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


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”


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. 


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.

April 19, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Tricky Stick by Deluxe Materials Part 1: Gluing & Converting Plastic Figures

Deluxe Materials Tricky Stick ref. AC17
I recently had the pleasure of meeting John & Vivienne Bristol from the UK's Deluxe Materials while they were traveling the USA and meeting with their distributors. Deluxe has quickly become one of our best selling hobby product lines because of their reputation for innovative, world class modeling products. John was showing me how to use some of the newer products they have when we came across Tricky Stick. When we first received this product I didn't give it much of a look, thinking it was simply a tacky glue and boy was that a mistake. What it is, 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.There are many different uses for Tricky Stick which we will cover in future posts but here we look at using it to glue together parts and converting large scale plastic figures. 

Gluing & Converting Plastic Figures
Large scale toy soldiers are made out of several different types of plastic. The most common, used by companies such as Marx, MPC, Atlantic, Matchbox, Italeri, Armies in Plastic, CTS, TSSD, Paragon, Airfix and countless others, are made from polyethylene or polypropylene. Some plastics like Timpo from the 50s & 60s have chalk blended in for better paint adhesion which causes them to became very brittle over time. What they all have in common is that until now they didn't take to glue very well. Along comes Deluxe Materials and their Tricky Stick.

In short Tricky Stick allows you to use super glue on plastic figures. Until now those of you who like to convert plastic figures had few choices in getting a good strong bond between parts or joints. Goop worked ok and it seems like everyone had their own concoction but these aren't ideal and almost always involved pinning the parts first. With this stuff it's as simple as coating each part with Tricky Stick primer and then using a drop of super glue. It dries pretty quick and stays pliable long enough to position the parts correctly Then for the best results I found allowing the glue to dry overnight created a super strong bond with no pinning involved. It really is that simple.  Below are some of the 1000 & 1 uses for this product. VIEW TO ORDER

Polyethylene is a member of the important family of polyolefin resins. It is the most widely used plastic in the world, being made into products ranging from clear food wrap and shopping bags to detergent bottles and automobile fuel tanks and of course toy soldiers. It has a relatively slippery "low energy surface" that means that many common glues will not form adequate joints. Joining of polypropylene is often done using welding processes.

Polypropylene (PP), also known as polypropene, is a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications including packaging and labeling, textiles (e.g., ropes, thermal underwear and carpets), stationery, plastic parts and reusable containers. Like Polyethylene it has a relatively slippery "low energy surface" and many common glues will not form adequate joints.

Simple head swaps on TSSD figures

Gluing together parts on Relicants figures

Simple torso swaps on LOD figures


Napoleonic, 30 Years War & WWII Winter German
 I received these figures years ago from a fellow in Poland whose name is lost to memory. He was trying to start his own line of hand made toy soldiers. Using a Sculpey type polymer clay he was creating soldiers of many different time periods, each made by hand. These figures have always held a place in my heart for not only their obvious charm but for the DYI spirit that has long been a pat of our hobby. I never heard from the guy again but I hope he continued making these fantastic figures and followed his dream of creating a toy soldier company...one that could really claim to be "Hand Made".  Soldier on....!

World War II Russian and German

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT UPDATE: Amazing Figure Modeler Magazine no. 61

Over the years we have sold a lot of different magazines in our shop. One thing that remains constant is the popularity of Amazing Figure Modeler Magazine. Now in it's 21st year this is a beautiful magazine that hits on all aspects of garage kit modeling, T.V., Movie, Sci-fi, Horror and Fantasy kits and so much more in dazzling full color, eye-popping hobby coverage, and a format that is often copied but never duplicated! AFM features comprehensive modeling instruction by some of the best modelers in the industry and entertaining interviews and profiles with legends and up and coming talents. Throw in extensive reviews of new kits and hobby products and you have one the coolest magazines out there.

Published quarterly, each issue of AMF revolves around a special theme and the latest issue no. 61 is dedicated to Modern Horror
...Welcome to a heaping helping of Modern Horror! That’s right modelers, no creaky monsters of yesteryear for you! This issue, AFM will slash its way into your heart with beloved characters from the ‘80s forward; so hang on to your puzzle boxes as AFM returns from the living dead to haunt your modeling nightmares! For starters we raise a little Hell with Pinhead, give birth to Species and let the fur fly with American Werewolf in London! Then Hellboy's Angel of Death and Tooth Fairies take flight while Twisty the Clown keeps things down to Earth… like down about six feet under! Next, we kick a little Ash from The Evil Dead, and Daryl Dixon keeps on walking! AFM throws the spotlight on SPFX artist Sandy Collora, and if that weren't enough, we take a little stroll down to L.A.'s Creature Features for a visit with Taylor White! All this and more awaits you in issue #61 of Amazing Figure Modeler!
View our AFM Listings with sample pages HERE

The company line ..After editing and writing for Model and Toy Collector magazine in the late 1980s to early 1990s, two of the hobby’s best-known personalities, Terry J. Webb and David Fisher joined forces to bring you the world’s number one source for all that’s new in one of the fastest growing sci-fi, horror and fantasy collectibles markets- model kits and pre-painted statues! Discover for yourself what’s so "amazing" about AFM, dazzling full color, eye-popping international hobby coverage, and a format that is often copied but never duplicated! For over twenty-one years, AFM has featured comprehensive modeling instruction by some of the best modelers in the industry and entertaining interviews and profiles with up and coming talents as well as some of the top names and manufacturers in the biz such as Randy Bowen, Clayburn Moore, Steve West, Shawn Nagle, William Paquet, Mike Hill, Sam Greenwell, Brom, Coop, Ken Kelly and many others! If you’ve missed past issues of AFM, you’ve missed exciting, exclusive interviews with powerhouse talents such as director and special effects genius Chris Walas (Enemy Mine, Fly II), Rick Baker (Mighty Joe Young), Steve Wang (Predator, The Guyver), Mike Elizalde (Hellboy, Blade) Tom Savini (Day of the Dead), Doug Bradley (Hellraiser’s Pinhead) and many others. Wow! They don’t call us amazing for nothing!