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Messages - Mechworker

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Friendly Fire / Re: The Sprue Lagoon: Gundams and more!
« on: January 11, 2019, 11:45:41 AM »
When most people think of a collection of vehicles from the mid 1950’s, they think of T-Birds, or Tri-Chevies or at least something with fins. Barring that, at least most people think of something with four wheels! However, I am not most people. For me, while they’re visually interesting and neat in real life, cars of the Fifties have never really “done it” for me as modelling subjects.

No, I like the weirder stuff, so when I got a collection of vehicles from the mid-‘50s, it was a bunch of Japanese three-wheeled commercial vehicles! Thanks to LS (and Arii thereafter), my lust for oddball automotive subjects can be at least somewhat appeased! Check out my collection of 5 three-wheelers from the fun and simple 1/32 “Owner’s Club” model series. You’ll never see a Big Wheel the same way again!

Friendly Fire / Re: The Sprue Lagoon: Gundams and more!
« on: January 03, 2019, 10:42:54 AM »
While I tend to focus on mecha, cars and planes, I do have other interests as well. One of those is submarines. I generally find modern subs to be a little bit boring,  but WWII subs generally grab my attention. Of course, the weirder it is the more I like it, and the German midget subs of WWII must be some of the weirdest, and least effective, of their type!

Needless to say, this means I do have a real thing for German midget subs, and I’m always surprised to find out just how many kits of these things there are! Last year I picked up a couple more, and the smaller (kit) of the two is the one I thought I’d share first! Check out one of Germany’s better entries into this category, the 1/72 Seehund. It’s an ICM, but this copy is brought to you by Revell Germany. Either way, it’s a neat kit of a little-known craft!

Friendly Fire / Re: The Sprue Lagoon: Gundams and more!
« on: December 24, 2018, 06:12:05 AM »
It comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I like the oddball subjects. Loser cars and automotive failures are one thing, but I’m also a big fan of Street Vans and custom trucks too. Normally, I prefer to get my custom juices flowing by building a model of something, but once in a while I come across a die cast vehicle that’s just what the Doctor ordered!

A perfect example of this is the Zylmex “Datsun Sunshine” custom mini-truck. Chock full of the Hong Kong version of late ‘70s custom trickery, this little customized Datsun 620 is a cool little piece that looks great on display. At 1/43, it also doesn’t take up much room!

Check out this recent toy show find at the link below. It’s an early present to everybody, because everybody likes Sunshine on Christmas!

Friendly Fire / Re: The Sprue Lagoon: Gundams and more!
« on: December 20, 2018, 01:05:50 AM »
If there’s one word in my car modelling vocabulary that is worth a thousand images, it’s “Van”. When I was growing up, it was the waning days of the Vannin’ craze, and I can remember all kinds of totally awesome, mega-tricked out vans at car shows we’d go to in the spring and summer. Most of us remember those mural-bedecked rolling pleasure palaces as perhaps the most expressive automotive customs ever, even if they weren’t your thing. However, one thing I don’t ever remember seeing was a stock custom van.  If you’re asking “What?” then you’re like me when I first heard of the Ford and Dodge factory-made, custom-ready street vans.

As it turns out, AMT even gave us a kit of the 1977 Ford Cruising Van, complete with very loud factory striping! It’s been a  long time since it was available, and despite bringing out the custom Econoline “Phantom” van a few years ago, Round 2 has seen fit to resurrect  this long-gone piece of model kit history. The new version features some improvements too, like better tires and two kinds of striping!

I love vans, and I love wacky production cars. This is both! It doesn’t get much better than this, despite this things flaws. Check it out at the link below, but if it’s rockin’, don’t come a knockin’!

Friendly Fire / Re: The Sprue Lagoon: Gundams and more!
« on: December 06, 2018, 10:59:57 AM »
Being a fan of science fiction generally means liking spaceships. I grew up with all kinds of cool spaceships to hold m interest, including, of course, those in Star Wars, Transformers and the various anime series (Macross, Southern Cross and Mospeada) that make up Robotech. By the same token, while there were always cool space ship toys to get, as I got older I was a bit disappointed by the small number of mainline space ship model kits that were available.

When I got into anime, I thought that would be rectified, but even then, kits of spacecraft weren’t easy to come by in North America, at least. Still, they say that good things come to those who wait, and after waiting for about 22 years to get a kit of my favourite Gundam spacecraft, the Albion from 0083, I finally managed to grab one of the reissued EX-Models. Check out this interesting low-volume kit from Bandai’s specialized EX line at the link below. Be warned – it’s not like other Gundam kits!

Friendly Fire / Re: The Sprue Lagoon: Gundams and more!
« on: November 23, 2018, 12:02:46 PM »
When it comes to crazy, desperate ideas executed with inappropriate haste, advanced-yet-available technology and a good side helping of Teutonic efficiency, there’s little doubt that the WWII Luftwaffe has to be champion. Be it rocket planes that were more dangerous to their crews than the enemy or stealthy flying wing fighters, the RLM and German industry were up to a lot of different things as WWII came to a close.

One of the more frightening ones that saw testing and actual deployment was the Bachem Natter. This was a VTO point defence fighter, more akin to a “Manned Missile” than any other aircraft that made it to service, except the Japanese Ohka. Of course, in great German fashion, there were all kinds of tests and prototypes! One such machine was the first (and only) manned article, Natter M23. The good folks at Brengun have actually made a kit of this little (and deadly) oddity. Check it out at the link below!

Friendly Fire / Re: The Sprue Lagoon: Gundams and more!
« on: November 08, 2018, 10:53:34 AM »
¬¬¬Well, after a lot more work than I thought it would be, the Pinto Crusing Wagon is now done! Just like the real car, this one was lot of headaches interspersed with some chagrins. Thing is, it’s an old MPC, and I was expecting some trouble. Not as much as I got, but I sure didn’t expect a “Clean Getaway”, so to speak!

I’m really very glad to have a stock representation of one of what might be the lamer attempts to add performance through striping. I am now excited to get my hands on the ’77 Cruising Van that Round 2 just put out, so I can have two examples of Ford’s attempts to conjure up tapestripe horsepower!

Check out this little beast at the link below, and be warned: you’re likely not going to see this kit built often simply because there’s so much wrong with it. However, in the end, it is all worth it, because it’s a Pinto Cruising Wagon, and how much lamer does it get than that?

Friendly Fire / Re: The Sprue Lagoon: Gundams and more!
« on: October 25, 2018, 06:04:01 AM »
A lot of people say that things are “like riding a bicycle”, meaning that once you get the hang of it you can’t really forget how to do it. However, if you think about it, riding a bike is hard. There are a lot of specialized skills involved, and it requires training, persistence and special equipment to get the hang of it.

Flying is very similar, and basic flying training is, and always will be, an important part of any pilot’s journey to the skies. Of course, compared to flashy fighters and bombers, the trainers aren’t as “imagination grabbing”, and so they often get left out in the cold. Thankfully, Matchbox had the sense to help rectify this when they issued their kit of the Percival Provost T.1, the RAF’s standard trainer for quite some post-war time.

This isn’t a kit that I’ve seen very often, and to my knowledge it’s not one that Revell has ever repopped, or at least not for a while. Check out this little forgotten bird at the link below, and bring your sunglasses!

Friendly Fire / Re: The Sprue Lagoon: Gundams and more!
« on: October 11, 2018, 10:13:11 AM »
Well, the results are in and the people have spoken! Of the kits I managed to snag in London (Ontario, Canada) during the model show at the end of September, one has been quite overwhelmingly chosen as the “king of the losers”! The winner of this dubious title was the AMT BRAT, that awesome little bundle of tax-evading passenger un-safety!

The margin  of victory was considerable, with 71 votes, the Brat managed 17. Sure, that’s only 24%, but in Canadian politics at least, that’s more than enough to win!  Given that the BRAT is also one of my top purchases (since I stupidly passed one up years ago) I was more than willing to dive right in and get you guys an Out of Box report on this fairly rare little beast. So check it out below!

Friendly Fire / Re: The Sprue Lagoon: Gundams and more!
« on: September 30, 2018, 07:06:57 AM »
I’m sure everyone’s heard of an embarrassment of riches, right? Well, what happens when the riches you have are embarrassing, and they’re so plentiful that you get paralyzed by choice?

Well, for one thing, you get what happened to me! At my local show just recently, I hit the vendors hard, and got so many amazing kits that I am a bit stuck for which one to open up and review first! When you’re weighing things like a Firebird station wagon, a four-door Corvette, a BRAT and a Messerschmitt cycle car, it’s not easy to come to a quick decision.

So, I’m doing what anyone would do, when staring down the Magnum PI Vanagon and a Suzuki Samurai… I’m asking for help!

Check out my awesome score of total automotive oddballs, and give me a hand with a vote for what you want to see as the next out of box car on the Lagoon! Just follow the link below, but be ready… awesomeness awaits!

Friendly Fire / Re: The Sprue Lagoon: Gundams and more!
« on: September 22, 2018, 09:38:16 AM »
Since it’s the end of Summer as I write this, and the days are getting shorter, I thought it would be appropriate to put up a display of my “Sunset Stripe” cars. Unsurprisingly, most of them are MPCs, since that was right up their alley!

Check out this collection at the link below, and get your time machines ready!

Friendly Fire / Re: The Sprue Lagoon: Gundams and more!
« on: September 13, 2018, 10:12:56 AM »
Even if it’s a loser car, with a loser engine (which it is), I still like to try and make the interior and chassis of a car kit look as good as possible. Of course, when you’re talking about the make-work-project that is the MPC 1979 Pinto “Pony Express” reissue, that’s not exactly an easy chore.

Thankfully, the chassis and interior on this kit are fairly simple, and require  less reworking than the body and engine!

Check out my progress at the link below. This little beast is edging further towards completion!

Friendly Fire / Re: The Sprue Lagoon: Gundams and more!
« on: August 30, 2018, 10:25:12 AM »
While Gundams themselves aren’t as customizable, being the “main characters”,  supporting mecha lend themselves to any and all kinds of imagination, reimagination and customization. It helps that the Gundam kits that Bandai cranks out are so well-made and forgiving, it allows for a lot of parts swapping and alteration without the worry of ruining a kit or having to do a tonne of scratchbuilding, unless, of course, you want to.

A perfect candidate for this kind of treatment is the Re/100 Efreet from the recent Reborn 100 line of large scale, but simplified and lower-cost kits. Given the Efreet’s bad-arsed appearance, I decided to customize mine into what it would look like if the Efreet had been produced for at least ace use, instead of the Gouf.

The result is the Efreet Blazer custom, portrayed in the colours of Norris Packard from the excellent 8th MS series. Check it out, and let me know what you think!

Friendly Fire / Re: The Sprue Lagoon: Gundams and more!
« on: August 16, 2018, 10:22:09 AM »
I do love building Gundam kits, and other mecha besides as well. However, mecha aren't the only things I build! While I’m not as hardcore into all the fine details as many armour guys out there, I do like me some good old ground-pounding, mud-churning armour to build once in a while. I rarely, of course, indulge in larger or more expensive kits (the Takom G6 Rhino is a dream of mine, and likely will be for a long time to come). No, I prefer simpler, smaller more (gasp!) fun kits.

To me, that means old-school, small-scale stuff, like Fujimi and Matchbox 1/76. Of the two, it’s no surprise to most who know me that Matchbox kits are my absolute favourites. I LOVE them, and I am forever glad that Revell seems to reissue them regularly. One such kit that got a reissue just recently was the 1/76 Pak 40 and Sdkfz. 11 halftrack, one of the larger “multi sets” that Matchbox originally came out with to expand their armour range.

Check out what’s in the box of this newly revived masterpiece below!

Sadly, the only bit I know about the back story of them comes from the internet. I really wish they'd have been animated, or that Bandai would animate them now, along with the whole near-F91 timeframe. Seeing the F-90s and SF-91 mecha animated would be a treat.

For their day, these kits were pretty much the state-of-the-art, and the full-colour moulding is impressive for any age. I prefer the new way of splitting the parts, but it's really an easier way to make a mould! While  a bit primitive, these SF-91 kits really do build up nicely, and can easily hold their own with much more modern kits on a display shelf.

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