Airfix 1/72 de Havilland Vampire T.11(A02058A) finished as a Swedish J-28C Vampire

Got this as a Christmas gift one year, so has been sat in my stash for a while.

Another one built straight out of the box, but with the addition of some decals from the Xtradecl set “de Havilland Vampire T.55 Pt.1 X72173”.

The scheme I went for is a Vampire J-28C-3 from the F5 squadron, Royal Swedish Air Force at Ljunbyhed, August 1967. The Xtradecal sheet conatains markings for a Olive Green Swedish version, but I liked the high sped silver scheme.

Also on that sheet, there are markinsg for an Austrian, RAF, RNZAF, RAAF and South African Vampires. So plenty of choice for when I build some more.

Anyway, on with the build…

The attractive box art, with a very interesting RAF scheme. From what I have read, the dayglow decals supplied in the kit are very thick and take some work to get to sit as expected.
Kit contents, wel the plastic parts anyway. Not too many parts, so should be quite a quick build.
Various bits and bobs built and painted, plus a bit of a wash added in some areas. Interesting note about the Swedish Vampire’s, they were not fitted with ejection seats!
OK, jumping ahead here, model primed (Halfords metal car primer), and some pre-shading. One thing to note about this kit, is that you have to attach the landing gear legs during the build, and not after, which you can do with most builds. Yes you guessed at, towards the end, one of the legs got snapped off.
Top half primed and pre-shaded.
Silver airbrushed on, in this instance Tamiya XF-16 Aluminium and a start made on the dayglow stripes, which are a mixture of Hataka Luminous Orange (A194) and Hataka Signal Red (A276) which came from the Hataka Modern Royal Air Force Paint Set Vol.3.

The finished kit


During this build I used a number of products, that you also may find useful. To start with, fillers are something every model maker requires, and the 2 that I find the best are Vallejo Plastic Puttyand Standard Milliput Yellow-Grey.

For masking I use Tamiya 10mm tape and Tamiya 3mm tape plus when reuired standard decorating tape. I always, well nearly always, take some of the stickiness from the tape by sticking it to my trousers before applying to the models painted surface. 


Quick update – 1/72nd Airfix builds

Sorry, not been posting for a while, been busy with other projects that had to take priority over my model making.

Amyway, just have 2 aviation related model projects on the go. The Airfix 1/72nd Folland Gnat which will be finished as a Yellow Jacks aircraft (slowly building up my RAF aerobatic collection). The other is a non-Cold War aircraft, and it is the Airfix 1/72nd Supermarine Spitfire Mk1a, I quite like taking a dip out off the Cold War builds as a break.

Surprising how small the Folland Gnat is compared to the Spitfire.

Anyway, will post some updates when I get the opportunity, still have lots of non model maing projects to work on.

So a week or so later and I’ve managed to move on with both builds. With the Gnat, I have used Vallejo 71.408 PRU pink as a 2nd undercoat (over Vallejo Grey Primer) and then spraying the yellow, in this case Tamiya XF-3 Flat Yellow.

The reason I did this, is that yellow can be a pain to paint, as it is very transparent, so the pink gives it a better base coat. As you can see from the photos, did the job quite well.

As for the Spifire, that build is going really well. I have now airbrushed the model, very happy with the finish of the paint, but ohh that camouflage scheme, not right. As this is my third attempt at airbrushing a camouflage scheme, I’m going to take it.

The method I used was to use blue-tak snakes to mark out the edges of the camo scheme, and then in fill with masking tape. Much harder than it looks to get those snakes to curve and stay in place.

Italeri 1/72 F4U-7 Corsair (No 1313) build.

Italeri 1/72 F4U-7 Corsair model.

Another kit picked up n Ebay, and hopefully at a decent price.

Kit went together quite well, again if any issues, then that would be down to my lack of skill. Being one colour, it was also another useful airbrushing exercise, which didn’t quite go to plan.

Anyway, on with the build photos.

Nice attractve and dramatic box art. Those Suez markings are really nice, but didn’t go for that scheme.
As with kits of this age, not many decals, just the main ones. Register etc., all looked good, so was happy to use them.
The kit contents, as you see, not too much to put together.
Construction started, using a mix of Hataka and Vallejo paints.
Checking seam lines with black paint. Took a while to get them to not show.
That seam line on the front half of the fuselage took some work to get rid of. I even made up some liquid plastic by melting bits of sprue in liquid poly glue.
Finally got it to a stage where I could give it a coat of primer. Canopy also masked, and gun barrels also cut off, to be replaced with metal wire.
Underside ready for primer.
Top primed using Halfords Grey car primer. Gives a good hard coat of paint.
Bottom with a nice coat of primer.
Because I had (for me) a success at pre-shading my earlier Spitfire build (Spitfire PR.XIX). I thought I’d give it a go on this Corsair.
Unfortunately, I was a bit heavy handed with spraying the Vallejo 71.295 USN Sea Blue so lost all the pre-shading that I did. Still getting to grips with airbrushing, knowing when to stop seems to be the problem.

The finished kit



During this build I used a number of products, that you also may find useful. To start with, fillers are something every model maker requires, and the 2 that I find the best are Vallejo Plastic Putty and Standard Milliput Yellow-Grey.

For masking I use Tamiya 10mm tape and Tamiya 3mm tape plus when reuired standard decorating tape. I always, well nearly always, take some of the stickiness from the tape by sticking it to my trousers before applying to the models painted surface. Another masking product that I use is the Vallejo Liquid Mask.

The USN Sea Blue was Vallejo 71.295 , which sprayed quite well. The interior green was from the Hataka RAF in Africa acrylic paint set (AS08). I’ve had mixed results when spraying Hataka paints, but that may be more down to my ineperience.


Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier FRS.1 (PK-37) build

Think I picked this it up on Ebay at somepoint. Anyway, my first actual jet for a blog that has ‘jet’ as the first word in it’s descriprion.

As with a lot of Matchbox kits, a very simple build, which I managed to mess up, but more of that later.

At the time of building this kit, the world is in the grip of the Corona Virus pandemic, therefore I’m stuck at home, and getting non-essential supplies is not top priority, plus having to watch the cash flow, due to being furloughed from work. On a positive, I’m getting lots of model making done.

Anyway, on to the build, which is documented in photos.

The box art, in the very ‘Matchbox’ style.
Two sprues in the distinctive 2 colour style of Matchbox. Plus some slighty out of register decals.
Instruction sheet, font and back. Very faded, so wasn’t a great deal of help. Lucky for me, I have the Tamiya 1/48 Sea Harrier FRS1 in my stash (see my blog post about ScaleMates), so I could reffer to the instruction sheet in that kit for colours and decal placement.
The acctual, very simple build process. Not something you could get wrong….right?
That’s it for the cockpit detail. Didn’t want to put to much effort into detailing the kit, so decided to add the pilot to the office space. As you can see, primed with Halfords car primer.
Interior spayed black with Vallejo 71.067 and some dry brushing on the simple jet intake with Vallejo Oily Steel 70.865. Also painted the pilot and stuck him on his ejector seat.
Fusalage sides stuck together and clamped with washing line pegs and masking tape.
Lots of sanding required to get rid of the seam lines. Fit wasn’t actually too bad, but it did take a lot of work to remove the seam lines. Also this is where I messed up. Thinking that I was smart, I didn’t follow the instructions to add the four jet nozzels, because I thought they would get in the way, bad idea! When I came to fit them after all work, including painting and decalling had been done, I discovered that they did not fit very well, the hole being too big in the fuselage. So had to do lots of extra work at the end to get the nozzels to sit on the kit.
Same work required on the underside.
Rescribing the rear under carriage doors, using a Tamiya plastic scriber tool. I used electric tape as the guide.
Same work carried out for the front under carriage doors.
Using black paint to see if more work is required on seam lines etc.
Wings on, almost ready to apply the primer.
Primer applied, in this case, Halfords Car Primer.
The Extra Dark Sea Grey applied, or in this case, which was a very close match, Vallejo 70.816 Luftwaffe Uniform.
Underside painted with Vallejo 71.001 White, which covers quite well, for a white paint.
Vallejo Gloss Acrylic Varnish applied before decals added. Then another coat after the decals had been applied. Incidentally, I used Micro Sol to help the decals set on the Harrier.

Well as mentioned above, I messed up adding the jet nozzles, so had to mess about filling the holes where the nozzels sit, and then cutting the back off the nozzels so they sat a bit closer to the fuselage.

Another thing that I should have done differently, I should have added the to wing wheel units before addign the centre landing gear. This was I could have cut down to size the central landing gear so that all wheels touch the ground. Oh well, lesson learned, I have 3 other 1/72 Harriers in the stash, 3 different marks.

The finished kit


Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR.XIX (A02017A) finished as a Swedish S.31 Spitfire

Spitfire S.31, 3 Division Flottilj 11, Flygvapnet, Nyköping, Sweden, 1949

Not sure when I picked this kit up, but it’s been sat in my stash, and I obvioulsy got it because it fits in the Cold War period.

Built straight out of the box, only addition was some masking tape cut to represent seat belts in the cockpit. At this scale and size of model, adding detail to the cockpit seemed a bit irrelevant.

Step 1 prime the insode areas, such as the cockpit, wheel wells etc., and then give them a coat of Hataka A025 Interior Grey-Green. I hand painted the cockpit details with various paints to hand.
Gluing the main components together, including the transparent areas where the cameras would be located in the real aircraft. Usual use of tape and pegs to hold the parts together while the glue sets.
Seam line and gaps filled and sanded. Small areas I use Vallejo Plastic Putty, which is ideal as it can be smoothed as soon asit is applied. For larger gaps, such as the wing roots, I use standard yellow-grey milliput. Once sanding and filling is completed, a black paint is applied to see if further work is required.
Canopy masked using Tamiya masking tapes and attached to the kit with PVA glue.
Kit primed with Halfords grey metal primer paint. I was too keen to get the primer on, that I had forgotten to mask the side camera window. I then attempted to remove the primer, but pushed the window into the body of the fuselage. I did mask the two underside transparencies, I used Vallejo Liquid Mask.
With this kit, I decided to have a go at pre-shading. Lucky for me,, pre-shading does not have to be very accurate, as my airbrush skills are not up to precise work as yet.
The underside pre-shaded.
As this is a photo reconnaissance aircraft, it has a nice simple paint scheme. The paint used is Vallejo 71.109 Faded P>R>U> Blue. The pre-shading adds a nice subtle effect.
The underneath, wheel wells masked with blue-tak.
Jumping ahead, model given a coat of gloss varnish then decals applied. I used Micro Sol to set the decals, but I really need to use uch more than I do, as they don’t always settle in to the panel lines. A second coat of varnish is applied to seal the decals. I also did a very subtle exhaust stain using some pastel chalk from a cheap set of artist pastels.

The finished kit


During this build I used a number of products, that you also may find useful. To start with, fillers are something every model maker requires, and the 2 that I find the best are Vallejo Plastic Putty and Standard Milliput Yellow-Grey.

For masking I use Tamiya 10mm tape and Tamiya 3mm tape plus when reuired standard decorating tape. I always, well nearly always, take some of the stickiness from the tape by sticking it to my trousers before applying to the models painted surface. Another masking product that I used on this kit was the Vallejo Liquid Mask, which worked very well.

The P.R.U. Blue was Vallejo 71.109 Faded P.R.U. Blue, which sprayed quite well. The interior green was from the Hataka RAF in Africa acrylic paint set (AS08). I’ve had mixed results when spraying Hataka paints, but that may be more down to my ineperience.


Airfix 1/72 P-51D Mustang finished and decalled as USAF F-51D Mustang

F-51D Mustang, USAF Korea circa 1950

This Mustang was one of the pair I purchased from Aldi (see previous blog post SAAF F-51D) and was built alongside teh SAAF version.

Decals came from the same sheet as the SAAF decals. As mentioned before, I was a little disapointed with the Print Scale decals. They are very thin, which is useful as they look good once applied, but boy were they a pain to use! They would fold at the dropof a hat, in fact a couple could not be used as they just curled up in to a ball! Also, the registration/line up of the USA ‘bars and stars’ was out, so had to purchase some extras from MicroScale decals.

It is a shame about the decals, as Print Scale do some very interesting sets, but I personally will not be buying them again. Still have a couple of options left on the sheet I purchased (72-300), which I will attempt to use in another build, espcially the RAAF version.

Print Scale Decal sheet 72-300

The actual build of the Airfix kit (A68208) was quite easy, no real issues to name. The under carriage seems a little fragile, but this seems to be the case with most smaller 1/72 kits.

Painted the aluminium using Tamiya XF-16 Flat Aluminium thinned with Tamiya X-20A Thinner which I have to say, sprayed perfectly for me. Will be moving over to Tamiya paints when I need to buy replacements. For the black areas, I used Vallejo Model Air Black 71.057, which I actaully find sprays OK.

Anyway, lets see the finished article…

Airfix P-51D Mustang (A68208), painted as SAAF F-51D Mustang

F-51D Mustang, SAAF Korea 1950

Managed to pick up 2 P-51D Mustang starter sets earlier in the year for £4.99 each from Aldi. The good thing about the P-51D, is that it was still in use during the early part of the Cold War, especially in Korea.

So after getting the 2 and adding them to my stash, the next step was to find some suitable decals for them. I came across a set by a company called Print Scale. Was so pleased to find a set that had a good mixture of options, that I did an impulsive purchase, without doing any research on the quality of the decals.

Well when they arrived, I was quite surprised to see that the US ‘bars and stars’ plus the Korean equivilent were tout of register! Looking at the photos on the small instruction leaflet of aircraft in Korea, the Korean markings do actual look out of register, but the US were not.

However, the set also included some SAAF (South Afirican Airforce) and some RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) markings, which all looked good.

Print Scale decals.

The build of the Mustang did not throw up any nasty surprises, fit was generally quite good. Only issues I had with the build were the under carriage was a bit fiddly and feels flimsy, the front windscreen was not a good fit, but that may be more down to me, and the aerial could not be removed from the spru tree without breaking.

A first for me with this build was using Tamiya acrylics for spraying, and I must admit, I was really pleased with how easy the Tamiya paints were to spary, will certainly be moving over to them when I can.

Now back to the decals, they are a complete pain to use, very thin (which is a good thing), but fold over as soon as you try to remove them from the backing sheet, so much care was required when appying them.

Hope to have a USAF version up on the blog soon.

Anyway, the result, for me, is not too bad.


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ScaleMates stash manager

Are you on SacleMates? I joined when I started getting back into model making.

My ScaleMates wall

At first I just used it to catalogue my stash, which is a very useful feature for keeping track of what yo have got. But as I looked around the site, I found it had some more useful sections, such as:

Projects – if you are like me, you’ll have lots of ideas buzzing around in your head for projects. Well with ScaleMates you can start documenting your project ideas, add kits in your stash to the project, or add kits from a wish list to the project. You can also add notes etc., and link photo albums to the project. I’ve found this very useful.

Screen shot of part of my Projects in ScaleMates

Stash Manager – probably the main reason for using ScaleMates. Great for checking at a glance what you have. Sometimes I forget what I’ve got, or how many of each type, and I’v only got a modest stash. You can also mark as kit as being part of a project, if it has been started and when it is completed.

Stash manager screen shot

Wish list – as mentioned above, you can even create a wish list of kits. When you add a kit to the list, if another member has it for sale, or any of the shops that are connected to ScaleMates have it in their stock, you have the option to purcahse that kit, very handy.

Wish list screen shot

Newsfeed – and of course the social side of the site, where you can see what other modellers are doing and interact, or just broswe and marvel at others modelling skills.

Kit History – When you add a kit to your stash etc., you will then be able to see the history of that particular kit:

This is just a very small selection of what is available within the ScaleMates site, and all for free. If you want to take a look, pop along to If you join and want to connect, then my nickname is JOTCW.

Have I found my perfect paint?

Since getting back in to this model making lark, I have struggled with airbrushing. I’ve read many posts and watched many YouTube videos on the subject, but have always felt it has been a bit of a struggle to get a paint to work happily with my airbrushes.

Well I think I have just found the paint that works for me, Tamiya acrylic paints. I have 2 F-51D Mustang builds going on at the moment (will blog about them when done). And I was dreading getting a good (for me) aluminium finish. So I took the plunge and got myself a pot of Tamiya XF-16 Flat Aluminium and some Tamiya X-20A Thinner .

The next step was to add the thinner direct in to the paint pot. This way, I won’t have to worry about the ratio each time I want to spray the paint. Got the info from the following YouTube video:

As you can see from the photo below, the results (for me) were not bad. Oh the 1/48 Mosquito is my model for airbrush practice.

Tamiya acrylic and thinner example
My first results with Tamiya acrlics used for airbrushing.

Airfix RAF Red Arrows Gnat (starter set 1:72 A55105)

Well here it is, my 2nd Cold War related model build. I’ll admit, I had some issues putting this one together. That is not a reflection on the quality of the kit, but on my lack of building skills.

It is actually a very nice kit, with some lovely detail and panel lines, which you’ll be able to see from the photos. However being a small aircraft to start with in real life, it is also quite small and fiddly to build (for me) as a 1:72 scale kit.

Things I would do differently next time I build this particular kit (2 more in the stash), is to leave the main under carriage off until building is complete. I added it as per instructions, but managed to break them when removing the blue-tak that I had used to mask the wheel wells.

Not matter how careful I was with the aerial fins during construction, I still managed to break 2 off, and one almost off. Sod’s law, I lost the two that broke off, but replaced them with some plastic cut from some spare plastic I had.

Paints used were Vallejo grey primer and Hataka Signal Red from their ‘Modern Royal Air Force Paint Set Vol.3’. I first for me on this model, was to mask the canopy and spray paint it while it was attached to the aircraft. Previously, I have always hand painted canopy frames. Can see from the photos, that its not as neat as I would have hoped.

Decals went on well, and settled well with microscale Sol.

Overall, fairly pleased with the end result considering I did struggle at times with this kit. However, still need to improve seam line removal, spraying skills and canopy masking.

Useful bits: