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Rocketfin Hobbies Scale Model Kit Blog and News : Books and Mags

Scale Model Life Magazine- Issue 9

The newest edition of Scale Model Life is out.

In this issue I've filled it with some great model kits. The AMT Wedge Dragster makes it's mark after decades of never being released. I built a few of them as a kid, so it's nice to see it out again.

The new Moebius Models Mercury Comet Cyclone hits the stage with some mild modifications and a street machine attitude. The Ford Race Team gets ready for the track using a Monogram Ford F350 Duallie, with a matching Revell 1966 Ford Mustangs Shelby GT350R. Both work well with a build of the 38' foot Galaxie Unlimited Race Trailer.

Check out Revells new pre-colored modern muscle Dodge SRT8 kit. It's a worthwhile and easy car to build. Tom Daniel's Vandal gets a make over as a highway patrol (sort of). To round out the kits included, there's a Fujimi Ford GT40 from LeMans. As always, you'll see modeling tips, ideas, mods, and ideas for you to try.

I had fun with this issue, and for the most part, none of the kits had two many problems to deal with. But I hope the info here helps you with your model projects in the future.

Keep building!


Scale Model Life - New Issue!

Scale Model Life Magazine Volume 8

The newest edition of Scale Model Life is out. Actually, it's been out about a month, I'm just getting around to posting it. It's a busy time right now!

This issue features a Dodge Monaco, the George Barris Bathtub Buggy, the AMT Depth Charger Aqua Rod, a Hasbro Terrain Cruiser, a Lindberg Dodge Charger State Trooper car, and a 1/12 scale Tom Danial Red Baron kit. A few of these were in some older books I did years ago, but I've included them with more text and more (better) images. The others are fresh off the model bench.

This is Volume 8, and it's taken longer than I always plan on getting the magazine done. I build the models myself, one at a time, so that can take more time than I thought it would, depending on the subject. Cars aren't to bad, because in some respects, they're all similar. But they can still pose issues that need to be solved, and problems to work out. Often times I'm waiting on supplies. Paint, another donor kit, or something I didn't plan on whan I started the model. I am already working on the next issue, and I'm excited about some of the models that will be included. It wll be cars again, as far as the subjects. Though, I'm thinking there's another Scifi edition on the near horizon.

So if you've been waiting for the newest issue, now's the time to get yours. And remember, always drop me an email if you have a question about the models in the book. There isn't room to fit everything inside, so sometimes things get missed. I'm glad to help where I can. Enjoy!


Scale Model Life Magazine Volume 7 is now out!

Scale Model Life Volume 7 has been finished and is out now

The newest issue of Scale Model Life is now available. It's taken a while to get it finished, but there's more packed into this issue than ever. The MPC Plymouth Volare' / Road Runner as a road racer, the MPC Ford Pinto Wagon in all it's 1970's vibe - with a V8!, a 70's Ford Torino built for speed, Tom Daniel's T'Rantula with a twist, a Fujimi racing Kart, a Lindberg Dodge 330 street machine, and Revell's '70 Dodge Charger as the Ghost Rider's personal ride of Robbie Reyes!

Of course, there's plenty of model modifications, tips and full color images to keep you busy. Grab your issue today!


Scale Model Life Magazine - Pickup Trucks Issue

The new issue of Scale Model Life has hit the stands. This issue covers pickup trucks kits.

Although I knew this issue would be car modeling as far as the subjects, it just sort of morphed into being an all truck issue on it's own. But don't worry, I have plenty of car models left to build, and some new ones coming out I hope to have time to review in future issues.

In this Volume 5 issue I cover the Moebius 1970's Ford Ranger pickup truck. This is a great kit, and one that can be built so many ways. It's hard not to just buy a case of them and start building. There are two in this issue. The other truck models are an AMT 2003 Ford F150 Extra Cab, the Testors Chevy (Van Halen) Boyd Hauler, the Revell '55 Ford F100 street machine, and the AMT Dodge Deora, as well as AMT's Ford Lightning. Of course, there are some tips and ideas along the way.

With this all new issue #5, and it was for the most part, a fun magazine to write, I was finally able to assemble some kits I've had for years, some that you don't see built to often. I planned on having some cars too, but the truck kits were just screamin' to be built. So if you like trucks - this is definitely the issue for you! I hope you enjoy it.


scalem odel life pickup trucks


Scale Model Life: Building Scale Model Kits Magazine (Volume 4)

Issue 4 of the Scale Model Life is out now. This issue has a focus on diecast cars. I know what you're thinking, it should be about plastic model car kits. And maybe you would be right. But a lot of car modelers I know do buy diecast, for several reasons. One, they usually buy a car that's probably not available in plastic. Two, what I see happen is that they buy them for parts. Tires, wheels, bodies. Diecast cars are good for stripping off the parts you need to build the car you want.

But there are also car model kits that are all diecast, but more often, a hybrid. Part plastic, but with a metal body. Sometimes they're even prepainted. But you can still strip them, paint them, detail them, redo them. Many times diecast cars cost less than a plastic model. So you can still have a great time building (or RE-building) them.

This book discusses how to do all these things. How to make a diecast car (or truck) model you build, even better, than stock out of the box. Don't fear diecast cars , embrace them. Make them into the cars of your dreams.


scale model life diecast cars volume 4


Scale Model Life Magazine - Figures Edition

The third issue of Scale Model Life magazine is now out!

This issue focuses on figure models. Iv'e been building figure models now and then for many years. They normally involve different materials, from resin, to vinyl, to plastic. But often times, even today, I still here modelers groan when a new figure kit is released, and they say, "Oh, to bad it's vinyl instead of plastic, otherwise I would buy one .......".

Sometimes the comments, are " have to paint it with acrylics...", or you have to use special glue, or "..they're too hard to put together..."

So I resolved in this issue to crack open some old and new figure kits and hopefully show others that, while a little different, resin and vinyl kits can be built almost like any plastic kit. The book includes modifications, making bases for them so they can stand up, plenty of putty and sanding, and many general tips to get you started building your own figure model kits.

I believe after you read this book, you'll have no fear building any resin, vinyl or plastic figure kit. You can do it!


scale model life magazine figure models


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 head, which comes 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've 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 good 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've been building Sci-fi kits since I was young. But till now, I haven't written anything about them. Now it's time to delve into other kinds of models, and build some I've been itching to assemble for quite a while. 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 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 truck model kits, 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. Inside you'll find articles on the Classic AMT X-Wing, the Moebius Ironman figure, AMT's 12-inch Mr. Scott (a vinyl kit), how to build a Zombie diorama, the Moebius Battlestar Galactica Cylon Raider (including lighting it up with LEDS!), a B-Movie scratch built Space Pod Lander, the Polar Lights 1966 Batmobile, the AMT UFO Mystery Pirate Ship, and much more!


scale model life magazine issue 2 scifi


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!


scale model life magazine book issue 1


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 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.


building Jeep and 4x4 model kits


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


Building Hot Rod Model Cars Book

Building Hot Rod Model Cars: Create your own scale Hot Rod model cars for fun.

Hot Rod models are some of the most popular and best sellers of all time, year after year. No matter which camp you are in, (Ford, Chevy, Mopar, etc.) chances are you still build a Hot Rod model now and then.

This books covers some kits, new and old, with ideas, step by step progress, and tips to build the best Hot Rod you can. It's full color, end to end.

So grab your copy today and start building!


building hot rod models book


Building Scale Ferrari Models: of Great Italian Sports Cars

Building Scale Ferrari Models: of Great Italian Sports Cars

This all new publication is about car modeling, Building Scale Ferrari Models.

This third book from is about Ferrari models, and shows you tips on building plastic its of these great sports cars. It's a good book for those just starting out, though experianced modelers may enjoy reading it and may even pick up a few ideas of their own.

It's available now and can be ordered directly from, Amazon UK, France and Japan.


building scale model ferrari kits book on amazon


New book - Fun With Scale Modeling

Fun with Scale Modeling

This all new publication is about car modeling, Fun With Scale Modeling.

This first book from is about car models, and shows you tips on building three plastic kits and one resin example. It's a good book for those just starting out, though experianced modelers may enjoy reading it and may even pick up a few ideas of their own.

It's available now and can be ordered directly from, Amazon UK, France and Japan.


event quick guide book on amazon


Kustom & Hot Rod Models Magazine

Publisher Don Graham has released his second issue of "Kustom & Hot Rod Models" magazine. Once ordered online, the issue is mailed to you in all it's high color glory. (For convenience they accept both credit cards and Paypal).

Kustom & Hotrod Magazine sticks to it's core, featuring rods of all kinds (I personally like the Rat Rods) and 1950's / 1960's Customs in model form. It has a personal feel to it, featuring model builders from all over the world, sharing their thoughts and tips on cars and models. But it's not just writing on and on, there are a ton of color images to wet your appetite, to where you want to grab a kit off your shelf and start building now!

With 32 pages, it's a good size mag. And with it's standard 8.25" x 10.75" size, there are no cut corners on substance. There's a lot of work, sweat, and grease that goes into every issue, and it shows. If you like the Old School Rods and Kustom models, this is for you!

Another plus for this magazine is: there are NO ADS !

Kustom and Hot Rods Models Magazine



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