FineScale Modeler September 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
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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
weathering is finishing

A glance at the pages of FineScale Modeler or any modeling website reveals that painting and finishing are the focus of the hobby. I think it is a function of three things. First, by and large, kits are better now than they ever have been. That means most of us have to spend less time finagling parts together with filling and sanding. Second, there are kits available for many more subjects than ever before. Take a look at an issue of FSM from the 1980s and you’ll see many articles about conversions and kitbashes to produce a particular version of a tank or plane. That’s a lot less necessary now. Third, there has been an explosion of weathering techniques and supplies; I have referred to it as a renaissance for modeling. I remember…

5 min
scale talk

Scale safety first Tim Boyd’s article in the May 2021 FSM, “The Secrets of Extreme-Z” was interesting and informative, but I must point out a serious safety issue: the use of cinder blocks to support the frame or chassis. Cinder blocks, as their name implies, are constructed of coal ash cinders bonded together with Portland cement. While they are lightweight and therefore tempting to use in lieu of jack stands, their bonded construction makes their use extremely dangerous for projects like Tim’s hot rod, where someone may be lying on the ground underneath. Cinder blocks are reasonably strong when the load is distributed evenly across the supporting surface, but a point contact will create extremely high stresses and often, the structure being supported will punch through the supporting cinder block surface.…

2 min
new products

AIRCRAFT 1/32 SCALE PZL P.11c Polish Fighter “Rare Birds” from IBG Models, No. 32004, $65. 1/48 SCALE Bf 109F-2 from Eduard, No. 82115, $49.95. Bf 109F-4 Weekend Edition from Eduard, No. 84146, $29.95. Bf 109G-10 Erla Weekend Edition from Eduard, No. 84174, $29.95. Mustang Mk.IV from Eduard, No. 82104, $59.95. Fw 190F-8 from Eduard, No. 82139, $59.95. Tempest Mk.V Series 1 from Eduard, No. 82121, $59.95. 1/72 SCALE Desert Babes Tornado GR1 Gulf War from Eduard, No. 2137, $39.95. MiG-21MF from Eduard, No. 70142, $33.95. MiG-21PF from Eduard, No. 70143, $33.95. Albatros D.V from Eduard, No. 7046, $14.95. Tachikawa Ki-54 Hei “Hickory” (Japanese Army transport plane) from Special Hobby, No. SH72270, $24.75. Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1 “Lightly Armed Emil” from Special Hobby, No. SH72454, $18. Mirage F.1AZ/CZ from Special Hobby, No. SH72435, $24.30. P-40M Warhawk/Kittyhawk Mk.III from Special Hobby, No. SH72382, $19.65. ARMOR 1/35 SCALE 7TP Polish Tank - twin turret (early)…

6 min
how to apply foil

I’ve tried several products to paint natural-metal finishes, including Testors Model Master Metalizer and Alclad II. Both produced finishes that looked like they were painted, so I wasn’t satisfied. In 2016, while visiting a local air show that featured several World War II aircraft, I had a revelation about what makes bare-metal aircraft look so unique. The colors of the individual panels vary, there’s a subtle grain in the aluminum, and rivets are visible. That prompted me to try metal foil as a finishing material. I ordered Bare-Metal Foil (BMF), a thin, self-adhesive foil that is available in several sheens; I use two sheens: Matte Aluminum and Chrome. The foil has subtle grain on the surface. I’ve used it several times and this is how I get the right look. Tools The…

7 min
detailing and finishing warships

Ship modelers frequently face the dilemma of how to differentiate their model from other builds of the same kit. In real life, hundreds and thousands of planes and tanks were built in multitudes of different variants, markings, and camouflage. In contrast, there was only one Bismarck, for example. There was only one battleship USS Arizona (BB-39), one heavy cruiser USS San Francisco (CA-38), and so on. So what are some ways you can make your ship stand out? Some things come readily to mind, like adding aftermarket photoetched metal (PE) details. Or scratchbuilding additions. Or modifying the base kit so the project can be called a kitbash or conversion. In almost every case, unique painting or finishing further elevates the model. Combining these techniques is what I call strategic detailing. When…

6 min
an american expact in sweden

The P-51 formed a significant part of the Swedish air force immediately after World War II. More than 100 Mustangs, designated J 26 in Sweden, served well into the 1950s when they were replaced by jets. Meng released its 1/48 scale P-51D in 2016 as a kit designed to be built without glue. I was blown away by the excellent engineering and detail — this kit is nothing like the snap-together models many of us enjoyed in our youth. As good as the kit is, I wanted more detail, including Eduard photo-etched metal parts (PE) and a pre-painted Yahu PE instrument panel (No. YMA4820) for the cockpit, and BarracudaCast resin wheels. Research indicated that all Swedish Mustangs had fabric-covered elevators and rudder, so I replaced the kit parts with Ultracast…