Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Christmas Gift

Well today is Christmas and what better gift I could get from my in-laws than a scale model! To be specific I received the Tamiya M1A1 Abrams with Mine Plow 1/35 scale American tank, a kit that I have had my eye on for a while now. 

The main reason I want to build this kit is because when I was about 14 I built one, a Revell kit I believe but could be mistaken. It was my first armored kit and I really enjoyed building it and it sure looked great! It was also built only a year or two after Operation Desert Storm so these tanks were all over the media.

While there have been upgraded version of the Abrams tank released I really wanted to build the same version I built as a teenager but at the same time use a much more modern and higher quality kit and this Tamiya model fit the bill perfectly.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Step 8 - Part 1 - Motorcycle Assembly Complete

Step 8 consists of completing the motorcycle where I added the last accessories and installing the front wheel to the chassis. Whats nice is that the wheel can be turned as it is not glued which is a nice extra for when I am ready to place it in a diorama. The light was easy to install but had issues to properly align the light cover so that the slot would be straight. I then used a black Staedtler pigment liner 0.05 pen to darken the slot.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Step 6 & 7 - Sidecar

The next two steps to assemble the side car went without a hitch with very simple trouble free assembly. The only issue I had was what color to paint the brakes? After checking several reference photos I decided to go with a metal look. I also opted to add two luggage compartments which were optional as I want to depict this bike as an Africa Korps in the desert fully loaded with gear.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Step 5 - Motor & Luggage

Step 5 comprised of adding the baggage compartment for which I filled in the hollow backing with white putty as the hole was visible through the rear tire and completing the engine.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Step 4 - Have a Seat

Completed assembly of step number 4, painting instructions are vague and am using several reference photos to guide me. Front seat was a bit hard to place and required trimming the plastic underneath as the guide pin would not align properly to the hole in the chassis of the bike.

Step 3 - Gas Tank & Stand

Step 3 was fairly simple, glue the two halves of the gas tank together which to my surprise went fairly well and install the stand.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


Not knowing where to sign my name and date on this kit due to its very tiny size I decided to place it on the back of the sidecar seat.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Steps 1 & 2 - Start Building!

After a week or so of painting various parts I finally started assembly of step 1 the front wheel and step 2 the motorcycle chassis.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

It's Finished!!!

With construction of this kit commencing on April 21st 2008 and terminating November 16th 2016, I am glad to finally say that the U.S.S. Midway is now complete! It has taken 8 years, 6 months and 26 days to build over a period of 171 hours and 39 minutes which does not take into consideration all the research I performed. I have also built several other kits in between and have had many changes/challenges in my life such as the addition of my second (Terry) and third (Andy) sons as well as having a new house built and a major back injury that put me out of work for six months.

Building the Midway has also taught me that perfection in scale model building can take out a lot of the fun in the hobby and I have learned to seek a more artistic route to better enjoy this past time.

Last Piece of the Puzzle...

Well tonight I finally place the last piece of this puzzle together by installing the Midway decal to the stern. Since the kit did not come with such a decal I used Adobe Photoshop and a font called "Airborne" to print one onto Experts-Choice Decal Clear decal film. I intentionally saved this step for last as I found it to be fitting for a ship build.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Case Decorations

With the build almost complete I removed the protective plastic I had placed on the base of the case several months ago and proceeded in gluing a bronze medallion in an acrylic case on the left side and to the right the USS Midway patch. Both items where purchased on the Midway just like the scale model back when I visited her in San Diego on October 20th 2007.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Flight Deck Crew

Past few days I have been adding flight deck personnel to the flight deck of the Midway. Not sure how many were added but with all the coloured vests it helps add perspective to the scale of the other aircraft and the ship itself. 

Building a Paint Shelf Video

Here is a video explaining how and why I built a paint shelf.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

"Tilly" Crane

Using photo etched parts I replaced the boom of the "Tilly" crane and added a photo etched pulley. Used the same metal cable for the arresting cables on the deck as a cable between the boom and the base of the crane. Finally using a steady hand and some toothpicks I painted the wheels and windows.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Tow Tractors

Managed to detail the very very tiny tow tractors used to pull the aircraft on the deck of the Midway.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Tow Bars

I hesitated to include photo etched yellow tow bars but finally decided to add them which turned out to be a lot easier to install than I had initially imagined. Hardest part was to apply the three coats of yellow paint to the parts.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Planes, Jets and Helicopters…

Finally reached a milestone where the whole deck is now populated with planes, jets and helicopters that I had painted several years ago.The photo etched parts such as the propellers and refuelling probes plus the tiny decals such make the Midway's deck much more interesting to look at.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Lots of Antennas!

Tonight I decided to install the various antennas that are installed around the deck of the Midway, sixteen in all. Had a sign of relief when I was able to place the plastic case over the base and confirm that thee was still some space left!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Small Boats & Optical Landing System

Today I glued the two little white boats found at the stern of the ship. I originally wanted to include photoeteched rudders that I had but the scale did not work out so I installed them as provided with the kit. I also installed the Optical Landing System which are composed of lots of lights with various colors. I wanted to draw individual dots per bulb but it was just not feasible and ended up having to contempt with drawing lines.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Elevator & Crane

Tonight I installed the only elevator in the lowered position and the Midways crane. Used a Staedtler pigment liner 0.05 pen for the black markings since drilling out the holes through the crane was not an option due to the scale.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Island Completed

Finally completed the island and installed it on the deck of the Midway. While certain parts were difficult to assemble and the modifications challenging at times I am glad to have reached this milestone.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Island Markings

Spent most of the week cutting and placing very tiny decals of the various awards that the Midway has received as well as other fine details. At one point a white letter E on the port side came off and was lost due to me manipulating the island! Fortunately the Gold Medal Models "USN Supercarrier Decals" set included several aircraft carrier names. I was able to find a near identical letter E from the decal sheet. The "BEWARE OF JET BLAST PROPS AND ROTORS" decal was tricky as it was the "PROPS" was initially "PROPELLERS" so I turned one decal into four so that I could remove the "ELLER" from "PROPELLERS". Lastly I decided to paint with a red dot the eight enemy aircraft shot down by Midway's air wings as no such decals were provided and printing decals at 1/800 scale seemed almost ridiculous due to the tiny size.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Island Railings

Added some photo-etched railings to the island which adds a nice touch of detail that is easy to apply. The tough part will be to paint them, especially the forward one which is nestled titghly against the main mast. Will be saving that fun job for tomorrow...