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Everything posted by ghodges

  1. That's sharp! I particularly like the multi-shading of the metallics. If you don't tell folks they'll never know it was a restoration job! Congrats on a very nice build! GIL
  2. I've had better luck with decals directly over Alaclad than over any other NMF! You should have no problems....just go easy with the decal solvents (as on any other nmf). By the way, I'm about to see how SNJ powder does on top of Alclad aluminum (the fuselage of a P-51D). Cheers! GIL
  3. I've had better luck with decals directly over Alaclad than over any other NMF! You should have no problems....just go easy with the decal solvents (as on any other nmf). By the way, I'm about to see how SNJ powder does on top of Alclad aluminum (the fuselage of a P-51D). Cheers! GIL
  4. I've had better luck with decals directly over Alaclad than over any other NMF! You should have no problems....just go easy with the decal solvents (as on any other nmf). By the way, I'm about to see how SNJ powder does on top of Alclad aluminum (the fuselage of a P-51D). Cheers! GIL
  5. Thanks for the kind words Ken! "Stale Modeler" was good for its time, but thankfully that time has passed! I'm still looking to meet Jordan Ross, one of the more prolific contributors to SM when I started reading it in the 70's. He could build ANYTHING! I know he's an IPMS member, but I've never bveen able to track him down. I did however run into Mr. Hodgedon, who did all of those great 1/32 dios (they usually had footprints on the wings) in the mag. We had a laugh commiserating about what it was like to deal with those cheap SOB's that ran SM! He couldn't get paid and he was able to go to the offices! Cheers! GIL
  6. This is the 1/48 Monogram OA-4M/Falcon vac conversion. I built it so I wouldn't feel guilty when I bought the new Clasic Airframes kit! The decals are from the Victory Productions sheet, and went down with no problems. This model has more "dings" than my 10yr old car! But, it's done and I can move on to the new kit without feeling guilty! Also, it'll look good enough for my Skyhawks display table in VB! Comments and critiques welcome! GIL
  7. I've seen the Mattell vacs go for anywhere from $30-$100. I paid $50 for mine almost 30 yrs ago, so I guess that would equate to $100 in new millinium $....and I'd have to say that since I've built so many "trashy" kits over the years I've gotten $1000 worth of use out of it! If you do find one, make sure the pump handle is in good condition. Don't be too concerned if the vacuum presure seems a bit low. Smearing some Vaseline around the interior of the piston housing will help seal any leaks as well as improve the movement of the machanisms. As pointed out above, you don't really need any of the gadgets that originally came with the machine (although the plain mold surface platen is very useful!). I too have often wondered why someone else has never brought this simple machine back out. Best of luck! GIL
  8. To add a couple of fine points to Clare's technique: 1) wear gloves! When you pull the plastic down over the form it will "drape" over the part, but not be very tight around the bottom edges. This may be ok, but if not, you need to "pinch" the plastic in around the bottom (but BELOW the form) in order to define the bottom edges better. The plastic will still be quite warm (or HOT) so gloves will prevent you from burning your fingers as you manipulate the plastic. 2) Another way to do this is to use a "top board" over the plastic sheet you're heating. The top board (any stiff material; wood, thick cardboard, thick sheet plastic) will do. The idea is to cut a hole in it that is the SAME shape as your form, but just SLIGHTLY larger. The thin plastic to heat goes on the BOTTOM of this. Heat the thin plastic (it will sag away from the board) and then jam the plastic over the form and up through the hole in the board. This helps the plastic form much tighter around your master. If you're going to do this very often in the future, spend the money on an old Mattell Vacuform machine. It'll solve a lot of your problems and cut your work time in half! Cheers! GIL
  9. That Vixen's quite the vamp Paul! I've always thought that was one of the better looking British jets, although I've often wondered if those offset cockpits/canopies weren't the product of some engineers that had a pint or two too many! Way to stick with it, persevere, and achieve victory. Winston would be proud! GIL
  10. 1) You don't have to use superglue to place cockpit PE. It's not really under any "stress" so you can use white glue, epoxy, or even Future to stick them in place. That lessens the chance of getting something stuck where you don't want it! 2) If the parts you're using need to be bent or rolled, annealing them will make them more "pliable" and take the spring out of the metal. Anneal them by setting the parts (the whole tree) onto the burner on the stove while it's on med-high. When the metal discolors it's done. 3) Paint them like any other parts, but be aware that sometimes the paint will rub off easier (compared to painted plastic) during handling. 4) You might want to put the tree into a LARGE (gallon size) clear plastic bag while you cut off a part. That way, if it goes flying, it stays in the baggie! 5) If you anticipate doing a lot of PE stuff in the future, a "hold and fold" tool of some sort would be a good investment. You can always get the job done with a steel ruler and a #11 knife, but multiple bends are easier to do on a platform designed to help with that operation. I'm sure others will be along with more helpfull info! Hope this helps! GIL
  11. I've got 3 on the bench at the moment. First is the1/48 Monogram/Falcon vac conversion of the TA-4J Skyhawk. Why? Because Uncle Jules (Classic Airframes) was releasing HIS Ta-4's and I wanted to avoid feeling guilty (and I wanted another A-4 for my VB display tables!). It's ready to decal (Blue ANgels #7), so it will be in VB! Second is the vacuform 1/48 F3D Skynight. Why? Because the Czech Model kit is no easier (just finished one) AND I had the reference material out....BUT, mine will have the wings folded/flaps down; and will be in GSB finish from the late '40s! I'm gonna try to get it done in time for VB. Third: a not quite OOTB 1/48 Tamiya P-51D Mustang just to alleviate the masochism on the rest of the work bench! It'll be in "American Beauty" NMF markings if I don't screw up the kit surfaces....It'll get done when it gets done....Cheer! GIL
  12. That's a beast of a model. I remember I sold mine because if I ever built it my kids would have used it a s a ride toy.... You have a GREAT handle on producing modern large aircraft! You must really rack up the "mileage" when it comes to dressing seams! Please post more pics (old or not) of your nice models if ya get the chance! Cheers! GIL
  13. ghodges

    My last build-

    Ain't nothin' wrong with that! I like your faded OD. Did you post-shade, pre-sahde??? How did the glass go together? Great looking early 'Stang! Thanks for sharing! GIL
  14. ghodges


    He shoots, he scores! Now that's how IPMS benefits ya! SB
  15. Looking good Mark! Do you ever feel "stretched" working on so many at the same time? I find I start to feel that way if I get more than 2 going at a time. Do you have a method that keeps you making progress on each of them equally, or do you just work on what you feel like and let the chips fall where they may? In any case, it sure looks like you're having FUN, which means you're ahead of a lot of other model builders! Thanks for posting! GIL
  16. Actually, I'm currently building a VACUFORM Skynight! I bought it years ago after hearing how bad the CM kit was. So far the vac kit has been no more work than the CM kit was. I should have it done in time to go to VB. But as you said, as a "relaxation exercise" I'm also building a Tamiya 1/48 P-51D Mustang 90% OOTB. Ahhhhhh.....I need to do that more often! Cheers! GIL
  17. Tates great, less filling! SB
  18. This is the 1/48 Czechmaster kit I just finished. To say it had fit problems would be a gross understatement! It has a bad (and well deserved) reputation! Granted, it is buildable, but you'd have better already cut your teeth on a limited run kit, a resin kit, or a vacuform kit (or preferably ALL 3!). This gives you an idea of how much SIG epoxy putty it took to eliminate the 1/8" steps at the front AND back of the 3 piece canopy. The intakes weren't much better! The kit decals were used with the exception of the intake warnings. The red on the sheet is too dark, and they dont give you the "circle" around the intakes (just the V's). I darkened some Testors red, painted the red warning stripes, then cut the words from the decals and applied them to the painted stripes. Tedious, but worthwile! The weathering was kept to a minimum. The panel lines were done with a colored pencil, which was fast and neat! I was not impressed with the quality of the kit, but in any case, it does seem to capture the look of the Whale! Comments and critiqes welcome. Cheers! GIL
  19. Looking great! If you have the wings lined up and ready to go, most of the hard wrok is done. I look forward to the pics when it's done! GIL
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