Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Squadron Encore Models

 The Sopwith Camel
The other day while visiting our local hobby shop, I found some kits in plastic bags.  Marked on the package was "Squadron Encore Models". There were at least three or four different models as I recall and I purchased two of them as the price was somewhat attractive at $9.95 each. The packaging does not allow one to see much of the contents inside as on one side of the bag has a color drawing of the aircraft inside. The model itself is inclosed in the instruction folder which covers the other side of the bag.  So needing something to do over the weekend, I took two models home, they were the Sopwith Camel and Albatros D.V in 1/72 scale.
Upon opening them I discovered they are Roden kits from the Ukraine. They appear to be early molds as the have a fair amount of flash and are somewhat of a poor fit.  Having several years of modeling experience behind me, these two kits only presented a little challenge.  I begin with the Sopwith Camel and it was finished in two days.  Some of the points that need to addressed to aide in construction are:
1.  Enlarge all holes for wing struts.
2.  Likewise with the landing gear.
3.  I found the joy stick and rudder pedal are not visible, so I omitted them.
4.  Some extra care is needed on the rear rudder and stabilizer.
5.  Sand off all stubs on both wings as they make it almost impossible to apply the decals.
6.  Great care is needed when applying the decals.

Albatros D. V
Likewise the Albatros presents its own unique set of problems as follows:
1.  The wings are separate pieces and are butt joined and glued. I used "Super-Glue".
2.  Again enlarge all strut locations.
3.  The struts are very weak and care is needed when glueing the wings to the struts.
4.  Same holds true to the under carriage.
5.  The German Iron Crosses are separate pieces white and black.
6.  Great care is needed when applying decals as they are very thin.
The Albatros also took two days to build.  The rigging was done with paint brush hairs in black from a 3 inch cheap brush purchased at our local hardware store. When one views each model at normal viewing distance, they look quite presentable.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eduard Bf-108

In the past, Eduard kits were not one of my first choices in looking for something to build.  Eduard model kits are made in the Czech Republic and mostly in 1/48 scale.  They have made 1/72 and 1/32 scale models as well.  I guess their claim to fame is in photo etch parts for many other kits on the market. I first discovered them while looking for canopy mask.  So I googled mask and came up with the Eduard Home page.  www.eduard.com  Soon I found myself hooked on the web pages for there is so much information and lots of other goodies to discover.  This was followed up by a visit to our local hobby shop in search of some Eduard kits.  I found a few; what Eduard calls "Weekend Editions".  They were World War I types and although very nicely molded, there were just to many fine parts and some almost impossible to remove from the tree without breaking them.  So on to Ebay searching for Eduard Kits.  To my surprise, I found a lot and many were priced below Eduards suggested retail price.  Kit Number 8054 is the Bf-108 commonly called the Taifun.  This kit came with colored photo etched parts and a mask for the canopy.  Price was very attractive and I ordered it from DeCarlo's Jewerly, in IA.
What a surprise to find many of the super fine and not necessary parts; were in the kit and if one chose, they could go blind trying to attach them and some of the super small photo etch parts that would not be seen once the model was assembled.
The cockpit with the seat belts in place.
The Bf-108 assembled well and and I did struggle a little with the seat belts, but what a difference they make especially when the canopy area is so large and the inside so visible.  Today problems seem to be buying Tamiya Paints.  Fortunately I had all the colors I needed. One of the things I have been wanting to try is painting the panel lines in black to high-lite them.  I read several articles on how to accomplish this and I decided to go with the lighter fluid method.  Basically it goes like this.  Paint your model with acrylics, seal with a clear gloss and let dry completely.  i.e. I should have left my model dry a lot longer then I did.  Lesson learned!  When you are ready, dilute enamel black with lighter fluid so that it becomes sort of a wash.  Then carefully paint over all panel lines on the model with the wash.  You don't want to get sloppy or you will end up with a larger mess to correct.  Once this is dry, put lighter fluid on a clean rag on your finger tip and remove the over flow off the model.  It works great and the lighter fluid will not attack either the acrylic or the enamel paint.  The key is the gloss coat to protect the base paint.

Notice one can still see inside the canopy.
This done and decals applied the model looks quite well.  So I can say Eduard models are well worth looking into, the colored photo etch is a nice added touch especially in the seat belts.  The parts fit very well and the canopy mask is a real blessing.  Finally the black panel lines adds a real demential look to finished model.