Changes in modeling

After a Very long slump ,I am returning to military modelling. I see that much has changed. Mostly in paints .Possibly in adhesives as well. More distressing would be the loss of L.H.Shops. I preferred to airbrush & would like to know the brands that give the best results.I see that Tamiya now has Lacquers. Are they airbrush ready? Are there better C.A. adhesives { I always enjoyed P.E. accessories }. Also, are there new Mfgr’s producing interesting kits ? My last model was a Meng. I enjoyed it very much. I shall appreciate all input. K.

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Welcome to the forum and back to the hobby!

Local hobby shops are very few and far between these days in the USA. The hobby is growing and is very internet driven.

Lot of new military vehicle manufacturers, many with excellent products. Mold quality is the best its ever been.

Three new players that come to mind RFM (Reyfied), Meng & Takom. Both Tamiya & Dragon are still players but less so than years past. Trumpeter is come a LONG way and is darn good.
MiniArt has insane details and parts count. ICM is pretty good too. MiniArt & ICM are Ukrainian so they may be more difficult to acquire than a few months ago.

Of course research still helps avoid pitfalls etc.

Black CA glue with rubber is an outstanding new development. It has better shear strength. StarBond is my personal favorite. Black CA is easy to see. If a glue spot is left its easy to spot and remove with a little quality StarBond debonder on an old paint brush. Everyone loves Tamiya Extra Thin liquid Cement. I like it as well but still like Testor’s old slow Liquid Cement best of all. Of course I keep it in a Tamiya bottle w/fine point brush thats a million times better than Testor’s junk bottle & brush.

Lots of new detail options from all over the world. Ebay & PayPal are your friends for getting also sorts of cool items from abroad. Most innovation comes from the Pacific Rim companies and Eastern Europe.

Everyone has their pet favorite paints, as there are lots of good paint options today. If ten respond on paint, you’ll likely get twelve opinions and some of them actually informed :wink: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :kissing_heart: :wink:

I still use Floquil Military Colors and Floquil RailRoad. I’d favor Mr. Paint’s outstanding laquers if I didn’t have a stockpile of Floquil. I also like Tamiya & Mr Hobby.

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Welcome again, if your last model was Meng you have not been away for that long :slight_smile:

As for paint, I guess the old ones are still available so no real reason to change if you do not want to. AK Real Colors are similar to old Tamiya “acrylics” and there not much new apart from that.

Ammo Ultraglue is a resin glue that for me has almost replaced CA, it is similar to Gator Grip but in my case easier to get.

3D printing is now a real option, either buying the parts (T-Rex, Heavy Hobby, Elefant…) or the designs to print yourself (Home Brew Parts, Faustus…)

Hey Carlos. I just ordered some of the Ammo Ultra . The reviews stated that it had a PVA appearance .Also that while generally adored , it had a slow bonding time. I even read that one could add Thin CA to speed it up .Do you know if conventual CA accelerator be used to hasten securing time ? Thanks, K

No, it’s a completely different product and I doubt it would have any (positive) effect

Welcome! Always good to see somebody getting back into the hobby, and although it’s changed, I think you’ll find that some changes have opened up new opportunities.

You mentioned airbrushing, and there’s been some changes there. Of course we still have the classic Vallejo and Tamiya acrylics, but yes, Tamiya makes lacquers now. As of right now, they make a couple military colours like olive drab, but please note that you’ll need to thin them a bit with lacquer thinner. Mission models is another relatively new addition, they’re an American company which makes non-toxic acrylics. The great thing about MM is that they make a slew of very flat military colours (two shades of Dunkelgelb!) and that they are airbrush ready, meaning that they are pre-thinned.

Loads of new manufacturers have sprung up! FC Modeltrend is a Spanish company that uses 3d printing to make kits. They just came out with a 1:35 Matilda 1, only four parts! Gecko is also new, and they make lots of British subjects, including the early war cruisers. Riich as well, they do lots of work on full interior Universal Carriers.

Tks. Dennis. Before taking my extended break ,MM paints were all the rage. So, I tried some of the common AFV colors.I read teir instructions, read their website [ bought more of their products I.E. their thinner, polyurethane etc. ] .I felt like I was back in chemistry class. It did spray dead flat, though. Admitadley, It was new then. It’s consistency out of the squeeze bottle was kinda like Vallejo paints. Not Airbrushable. If they have changed since then , I’ll try again. I have a range of [ older ] airbrushes. Iwata, Badger & disposable chinese cheapo’s. Like to hear your feedback . k

Armor buff, I have seen the many Mini art kits now offered. I like interiors [ why, I’ll never know ! ] . Are their instructions & build sequence legible ? Tks. K

Welcome back!

I’m a “There’s no school like old school” kind of modeler, so here’s my take…

There’s been an explosion of new kit makers, after-market producers, and vendors supplying new tools and finishing products. Just about every one of them has fans. Finding reviews or opinions about any of these products is as easy as just asking here if anyone has used them or has heard anything about them.

It would be very easy to simply get over-whelmed by the volume of new stuff out there in the scale modeling world. You could find yourself stuck in “analysis-paralysis” in no time at all.

I’d suggest that rather than trying to turn the dial to fast-forward on the “way-back machine” while trying to catch up with everything new (which is, frankly, impossible), you just let your passion and interest for your subjects guide your search for info on what new kits and accessories are out there to support such builds. You might find that the best kit is still one that was old when you were still in the hobby, but that there’s a world of new specific accessories for it. Alternatively, you might find the best kit is still warm out of the molding machine and it’s so detailed that there’s no point in trying to “guild the lily.”

There are many subjects that have been kitted that many never expected to see, and there are many new kits of the “old standby’s” that are huge improvements over earlier kits of the same subjects. Still, injection molded styrene is still just injection molded styrene, sprue nubs, mold seams, ejector pin marks and all…

My best advice is to always fall back on the basics and build on what you know… your previous skills, knowledge and abilities. Pick a subject, and then go from there to look at the best kits and supporting accessories. Limit the field, so to speak, to what it is you’re interested in building, at least at first.

Same with the newest finishing paints and materials. Most are just variations on the same old school products that you used to use. Let your comfort level with the mediums that you are familiar with guide your selection of new brands for the same kinds of products. Lacquer, acrylics, enamels and oils are still pretty much the same. New brands, new claims and new proprietary thinners and new reducers, but still the same old stuff when you get down to it. Odds are pretty good that some or all of your old favorites are still available, and if they aren’t, then there’s a new brand that will work pretty much the same way. Go with what you know to get back started. Changing is easy, but building a new skill set and knowledge because you switched mediums is much more difficult. A new brand of paint won’t make your hand or air brushing skills any better than they were and interjecting a new medium with new working characteristics will just slow you down.

It’s a Brave New Modeling World out there, but styrene is still styrene; plastic cement is still plastic cement; AC glue is still AC glue; paint is still paint, and even the new 3D printed parts behave pretty much like cast urethane resin parts. Everything that’s new was once the same old thing.

Welcome back! I’ll be looking forward to seeing your latest project here on the KM forums!


Wow SdAufKla, [ Or should I call you Boris, Natasha or Mr. Peabody ? ] Great cartoons, weren’t they ? Your reply settles My angst. Yes, I should just stick with what took me decades to hone. I do admit, I am all about shortcut’s. My age limits just how many of the 30 or so kits in my stash will make it to completion. So, thank You. K

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While I’ve purchased two MiniArt armor kits. The detail and extremely high parts counts are impressive. The suspension appeared fiddly and extra care would be needed. Build sequence appeared OK. Based on the high amount of attachment points and clean up required, test fitting before applying liquid cement would be very important. I’ve not started either kit.

Many modelers love the MiniArt interiors. I’m 99% sure most of MiniArt’s Panzer IV interiors are wrong in various details like radio equipment. No idea on the other ones. However, they look “nice” built up. I had my share interiors back in the day and avoid them so can’t provide much insight on the assembly of MiniArt interiors.

Miniart T-54A with interior.
Images from CAD showing stages of completion,
photos of all the parts and scans of the assembly instructions.

Images can be enlarged to show all details.
As with all kits the individual model builder can choose to deviate
from the instructions according to personal preferences.

Robin, I am in shock at the detail shown in Your reply. I love it, but I only have a short time left on this blue marble. however, as stated , the modeler can choose to build as see fit. The details shown are dreams to Diorama builders. Thank you. K

They also sell those models without the interior, same details on the outside but only the
absolute structural necessities on the inside.

I was unaware at that. Would You sat that the quality of Miniart matches that of , say, Tamiya ? in terms of quality fit ?

While we all enjoy challenges, headaches are not welcome.

I have built several MiniArt non interior kits, mostly from their T54/55 series. They are tedious to build with many small plastic and PE parts. A fair amount of fiddly sub assemblies and an odd build sequence for the lower hull and running gear. Having said that they do build up quite nicely but they will test your patience. Good luck.

Superior when it comes to details.

You said it. Years ago , interiors were becoming standard fair .I did [ & kinda still like the concept ,as a builder ]. Then realized I expending so much time over nothing. k

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Just start doing the same things when you quit. Research and expand your knowledge when you want to do some new skill or technique.

Tamiya acrylics with Tamiya laquer thinner is a good spray combination.

Tamiya’s extra thin liquid cement is very popular.