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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Hobby Boss Messerschmitt Me-163B (captured RAF)

One of my other series sub-projects is the Me-163 Komet. I always thought it was an interesting device, with a number of variations that would provide a good visual model display. I believe I saw such a model display at the USAF Museum in Dayton OH when I visited there.

I’ve built most of the variants of the Me-163 itself. I think I still have the Special Hobby Me-163C to do, plus I have future plans to upgrade my Me-163A, which was created from a resin kit way back when. There are a couple of earlier Lippisch DFS designs that deserve to be in the lineup as well.

But as to today’s completion. This is a standard Me-163B, but in captured RAF markings. The kit is Hobby Boss, in their easy kit version. Nothing special about the kit; I just never had built one from this line, and the go-to Academy kit seemed to be a bit hard to acquire for some reason. It was easy enough to build, as you would expect.

The markings came from a Rising Decals set of captured German aircraft (RD72057). If you are ambitious, there are also 109s and Ju-88s on the sheet as well. I had no problems with the decals.

In fact, I had no real problems with the model altogether (though I did find out after the fact that I had made something of an error on painting the rudder). Murphy’s Law is a constant on the production line here in 72 Land.

This is completed aircraft #492 (9 aircraft, 0 ordnance, 3 vehicles for the year 2018), finished in June of 2018.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Italeri Eurofighter (Italian AF anniv special)

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth or melted into a puddle of suet (though that has been a close one). But summer is not a strong time for modelling, especially when temps here in the Great Northwest get into the mid-90s. It appears that we are heading into a few days of high 70s and low 80s, so hopefully I can get a few things accomplished. In fact, I have two completions written up and just didn't have the photos taken. I was hoping to have picked up a small photo booth before this point, but other spending (vacation, fence, display case, replacement garage door opener) has taken the top priority spots. But here, at least, is the first of the finished items. 

One of the longtime sub-projects I have been working on is the Eurofighter Typhoon. The RAF has been very cooperative in painting them up in attractive commemorative schemes each year, and Xtradecal has done a fine job in providing 1:72 scale decals as each new set of markings become available. I suspect we’ll be seeing the RAF100 tails showing up in decal form before long. Though it is simple to the point of being a tad disappointing, it will still need to be added to my long line of Eurofighters in the cabinet. This is #12 in the series.

But I decided to look beyond the RAF for the next few special schemes. Both the Luftwaffe and the Italian AF have taken the plunge into garish markings (and even the Spanish AF has done some Tiger tails, though no decals have surfaced that I am aware of). Italeri went to the trouble of doing a new boxing of their iteration of the Eurofighter with four specials commemorating the 100th anniversary of four squadrons (9th, 10th, 12th, and 18th) in 2017.

Along with these four Eurofighters, the display also featured the first F-35 to be given special tail markings, for another squadron anniversary. Although the markings aren’t terribly lavish, they are unique, and as soon as someone does the decals I’ll have to put together an F-35A to complete the set. Of course this is only the first set of specials for the F-35, and many will be coming along in the next few years. I pulled most of this information from The Aviationist website.

This first completed example is from the 10th Group. I painted the spine and tail Black. This particular set was designed by Lt Giovanni D’Antonio. The designs were premiered at the Grosseto airbase on 6-24-2017. For the green and brown camo version the spine and canopy coloring is all decal, which I decided would be a better one to do after I had the experience of at least one under my belt. The decals performed as expected, though I did use SuperSol and SuperSet to help them snuggle down into the panel lines.

The Italeri kit is not really the best of the available Eurofighter kits – that goes to the most recent Revell toolling – but it isn’t bad at all. Decals are presented for all four schemes, but you’ll note that the red/white/green stripe at the base of the tail is only given in two copies on the decal sheet. So if you want to build all four, you’ll either need to buy two Italeri boxes (two kits come in each box) or plan on painting that stripe. I can’t imagine that will be a difficult job.

This is completed aircraft #491 (8 aircraft, 0 ordnance, 3 vehicles for the year 2018), finished in June of 2018.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Trumpeter Textron M1117

Travelling with the Daimler armored car across the finish line was the Textron M1117 Guardian as produced by Trumpeter. As you can probably tell, this vehicle is designed with a mine-resistant lower hull due to the amount of IEDs that US forces were encountering in the middle east. The angled surfaces also apparently helps out in deflecting RPG hits. It is used for many of the same roles as the HUMVEE, though the M1117 has a lot more armor protection.

The Trumpeter kit is a pretty simple build. About the only thing that speaks against it is they have chosen to use rubber wheels instead of plastic. This seems to cause weird chemical reactions over time, and still needs to be painted in order to look at least passably realistic. Maybe these are of a different chemical composition than earlier rubber wheels; only time will tell.

Once again, this model shows up the problem with large areas of single-colored skin and the downside of not weathering models. I suspect on the next armor kit I will do some experimentation with at least a bit of color moderation on the larger panels. Maybe some post-shading to emphasize the natural shadows? That will hopefully reduce the toylike nature of a small armor piece like this.

This is completed vehicle #18 (7 aircraft, 3 vehicles, 0 ordnance for 2018), finished in May of 2018.