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ghodges

IPMS/USA Member
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Everything posted by ghodges

  1. Thanks to all for the very kind comments! Chris: I use a black preshade for the panel lines AND then also use a light color color post shading for the interior of all the panels. I then use a pencil for the panel lines themselves, in this case, going with a brown colored pencil to get a softer, dirtier effect as opposed to the more stark effect a black pencil line (or wash) gives. Hope this helps! GIL
  2. Excellent beginnings! The crispness of the buttons on those side panels is particularly impressive! GIL
  3. Heck, you have twice as many "irons in the fire" that didn't get done as I completed for the year! Looking forward to your 2020 builds, which you have a GREAT head start on! GIL
  4. Great looking build in a striking scheme, that's well presented too! What's not to like? Congrats! That's a great way to close out this year and pivot into 2020! GIL
  5. There's a couple of differences there....The Rapiograph pen is actually an ink pen that YOU supply the ink for (refillable). Not sure of what color ranges they may have, but the real advantage is they have many different size nibs (steel tips) to choose from including some VERY fine ones. They're not cheap, but should last years if taken care of. I'm not sure how permanent the inks are once they've been applied, and whether they're water soluble (likely) or something else. In either case, I'd allow ample drying time and put a VERY light overcoat of clear to seal and protect them. Wet coats of clear might redissolve them. As for felt tips like the old Flair pens, or Sharpies, they can be very useful. The Sharpies come in a variety of sizes including some very fine tipped ones. However, the ends of these are felt and repeated hard use will cause even the finest ones to widen a bit. The inks are permanent, BUT, they do not seem to react well with overcoats of paint, especially enamels and lacquers. If you were to try to use a black Sharpie to pre-shade your panel lines, you might find the ink bleeding up through your paint! Still, they can be used for some "wash" details (if you want really stark contrast), and the red sharpies are a GREAT way to do the red gear door edges on USN planes! However, as mentioned above, use very LIGHT coats of clear, no wet applications, to avoid redissolving the ink and creating runs. A recent example of my using a fine tip black Sharpie was to create the letters for "Pudgy" on yellow decal paper. I lightly drew them in with pencil, then traced that with the Sharpie to create the letters, and then carefully cut each letter from the decal sheet for application. Not perfect, but faster and easier (for me) than doing a bunch of copy/paste/photoshop/print work with a computer. Grab a few different kinds from your local art supply store and give them a try! Hope this helps! GIL
  6. Excellent work on those gear doors! That'll go a long way in keeping a "scale" look to it when you're done. GIL
  7. Gotta agree, that's one sleek and beautiful design, and you put a very pretty scheme on it too. I do have to ask though...what is going on behind the canopy? I'm totally unfamiliar with this plane, so I have no idea how it "should" look. Was this one of the early design uses of a nose that would move downward, like was later incorprated into the SST? Nice build, and thanks for sharing! GIL
  8. Nice haul! No wonder Santa's having to pay his reindeer overtime to carry so much! GIL
  9. Very authentic looking Lawn Dart! Congrats, and thanks for letting us tag along the build! Gil
  10. That's some of the best stressed wood finish I've ever seen! GIL
  11. I like the Alclad paints, and have had good results with them. That said, there are a few tricks to getting the best from them.... 1) Just like ANY and EVERY NMF, your surface really needs to be glass smooth before you start painting. Since you use a primer with the Alclad, it's a little more forgiving, but the slicker the surface the better! DO take care if you try to spray Alclad directly on bare plastic. It can be done, BUT it MUST be done in very light coats (even more than when using it normally) as it can craze bare plastic if applied in a wet coat. 2) Plan on priming with a GLOSS BLACK primer for all of the various silvers, unless you're trying to get some exotic metallic tint. The Alclad brand primers are OK, but have had some quality control problems in the past (they never completely dried). I simply use Testors Gloss Black (big or little bottle) and thin it with lacquer thinner. It usually goes on glass smooth and dries hard in 2 days or less. 3) Whatever Alclad color you use, MIST IT ON! Do NOT spray heavy "wet" applications as it will not brighten out as nicely. Spray several thin, light coats until you get the depth of color you desire. Wait a bit between coats when spraying the Chrome......it looks horrible when it first hits the surface, and then like "magic", it plates out right before your eyes! 4) Alclad paints usually dry rock hard within 30 minutes (when applied over cured primers). It can be masked, but use LOW TACK types of tape to be on the safe side (Tamiya tape, green Frog tape, yellow Sherwin Williams tape, etc.) That's about it......by the way, you might also try the AK metallics. They've also worked well for me, are just as maskable, have a good variety of colors, and do NOT need any primers. Hope this helps! Gil
  12. Sharp looking build of a real classic in an eye catching scheme! Thanks for sharing! Gil
  13. I've built it a couple of times, and have a couple in my stash to build. It's a very good kit for its time (the early 70s), especially the R-2800 engine. That said, there are some "quirks" to be aware of, as well as deciding which version you'll build (likely determined by the markings you choose), as there are things to delete, and things to add depending on doing the -3 or -5 Hellcat. I believe there are parts for both options in the kit. There are plenty of references on the Hellcat on line or in book form to help you out, if needed. Cockpit- It's very basic and spartan. You can detail it a bit and it'll look okay, or find one of several aftermarket sets that were made for it. The cockpit opening is good sized, so doing some extra work here is worth it. Note that if you do the -3, it needs to have the bullet-proof glass added INSIDE of the windshield on top of the coaming. I'm not sure if that part is included. Gear wells and gear: Again, good basic details (not truly accurate though), but no "detailing" to them. Aftermarket tires, adding some brake lines, and also the landing gear locks in the wells will go a long way in adding some interest and authenticity. They only give you the very end of the tailhook, but it was never seen extended unless it was landing, so it's good to go. The Flaps- good news and bad news here.......the good news is they're separate and can be posed how you wish. The bad news is they were designed with a seam NOT on the trailing edge which is tougher to fill and hide. By the way...IF you add the rockets for the late -5 Hellcat, you need to add a thin cover (tape or very thin plastic) over the flap behind them. The Hellcat flaps were fabric covered, and they had to skin those bottom flaps with metal to protect them from the rocket exhaust; so cover the "fabric" look if you use the rockets. The cowl flaps: Check on your variant...I believe the bottom ones get deleted (filled and sanded) for the later -5. Also, the small side bumps get left off the -5. The windshield: the -5 had a flatter, taller front glass with built in bullet resistance; while the -3 windshield had a shorter front glass with a clear panel at the top center, and the separate bullet proof glass panel on the inside. The rear windows: present on the -3 and very early -5s, then deleted....you'll have to open up the window areas (the kit has depressions on the inside for this), and this takes careful work to get a good fit. For the best look I recommend using some thinner clear sheet than the kit provided plastic, since you can cut those to size and fit them as easily as making the kit parts fit. Tail planes: They have some odd circular depressions in the elevators that don't belong. Fill and sand them smooth. Same goes for the ones at the top of the tail fin. Wing gun bays: good basic detailing which can be enhanced if you like. However, if you want to close them off, be aware the gun covers do NOT fit flush, so you'll need to work to blend them in properly. Drop tank: pretty good, but the "straps" around them are partly on the tank and partly provided as braces under the fuselage...when they should look seamless. Other "goodies": There's a few other things you can do to help add some authenticity....cut, fit, and sand clear plastic for the wingtip lights instead of just painting them; drill out the lightening holes in the tail wheel strut, drill out your gun barrels, drill out the exhaust pipes, add ignition wires to the engine, and add the IFF lights under the fuselage (totally absent on the kit). If you want to fold the wing, it'll be a LOT of work and you'd have to track down some aftermarket or do a lot of scratchbuilding. Frankly, I'd build the Hasagawa kit with the wings out and get the Trumpeter kit if you want a Hellcat with folded wings. The old Hasagawa kit is quite a good model, and will look very nice built OOTB with the canopy closed. If you want a "contest" level model, you'll need to use some elbow grease and enhance the model as listed above. Hope this helps! Here's an OLD pic of one I built back in the 80s.... Gil
  14. Yet another new wrinkle from the Duke....I've heard of painting on the sprue....but building on the sprue? Genius! Nice progress Duke! Gil
  15. After standing in the lobby in Chattanooga for over an hour waiting for my chance to get the early white box release, I figured I better go ahead and build the dang thing! This was an OOTB build, except for adding some Eduard seat belts. The markings are all from the spares box, except for "Pudgy". I drew those letters on yellow decal sheet and then cut each out individually. Not perfect, but close enough for Gil World! The red and white markings were all painted. The markings are for McGuire's P-38F that's depicted on the cover of the "P-38 in Action" book. All in all this kit is da bomb! The main landing gear doors are engineered so that they simply slide into place, no glue needed! Same for the drop tanks when added to their pylons! If you want to build an early Lightning, I highly recommend you give this one a try! Questions, comments, and critiques welcome, as always! Gil
  16. Welcome Mike! Glad you're here! You share interests with a lot of folks here, and if you're into the 3D printing, you're W-A-Y ahead of me on the modeling curve! Settle in and enjoy things here. Cheers! GIL
  17. There's a lot to be said for those old Aurora WWI kits. They may not be as detailed as today's kits, but they're MUCH easier to build, and most of them have good outlines. Your prop and the drybrushing on the engine really came out nice! But no machine swirls on the cowl?? 😜 Nice build Ron! GIL
  18. I like Model Master Gloss White for a bright white. I thin it with lacquer thinner and it sprays great and dries hard in 48hrs. Gil
  19. Nice looking build! Is there a scale for this kit? And I take it the rails and ties are part of the kit? GIL
  20. HK is releasing the new 1/48 B-17G. You can find reviews of the kit sprues on several modeling sites. However, it will retail for over $100, which is MUCH more expensive than any version of the old Monogram kit you may find. GIL
  21. Very impressive build and a beautifully displayed gift! That Hawkeye just looks so much more the war plane with those scimitar props! Congrats, and thanks for letting us tag along the build! GIL
  22. Oh to be an armor builder....so many parts to assemble....but so few seams to fill! Nice solution to that end seam! GIL
  23. Nice! That windshield glass is amazing, and helo glass is one of the toughest things. Congrats, and thanks for sharing! GIL
  24. Finished this one up today for our club build. This is the Revell snap-tite 1/48-ish kit, which I was overall impressed with. The kit fits VERY well, with no slop in the parts once they're in place. The cockpit is nicely detailed and the canopy crystal clear. The parts break down on lines that match paint lines, so not much in the way of seams is visible when completed. The X-wing can be open or closed. The only oddity is that the nose gear can be retracted, but there's no option but on or off the model for the main gear, which means I left them off for the "in flight" attitude on the stand. The stand is from the spares box, and NOT in the kit. The only major thing I did was rebuild the wing cannons with plastic, aluminum, and steel tubing. Even though the kit ones came cradled in a clear support box, they were still rather bent. Other than that, I painted and washed various details and put some belts on the kit seat. The only complaint I can make on the kit is the type of plastic used to mold it. It's somewhere between rubber and styrene....the mold lines are tough to scrape off (much like a car kit tire) and tubular parts cannot be simply bent back straight. They're also harder to drill through, the plastic being more "gummy" during drilling. That said, it IS workable, but doesn't react like your typical injected styrene does. The kit doesn't come with a pilot, and is meant to display on its gear. However, that makes opening the wings up problematic, as the main gear is then canted awkwardly. The kit has some nicely molded details between the wings I wanted to show, so I grabbed a stand from the spares box and put it in flight attitude. By the way...the kit has a gimmick, in that the cockpit is molded as part of a sound box/device. If you push down on the R2 it'll play cannon fire! Anyway, this was a quick build, yielding a cool looking model that allows me to have one to put in our club display at the local library next January, coinciding with the release of the new Star Wars movie around Dec/Christmas. Comments/questions/critiques welcome! GIL
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