Saturday, July 8, 2017

HIQ Parts


HIQ Parts is a company that sells tools, decals, and aftermarket accessories primarily for Gundam kits. I became familiar with their products while searching for pastel colored number decals to use for marking ita-tanks.

TR Decal

They also make two styles of caution markings which I thought would be useful for sci-fi kits. I picked up some of the 1/144 scale decals, but 1/100 versions are also available.

RB01 Caution Decal

RB01 Caution Decal

RB02 Caution Decal

RB02 Caution Decal

I was originally going to just put numbers on the sides of my Miku Jagdtiger, but when I placed the smaller numbers from the decal sheet on to the tank, they didn't look very good. Luckily the decal film was very sturdy, so before they dried, I floated them off of the model and put them back into water to figure out to do next.

My solution was to create some race number tags out of some old decals, and apply the numbers on top.


I placed some of the caution decals on the tank as well. They go on very easily, and also hold up nicely to handling. I didn't use any decal setting or softening solution on them, so I'm not sure how the decal film reacts to chemical treatment.

I have no issues with the HIQ decals. I believe they are all silk screen printed, and come in a variety of pastel colors that are ideal for my purposes.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sandcrawler


The similarity between the dwarf minions from Phantasm, and the Jawas from Star Wars was entirely coincidence, but it should be noted that both Don Coscarelli and George Lucas drew inspiration from Frank Herbert's Dune for their respective films.

Coscarelli makes several references to Dune in Phantasm, while early iterations of Star Wars were more noticeably influenced by Dune than the final version.

One of the references to Dune that remained in Star Wars was the Sandcrawler. However, the design by Ralph McQuarrie is completely different from the similarly named vehicle from Dune, and was modeled in part after NASA's Crawler-transporter vehicles.

Kenner made a radio-controlled version of the Sandcrawler to go along with its 3¾" action figures, which sells for a fortune nowadays. A subsequent Hasbro version without the radio-control features was given an exclusive re-release around 2004, and sells for a smaller fortune.


I have one of these later versions, which measures 16" long, and 8" high. It scales out to about 1/100 scale if we go by the commonly given dimensions for the Sandcrawler.


However, the Hasbro Sandcrawler doesn't look far off of 1/72 scale when compared to the appearance of the full-scale model that was used for filming.





One of the projects that I hope to accomplish someday is to build an interior, add an opening front ramp, and install lighting in this model.



Saturday, May 13, 2017

Thierry la Fronde


Thierry la Fronde was a popular French TV show from the early 60s which I am only aware of due to the existence of a rare set of 1/72 figures representing characters from the show. The set was produced by an unknown manufacturer, and rumor has it that the figures were commissioned by collectors who were fans of the series.

English pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottoms,
you sons of a silly person!

I was able to obtain a small lot of these figures recently, but unfortunately it did not include a figure of the Black Prince.



The poses are not particularly exciting, but these toys are pretty difficult to find in my experience.

If anyone has a Black Prince figure they can trade or sell, please contact me.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Arts of War: Artistry in Weapons across Cultures

I visited Harvard University over Spring Break and found an interesting display of weapons and armor at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, which runs through 2017.


Armor from Kiribati in Micronesia with a porcupinefish helmet.

Front

Back


Tlingit armor from the Pacific Northwest.

Ring mail fashioned with Chinese coins


War helmet representing totemic killer whale


Pictures of other pieces of armor in the collection.

Spanish breastplate

Moro armor from Mindanao

Yi armor from Western China

Ifugao shield from Luzon (left)
Papuan shield (right)

Shields from Papua New Guinea

Spanish shield (Adaga) from Mexico (top left)
Pueblo shield from New Mexico (lower left)
Kayan shield (Kliau) from Borneo (right)

Indian shield (top)
Persian shield (middle)
Ethiopian shield (bottom)

African shields

Pictures of various weapons in the collection.

Maces

Clubs

Clubs

More clubs

Spear throwers

Axes and daggers

Swords and daggers

More bladed weapons

There is also an online exhibition which features some of the weapons and armor on display and additional items in the collection.

The final picture is of a small scale model (not quite 1/72) of the main temple at Tenayuca that is on display with the museum's collection of Mesoamerican artifacts.



Sunday, March 26, 2017

T-26 Quickbuilds

The Soviet T-26 was one of the most widely used tanks of the interwar period, and took part in many conflicts that are of particular interest to me.

Two quickbuild models which I have assembled are produced by Pegasus and Minairons.


The Pegasus kit is only 15 parts, and goes together pretty easily. The only real criticism I have with the kit is in regard to the track assembly.

The return rollers, appear as single cylinders, as opposed to being two joined wheels. The same applies to the rear idler.


The tracks have a little too much sag, and are on the crude, chunky side, but they still give the appearance of being proper tank tracks.

It has been mentioned that the tracks stick out a little too much on these models, but I only noticed that on the left front corner of my build (I had already painted the tank by that time, so it was too late to do anything to fix it).


The Minairons kit has 10 parts, and can be built as either the double turreted A version, or the single turret B version. The kit goes together without issue, but it seems less detailed and more toy-like when compared to the Pegasus kit.

The main gun of the Minairons kit does not reflect the appearance of the actual gun, but that was a minor issue I could overlook.

A larger issue was that I had to inscribe additional panel lines to define the second hatch on the turret. The second hatch seems to be present on the 1/100 models, so it's unclear why they would be missing on the 1/72 version.

The panel line needs more work to make both hatches match.

The tracks are simplified with a very shallow pattern. The return rollers are featureless cylinders that protrude directly out from the sides of the hull. The drive sprocket and return idler are similarly rendered.


I glued the track assemblies so that the bottom edge was not flush with the hull, since during test fitting it seemed that not doing so would make the tank sit lower than the Pegasus kit.



The Pegasus T-26 was given Finnish markings, while the Minairons T-26 was painted with Republican markings from the Spanish Civil War.


Here is a comparison of the quickbuild tanks with a diecast Altaya/Eaglemoss T-26.




This particular Eaglemoss kit is made with a metal hull, and has quite a bit of heft. It even has the triangle security screws underneath, so maybe it is from some old Altaya stock.