MODEL KIT MANIA

A question of scale….

I recently partially finished a model recently, now before I carry on, I have to admit that, like many modellers out there I sometimes run out of steam when building a model, and put it away until I am ready to get on with it again as persevering can often have adverse effects, sometimes it’s because I am working out a strategy to paint it because it looks a bit tricky or it’s a difficult build and needs a fresh approach, but mainly there is a good reason for putting a model away for a bit, but the reason for this  particular one I wasn’t prepared for..

When it comes to scale model aircraft, I tend to go with the larger scales, say 1\32, mainly because I like to put a little extra detail in during the build and I find 1\32 easier to work with, plus I guess I feel like the 1\72 stuff is too toy like and perhaps lacking in detail, certainly when I was but a young lad, I was brought up on a diet of 1\72 Airfix stuff which to be fair I had a great deal of fun with till mum got me a 1\24 Airfix Stuka,   but that’s another story.

Which kind of brings me on the subject of scale in models.  We all have our favourite, many like me are fans of 1\32 or at the very least 1\48, and many delight in cramming as much detail into 1\72 as humanly possible and all power to them, it makes our hobby very interesting!

Recently I had an epistle and the aircraft which I mentioned at the beginning, which happens to be a Revell 1\32 Heinkel III P2 bomber has had me utterly stumped as to what to do with what is a behemoth of a model.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Revells recent range of 1\32 aircraft are superb, they lack a little detail in places and sometimes the instructions are vague,  for the prices asked they are the best big scale kits you can get  but the very nature of the size of some of them has caused me difficulties, such as space to show them off.

I will do a little piece on the Heinkel at some stage as it turned out to be an interesting build but for now let me just say it is now unfinished and gathering both dust and damage due to it’s immense size, I also have the Junkers 88 which at the present time I dare not build till a bigger workshop becomes available!

The Hawker Hunter I have is, despite being a reasonable size jet fighter is also quite big and will languish for a while, so I am presently revising my options, at least with aircraft anyway…

As you are probably well aware, my main interest lies in tanks with more than occasional forays into planes and less often ships, and the storage of such I don’t really have as much trouble with, the thing is ships are long and thin and you can squeeze them up together and store them pretty successfully.

Likewise with my tank collection, even my pair of 1\16 Trumpeter vehicles are easy to keep, as are all my 1\35 ones, they are sort of square and blocky and can be squeezed up tight together, but aircraft are a different ballgame..

You see, as well as being long, they have wings(of course) and the bigger they are the more of a storage\show problem they seem to become, and as a case in point even going over to 1\48 scale for twin engine and bigger kits like my Junkers 52 is still a big plane to find a home for. 

    Personally,  in terms of single engined fighters of WW1 and 2 I think 1\32 is ideal, they are small ish but still impressive and you can pour in plenty of detail if you wish whilst anything bigger like modern jets, bombers and civilian airliners are probably best kept to the smaller scales, that and the fact that nowadays the technology that has gone into even the 1\72 kits is top notch with incredible detail so I have invested in a Zvezda Sukhoi 27 Flanker just to see what the 1\72 world has to offer, review of that one soon.

All things considered I am looking forward to getting the flanker and see just what I make of it, you never know I may be converted to smaller scales…





Coming up…

I am currently building an aircraft carrier, the USS Yorktown in 1\350 scale by Trumpeter, and I am sorting through the pictures in order to give you a detailed review as well as tracking my build, warts and all, it hasn’t been an easy kit so far and I will show you where I experienced problems and how I tackled them, There’s a long way to go with it yet and I am also building my Trumpeter SS John Brown liberty ship which I reviewed in  my blog earlier, the fact that both ships can be built as waterline models has given me an idea for a diorama.

Also, I have procured another Eduard kit, their dual combo Focke Wulf 190 D in which you get a D9 and a D11 in the colours of Adolf Galland’s JV144 squadron, with the red and white striped undersides, can’t wait to get to get to grips with that plus you get a teeny tiny Messerschmitt Me262 in 1\144 scale, just about the smallest plane I have had to deal with, although, the carrier has 16 1\350 scale planes to put on it’s deck!


Eduard 1\48 MIG 21 PFM Profipak, quick review.

Seems that when it comes to model aircraft in 1\48 scale Eduard have it all over any opposition nowadays, and on the face of it I can see why.

Now don’t get me wrong, Tamiya are continuing to stay pretty much at the top of the heap and Hobbyboss are pretty good too, but Eduard always seem to be able to pull something extra out of the bag for us punters and keep the costs reasonable to boot.

they also take a subject and proceed to give us just about every sub type made too, which you can either look at as laziness or an attempt to be as diverse as possible and it’s true where their MIG 21 series of models are concerned.

Over it’s very long and distinguished career, the MIG 21 has been touted as the most produced fighter in history and has been sold to more foreign air forces than you could shake a stick at!

It was always known to be reliable and rugged and even though it has been out of service with most air forces around the world there are still plenty around, mothballed or awaiting an unknown fate, the Top Gear team, (the original guys that is) even stumbled across a graveyard filled with old MIGs including the venerable 15, 17, and 21 types on a recent trip to Albania.

Eduards range is pretty big with many subtypes, PF, R and loads of others in slightly differing flavours but the one I am concerned with is the one I bought recently, the PFM Profipak.


Just two of the options from the five available.

I got mine for a staggeringly low £23, which considering the box is stuffed to the top is incredibly good value, I have seen the weekend edition which is the same kit without the etched brass, coloured cockpit PE and paint masks for less than £16!

Inside the box are seven sprues, six of dark grey plastic and one of clear, a colour instruction book with five options to build, well protected photo etch parts, Cartograf decals which are really nice, a decal sheet which is Eduard’s own containing all the little decals used as templates on the weapons and airframe which is also nicely done, the engine or at least the parts of it that are visible are beautifully moulded as is the undercarriage and the cockpit looks nicely detailed.

The plastic looks and feels top quality and the seamlines, rivetting and panel lines are very nicely rendered, a tiny amount of flash was present but only on a few small parts and easily dealt with with a sanding stick, and the ejector pin marks are restricted to areas you wont see so the kit has been well planned out.


I figured that for the few extra pounds it was worth getting the Profipak for the detailed coloured photoetch cockpit and the paint masks which make painting the canopy so much easier and lend that little extra, I have used the cockpit PE before on my Heinkel III bomber and it really did make all the difference over the styrene parts in the kit.

Out of the five options offered I am looking to give the Polish airforce one a go, it is all aluminium and I can try out using my Alclad laquers, I may have to practice a bit first though!

In summary, and bearing in mind I like my aircraft in 1\32 scale I am incredibly impressed with this one, I have seen Trumpeters 1\32 MIG 21 and it’s fine,  nothing wrong with it but it’s expensive for what it is.  and I think if you want a MIG 21 in pretty much any flavour it has to be one made by Eduard.


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