August 29, 2013

High Plains Modelers Distinguish Themselves At IPMS 2013, the Thin-Air Nationals

           During the week of August 14th-17th, the 2013 IPMS Nationals, the “Thin Air Nationals”, was held in High Plains Modelers’ own backyard here in Loveland, Colorado. A huge contest room showcased nearly 3,000 gorgeous models from some 2,500 entrants, in 197 categories. In addition, two very large vendor rooms hosted such outfits as Squadron, Roll Models, Zoukei-Mura, and others in an earnest and largely successful effort at parting modelers from the money in their wallets. Despite some misgivings, the show went off fairly well considering the hosting chapter was based in a city over 100 miles away.
            Members of High Plains Modelers distinguished themselves by a large amount of time and work spent helping the show to succeed. A total of over 77 hours were worked as volunteers, helping in such areas as registration and security. It can’t be overlooked that member Jeff Brown spent at least 60 hours putting together a very professional looking and impressive publication on CD-ROM for the Nats. Paul Linger stayed Saturday night until midnight to help clean out the contest room.  In addition, at least three of our humble organization aided in placing awards on the table. It’s not every day you can say you handed out awards at a Nationals convention. We also had at least three members who were judges in assorted categories and who stayed up very late to get the job done. All of these guys deserve massive kudos for a job well done.
            Five  HPM members came away with a total of eight awards from the show:
            Jeff – 2nd in Triathlon OOB for his TIE fighter, Honda RA272, and Tiger I (Late)
                        2nd in Misc. OOB for his Komatsu bulldozer
            Tomasz – 2nd in 1/48 Multi-engine for his JU-88A4 in desert camo
                             2nd in 1/72 Multi-engine for his JU-88A17 torpedo
            Gary -- 2nd in Hot Rods/Street Rods, 1948 and Older, 1/20th and smaller with his 1941 
                         Chevy truck
                         2nd in Automotive, Heavy, Commercial Vehicles 1/20th and smaller with his Honest John
                         Missile & Mobile Carrier
            Jerry – 2nd in Drag Racers, Purpose Built
            Tony – 1st in Light Commercial Vehicles with his rusted out 1941 Chevy tow truck

            Here are some pics from the show for you to ogle:

The HPM group build won no awards, but at least we're still handsome and charming.

This B-58 Hustler was a great subject to show off the various tones in a natural metal finish.

F-16C with markings out of our very own Buckley AFB. 

Great water modeling under this C.S.S. Palmetto ironclad vessel.

There are no awards in Starfleet for Most Banged Up Starship, but this U.S.S. Constellation looked great.

If you didn't laugh your guts out at this,  you have no soul.

Just a few examples of the outstanding armor modeling on display at the Nats.

Great diorama and water work here. I reckon her husband might be upset when he gets the news.

Another stunning diorama scene.

Our mates to the south, the CoMMiES, handled this Make & Take almost as well as Chuck Norris doing a ballet. And that's saying something. I'm not sure what, though.

Have you ever seen such a league of extroardinary gentlemen? Nay! You have not!

This tractor took Best In Show. For good reason, as what I thought was originally all metal, was actually all plastic! Simply jaw-dropping.

The vendor room showcased just about every modeling product you can think of, including these photo-etch sets for armor.

Just one of the many seminars held during the convention, this one on 3D printing and resin casting.

August 27, 2013

August 2013 Meeting

      While the sun dropped into the horizon, lighting towering piles of thunderstorm clouds to the northeast, High Plains Modelers convened for their August meeting at the Budweiser Events Center's McKee 4-H building. For the fourth month in a row, we had record attendance as 14 club members and 3 guests gathered to discuss all things modeling.
     Mark Persichetti, the chairman of the IPMS 2013 Nationals committee, was gracious enough to stop by with a comprehensive and detailed debrief on the 2013 National convention. A detailed report on the Nats will be covered on a separate, dedicated post here at the HPM website.
     Two guests and prospective new members joined us for the meeting as well. After secret chants and blood rituals were performed, Jim and Scott were warmly welcomed to the group. Introductions were exchanged and we all got to know each other.
     Besides the Nats, HPM's own "Not The Nationals" October model contest & show was also discussed. Stay tuned on our dedicated "High Plains Con" page for further updates on this exciting event.
    Now, let's check out some cool model pics!

Chris's Blohm & Voss BV-141 observation plane, in 1/72

Okay, who invited Hitler to the party? D'oh! Jeff did. ;)

Michael's mouse monk. Really great base on this one.

Marty's 1/72 Airfix P-51, complete with PSP base.

Scott S. brought this very impressive BF-109 with aftermarket canopy and prop.

Gary's Matilda tank employed camoflage techniques demonstrated by Pablo.

Chip's 1/48 Tamiya Mustang.

Pablo's war-weary 1/48 Hawker Hurricane.

August 19, 2013

Splatter Resistant Paint Shield

All you need is the top of a 2-liter plastic bottle.

August 11, 2013

Aurora 1/228 USS Skipjack Atomic Submarine

A very easy kit from 1970 with only 23 parts.  
There are several locations on the hull where incomplete molding is obvious & must be filled & sanded.  The plastic is very soft & care must be taken not to remove too much.  The hull half's do not fit together "perfectly" so sanding is required to smooth it out.
The submarine has very little detail.  Also, this Skipjack release comes with a nuclear reactor that can be viewed by removing the aft dorsal hatch (pic 1, circle aft of the sail).  I just had no desire to mess with it so I sealed off the hatch.  A later issue of this kit (pic 3) included a "Phota-Scope" feature in place of the nuclear reactor.  The kit also comes with a single periscope which I also chose to leave off based on several reference photos.  Finally, the sub was delivered with a 5-bladed propeller not the 3-bladed prop in the kit.
This baby needs a little more prep & will be ready for paint.

Revell/Renwal 1/32 Teracruzer with Mace Missile (reissue) WIP Part 3

The homestretch update!
Missile & translauncher are ready for paint.  The cab needs to be finished & the Teracruzer will be ready for paint.
Looking good!

August 10, 2013

Applying Dull Cote With An Airbrush

  I'll admit, I'm a fan of the K.I.S.S. principle. K.I.S.S is an abbreviation for "Keep It Simple, Silly", but the final "S" can signify various other words not fit to print here.
   Rattle cans are probably the hallmark K.I.S.S. product with regards to modeling. It's easy. Push a button, paint comes out, and suddenly your modeling bench is covered in red paint. What's not to like? Since I reentered the modeling hobby ten years ago, however, spray cans have been eschewed in favor of airbrush applied finishes. You just can't beat the control an airbrush gives you in your paint or clearcoat finish.
   One of the products that I do like to use in spray can form is Dull Cote. I hadn't been brave enough to attempt to airbrush this product, even knowing there was a bottled version intended simply for manual brushing. This evening, after reading endless internet posts on the topic and watching a few YouTube videos, I decided to give it a try. I had an old bottle of the stuff languishing in my modeling file cabinet. Out it came.
    The appealing thing about Dull Cote in the bottle is that it's lacquer based. The chief advantage of this is that it will dry very quickly. While the spray can version is lacquer based also, you cannot vary the proportion of the Dull Cote to the thinner, which in this case obviously is lacquer thinner. With an airbrush, you can thin the Dull Cote in order to better control the spray, which increases the odds of getting an optimum application on the model.
   With a bit of intrepidity, I poured some of the Dull Cote into a glass baby food jar. Using the recommended proportion of 1:1 off the 'net, I thinned it with lacquer thinner until it looked right. Yep, I eyeballed it. Given the "hotness" of the medium, though, I figured by controlling the airbrush distance and airflow I could mediate any mistakes in thinness.
   Using the group build accessories I built, I began to spray. I was instantly amazed in how quickly the Dull Cote dried. With just the right amount of throttle on the airbrush, the mixture would hit the parts wet and dry within seconds. It was doing it as I watched! Even more brilliant, the high gloss imparted by a coat of Future Floor Wax I'd used earlier disappeared as I swept back and forth across the part. It was as if I was using a magic wand to get a perfectly matte surface. The surface was dead flat.
    Needless to say, despite the hassle of fumes and cleanup (I usually use acrylic products due to their ease of cleanup), I believe I may convert to airbrushing this product. I simply can't argue with the results. I can't wait to try this method of flat coat delivery on my next armor or aircraft model. Check out the pic:

Build & Bull and Group Build Shenanigans

     Just a quick update to the website. Nationals is just around the corner! Saturday, members of HPM gathered in the basement at Hobbytown Fort Collins to work on some models and shoot the breeze in our monthly Build & Bull. The day was also spent in finalizing the layout and repairing certain issues on the club's group build project, which will appear at IPMS Nationals in Loveland next week. Many members of the club gave freely of their time and expertise in bringing this project to fruition. A list of contributing members will appear in the High Plains Gazette. Check out the pics below of HPM members in action.
Pablo, Chip and Jim doing what they do best. Which is mostly talking. Well, except for Jim. He got something done. ;)

Mark, Dave, and Michael collaborate on the hangar and groundwork for the group build.

August 6, 2013

Spill Resistant Glue/Paint Holder

This is my version of a tried & true workbench friend.  All you need is a yogurt container with a wide base & foam.

August 1, 2013

Eduard 1/48 Mig-21MF Mask

Title:  Eduard 1/48 Mig-21MF Mask
Scale: 1/48                                                
Reviewer: Pablo Bauleo                         IPMS # 46363
Product/Stock #: EX 337
MSRP: $10.95
Review Type: Aircraft Accessory                                                
Product Type: Mask                                                             
Company Info: Eduard
Company Website Title:
Company Website URL:
Provided by Title: Eduard
Provided by URL:


Eduard Models continues to expand its Mig-21 line this time with an excellent addition that would save modelers time and grief: Self-Adhesive pre-cut masks.

The mask set includes pre-cut masks for the canopy, the landing lights and some details like the rudder and wing wooden panels (for radar and ECM). The mask for the canopy provides you only with the edges of the canopy, you are then expected to “fill-in the blanks”, but that is very simple and straightforward to do.

It took me about 5 minutes to mask the canopy, the landing lights and those fuselage details. Otherwise it would have been, probably over half an hour and likely it would have not been such a clean masking work.

Recommended to modelers of all levels.

I would like to thank Eduard and IPMS/USA for the review sample.

Squadron - Armor Walk Around FT17/M1917

Review Name: FT17/M1917 WWI Walk around (SS27023)
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo (IPMS #46363)
Review Product Type: Armor
Review Type: Publication
ISBN No.: ISBN 978-0-89747-636-2
Publisher: Squadron Signal Publications
Author: David Doyle
Illustrations: Don Greer
Line Drawings: Melinda Turnage
MSRP: $18.95
Provided by: Squadron Signal
Vendor Web Site:


The FT-17, and its American copy the M1917, set the stage for the modern tank by having a revolving turret, a front driver and a rear engine. It was used by armed forces of many different countries and it was still in service with some minor European armies at the outbreak of WWII.

The book is profusely illustrated with over to 300 pictures in color, although all the pictures are from restored units in museums. Four view line drawings provide details of both the M1917 and the FT-17.

The pictures correspond to over a dozen of examples from different museums across the world and they are depicted in different camouflages and markings, providing ideas to modelers on how to finish their kits.

Modelers will find the line drawings very useful while the all-around pictures provide great details for super detailing your model.

Squadron Signal Publications has published the same book, both in hardcover and soft cover binding, allowing the modeler/historian to choose which one fits their needs best.

Recommended to armor modelers.

I would like to thank Squadron Signal Publications and IPMS/USA for the review sample.

Revell 1/32 Peterbilt 352 Cabover

Review Name: 1/32 Revell Peterbilt 352 Cabover "Historic Series"
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo (IPMS #46363)
Review Product Type: Automotive
Review Type: Snap Tite Kit
Scale: 1/32
Manufacturer: Revell
Manufacturer website:
Mfr Stock No: 85-1964
MSRP: 15.95
Provided by: Revell
Vendor Web Site:


This kit is molded in light blue, black and chrome parts. It has 59 parts and is being marketed as "snap tite". The kit has no engine, but the oil pan and the transmission are present.

The fit is good for the most part. I only had trouble with the chrome parts fits. I was not able to get them to snap, and some of the chrome parts (like the tanks) have sizable gaps.

I've put together the chassis and wheels and then I've checked for mis-alignments. I've only had to add a small shim to one of the suspension parts to get all the tires to touch the ground. I've painted the chassis/wheels assembly flat black and the cab in "true blue".

This is a good kit for a kid that is getting into the hobby, or a grown up that just wants a break from more complex builds. I had fun putting this kit together and it was a great break from other projects. The only downside is that some of the chrome parts didn't fit well, but it is nothing that some modeling skills couldn't overcome.

I would like to thank IPMS/USA, and Revell for providing the review sample.

Mushroom Publication - 9. Panzder Division 1940-43

Review Name: 9. Panzer Division 1940-1943 (No 4110)
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo (IPMS #46363)
Review Product Type: Armor
Review Type: Publication
ISBN No.: ISBN 978-83-61421-29-0
Publisher: Mushroom Model Publications
Author: Marek Kruk and Rados?aw Szewczyk
Illustrations: Thierry Vallet
Format: A4 - 144 Pages 144
MSRP: approximately $32
Provided by: Mushroom Model Publication
Vendor Web Site:

Kit Review:

Mushroom Model Publications continues expanding its Green Line series devoted to armor units. Its latest installment is "9. Panzer Division 1940-1943". Given the timeline on the title, one can only speculate that this book will be followed up by a second volume devoted to the history of the unit in 1944-1945.

The current book covers the history of the unit, from its inception as an "Austrian" unit and its deployment in the 1940 Blitzkrieg in the West as it moves into the Balkans involvement in 1941 in the Balkans (Greece and Yugoslavia).

Most of the book is actually devoted to the unit's involvement in the Eastern Front, covering Barbarossa (1941), the summer offensive of 1942 and the bloody battles of Kursk in 1943.

The book includes a very short description of the unit's fate in 1944 and 1945, when it was transferred to the Western Front to face the Allied landings in Normandy and the push into Germany.

Finally the book has a list of all the 9.Panzer Division Commanders 1940 to 1943.

In total this book has plenty of B&W pictures, over 10 line drawings, and 14 color profiles. It also has very useful maps, following the movements of the unit during the major operations it participated.

I would recommend this book to any history-oriented modeler, due to the detailed maps and pictures included in the book, which are excellent reference material.

I would like to thank IPMS/USA and Mushroom Model Publication for the review sample.

Eduard - 1/48 Prepainted Marsden/PSP Base

Review Name: 1/48 Pre-painted Marsden/PSP Base
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo (IPMS #46363)
Review Product Type: Aircraft
Review Type: Kit
Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: Eduard Models
Manufacturer website:
Mfr Stock No: Future release
Provided by: Eduard Models
Vendor Web Site:


Eduard is planning to release a pre-painted injected plastic PSP base. The base has a copyright of 1999 in the back, so I think it is the "old" PSP base which now gets a pre-painted treatment.

What about the pre-painting? It is great. Deep browns and grey shades, with a touch of lighter spots and rusty shades. This is not just pre-painted, it is weathered too!! Now, be aware that the sides of the base are left in bare plastic (white). You might want to consider painting the sides to match the colors of the top and maybe to apply a wash to the overall base to bring out detail.

What is the quality and detail of the plastic? It is outstanding as we became used from Eduard. No flash or molding flaws. Clean and crisp details. The dimensions are 164 mm x 234 mm. It will fit a P-51 just fine, but it might be a bit tight for a P-47, as it is shown in the pictures.

This is a future release of Eduard, therefore we have no information on stock number or cost. Despite not knowing the cost of the base, it does have a great value as it helps to highlight your model on the contest table.

Recommended to modelers of all levels.

I would like to thank IPMS/USA, and Eduard Models Rectifier for providing the review sample.

Accurate Miniatures 1/48 P-51C "Bendix Racer"

Review Name: 1/48 Accurate Miniatures P-51C “Bendix Racer”
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo (IPMS #46363)
Review Product Type: Aircraft
Review Type: Kit

Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: Accurate Miniatures
Manufacturer website: N/A
Mfr Stock No: 530013
MSRP: 39.99
Provided by: Model Rectifier Corp
Vendor Web Site:

Accurate Miniatures P-51C has been re-boxed many times. This is the “Bendix Racer” boxing of it. You get the standard sprues, which is a full military P-51C (i.e. machine guns are included in the kit).

Probably the main, and really the only problem about this kit are the instructions. To begin with they are very confusing regarding the left and right parts for the back fuselage. You just have to use your common sense. Besides it is very obvious which part is the left (or right) part of the fuselage; just look at the drawings and ignore the part number.

I’ve assembled and detailed the cockpit as per instructions. Then I’ve departed from the instructions. First I glued the back and forward parts of each fuselage together and then I’ve assembled both full fuselages sides together. Simple enough to do and this ensured a better alignment of the whole fuselage.

I’ve glued the bottom wing to the fuselage assembly and then the top wings at the wing root first, assuring that there would be no gap at the wingroot. At that point the kit looked like an “X-Wing” from Star wars, as the top and bottom of the wingtips where at least half an inch apart. I just gently clamped the wingtips and run liquid cement along the joins. By doing this the wings are symmetrical, but maybe not 100% straight. It is very hard to tell but the wings aren’t completely straight. Next time I might add some brass tube to the inside of the wings to make sure they are straight.

The other departure from the instructions is that this model is an airplane racer; therefore it will have the machine gun ports and ejector chute closed up. The instructions do not say anything about this; it actually calls for installing the machine guns in place. I’ve filled up the machine gun ports with stretched sprue, put some Bondo filler sanded it flash and finally Mr. Surfacer 500 for a nice and smooth finish.

Another correction to the instructions relates to the radio antenna behind the cockpit. Chocran’s airplane had its antenna tilted backwards. The instructions tell you to install it perpendicular to the fuselage (as it was the case for the military P-51).

Probably the real airplane also had the wing panels filled and sanded flush, for a smoother airfoil, however I couldn’t confirm it. I did not fill the panel lines on my model, but most likely I should have.

The tail surfaces fitted very loosely into the fuselage. So much that they drooped down about 45 degrees when dry fitted. It was easy to scratchbuilt a brass connector rod between them to get them straight and true with the tail fin.

Painting and decaling was very fun, as the finish is an eye-catcher in my opinion. Decals are printed by Cartograph and behaved very well over a coat of Future. I did not even needed MicroSol/MicroSet, the decals just settled down over the panel lines by themselves. I did not weather the model as I thought that an airplane racer was kept fairly clean and most likely waxed for speed.

Landing gear is simple to assemble and sturdy. The tires are molded independently from the hubs, making painting a breeze. The wheel well is nicely detailed and you can assemble the landing doors open –as per instructions- but in they should be assembled in the closed position. The P-51 had the main landing gear doors closed all the time –except during retraction- as to maximize air flow into the radiator. If the P-51 was parked and the hydraulics were to loose pressure then both the flaps and the landing gear doors would drop. However the kit is molded with the flaps up, making then only correct to assemble it with the main landing gear closed (as I assembled mine).

Overall this kit is a lot of fun; it has great fit and it looks great out of the box. I recommend this kit to the average experienced modeler. Anyone that has built a few kits and feels comfortable filling and sanding –to convert the military wing to a racer one- should have no problem finishing the kit and turning it into a real eye-catcher.

Finally I want to share why I choose to model the plane flown by Jackeline Chochran in the Bendix Race. She was an outstanding pilot –still holds more altitude and speed records than any pilot, male or female- and she was one of the many women that served their country during WWII, as part of the WASP program. The nose of her plane had the slogan “Wanted: A strong coequal air force” indicating that she served her country and fought for her rights.

This model is my small homage to the entire WASP personnel, which never got the recognition they earned.

I would like to thank IPMS/USA, Accurate Miniatures and Model Rectifier Corporation for providing the review sample.