Arguably the finest model club magazine in the UK

‘Lord of The Riggings’ special issue

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Steve Woodward’s ‘We woz there before WingNut Wings’scratchbuilt R.E.8

In this issue:

News, views and sprue shavings

Summer is supposed to be a time when modelling activity comes second best to gardening but there’s been little evidence of that with us. Club nights have been noisy and membership has boomed. We’ve even been blessed with visits from such industry luminaries as Paul Fitzmaurice from Litltle Cars and Phill Smith of PDI Model Supplies. Welcome to both of you.

Tom Ward has also been busy with the website and we now have a blogging facility for posting fresh news online. He’ll also be running a photo shoot to update the gallery on AGM night.

Talking of which, AGM date is December 1. It’s the opportunity for you to air your views, vote on important club matters and votein/out any club officers. You might even want to stand for a post yourself. So please be there.

And finally. Tamiya have surprised us all with their new 1/32 Spitfire kit. The hunt is on to find a retailer offering this at sub-£90. Airfix’s 1/24 Mosquito is imminent-over 600 parts and most likely well worth the £130 being asked.

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Lancaster B.III JA937 MG-N as flown by  Flt Lt Oliver Wells.

Show reports

We’ve had a busy show season yet again. Aside of the normal model show circuit in which we achieved second placed club stand gong at Brampton (well done Simon and the guys), we got out to engage with the public. Thanks to Steve Woodward’s contacts at the RAFVA Club we put on a very impressive display of models charting the history of the RAF over a weekend in June for the benefit of FAFVA’s Veterans weekend. Highlights were a visit from two gentlemen aged 87, one an ex-air gunner the other a pilot, Wing Commander Oliver Wells of the Charles Wells brewing family. We also reprised this a few weeks later for a USAAF veterans visit and found ourselves on camera in front of a documentary crew. September found us showing at Biddenham Fete amongst the prize marrows, home made jam and competition quilt makers.

Scale Modelworld – November 7/8 Telford International Centre, Day 1 – 10-6pm, Day 2 – 10-4pm
(IPMS Members being closer to God get in at 9.00am to nick all the bargains on the KitSwap stand.)

Retail news

Our friends at Simon’s Models are marketing a range of accessories in metal for modern jets under the brand name of GS Parts, so if you lean towards RAF aircraft with burner cans and are hunting for Buccaneer refuelling probes in 1/72 and other such items get in touch with them

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I have started marketing a nose conversion to change the venerable Airfix Stirling from bomber to a Mk IV transport as used on D-Day, Operation Market Garden and the Elbe crossings. Mastered by John ‘Tigger’ Wilkes this will appeal to anyone short on vacform skills. Comes with a set of conversion notes for guidance with other work needed-window layout, yoke, guard strop and parachute hatch. Only £4.00 plus postage

T&R Models of Wellingborough will be under new ownership from early November. The new owner is an active military modeller and is looking to ramp up and expand the military kit inventory. So for those of you who like modelling targets this will b a pleasant alternative to internet purchasing, and you’ll be supporting a local business.

We’ve had a flyer from a Luton based trader Ace Models who seems to be specialising in Revell and Airfix items.

And Modelzone are doing some nice clearance deals on Dr. Who and Wallace and Gromit items, not to mention Nimrods. 

Kit reviews

Airfix Spitfire PR. XIX, 1/72 scale
RRP £5.69

The new-tool Airfix Spitfire PR. XIX arrived in many local model shops about a month ago.  From what I’ve seen most of them didn’t stay long (I actually took mine direct from the delivery carton).  Was it worth the wait and the money?  Definitely!

The kit consists of 44 parts, all but three of which are moulded in a slightly soft light grey plastic, which is almost a good match for light aircraft grey.  The three clear parts are the one-piece cockpit canopy, the lateral camera port and the two lower camera ports moulded as one (the join between them is within the fuselage).  Parts breakdown is conventional, with a two-piece fuselage, wings moulded as two upper surfaces and a one-piece lower surface.  Ailerons and flaps are moulded in with the upper panels and are not dreadfully over-thick.  One let down is that there is no detail in the undercarriage bays.   Two alternative styles of main wheels are supplied.

The cockpit owes much to the 1/48th scale Spitfires from Airfix, comprising of an instrument panel with associated frame, but no moulded detail or transfer, fore-and –aft frames supporting the rudder pedals, control column and seat frame.  The seat frame incorporates the pilot’s armour plate and the seat is a separate moulding.  There is also a rear bulkhead for the cockpit, a feature unique to PR Spitfires.  There’s also a three-piece pilot, with separate arms, but he appears a bit on the small side.

Assembly is extremely straight forward with no real pitfalls.  On my first kit the forward end of the lower wing panel would not mate neatly with the bottom of the cowling and needed a small dollop of super glue.  Minimal amounts of filler were used on the upper wing root joints and along the fuselage spine and belly. 

Two colour schemes are provided for; a Royal Air Force example, PS888, in PRU blue with medium sea grey upper surfaces and post-war national markings.  The other is a Royal Swedish Air Force example from 11 Wing in overall PRU blue.  Transfers are well printed, although rather minimalist: there are no walkway markings or stencilling included. 

In terms of overall accuracy the kit looks the part.  The wings have wash out, and the booster pump fairings in front of the wheel wells.  The ribbing on the elevators and rudder is a bit heavy, but nothing that a quick rub down won’t put right (yes please matron).

Would I build another?  Very much so!  Is it worth the asking price?  It’s cheaper than the much-vaunted Fujimi kit and easier to build.  It’s a good kit for anyone relatively new to the hobby to stretch their skills on.  For the enthusiast or expert it would form the basis for a real little gem. For the more ham-fisted modeller a 1/48th version would be much appreciated!

Steve Rickwood

(Thanks to Steve for this in box review. A build of this kit has been done on Hyperscale’s Airfix Group Build Forum and it bears out pretty much of what Steve has said. Having knocked together their new Bf 109 G-6 in a couple of evenings I can say that the latest generation of 1/72 releases are all absolute gems-Ed)

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“stick two of these up your nose and go ‘wibble’…”

1/32 scale Old Bill Bus revisited

Once upon a time when we had an Empire, the countries in school atlases were predominantly pink and teachers could still beat schoolchildren without fear of prosecution Airfix kits used to have written instructions that one had to read.

The 1/32 scale Old Bill Bus is one of these. Spawned from the original LGOC ‘B’ Type bus kit it depicts an example commandeered by the War Department in 1914 to transport troops to the emerging Western Front.

I last made this kit back in 1968 and had been hunting for another one for quite some time. I was lucky enough to be given one of these a few years ago. It sat in my attic until the Hyperscale Airfix Group Build persuaded me to bring it down.

Conveniently moulded in khaki plastic and festooned with ejector pin markings it requires some cleanup prior to sticking, but with a simple 3 stage assembly sequence everything fits incredibly well. The only tricky bit is lining the stair assembly with the main body- a lot of dry fit and cursing  prior to committing glue to plastic. Painting is a doddle-loads of Tamiya Khaki with a bit of black and aluminium for detail parts and Panzer Grey for the tyres.

The soldier figures come in two parts and do require a lot of work to clean up but the effort is well worth it. Finally I discarded the cardboard anti shrapnel boards and used them as a template for creating new ones out of Evergreen strip, the regimental graffiti being handpainted. For this you need a very fine brush, plenty of water to keep the paint diluted and flowing and a ready supply of Anglo-Saxon when it all goes wrong.

I finished this during the week that Harry Patch, Britain’s last Fighting Tommy, was laid to rest. The Duke Of Cornwall’s Light Infantry is inscribed on the side by way of a small tribute.

A chairman writes……

There is something causing a bit of a stir down Kempston way…..

Hello my name is Dave and I am a … toolaholic…
There I’ve said it, “I like tools”. (Please feel free to insert your own punch line)
I am also a believer in using the right tool for the job.
I hate having to “make do”. So let me present the latest addition to the Ross toolbox.

Over time I have created many implements for stirring paint, bits of sprue, bent wire fitted into the pillar drill (quite a fag as you really do need this on slowest setting really the slowest , SLOWEST - you get the drift) lolly sticks, steel or brass rod and finally your best watchmakers screwdrivers. The screwdriver a tool that opens lids, (I still use enamels), and stirs paint - wow. This for me is tempered by a sense of guilt using a tool so inappropriately  (maybe not as bad as using a screwdriver handle as a hammer - repent sinners) but still it hurts my soul –the paint build up around the join between the bit and the body is a dead giveaway. So to my rescue comes (large trumpet fanfare please) the…..

 Paint Stirrer.

Yes I bet you can’t believe it all that prose for this…

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I got mine from Paul at and it is a godsend. The spatula shaped head is ideal for opening those ever-present tinlets (well no damage so far but for really stuck lids use you screwdriver). Tins of enamel that shall we say are on the ‘mature’ side can be whipped to perfection in a matter of minutes, normal stirring time are significantly reduced as well. For those of you who are of a more masochistic nature and use those new fangled acrylics with screw lids fear not whilst the opening properties of the tool will not benefit you the head is ideal for transferring small amounts of paint to your airbrush or palette for mixing.

So all in all for a lot less than a pint of beer (well one that doesn’t cause temporary blindness) you really do get the perfect tool for the job.

Go on treat yourself I can honestly say it’s worth it.

A meerkat’s view of modelling..

Hello. Zees is Alexsandr the meerkat. Everywheer everyone ask about car insurance and meerkats. I say zees is not right. Ees confusings. We are modelling klub. We do not do zees. We are site for Marders.. Tamiya, AFV Klub, 1/48 scale, 1/35 scale, 1/72 scale, early produktion, late produktion, mid-produktion, with zeemmereet, without zeemereet-zees we can do.

So for no confusings – for car eensurance,
                                     for meerkats,

and for Marders,


Ask Alan

In which our modelling guru answers your inane questions

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Dear Uncle Alan. I am visitor from Czech Republic. Why can we not get your modelling materials in our country. Yours, Vaclav, a confused Czech.

Dear Vaclav,

Good as the Velvet Revolution was for your country some enlightening features of this hobby have still passed you by. For you sadly, dope is something sold on street corners, talcum powder is only found in establishments of a –ahem- dubious nature and concrete is still the preferred building material to balsa. As you were starved of the enlightenment that I brought to the pages of the modelling press all those years ago your nation has concentrated on providing us with all this new fangled photo etch and resin that everyone raves about. Your model shows are different. While six thousand people freeze to death over here in a reconstituted aircraft hangar in Telford every November you insist on inhabiting a basement car park in Prague for two days in September attracting just as many people. You prefer beer and sausage to Bacardi. And you win competitions. If it were not for the fact that you still haven’t found any references for the Port Victoria PV.8 I’d say that you were cheating. To steal a vacforming term it’s time for you to take the plunge. And next time, please write on both sides of the paper……..

(Owing to work commitments this will be the last Glued Up of 2009. I’ll be aiming for four editions in 2010. Please note that articles are very welcome, especially extra hints and tips that you can share that help other modellers. Material needs to be with me no later than January 31st 2010)