Summer Nostalgia!

The IJA tanks have a hard-edge paint job. Not being consistent using the putty method, I hand painted the edges with thinned down paint.

Then I sprayed the field and clear coated for decals.

As I apply decals a question arises that I need help with.

The decals on the hull sides, when I do the opposite hull side, which decal is forward and which is aft?
I do not know what they represent or what order they are read in. Would the figure skating symbol be up front or in back?


Hi Everyone,

This is a really fun campaign! Getting to see the kits that I vied for when younger, and getting to see them getting built is a blast! Here’s to keeping up the fun.

Time for a quick update on the Kingfisher. Since the last update, I’ve been doing some basic filling. This is made a little more difficult as the kit was molded in a dark blue. While great for the beginner, no need to fret over painting (I did it this way my first go around in the mid seventies), it does make it hard to see where the gaps and seams are. So, I did as good as I could see, and then held off until the canopy could be fitted and primer coat laid down to aid in seeing the gaps and seams.

So, I began a canopy masking journey without pre-cut masks, this works fine though the time it takes can be astounding when one has gotten used to using the pre-cut masks. For the Kingfisher, I was also fortunate enough to get a Falcon vac-u-formed canopy included for the low price of the kit! For this build I figured that using a mix of the kit and vac canopy. Planning to use the vac canopy parts to represent the sliding/open portions of the canopy. Once cut out, all the canopy parts were dipped in Future floor wax and dried on a paper towel covered with a bowl to avoid any dust getting onto the canopy parts. Once dried, I proceeded to mask up the huge greenhouse canopy. I also took this time to do two additional canopy’s for two jets I’m working on. This process took a total of four days, two for the Kingfisher, one each for the jets. Whew!

The difference between the kit canopy vs. the vac canopy can be seen here via their thickness.

I then attached the canopy parts using white glue, though due to uplift I did use superglue on the rear most canopy.

I then gave the bird a primer coat of Mr. Surfacer 1500 black. This will be the base for the black base coat I plan to do, and it additionally highlights any missed gaps and seams.

I found that the areas on the upper portion of the canopy’s all had gaps, which were dutifully filled using some diluted Vallejo plasic putty, I also found a few other areas that needed work.

A second coat of primer was applied to determine how well I’d done.

Looks like today will be a little more filling, followed by some black basing on the underside grey color. Of course this depends on whether the weather cooperates! It is the rainy season here, but should clear up by afternoon.

Till next time, be safe and have fun!


Coming along nicely John.

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The instructions in Tamiya’s original Chi-Ha kit show what they mean.
If I recall correctly the front one is a unit marking (icescater character) and the other the commander’s insignia.

Looking excellent!
I’d go bananas just doing the masking.
And yes, it is great seeing all these builds coming to fruition.

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Mine is nearing completion, but I have a 2 weeks vacation in Normandy at the moment…


Thanks Ron. When installing on the right side hull, would the unit marking be toward the rear or front of the tank?

I’d play safe and go for the same order; unit in front, commander rear.

Enjoy. Last time I went was 20 years ago when I was studying the campaign at university. Where that 20 years has gone I don’t know?

Would love to go back sometime.

A little more work. Added some old Model Master clear part glue to the gauges.

I forgot to paint the rear bench. It adds a little more life to everything.


I was here about 34 years ago. Things have changed mightily. But I cannot emphasise the visits to much, as I am here with my wife and son, who don’t care too much for these things…

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I keep trying to talk my better half into going, but she’s hesitant to drive on the continent. More so after her bump last year.
Plus I got moaned at during our holidays in Crete about ‘doing war stuff’ as she puts it.

Hey Ryan. If I may, I have a few questions…

Is that a Ford GPA?

Would the canvas color you used on the seats be correct for a World War II Willy’s Jeep MB? How about the seats in an M3A1 Scout Car?

What paint are you using for the canvas color?

Thank you!


Yes, it’s a GPA.

I think canvas color would be correct for both vehicles. Just not sure it would be as “bright” as what I painted. I will be the first to admit I am not the best at picking colors and tones. I think a light/faded green would probably be correct, like Vallejo Refractive Green 70.890

The color I did use is Vallejo Khaki 70.988


Thank you!

A quick look at restored Jeeps revealed dozens of shades of ‘canvas’. Crazy.

The color on your model looks pretty good to me. It is bright enough that a few layers of oil paint, applied to simulate stains, will not obliterate the color. Gonna order some.


I sprayed Tamiya OD green (pretty sure) and then I had three or four layer of thinned Vallejo on top. If you wanted it a little lighter 2 thin coats would be good.



The GPA seat cushions were not canvas; they were made from an OD coloured leather and filled with Kapok. They clipped in place and were removable as they had an additional use as a life preserver that the passenger could cling to if needs be:

These are recovered:


Interesting. To my eyes, the color of the vehicle itself looks wrong–too light for World War II. Yet, the seats look very close to the post World War II shade of Olive Drab offered by a number of different paint companies. The seats in the first picture look like a shade of Poop Brown. That really should be an official Federal Standard color.

Hey, Bob. What color ya gonna paint your hunting truck?

Poop Brown over Pig Slop Gray.


It’s a joke!


The colour of the body does look off. Too bright and too brown with a yellow undertone?
Is this a restored vehicle as used by Australians or New Zealanders, perhaps?
The lifepreserver cushions do make sense.

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They are different vehicles.

The top one has been restored using paint and material painstakingly matched to original items. WW2 OD was definitely more a poop brown than green.

The second and last are a restored private vehicle where the seats are not original - hence my “These are Recovered” comment. The colour is due to bright sunlight and how the camera interpreted the colour.

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