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Rocketfin Hobbies Scale Model Kit Blog and News

Finding Time to Model, and Fixing Things when it all Goes South

Adding tailfin lights to the Moebius Seaview

When you've modeled many years, and as you get older as an adult, life can sometimes get in the way of actually getting any real modelling done. It doesn't seem to matter where you buld your models, or exactly how you do it. Stuff gets in the way. Most of us are working long hours during the week, so to come home and attempt to wind down, even for a few moments to focus on modelling, is not easy. If only I had more time.

Often we try squeezing model time in at any given chance. Finishing up breakfast? Got a few moments before it's off to the office? Maybe I'll just glue a few parts on and then go. Or you find yourself trying to sit down after a 13 hour day, trying to get your mind to focus long enough to figure out where you are in the build, what needs to be done, and should you glue or paint something before it's off to bed.

It's not that there's a rush to get the model done. After all, it's a hobby, it's something you enjoy. But waiting for glue or paint to dry isn't very exciting. So if you can sneak in a moment to glue a few parts together, so they'll be dry later when you're back to your projects, it always seems to be a good idea.

But things can go wrong, and this happens to every modeler. Especially when you're building something from scratch, or trying out a new model idea, or making a modification to the kit itself. In cases like that, you can't follow the directions exactly. You have to plan, to map out your course of action. What parts need to be assembled first? What needs to be primed or painted first? Do you glue certain parts after the modification, or before? Which parts of the project will take longer to modify? Do you need special accessories for the model kit, or special paint or supplies? Do you need to order them ahead of time? It's a dance that many modelers know well by now after building many years.

Take for instance what I'm working on now. This is a long term project. It might take me a year to finish between smaller model kits along the way. It's the Moebius Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Seaview submarine. First off, it's an amazing kit. It's seriously 36 inches long. And while I could easily glue it together in probably one day, there are of course seams to fill, and a lot of modifications I have planned. So it's going to be a long term build.

One day when I had a few minutes to spare, I thought I would go ahead and glue a few parts together. The printed directions are SMALL, and there's not much to them. Not like other Moebius kits where you get a booklet of many pages and some of them are in color. The tailfins seemed like easy parts to glue together and they were. Badda bing boom - a little glue, and they're done. I set them aside to dry. My few minutes of time were over and I had to leave.

Now, I've built Moebius kits before. If you've built their science fiction models, you know they usually mold in channels and spaces for wiring. In case you decide you want to add wiring and lights to the kit. It's an awesome idea (Round2 does it too on some of their kits as well). The only thing is, they don't normally MENTION THIS IN THE DIRECTIONS. If you're experienced enough to add lighting to your model, you know enough to notice the spaces left open for the wiring. (that's my guess why they don't mention it).

Yeah, well, that's the theory. With my mind foggy and being in a rush, I didn't notice the channels molded into the rear fins. I didn't think much about it till a couple of days later. I remember seeing the channels when I was gluing the parts, and thinking, that's unusual. Oops. The glue was quite dry in a couple of days, so now I had to back pedal to add the wires for the lights (the end of the fins have a light on them on the TV model).

If this was a $ 20.00 kit, I would have just bought another one for the fins. But at $ 80.00+, I couldn't do that with this model. I thought about it for a while, I even thought about skipping adding the lights on the fins all together, but hey, I really wanted those lights. And as DEVO once said: "Are we not men?". I'm a modeler. That's what I do. I build stuff! Nothing a power tool, some putty and primer can't fix, right?

I marked the channel with a pencil (you can see it if you hold the fins up to a light), and then took out my Dremel, and used a burr to open the channel up. I had to pry open the gap a bit to fit the wires through, but I got it to work. Once the wires were in the channel, I used CA glue to hold them in the fin (note: I did test the light to make sure it would light up before making all this permanent). Once the glue was dry, I used putty to fill the gaps, and primered it. It came out fine. So I did the other side as well, and I'm sure it will be ok once I primer it.

I'm telling this story because as modellers, we're all pressed for time to build. It only takes a slight lack of focus to turn that model project into a hand grenade. With work, kids, and and everyday life, it's not always easy to get some modelling time in. But always remember that you're modelers. You're a PROBLEM SOLVER. Whatever has gone wrong can probably be fixed, corrected, scratch built, or repainted. It will just take a little longer than you thought. In repairing these fins, I learned something new as far as a model building technique, and I'm probably more proud of the work I've put into it than I would have been before. It also makes a great story to tell when discussing building the Seaview!

So keep modelling when you can. Don't be afraid to find a solution and learn something new when building.

moebius seaview model kit

Round 2 and MPC Snake and Mongoose Dragster Model Kits Keep the Rivalry Alive

Round 2 and MPC feature Drag Racing legends Snake and Mongoose Dragsters

Few drag racing matchups can compare to the Hot Wheels Snake and Mongoose Team, featurng Tom McEwen and Don Prudhomme. While they were actually on the same "Team", the Snake and Mongoose nicknames, and the on track "battle" between the two, made them household names. As competitors, there was no pulling punches at the drag strip: both men were out to win and grab the Championship for the season. But they were also more than friends, they were family off the track. It wasn't a perfect relationship, but in real life, what is? They had struggles,good times and bad times, but the magic they created has kept them popular, even nearly 40 years after their debut.

Round2 is going to release two separate MPC kits for the Snake and Mongoose and drag racing fans. While they're both MPC models, they're not the exactly same kit. Indeed, both kits have been modified to reflect the real cars accurately, making them the best examples of these specific dragsters ever released. The Mongoose kit itself features newly tooled rear wing struts, a more accurate injector scoop, as well as Round2's famous pad-printed rear drag slicks. To take it even further, there's a booklet with photos by Steve Reyes and some from Tom McEwen, so you get great reference right in the box. Want more? Cardboard backdrops depicting famous dragstrips for displaying the models are in both kits: one is Orange County and the other is Lions Speedway. (the Snake car gets upgrades to the tooling, such as new "bicycle" wheel halves for the front wheels).

While I've built a few dragsters in my time, it's been a few years since I've done one. But now I see two that I want to build. I think I'll make a dragstrip track section, probably from wood, to mount these two cars side by side, ready to race. If you're a Snake and Mongoose fan, or a Hot Wheels fan, check out the movie - Snake & Mongoose. It's more about how they came to be as a team, and features the funny cars they started with. But it's a well done movie, and really shows how much hard work it was back in the 1970's to compete in drag racing.

Once again, Round2 has found a way to bring us two classic model kits, but have made them better than ever for the modelers of today. Those Kats don't mess around !

round2 mpc snake mongoose dragster models

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Mat Irvine Interview on Finescale Modeler.

Catching up with Mat Irvine - FX and Model Builder.

There are some big names in the FX / Movie & TV Special Effects field. If you're a model builder, especially if you build Scifi kits, you probably know most of the famous ones. John Dykstra, Ray Harryhausen, Phil Tippett, Douglas Trumball, just to name a few. Those are primarily North American folks, but if you're familiar with the BBC and over the pond, you'll know Derek Meddings, Brian Johnson, and our subject of this posting, Mat Irvine.

Of course there are newer, younger FX people working on movies and TV shows today. While the older names dealt with practical effects (models !), the new generations have to deal with those as well as CGI. I see recent articles that say "Practical FX are making a comeback!". But in reality, they never went away. It's just that many of them are mundane, minor to the film, or invisible when used in a film (the mark of a good FX, right?). For big effects, I think the talent today is knowing which approach to use, which one will look best, and of course, budget will always be a determining factory.

I have never met any of these people in person (I wish!), but as a kid in the 1970s, I grew up in the era when FX were just becoming big to the general population. As a young model builder, FX models always interested me. Looking through the pages of the latest issue of Starlog magazine at Star Trek, Space 1999, and Star Wars models, I marveled at what could be done with a model. Those articles were the fire that would fuel my model passion for a lifetime.

Mat Irvine is still an avid model builder in his private life, and has been publishing books and articles on modelling for decades. You would think he spends all his days crafting space and Scifi models, being as he did work for the BBC and shows such as Dr. Who and Blake 7, but in fact, he's quite the automotive builder as well. If you build cars and trucks, his model books on those subjects are well done and very informative.

So, without much more of an introduction, I think you will enjoy his light hearted interview with Mat and Aaron Skinner at Finescale Modeler. Check it out!

resin figure models norse

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More New Model Kits for 2016 - Hobby News

More New Model Kits for 2016 - Hobby News

In the last article, I talked about Round2's tidal wave of new kits coming out. But there are nuggets of other kits coming from all sorts of other model companies.

I don't think anyone could afford them all, but at least we have some kits to look forward to.

  • Revell 1/8 1965 Chevy Stingray Corvette - This is a reissue of course, but it's been years since it's been available. Don't confuse this with the smaller 1/12 kit. This 1/8 scale monster will take up all the room on your hobby bench. I believe the engine is a 427 big block. It's been years since I've seen one of these kits, so I'm not sure if there are any custom parts included. Meaning, stock may be the only way to go out of the box. (start sourcing this 1/8 aftermarket parts now!).
  • Revell 1/16 BMW Isetta - I don't remember seeing this kit before, so I think this is an all new tooling. While the Isetta isn't the most popular BMW car, or the most common, it is a unique automobile. The last Isetta was made in 1962, so this is geared towards older builders for sure.
  • Revell Chip Foose Ford Pickup - After last years contest / survey, to choose a model to be made for 2016, the Foose truck was one of the two winners chosen to be kitted. While Monogram / Revell already has a couple of 1950s Ford pickups in their stable, modelers are hoping that the new model will be all new, instead of something based on a previous kit. There's no word yet how Revell will make the truck, so we have a few months to go till we find out (unless they push it back to 2017).
  • Italeri Ford European Van - This van has been out before, but it's been quite a few years. The last time I saw (and built one) was maybe in the early 1990s. And that kit I believe was in an Esci box. On this van, the back door opens, but it flips up (Like a hatchback) instead of opening sideways. The doors also open. It's a short van body, so modelers might be able to come up with some creative things based on that. The van is a curbside model, as the hood does not open, and the engine is more of an insert, similar to many Japanese model car kits. The chassis itself is very basic.
  • IMC 1/24 Ford Firetruck - Continuing their line of early Ford cars and vehicles, IMC will be issuing an all new kit of a 1914 Ford Fire Truck. This looks like a very good offering for an early model Ford. It at least includes a ladder or two, and maybe some other equipment. This was 1914, so even the trucks were very basic. The box shows white tires, which would be accurate as tires didn't become black till later. Early tires used chemicals like zinc oxide to make them wear better, while later tires used carbon black and thus they were black from then on (basically).
  • Moebius 1/25 Mercury Comet - It's been a year or two for this model, but eventually, the Comet will see life. Maybe here in 2016. Moebius is very meticulous and they typically don't release a model until it's perfect. So if the test shots from the molds in China aren't up to their standards, they have the work redone until it's right. Moebius makes some great kits, so the wait is always worth it. They just want to make sure you get your moneys worth, and they always come through in the end.
  • Revell 1/25 Ford Gasser (station wagon) - Revell has added more custom parts to their existing Rio Wagon kit to allow modelers to make it into a drag racing Gasser type car. These types of cars are popular with drag fans, so the kits should sell well. To me personally, I wonder why they added Gasser parts to the wagon kit and not the 2-door '57 Ford kit they have? I think that would be more common than a wagon. But I guess they have their reasons (and it's always possible that the wagon Gasser parts will fit the 2-door model well).
  • Revell Dodge Ramcharger - This kit hasn't been issued since it came in the Bass Boat combo. This time it's coming out by itself. With so few Dodge truck model kits on the market, and being based on the D-series style, I think it will do well. I built one years back as a Park Ranger truck. I remember it being a good model to build with no issues.
  • Revell Fast & Furious Dodge Charger - Dom's Charger from the movies. I'm not sure if this is based on an existing Charger kit, or it's based off their diecast Charger. So we'll have to wait and see. I'm guessing it will at least have an optional hood and blower setup for the engine.
  • Moebius / Model King California Flash Belvedere - Moebius and the Model King continue to release special editions of the Moebius Belvedere kit. And why not? The drag racing versions are popular, and the Belvedere is a great kit. It makes perfect sense. In these editions, optional drag parts are included.
  • Revell1/25 Yenko Chevy Nova - If you're looking to build a big block Nova, this is the kit you want. The Nova kits are a newer release, so the molds are clean and sharp, and made with modern technology. They are great builders.
  • Revell 1958 Chevy Impala - This kit has been out many times over the decades. I think the last packaging sold the model as a low rider. It's still a popular release, and hopefully this time around, it looks like it might include some new wheels (?).
  • Moebius 1961 Pontiac Catalina Stock Car - Old stock cars still sell well as model kits. Moebius and the Model King will be bringing out their Pontiac with optional racing parts. Just in time to make the perfect stock car from the 1960s.
  • MENG 1/24 Hummer H1 - Meng follows up their Ford F350 with an all new kit of the civilian GM Hummer H1. For the most part, the civilian example is similar to the military version, though with a lot less tactical options, and no weapons. MENG designed the kit with a diesel engine, opening hood and opening doors. So there's plenty of room to detail the heck out of this kit. I suspect later on MENG will issue a military version, but that's just a guess. Along with the stock kit, MENG will issue an accessory pack that includes off-road parts, such as a gear basket / light bar for the roof, and an extra bull bar.
  • Revell Foose Eldorod - This was one of the winners for the contest / survey from Revell in 2015. This will be an all new kit (as far as I know). It should be available in late 2016, unless Revell pushes it into 2017. They haven't said much about it this year, so I guess we will see what happens.
  • Aoshima Brian James Trailer Model - Aoshima has been working on an A4 Brian James trailer kit. I suspect it will be released near the end of the year. It's the perfect accessory for any pickup truck and race car combo. It's a modern trailer, so it should be quite popular.
  • Revell Chevy C7 Corvette - Revell will reissue it's C7 racing Corvette kit. While new decals is a certainly, it's possble it might include new parts. There are no details yet to confirm one way or another.
  • Italeri 1/24 Trucks and Trailers - Italeri will be issuing several truck models, including their Renault Berliet 356, the Magirus Deutz Canvas truck, and the Iveco Hi-Way cab over. Their ever popular 3-axle canvas trailer will be in a new box with new decals.
  • Revell Tom Daniel Beer Wagon - Once again, Revell reissues one of it's most popular kits ever, the Tom Daniel Beer Wagon. Easy to build, with extra wooden barrels for the payload, this kit is still fun to build, decades after it's initial release.
  • Revell The Baron Fokker Plane - Just a fun kit that hasn't been relased in decades. No scale is given, but for a character model, it would just be fun to build.
  • Moebius Bane Tumbler - Moebius will reissue it's Batman Tumbler Batmobile model with the military type paint scheme, or at least, the style Bane used on the third movie of the set. I'm guessing it will include weapons, notably the gun / cannon on top, but it will include a Bane figure as well (from some reports I've seen).
  • Moebius 1/24 The Bat plane - From the latest Batman vs. Superman movie, Moebius will be releasing a model of the Bat plane. It's an unusual aircraft. Few details have emererged, and I'm not sure if the model is plastic or a type of hard vinyl. But at 1/24 scale, it should be quite large. And fit right in with the Moebius B vs S Batmobile car model they already make.
  • Revell Mercedes AMG GT - Revell will be releasing a kit of the new Mercedes. I'm not sure if it's an all new mold, or a modified kit from a recent issue.
  • Revell Mclaren 570S - Revell will be releasing a model of the Mclaren 570S super car. Aoshima makes several Mclaren kits already but this 570s should fill a gap and offer even more possibilities for modelers when it comes to Maclarens.
  • Aoshima 1/24 Lamborghini Huracan LP610 - Aoshima should be issuing this all new (basically) kit of the Lamborghini Huracan. This is a full detail kit with an engine and interior. A photoetch set will also be available for it by Aoshima.
  • Italeri Lamborghini Miura - Italeri is on a Lamborghini kick, releasing three kits for 2016. Two are already out, but the last one to hit the shelves will be their Mura model.
  • Zoukei-Mura Super Wings Donier Do335 - Zoukei-Mura will be releasing an all new model of the German Dornier Do335AO Pfeil. Their models are alwys heavily detailed and are museum quality. This new kit is in 1/32 scale.
  • HK Models B17E/F Bomber - HK will be reissing their B17 kit but with updated parts to make the E/F version. At 1/32 scale. this kit is a monster in size, and don't expect to cram this puppy into your model case. (it's 39 inches wide!)
  • Revell Star Trek Enterprise Ships Combo - Revell will be releasing a combo kit with two USS Enterprise ships. One is the 1/600 TOS Enterprise, and the other is the version from the new JJ Abrams "reboot" movies. Personally, I haven't built either kit myself, so I might get one of these just to get both kits at the same time. I'm not sure how or if these will be imported into the U.S. market, as the licensing might be for Europe distribution only. We'll have to wait and see.
  • Dragon Models USA Star Wars Model Kits - Dragon USA still plans on releasing several new Star Wars models. The 1/35 scale AT-AT is highly anticipated, since it's the pefect scale to mix with the (thousands) of available military accessories in the model market. I think the AT-AT is ugly myself, but I'm already stashing some 1/35 goodies to add to a diorama with one. Can't wait !
  • Revell Star Wars Models - Revell will be releasing even more Star Wars kits at the end of 2016. You would think the market has been over flooded, with Revell putting out their own line of kits, plus reboxing Fine Molds kits, plus the many Bandai kits that are everywhere. But don't think that train is stopping anytme soon! I wouldn't be surprised if there were 50 Star Wars models available at the end of the year. (too bad AMT can't get on that wagon - some of their glue kits would be great too). Not that their's anything wrong with this, the more the better. But I think you would need a lifetime to build them all.
  • Moebius Proteus Submarine - Needless to say, this is a model that kit builders have wanted for DECADES. Moebius steps up to the plate with a huge 1/32 scale model that will be out, probably in 2017. Full interior? You bet!! Unfortunately there are no figures (given all the window space to see inside, I think they would be a must), but I expect someone will make them aftermarket. I mean, who doesn't want a figure of Raquel Welch? Moebius kits are usually designed with lighting in mind, so if you plan on adding lighting, it shouldn't be to hard.
  • Atlantis Models Flying Saucer / Believe UFO models - Atlantis Models will be releasing a Flying Saucer model, representative of something from a Pulp magazine from the 1930s. The other UFO kit is based on the saucer seen in the "I Want to Believe" poster (seen in Mulder's office). These models are typically around 5 inches or so across. Good for quick builds on a weekend, or perfect for a diorama. For kids, they're great to hang from the ceiling.
  • Moebius Batman vs Superman, Wonder Woman Figure Models - Moebius continues with their Batman themed kits with THREE new figures from the recent movie. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. These will be vinyl kits for much better detail and quality. I'm looking forward to these models myself.
  • Moebius Classic Batman Kits, Joker and Penguin - Moebius has taken a lot of flak for these kits not being out right away. But it's unfounded. If these kits were made in vinyl, they would be much easier to produce. But making them in plastic is much more difficult. On a plastic figure models, there are a lot more seams to typicaly fill too for the modeler. So it takes time. I honestly don't know why model companies make figure kits in plastic anymore in this day and age. If you never built a vinyl or resin figure model, grab an issue of Scale Model Life. It's much easier to build these kits than you think.
  • Moebius Frank Frezetta Death Dealer Figure model - Wow,this should be a great kit. Made from vinyl, I suspect it won't have many parts. But the detail so far is amazing. And this should really pull out all the stops as far as painting it. Who can paint it to match the master himself, Frank Frezetta? I guess we will see.
  • Dencomm Monster Scenes - Dencomm will be releasing two new kits in the Monster Scenes series. The Animial Pit, and the Dungeon. These harken back to the old Aurora days and model kits. I'm not sure of the scale. I want to say, maybe, 1/5?

 

As you can see, there are a lot of models still to be released in 2016. Some might not make it this year, and squeak by into 2017. But however you look at it, there are a lot of new model kits to grab the money right out of your wallet. Hey, it's a hobby, why not enjoy it? I know there's quite a few here I want and some that are must haves.

So buckle up for the ride campers - new model kits are coming your way!

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New Kits From Round2 AMT, MPC, and Polar Lights

 

A lot of new models are being released soon. We're only about haflway through the year, and it's already looking like there will be plenty of model kits to choose from. Cars, trucks, aircraft, sci-fi models, we have a lot to look forward to. Just to keep you up to date, here are some of the kits I know about so far from Round2. But you can expect many more, since the model companies don't always release any news about a new kit right away. They slowly roll them out during the year.

Round2 is busting at the seams. They've got the gold mine of kits in their stash, and you never know what they will find or which kit will come out next. For the next few months, you can look forward to:

  • Batman Batmissile - a reissue of the car from the first couple of Batman movies. This AMT model makes a good companion model to the Batmobile they recently released from the same movie (the kit is the version with the removable engine, and includes a cardboard display), and the Batwing (which is 1/25 scale also!). The Batmissile has a cardboard display as well.
  • 1/16 scale Chevy Nomad - a reissue, this kit was out a few years ago, but sold out quick. I would rather have the 2-door '55 Chevy myself, but for station wagon fans, the Chevy Nomad by AMT should do the trick.
  • AMC Pacer Wagon - the AMC Pacer X kit was out a couple of years ago, so the wagon / panel version would be a good kit to build and display against the X version. This version has a few custom parts included I believe.
  • Ford / Sunbeam Tiger - the old Get Smart car model from the TV series. This was reissued by AMT under their Blueprinter series in the 1990's, but hasn't been out since then that I know of. The kit includes the parts to make a race car / SCCA type model, so it's really a two in one kit. It's a good kit, but it does make you realize just how small these cars really were.
  • Ford Pinto Panel Wagon - it's been decades since this kit was out in the public. It includes a few custom parts and a V8 engine. Not to mention the pure 1970s decal graphics.
  • Three Stooges Ford Model T - this AMT car kit has been reissued many times over the years in different boxes. But this version looks like it would be even more fun to buld with Stooge decals, and a cardboard display, complete with cardboard Three Stooges figures. I'll probably get one just for the display and Moe, Larry and Curly.
  • 1973 Ford Mustang - another kit that has been reissued many times. It has the Mach I type hood, and I believe a 351 engine. It's always been an issue as far as trying to build it 100% stock, so it's more of a hybrid, with some custm attributes. Though having built a couple, I believe it is better than the Lindberg or MPC kits.
  • Ford Mustang II Trojan Horse Funny Car - another great drag kit from the archives. The 1970s paint job alone (done with decals) should be spectacular. I can't wait to build one.
  • Plymouth Fuzz Duster Volare' / Road Runner - I had a real Volare V8 myself at one time, so I will be getting a couple of these MPC kits for sure. The car has some custom parts, but should build stock if you wanted to. It includes Road Runner decals as well.
  • Dodge A100 "Dodge Fever" - I'm sure this will be based off the Lindberg "Little Red Wagon" kit, but with new decals, and maybe some other surprises from Round2. A lot of people seem to be looking forward to this kit from what I've seen and heard.
  • Belvedere Super Stock Lawman - this kit has been mentioned for what? Five years maybe? But Round2 keeps taking one to display at shows, so I think this is the year it will really become available. It says AMT on the box, but if it's a Lindberg mold, the Belvevderes are plentiful kits to get. But of course, we all want the Lawman decals and drag parts, so the kits should be popular ... once it's really out.
  • Richard Petty Belvedere - an AMT boxed kit. Again, probably a stock / nascar version of a popular car model kit.
  • Squad Rod Nova - a blast from the past. It's been decades since this kit has been out. I love these older MPC kits with their colorful graphics and spoilers and fender flares and all kinds of odd parts. This kit should be packed with extra stuff. Sounds like fun!
  • 1961 Chevy Impala - Boxed as an AMT kit, I'm not sure if this is the Lindberg mold inside? Either way, it should be a popular kit with Chevy and Impala fans.
  • Chevy Camaro "Cheverra" Z28 - While this is a snap kit, and molded in color, I think it has some custom parts and a unique look to it. I imagine it will be an interesting build. I think the decal sheet will have a 1970s vibe to it.
  • 2016 Camaro - there will be two AMT kits of the all new Camaros. Well, actually, three. One glue version will be available molded in white, the other will be molded in "Garnet Red" (like a promo color). The third version is a snap kit. If you like the new Camaros, you'll probably like these. Unlike the previous Camaros that were built in Canada in real life, the 2016 versions are now made in the USA.
  • 1957 Corvette - AMT is reissing it's 1957 Corvette kit, in two versions. One molded in white, the other molded in color (Aqua).
  • Don Prudhomme The Snake Dragster - an MPC kit, this should be a winner with drag racing fans. Personally, models that have the Snake & Mongoose theme are popular with me.
  • Flying Wedge Dragster - there was still a lot of inovation in the early days of drag racing. I remember building a Flying Wedge model as a kid, so this is a must have for me. It hasn't been available since probably the 1970s.
  • Glen Larsin USA-1 Vega Pro Stock - who doesn't like a racing V8 Vega? This is another kit that will be popular with drag racing fans (especially the Chevy guys).
  • Blazing Bison - We all know this is the Meister Brau puller, but you can't use beer advertising on model kits anymore, so it has a different name on the box. No matter, it's the same great kit with FOUR engines and plenty of building power. The kit hasn't been out in decades, so it should be a hit with modelers.
  • Bobby Issac Ford Torino - Round2 has dug deep and pulled this rabbit out of it's hat. Not since the Johan Torino stock car has there been a Torino nascar model. This reissue from decades past should be popular with Ford fans. The old Johan kits go for gold, but this one should be much more affordable, and probably a lot easier to assemble (a lot less flash).
  • The AMT Mod Rod - Revell might be pumping up it's new '29 Ford, but AMT has one too. Two versions will be available, one molded in white, the other molded in color. Both kit versions can be built one of two ways out of the box. The engine is a Dodge V8. The kit also has Firestone “narrow pie crust” and Goodyear Blue Streak slicks, and there is a 4-cylinder engine if you want to build the car "stock".
  • Super Boss / Papa Trucks - AMT has finally reissued these trucks. Truck builders have wanted these kits back on the market for years. The original kits are extremely expensive. Now the truck builders can load up their stash with as many as they can afford.
  • White Freightliner - for the stock truck builders, the AMT White Freightlier cabover will be reissued. Round2 always takes care of the truck model builders, and they keep on coming up with them as fast as they can. (by the way, the Mack DM600 will also be reissued again - it's crazy popular!).
  • Lil Gasser - there's always a few show cars that come out every year. This time it's the AMT Lil Gasser.
  • Harley Quinn VW Beetle - this is the Polar Lights Beetle that was originally the Herbie car from the movies. It gets reissued wth different decals and boxes over the years. In some ways this is detrimental to the model - it's a very good kit, and one you should build if you're a VW fan, regardless of the box it comes in.
  • Datsun Monster Truck - this is an older MPC kit. I'm not sure how popular monster trucks are, at least, probably not like they used to be. But this is a Datsun, and it looks ike it includes a tow setup, so it could be interesting. Plus - 1970s graphics!
  • Thunder Chopper - I'm glad some of these older big scale bikes are coming out. I hope that the Round2 bikes will inspire Revell to reissue their old Trike kits as well. But this Harley Davidson chopper kit should be a blast to build from MPC.
  • Star Trek kits - Round2 continues to come up with kits for the fans. They will be reissing an F104 representing the aircraft in one of the Star Trek episodes. AMT has been reissuing several aircraft models lately, and this is a good idea on how to get another one to market. Also coming up is the Enterprise-D version, molded in clear to make it easier to light up, and all new Excelsior kit (or a remodified and corrected version actually I believe). On the Polar Lights front, they will be issuing an all new saucer section for the 1:350 USS Enterprise kits. The original kit has fine grid lines molded into the saucer, the new parts will be smooth (you can pencil in the lines like they did on the TV show if you want to, or leave it clean).

 

How's that for a list? Round2 has been very busy. When do those Kats sleep?

 

amt trojan horse ford mustang funny car model

 

 

 

Cold Cast Resin Figures for Painting

Resin figure models that are cold cast.

Here's another post on the resin figure series you can paint. These are cold cast, so they're easy to do and a bit of fun if you're into painting figure models.

CLICK HERE to find out more about these unique figure models.

resin figure models norse

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Airfix Aston Martin DB5 1:32 Starter Model Kits

Airfix Aston Martin DB5 - James Bond

It's no surprise Airfix would make Aston Martin models. I mean, it is a British car, and a source of pride for Great Britain. Plus, Aston Martin cars typically have some pretty desirable lines as far as their design. Even if 007 didn't drive the DB5 in the famous Goldfinger film, it would still be a classic form that car enthusiasts would want to drive and covet. (if I remember right, in the books, Bond drove a Bentley - another British car, though, probably not quite as "sporty" as the DB5).

Airfix is releasing their 1/32 Aston Martin DB5 kit again in new packaging. It will include paint, glue, and two brushes. I personally like the bright colors on the box, and the picture of an actual DB5 on the cover. This kit has almost been in constant production for decades, in one form or another. I have one, an original type kit, from around the 1970's, which is in an MPC box. I'm not sure if Airfix shared their tooling? or bought the MPC tooling outright, but in comparing the models they seem the same to me. The only major difference is the old MPC kit had chromed plated parts, while the Aifix kit does not (at least not the one I have).

Airfix also makes a 1/24 Aston Martin DB5. I originally thought this might be a reboxed Doyusha kit, but I don't see anything on the molded parts that says Doyusha (or Airfix for that matter). It's a curbisde model (as is the 1/32 kit), but the body and parts are crisp and have some good definition and details. Revell reissued their Aston Martin DB4 about 10 or so years ago, and I have one of those as well. The Airfix is 1/24, the Revell one is 1/25. The Revell is a 1964 car, which is different than the 1965 DB5. Noticable the rear window size, and the DB5 has slanted front headlights. I thought I might be able to combine the two kits, but I haven't dealt deep into that project yet, so the jury's still out on if that can be done. (the Revell kit includes a more detailed chassis, and an engine).

While the Airfix 1/32 kit is being reissued (and can still be found inexpensively in older boxes), the 1/24 kit hasn't been out since I bought mine - I want to say sometime in the 1990s. Hopefully one day it will come out again. It still seems unusual that a plastic model company hasn't made a full detail kit. Airfix would be perfect for the job. While their cars aren't always the best (because of the age of some of their molds) their aircraft models are modern marvels in tooling. I know they could do an Aston Martin DB5 right and give it the details it deserves.

airfix aston martin db5 models

Above: I've laid out some of the kits in the image. The lower left DB5 is an original 1:32 1970s MPC kit (box is in the upper left). I modified it into the 007 car, with a bullet proof shield, machine guns, and other mods. But that was decades ago - it's had a hard life being moved around all these years and some pieces have fallen off. Note the chrome plated parts. The Airfix 1:32 body is shown to the left, the Revell DB4 body is in the middle, and the Airfix 1:24 body is to the far right.

Here below is what the new box will look like for the Airfix Aston Martin DB5 kit. Striking isn't it? The kit is not that bad, and for a quick build, and an inexpensive model, it can still be a fun project.

airfix aston martin db5 starter kit 1/32

As another note, Corgi makes a diecast Aston Martin DB5 that has some remarkable features. I actually had one of these when I was a kit - in the late 1960s! Of course, I have a newer one now for nostalgic reasons, but it's still cool. The roof opens and ejects the driver out! Another button pops out the rear bullet proof shield. Lots of fun here!

corgi diecast aston martin db5 cars

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Scale Model Hobby News

Scale Model Hobby News

Just some recent things to mention.

The next issue for Scale Model Life is about halfway done. This one will be about cars. I've been very busy lately and it's not progressing as fast as I would like, but it's getting there. On that note, I recently recieved a comment about the models in the books. The person thought the kits in the books were provided by the model companies. But just to be clear, that's not the case. I've never recieved a free model for any of my magazines or books. I bought them all with my own hard earned cold cash - just like you would. While free stuff is great to get, by using models from my personal collection, I can pretty much build any model subject I want. I'm not under any pressure to praise a model beyond what's really in the box. I've been building model kits since maybe 1969-1970, so I've built a lot of good models, great models, and some that were just plain garbage. (garbage models don't go in the magazines - why waste your time? There's only so much room in an issue). That's not to say I would turn down a free kit, it's just never come up.

There are some new models coming out soon, many of them cars. However, Moebius continues with the Batman figures, and the Riddler and the Pengiun should be out this year. Making a figure model in plastic is complicated. It's easier to do in resin or vinyl, but not everyone builds those kinds of kits, so it's a Catch 22 for model companies. I build models from any medium, so it doesn't matter to me, but making a hard plastic kit with hardly any seams is not easy. I'm glad Moebius Models has the patience - I don't think I would. I believe the Batgirl figure may be a vinyl kit though, and that's fine. I'm all for that.

Speaking of figure models, I used to have them on one page, but decided to break them up into Plastic Figure Models, and then a new page for Resin & Vinyl Figure Models. This way a guest to the site can choose the type kits they want to see.

I did finish my Polar Lights Star Trek Enterprise model. It was a great kit, and it's an amazing size. Well worth every penny and then some. It wasn't hard to build either. If you're on the fence about getting one, now is the time. You won't regret it. I'm looking forward to the AMT F104 Lightning for the Star Trek episode "Tomorrow is Yesterday". That was a fair episode. Light hearted. I think it's a creative way to get the old F104 AMT tool out and a clever way to tie it in with the show. It should be a fun kit to build just for nostalgic reasons. Works for me anyhow.

Keep on modeling. I'm working on an idea to post this weekend, so stay tuned!

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polar lights enterprise

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Resin Figure Models of Classic Mythology

While resin figures are nothing new, the material and technology has come a long way over the last couple of decades. In the 1990s when resin figures really took off, the market was quite heavy with figure kits. Companies like Aurora, who did a lot of figures in plastic, was gone. There was a big hole to fill for model builders who wanted to build and paint larger figure models.

Back then, magazines like Kit Builder and Amazing Figure Model had filled a niche market, and were eager to share the possibilities with figure models. While some plastic models have been reissued, and even some new ones came to the hobby shelves, the resin market is still quite large and full of fans. The figures are made in low quantities, low production runs, and you won't find them in hobby stores. Most of them have to be ordered online. Some kits from the 1990s can bring big dollars because they are so rare. Most kits tend to lean towards Pinups, Horror, and Science Fiction themed subjects. Military figures still make up a larger portion too. But the kits can still be hard to come across. It takes a special kind of modeler who can assemble a vinyl or resin figure model, and then has the talent to paint the model to make it life like. I envy those builders. I wish I had that kind of talent.

With modern resins, you get a very smooth surface and much better castings than ever before. Some new ones are classic "statues", which are molded in white. They are usually classic figures, such as from Roman Mythology. The typical gods, of Mars, Athena, Hercules, Zeus. You get the idea. Some reflect statues and artork, such as retro or art-deco styles. Some are fantasy figures, from women to goblins and elves. It's a wide open market.

Here are just a few of these great resin figures that can be painted:

resin figure statur models

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Below is one I have that I started on. This is Aphrodite. While the heights can vary, depending on the figure model, I have a typical spray can next to her so you can see just how large it is. I shot the figure with white primer, and then hand painted the skin tone with Vallejo paint. I haven't decided on how to paint the clothing yet. I also need to add shading and tones to her skin. As you can see, if you are a figure model, you have virtualy an empty pallet to make the figure really pop and stand out. This figure didn't need any assembly, so it's basically just a painters project. Though you could modify it (I was thinking of removing the doves, replacing them with bats, painting her red and making a COOP style she-devil out of her .... maybe next time).

The thing is, these resin statues can be quite the fun project. You may want to try a couple of them out. You'll probably be the only one at a model contest with such a model.

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aphrodite figure model classic

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IPMS, NNL, Scale Model Shows & Events

Ready to kick back today and enjoy some model shows?

I've got several here to give you some ideas about your next project. We've all built many models, and sometimes you can get in a slump about the next kit to add to your bench. Maybe some of these kits will spark something in your mind. Either way, they're fun to look at and see what others are building. Enjoy!

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gremlin gasser model car

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Revell Junior Snap Model Kits - A Real Bargain in a Box

Revell has come out with a new series of snap kits for youngsters. While snap kits are nothing new, I noticed the box said for ages 4+ and up. A model a 4-year old can build? I wanted to check this out a little closer and see what the model actually consisted of.

When the box arrived, I was surprised at the large size It's nearly twice the size of a standard car model box, but a slight bit thinner. Once I opened the box, out came the kit, and I was again surprised at the size of the body. While there's no scale on the box, this body looks to be around 1/20, maybe even 1/16 ? Even the price, which was quite low, didn't prepare me for this large scale kit. (In the photographed image I took, I used a tube of Testors model glue as reference so you can judge the size of the body, though glue is not needed to build it).

The body is molded in color, in this case, a medium orange. This particular kit is called their "Off Road Vehicle". I'm sure you noticed it resembles a JK Wrangler Jeep, or possibly a Troller T4 or Mahindra Thar. I'm thinking Revell went with a hybrid sort of look, which gives it a more International appeal. Not that a 4 year old would care. The rest of the body is molded in black, with silver-grey wheels. I especilayy like the idea that the hardtop is a separate part. You might even be able to squeeze some toy figures in the vehicle. The tires are hollow rubber parts, (rather than hard plastic), and you even get a spare for the rear! The unique part of this series of model kits from Revell is the tool. (noted with an arrow in the photo). The model is held together with large plastic "screws" (molded in orange, shown in the small plastic bag). Some of the parts click together like a regular snap model. The model includes some string to wrap around the front winch, and attaches to the included hook. Stickers are provided to dress up the kit.

Could a 4 year old build this? I think so. I think a child would enjoy screwing the parts together with the tool and understanding how that process works. The snap parts might need a little help from an adult (such as the windshield) to pop them in. But then, that's one of the fun things about snap kits is doing them as a family project, or for some quality father and son time. (mother and daughter time). I think Revell has a clear winner on it's hand with these kits.

Revell also has a mini-site for these models, where you can download the instructions, and see a video. Click Here for that site.

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revell junior snap offroad model

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MPC Model Kits - Coming Back Big

When I think of MPC models, I think of all those car kits that used to have all the weird and unusual features. The artwork on boxes showed the cars loaded with IMSA type panels, engine blowers, funky hood scoops and rear wings, side pipes, racing parts, dual engine options, and of course, who can forget the wild paint schemes and stripes for the decals.

I used to get most of those kits from a KMart close by in the 1980s and 1990s. The shelf was always chocked full of those kits, and they were hard to pass up.

Lately, Round2 has been bringing back some of those past kits. The outlandish and wild looking ones. The ones that most likely won't be built stock (if they can be built stock at all). I think it's about time for these models. The Monzas, Mustang IIs, the Pintos and Novas. It's time to put away the factory stock builds and step up with some imagination!

I hope Round2 keeps digging out these old molds and releasing them soon. I'm looking forward to them. The Pinto one for sure. That kit (or at least, the original one I have, from 1978) features a V8 engine option, and some custom parts. The old decals are not so good in the box, they are quite yellowish, but with a reissue, I can use the new 1970s stripes and really go retro! Should be fun!

What MPC kit would you like to see?

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mpc model kits

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Moebius Models Krypto Dog Kit - Superman

This is a neat little kit by Moebius Models. Featuring Krypto - Superman's pal from the comic books. As you may already know, Krypto guards the Fortress of Solitude while Superman's off doing his super hero thing.

The kit only has two parts, one for the body and one for the head. And a red cape of course. The box says he's 5 inches tall, and that's with the head popped on. But it's still a very good likeness, with great surface detail. Yes', it's a vinyl kit. But don't let that stop you. If you never built a vinyl model before, this would be a good kit to use as your first build of one. It's molded in white. The red cape is REAL CLOTH, with the family crest (silk screened?) on it in gold. If you don't paint the kit you can have it together in a minute. Otherwise, you can primer the figure, paint it white, and use some red and gold for the collar (and black for the eyes).

If you're a dog lover, you'll enjoy this kit. Of course, he could be any dog of any color, depending on how you paint him. If he looks like your Black Lab - paint him black!

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moebius models krypto the dog model kit superman

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Lindberg Plastic Model Kits - Made in America

There was a time when almost all the larger model companies made their models here in the U.S.A. Those days are gone for the most part, but there are still some that are made right here locally. One of the largest is Lindberg models. Founded around 1933, and now owned by Round2, Lindberg kits are made in Michigan.

I know what you might be thinking. You're thinking hey, Lindberg has those old kits that are really old, and difficult to build. While that may be true compared to modern technology today, Lindberg does make newer kits that are exceptional, and are just as good as any other company. The Dodge 330 Super Stocks are a good example. Their 1953 Ford, available in a hardtop or convertible is a modern kit, and their 1966 Chevelle builds into a very nice example of the popular Chevy. The Lindberg 1964 Belvedere is a nice kit as well as their Dodge Charger Super Bees. Besides, ALL the model companies have old toolings. Revell, AMT, MPC, even companies like Tamiya and Hasegawa (remember all those Japanese motorized kits from the past?).

When it comes to big scale Hot Rod models, few can compare with the stable of kits under the Lindberg name. The Bull Horn, Bobtail T, Big Red Hot Rod. They OWN the big scale Hot Rod model market for good reason. Sure there are a lot of classic kits in their portfolio, but I don't see anything wrong with that. Sometimes you just want a simple kit to build without getting bogged down with 800 parts or $ 200.00 worth of photoetch and aftermarket accessories.

When you choose a kit, especially a car kit, explore the Lindberg line of models. You know it was made right here in America, and there's some really popular examples I'm sure you will enjoy building. If it's an American car subject, what better place for the kit to come from than the Motor City, Detroit?

P.S. By the way, HAWK models are also made in the U.S.A.

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lindberg plastic models made in america

Scale Model Beach Surf Boards 1/25 - 1/24

If you're looking for some surf boards for your latest car or truck build, check these out. They are just right, and very inexpensive. They come already prdecorated, but they're plastic, and you can primer and repaint them easily. I bought the 12 pack, but they are available in larger quantities - probably enough for a lifetime of building beach buggies. Hit the waves and add some cool surf boards to your ride!

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1/24 - 1/25 scale surf boards for models

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Aurora Plastic Model Kits

Depending on your age, you may or may not know Aurora model kits. They were around in the 1960's and 1970's, and then, unfortunately, went out of business. But they made a valliant effort. They made many different kinds of models, of almost any subject, that will never be seen again.

Throughout my model life, I've heard many stories about the molds they used to make the models with, and what might have been their fate. Ultimately that they disappeared. Some say it happened in a train wreck. Some say they sank on a cargo ship. And some say they probably ended up as scrap, and were melted down. It seemed no one truly knows for sure. But the truth is, many Aurora kits are still among us. They get reissued all the time. But under different model brands. Model business' that bought the Aurora molds, and now reissue those kits under their own logo and name.

What brought this to my attention is a model I haven't seen in many years. Indeed, I don't think I've seen one since I built th kit in the 1970s (as a teenager). Back then, I used to belong to a model club (Aurora) and I used to get models in the mail. One of the models was the Russian Aircraft Missile Ship the "Moscow". It scales at 1/600, but I don't remember it being that small. It seemed a good size to me when I was young. I do remember the landing deck, and the doors could open to house the various helicopters. This was one of many kits. I also remember a Viking ship (Molded in orange!), which has recenlty been reissued by Atlantis models (though, it could be a Revell mold, since Revell ended up with most of the old Aurora molds). I remember a Braniff 747 (molded in bright orange!). Another great kit was the Boeing Tucumcari Hydrofoil. If that was reissued, I'd buy that kit in a heartbeat. Recently Atlantis models tried a campaign to reissue the Aurora Sealab II, but the public just couldn't come up with enough funds to cover the cost of restoring the nearly 50 year mold to reissue the kit. There were other kits I received over time. I remember some ship models (maybe a USS Enterprise Aircraft Carrier?). After a while the kits stopped, and that's because either my mother canceled them, or Aurora went out of business (timeline wise, it was probably the latter).

I still built many Aurora kits that I bought (or my mother bought) at the stores, like K-Mart and S.S. Kresge. Some of the models were the Seaview, the Flying Sub (now owned by Revell), the Moonbus, and some others. It's been a lot of years since then, I really don't remember them all. The thing is, many Aurora kits still get out, but there are some that have never been reissued since the demise of the company. Maybe the molds don't exist, or the model companies don't think there's enough demand. It's hard to say.

Just as a note, some later model companies made fresh molds of Aurora subjects. The Moebius Moonbus is a good example. They issued the model (with a few improvements), but it was not made from an original Aurora mold. That's ok, I can live with that. I'm just glad they made the kit so modelers could build one, especially since an original Aurora model would be worth hundreds of dollars. I'm all for doing this if it brings back an old kit I can do again.

If you were lucky enough to build some Aurora kits, and the right age, you should feel lucky. Those were some great kits for their time, and they did subjects no model company will touch today. It was a great time for modeling!

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aurora russian moscow ship model

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Rocketfin on Pinterest - Model Picture Galleries

If you've got some free time this weekend, you may want to browse some model galleries on the Rocketfin Pinterest boards. I like to look at model images to get some ideas, or maybe some insight into an unusual project that might be good to try. I build models of anything, so it could be a car one day, a scifi one the next, and maybe something from Warhammer.

The boards have thousands of model pictures, or related modeling subjects. I have a few boards I like to use for reference, such as cars and planes, or for dioramas. (pictures of old 1950s and 1960s places, like gas stations). Well actually, just about every board is reference in some way for me. I got on board with Pinterest at the beginning, so it's grown into a monster with over 82,000 followers. But it's been fun to just look at other modeing boards, and pin a few pictures I like into my boards. You can never have enough modeling projects, right? If only we could live long enough to build them all. LOL Or at least, build all the ideas in my head.

Anyways, take a look, follow some of the boards if you like some of them, and enjoy. See ya there!

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rocketfin pinterest models

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Scale Model News and What's Going On

I've been working on a few projects. Some of them for the next issue of Scale Model Life. But some I'm building just for me, so they won't be in a book, and I can fiddle around with them as time permits. Before we get started though, here's some links to a few Model Show Events -

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I've recently added a few new images for the garage a built a few months ago. These images were taken outside, and the colors show up much better. See what you think - click here.

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custom scale model garage

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I've been building on the Round 2 / Polar Lights USS Enterprise for a while, but I want to get more done hopefully soon. I started primering some of the parts, in prep for paint. The kit is molded in a light blue, but I'm going to paint it white (to look more like it does on TV). I've already painted the bridge, which is about the size of a US quarter. Nothing is really glued together yet. The windows are installed from inside, so I'm not sure how the seams will be. I may have to paint the entire kit, install the windows, and then just live with the seams if there are any. I can't imagine masking off all those tiny windows. My eyesight isn't that good. LOL

This is the 3-foot version kit. It includes a lot of extra parts, and it seems daunting in the box, but some of the parts won't be used (they are in the box to build different versions of the ship over the series lifetime), and when you break it down to what WILL be used, there's not that many parts. So far it's working out well, I've no doubt that it will be a fun build. (if not a huge one!). I'm not adding lights to this one, simply because of the expense. If all goes well though, I may buy another kit and light that one later, I haven't decided yet.

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enterprise bridge star trek

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Airfix Visible Engine Model Kit

Airfix has made a short video of their Internal Combustion Engine kit. It's a four cylinder model, and looks much like a Ford 2.0L / 2.3L. It has clear molded parts like Revells ever popular V8 model. It also uses a battery operated electric motor to turn the engine over once it's assembled.

With over 100 parts, I find that it would be educational, or might just be fun to modify in some way to make it even more realistic. Either way, the video is a quick overview of what it looks like when built.

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airfix visible engine four cyclinder

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Scale Model Life Magazine Volume 6 Is Out

Scale Model Life Magazine, issue six, is now out. This one focuses on Sci-Fi & Space related model projects.

Some of the models covered are the Moebius Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper, AMT's classic Star Trek D7 Battle Cruiser, a scratch built Mars Rover, MPC's Space 1999 Eagle One with Lab Pod, and Game Workshops' Imperial Guard Valkyrie. There's even an Aurora Orbital Interceptor and Dragon Model's Star Lord figure too. Of course there's plenty of tips and ideas for building models of the SciFi genre.

I had fun with this book, and built a few kits I've been itching to do for quite some time. Especially the Aurora kit, which is one I built as a kid, but is very rare today. The same thing can be said for the AMT D7, which I probably built 4 or 5 as a kid. The ship has such classic lines, but it's very unique, and has become an iconic ship of Scifi history. It did take a lot of sanding and putty to get it smooth, but I'm happy with the way it came out. It's definately the best one ever as far as the ones I've built in my lifetime.

So grab this all new issue and catch up on some modeling for the outer reaches of space!

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scale model life magazine volume six

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