Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Monday, 28 May 2012

Hi everyone - thanks so much for the response to my new book. Pre-orders have really exceeded my expectations and I'm well on the way to selling my initial print run. I've included a teaser image here of one of the full-sized reference pages to give you some idea of how detailed I want this book to be and how it will look once complete. If you are keen to reserve a copy, please let me know and I'll put you on the list - once they're gone, they're gone! Thanks a lot and have a great day.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Well, at last, I have a quote for the printing of this book!!! This will be a 40 page, full colour publication, which will hopefully be the first of a group of such things that I will be publishing over the next year or so. I am planning to initially print 100 copies of my book at a cost of £14.95 plus postage and packing and so if you are interested in a copy can you please let me know? I will take orders on a first come first served basis - the first copies being available at the beginning of July, all being well. Thanks a lot!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Euro Militaire 2012

Hotel booked - now, what should I build. Maybe I should give the comp a miss this year? Oh, I don't know!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Garden Of Remembrance

The Garden Of Remembrance

 I'm thinking of producing a magazine-style publication on the creation of this diorama. It would contain not only a full explanation of how it came to be, but also how the Panther was built, painted and weathered along with a complete set of full-sized reference photos taken at Houffalize. There will then be an explanation of how I created to diorama and how I tried to produce as accurate a setting as possible. This has never been published elsewhere, so the question is: would anyone be interested in seeing this being printed?

If you would, why not drop me a line at

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Well, what a surprise!!!

For fans of the Harrier, myself included, this has to be some of the best news I've seen in some time! Sword are to release not one, but two, two-seat, first generation Harriers, in 1/72. I honestly can't wait to see what they come up with...

AIRFIX 1/72 Harrier GR.9 - Gone, But Not Forgotten...


When the news was leaked that Airfix was to release a new kit of this important aircraft, many wondered how far it would improve on what was already available (both from their own range and those of their competitors) and whether it would further show how far Airfix had come since their takeover by Hornby. Well, right from the off I can reveal that unlike the rather unimpressive Sea Harriers released several years ago, this new Harrier is well detailed, well appointed and accurate in outline and appearance. Set-up options abound with a choice of intakes, LERX, raised or lowered undercarriage, raised or lowered flaps (only appropriate in the main for a ‘flying’ model, though there are a few odd exceptions when these can be seen ‘down’ on the ground…), refuelling probe, weapons and markings, which is not bad for a kit that retails for around £10!

 With the kit in hand, I certainly came to the conclusion that there was little to differentiate an Airfix product from one produced by their competitors. Gone are the raised panel lines, these now being replaced by sharply incised details and though these are a little heavy here and there, they still improve the look of the completed model immeasurably. I was also pleased to see that the designers had not just relied on incisions, but had also chosen raised features where needed, the rivets around the hot rear jet exhaust, being a case in point. It’s a small detail, but one that helps create a further illusion of reality.
Smaller details are no less impressive; the front undercarriage leg is a superbly detailed item, as are the mainwheels, with their prototypical ‘flats’ moulded in-situ. Modellers often complain that these ‘flats’ are overdone, but even the most cursory of glances at a fully loaded Harrier will reveal just how flat the tyres become - especially when the aircraft is fully loaded with weapons and fuel.

 Though the kit is well-designed in the main, there are a number of issues: the wing for instance though nicely shaped, is overly detailed, many of the panels being far more prominent than those found on the full-sized Harrier’s wing; the pitot tubes that flank the nose are moulded onto large tabs that fit holes in the nose, thus creating a scruffy finish and once again, the jet nozzles are moulded in two halves that will be almost impossible to clean up neatly, though in the main, these will be hidden on the completed model. 

 Where the panel lines were a little deep (especially around the nose…), I filled them with Vallejo acrylic putty, which was squeezed into the unwanted panels and then smoothed over with a wet finger, the result being far finer looking features. As well as the nose, I also used this technique on the upper wing – anywhere in fact, that I considered the panels to be too deep.
The intakes provide perhaps the most challenging aspect of the kit’s construction. Because the modeller is given a choice of having the undercarriage up or down, they are also offered a choice of having the doors that circle the intake, open or closed. These are provided as separate parts that slot into the inner face of the intake. This is a not an easy task; repeated dry-runs and attention with a fine file were needed before they looked right and even then I had to apply tiny blobs of filler to deal with some annoying gaps. But that was nothing compared to trying to fix the intakes to the rear fuselage and separate nose! At first I just couldn’t get them to line up, but eventually I had them in place, repeated applications of filler, sanded between each one, being needed to smooth everything out…
Finally, I think that Airfix also need to deal with their sprue gates as those used in this kit are at times huge and thus the chance of damaging the smaller parts during their removal from the sprues, all too possible. There are some interesting omissions too: no gun pods, no vent pipe under the fairing for the front, right-hand jet nozzle and no glass for the HUD – but that’s about it.

 Lack of gun pods aside, the are plenty of stores in the kit including Sidewinders, Paveway IV LGBs, underwing tanks, Sniper, DJRP recce and CRV-7 rocket pods – the latter with separate, frangible heads which adds a further level of choice to how the finished model appears. All of the stores initially appear well detailed, but further research reveals a few issues; the Paveway IVs for example are in fact little more than Paveway II in design, revealing little of the smaller details that differentiate the two designs. As we’ll see later, these really need to be replaced if an accurate Close Air Support (CAS) Harrier is to be built from this kit – which is precisely what was done for the model seen here. The drop tanks could also do with some work (not carried out here) to add the oval panels that are found on their sides and not unfortunately, on the kit parts.

 If the plastic parts are impressive, the decals are I am afraid less so. It’s not that they’re poor, as they are well printed and perfectly in register, it’s just that they are so dull! Despite the fact that the Harrier has been decorated with all manner of nice tail markings, the three chosen in the kit are simple, drab, squadron birds, the only highlight being the retro, grey/green retirement scheme. At first, I thought that Airfix had been rather measly in their choice of markings, but a chat to the designers revealed that they had actually chosen aircraft that allowed the modeller the opportunity to build the kit with a complete weapons load – as most modellers will want to do. Electing to include some special markings would have meant that the weapons would have been rather redundant (other than the tanks), which is why Airfix chose the route they did.
The choices offered by Airfix are as follows:
·      BAe Harrier Gr.9A – ZD433, Harrier Detachment, Operation “Herrick”, Kandahar, Afghanistan, 2009
·      BAe Harrier Gr.9A – ZD433, as seen on December 15th 2010 in No. 1(F) Squadron markings
·      BAe Harrier Gr.9A – ZG506, RAF Cottesmore, December 15th 2010. This aircraft is in the one-off colours of gloss Dark Green, Dark Sea Grey and Light Aircraft Grey
·      BAe Harrier Gr.7A – ZD404, “Lucy”, Harrier Detachment, Harrier Detachment, Operation “Herrick”, Kandahar, Afghanistan, 2006
·      BAe Harrier Gr.7A – ZD404, as seen in October 2009 in Naval Strike Wing (NSW) markings

Airfix – All good model shops
Halfords Primer – All Halford’s Stores nationwide. Website:
Gunze Sangyo - Model Design Construction. Tel: 1246 827755. Email: Website:

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

One From The Past...
The Workshop - Completed September 2009

Okay, I've decided that this will be the main portal for all of my modelmaking news and as such, I will be dropping new projects, interesting kits and maybe even some cool little techniques on here when the mood takes me! Hopefully, in concert with my 'Facebook' page and the use of some of the forums around the net, you will get a fair idea of what I am up to and be able to enjoy some of the models that I build (both military and civilian), in ways that may not always been possible in my role as the Editor of Military In Scale magazine. This is not a substitute for what I want to do with MIS (that's too important a job to let it slip away), but rather an add-on that will allow me a little more flexibility - after all, you wouldn't expect to see a car or spaceship in MIS, would you, but you may well see both of those things here!!!

So, tell you friends about this blog and we'll all have some fun! And if you want to contact me, please feel free. My email address is as always

See you soon!

New Orders Now Being Taken!

I've just taken delivery of a second run of skips. If you would like to order one of these on line, or would like to deal with me in person, I will be visiting the IPMS Birmingham show at the weekend, and the Edmonton Model Show Canada at the end of the month and should have some sets with me at both of these events. Just let me know at

An exciting future release(s)! 

Case 1737 Uniloader - in both 1/35 and 1/24!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

With the 'Modern Image Skip Set' selling well, it's time to announce my next release, a set of two different wooden cable reels, one large, one small. These are a perfect diorama accessory and as can be seen, can be used in a wide variety of setting and time frames. These 1/35 models will be highly detailed and easy to build and as with the skip set, will include a full set of instructions to guide you through the assembly, painting and weathering of these cool little reels. They should be available by the middle of next month...


Friday, 11 May 2012

Work has started on my Plus Models 'Belarus Earthmover'. As you can see this is a highly detailed, not to mention highly complex(!) kit that should look amazing once complete - I hope..!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Soviet Earthmover Belarus

My next model will be this wonderful tractor, that will be built from Plus Models' equally wonderful kit. You see - I told you I'd unveil some future plans!!!

 You see - skips can be art!!!

An arty Skip!

Hi everyone - following some feedback, I have now changed the font to one that is a little clearer - I hope that you all approve!

Have a great afternoon!

Morning everyone - I trust that you are well! I am delighted to announce that the 'Modern Image Skip Set' is selling well and so I am now planning on ordering a second production run of this unique new kit. If anyone is interested in placing an order, can you please email me at and I will place you on the list. Remember that these are numbered kits and so will only be available for a limited time! The cost of each kit is £29.95 plus postage and packing - the latter determined by destination - and can be paid for via Paypal.

Thanks a lot and I look forward to hearing from you!

Stop Press! 
A second batch has now been ordered and will be with me next week! Orders are now being taken for despatch a week from now, or delivery at the Birmingham IPMS show on the 20th of May.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Hello everyone!

Over the last month or so I've been releasing information on my new range of accessories to my friends on my Facebook Page. Well finally, I am able to reveal the completed package and what you will get for your money and beg your indulgence to allow me to show you this new set. As you can see, they are designed with the modern diorama builder in mind and can be used in a huge variety of different surroundings to produce a highly-detailed vignette within your scene.

Each Package will include the following:
•    Two 1/35 Skip kits, a large builder’s skip with a separate loading door and a smaller ‘midi’ offering.
•    A complete set of self-adhesive ‘Miracle Masks’ that allow the application of the ‘Ryder Skip Hire’ and ‘Waste-Away’ logos.
•    An exclusive six-page article. This is will only be available as part of this package and will not only include the necessary assembly instructions, but also a detailed guide to the application of the masks and an in-depth featurette on the painting and weathering of the two models used for the box art. This will be provided as single sheet of assembly instructions together with a CD that will include not only a high-resolution PDF for the remaining feature (thus allowing you to zoom-in on all of the images to examine the paintwork in great detail), but also, a separate file of images of the stowed skips and their ‘junk’ – the latter another exclusive inclusion in this kit.
•    A numbered certificate of authenticity that will be signed and numbered to guarantee that the model you buy is an exclusive ‘Workbench Miniatures’ product.

For more info contact me at Workbench Miniatures -

All the very best and thanks for looking!

I have a new blog! Wow - this should be fun. I'm going to use this to keep you updated on my new products, kits and dioramas - I may even reveal some of mistakes and heartaches along the way! I plan to try and update this as often as possible, but whilst I'm learning what should or shouldn't be put on here, please be patient if those updates aren't as frequent as you would like!

See ya later!