Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Blogger has changed...

A bit of whinge if you'll allow...

I manage multiple blogs using Blogger, plus I use it to follow quite a few other blogs out there.  Google has decided that a new format would be "better" but now it means I have to change how I manage and view all of that.  (OBTW, I don't use adsense or other moneymakers, I don't agree with that ethic.)

This on top of changing how my photos were hosted, making the upload process vary laborious.  I've since altered that to be easier, but not as easy as it once was.  Grr.

The good news is that my blogs haven't changed.  I suspect that will happen soon enough and I probably should find some "news" on Blogger from Google to get ahead of it.  It sometimes makes me want to spend the money and host my own photos and blogs.  Not expensive but it means actively managing servers, web code, security, et cetera and I prefer not to do that.  Alas, Blogger is free so I should sit quietly and accept it.

I've looked at Facebook as an alternative.  Yes it would work, but frankly I have less control over the look and posting photos is actually more difficult.  It works great and is easy if I used my smart phone for photography, but I don't.  I use a DSLR on a tripod and have to take a SD card and transfer files to my Mac.  I can transition two of my blogs to Facebook, but until I find a way to photograph models better with my iPhone, not this one.

Of note, my Mac is in my office upstairs, but my modeling room is downstairs in the basement.  I do take my iPad to quickly check a reference or photo, but otherwise try to keep the distraction away from my modeling bench.

So am I becoming an old curmudgeon?  Maybe so, but I'd rather spend time fiddling with plastic and paint than figuring out a website or page or online process.

Thanks for listening, I now feel better...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

South African Spitifire

Spitfire Vc(T), No. 2 Squadron SAAF, Palata, Italy, 1944

I like the Vc as it affords the most unique paint schemes of all Spitfire marks; and appears to have been used by more countries during the war than any other single variant. This one I particularly like because No. 2 Squadron was likely the only unit to use the 4 cannon configuration of the universal wing.

The Subject

No. 2 Squadron SAAF took lots of photos of their Spitfires during the war. Many are in color (stills from a film of lengthy formation flying) so "color" is not really a debatable issue with these aircraft. DB-R had its serial number partially painted out, but it is obviously from the JK series. One source claims it is JK815, but provides only a profile, not a photo so I left the "815" off as seen in the only photos I can find.

This is a late model Vc with all the latest Vc mods incorporated. Late windscreen, gun heating, Rotol prop. It was used in ground attack sorties, typically (as seen in its photos) carrying a 250 or 500 lb bomb on the centerline and using its 4x20mm cannon to great affect against vehicles.

The Model

This is the relatively new Sword Vc kit that dates from 2011. The kit has been released as various Spitfire Vc, PR and Seafire IIc/III variants with different decals, instructions and resin, the basic plastic sprues being the same. Of note, some Seafire kits include an added fuselage and/or wing, however my examples did not, with the Seafire specific fuselage or wing replacing the standard Spitfire item.

Construction was straightforward. I had absolutely no issues even though this is technically a short run kit. The only thing "short run" about it is the lack of locator tabs on the fuselage and wings. Any modeler with a few kits under their belt can easily build this kit. The most difficult part of the build was prop alignment -- the kit supplies the Rotol prop blades as separate items. So this means creating a jig of some sort to ensure alignment and feathering are correct. In my case I used a jig that came with a Quickboost resin Rotol prop that I saved after installing the prop on a Hobbyboss Vb(T) I made many years ago.

The landing gear was of greater concern, but I was impressed when the gear had perfect locating holes. It all went together perfectly only to be marred by the poor decals...these are not from the kit but are Airfix decals from a 2004-ish release of their Vc kit (which is very poor by comparison). Paints used are acrylics all around: Dark Earth is Vallejo English Uniform, Middlestone is Humbrol, and Azure is a Tamiya mix I created many years ago (I made a large quantity in a 10ml jar and it's lasting me quite a while!).


This is the first really nice Vc kit in 1/72nd scale. The other options are kit bashing or the old Airfix Vb with the noticeably newer and much too thick Vc wing.

I've got lots of decals, both good and bad as I've discovered, to make quite a few more Vc subjects and now that I've got a decent kit to do that with I'll certainly be able to do the Vc justice.

Thanks for looking...