Archive for May, 2009

If you can’t tell yet, I’m pretty big on military model kits. What’s cooler then a huge chunk of metal that flies through the air? A huge chunk of metal that flies through the air with guns.

The Superfortress was used mostly in the China, Burma and India area, the South West Pacific during WWII and then in the Korean conflict. Iit was originally designed and built as a high altitude, long range strategic heavy bomber. It was capable of carrying a 20,000 lb payload! How good is that.

Defensive armament included 4 remotely controlled turrets, each utilizing two .50 caliber machine guns. I loved driving those in Call of Duty.

Serious modellers use serious tools. Here are my favourites that I couldn’t live without.

1. Dremel or rotary tool

dremel

Used mainly for drilling, cutting and buffing, a Dremel is one of the most handy tools I have ever owned. And not only for use on scale models, but all around the house and on the car too. As usual, brand names aren’t cheap, but depending on how much you use it you can probably get away with a cheap one.

2. Helping Hands and/or tweezers

helping-hands

Helping hands have two alligator clips that allow you to hold tricky parts in place while you paint or glue. Usually also have a removable magnifying glass for that extra detail or for those who need it. Tweezers are also great for those tiny parts. Anything to get your fingers out of the way and free of paint.

3. Fine Grain Sandpaper

Used for cleaning up small burrs (especially if you don’t have a dremel), surface defects and shaping wooden and fiberglass models. Can also be used to add texture in the finishing process.

4. Hobby File(s)

hobby-files

These are great for removing the larger burrs in plastic kits and can also be used for shaping components. A variety of grades is optional, but only necessary for expert detail.

I could go on and list things like hobby knives and glue, but if you didn’t already have those, you probably wouldn’t be here.

I thought I’d share a model of my favourite plane of all time – The SR-71 Blackbird. It was a long-range, mach 3 recon aircraft built by Lockheed. They went out of service in 1998, and in their 34 years of operation, not one was taken out by an enemy. Given that it is a sealth aircraft that cruises at mach 3.2, it’s not really suprising. But more to the point, it looks cool as hell and Amazon have a few variations of it available in model form. Judging by the reviews, I think I have found the best one and ordered mine today.

It doesn’t matter whether you are into R/C or detailed models, there is nothing like the feeling of displaying your newly finished scale model aircraft knowing that you did the work yourself.

There are so many different models you can buy. The ones you choose will obviously be determined by your preferences. Some are straight out of the history books, be they military or civilian. Some are modern day pieces, and some are futuristic designs which we may never get to see in full size.

No matter which you choose, hand painting, air brushing and/or detailing your own models allows for that unique touch to every single one you create. There is satisfaction in knowing that noone else has one exactly the same as yours.

Another choice comes about in kit complexity. For the beginner, simple scale model aircraft kits are available. These kits will still include all the parts which you need but will cater for new enthusiast’s skill level. Kits are available in varying difficulties all the way up to those highly detailed models which look simply amazing once complete.

Even if you don’t want to build the model yourself, there are still options available. Plenty of complete models can be found ready for flight (in the case of R/C) or painting (for static models).

Often, the model will be supplied with decals, logos and symbols relevant to the era of the aircraft. Paint, however, usually needs to be purchased seprately, depending on the color scheme you want to use.

It provides many detailed photgraphs and illustrations with step-by-stp captions which cover every step including inital preparation, all stages of assembly and detailed finishing. It has been described by other buyers as “very helpful and easily understandable” and “not to be missed”.