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Special Junior Gonghunters issue


IN THIS ISSUE.........

News in brief

ModelKraft 2009 - a junior double whammy.

The year has started with a remarkable double gold for our club juniors, Jonathan Viewing and Matthias Read-Simpson. Jonathan is a military modeler of consummate skill as his Cromwell diorama showed. Mathias's result with his Spitfire Mk IX put most adults to shame. And this from the Airfix kit that got panned for being unbuildable. They both join Guy King in the Bedford Model Club Junior Hall of Fame, and the likes of Simon Boness, Hadleigh Mead, Matt Edwards and myself in the Senior Category.

We've since shown at Peterborough , Cosford and Poole .

Andy Horton joined our list of five media correspondents with his report on the Scale Model Factory Show in Eindhoven in Model Military International. This in spite of consuming too much beer and Brazilian food. However his coverage of my performance in the model aircraft throwing competition left a lot to be desired.

Talking of media, just recently we've been blessed with visits from Neil Robinson (Model Aircraft Monthly) and Brett Green (Hyperscale, Missing-Lynx and Model Military International). Brett took time out to photograph our efforts. This should be appearing online very soon.

The club has been offered a commission to renovate a wind tunnel model which has been taken up by chairman Dave Ross. We don't know yet if he has been asked to test it, but on the strength of his ability to wind up a BMW to light speed he should be able to accomplish it without too much problem.


Industry News

(Tamiya's re-released Lancaster B.III as seen at the Nuremburg Toy Fair)

Amidst the plethora of releases and announcements from the industry, including new tools from Airfix, even more big stuff from Trumpeter and a timely re-release from Tamiya of their venerable (and big) Lancaster kit comes a new model company from New Zealand, WingNut Wings. Backed by Peter Jackson (Lord Of The Rings, King Kong and The Dambusters) this brand specialises in WW1 aviation subjects in 1/32 scale. First releases include a LVG, Bristol F.2B and S.E5a, with a Sopwith Pup and Gotha G.IV (!) to follow. Downside is that the only way you can obtain these is online using a PayPal account. So you will have to factor in VAT and customs charges when the kit arrives, adding 15% to the best part of £60 to the bill plus about £13 Customs (which can be challenged in some cases). The upside is that these kits are very impressive. (I can hear Steve Woodward reaching for his credit card now.)


Membership news

All of a sudden the website has kicked in and our membership has swelled with a number of new attendees, including a highly skilled card modeler, a father and son from Thurleigh Youth Club and one new female member prepared to tackle anything from wooden windmills to plastic traction engines. A warm welcome to you all.

Talking of Thurleigh Youth Club, I have been spending a good few Friday evenings helping the younger element with model building. There is a lot of impressive enthusiasm there and it is well worth supporting. They operate on alternate Friday evenings, prior to our club nights. Contact them on if you want to get involved.

Show calendar

We've already shown at Peterborough , Cosford and Poole this year. Here are some key dates to follow.

eDay Prague 2008. A Newbie's view .
( In which Martin Higgs is introduced to Czech beer and modeling in one weekend and survives both)

Day One.
Oh Christ. It's early. 2am and we're up getting ready to hit the road for Stansted. We throw every thing we are taking into the boot of Mark's Beemer and away we go.

4.30am and we are already parked up and in the queue for check in. 20 minutes later and we're through security and sitting down to a full English and a brew.

By 6.45am our easy J et A319 is leaving the runway and doing its best to copy a Lightning climbing on full burner. Time for an hour's shuteye.

9.30am (local) and we are over the piano keys at Prague airport. And I'm feeling a little disappointed. We are now in Eastern Europe and I can not see a single Russian built aircraft as we taxi in. Even the Aeroflot flight behind us is a bloody Airbus!

Our driver meets us and we are taken to the city centre to pick up the keys to the apartment Mark has booked. The agency handling the booking tells us the place isn't quite ready yet, do we mind waiting? Not a problem. We leave our bags at the agency office and head off to the show, earlier than intended.

A quick tube ride and we are queuing to get into the show. Now here's where it gets interesting. It's held in a netted off section of a shopping centre's underground car park, housing about sixty traders. And a club and competition area. And the Czechs take their modeling very seriously.

A quick whiz round, with Mark constantly bumping into people he knows. I am introduced to a number of people who are looked upon as near mythical beings in the UK . Eduard, Pavla, Bilek, Extratech, CMK and MPM. OK, those are company names, but to meet the people who own and run these very well known names is a bit out of the ordinary. (For us Brits anyway) This is just a whistle stop run round the show. We bump into three of my What If? SIG mates who have also come over, and we arrange to meet up in the evening at the Wings Club in the city centre- a place they've found the previous evening.

Next. back to the agency office to retrieve our bags (and the keys), via a spot of grub. We walk the short distance from the office to Wenceslas Square , where the apartment is. Lo and behold our next door neighbour is Marks & Spencer!

Right. Dump the bags again, and away we go. This time to the other side of the city, To Kbely and the Air Force Museum . A quick tube ride to Palmovka, A well-worn area (that's being polite) to catch a 185 bus that deposits us right outside the museum.

We spend the next two hours wandering around the place. Now this is all old hat for Mark, a seasoned veteran of Prague and Kbely. But for me it is a kid in a candy store moment. I'm seeing hardware that I've only ever seen in photos and books before now.

Back to the apartment for an hour's kip before we meet up with Chris, Geoff and Steve. The Wings Club is only two or three stops away on the tube, so it is quite easy to locate. Right, it's not a club really. It's a bar/restaurant with an aviation theme. It's crammed full of aviation memorabilia, a replica Spitfire cockpit section and countless models, photos, paintings and full size propellers adorn the walls and ceiling- oh and the food and beer is fantastic, and very easy on the wallet. After a good time is had by all, we finally return to the apartment and crash out. After 22 hours on the go.

Day Two.

A more civilised time to wake up this time. But we are still at the show venue for 8.30am , so Mark can set up his little ADH table and get his first "propaganda" leaflet drop underway.

I get wandering as well, browsing the traders (very dangerous undertaking-for my wallet) and having a look at the display and comp tables.

Now there aren't to many clubs and SIG's in the Czech Republic , so there are not many stands to look at, but the quality of the modeling more than made up for the lack of numbers. As for the competition tables. all I can say is WOW! To say these guys and gals are good is an understatement. These people play to win. And I can see why those from the Czech Republic that make the trip to Telford walk away with so many of the awards up for grabs. Even the juniors put us Brits to shame. Sunday is a quiet day compared to the Saturday, but that makes it a bit easier for me. With no big crowds to fight through to get to the trade stands it's easy to bankrupt yourself here, even with prices for home grown stuff being about 20% cheaper than the UK . I manage to restrain myself from spending to much, despite a trip up stairs to locate a hole in the wall to replenish my cash reserves. The reason for that is most of the traders don't take plastic (mental note to self. Take plenty of cash next time).

Ok let's rewind a bit. Mark returns to his table from his leaflet drop carrying a tray baring what he tells me is a local breakfast. Sausage and beer!

Over the course of the day we are inundated with review samples for ADH from almost every trader present. Back at the apartment Mark easily fills his suitcase and still has a large box from CMK that has to go as excess baggage.

Right. A little about the city itself. It's easy to get around, with a tube network, buses and trams. It's geared up for the tourist, with most locals able to deal with you in at least basic English. Food is cheap, and so is the beer. They do cater for veggies but don't expect much of a choice! And don't be surprised to see locals lighting up inside. The place is clean and tidy; they look after it well. And you feel safe as well; police are very visible but not intrusive. Travel around the city is cheap and very efficient-buy a 24 hour ticket and you have full access to the tube, tram and bus. There are inspectors about, but I can't say I saw any in action while I was there. There's plenty to see and do for the tourist. I didn't get much chance to play the tourist this time around-maybe next year.

Yes I said next year (hopefully). I will go back again, It's a great city and a great show. I recommend that you do too.


Retail news

Those nice people at Modelzone's branch in Milton Keynes are offering 10% off model purchases to club members on production of one's membership card.

New members Ian and Rhys Whitlock recommend a visit to Osbornes in Rushden. By all accounts it seems to be a shop run on traditional lines with good stocks of everything.


Kit reviews
(New member Tim Crowe takes us through the intricacies of building armour-from card.)

For my first building thread I have chosen the GPM model of the Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) This was an early release (No.43) dating from 1986. It seems like a fairly basic kit, printed on rough card. I have far more detailed tank kits though as a starting point this one will be ideal.


The carcass was glued onto 1mm cardboard using 3M Craft Mount. This carcass was then assembled and the outer skins glued in place. Next the wheels were assembled, these were straight forward, though a little repetitious.

The suspension for the road wheels seem easy, if a little flimsy. I decided early one to ditch the kits leaf-springs for scratch-built ones. Although they won't really be seen, the new ones do at least look more realistic. They consist of lengths card cut to size the glued together and left to dry pegged to a sauce pan of the right circumference. Any of the models axles were replaced with wood dowel for strength and rigidity.

The tracks were assembled next. They are of simple construction with two main halves, separate grouser bars and guide plates. Once these tracks were completed it was time to jiggle them onto position with the wheels and sprockets. It was a tight fit! The road wheels were glued on to the chassis. Then the track had to mesh with the drive sprockets, threaded over the return rollers and finally glued onto the idler wheels.

I have tried to reproduce how the tracks would sit on a full size version. Most of the photographs show a dip in the tracks aft of the rear return roller. The surviving tanks show this dip as more pronounced. I presume this occurs as the tracks wear and get a little longer with use.

Had lots of fun building the barrel, I didn't even try to use the models card, as I knew it would be too thick for such a tight radius. Instead I used paper rolled round a cock-tail stick. Built three examples and chose the best (or least worse) The two machine guns mounts were built up and paper-clips used as barrels.

The antenna pipe that runs from the rear to the front of the tank was fabricated using dowel, cut and glued into place. Again the minor hand tools were fabricated using dowel and card.

I had a small amount of track left over so this was glued onto the front area of the tank. Looking at period photos it seems a popular place to put it.

Overall I have enjoyed building this model though fairly simple it does show its age with regard to detail and fit of parts. But, that has been half the fun getting things to fit and trying to improve the model.

I did originally plan not to use paint and stick to my trusty felt-tip pens. However, as I got deeper into the model, I succumbed. First matt black, then a few greys, finally a brown and silver. These new (to me) acrylic paints are a joy to use, no smell and they dry very quickly.

( Thanks to Tim for a very informative article. Just proves that there's other modeling media than plastic. Or balsa for that matter...)


Tony Honour takes a peek at the Classic Airframes Baltimore -and is impressed

The box is typical Classic Airframes, as are the instructions. The plastic and resin are in re-sealable bags, a good idea methinks. The plastic is typical CA grey with recessed panel lines as is the resin, . 71 plastic, 54 resin and 10 clear parts are in the box all attached to the sprues except for the wing halves which are separate presumably to keep the size of the box down. It's bigger than I was expecting and looks a very good kit although I have read reviews that it fights a bit. Parts and transfers (not many) are included for closed and open turret versions, 4 different options in all. The Coastal Command version looks very pretty. The trailing edges are much finer than on some CA kits, looks like they have learned something. The resin engines have separate cylinders and are a work of art and take up the majority of the resin parts, the clear parts will benefit from dipping in your chosen floor polish but at least are injection. All in all a very nice package, if I can find another one at some time I would definitely be tempted


Ask Alan.

A message from our modeling guru..

Apologies for my enforced silence last issue. As you may know, I've been called away to form IPMS The Other Place and am still settling in here. I am experiencing some problems with the exceedingly high temperature. The heat has a tendency to melt plastic which is great for sprue stretching, but no good for maintaining dihedral and I don't want to be sentenced to building biplanes for the rest of my afterlife, no matter how good those WingNut things are. It is also playing merry hell with the dope and talcum powder mix and the balsa has a tendency to singe. However the good news is that there is no aftermarket down here. I'm told that they've even set up a tribute forum in my name on one of those new-fangled internet sites.

I look forward to answering more of your inane modeling queries next issue. Now, where are those plans for the Port Victoria PV8 ?........

(Material for next issue to me by 31/7/09)