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Scale Modeling Tips & Tools Monthly, Issue #005 -- Big Gun Battles
June 15, 2007
May 15, 2007

Scale-Modeling Tips & Tools Monthly
Issue #004


Scale Modeling Tips & Tools Monthly is written by Reg Hardy, publisher of Scale-Modelers-Handbook This issue brings you more of the latest information and tips on scale modeling.

If you like this e-zine please "email it forward" to someone you know who is interested in scale modeling whether it is model ships, model trains, RC Racing or RC flying. If a friend did forward this to you and you like what you have read here please subscribe so you don't miss the upcoming issues.

If you have suggestions, article requests, comments, or corrections, please feel free to contact Reg.

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Contents of this issue of
Scale ModelingTips & Tools Monthly

1. Big Gun Battles From Australia to Texas

2. New Short Read Tips and Techniques ebook

3. Slip on into the Quality Model Drydock

4. Basic Modeling Skills

5. Check Out The Diorama Scene

Bring Out The Big Guns

Doing a Google Search on the2 letters "RC" can bring up some interesting information like Big Gun sea battles going on in Austrailia?

The website translates to The Australian Battle Group; Welcome to the Australian home of “Big-Gun” Radio-Controlled Model Warship Combat.

This is serious stuff. These guys spend months building a 1:144 scale warship, take them out to a local pond and start hunting one another with the intent of sending the happless warrior to the bottom.

We built and sail 1/144 scale Radio-Controlled Model Warships from WWI and WWII which are armed with Co2 powered cannon and armored in thin balsa. These vessels engage each other in combat on ponds across Australia, endeavoring to punch holes in each others hull with their cannon until one of the vessels sinks or flees. Yes, the cannon really do fire, the vessels really do take damage and sink, and yes, it is legal in all states and territories of Australia without a gun license.

Did a little more searching and the Big Gun bug has bitten stateside to. For instance the NTXBG) North Texas Battle Group has a battle coming up June 17 (Father's Day). Hopefully we can get a report together for the website

New Short Read Modeling Tips Source

I just finished up the Model Masters Tips Log, a downloadable ebook thatgives you some new tips and techniques for model building. It is a 30-pager so it took me some time to get it finished, but I didn't cover nearly as much as Ithought I would. Looks like there will be others to come.

I have moved away from the idea of writing 150-200 page ebooks opting instead for big reports on specifics. I'll be interested to hear your reaction. You'll find moredetails at the Model Masters Page. I have picked up a lot of neat tips in researching the 120 articles and other resources at Scale Modelers Handbook and an ebook is the best way to share them.

You can store it on your computer, print it out and transfer it to a PDA (that's where I do most of my reading and writing).

Bookmark The New Quality Ship Model Drydock

We welcome two new wooden ship modelers who are displaying some of their best efforts in the Quality Ship Model Drydock. How about a museum quality Pirate Ship just in time for Father's Day.

You will also find a very impressive model of the HMS Victory which was the result of over 1,100 hours. It has won several awards for excellence. Check them out in the Ship Model Drydock

Get Your Basics Down Pat

The more kits you build, the more you will develop your own technique and style. Each person is different in the way they approach the building of a model and so the following techniques are intended as a guide for the total beginner who has yet to develop techniques of their own.

That said, there may be ideas below that prove useful to those who are proficient at model building. It certainly never hurts to learn about how other people approach their modelmaking.

Injection Molded Kits

Always cut the component from the sprue using a craft knife, a pair of clippers or a pair of scissors. Cut close to the component. Never tear or twist them off as it can cause damage to the parts.

If using a knife to cut sprue it is best to make sure that the component is supported while you are cutting, as sometimes the shape of the sprue is such that it holds the component off the surface. NOTE: Cutting straight down onto the surface without support runs the risk of snapping the part before you actually cut through the sprue.

Once a component has been removed from the sprue, the excess plastic can be trimmed off with a scalpel or knife. Clean-up work can then follow with a needle file or abrasive paper.

If you find you have to remove a series of components from the sprue that aren't numbered but need to be assembled in a critical order, get a piece of plain paper and write the number order on it, then place the appropriate components next to the correct number. This is also helpful if you can’t read part numbers on the sprue..

Working With Adhesives

When using liquid polystyrene cement, dedicate a fine paintbrush to applying it. Never apply the cement directly from the tube. Bottled cement sometimes comes with a thick brush as part of the lid but using a fine brush allows the accurate placement of the cement, even in hard to reach areas.

If you accidentally spill cement onto an area of your model, do not touch it. Instead, run it under a cold water tap as this prevents the cement from attacking the surface further.

Whenever possible, apply cement to the inside surface of joints to be bonded. This helps to protect outer surfaces from damage.

When waiting for cement to set, use masking tape, elastic bands, clothes pins, clips, etc to hold the components together, freeing your hands to get on with the next stage of your build. There are also a number of clamps available to buy from hardware stores.

Clear components, such as cockpit glass, can be glued into place with white glue instead of polystyrene cement or superglue. This eliminates the problem of rising vapors misting up clear components.

NEXT: Painting For Non Artists

Creating A 3-D Still Life

Dioramas are "mini-worlds" in a box, on a shelf, even in a window frame.

Many of them are set up to depict military and battle scenes from days ofthe kings to modern times. There is a painstaking effort to get the detailsright and the sizes within scale and correct.

There is a new "diorama how to" now at our scale modeling website.You can get your start at the

Diorama Center
Most dioramas center on armored vehicles from previous wars butthere are a growing number of still life modelers taking on groundscenes of fighter plane repair and modification. But there are manytrue artists in this venue who model ocean-going warships invery realistic scenes.

If this is an area you plan on entering, take a look at the techniquesand tips offered at

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Recent Website Updates

We seldom give any thought to the environmental impact of scale modeling but whether you realize it or not, Mother Nature does. It is one thing to say modeling is something I do by myself, so who should care, but perhaps you should look a little deeper.

Towards Greener Modeling
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