Time flies. You’re reading the twelfth installment of Scaleworld, which leads to a rather interesting thought; it’s about time to find out what you, Scaleworld’s loyal readers, think. So without further ado…and accompanied with drum rolls and bagpipes… I give you the first annual Scaleworld Opinion Poll.
Assuming enough responses arrive to create decent numbers, I'll tabulate the results next month. Please reply by email. And now the questions:
Primary Interest (Aircraft, Science Fiction, Figures, etc.)
Primary Scale Preference
Secondary Scale Preference
Do You Buy/Use Aftermarket/Detail Parts
Primary Painting Method (Airbrush, Conventional Brush, Spray Can)
Preferred Paint Brand
Preferred Paint Type (Enamel, Acrylic, etc.)
What Do You Like Most About Scaleworld
What Do You Like Least About Scaleworld
Interested in Naval Guns? Then take a look at this recent effort from COTTAGE INDUSTRY MODELS, LTD., 1632-b Ashley River Road, Charleston, South Carolina 29407, (ph. 843-769-2352, email: firstname.lastname@example.org). An excellent 1/32 scale resin kit replicates the 11" Dahlgren Gun as it appeared in service with the Union Navy during the American Civil War - or War Of The Rebellion, depending on which side your ancestors fought on.
Parts are cast from a creamy yellow resin and are beautifully done. Surface detail is excellent with very, very few flaws - if any. The gun itself is particularly interesting because it's cast with a hollow bore that’s about an inch deep.
One thing that makes this kit different is that the majority of the resin parts are gang cast on a solid resin plate. The way you get'em off is to cement a sheet of 60 grit sandpaper down on a flat surface and sand the bottom of the plate down til it's thin enough to cut thru with a knife, thus separating the various components. Major advantage of this approach is minimizing or eliminating potential damage of small, delicate parts.
You also get brass rod, eyepins, thread, ball bearings (for cannonballs), etc. on an as-needed basis to finish out the model. And then there’s the instructions.
Aftermarket/garage kits, more often than not, have instructions that make their greatest contribution by taking up residence in the bottom of the nearest trash can! These don't.
You get seven pages of instructions, three of text and the remaining four combining photos and illustrations. There’s a parts list that you can check against the kit components and a list of recommended tools.
Assembly sequence is logical and each step is thoroughly described. You’ll also find numbers in each step that refer directly to the appropriate illustration or photo. Simply put, the instructions are a class act. It’s a pity that more aftermarket/garage manufacturers don’t make a similar effort.
Bottom line? This is an excellent representation of an important Civil War weapon. And the quality of the kit, instructions in particular, makes it a superb choice for those who have never tackled a resin kit. Price is a mere $49.95 plus $5.00 shipping and handling.
Prefer a different subject? Then send $4.00 to the address listed above for a complete catalog.
Another 1/32 offering from COTTAGE INDUSTRY MODELS, LTD. is a delightful kit of a little known but historically important ship…the TURTLE. For those of you who have never heard of it, the TURTLE was the world’s first practical submarine, designed by David Bushnell and used operationally against the British Fleet in New York Harbor during 1776.
When you first open the box, you may wonder what the heck you’ve gotten yourself into, mainly because this puppy is small. Even in 1/32 scale, it only stands some 3 ½ inches tall. It also bears a closer resemblance to an oversize barrel with a wood propellor than it does a ship or sub. But appearances can be deceiving.
So what do you get for $79.95 plus $7.50 shipping? In a nutshell (or turtleshell), a dandy little kit that’s guaranteed to get the attention of your visitors…even if they don’t know the first thing about models.
As with the Dahlgren Gun (see review above), most of the small parts are gang cast onto a solid resin plate that is then sanded down to release the parts. Upper and lower halves of the hull are taped together in order to trap the hatch casting inside. You’ll also find an envelope stuffed with styrofoam nuggets and another resin sprue of even more delicate parts. Lest you get too ambitious while opening it, ‘Fragile’ is prominently marked on the envelope. Then there’s a couple of long lengths of brass rods and a package containing short lengths of rod, brass eyepins, thread and cord.
The kit is also designed to be built as a cutaway. With all the interior detail parts that are incorporated into the kit, to build it any other way would be criminal. Just be aware of one thing: because of the kit’s size…or lack of it…you’re going to develop a very close relationship with your OptiVisor! Incidentally, because of the small size of the finished model, COTTAGE INDUSTRY MODELS has included a great little display base to mount the Turtle on. Use it!
Instructions utilize a style identical to those found in the Dahlgren Gun kit. This time, you get four pages of text and six pages of photos and drawings. A complete list of parts can be found, along with another list of recommended tools. If there’s a down side to these instructions, it’s that the photos tend to be dark. While nothing you can’t work around, Bill Blackmore (the driving force behind COTTAGE INDUSTRY MODELS) is well aware of the problem and will be addressing it in the near future.
Now who’s gonna be the first person to build a Turtle and display it next to a 1/32 scratchbuilt model of the latest U.S. nuclear sub?
New from MODELCRAFT is a 1/35 scale offering of the Centurion Mk. 3. Actually a remold of a kit originally released by a major Asian company, it’s good to see this one back on the shelves. And it doesn’t hurt that the price is a very reasonable $20.00.
Nicely done with good surface detail, it does show it’s age a bit thru the use of the older style ‘rubber band’ tracks. Also, only the commander’s cupola can be positioned either open or closed.
Instructions are the familiar graphics-only international style, but this kit really doesn’t require more than that. And it does include 3-views for vehicles in British, Australian, Canadian and Israeli markings.
Rather than duplicate the decals from the original manufacturer, MODELCRAFT gives you decals produced by Leading Edge for the four countries mentioned. The decal sheet is nicely done, with all of the artwork sharp and in register.
If you’ve been needing a Centurion to fill a gap in your AFV collection, here’s your chance.
Figures seem to be getting ever better. A prime example of this is a magnificent effort from STEPHEN F. VENTERS AND ASSOCIATES PRODUCTIONS, 2040 North Elston Avenue, Chicago, Il 60614 (ph. 773-772-7190, fax 773-772-9339). By the way, he does welcome dealer inquiries.
The subject is question is a 1/6 scale multimedia kit of Chronos:The Grim Reaper. Arriving in a sturdy, top flap box, you’ll have no concern about it reaching you in one piece. All of the major components are wrapped in soft paper and fastened with rubber bands, except for the three-tiered base which doesn’t need it, then cushioned in a box filled with shredded paper. The hollow base is upside down so that some of the smaller wrapped parts can be placed in the cavity. Finally, a smaller box that’s labeled ‘delicate parts and staff’ goes on top, instructions and advertising flyers are added and the box closed.
When I first ordered this kit, I was a little confused because I found out that it contains 34 parts. 34 parts for a figure that’s simply standing, wearing a floor-length robe and holding a scythe and hourglass? In response, I got an ominous laugh and the comment "…..you’ll see!" Now that I have the kit in hand, I do.
The main piece of the kit ( the body from the neck to the floor) is 10 inches tall. Simple enough, right? Wrong. From there it gets very interesting. Nor does it take long to find out why there’s 34 parts.
You would normally expect the robe sleeves to each be a single piece, but not in this case. Instead, each sleeve is comprised of three pieces. This is done so that the lower part of the sleeves are hollow. Then the skeletal arm bones are inserted into the hollow sleeves to give you maximum realism. Each of the ten finger bones are separate and two parts make up the skull. The robe cowl is a beautifully done one-piece casting.
Metal components are cast from Pewter (lead-free) and will not need painting….unless you want to add a few subtle bloodstains to the edge of the scythe blade. And you’re told exactly how to blacken the chain that supports the hourglass.
A particularly neat touch, which gives you an idea of the quality of this kit, is the inclusion of a jig to simplify assembly of the hourglass. Incidentally, the clear part of the hourglass even has a hollow reservoir that allows you to add real sand.
Instructions are quite thorough, taking the form of a six-page booklet. In it you’ll find a parts layout diagram, exploded view of the finished figure and clear text descriptions for both assembly and painting. Considering everything you get, quality of the parts and it’s size, Chronos is very reasonably priced at $169.95 plus $10.00 shipping.
If you’ve never heard of Rich Airbrushes, you’ve missed something. Particularly if you have a fondness for Iwata Airbrushes but not their prices. Rich Airbrushes areidentical to Iwatas…with one single exception. The back half of the handle is gold tone. Other than that, you can’t tell’em apart. They’re even made on the same assembly line! Considering that, it’s easy to imagine a bunch of Iwata airbrushes sittin’ around at night, talking among themselves and saying ‘Iwata be a Rich!"
The Rich AB-100 is the kind of brush that you want to use for very fine, delicate effects. For modelers, you’re talking extremely subtle weathering, highlighting of cockpit interiors, faces on figures, that kind of thing. Keep in mind that this brush isslanted toward photo retouchers and fingernail artists and you’ve got a good idea of what you can do with it.
It has a very small, integral cup that does not project above the body of the brush. It’s got a capacity of 1cc, which means you’re gonna fill it with an eyedropper or pippette. Nozzle diameter is an extremely fine 0.2mm. Cost is $145, which is a bunch less than the same brush with Iwata stamped on it.
Need something larger? Then take a look at the Rich RB-04A. This little guy has a larger 0.4mm nozzle diameter and uses a large, removable gravity color cup that plugs into the top of the brush. How large? Close to ½ ounce. Perfect for those large painting projects where you don’t want to have to refill your color cup time after time. And you can also adjust the needle via a couple of external knobs at the back of the brush. Price isn’t much more than the AB-100, just $175.
Do keep in mind that both Iwata and Rich use a totally different hose connection. It’s much larger, which means you’re either gonna have to find some stepdown fittings that will allow you to use your standard airbrush hose…or buy a dedicated hose designed specifically for Rich brushes.
Rich Airbrushes are available from DR. PH. MARTIN’S/ SALIS INTERNATIONAL, INC., 4093 _N. 28th Way, Hollywood, FL 33020. You can reach them by phone at 954-921-6971 or 800-843-8293, by fax at 954-921-6971, by E-mail or check theirweb site.
Finally, THE MODELER’S WEAPONS SHOP has released a new set of castings for the 1/32 Revell P-38J kit. WS-31 is a set of slightly weighted smooth tread tires/wheels w/hubcaps. This is the style commonly seen on variants prior to the P-38J. $4.95 a set.