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October 9, 2010

When I was building models as a kid, I never went to any model shows, entered any contests, or participated in any modeling clubs. Probably because I didn’t know they existed.

So when I went to my first model show/contest thing today, I had no idea what to expect.

Honestly, it reminded me a lot of the baseball card shows my dad used to take me to as a kid. Except instead of trading cards and other random collectibles, the dealer tables were stacked to overflowing with model kits, decals, accessories, and the like.

On whole, I came away with five kits for a total of maybe $65, and probably just took my collection from kits-to-be-built to a bonafide stash.

Briefly, here’s a rundown of what I picked up.

Tamiya F4F-4 Wildcat

The Wildcat is the short, stubby fighter that – if it didn’t win the war in the Pacific per se – it certainly played a big role in keeping us from losing it. I’ve just finished two F4F-3s in pre-war livery for Nolan and Lola, and I’m looking forward to building this one in full wartime garb, probably representing either an aircraft of the “Cactus Air Force” operating of Guadalcanal in 1942, or John Thach’s ride.

Eduard Lavochkin La-7

I’ve really been enjoying the two Soviet planes that I’ve got on the bench. They’re interesting subjects that I don’t know all that much about, and the kits are both really well engineered in their own ways. They’ve gotten me on something of a Soviet kick. This Eduard La-7 falls in the sweet spot. Subject-wise, this is sort of the ultimate evolution of the La-5 I’m working on right now. Kit-wise, it shares a lot of its engineering philosophy with the Yak-3. Since this is one of Eduard’s “Profi-pack” editions, it also includes photo-etch bits, canopy and wheel masks, and six different marking options (half of which look impossible to mask and paint!).

Hasegawa P-40E Warhawk

The P-40 is one of those classic warplanes that everybody recognizes. Most people may not be able to put a name to it, but everyone has seen the P-40 somewhere in their lifetime, probably sporting the snarling shark’s mouth markings. I’ve had this kit on my list ever since I started getting back into this hobby. It’s very highly regarded, but it’s always been priced into the stratosphere. Today, I managed to snag this one for $15 and didn’t look back. A peak inside the box reveals that, yeah, from a detail perspective at least, it lives up to it’s vaunted reputation. And marking-wise, it’ll be another in the line of Texas-themed aircraft I seem to be accumulating…

M4 Sherman Early Production

Outside of aircraft, I’ve been itching to try my hand at armor again. I built a few tanks when I was growing up, and always had fun with them. The Sherman strikes me as a good re-introduction. Dead-simple paint job and a track design that works well with the supplied vinyl tracks. That, and Fine Scale Modeller has been running a series on painting and weathering Shermans that I’m going to use as a primer to all those techniques I’ve been missing out on.

Soviet KV-2 ‘Gigant’ Heavy Tank

I’ve developed a strange fascination with the KV-2 after seeing someone building up Trumpeter’s kit in one of the group builds I’m participating in. It’s just a ridiculous design. Given that giant slab-sided turret, it’s easy to assume these early-war tanks were easy targets for the invading Germans. Far from it. The armor on these monsters was so thick that German tanks couldn’t knock them out, and had to call in either artillery or aircraft to finish the job. There’s an account of one KV-2 holding a bridge against an invading German force all by itself for hours until it literally just ran out of ammo and had to be abandoned. Unfortunately, it was also about as fast as that person who reaches for their checkbook at the grocery store, and used poorly by the Soviets. Either way, a worthy and interesting subject I look forward to taking on.

So…that’s my score. Maybe next year I’ll be back to set one of these on the contest tables…

One Comment leave one →
  1. Vivian Watts permalink
    April 17, 2011 7:42 am

    Great article!! I loved reading that, and it inspired me to get going with my stash. I also have a few nice kits, including the 1:48 Airfix Bf109E, the 1:48 Zvedza Bf109F, the Tamiya 1:48 P-47D bubbletop, the Hasegawa 1:48 Fw190A-8. I was working on the Tamiya Matilda, but the camo was too much for a rookie airbrusher :(. Your discussion of the OD Sherman makes me want to give armor another try.
    Your site displays magnificently on the ipad by the way!
    Springfield, VA

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