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Modeler #07, Tom Bautch

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I wanted to submit this just to see if I am making any progress in my modeling skills.  The last time I built a plastic model was about 35 years ago at the age of about 14.  I gave up the hobby because of other interests that naturally occur in the teen years.  The modeling bug hit me again at around age 40 when I stopped at hobby shop on the way home from work one day.  I ended up buying a complete RC starting set, plane, engine and radio gear.  Iíve been building and flying RC ever since.

Last summer I started researching for a Grumman F3F that I was going to scratch build in 1/5 scale and bought a couple of plastic kits to use for reference, one of which was the Accurate Miniatures version.   I started following links on the internet from the AM site and saw the amazing detail results from the kits on the market today.  I was hooked again!

In the past three months I have managed to accumulate 75 kits, two airbrushes, and about 50 bottles of model paints, as well as the tools and other regalia needed to produce a reasonably acceptable model.  This plane represents the first completion of one of the kits I have started (that would be six so far!).  It is a Hobbycraft bf109-C or at least thatís what the box says.  After finding more pictures especially at the Falconís Messerschmitt BF109 Hanger site I realized that in particular the gas filler should be directly below the cockpit. It wasnít until the D or E model that the filler was located behind the cockpit.  But the model was virtually complete so I just finished it up. Maybe itís a D model that lasted through to 1940.

In building the model this is the first time I:
 Used an air brush
 Did an oil wash on the interior and exterior
 Used pastels for weathering and panel shading
 Dry brushed

Some additions I made to the kit:
 Flattened the wheels with an iron
 Added the canopy release handle made from stretched sprue
 Made the antenna wire form invisible thread with white glue insulators
 Added brake lines made from some wire I found at Radio Shack
 Attached the flaps and landing gear with copper to prevent easy breakage
 Added some detail to the radiator
 Drilled and filed out all the cowl openings
 Used a Squadron canopy
 Added a piece of clear plastic to the gunsight
 Used Aeromaster decals

As you might see form the photos, I got a little carried away in the exhaust staining.  I was trying out the pastel technique and then ended up having to cover up some mistakes by adding more shading.  Other areas that I managed to hide in the photos are a very bad canopy join at the rear of the cockpit, my omission of a backing for the exhaust ports (Iíve got to find a way to stuff something in there!), a not very clear canopy in general and some silvering on the decals.  Actually the model photographs better that I think it really looks.

I donít presume to say that this model should be added to the gallery, but I need some encouragement to tackle some of the better kits I have in my stash, namely the Hasegawa 109ís and some FW190ís.  I might gratefully add that almost all the techniques I used I learned  from the gallery and forum articles on Hyperscale.  My thanks for truly great site.

[Editor's Note: Great first effort! Wow!]

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