Archive for December, 2015

MiG-31BM; pt.4

Last MiG-31BM update of 2015! The wheel wells!


While very detailed in their own way, I’ve decided to add a few more wires using everything I found on my modelling table – from stretched sprue and thin copper wires to soldering wire.



For base colour of wheel wells and jet intakes, I’ve used Alclad Dark Aluminum. This was followed by careful painting of little details – from wiring to the hydraulic actuators and other little details. It was also the first time, I’ve tried brush painting the Alclad. Shaking the bottle well, I’ve unscrewed the lid, turn it around and let it sit for a while. After a minute or so, some of the thinner evaporated, leaving a bit thicker (but still quite thin) paint to work with!




When it comes to washes, I prefer to use artist oil paints mixed with some White Spirit. You will need only a few basic shades and they will last you a lifetime, unlike some commercially available pre-made washes. Looking at the reference photos, BMs have very clean looking wheel wells so instead of simulating grime, I just wanted to enhance the shadows. Mixing a thin wash, it will flow around edges of all the wiring and other exposed details, but will remain slightly translucent. This in effect will makes all the details pop up without that filthy as a steam locomotive look. You don’t have to worry, if some of the wash remains on some surfaces – while clean, I still wouldn’t perform open-heart surgery in there.


Wheel wells received a coat of Alclad Semi-Matt lacquer to seal the oil-washes and retain some of that dull yet metallic look.


Front wheel well looks really great with all the molded details. Front gear leg supports have to be inserted, but not glued, before closing the well, though.


Full length intakes and engines – they look impressive and most importantly, even though they won’t be seen, they keep the big boxy fuselage apart and in correct width (Remember problems with Trumpeter RA-5C Vigilantes?!)


A tip of advice. Engines and especially the intakes are really a tight fit. Removing a couple of millimeters from the marked raised spot will make your life much easier!


Frontal look at the intake details and compressor face.


All the wheel wells inserted and it’s about time, we start closing up this beast!

Until the next time and


MiG-31BM; pt.3

Works continues with the engines.


AMK designed the interior really well. Some might say, moulding the whole engines is a waste of time, especially since you cannot pose them open. Well, you might be right, but the fact is, they are pretty simple affair, but instead provide the correct depth of the exhaust and serve as a strengtheners in the boxy Foxhound fuselage as well. Mr.Paint Wheel Hub Green was used for the green parts (you can use any similar paint as the exhaust get really dirty), Alclad White Aluminum for the front turbines and Alclad Exhaust Manifold for the rear turbine and inside of the exhaust.


The turbines received a black wash, while I drybrushed some aluminum on the rear turbines to highlight the edges a little, as they will be hidden in a pretty dark place deep in the MiG’s fuselage.



A number of different pigments and dry pastels were used to simulate the grime and soot found in the exhausts. As the insides are quite hard to photograph, I have lightened the shadows a bit, but in turn, the effect looks a little lighter than it should.


The inside petals in the burner can. The later still lacks the weathering – that will be added later in the build, to avoid any possible damage (smearing).


Dry fit of the engine parts – looks almost like those cut-away drawings on how the jet-engine works 🙂

Novogodišnji kup 2015

8th New Year’s Cup (Novogodišnji Kup), Museum of aviation (Muzej vazduhoplovstva), Surčin, Serbia




Other Categories

And here’s my tally for 2015
2nd place for 1:200 Northrop XB-35, 3rd place for 1:72 F/A-18C Hornet and 3rd place for 1:72 AH-1G Cobra.


MiG-31BM; pt.2

So let’s begin with the cockpit, right – as every other aircraft model begins… Well, AMK actually gives you instruction on building the cockpit in 10th step, but the quality of the details was so high, I’ve decided to skip the first 9 steps (don’t worry, I’ll come to them later) and start with step 10 (and a tiny bit of 11).


I’ve decided to give a test drive to relatively new paint company – Mr.Paint from Slovakia. I only bought Cockpit Turquoise Green, Tire – Rubber (off black) and Wheel Hub Green.


Cockpit paint went on smoothly, looks great and it dries in just a few minutes – great experience. The floor was painted with ModelMaster Dark Gull Grey enamel.


Combination of Mr.Paint paints – cockpit green and tire black. Displays were painted with Gloss Black.



And now came the reason for a little delay on my progress updates. Painting all the switches, handles, buttons and other tiny bits in the pit. I am not one of those modellers that just make a couple of white, red and yellow dots and call it done. Researching photos found on the internet and comparing them with plastic parts (which match 99%, kudos to AMK!), appropriate colours were used. When finished, dark wash was applied to accentuate the shadows and define the edges.


The main problem in getting the reference photos were the side vertical panels – some artistic license was used on parts, I didn’t have any photos of.



And the pit is more or less finished. Some pigments were used on the floor at rudder pedals to simulate some wear and dust, that appears in those corners.


Instrument panels finished. They are molded absolutely beautiful. Putting a flat photo-etched printed IP over this kind of detail would be a sacrilege! The only problem on AMK’s side I see here, is that they did not include any instrument decals. A gorgeous looking cockpit like they made would look a bit weird with a number of black discs, wouldn’t it? Luckily, Airscale make a generic Soviet instrument decal set. It is not perfect, but sure looks great when finished.  






And that’s basically it. Yeah, the seats are still missing and some detail around the HUD will still be added, but in a nutshell, I am now ready to start building the fuselage. Word of caution! The fit of the parts in the cockpit is so tight that even a little paint on mating surfaces will cause problems during final assembly. Dry-fit the parts before assembly and if needed, sand the parts to fit.

Bell AH-1G Cobra

AH-1G is considered to be the first operational attack helicopter in the world. Although previous attempts at attack helicopters were made in the past, it was the Vietnam war and the need for escorting the Air Cavalry UH-1 Hueys, that gave birth to AH-1G. Sharing many components with the UH-1C, it started replacing the UH-1B and UH-1C gunships in mid-1967. Between 1967 and 1973, around 1100 AH-1Gs were delivered, serving in close air support, escorting transport helicopters and other roles, including the ‘hunter-killer’ roles in combination with OH-6A scout helicopters.


Bell AH-1G Cobra
s/n 67-15536
Thor’s Hammer
A-Troop, 7th Squadron, 1st Cavalry
Pilot CW2 Melton Lee Hinton
Tra Vinh, Vietnam, 1971-72

Special Hobby 1:72
Brengun Photoetched Set


‘Nam Snake – part 3

In this times of internet we all live in a global village. And what’s nice about the villages? Everybody knows everybody… or at least it appears so. And so it happened – I posted in one of the Facebook’s many modelling groups and I got in contact with Don Hinton – ‘Thor’s Hammer’ Mel Hinton’s son! He was kind enough to email my several photos from his personal connection, that you can’t really find anywhere on the internet.

I once again thank you, Don, for the enormous help!


Anyhow, we move on on the decals. Although very thin (no need for decal softeners) they lack a bit in print quality – the edges are a bit soft and font’s appear a bit too thick.


Reference photos show that the Olive Drab was much darker, more brown like, than the paint Model Master sells as such. Having already unmasked everything and with decals applied, I went for a dark brown oil paint wash. Liberally applied all over the front part (tail boom appears slightly lighter on photos) I let the oil paint dry a bit…



…and after an hour or so, I removed excess paint and was left with darker OD than before. Unfortunately it doesn’t show very well in the photographs. Next I repeated the same procedure with replacement panels, which appeared a little bit too greyish, so I used a green oil paint.


Tail boom was last, receiving a coat of Burnt Sienna oil paint and after some drying time it was removed.





Final results of the oil paint washes/filters.

There’s a number of little things to be added, before finishing this bird. I have to decide on the final finish as well. Although I like the flat look of the weather beaten birds, Cobra’s often appear to be quite shiny. As a Cobra Crew Chief explained to me on Scalemates, they would often put Johnson’s Floor Polish on their birds to keep them clean.