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.

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


Welcome to my Model Making Blog

This is my first post in my model making blog. This will be a record of my journey of getting back in to model making. 

When I was younger I used to build quite a few model kits, aircraft, AFV’s and figures. Then life happened and I stopped making model kits. Over the years I would look at models in shops and even got one or two. However I never really made a effort to re-start the hobby.

Well last year I did start again, and boy have things changed! Thought my old “skill” would suffice, yeah….no! So it is basically re-learning new skills, which is a bit frustrating at times, but great fun.

As this is an Cold War themed website, I will only chat about my Cold War builds, this may also include vehicles and figures, but the majority will be aircraft.

At the moment, I’m building 1/72 and 1/144 scale aircraft, but I’m considering trying some 1/48 scale kits, once funds allow.

Talking of funds, I’m a member of the Amazon Associates scheme, so I will be linking useful items to the Amazon site, if you buy after clicking on the link, I get a small commission from Amazon.

Oh, must also mention, that not only am I trying to improve my building skills, I decided I’d also start using an airbrush!

Well I hope you join me on this journey, I’m always happy to receive constructive criticism.

If you are on Scalemates.com and want to connect, my nick name is JOTCW.

Photo of the 1/72 Airfix Gnat and Jet Provost.
Airfix 1:72 Red Arrows Gnat and Red Pelicans Jet Provost.