April 30, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Airplanes in Scale no. 2: The Greatest Guide Jets from Accion Press

Airplanes in Scale -The Greatest Guide: Jets Vol.2
Accion Press ref. EUR-806
by Javier López de Anca 
200 pages with more than 1000 pictures 
A-4 softcover format

Last year Accion Press released the first volume in this series of “Airplanes in Scale - The Greatest Guide” which featured propeller aircraft, and indeed it was one of the best books we had seen on aircraft modeling. Now the second volume in this series is with us and it features jet aircraft this time.


There has been a flood of great books on the market recently with new and improved methods of making your model the best you possibly can. Accion Press – the guys behind Panzer Aces and the Euro Modellismo stables have made a new step by step book to give you the best in “how to” model scale aircraft models. With some beautiful looking finished models and some nicely photographed sequences it looks interesting. Physically the book is a thick one; with a solid square binding and glossy cover. The A4 pages are filled for the most part with pictures and text. Each build takes us through the kit from start to finish. There is a double page introduction of the aircraft type on the first pages, and then we go step by step through the build from start to finish in a caption-to-a-picture style. I really appreciate this way of showing off a build. This approach keeps it simple and it does not break up the flow of your reading and/or using the book. It makes it easy to follow on the run as well. You do not have to go through a lot of text to simply find what you want to know about a process. The pièce de résistance is the galleries of each of the aircraft at the end of each chapter. Inspirational and polished in it's execution - Who knows whether it is the greatest book ever in scale aircraft but I believe this is a must have for modelers wanting to improve their skills or learn from some true masters of the art of modeling. View Product to Order


Contents:

2.- MIG-21 BIS - A record breaking fighter

26.- BAe Harrier GR. 7A - A pioneer of the skies

54.- Northrop F-5N - Know your foe


80.- Sukhoi SU Su-33 Sea Flanker - The Russian eagle


118.- SEPECAT Jaguar A - Jaguars in the sand

152.- Motor RD-33 (MIG-29)  - A new generation


160.- F-14A TOMCAT - Remember, boys, no points for second place


196.- Summary of processes and techniques


199.-Subject Index

200.- Biography
Also available:
"Airplanes in Scale -The Greatest Guide"
ref. EUR-805
by Javier López de Anca & Ricardo Abad Medina
200 pages with more than 1000 pictures 
A-4 portrait format, softcover 
2.- Introduction
4.- North American P-51D Mustang
24.- MACCHI C. 202
46.- Messerschmitt Bf 109 E1
70.- Dewoitine D.520
90.- Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate
114.- De Havilland Mosquito NF.II
140.- Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3
162.- Messerschmitt Me 262A
186.- Tools & Techniques
193.- Subject index
194.- Biographies


Sample pages from "Airplanes in Scale -The Greatest Guide: Jets”



...

Toys in the Attic: Aurora Monster Models of the 1960s Part 2 'The Aurora 13' Frankenstein

The man that started it all! 
Aurora's first monster model,the Frankenstein Monster, rolled off the production slab in 1961and became an immediate success. Retailers sold the kits almost as fast as they could stock them, and the demand prompted Aurora to keep production running 24 hours a day. According to Aurora lore, the molds were worn out from so much use and had to be duplicated and replaced a number of times to keep up with demand.Turning out three kits per minute--more than 8,000 kits each day!

'The Aurora 13'  No. 1 Frankenstein
Relaxing by the shores of a lake one balmy spring day a group of friends were absorbed in an intriguing conversation which would give birth to the most fascinating monster story the world has ever known...so famous that a century after it was written it was made into a motion picture. "We will each write a ghost story". said Lord Byron to Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, wife of the poet Shelly, from which evolved the frightening legend of Frankenstein. Penned in 1818, it is superior in literary and imaginative value to the rash of horror stories that followed it.

It is the hair-raising story of a monster created by the genius of a Doctor whose good intention it was to discover a formula rendering man invulnerable to disease. For defying the laws of nature, the Doctor was permanently entangled in a maze of horror worse than death itself.! "It was on the dreary night of November", it began. With an uneasy motion he opened his yellow watery eyes. He breathed hard and convulsive motion agitated his limbs. Monstrous in conception, he was a demoniacal resemblance of man!
   
In crossing the threshold of the supernatural the Doctor's peace of mind was forever lost, unable to seek solace from nightmarish agony when learning the creature had quit the laboratory. Big and clumsy, the monster lowered above full grown men and was shunned by a mankind revolted by his ugliness. Cloaked in the darkness of night the embittered invention called on the Doctor, begging relief of the frustrating loneliness he knew. Denied his wish, he avenged himself by claiming the innocent lives of those near and dear to his creator.
   
The tale is climaxed in a meeting held in the icy temperatures of the north where the Doctor suffered the last tortures of the damned and, before dying, in a weak voice related his tale of terror to the unbelieving crew of the ship that rescued him. When last seen the monster was borne on a raft carried by a rough tubulent sea, fading into the oblivion of a pitch black night."


Original Kit Issued: 1961 - 1968 as kit #423
Sculptor: Bill Lemon
Box art: James Bama
Plastic: Lt. Grey 
Box size: (1st ed.)13" X5" X 1-1/2” /  (2nd ed.) 13" X 4" X 2"
Re-Issued: 1969-75, 1983, 1991,1998 


Rare 1969 Frightening Lighting Strikes Dracula Box. When model was released with extra glow-in-the-dark parts






Frankenstein Glow in the Dark
1970-75 as Catalog #449 
Plastic: Black & Luminous
Box
Square box format 8.25"X8.25"X3.25"

Double-sided 5.25x13" die-cut cardboard store sign w/hanger hole at top center as made. Issued by Aurora to promote the initial release of the first five Universal Monsters model kits in 1963. Similar signs were made for Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolf Man and Creature from the Black Lagoon.


1963 Aurora catalog pages. First appearance by the monster kits






Toys in the Attic: Aurora Monster Models of the 1960s

Sources: 
Web: "Collecting Aurora Monsters" Dennis L. Prince
Web: Professor Plastiks "Aurora Monster Kit History"
Print: Aurora Model Kits by Thomas Graham
SaveSave

April 28, 2016

Toys in the Attic: Aurora Monster Models of the 1960s Part 3 'The Aurora 13' Dracula

Aurora's first monster model was Frankenstein which appeared in 1961. Aurora followed with twelve more monster kits over the next five years. These 13 kits are affectionally referred to by collectors as "The Aurora 13.'

'The Aurora 13'  No. 2 Dracula

"Horrible and sinister tales were handed down over the centuries telling of the vampires and
werewolves, how they came in the dark of night to attack their victims and turn them into
vampires and werewolves also. During the nineteenth century, a blood chilling legend of
the king of vampires, Count Dracula, unfolded in the form of journals and letters.



Original Kit Issued: 1962 - 1968 as Catalog #424
Plastic: Black
Sculptor: Bill LemonBox art: James Bama
Re-Issued: 1969-1975, 1983, 1991, 1998

After the overwhelming demand for the "Frankenstein" kit, Aurora rushed to release the Dracula kit the next year. This kit creates a chilling mood by contrasting the elegance and style of the Count against the creepy swamp "set" of the base. The likeness of Bela Lugosi is excellent, as are the crowning touches like the gnarled tree and Dracula's gold medallion and jeweled ring.



Dracula lived in Castle Dracula, in the province of Transylvania, in Rumania. The castle was surrounded at night by wolves, preventing any person from entering or leaving. The dreaded creature, the vampire, would live for untold centuries on the blood of human victims; it would roam only at nightand had to return to a hidden grave or coffin like box filled with sterilized earth when day would 
break.The corpse would remain in this state until night when it would rise again to carry on its terrifying work. They would breed their kind by attacking a living victim and when that person died, their corpse would rise from its tomb to roam at night as a new vampire. The only known method to release the agonized soul of the vampire was to drive a stake through the heart of the corpse as it lay in its coffinduring the day. The legends of the vampire were best known in the Rumanian sector of the old world and many peasants living there today still hold a superstitious fear of the vampire."
 Size: 8.25"X8.25"X3.25"

Rare 1969 Frightening Lighting Strikes Dracula Box. When model was released with extra glow-in-the-dark parts.



Dracula Glow in the Dark
1970-75 as Catalog #454 
Plastic: Black & Luminous
Box



1962 ad from Boy's Life magazine




Toys in the Attic: Aurora Monster Models of the 1960s

Sources: 
Web: "Collecting Aurora Monsters" Dennis L. Prince
Web: Professor Plastiks "Aurora Monster Kit History"
Print: Aurora Model Kits by Thomas Graham

THE MTSC "I 'M SAYIN' WHAT?" Contest #9 Winner + This week's image for "I 'M SAYIN' WHAT?" #10

"I'm Sayin' What?" #9 WINNER
It's Thursday so...we have a winner for last weeks “I’m Saying What” contest. Kenny Kackley (with an inside joke)  has snagged one of the most coveted prizes on earth...which is of course is a $50.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - 
"I'm Sayin' What?" #10

Come up with the wittiest quote for the word bubble and you will win a $50.00 gift card from Michigan Toy Soldier Company. Just think... you get free stuff and you get show off your comedic charms that will fly around the world via our newsletter ‘Over The Top’, our Blog ‘News From The Front’ Google+ & Facebook pages. We will post the winning entry right here next Thursday.

Email your entries to: michtoystaff@michtoy.com
FYI- Have a cool image you'd like to get captioned? Send it to us at michtoystaff@michtoy.com and we will give you $25.00 gift card for any images used.

April 26, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: More Fun with Tricky Stick by Deluxe Materials Part 2: Tricky Stick vs. Airfix

Tricky Stick vs. Airfix soft plastic figures...
Last time I introduced you to Tricky Stick and how it works on various large scale plastic figures. This time we tried it on some old plastic figures from Airfix.

Ever since Airfix first produced their figures the issue of glue has been a problem. Airfix made their own brand glue, which was your basic polystyrene (model) cement. This worked well for the hard plastic that kits are made out of as it, but on the soft plastic figures it could not penetrate the surface and the bond was very weak. Since some Airfix figure sets, particularly the cavalry, really require gluing this was a big drawback to their product and these old figures defy assembling. Of course we now have an answer to this...Tricky Stick & Super Glue.  


First up I tried gluing a Airfix cavalry figure from the 1960s to the horse and then the horse to the base. A dab of Tricky Stick on each piece. A drop of super glue, let cure (dry) for a few hours and...end of problem. Perfectly mounted and based cavalry!



Next up I hacked up a couple of Airfix foot figures, swaped the torsos, added a dab of Tricky Stick on each piece then a drop of super glue, let cure (dry) for a few hours and...
2 minutes to a completely new figure! 

Hacked up a couple of old Airfix figures.
...and yes, i purposely glued one guy on backwards.

This stuff really works!

Tricky Stick is...a surface primer for polythene and polypropylene plastics (and others) that allows CA glue (a.k.a. cyanoacrylate or super glue) to bond difficult shiny plastics. Tricky increases the versatility of CA as a glue and also improves it's strength. 

VIEW TO ORDER

April 21, 2016

THE MTSC "I 'M SAYIN' WHAT?" Contest #8 Winner + This week's image for "I 'M SAYIN' WHAT?" #9

"I'm Sayin' What?" #8 WINNER
It's Thursday so...we have a winner for last weeks “I’m Saying What” contest. Kenny Kackley (with an inside joke)  has snagged one of the most coveted prizes on earth...which is of course is a $50.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - 
"I'm Sayin' What?" #9
Come up with the wittiest quote for the word bubble and you will win a $50.00 gift card from Michigan Toy Soldier Company. Just think... you get free stuff and you get show off your comedic charms that will fly around the world via our newsletter ‘Over The Top’, our Blog ‘News From The Front’ Google+ & Facebook pages. We will post the winning entry right here next Thursday.

Email your entries to: michtoystaff@michtoy.com
FYI- Have a cool image you'd like to get captioned? Send it to us at michtoystaff@michtoy.com and we will give you $25.00 gift card for any images used.

April 20, 2016

Build, Paint & Play the Perry Miniatures Battle in a Box ACW Part 5 - Painting the Cavalry & Artillery

As a change of pace after finishing the Union infantry, I thought I'd vary things up a bit by working on the Artillery and the Cavalry. Generally the uniforms are the same as the infantry but there are a few differences I'll cover as we get to them. The main things here are the horses and the cannons themselves.

Let's start with the rider himself first. In order to assist in painting, while assembling the figures, I left a small piece of sprue attached between the feet to have something to hold on to. This helps prevent the paint from getting scratched off as you work. I started with Army Painter Uniform Grey and the blocked in the flesh as usual with Vallejo Model Color Medium Flesh 70860.

I blocked in the basic colors using Flat Brown 70984 for the hat, Black 70950 for the boots and sword and some of the belts for variety and Leather Brown 70871 the rest of the belt work. For the union you'll need to paint all of the belt work black, and paint the uniform colors in the same way as the infantry. The major detail that makes these cavalry troops is the yellow detailing. Yellow can be a tricky color to paint. To make the process a little easier I used Vallejo Model Color Yellow Ochre 70913. I like this shade for all my yellow at this scale because in small doses it looks yellow enough, but it covers much better than a brighter yellow in my opinion. 


Paint a yellow stripe down the outside of both legs and then paint a sort of rounded triangle shape at the end of the sleeves. Because of the belts hanging off the left side, you really only need a little bit of yellow to give the impression of a stripe. Also paint the collar and the two stripes that are sculpted into the back of the figure. 

The same basic process is used for the artillery crews. Just replace the yellow with a red such as Vallejo Scarlet 70817. The uniform itself works well for basic infantry as well, leaving off the yellow details all together. I'll cover a more rag tag confederate in a future blog.




Normally I don't like painting horses. There's a lot of surface area to paint and the straps can be kind of a pain. There's a few real timesavers I've come across that I'll share here. Both the Union and Confederate horses were painted the same way


To start I primed all of the horses with Army Painter Leather Brown Primer. That’s your biggest time saver. Spraying the model brown means the horse itself is more or less complete and you can focus on the details.


Next paint the horse blanket and the front blanket roll with Vallejo Sky Blue. For some variation you could paint the blanket rolls with more or less any shade of brown. 


Finally paint the belts, remaining equipment, mane and tail Black.


After the rider is glued on, give everything a wash of Army Painter Strong tone.


Painting the Artillery is very straight forward. After assembly, Paint the entire cannon Vallejo German Uniform Green 70920. Paint the rims of the wheels black, and the barrel of the gun either Black or Brass. One of the things we did to really make these figure shine, was to take some twine and wrap it around the hooks on the top of the carriage. 
All the crew is painted as the cavalry but again, use scarlet in place of yellow ochre.

Next we'll take a look at some rag tag Confederates and then we'll tie the whole project together with some advice on basing and some finishing touches.