Readers’ Gallery: Vin’s Hasegawa A6M5c (Type 62) Zero

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Agape forum member Vin (iwragg) posted this wonderful “what if” build of a zero to the forums. Great work Vin!

This is basically a “what if”, that at least was produced into two squadrons, and if the Allies invaded the Japanese home islands, they would most likely encountered this in a fighter bomber/ground support role. Sort of reminds me of the CAC Boomerang and F4U Corsair, may be they learned something from their defeats. The base kit is the Hasegawa Type 62 Zero, with brass guns and a late war harness added. For the first time I masked and airbrushed markings on, rather than use decals. John at Showcase Models suggested a lacquer aluminum paint by Gunze. He strongly suggested using this with Gunze Lacquer thinner. This was first drying, and I was able to apply acrylic paints over this, then chip the paints to reveal the natural metal. Japanese in 1943 did not prime their aircraft, hence deterioration and chipping are required for a late war look. Gunse paint was used, colors were aluminum, semi gloss black, IJN Green, IJN Gray and Mitsubishi interior green.

Readers’ Gallery: Michael Grosbach’s 1/48 Classic Airframes Fiat CR.42 (Swedish J11)

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Agape forum member Michael Grosbach (Michael G) shared these photos of his awesome conversion build of Classic Airframes CR.42 into a Swedish J11 floatplane. Great work Michael!

The Kit

Had this snazzy old kit for a couple of years, and I recall the resin and photoetch was a bit daunting to me back then; it was also a bi-plane which set it on burners further back in build-order…so I saved it. I have put together a set of 3 kits to represent Sweden’s ‘interim’ solutions, consisting of (in a time sequence of use) a Gloster Gladiator, this CR.42 kit, and a Seversky P-35. This is the first kit of the set I have worked on.

Historically, the Swedes received 72 CR.42 aircraft, redesignating them as J11 for their hastily constructed air force, from 1940 to 1941. Apparently, no countries would provide aircraft to the small, mostly neutral Swedes in those onset days of WW2, other than the Italians. Volunteering soldierly help to the Finns in the Winter War with the Soviets in ‘39, it would seem their soon-to-be air efforts were mostly resisitance-based, being a country somewhat sandwiched between the great forces, and blockaded – fuel supply shortage being a significant hindrance.

Having built one other Classic Airframes kit (a BP Defiant,) this CR.42 kit shows similar characteristics in sprue parts with much flash to clean up; 2 vacu-canopies (in the likely case you split one while trimming); good decals (though I did not use them here); a few well assigned resin parts; and a nice photoetch set for both interior and exterior features. The instructions are well arranged, but may leave you questioning how some of the crudely formed pieces are supposed to align with each other – that is, once the flash is cleaned off so you can see what you are actually working with. But with care, the pieces do clean up pretty well, just know that the connection points from the sprue often ‘bleed’ over well onto the piece in an intrusive manner so care is needed in fine trimming to get a good part result. Read the rest of this entry »

Kit Preview: Trumpeter’s 1/48 Westland Whirlwind

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I’ve always thought the Westland Whirlwind was one of the coolest looking airplanes of World War II. Of course, “cool looking” doesn’t count for much in combat. Problems with the aircraft, much of it centered around it’s engines, prevented it from making much of an impact.

Thankfully, wartime performance does not prevent the airplane from being kitted!

Trumpeter has released Westland’s twin-engined fighter, and it looks pretty good in the box. Read the rest of this entry »

Build Report: 1/48 Classic Airframes Spitfire Mk. Vc “Yankee Spitfires”- Part Two

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In 2011 I built Classic Airframes 1/48 Spitfire Mk. Vc “Yankee Spitfires”. While I did get it together, I was not really pleased with the fit of the kit. It was only after I finished the model that I read Brett Green’s review of the kit, with some helpful tips that I really could have used ahead of time.

Fast forward to 2014… basically, now. :) I picked up a new set of decals from Rising Decals, Yankee Spitfires in the MTO. One of the schemes showed a Spitfire Mk. Vc in an unusual three color camo. As soon as I saw it, I realized I wanted to build that kit- now. But where to find a Spitfire Mk. Vc? Read the rest of this entry »

Build Report: Hasegawa 1/48 Spitfire Mk. VII

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Hasegawa’s Spitfire Mk. VII is very much like their Mk. VI I recently built- take an existing kit, add a few parts, and you have a “new” kit. In this case, the base kit is Hasegawa’s Mk. IX kit.

While much has been written about the shape of fuselage for the Hasegawa’s Mk. IX being incorrect, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a very fun build, and to all but the most boffiny of Spitfire boffins, it looks the part. You decide for yourself of course, but I have built several, and really enjoy them. Read the rest of this entry »

Readers’ Gallery: Aaron Long’s 1/48 Hasegawa Messerschmitt Bf-109F-4

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Agape forum member Aaron Long (Ronnie Rex) shared his photos of this awesome Messerschmitt build. Aaron used Model Master, Gunze, Vallejo amd Tamiya paints, as well as a True Details cockpit and wheels. Awesome work Aaron!

Memorial Day means remembering the history & the heroes

Back in the late 80′s, the CAF flew their B-29 (Fifi) and B-24 (Diamond ‘Lil) into the Tallahassee, FL, USA airport. I went out to see them.

When I was standing under the B-29, there was an old man in a wheel chair sitting under it, just looking up. An older woman, presumably his wife, was standing off to the side. A family was near him, and he started talking to them. His speech was slurred, which I guessed was from a stroke. The family seemed annoyed he was talking to them, and moved away. He hushed up.

I felt bad for the way they treated him. So I walked over, and standing under the open bomb bay, I said “Sure looks like they could hold a lot of ordnance in there.”

And in his slow, hard to understand speech, he started talking.

I listened as this man- this hero- told stories of being a bombardier on a B-29, of living in the South Pacific, of raids over Japan. He’d met “Tennessee” Ernie Ford, who he said was a -29 bombardier, too.

He recalled some of the people he knew, just first names, like Charlie and “ole Bud” and “some kid from San Diego”. Some of them brought tears, and others laughs. I honestly got teary eyed myself at times.

He even told about some odd group called the 509th Composite group, and he described to me watching a plane take off on the morning of August 6th- and he dramatically paused and said “That was the Enola Gay that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.”

We talked a little more, and I thanked him for the stories and for all he did.

That family who was to busy to listen to an old man slowly tell his tale never knew what they missed. They were in the presence of a hero, a real hero, and ignored it because of a little slurred speech and some liver spots.

They were free because of what that man- and others- did for them.

Memorial Day is about remembering…. the history, the heroes, the men and women who paid the ultimate price for our country. Remembering the history too. Why they gave it all. It may be a little too easy to just see a veteran, or their tombstone, and say “It’s great they fought for us.”

They left behind family, friends, innocence. brothers, sisters, children. A lot didn’t come back.

And it’s about honoring. Stopping and thinking about that the freedom we enjoyed came at a price. Too many times the younger generations forget this. Doing so, eventually, is at their own peril. Freedom has a price. It has a cost.

Our freedom in this country shows that. Look at the history. Our comfort came at a price.

Just as our freedom from the sting of death came at a price, through the blood of Jesus.

Today is Memorial Day. It’s for remembering the price paid for freedom. Someone had to lay down their life. Take some time to thank a veteran. And to thank the Lord for the ones who aren’t here.

Build Report: Hasegawa 1/48 Spitfire Mk. VI

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Throughout the life of the Spitfire, many variants were produced to deal with specific situations as World War II progressed. One of these variants was the Mk. VI, designed to be a high altitude interceptor. Unlike previous Spitfires, it had a pressurized cockpit, and extended wingtips to allow it to gain more altitude. This variant was very similar to the Mk. V in overall configuration.

Hasegawa did a great job of providing all the parts for the Mk. VI to their outstanding Mk. V kit. All that is needed is a bit of research to refine a few details.

The “base” kit is a Mk. Vb, released quite a few years ago. It’s a very solid kit, with good overall fit and detail. Additional sprues include the extended wingtips, a small air intake, and a four-bladed prop and spinner. Markings for one aircraft were included in the kit. Read the rest of this entry »

Build Report: Hasegawa’s Spitfire Mk. IX “Battle of Britain”

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As I mentioned in a previous build report for Hobbycraft’s “Civilschmitt”, I loved the movie “Battle of Britain”. I think it was that movie that really started my fascination with anything and everything Spitfire. While the Hurricane was the more numerous type, the Spitfire gets much of the credit. And simply because of the fact that there were more flying Spitfires than Hurricanes at the time of the movie’s making, the Spitfire’s reputation in that famous battle was only further cemented.

But regardless of those facts- the Spitfire was, and is, in my opinion, the most graceful looking aircraft to ever wing through the blue skies. And it’s looks were not all it was about- it backed it up with stellar performance in combat. And it’s certainly the model I prefer building over all others!

So I was very happy to undertake this Battle of Britain “Skipper’s Spitfire” build, using the Hasegawa Spitfire Mk. IX kit. Read the rest of this entry »

Build Report: Hobbycraft’s 1/48 “Civilschmitt” Ha-1112 Buchon

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When I was a kid in the 70′s, we didn’t have DVDs or VCRs. If you had a favorite movie, you pretty much had to wait until one of the networks decided to show it to see it. Which would sometimes be few and far between. One of my favorites was “Battle of Britain”. (To see my Spitfire in the Battle of Britain movie markings, check out this build report.)

Because it was so rare to see it, the movie took on almost mythical proportions for me. I probably saw it three or four times until the advent of the VCR (or at least my families acquisition of a VCR), but it thrilled me to see real airplanes dogfighting, spinning and turning about the sky.

The funny thing was I never really paid attention to the accuracy of the aircraft actually portrayed. I guess that’s the difference between the enjoyment of a kid, and the obsessive eye for detail as an adult.

Of course, if I would have paid close attention, I would have seen that the Luftwaffe fighters in the movie were not Messerschmitt 109s. Read the rest of this entry »

Build Report: Tamiya’s 1/48 Spitfire Mk. Vb

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After my misadventures with Eduard’s Spitfire Mk. IX, I decided I needed a Spitfire experience that was less frustrating. Without hesitation I grabbed Tamiya’s Spitfire Mk. Vb from the build pile.

The quest for “the perfect kit” is of course a very debatable topic, which ultimately comes down personal tastes. My definition of “the perfect kit” may not match yours, of course- and that’s OK. (You’re free to be wrong… just kidding… no emails please…. ;) ) In my mind, the title of “perfect kit” goes to Tamiya’s Spitfire Mk. Vb Tropical in 1/48 scale. Here’s why: Read the rest of this entry »

Readers’ Gallery: Michael Grosbach’s 1/48 Hawk Westland Lysander Mk. II

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Sometimes I see a modelers work and I have to do a double take. You know the kit they used, and you see the final outcome, but you have a hard time wrapping your head around the fact that the results you see come from the kit you know. This is one of those time.

Agape forum member Michael Grosbach (Michael G) did an amazing job of super-detailing this old Hawk kit. Proof-positive that with a little time and hard work, you can get some amazing results from those older kits. Awesome stuff Michael!

The Kit

I purchased this Hawk kit in a time when I wasn’t really looking for yet another box to join the ‘to do’ pile of boxes. It was an e-auction find, and in the end, it cost more for the PE set I found for it than the kit itself. I can say that I recall being drawn to the ‘sturdy’ look of its design, as an early overwing WW2 aircraft with fixed spats. When I discovered the odd shape of its wings and their connection at canopy, I was even more intrigued and it looked to provide an interesting build – coupled with the seemingly complex Eduard PE set.

Of note, I did try to re-sell this kit auction style recently, along with the detail set, and after receiving zero ‘watchers’ through its two auction cycles, I ended the offer. This fated that I was going to have to build it…in sympathy (like as an addition to the Island of Misfit Toys?)

Here is the outcome. Read the rest of this entry »

God’s not dead, He’s surely alive!

John 1:20
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 

Christ is risen! On the Cross, He paid for our sins. The empty tomb shouts that death is defeated.

Friends, whether you know it or not, or whether you believe it or not- you were created by God with an eternal soul. As we are born, we are an enemy of God. We are born into sin. Our destination in hell is already a given. Our sin condemns us. No action, no amount of good living or righteousness, can change that. The price is too great for us to pay.

Yet Christ’s death and resurrection offer us hope, a hope founded on Jesus. A gift, based not on anything we do, but purely and solely on the work Christ has done for us.

All we have to do is ask.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Romans 10: 9-10
 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Nothing you’ve ever done is too much for God to forgive. And you can’t clean yourself up before you present yourself to God. No more than a mirror can clean itself. A mirror must be cleaned by someone, and then when that mirror is clean- it reflects the one who cleaned it. It is the Holy Spirit who calls to you- answer the call!

If you know Christ as your Savior, rejoice today in the gift of salvation- reveived not by your own works, but by the grace of God. Ephesians 2: 8-9 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, please read this. Contact me if you’d like to discuss it. But don’t wait. We never know when we will be called into Eternity. Don’t go into that time on your own.

 

Build Report: Hasegawa’s 1/48 Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIc

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Though the Spitfire will always be my favorite aircraft from WWII, the Hawker Hurricane doesn’t lag far behind. While not as curvy and sleek as the Spitfire, the Hurricane had a brutish, purposeful look to it. And it’s performance, especially early in the war, cemented it’s legend, despite at times being overshadowed by Mr. Mitchell’s design.

I’ve built several Hurricane models- Pegasus Hobbies, Airfix, Hobbycraft and Italeri- but this was my first Hasegawa Hurricane. I’m happy to report that this one is well worth the time to build! Read the rest of this entry »

Readers’ Gallery: Gil Hodges’ Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Mk. V

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Agape forum member Gil Hodges (g.hodges) built this great looking Spitfire Mk. Vb. Awesome work, Gil!

Before Don Gentile became a famous 4thFG ace flying his Mustang “Shangri-La”, he was a member of the American volunteer Eagle Squadron. His first a/c was this MkV Spitfire, which he called “Buckeye Don”, since he was an Ohio Boy. He got 2 Fw-190 kills in this plane. I built this one for the British Invasion group build over on the IPMS-USA forum.

This is the Tamiya 1/48 MkV kit, and goes together great! The fit and detail is very good out of the box, and all I added were some photo etch seatbelts. I did switch out the prop for an early blunt Rotol spinner, as that wasn’t included in this boxing. The decals are from Aeromaster, and except for the fin flash, which had to replaced from the spares box, and some fracturing of the bottom roundels over the scoops and lumps in their positions that required some touch up painting, they went on generally well. I used Model Master British colors, except for the yellow; which is Floquil BNSF yellow.

This was a fun build, quite relaxing and enjoyable compared to the last 2 or 3 I tackled. If you’re looking for a relatively quick build with no vices and no real need to spend money on aftermarket, I recommend the Tamiya Spitfire!

Readers’ Gallery: Aaron Long’s 1/48 Tamiya P-51D

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Agape forum member Aaron Long (RonnieRex) shares this great story behind the build of his gorgeous 357th Fighter Group P-51D. Great work Aaron!

Recently, I was blessed to sell a model on Ebay.  I was running out of shelf space and I also wanted to put some money back INTO the hobby budget.  The kit I sold was was a 357th Fighter Group P-51B. I was humbled that someone would want to buy “Pappy’s Answer,” but I was able to be blessed more than with dollars. Read the rest of this entry »

Build Report: Eduard’s Spitfire Mk. IXc (late)

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I suppose I must ask you to bear with me before I get on to the subject of this build report. I need to explain how I model, or more precisely, what I enjoy about modeling. My motto is “build it like a kid”. Enjoy a model. The simpler the better. I’m far less concerned about  the dimensional or detail accuracy of a kit than I am how much I actually enjoy the process of building. And while I do like nice detailing and engineering, for my own style I’d take a simple, uncomplicated build any day, even if it’s not “accurate” or all that impressive from an engineering standpoint.

And I also love Spitfires. Especially the Mk. IX. Of all the Marks of Spits, the Mk. IX is my favorite. To me, it was the epitome of beauty in the line of aircraft. So it was with great anticipation that I waited the release of Eduard’s Mk. IX.

And thus I think I set myself up for a bit of a disappointment.

Now, this kit has a huge number of pluses, don’t get me wrong. Though I am not an accuracy fiend, this kit seems to be the most accurate in dimension of any of the 1/48 scale Mk. IX kits available. By a long shot, too. And it’s detailing is superior in every aspect. The casting of the parts is virtually flawless.

So why, you may ask yourself, is Jon sounding not quite so happy?

Simply put, I didn’t enjoy the build.

Read the rest of this entry »

Readers’ Gallery: Gil Hodge’s Revell 1/48 PT-17 Stearman

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Gil Hodges’ shared photos of his recently completed Revell Stearman. This is a newly tooled kit, and it looks excellent. Great work Gil!

Bought the new Revell 1/48 PT-17 Stearman last Saturday and decided to hop on it and get it built by my club meeting yesterday. Finished it Friday night, and even took Tuesday off!

Building the one color Navy scheme helped of course! It was built OOTB except for the addition of seat belts and harnesses. The yellow is MM Chrome yellow over Tamiya white primer, the prop is Alclad Chrome over some MM gloss black enamel, and the kit decals were used, except for the civil “N” number. Rigging was done with 6mil ceramic Wonder Wire.

This model lends itself to a quick build due to its simplified (but seemingly complete) interior, its great fit, superior engineering with both the cabanes and landing gear struts molded as part of each fuselage half, and the engine being a separate sub-assembly that can be added at the end. Even repositioning the tail planes and rudder was a breeze. All it needed was some deep scribing in the hinge lines and then they could be simply bent to their new positions!

One thing not mentioned in most reviews is that there are “accessories” for the firewall and the rear of the engine that can be left out (as I did) unless you plan to leave off one of the forward side panels. Even the tubular engine mount is not needed, as the back plate on the engine rear will suffice to attach it all to the forward fuselage!

This is a great new kit and it costs much less than $20! Get a couple and toss your old Lindberg Stearmans!

Readers’ Gallery: John Faull’s 1/32 Roden Sopwith Triplane

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Agape forum member John Faull shares his triple-decker Roden kit with us. Great work John!

Okay, here it is all done. I painted the EZ Line rigging to better match the rest of the rigging.  Nice thing with the EZ Line and Prym rigging is that grabbing it is not so daunting.

Readers’ Gallery: Steve Cook’s 1/48 Accurate Miniatures Gulfhawk II

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Steve Cook shared this awesome looking Gulfhawk. What a cool looking scheme, Steve- great work!

Hi everyone, and God bless. This is the Accurate Miniatures 1/48  Gulfhawk II. This kit is a very nice model and fits together with little effort. There are some minor fixes that you will run into. I had to re-adjust the resin cowling by soaking it in some boiling water for just a few seconds,and with a little bending it was perfect again. I tossed the top cowling plate and used the plastic one that came with the kit, filled in all the areas and re-modified it to look like the resin one. I used Tamiya X-6 orange over all. The decals were set in water for 3-5 minutes and worked  perfect,they are made by Aeromaster. This is in my opinion one of your more builder friendly kits, with some very minor fixes.

  • Psalm 119:93
    “I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.”
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Jon

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