So Whaddaya Want, Egg in Your Beer?
A few days ago I was performing my daily ritual of scanning the various scale modeling boards I visit, reading those forums I steadfastly refuse to put in this project, when I came upon a link to the soon-to-be released, brand spanking new Not A Copy of Anything Else 1/32nd scale Fw190F-8 from Revell. Luftwaffe aircraft that served on the Eastern Front are a specific aviation interest of mine so I clicked on that link with great anticipation and was greeted by a color photograph of a nicely-built ground attack Wurger. The model in that photo looked pretty good to me, especially since its real-world retail price would be less than half that of its only competitor in the scale, the Hasegawa kit. You could say it got my interest.
There were no comments tacked on to the entry at the time I read it; I must have come in right after it had been published. OK, then; nothing else to read here so let's move on to something else, which is what I did. Several hours later it was time for lunch, and I'd chosen to eat at my desk that day so I clicked back into that forum so I'd have something to read while I ate. Scanning down the list of recent posts, I found the Focke Wulf review again, but by then several comments had been appended to the original post, one of, if not the very first of which, was bashing the kit for having undersized bulges and an incorrect hinge line on the cowling. That post was followed by one defending the kit, which was in turn followed by a series of point/counterpoint rebuttals.
That made me start thinking about the whole deal. The kit had just been announced, an appealing photograph of a nicely-built model had been released to the public, and the drama had begun---it was the initial release of the Eduard Me109G-6 all over again! Then again, maybe it wasn't. Presuming the kit doesn't have any other major flaws, and presuming those bulges really are drastically undersized, all we really have is an opportunity. My guess is that any number of resin aftermarket companies are waiting in the wings, anxious to get their hands on a kit so they can release a resin correction set for however much of the cowling is gomed-up. Let's presume that the cowling is the only thing we have to contend with, and let's take a look at what some folks might call the worst case.
Let's say that cowling really is messed up, and those bulges and that hinge really do require fixing. Let's take the next step and say that somebody creates and release a resin correction set for same, and offers it for sale for ten or fifteen bucks. What do we have at the end of the day? Let's consider:
The Hasegawa 190 kits in this scale that I've been seeing for sale of late were all in the $75-100 USD range.The new Revell kit will likely go for 1/3rd to 1/2 of that if they follow their normal pricing structure. Add ten bucks or so for the inevitable replacement cowling and you're still saving a bundle by buying the Revell kit. Finally, consider that you bought the kit to build it, and modeling is modeling whether you're using the component supplied in the kit or a new one of resin. It all works out pretty much the same when all's said and done.
When we look at it that way, what's all the fuss about? As far as I know, nobody's ever released The Perfect Model Airplane kit, and I seriously doubt anybody ever will. In my world, fixing or replacing that cowling just adds to the fun of the thing. I build for fun, and I'll bet most of you do too. It's just my opinion, but I think that those of us who are interested in building a big FockeWulf ought to buy the kit, build it, and enjoy the experience presuming, of course, that there's nothing else so significantly wrong with the kit that fixing the cowling becomes pointless. I'm looking forward to it.
Iron Dog Revisited
When last we met, we discussed at some length the way to eliminate that nasty step between the canopy and fuselage on the Eduard P-39 family of kits. The photos you saw in that thrilling installment of the project could have been a big old hint that there was a model in the works, which there was. It's rare that I ever actually finish a project these days, but I managed to more or less complete that P-39, so here it is in all its Eduardian splendor!
Whether you like the way it looks or not is a matter of personal taste, but it was done with pastels no matter which way you lean regarding that subject. The interior is 100% stone stock with the exception of a set of belts and harnesses, although Eduard's Profipak version of the kit can provide you with all the bells and whistles if you need them for your own P-39.
So here's the bottom line, folks. The "Eduard Step" in their P-39 kit doesn't really exist, and whether it appears on a completed model or not is entirely a function of how well you perform your initial assembly when you're building the kit. To take things a step further, the kit provides us with the raw materials necessary to build a model that looks like a P-39, thick wing notwithstanding. Some modeling skills are required to get to that point, to be sure, but those skills are minimal in this instance. Finally, with Hasegawa kits being priced the way they are at the moment, the Eduard Airacobra suddenly becomes the deal of the day, so to speak. I've seen non-Profipak offerings of the basic kit for as little as $15 from time to time, and the average price for a full-blown Profipak offering seems to hover around thirty bucks or so, while the slightly better-detailed and far newer Hasegawa kits seem to go for around twice that. All the Eduard offering requires is a little elbow grease and TLC and you're there. It seems like a no-brainer to me!
Double Ugly Strikes Again!
I've been running a lot of F-4s lately, and the reader response that's been coming my way suggests that more than a few of you are enjoying the show. Rarely one to give up on a good thing, I've decided it's time for a few more Phantoms for your edification and entertainment. This time around we're going to look at a few E-models, with no rhyme or reason to the selection of the images shown other than that they're all post-Vietnam era. Let's see what we've got!
firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know a little more about her. It's the right thing to do! Marty Isham
What's He Doing Here?
It must seem like I'm always bragging about the photography that comes our way thanks to the generosity of Bobby Rocker, but the simple fact of the matter is that his collection is filled to the brim with unique and seldom-seen images. Take this one, for example:
A few years back, John Kerr dropped me an e-mail to ask if I'd be interested in "a couple of neat airplane pictures" he'd come across. Anybody who knew Maddog also knew that his idea of a "neat" airplane picture could be be well-worth looking at, so I jumped at the chance and told him to send them on. He did, and I indulged in the appropriate oohs and ahs when they arrived. Then I filed them away and promptly forgot about them until earlier this week, when I re-discovered them. Here's what I found:
And Another Thing...
I was in Hill Country Hobby in San Antonio a couple of weeks ago and found a Tamiya Fw190A-8 on the consignment shelves for what could only be described as an outstanding price. Since the kit is basically accurate once you get past the wheels, landing gear, and wing root gun access covers, and since I like that sort of thing (FockeWulfs, that is), buying it was a no-brainer. While I was paying for the kit I mentioned to Gary, the owner of that fine establishment, that the model was an easy weekend sort of project because everything fit so well on it, which led me to think some more on the subject while I was driving home. Here's the result of that rare burst of creative thought on my part:
The model represents an Fw190A-8 from JG-6 on the Eastern Front at the end of the War. The paint is my favorite ModelMaster enamel (the paint line so often discredited by the internet "experts"), and the decals are from wherever I could find them in my decal collection. More to the point of this ramble, the kit was begun on a Saturday morning and completed on the following Sunday---the entire project took approximately 7 hours from start to finish. I still need to paint the tip of the pitot tube, of course, but those of you who have followed this blog from its beginning know that there's always something left over for me to do before the model's actually completed. That's how I build things!
Anyway, the point is this: Every once in a while I get the bug to just build something and get it on the shelf. Most any recent Tamiya kit is a slam-dunk sort of thing, which makes a true weekend build an easy thing to do; instant gratification, as it were. The end result of this particular effort was an attractive (to me, at least; your mileage may differ) model of an airplane I wanted to add to my collection, and it took virtually no effort to get there. In my world it's good for the soul, and I thought I'd share the philosophy with you.
And now, it's time to get back to sanding seams on that Academy F-4J!
We're going off in a different direction with Happy Snaps today, thanks to an image sent to us early last week by Rick Morgan.
The Relief Tube
A funny thing happened on the way to the Blog. I was getting ready to begin extracting comments for this section and my e-mail started acting goofy, which caused me to shut it down immediately. I doubt it was being compromised but you just never know, and I'm a Better Safe Than Sorry kind of a guy so there you go; no Relief Tube today!
And then again, maybe there will be, sortof. A couple of hours after publishing this edition of the blog I received an e-mail from Gerry Kersey over at 3rd Attack.Org reminding me that the white OA-10A shot I'd run last issue and credited to Bobby Rocker's collection had actually been photographed by, and was from the collection of, Fred Hill. Apologies to Fred, Gerry, and Bobby for the gaffe, and the correction has been made! Thanks, Gerry, for your patience!
That said, we're going to stick a fork in this edition and call it Done. I've been receiving some really neat material of late so stay tuned---there's some Good Stuff to come. Until then, be good to your neighbor and we'll meet again soon.