life, so lets make something that's enjoyable to look at :)

Meanwhile, back in 89, I'm falling out with Humbrol paints... Fed up with paint drying out, not covering properly etc etc, (you know the story, heard it all before) I raid the savings and go and buy myself new Tamiya paints. I felt like a real grown up modeller :) I bought around 20 bottles to start me off and have never looked back. 


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Morning Everyone :) 

Well a bit more done. 

I'm not quite sure what I did, (or didn't) do, but I could not get the bodywork to fit onto the frame. Okay, moving ahead of ourselves a bit.... The bodywork was the first bit I did on this kit, as the decals were a bit old (this is an original issue) I decided to paint it all instead of risking the decals. It looked like a bit of a daunting task, but planning ahead of myself and some bendy tape, it came out ok. The base colour is TS 17 Gloss Aluminium, over which is sprayed X4 Blue and X7 Red for the stripes, and after it all dried, a couple of coats of Gloss Clear. 

So anyway, back to the not fitting. 

No matter how I tried to fit the body, it seemed as if the frame was too wide for it to fit properly, and the stalks that hold the indicators interfered with the back mudguard/light assembly. I trimmed down the rear mudguard to fit a bit better, but the bodywork still didn't want to fit properly, so I removed the mudguard from under the seat and wallah!



The whole way the bodywork fits is a bit naff. Not one of Tamiya's finest ideas really, but hey, it fits now. 

Yeeeeeeees, I know there's no mudguard but once everything is in place you wont even actually see that there isn't one there. 

I cant even remember if this happened the first time round because a) I'm old and its too early and 2) waaaaaay too much alcohol was imbibed between then and now. (20 years sober now :)

Right then, its half seven here and its already hitting 22 deg C, so I'm off too make bacon butties and then we have to get the puppy to the vets for its next jabs, (and to get that little monster in the car is like herding Jelly with a custard stick... :) )

Do have a joyous day 


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Looks good Steve, you've done a good job on the paintwork.

43 minutes ago, Mad Steve said:

(and to get that little monster in the car is like herding Jelly with a custard stick... :) )

It knows it's going to the Vet's, a bit like when you were a child and your parents tried to get you in the car to go to the Dentists 😁

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Afternoon Everyone :) 

Just a small update today. Wanted to get a lot more done over the weekend, but Memsah'b had other ideas :) 

Ok then....

Rear lights done, various footpegs, brake and gear lever and stuff added. Seat looks kwate nace i think, (XF7 red with a drop of XF3 yellow) 



The seat is actually quite a lot brighter in real life, seems my phone camera just sucks.

Anyhoo, front forks now, all base coated and ready to get painted, probably this afternoon :) 

The body work seems to have got a bit grotty, so I'm going to clean that up a bit...( amazing how your phone camera maybe crap, bit it still manages to show up EVERY smudge, fingerprint and booboo you make :) ) 

More later then


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Afternoon everyone :) 

Bit more done and the end is in sight 

Time to add the front end and fairing.

The Fairing, if you recall, had been painted earlier the the same colours. Much simpler to mask than the body work. 


Front forks were done next, and the rating on the fun table there was a distinct Non!. Maybe it was just the time of day but they just did not want to co operate, but finally, it all came together. I then clipped the fairing on to see how it all looked. 


After all the fun with the forks, I decided that I didn't like the front mudguard the way it was, so that was removed again and I've now sprayed the the same blue as the fairing. 

Then finally for now, I added the front lights 


So by the look of things this should be finished tomorrow :) 

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Afternoon Everyone :) 

Well.... here we are at the end of the first chapter :) 

So remember I had fitted the front mudguard, pulled it off, stripped it, repainted it.... well I didn't like the way it looked, so it was stripped again last night and repainted, yep you guessed it, the original colour. (remind me to tell you about the Merkava I painted 6 times :)

Also last night I stuck the windscreen on with Krystal Klear and left it to dry. This morning I came back to the hobby room and it looked as if the bike was growing crystal meth under the windscreen... (just visible in the pic below)


I seem to recall i had a similar problem with the first bike, and the liquid poly wasn't doing a good job (I was not a friend of Krystal Klear yet). so I used some black insulating tape to cover up the lower half of the windscreen... hey, i was still learning.

So no insulating tape this time... I spent about an hour pulling the Krystal Klear off, them I painted the lip of the fairing black, and then masked off the windscreen and added a small black panel around the bottom.



Thankfully a much neater fit.

Ok then, last pieces to fit were the mirrors. You can see in the pics that I drilled a hole so I can use some metal rod to fix the mirrors down properly, and they popped on there kwate nacely :) 

And that's it, the first one done. Looks just a bit better than the first time I did it, not perfect, but I'm happy with it 




That's it then, one down, four to go :) 


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#2 - HONDA VT 250F

Well then, here we go again :) 

This is one of my favourite bike kits, love the shape and the colours. This bike was apparently supposed to be competition for the Yamaha RD250, so it must have been a quick little bugger :) 

Anyhoo, whizz back in time (whizz, whizz, whizz) 

This was the second bike that I built, and I wanted to finish it properly, so a wodge of cash was used to buy Tamiya enamels, (heeey clear red and orange, who knew :)), and a trip to the local car supplies shop, I had a grey undercoat and gloss black for the bodywork. (STILL not a friend of the Tamiya rattlecans :)

So here it is


Although the bike also comes in white, yellow and silver, I shall be building this one as it is on the box. 

The previous owner was an extremely nice chap and had sealed up the decals with a vacuum bag thingie, so they look basically brand new. (if I remember correctly, the decals didn't come in bags yet)


I've started as I usually do, by base coating the sprues with white. I do it with all my kits, just something I do.



Nice thing about this kit is that there is very little shiny bits (I hate shiny bits) and the exhausts are black :) 

Righto then, lets get building 


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Afternoon everyone :) 

A bit more done. 

The engine is basically finished for now. I prefer the black engines, they don't usually have a lot of shiny bits :) This was a design feature by the looks of it on this Honda, as everything that's usually shiny, is black. 

(as usual, the phone photo makes it look like a complete tosspot, but it does actually look quite nice :)



It really is a tiny engine. The two exhausts and splitter box has been fitted already and a bit of a wash daubed over the carbs. 

Loads of painting been happening as well...

Frames done 


Swing Arm and chain as well 


All the red bits are Tamiya X7 then Clear on top of that. The Chain still needs the silver on the studs, then Clear over it, then a black wash. 

Loads of other bits in the painting area too. I like to get 4 or 5 stages in the instructions painted up at once, so you can have a nice clear build and you don't get bored with it. 

Airbrushing the Red for the frame is certainly way easier than trying to paint it with a brush, as I did with the first version I built. It was about this time in the build, back then, that I said to myself, myself, there must be an easier way of doing this.... (Hellooooo, yes, Rattlecans!!!! :))

Using the Tamiya paints for the first time back then was a bit of a revelation. Finally figured out what Semi Gloss Black was, :) and the paint just seemed to work a whole lot better, much easier to paint with. 

Anyhoo, if you are interested in building Motorbikes, maybe get your hands on this book.


Its two builds of the same bike, (Yamaha FZ250 Phazer) but it starts from the beginning and goes through the whole build. Not just building and painting, but some super detailing as well. Excellent little book. 

Righto then, more next time, I'm off for a swim, bloody boiling here. 

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