Sunday, January 13, 2019

Hobbies in Hong Kong

I spent last week in Hong Kong for work. In between appointments I was able to walk around. Normally while traveling I spend as little time shopping as possible, however, since a lot of hobby kits are shipped out of Hong Kong, I thought this would be a good time to poke around.

The nice people at the hotel provided me with this swell phone, type in the magic words and "Badda-Boom-Badda-Bing".

This was one of the early ones I found. This one was OK, I bought an old Fujimi 1/32 Canter truck. And a Hasegawa steamroller.

On my second trip out I found Continental Hobbies:

This view is misleading, in fact this is a pretty raw neighborhood. Here is the view taken from the shop corner:

A few blocks away are the outdoor markets. Various organs in piles, luggage, watches, vegetables and money changers. I don't think I want to see a watch ever again.

A view looking into the Continental. Looks promising. You never know in Hong Kong...I stepped into a lot of interesting places. 

Turned out to be the hobby store I was looking for. Inventory is literally stowed up in the open ceiling. No old stuff, everything from the last few years. Prices were about 25% - 50% lower than average retail in the US, but no shipping. This shop carried mostly armor and aircraft.

I spoke with the owner, he said he had been there for 50 years.

I bought a lot, here is a shot of my packing once home. For the other kits, I cut the parts off the sprues with my nail clippers and combined them in these boxes. The Saturn is a Lego kit I bought at the last minute and carried onto the plane home.

Here's the real haul: 1/35 Mini Art Household Crockery & Glass, Hasegawa 1/35 Hitachi Vibratory Combined Roller ZC50C-5, 1/32 ICM Polikarpov I-153, 1/35 Hobbyboss Soviet MBV-2 Armored Train, Trumpeter Mini Razor Saw and 1/35 Mini art Soviet Train Tracks.

I even had time to snap a few ref pics of trucks...


Sunday, December 16, 2018

"Objectifies Women & Glorifies War"

"Airplane Woman #6" Ro Annis 2000
Modeling is on the down low right now, I am spending a lot of time writing game stuff for the other blog and some events coming up. This was on the list for repair, so I finally did that. I used to do more art stuff back in the last century. So, here is something I did. Just thought it would be interesting to post. This is a resin casting of an original I created out of plastic. Enjoy!

Oh, the title comes from my mom. That is what she said upon seeing these.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Klingon K'T'INGA-Class 1/350 Battle Cruiser First Look

I should probably change the name of this blog to "The Joy of Hoarding Models". Not a lot of building or finishing going on. I should open the phone lines up on that question. How important is it to build and/or finish? But before that can-o-worms blows up in our faces let's review this new thingie by Lights, Polar:

There are two kits here, Cruiser and Lighting Kit
The KBC (Klingon Battle Cruiser) is a big kit when finished. I have a nearly ready to paint Captain Cardboard one from TOS in the same scale. This design, the D7 platform is one of the coolest well designed spacecraft of all time. As noted by Matt Jefferies it needed to be instantly recognizable on screen as a bad guy. This it does. All sharp and angular like a cobra and manta ray combined to create an weaponized battleship. (I'm listening to CRA OST Money (That's what I want), if you want to bounce along to the beat with me). Uh, where was I? Oh. UH, I like the new smaller and conventional sized box for this kit. The previous kits where harder to get into the hoardin' pile. This one will slip right in. The $$$ is right on these, good value for what you get. Let's hope they sell a ba-zillion of these, as I want a Romulan Bird of Prey, complete with plaster interior.

Here is the guts of the box. My hand is still 1:1, so you can see the relative size. Of the kit.

Sides of the box fold up to give the color call outs. This is a nice way to hug your favorite tree. There are colors listed for Testors Enamel and Tamiya Acrylic. The way this is done assumes the builder is an advanced prop replicator, this kit is not marketed (at least by these color charts) to the general public. I think Lights, Polar should have a page online much like Wingnuts to handle a more refined color application. And yes, there is much controversy concerning all this. Want to start a fight with your significant other, just start talking about the aztec pattern on the TMP.

The decal sheet.

The main hull (for the slaves). Nice to see it in two main halves for ease of construction and strength. The surface detail looks good. I can't figure out why it's molded in shading? The dark color makes it hard to see any of the detail. And thus harder to build. Thanks Lights,Polar.

Since I'm on a complaining bender let's get it all out. The gates to the parts are thin. This model has lots of sharp edges in it's design, edges that are important. So, when you are removing the parts from the sprue take EXTRA care to not mess up the thin sharp edges of the parts. The extra time you spend will pay off later on when you don't have to fix flubbs. I am only giving the nice folks at Lights, Polar a mild hard time about this, because this is really the main complaint I have with the kit. I wish their sprue attachments were better thought out to avoid edge damage during removal.

Still listening...I tend to over indulge and when get into a music thing listen to it for several weeks over and over...

Here is some typical sprue parts. I like that the kit has a reasonable amount of parts which makes it very build-able. After all once you get fed up with hoarding...might as well build, right?

Here is the light kit. Pretty svelt compared to the TOS Enterprise one, but there are no moving parts.

Nice plans on LED placement. Also note the "upgraded" Photo-etch parts. As noted on the Lights, Polar blog these are "controversial". The issue is matching up the injection molded kit parts to the reality of the miniature used in the film. Of course it goes without saying that if your model is not an exact copy of the filming miniature, that you are a lesser person. You should be mocked, shunned and reminded that this hobby is all about getting it exactly right. This is not your model, it's not up to you decide how to build or paint it so it pleases you, no, you signed documents to the effect that it must be completed as an exact copy of a model built years ago. Yes, I have a few issues.

Back to the PE issue. On the nose (or cobra head) of the ship are lots of windows. There are LEDs that shine through these and Lights, Polar acknowledges that getting them to match the filming miniature was not possible through normal maturing. The PE is fix for this, but when installed will be slightly proud of the surface, so not an exact match either. After looking at all the reference, I think using a small drill to clean out the plastic window part will work just fine. The way the plastic part is made to flex into place is a nice solution on eliminating draft problems.

I wanted to see how the fit was, especially on the rounded cobra bulb. Here is the top.

I didn't go crazy sanding the parts, to give a feel for how close Lights, Polar got it. I would say they did a great job getting everything to fit on a complex structure.

Here it is. Ready for...building/hoarding/Ebay? 

This is a wonderful kit. I am not looking to get free review samples. (Address available on request).

I am looking forward to building this either battle damaged or being serviced by a tender. Oh yes, I looked, not much on the S4. I am not building a portable dry dock. No. No.


Friday, November 23, 2018

"New" Hobby Plug

This can be a problem. If only there was a product out there that could resolve this issue. Behold, HOBBY PLUG!

This is a real product for real modelers. If you need MORE kits, YOU NEED Hobby Plug! Contact me at and I'll set you up. This product is currently 9.99 USD (shipping not included) and comes as x2 resin parts, x1 synthetic hair section, x1 folded full page ad which all is packaged in a sturdy white carton. ORDER YOURS TODAY. Quantities limited.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Oh Joy...Fifth Element Korben Dallas Taxi First Look!

Oh we love the big boxes.

10 lbs!
My wife complained..."10 pounds!". Half the weight of our lucky quadruped. I know, shut up already and GET OUT THE BLADE.

"Two hand scale"
I ordered this a few months back from 325 smackers.

All everything
Note the size of the X-acto on the left. You know what they say about builders who build big models...they have big tools. Or they need big tools and don't have them. Ahem.

Main body shells
The body sections are 24 inches long. They come primed in gray. The finish is pretty good. They are not perfect. This may sound like a criticism, but authentic prop models show the work of tools and human hands. This is what makes them special. Collector models billed as prop replicas made through 3d modeling often have an assembly line look. Too finished.  So, I like the little flaws here and there. It shows the physical work of story making.

Hollow interior
The insides are fiberglass. Not looking forward to the grinding and dust. Grinding is the worst.

Interior parts
After I ordered mine, an interior was added. Golden Armor included mine for free as I had already paid. Very nice! Thanks! The seats and consoles get put onto the large laser cut panel. The seats are primed as well. 

Dash board console.
The main console is a big clear part meant to be lit. As I understand there will be a light kit for this. I have worked with a lot of resin. So glad I didn't have to pour any of this. Thinking about the molds and setting them up....eooooh. Icky-poo man.

Various detail parts
Details are separate. Mostly underside details. Grille, etcetera.

Stickers and lights
The last bits are the translucent bits for the lit areas of the model and the decals. Lot of lights inside and out side of the kit. 

"Feed me, Seymour"
This is going to be a great kit. It goes well with other studio scale models, being large, but not overly so. It has the right feel of a prop model. I have sprayed a lot of yellow paint...not looking forward to that! There is no room for error!  

A great model from a now CLASSIC sci-fi movie! You can find the taxi at:

Thursday, October 4, 2018

"Good Smile Company" Corners market on 1/150 Scale Soviet Soyuz and Erector

Good Smile 1/150 Soyuz Launch Vehicle and Transporter Model Kit Review

Great artwork of missile and erector. Relax.
Apparently humans in the west don’t care about the Soviet Space program. There is little awareness, few kits or reference. I used to be one of these people, but that changed a few years ago when my interest in things Soviet expanded to include space vehicles. They were so weird, like mechanical insects. I didn’t know what end was supposed to be the front or where the occupants sat. And yet, I could tell you what the weld seams look like on a 43’ hexagonal T-34 turret. Yes, sad, in so many ways.

A very nice unboxing experience.
So, I bought a few books (there are only a few) and started to figure this thing out. There are only a few kits out there and all the plastic ones have issues (or conversely, all the modelers of these kits have issues). Mostly they are inaccurate (the kits not the modelers). New Ware makes a resin 1/144 R7 in several flavors as ICBM, Gagarin’s ship or a later Soyuz. The New Ware one is the most accurate, but as a resin kit is expensive and tricky to build. I recall cursing a lot. Aligning the strap-ons and shackles is no simple task. 

Earlier this year I discovered this kit by “Good Smile”:

Fresh from the factory.
This is an odd kit, definitely seems to have been made as a result of losing a bet. It has that Japanese gift ware provenance, I was half expecting to find an anime version of a Russian cosmonaut (cosmonaughty?) holding an empty bottle of vodka while sitting on a super deformed transforming AK-47. But alas, no. Only rocket bits inside.

Nice pics but the words no good for me.
The instructions are flashy and in Japanese. Here's an experiment, I'll take my device and google translate the caption under the left most pic of the rocket launch:

The rising Soyuz rocket. The injection of the auxiliary engine for posture control is visible next to the main engine injection. The white part of the lower part of the fuselage is frost stretched over the surface of the fuselage by low temperature liquid fuel. Where to mount a Soyuz manned spaceship on Allocet. All preparatory work is designed to be done sideways. Difficult screen The truss that is visible on the left and right of the upper part hangs the rocket at the first stage middle part. This truss is a pendulum structure that closes only when the weight of Soyuz is applied. It opens automatically when the rocket leaves the floor.

Pretty much nails it.
For the haters their are many things in this kit made just for them. Raised panel lines, monolithic parts of complex assemblies and railings that scale out to be 12 inches in diameter. For the rest of us there is a rendition of not only beautiful Soviet rocket, but also the transporter that delivers it to the launch iris. While a bit clunky (especially the 1/150th scale part) this is a nice kit. It will build up to be a spectacular model of a little understood part of Earth's spacial exploration history. Yes my dream is to build my own R7 in 1/72nd scale safely cradled in it's erector. Oh gosh, the dog is barking or something is on fire or I'm late for something, SO GOTTA GO. Enjoy!

Here is the rest of the plastic:

Rocket and erector.
Decals and foil "stickers" for bare metal on rockets.
All the sprues in their multi-colored glory.
Green parts.
More sprueage.
...and more.
The truss thingie between stages.
OMG...even more.
Booster details.
Truck details.
Orange details.