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Rocketfin Hobbies Scale Model Kit Blog and News

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 Space 1999 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.

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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metalo 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 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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Dragon Models 1/144 Braniff International 747-100 Flying Colors Model Kit.

Dragon Models has issued a new 1/144 scale airline, but this one is a cutaway, of the Braniff International 747-100 Flying Colors.

It is precolored in Braniff's famous orange, along with other colors to make it a true replica. The side is cutaway to show the inside of the plane, including the passengers area, both floors, and the cockpit. Even the wings and cargo areas are small cutaways. The seats inside are painted in the correct colors according to their cabin. This educational model really gives you an idea of the size of the plane and ust how they are constructed. Even though the plane is a display model, there are still a few parts you can assemble for yourself.

The actual aircraft is the 100th Boeing 747 ever built, a 747-127 with the code N601BN. This aircraft, variously known as "747 Braniff Place" or "The Most Exclusive Address in the Sky", was the airline's flagship. (and was painted orange to signify it's importance and for commercial recognition). The original Braniff International Airways Company operated from 1930 to 1982.

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dragon braniff 747 cutaway model kit

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All New Tamiya La Ferrari Model Kit 24333

New Tamiya La Ferrari Model Kit.

All new for 2013, and quickly produced, Tamiya has issued a 1/24 scale La Ferrari model.

As with all their kits, it' highly detailed. Covering every scale inch of the body, chassis, interior, and above all, the engine. The real car is a hybrid, with a 963hp V12, 900lbs of torque, and only 499 are being sold. (I suspect there is a 500th car, but it's not for sale, maybe for Ferrari's own use or stable. Though they probably own the No. 1 car, the first example). A 7-Speed gearbox doesn't hurt either. You can bet Tamiya has brought everything to the table in this kit. I'm sure it will be a hit.

While this kit isn't in the book (maybe the next one I write), check out Building Scale Ferrari Models: of Great Italian Sports Cars. It would be a good primer for tackling these complicated model cars, and you'll end up with a great replica.

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tamiya 1/24 scale la ferrari car model kit

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Airfix 1/24 Hawker Typhoon Aircraft Model Kit for 2014.

Airfix 1/24 Hawker Typhoon Aircraft Model Kit for 2014.

Airfix has announced a new kit for 2014, a 1/24 scale Hawker Typhoon. From the images so far, this looks to be a very detailed aircraft model. Especially the cockit and engine. This will be a fine addition to the 1/24 scale plane kits that Airfix has produced for many years.

It seems to me that model companies are making larger kits across the board, from 1/24 scale military models, to big scale cars, to large scale aircraft. Including more 1/32 scale planes being available than ever before. I think this is for two reasons. One is the cost. Adults are buying more kits than kids, so they have the income to afford the larger kits. They also demand more details and parts. Another thing, at least to me anyways, is that my eyesight isn't what it used to be, so building bigger scale kits is easier as far as my sight goes. Sure, we all have tweezers and magnifying glasses, but that can get tedious. I look forward to this kit. While I don't build to many planes, it looks like one that I can't pass up. Way to go Airfix!

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airfix 1/24 scale hawker typhoon model kit

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Revell Jägermeister VW T1 Transport Model Kit.

Revell Jägermeister VW T1 Transport Model Kit.

Revell Germany has now released it's Jägermeister VW T1 Transport model, which includes decals to make the famous liquor brand very visible on the model kit.

The VW Transport has been issued before, but maybe not quite so colorful. (The kit actually includes two different sets of decals). The model also has an interior and engine for more detail.

The Jägermeister is a natural drink with liquor added, and it's a popular German beverage with racing fans. There are actually other models kits available with the markings, such as a BMW 635CSi, and a Porsche Turbo RSR 934. You might as well build the whole collection, especially if you like the color orange.

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revell vw t1 transporter kastenwagen model kit

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Boeing 720 Caesar's Chariot - Led Zeppelin Tour Aircraft Model Kit.

Boeing 720 Caesar's Chariot - Led Zeppelin Tour Aircraft Model Kit.

I don't really build airliner models at all, but being a Rock N Roll fan, I couldn't pass up this jet with decals to make the 1977 Led Zeppelin tour example.

Roden has produced a 1/144 scale model of Boeing's 720 four-engine narrow-body short / medium-range passenger jet airliner (evolved from the 707). This particular jet was owned by Las Vegas based Caesar's Palace hotel and casino. It was hired by Led Zeppelin during their 1977 North American concert tour. The kit features crisp engraved panel lines, (however, there's no interior), and a well-rendered undercarriage, with engine nacelles and intake detail. This jet was used by other Rock Bands as well over time, and I hope they make more kits with the various graphics and decals to create other bands. Everyone from Elton John to Jefferson Starship.

Led Zeppelin's 1977 North American Tour was a massive success, as the band sold out large arenas and stadiums. It was their largest tour ever. It was primarily to promote their album "Presence".

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fine molds star wars darth vader tie fighter model kit width=

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Fine Molds Star Wars Darth Vader TIE Fighter

Fine Molds Star Wars Darth Vader TIE Fighter Model Kit.

Fine Molds continues to issue Star Wars models, this time producing Darth Vader's personal custom TIE fighter.

The kit is 1/72 scale, and will go well with their 1/72 X-Wing and 1/72 Millennium Falcon. Included with the ship is a special display stand, which looks kind of industrial, and a sitting figure of Darth Vader himself for the cockpit. Fine Molds is know for the high quality details of their kits, so I am sure this one will be just as great to assemble.

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fine molds star wars darth vader tie fighter model kit width=

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Italeri Ford Aeromax 106 Model Truck Kit 3891

Italeri Ford Aeromax 106 Model Truck Kit 3891

It's been a long time since we've seen this kit, but Itaerli has quickly released it's Ford aeromax 106 model.

I built one of these years ago, and I remember it being a pretty good kit. The Italeri Ford Aeromax 106 represent a US version truck for heavy long distance transport. Due to the enormous distances which American Truckers have to cover during their journeys, these trucks are built to offer high driving comfort and well equipped sleeper cabins. The kit includes full color decals, with Georgia plates and a decal for the dashboard. Like most truck kits, the cab and sleeper are made up of several parts you assemble, but there is plenty of room for you to detail out the full interior. The plastic is molded in a medium green with other trees molded in black. The interior parts are molded in a light grey. There is a chrome tree, which includes the fuel tanks, outer rims, grille, exhaust pipes and more. The tires are nice one piece hollow rubber offerings.

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italeri ford aeromax 106 model truck

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AMT Ford LN 8000 Race Car Hauler Model Kit

AMT Ford LN 8000 Race Car Hauler Model Kit

Round 2 / AMt has now released it's Ford Race Car Hauler. It's been quite a few years since this kit has been out, but modelers have been asking for it for quite some time.

In the past, there were several versions issued, which included a model car along with the truck. This time, the truck is solo, with no car included. But I am sure that won't stop any modeler from adding their own race car. Anything can be used, from a 427 Fairlane to a Ford Mustang. That's up to you. With some work, you may even be able to modify the cab to a GM, maybe the nose off the Tom Daniel S'Cool bus? or maybe use a Dodge L700 cab? It's hard to say, but you never know what a modeler may try. Another thing is that the price is very reasonable, so thanks to AMT for that.

The kit is molded in white, so you can paint it easily any color you want to. It includes full color decals, and rear loading ramps. As a bonus from the folks at AMT, it includes pre-lettered drag slicks! (I imagine those go in the upper tire rack).

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amt ford ln8000 race car hauler

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Scale Model Boards Pinterest

Scale Model Pictures

I used to post links on the blog to various model shows. Just a quick bullet list so visitors could check them out, and see what's going on with the modelling communitires and events from around the world.

But lately, I have been using Pinterest to post pictures of model projects. I find it easier, and though it does take some time, I feel that I can post the better images and highlights of a show. I like to post images of any kind of model, no matter if it's a plane, car, a house, warhammer, whatever. Talent is talent, and every kind of model subject can teach you somethng (or in my case, it sometimes shows the talent I LACK! LOL).

Anyways, there are over 3000 images of models in there, so browse though them anytime you feel the urge. If you want to get automatic updates, whenever an image is posted, join Pinterest. It's free, and you can dump as many model images as you want in there.

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pinterest scale model boards

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How to Build Revell's 1/12 Scale GT500 Book

How to Build Revell's 1/12 Scale GT500 Book.

In the past, the Rocketfin Hobby model books have been about different vehicles. Most of those books have focused on specific kinds of model cars, and presented a theme to them. But this time, I thought I would write a book on just one kind of model car, the new Revell Shelby GT500 Ford Mustang kit.

For one thing, this is a great kit. I think any moderate builder could build this model and enjoy doing it. It's very well designed, and the parts just fall together. The book features three different takes on the model, and will introduce you to some new ideas about the kit, even if you have built one before.

So grab your copy today and start building!

building revell's gt500 shelby mustang  book

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