Thursday 31 October 2013

New Build: Hobbycraft's 1:72 scale Avro Arrow

Back in the summer of 2000, I had gone on a tour of the Parry Sound Museum while spending time at the family cottage.  The draw (aside from being a rainy day and looking for something to do) was a limited showing of pieces of the Avro Arrow that survived it's destruction of the planes and the dismantling of the Arrow program under Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker government in 1959, in which most of the scientist went on to work for NASA.  There are conspiracy theories surrounding around the true reasons for the dismantling of those planes, which were beyond state of the art at their time - something I'm not opening up for discussion on this blog.  Regardless, a very important piece of Canadian history, especially as Remembrance Day nears.

At the conclusion of my trip to the Parry Sound Museum, I bought this model kit of the Avro Arrow CF-105 with the intention to build it. 

At 1:72 scale, it's a bookshelf sized model, with fine detail and more or less of a static model.  All the control surfaces are in a fixed position.  Low part count (under 25) and a simple decal sheet.  Having done a bit of research apparently the wrong font was used (as often happened with this vintage of model kit) and the 'Old Canadian Flag', the red ensign is very crudely done and is in two parts.  I will be making my own replacement decals (if I can figure out the correct font).


The first step I take with any model I start to build is to wash it in dish detergent to remove any mold release on the model.  This is critical as paint and glue may have a difficult time adhering to the surfaces.

Then I start to "play" with the parts, figure out how they go together and begin to primer them so I can see any defects.

I've used a grey primer for both inside and out as light block so you can't see light through the model but I'm also lighting the model.

There will be 3 parallel circuits: engine lights, running lights/markers on the wing tips and tail and finally a glow from the crude cockpit.

I will be using a 9V battery as a power source and will be mounting the model on an extra Round 2 dome base with a hollow aluminum tube to the bottom of the aircraft. 

Stay tuned for more on this build...

To learn more about the Avro Arrow, wiki it or these other fine sites:

Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Canada
The Avro Arrow Homepage

Tuesday 29 October 2013

A Warp Back To The First Model...Vulcan Warp Shuttle

Round 2 Vulcan Warp Shuttle - a re-release of an old AMT/ERTL kit from the 80's with, with accurate decals and a few retooled parts to properly represent the model.  This was a model I bought 3 years ago and finished between working on different shows at the time.
Very simple model, low part count and 2 massive decal sheets!!  It also uses to rare earth magnets to connect the crew module to the warp sled, a cool new feature which the old one lacked, and a new dome stand with a simple rod (which is now standard for most Round 2 releases).  The ship itself is from 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture' in a sequence where Mr. Spock is delivered to the USS Enterprise while en route to stop V'Ger from attacking Earth.  The model looked relatively plain in the film, greys and off-whites but in reality it was - MAUVE!  And so it this model...

So I decided early on I didn't want a 'pink model' and went with a Federation theme as there were decals to support it.  

Round 2 put markings on the decal sheets so you could make it as shuttle from the USS Enterprise but since being the 'trekkie' I am, knowing this shuttle would be a tight fit in the Enterprise, I chose a different ship with a larger shuttlebay, and named it 'Shepard' after the astronaut Alan Shepard and had it coming from the USS Reliant (the ship Khan commandeers in Star Trek II).  This was also my first attempt at making my own decals.  

Between using Round 2's models and my own it took a great deal of time to put all of the decals on the ship. It was recommended to me to use both MicroSet and MicroSol with a brush to let the decals 'melt' into the model to give it a 'painted on' look. 

See for yourself in the following beauty shots:

Stay tuned for a few more of these models as I still wait on a few more LED's to come in before I start my 1/350 TOS USS Enterprise.


Saturday 26 October 2013

Penultimate Model Build

Round 2/Polar Lights USS Enterprise 1/350 from Classic Star Trek...

This is what I've leading up to in terms of building models.  This one is big and not cheap.

34 inches long, the most accurate rendition of this model ever mass produced (there are some advanced modelers who have built half scale - 66 inch long garage kits of this which are amazing).  As a kid I remember the old AMT 18 inch model which take a lot of re-working to accurize and not mention the old decals from the 80's were done in the wrong font combined with a raised grid on the saucer.

A full review of this model can be seen watching this link: 

Just a comparison of 4 different TOS Enterprise Models.  The one in the centre (gray with red putty) is a heavily modified Round 2 re-release of the Classic AMT 18 inch Enterprise.  This one will be named USS Constitution NX-1700.  The next one in size is the recently released Round 2 1/1000 scale Enterprise with the SS Botany Bay as depicted in "Space Seed", measuring about 11 inches long.  The smallest model here is from the classic AMT '3 Space Ship Set' (no longer released) and the set came with a Romulan Bird of Prey and a Klingon D7 Battlecruiser.  The model is nearing completion and was heavily modified to resemble how the Enterprise looked in the 2nd pilot episode, 'Where No Man Has Gone Before'.  I made custom decals for it, labeling it USS Faragut NCC-1647 (backstory is this is the ship Kirk served on upon graduating from Starfleet Academy - original universe, not JJ Abrams universe).

A full history of the original Enterprise can be seen on outlining the changes in the two commonly used models to depict the ship in the original series.  My build is going to be special and a bit of a 'what if' approach had Star Trek lasted into a fourth season.

Stay tuned...

Thursday 24 October 2013

The Beginning...

Welcome to Fordo's Models.  This is my first blog and the focus of my blogs will be about model building, tips I've learned and current builds I am working on.  When I was a kid I was into building sci-fi models (mostly Star Trek) as well as real space models such as the Space Shuttle, Saturn V, etc. and thought I closed a door on that.  Fast forward 2 decades later, I have rediscovered this hobby (and have been collecting kits over the years as well) and wish to share it with an audience.

Stay tuned...