New to the stash

New to the stash – Cold War

Takom Chieftain Mk11 + Chieftain Mk10 (1:72)

Takom Chieftain Mk11 + Chieftain Mk10 (1:72)
Takom 1:72 Chieftains

Had to start with this one as its the header photo! The Takom Chieftain Mk11 + Chieftain Mk10 in 1:72 (kit no 5006). I’ve been eyeing this kit up for some time now. But I’ve not always had the funds to justify getting it.

Well that all changed with getting an Amazon voucher for my birthday. I did still umm and ahh and getting it. But then I thought it would be an ideal purchase with the voucher.

Boy, I’m I glad I did purchase the kit. It cost me £26.57 (June 2021) which sounds like a lot of two 1:72 tanks. However, the kit also includes Photo Etch parts (my first kit with this). So really for £13 per tank with photo etch, I think is very reasonable. Especially considering the detail included on the kits for this scale.

I will be doing an un-boxing video at some point in the future.

Very excited to start this kit, think it will build in to some impressive miniatures.

Airfix Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG17F ‘Fresco’ [Shenyang J-5]

Airfix Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG17F 'Fresco' [Shenyang J-5] -Jets of the Cold War

I suppose this one does not come as a shock, as the MiG-17 was a very common aircraft from the Cold War period.

This particular Airfix kit (Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG17F A03091) is quite a new tooling dating from 2019. Detail looks good and I like the option of the natural metal finish for the Soviet Air Force or the camouflaged North Vietnamese Air Force.

It is interesting to see that Airfix are re-boxing this kit as a LiM5 for release this year.

New to the stash – non Cold War

Airfix Henschel Hs123A-1 (Vintage Classics)

Airfix Henschel Hs123A-1 (Vintage Classics)

Two reasons for getting this kit, the first was because of nostalgia. I remember building this kit when I was a young child. I’m guessing a lot of the sales of the Airfix Vintage Classics range is based on nostalgia.

The second reason for buying this Henschel Hs123A was that it comes with the Condor Legion (Spanish civil war) markings. Back in 2019 I was given Airfix’s new JU-87 Stuka which also includes markings for the Condor Legion.

I thought the Hs123 and Ju87 in Condor Legion markings would make for a nice little diorama.

Airfix Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc

Got this Spitfire Vc as a free gift when I subscribed to the Airfix Model magazine.

I know there was a lot of grumbling in the model making world when Airfix released yet another Spitfire. But I quite like building Spitfires when I want a break from jets.

This is a new tool (2020) and comes with some interesting marking options, both desert themed. I quite like desert camouflage schemes, so quite happy to include in my stash/collection.

May be a while before I build it, but no rush.

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The Nam – in 1:72

The Nam – in 1:72, a little diorama project broken in to 3 parts.

This little project used some Elhiem figures that I reviewed in Quick look at Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures. In this case the NAM01 – US Army M16s Advancing set of four figures.

I also incorporated the two Geek Gaming products that I reviewed in the following YouTube video:

And an old JB Models kit, the M113 ACAV personnel carrier.

So I’ll break the post down in to 3 sections, to cover , the M113 build, figure painting and finally the base creation.

The Nam – in 1:72 – JB Models M113

I picked this kit up on Ebay many years ago for quite a cheap price. It just came in a bag with the instruction sheet and decals.

It is a very simple kit, designed more for war gaming than as a detailed kit. But it is the only M113 I have in my stash.

To help improve its appearance, and to give me a toe dip in to doing simple modifications I did the following.

  1. Replaced the triangular tie downs with some bent pieces of staples. The original parts were just lumps of plastic
  2. Created some sandbags from miliput, just to give the top of the carrier some interest
  3. Added a small wooden box, created from cut own coffee stirring sticks

After giving the parts a coat of primer, the carrier was painted Tamiya Olive Drab XF-62.

I then added some washes of Citadel Colour Agrax Earthshade This project was the first time that I have tried the Citadel washes, and I was quite impressed with how they worked.

As you can see, I did not add the turret for the 50 cal or the 2 M60’s. The shields for the M60’s were not very good. Plus it was a bit vague as to where they should be placed. I quite like it as a standard M113.

I also didn’t use the decals, as they had degraded quite a bit. I’m also on the look out for some crew figures to be placed on and in the vehicle. So still a work in progress!

The Nam – in 1:72 – The figures

As mentioned above, I picked these Elhiem figures up a few months ago. This is the third set that I have painted, I’m hoping that my figure painting skills are improving!

Painting these figures also gave me an excuse to try out some Citadel washes that I have purchased. The two that I have are Agrax Earthshade and Reikland Fleshshade I love how Citadel give their paints such exotic and fun names. Have to admit that I was impressed on how well they work as washes.

Looking at the photos, I should have given the figures a coat of matt varnish, as they are a little bit shiny. Oh well, we live and learn.

The Nam – in 1:72 – The base

Being on a bit of a budget at the moment, I can’t really justify spending lots on my hobby. So the base for this little diorama is a 4×6 inch photo frame from a B&M store. Think it was 3 in a set for a couple of £.

Steps taken for the base:

  1. Sealed the photo frame backing board with PVA glue
  2. Cut some polystyrene into a slight slope feature and glued this to the photo frame backing
  3. Gave the polystyrene a good coat of PVA
  4. Mixed PVA with DAS modelling clay and mushed this on to the backing board
  5. Decided where I wanted the figures placing and then superglued them to the base
  6. Attempted to cover the metal bases of the figures with the PVA/DAS mixture
  7. Once dried gave it all a coat of Humbrol 29 Dark Earth
  8. Gave the areas that I wanted the Geek Gaming Scenics to be on a good coat of PVA
  9. Sprinkled on the Geek Gaming Scenics. I used Tiaga Hillside for the flat and Mediterranean Soil on the slope
  10. Once the grass etc had dried. I gave it a spray of artist colourless fixative
  11. Using some twigs from the garden and some loose flock, created 3 ‘generic trees’

Overall, quite pleased with how the ground work came out.

The Nam – in 1:72 – Finished

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Lightning Force by Fred Martin

Title: Lightning Force. RAF Units 1960-1988. A photographic appreciation of the English Electric Lightning by Fred Martin


Lightning Force by Fred Martin is a highly illustrated (photos) book featuring the English Electric Lightning in service with the Royal Air Force.

Lightning Force: RAF Units 1960-1988 – A Photographic Appreciation of the English Electric Lightning is a book that gets right to the core of its subject, and lists each Squadron that used the Lighting, and also each version that the Squadron used. It is in a fairly large format 25x24cm, so small enough to hold, but big enough to include good size photographs.

Contents include a brief Introduction, and then stright in to the Squadrons. Each Squadron gets a small write up about the Lightning in squadron use, a small table that details the aircraft used immediatley prior to Lightning use, versions of Lightnings operated, bases operated from, when disbanded, what happened after Lightinings (Later), and a description of the squadron badge. Also included is an image of the squadron badge and squadron colours used on the Lightning.

What then follows is 4 to 6 pages of photos of Lightnings from that particular squadron.

The final chapter, deals with training and second line units.


Lots and lots of great photographs of the EE Lightning, mostly in colour and of quite good to high quality. Writing is kept to a minimum as the photographs do the talking in this book.

But you will find that the captions to the photos are detailed and useful. I also like the format of the book, in that it presents the Lightnings per squadron and not by Lightning version. Another plus is the amount of colour, in the squadron badges and markings, plus in the photographs.


Not really an issue for me, but if you are looking for a ‘walk around’ type book, then this is not one. Another very slight issue is the paper. It is good quality, but it would have lifted the book to a higher level if it was glossier.


Would I recommend Lightning Force: RAF Units 1960-1988 – A Photographic Appreciation of the English Electric Lightning ? very much so. I feel it is a great resource for Lightning photos and information on RAF Squadron use of the Lightning.

This is a ‘visual’ book that can be used to just flick through, or to wet the appetite for a modelling or painting projects.

More information about the EE Lightning.

If you would like more info about the EE Lightning, then you can find more on my EE Lightning page.

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Airfix 1:72 BAe Hawk T.Mk.1A

My original plan for this blog about the Airfix 1:72 BAe Hawk T.Mk.1A, was for it to be a build log. I did start off taking photos of the build process. However, due to my slowness in building the model. Plus I would work on small bits in small chunks of time. Because of this, I did not take photos of the later stages.

So this blog will be more about showing off the finished build. I will say, that I am actually quite pleased with the result. Yes there is always room for improvement. But I’m quite proud of this build.

Overall the kit was quite easy to build, and really should not have taken as long as it did.

One of the features I did like about the Airfix 1:72 BAe Hawk T.Mk.1A is the two pilot figures. These figures come with separate arms, so this gave me an opportunity to get a little creative.

Pilot figures in the Airfix 1:72 BAe Hawk T.Mk.1A by Jets of the Cold War.

As you can see, I also removed their heads and repositioned them. The idea is they are both giving a wave or thumbs up to ground crew.

The only really big issue I had during the construction was adding the part 13 (section 7) in the cockpit area. I must have placed the cockpit tub slightly too high. I had to do a lot of trimming and sanding of plastic at the end of the build in the cockpit area to get it to fit, plus to allow the cockpit canopy to sit correctly. Even after all that work, the canopy still does not sit flush on the right hand side of the model.

Airfix 1:72 BAe Hawk instructions for the cockpit assembly. Jets of the Cold War.

Apart from that issue with the cockpit tub and canopy, the rest of the build went very well.

The painting went really well. Paints used included Hataka A217 BS Light Aircraft Grey, Tamiya XF81 Green 2 (RAF) and Tamiya XF54 Dark Sea Grey.

I have another Airfix Hawk in my stash, but it is the Red Arrows version. However looking at the instructions, it is exactly the same kit, just minus the weapons. So I will be building another Cold War hawk, but will just need to source some weapons (possibly from Air-Graphics Models) and decals (Hannants are good for these).

Airfix 1:72 BAe Hawk T.Mk.1A – build photos

Airfix 1:72 BAe Hawk T.Mk.1A – finished model

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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., 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 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.

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

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