Saturday, June 30, 2012

Scale Modelling: Web and Literature Resources

In addition to the build up of my tools, I researched heavily on scale modelling mostly through the internet but I managed to buy some books also. At that juncture, I was already leaning on building armor kits but was not decided yet. Below are but some of the more significant resources which were mostly on armor kit building:

1. Modeling Realistic Tanks and Artillery: An Illustrated Guide Mike Ashey

This was one of the first books that I read on the topic which helped me a lot specially on the basics of scale modelling. This downloadable  literature is offered by the author in his website for free.This was referred to me by one of the members of the IPMS Philippines website where I am also a member.

Modelling Realistic Tanks and Artillery

Kalmbach Publishing, Co., Jun 1, 2000 - 128 pages- "Learn how to make realistic models of tanks, towed and self-propelled artillery, and trucks. This easy-to-understand book includes over 400 photos and is written by Kalmbach's most prolific author. Also offers tips on solving common modeling problems."

2. How to Build Armor Dioramas [Paperback] Lynn Kessler
At the onset, I was already thinking of setting up dioramas also for my built kits and this book helped prepare me for that. This book is a very useful resource for the basics and advance techniques.
How to Build Armor Dioramas

Award-winning modeler Lynn Kessler leads, photo by photo, through the steps of building detailed armor vehicles and displaying them in a realistic scene. Topics include beginning and advanced kit assembly, designing a diorama concept, modeling and painting figures, finishing details and more. Perfect for beginner to advanced modelers.

This OSPREY Modelling Masterclass book is a must have for the novice and the Pro Scale Modeller. I bought this book as a guide on airbrushing as this was the very first time I will be doing airbrushing. It turned out that it offers more of the advanced techniques (at least for me) but also touched on the basics also which is a good reference for newbies. It can be a good constant reference moving forward as I get better.. 

Airbrushing and Finishing Scale Models

Book Description
Publication Date: September 23, 2008 | Series: Modelling Masterclass
A convincing paint finish is essential for any model, be it military or civilian, aircraft, vehicles, figures or even background items such as terrain or buildings - and good airbrushing and finishing techniques can be the key to creating a superior model. Over the last few years there have been huge strides made in the development of airbrushes, paints and thinners, and consequently, this new book will provide up-to-date practical information and illustrated techniques to take full advantage of these new technologies.

Brett Green details the prerequisites of airbrushing, including the different types of spray equipment and air sources available, offering advice on appropriate thinners, paint ratios and air pressures to ensure the most appropriate paint coverage across a range of different airbrushing applications. He then examines various airbrushing techniques across a wide range of models. Ten step-by-step, illustrated case studies ranging from heavily weathered military aircraft to pristine, high gloss motor vehicles, science fiction models, fantasy figures, groundwork and buildings will complete this in-depth guide to getting the best results on your models.

About the Author.
Brett Green is the editor of HyperScale, an online model magazine established in 1998, and a highly respected aviation modeler. He has published two books on the colors and markings of Luftwaffe aircraft: Augsburg's Last Eagles, on the late-war Messerschmitt Bf 109, and Stormbird Colors on the Me 262. For Osprey Publishing he has written Modeling 2: Modeling the Messerschmitt Bf 110 and Modeling 11: Modeling the P-47 Thunderbolt, and has co-written World War 2 US Army Fighter Modeling in the Masterclass series.

This was actually the first book I bought since I was firming up on y decision to have the King Tiger (KT) as my very first kit. The Tigers are a very popular subject for scale modellers but I was having second thoughts since it appeared very intimidating to make especially for a first time builder. I bought the book mostly as a security blanket when I do decide to build my KT. It was a good reference book for me when I was making my KT.
Tamiya Steel Wheeled TIGER 1

This is a highly collectible book for Military Scale Modeling enthusiasts authored by a highly respected author in this field. The book itself is hard to find nowadays and is a must for scale modelers with a passion for the Tiger I which is one of the most popular modeling subjects in 1:35 scale.
The Tiger I itself is a very popular Military modeling kit subject with probably more versions produced by more manufacturers than any other armored fighting vehicle. In this book, world-renowned modeler Angus Creighton takes a break from writing for Tamiya Model Magazine International and concentrates on the Steel Wheeled version of the famous German WW2 Tank. With five versions of the Tiger portrayed in great detail, particular attention is paid to subtle production differences, as well as focusing on the rare command version and Borgward BIV control vehicle. With step-by-step guides covering and painting, applying zimmerit and adding markings, this book is an essential reference guide for the modelers wishing to build the Steel Wheeled Tiger I. Full colour throughout.

To complete my initial book collection, I had to have a good book for building, converting and detailing figures. As I was also planning on making diorama scenes for my built kits, I realized that it was not always that satisfying to build kit figures out of the box-as is. You have sometimes to “fit” the figures to the diorama scenery to create a more realistic and dynamic presentation. This is a very good guide for figure conversions and detailing.

Converting and Detailing Plastic Figures

Publication Date: 2008
Converting and Detailing Plastic Figures. Chilstrom. Renowned miniaturist Bill Chilstrom shares his tips and techniques for bringing injection molded plastic figures to life. His award winning diorama 'In the Footsteps of the Grand Armee' is the focus of this book. Bill detailed and converted 28 figures, three horses, two wagons and a mule in the building of this diorama. Many step-by-step and in-progress photos accompany the informative text clearly illustrating what to do to really enhance stock plastic figures. All color; 64 pages.

This was a general guide for me on future projects. Though I was more into armor kits when I started with scale modellling, I was planning to venture into other genre pretty  soon. This books covers several project subjects such as model figures, ships, armored vehicles, planes, dioramas so it will be a good resource I can keep in my library.
Scale Model Detailing

Book Description
Publication Date: August 1995

Shows how to work with paints and finishes, adapt scale figures, add weathering, and use detailing techniques to add realistic details to cars, tanks, aircraft, ships, and diorama scale models. From FineScale Modeler Magazine.

Spohn has drawn 20 projects from the pages of FineScale Modeler magazine and, utilizing these projects, guides hobbyists through the techniques for detailing model figures, ships, armored vehicles, planes, dioramas, and more. Drawings and excellent, well-sequenced photos, some in full color, clearly visualize procedures for applying color washes, making parts from scrap materials, and airbrushing, as well as for achieving such effects as weathering and battle damage. Most projects are accompanied by sources for special materials and a selection of references that contain pictures or actual photos of the project's subject. Modelers with a few kits to their credit and ready to hone their skills will find this a great, nicely comprehensive resource, chockablock with information that's not always easy to obtain. 



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Scale Modelling: Essential Tools of the Craft

Even before I decided what my very first model kit will be considering the entries from my previous blog (Scale Modelling), I went on  building up my basic tools of the craft. It turned out that it would not be as simple as purchasing tool kits from scale modelling shops but it involves also building my own stuff. Below are the basic tools I bought:

1. Tamiya Basic Tool set Scale #74016

The Basic Tool Set from Tamiya contains the basic indespensable tools for both modelling and crafting works. This is a great tool kit for beginners who are starting to get into the hobby.
One Pair of Side Sprue Cutters for Plastic- a small pair of pliers that snips off the part leaving very little of the sprue; very helpful and both saves time
One Angled Tweezers-  makes picking up and positioning very small kit parts a lot easier.
One Small Phillips Screwdriver
One Small Slotted Screwdriver
One Craft Knife
One Metal File- sanding
Handy Plastic Case

Basic Tool Set
Tool Kit items

The most important and versatile tool scale modelers use.  A good knife with a variety of blades should cover the needs of a beginner. It can be used for removing parts from the sprue, cleaning and reshaping kit parts and smoothing filler.

Modelers Knife

3. Sanding materials- blocks, needle files / sanding sticks

Modelers still do a lot of sanding and shaping even with the improved production standards for model kits compared to the the early days of the hobby.  

MFS - Blue Sanding Block 300grit - 4 sided Scale na #005
Sanding Block
MFS Blue Sanding Sponge 220grit #008
Sanding sticks
MFS Super Set of Files and Sponges 9 pieces #010
Sanding Tools
3. Pin Vise

This a hand held and hand powered mini-drill. Together with a set of twist drills it will allow the modeller to drill a variety of sizes of hole through plastic and resin (but not metal).  For plastic, it is better to use a hand drill rather than a motorised drill because the low melting point of plastic means that any motorised drill is more likely to melt through the plastic rather than drill though it and this can make an unsightly mess.  It is also much easier to exercise fine control with a hand drill.

A set of miniature drills in a drill index, along with a revolving head pin vice and a pin vice with drill bit
storage in the hollow end.  Photo copyright 2009 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to Inc

4. Self-healing Cutting Mats

High quality mat material doesn't leave marks when cut and will not dull blades.Convenient and versatile cutting mat features printed graph, circle, angle and right angle lines for easy reference.

Self-Healing Rotary Cutting Mat
Above are the  essential tools of the scale modelling craft which should be sufficient for the beginner to complete the first few models.  There are a host of other tools available which will extend the abilities of the modeller and these can be added to the tool box as necessary.  
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012


My Story

Our 1973 Volkswagen German beetle has been with our family for almost as long as I am alive. My very first memories of a car were always that of our red VW which was the first car bought by my Dad. We’ve had several other types of cars afterwards but nothing compares to the classic VW beetle not only for its different look and features but mostly for its sentimental value.

Our VW was the workhorse of the family when we I was still young being engaged almost daily not only for family use but also for business purposes. It remained that way for almost two decades even with the purchase of newer models of Japanese cars. It is really amazing that this German iconic automobile outlived all of these Japanese cars! When almost all of the siblings already left our ancestral home to start their own families, our VW saw a decline in usage the following decades and remained most of the time in the family garage with Dad maintaining it more frequently than actually using it. It was hardly used anymore the following years specially when Dad suffered from a stroke and could not be as mobile as before. It was during one of my few visits to the province when I started to take a second look at the VW and decided to take on the restoration and upkeep of the old classic. 

Again, this is getting ahead of myself with this bucket list entry. As in all of my entries before I fully engage in them, I again did my usual research on the material. 


The Volkswagen Beetle, commonly called the Volkswagen Bug (officially called the Volkswagen Type 1), was produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003. With over 21 million manufactured in an air-cooled, rear-engined, rear-wheel drive configuration, the Beetle is the longest-running and most manufactured car of a single design platform anywhere in the world.

The history of the Beetle goes back to pre World War 2 Germany when Ferdinand Porsche envisioned a mass produced people’s car affordable to the average German. His passion was shared by another car fanatic who ironically could not himself drive- Adolf Hitler. This idea itself was influenced by the achievements of Henry Ford and his production lines. 

When Hitler became chancellor in 1933 he stated that his government would support the development of a 'people’s car'. Porsche's design brief for this project showcased a car that could carry two adults and three children at a speed of 60mph with at least 33 mpg. The price was to be 1000 Reich marks, not much more than a motorcycle at the time. Porsche was not convinced that a car could be made so cheaply but took on the project nonetheless. The project car was named the Type 60 with an air-cooled flat-four engine mainly based on many components on the earlier Porsche designed car NSU.

By late 1935 the first prototypes were on the autobahns. In 1937, the coachbuilders Reutter, based in Stuttgart, were asked to make 30 vehicles which included saloons, sunroofs and convertible models. These would eventually be shipped to various festivals and fairs to entice the German public to buy. On May 1938, Hitler declared in a newly built VW factory that the model would be known as "KdF-Wagen" or "Strength through Joy" wagen. Production was set to begin September 1939- the same month WW2 was declared. The KdF-Wagen production was placed on hold and was changed to military vehicles. The "Kubelwagen" was developed  and was joined by the " Schwimmwagen"- a 4 wheeled drive vehicle capable of driving on land and water.

Although designed in the 1930s, the Beetle was only mass produced in significant numbers from 1945 onwards and was marketed simply as the "Volkswagen". Later models were designated VW 1200, 1300, 1500, 1302 or 1303, the former three indicating engine displacement and the latter two being derived from the type number and not indicative of engine capacity. The model became widely known in its home country as the Käfer (German for "beetle") and was later marketed as such in Germany, and as the Volkswagen Beetle in other countries.

In the 1950s, the Beetle was more comfortable and powerful than most European small cars having been designed for sustained high speed on the Autobahn. It remained a top seller in the U.S., owing much of its success to high build-quality and innovative advertising, ultimately giving rise to variants, including the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia and the Volkswagen Type 2 bus.

The Beetle pioneered the modern continental economy car and later served as the benchmark for the initial two generations of North American compact cars, including the Chevrolet Corvair and Ford Falcon, as well as later subcompact cars such as theChevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto.
In a 1999 international poll for the world's most influential car of the 20th century, the Type 1 came fourth, after the Ford Model T, the Mini, and the Citroën DS.

Beetle Restoration:

Throughout the years in terms of car restoration, the older models of the Volkswagen Beetle  have become one of the more popular cars to restore. It can be a favorite “project car” by both amateur and hard core VW enthusiasts as it is relatively straightforward to work on mainly due to the simplicity of design itself (compared to today's standards), simple old-fashioned engine and uncomplicated chassis. There is also the novelty of having the luxury of interchanging of many parts which is made possible by the relatively minor changes made to the shape and design of the car throughout the years. Up to this time, there is still a rich source of reproduction parts available internationally for the Volkswagen Beetle making it a very popular vehicle for car restoration. More often that not, parts can be upgraded to make them safer. Brakes can be converted from drum brakes to the more efficient disc brake set ups. Accessories can also be added like the Air conditioning systems which can result to a more comfortable ride similar to the conveniences of the modern cars. On the other hand, there are VW enthusiasts who chose to maintain the classic look of their beetle. There is still a large fan base for the Volkswagen Beetle as shown by the many enthusiast clubs and websites which help keep up the enduring popularity of the iconic little German car.

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Scale Modelling for Late Bloomers....

I always wanted to build scale models when I was kid. I’m not that sure why I never came around doing it but I think it was more of not having in my younger years any support in general to explore the hobby.  Throughout the years the interest was always there especially when I visit hobby shops but there was never any real effort from my end to pursue it. Fast forward to the present…now comes my bucket list. I have to start doing it now. Should there be a logical reason for me to build scale models at this point in time? I believe I don’t need one. One compelling personal reason is that I believe that I have the skills for this craft and that I can have fun building miniature stuff same as many people worldwide having great with this hobby as I discovered exploring the net. Is my age a factor? It’s turning out from my readings that this hobby attracts people of all ages and that actually the quality of work and the passion for the craft is sometimes more intense with the more mature hobbyist. One hobby site made mention that many spouses across the globe are mystified why their partner disappears for long periods in order to glue together tiny plastic parts- so I am not the only late bloomer here. The point I guess is it’s never too late to start with this hobby as I have discovered personally also.
Below is a quick overview on scale modeling for those interested to learn about the topic.

Scale modeling is the art of creating scaled down miniature replicas or models of larger subjects- ideally for display. These models can be anything (real or imagined) but the more popular subjects are model airplanes, armored vehicles, figures, cars or ships. You can get guidance and ideas on what subject you will pursue and how to do it from hundreds of net resources and books.
Vintage Scale Models

Making an accurate realistic copy is paramount in scale modeling. Models are smaller versions of the original and must be in scale. “Scale” means that all the proportions of the model match those of the real object in order to create a more accurate representation of the subject matter. Scale terminology among hobbyist is a means of comparing and representing the relationship between the size of the model and the size of the object the model represents. The scale of a model is expressed either as a ratio e.g. 1:35 or fraction e.g. 1/35th. For example a 1/100th (1:100) scale tank has dimensions exactly 100 times smaller than the original.  If the original tank was 10 meters long, the model would be 10 cm long at 1/100th scale. The full size wax replicas of celebrities at Madame Tussaud's in London could be described as 1:1- the same size as the original scale models.
In the diagram above, the same car can be seen at different scales. Scale is an indication of relative sizes.

A number of standard scales have been adopted for various types of models that more or less fit the size of the subjects they represent. The table below shows a few of them.

Type of Subject
Common Scales and Comments
1:16, 1:32 (common), 1:35, 1:72
Tanks & Military Vehicles
1:35 (most popular), 1:48, 1:72, 1:87 (sold almost completed; intended for war gaming)
1:32, 1:48 (usual preserve for aircraft, now also for vehicles), 1:72 (popular for larger aircraft where a lot of details can be added without the model becoming too big), 1:144
1:16, 1:24 (dominated by cars and trucks), 1:25, 1:32
1:350 (most popular for marine modelers), 1:700
RC aircraft & tanks; Engines

Most modelers use plastic kits that are glued together and painted. A typical model kit includes the following:
1.     Plastic kit parts molded on sprues (parts trees)
a.     parts must be cut from the sprues prior to assembly.
b.    usually molded in one color of plastic but can be in more than one color.
c.     may have clear parts (for windows, headlights etc.); usually  on a separate sprue of clear plastic
US Army Staff Car model 1942
2.     Kit Literature or instruction sheet- gives background information on the subject and detailed diagrams on how parts should be assembled and painted.  
3.     Set of decals for model markings (numbers, letters, national insignia and other details). Finally, many kits include what are called
4.     Multimedia items (not plastic)
a.     add specialized detail to the model.
b.    may include vinyl (tires and tank treads), aluminum or brass (gun barrels and shells) and resin or photoetch parts (for highly intricate or detailed components).
Building a model can be divided into three broad main steps:
  1. Construction: 
    1. Removal of parts from the sprues and gluing it together.
    2. May involve parts preparation prior to gluing such as sanding to ensure parts fit together correctly, removal of molding seams which are manufacturing imperfections, etc.
  2. Painting: Models are painted to match the subjects they represent.
    1. May be applied with a brush or an airbrush or combination of the two as well as several sizes of brushes for different types of detail work. Rattle spray cans may also be used.
    2. Paints are usually either enamels or water-based acrylics.
  3. Detailing: 
    1. May include applying decals,
    2. "Weathering" a model to make the subject appear used or damaged. Pigment powders may be used to make a model appear dirty or rusty using a variety of techniques to make the paint appear chipped, faded, stained or otherwise altered
    3. Displaying the model on a base or a diorama scene.

Scale Modelling: Essential Tools of the Craft

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

On Line Business: Useful Web Resources

I am not an IT expert. I am an amateur techie guy who knows his way with and around computers through self learning and spending a lot of time playing computer games only initially then transitioning later on to hardware and software tweeking on my own. What I am good at is researching on things that I like by asking real techie guys but mostly by searching the web.

With my desire to engage in my own on line business, I of course reverted to what I do best...research. Whenever you say on line buy and sell or business what comes in mind is of course eBay. I set up my own eBay account only a couple of years ago and tried to learn how it works. I went as far as setting up my own Paypal account but managed to buy stuff only from eBay.

I continued my research though and gathered some valuable insights particularly from the following sources:

This is a very useful resource site for me. It outlines some alternative ways that people can go about generating an income, including affiliate marketing, selling ebooks, and even stock market investing.  It offers ideas like How to Make Money Trading Binary Options , How to Make Money with a Website , How To Make Money On EBay , How To Make Money Blogging , etc.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

On line Business

This is my first attempt to try my hand at on on-line business. Being a late bloomer techie myself (typical of my generation),I've been wanting to do this for the longest time but never really found  the time and the courage to do so. There has always been my fear of exposing my personal information on the net but was finally able to overcome it last year. I'll probably set up another blog entry on that.

I was able to put one foot in on this business when I got to set up my PayPal account years ago which was idle for a long time. This sort of formally linked me to e-commerce which eventually led me to post at Bonanza mainly because it offers free posting.:-) Well.. so far so good. Check out my few items posted at Bonanza so far. It's mostly composed of collectibles, books, etc. from a personal collection between me and my brother. I'll make another blog post on these collections and the thorough research I made for each prior to posting...

Check out below the results on my progress on this bucket list entry. You can make me post success stories on this entry if you find items of interest to you from my on line store  :-)....:

More recent Bonanza posts:

Of course I'm getting ahead of myself with this post. I'll make some"prequel" posts moving forward on how I got to setting up my on line business.


On Line Business: Useful Web Resources

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Introduction: My Bucket List-my life journals...

Overflowing Bucket list

I’m not dying…yet. But we’re all going there…sooner to some...or much, much later for others…I just recently crossed the midlife forties timeline and was asking myself if I have already done, or, at the very least....have already made plans on doing things I wanted to do in life. This is not heavy on the professional or career aspect of life itself but more on the personal. I guess all the hard work I put on professionally in the first 40 years of my life has placed me in my current position of having the luxury of exploring my personal development these next 40 years (or more). Hence, my bucket list….My wife would surely react on the negative when I show her this blog title mostly because of the possible morbid implications of the “Bucket List” connotation itself but I’m sure she would readily appreciate what I am doing when she reads on.
Putting up my own blog or website is one of the things on the top of my list…Might as well make this my first entry on the list as my life journal from this day on wards documenting my progress (or lack of it) on this self imposed list. I may temporarily post titles only as I go along. This is just to officially include them in my bucket list and build on them moving forward.


Here goes….….now shared  “urbi-et-orbi”…to the city and to the world….

Pope Benedict XVI holds his pastoral staff during the "Urbi et Orbi" (Latin for to the City and to the World) message from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, at the end of the Easter Mass in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, 

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