2019 IPMS Louisville MMCL Model Show, 1/72 Scale Entries

Pictures from the Louisville 2019 IPMS model show hosted by the Military Modelers Club of Louisville (MMCL) yesterday.  This is always a great show, and this year saw one of their biggest contests with 360 entries.  This club is famous for their hospitality and also for their raffle which is arguably the best in IPMS Region 4.  A great day out and the unofficial start of summer, here is a selection of some of the 1/72 scale entries.

As an aside, it has become somewhat popular in the mainstream media to repeat the narrative that the federal government has neglected infrastructure maintenance here in the U.S.  Speaking solely from my own experience yesterday, I can offer an empirical datapoint to the contrary.  My route from Yorktown to Louisville was about 175 miles (280 km) but I encountered numerous and extensive highway renovation projects along the way.  Long stretches of I-69 and I-65 were being widened and improved, and many areas not currently under reconstruction on those highways had only recently been renovated.  Numerous notices warned of detours in both Louisville and Indianapolis for additional projects which were not along my route.  The bridge on I-65 spanning the Ohio River into Louisville is new, as is the “spaghetti bowl” of highways feeding it.  The small bridge across the raging White River close to my home is also being renovated.  Quite a bit of highway maintenance is being conducted.  Maybe I’m just special but I doubt it.

All that aside, here are some great models to enjoy!












Modern Snipers Book Review


Modern Snipers

by Leigh Neville

Hardcover in dustjacket, 336 pages, illustrated

Published by Osprey Publishing, August 2016

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1472815343

ISBN-13: 978-1472815347

Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches


In Modern Snipers, author Leigh Neville describes the deployment of snipers in the “War on Terror” in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Police and counter-terrorism units are also covered.  The book catalogs several engagements, describing the tactics and techniques used and the outcomes of each mission.  There is a particular focus on the rifles and optics used, each weapon is described in the text and again in great detail in the last chapter of the book.  Information on the differences and similarities of the sniper training methods of the various nations and services involved is presented as well.  There are several first-hand accounts from the snipers themselves, but these are rarely more than a few paragraphs.

This book is a good general overview of current sniper employment, told in anecdotal format.  This is not an “I was there” type of read, but more of a listing of engagements.  The particularities of sniper field craft are not covered in detail, there are few details on camouflage measures or the types of hides used by the various teams.  Information on site selection or security elements are only mentioned in passing.

Overall, Modern Snipers is a useful book as it covers the current conflicts and presents information on several specific incidents.  It is not an “action” book, but there are several other sniper biographies available which cover that aspect well for those who are interested.  It is a useful book on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but not the only book on the subject you should have in your collection.

1/72 Scale Los Angeles Class Submarine Build, Part IX

The sails of the Los Angeles boats are covered in access panels.  The patterns changed as the design evolved, so check references for particular boats.  I decided to use paint to represent the panels, this is the masking job.
Two more variations of “scale black” were misted over the upper surfaces.  When the masks are removed the darker panels become visible.
An overall shot shows how the different tones of black add complexity.  If you look at any large monochrome object, the first impression is that it is all one color.  When you study it in detail, you find that the colors actually vary in tone and intensity across the surfaces.  If you use only one mix of color the model will appear unreal and toy-like, but if you vary the shades a bit it adds complexity and appears more realistic.
The only permanent markings carried by most U.S. submarines are draft markings.  Here dry transfer numbers from Model Graphics are being applied to the rudder, the style is called “45 degree”.  The strip of masking tape is marked to help with spacing and alignment.
There are another set of draft marks on the bow.  This set is a little trickier to apply as you have to account for the hull curvature which affects the spacing.  The numbers are a little further apart as you go up the hull.  After the numbers were applied the entire model was sealed with Testors Glosscoat, and after that dried the model got a coat of Future.
The gloss coats are important to prepare for what comes next – toning with oils.  This looks like a huge mistake when you’re doing it, but it adds some nice subtle complexity to the finish when you’re done.  The gloss coats are vital, particularly the acrylic coat, as otherwise the oils will strip through the underlying paint layers.  When using oils, think “wax on, wax off”.  Most of the oil will be removed, leaving only slight discoloration to the surfaces.
Here is the model after weathering with oils.  The overall impression is slightly darker and more uniform, but subtle color variation is visible up close.  The hull red on the underside got a similar treatment using reds, yellows, orange and browns.
Submarines in port build up a “slime line” of marine growth along the waterline.  To represent this I used a mix of Dark Ghost Gray and RLM 02, airbrushed in thin layers over a masked waterline.  After the masking tape was removed I went along the line with a stiff brush and thinner and roughed up the hard masked edge.  This broke up the hard edge and varied the density of the color at the transition for a more realistic effect.
The various masts and sensors changed over time.  The snorkel to the left was built up from Evergreen, but most of these are made from aluminum airfoil stock and 1/8″ tube from the hobby store.
Here the masts are painted and in place.  The tubes run through the airfoil sections and are pinned into the sail.  This gives the assemblies strength and makes them a bit easier to align.
The model was given a coat of Testors Dullcoat and mounted to an Oak base.  Four strips of Zinc blocks are used as sacrificial anodes on the real submarines, these were made from 0.015″ x 0.060″ strip and mounted at the stern.  This is the finished model posed with the Mobeus Skipjack.

Monogram P-6E Hawk in 1/72 Scale

This is the venerable but still quite buildable Monogram P-6E Hawk.  The old Monogram kits are well detailed and feature several innovations which make them easy builds for biplanes.  Starfighter Decals offer several resin bits and marking options which really give these kits a new lease on life.  This one represents a P-6E of the 94th Pursuit Squadron in 1934.







Douglass SBD Dauntless Color Photographs

A beautiful selection of color photographs of SBD Dauntless dive bombers shot “somewhere in the Pacific” for LIFE magazine.  Many of these aircraft show signs of camouflage and markings being painted out and updated.  Modelers should take particular note of the patterns of paint wear and weathering which are visible on several of these aircraft.  A particularly stunning set of pictures!



ESCI M6 3/4 Ton Truck in 1/72 Scale

This is the ESCI M6 3/4 ton truck.  A bit clunky by today’s standards but it can still be built up to a presentable model and is a useful subject.  This one shares molds with the other members of the ESCI M6 family which means it also shares the problems  of ejector pin marks and mold seams.  There are fit issues with several of the parts, so this is not a straight-forward build.  Be sure to mount the rear springs to the bottom of the bed instead of the frame or the model will sit much too high.





Taranto 1940: The Fleet Air Arm’s precursor to Pearl Harbor Book Review


Taranto 1940: The Fleet Air Arm’s precursor to Pearl Harbor

by  Angus Konstam, illustrated by Peter Dennis

Series: Osprey Campaign Book 288

Paperback, 96 pages

Published by Osprey Publishing November 2015

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1472808967

ISBN-13: 978-1472808967

Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.3 x 9.9 inches


The raid on the Italian fleet anchorage at Taranto was an example of how the actions of a small group of men can have a profound impact on a military campaign.  On the night of 11 November 1940 twenty one Swordfish torpedo bombers launched from the HMS Illustrious conducted a nighttime raid and sank three Italian battleships, crippling their fleet and altering the balance of power in the Mediterranean.

This is book number 288 in Osprey’s very successful Campaign series.  It follows the established format with a plethora of photographs, maps, and three double page illustrations by Peter Dennis.  It is only 96 pages in total and thus a quick read, but the subject is covered well and the writing is interesting. I found the complexity of the overall British plan fascinating, and the individual actions of the flight crews are described in detail.   Recommended.