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.

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.

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.


Airfix 1/72 de Havilland Vampire T.11(A02058A)

The completed Airfix 1/72 de Havilland Vampire T11

Aquired the Airfix 1/72 de Havilland Vampire T.11 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”.

So 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 contains markings for a Olive Green Swedish version. However I liked the high speed silver scheme.

Also on that sheet, there are markings’ 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 box art

Box art of the Airfix 1/72 de Havilland Vampire T11

The attractive box art, with a very interesting RAF scheme.

However 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

Kit parts of the Airfix 1/72 de Havilland Vampire T11

Kit contents, well the plastic parts anyway. Not too many parts, so should be quite a quick build.

Early paint stage

Work in progress on the Airfix 1/72 de Havilland Vampire T11

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!

Painting stages

Work in progress on the Airfix 1/72 de Havilland Vampire T11

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.

Work in progress on the Airfix 1/72 de Havilland Vampire T11

Top half primed and pre-shaded.

Work in progress on the Airfix 1/72 de Havilland Vampire T11

Silver airbrushed on, in this instance Tamiya XF-16 Aluminium and a start made on the dayglow stripes. The stripes are a mixture of Hataka Luminous Orange (A194) and Hataka Signal Red (A276). These came from the Hataka Modern Royal Air Force Paint Set Vol.3.

The finished kit – Airfix 1/72 de Havilland Vampire T.11


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. 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. 


ScaleMates stash manager

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

Screen shot of my ScaleMates page.
My ScaleMates wall

So at first I just used it to catalogue my stash, which is a very useful feature for keeping track of what you have got.

But as I looked around the site, I found it had some more useful sections, such as:

Screenshot showing the menu options on the Scalemates page.


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 to be very useful.

Screenshot showing a part of my Projects section of Scalemates.
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’ve 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.

Screenshot showing part of my stash manager on scalemates.
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.

In addition 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 purchase that kit, very handy.

Screenshot showing a part of my wish list on Scalemates.
Wish list screen shot


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.

Screenshot showing my newsfeed on Scalemates.

Kit History

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

Screenshot showing the history of a kit on Scalemates.


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 https://www.scalemates.com If you join and want to connect, then my nickname is JOTCW.

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

Well here it is, my 2nd Cold War related model build the Airfix RAF Red Arrows Gnat. 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 Airfix RAF Red Arrows Gnat 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.

Conclusion on the Airfix RAF Red Arrows Gnat

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:



Airfix 1/72 Hunting Percival Jet Provost T.4

This Airfix Jet Provost kit was completed last year (2017), apart from some non Cold War figures and a Spitfire Mk1 this was the only kit completed in 2017.

My reason for building the Airfix Jet Provost Red Pelican’s, is that I wanted this to be my first airbrushed kit. As the colour scheme is red, this fitted in with my airbrushing plan.

To keep things simple I stayed away from any pre-shading and weathering just so I could concentrate on getting the airbrushing right.

The kit went together relatively well, just some issues with the fit of the cockpit tub, which required some trimming.

I did struggle with the seam line on the nose which took some work to hide (not sure I did completely). 

Once built and ready to paint, I primed it with Vallejo Grey Surface Primer.

Moving on to the next step once I was happy that I’d got all the seam lines sorted etc., was to spray the red colour. For this I used Hataka paints, the ‘Modern Royal Air Force Paint Set Vol.3’. (Red set for airbrush).

Both the Vallejo primer and the Hataka red went on well, any imperfections in the finish is totally down to my lack of experience. 

Considering this one is my first airbrushed kit, I’m quite happy with the result. OK it’s not perfect, but I’m still in the learning stage, especially getting the paint to the correct consistency and the right pressure on the airbrush.

I hand painted the anti dazzle area on the nose. Would prefer it to be better, but this is a learning curve.

Airfix Jet Provost Completed

Anyway, here is the finished model. I do have some more Jet Provosts in the stash, so expect to see some more in the future.


Useful bits:


Thanks for taking the time to read this. I’ve got a couple of Gnats on the work bench, so hope to have one of those featured soon.

Happy to take constructive crits.


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.