Kinetic 1/48 C.A.C Mirage IIIO

  • Date Completed;  December 2017
  • Aftermarket Used: Eduard interior set, Seat-Pavla MB4, Pitot tube- master barrel. Stores-PJ productions PM3 bomb rack, Hasegawa bombs, Wheels-Resin art
  • Decals: Caracal Mirages over Australia

The Mirage holds a favourite place in the hearts of many Australian Aircraft modellers, so there was much rejoicing when Kinetic announced they were releasing this kit.  Although in my opinion,  it renders the Heller and Italeri kits obsolete, moulding is a little soft and the fit is not the best. 
There is still room for the definitive kit out there. 
Two of my friends and I decided to build this kit as a challenge build to get judged at a show.  the winner gets to pick the next subject.  At least I finished this one, the last build – the Kittyhawk Jaguar- is still languishing in its box with broken u/c.  In a fit of insanity, I decided to build all three kinetic mirages in my stash.  two single seaters and a trainer, the trainer still needing to be finished as I’m a little “miraged out” at the moment.  The kit goes together quickly enough, but there are several traps  awaiting the unwary, and the moulding is quite poor for a kit released in 2015, mine having many sink marks and a lot of flash. OOB, the nose gear also has a little bit of an exaggerated backward rake.
With the two Caracal sheets, you can pretty much make any mirage in the RAAF fleet, wearing any of the many schemes it wore during its service life
 I found though, the caracal tail bands needed trimming for a better fit, and the blue in the roundels and fin flash is too vivid. 
Ronin Graphics also do a couple of very comprehensive sheets, that also allow you to build a few of the commemorative schemes.
In fact there  is a fair bit of AM around for this kit
And the winner of the challenge build?  Well, all three of us never managed to get to the show!

C.A.C Mirage IIIO(A) 3 SQN. Butterworth. Malaya. R.A.A F

Hasegawa 1/48 P-40E Kittyhawk

  • Built:   2016
  •   Ultracast P-40 seat
  •   Ultracast P-40 Block tread wheels
  •   Ultracast P-40 Tubular exhausts

Decals:            Combination of Cutting Edge Pyn Up and Aussie decals

​Hasegawa’s P-40 series seems to be one of those kits modellers either love or hate 
 Flick through any of the fora and you will find modellers that rate it as a horrible fitting kit through to other modellers that have had no fit problems at all.  It does require care in assembly – like any kit – but I found mine went together reasonably well with only a small amount of iller needed around the gun ports and fuselage.  To be honest, I found the Cutting Edge decals a real disappointment, thick and reluctant to conform to recessed details.  The nose art decals, although very thin, were not sharply printed.  I dare say though printing technology has improved since these decals were first released.

Curtiss P-40 E-CE Kittyhawk

A.M.T 1/48 Douglas A-20C

  • Built: 2014
  • Aftermarket Used: Master barrel brass gun barrels, RedRoo Models tropical cowls, Vector corrected control surfaces, MDC main wheels.
  • Decals: RedRoo Models

The second of a parallel Boston build, This one was finished as a RAAF machine. All the comments from my first Boston Build apply here too, including the spindly landing gear.

Douglas A-20C 22 SQN Royal Australian Air Force .

Goodenough Island New Guinea 1942

Tamiya 1/32 Supermarine Spitfire MkVIII

Date Completed:2015
Aftermarket:  barracuda Starboard cockpit sidewall. Barracuda Spitfire Block tread Wheels
Decals: Victory Productions Commonwealth Spitfire Aces

This Tamiya kit lived up to all the hype about it, which is just what I needed after coming out the other end of a mojo drought.  I didn’t bother with the engine, knowing it would slow the build down.  Rather than opting for the kit shark mouth scheme, I went for something different choosing Group Captain Clive Caldwell’s machine.  Codes and unit markings were from Victory Productions Spitfire Aces sheet, whilst all national markings were painted. A real joy from start to finish.
In retrospect though, I lightened the dark earth a little too much, so it doesn’t quite capture the darker looking camouflage of our spitfires. 

Spitfire MkVIII 80 Wing Royal Australian Air Force. Moritai. 1944

Special Hobby 1/48 Brewster Model 339 Buffalo

  • Built: 2014
  • Aftermarket Used: Nil. OOB
  • Decals: Kit

The second part of my double Buffalo build. Like the other build, this one also went together quite effortlessly.

To paint it I used the then popular “black base” technique. I remember not liking it that much as I didn’t think it gave you a lot of range with the colours. The colours on this were all lightened considerably to portray a faded machine that had been operating under a blazing hot Northern Territory sun.

Extracolour paints were again used from my now diminishing supply.

I think this one turned out better than the U.S one I completed just prior.

Brewster Buffalo. 1 P.R.U SQN Royal Australian Air Force. Hughes Air Base.N.T 1942

Trumpeter 1/48 Douglas C-47 Dakota

Date Completed: 2014
Aftermarket used: Quickboost rudder and corrected cowlings
Decals  Not decals at all, but masks from Mal’s Miracle Masks


Trumpeter’s Dakota gets cast as inferior to Monogram’s ancient model in  some quarters.  I built the monogram one as a kid and   found the Trumpeter kit  light years ahead in fit, detail and engineering.  Ok, there are some accuracy issues, the rudder is riveted where it should be fabric covered, the cowlings are based on the soviet copycat aircraft and the sit of the aircraft is not quite correct but these can be fixed with aftermarket items.  I just love all the riveting on the kit which you really need on a kit this size.  Mine was built for a Korean war GB on  Th year had started off with several failed builds, so this one reaching the finish line was very satisfying indeed
I left the wings removable to ease transport, which leaves slight gaps, maybe this is why it has received no love at competitions, plus I have modelled it clean with no weathering whatsoever.
I increased the height of the undercarriage by adding plastic block spacers to the locators in the cowlings so the aircraft nose points up more.  The drag links were lengthened with rod.
This was the first time I painted national markings on using masks.  I got Mal Mayfield to cut masks from a Hawkeye decal sheet.  I impressed myself with how easy painting the roundels was, and determined to go this route on all of my future larger builds.  There is some conjecture over whether the cheat line was red or blue.  I opted for blue after seeking answers on Aussie Modeller International on-line forum

​C-47B Dakota 77 SQN  Royal Australian Air Force Korea 1952



Hasegawa 1/48 A4G Skyhawk

  • Built: 2013
  • Aftermarket Used: Steel Beach Tailplane plates
  • Decals: Hawkeye Australia

A little more effort was put into this model of the skyhawk than my last one as I wanted to display it with the tailplanes tinted up exposing the hole through the fin and the hellhole open.

Cutting off the moulded tailplane rub plates was trickier than expected, but I got there in the end using a thin razor saw. These days I would use a P.E saw.

I made up some rudimentary innards through the open hell hole door. The door itself had its interior detailed with plastic strip and some foil to replicate the small bag for the R.B.Fs. These doors were commonly seen open on the flight line.

The air superiority scheme consisted of light and dark admiralty grey. At the time of modelling, no off the shelf paints were available from any of the major manufacturers.

The paints for this came from a local company that actually made model railway colours. As far as I kno, these paints were their only foray into aircraft sets.. The practise bomb carrier seen so often on Aussie skyhawks was scratch built from plastic card and strip.

McDonald Douglas A-4G Skyhawk 805 SQN R.A.N F.A.A H.M.A.S Melbourne

Hasegawa 1/48 A-4G Skyhawk

  • Built: 2013
  • Aftermarket Used: Nil. OOB
  • Decals: Ronin Decals
This is one of my older models.  The still nice Hasegawa 1/48 Skyhawk from when Hasegawa were a big name in model kits.  This one has been modified into a Royal Australian Navy A-4G which were basically E models anyway.  All the parts to make a G are included in the kit.  I decided to do an early Skyhawk before colourful unit markings became all the rage in the R.A.N.  Mainly because I had not seen one done before. As well as completing this one, I also did one in the Air Superiority scheme as a parallel build.
Decals came from a Hawkeye sheet for R.A.N Skyhawks, which was an early ALPS printed sheet.  The decals were thick and the underlying white shapes for the decals that needed them were oversized.  In a word they were crap, but Steve Evans is completely redoing the sheet under his Ronin Aviation Graphics label.  The decals released under this label bear no resemblance to his earlier Hawkeye sheets in either printing or performance  The latest sheet –  when he finally gets around to releasing it –  will allow you to model any skyhawk that saw service. 
Centre line TER came from Aerobonus and bombs came from a hasegawa weapons set.  There are lots of mistakes if you look closely, but I am happy with it. It remains as a timeline marker as to how my skills are slowly improving.  I remember the kit as being easy to assemble with some fit issues around intakes and the gun inserts.

A-4G Skyhawk 805 SQN. H.M.A.S Melbourne. Royal Australian Navy


Classic Airframes 1/48 Fairey Gannet T2

  • Built 2012
  • Aftermarket Used: Nil
  • Decals: Combination of kit and spare to make specific airframe



Build Notes:
This was the second Classic Airframes Gannet that I built.  I wanted to do a Training Machine as the colour scheme appealed to me with those bright yellow training bands.  As I have noted in my previous build, I didn’t find this one of C.A’s better kits, although I love them for doing it.
OOB the model can only be built into the ASW version, luckily I still had a dynavector vac form kit lying around, which you really need anyway to build the CA kit if you want to open the canopies.  The beauty of the Dynavector kit is it includes the parts to make the training version.  These comprise the white metal periscope for the student and the extended cable bulge.  These parts can be easily incorporated into the injection moulded kit. As I lacked good reference photos for the students cockpit, I just mirrored the front cockpit with a spare control stick from the spares box.  The instrument panel was the white metal item from the Dynavector kit.  The assembled model was painted with xtracolour silver, the bands were xtracolour training yellow from memory

Fairey Gannet T2 725 SQN Royal Australian Navy Nowra 1960