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Scale Model Life Magazine Volume 2 - Sci-fi Issue

It's been a long journey, and now my 11th book is available.

I've long wanted to write books, but with the busy life I've led, it just never rose to the top of the list. But the desire was always there. Fortunately, with the option of "on demand printing", the world has changed, and virtually anyone can write, and publish whatever book they want to. I find this very important. Think of all the knowledge, valuable knowledge and insights that were never recorded, and lost to time. Think of the people today who are experts in what they do, whether it's a carpenter, an engaver, a craftsman. Think of the knowledge that disappears when they eventually move on and pass away. Is it morbid? Not at all. With anyone being able to publish a book, the knowledge in their heads, which came from decades of experiance, can now be put down in writing. Preserved. Passed on. It's an opportunity that's now available to anyone. Not that my knowledge is exceptional. Maybe it's not even important. But it's who I am. I have always had the desire to teach, and writing my books allows me to express information about one of my favorite hobbys, and teach some along the way. It's a god combination.

This new book, Scale Model Life Magazine Volume 2 - the Sci-fi Issue, is the latest so far. All my previous model books were about cars, which seems odd, since I have been building Sci-fi its since I was young.But till now, I haven't written anything about them. But it's time to delve into other kinds of models, and build some I've been itching to assemble for some time. Plus lately, there have been a lot of new kits that I've never built before, and I really want to tackle them. So I expect there will be more of other kinds of model books written on subjects (or at least kits) other than cars. That doesn't mean you won't see any more car books, I have plenty of cars and trucks, ready to be opened and built, but maybe a break is in order. So don't stray to far, there will be another car book before long.

So if you like Sci-fi models, I think you will like this newest edition. Check it out.

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scale model life magazine issue 2 scifi

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New Scale Model Kits

With March 1st just around the corner, we're already two months into the year of 2015. So far, it looks a little slow out of the gates as far as the model kits trickling through. There's a union strike in California, and many of the models we're waiting on are probably floating out in the ocean just off the coast. So as soon as that nonsense is over, eventually, and it will take some serious time to catch up, eventually we will get some models coming in.

AMT has issued the Man From UNCLE Spy Car kit. It doesn't have the TV show tie in artwork logo on the box, but we all know what it is. The kit hasn't been out in decades, so I'm sure some modelers are glad to see that hit the shelves. As long as we're talking TV and movie models, the Lindberg Flintstones car will be out again. This is a fun kit, well done, and the "stone" roller wheels roll. I built one, and I still have it from when it first came out. Like I said, it's a fun kit to build. The big hit this year will be the Starsky & Hutch Ford Torino. That's on my list for sure. But folks have been wanting that kit for years, so it's a given that it will be popular. Dragon models plans on launching a 1/6 scale Tumbler Batmobile, to go with their 1/6 super hero line (which are pretty much Marvel chracters so far). It will be huge (and I'm sure a little bit expensive), we'll have to wait and see.

As I write this, the Revell Ford Raptor truck model should be out any day. It's a snap kit, but hey, it's the only Raptor kit in town, so you'll have to live wth the snap aspect, or cut the hood open and install your own engine. The 2017 Raptors are already on the show circut, and that truck uses a 3.5 engine. The 2014 Raptors (which is probably Revell's model kit) used a 5.4 or 6.2L engine. You can get those 5.4L engines out of some of the 1997-2003 Ford F150 kits floating around still. Mustangs also use a 5.4L, starting in 1996. So a conversion is possible.

Atlantis models mentioned they will be releasing a model of the Invaders UFO Flying Saucer from the 1960's TV show. It looks like it might be the old Aurora / Monogram kit, but that's fine. That's a good kit. It even has an interior. I'll buy one for sure. Can't wait to see it.

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Scale Model Life: Building Scale Model Kits Magazine (Volume 1)

The all new Premiere Issue of Scale Model Life Magazine is out.

This issue covers several model car builds. Including the 1/8 scale Revell 1932 Ford Hot Rod. There's plenty of chrome on that kit, and a modified Ford 302 V8. Along with the car, you can see how the Moebius Models Black Widow kit can be modified to represent a great 1/8 scale Show Girl to go with your Hot Rod.

The magazine also features a build of Aoshima's Toyota Twin Turbo GT. This model includes the engine, so it makes a perfect sleeper car kit, but has plenty of engine detail to make a great model build. Also along those lines, there's a build of Monogram's Mazda RX7, featuring the famous 13B Rotary engine.

Moebius Models makes another entry with their Wayne Industries Tumbler Batmobile. See how this unusual kit is assembled, and why it's different than any car kit you've ever built before. Of couse, you can never have enough Hot Rods, so we've thrown in an older kit, Revell's 1/16 Street Rod. This kit represents a modern 1934 Rod with modern disc brakes, a small block Chevy 350, and custom chassis.

So be sure get your issue today!

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scale model life magazine book issue 1

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FX Guide Interstellar Movie Miniature Models

Model making for movies is not used as much as in the past, with CGI 3D effects taking over the TV and movie industries. But there are still some models being made. This is a good article on using models in the latest Interstellar Scifi movie..

For me personally, models for movies has been a big influence on me. In the 1970's I couldn't wait to get the latest issue of Starlog to see what models may be in it. While I would build a model of almost anything (much like today), Scifi models have always been some of my favorites. I honed a lot of modeling skills building AMT Star Trek kits, Aurora Irwin Allen kits, and many others.

I don't think models for movies will ever completely go away. Cost wise, there will always be times when it's more practical and less money than doing the scene in CGI on a movie. And I am sure'there are times when a model will look better on screen.

Check out the article, I think you will enjoy it. By the way, Moebius Models will be producing a model of the Interstellar Ranger Shuttle in 2015, so watch for that too!

fx interstellar ranger spaceship movie models

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MPC Model Car TV Commercial - 1970's

How about a rare TV commercial for MPC Model kits? Check it out for a nostalgic trip back in time.

What's interesting too is that the model in the commercial, the MPC 1970 AMC AMX car model is still available today, 40+ years later!!

mpc models tv commercial

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Speedhunters History of Drag Racing Models

Speedhunters has a good article about drag racing model kits. There are plenty of models you will recognize, and some custom ones you will want to see.

The models are on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California. The have a great level of detail. The photos in the article are well done, so you get every bright color and nuance to the builds. Check them out.

speedhunters drag racing models

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Building a Dodge M37 Truck Video

Building a Dodge M37 Truck video.

Yes, this is for an RC chassis. But there are plenty of good ideas that a plastic modeler can learn from. So break out your Evergreen and Plastruct !

(Hit the link - Building a Dodge M37 Truck

Dodge M37 Model

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Heavy Equipment World Machinery Models

This is an interesting article by Equipment World. Featuring production and scratchbuilt machine models.

As plastic modelers, we don't get to many kits of heavy construction equipment for some reason. AMT used to have several farm tractors kits, but most have not been released since the 1970's. One exception being the John Deere 4430 kit, which started out only being available at John Deere stores. Later it trickled out to other model distributers once the demand for the kits had risen, and AMT attempted to keep up with the sales. Later, in the 1990s, about the same time, they did a similar sale on the CAT Bulldozer kits. But they sold out quickly, and are very hard to find these days. Not to mention being somewhat expensive.

Today there are a few resin and plastic equipment kits out there, such as the MENG D9R Bulldozer, or the Stalinetz S65. But that's a very short list. Is there a demand for contruction kits? Backhoes, bulldozers, bucket loaders? I guess it's hard to say. I would like to see AMT release all their tractors again, I haven't built any of them myself. They would be new subjects to me.

Check out the link and see what you think of the article, and the modelers presented there. I think you will find it interesting.

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heavy equipment models

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New Revell Model Kits for 2015

Just want to mention some kits that Revell has announced for the upcoming 2015 year.

  • Revell 1957 Ford Del Rio Ranch Wagon 2-N-1 - Since Revell's 1957 Ford 2-Door kit has become a popular model, this kit should be another hit for them. I'm sure it's based on their earlier 1957 kit. It's a 2-N-1 model, so chances are, it will have extra wheels and maybe some engine accessory options. This is also a 2-Door, so I'm thinking more along the lines of a commercial car, for a house painter or a handyman. Should be a great project either way.
  • Revell Honda Civic Coupe Si - This is a reissued kit, but a popular one. Originally one of their "Tuner" series, it features optional wheel sets, engine parts, and fascia options. I would say this is the same quality as Revell's Acura Integra kit, which one of the best models they ever produced. This Civic issue will have a box that says "Fast and Furious", though it's a good kit, and doesn't really need that movie tie-in to sell it.
  • Monogram Ford F150 Ranger Pickup Truck - This is another reissue, but a welcome one (for me at least). This is an early 1980's Ford pickup. Back then, indeed from the late 1970's, Ford used the Ranger name on their full size F150s, before the compact truck was introduced years later. This truck model represents the 1980 to 1986 series. It's also 4WD.
  • Revell Stone, Woods & Cook Willys Gasser - This was released just a few years ago, but it's a longtime popular Revell kit, and should make drag racing model builders very happy.
  • Revell BRE Datsun 240z - It's been a few years since this model has been out. It makes a good companion to the Datsun 510 kit.
  • Revell Auto Transport Carrier Trailer - Truck builders will be looking forward to this kit. I don't think it has been out since the 1990's. When assembled it holds about 3 or 4 cars.
  • Revell 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Hardtop - This is a great model by Revell. Boy is this car long and big! The thing that impressed me most about this model when it first came out was all the engine detail. It's packed full of parts. Every bit of space under the hood is filled. The wheels and tires are exceptional as well. Just a great kit.
  • Revell 2013 Chevy Camaro ZL1 - Revell just issued a prepainted model of this car in 2014, I suspect this is a more detailed glue kit of the same model for more experienced builders.
  • Revell 1940 Standard Coupe - Another kit that Hot Rod builders are looking forward too. Though I'm sure it will probably be build stock in most cases.
  • Revell P51B Mustang - This is their large version 1/32 scale kit. This classic kit includes a Merlin engine and an optional pilot figure. I want to say this will probably be an RAF version, or Britain based decals for the Army Corps.
  • Revell UH-1D Huey Gunship - This is another 1/32 kit. Familar as the working horse of the military in Vietnam. This is also an older kit, but a popular one.

There are some gems in that list, something for everyone. Let's hope Revell keeps them coming for the new 2015 year!

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Model Kits for 2014

It's getting to be that time of the year where model companies are throwing everything they have to get kits out the door. But this time of year also means that some model companies save the best for last, and 2014 is no excepton.

Moebius models has just released their all new 1966 Adam West Batman figure, and it looks like it's going to be a winner. Soon will be the Catwoman, and Robin. But no word yet on if those will make it in time to be a 2014 kit release. If they do, it will be right down to the wire. They should also be recieving their Ford Ranger F150 Pickup Truck kits any day now. I think at last report they were "on the water", so I think they'll make it here just in time. Moebius has taken their time with this truck kit, to make it as accurate as possible, and they won't settle for less than perfection. But time has run out, and they've got to get it out for us builders to buy, so let's hope it all works out. Note that the trucks will be made as two issues, the second version will be a short bed and issued under the Model King label, so we're actually getting two great kits at the same time! They're working on some other car kits, but I don't expect to see any solid news on those till 2015.

Another mention for Moebius is that the Elvira Figure kit will be reissued, so if you missed out on that one, or just couldn't get a hold of as many as the kits as you wanted, now's your chance. Do you build 1/12 model cars? I've seen modelers modify Elvira to sit in the car, especially hot rods, so I may stock up on a few more of those myself just for that purpose. On the Scifi end of things, Moebius will release a few 1/72 Battlestar Galactica kits before the end of the year. The Jonny Quest Dragonfly won't be till 2015, but it's a much anticipated kit. The Galactica Colonial One is right on the edge, it culd be 2014 or just over the line in 2015. We'll have to wait on that one. I want to mention that a lot of the Moebius Super Hero kits have been discontinued: Green Lantern, Superby, Wonder Woman, etc. So if you've had your eye on any of those, now's the time to get them (before the silly higher collector prices kick in when they're hard to find).

Looking into 2015, Moebius says they will be making a kit of the Frank Frezetta "Death Dealer, and the Fantastic Voyage "Proteus" from the famous movie. I wonder if it will include a figure of Raquel Welch? They have also mentioned making a shuttle ship "Ranger" from the movie Interstellar, but that will probably be deep into the next year. A 1965 Plymouth Satellite has been mentioned, as well as the Lindberg "Touch Tone Terror", Plymouth "Lawman" Belvedere, 1965 Mercury Comet, and a Pontiac Ventura.

Revell always seems to be a bit secretive on future releases. I think this is a mistake, because with the internet and social networks, they miss the opportunities to get the word out, and build up demand and anticipation for future products. Many modelers have to budget what models they buy. We would all like to buy every model that comes out, but that's not how it works in reality. With limited funds (like most of us), modelers have to pick and choose how we spend our money. So the sooner we know about a product, the sooner we can plan ahead and budget for the releases. Not only that, it's free advertising to get your product mentioned socially, on forums, in blogs, whatever. Pictures help. Some other model companies use these tools to their advantage (Moebius, Round2) but Revell needs to build anticipation better. Anyway, having covered all that, they do have a few kits poping out here at the end of 2014. The most anticipated is probably the Ford Torino from Starsky & Hutch. Or as Hutch calls the car, the "Striped Tomato". They are also releasing some new prepainted musclecar kits that have fewer parts and are easier to assemble. These kits do feature an engine, but with metal axles and a lot of molded in detail (such as on the chassis). I believe these are a direct reponse to AMT's "Showroom Replicas", which are similar. I don't have a problem with either model series. With the cost of paint going up (between $6.00 and $8.00 a can), I can see how a prepainted kit can save a modeler a lot of cash. Revell will also be producing a Ford Raptor pickup truck kit at the end of 2014. It's a snap kit, but will be welcome to all car modelers, since there's no other plastic alternative. And I don't think it will be to hard to cut open the hodd and slap a V8 in it if needed. Well, since revell doesn't say much about new products in the pipeline, there isn't much to report on. We'll just have to wait for December and see what happens. 2015 will be a whole new ball game as far as releases, nobody knows.

Pegasus should be producing a Mars Lander, designed by Ron Cobb (who did art / production work for Alien, among other films). I don't think it will make it for 2014, but the response for the model has been positive. It's a huge kit, I think modelers will enjoy building it once it's out. I believe they are also working on the Saucers from Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. These were stop motion in the film by none other than Ray Harryhausen, so it's a great tribute to his work. Should be a fun it to build. I recently watch the movie (colorized, done well) and the film effects still hold up pretty good even today.

Round2 has a Space 1999 Eagle coming out here at the end of 2014. It's the same basic MPC Eagle, but with a resin Booster Pack and Science Lab cargo container. This is a great idea, using an existing kit but giving modelers even more for their money. Round 2 is good at this, and they've been successful at it for quite a few years now. The kit is a limited edition issue, so make sure that's on your list, and get them right away when they come out. For 2014, they should also be releasing the Donnie Allison Mercury Cyclone, AMC AMX, two Chevy Corvair kits, and one more Star Trek cadet series of ships. There's no solid information on what's in store for 2015, except their Alien Nostromo ship model, and the resin (or vinyl) Kane from the same movie. Also the Alien Queen figure. They plan on making a 1/32 scale Galileo Shuttle from the TOS Star Trek, but there's no solid news except that if they do it, it will be something for the next year. (this is a kit I really want to get myself).

Galaxie Limited (the folks who make those trailer kits) have announced they will be producing a 1947 Chevy Coupe and a 1947 Chevy Fleetmaster (woody). No exact date has been mentioned, so it could be 2014, but probably at the beginning of 2015.

ICM will be continuing in the 1/24 car model market with the release of two kits, the Ford Model T Roadster and the Ford Touring. Though these will probably be in early 2015, it's hard to say.

Italeri, as far as I know, has two truck kits that should make it out at the end of 2014. Their Peterbilt 378, and their Volvo VN780. Both are popular kits and should sell well. Let's hope they make it out this year.

So there's a brief recap for the end of the year. I'm sure I missed a few kits here and there. As this year winds down, we'll get some all new kits for our collection, and some new builds under our belts. And it's just a matter of time till we find out what awaits us for 2015. Let's hope we get more great kits for the upcoming year!

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Reading Science Fiction Books

I've read a lot of Science Fiction books in my time, ever since I was a kid. I read all the classics from HG Wells to Jules Verne from my school libraries, and probably a few hundred paperbacks after those. Of course, this was during the 1970's, and paperbooks were maybe only $ 1.50 each. I also had a lot of friends who read books all the time as well, and swapping books between us was very common. I remember one kid I didnt even know that well in high school, but we had a lot of classes together, and we swapped Scifi and fantasy books all the time. Some of the first books I remember reading, around the fourth grade (outside of the classics), was the Danny Dunn series books, and one book called The Shy Stegosarus of Cricket Creek. I think my favorite Danny Dunn book was the time travel one which involved Benjamin Franklin. To this day, if I went back in time, I think I would like to meet him the most. Peter Pan was a good one too, with the intrduction of the first curse word I saw in a book (for those of you that have never actually read Peter Pan, Tinkerbell calls him a "silly ass" a couple of times). Later in high school it was the Dragons of Pern, Macroscope, and probably all of Arthur C Clarke's books along with many other popular Scifi writers. I remember around when I was in the fifth grade, begging my mother to buy me a book at a department store. The book? A Gerry Anderson UFO series paperback.

Fantasy books covered various series, which of course, I had to read and own all of them. Series such as Conan (Conan meets an alien in the first book! You probably didn't that!), Tarzan (unlike the movies, Tarzan was quite intelligent and could read and write), John Carter of Mars, to name but a few. Scifi series I read covered standards like all the original James Blish Star Trek Books and later on, other Star Trek paperbacks, which I read on and off through the late 1980s. Sometimes in my life there have been big gaps when I didn't read much science fiction for one reason or another. Not enough time I suppose. I work a lot.

Anyways, lately I've been reading a few books again, Science Fiction of course. And I recommend these books if you to are a reader, and interested. The first one is really a series. I stumbled across the second book, which I read right away. It was a good book, so I went back and read the first book. That was just as good, so I wrapped them all up with the third book in the series. It may seem weird to do it that way, but the books were very connected, and well written. The first book is The Atlantis Gene, volume two is The Atlantis Plague, and the third and last book is The Atlantis World. After reading three good books in a row, I wanted to read others, and then I found myself back in the saddle again and enjoying reading Science Fiction. I wanted to read some new Star Trek books, and I settled on a few that turned out very well. I probably enjoy the time travel ones more than others, so that brings us to Star Trek: The Original Series: No Time Like the Past. It features Seven of Nine travelling back to work with James Kirk. I liked the story. Next up is Assignment: Eternity (Star Trek: The Original Series). I especially like this one, because once again, we are introduced to Gary Seven. Originally he would have been featured in his own TV series, which never happened, but what if it did? An episode of that show probably would have been like this book. Great read. Clever story. Another good book, which actually features Gary Sevens partner, Roberta Lincoln, is Star Trek: The Original Series: From History's Shadow. It takes place with Kirk, but has several story lines (Project Blue Book, the Majestic 12, aliens on earth...) to keep you busy. I loved it. It's a fun read.

So that's where I am at this point. There is little tie-in with building models, except that I enjoy building Scifi kits. Though I have plenty of Scifi reading under my belt, and I enjoy the genre. If you like Science Fiction, you may enjoy these books I mentioned. Despite my book reading history at the start of this post. Check'em out!

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star trek books

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Metal Hurlant Chronicles TV Show Series

Metal Hurlant Chronicles TV Show.

I've been a Science Fiction fan all my life. A lot of that revolved around the models used on TV shows and movies.

But I also enjoy watching movies and TV series, and reading a lot of Scifi as well. Recently I watched the first episode of the Metal Hurlant Chronicles. I never read any of the books, at least, not that can remember. The reviews are mixed on the series, so I would check it out. It's a low budget show for sure, with some politics and some action. The lead up for the story, at least in this first episode, ended with a neat twist. Not what I was expecting. I thought that was a plus. Though I haven't decided if I will continue with the show. I'm on the fence about it.

It's interesting that Michael Jai White shows up in this episode as well. The guy shows up in all kinds of movies, but it always seems he can't catch a break. I don't know if that's his design, or his agent, or the studios. They guy can carry a show or a movie. If you remember Spawn (definately a good movie), he was the lead. He's an action kind of of guy. He's a black belt as well. I even met him once. So when ever I see him in a movie or on TV, at first it seems, OK! What's he going to do? But then, the next thing you know, it's a short secene, a cameo, or as in Metal Hurlant, he gets killed in the first episode! Dang it !

Luckily, he's been in a lot of stuff that most people won't even know if it's him or not. He was in Batman: The Dark Night. He was in the TV show Arrow recently. He's done voice work for the Justice League animated series. The guy is a natural for Scifi or Super hero movies. I'd like to see him do a movie as John Cage. And do some proper butt kicking. Anyway, he's been in, and starred in, a long list of movies, so keep an eye out for him.

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metal hurlant chronicals tv series

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Book: Building Scale Jeep Models: Modifying and Assembling Jeep & 4X4 Model Kits

Book: Building Scale Jeep Models: Modifying and Assembling Jeep & 4X4 Model Kits

The new Rocketfin.com model book is out, Building Scale Jeep Models: Modifying and Assembling Jeep & 4X4 Model Kits.

There aren't many Jeep kits out there, but the AMT offerings are still around, such as the Hogan's Jeep, and the Revell Rubicon has been a hit as well. Read about assembling these models, as well as a Tamiya Wrangler, and the military MB and Bantam Jeeps. No small scale stuff here either, these are all 1/20,1/24, and 1/25 scale. You know, the scale us car guys like. You can do quite a lot with these Jeep kits if you don't mind modifying them (isn't that what a 4X4 is for?), and if you do build 4X4 kits, from trucks to whatever, you should enjoy this book, especially written for those projects.

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building Jeep and 4x4 model kits

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Round 2 Polar Lights USS Reliant NCC1864 Model Kit in 1/1000 Scale

Round 2 USS Reliant NCC1864 Model Kit in 1/1000 Scale

Round 2 has issued their Star Trek kit, the USS Reliant. This is an all new model, and not to be confused with the older (and larger) AMT kit from years past. This kit is modern tooling, and should have plenty of detail for even the most avid Star Trek model fan.

The release of this kit pretty much wraps up what they show on their website for this year, 2014. But it's not quite over. They're working on the TOS Shuttle, and it will be a larger scale than the old AMT kit. It's an all new model. And to be honest, I have money burning a hole in my pocket for that one. (or two, or three). I can't wait. Round 2 rocks. This is the golden age of Star Trek Models.

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round 2 polar lights star trek reliant model kit

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Doctor Who Tardis Model

If you've ever thought about making a Dr. Who TARDIS model, well, this may help.

I planed on making one myself, but this ended up being a bit better. Yes, it's an ice bucket. But it's hollow, and it's plastic. I thought about it a bit, and if you consider the expense of materials, plus paint, to make you own TARDIS from scratch, this is a more econimical way to go.

I've taken a picture to give you an idea of the size. The top flips open with hinges. If you wanted to modify it more, you could probably cut the doors and position them so they open. And then you can figure out how you may want to do the interior. Or you can make the top light function. Either way, it's a sweet inexpensive TARDIS.

Check it out.

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dr who tardis model

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Revell's Model Lineup for January 2014

Revell's lineup for January 2014

Revell has updated their site with the new offerings for January 2014.

This first month looks like a winner for the car modelers. Last month, December 2013, was heavy on the military stuff, so I guess they're balancing it out some. That's ok. The Cop Out Dodge Duster, a Tom Daniel design, will be out again. I have always liked this kit. I had emailed Revell a few weeks back, they confirmed that it will be molded in black again. Oh well. Nothing some white primer can't fix up. It's not a hard kit to build, so any age modeler can build it. As in the past, the rear tires are probably still a split two piece affair, but nothing modelers aren't used to.

There are some new kits out as well this month. Two F1 Red Bull Formula One model cars. I find Revell's F1 kits just as good, if not better, than the typical Japanese company kits, so don't be afraid to pick one up if you like F1 cars. Revell is also issuing two new DTM cars. These are BMW M3s. Which will go well with their previous Mercedes and Audi kits. I haven't built one of these yet, none of the DTMs, but I do think one is in the future. Revell has also produced a kit, in 1/144 scale, of the Virgin Airlines White Knight One and Spaceship Two. It's a complicated aircraft / spaceship, so we'll see how people come up with ways to build it.

So check out what's coming. There should be something in there that will catch your eye.

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revell cop out  model kit

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Welcome to 2014

Another year has gone by, and here we are, hopefully with a better year than the last one. Got your flying car yet? No? Me either. What's up with that? I guess the future is hopeful, but not THAT hopeful, as much as artists and writers in the past thought it would be.

There were some great models that came out last year. I especially think ICM took a big step in chucking out some 1/24 car kits. That took some risk, but they were willing to do it. Welcome to the club guys, keep them rolling. (and maybe give us a 1/24 U.S. Military 6x6 WWII Truck kit this year). There were other kits that stood out, some from Round2 and many from Moebius. Some great chances were taken by Pegasus and Atlantis models. Those guys are fearless, they remind me of the old Aurora days when you could make a kit out of almost any subject. We hail to you! THANK YOU for the Nautilus sub kit. I'm thinking that's the model of the year for me. But I haven't built every kit there is (yet!), so it's hard to say that judgment would be fair. But you guys have my vote !

There are a lot more aftermarket companies offering new products. Technology has made it easier, and we, the modelers, benefit from this. Yes, some companies have bit the dust and are no more in this bullshit economy, but you have to be on your business game, or you get weeded out. Making low grade products, bad service, and pictures of your cats on your home web page are not going to make you money. These companies of today are checking out their calendars and realizing it's the 21st century. From Eduard, to AK Interactive, to Doozy Modelworks. These companies are hitting the streets (and internet) hard, with marketing, products, and new ideas. There's no way to get around hard work. I applaud their efforts. When I think of these companies (and many others), "professionalism" is a word that comes to mind.

Personally, my own model building was fairly steady last year. I'm a type A personality. I'm goal driven. I've written seven books so far, six of them on models. I can't describe how much I enjoy it. Since I'm building for a book, it keeps me going and focused. But it also forces me to be creative at solving model ideas, and building models that I probably would not build otherwise. But if you've been following me and Rocketfin (since around 1997), you know I will build a model of just about anything. So it's been a blast. More books are coming out this year, so keep in touch.

A special THANK YOU to everyone who follows Rocketfin and visits the website, and / or buys my books. It means a lot to me. Keep modeling !

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italeri opel truck model kit

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Round 2 Polar Lights Superman DC Comics Model Kit

Round 2 Polar Lights Superman DC Comics Model Kit

Round 2 - Polar Lights has quickly produced an all new 1/8 scale injection molding of a Superman figure model kit.

This new model is an easy to assemble snap kit. It is also molded in blue, which will be great for kids, though they would still need to paint the red and other colors. Adult modelers will probably prime the whole model prior to painting anyway. The model pose and box art are based on the iconic "Kryptonite Nevermore" comic book cover featuring Superman flexing his muscle to break free of Kryptonite chains. The kit includes both stickers and decals of Superman's "S" symbol on his chest. The model stands on an "S" symbol base to fully support the figure for display.

A plastic Superman model is long overdue, and I'm glad Round 2 stepped up to the plate with this great offering. This will make a good companion kit to the older Monogram / Revell Superman kit of old.

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round 2 polar lights dc comics superman figure model kit

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Young Architect 3-D Building Kit

Young Architect 3-D Building Kit

If there's a future Architect in your house, you may want to check out this Architect 3-D Building Kit.

It has several features, such as one large and 3 small room templates, with peel and stock windows and doors. It allows you to create a floor plan of your dream home on paper, and then build a 3-D model on top of your floor plan. Added extras include furniture shapes and four colored pencils for your designing. The walls are see through clear acrylic. The mat surface to build on is 18 x 24 inches.

This just about covers all the skill and hobby areas, such as model building, coloring, design, and imaginaton. So there's a lot a young one can learn. Problem solving and creative thought are a useful skills in this busy world of today.

If you have an older student or adult in mind, you may want to check out the LEGO Architecture Studio.

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young architect 3d building design kit

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Revell 1/200 USS George Washington Renwal SSP Model Kit 85-7820.

Revell 1/200 USS George Washington Renwal SSP Model Kit 85-7820.

Revell has just issued their Renwal kit, which is an SSP (Selected Subjects Program) and is available for a limited time. This is their 1/200 USS George Washington Nuclear Ballistic Missile submarine kit.

This kit has been out a few times over the many years, but what makes it unique is that it's a cutaway kit. The modeler gets to build the interior, including torpedos and nuclear missile silo tubes, as well as the outer hull. The side panels are removable to display the detailed interior parts. In some ways, it's an educational model. It's been a long time since I built one, probably in the 1970's or '80's. But I remember it was an interesting and fun kit to build. I recommend you get one while you can, I expect them so sell out rather quickly.

The USS Washington was America's first nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine. She was launched in 1959. In the early 1980s, the GEORGE WASHINGTON was redesignated as SSN 598 and her missile launch capability was disabled to comply with the SALT I treaty. The WASHINGTON mainly conducted training exercises in her new role. She was decommissioned on January 24, 1985, and stricken from the Navy list on April 30, 1986. While the submarine was scrapped, her sail was saved, and is preserved at the Navy's Submarine Force Museum at New London, CT. The sail carries 16 Polaris missile markings - one for each missile the submarine launched.

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revell renwal uss george washington ballistic submarine cutaway model kit

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