NOCTURNA MODELS TEUTONIC KNIGHT

Nocturna Models of Madrid Spain is one of the most exciting figure producers around. Still a relatively young company, but one whose catalog is ever expanding, Nocturna represents a younger type of figure model studio that incorporates more stylized and artistic themes, while still apparently maintaining a connection to more traditional, historically based, figure producers with a solid footing in the classical sculpting and painting arts.
When I saw their 70MM Teutonic Knight figure at a show in Madrid, it struck me as one of the most interesting pieces I had ever seen. Even though figure modelling isn’t really my “thing” I had been rolling around a concept for a diorama in my mind and I knew that this figure was perfect for it. I’ll share the concept later if I can get it fleshed out to the point that I think I can execute it successfully, but for now I wanted to share a few images and thoughts of this incredible figure.
In keeping with one of the repeated themes of this blog, this isn’t a review, as much as it is an opportunity for anyone who might be interested, to see what you get for your money. I should point out that I acquired this figure at my own expense.

Packaging is, as are all of Nocturna Models releases, top notch!
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The parts are clean and very well cast. You can see some small bubbles (2 total on the entire figure) inside the banner, but they are not visible on the surface.
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Details!
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Nice pose. Dynamic while not your typical “in-action” pose.
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The dry-fit assembly in the last image is the result of about an hours worth of cleanup and assembly. I added magnets to the joints to allow me to disassemble the figure for painting, which added some time beyond normal cleanup (which was minimal). Mold parting lines were very minor and the joints were self indexing and well-fitting.
A metal rod is cast into the flag pole / spear to lend some strength to the joint with a corresponding hole cast into the mating part. Nice touch!

I can fully recommend this figure to anyone. Clean casting, ease of assembly, excellent packaging and great customer service from Nocturna Models mean that I will be back for more in the future.

You can order directly from their website at

Now, go build something!

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Spanish Hornets! Series Españolas Decals

Currently being replaced by the new E and F model F-18’s in US Navy service, Legacy Hornets continue to serve capably in the air arms of the Hornet’s export operators, including Switzerland, Australia, Finland, Malaysia, and the subject of this entry – Spain.

The Spanish Air Force, or Ejercito del Aire “EdA” has operated the F-18A+ and B+ models (similar to the C and D models in US service) known locally as the C.15 and CE.15 respectively, since 1985. Spanish Hornets and their crews have seen combat action in the skies over the former Yugoslavia, and have flown in support of no-fly zones over Libya.

Spain’s 86 Hornets are divided among two main air wings: ALA 12, based at Torrejon Air Base near Madrid, and ALA 15, based at Zaragoza.

Modelers wishing to build a legacy hornet in a non-US finish are offered some interesting options by the Spanish company Series Españolas Decals.

Both Air Wings or “ALA”s are covered by this decal offering, in 1:32 scale (Product #1232) with generic numbers given to allow some freedom in modelling individual aircraft. A similar sheet is also available in 1:48 (#1248) and 1:72 (#1272) scale.

The decals are well printed and in register, with even the tiny stenciling being legible.

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The price tag on the sample shown is due to the fact that I purchased the decal sheet with my own funds from a Spanish hobby shop while attending a model show.

Series Española Decals continues to expand their line, and the quality is constantly improving. I have some of their older sheets, much older…and I can honestly say that the quality of their current offerings is light years ahead of those old sheets. I don’t know for sure, but I assume that they are having their decals printed by one of the powerhouses of the decal manufacturing world, based on the sharpness, clarity, thin-ness, and overall quality. The only drawback so far is their limited availability. Currently only available from overseas shops, or directly from Series Española Decals, they can be a little hard to come by, but are invaluable if you want to build anything Spanish. They offer decals for other Spanish types like F-5’s, T-6’s, Eurofighter Typhoons, F-18’s, T/AV-8A/B Harriers, R/F-4C’s and much more, which I will be posting here soon so stay tuned!

You can purchase them directly at Series Española Decals website.

or through various online retailers like Carmina Hobbies.

T-62 Afghanistan 1983 completed.

Thanks again to Jose Luis Lopez Ruiz for his generosity and hospitality. This project was a kick from the beginning and I can’t wait to build another 1:48 scale kit – especially if it’s resin!

I added the supplemental turret armor using printed track links that I modeled in CAD. They were cleaned, primed and painted using the same paints and techniques that I use on resin and plastic parts.

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Weathering was applied using a combination of AK washes, various pigments, oils and acrylics to represent dried mud, dust, oil, and rust.

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The base was constructed from styrene sheet and Durham’s Water Putty. Some limited coloration was added with AK washes and Vallejo acrylics. This was followed with a heavy dusting of the same pigments that were used on the model. After the terrain was finished, Vallejo black polyurethane primer was sprayed onto the lower portion, spraying upward from the bottom, using the top corner as a kind of masking.

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Then the model was finished with a few minor details and added to the base. I should secure it with some type of removable fastener for travelling, as I have a feeling it will be “crossing the pond” some time soon…

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Thanks for following along, now go build something!

MacOne Models Spanish Civil War T-26 Model 1937 Conversion

One of the most succesful early tank designs, the Soviet T-26 was developed from the British Vickers 6 Tonne tank, with more than 50 variants produced. This adaptability of the basic design makes it a natural addition to any scale model manufacturers catalog, and while Hobby Boss has stepped up to produce a beautiful little kit in several versions in 1:35th scale, the wide variety of users (Taiwan, Germany, The Soviet Union, Finland, Spain, and even Afghanistan, have all operated T-26’s in some form) with their local revisions and modifications of the real tank means that it is unlikely that some of the service versions will ever be produced in injection molded plastic, leaving some gaps in the T-26 lineup, but providing an excellent starting point for conversions.

Soviet intervention in the Spanish Civil War took many forms, one of those being the supplying of weapons and ammunition to the Communists involved in the fighting. While much attention has been paid to the German use of the Spanish Civil War as a testing ground for new weapons and tactics, Soviet involvement seems to have escaped widespread discussion in modern forums. The Soviets were quick to pour weapons and advisers into the conflict in an attempt to gain an foothold in Western Europe. The T-26 model 1937, with its DT anti-aircraft machine gun mount on the turret, would find its way into limited fighting in Spain, where its 45 mm main gun made it a formidable foe against the German supplied Panzer1’s machine guns. Ultimately almost 300 T-26’s fought in the Spanish Civil War, with some being captured by the Fascists and used against their original owners. The variety of possible markings, paint schemes, terrain and weather conditions in which these little tanks served make them an attractive subject matter for the scale modeler. In 2013 Hobby released product number 82496 – Soviet T-26 Light Infantry Tank Model 1935. The kit comes with markings for Spanish Civil War tanks on both the Fascist and republican sides. While there has been discussion about the accuracy of some of the finer points of the kit in some forums, it can be built right out of the box into a beautiful replica and provides a perfect canvas for some very attractive finishes. The sharp corners and flat surfaces also provide a great opportunity to try one’s hand at color modulation.

MacOne models of Spain has leveraged the finishing opportunities present in the stock kit by offering an exciting conversion kit that opens up the possibilities even further.

MAC35004 – T-26 Model 1937 Detail Kit (Kit detallado T26 Mod 1937 (HOBBY BOSS))

If you search the web for images of the T-26 in the Spanish Civil War (TIP: try searching for “GCE” when looking for images from the Spanish Civil War – “Guerra Civil de España”) you will see some fairly colorful tanks with multi-color camouflage and bright white, black, red, and yellow splashes of color. Many of these tanks feature the turret mounted DT machine gun and modified turret hatch.

The kit contains 58 pieces in cast resin and photo-etched brass, along with 2 instruction sheets.

The turret hatch and inside closure
Bulged rear machine gun hatch
DT machine gun and magazine
Photo-etched DT machine gun mount
Driver’s hatch
Photo-etched general T-26 details
Updated idler wheels

The resin parts are well cast, with some flash that was easy to clean up with a sharp #11 blade and a sanding stick. Clear instructions are provided for the resin and photo-etched parts.

MACONE T-26 PACKAGING

MACONE T-26 ALL PARTS

MACONE T-26 CAST PARTS

MACONE T-26 HATCHES

MACONE T-26 IDLERS

MACONE T-26 CONTENTS

MACONE T-26 PE PARTS AND CONTACT
All of this is provided at the very reasonable price of about $30 US (exchange rate as of 14-06-2014).

The kit can be ordered directly from MacOne models.

http://www.maconemodels.com/venta/index.php?id_product=52&controller=product&id_lang=3

I hope to get this into the build lineup soon…

Thanks for looking. Now go build something!

More 1:48 scale T-62 fun!

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While waiting for my printed hatch to arrive…


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I decided to go ahead and prep the turret for the new part, and to add the rest of the miscellaneous details to the turret and hull.

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I started by cutting off the molded commander’s hatch. Tape was used to protect the surrounding details while a razor saw was used to remove the hatch.

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Then I used a motor tool to grind away a pocket that would allow me to mount a figure later. In the mean time, I plan on painting the pocket black to provide some depth and to create the illusion of a hollow turret.

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When grinding resin, I like to hold the part over the open end of the hose with the vacuum running. I just tape the hose of my vacuum cleaner to the edge of the desk, or hold it between my knees. I really should put a screen over the nozzle!

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I decided that I wanted the ring around the commander’s hatch to have more depth, so I fashioned a new version out of styrene using circle templates and an un-sharpened hypodermic needle. I cut the inner ring (representing the opening) first, but not all the way through. Then I placed the circle template back onto the styrene, but using the diameter slightly under the diameter of the final outer profile of the ring. This was done to guide the needle as I pressed the bolt pattern (to ensure a concentric bolt pattern). After I finished adding the bolt detail, I moved the circle template a final time so that the final outer profile diameter was in place, and finished cutting the piece from the sheet. Then all that was left was to carefully cut the center loose and attach the ring to the turret. Just to see what it looked like, I tack-glued the scrapped hatch in place.

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I fashioned the turret grab handles from the kit supplied brass rod, and made new lifting hooks from styrene. I thought I had lost the kit parts, but it turned out that they were in the bag, I just didn’t recognize them!

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Headlight guards were bent from brass rod, inserted into pre-drilled holes, and the cross pieces soldered in place.

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The rest of the small details were added. I used brass pins wherever possible. This serves two purposes: it creates a stronger attachment, and it allows me to remove the parts for painting. Even parts that were glued on were attached with pins for strength. I plan on travelling with this model, so it’s important that it be able to stand up to a little jostling.

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Gaso.Line 1:48 T-62 New hatch

I decided to design and print a new commanders hatch.

I had a Trumpeter kit handy, so I used that for measurements. If I were going to model this for production, it would be a more lengthy process involving research, photographs of the real article, more detailed base drawing construction, etc…

In this case, I just wanted to get the CAD model out for print ASAP due to a rapidly approaching deadline, so I modeled what I had, then scaled it down to 1:48 scale.

I may wait until I have the finished hatch in hand before I grind off the existing one on the turret.

Here you can see the original 1:35 scale model and the reduced 1:48 scale version.
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And a quick Photoshop of the new hatch in place.
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We’ll see how it actually turns out. It should be here around April 6th, so stay tuned.

Thanks for looking!

IV Concurso de Modelismo Estatico Leganes – Part 2: The Models

As promised, part II of my report from the IV Concurso de Modelismo Estatico Leganes Madrid.

The models!

A quick reset…

Last weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday March 14th, 15th, and 16th, modelers, vendors and their friends and families gathered from all over Europe to attend the 4th annual Concurso de Modelismo Estatico in Leganes, Spain.

Lo prometido es deuda , la segunda parte de mi informe del IV Concurso de Modelismo Estatico Leganes Madrid.

Los modelos !

Un reinicio rápido …

Último fin de semana, viernes, sábado y domingo 14 de marzo , 15 ª, y 16 ª , modeladores , los vendedores y sus amigos y familias se reunieron de todas partes de Europa para asistir a la cuarta anual Concurso de Modelismo Estatico en Leganés, España .

Hosted by IPMS Madrid – Asociacion de Modelismo Estatico Leganes – chapter of the International Plastic Modelers Society, the show brought visitors and locals alike to the Pabellon de Europa to see some of the worlds best modelers displaying their latest projects, to pick up the latest figure or accessory, catch up with old friends, see a demo by a well known modeller, eat, drink, and generally celebrate life and the hobby.

Organizado por IPMS Madrid – Asociacion de Modelismo Estatico Leganes – capítulo de la Sociedad Internacional de Creadores de modelos de plástico , la feria reunió a los visitantes y lugareños por igual para el Pabellón de Europa para ver algunos de los mundos mejores modeladores de mostrar sus últimos proyectos , recoger la última cifra o accesorio, ponerse al día con viejos amigos , ver una demostración por un modelista conocido , comer, beber , y en general celebrar la vida y la afición.

A suburb of Madrid, Leganes lies about a 20 minute train ride from the city of Madrid proper. With easy travel access, affordable accommodations, and an excellent venue, the show is quickly becoming on of Europe’s must-attend shows. I don’t know the total number of entrants, but the quantity and quality of the displays was phenomenal!

A las afueras de Madrid, Leganés se encuentra a unos 20 minutos en tren desde la ciudad de Madrid apropiada. Con acceso fácil viajar, alojamiento asequible y un lugar excelente , el espectáculo se está convirtiendo rápidamente en el de los espectáculos de obligada asistencia de Europa. No sé el número total de participantes, pero la cantidad y la calidad de las pantallas fue fenomenal !

As the model show was opened to the public at no charge, and there was a high level of public interest, it was good to see that the model display tables were set behind ropes to encourage people to keep a safe distance. Model 34, the local IPMS chapter and host of the show, posted guardians at the tables to keep an eye on the models and spectators. I was asked at one point not to set my camera to close to the models. Even with all of these precautions, apparently some models did sustain some damage. Overall however, I felt that the organizers did a great job, definitely their due-diligence, especially considering the sheer number of visitors that passed through (I saw a newspaper report that put the estimate at 16,000!), to safeguard the models on display.

Como la demostración del modelo fue abierto al público sin costo alguno , y había un alto nivel de interés público, que era bueno ver que las mesas de exhibición modelo se establecieron detrás cuerdas para animar a la gente a mantener una distancia segura . Modelo 34 , el capítulo IPMS local y anfitrión del programa , publicado tutores en las mesas para mantener un ojo en los modelos y los espectadores . Se me pidió en un momento de no fijar mi cámara a cerca de los modelos. A pesar de todas estas precauciones , al parecer, algunos modelos tenían sostienen algunos daños . En general, sin embargo , me pareció que los organizadores hicieron un gran trabajo , sin duda su diligencia debida , sobre todo teniendo en cuenta el gran número de visitantes que pasaron por ( vi un informe de prensa que puso la estimación en 16.000 !) , Para salvaguardar los modelos en exhibición .

In the end, working in the natural light and without a proper tripod or close access to the models, I wasn’t able to get a good photograph of every model on display. If you don’t see a photo here of something that really stood out to you, chances are it stood out to me too, but I just couldn’t get a good enough photograph of it to post it here. There’s always next year!

On to the models then!

In no particular order…

Al final, trabajando en la luz natural y sin trípode adecuado o acceso cercano a los modelos , yo no era capaz de conseguir una buena fotografía de todos los modelos en exhibición. Si usted no ve una foto aquí de algo que realmente se destacó para usted, lo más probable es que se destacó para mí también, pero yo no podía conseguir una buena fotografía lo suficiente como para publicar aquí . Siempre hay el próximo año!

En los modelos de entonces!

En ningún orden en particular …

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I will try to add notes to the images above as I have time over the next week.

Again – it was an incredible show. I left feeling inspired and motivated to produce, which is exactly what a show should do. Thanks again to the people of Leganes, Model 34, show organizers, volunteers, vendors and modelers who made it all possible.

Next – the people.

Thanks for looking and stay tuned.