Just like the real thing…

Do you want to build a model that accurately represents reality in miniature? Then your first step is to look at the real thing!

“Attention is never paid to trends or products du jour, because that would determine the route a build would take and that’s simply not something that is of any interest to me”
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The disease of buying old kits…

Have you ever thought that that ancient tool would be a good investment? Then you are not alone…

“Well, what was I to do? The desire was there, I had a few coins in my bank account and at that price, it would be silly to miss out on the opportunity to grab a kit that hardly ever seems to appear for sale”

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It won’t be alright on the night…

Why can’t a modelling project be a success from start to finish – why do we always have to make mistakes?!

“After 40 years of building models you would think that I would have everything pretty much down pat and most things that I tackle would be an easy progression, A to Z, but no: if I can foul up a model I will

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Tamiya aircraft kits: the perfect palate cleanser?

In this day and age of complex kits, building one in under an hour can be the perfect antidote…

“This type of kit really is a palate cleanser and helps to break the line between complex builds, with parts that take little time to assemble and paint, before the display case can be opened once more”


Yesterday, both on here and on my YouTube channel, I discussed the need every so often to tackle something that pushes my skills and offers a build that is a challenge,  both in terms of construction and detailing.

Most modellers who have been in the hobby for some time will look to extend their skill set with more complex undertakings, so I’m certainly no different in peeping through that particular window of opportunity. Equally though, it is fun to turn the clock back to more innocent times in our lives and build something just for the sheer hell of it, an easy kit that doesn’t push you one iota, one that can be assembled in minutes and then painted in only few hours. Tamiya’s aircraft kits are just such kits, packages that are as easy as it gets to complete, with a bare minimum of parts, perfect fit and little or no extraneous features to cloud the process.

I love them!

Having built the MENG P-51D, I decided at the last minute to have a go at Tamiya’s offering, a kit that I built twenty years ago in ‘Red Tail’ markings, but today I no longer have. I remembered that it was as simple as it gets and was keen to see if it was all that I remembered. You can therefore imagine my pleasure when a trip to my local model club turned up an F-51D kit that was being sold by one of the members; money handed over, I set about deciding on what to do with this older, simpler box of bits and pieces.

Tamiya’s Mustang is no MENG kit, but the basics are certainly there and the levels of detail, though simplified, are more than acceptable. Having decided that this would be an ‘out of the box’ build, I was happy to simply add seat straps and then paint it in a cool scheme, a modern ‘warbird’ being selected as something suitably different. Though the kit had fallen by the wayside in terms of finer details, it most certainly had not in terms of design and the way that the parts allowed much of the package to be joined without glue. The image that you see here shows how it is possible to have the model on its wheels, almost complete without having to apply glue, which certainly bears testament to the quality of its design.


But it’s the simplicity of the kit that really makes it enjoyable to build; with little over 50 parts, the contents of the box are never really going to tax anyone and that was certainly the case yesterday, all sub-assembly work and initial clean up being carried out in less than an hour – and that included dealing with seam lines and joints around the wings! It was nothing more than an exercise in the careful removal of the individual pieces from their runners and then the application of glue – it really could not have been easier! Beginners most definitely need apply…


This type of kit really is a palate cleanser and helps to break the line between complex builds, with parts that take little time to assemble and paint, before the glass case can be opened once more to display the results. Though I would suggest that no-one does it better than Tamiya, there is an argument that Eduard offer similar products, which though slightly more complex in approach are just as easy to build and paint in short order. Just look at their delightful 1:72 Spitfire and Fw190 and their 1:48 Spitfire and Me109G, to give you some idea of what to expect. Easy to build, look great once complete and far from expensive, they have much to recommend them – which is why they are so popular!

So, my P-51 is ready to paint and I will soon have another model to add to the collection. It was every bit as easy to build as I remember it to be and now I have a canvass onto which I can apply what I hope will be an interesting finish. I might not be successful in what I have planned for this project, but at least I am now halfway there and in only using one hour so far to build it, it’s not as though if it does all go belly-up, I’ve wasted much in the way of precious time along the way. What’s not to like?!

Now, where did I put that chrome paint..?


Did MENG really copy Tamiya’s large scale P-51 Mustang to create their smaller and simpler kit..?

“I agree that MENG may have been inspired by Tamiya, but to say it’s a copy is no more true in this case, than if I were to say that my local park team were a copy of FC Barcelona, simply because they both played football…”

Brett Green’s stunning Tamiya 1:32 P-51D Mustang as featured in ADH Publishing’s book “How To Build… Tamiya’s P-51 Mustang”

Yesterday you may recall that I posted images of my MENG P-51 and this wrapped up a most enjoyable build with a model that I really like. It’s been a while since I’ve embraced a kit so wholeheartedly and then been so taken with the finished result, so my pleasure in revealing it to the world was something that I couldn’t wait to do. Continue reading