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ghodges

IPMS/USA Member
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Everything posted by ghodges

  1. Sharp looking F-84F! What NMF did you use, and are those the kit markings? GIL
  2. Excellent work and some great looking finishes! How did the Tweety Bird go together? I've been meaning to build that one for years and have procrastinated..........Thanks for posting! GIL
  3. ghodges

    P-51d Progress...

    A note of caution about the Hasagawa Mustang decals. I had the 352nd version and found some of them to be a little brittle, but what was worse was that the "whites" were translucent. Be wary! Best of luck! GIL
  4. ghodges

    P-51d Progress...

    That's a sweet front office ya got going there! I've also built both 'Stang kits and agree that over all the Tamiya kit is better. What markngs are you going to use? Keep us posted! GIL
  5. I think I prefer the clean machine you already have! My vote is no wash.... GIL
  6. ghodges

    Hey Lynn !!!!!

    If he does leave Barry at home, he can forgo hauling the trailer needed for Barry's trophies! Or better yet, build something NOT Luftwaffe and you won't be butting heads! Don't ya just hate guys who can airbrush mottled camo like he can...... GIL
  7. Great looking Starfighter! Thanks for the updates and the finished shots! GIL
  8. My understanding is that these are a lot like the very cheap ($10) 1/32 kits that were in Walmart. Their design is intended for the very casual builder but they have great potential for the serious builder. I think it's a great approach from the manufacterer and marketing viewpoint. They have a shot at those who need easy items to get them interested and also some sales within our group. I just hope they decide to release some subjects that haven't already been done to death as regular kits (and in 1/48!) Cheers! GIL
  9. There's almost no way to open a kit hatch AND use it on the model. First, as you point out, it ends up noticebly smaller. There's also the likleyhood that your tool will stray and damage the hatch while removing it. And most importantly, almost all kit plastic is too thick to be a good scale representation. Your best bet is to cut open the hatch area and build a new hatch door. If you have a Mattel vac machine or the ability to thermoform sheet plastic you can use the cut out part as a master. Since the new vac piece will be slightly larger than the master, it'll look good (size-wise) by the open hatch hole. You will need to add more sheet plastic structure to the interior side to beef it up a bit, and to add those details you want there anyway. If thermoforming isn't an option and you need to duplicate some curvature, you can do that by hand. Get a thin sheet of plastic or metal (cut up soda cans are great for this). Fold a paper towel over on itself several times to form a raised "pad". Place the sheet on the paper and use a mandril (your Exacto knife handle, a piece of dowel or brass rod, or a paintbrush handle) to ROLL over the sheet. The degree of curvature will vary on the following: 1) the diameter of your "tool" (mandril); the thinner the rolling stock, the sharper the curvature. 2) The pressure you exert while rolling. Start with easy pressure and add as you go. If you push hard to start you may "crease" the sheet; ruining it. 3) The thickness and how "padded" your paper towel base is (the softer the base, the greater the curvature) and 4) the thickness of the plastic or metal sheet you're working on. As you might guess, it'll take some trial and error to get the exact result you want. Note that your sheet material will have some "spring" to it that will make it difficult to attain the curvature you want. Plan on rolling in more to begin with to get what you want after it relaxes. Metal sheet can also be "annealed" to take its spring out. Do this by setting it on a stove burner and heating it til it discolors. Let it cool and its ready to go! By the way, doing this and using the above rolling technique is the way to make those PE gun barrels curve all the way around into a circle! Hope this helps. It's a bit of work but your premise is right; an open hatch adds a great "candid" look to a model and adds visual detail that's very appealing. Best of luck! GIL
  10. The blending of the conversion parts to the kit looks perfect, and that's not easy on a NMF model! Looking good! GIL
  11. That's looking very sharp. I look forward to seeing how the Futured panels look compared to the other areas. GIL
  12. Impressive! And even James has to bow to your almost 1/week production schedule! Congrats, and thanks for sharing! GIL
  13. Looks like you're having a ball! I like the A-20; it's an overly neglected subject that I've been meaning to get around to myself! That DH2 will be a challenge. I look forward to seeing how you handle the rigging, as I'm working on a biplane at the moment and can use all of the tips I can get to ease the job! Keep us posted! GIL
  14. Very pretty! I think the 2 tone Russian grey scheme is one of the better looking camo jobs of WWII. Your camo looks really tight! Did you "soft mask" or freehand it? I also like the mud on the bottom of the rudder; a nice little detail! Thanks for posting! GIL
  15. That's looking very nice! I always think of the B-52 as being an OOOOLLLLDD plane, and forget how it's been modernized and updated and is still one of our most formidable weapons. Your ALCM's snapped me back to reality! I would guess that your rear fuselage problem might actually be sink marks that are more prevelant in older molds and in areas of thick plastic. Perhaps they were'nt there on your earlier builds! I look forward to seeing the BUFF in flight below your ceiling! GIL
  16. The good news: The buffing Metalizer will give you an excellent natural aluminum finish. The bad news: It is NOT conducive to handling, and NOT conducive to masking. Plan on polishing and buffing your plastic to a glass smooth finish. While this is a good practice for all NMF items, it's a necessity for the Metalizer. It has to be applied over a glass smooth surface (generally the bare plastic). Note how many areas on the model need "paint" over an aluminum area. You cannot mask Metalizer, so you'll have to: 1) mask the areas to be painted 2) paint those areas (allowing no overspray on the areas to be Metalized) 3) mask off the painted areas and then spray on the Metalizer. Spray on the Metalizer in several LIGHT coats. Don't try to put on wet coats. 5 Minutes between light coats should be sufficient. Apply it until you think you've gotten a depth of aluminum color that you like. Let it dry overnight. Plan on using soft cotton gloves to handle the model from here on out as the Metalizer will rub off. The buffing Metalizer can be polished with any old soft cloth; on old t-shirt is ideal. Go slowly and use light pressure. What you're doing (essentially) is pressing the metallic particles into a flatter position, allowing them to reflect more light. Thus, the nice (real) metallic shine! If you over polish down to the plastic simply spray on some more and buff it out again. About the "sealer": It will protect the finish and allow it to be handled more. It will also KILL 90% of your metallic finish; so in my opinion it's not a good option. The two upsides to the sealer are that it DOES allow some moderate masking with VERY low tack tapes (and for very short time periods); and it's also good for that "lacquered" aluminum finish you find on 1930's USN and British planes. That's all I can think of. I'm sure more folks will be here with more tips soon! Best of luck, it's good stuff! GIL
  17. Those Windsock books on WWI planes are great! Theyr'e not cheap, but worth it (IMO). Have fun with the C.III! GIL
  18. Decided to do some "old scool" modeling. I hadn't built anything WWI in a while and had the desire to flog myself with the task of rigging...... I have the Windsock book on this plane, but it says there are NO pics or drawings of the interior (and no surviving examples). That left me to build a "generic" WWI German interior. Above is the main floor, seat, stick, rudder pedals, rudder cables, and floor compass. That thing on the back of the cockpit bulkhead is the rear jump seat. This gives a better view of the fold-down jump seat. Why that? I just reasoned that the rear gunner would have to have a place to sit that could also be stowed out of the way when he took his standing firing position. I have NO idea how accurate it is...... This shows the floor in position in the left fuselage half. You can see the pe throttle and the map case. The boxes in the rear are for extra Parabellum gun ammo drums. The rib detailing on the sides is strip plastic; again, purely guess work. Other side. Note the auxilary fuel pump and more ammo storage. I also have the main panel built, but broke my tripod while trying to take the close-up pic of it. This shows the engine, exhaust piping, and the forward Spandau gun temporarily in place to check fit. The pe gun cooling jacket is glued to the old kit gun, with a new barrel aded to finish it off. I didn't detail the breech since it will be buried in the fuselage and under the top wing. Anyway, making some progress and I even have a new idea to try out that will hopefully make the rigging easier to do. More in a week or so! Merry Christmas! GIL
  19. Hey Dougie! As you ponted out, there doesn't seem to be much "technical" info covering that subject, so how's someone going to prove you wrong!? I'd simply follow two guidelines. First, look at the available pics and copy that to you're own criteria. Second, I would try to avoid a large contrast between any finish on the stores and the finish of the model. Even if one is flat and the other glossy, I'd still try to keep it within the bounds of "scale appearance". Of course that can be tough until you've got the whole thing together and can view it as if you were looking at the real thing from 75ft (but you get the idea). Best of luck! GIL
  20. If the piece fell off after using Tenax, you must have not used it correctly. Tenax and Weld-On#3 (or #4) are WELD type cements. You DO NOT apply them to one part, apply more to the other part, and then join them together. It will evaporate before you can join the parts, and then a part will fall off later. Instead, you hold the parts to be bonded together (barely together, not tightly) and apply the cement to the seam or joint with a fine brush or fine tip applicator. If it's a seam, capillary action will take the cement about 1/4" down the seam. After about 2-3secs, squeeze the seam and it will weld together. If done properly, a small amount of "molten" plastic may pop up from the seam, helping to fill it. You repeat this action all the way around the parts. The point about it evaporating rapidly is a good one. You don't want to leave the bottle open if you're not using it! The Testors and Tamiya thin cements are good stuff, and friends of mine swear by them. Me, I prefer industrial grade Weld-On #4. I buy it by the pint can (10 at a time) which saves a TON of money compared to buying bottles of cement at the hobbyshop. Hope this helps! GIL
  21. ghodges

    Blasphemy?

    There's no blasphemy in having fun! If you haven't told me it was prepainted, I wouldn't have guessed, especially after you improved it. It's a great looking model. It may be debatable as to whether you could enter it in a contest; but then we don't have to build EVERY model for a contest do we? Looks like you came up with a way to save time and yet get a model you always wanted on your shelf! Thanks for posting! GIL
  22. You got some done, and that's better than none! I managed to get 13 done, and have high hopes for #14 and an outside shot at #15, as I'm working on both! It's not a contest. You build at whatever pace is comfortable for you and that life allows. Thanks for posting the pics! You have every right to be proud! GIL
  23. That's a cool mouth on that SLUF! As I mentioned above, note the stark contrast between the top camo and the bottom color. The bottom color also seems to match the MER rack and the nose wheels, which are white. IMO it's just too much contrast/coincidence for the bottom to be LG36622. Anyway, it's pics like those that I based my color scheme on. Cheers! GIL
  24. This is another of those projects begun with high hopes and finished with a "whew, got it done!" It's not that I'm unhappy with it; it just didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, and I have no one to blame but myself! The Hasagawa 1/48 A-7D is a nice kit of '80s vintage. You can get a lot of aftermarket for it, and I threw in a Black Box interior. The two notes about that are: 1) the resin coaming may need trimming in order to allow the windshield to fit. This is especially true if you throw a new PE HUD on top of it (as I did). 2) The canopy rear bulkhead and the canopy breaker triangles immediately behind the seat interfered with each other. The canopy would not fit in the proper open stance until I removed them. Since this is an original issue kit, the bombs and the multi-ejection rack had to come from the spares box, and are mostly from the Hasagawa weapons set. The good news is that this kit has just been re-issued (at a higher price!), BUT it now includes most all of the sprues from the Hasagawa bomb set so you won't need to dig for ordnance. I copied the color profile from the rear of the first "A-7 in Action" book". These markings are included on the kit sheet. The kit decals worked OK, but not perfectly, as I still ended up with a few small areas of silvering. They also took forever to loosen off of the backing paper, probably due to their being almost 20yrs old! I primered with the Tamiya Fine White Primer (spray can) and decided to leave this as the bottom color. References say the bottom of the SEA camo should be 36622 Light Gray. However, after looking at color pics and profiles, it seemed that the white would work. It doesn't bother me. Hope it doesn't bother you! The weathering was done by streaking pastels randomly in the direction of airflow. I used some of the MIG powders for this. They worked well, and a little goes a long way! (Good stuff!) As stated up top, there are just so many little glitches (like installing the windshield coaming and forgetting to FIRST put in the main panel!) with subsequent repairs that by the end of the project I'm just pleased to get it done! I met my goal of building a 'Nam era SLUF, so in the end this taught me that it's only a model, and when things don't go the way you like; finish it up, set it on the shelf, and move on to the next one! By the way, this is the 3rd Has. 1/48 A-7 I've built (the previous 2 were Navy A-7E's) and the A-7D is tougher, since you generally need to put the wings straight and all of the control surfaces up. The Navy bird with everything folded and drooped is an easier build! Cheers! GIL
  25. Thanks for the tip Bob! Don hit the nail on the head; as I want to copy the message before it gets lost in cyberspace (when it doesn't want to post). I'll try the cntrl+C next time. Cheers! GIL
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