Archive for November, 2015

‘Nam Snake – part 2

I have to say, Special Hobby Cobras are delightful kits to build. They go together really well, are very nicely detailed and before you know it, it’s time for some painting! Putty was used only in small amounts, mainly to blend in the canopy.



Painting the aircraft in one overall colour can give the model a toyish look. A while ago, I’ve read an article, where this modeller was building some WW2 fighter that was painted in Olive Drab and to give it a nice, not too uniform look, he painted the base first in yellow and brown tones, to break the surface. I’ve used Yellow Zinc Chromate and Brown. Certain areas of wear were masked with liquid mask.



Applying very thin Olive Drab, I slowly built the colour, being careful not to overdo it and achieve the random look of the OD colour.



The airframe I am building had several panels replaced, which were painted in Faded Olive Drab. This same paint was used also for some fading and the base OD was used in heavier coats to highlight some panel lines.


Test paint peeling on the tail – I really love the effect.



Black, Yellow and Red details. 




And all the masks removed. As I’ve said before, the reference photos show this bird quite weathered, especially the top of the stub wings. I’ve peeled the paint of from areas of heavier use – the steps to the cockpit and stub wings, certain panels and landing skids.


MiG-31BM; pt.1

And the building commences. I will make more posts and sort of analyze the good and the bad in this kit so please bare with me.

Cockpit assembly



What you see in the above photos is just dryfitted cockpit. Absolutely no glue was used. It fits like a glove and looks awesome even in grey plastic. And keep in mind, joysticks, some additional panels and last but not least, ejection seats, are still missing in the above shot.


All the parts from the previous two photos laied out in front. If you look closely at the front fuselage, you will see some sort of a rail on the inner cockpit side; it runs on both sides and you just slide the cockpit tub from behind, on those rails until it stops moving forward and voila – perfect fit and perfect alignement.



Front fuselage being made out of one piece of course has a seam line. How big it is, I hear you say? Well check for yourselves, blue arrows showing that mighty seam that will need removing. All I can say, remarkable engineering on AMK part!



And it finally arrived! The eagerly awaited AMK (AvantGarde Model Kits) 1:48 MiG-31BM/BSM ‘Foxhound’. The Macau based company really wet the appetites of the scale modelling crowds with CAD shots and later sprue parts of this iconic Soviet interceptor. By a stroke of luck and a good friendship, AMK provided me with the 3rd kit of the initial pre-release of this magnificent kit.

MiG31-1The big heavy box has finally arrived!

MiG31-2Serial number stamped on the inner side of the box lid.

MiG31-3The box is tightly packed with plastic, with little room to spare.

MiG31-4Example of great ingeneering – rows of neat rivet lines of different sizes and really sharp moulding.

MiG31-5While unfortunately included photo-etched fret does not include seat belts, the injection moulded seats should look the part when finished.

MiG31-6Tires, rims and exhaust detail pieces.

MiG31-7The huge upper part of the fuselage moulded in one piece.

MiG31-8Several under wing missile pylons.

MiG31-9The beautifully moulded cockpit tub – not much need for any aftermarket there.

MiG31-10Main wheel well details, intakes and cockpit tub.

MiG31-11While some may thing, full length engines are a bit of overkill, without the ability to show them off, they will be needed for structural integrity of the model.

MiG31-12Lovely details found in the front wheel well.

MiG31-13Other small parts…

MiG31-14Again, excellent instrument panel details.

MiG31-15Decal sheet offering 4 different markings options.

MiG31-16A full complement of stencil decals, including the weapons ones.

MiG31-17Front fuselage moulded in one piece!

MiG31-18Equally huge lower fuselage with front R-33 missile recesses.

MiG31-20One piece moulded missiles – R-33, R-77-1 and R-73, 4 of each. Level of details is just amazing.

MiG31-21Crystal clear canopies, well protected with raised sprue edges and option of either open canopies or single piece closed one.

MiG31-19And last but not least – how big this model is. A week or so ago, a photo was posted of a hand, holding the test-built model. Some comments arose that the size is probably not as big, as Asian hands are smaller than European/American and we have some sort of optical illusion. Well here is my standard Euro hand, holding just the lower piece of the fuselage – please be my guest and judge the size by yourself 😀

More photos at AMK Facebook page (you don’t need FB account to see them):

I would like to send my sincere thanks to AMK for providing me with this review sample, as well as Anton for playing the middle man.

Keep watching this space for the full review build of this kit coming very very soon. If you don’t wanna miss any update, please subscribe to my blog in the menu on the right of this text.

‘Nam Snake – part 1

I admit – I don’t build helicopters that often. But every once in a while, a helicopter model crosses my modelling bench. And when I saw the MPM announcement a few years ago, that they will be releasing a new tool first generation Cobras in 1:72, I wanted to build one. Especially, after I saw one of the decal options includes markings for ‘Thor’s Hammer’, as I love everything Vikings!

MPM’s kit looks really great on the sprues, is supposed to be very accurate, but let’s see how well it builds.


I am using Brengun photo-etched set for this kit as only aftermarket item. While MPM offers resin replacement seats, they are pretty simple affair and I’ve decided to use the kit ones. Combined with etched harnesses, they look convincing enough. The seats, instrument panels and cockpit tub were painted in their basic colours and given a coat of Future to protect them from further work.


Mixing a drop of Payne’s Grey and Raw Umber artist oil paints with a few drops White Spirit, I applied the wash to all the edges. Contrary to popular belief, wash doesn’t have to be used only for weathering. In my case, it was used to accentuate the many shadows and define the kit parts.


Wiping the wash away and spraying the pit with flat lacquer, it brings out all the little details, which would normally not be seen.



Using the light grey paint, I drybrushed several exposed areas, which would normally look rather bland under just a coat of black paint. Red buttons and indicators were applied using a thicker enamel paint applied with a sharp-pointed toothpick and the use of optivisor. I really love how the instrument dials shine from the otherwise flat instrument panel.



With the addition of seats, the cockpit is more or less finished. I will add the pilot’s gunsight glass later, just before attaching the canopy, to avoid any breakage during construction.


Cockpit tub attached, rotor shaft attached, meshes and exhaust attached, it’s time to close the fuselage.


And last but not least – Brengun did an amazing job with this photo-etched fret. Not only that the fit of the instrument panels was perfect, check the anti-torque pedals – they spell BELL COBRA!

22nd Slovenian Nationals

Typhoon SSBN

Typhoon (aka by its Soviet name Akula, Project 941) was the largest class of submarines ever built. They got most famous in the West in the movie adaption of Clancy’s novel The hunt for the Red October.

This kit came together in the so called value boxing together with USS Cole. While I normally build subs in 1:350 scale, I did an exception here. The model itself is quite easy to build, but there are a number of inaccuracies, the rear part being almost completely fictitious.