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Ron Bell

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Everything posted by Ron Bell

  1. Interesting, but WAY more than I would ever utilize. I found an easier solution, a scrap Matchbox Meteor F14 kit. I can use the canopy and the landing gear.
  2. Yeah, I guess it's hopeless. I don't have a vac form machine and also have never done "stretch forming", but may have to. Maybe I can find one on the interweb.
  3. I have an old vacuform canopy that has yellowed. Does anyone have a suggestion as to how to 'de-yellow' it? I know about the "tape it to the window" technique for decals, but will it work for a vacuformed canopy?
  4. I called in a specialist and had the seaweed removed. Looks better.
  5. This is the Heller D-Day Sherman kit, which comes with the deep wading trunks. It's an excellent kit in and of itself and has many options such as different pattern road wheels, drive sprockets, transmission covers, etc. I chose to do a later production M-4 and I used the two hatch turret from the Italeri kit, which fit perfectly. I cut down the wading trunks as most pictures I have seen of British Shermans do not have the ones with the curved tops. The only other addition I made was the hull machine gun and main gun waterproof tarps and the stowage on the back deck. The seaweed is tissue soaked in white glue. I coated the bottom of the tank with Johnson's Kleer to make it look wet from just wading in and also put some on the shingle to simulate a 'water line'. The figures are the weakest part. I just can't master making these little guys look good.
  6. Oh, before you put yourself through that ordeal, try the Tamiya paint remover first, internet order or otherwise. It could save you hours of labor and mess.
  7. Narampa - If you can't find it locally, it is available on-line. Just do a search for Tamiya Paint Remover. For some reason, things that work on every other paint don't seem to effect Tamiya's. In any case, stripping a whole model is a messy fiddly business. I hope it works out for you. Oh, and remember to test it first on a painted scrap piece of model/plastic to make sure it doesn't "eat" the plastic.
  8. Tamiya makes it's own Paint remover. Have you tried it? There are several tutorials on UTube of people removing paint from lexan bodied RC cars. I have no idea what paint was on them originally or what effect that remover would have on styrene, but if it's a last resort, maybe you have nothing to lose?
  9. All sprue rod I see now is either white or grey. Any reason you can't paint it black? Personally, like Gil, I'd just stretch some black sprue. You'll find that some company's plastic stretches better than others, but keep trying and find the one that works best for you. If you haven't done it before, here's a short tutorial. Cut a piece of sprue about 3-4 inches long with no "nubs" on it, just a straight run of sprue. Get a candle or some other source of heat. I use one of those short really thick candles as you get a nice steady flame and they last forever. Light the candle and wait a minute for the flame to steady. Then hold the sprue at both ends just above the top of the flame and keep turning it until it gets a sort of glossy look to it and is limp. This is where some practice comes in as the time/distance from the flame involved will differ with different plastics. Then take it out of the flame and stretch it. Depending on the plastic and how thick/thin you want it to be, you may stretch it quickly or slowly. When you start to get some resistance, stop and let one end of the sprue swing free. If you don't stop it may snap and you may have to do it all over again and by letting the end swing free, the sprue will hang straight and not curl up or bend. I tape one end to an old door and let it hang there until it's cool and/or needed.
  10. Nice work on the first modern style tank.
  11. While waiting for something to dry during a modeling session with a friend of mine, he threw this at me and told me to get busy. Well, I putzed with it just killing time really, but then had a brain cramp. Since the engines were the problem with this aircraft, I decided to give it new ones. I got a couple Merlin nacelles from the spares box and blended them into the ones on the kit. I know in reality that Merlins were in short supply and destined for Lancasters and Spits, but what if..? I’m sure other structural and aerodynamic changes would have been necessary for a variety of reasons, but I have no idea what those would have been, so we’ll just go with this for now, ok? Note that this is one the first versions of this kit released and it was pretty primitive and since it was just for a lark, I cut a few corners and wasn't as careful as I might normally have been. The decals were just cobbled together from spares.
  12. i have always thought that the Buffalo was a victim of a lot of "Monday Morning Quarter Backing". Everyone compares it to the "Zero" which was an unknown quantity at the time. Yes, the Japanese 'beat' us in developing longer ranged carrier aircraft, but the Buffalo wasn't all that far off from what was at the time a sound aircraft. Engineering was moving so fast that aircraft development could hardly keep up with all the advances. Many Dutch and Finnish pilots liked the aircraft and used it effectively against their enemies. They found that pilot training/expertise and tactics could overcome enemy technical superiority for at least a while. In the long run, however, the better machines won out and the Buffalo succumbed to it's technical superiors.
  13. I don't think they asked how many Nats one had attended, just if it was your first or not, so the data is not there for such a breakdown. Or did I forget that part? However, it is a suggestion for future surveys going forward. One thing to keep in mind is that there is a point where if a survey is too long/involved, people just won't take the time to fill it out. Then your response level goes down and thus the validity of your data. You've got to figure out what you want/need to know and just ask questions about that and to avoid "mission creep". Maybe have a central core of questions you ask every time, but then have some more detailed ones about different areas of the show each time. One year you ask more detailed questions about the contest, the next about the awards ceremony, etc. Just a thought.
  14. I first did this kit as a kid back in the 60's. The gun traverses and elevates and even recoils. The tracks can even be made to go around if you push down hard enough on it on the rug. Loved this vehicle, but with all that use/abuse, it didn't last long. Fast forward 65 years or so and I got a wild hair to do it again. So, here it is done OOTB with the exception of some clear acetate for the windscreen and decals from the spares box. The figures are typical 1960's figures and are difficult to paint correctly, so even if I had the necessary skills, which I don't, they still wouldn't look all that good. The kit is actually pretty detailed for it's age and was nicely molded with little flash, but all sorts of mold seams. But here it is, a flash from my past.
  15. Another problem with Microscale stripes is the carrier film on either side of the stripe. You may need to trim the stripe pretty lean to make it work. but they do work a treat and like I said, they have all sorts of colors and widths, including metalics and they are readily available via their website.
  16. Microscale does a wide variety of colors and widths.
  17. Actually, until better ways of casting iron were developed, bronze was the preferred medium. It cast at a lower temperature, was easier to work with, and did not rust/corrode when at sea.
  18. Ron Bell


    I'm old school, I guess. Just get some garden variety dirt, put it through a fine tea stainer to get the extraneous organic matter and lumps out, mix it either with dullcoat or gloss coat, depending if you want wet or dry "mud", and apply. An option is to mix it with diluted white glue to avoid any possible damage to undercoats of paint/wash, although this may necessitate some gloss and/or dull coat after it dries. Finish "dry" mud with a dusting of appropriate pastel chalks.
  19. Here's number four in my obsession. I painted it as a bronze cast gun would have appeared in Royal Naval service. Strictly out of the box with the exception of closing in the backs of the wheels, which you can't see anyway, and adding a "bore" to the gun rather than the open maw the kit has.
  20. You might want to move your question to one of the aircraft topics. This is for ship models and you might not get many responses here.
  21. This is the third of the five artillery kits that Palmer did, their "Civil War Cannon", which I have found out to be an 18 pdr. They called it a 'parrot gun', but it does not have the typical bulge over the breach area that is typical of those type guns, but then again, I'm no expert. I build models. Anyway, the only thing I did to this one was close in the carriage and put a piece of styrene tubing down the muzzle to simulate the barrel better. The rest is OOTB. Lot's of flash, mold seams and sink marks to deal with, but it builds up into a nice display piece, if not an authentic replica. I chose the color for the carriage on a whim. The various memorial cannons and those on battlefield parks are painted all sorts of colors, so I just went with this. PS: Jeesh, I think there are only 4-5 of us that post here.
  22. When I decided on doing a Sherman Crab, I looked at my options. The Airfix Sherman Crab is based on their ancient Sherman I kit, which is very very basic and some say dimensionally incorrect. However, the Crab mechanism, while also a bit basic, is useful, but being in 1/76 it limited other kits that could be used with it. Enter the Matchbox Firefly kit, which is in 1/76 scale. It's based on a Sherman V, the A4 version with the Chrysler multibank engine. It just so happens that this was also one of the more numerous of the Sherman types supplied to the UK (mainly because the US didn't want them) and was quite often adapted to mine clearance duties via the Crab conversion. A quick check showed that the Airfix Crab unit fit nicely onto the Matchbox hull. However, there are a few changes that needed to be made to change it from it's Firefly configuration to a "normal" A4. The square loaders hatch on the turret top and the bustle radio compartment were removed as was the gun cradle on the engine deck. I didn't need to reinstall the hull MG, which was removed from Fireflies to provide for additional storage of the large 17 pdr. rounds, as it was also removed from the Crabs. I substituted a normal 75mm barrel for the 17 pdr. of the kit as well. The Airfix Crab arms were missing the guard on the left side, so I added that from sheet stock. Then I added assorted other detail parts from other Dragon and ESCI kits, which while 1/72 scale, fit and looked fine and I added track return guides to the bogey units out of left over PE fret material. The flail rotor and chains provided in the Airfix kit look silly, like they are starched out straight, so I substituted a piece of styrene tubing for the rotor and used scale chains for the flails. Along the way, I decided to do a D-Day Crab, so I needed deep wading trunks. S&S models makes white metal ones for all Sherman types. I had to modify mine as most photos I found showed the rear one not having the deflector head, so I cut it off and added the ribbing on the top. There was also a water/dust proof covering over the mantlet and hull MG position, so this was made out of tissue soaked in white glue. Final touches were tools and stowage from the spares box, lane markers, extra chain holders and hull periscope extensions from an SandS models Crab conversion kit I didn't use and wading trunk braces and antennae made from stretched sprue. I noticed in the photos that the serial number decals on the hull side look cloudy. They aren't in reality. They do, however, have a slightly different surface that apparently photographs this way.
  23. Tricky business this midnight stuff. Midnight for any given day is usually assumed to be the hour after 11 PM. One minute after that hour is the next day, the midnight of which is assumed to be the hour on that day after 11 PM. Accordingly, 00:01 on September 3rd is not midnight for that day.
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