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  1. Pictures are fixed. Not sure what was wrong. Try it now!
  2. If there’s one thing I love, and one thing Bandai knows all about, it’s variants! When it comes to Gundam kits, there are quite often very many variants of major suits to choose from. The idea, of course, is that people will buy them all… well, it seems to work! Despite having 3 Jegan and two Jesta varieties in 1/144, I still picked up the 1/100 Master Grade Jegan when I ran into it. It was sure cheap enough for an MG, and it was a lot simpler than some of the more recent, overdone kits. However, I didn’t want just another green Jegan, so I figured out how to customize it. I did it as if it was still in service at the time of V-Gundam, thanks to the help of the recent RE:100 Gun Ez! Check out my custom Jegan, likely the last in this long line of evergreen grunt suits! https://adamrehorn.wordpress.com/model-kits/mecha-robots/bandai-1-100-master-grade-rgm-89-r-jegan-custom-build/
  3. I'm still saddened that Bandai, with all it's unrivalled abilities, still hasn't gotten it's house together when it comes to providing proper decals on these kits. Now, the U-Wing also has water decals... did the X and Y wings not? That's lame, if that's the case! Hope you got one, and are enjoying it. It's a neat little beast!
  4. Glad to see that there are people out there who, like me, enjoy the weird stuff! I had a few of these when I was a kid too, but I cut my teeth on Hobbycraft kits; Matchboxes weren't so easy to get at the time for me! I've grown to love them, though, as you know! Chris: Awesome info on the Seafox. Thanks a tonne!
  5. I wouldn't bother with the Model Mastery Acrylic grey primer, and that's coming from me, likely the biggest Model Master Acrylic honk on the planet. It is okay for hand-primering little details, but it has a major problem when airbrushed; because it's chemically quite neutral, it doesn't like to stick. I often pulls right off the plastic if you've Tamiya taped over any paint applied over it. It has no bite. HOWEVER, it does have one use - vinyl figures. I've used some on a Kei (from Dirty Pair) I did years ago, and it worked fine there, because I wasn't masking anything.
  6. It only seems right to start the New Year off with an old kit! Of course, I have a whole stable of those to choose from, but I thought that it would be fun to look at something that I’ve never done before; a biplane! While everybody knows the Swordfish, there is another Fleet Air Arm biplane of WWII that, it seems, is largely forgotten. No, I’m not talking about the Albacore, although it’s awesomely obscure and somewhat pedestrian as well. I’m talking about the Fairey Seafox! This was an observation and spotting plane used until the middle of the war to help locate enemies for the fleet’s gunners. It’s no surprise that few people know it; it’s not fast, glamourous or sexy, except in that weird, obscure “What is that??” kinda way. Of course, that makes it totally awesome to me, and I was very happy to finally get my hands on a Matchbox kit of the type. It seems to be one of the harder ones to find! So, if you want to check out some classic Matchbox goodness on a genuinely obscure type, go no further than the link below! https://adamrehorn.wordpress.com/model-kits/out-of-box-reviews/matchbox-1-72-fairey-seafox-oob/
  7. I use Rustoleum grey primer. It's dark grey (like Schwarzgrau), so if you're into the vogue of dark primer with a light mottle on top for tonal variations, it is good in that respect too. It shoots fairly well out of the spray can, but can be a bit thick and prone to runs if you're not used to it. If you decant it, though, you can either shoot it straight and a bit heavier to hide imperfections or thin it with lacquer thinner to get a very light coat. Even on thick, it may look blobby when wet, but let it dry, no detail will be lost unless you totally ham-fisted the application. It's forgiving. Dries in less than 24 hours - but I try to give it at least 15 before handling it. It can tend to remain tacky to the touch for days, but I've never found it a problem to paint over it in that stage. I use Model Master Acrylics for my paints, and they stick to it fine. Molotow chrome sticks fine, Testors oils stick fine, Tamiyas seem to stick fine (the few I use). If you decant a Rustoleum gloss paint, you HAVE to thin it. They do their glosses thicker, and it's a mess trying to shoot them straight in an airbrush. I'm sure others have better ideas, but Rustoleum is generally cheap, available at Walmart (always a bonus) and is good, tough paint. Good luck!
  8. It seems I’m not the only one who’s paralyzed by choice! A short time ago, I had a poll for which of my many Monzas people would like to see written up first! Well, when there’s that much awesomeness on display, I can see why it would be a hard decision to make. However, I was very surprised to see that three of them all tied for first! So, I personally broke the deadlock and chose the one I liked best, which was also my nephew’s favourite (he’s four and has good taste, it seems). Check out what’s inside the first of many radical custom Monza kits with this out of box look at Street Spyder! It’s an early Christmas present, so Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! https://adamrehorn.wordpress.com/model-kits/out-of-box-reviews/revell-1-25-1978-monza-street-spyder-oob/
  9. See that is different. I prefer something clunkier but more able to withstand handling and/or modification. That's one think I like about Matchboxes - you can mod them and they'll take it easily. I prefer to use my "modelling brain" (which, as we know, is a special thing it seems is unique to modellers) to figure out ways around crappy engineering altogether. I use it a lot on older Gundam kits (and sadly some new ones) where there are "built-around" assemblies. I'll spend hours figuring those out. However, I don't like having to do that; again, it's just laziness on Bandai's part; shoddy engineering. Again, what people like or not is up to them. However, I don't like puzzles (save crosswords). I like something I can re-engineer or do out of sequence and still have work. The intakes, and indeed the Yak-130, are not like that for me. I spent 2 hours screwing with those intakes - the most time I've spent on anything on a non-short run, non-modified plane. If it's a short run kit, okay, I get it and I'm fine with it. I think my frustration was because it ISN'T a short run kit, and I expected less "short-run-ness" from it! This isn't an engineering review. I didn't figure I had to present a solution. I still don't have one. This was just a review of the kit as I found it. The only good solution I'd found to the problem (after hours of pondering) was to just "do it" and clean the mess up afterwards. I still don't get why I "triggered" any response. I post lots of reviews of kits that aren't great. Check my Aoshima/Farpro reviews! Of course, those are straight dogs, but still, you expect that, I guess. I will never get why my posting what I find to be bad/hard/disappointing should "trigger" anything other than a polite "thanks for the warning" or "Oh, here's how I did it". I thought we were supposed to help and support each other, not tear one guy down because you didn't like his opinion on something. Regardless, all I can hope is that my pointing out these (to me) difficult areas helps someone not be taken by surprise and either try your method or come up with another they can share here so we can all benefit!
  10. Okay, this is getting out of hand. Firstly, I'm not here to ruin anyone's "mojo" or wreck any company's reputation. I am a single modeller. I write reviews for (what's supposed to be) fun. Remember how opinions are like the final sphincter in the digestive tract? Yeah. So, just a few things. 1.) I put up the info I have in case someone finds it useful. If someone doesn't that's fine. If someone disagrees, that's fine too. I DON'T CARE. I'm not trying to win anyone over to anything. 2.) It's a perception of mine these things on the MIG are bad. Others don't find them such. Cool. 3.) What's the point of critiquing something if you don't point out what you find bad? That's what a lot of reviewers I've seen do. They only say good stuff. Life is good and bad. Nothing is perfect. There's no point wasting everyone's time with just another rehash of what's good about something when there are pitfalls I feel should be pointed out. In fact, you contradict yourself: You mention that I'm too negative, but then say "if they were all shake-and-bake, where would the challenge be then". I agree, but you're saying some challenge is good, but I shouldn't point it out? What? I will never back down and I will never be beholden to anyone when it comes to critiquing something. EVER. 4.) If Zvezda's reputation is irrevocably harmed because I didn't like their intakes, then a.) I'm a God, which is scary or b.) they were really shaky to start, which I doubt. Oh, c.) They could have done it differently, maybe. 5.) If someone "loses mojo" because I say a kit is difficult, then they shouldn't be building it in the first place! I have kits that are challenging (The Mig and Yak both) and in ways I consider unnecessary. I still fought through them and they both look good. If someone decides to do something on the say so of a stranger, that's not my problem. Nor yours. That's theirs. 6.) You say my being negative is serving no point. No, I disagree. Counterpoints are always valuable. If you don't like something, and you don't make it known, how do you expect any change? How can you expect others to know that perhaps what they feel is bad isn't just them? No... counterpoints and "negativity" is how humanity grows, learns and improves. All of us. 7.) You say not to damage reputations or say negative things, then slag on Matchboxes, saying criticism is warranted there. However, I have old modelling columns in Air Enthusiast magazines from back in the '70s that praise the Matchbox kits of the day as amazing. So, you see, what's good and bad is a function of the reviewer, the times, the competition. I think people are unfairly mean to Matchbox kits, but I don't whine about it. I build them, slag on their bad points and show you can make them look nice. That's more valuable, in my mind, than just saying they're old and bad and ignoring them. In my perception, I'm the one being attacked here, for offering a dissenting opinion about a model. I've seen this from British folks when you dare speak ill of an Airfix, even when warranted. It's dumb. I've had people essentially say that I'm a bad modeller who can't handle this kit, that my skills are poor, and that I'm a threat to companies' reputations. That's rubbish. At the end of the day, we're talking about a small, plastic TOY airplane. It's a hobby. If it's so life and death that you can't brook a dissenting opinion, then in my mind maybe you take it too seriously.
  11. Well, that's fine. I'm glad yours went easily and apparently I'm an idiot. However, I really did find it very difficult to get the intakes to hold together, and that's just how it was. I agree it does give nice thin pieces, and I'll try the blue tack thing on the Su-33 I have. I agree the Mig is a nice kit, and I do agree that it's likely the best one on the market, especially as value for weapons and decals goes. You cannot, absolutely not, beat Zvezda there. I will always support Zvezda in that regard. But, like I said, I just found the unconventional way of putting the intakes and nose on to be jarring and caused me problems. Like I also said, I can't believe I'm the only one on Earth who had this trouble. I'm just here to warn people about it. Now I know it's like that, and I've got hindsight, there are a couple ways to jig the intakes quickly to get them to stay while I glue them, but I was on a schedule with the MiG and needed to get things underway. I still don't like such thin surfaces as locating surfaces though. I think part of what confuses people is that my desire for what a model is is different than most. I don't care if things are "scale thickness" or not. What I want is a model that has a good profile and looks good finished, on a shelf. I really don't care if every little bit is finely reproduced. Most 1/72 models are seen at a couple feet away, and that's what I like a kit to focus on. That's why I love Matchbox and Heller stuff. It helps they're also built like tanks, because they're stronger and easier to transport. To me, "modelling skill" is taking something crappy and making it look good. I find it disconcerting when a kit makes me walk on tenderhooks to try and assemble it. I don't know what else to say. I've worked on far cruder kits with no problem, and I've worked on even finer kits with no problem. This one just gives me heartburn, and the Yak-130 does to. It's not a debate, it's a perception, and for me that's reality, so that's really all there is to it. If people aren't put off by the intakes or the (to me totally unnecessary) wingtip additions and the cockpit doesn't bug them, then good-o for them. If people see my article and think "Okay, gotta watch for that" and are forewarned, then I've done my part. When you see it done, you'll see none of this stuff is a show stopper. It's just annoying, like something I'd expect from an old AMT car kit; it's complexity that I can't personally see was necessary, and you'll never convince me it was. So, in conclusion: a.) It's a good-looking, generally good-fitting kit. b.) It has lots of cool stuff with it. Definitely A+ for that. c.) It has good detail on and in it, even if some is a bit fiddly. d.) There are parts I find oddly and problematically engineered, like the intakes, wingtips and cockpit sides. I feel these are unnecessarily complicated and could have been engineered better. e.) Even with the issues in d.), you can get this kit looking very nice, and every inch an SMT. f.) I wanted people to see that it's not flawless, even though it looks like it in the box. There are hidden challenges for some. If you're not challenged by it, good on you. Hope this makes things clear.
  12. I can see where you're coming from, Ventris, and I know exactly what is implied. I don't disagree that, indeed, the evidence woudl point to a certain ham-fistedness on my part! There were folks who said the same when they saw the underside of the wings on my Spitfire F.22. However, you can see from my website that I build a lot of different kits, and not all of them are very good kits right from the get-go (although that Academy Stuka was amazing!). Still, while I'm no IPMS Nationals winner, I do think I'm a competent modeller. My range of experience (especially in 1/72) from Farpro to Matchbox to Academy, (new and old) Airfix and now Zvezda, gives me, I would say, at least sufficient credit to be able to be given the benefit of the doubt on some things. And, I do think I can get some pretty good results from some rather poor and dodgy kits. So, while I may appear to be all thumbs to some in this case, I think it's fair to say that I actually do know what I'm doing. Not everyone has had the trouble I had. I'm glad of it. I'm in total agreement that some shapes need multiple parts, too! However, for me, it's just HOW the intake is split up that made it difficult to deal with. Again, they tend to get fancy when it's not necessary; the Yak-130 is proof to me of that... That's the good (and bad, sometimes) thing about modelling, or any art, really: Everyone is going to be good and bad at different aspects of it. I've built some kits that others have said were unbuildable and that they abandonned (my Monogram GTA is one such, and the Ford Probe gave a lot of people issues, too, it seems), but I was able to complete. It just so happens that I'm not on the same page as Zvezda on how to get this thing assembled easily, and I think they could have done a better job making it behave more like the Tamiyas and Hasegawas they're trying to compete with. I have no doubt all this will clean up fine and will look good when I'm done. I just wish I, personally, hadn't found it so pointlessly complicated. I wanted to put my impressions up here because they were so different from what I expected, and I wanted others to get a less-than-ravingly-positive perspective. I'm not going to believe I'm the only person on this planet that found parts of this kit needlessly tough.
  13. Well, if it helps, I DO have a Megane, a Renault 5 (LeCar) police car and a Renault 16 hatchback. Do they count? So many interwar French bombers LOOK like cars (well... rail cars) that you COULD count that.. :) Remember my criteria are weird and sucky (there are a few others, but they're the big ones); how can French cars not fit into that mould! I would love a Fuego, and I have a Burago Renault 11 (I think that's the Alliance's name) I want to customize at some point... You're never safe, man. Not from me. Bwa ha ha ha!
  14. About the Yak: I haven't written it up yet, but it does NOT brook any change in the order of assembly. Which sucks, because to me, it's illogical. There are too many things that go inside other things to fit around other things. It reminds me of a really badly executed MG Gundam (although I'm not sure there is such a thing). It's amazing engineering, but what's the point when it makes the build tedious and difficult? I know you know what I mean! I love the Firebar as a plane, and I have an old A-Model of it. I'm going to stick with it, because some A-Models are total garbage (Anakonda... that's you I'm staring at) and some (like the Firebar) look okay. well, sorry, mine's a Brewer, the "PP" version. I definitely won't bother with the Bobcat! By the way, wasn't "Bobcat" the name for the super-simple Heller kits, like my Harrier T.4 (you can find it on my site)? Seems to bode ill. I don't mind a crappy fitting kit. I know what I'm in for when I bust out a Matchbox or a Heller, and I'm good with that, because that challenge is part of what I'm looking forward to: Can I make a silk-ish purse out of this sow's ear? However, if I get a nice-looking new kit, I expect it to behave as such. I agree, life is too short to have models be crappy when you don't want them to be! :) (Let's face it, a good MPC kit would just make me question the entire fabric of reality!)
  15. Well, that's your take. You've seen mine. My feeling is though, given that this is a pretty modern and relatively expensive kit, that there's a lot of ways that Zvezda could have done the intakes better. With such a long seam and no real positive location, getting things to line up right is not that easy. I've built a tonne of kits, and this is the only one I've seen that had intakes that were this odd. If you can do those intakes with a little spot of Mr. Surfacer, then I applaud you. However, I am building this kit, not you, and I found the intakes rather tricky. You can see from the pictures that it took more than "a blob" of Mr. Surfacer. Now, they look fine when done, but it's getting there that's a pain in the burner cans... I don't disagree that the parts breakup is well thought out, but again, it conveniences Zvezda, not the builder. A good kit can do both. A perfect example, as I cited, is the Hasegawa Valkyries. They have lots of different variants, some catered to by different wings, or noses, or whatnot. However, in those cases, the applicable assemblies are either given as new parts, or extra parts. the integrity of the Super Ostrich/Elint Seeker wing isn't broken up by just making the wingtips different pieces. Hasegawa gives you whole new wings that are appropriate. Same for the 1 vs 2-seaters; It's not just a bit of a stretch, it's a whole new nose. The SMT could have been engineered the same way. When a company makes life hard for the modeller because it's easy for them, I take exception to it. I take more exception on a newer kit that clearly is great in many ways, but disappoints where it shouldn't. You wouldn't want to hear my take on things like Kittyhawk kits where you have a seam on the canopy glass that has to be sanded down. That's equally inexcuseable. See, for me, the cockpit detail doesn't matter. At 1/72, I don't think you can see much, and I close my canopies. So, I don't care if the interior is great or not. I do care if the kit fits together well and makes sense. To me, an old Matchbox makes more sense than this thing. But again, that's my call, not yours. Criticism is like beauty, don't forget; it's a personal thing. To me, their Yak-130 is even worse. It's a friggin' puzzle. You'll really hate it when I write that one up! 😉 At the end of the day, it's as simple as this: It looks like a Tamiya but builds like a mid-'80s MPC. It's still the only game in town, I think, for this airframe, and I'm glad I've got it, but I was surprised it was as tough as it was. Since I figured others might want to know these pitfalls about it, I wrote it up. If others have better luck, then I'm very glad that I'm the one who had trouble, rather than someone else.
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