Welcome to scalespot.com. My name is Gary Wickham and I live in Sydney, Australia. I've been 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
Thanks for stopping by and good modelling.
|Horizon Models 1:72 Mercury Redstone / Mercury Atlas, Freedom 7 & Faith 7|
|27 April 2018|
Needing a bit of a break from my steady diet of aircraft subjects, I took a step back and eyed my stash with a couple of objectives in mind.
Firstly I wanted a model that could be built quickly and without too much risk of me getting bogged down in adding extras and secondly I wanted a subject that allowed me
to explore non-aircraft subject matter that I was interested in. That left a few options, some Sci-fi, a Formula 1 car or a Real Space subject.
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.
In total there were six manned Mercury launches, the first two flights Freedom 7 and Liberty 7 were short 15min sub-orbital flights utilsing a converted Redstone missle. The remaining four flights used the more powerful Atlas missile to take the Mercury capsules into Earth orbit.
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.
These are lovely kits to work with and in 1:72 scale build into excellent additions to any real space collection.
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|
|15 March 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 paneling 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|
|23 Aug 2017|
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
|Bronco 1:48 Curtiss Mk.IIB Tomahawk (P-40C)|
|13 June 2017|
A relatively quick build out of the box, with the exception of the fishtail resin exhausts. I was inspired by the Bronco boxart showing Clive Caldwell in a dogfight with
an Bf 109E over North Africa. The plan is to eventually build an Eduard 109E to mount with this guy but for now he's hunting the skys alone.
Being my first Bronco kit build I was happy to find the fit was very good as was the surface detail. This was also the first time I'd used Mr Paint colours and was very impressed with how they performed. The decal sheet in the kit has some major shape/size and most of all color problems so I opted instead for an Xtradecal sheet designed for the Airfix kit and this in turn caused me some extra work due to size differences (especially around the nose).
Access final photos and build report via the Gallery and On-The-Bench
|MENG 1:48 P-51D Mustang - "Short Fuse Sallee"|
|11 April 2017|
I have recently completed the new MENG P-51D Mustang kit. Overall impression ? I think its a great little kit, possibly the most detailed
1:48 P-51 kit yet released. I'll be curious to see how the upcoming Airfix and Eduard new tools compare. The surface detail is just right,
the overall accuracy seems good to me (they got the main wheel well right) with
the only thing that let the whole package down was the research (or lack thereof) for the painting/markings scheme.
Is this really a glue-free kit, no I don't believe so. Many of the parts would not have stayed in place properly had I not used some glue but frankly I don't see this as an issue, especially to serious modelers who would not buy this kit because of that "feature". I can certainly see myself building another one (or two) of this kit in the future.
Photos of the completed model can be found in the Gallery and the complete build report can be found On The Bench
|Zoukei-mura 1:48 Horten Ho 229 Flying Wing - On The Bench|
|20 Oct 2016|
Adding to my limited Luftwaffe collection, here we have the somewhat unusual Horten Ho229 Flying Wing. This model could very well be considered a 'what-if' as the Ho229 never saw operational service
before end of the war. Zoukei-Mura originally released this aircraft in their 1:32 series and have since scaled it down to 1:48, my preferred scale.
The model is built entirely out of the box, with the only addition being some belts made from lead foil. The model is finished with a combination of Gunze Mr Color lacquer, Tamiya Acrylic and Alclad II metalic paints. Designed by ZM as one of those 'clear' or 'see thru' models I chose to instead finish my model in a more realistic finish.
Follow this link to see my step-by-step build report.
|Airfix 1:72 Bristol Beaufighter TF.X - Gallery|
|16 Sept 2016|
Completed as the latest model for my local clubs annual 'group build' event. This time around I left it too late to build my usual 'dogfight double' combination of two aircraft so here have the
Beaufighter in SEAC colors flying a patrol alone. As with all our group builds the model has to be 100% out-of-the-box. I opted for the SEAC camo scheme (based out of Burma) rather than the coastal command grey.
I have grown quite found of these newer toolings from Airfix and when combined with the Cartograph decals in the box they have a winning combination. If I had one suggestion for Airfix to improve it would be the depth of the panel lines. They have made the lines thin enough but they are still too deep in opinion, its a small nitpick for sure but on the off chance someone from Airfix ever stumbles onto this page at least I've now said it out loud :).
The model was finished with Gunze Mr Color paints for the main colors with Tamiya Acrylics and Alclad metalisers for the rest.
Follow this link to see the completed model in the gallery
|FineMolds 1/72 F-14D Tomcat VF-31 Tomcatters - On The Bench|
|03 July 2016|
Having completed the FineMolds 1:72 F-14D Tomcat back in March I have now finished the build report as well.
This time around I've tried to spend more time covering the painting phase of the model as I normally forget to takes enough photos when I'm at this important stage.
Follow this link to dive into the step by step build report
|FineMolds 1/72 F-14D Tomcat - Gallery|
|24 March 2016|
FineMolds recently released their brand new tooled F-14D Tomcat in 1:72. The kit sprues can only be purchased in conjunction with the Japanese monthly
magazine, Model Graphix via HLJ. In all you need three issues of the magazine (plus one other for the weapons) to get the whole kit. The model is simply stunning with options out of
the box to open the radome, avionics and gun bays, refueling probe, fuselage spine and rear air brakes. The detail that FineMolds has packed into 1:72 puts many 1:48 and even
some 1:32 kits to shame. The fit and engineering is supurb and the model almost builds itself (yes, it really is that good).
I finished my model with Gunze Mr Color and Alclad paints and tried out some of the new MiG Ammo panel washes for weathering (these also performed very well). I wanted to model a lo viz TPS scheme F-14D and already had a set of the excellent Twobobs 72-026 VF-31 Tomcatters "Felix in the Fight" decals depicting OIF Tomcats. The deck crew and pilot figues are a mix of ModelKasten, ReedOak (excellent 3D printed), Fujumi and Verlinden and they are all sitting on top of a pre-printed base by Ushi Van Der Rosten.
Follow this link to see the finished gallery.
|Hong Kong Models 1/32 Mosquito B Mk.IV - Build Review|
|30 Dec 2015|
| Having finished my
build of the new HKM 1:32 Mosquito B Mk.IV back in Oct 2015 I have since been struggling to find the time to document the build for "On The Bench".
With some vacation time over Christmas I have been able to now finish this off and upload it. I think this is the biggest build I have documented with over 170 photos, explanations and tips.
The only part of the kit that I felt needed some serious attention was the cockpit and nose interior. I was underwhelmed by the level of detail provided by HKM in the box and so took some fairly extreme steps to add detail. Most folk won't go this effort but I enjoyed the challenge and I felt the end result was worth the extra time it took.
I hope you find the commentary interesting, even if you don't have this kit, I believe that many of the techniques described are relevant to any modeler whether you build aircraft or not.
Follow this link to check it out On The Bench
|Hong Kong Models 1/32 Mosquito B Mk.IV - 627 Sqn, 1944|
|18 Oct 2015|
| Back in Feb 2015 I
was fortunate enough to obtain a "test shot" of the new Hong Kong Models 1/32 Mosquito B Mk.IV via my mate Adam @ themodellingnews.com. It looked so good in the box that I really wanted to build it, even though I knew it was not the final kit. I had no decals
and no instructions (at first, these were later provided in PDF format) but I pushed ahead anyway.
I kind of got carried away in the cockpit and nose interior detailing but I often find the need to push myself to try new things and in the end I found it very enjoyable and it certainly increased my level of confidence in my scratchbuilding ability.
This kit has unfortunately been overshadowed in many peoples mind by the Tamiya release. Having now built it I can say it is certainly worthy of your consideration. I know that many will buy the Tamiya kit just “because it’s a Tamiya” and then leave it in the cupboard too intimidated at its complexity. The HK kit by comparison is extremely buildable and for the most part just clicks together.
|Falklands (Malvinas) War 1/72 Dogfight Double|
|11 July 2015|
| This is my
third dogfight double display in 1/72. The project started with my local clubs annual Group Build and the subject this time was the Airfix A-4B Skyhawk. Now there are not too many
marking options for the early model Skyhawks (when compared to the later E/F models) and I really was not too interested in doing a US Navy scheme.
I've always been interested in the Falklands conflict, and remember watching footage on TV back in 1982.
I normally like to pose the aircraft in some sort of 'dogfighting' display but given the size of the base I chose I couldn't think of a way to do that and make it look somewhat realistic. In the end I just decided to position them next to each other at slightly different heights to add some interest to the setting. The Skyhawk was finished with Gunze Mr Color laquer paints whilst the Sea Harrier was an experiment with Vallejo Air colors.In the end a fun little project and motivation to continue to add new 1/72 subjects to my stash.
I have not done a build log for this project but you can find the gallery of the finished models here
|KA Models 1/48 Bf109G-10 "Rita" - Gallery|
|03 April 2015|
| This is the KA
Models Bf109G-10 kit built for a quick review at TheModelingNews.com. The kit is actually the old Fujimi mold but builds up into a nice model in any case.
KA Models (from Korea) have given their kit some new decals, a small PE fret and a nice metal pitot tube for the wingtip. The build itself was straightforward with no fit problems and I decided to make a simple grass base with some figures to depict a typical European grass field.
This build was enjoyably relaxing and took me about 5 weeks. Paints were mostly Gunze Mr Color and the figures are from ICM with the pilot from Verlinden. If you would like to see some build progress photos and my complete review of the kit, jump over to the review at themodellingnews.com
|Australian International Airshow 2015 - Avalon Victoria, Feb 28th - Mar 1st 2015|
|01 March 2015|
| Every second year at
this time here in Australia, those of us with a passion for aviation turn our sights towards Avalon airport in Victoria. For three days we are treated to the largest airshow held in
Australia. By European and US standards I'm sure its a bit humdrum, but for us airshow starved Aussies its time to slap on the sunscreen, charge the camera batteries and catch a
flight to Melbourne.
Each year the organisers manage to introduce some new goodies for us to see. At Avalon 2013 it was flying displays by USAF F-22 Raptors. This year the Raptors did not fly but the USAF was nonetheless well represented with B-52's, KC-135, RQ-4 Global Hawk and two Misawa based F-16s. The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is always a large contributor and this time we got to see the Black Knights aerobatic team perform a two ship F-16 display. Of course our own Australian Defence Force (ADF) was on show with both classic and super F/A-18 Hornets, C-17s, E-7A Wedgetail, P-3C Orions, Hawk 127 etc from the RAAF and our Army contributed flight displays by the new ARH Tiger and MRH-90 helicopters.
Anyway, you get the idea, lots of flying and static displays to keep your camera very busy. I took hundreds of photos and have picked out a few of my favourites to give you a flavour of what it was like. As you would expect these sort of events help top up my modeling motivation reserves. Cruise over to the Albums page and enjoy some of the action from the 2015 Avalon Airshow
|Freedom Models 1/48 X-47B UCAS Build Review|
|21 Feb 2015|
| Freedom Models is a relatively
new entrant in the plastic scale modeling market and for their debut kit they chose to model a subject that I found both interesting and topical, the Northrop Grumman X-47B UCAS in
As a kit, the X-47B has been done before in 1/72 by Platz but never before in 1/48. Being an unmanned drone the X-47B seems (like most unmanned aircraft) to polarise the modeling community into those that love it and those that hate it. I definitely fall into the first camp. I find the concept of both remote piloted and now autonomous combat/recon aircraft to be a fascinating subject for modelers.
Overall I'd rate this kit an 8/10. It's an interesting subject, it's been well researched, it's been properly engineered with sensible parts breakdown and the assembly/painting instructions are clear. My only reservation is with the kit decals.
I have now completed my build page for this model which includes progress photos during the build and painting. These can be found in the On The Bench section.
I chose to model this kit as the 2014 demonstrator used in carrier trials. As the build is relatively simple I have taken a slightly different path for this build report. Typically I document my builds in chronological order (ie the sequence in which I do things, which is almost never strictly as the instructions specify) but this time I have used the kit assembly sequence as the ordering for the build report. Hope you find it useful.
|Freedom Models 1/48 X-47B UCAS Gallery|
|11 Feb 2015|
| The U.S. Navy's X-47B
Unmanned Combat AirSystem (UCAS) program was designed to demonstrate the ability of a tailless, fighter-sized unmanned aircraft to land on and be launched from the flght deck of a
Navy aircraft carrier while underway at sea, one of the most challenging aviation environments. Under a contract awarded in August 2007 by the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR),
Northrop Grumman designed, produced and is flght testing two autonomous, low-observable relevant demonstrator aircraft designated the X-47B UCAS.
This 1/48 kit of the X-47B is manufactured by Freedom Models (kit FD18001). My model is built 99% out-of-box with only some minor detailing added to the landing gear and tail hook. The fit of the kit is excellent and based on my research is very accurate. I chose to model the X-47B as it appeared during carrier trials. Being a demonstrator airframe the specific configuration varied a lot.
The A/S32A-32 deck tractor is from Skunkmodels and the figures are from Verlinden and CMK. The display base is pre-printed cardboard from Uschi van der Rosten. The model was finished with Gunze Mr Color laquer paints.
I have added 28 photos to the gallery of this interesting and futuristic jet.
|Airfix 1/72 P-51D vs Me-109 Dogfight Double|
|11 Jan 2015|
| After our very
successful IPMS club group build in 2013, which was based on the newly tooled Airfix 1/72 F-86 Sabre (see my build here) we
decided to have a second group build and this time selected the Airfix 1/72 P-51D kit. Like I had done with the F-86 I decided to match the P-51 up with a suitable adversary in the
form of the Airfix Me-109.
I was a bit concerned that displaying propeller aircraft in flight would look a bit odd with the props frozen but decided to push on as I wanted to participate in the group build and was not interested in displaying the model on the ground. Note that I did consider using some form of prop blur but the rules of the group build required all models to be built 100% out of the box. As the build progressed my thoughts started to turn to the display base and following a quick google search I found a high quality color wartime photo of B-17's in formation (you can even see a red-tail P-51B escorting them) and so a plan started to hatch.
I have tried to position (and photograph) the two fighters in such a way so as to convey the high speed dynamics of the unfolding dogfight as the "Little Friend" (as the B-17 crews used to call their escort fighters) tries to dispatch the hunting Me-109 before he can make a successful run on the bombers.
I have added 16 photos to the gallery of these iconic fighters as they battle for supremecy in the skies over Germany.
|Great Wall Hobby 1/48 F-15B/D Eagle Review Build|
|25 Oct 2014|
| The Great Wall Hobby
F-15B/D Eagle build is now complete. I have updated the Gallery and finished off the build pages in On The Bench
The model includes the parts from the update set issued by GWH to correct a number of general shape issues. I did a bit of work to the cockpit (used Black Box resin seats), used the Aires resin nozzles designed for the Revell F-15E and added some scratchbuilt additions to more accurately depict a JASDF F-15DJ. The open radome and avioincs bays are provided in the kit but I did a lot of extra work in this area to more accurately detail them. I was not inspired by the two tone grey IAF or USAF F-15B/D schemes provided in the box so went looking for something a bit different. It did not take long to settle on one of the colorful "Aggresor" schemes applied to the JASDF Eagles.
The Hiko Kyodotai (Tactical Fighter Training Squadron) is the Japan Air Self Defence Force's dedicated aggressor squadron. Based at Nyutabaru, the unit provides air combat training for most of the JASDF's combat units. Something of an elite unit, the Hiko Kyodotai predominately operates the two-seat Mitsubishi F-15DJ Eagle, although some single seat F-15Js are also on strength. Most of the F-15s are painted in very colourful camouflage schemes, with each aircraft seemingly carrying unique colours. Aircraft of the Hiko Kyodotai regularly deploy to bases throughout Japan, in order to assist in the training of the regular squadrons. The two tone blue splinter scheme I chose was applied to aircraft 92-8068 in 2013.
|Great Wall Hobby 1/48 F-15B/D Eagle Review Build|
|20 Sep 2014|
| My latest build is another
review model for Adam @ TheModellingNews.com. This time I'm building the Great Wall Hobby F-15 two seater kit. I'm still
chipping away on my other projects such as the T-2 Buckeye and HKM B-17G but for right now I'm working only on the F-15. Progress updates will be jointly posted on TheModelingNews and
here "On The Bench".
Ever since I built the GWH P-61 I've watched with interest each of their new releases (I have a couple of the MiG-29) and this F-15 is a fantastic model. Like most manufacturers they got a few things wrong and to their credit they even issued a correction set for free. For a blow by blow comparison of what they fixed check out my review of the update set here.
For a full progress build of this model jump to On The Bench
|Special Hobby 1/32 T-2C Buckeye Review Build|
|24 March 2014|
| After recent breaks away
from the modeling bench over Christmas and New Year followed by extended time away traveling for work I found myself stalled a bit on the B-17G. Finding it hard to get into gear I
wanted something new to get my juices flowing again.
In Jan this year (a couple of months ago) Special Hobby released a 1/32 scaled up version of their 1/48 T-2 Buckeye kit (well technically it was a kit they originally created for TwoBobs but anyway).
I was interested in this release (very much liking the ungainly "guppy" appearance of the Buckeye) but not enough to order it online. It was not until I was in Wellington, New Zealand for work that I stumbled across at ModelCrafts & Hobbies. I liked what I saw in the box and after an exchange of some currency it accompanied me home to Sydney. I started doing some reading and research on the Buckeye and one thing led to another and it ended up on my workbench. Out came the cutters and glue and well that was that.
I've started my usual progress build which I invite you to follow along with here
|Kiyyhawk 1/48 MiG-25PD Foxbat E Review Build|
|10 January 2014|
| In late 2013 I
was provided with a kit of the new 1/48 Kittyhawk MiG-25 by Adam who runs the Osprey Modelling News site. I've been
working with Adam on reviews for most of 2013 and have enjoyed the opportunity to get access to new kits (and accessories) directly from the manufacturers. This is the second kit that
I have built completely for a review (the other being out of the box reviews) and I was quite looking forward to this build as I have a strong interest in the Cold War era and the
MiG-25 is such an iconic jet of that period.
The kit arrived during October and I set myself a self imposed deadline of finishing the kit and having the review posted on Adam's site by Christmas 2013. The build had some challenges along the way and at times I almost gave up on my goal of completing it before my Chistmas vacation due to work commitments, travel etc but I'm glad to say that my hard work paid off and the final photos of the finished models went live on Dec 25 :)
I'd encourage you to check out Adam's Modeling News Blog for regular updates of all forms of scale modeling news but for now sit back and enjoy the finished photos (and build article) of my MiG-25 if you have the time.
|HK Models 1/32 B-17G Flying Fortress|
|27 August 2013|
|Thanks to the fine folks at
Frontline Hobbies I picked up one of the HKM 1/32 B-17G's and figuring if I did not build it straight away it would never get built, I jumped straight in.
I also wanted to try to build it before the inevitable avalanche of after market parts got too big to resist, so to minimise the temptation my build will be finished (or well progressed hopefully) before they start to be purchasable.
Its a big kit for sure, but not a complicated kit from my intial analysis. At 577 parts its not really that complex by todays standards (the Tamiya 1/32 F-16 has 526, the Tamiya 1/32 F4U has 453 etc).
Storage for me is a problem. This model will be a monster with a 1 meter wing span when complete. I simply have no place to display a model that big in my home. So why buy it I hear you say ? Well the folks at HKM have come up with a clever idea. They provide us with a wall mounting kit. Thats right, a special jig thats designed to slot into the models bomb bay and allow you to hang it on the wall. I really liked that idea and so the single biggest roadblock to my purchasing this kit went away.
Anyway, the build is underway so follow along with my latest On The Bench updates as it progresses.
|Airfix F-86 Sabre vs MiG-15|
|25 June 2013|
|Late in 2012 my
local IPMS club put together an out-of-the-box group build based on the Airfix 1/72 F-86 kit. Modellers were allowed to use alternate decals but everthing else must be only from the
box. I selected the Korean war Sabre boxing and as I sat pondering my build I looked hard at the actual box art and an idea began to form in my mind. The next day I tracked down and
puchased the Airfix 1/72 MiG-15 kit and set about building them together with the idea of depecting the dramatic scene being played out on the Airfix boxart. This meant the models
would be on stands and displayed in agressively manoeuvring attitudes.
Anyway cut a long story short, I built these two kits 100% out of the box (including kit decals) and despite some basic fit challenges I was impressed with how far Airfix has come since I was a youngster when Airfix 1/72 was all I could buy from the corner shop (I guess to be fair my modeling skills have come along as well). Once I had the models built I used the actual box top from the Sabre kit for my base and that was that. The group build was very successul with 15 of the 20 models we started with being on display at the June 2013 meeting. This is the first time I have participated in a group build and given how much I enjoyed it won't be the last time.
There is no build article for this project but the gallery has the finished pics for your review here
|Eduard MiG-21 Bunny Fighter Founder Edition|
|29 Apr 2013|
| Early this
year I was approached by Adam Norenberg from the The Modelling News asking if I would be interested in building some
review kits. I had not done this before and was quite keen to give it a go. Since then Adam has provided me with a couple of kits, some aftermarket items (Eduard Brassin) to review
and one special kit which he asked that I build.
To be honest, when I was asked to do a build review of this kit I did not relish the idea of using the crazy Bunny scheme, however, after I got the kit in my hands and looked it over, did some research on the historical significance of the "Carrot War" scheme I changed my mind and decided to have some fun (remember when your modeling was actually fun ??). This meant saving the Brassin resin parts and most of the PE for a future build (yes I have more of these kits in my stash). You see, Eduard gives you everything you need to build the kit with only plastic parts, they just happen to also include in the box the Brassin goodies as well.
I've done my usual build article which you can find here and if you want to jump straight to the finished photos they are in the gallery
Thanks to Adam for giving me the chance to do this and of course to Eduard for the kit.
|Site Face Lift|
|09 Mar 2013|
|Hopefully you have noticed some of the cosmetic updates to the site I have been making over the last little while. Scalespot has kinda grown organically over the years as I've added new bits to it here and there and each time I bolted something new on I tweaked the look and feel a bit and as a result the site was getting disjointed and felt a bit tired. I'm therefore trying to bring everything under a consistent set of color, font and layout guidelines to make it feel more consistent. Like everything about this site, its a work in progress. If you find any issues I have missed, I would appreciate a quick email.|
|New "Photo Album" section added to site|
|09 Mar 2013|
I've been out and about a bit since the Christmas/New year break, including a vist to RAAF Base Williamtown (home of Australia's Hornet fleet) and more recently the Australian
International Airshow held over three days at Avalon in Victoria. I managed to take quite a few photos on both trips and wanted to share them on my site. You can find both the
RAAF Base and Avalon photos under the new "Photo Albums" section. I hope you find some inspriation for your next modeling project, I know I certainly did :)
|New Web Hosting for Scalespot.com|
|05 Dec 2012|
|Today I have moved this site to a new hosting provider who I hope will provide a more stable environment. Hopefully you will not notice any difference but I would be intersted to know if you think the speed is better or worse. The server is now located in Singapore rather than the USA.|
|P-61A Black Widow On-The-Bench Build Article|
|01 Dec 2012|
| I have just
finished writing and uploading the full build article for the GWH P-61A.
This time around I've made more use of captions in the photos to highlight things of importance/relevance more clearly (at least I hope it does). I'd very much like to hear peoples thoughts on this style of explanation rather than the straight photo and text below format.
Access the article from the On-The-Bench menu or click here
|P-61A Black Widow Gallery Now Online|
|23 Nov 2012|
uploaded the final photos of my Great Wall Hobby 1/48 P-61A Black Widow.
This really is a nice kit to work with and bodes well for any future releases by GWH. I used a number of new techniques on this model such as hairspray and salt weathering.
I have always liked the P-61. I've had a couple of the old Monogram kit in my stash for as long as I can remember, but never found the motivation to undertake the rescribing and correcting project needed to bring that model upto speed. Along comes the Great Wall Hobby P-61. The first boxing received some justifed critisim for glaring errors. To the great credit of GWH they corrected almost all of the problems in the second boxing (the so called "glass nose" P-61A).
Having now completed this model I would classify the quality and fit of the kit as almost equal to Hasegawa (I know right !!). As you can see from the photos I went fairly heavy on the weathering as this aircraft operated in the PTO and period photos of P-61's operating of the Pacific islands showed that the sun and coral sand was not kind to them. The figures are from Tamiya and the old Monogram kit. The accessories are from Verliden as is the Willys Jeep. The PSP base is from Eduard. All the detail work on the port engine is scratchbuilt as is the removable cowling covers.
|Where Have All The Updates Gone ?|
|23 Sep 2012|
|If you're a frequent visitor to Scalespot.com, firstly thank-you, I'm sure you will have noticed that my "On-The-Bench" updates have slowed down of late. I have
actually been getting quite a bit of modelling done (almost completed the Great Wall Hobby P-61 Black Widow for example). What I have been doing is using the Scalespot-Models facebook page I setup a while ago, as an easier way to do more regular short updates on what I'm
I can hear you saying, BUT I DON'T HAVE FACEBOOK !! - Well don't panic, cause even if you don't have a Facebook account that's ok because the Scalespot-Models page is just like a normal website. Anyone can read all my updates, see all the comments left by others, all without ever having to login to Facebook.
What you'll see on the Scalespot-Models page is much more regular (but shorter) progress updates than I have been putting on this site (scalespot.com). My plan is that once I complete a model I'll then upload a fully detailed, step-by-step "On The Bench" article to scalespot.com, just like the ones I've done before.
This change has come about because posting quick update photos and comments on the facebook page is much easier for me and so I'm more likely to do it :)
So if you'd like to stay in more regular touch with my modeling activities, click on the following link and bookmark it. Scalespot-Models
|Trumpeter Me 509 Heavy Fighter - North African Diorama|
|9 Jun 2012|
|After enjoying working on the little diorama bases for my last few models, I decided I wanted to step it up a notch and work on a project where the diorama was the focus more so than the aircraft. The aircraft will be the centerpiece, but I want to add considerably more in the way of ground crew etc to this one. I'd had my eye on the Trumpeter Me 509 for some time, simply because I liked the shape of it. When I got my hands on the kit, I did some reasearch and found out that the real thing never got past the drawing board and as such was a great choice for my first "what if". I've started a new On-The-Bench article for this build - Trumpeter 1/48 Me 509 North African Diorama.|
|Tamiya P-51D Mustang Complete|
|16 Apr 2012|
Finally got (made) some time to finalise the build article and take final photos of the Tamiya P-51. Its actually been finished a few weeks now and just sitting there waiting for me
to setup the camera and lights. The gallery has all new photos of the finished model and base as well so please make some time check those out here.
I'm very happy with my progress on building display bases, still lots to learn but happy with my progress, especially in painting figures. Working on a 1/48 aircraft project now, with more focus on the diorama (figures, vehicles etc). More on that shortly. For now, I hope you enjoy the last installment of the Tamiya Mustang build.
|Tamiya P-51D Mustang - Painting and Weathering|
|12 Februay 2012|
|Its been a very productive modeling weekend over here at Scalespot HQ. I'm on a roll with the painting of the Tamiya P-51 and the some of the new weathering techniques I have been testing are working very nicely. Anyway, here's my latest update. Full steam ahead. Tamiya Mustang build.|
|Tamiya P-51D Mustang Build|
|05 Februay 2012|
|Well, here we are in February 2012 already and I am just making my first update to the website. But as you will see, its a fairly substantial one. The Tamiya P-51 is lterally at the painting stage and so my first update contains no less than 74 images (and even that many is not really enough to do the complex build of this kit justice). Since my last update I've been on holidays at the beach for 3 weeks and overseas in the US for work for 10 days, so only a small amount of hobbying has been going on. Anyway, here is what I have been upto when I have been modeling :) Tamiya Mustang build.|
|Dragon Mustang On-The-Bench Final Installment|
|29 September 2011|
|Just completed the final update on the Dragon Mustang build . All in all, the painting, decaling and weathering went without too many glitches (hey, maybe I'm getting the hang of this hobby). I've started working on the Tamiya P-51 and as I have 5 weeks before the next IPMS club meet, I'm curious to see how much I can get done by then ... Watch this space :)|
|Dragon Mustang Complete !|
|28 September 2011|
|I'm glad to say that the Dragon Mustang is complete. In the end I'm very happy (and proud) of the result and it encourages me to tackle some of the other "non
Tamiya" kits in my stash. I've not completed updating the "On The Bench" yet, but I wanted to get the finished pics up for people to see ASAP. Cruise over to the Gallery
Please let know what you think either via Facebook or email. Was it worth the effort ?
|Mustang Ready For Paint|
|04 September 2011|
|The Mustang has progressed to the point of painting. I hope that the end result will be worth all the time and effort spent on this sucker :) I have decided on the paint scheme and hope to get the Alclad colours on this week. Check out the latest progress here -> Mustang build.|
|04 August 2011|
|Short update today. The Mustang is progressing well as I head towards a coat of paint. As you will see, latest work has been around correcting some errors and ommissions by Dragon. Mustang build.|
|Tamiya P-51D arrives|
|29 July 2011|
|Like most of you, I have now received my Tamiya P-51D from HLJ. Due to the cost of the kit, HLJ automatically shipped it EMS which meant it took 3 days to reach
Sydney from Tokyo (not bad).
I have to admit I was fairly apprehensive about its arrival as I feared it would make me feel like I was wasting my time with the Dragon build.
I guess it's inevitable that my Dragon 1/32 Mustang will be compared with the myriad of Tamiya builds that will no doubt spring up on the web now. The timing is unfortunate, but I'll learn to live with it.
Having now fairly closely examined the Tamiya kit, it is of course a work of art. No comparison to the Dragon or Trumpeter kits that came before it. It's a completely different class to the Dragon kit or even what I hope to turn the Dragon kit into. Accordingly, my fears of impending de-motivation are unfounded. I'm keener than ever to finish the Dragon build, if only so I can start on the Tamiya kit sooner :)
Despite my lack of website updates, I have been modeling fairly regularly. Most of the work has been scribing and riveting, which too be honest is hard to convey with photos on the web. Trust me when I tell you that many hours have gone into the kit. A small on-the-bench update this time around, but stay tuned for a far more signifcant update in the next week or so as I get closer to painting. Mustang build.
|Slack Web Updating but modeling progress being made.|
|02 June 2011|
|Ok, I admit I have been slack with web updates. The good news is that I have actually been modeling, just not sharing it with you as frequently as I'd like
I have been working on getting the fuselage and wings closed up so I can have a crack at those panel lines and rivets. (yeh I know, just bin it and get the Tamiya kit)
I'll be taking some vacation during July/August and I hope to get a fair bit of modeling done. Expect regular updates and substantial progress on the Mustang during that period (if not earlier).
For now, here's a fairly meaty update (30 images) on my recent benchtime. Mustang build.
|29 Apr 2011|
|Hi All, Firstly my apologies for such a long delay between updates. I have been modeling on and off, but to be honest life in general has been getting in the way
of my modeling pursuits. You all know how it is....
By now I'd assume most of you will have heard that Tamiya has announced a 1/32 P-51D. Now I would like to take full credit for this as I am sure the only reason they released the kit was because I started working on this Dragon project !!!!!
Of course I have pre-ordered the Tamiya and yes I fully intend to finish this build too. I've come too far to put it aside and besides, building the Tamiya kit will be nowhere near as rewarding as this model. I expect the Tamiya model will fall together (come to think of it, thats does sound somewhat appealing right about now :)
Here's a quick link to the latest update of the Mustang build.
|P-51D Update and (another) New Model|
|21 Feb 2011|
|Filling and sanding. That has been my modeling life for the past week. A "monstrous amount of work" was what Dave P called my Mustang project, and right now, I
gotta agree with you Dave...
To be honest, its not all the hard yacka thats slowing this model down, its actually stuff that I enjoy, ie problem solving. For example, how do I selectively remove rivets and accurately reproduce them ? How do I simulate the wooden ribbing and doped cloth on the rudder ? Figuring this stuff out takes trial and error and hence time. To me, its what modeling is all about (well the enjoyable bits anyway).
Of course during these sanding sessions, one's mind tends to wander to kits you have recently acquired. So I found myself (somewhat surprisingly) cutting parts off the sprue of my latest purchase, the HobbyBoss 1/32 IL-2 Sturmovik. This kit has been around for a little while, but I'd not seen inside the box, till last week. I was pretty impressed and ordered one from my friends at Frontline Hobbies in Newcastle (Australia, not UK)
Why did I start another model ? Does this mean the P-51D has stalled already. Well I hope not. Sometimes modeling, any modeling, is better than no modeling at all.
Think of it this way. I come home from work, consider doing some modeling, but can't get motivated because I know I have a big job ahead of me on the P-51. So I don't bother modeling, rather I watch TV. However, if I also have a less intimidating project on the bench, I am much more likely to actually sit down and work on it. Brett Reynolds accurately refered to it as "getting into 1st gear" and it really works. Once I'm in first gear (ie actually sitting on my butt, modeling) before you know it, I've picked up the P-51 and moved to 2nd, 3rd and finally top gear. You see, the second kit (in this case the IL-2) encourages me to get started.
Thats the theory of it, and I gotta say, for me it works a treat (not always, but more often than the alternative).
Finally for today, a quick thanks to those of you who have visited Scalespot's Facebook page. Even if you don't have a Facebook account, you can still view the page and see what short updates I have been posting. I hope it will be a useful addition to the ways I share my modeling activities with you. As always. I'm keen to hear from you, either via Facebook or email.
|Scalespot on Facebook|
|14 Feb 2011|
| For a while now, I've been considering adding a
guest book or forum section to the website to allow more interaction than basic email allows. I had a guestbook once before (in the early days) and it basically got spammed to the
point of being useless. As I was browsing around yesterday, I came across a Facebook page run by a fellow Australian modeller, David Harmer. He has setup a page on Facebook
(Davids-Model-Pages) to allow him to do easy and quick updates and also to allow people to
contribute directly in the way of comments and questions.
Always happy to borrow a good idea when I see it, I have now created a Facebook page of my own for Scalespot. Scalespot-Models is now live and I encourage you all jump over and post a g'day on my wall. I hope to use this new page for much more frequent updates on my modeling endeavours and as I understand it, Facebook will alert you to new posts etc
|New Model for 2011 - 1/32 P-51D|
|08 Feb 2011|
|So, I've started my next model and despite all my predictions of what it may be, even I had no clue.... I've officially given up trying to understand how I make
decisions on what is likely to motivate me :)
The Mustang is one of those iconic machines with whom everyone who has a love of aviation has some familiarity. Instantly recognisable, many Mustangs, both original and restored, can be found today in museums and in the hands of private collectors. This is a somewhat unique situation for any WWII aircraft and offers the modeler access to invaluable reference material and photos on which to base a model project.
I don't pretend to be a Mustang expert but I do want to build one in 1/32 scale and once I decide to do something (set my self a challenge if you will), I like to do my best. "Do it once, do it well" (as my Mum always says).
Having therefore decided it was time to add a Mustang to my collection, I had to settle on which kit to build. Speaking with several fellow modelers who had "been there and done that" and searching the internet for peoples thoughts and valuable comments on the merits of the various offerings in 1/32, with some resevations, I settled on the Dragon kit.
Why ? Well from most things I have seen and read, the other offerings (Hasegawa and Trumpeter) have major shape issues. These sorts of core problems are typically very time consuming and difficult to fix. The main issue it seemed with the Dragon kit was with the surface detail, being grossly excessive in both panel line and rivet detail. Despite (or perhaps in spite of) some scathing reviews, I choose the Dragon kit to set myself a challenge.
As of the time of writing, there is not much in the way of aftermarket sets available specifically for the Dragon kit. Aires has released quite a bit fo stuff for the Trumpeter kit and I will endeavour to make it fit as best I can, where appropriate.
Anway, enough of the "why", to see some of the "how", click here.
|T-2 is Finished|
|30 Nov 2010|
|Yep, it's true. That pesky T-2 is officially off the bench. Thanks to all of you who kept enquiring and proding me over the years to keep it moving.
I'm very happy with the end result. It looks the way I had imagined it. Of course there is always more that could be done to it, but it has had it's bench time, and I'm ready to move on.
If you'd rather take a look at the final pics than read my rantings, click here.
One thing you will notice is that I've changed the way the Gallery photos work. Instead of using the next/previous buttons as before, you get the lot now, just like the On-The-Bench format.
I figured everyone these days has highspeed internet access and having all the photos load at once is no big deal.
I've also started my next model. It is not, as I had thought, the F-101. It's kinda out of left field. Back to 1/32 scale and its a jet. More on that next time ....
|Decals are on ...|
|13 Nov 2010|
|Well its almost time to crack open the champagne. Nothing short of a meteor strike will stop the T-2 from being finished now.
I've had a breath of wind these last two weeks and as you will see from today's update, the decals are on and we are racing towards the finishing line.
I hope that all of you who have waited long for this model think it's worked out ok. I'm fairly happy with how its looking so far.
Once I get the panel wash and weathering done, I'll make my final judgement.
Anyway, enough of that, go check it out
|Light At the End of the Tunnel|
|31 Oct 2010|
|Short one today. As you will see from today's update, I'm on the home stretch with the T-2. Not had much time for modeling the last couple of weeks, but still,
things have progressed.
As always, the latest can be found here
|11 Oct 2010|
|Ok, so I'm sticking to my guns on the T-2 so far. I have been sorely tempted by several other kits, but really wanna finish this guy now.
It also has helped that I have not run into any major snags (you know, looking for any excuse :)
As it stands right now, I'll be ready to start main painting by this weekend. Check out the latest progress here
I've also pretty much decided to change my mind about what my next model will be.
Rather than another 1/32 WWII bird, I'm gonna have a crack at the Monogram 1/48 F-101B Voodoo
I've always liked the look of the Voodoo and I picked up the kit second hand at the last IPMS meet.
Whilst doing some internet research on the kit and decals, I came across a very inspiring build by Roger Jackson on Modelling Madness, where he had re-scribed the panel lines etc.
Anyway, thats all in the future as I gotta get back to the T-2 and stop chatting to you lot....
|25 Sep 2010|
|Well its been a while since my last update. I've been busy with other things and have not had much time to sit down at the modeling desk.
Now I'm back and ready to do some modeling, I find the demons are trying to call me away from the T-2 (once again).
I'm confident I can stay the distance as I really am in striking distance of completion. Check out todays small 'On The Bench" update to show I'm really working on it :)
Today however, I did no modeling as it was the first real day of Spring here in Sydney.
I took my camera and ventured down to our fantastc harbour. Here is a sample of what we Australians take for granted everyday.
Last weekend was also a no modeling zone as I went to get my fill of real (not plastic) aircraft.
The 2010 Defense Airshow was held at RAAF Williamtown, which was quite exciting for me as it's my old stomping ground from my time in the air force.
It was particularly significant as its the last public showing of our soon to be retired F-111 fleet.
We also got a chance to get a close up look at the new F/A-18F Super Hornets.
I was a long and tiring day, but fantastic none the less
|T-2 Re-visited ...|
|18 July 2010|
|Yes, its true. I've pulled the T-2 out of limbo.
Don't believe me, well check out "On The Bench" for an update.
Can I stick to it this time around, well I'm not gonna even speculate about that (given my past track record).
I will say, I am enjoying working on it, so thats gotta be a good thing.
So what triggered this revival I hear you say ? To be honest it was purely because I was waiting for several bit and pieces to arrive for my next project (all in good time).
Almost all of that has now arrived, but still I feel "obliged" to stick with the T-2.
Now don't go asking me about the AH-64 or (gasp) the Wedgetail :). One day ....
|When did you last clean your Compressor ?|
|11 July 2010|
|So with the Tojo complete, I've had a bit of a modeling break.
Last weekend I decided to do a spring clean (in the middle of an Australian winter) of my modeling equipment.
I cleaned the airbrush, tools etc and the bench in general. I then swept under the desk and noticed the compressor. Covered in dust and looking fairly neglected.
I've had this compressor for many years and apart from occasionally topping up the oil, I never touch it.
Well being in a cleaning mood, I pulled it out and gave it a wipe etc. That was good for the outside, but I wondered what (if anything) lurked on the inside of the tank.
So I began to pull apart the various attachments. Eventually I got everything off and could gain limted access to the air tank. I noticed some fluid leaking out and decided to tip the whole thing on its side to see what would come out. Well ...
As you can see, there was a considerable amount of "gunk" in the bottom of the tank. Its mainly water, but there is also some oil (leakage from the compressor I assume).
The cotton buds were used to unclog the small outlet I had to drain the stuff out with.
So, if like me, you have not looked at your compressor for some time, I'd advise you schedule some downtime soon :)
|28 June 2010|
|So for better or for worse, the Tojo is now finished.
It was really good to have it finished for the club meet on Saturday. Whats more, I managed to finish it comfortably time wise and did not feel rushed.
I was also very happy with how the new base turned out and I guess I'm satisfied with the figures. I'm no figure modeler and as long as they don't detract from the airplane, thats all I ask :)
So if you're wondering what I'm gonna work on next, well for now, you'll have to keep wondering !!
I'm pretty sure it will be another large scale A/C, from WWII, USAF and be in a natural metal finish. Any guesses ? (and no its not a P-51)
Oh and a special thanks to those that have reached out and emailed me. It really makes a difference knowing that people read this stuff. So, if you do read this stuff and have never emailed me, what are you waiting for ??
|14 June 2010|
|Well with some concerted effort this last week (and a long weekend here in Australia), I have made some solid propress on the Tojo.
I've learned a LOT about how to work with Alclad and masking over and around it.
I'm happy enough with how its looking as it's about a 80% match for what I "wanted" or imagined it would look like.
I don't know about other modelers, but before I start a model I always have a fairly clear picture in my mind on how I'd like it to look.
If I can get it close to that "vision" then I am generally satisfied.
Greg also put me onto a new figure from Wolfpack that is designed specifically for this Tojo.
I've ordered one from Sprue Brothers and hopefully it should make it here in time for me to assemble and paint prior to the next IPMS meet on 26 June.
I also plan to make a new display base for this model and figures which should be interesting :)
|30 May 2010|
|Now my recent trip to Singapore was of course strictly for business.
However ... as I was there over a weekend, I did take some time (make that all day Saturday) to visit the local hobby shops.
I have been to Singapore many times before, so I can find my way around on the ground and MRT (trains).
I also know, that almost all shops (and it seems particularly hobby shops) do not open till after 11am.
Not too worry as they don't close until 9-10pm. So you still have plenty of shopping hours.
Did I buy anything ? Well yes, I suppose I did. Maybe a few things. Nothing too big.
The thing that did strike me was the sad state of the hobby shops. Seems just like in Australia, local hobby shops are struggling to compete with the likes of Hobby Link Japan, Hannants, Great Models Webstore etc.
So you see, I feel that I did my part in helping keep those shops alive a little longer (hopefully till my next visit).
If you are going to visit Singapore and want the low-down on the best shops and how to find them, drop me a line.
|30 May 2010|
|Apologies to anyone who tried to access my website over the last few weeks and got the, less then helpful, message "Your Account is Suspended".
It caught me completely by surprise and was due (after much digging with my hosting company) to me not being in their billing system.
Once we realised what was wrong, it was a simple case of signing up online and paying for next year and all was back to normal.
It seems I have not been in the system for at least two years and as a result had not paid !!
To his credit, Brett Deason (of deasoft.com) did not chase me for the past payments, rather he focused on getting things backup and moving forward.
The reason all this took so long to rectify was the hosting server is in the US and I am of course in Australia. All our communications suffered from the timezone differnce which dragged things out.
All is good now.
|Slow Ki44 Progress and my Second Big Kit Sell Off|
|26 April 2010|
|Slow progress is being made on the Tojo. Unfortunately I'm not going to have it ready for the show next Saturday.
As you can see from today's update, loads of small things have been done, which when I stand there and look at it feels like no progress at all.
Well its all been primed now and I'm hoping that once painting starts all this prep work will pay off and it will come together quickly.
With the local IPMS meeting last Saturday, I decided to do an autumn clean (not spring here yet) on my kit collection.
Like many of you, I have more than 10 lifetimes of stored kits in my un-built collection. From time to time, a rational thought pops into my head and says "Get real dude, you are never gonna build any of these kits. Get rid of them !!"
I normally ignore this voice, but every so often (twice so far) I listen to it.
And so it was that some 100+ kits when up for sale. Many never even made it to the club (thanks Renato) and those that did, were gratefully (and greedily) consumed by the club members.
It actually feels good as I think I'm a bit more in control of the hobby, rather than the other way round. !!
Hmmm, who the hell am I kidding..
|New Model Started. Hasegawa 1/32 Ki44 TOJO|
|04 April 2010|
|As an experiment I will be trying a more BLOG style home page moving forward. Even when I am not actively modeling, there is normally some sort of hobby related
activity going on (research, purchasing (too often) etc ...).
Like most Blogs on the internet, I'm sure that each of you reading this will find some of it interesting and plenty of it not interesting. Thats ok.
How often will I update it ? Dunno. What will it be about ? Well dunno exactly, but it will be related to my modeling.
So as you can see, I've clearly thought this out (ummm, not...).
Enough of that, onto todays news. I have started a new model !!
I had originally purchased the first boxing of the new tooling of the 1/32 Tojo. I have to say this was am impulse buy because whilst I liked the look of the aircraft the markings and paint schemes provided in the original boxing did not appeal to me at all.
So it sat in the stash until I stumbled across the second boxing on HLJ. This one grabbed me immediately. The box art just did it all !!
The 40mm cannons and sexy red coloring just got my juices (creative that is) flowing.
So I'm happy say that I've updated the "On The Bench" section with a new page for this model.
I am going to try and finish this kit in time for the Illawara Club event (in early May).
It will be (mostly) out of the box and based on my progress to date, I'm quietly confident of meeting the deadline.
Hey, thanks for reading this far and for visting my website in the first place. If you didn't come I wouldn't bother to keep doing it :)
All content copyright Gary Wickham