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Welcome to My name is Gary Wickham and I live in Sydney, Australia. I've been scale modeling for the better part of 40 years and still going strong (mostly). On this site you will find the results of my labours at the modelling desk (and the computer keyboard).

I have a fairly wide range of interests when it comes to modelling subjects, but my first love is aircraft. Big, small, new or old I just can't get enough of them. I'm always interested in what other like minded modellers are doing around the world so if you feel inclined, please drop me an email

ICM 1:48 Martin B-26B Marauder - Review
Apr 2024

ICM have added yet another WW2 US twin to their catalog. I know that this kit has been hotly anticipated by 1:48 aircraft modellers and I'm sure it will be a big seller for them. No doubt the two additional boxings planned for later in 2024 will also be popular.

I think it's fair to say that this new kit is a quantum leap compared to the ageing Monogram Marauder. It's not a perfect kit, but as ICM themselves have explained, they build to price point and let the aftermarket industry cater for the rest. I think this is the right approach.

I do look forward to see some of the amazing builds that will be forthcoming of this kit and plan to start my own build sooner rather than later.

Use this link to access the ICM 1:48 Martin B-26B Marauder - Review.

Halberd Models 1:48 Curtiss SC-1 Seahawk - Gallery
March 2024

This is my first full resin model build and I am so glad I selected a Halberd Models kit. I have slowly been collecting all the resin conversions from this small Ukrainian company, who continue to operate under what I can only imagine are incredibly challenging conditions. Halberd caught my attention some time ago because their choice of subjects are so interesting and the quality of the resin parts are amazing.

This build had a number of firsts for me. My first full resin kit, first use of 3D parts I printed (and designed) myself and first time I have used the computer to design and layout all the riveting I added. The build took me the best part of a year but that was not in anyway reflective of the kit itself. In truth it goes together as well as most injection molded plastic kits.

I was so happy with the finished aircraft that I decided to put some effort into a base and figures. I'm still learning with figure painting but think they add so much to the aircraft that I'm determined to push myself to get better.

Use this link to access the Halberd Models 1:48 Curtiss SC-1 Seahawk - Gallery.

Magic Factory 1:48 F4U-1A/2 Corsair Dual Combo - Review
Nov 2023

Given the iconic subject, it's not at all surprising that this new tooled F4U Corsair in 1:48 has been so highly anticipated by the aircraft modelling community.

Overall I'm very impressed with what Magic Factory have managed to produce for their first 1:48 aircraft kit. The fit of the parts is excellent, the general design and engineering is clever making the modellers life super easy. With inclusions in the box such as die-cut masks and Cartograph decals the value for money is pretty clear.

The one thing that I don't like about this kit is the surface rivet detailing. It's over-scale and not at all accurate (especially on the wings). It almost feels like the rivet work was rushed at the end of the project and no-one double checked it in any way for suitability and accuracy. This, at least for me, is a real detractor to this otherwise excellent kit.

Use this link to access the full Magic Factory 1:48 F-4U1A/2 Corsair Dual Combo (5001) Review.

Reskit 1:32 RAAF F-111C Escape Module + Crew Figures - Review
Aug 2023

Reskit have recently released a new 1:32 standalone kit, the RSK32-0002 F-111C "Pig" Escape Pod (Crew Module) Royal Australian Air Force which comes complete with a display stand and Kangaroo. To accompany the escape module Reskit have also released a pair of 3D printed crew figures in set RSF32-004 RAAF F-111 pilots sitting in seats. In this review I take a look at both in detail.

During my time in the RAAF I never worked on the F-111 (I was a Mirage and F/A-18 man) but I have to say it was probably my favourite in terms of its sleak and menacing shape and I just loved the early three tone SEA camo scheme.

Use this link to access the full Reskit 1:32 F-111C Escape Module (RSK32-0002) Review.

Halberd Models 1:48 Curtiss SC-1 Seahawk - Review
May 2023

Halberd Models is a Ukrainian based company who specialise in detailed resin conversion sets for aircraft. Having released some beautiful conversions based around the P-51 Mustang family, Halberd have now released their first full kit in resin.

The subject of this new model is the Curtiss SC-1 Seahawk in both 1/48 and 1/32. A quick search on reveals that a previous (resin) kit of the SC-1 was released in 1997 by Signifier and that Halberd will be the first (and only) kit in 1/32.

Halberd have a real winner here. It's a great subject which has not been covered by any major injection company. The quality of the workmanship and resin casting is the best I have ever seen. I found none of the traditional potholes common on short run resin kits and in truth I would hold this kit up against plenty of plastic kits anyday.

Use this link to access the full Halberd 1:48 Curtiss SC-1 Seahawk Review.

HKM 1:48 B-25J Mitchell "Glazed Nose" (01F008) - Review
Oct 2022

Following the successful release of their 1/48 Lancaster, Hong Kong Models have now scaled down their 1/32 B-25J to the more practical 1/48 scale. This is a brand new tooling and has no ancestry to either the Monogram or Accurate Miniatures B-25 kits in 1/48. It's a good bet that HKM plan to follow up with the other B-25 variants in 1/48 as the box top points us towards their "Mitchell Series".

You can access the full review here

Eduard 1:48 Hawker Tempest Mk.II (ED82124) - Build
Oct 2022

This is my second build of the excellent Eduard 1:48 Tempest Mk.II. The plastic came from the 'Early' box but the Indian AF markings came from the 'Late' box and were chosen to compliment the Pakistani Mk.II Tempest I built from the same sheet.

The model was finished using a mix of Alclad, AK Extreme and Mr.COLOR Super Metallic colors. I have found that mixing up the brands gives me better scope to use similar colors as each has a slighty different finish. This results in giving some variation to the model surface without having to use noticably different shades.

The Eduard kit decals were used and as I now feel more comfortable with removing the carrier film I used white spirit for that purpose. Having decals with no distracting carrier film is most welcome. The display base comes from Custom Bases and is cast from resin giving it a realistic textured finish.

You can access the gallery photos for this model here

Eduard 1:48 Hawker Tempest Mk.II (ED82125) - Build
Sep 2022

Looking for something a bit different for this build, my eyes were drawn to the colourful Royal Pakistan AF markings with its hi-vis chevrons and desert browns over azure blue.

It is good to see that Eduard took the time to correct a number things from the Mk.V kit, such as the spinner cutouts and fuselage to wing join. The kit really has no problems worthy of mention and was built with only two extra additions, the Brassin exhausts and 3D printed landing flaps.

This is also the first Eduard kit I have built with the new "removable carrier film" decals. I did lots of experimenting with peeling and softening the film in order to remove it without damaging the decals. In the end I was happy with the result.

You can access the gallery photos here and the full build here

Eduard 1:48 Spitfire Mk.XVI Bubbletop (ED84141) - Build
Jul 2022

A very quick build (15 days start to finish), this is the first Eduard 1:48 Spitfire I have finished. Built to participate in my local clubs annual group build, I was drawn to the late model shape of the Mk.XVI with its clipped wings and bubbletop canopy.

The overall silver finish helped seal the deal as I wanted something a bit eye catching. As you expect this kit is pure class with everything falling into place.

It's a 2015 boxing which means I did not have to deal with the new "peelable" decals from Eduard. I did choose to make masks for the fuselage and wing lettering however as this is super easy and just looks better against that subtle Eduard surface detail.

This aircraft took part in the Cooper Air Race of 1949. The competition for RAuxAF squadrons was named after W/C Geoffrey Cooper, M.P. The winged sword painted in front of the windscreen is the No. 601 Squadron crest.

You can access the gallery photos here

Eduard 1:48 A6M2 Model 21 Zero TORA TORA TORA! (ED11155) - Review
Feb 2022

This is a very welcome release by Eduard. It's generally accepted that Japanese manufacturers are the leaders when it comes to Japanese subjects, especially for one as iconic as the Zero. Both Tamiya and Hasegawa already have excellent kits of the Zero (in all its variants and scales) so Eduard had some tough competition.

I like that Eduard launched its new Zero tooling with a special edition which included two models in the one box. The choice of a Pearl Harbour theme is also clever because its not just about the A6M2 Model 21, but also the history of what happened on that day "which will live in infamy".

I'm sure that if you have even a passing interest in the Mitsubishi Zero and 1/48 is your scale that you will already have your eye on this kit. Again another winner from Eduard for modellers and history buffs alike.

You can access the full review here

ICM 1:48 B-26K Counter Invader (48279) - Review
Nov 2021

I'm very impressed with the job that ICM have done in converting their base Invader kit into a B-26K. Overall I'd give this kit a 9/10 score because ICM have done their homework and made the effort to tool up all the specific parts that make a normal invader into a B-26K.

There is still scope for modellers to add more detail in the cockpit, engines and surface should they desire, but what you have in the box is a excellent 1:48 Counter-Invader. I'm also very impressed with the range of weapons included in the box. ICM have not cut corners or taken any lazy shortcuts in this boxing. Very well done ICM. As with the previous ICM Invader boxings I have no hesitation at all in recommending this kit

You can access the full review here

Eduard 1:48 Bf 109E-7 Trop, 2./JG27, Libya 1941
Aug 2021

I was very impressed with just how much detail that Eduard has packed into this 1:48 kit. I found the parts fit to be excellent, the Eduard made decals are super thin and much of the included detailing (such as the full engine) all represent excellent value for money.

I wanted to build an early 109E "Emil" finished in the distinctive RLM 79 Sand coloring and luckily Eduard had released just the markings I wanted in one of its Weekend edition boxing.

You can access the gallery photos for this model here

Eduard 1:48 Do-17Z Kampfstift (ED11147) - Review
Apr 2021

Once again, by using their tried and tested Limited Edition recipe, Eduard have delivered us an interesting and inspiring release all for a reasonable price.

The modelling chefs at Eduard have firstly selected a well respected plastic kit, which has been unavailable in the market for several years. To this they have added a dash of resin, a pinch of photo-etch and topped it all off with an inspiring array of interesting and varied decal options. As in the past, I think Eduard has another winner with their 1:48 Kampfstift Do 17Z kit. If you are at all interested I'd suggest you pick one up sooner rather than later as the Eduard Limited Edition kits tend to be fast movers.

You can access the full review here

Hong Kong Models 1:48 Avro Lancaster B Mk.I (01F005) - Review
Mar 2021

Even though I've not managed to do any serious assembly yet of this new HKM Lancaster, what I have so far observed in the box has impressed me. HKM have clearly taken the time & effort to think through how to improve on their original 1/32 release, listening to feedback, tweaking/correcting their molds and simplifying the design of this new 1/48 kit. We should be so lucky that all kit manufacturers took it this seriously.

I have previously built the HKM 1:32 Mosquito and remembering enjoying it and I have no doubt this new Lanc will afford me the same experience (if not better). It's been a long wait for a new tooled 1/48 Lancaster, but I believe that its safe to say "The King is dead. Long live the King"

You can access the full review here

Meng 1:12 Ford GT 40 Mk.II '66 Le Mans (CS-004) - First Look
Feb 2021

I'm not normally a car modeller, being far more at home with aircraft, but after I thoroughly enjoyed watching "Ford vs Ferrai", I was absolutely determined to find and build a model of the car that Ken Miles drove, in any scale. I did a bit of googling and found diecast models (no thanks) and a new kit from Meng in 1:12 of the exact car I wanted with the 1966 Le Mans colors and markings.

Luckily there seems to be adequate reference material for GT40's on the net to allow me to verify Mengs instructions, especially when it comes to colors. I have to say that so far, from what I have seen, they have been mostly on the money, which makes me feel like they have done their homework. As I said at the start, I'm no car expert but I can compare what I see on a model to the real thing.

You can access my initial thoughts on this new 1:12 model here

ICM 1:32 Stearman PT-17/NS2-3 Kaydet (32050) - Review
Jan 2021

I've never had the pleasure of flying in a Stearman but have seen them up close at airshows. They represent an important chapter in aviation history and you will rarely see a Stearman in a boring color scheme. These two things alone make then a worthy subject for my modelling bench.

Whilst there have been models of Stearmans in 1:48 and 1:72 for some time now, I feel that given the size of the aircraft that 1:32 is the perfect scale for this subject. I note that Roden has also recently released a "new tooled" Stearman in 1:32 and given the timing wondered if this and the ICM kit had some shared development? I don't know but suspect it's just a coincidence. Given the quality of this new ICM tooling and the overall fit of the parts I have no hesitation in recommending this kit to modellers of all skills levels.

Access the full review here

KittyHawk 1:32 Mirage 2000C, Operation Daguet (1991)
Sep 2020

I have to say that the plastic in Kitty Hawk boxes is definitely improving. This build felt way less over-engineered than any other KH kit I have built or reviewed. The fit and overall shape is good and the options, including decals and weapons, provided in the box represents good value for money.

In the end it really does make into a nice model, but the instructions really hinder rather than help get you there. If you are in the market for a large scale Mirage 2000 then this is the kit for you. Just be warned that you will need to do the leg work on which options are the right ones for your build as KH instructions will be of little or no help.

You can access the gallery photos for this model here and the full build report here

KittyHawk 1:48 FJ-2 Fury, VMF-334 Falcons
June 2020

Here is KittyHawk's 1:48 FJ-2 Fury and in many ways they have certainly improved. The fit is generally very good, it does not feel as over-engineered as some of their previous releases and the occurrence of mis-formed or short shot parts has pretty much been eliminated. But ... the area where KittyHawk consistently drop the ball is around their research (or lack thereof) for the aircraft markings and paint schemes, especially in boxings where you have a choice of variants. In my build I was able to use my own masks, but I feel sorry for other modellers who need to use the kit decals because they will ruin what is otherwise a truly nice kit.

You can access the gallery photos for this model here and the full build report here

Italeri 1:72 F-35B STOVL Rollout Scheme
May 2020

This kit is a very solid effort by Italeri. The fit is great, the inclusions such as full interior, tinted canopy, weapons and even a bomb trolley all add up to good value. For the most part the detailing and accuracy also seems spot on. I'd be quite happy if they scaled this guy up to 1/48 as the only game in town in that scale right now is Kitty Hawk. I've found Italeri kits to be very "hit and miss" in recent years but having now built this one I can definitely conclude its a hit.

You can access the gallery photos for this model here and the full build report here

Bronco 1:48 P-51D/K Mustang PLA
Apr 2020

This is my quick (2 weeks) build of the Bronco 1:48 P-51K in PLA markings. Despite the shortcomings of the kit I was happy with the end result and feel the PLA markings look very striking and the subdued rivet and surface detail looks quite convincing under some paint. If you care a lot about accuracy and don't want to spend time fixing things then this kit is not for you, go buy the Eduard P-51. If absolute accuracy is not as important, you like the marking options and are willing to invest some TLC to fix the easy things then as you can see it polishes up pretty well.

You can access the gallery photos for this model here and the full build report php

Tamiya 1:48 Vought F4U-1 Corsair "Birdcage"
Jul 2019

A very quick build for my IPMS NSW 2019 Group Build entry. I was impressed that the quality of this 1996 Tamiya kit still holds up today and even if you go against the grain and model this kit with wings extended, gear up and flaps retracted (each of which adds considerable work) you end up with a fantastic model of the venerable F4U.

The kit was built out-of-the-box (to comply with the GB rules) and the markings are from an old Aeromaster sheet (wish I had taken the extra time to mask and paint the markings though). One thing I did spend extra time on was the painting and weathering. If ever there was an ideal subject for "hard love" it would have to be a pacific theater Corsair. The main paints were MRP with lots of pre and post shading applied. Oil dots and oil washes were used to further dirty things up. Some salt masking and pigments were used on the heavily stained wingroots.

You can access the gallery photos for this model here

Eduard 1:48 Hawker Tempest Mk.V Series I
Jun 2019

What a fantastic kit from Eduard!! Built straight from the box you really can't end up with anything but an excellent model. When you combine it with any of the extensive Brassin and third party accessories already available you have, what will be for a long time, the ultimate Tempest in any scale.

Not only is it an accurate kit, perhaps even more importantly, it is an enjoyable kit to build. At no point did I find the kit fighting me, instead all the parts are cleverly engineered to "just work". I don't use such a comparison lightly, but this kit is closing in on Tamiya. I can't wait for their P-51 !! I'll also be curious to see if Eduard extends the molds into a Mk.II Tempest with the radial engine. I think that would be a welcome addition to their range.

You can access the gallery photos for this model here and the full build report here

ICM 1:72 Mikoyan MiG-25 RBT Foxbat B
May 2019

For some time I had been vaguely aware that ICM were producing new aircraft kits, but nothing they had produced seemed to make it onto my build list. That changed when I got hold of this lovely little MiG as I felt 1:72 was the prefect scale for the Foxbat. To be honest, I was half expecting a dimensionally accurate limited run kit which was challenging to build. To my pleasant surprise nothing could be further from the truth.

ICM seem to have come of age, having employed just about every modern technique available to injection molded plastic manufacturers to make a kit that is not only accurate but is cleverly engineered to be a pleasure to build. In truth the only phase of the build I stumbled on was the decaling. The kit decals just did not behave the same way I was used to and once I adapted my approach things went smoothly.

As always can access the gallery photos for this model here and the full build report On The Bench

Airfix 1:48 Curtiss Tomahawk Mk.II
Oct 2018

The 2018 annual group build subject for my local club was the new Airfix 1:48 P-40. You could build either release and it had to be essentially 'out of the box'. I did stray from that goal a little by adding some rivet detail and some Eduard seatbelts, but for the rest the kit was built as supplied by Airfix.

Even though I had plenty of time to make a start I left it till the last possible minute to begin work. With only three weeks remaining to the club meeting I knuckled down and set to work. Much to my surprise things flowed very well and I ended up finishing the model, the base and the figures in just over two weeks. A new speed record for me !! I put to good use many of the weathering techniques I had learnt during my recent Crusader build and I think that helped lift the finish of the P-40 a lot.

Photos of the completed model can be found in the gallery

Eduard 1:48 F-8E Crusader Limited Edition
Oct 2018

For some time now Eduard have been reboxing Hasegawa kits, adding a bunch of resin & photo-etch goodies and marketing them as 'Limited Edition'. They come at a premium price and for the most part I personally have not been tempted by these kits, mainly because I had the original Hasegawa releases with heaps of addons already. When the F-8E Crusader boxing came along I paid attention as I have always liked the Crusader and figured that doing a build & review would be a great way to motivate me to finally get one finished.

I was immediately attracted to the heavily worn and bombed up finish of the Da Nang based US Marine F-8E's and given the Furball decal sheet that Eduard includes in the box includes a VMF(AW)235 'Death Angels' option I had my plan. Along the way I used a bunch of extra addons (like an Aerobonus Pilot, some Eduard Mk.82's etc) above and beyond what was included and I took the opportunity to stretch myself by trying out many new weathering techniques.

The Hasegawa kit has always built into a very convincing model of the 'Last of the Gunfighters' and for those of you have never picked one up the Eduard boxing maybe a good option. In my opinion it has enough extra's to justify the 'Limited Edition' asking price and will probably remain the best option in 1:48 for some time to come.

You can access the gallery photos for this model here and the full build report here

Horizon Models 1:72 Mercury Redstone / Mercury Atlas, Freedom 7 & Faith 7
Apr 2018

I have always been intrigued and more importantly inspired by the early Space program, when in the 1960's both NASA and the USSR were literally inventing how to put a man safely into space and return him home. For the USA the manned space program began with Project Mercury, where a total of seven astronauts were selected to be the first into space and orbit the earth.

Horizon Models provides everything you need to model any of the Mercury missions (including the un-manned test flights) and as I wanted to build both their Redstone and Atlas kits I decided to depict the very first (Freedom 7) and last (Faith 7) missions.

You can access the gallery photos for this model here and the full build report here

Meng 1:48 F-35A Lightning II, RAAF 2OCU
Mar 2018

I think that Meng have another winner here. As a follow up to their very nice P-51D in 1/48 I think they have improved. The way they have engineered this kit makes the build super simple, the fit of the parts is excellent and the accuracy (as best I can tell based on reference photos) is spot on. Even though it took me forever to sort out my paint choices and Have Glass solution that was no fault of the kit itself, just me being an old fuddy duddy (more than usual).

I went back and looked at my initial impression in the Box Review and having now built and painted the model I believe that the RAM panelling is actually just about right for this scale. With two Meng aircraft under my belt now I really like what they have been doing. I'm hoping they continue to work on new aircraft and that soon we hear of upcoming releases.

You can access the gallery photos for this model here and the full build here.

Airfix 1:72 F4F-4 Wildcat vs B5N1 Kate Dogfight Double
Mar 2018

It's August and that means time for my local clubs annual Group Build. This time around the subject is the Airfix 1/72 F4f-4 Wildcat. I really like Dogfight Doubles and so to go along with the Wildcat I built the new Airfix B5N1 Kate. These builds are my first serious effort at applying rivet detail to a complete model (using the RB Productions wheels). Quite fiddly in 1/72 but I figured if I can get it to work in this scale then 1/48 and 1/32 should be a breeze :)

The Wildcat is finished using MR. Paint whilst the Kate in Alclad (mainly Stainless Steel). I tried to minimise the use of decals on both models (to preserve the surface detail) and made up paint masks using Frisket Film for the Wildcat roundel/stars. The only decal on the Kate was the tail number, everything else was masked.

You can access the gallery photos for these models here