FineScale Modeler March 2021

FineScale Modeler teaches you to build models of aircraft, armor, ships and more. Clear articles show you how to assemble, paint, and finish the latest model kits. Every issue includes unbiased reviews of kits that were built and tested for accuracy, product announcements, tips from the experts, and a gallery of readers’ models.

United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
editor’s page

Realism versus reality No matter what we build, many of us strive for realism in our models. Obviously, there are limitations on that realism. As much as I might like to, I will never be able to reach into the Spitfire on my shelf and start the Merlin. Same goes for the Leopard AS1 and the X-wing next to it, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to replicate details seen in photos or correct inaccuracies or omissions in the kit. That’s part of the reason I love research and can spend hours finding photos of the model I want to build. Sometimes a photo is what spurs a particular build because the subject has an interesting or unique camouflage or collection of stowage. Chuck Sawyer’s expertly built F-5E is a good…

1 min
gratitude and enthusiasm from the next generation

G’day, sir! I’m James, an 11-year-old Swiss plastic modeler. I was born in Hyderabad, India. My father is Swiss and my mother from Chișinău, Moldova (formerly part of the Soviet Union). I did my kindergarten at an Australian school in Chennai. I admire, appreciate, trust, and, ultimately, love your work as an editor of my favorite publication. Your articles, comments, and particularly the New Product Rundown with the lovely Elizabeth Nash are simply perfect for me. Please extend my appreciation to Mr. Michael Chorney for his outstanding contribution about masking with leaves. I plan to use it on my next Hasegawa Nakajima Ki-44, and it gave us a good excuse to make a long walk into the big forest in the Jura mountains looking for those “magic” leaves. Thanks also to Mr. Joe…

5 min
scale talk

Looking back, moving forward I have been modeling on and off since the late 1950s, both as a sloppy “oh well” beginner and a hardcore “build for competition” modeler. I quit for 40 years and am now retired and building once again. When I was a hardcore builder in the ’70s and ’80s, the kits were good but not great. The only aftermarket items were Microscale decals, so you had to create detail pieces by scrounging materials and adapting them. I started building cars because I could build a replica of a real car or my own design and color scheme. It’s still the same, but now the aftermarket world and the tools and supplies available are amazing. Holy cow, look at the photo-etched metal, decals, resin, and 3D-printed pieces, all in abundance.…

2 min

Deck these hulls? Q Why doesn’t anyone make a wooden deck decal for the Aoshima Bismarck and Tirpitz? – Michael Sobkowicz Dyer, Ind. A In short, I don’t know. Maybe someone will see your question and decide to make one. I see that several companies (ArtWoxModel, Voyager, Flyhawk, Shipyard Works, MK1 Design, KA Model, and Infini Model) make decks for other 1/700 scale Bismarck and Tirpitz kits. I realize that no two kits are exactly the same, but it’s possible one of those could be made to work on the Aoshima kits. The good news is that if you went to the trouble to do that, some company will immediately produce one specifically for the kits in question. This is the way. – A.S. A fix for wobbly legs? Q Landing gear in small models…

2 min
reader tips

Stamp out a track pattern Do you ever find yourself in a quandary over how to create armored vehicle track impressions on diorama or display base groundwork without damaging your completed model? Pressing your model track into your still-wet terrain can muck up your trackwork and is difficult to clean afterward. I came up with a scratchbuilt track jig that is reusable from model to model. In fact, I created a few for the types of vehicles that I build repeatedly. The track lengths and road wheel parts come from my spare parts box, and I have even used soft vinyl rubber-band tracks. All it takes is two short runs of track, four spare road wheels, lengths of scrap styrene cut from a parts tree, and glue. Any set of road wheels will…

3 min
new products

AIRCRAFT 1/32 SCALE Hawker Tempest Mk.V from Revell, No. 03851, $63. 1/48 SCALE Tornado ASSTA 3.1 from Revell, No. 03849, $50.95. Includes new instrument panel, detailed undercarriage and jet exhaust cones, two Sidewinder guided missiles and two auxiliary fuel tanks. Junkers Ju188 A-2 Rächer from Revell, No. 03855, $63. Includes detailed cockpit with transparent parts, two engines, bombs and decal set for two Luftwaffe versions. Beaufighter Mk.IF Nightfighter from Revell, No. 03854, $50.95. Includes cockpit with consoles and instrument panel, separate rudder, and detailed Hercules engines. 1/72 SCALE F-16 MLU Tiger Meet 2018 31 Sqn. Kleine Brogel from Revell, No. 03860, $25. Includes detailed cockpit, wing tanks, detailed main undercarriage, super decal set including Tiger Meet design. Combat Set Messerschmitt Me 262 & P-51B Mustang from Revell, No. 03711, $16.75. Both fighters fitted with landing gear. Maverick’s F-14 Tomcat Top…