Category: Workbench

5th anniversary coming up

Hi everyone!

I can’t believe the time flies so fast – 5th anniversary of VVS Modelling blog is just around the corner. Just looking at the statistics, it look it’s been a good decision to set it up – more than 200 posts, 94 showcased models, in-progress shots, competition photos, reviews and more with several 100.000s of views.

But times go on and I’ve decided to refresh my blog and posting habits a bit. The first change you can find in the right side menu – Instagram and Facebook windows. As it is, social media sites are extremely popular and easier to reach viewers with than an old-fashioned blog sites. The later however enable you to showcase your work the way you want it and in much more organized way. So what I will try to do is combine the two technologies together.

For some time now, I am posting my work on Facebook and Instagram, where you can check basically on my daily progress with my models. When the model will be finished, two posts will be published on the blog – one with a full article, as is the case for a couple of years now, with short history of an aircraft and/or unit, the review of the kit and full gallery of finished photos. The other article will be a work in progress one – whole build in one post unlike the wip posts so far, that were broken up in several ones, the new way being more “reader friendly” I think.

Oh, and fear not – even if you “hate” social media sites and don’t have account for either that I am using – fear not. You don’t need an account to view the sites. Either click on the links on the right side menu or follow these direct links:

Happy modelling!


2016 retrospect

Hello everybody!

2016 is in it’s last hours and I guess it’s time to wrap things up.

2016 hasn’t been my most productive year, to be honest. After projecting most of my modelling energy into finishing the ‘model of the year’ – AMK’s MiG-31BM ‘Foxhound’, I’ve set up a leasurily pace of modelling. It feels really good, not to worry about speeding up, but taking time to build something.

My readership also showed increased interest in my work with yearly page view rising from slightly more than 108.000 in 2015 to more than 186.000 in 2016! THANK YOU!!!

What brings in 2017? I’ll try to follow the same path – build unorthodox looking prototypes, challenge myself with complex builds and/or paint schemes, try something new and build something other than aircraft. Oh and the first project will be a double WW2ish project so stay tuned.

To my readers and followers – have a happy modelling year 2017!

2016 finished builds

AMK 1:48 MiG-31BM ‘Foxhound’

Planet Models 1:72 Saab 210-I Lilldraken

RS Models 1:72 Nothrop XP-79B

Hasegawa Eggplane Su-33 Flanker

ICM 1:72 Polikarpov Po-2VS

Eastern Express 1:288 Antonov An-71 ‘Madcap’

Zvezda 1:72 MiG-29S ‘Fulcrum-C’

Trumpeter 1:72 Su-30M2 ‘Flanker-G’

HobbyBoss 1:350 Yasen class submarine

Eastern Express 1:144 Beriev Be-200ChS Altair


28th June 2014


Wow! It’s been 4 months and a half since my last workbench post… Well I guess I was so busy making models, there simply wasn’t enough time to do this kind of posts. On that matter; in the first half of year I’ve managed to build 8 models already! At this pace, I am looking towards the record modelling year for me… There will be a number of firsts for me as well, but I guess we will have some time to reflect on achievements of the past year. And truth be told – two Visby class corvettes and Marineflieger Tornado are all in advanced stages of completition. As you can see from the photo, there’s two big birds on the table at the moment. Both SAM projects, one is Minicraft’s renedition of KC-135E tanker, which is a nicely detailed kit, but lacks in certain areas, while the other is Eastern Express Antonov An-22. This is a huge bird, moulded in short run technology, that presents more than a few obstacles during the build, but the end result will be more than worth all the troubles during construction. This is a longer term build, so no estimated time of completion yet…

A while ago, a heated debate emerged on one of my friends Facebook page regarding certain well known modeller. Some person was claiming that this certain modeller is ruining each model he builds because he rarely uses any weathering and (sometimes) picks wrong shades of paints for his projects (majority of them are not to Federal Standard and eyeballing correct shades seems to be the only option). This offensive person was also stating that each modeller should progress his modelling skills with each finished build. I find such statements and accusations quite hilarious. It is in my opinion that we all have our own reasons, why we indulge ourselves in this hobby – some might be trying to build the ultimate model, someone else just relax with this hobby, then another build a collection. There are some people out there, that use modelling as a therapeutic tool for their medical disabilities. You never know, who maybe be “hiding” behind the internet alias; it can be a kid, it can be a person with some disability, it can be an elderly person, it can be someone your age,… You never know so judging by the photos and not knowing the modeller is immoral by my standards. And then we have another issue. Who are you to judge other people? In case of this certain modeller, who started the argument, I can easily find faults on most of his models. When I picked up one from his latest finished work and mentioned it to him, he childishly started serving me low punches.  I can just conclude in the words of The Beatles – live and let live. And if you want to prove your “supremacy” playing with plastic toys, visit as many modelling competitions as you can… I guess your ego will hurt a little less if getting a few medals…

Other topic I want to discuss tonight is the oh so famed ultimate accuracy. Eduard’s new 1:48 Bf 109G-6 comes to my mind as it caused quite some storms in a teacup lately… Eduard have established themselves as one of the premium scale model manufacturers. Opening their boxes will always reveal precision moulding, crystal clear canopies and in case of their Profipack releases, even photo-etch details and masks. While some of their models don’t exactly fall together, others are real gems. We all know, Bf 109s are one of the most popular subjects in scale model world and it comes as no surprise, model manufacturers want to have a slice of this market for themselves. Eduard recently started promoting their products with video commercials and appearing in all kinds of media. Promising the ultimate Bf 109 model in quarter scale, the kit when released, fell under close scrutiny by the so called rivet counters – or better said, couch modellers. Wing span is too large; landing gear struts are too high; there are bulges on the wings that shouldn’t be there; and so on and so on… Some ‘experts’ calling this model a total fail, others complaining about this and that, and some even calling for boycotting purchases of kits from companies that make mistakes with their kits. I find this accusations quite stupid. There is no absolutely accurate model and probably, at least with current technology, there will never be one. Not even the highly prised Tamiya kits are totally accurate. Take canopies for example. They are all too thick, no matter the scale. Even the vacuformed one are. And those who are the loudest, don’t want to work with them either…  Same goes for plastic fuselage thickness, panel lines, rivets and the list goes on and on… I just don’t get it, why a bunch of grown men complain about their plastic toys – and yeah, whatever you want to believe, plastic models are just that – toys! You find a problem with newly released kit? Correct it! Or start building LEGOs! As loud as such people may be, they are not aware, they represent just a tiny percent of all model builders. Grow up!

14th February 2014


Hi everyone! It’s been a while since my last post and even since a month and a half have passed since my last post, no new models have been finished. But fear not. I’ve been away from home, had some nasty shifts at work, nasty cold and a modelling competition to help organize and run and modelling time was pretty low. But don’t worry, I’ve been somewhat active in the meantime and even managed to try myself at something totally out of my comfort zone, modelling wise. But more on that later.

I am pretty sure you’ve all seen talks about different paint manufacturers and their accuracy compared to some paint chips? Well in the past two weeks I’ve stumbled upon some interesting facts regarding paints. We’ve all heard that Soviet/Russian paints are of dubious quality and that they used whatever paint they found? Well that’s not entirely true, as painting camouflages were always set on paper, including which exact paints to use. Sometimes the quality of them varied from factory to factory but the standard was there. Looking at new fighters, especially Fulcrums and Flankers, faded paintjob has less to do with the poor quality than the fact, Russia has most of its aircraft fleet parked on tarmac all year around; given the fact Russian winters are one of the worst while summer can be extremely hot, fading of the paint is to be expected. But what about the US military aviation and its paints? You’ve probably heard about Federal Standard. All colours defined by it are precisely defined, so in theory, all aircraft should look the same, when painted in the same camouflage. But if you look at the photos, you will see that they don’t. Why? First interesting fact is that by my source, paints are allowed 10% tolerance in brightness and 10% in tonal value compared to Federal standard. If this data is correct, the difference can be a whopping 20% difference between two paints, labeled as one FS colour. Second fact is that when aircraft are repainted, some paint is delivered premixed while other paints might be mixed at base, which increases chances of unique shades of a certain FS number. Third fact came from a USAF groundie, who claimed that they deliberately mixed certain paints darker, to visually differentiate airframes from each other in the pattern before landing. If you take in account all of this and add paint fading and weathering, it really doesn’t matter which brand of paint you choose in the end – choose the one you are most comfortable with!

So what’s going on on my workbench? Currently there are FOUR small scale models in progress, most at the finishing stages of completion. 1:144 scale infamous TR-1A(U-2S) and chinese mighty J-20 from Cyberhobby are really nice kits benefiting from the slide-mould technology. Trumpeter’s Su-27 Flanker is also a great little kit, but some things missing from the kit bother me a lot, but are easily scratch built and the (not so) little Flanker has great potential. The fourth kit on the bench is Cyberhobby XB-35 in 1:200. You may remember my previous build of it’s jet cousin YB-49 a couple of years ago – they will look great one next to each other – the only shame is, they chose the 1:200 scale instead of 1:144, as Revell’s kit would nicely fit among its predecessors. Anyway, you can expect to see first of the finished models next week on my pages, with feature articles in Scale Aircraft Modelling magazine shortly afterwards.

Stay safe and keep modelling!

17th October 2013


It’s been quite some time since I posted anything but worry not – things are busy at VVS scale workshop – even so much I have to sacrifice time for some projects and from some other hobbies. The models you see in the above photo are work in progress for SAM magazine. Both a short run kit, both an experienced modeller required models, and especially the Yak – putty/sanding monster. I have an article deadline of November 4th, so I really had to push my modelling to Top Gear (but without those 3 morons we love so much) in order to complete the task – and since they were at same stage in the building, Meteor is tagging along as well. As can be seen from the photo models are already decaled and weathering will be the next step. All in all they’re slowly getting to the last corner of the track and I am pretty confident they’ll both be finished by the deadline. And speaking of deadlines – My next projects will be the already started A-10A and Slovenian Army Bell 412 transport helicopter – and both have to be finished by the years end – A-10 for the ARC Groupbuild, while Bell for the local forum Groupbuild. As it’s evident my New Year plan has already fallen apart and many of the projects will have to be pushed in 2014. On the other hand, several models which I didn’t expect to build got on the “finished” list, so all is good in the end.

Last but not least, here’s a cool video showing the Yak-141 testing

7th May 2013


You know a feeling where you’ve been modelling a lot but there’s not much to show? It’s happening to me at the moment. The Su-7 build was halted because I had to wait for the shipment of Tamiya’s Lacquer Thinner to arrive from the other side of the world – wiping away Mr. Surfacer with a cotton bud dipped in this thinner has never been easier. So not to get rusty in the meantime, I’ve started work on a Revell’s reboxing of an excellent Zvezda kit of Mi-24V Hind. I will be building it in Czech Air Force scheme with Tigermeet 2011 markings. All I can say is that I’m sorry that I am not allowed to show you progress photos as this is the most detailed 1:72 model I have ever built. Unfortunately the fit is another issue. Well it is a bit my fault as I didn’t take enough dryfitting sessions before trying to close it up. Thing is that you build the entire interior beforehand and you have to wrap it, so to speak, in external skin. Now I am left with a few gaps to fill but still it makes a hell of a model and will certainly build a few more!

I’ve also bought my first armor kit after some two decades – not that I would have particular interest in armored vehicles or models but just for the fact, when I saw a model published on some internet site, the shape of the thing caught my attention as it was the most brutal and awesome piece of metal I have ever seen. I am talking about a Russian heavy flamethrower TOS-1A ‘Buratino’. Mounted on a T-72 chassis a big rocket launcher is fixed, firing thermobaric rockets at targets up to 6.000m away from the vehicle. Being a short range weapon TOS-1 system is used in an armor group of main battle tanks and APCs.


Source: Wikipedia

As it is quite a rare model of a rare vehicle from a rare new manufacturer I also plan on making a review of this model in the following days.

I also updated my plan and What I got lists 🙂

28th March 2013


It’s been quite a while since my last post here. Basically because there’s not much to show really. CRJ project has stopped – why you might ask? Because I am quite disappointed with the kit. No wheel wells and solid back ends of the jet exhausts are the main reasons. And I am really not in a mood to cut the circular shapes of the wells out of thick resin. Gears closed and on the stand is how she’s gonna look at the end. But have to find some motivation to clean up the engines first and do something about their back ends… Probably I’ll just hollow the exhausts and try to paint a thin black strip around casing. Huey is in the stages of puttying and sanding, which I really loath. Yet work has to be done and I hope I will be able to make a separate WiP post next week with some proper progress done on that model. Not so long ago I also started working on Su-7BM and I must admit it’s the best short-run model I was building so far. The fit is great to average (it’s a short-run nonethless but nothing tragic) and the level of details is simply amazing. I’ve further improved the cockpit and photos will be published in Scale Aircraft Modelling magazine. The fuselage has been assembled and cleaned and it’s now time to clean the wing and tail to fuselage joins. Can’t wait for their Su-7BMK and hopefully BKL versions as well.

Till the next time

13th February 2013


I have to apologize in advance. All forces have been thrown into finsihing the Flanker and work on the UH-1H had to be stopped for a while. But I don’t think it’s gonna be much longer as I anticipate Flanker will be finished next week. At least that’s the plan! And as soon that’s done, Another helicopter will join the WiP thread – Slovenian Army Bell 412. Lots of work has been done in the past few days on the Flanker, painiting and masking (do you hate it too?) of all the little details across the airframe. After a good coat of clear gloss varnish decalling is now in progress. Luckily, Kazakhs didn’t reapply all the little stencils so at least a bit time has been saved.

10th February 2013


There it goes – the top camo is finished – all that now remains is the bottom light blue colour and various details like dielectric panels, wheel bays, intakes, etc. I just hope the gloss colours won’t take too long to dry.

Recently I’ve been bitten with this New Zealand bug and though the Vampire is already in the 2013 queue, I might also add A-4K Kahu Skyhawk – and of course scratchbuild the differencies needed for this update. What can I say – I enjoy building rarely seen models 🙂

28th January 2013


Finally some progress that shows! Both MiGs were first coated with Alclad Aqua Gloss (GREAT STUFF!), and got decalled later. Not a lot of decals thankfully so a job quickly done. Only black border lines for the orange areas gave me some work, but luckily decals performed well. I masked the metal areas on the Flanker and attached the ventral and tail fins. I used Mr Surfacer to fill the little crevices around canopy and tail fins and will hopefully prepare it for primer by the end of the week.


I just talked to a friend via Skype and he ignited a spark in me to build the MiG-31. This massive Russian interceptor was the first aircraft in the world to feature a modern AESA radar and has successfully intercepted SR-71s over flying the Russia without their pilots knowing how close to a shoot down they were. Interceptors were controlled by GCI (Ground Control Intercept radarists) and thus not giving their presence away, came to as close as 6km lateral and 2km vertical to the famed American spy plane. It was the Swedes, who monitored these intercepts, who told the US what they were observing with each Blackbird flight and the result was cancellation of Blackbird ops over the Russian European part and early retirement of the SR-71. I have to MiG-31 kits in my stash and a beautiful Begemot sheet to go with them and I am wondering why not? The only obstacle at this moment is the vast number of review samples I HAVE to build first. Well hopefully there will be a break in the schedule to squeeze one Foxhound in. I took the above photo at MAKS 2011, in Zhukovski.

Here’s also an interesting movie about the young Russian pilots training to be the Foxhound pilots – a position once reserved only for most experienced VVS pilots.