News From The Model Workbench


I shall spare you the news about the temperature in the workshop today. If you guess a number higher than 38º Celsius and lower than 40º Celsius you will be essentially correct. I spray painted early in the day and then left everything to dry until after tea tonight when the temperature went down. On thing about modelling in Australia – you can achieve an authentic baked-on finish very easily….

The chief news is that the Christmas present plastic car model is coming along nicely – or as nicely as the limitations of the factory will permit. I am making progress in correcting the flaws on the kit as I discover them. It is an exercise in finding contentment in difficulty.

I can’t say whether this is because the kit is one that has been moulded for years by different companies and has undergone a deterioration each time it has been re-issued, or whether it was full of bad ideas and questionable decisions from the start. Originating from Gakken in Japan, I think they tried for detail and delicacy in areas that really needed stronger compromise mould structure while making crude blocks of others. It contrasts poorly with an Emhar model built last year – the detail was all there in that one and on a smaller scale, but every fitting surface was made with precision.

I think that this kit is a revamp of a previous stock model that tries to make a hot rod in a broad sketch but has not actually looked at what a rod is. The one saving grace with it is the fact that it tries to depict a rat rod and has provided a great many of the parts for the scale version – couldn’t avoid it as they share sprue trees with basic body components – and you can make your own rodding decisions despite the Japanese rod ideas. I’ll end up with four spare Model A wire wheels and a complete 4-cylinder A engine and drive train. With a little ingenuity and the Plastruct stand I think I can make a chassis for this.

The thought that there is better in this manufacturer than this example lead me to purchase two more of their kits while on a recent holiday. It was a deliberate decision, though it had something of the sort of deliberation of throwing money onto a roulette table. Not a little money, either, but I have bet that the next Model A sedan is going to be better. It is going to be stock, rather than butchered. I also acquired a kit of a 1935 Morgan three-wheeler. The attraction of these kits is partly the business of being able to build something to fit my fictitious town, and partly to exploit the larger scale – they are 1:16th size.

Note: The Model A sedan kit has obvious moulding flaws but as I have done my bodywork apprenticeship on the rat rod I have hopes that I can cope with them. The Morgan looks excellent. Later production I daresay.

The really good news is that the third plastic kit I bought looks superb – it is a 20′ sea container in 1:24 scale from Italeri. A pedestrian subject but very valuable for my photos.


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