Sunday, December 28, 2008

A-6E Intruder

Today I have completed the set of six A-6E Intruders. This happens to be one of my favorite aircraft and perhaps one day I will model a much larger scale model of the plane (will probably be easier to detail then the 1" long aircraft seen below).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tamiya 1/48 V-1 (Fieseler Fi103) "Flying Bomb"

Today being Christmas I received from my lovely wife a 1/48 scale Tamiya V-1 (Fieseler Fi103) "Flying Bomb", a model that I have had my eye on for a little while now. Containing only 16 parts and 20 decals (this is probably the first time I have seen a model with more decals then parts) this should be a fairly quick model to complete.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A-7E Corsair II (Photo Update)

Here is a new photo of the A-7E Corsair II which was taken with a Canadian 1 Cent Penny to display the scale of the aircraft.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

EA-6B Prowler

While working on the six A-6E Intruders I added the pair of EA-6B Prowlers to my assembly line since they are very similar with exception to there final details. Notice that the word "MARINES" is displayed instead of "NAVY", I made this remark while examining real photos of the EA-6B aboard the Midway.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Photo

I work for Cardinal Health (Pyxis) and today we had a photo session organized for all employees interested in having there picture taken with there favorite hobby, interest or passion. Obviously I brought some scale models/supplies to the office and had the following photo taken of me working on my Tamiya 1/35 German 6x4 Truck Krupp Protze.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A-7E Corsair II

I have completed the first set of aircraft the A-7E Coraisr II, eight down, eighteen more aircraft to go! The aircraft look large in the photos but they are barely an inch long.

Here you can see the full squadron.
Added US insignias, Navy writing, drilled out the tail pipe.

Notice the refueling rod added to the side near the cockpit

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Display Case

Today I purchased a glass display case to protect my scale models from dust while displayng them for all to view in my home office. I got it on special at a new store that opened up near my house called JYSK for $66 cdn (normally selling for $100 cdn).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Starfighter Decals!

Today I received the Starfighter Decals I ordered and I must say that they are much better then the decals supplied with the ARII kit. The scale looks more appropriate and the "NAVY" wording decals are outstanding! I can't wait to apply them which should be very soon since I have pretty much completed the A-7 Corsair II's.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

USAF National Insignia

While finishing up the A-7 Corsair II's I quickly realized that the number of Insignias that came with the scale model are not enough for the number of aircraft I am to display aboard the Midway. Having 26 aircraft that requires four insignia each for a total of 104, unfortunately the decal sheet provided by ARII only supplied 68. I am guessing that ARII assumed that not all the aircraft would be used or that the insignia would not be placed under the wings...

So with a bit of searching on line I found the web site who sell a nice decal sheet with 432 USAF insignias as well as 245 decals worded "NAVY" as an added bonus. With shipping to Canada only $7 USD, that's a hard bargain to beat!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Midway Air Wings & Squadrons

There is a wide variety of aircraft included with this kit (some of which never actually flew off of the U.S.S. Midway) and after some research I have narrowed it down to the following aircraft to be displayed based on a 1986 model of the Midway (pre EISRA-86):
Below is a screen shot of the different airwings to be used with the excess plastic removed and stabilizers fins glued, next stop the paint shop!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Let There be Light! (in the hangar)

I received in the mail today the electroluminescent strip lamp I ordered on eBay. I had to make a quick test to see how it would look and and am very happy with the results (much better then the LED's). There is a slight blue tint to the light but the advantages of the electroluminescent strip lamp outweigh this detail. Notice that we can even see details such as the hangar door decals inside the ship clearly, I am anxious to complete detailing the inside and add aircraft.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Paint it Red

After masking the hull hangar deck I took out my airbrush today and painted the hull for the second time. Why the second time, well the week before during my vacation I painted the hull Tamiya flat red (XF-7) and it looked like red primer (hideous, although probably more realistic to the real thing). So I sprayed the hull with white primer and resprayed it with Tamiya red (X-1), this time round I am pleased with the results.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The $5 Computer

I use the internet for 95% of my research when working on scale models and I will often walk back and forth between my office and my workshop to examine photos. This was starting to annoy me and one solution I did come up with was printing out the images but it wasn't the same.

After looking through my computer spare parts box I realized that all I was missing to build a PC was a monitor and a case. Since I am on vacation I have the extra time to work on building a computer case out of wood and took a walk to the local flea market where I picked up a very nice flat 17" CRT monitor with a low profile for only $5. After installing Windows 2000 on it (it's a Celeron 500MHz) and a wireless mouse I now have easy access to all of my reference material.

Electroluminescent Strip Lamp

I was looking for a way to illuminate the interior of the hangars for the U.S.S. Midway and my initial plan was to use white LED's. I went out and bought the necessary circuits and tested it out only to be disappointed with the outcome. I did not realize that the white LED's would create a spot light effect as well as being too big and obvious as it stuck out of the ceiling of the hangar.

I did some research and stumbled upon a post on the Fine Scale Modeler forum where it was discussed how to light up a
Star Wars Millennium Falcon engine using a electroluminescent strip lamp. after seeing some screen shots I was really intrigued since this product can be bent and cut into the shape you want.

Searching for a site that sells the product I found Miller Engineering web site where the product was available in blue or white. For the Millennium Falcon blue is the perfect color but for me white is what I need. Unfortunetly the price is a bit high and the format of the product (light dimensions) was not ideal. A quick search on eBay found exactly what I needed (10"x3" light strip which is the same dimension as the hangar deck) at about half the price (including shipping).

Below is a screen shot of what the product resembles:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Paving the Hangar

After a lot of hesitation and research I decided to paint the hangar deck Tamiya NATO black (XF-69). Why the hesitation, well as with any aircraft carrier the state of the deck will change overtime from a flat black when refresh/updated to a light gray color during extensive use (just like a highway). Since I am not an expert in weathering I decided to go with the cleaner look of black deck. Flat black was my initial idea until I realized that the island bottom half is also flat black. I wanted to have a slight contrast between the main flight deck and the island so I opted for the NATO black instead.

I first started by painting the walls Tamiya flat white (XF-2) which was the easy part. To airbrush the NATO black I first had to mask the walls because on the real ship the black goes up the wall several feet. it was not easy to mask the walls due to the size (11mm high) but the extra attention to detail was worth the trouble. I then added decals to simulate the red/yellow checkered lines around the interior hangar doors which can been seen from the exterior hangar door.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Reference Material

For anyone interested in building an accurate U.S.S. Midway scale model and needs detailed reference material there is a very good site which I have based most of my research on: called Midway Sailor (

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hangar Walls

With the hangar deck glued to the hull I started the laborious task of cutting and gluing together the various walls which make out the hangar deck. This took a few evenings to complete but it definitely looks a lot better then my initial plan of using straight walls (like a box). Using the red outlines which I had made by tracing the scaled plans of the hangar deck I was able to create a fairly realistic depiction of the actual hangar deck.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


The Midway has two elevators in the hangar deck, creating boxes out of styrene sheets will give the impression of seeing into the depths of the hull. I did some testings and they can be easily seen by any of the three hangar doors so detailing these features is important.

(hangar deck view from underneath)

(elevator located in the stern section of the hangar)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hull Wiring Guide

I will be painting the hull section soon and need to glue the hangar deck in. My dilemma was that in doing so I would no longer have access to insert wiring needed for the two white led lights to be installed later on. My original plan was to pass the wiring immediately and have two wires sticking out of the bottom of the hull where I had drilled two holes that will be hidden by the pedestals. What bothered me with this idea was that for the rest of the time I would be working on the kit I would have wires dangling in my way.

Today I had the ingenious plan of gluing two small straws cut up where the bottom section is glued to the holes I had drilled and the top section slanted at a 45 degree angle would reach the side of the hull and accessible behind the hangar walls. Now I will be able to work on the ship and when I am ready to wire it and will simply have to insert the wiring from underneath and it will follow the path of the straws up into the hangar for wiring.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Keel Completed

I finally finished scratch building the keel section to make it as accurate as possible to the real thing based on photographs I have found while the ship was in dry dock.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Keel Updates

I have been hard at work updating the keel section of the ship. Below you can see the original keel and the updates made. I have not yet completed the keel section but it is coming along quite well...

Monday, May 26, 2008

ARII Hull Errors!

Since I have completed the initial parts of the hangar deck I have been preparing the hull itself. Before I can glue the hangar deck I need to drill holes for the two pedestals and pass two wires for the LED's to be installed later on.

While working on the hull I started to examine the propeller shafts and rudders where after a bit of research I found the following errors:
  • ARII kit comes with four rudders, Midway only had two.
  • The four propellers have five blades each, in reality the two exterior propellers have only four blades, not five.
  • The two inner propellers center are flat and not round like the exterior ones.
  • The hull's keel splits in two towards the stern (back end) where the two inner shafts connect, in the model there is only one keel on the center (this will be a challenge to correct).
Correcting the rudders should not be too difficult, modifying the propellers will be a bit of a challenge. I will also try to add the metal lines which I suspect are used to guide water flow which lay between the propellers and the propeller shafts.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Holes and even more holes!

I have finally completed drilling the holes needed to cover the hangar deck, I counted 769 holes drilled in total! It took a couple of hours to complete and I did it in several sessions over a period of one week since after about 20 minutes of manual drilling my fingers would start to hurt. I did some tests placing the hangar deck inside the hull and setting the flight deck on top and the results were very nice. Unfortunetly I will have to repeat the process later for the main flight deck which has a surface area about twice as large, I'll save that for another day.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Jig

I wanted to recreate the the holes which criss cross and cover the hangar and flight deck. These holes have a cross in them and are used to attach aircraft and equipment securely to the deck.

I used Adobe Photoshop and printed out a template with the criss cross pattern which I then taped to a small piece of styrene. This now became my Jig and will be used to accurately align all the holes on the decks with the proper spacings. The next step was to take a 0.5mm mechanical pencil and make the pattern on the deck where afterwards I will take a small hand drill and make small holes but not go through the styrene sheet. I have made some small tests and applied two coats of paint on another piece of plastic and the results were very nice. My only regret after completing the dots is that I should have used a transparent piece of styrene so that I could see easier where I am placing the dots.

Below is a photo of the jig on the hangar deck, if you look carefully you will see the pencil marks to be my guide when using a small hand drill.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Photo Etched Sets Arrive!

Today I received the Gold Medal Models (GMM) photo etched detail sets I ordered from It is not in 1/800 scale but the difference in size is very small and I believe acceptable. I will have a few challenges since the USN SUPERCARRIER photo etched set is not actually intended for the U.S.S. Midway, however I have seen it adapted for it in another model from research I have done and I believe that I can do the same. This will be my first time working with photo etched parts.


1/700 Naval Figures


Monday, April 28, 2008

Hangar Wall Layout

Originally I was to have straight walls in the hangar, however after doing some research I was able to find a photo which had the layout of the hangar deck. With the aide of Adobe Photoshop I resized the image and printed it out to scale. Afterwards I taped it to the styrene sheet and with a red marker made an outline for future reference.

Below you can see the deck with the wall outlines on the hull. Also notice in the stern section (back) the elevator shaft and in the bow section (front) to the port side (left) the stairway shaft which I have added for extra detail.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cross Section

Here we can see the cross sections needed to support the scratch built hangar deck. I determined that six were needed to give proper support and make sure the deck does not slope inwards. Fortunately there were two slots designed to hold batteries which the styrene sheets fit perfectly and helped keep everything aligned properly.

You may also notice that in red I have signed and dated the model as an artist would sign a canvas painting. This is a tradition I have done with every model I have built since I was a child.

Gold Medal Models

Today I placed an order with "Loren Perry Gold Medal Models" for photo etched parts and a decal sheet to be used on the U.S.S. Midway. I was a bit disappointed that the site does not accept a direct credit card payments and initially I thought I would have to create a money order but fortunetly they do accept PayPal now.

I have ordered the following:
  • 1/720 Scale USN SUPER CARRIER ($20)
  • 1/700 Naval Figures ($6)
Shipping was only $2 and I had to add 3% of the total to cover for PayPal fees which is cheaper then having a Money Order created and I would also get my items faster!

I have done some research and despite not being 1/800 scale it has been proven by other modelers that the 1/700 scale can be adapted fairly well. See this interesting article from of how Mark Leonard built an ARII U.S.S. Midway with some of the exact same parts.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hangar Deck

To make the hangar deck I used a piece of paper cut out to the maximum width of the hull. I then proceeded in trimming it to fit the hulls curvature. Once I was satisfied with the cut I then placed it on a styrene sheet with tape and cut the pattern out. With only a few slight adjustments which were probably due to the thickness of the styrene sheet it fit perfectly in place.

On the scale model is the paper mock up and below the styrene sheet.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Contruction Begins for the U.S.S. Midway!

Below is a photo of some of the first steps taken in this project, I drilled out a hole on each side of the hull where the anchor is linked with chains inside the ship.

Details Plans for the Contruction of the U.S.S. Midway

Today I have started work on the ARII 1/800 scale U.S.S. Midway aircraft carrier. This model will be the first one that I will apply major scratch building to it.

For this project I plan to do the following:
  • Open up the elevator doors so that a detailed hanger will be viewable.
    • Ceiling piping will be added
    • Details to the interior walls
    • Interior elevators
  • Add real cables for the arresting cables on the landing pad.
  • Raise the jet blast deflectors.
  • Add the doghouse to the island (the doghouse is an extension of the island).
  • Fold wings of some of the aircrafts which are not in use.
I have purchased several "Gold Medal Models" items to add extra detail including:

  • Photo etch Naval Figures (set of 100)
  • U.S.N. Supercarrier Decals
  • U.S.N. Supercarriers photo etch parts

Monday, April 14, 2008

New Kit - U.S.S. Midway

Upon visiting the U.S.S. Midway located in San Diego California on October 20th 2007 I purchased the scale model of the vessel from there gift shop.

It is a Chinese ARII kit in 1/800 scale model measuring approximately 15 inches long and has 76 various aircrafts. I plan to make extensive modifications and super detail this kit.

I have since been fortunate enough to return to San Diego and visit the U.S.S. Midway a second time on April 7th 2008, this time taking lots of reference photos in anticipation of the construction of this kit. I was glad to have purchased this scale model on my first visit because when I returned to the gift shop they no longer had any left and from the research I did it is a hard to find kit.

View Larger Map

Monday, March 31, 2008

Tamiya 1/35 German 6x4 Truck Krupp Protze

I purchased this model on eBay back in 2003, the trucks unique look caught my attention. I started working on it in November 2007, took a pause during December because of the holidays and I estimate that it should be complete sometime next month (April 2008). Below are a few images (there is still a bit of work left to do):