Monday, November 20, 2023

Black Friday Deals 2023

Let's see who's offering deals for Black Friday.

Did I miss you or a favorite vendor? Email me at

AMMO by Mig Jimenez Offers vary from day to day. Link
Andy's Hobby Headquarters 20% - 50% off select kits and tools. Link
Anyz 15% off. Link
Best Soldiers Lower prices on some figures. Link
DN-Models 20% off. Link
Ignis Art Discounts up to 35% on select items. Link
LB Models 30% off entire range Link
Lucky Model Discounts on products across the site. Link
Mr Black Productions 30% off select books. Link
Odyssey Collectibles 10% off select items. Link
20% off all STL file downloads.
Phase Hanger Resin Accessories
25% discount on all orders.
PK Productions 15% off select products. Link
Sabot Miniatures 20% off everything. Link
ScaleInDetail 20% off 338 Squadron 70 Years Anniversary Book Link
Sprue Brothers 10% to 25% off all model kits depending on your order total. Link
Squadron Daily discounts on select items. Link
Scale75 Up to 40% off select products. Link

Last updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2023, 7:30pm ET

Sunday, April 2, 2023

We visit Mosquitocon 2023

 IPMS New Jersey's annual Mosquitocon is always a good show and never disappoints. Here are a few of my favorite entries in the contest.

By far my favorite entry in the contest was this Nova 1/72 C-141 vacuform. I can't imagine the work required to build this model, much less drop the flaps and make it all look this good.

No, this isn't 1/48 scale. It's a 1/72 Tamiya F-16C beautifully weathered.

My first time seeing the new AFV Club 1/48 U-2, and it was stunning...and huge!

Check out this Kopro 1/48 Su-25UGT with scratchbuilt flaps, slats, and airbrakes. Dang!

Major conversion of a Monogram 1/48 F-15 into the F-15E prototype.

Speaking of vacuforms, here's a Contrail 1/72 Blackburn Kangaroo by Mike Terre, who is one of the best modelers in the hobby right now.

Expertly finished Tamiya 1/35 Japanese Type 61.

More beautifully done weathering, this time on a 1/35 M4A3E8 Sherman.

You don't have to buy an airline ticket to find the Spanish style here in the US. Here's Great Wall Hobby's 1/35 12.8cm K44 gun.

An excellent Dragon 1/35 Sdkfz 234/3 beautifully painted and weathered.

Another favorite, a 1/25 Ford Model T with an absolutely exquisite finish. If I'm ever tempted to show someone an example of artistry in our hobby, I'll pull up this model.

There's something about a Ferrari that compels a double-take, whether on the road or in a contest. Here are two favorites in the contest.

Here's a unique model, a Hachette 1/43 K-700 Soviet tractor.

Devin Poore's excellent Academy 1/700 USS Enterprise, including lights in the hanger bay.

Congrats to all the winners, who took home awards like this one, arguably the best-looking award from the club in years.

See you next year!

Saturday, March 18, 2023

123 in 2023

My stash is too big, so I'm going to reduce it by 123 models in 2023!

Okay, I have to be honest with myself and admit that that's an overly ambitious goal, but it sounds catchy and it captures the spirit of this downsizing effort, so I'm sticking with it.

Here's the thing -- having a large stash (in my experience) presents three very real problems.

First, I'll never build them all. I have 25 to 30 years of good eyesight and hand/eye coordination left to build models, so at my current rate of 5 models per year, that's just 150 models. Even if I double my build rate, that's only 300 models. Suffice to say, I have many more unbuilt models than that, not to mention new kits that we'll see see in the coming years. There's a psychological effect when I realize I can't build everything; it's depressing to look at, for example, that Hasegawa F-111E or the Trumpeter T-64AV and realize I may never build them. 

Second, my stash consists of many models that I find less interesting than others, so there's a risk of my wasting time building models that don't bring me joy. This has happened. Time is precious. Shouldn't I focus on the most enticing subjects and dispose of the others?

Finally, I really don't want to leave hundreds of models to my heirs when I go to the Great Hobby Shop in the Sky. I've seen a lot of modelers talk about the disposition of their stashes with, "I'll be dead, so I don't care what happens to my models." That crass attitude ignores the burden that your family or friends will endure to pack, organize, and sell your models. 

Just over two months into my downsizing, I can say that selecting models for sale is difficult. Like you, I can point to every model in my stash and tell you how I intend to paint it, the markings I'll use, and the weathering I envision. I bought each model for a reason (at the time), so I'm making tough choices.

Ultimately, I think 60-70 models seems more realistic than 123, but I expect to continue the task through 2024 and beyond. The models that remain on the shelves will be those I'm most passionate about. They are likely to be 1/72 aircraft from the 1960-2000 time period, roughly 25 1/48 modern aircraft from the same period, and 1/35 Soviet, Russian, and Israeli armor. Everything else is a candidate for culling.

I feel good about this. There's very little risk, in fact. As a fellow blogger pointed out a few years ago, if you sell something and then want to build it in the future, odds are you'll be able to buy it again. And, I would add, buying it with a strong, compelling desire to actually build it and not put it back on a shelf.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

This model is kaput

Our hobby should bring us joy, but at the moment this Arii 1/72 Ki-46 Dinah is not.

I wrote about the model a couple of weeks ago, asking myself why I'm building it. I didn't have a compelling reason then, and that feeling of apathy has remained. I haven't looked forward to working on it much less finishing it, and even after getting a coat of paint on the underside (which for me is when the real fun begins), I'm just not feeling it. And so...

I'm done with it.

The canopy has terrible fit, and a seam on the underside of the fuselage has opened up. I could use my basic modeling skills to fix these things, but I don't have it in me to finish it. The time that I spend on this model is time that I could spend on another model, one that truly excites me.

And so, if a model isn't bringing you joy, it's time to move on.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Why am I building this model?

Some of you will laugh at me, but I have to fess up.

A few days ago I was filling a nasty seam on this Arii 1/72 Ki-46 Dinah and found myself wondering, why am I building this model?

I've had the model in my stash for over 10 years, and as you can see I've also purchased aftermarket decals and the KV Models Canopy mask.

The thing is, I barely have a passing interest in Japanese aircraft, and I don't have a strong affinity for the Ki-46 in particular. The only reason I can think of for my decision to build the model is that its paint scheme won't be blue or grey. (The last model I built was an F-4S in the Ferris scheme, so to avoid the monotony of painting the same color over and over again, I try to select a different palate for each successive model I build.)

I don't have to tell any of you that when our heart isn't in a build, the process of building the model isn't satisfying. I don't look forward to spending time with the Dinah. Ultimately, I don't really care if the outcome is mediocre.

As I'm building the Dinah, I'm surrounded by a few hundred other models that I find much more compelling. Those are the models that should be on my workbench, not this one nor any other model that doesn't excite me.

I'll share more about the implications of this realization in the coming weeks, but I think it's interesting to consider why we build what we build. Or if we should be building something else.