Tag Archives: plastic

Heinkel He-51: Hasegawa vs. ICM

Is it time to kill-off the old Hasegawa Heinkel 51 kit?

ICM (aka ICM Holding of Ukraine, I’m not sure what ICM means as even in Cyrillic the company uses ICM as its identifier) has made great advances since its early days of chunky low pressure injection kits, and is producing the most accurate (so far) version of the German biplane in 1:72 scale.

The main issue is detailing and the upper wing.  Overall the ICM kit has better detailing and a main wing that has the correct dihedral (upward sweep).  The ancient Hasegawa kit (first issued in the 1970s) has no dihedral.  However, it seems the ICM wingtips are questionable as they taper back, they should be more evenly rounded.

Click on the pics to make them bigger:

Rare Plane makes a vac-formed kit, the packaging photo looks to have dihedral in the upper wing but I’ve seen completed kits with no dihedral and oddly shaped horizontal tails.  The problem with comparing vac-formed kits to injected kits is that a lot depends on the skill of the builder in cutting the parts from the plastic sheet and then shaping them to form a good join.

A drawback of the ICM kit is subtle, or no, attachment points.   The old Hasegawa kit is easier to build.  My conclusion in comparing the Hasegawa with the ICM He-51 is that while both can be built to look good the ICM has the better detailing and correct dihedral of the upper wing.

There are no major visual differences in the A, B or C versions of the Heinkel 51 (except with the float-plane version).

WORLD’S LARGEST C-141B STARLIFTER MODEL?

GROCERY STORE USES MODEL PLANES TO ATTRACT CUSTOMERS!

ITALERI 1:720 DEUTSCHLAND, LUTZOW, SCHEER & GRAF SPEE

Italeri 1:720 Deutschland, Lutzow, Scheer & Graf Spee

Italeri recently re-issued its old but nice looking Deutschland class heavy cruisers (they are not battleships) in 1:720 scale.

These kits represent the class before the 1939-40 rebuilds (refit).  They were first issued in the late 1970s, and have excellent detail for the scale (which made some of the larger scale ship kits look even worse than they were; 1:600 Airfix, Aurora, 1:570 Revell, etc).  In the 1980s Testors issued them in the United States.  Italeri issued them again in the 1990s.

Deutschland: Parts distinct to the first ship and prior to the 1939 update and name change.  Deutschland originally had ‘exposed’ torpedo tubes, but the Italeri kit comes with the armored tubes.

Scheer: Parts distinct to the second ship of the line, prior to its 1939-40 rebuild.

Graff Spee: Parts distinct to its final year of life, 1939, with one exception; the kit does not come with the ‘mattress/bed spring’ radar that should be mounted on the front of the tower range finder.  Note that prior to 1939 Graf Spee was fitted out similar to Scheer, so if you want to model an earlier Graf Spee just buy the Scheer kit.

Lützow: Parts distinct to the 1939 update to Deutschland (when its name was changed to Lützow), but prior to its 1940 rebuild.

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For decades these ships were called battleships by the victors of World War Two, which is ridiculous since battleships ranged in the 30-thousand to 50-thousand tonnes standard displacement range.  It’s the result of official British empire government backed news media propaganda (today called Fake News) coming up with the Fake News term Pocket Battleship. It was an attempt by the British government to rile up their subjects to support war with Nazi Germany.  Nazi and Blitzkrieg were also Fake News terms made up by the British main stream news media, they were not German terms, although the Germans liked the term Blitzkrieg and used it themselves.  What should be noted is that the Deutschland class of ships were not constructed by the ‘Nazis’, but by the western imposed Weimar government in the early 1930s, before the NSDAP (National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei) was democratically elected to power. While these ships violated the Washington Treaty limiting warship sizes, the violation was initiated by the Weimar government, not the NSDAP.

Under the treaty cruisers were limited to 10-thousand tonnes (metric tons) standard displacement.  According to some sources we will never know the true displacement because Weimar bureaucrats altered the official data. Today it’s generally accepted that Deutschland was just over the 10-thousand tonnes limit, Scheer was closer to 13-thousand and Graf Spee closer to 14-thousand tonnes.

The differences in weight between the ‘sister’ ships is due to subtle alterations in the hulls of Scheer and Graf Spee to accommodate extra armor protection.  Official suspect data give the same length and width for all ships, but hull height for Scheer and Graf Spee is 0.2 meter shorter that Deutschland.  I would assume that with the extra armor the hull side thickness was greater than Deutschland’s (naval researcher H.T. Lenton says Spee/Scheer were about 1 meter [3 feet] wider than Deutschland-Lutzow).

Knowing that official data for the ships are suspect it’s no use getting knit-picky about accuracy.  The best thing is to use photographs of the ship you want to depict at the time period your interested in.

Graf Spee was the first to go, sunk by its own crew in South America in 1939, after being damaged by three Royal Navy cruisers.  During its South Atlantic adventure Graf Spee underwent attempts at deception, making itself look like a full fledged battleship with extra gun turret and exhaust funnel, and even painting the name Deutschland on the side of the hull.

Lützow and Scheer lived longer than anybody expected. Not only did the British want them sunk, but, at the protests of the Deutsche KriegsMarine (DKM), Adolph Hitler ordered them scrapped in 1943.

Scheer ended up being used as a training ship and artillery platform against Soviet ground forces.  Scheer was sunk in April 1945 by Royal Air Force bombers, a month before Germany surrendered.

Lützow was disabled and used as an artillery platform against the Soviets, supposedly destroyed by its crew as the Soviets overran the port. Western news sources reported that the Soviets had raised Lützow, for the purpose of scrapping it.  In 2000 it was discovered the Soviets used Lützow for target practice, sinking it in 1947.

The only disappointing thing I find about these Italeri kits is that no decals come with them.  It would be nice to have each ship’s bow shield/crest and the Coronel nameplate on the front of Graf Spee’s tower.

1/1 SCALE F-4 PHANTOM-2 MODEL

MORE PROOF INSTRUCTIONS ARE WRONG: AMT WILLYS VAN RETRO ISSUE

More proof instructions are wrong: AMT Willys Van retro issue

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REVELL 1937 FORD PICKUP OR WHY MODEL ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS CAN BE WRONG!

MULTI-MAVERICK OR WHY MODEL ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS CAN BE WRONG!

1:48 F-105G Wild Weasel showdown, HobbyBoss vs Monogram

When it comes to the new high tech produced Hobby Boss F-105G Thunderchief Wild Weasel, versus the old-but-gold classic Monogram kit, price is the deciding factor.

I swear I had some 1:48 scale drawings for the F-105, but, despite tearing apart my decades old collection of modeling and aircraft magazines, I can’t find them.  Oh well, I did discover with my F-104s that scale drawings can be inaccurate, as well.  

Click on the gallery pics to make them bigger and read the comparisons of the kits:

Monogram first issued their F-105 series of 1:48 kits in the late 1970s early 1980s.  Believe it or not they’re still viable and available today, currently issued by Revell (which took over Monogram in the 1990s).

Monogram Plus: Generally accurate, good details. Price buster; if you shop on the internet, and are patient, you can get one for as little as ten bucks (or less, not counting shipping cost)! I once saw Revell’s new Thunderstick version in a brick-n-mortar shop for $15! The Hobby Boss kit will cost you anywhere from $35 to $65 USD depending on where you get it (also not counting shipping cost if purchased on the internet or old fashioned mail order).

Hobby Boss Plus:  Generally accurate, good details.  Extra parts like an engine, radar, 20mm Vulcan and an extended inflight refueling probe (F-105s had both refueling probe and receptacle. Oh no, not a hermaphrodite!?).  More decals.

Model-land ‘deaths’, 2013-15!

Incomplete list of hobby shop shutdowns.

California: After 67 years a hobby shop I loved to check out whenever I was forced to visit my child hating Oma, Dave’s Hobby Central, in Santa Barbara closed down: “It is with deep regret and a heavy heart that I must to tell you that today we have closed the doors for good! After a long and fruitless year I have no choice but to fold up the doors.”-store statement on Facebook

Hawaii: Toys N’ Joys shut down after 30 years in business.

Illinois: Plastic model kit company Testors laid off 107 employees at its Rockford plant!  Testors has operated out of Rockford since 1929, they also make paint and other model building supplies.  Company officials say the bad economy is forcing them to eliminate some of their model supply brands.  This means closing their 84 years old Blackhawk Park Avenue building, and moving operations into a smaller building.

Idaho:  In Chubbuck, at the end of 2014, and after 23 years the iconic local Dapco Hobbies went up for sale.  Employees said the current owner was selling everything off and wants out of the hobby business.  At the beginning of 2015 Dapco Hobbies relocated to a much, much smaller place in Pocatello (across the street from Bamboo Garden Chinese buffet).  Dapco Hobbies was originally located on Garrett Way in Pocatello (according to the BBB, that was beginning in 1991), then, after Corey & Melia took over, Dapco relocated to Chubbuck around 2007-08.  For a very brief time Dapco Hobbies had a shop in Ammon then Idaho Falls (apparently they left about the same time the ‘big box’ Hobby Town left Idaho Falls), and they even had an internet website.  Dapco Hobbies started out focused on trains, then shifted to RC when that got big.  I went there for the plastic model kits (and I still do, unfortunately they got hit by RC burglars right after they moved into their current Pocatello location off Yellowstone Avenue).

Kentucky: In Louisville, model train store L&N Trains and Things shut down after 32 years. The owner blames health problems (just in time for Obama Care).

New York:   In Fairpoint, after 30 years Toy Soldier shutdown.   In Farmingdale, Model Power, a major internet model railroad retailer, is being killed off by Too Big to Jail banks: “After nearly 50 years serving the hobby industry, our 3rd generation family business will be closing effective immediately to the public. We will be reaching out to our clients over the next few weeks to settle any demand needs that they may have.

In 2007, our banks began an aggressive deleveraging process. They no longer approved of a profitable and paying client such as ours, which had been reliant on inventory. This is why one of the industry’s most extensive lines, had begun to see much of its products unavailable on the market. Now it will no longer be seen at all.

During these past 7 years, we had made changes to the business in order to accommodate and adjust to the changing nature of the business relationship with our lenders. We had offered multiple solutions to our lenders in order to ‘fix’ our situation, all were rejected, came with different restrictions, or offered too little too late. In all our efforts, no arrangements by our lenders would allow for Model Power to arrive at a position in which we could get back to fill our customer needs.

We would like to take the time to thank all of those whom we have worked with the past 50 years. To our customers and competitors within the industry, we thank you.

Sincerely,
The Model Power Family”

I’ve been reporting on the deleveraging conspiracy by the Too Big to Jail banks, read the articles and weep: De-leveraging will continue until the economy improves, and that means you!,  it’s called Deleveraging and it’s a sign we’re in a “Terminal Downturn”!4,000 people stranded when….airline is suddenly deleveragedAll part of the IMF’s orders to deleverage!IMF pushes for U.S. consolidation, code for even more drastic deleveraging!

Ohio: In Lakewood, after 67 years Wings Hobby Shop shutdown.  The owner blames lazy young people: “We peaked out, volume-wise, in 1995.  Little by little it started to go away, because we weren’t getting any young people……Society has evolved into a mode of instant gratification…….They want to have a collection to look at, but they don’t want to build anything. “-Al Cicerchi

Wisconsin: In Wausau a 50 years old hobby store shutdown.  The owner of Pope’s Hobbyland said it was time he retired.   After 50 years iconic Greenfield News and Hobby store shutdown.  The store was up for sale, with no luck.   “A lot of kids aren’t picking up these hobbies either because they’re being priced out … or because they’d rather go to online or home video games, and it’s hard to counteract that.”-Jeff Reich, editor of Model Retailer,  Kalmbach Publishing

Obama regime using 2011 financing order to shut down successful ebay model kit sellers! 

If you like building model planes, then you are a terrorist! 

Styrofoam containers, boards or sheets, we model builders have been recycling them into diorama bases for years. 

Hot Wheels, Matchbox & other toy cars are the new way to protest your corrupt local government!

Iran to display life size model of U.S. Stealth Drone, sends Obama a smaller hot pink version 

Kit Bashing & Education Reform: Idaho Students Building Model Kits 

Kit Bashing: Multi-Maverick or Why model assembly instructions can be wrong!

14 September 2013 (22:11 UTC-07 Tango 13 September 2013)/09 Dhu ‘l-Qa’da 1434/23 Shahrivar 1391/10 Xin-You (8th month) 4711

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Kit Bashing: 2006 Mustang Funny Car dragster

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Kit Bashing: Salvaging two different junk kits into one unique Corvette

An old MPC custom Corvette and an AMT 1995 Corvette, missing parts, broken or unusable parts, combined to make a unique kit.

An old MPC custom Corvette and an AMT 1995 Corvette, missing parts, broken or unusable parts, combined to make a unique kit.

The body & interior of the MPC kit was used.  Missing or unusable side windows and removable top.

The body & interior of the MPC kit was used. Missing or unusable side windows and removable top.

Fuel cap came from Revell 2006 Ford Mustang kit.

Fuel cap came from Revell 2006 Ford Mustang kit.

MPC interior.

MPC interior.

Wheels from AMT 1995 Corvette, tires from my spares.  Rear wheels were 'made to fit' the fat meats.

Wheels from AMT 1995 Corvette, tires from my spares. Rear wheels were ‘made to fit’ the fat meats.

Hood had to be drastically sanded as it was hit with a glue bomb.  Looked like previous builder painted glue on it.

Hood had to be drastically sanded as it was hit with a glue bomb. Looked like previous builder painted glue on it.

Front spoiler is from old Opel GT kit. It's being used to keep the hood from sliding off, I couldn't build a functioning hinge system in the time I gave myself to build the kit.

Front spoiler is from old Opel GT kit. It’s being used to keep the hood from sliding off, I couldn’t build a functioning hinge system in the time I gave myself to build the kit.

1995 Corvette engine with impromptu battery & brake cylinder locations.

1995 Corvette engine with impromptu battery & brake cylinder locations.

'95 Corvette chassis had to narrowed, and drastically shortened (one of the reasons why I didn't have a working hood hinge system).

’95 Corvette chassis had to be narrowed, and drastically shortened (one of the reasons why I didn’t have a working hood hinge system).

Taillights are paint with lots-o-clear (too much on a couple).

Taillights are paint with lots-o-clear (too much on a couple).

From a couple of cheapo junkyard kits bought on the internet, I was able to make a decent and unique looking custom Corvette.

From a couple of cheapo junkyard kits bought on the internet, I was able to make a decent and unique looking custom Corvette.

No Longer Made in the U.S.A.? Former Ohio company now owned by China

Hydraulic Press Manufacturing (HPM) was a 135 year old Ohio plastics company, but it went bust in 2009.

However, you can still buy products with the HPM brand, but it’s not a U.S. company anymore.

In 2011 a Chinese company called Guangdong Yizumi Precision Machinery, bought all the rights to HPM and all its products.   Production has been started in southern China.

The Chinese company says they’ve even hired former U.S. employees of HPM.  They are setting up shop in the United States and already have contracts in north America worth $3 million USD.