Scale Model News
Model makers have been busy again in Singapore, these photos taken at the Easter weekend competition held by Hobby Bounties, under the direction of Peter Chiang.Read more »
HOBBY BOUNTIES of Singapore has a new competition for modellers.Read more »
THE DELTA-WING COLD WAR WARRIOR is coming as an updated model from Airfix. The 1:72 scale kit of the Vulcan B.2 includes a drop-down crew access ladder, and under the belly nestles an accurate Blue Steel stand-off nuclear missile. Scramble! Scramble!
YOU MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR with the name, but if you are anything like a regular model maker, you will have bound to have seen the work of John Amendola.
Mat Irvine: John Amendola, who died at the end of January, was one of the foremost box-art illustrators, with a career that lasted many years.
John painted cars and other subjects, but his main passion was aircraft. He was born on Long Island, New York, during the ‘Golden Age’ of aviation, and it is that which likely developed his life-long interest in flight.
John was a graduate of the Academy of Aeronautics, the Pratt Institute in New York, and the Art Center College of Design in California. He was in the US Army, Air Force and Naval Reserve, and later worked for Boeing and on the early US space programs. As a concept artist, John worked on projects that included designing mockups of the Apollo LM (Lunar Module), various shuttle and re-entry vehicles, and rovers.
His work has appeared in print for over six decades, including illustrations for Automobile Quarterly, and in books from the Smithsonian Institution and Time-Life Books. After retiring from Boeing as its lead illustrator in 1995, John and his family moved to Saratoga Springs, Utah, where he kept on painting.
John Amendola was born on September 14, 1930, died in Utah, January 8, 2021.
Our condolences go to John’s family and friends.
Thanks to Andy Yanchus for many of the details and illustrations, all featuring John's work.
John Amendola and his wife Wendy (below) pictured in 1994.
Scale Model News is sad to hear of the passing of Darrell Burge of Hornby. Darrell was Product Manager at Airfix, since moving from Humbrol in 2006, and in charge of the revitalisation of Airfix products over the last decade.Read more »
Mat Irvine: The AMT kit is a Ford Galaxie, as featured in the seventh Bond movie, Diamonds are Forever of 1971. In fact, this ‘new’ kit is the old AMT 1970 Ford Galaxie, which had originally been produced as a Police Interceptor. It’s also been issued in various forms since, but happens to be the type used in Diamonds are Forever – well, almost.
The kit itself is a 1970 Ford Galaxie, but the movie cars were actually Ford Customs, the most basic model then in the Galaxie range. Consequently, some of the kit detailing needs to be removed. The instructions do give some tips ‘to create the movie car’ though there are other things that also need to be done. First is to remove the chrome strips down the sides, which is not a difficult task, best done with a sharp blade to scrape off the moulding. Don’t try and slice it off, as you’ll almost certainly dig into the bodywork. Then you can finish off the surface with a fine file, followed by and wet and dry glasspaper.
One point mentioned in the instructions is the rear bumper, the section between the tail lights not being chromed. In fact, it should be body colour, so either needs sanding smooth and painting, or removing, attaching the actual bodywork, and painting all as one. It's not mentioned, but the same also applies at the front, where FORD is moulded on front of the hood. Customs didn’t have the name there, and the section should again be body colour, not chrome.
When it comes to painting, the Diamonds police cars were blue and white, but unfortunately the whole kit is moulded in blue. This means you need to thorougly prime the white areas, otherwise the blue may bleed through. All of which could avoided if the kit was moulded in white! I found the best method was a primer coat, followed by matt white, then gloss white. After that, I masked the roof and front doors, and repainted them blue! I used Humbrol Matt White, with a Testors Bright White top coat. For the blue I used a Testors Intermediate Blue undercoat, finished off with Testors Bright Blue.
According to the instructions, the interior is black or metallic blue, but careful examination of the movie sequences – not easy as was all filmed high speed and at night – appears to be mid-brown or tan. So I used Testors Afrika Mustard over Humbrol Dark Brown.
The interior equipment is what was supplied with the original AMT Police Interceptor kit, with a selection of radios, microphones, speakers, a shotgun, hand-held lamp, and a fire extinguisher. None of this is apparent in the movie, so use what you fancy. The lightbar does match the movie version, though it uses only the centre siren and two outside red flashing beacons. Some cars, though not all, also have a short antenna fixed on the section in front of the trunk lid.
The decals supply two versions of the instrument panel, plus Las Vegas police badges and slogans for the doors, with a choice of four numbers for the roof – 2, 3, 8, and 9. Only the first and last appear clearly in the movie sequence, and given there were seven cars in all, I assume the others wore different numbers. There are also two sets of licence plates.
Overall, this is a good reuse of an existing kit in a new guise, and adds to the growing Bond Car Collection – but I do wish it had been moulded in white! However, you could get round this – find another Police Interceptor kit moulded in white. You can build that, and use this kit’s decals.
One side of the box (below) shows the decal sheet, and movie poster. The other side features closeup details, but note the engine block should really be in Ford blue. This is more Chevy red!
The basis of the kit (below) was initially a promotional model, hence there are metal axles, self-tapping screws, and an engine insert that would have replaced the engine block. If you have no intention of opening the hood and showing the engine, you could use this instead.
One of the chrome side-strips being removed (below).
Rear panel (below) was finished correctly in blue, not chrome.
The bodywork (below) being primed and painted.
The interior (below) with police equipment installed.
Finished car (pix below) with decals applied.
The motorcycle cop figure (below) isn’t in the kit. Instead, I added an old Motorbits Miniatures figure, though it's long out of production.
Two earlier releases of the same kit (below). Top is the original AMT issue, as a re-box for Stevens International. Bottom is a Hobby Heaven release of the same kit.
AMT: 1970 Ford Galaxie Police Car, from Diamonds are Forever
Assembled length: 215 mm (8.5 in)
Manufacturer’s ref: AMT1172M
A DELIGHTFUL KIT FROM AIRFIX, the 1:48 scale Supermarine Walrus seaplane is a charming build, which can produce a really unusual addition to your display shelf.And for diorama fans, adding a seascape for the Walrus to float on will make it a real star on the model show circuit – if we ever get back to live shows, that is. Maybe in Autumn 2021?
THIS UNUSUAL KIT depicts a Toshiba EC 160, a moulding machine that can inject more than one colour into a single plastic runner. Bandai uses machines like this to produce kits such as Gundam action figures and Star Wars models.Read more »
OF ALL INDOOR SCALE subjects, the one that stands out compared with, say, aircraft, cars or ships, has been model trains. This is primarily because model railroads are not static models – instead, they are intended to be working miniature replicas. Read more »
PORSCHE-LOVERS STAND BY to enjoy a duo of kits, packed in the same gift box. The Panamera and 918 Spyder are both to 1:24 scale. First we look at the Panamera.Read more »
EVERY NOW AND AGAIN we come across something that goes way beyond the normal – and here is a great example, showing the build-up of a metal Feiseler Storch.Read more »
IN COVID LOCKDOWN, many modellers do not have the excuse ‘I’ve nothing to do.’ Backing this up, model suppliers report that they’ve never been busier, and helpful gadgets have been hot sellers in 2020.Read more »
THIS WEEK SAW the annual Airfix Competition 2020, organised by Peter Chiang, of Hobby Bounties in Singapore. Due to the Covid-19 and the Singapore Air Force Museum being closed, it was held online at Facebook, under the Hobby Bounties’ event 'mini-Airfix Cup 2020.'Read more »
AIRPLANE-SCALE TANKS are go in this well-crafted video. The British Crusader cruiser tank featured is made to 1:48 scale, resulting in a model that is just over five inches (131 mm) long. Nice!
THE NEW SEASON OF THE EXCELLENT Mandalorian has the usual range of sci-fi effects, characters, and models. And some of these depend on the old techniques of actual model making.Read more »
IN 1986 WE GOT we got the hugely successful movie Top Gun. Next, what will be 35 years later (the film release is due in 2021) we should see the follow-up Top Gun: Maverick. The star of the first movie, Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (Tom Cruise), returns again, but now plays the role of a flight instructor.Read more »
IT’S HALLOWEEN AGAIN and here’s a chance to look at a kit that definitely fits the idea of ‘spooky.’ Read more »