Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Tatsuta and Thunderbolt

In past model kit reviews I generally wrote about model kits from a strictly product information point of view.  That’s important but actually ‘building’ a model is far more important.

I’d like to talk about how I’ve gone about building Hasegawa Hobby Kits’ 1/72 Scale A-10C Thunderbolt II "104th Fighter Squadron" Limited Edition model kit.

While it would be easy to show the product box or a completed model all nice and painted and detailed I prefer to talk about how I went about assembling the model.

After opening the box I spread out the part trees and larger pieces on a floor mat.  I prefer a floor mat because it is heavy enough to held model pieces and sturdy enough so that I can move the entire model assembly if necessary.

Trust me, there is nothing worse than having a model spread out on a floor or table and your spouse insisting that you move it for more necessary things like vacuuming and sitting down for a meal.

Once I’ve familiarized myself with the instruction sheet I checked to make sure all the pieces for the model were present.  I needn’t worried about it since Hasegawa Hobby Kits’ quality control insures its model kits are packaged complete.

Once I made sure all pieces were present I followed the detailed instructions and began assembling my aircraft (in this case) model kit as instructed.

A special note: Some model makers prefer to paint pieces prior to assembly, others after a model is completed.  I prefer a little of both, depending on the model kit.

Using an X-acto Knife or small scissors I trimmed off any excess flashing from the model pieces, carefully making sure I didn’t damage any parts.

Smaller pieces usually require tweezers and snips from small trimming scissors or a special trimming tool.

Gluing the parts together can be tedious.  Be sure to use minimal glue and let it spread on model piece edges.  You don’t want any glue oozing over the edges and damaging the pieces.  Should you experience any oozing wipe it away quickly with a non-porous material.  Tissue and cloth tend to absorb the glue and can spread it over surfaces.

When gluing large pieces together I often use tape or small rubber bands to hold pieces together until they dry.  Be especially careful when assembling clear pieces such as windshields.  If glue gets on those pieces it is nearly impossible to clean off.

When building a model of any scale or skill level be sure to take your time, don’t rush things.
Once assembled and completely dry meticulously begin painting on one color at a time.  Use soft easy strokes and cover whatever surface requires paint evenly and smoothly.  Again be careful of using too much paint creating sloppy edges and runs.

Once painted decal applications requires a steady hand and tweezers.  Prepare the decals, detach one decal at a time from the decal sheet(s) and gingerly apply it to the model’s surface. Allow it to dry and proceed to the next decal.

If you follow the assembly instructions, proceed slowly and meticulously your model will turn out perfectly.

I discovered assembling the A-10C Thunderbolt II "104th Fighter Squadron" Limited Edition model kit to be a lot of fun and I felt a deep sense of accomplishment as I assembled it.  I still have a few more things to do on the model but so far everything is going as planned.

The A-10C Thunderbolt II "104th Fighter Squadron" aircraft is known for its many firsts.  First to be added to the Maryland Air National Guards’ 175th Fighter Wing.  First to be converted and updated 40 years later and the first to fly into combat.

After looking over this impressive aircraft with its huge twin engines, impressive fire power and twin tail wings it’s easy to see that its speed, maneuverability and sheer presence make it a classic.

For a model best suited to the seven seas be sure to pick up one of Hasegawa Hobby Kits 1/700 Scale Japanese Navy Cruiser Tatsuta "Super Details" Limited Edition model kit.

Known as the Iron lance of the Imperial Japanese Navy the Tatsuta saw plenty of action during WWII but was eventually was sunk by US forces.  Fast, long and thin the Tatsuta was part of the Tenryu class of Japanese destroyers/cruisers.  Unfortunately speed and maneuverability were achieved by lightning its armament.

If you are into minute details and have the patience to assemble the Tatsuta you’ll discover details galore from its deck guns to its railing, masts and tower.  The kit features two sets of decals and full photo-etched parts set.