Here are some pics of kits that I am working on, yet more bench-sitters can be found on this page.
The box of this kit suggests that you can build the kit in a mere minute, but the
kits detail is so nice and delicate that I prefer to spend a little more time on building it. I started with the only two things that could be improved: opening the cockpit and cutting wheel bay recesses in the lower wings.
Please note that fit of the parts is much better than the seams on the picture suggest !
In progress pic of the cockpit interior, the instrument panel has yet to be painted and decalled, a gun sight added, etc.. All details are made from stretched spue and small bits of plastic.
Waiting for: finding the right shade of Italian Sand colored paint.
At first sight, this kit contains some interesting errors, its nose depicts the 2nd Mi-28 prototype,
but whilst the real-life 2nd prototype had a 3 bladed tail rotor assembly of a Mi-24 fitted,
the kit contains the 4 bladed tail rotor of the 4th prototype.
The nose of the kit differs from the other Mi-28 types in having a pair of fixed forward facing instrument windows on either side of the nose. Other differences are in the shape of the exhaust IR shrouds (closest to 3rd prototype) and the shape of the ammo bins for the gun.
I later found out this kit is a fairly accurate rendition of the 3rd prototype as it flew late in its career. Anyway, I intended to do a 4th prototype with all the modifications that went on the production type.
I started of by adding some details to the main rotor head, the one in DML kit is a very simple affair, the red and white bits in the pictures were added from sprue and Slaters rod.
Here are some more in progress pics of the Mi-28. At this stage the fuselage is ready to be clearcoated before applying the decals.
The main rotor and tail wheel are still removable.
Waiting for: flat varnish that is as good as the Polly Scale stuff I used for the lower side. Unfortunately my Polly Scale flat varnish turned solid and sofar I haven't found another brand of acrylic varnish that is as flat and clear.
|upper fuselage||Olive Green||Revell 45 Hell Oliv|
|upper fuselage||Pale Olive Green||mix 6x Revell 45 + 4x Revell 5 (flat white) + 1x Humbrol 63 (sand)|
|lower fuselage||Pale Gray||mix 3x Pactra Acrylic 42 (FS.36375) + 2x Pactra Acrylic 47 Flat White|
|wheel hubs||Green||Humbrol 80 Grass Green|
Almost done, unfortunately the edges of the black nose panel ended up not particularly straight, so I need to try a better way of masking both this panel and the blue panels on the spine and belly.
I already moved the tail fin back by 1.5mm, I plan to add some cockpit interior (seat, stick) and finish this kit in the glossy charcoal scheme (Mercedes Benz 1983 Anthracite Grey Metallic 172 was allegedly used on the real airframe) of the 3rd PP (82-0064, registered N4467I).
The Otaki F-105D kit (nowadays in the ARII/MicroAce catalog, cat.nr.23009) is a nice kit, so I only added some details: cockpit interior and a pitot tube out of a steel magazine staple.
Since I plan to display the petals around the engine exhaust opened I also added an exhaust nozzle.
Currently waiting to be painted and finished, the yellow canopy frames will be painted over in camo colors, leaving only thin yellow edges (similar to what I did with this F-4E model).
Another fine LS kit it accurately depicts a late 70ies F-14 straight from the box.
I only added some cockpit details and baffles inside the main intakes to avoid see-through effects.
Currently waiting to be painted and finished, I just need to choose what squadron colors to apply.
This is a very nice kit of an interesting aircraft. One thing I noticed rightaway is that the wing area is a bit too small and that the sweep angle of the wing leading edges is too large.
I fixed both problems by cutting the slats behind the hinge lines and inserting a wedge of thick plasticard (white in the pic) in each wing.
Waiting for: checking dimensions.
Another great little Revell kit, clearly scaled down from the impressive 1/48 Revell Eurofighter kit.
I plan to do a RAF version, using the kits decals for ZJ939/DXI, the first 'Tranche 1 block 5' FGR.4 airframe built, of 11 Sqn at Coningsby in 2009.
I started by opening up the oval-shaped intake in the base of the fin and by modifying the upper edge and sides of the main instrument panel.
Revell instructions fail to mention the instrument panel decals provided: nr.83 for the main panel, nr.45A for the port console and nr.45B for the starboard console.
Remarkably, the exact angle of anhedral of the canards seems to be a well-kept secret, I could not find it mentioned anywhere. After a lot of searching and measuring I concluded that the angle should be 16°.
I really want to add an SB2C kit to my 1/144 scale collection. The ARII kit is the only 1/144 SB2C Helldiver kit I know of, unfortunately it is an old kit that doesn't look much like the real thing: the fuselage lacks 2mm in depth (that's 16% !) and is circular in cross section instead of oval. Furthermore the tail fin and tailplanes are way too small, the wing chord is too narrow and the wing is located too far forward in the fuselage.
The first thing I did was plugging the holes for the stand, rocket rails and drop tanks in the wings by glueing a bit of stretched sprue in each hole.
The blurry pic at the top shows what was left of the fuselage halves after I finished cutting, the top half shows the original kit contours, the lower half already has some bit of plastic card added. Actually I used an old tray from a CD jewel box for most of the plastic, it is made from 1mm thick high density polystyrene, well suited for modeling purposes. Also visible is a new tailplane and a wedge for enlarging the tail fin.
At the time I took the picture the kit looked even worse than the Hellcat kit did after I chopped it up before turning it into a Bearcat.
The second pic shows the reassembled fuselage and wing with all the added bits indicated by violet lines.
I decided to do a new cowling from scratch by stacking plastic card discs, as can be seen on the pic on left. The remains of the CD tray are also visible.
After a lot of plastic surgery the fuselage is beginning to look like an actual Helldiver. I've bought another kit just to show the differences, on the picture below the original parts are on the lefthand side, the corrected parts are on the right (click on the picture to see a larger version).
Recent progress: cowling is taking shape, the first three discs are joined together, two are already in their final shapes.
The leading edge slats are separated from the wings and the curves of the wing contours behind the slats are restored with some sprue.
The sides of the turtle deck (the foldable structure between the rear cockpit and the vertical tail) have been added to the fuselage (click on the picture to see a larger version).
In the meantime I found out that the cross section of the fuselage from the centerline up needs to taper more, so more cutting ahead...
Waiting for: glue to cure thoroughly, a suitable radial engine (and me gathering some more courage).
For a few models I already created a separate page before finishing the model, some of the info on these pages such as camouflage colors is what I plan to use rather than what is actually used.
The ARII P-40N is a very basic kit, but what is there is accurate, so it only needs a lot of details added...
Waiting for: making new main landing gear legs.
Back in 2009 this was one of the first new Airfix releases in a while, this kit combines a low price with good quality and good detail.
When I attached the upper wing halves to the fuselage halves I caused a misalignment, I need to decide whether to cut and reattach the wings or apply filler (thereby ruining the surface details).
May 2017: I carefully broke the wing-fuselage join and reattached it, which took care of the misalignment, so this kit is back on track.
Back in 1992 Italeri released the first true 1/72nd scale kit of any OH-6 variant. I bought one with the intent of converting it into a Vietnam-era OH-6A, started tinkering with it and carefully cut out the starboard doors, but found that it took a lot of converting.
A year later Italeri released an OH-6A variant of this kit, I bought an incomplete OH-6A kit that was missing its clear parts just to get all the missing OH-6A parts.
It turned out that the OH-6A kit still required some major conversion work, something I never really started with.
Recently I looked into doing a Japanese OH-6D, had another look at the AH-6A kit and found that it even includes decals for a Japanese version, so now I plan to finish this kit as a JGSDF Kawasaki OH-6D.
In 2012 and 2013 Revell did another run of the old former Lodela kits: tiny models in small boxes for small prices, most of the kits in this series can be turned into faithful looking models, including the Spitfire Mk.I.
I've added a list of all of the Revell releases of the kits in this series.
Another one of Revells rereleased former Lodela kits, this Bf.109E kit only requires a few modifications and a few details added to look right.
Yet another one of Revells rereleased former Lodela kits, I built one of these Wildcat kits before, it only requires some changes to its landing gear and some added details to look right.
A basic Zvezda kit meant for wargaming, made from ABS plastic. Initially I planned to build this kit quickly, but got interested in the subject and decided to do the kit and the original justice by adding details and improvements.
Biggest challenges: adding shutters to the intake and outlet of the radiator; replacing a broken main landing gear leg (or both) as the ones I detailed became too fragile...
Another kit from the same Zvezda wargaming series as the Il-2, I started this kit alongside the Il-2 because of its similar materials and construction.
Just as with the Il-2, the La-5FN proved a much more interesting aircraft than I thought, so I found better decals to create a more interesting version.
I used to own a Civic like this myself, so I better finish this kit before memories fade...