Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Lisunov Li-2D - 1/33-scale paper model

Several years ago, I started repainting FlyModel's C-47 kit as a World War II era Lisunov Li-2. The US provided hundreds of C-47s to Russia under Lend-Lease. The Russians reverse-engineered it, built a near-identical knock-off, and never acknowledged that it was an American design. The Li-2D I'm modeling was a WWII paratroop transport and glider tug. Some of the Li-2s were fitted out as transport/bombers or photo recon ships. Like the DC-3 in the US, the Li-2 became a mainstay of post-war Russian civil aviation.

After I finished repainting and printing the kit for my father's C-47, I went back and looked at the Li-2 repaint. It was nearly finished. So I have now finished it, except for a few bits that will have to be repainted during the assembly process, and my plan is to build the two in parallel. Together, they should make an interesting display.

"Repainting" the two kits was done in Photoshop Elements. For the C-47, that meant painting out the invasion stripes and changing the squadron and aircraft markings. For the Li-2, it involve all of that plus adding camouflage and Russian insignia, and modifying several components to match photos.

Printing will be a tedious process because the original sheets are 16x11 inches and my printer can only handle letter and legal size cardstock. So l'll have to use Photoshop to slice up the pages and rearrange parts to fit my printer.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

My Father's "Bird"

 It took me a week of scanning, scaling, repainting (in Photoshop), and printing the FlyModel paper kit, but I finally have a 1/33-scale paper kit of my father's C-47. Now it's time to start building.

The C-47 "Argonia" depicted in the FlyModel kit was the plane of Col. Charles Young, whose hometown was Argonia, Kansas. Young was CO of the 439th Troop Carrier Group. My father flew as a copilot in Argonia with Col. Young when Dad first arrived in England. The Argonia is preserved at the D-Day museum in Normandy, France.

Removing the invasion stripes was the most tedious part of the repainting process. My father and his plane arrived in England two weeks after D-Day and never got the stripes. Repainting the kit also involved changing the squadron and plane markings. Printing involved first scaling the scans by comparing their dimensions to the printed kit, then dividing up the parts (in Photoshop) to print parts from 16"x11" originals on letter-size and legal-size cardstock -- a lot of fussy work.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Progress on the 1/25-scale diorama

 Structure completed and most of the detailing done. The structure is about 13" z 8". A few more details to add to the interior, then it's on to the base.

Friday, June 11, 2021

1/25-Scale Garage Diorama

 My friend Bob Kremer, a superb plastic car modeler, is building a model for me of one of my dream cars -- a 1934 Ford four-door sedan. In return, I'm building for him a 1/25-scale garage diorama to display and photograph his amazingly realistic car models. This is a new scale for me, nearly four times the size of my RR structures, but it's been interesting and fun.

The interior walls are a paper texture sheet from texture.com, framed with basswood that has been stained with my alcohol-&-shoe-dye weathering goop. The windows and doors are also paper -- the windows built up from the wall texture sheet, the doors from my "digital parts bin." I will add exterior walls, wood floor, and partial roof, all from paper textures framed with basswood. Then I will clutter it up with lots of paper details -- posters, signs, tools, toolboxes, parts boxes, and cans, maybe some tires and a few car parts.

I'm enjoying the project, but I'm awfully glad my model RR isn't 1/25! I would need a much bigger workbench, to say nothing of a bigger basement.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Kendall Printing - 1/87 scale - FOS Scale Models kit

 This is another laser-cut wood kit from FOS's Kit-of-the-Month Club (KOTMC). It was a nice little three-evening project. I painted the walls grey, then sponge-painted them white. Doors and windows were painted grey and sponge-painted green. The large sign was applied following FOS's instructions and weathered with light sponge painting and dry brushing. 

The loading platform railings and supports looked almost too delicate at first, but with careful handling, they were fine. Laser cutting has come a long way. I painted the platform engine black and dry-brushed it with rust.

For the tarpaper roof, I substituted planking and tarpaper texture sheets from Paper Creek (no longer in business), with each row of tarpaper applied separately.

My only complaint was the hoist:  the kit put the upright too close to the building. I substituted a longer  cross-beam on the hoist to make room for a truck to back into that space. I stained the hoist beams with my alcohol-&-leather-dye weathering "goop." 

The KOTMC kits are delightful little projects that can be built as is or kitbashed into larger structures. They are also a great way to learn and practice new techniques.

Witt Manufacturing - 1/87 Scale -- A Tribute

 Witt Manufacturing is my scratch-built copy of one of the buildings in FOS Scale Models' "Printer's Row" limited edition craftsman kit. The corrugated metal came from Paper Creek (no longer in business); wood siding, tarpaper roofing, and brick pavement are from Clever Models. I used Photoshop to make the roofing lighter and more faded. The tall chimney is a soda straw wrapped in paper -- a printed metal texture from texturelib.com. Details come from Walther's and Fine Scale Miniatures. Windows and doors paper are from my digital parts bin.

The fire stair is basswood with railings from Caboose Industries and risers from Northeastern. I painted it medium green, weathered it with my alcohol-&-leather-die wash, and dry-brushed it with rust. The landing has an open grid made with mesh fabric.

The walls and roofs of my scratch-built structures are 0.5mm card (cereal boxes) covered with texture papers and braced heavily inside with basswood and balsa.

My friend Roger Witt was a member of our IPMS chapter in Oshkosh, WI and a skilled and prolific scale modeler. He built railroad models for hire and mostly WWI aircraft for fun, casting and scratch-building lots of details as he went. I learned a lot of "tricks" from him. Roger passed away in 2020 and the IPMS chapter is holding a scale model contest in his memory. This is my entry.

In the FOS kit, the low wall butts against an adjacent building. I added the metal door and the large exhaust vent -- both paper -- from my digital parts bin.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Background Buildings for Scots' Landing - Scratch-built HO Scale Paper Models

These structure and others will be placed along a road that will climb along the backdrop of my Scots' Landing module. I'll build the hill and the road on the bench and then place it on the layout.
I'll need a few more houses and a medium-sized factory to fill out this four-foot chunk of HO scale landscape.

The green house on the right is Clever Models' "Small Chicago House" (S14). The other two are kitbashed versions of the same kit. The porch on the left uses fine cloth mesh for window screen.

This building is scratch built from a photo on the Internet. I widened it by adding the vertical row of windows on the left. The side walls are Clever Models' "Cream City Brick" texture sheet. I haven't decide what kind of business this will house so there is no sign yet. Roof details include a scatchbuilt hatch, some scrap lumber, and a sand barrel and shovel from Fine Scale Miniatures.

The boarding house is scratch-built from photos of one of the buildings from the Builders In Scale "Waterfront" kit. The photos were from Vilius Bileisis' amazing blog, The storefront will probably end up being a cafe but I am so far undecided. Walls, windows, doors, and shutters came from Vilius' photos. The shingles and chimney are from Clever Models.

The stone & wood barn is scratch-built from a photo on the Internet. It might be someone's craftsman kit, I don't remember where I found it. The stone walls are from Textures.com, the wood walls, roof, doors and windows are from the Randsburg Barbershop kit by Paper Creek, now available free from Papermodelers.com. All were modified in Photoshop. This will be a cabinet shop but I have not yet decided on a name.

The grocery store is a scratchbuilt copy of a model photo I found somewhere on the Internet. Wall texture, windows, and doors are from Clever Models' texture collections. The image in the large windows and the wall signs are images from the Web. I'll put some produce crates in the entryway when they arrive from Model Tech Studios.