The Southern Maryland Scale Modelers meet every third Thursday of the month at 7:00 pm at High Tide Games, 22599 MacArthur Blvd, California, Maryland, (San Souci Plaza, between McKay's and Mission BBQ).

We are also meeting online via Zoom most Thursdays at 7pm -- an email is sent to members with meeting info.

Everyone is welcome, all we ask is that you bring a project, finished or not, theme or non-theme to share during our Show-N-Tell discussion. Okay, you don't really have to bring a project...

Monday, December 17, 2012

115: Show and Tell

The Theme of the November meeting was "Your First Model".  While there were lots of great "My first model" stories, a few of us were able to bring the models along as well.  While none of them were the actual "first model", they were reproductions of our first kits, and were certainly built in the spirit of the theme.
Our first subject for the monthly theme is the Hawk Gloster Javelin built by Tim Holland, which was featured in his monthly theme column.
Next up is Nate Swift's 1:48 Testor's PT-20.  Nate built this model as the Dutch floatplane version, but in US Army markings, just as he had done as a kid. A considerable amount of time was spent cleaning up seams with various grades of polishing cloths to make sure the seam didn't show through the metallic finish.  Nate also tried out the Tamiya thinner technique for setting the decals, and he says it worked out very well, especially on the rudder stripes.  The OOB build looks great sitting on the kit included water base.

Our final theme model is this MPC 1:32 Futuristic Dragster Snap kit was built by Dave Fuller. Dave painted the model Testor's Italian Red to better match the original color of the plastic in his first kit instead of the yellow plastic that this example was molded in.
Moving on to our normal Show and Tell subjects, we have two models by Austin Whiteside.

First we have the Revell 1:24 Jedi Starfighter, complete with astromech droid and figure of Anakin Skywalker.

Austin also brought along his Megablocks model of a Covenant Seraph from the popular video game series Halo.  It's always nice to see something out of the norm, and Austin never fails to disappoint.
And while we're on the subject of the Whiteside family, we have this beautiful little Heller 1:72 Curtiss SBC-3 Helldiver built by Gerry Whiteside.  Gerry built the model OOB with Starfighter PE rigging and a combination of Microscale and  Starfighter decals to portray an aircraft from VB-4 Tophatters to contribute to the Museum's Tophatter Squadron build.
Continuing in 1:72 scale we have this very nice Ju-87C built by Ken Kelly.  Ken started with the Airfix kit of the Ju-87B, and started his conversion by clipping about 3/16" off of the wingtips to transform it into the carrierbourne version of the venerable Stuka.  Ken also scratchbuilt the tail hook as well as internal structure to the radiator.  To top it off, Ken sanded off all of the heavy raised details, thinned the overscale control surfaces and completely rescribed the model.  Ken continues to claim that his models are brush painted with Polly scale paints, but I think he's been using an airbrush all along.

Rounding out the 1:72 builds is this Matchbox P-12E built by Dave Fuller.  Dave originally intended to have this model completed for the Matchbox theme, and then the Between the Wars theme, but managed to miss them both.  The kit was built OOB with Starfighter Decals representing an aircraft serving with the 16th Pursuit Group in the Canal Zone, circa 1934.

We finish out the Show and Tell with a trio of 1:48 models built by Joe Hegedus.

In a somewhat uncharacteristic move, Joe brought along this decidely non-glossy sea blue, F6F Hellcat.  Joe started with the Hasegawa kit, applied the striking tri-tone scheme, and then went further into uncharted territory and applied some very subtle weathering over aftermarket decals.
Joe continued this non-glossy sea blue trend with this very nice Sea Hurricane Mk. II.  Like the Hellcat, this was built from a Hasegawa kit with aftermarket decals.
Rounding out this Show and Tell update is Joe's very nice Monogram OA-4M Skyhawk.  No, that isn't a black and white picture, we actually have a third non-GSB build from Mr. Dark Blue himself finished in the standard gray over gray lo-vis scheme found Skyhawks from this era.  Joe added outer weapons pylons from a Hasegawa A-4 to complete this otherwise OOB build.   
That's at least three months now that we have failed to see an unweathered, factory finish clean, glossy sea blue model from Joe.  On top of that, he has actually been seen bringing British and Japanese subjects, a sailing ship, and even (gasp) a car!  What can this be attributed to?  Is there a worldwide shortage of Testors no. 1717?  Has the news of the demise of the Twinkie gone to his head?  Is it yet another sign of the coming apocalypse?  We'll find out next month, same Bat time, same Bat station.

The Taming of the Sprue

The beauty of the internet is that I can be a part of a community anywhere on the planet.  Whether that community is aviation maintenance, Navy, family, or Small World, today's internet forums allows all of us to participate and feel as though we are still there.

Like most members of SMSM, I participate in forums that bring together people with like interests from across the globe.  In turning over Small World to Chuck I am realizing I can still be a part of SMSM and Small World, even though I won't make monthly meetings for some time to come.  I'll miss the barbecue...

I'll also miss the peanut gallery.  The best part of show-n-tell are the comments; all are fun and most are helpful!  Of course, eyeballing a bunch of models built to a much higher quality than my own makes it even better; and helps to motivate me on that next project.

Since I'll be in the land of the Bard, and attempting to cut some sprue while I'm there, I hope to update you on shows, kits, and hopefully publish a few photos.  I've nearly got a Spitfire planned for each theme, and there are some new Spitfire releases for the new year so I hope to scoop some reviews.  If I can figure out an "aggressor" Spit, I'll have it made...maybe a whiff?

So while I'm away, if anyone brings a Spitfire, think of me. 

See you all at the Christmas Party. 

-- Tim

Sunday, December 16, 2012

115: Spare Parts

Spare Parts
Odds and ends, tips and tricks, miscellaneous musings.


            There are things that keep coming back, like a boomerang. Then there are things that won’t go away, like a bad penny. As I return to the position of Small World editor, I’ll let you decide in which category I belong. While I’m sorry to see Tim Holland depart for his temporary posting in England, I am pleased to resume the editotial duty. (It occurs to me that the last two editors left to go to Europe. I guess I’d better find my passport.) My work is cut out for me as Tim has set a very high bar. His writing has always been entertaining and informative. Tim also brought Small World into the twenty first century; first by using the Dropbox and the cloud to distribute the newsletter, and second by setting up the current blog format. Tim has done a truly superior job as editor and we wish him the best.

            In addition to the technology, there is another important change. In this go-around as editor, I will have a staff! Our club photographer, Dave Fuller will write up the Show-N-Tell and Progress Report segments, and Tim Holland will continue to contribute from across the pond. And then, of course, any contributions from you will be greatly appreciated. If you have anything from a brief tip or hobby news item to a full blown review or build article, just email it to me and we’ll fit it in. As I frequently said during my first editorship; this is your newsletter, I’m just here to keep things organized.

See you at the Christmas party!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

115: November 2012 Progress Report

Lots of in progress builds this month.  Its nice to see so many new projects taking shape.

First up, we have Steve Workman's nice little 1:144 Arii RA-5C Vigilante.  Even at such a small scale, its a big airplane.  It's one of my favorites, and I can't wait to see it finished.

Next up is the nice Academy 1:72 T-6G Texan being built by Vince Mankowski.  At the time of the meeting the model had it's first coat of paint applied for an Israeli T-6.  Our spy cameras however have uncovered a sneek preview of the model with its full paint and markings applied.
Making a return appearance is this Hobbyboss 1:48 P-47D Thunderbolt being built by Steve Lucianetti. Steve says that he plans on finishing it Out of the Box.
Ever the prolific modeler, Jim Rotramel brought along two in-progress projects.

First up is the AMT 1:72 KC-135A Stratotanker.  Jim says that the plastic on this original boxing of the KC-135 builds more like a vac-form kit than your typical injection molded kit.  Among other things, Jim had to add a metal spar to the wings to keep them from drooping as well as fixing a problematic window to fuselage joint.
Along with the Stratotanker, Jim also brought along a Monogram 1:48 Mi-24 Hind.  According to Jim, the biggest issue with this kit is the fact that the tail is about 3/8" too short.  This would result in the tail rotor meshing with the main rotor.  Not something I think the original designers had in mind!  Jim tackled this problem by slicing off the tail just forward of the fin and splicing the two pieces back together with a filler made of strips of plasticard and gap filling CA.

Another model making a repeat appearance is the absolutely beautiful SM.79 Sparviero built by Nate Swift. Nate is using the 1:72 Italeri kit to model an aircraft from 281st Sqn, 132nd Gp, based out of Rhodes circa 1941.  Nate also added the Eduard interior and exterior PE sets as well as Quickboost engine cowls.  He also separated all of the flight control surfaces for a more realistic stance.  Nate says the fit was generally good.  The paint job needs to be seen to be believed.

Ryan Turgeon also brought along a couple of in progress Hornet projects that we have been tracking the progress on.  

First up is the Hasegawa 1:48 F/A-18 Hornet.  Ryan is building this as part of a pair of F/A-18s in Blue Angels markings.  Ryan is modifying both kits to portray them in flight performing the famous "Fortis" manuever.  This involves modifying the landing gear to be in the extended position.  Both models utlize Rhino Models seamless intakes.  The Hornet to be placed in the inverted position also has Aires resin landing gear bays.

Ryan also brought along a Hasegawa 1:48 F/A-18E Super Hornet.  This model is being built for the Tophatters build for the Pax River museum.  Markings are from the Fightertown Decals sheet.
Also making an appearance at the meeting was a Hasegawa 1:48 F-14 Tomcat being built by Nick Kessel, which is also for the club's Tophatters build.  Unfortunately, my camera doesn't like Super Hornets and was unable to take a clear picture afterwards, even of an F-14.  Next time I'll make sure to take pictures of all Super Hornets last to prevent future problems.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November's Theme: "Your First Model"

By Tim Holland

Most of us remember our first model.  Some of us only remember the type, or the circumstances, but not always THE model.  A rare few of us actually still HAVE that first model.

November's club meeting focused on what that first model was, and if you could identify it, build it again.  A car showed up, mostly aircraft, but mainly just stories.  Stories about what that first kit was and how we came to have it.  How we built it (you use the whole tube for the kit, right?).  How we painted it (curing time between colors, why?).  And the ultimate demise of the model, whether from fire crackers, BB guns or just rocks.

My own story begin at age 5-ish.  Dad brought home two models of airliners.  He made them both and I got one while my younger sister got the other.  We flew those around the house together until they were demolished or we bored of them, probably just a few hours later.  But I remember watching Dad build it with lots of anticipation on my part.  And I remember the landing gear coming off shortly after my hands got on it, but it still flew just like the real thing!

The next model I remember is a silver jet.  I remember building it myself and the stickers didn't work so well; and there was no paint.  I remember being 8 or 9 and during some warm days that jet met its fate in an imaginary firey crash near those green army men the jet was attacking.  But what was that model?

By the time I was 10, I had a number of ship, car and airplane models.  The ship models floated (somewhat) in my Nana's pond and the airplane models attacked.  It was that summer I lost interest in cars and started my focus on 1/72 scale.  Revell had released a double kit of the F4F Wildcat and A6M Zero.  Constant scale meant my models looked more real next to each other!  By Christmas I had nearly all their 1/72 scale aircraft hanging from my ceiling...but I digress.

I still have that Revell Zero.  It comes out at Christmas and takes a place of honor on the tree.  So I decided to find the Wildcat and another Zero and try my hand at those kits 40+ years later...but fate intervened.

While scanning photos from old albums I came across this photo of a smiling new 8 year old holding his new GI Joe and waiting for the "go!" to dive into those birthday cupcakes.  Look at what's in the lower left corner:  A Hawk Gloster Javelin.  Could it be?  I searched eBay and for $7 one in the same boxing was en route.  A week later I opened the box to find silver plastic and a very familiar feel!  I had found my "first" model!

The Subject

Who knows?!  This is a sleek, modern, fast delta winged jet.  "Javelin" -- It has a name that sounds fast and dangerous.  Nothing like it flies over Arkansas and with TWO jets I bet it makes lots of noise.  It's got these missiles for shooting things up and all these other bits that go under the wings, but who needs them?  If I make it ready to fly without that stuff it won't break off and I can actually shoot the missiles at things like ships, tanks, green army men and other airplanes (where is that B-17?).

And it's BIG.  Almost too big for that little boy's hands.  But if he uses enough glue it'll be solid and perfect with his Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. 

The Javelin was an all-weather interceptor for the RAF, operating throughout the '60's.  It was a contemporary of the McDonnell-Douglas F3H Demon and F-101 Voodoo with comparable performance and capabilities.

The Model

Hawk produced this kit in the '60's.  It is typical for the day with lots of raised detail, rivets the size of tennis balls and even the national markings are represented by raised detail.  The cockpit is non-existant, with a pilot that sits on a plank, even though it is called a seat.  The landing gear doors are molded shut, however separate doors are provided to display the model with the gear down.  There is no intake or exhaust detail, one can look down one end and see through to the other.

One site infers Hawk made identification models for the US, of which the Javelin was one, and after that contract expired they used the molds and sold the kits to the public.

The kit is considered inaccurate for a production Javelin.  At best it represents one of the prototypes that flew with just the forward seat.  The nose, canopy, wings, exhausts, intakes are all wrong.  But who cares?  This was a fun model for a kid; and as an identification model, it's close enough to a Javelin in appearance to pass.

I didn't use all my skills on this one, I wanted conversation piece to go with that photo.  I DID paint it this time, as is obvious in the photos.  I filled the seams, the top and bottom halves of the fuselage don't fit well.  The outer wing panels left noticeable gaps on the wings, but instead of filling and sanding all that detail away, I drizzled some Future and other thin glues into it to make it better (good enough anyway).  I had to fair the canopy in; I used strip styrene to raise the rear portion so it had a better profile.  Otherwise it would have had a 1/8th inch step behind it and I wanted to limit sanding.

Decals were yellowed but they worked just fine with Micro-Sol.  The white turned out to be the same shade as Floquil Antique White, so I touched up the fin flash where each side didn't quite meet.  A final coat of Future mixed with Acryl Clear Flat toned down the sheen just a bit.  I put it on its stand and voila!  My first model.

Thanks for reading...

114: October 2012 Progress Report

A few kits still in work...

This Hasegawa 72nd scale Fw-190A-5 will represent an example sent to Japan for evaluation. The Allied Code Name was "Fred". Steve Workman is cleaning up the step under the out wing panels and will replace the prop/spinner with parts from the Revell of Germany kit.

Tim Holland's Hobby Boss Easy Build 72nd scale P-47D wasn't so easy. He's struggling with filling a very visible seam on what will eventually be a Mexican Air Force P-47D from the 1950's.

This Hasegawa 48th scale F-14A Tomcat is by Nick Kessel>. It is still in the paint booth and represents the 80th Anniversary scheme for VF-14.

Another Hobby Boss P-47, this time in 48th scale and by Steve Lucianetti.

This is a Tamiya 24th scale Ford Escort rally car by Dave Fuller. OOB

Dave also is working on a 24th scale Batbod by Moebius, also OOB.

And Dave's other project is a Trumpeter F3H Demon for the Museum VF-14 project.

Gerry Whiteside is making good progress on his 72nd scale Curtiss SBC-3 Helldiver for the Museum's Tophatters display.

This Italeri 72nd scale Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 is getting the treatment! Nate Switft is adding the Eduard etch set and tackling that always tough Italian paint scheme. Looking great!

We close the month with Joe Hegedus' 96th scale Revell/Monogram USS Constitution. Wow!

Thanks for reading...

114: October 2012 Show-N-Tell

The October theme was "Rice or Beans".  Any Japanese or Mexican subject, or both.

We start with Joe Hegedus' entry: A Japanese Ki-61 Hein or "Tony".  

Next up is a 48th scale Tamiya A6M-2b Zero by Nate Swift (sorry about the focus).  Tamiya kit (the cheap one), Eduard color PE for Hasegawa Zero, scribed fuselage panel lines, markings for Saburo Sakai’s Zero, Rabual, late summer 1942.

And finally in the  theme category are a pair of Japanese aircraft from Ken Kelly.  As usual, Ken brush painted both with Acrylics.

Fujimi Judy...

...and Fujimi Val.

And now for the non-theme models:

John Bray completed his diorama depicting the German retreat in the desert ahead of Rommel's forces.  Camels, motorcycles, tanks, a tracked vehicle and soldiers; John sure knows how to bring life to basic "tan".  

Close up of the Tommies trying to recover the German motorcycle with sidecar.

And a closeup of the Grant tank.

Gerry Whiteside is making some good progress on the Top Hatters' models for the Museum Display.  Here's the Monogram 72nd scale Curtiss F11C-2 Goshawk.

And Austin brings in another Halo model.

Joe Hegedus says the Porsche 924 is the hottest Porsche made -- at least in looks!

The Monogram 48th scale Convair F-102 Dagger is by Andy White and represents an aircraft from the Vermont ANG, 154th FIW located at Burlington Airport.  Andy drooped the flaperons and used custom decals from Starfighter Decals.

Thanks for reading...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

114: October 2012 Miniature Minutes

The October 2012 meeting of the Southern Maryland Scale Modelers convened at 7pm at the Patuxent River Museum on 15th November. Chuck was taking care of more important duties as Dad and Grandfather, so Tim attempted to organize us...not too many models nor members for some reason and everyone was quiet. I guess Chuck brings the life with him. Or maybe it's his schoolteacher demeanor that brings out the unruly student in the rest of us!

We discussed MarauderCon, a few folks were planning to enter in the competition. Good luck and we hope to hear about the hardware.

Those of us with models present bragged about them, and those that didn't certainly chimed in!

The meeting adjourned and a few of us headed off for steak and barbecue.

114: Under Construction

A new look.

Chuck and I talked at length about updating Small World so that it is modern, easier to read, easier to author and publish, and can reach a wider audience. We think the blog achieves that.

We published October's Small World (#113) as an experiment and quietly racked up over 30 page views within the first 24 hours - from all over the world!  We definitely are going to reach a wider audience.

While blogs aren't new, the tools for publishing a blog have matured to the point that publishing is  easy, almost too easy. Lots of blogs out there are just blather, more Twitter or Facebook replacements (or repeats) than a sharing of relevant information useful to many but produced by a few. Okay, one can argue that tweets and FB posts are the same thing...but we won't be posting in Small World which entre at Shrimpfest we prefer...

Chuck and I updated a post in a few seconds; created one in just a few minutes. The challenge, as always, is content, but the blog format is easy. Readers can access the blog many ways: traditional "bookmark and check in", email alert, RSS feed, or even via mobile devices. Updates to our readers are automatic, the next step beyond DropBox, and there is no requirement on their part to have special software.  When we author/post, you get an alert that new content is there (if you sign up, that's on you!).

Regular Small World content will always be preceded by its issue number, this is Issue 114: November 2012. Other articles, like not-so-regular reviews, tips and articles YOU write, will get posted as they come in. As always, if you submit an article, provide the text in one file and the pictures separately. If you want the photos in a certain place, please note in the body of the text where. We can take just about any format these days, but if you are still using Worstar 3...

We hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for reading...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

113: Under Construction

“I’ll be back.”

Your 4th editor has to step down.  I’m taking a job in the UK, land of Spitfires, Hurricanes, and other British subjects that interest me greatly.  It is temporary so I will return to Southern Maryland when the assignment is completed.  Probably sometime in 2014.

So this is my last newsletter unless/until some future date in which I get the honor of publishing  your newsletter for you.  

I’m handing the quill over to Chuck and Dave.  I’m looking forward to that monthly installment but I’m not sure they have barbecue in Cumbria.

I hope to keep up with the themes better than this year, and possibly contribute an article or two after I visit a museum or show -- oh yeah -- Telford!

-- Tim Holland

113: September 2012 Progress Report

Collin Tatusko is making progress on his Fisher 1/32nd scale F9F-5 Panther.

Steve Workman is making lots of corrections and upgrades to an HO scale Robin Rails/Bev-Bel Pullman Standard PS-1 50 foot box car.

Steve is adding styrene sheet to the corners to produce straight side sills on the ends. Filled the original kit locating holes for the ladders/brake gear and replacing the damaged underframe with a new under frame of scribed styrene sheet and Intermountain aftermarket parts and Athern Gensis 70 ton roller bearing trucks.

Steve is building this Richmond, Fredericsburg and Potomac Railroad box car to replicate #2305 that is in the Virginia Transportation Museum.

Vince Mankowski’s other works are this Scratchbuilt 1/144th scale PZL P.11c Jedenastka that he’s making as a master for resin casting and production.

And in parallel Vince is making this Fox One resin 1/144th scale Westland Lysander Mk I. Which was going to be his theme build.

And finally, these are Tim Kelly’s two Trumpeter 1/700th scale Liberty Ships for the Museum’s Battle of the Atlantic display. They just need paint and Dave Fuller has agreed to do that while Tim is recuperating.

Thanks for reading...