Paint storage rack

I’ve had a bit of a move around of my model making area. This little exercise made me realise that I needed to find a better way to store my model paints, I needed a paint storage rack.

The collection of paints that I have is a mixture of from Tamiya, Vallejo, Hataka and Mig.

This also includes some Vallejo washes, so a good mixture of bottle sizes.

My first consideration was to look at the wood alternatives that a lot of people seem to be using. The benefit of these is that they are modular.

The reviews of the wooden products did not seem very encouraging. Factoring in that at present I don’t require the modular system. Plus the price seemed quite steep for what seems to be quite flimsy wood!

This then lead me to look at the alternatives offered by the nail varnish world. And I came across this rack which was in my price range.

It is the ‘Benbilry Acrylic Nail Polish Organiser 6 Tier Clear Nail Polish Holder 66 Bottles Essential Oils Organiser Shelves Display Rack Stand(6 Tiers)

The rack arrived quickly from Amazon, was easy to put together, took about 10 minutes. It is very sturdy and looks nice and neat.

The best part is that it holds all my various paints (see photos below).

Paint storage rack - front view.
Paint storage rack - right side view.
Paint storage rack - left side view.
Paint storage rack - front eye level view.

As you can see, it holds Tamiya paint pots, Vallejo, Hataka and Mig paint bottles, Vallejo washes, Microscale bottles and Mr Color paint pots with no issues.

A row can hold:

  • 12 Vallejo/Hataka style bottles or 72 in total
  • 8 Tamiya style paint pots or 48 in total

My plan is to purchase a second one. My paint collection has a good number of Vallejo paints that need to be in easy reach. What I have done with this rack, is put out the paints that I’m currently using the most.

Oh, if you are wondering what the ‘T’ is that I’ve written on the Tamiya paints, it’s to remind e that they have been thinned.

Anyway, hope you found this blog post useful.

144 scale love it or hate it?

So 144 scale do you love it or hate it?

A selection of 1:144 scale model aircraft.

I’m a bit split on this subject. I like the idea of building up a large collection of models and that collection does not take over the house.

Also, building smaller aviation subjects in 144 scale should be much quicker than larger scale kits.

In theory, the price should be much less for a smaller 144 scale model. OK maybe not for some of the bigger aircraft, because they would probably have the same amount of plastic as a 1:72 scale kit etc.

Going back to the bigger aviation subjects. I have some diecast 144 scale large aircraft. When I say large, things like WW2 four engine heavies. What I like about them, is that they do not take up too much space. So being able to build some of the large aircraft from the Cold War era would not be so daunting in 144 scale.

Now back in the day, the only options for 144 scale were airliners, I’m talking mostly Airfix here. Actually as an aside, I’m hankering to do an airliner, but from the Cold War era.

https://minicraftmodels.com/collections/1-144-aircraftAnyway, I digress, back then smaller aircraft were not being produced in the 144 scale. Now there is a good selection to choose from. Especially from manufactures such as Revell, Eduard, Mark I Models, Zvezda and Minicraft etc.

I think this is where my hate for this scale comes in. I have made 4, well 5, but one is on the shelf of doom, small aviation subjects. Each one has been a pain to do, especially the Minicraft MiG-21.

As you can see from the results, things could be much better!

Revell 1:144 AH-64 Apache.
Revell AH-64
Minicraft 1:144 McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II
Minicraft F-4 Phantom II
Revell Grumman Northrop F-14 Tomcat
Revell F-14 Tomcat
Minicraft 1:144 MiG-21 Fishbed
Minicraft MiG-21

So far I’ve only built Minicraft and Revell. I’ve not been impressed with the Minicraft kits. They are very basic and not much fun to put together. The Revell kits, especially the F-14 were much nicer to build, if not very fiddly.

I do have more 144 scale kits in my stash, not all Cold War era.

Revell 1:144 F/A-18 E Super Hornet box art
Revell F-16 Mlu Tiger Meet box art
Revell 1:144 MiG-29 "The Swifts" box art
Eduard 1:144 MiG-21SMT box art.

So 144 scale love it or hate it?

Even though I’ve struggled with the builds I’ve done so far. It still excites me that I could add some of the larger Cold War era aircraft to my collection, without breaking the bank or running out of display space. So it’s a begrudging ‘love’ from me.

If you are on Scalemates, I have a 1:144 Cold War Soviet Air Force project set up.

Photo of some 1:144 model aircraft from Revell and Minicraft.

ICM 1:72 BTR-60PB unboxing

Just a very quick video of the ICM 1:72 BTR-60PB (unboxing) Armoured Personnel Carrier.

Box art for the ICM 1:72 BTR-60PB APC.

I ordered the kit online and purchased it from https://www.modelhobbies.co.uk/ with no issues and a quick turnaround.

This is my first ICM kit and I was happy with the quality of the moulds and detail on the kit. The BTR-60PB will go very well with the Elhiem Soviet Motor Rifle figures that I painted previously.

I’ve always liked the look of the BTR-60n APC. It just looks right and is certainly an iconic symbol of Soviet and Warsaw Pact, rugged but simple equipment.

ICM 1:72 BTR-60PB unboxing video

I’m looking forward to building this kit as it will be a great addition to my growing Cold War collection of model kits. I hope that when I build it, I can do it justice and produce a reasonable looking replica.

Looking at the ICM catalogue they also do a couple of BTR-152 APC’s and a selection of Soviet trucks such as the ZiL-157, ZiL -131, URAL-4320 and the URAL 375 including variations of the above trucks.

Talking of the variations on the trucks, I see that currently (February 2021), ICM have four fuel tanker kits. Two certainly look like they would sit nicely on an airfield display (going by what is on the box art).

I can certainly see myself getting some more ICM vehicles to add to my stash, and hopefully at some point built and on display!

New from Italeri 2021

What’s new from Italeri for 2021, quite a bit. As I don’t want to spoil the surprise in this blog, so click on the link below to view their PDF:

Clickable image that links to the Italeri new for 2021 PDF.
https://www.italeri.com/uploads/news/AY8p8Mc4VebT1GVJ5SVhR0wRFuvMlyG6nbu5dgSD.pdf

Italeri have put together a good mix of periods. What did catch my eye was the Korean War marked kits.

They have some 1:72 and 1:48 aircraft in this range and some 1:35 armour. It will be interesting to see if they expand on this range.

Image of 1:72 Italeri F-51D Mustang new for 2021.
Image of 1:72 Italeri F4U-4B Corsair new for 2021.
Image of 1:72 Italeri MiG-15 new for 2021.
Image of 1:72 Italeri OH-13 Sioux new for 2021.

There is no mention of these kits being new moulds. This makes me think they are reissues with new decals.

The 1:48 BAE Hawk T.Mk.1 caught my eye. Again Italeri do not mention if it is a new mould. This makes me think it is another re-release.

Image of 1:48 Italeri BAE HAwk Sioux new for 2021.

The 1:32 NATO Pilots, Ground Crew and Accessories look very interesting.

Image of 1:32 Italeri aircrew figures new for 2021.

Having a 1:32 Revell Tornado ECR sat in the stash, I can see these new Italeri figures coming in very handy to complement the Tornado.

A plus point, these figures are new moulds. I’m really looking forward to see what they look like when the are released.

Lets have a look at the other Cold War related kits have Italeri released for 2021 (excluding those mentioned above):

  • 1:72 TU-22M3 Backfire C (Kit No. 1440)
  • 1:72 F-5A Freedom Fighter (Kit No. 1441)
  • 1:72 RF-84F Thunderflash (Kit No. 1449)
  • 1:72 C-27A Spartan / G.222 (Kit No. 1450)
  • 1:72 B-52G early with Hound Dog (Kit No. 1451)
  • 1:72 F4E/F Phantom II (Kit No. 1448)
  • 1:72 Fokker F-27 SAR (Kit No. 1455)
  • 1:72 F-8E Crusader (Kit No. 1456)
  • 1:48 S-3 A/B Viking (Kit No. 2623)
  • 1:48 TR-1A/B (Kit No.2809)
  • 1:48 North American FJ-2/3 Fury (Kit N0. 2811)
  • 1:48 U-2 R/S TU-2 S (Kit No. 2812)
  • 1:48 MB326 (Kit No. 2814)
  • 1:48 Mirage III (Kit No. 2816)
  • 1:48 MiG-23 Flogger D (Kit No. 2817)
  • 1:48 RF-4E Phantom (Kit No. 2818)
  • 1:32 Tornado IDS/ECR (Kit No. 2517) – includes new parts
  • 1:72 CH-53E Super Stallion (Kit No. 1431)
  • 1:72 Mil Mi-24P / Mil Mi-35P (Kit No. 1432)
  • 1:48 OH-13 Sioux Korean War (Kit No. 2820)
  • 1:72 T-62 (Kit No. 7006)
  • 1:72 T-55A (Kit No. 7081)
  • 1:35 T34/85 Korean War (Kit No. 6585)
  • 1:35 M4A3E8 Sherman Korean War (Kit No. 6586)
  • 1:35 M24 Chaffee Korean War (Kit No. 6587)

As we can see, quite a lot of Cold War subjects. Apart from the kits I highlighted at the start of the blog, oh and maybe the T-55 and T-62 1:72 scale tanks, there are not many I would consider adding to my stash. (But never say never!!).

It is great to see more kit choice from Italeri and long may this continue.

Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry

Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry

Continuing from my two previous posts featuring Elhiem figures (Quick look at Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures and BAOR British Infantry 1:72) I finally got around to painting the Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry.

These guys had quite a bit of flash on them, but that was easily removed with some snippers. Then if required cleaned up with a metal file.

Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry, before tidy up and primed.

So after a quick clean with IPA (not the beer!), they were ready to prime. I blue-tacked them to coffee stirring sticks (available from your local McD)

Elhiem 1:72 Motor Rifle Infantry cleaned up and ready for primer.

Next step was to prime the figures. Again, as per the BAOR figures I used Halfords grey car primer.

Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry primed.

My next step differs from my previous metal figure painting. I took a note out of wargamers painting tips and gave the figures a coat of flat black.

The idea behind this is if the following coats of paint don’t get in to every nook and cranny, then the black will hide the silver of the metal, or the grey primer.

Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry black base painted.

Now the fun bit starts, the painting of the base colours. I used a mixture of Vallejo and Tamiya paints, but didn’t make a note of which ones I used!

Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry, base colours being added.

Figures now ready for adding some shadow effects.

Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rile Infantry, ready for darks and highlights.

Base colours all finished, next step was to use a mixture of dark colours as washes to flow in to creases and some dry brushing for the high lights.

So the final results for the Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry is as follows.

Finished 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle infantry.

Considering the amount of flash on the figures at the start, they came out quite well. I’m sure someone with better painting skills would make a far better job, but I’m quite pleased with them.

Elhiem 1:72 figure
Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Infantry.

I did give the figures a coat of Matt varnish, which seems to look almost satin. I seem to have this problem with matt varnish. But it does keep the figures protected.

If you would like more info about the Elhiem figures, pop over to their website www.elhiem.co.uk

My plan for these guys is to add them on a little diorama incorporating a ICM BTR60 model kit, blog to follow.

New from Airfix 2021

So what is new from Airfix 2021? Quite a bit actually. So there is no spoilers in my blog, here is a YouTube video from Airfix.

What I think is really great about what Airfix have released for 2021, is that they are continuing to market to and produce kits for the younger generation.

As you will have seen from the video, Airfix have released some basic starter sets. These will be a much nicer and enjoyable experience for the new model maker than picking up a ‘Vintage Classic’, which will probably put them off!

But even better, is the building block style of kits. This is perfect for those children between 5 and 8. Children of this age know the process of putting these style of models together. With no glue or paints involved, very child friendly.

The above is a great move by Airfix, and they should be congratulated for doing this.

I’ve not yet built any 1/48 aircraft. I did pick up the Airfix 1/48 Gloster Meteor FR.9 back in 2019. It’s been sat in my stash since, waiting for that urge to build it. Well not an urge, more the confidence that I can do it justice.

So what caught my eye from the new from Airfix 2021 release?

The 1/48 de Havilland Chipmunk T.10 certainly did. In fact, I pre-ordered one!

Not only does t look like a great kit, but the price was also very good. And of course it fits in with the Cold War period.

new from Airfix 2021 the 1/48 de Havilland Chipmunk

On a personal note, great memories from flying in these from my time as a teenager in the Air Training Corp, and getting ‘Air Experience’ flights in Chipmunks.

Another new release that caught my eye, and again it is in 1/48 is the de Havilland Vampire F.3. I can see this sitting well with my Meteor, but will hold off pre-ordering one for now. Again, another ideal candidate for a Cold War collection.

New from Airfix 2021, possible colour schemes for the new Airfix 1/48 Vampire F.3

They say that things happen in 3’s, so I also spotted another 1/48 release that I will hopefully be adding to my stash and that is the Canadair Sabre F.4. I think this was announced last year, but we all know how 2020 went, so is being released (fingers crossed) in 2021.

So 3 very interesting Cold War subjects in 1/48 scale.

A couple of kits in 1/72 that look quite appealing are the ‘Vintage Classic’ 1:144 Hawker Siddeley 121 Trident. Just because it’s an airliner for the Cold War period, and I’ve not built any airliners yet.

New from Airfix 2021 Vintage Classic HS 121 Trident in 1:144 scale

The second kit is a re-release of the MiG-17 as a Polish LiM-5 in 1/72 scale. This is one kit I really should be adding to my stash.

So overall, I think a very good selection from Airfix for 2021, and what appears to be a good strategy of bringing in new modelers

Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 (03308)

The Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 is a re-boxing of an old Matchbox offering of the Challenger.

Apart from adding the aerials to the tank plus some static grass to the base, the kit was built straight out of the box.

Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 box art

Box art of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 model kit.

The build

The contents of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1

Supplied on 3 runners and with rubber band style tracks. There are decals for 2 vehicles:

  • British Army, ,BAOR, Royal Hussars
  • Tank Museum, Bovington

The second option is not very descriptive as to which tank it actually represents.

Building stage of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1

Construction starts with the wheels and preparing the lower hull and the rear f the hull.

No real issues at this stage of the build, all parts fit well.

Top hull and turret of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 model kit.

While waiting for the wheels and lower hull sections to set, I made a start on the upper hull and turret.

Used a small pin vice to drill out the end of the gun barrel. I also glued the gun barrel in place. It’s not like I’m going to be moving that part inn the future.

Again, no issues with the assembly at this stage. Except I managed to lose the pickaxe head, so this did not get added to the tank.

Priming the model

Parts of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 after being primed.

Next step was to prime the wheels and lower hull with Vallejo grey surface primer (74.601).

As a side note, I own 2 airbrushes, a cheap Abest 0.2mm airbrush, and a Harder & Steenbeck Ultra. The H&S Ultra came with 0.2mm and 0.4mm needles and nozzles.

I tend to use the cheap Abest airbrush for doing priming and varnish coats and the Ultra for more detailed work.

You’ll see in the photo, that the plan was to use Tamiya XF81 Dark Green 2 (RAF) as the main colour for the colour scheme.

Painting and construction

Green added to the lower hull of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1.

Lower hull painted with the Tamiya XF81 Dark Green 2 (RAF).

To my eyes, this green just did not look right. It does not really show in this photo, but for me it was a little too light in colour.

The lower hull and wheels of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 after re-spraying with a darker green.

So after a bit of umming and ahhing, I decided to re-paint the lower hull and wheels with Tamiya XF 61 Dark Green.

To me this just seemed a better green for a BAOR vehicle. Possibly a little too dark, but after doing a bit quick of Google searching, it would appear that the green could vary quite a bit with BAOR equipment!

Work starts on gluing the wheels to the lower hull.
Wheels attached to the lower hull.

Wheel rims painted black and gluing them to the lower hull starts.

Tracks being added to the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1

Adding the tracks. I did manage to snap off the front roller on one of the sides while adding the track.

Simple fix, was to drill out a hole in the wheel hub and the connection on the hull for the wheel. Then using a small section of paper-clip as a pin between the two items.

This gave a very strong join, much better than the original plastic pin.

Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 painted green,

Upper hull, turret and side skirts primed, then painted Tamiya XF61 Dark Green.

A bit of filler required on the front of the model,

Time to attach the upper hull to the lower hull.

Was a good fit except for a slight gap at the front. Nothing a small amount of Vallejo Plastic Putty couldn’t fix.

The side skirts were quite fiddly to attach, not sure I really got them as flush as I would have liked.

Black part of the camouflage scheme added.

Next step as to paint the black part of the distinctive but simple BAOR camouflage scheme.

Using my H&S Ultra, I free handed the very simple black sections. I used Tamiya XF69 NATO black. Very happy with the result.

Adding varnish and decals

Model given a coat of varnish.

The kit was then given a coat of Vallejo Satin Acrylic Varnish 26.519 ready for decals.

Decals added and another coat of varnish.

Once the decals had been applied, another coat of satin varnish was applied to protect them.

The Revell 1:76 Challenger almost completed.

At this point I then used a selection of Vallejo model washes (76.518 Black, 76.513 Brown and 76.516 Grey) to add some subtle weathering, to the model.

Also used a dry-brush technique and Tamiya XF52 Flat Earth to add some mud splatter on the side skirts.

Aerials added to the Challenger turret.

Aerials were made from 5amp fuse wire. Then the kit was given a couple of coats of Vallejo Polyurethane Matt Varnish 26.651.

The base

Supplied base with some static grass added.

Of course we can’t forget the base.

Sprayed various greens, browns, blacks and greys to get an earth look. Then added some static grass. I don’t own a static grass applicator, so I just generally use an old paint brush to try and make the grass stand up. Not always a great success!

The finished kit – Revell 1:76 Challenger 1

Youtube

RAF yellow stripes and lettering

Just a very quick video looking at a decal sheet of RAF yellow stripes and lettering (1/76- a/72) from Kingfisher Miniatures.

Ordering and delivery from Kingfisher Miniatures was easy and quick.

The decal sheet cost £3.50 (price as at November 2020). Postage was £1.20.

These look ideal for any 1/76 or 1/72 scale vehicles that I get in the future.

Currently have one Airfix 1/76 LWB Land Rover almost ready, you’ll see that in the video.

Talking of Airfix, and I think I’ve mentioned this before. It would be nice if they would re-issue the old JB kits again, especially the Land Rovers. We can but hope that this will happen.

Anyway, to the video, it is only short, but gives you a good idea what these RAF yellow stripes and lettering look like.

I hope you found the video useful?

I’m always on the look out for suitable kits of vehicles to use with my Cold War aircraft, AFV’s and figures.

What kit makers or even diecast vehicles do you use for Cold War era vehicles, especially the soft skin types? Let me know in the comment section.

RAF LWB Land Rover and HS Buccaneer SB.2. (Bruntingthorpe open day). A good example of RAF yellow stripes and lettering.

Now that I have he yellow stripes and lettering, I should really invest in the KD63 Union Flags for Vehicles set and the KD66 RAF 6 inch Roundel for vehicles set.

When I do, I’ll do a short post on them.

BAOR British Infantry 1:72

Elhiem BOAR British Infantry 1:72 scale and the Airfix Landrover.

A follow on from my previous blog post (Quick look at Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures). I take a quick look at the Elhiem BAOR British Infantry 1:72 scale (BAOR08 British skirmishing with SLRs).

I’ve managed to get some bench time and painted this set. I think they came out looking OK.

Started with a coat of Halfords grey car primer.

Elhiem 1:72 primed with Halfords car primer.

To prime the figures, I used Halfords car primer, as it is designed to cover metal surfaces. The primer is ideal for giving a great base for the next stage.

Looking at each figure in turn of the BAOR British Infantry 1:72

Elhiem 1:72 BAOR British infantry.

This figure is kneeling at the ready. Very pleased with how the DPM looks on this one.

Elhioem 1:72 BAOR British infantry figure.

Rifleman taking aim with his SLR. Again very happy with the DPM at such a small scale.

Elhiem BAOR British infantry 1:72.

Posed as to be shielding his eyes while he peers into the distance. Probably just noticed some T62’s and BMP1’s heading in his direction!

Elhiem British Infantry 1:72

This figure shows how well the webbing is done at this scale. It includes his respirator bag on his hip. two kidney pouches with groundsheet rolled up below those.

BAOR British Infantry 1:72 from Elhiem Miniatures.

Final thoughts about the BAOR British Infantry 1:72

I have to say, I’m really impressed with these figures. They are not perfect, some of the facial expressions are a bit odd. However, at this scale that is something I can live with.

The important part is, is that they look like British Infantry from the period. I also really like the natural poses of the figures. No over exaggerated limb positions, and they look purposeful.

The detail is also very well done. I can tell they have ’58 webbing’ on. The SLR’s look like SLR’s. Just be careful when trimming the flash, not to cut the muzzle off the SLR’s (like I did with the standing rifleman). Because the detail is so good, it makes it much easier to paint.

I highly recommend the Elhiem figures. For more information about their range of figures, you will need to visit their website https://www.elhiem.co.uk/ourshop/cat_1116373-ELHIEM-MINIATURES.html

Quick look at Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures

In my quest to find some suitable figures to go with my Cold War builds, I came across a UK based company called Elhiem Figures. So this short blog post will be a quick look at Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures.

Elhiem do a great selection of Cold War period 1:72 figures, in pewter and resin. They also do them at what I consider a very reasonable price including postage costs.

Designed more for war gaming, not something that I currently do. They look like they would be suitable to be placed next to 1:72 model builds.

So with that in mind, I ordered 3 sets from Elhiem Figures just to see what they look like and what the quality is like.

BAOR08 British skirmishing with SLRs – Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures

Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) BAOR British infantry figures, front view.
Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) BAOR British infantry figures, rear view.

As you can see from the photos, the detail at this size and in this material looks quite good. Considering the price of £3.96 (as of November 2020), I think these are excellent value.

Yes they will need cleaning up a bit as they have some flash. But I think these will go well with my Revell Challenger 1 tank once I have it built.

I like them, they have character and the poses look natural.

CWR01 Soviet Rifleman in Y strap webbing with AK74s- Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures

Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) Soviet rifleman figures, front view.
Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) Soviet rifleman figures, rear view.

Have to have the ‘other side’ so also purchased a set of Soviet riflemen. They also cost £3.96 (price November 2020).

A little bit rougher in finish than the BAOR set, but again, with a little care in the clean up they will certainly look the part. Again some nice natural poses.

NAM01 US Army M16s Advancing – – Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures

Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) US Army in Vietnam figures, front view.
Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) US Army in Vietnam figures, rear view

Leaving central Europe I got a Vietnam set for the US Army. I’ve got the old JB Models M113 ACAV in the stash, and I thought these would complement it very well.

Same price as the other two sets, £3.96 (as of November 2020).

Cleaning up will be required as there is some flash. But detail looks good and again the poses look natural.

Conclusion – Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures

This is just a quick look at the Elhiem figures. But I like them and more importantly looking forward to painting them up.

Sometimes war gaming figures can be a bit chunky and over scale, but these look ok to me. The weapons may be a bit larger than any plastic or resin equivalent. But at the price you can get these figures, that is something I’m more than happy to over look.

Youtube