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About Fishwelding

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  1. I've had good luck with California compressors, too. I have a pair that I use for various jobs. Their smaller models balance lower noise with reasonable power. Occasionally I've had to snug up some connections with a wrench, but I don't mind; I'd rather be able to take it apart anyway, to do my own maintenance.
  2. For bumper codes I've used Archer and Echelon Fine Details markings. Both may offer 11th ACR shoulder patches in various sets, as well.
  3. I would have preferred that forums like this one did better and if I didn't need them for my day job I'd probably be off Facebook (and Twitter) altogether for various reasons. But I've tried to make the most of those platforms by posting progress on my modeling work there, for non-modeling acquaintances to see. These are people who don't frequent modeling sites, groups, or YouTube channels, so they don't know how poor my modeling skills are by comparison, and the feedback is always generous! Kidding aside, I suspect I've kindled a little interest in the hobby, based on some questions I've r
  4. Lou Drendel's old USMC Phantoms in Combat includes photographs with a variety of warloads, but some of the most common appear to involve Mk 82 with the snakeeyes retarder tails. For example: TERs on the inboard pylons, loaded with three Mk 82s apiece. Two wing tanks. Possibly, though perhaps not required, sparrows in the wells. MER on the centerline with Mk 82s, and more Mk 82s or even rocket pods on TERs on the inboard pylons. Two wing tanks, possibly sparrows in the wells. Drendel notes (correctly? Not sure) that while bombs may be seen on MERs on the outboard pylons
  5. This hasn't been a hobby for kids since at least the 1990s, and I think you illustrate why: most manufacturers, particularly newcomers in the last several decades, seek adult incomes with expensive or elaborate product lines. So to find good brush paints, it probably pays to ignore lines sold specifically for military models, and instead look at miniature or even craft paints. Vallejo Model Color and associated products may be an exception here; I get great results brushpainting (as well as airbrushing) them, and I suspect it's because they are an art supply company first. They didn't
  6. I've used Testors products since the 1980s, when I learned to build models as a kid. Anticipating Testors' demise, I spent the last decade sampling different paint formulae. At this point I use two acrylic lines for most work: Tamiya and Vallejo Model Color. In my experience Tamiya acrylic is fantastic when airbrushed, especially with its own thinner. It's unlikely to clog the brush, has great opacity, and when set up is tough in the face of sanding or masking. I mostly use their proprietary thinners, acrylic or lacquer, although I sometimes use isopropyl alcohol for very tight
  7. Binge-watching 1980s NATO exercise videos on YouTube. I've seen a few instances where umpires appear to have declared that someone was "dead," as a result of combat, although I'm not quite sure that's what I'm seeing. How did this work? How were troops or AFVs casualty-ed in faux battles? And - here's the diorama inquiry - did anyone bother arguing with troops serving as umpires?
  8. For tracks, consider a few things: If you are new to armor, you may want to build a few kits with rubber-band tracks. This allows you to work through the whole process a bit more efficiently, instead of getting bogged down in construction of the running gear. How visible are the tracks? For some AFVs the answer is a lot, if there are no sideskirts, incomplete fenders, or track sag. But AFVs from the late Cold War on often feature sideskirts and obscuring fenders. Especially in dioramas, heavy mud/dust application, or depending on my level of investment overall, I might rely o
  9. I agree with @thegoodsgt. Day-to-day it doesn't feel like it's getting easier, but just keep doing it. After I scribed an entire Revell-Monogram F/A-18C I dreaded the thought of replacing a whole set of lines. But having gotten a lot better at it on smaller jobs (restoring lost lines, some scratchbuilding) I'm about ready to tackle a whole airframe again.
  10. I ran an experiment using the Micromesh sanding pads, and some Novus #2 and #3 polish with a motor tool. The results aren't bad. I deliberately scuffed a piece of clear styrene (an old Monogram SB2C canopy) with some 600 grit sandpaper. Next, I used the entire Micromesh set, followed by the liquid polishes. Although the canopy polished to a shine and was reasonably clear, it still had some noticeable scratching. I also tried some Tamiya polishes, and they seemed to work about the same as the Novus stuff. I suspected that I should have started with some of the fine
  11. I'm interested in improving my processes for polishing clear parts. For example, after having scraped and sanded a mold seam from a jet canopy, I'd like to polish it back to a clear, high shine. I'm seeing folks do this with motor tools, and I have one of Dremel's cordless units that goes to really low RPMs. But I should probably do this with some sort of polishing cream or compound. Anyone have favorites?
  12. I'm considering building an early, Cold War AH-64 using Monogram's old 1/48th scale kit. But this time around I'd rather not try to clean up Monogram's doughy, sink-marked AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. After some quick investigation, I think this Eduard kit can successfully represent early AGM-114s. Although it looks like I might have to use the Monogram rack and rails. Thoughts? Warnings? Advice?
  13. I have it. I imagine I could cut up bigger cutting mats to replace the little mat on the Chopper II, but I've never had occasion to replace the original. Yes, it uses stock single-edge razor blades. With a fresh blade I've cut up to 1/4" or maybe bigger pieces, but I don't get perfectly perpendicular cuts. I've gotten bigger materials closer to square with a few swipes of file. It saves time over using a knife or razor saw. Where it's most useful to me is quickly cutting larger styrene rods or strips for 1/35 diorama projects, which don't require super-precision. Also handy
  14. After having a bottle go bad I, too, store mine away from a direct light source. I've had it/used it for over a year now, and so far so good. I don't like products that require special care, but I do like MM's poly as it seems to add strength to finishes.
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