Saturday, 13 April 2019

Getting Spare Parts - A Hamfisted Modellers Guide

I didn't name this blog The Hamfisted Modeller jokingly. I really do stuff up far to often.

Losing parts, running over them with my chair, throwing things out by mistake, gluing things on the wrong way around - I've done it all . As such I've become quite quite good at getting spare parts. So here's a guide to getting spare parts I wrote a few years ago.

A couple of things to keep in mind.

  • This is written from a modeller in Australia's perspective. I know there are other ways  may access spare parts, in particular North American modellers.
  • Not all companies are mentioned here because these are the only ones I've either used or have heard of being used.
  • Some of these methods may have been replaced by newer or better, if you know of any contact me and I will update the page.
  • Most manufacturers have a Facebook page these days. If you can't find any details on their web site I'd suggest trying there.
  • There is a US Ebay Seller who often sells whole sprues. Unfortunately postage to Australia makes him no use to us down here. It's usually cheaper to buy the whole kit locally than pay the postage chargers he asks for.

Hasegawa


Write to Hasegawa (a old school letter not an email). Address as below

Hasegawa Seisakusho Company Limited
3-1-2 Yagusu Yaizu
Shizuoka 425 8711
Japan

Clearly state what you are after e.g. 1/48 Hurricane Mk IID Kit # JT52, parts L4, A5, J7 and J11. ( in my last case sprue U
Enclose three (3) international reply coupons. You purchase these from the Post Office. You may have to shop around as not post office many seem to have them and many people don't know what they are. Three coupons and the postage cost me about $10 AUD total

Post and wait. The parts will usually appear in the post with a letter or flyer. 

I have used this service at least 4 times. Three times I got the parts within 4 weeks. Once it took 4 months but the part did arrive. I expect they didn't have any replacement parts available at the time I wrote and had to wait until they did another run.

A tip. If you after a part from a special /limited edition (excluding the decals or special parts within ) then I suggest asking for the same part but from the standard boxing (hopefully this makes sense). In my last case the part I was after was from a dual 1/48 HENSCHEL HS 129B-1/2 & JUNKERS JU 87G-2 - dual combo boxing. That kit was no longer available so I asked for for the same part from 1/48 Ju87G-2 Stuka “Tank Attacker” Kit No 09054, this is the standard Ju-87G2 kit.

For North American modellers I bevel you can contact Hasegawa USA.

Revell


They have a spare parts link on their website

Fill out the form and wait. I also email them on the address on that page.

Don't be surprised if you hear nothing the parts will appear in the post in 3 to 4 weeks. If they can't help they usually get back to you.  

Italeri


Contact them via their website

Alternately on the instructions, usually on the back sheet, there is a small form you can fill out and send (via snail mail). I have used this in the past and the parts turned up in the mail.

Airfix


Contact them via their website

Fill out the form and wait for contact.

Airfix used to be excellent for spares, but recently two separate mates have had no luck getting spares for kits. Both kits were current products in their range although not the same boxing. Airfix would not supply them with the parts they wanted, not even for a fee. Alternately I recently had a short shot part in the first Sea Fury kit (the cowling ring) and Airfix replaced it without an issue. It seems to be that if the issue is due to quality they will replace it, but if it's due to damage or the part was missing from the kit they are less willing to help.. 

Eduard


They have helped me in the past. Contact them via their website

Kinetic/Skunkworks


Contact them via their website

If you have no joy contact them via Lucky Models. If you go down the Lucky Models path then it pays to have an account and to use the My request Feature. Finally if that doesn't work the owner of Lucky Models Mr. Raymond Chung posts over at the Aircraft Resource Centre Forums

Kittyhawk


Contact Mrs Sophia Lynn via email (sophialynm@gmail.com).  

They will charge you postage for the parts, this is usually $10 USD. Unfortunately I've had to use this service multiple times due to missing or broken parts in their kits.

Rye Field Models


Contact them via rfm@ryefield-model.com

Tamiya


Their website directs you to your local importer. Details of who that is is on the same page. I have had luck with this a long time ago (That importer has gone bust). Good Luck .

Academy


I've heard nothing good about them, Good luck


Trumpeter/Hobby Boss


They have a parts service via their websites. I have no experience on how well it works.  


Special Hobby/CMK


Contact them via their website . I have had success with them in the past.


Dragon


Contact them via their website. The customer service link wasn't working  when I wrote this but there is a contact page. All reports I've had from people trying to obtain spare parts are that they are unresponsive. Good Luck

For US Modellers I'd suggest going starting to DragonUSA's website

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

1/48 Airfix Hawker Sea Fury - 808 Sqn RAN



This was built for the 2019 NSW Scale Model Shows "Airfix Cup" The  Illawarra Plastic Modellers Association  run this annual show.

I chose a aircraft operated by 808 Sqn Fleet Air Arm Royal Australian Navy during the Korean War. This particular aircraft was flown by a New Zealander Lieutenant Guy A Beange . You can read about him here . It damaged by Typhoon Ruth in 1951 and was ditched overboard.

The Kit

The new Airfix kit is the best kit of the Sea Fury in 1/48 scale. That said I don't think it is quite as good as their P-51D Mustang. The biggest issues IMHO, are the lack of gunsight and the engineering of the Cowl.

 I used the gunsight from the Eduard Mk IX Spitfire kit. The Mk VIII, IX and XVI kits all have two gunsights. The unused one in the MK VIII and IX are correct for the Sea Fury.  

Aftermarket and Build Summary

  • Barracuda Cowl
  • Eduard Steel Seat Belts
  • Eduard Mk IX Gunsight

I have seen a couple builds by club members who got good results using the kit pieces for the cowl and re-scribing the detail lost during fitting. I was to lazy so I replaced the cowl with the excellent Barracuda resin piece. The Airfix Nose ring required a few swipes with the sanding stick to get it to mate nicely with the cowl

I also removed all the panels on the area forward of the nose that cross the centreline of the aircraft and replaced those with 0.005" card once the seams were cleaned. Apart from that fit was pretty good. Looking at the photos I probably need to flatten the wheels a little more.



Cockpit detail is fine from the box in this scale, and with a black cockpit not much can be seen. I added a set of Eduard steel belts. Whilst a resin seat would be better the pre panted Steel belts are easy to work with and look good enough in this scale.


Markings

I purchased the Barracuda sheet that had this particular aircraft on but  I ended up using my Silhouette Portrait cutter to cut a mask for the codes that go over the stripes. The stripes were also cut out with the Silhouette Portrait. I also made a mask for the tail code K.

I first painted the stripes then laid the mask over the stripes, covered the respective white or black piece and sprayed the alternate colour. This worked well.

I did try to paint the roundels but failed to get a result I was happy with so I went back to decals. I'm still not convinced painted roundels are worth the hassle in this scale if you have good decals.

Most of the markings were from the kit sheet with the RAN and 808 Sqn crest from the Barracuda sheet. The Airfix decals, although printed by Cartogragh proved a little more troublesome than usual. 

The serial decal WE673 was home made as I didn't agree with the serial Barracuda suggest. There is a nice table of RAN Sea Fury serials here


Paint

  • Extra dark Sea Grey -  Mr Color EDSG (#333)  lighted so it looks right with some white
  • Sky - Mr Color Duck Egg Green (#24) 
  • Black -  Gaia German Grey
  • White -  Mr Color Off White (#69)
  • Mr Color Red (#3)
  • Tamiya Smoke for the exhaust stains
  • Other various Mr Color/Mr Hobby greens and greys for weathering
  • Various Vallejo Acrylics for details

Clear Coats

  • Gloss Coat 1 - Testors Glosscoate which didn't go off
  • Gloss Coat 2 - Tamiya X22
  • Flat Coat 1 - Winsor and Newton Galeria Matt Varnish . This resulted in lots of white spots which had to be sanded off. 
  • Flat Coat 2 - Dullcoate Flat

Weathering

  • Oil paints
  • Pigments
  • Tamiya Weathering Sets

The Base

  • Coastal Kits World War II Royal Navy Carrier Deck.

The Photos


















Wednesday, 13 February 2019

1/48 Tamiya M1A2 Abrams - 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (US)


Troop Leader B-66 B Troop "Bandit" 1st Squadron 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (US) Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003




I was pretty happy to see a Abrams from Tamiya, even if was probably the least common version, I snapped it up straight away.

The Kit

  • 1/48 Tamiya M1A2 Abrams (TA32592)

    Like all Tamiya 48 scale armour the build was pretty straight forward.

Aftermarket

  • Tetra models PE set

     I did complicate matters by adding a Tetra models PE set. The detail on the set is pretty nice but to be honest the plastic is good enough (IMHO) in this scale. The PE set included stickers for the optics which are really nice.




  • RB models 0.50 cal barrel

Decals

  • Echelon Fine Decals 3rd ACR M1A2 Abrams (OIF) (D486250)

The Figure

  • CMK Kneeling US infantryman.

Paint

  • Tamiya TS-46 Light Sand  - Main Colour
  • Tamiya XF-84 Dark Iron base tack colour
  • Various Vallejo Acrylics for the details

Clear Coats

  • Gloss - Tamiya Clear Gloss
  • Flat - SMS Clear Flat and Testors Dullcoate

Weathering

  • Oil paints
  • Pigments

The Base

  • Road surface - painted card
  • Desert - painted mortar sealant
  • Jersey barrier - MacOne

Build Thread

The Photos