Sprue Cutters Union #22: The Stash

Oh dear this is going to be embarassing…..

Guys, i do not have a “stash” in the sense of having reserved shelf space for all the pretty boxes i own… I used to have a small stash of about 20-25 kits of various size and discipline but then i got married. Sounds stupid but there you have it. In a previous Union post we talked about our lovely spouses and partners and i explained me and my lovely wife have a no stash rule. I buy one and build one basically.

So currently i have exactly two unbuilt kits in my posession:

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I do have some stuff i reboxed after starting them such as Revell’s 1:32 Ju-88 and Ar-196 but technically those do not count, right?

Then i have some dusted up “brainfart” boxes tucked away in the corner of doom. The sort of kit you bought a long time ago on a whim only to find out you are really not interested in building them or they turn out to be absolute crap. In that category i have Revell’s 1:200 Cutty Sark clipper ship (miniscule therefore not interesting) and 1:72 RF-4 Phantom (ancient crap mold).

So umm…ya…. that’s really it guys. Believe me, i wish i had a walk in closet with years worth of model hoarding but i value my marriage more and i grew used to my new routine. Kinda nice in a way as i can constantly window shop for the next model.

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Sprue Cutters Union #21 – The Mancave

Every week the members of the Sprue Cutters Union discuss a new topic on their blogs. Any modeller of any age, discipline or skillset with a website, facebook page or blog is most welcome to join! Write your article, post it on your page and share the link with our host Jon at The Combat Workshop. Believe me it is fun and gives you perspective on the views of your fellow modelling collegues.

This week: Show us your workspace

As modellers and hobbyists come in different shapes and sizes with an equal amount of tastes and opinions, so do their work spaces come in every imaginable vareity.

Every so often the topic comes up on any forum i know of and i personally am fascinated by the vast multitude of different forms a work space can have, both in size and level of tidyness. I know of modellers that work on their kitchen tables but i have seen pictures of modellers that have half their house transformed into a modelling Walhalla complete with lighted display cases in rooms with wooden panelling and all the trimmings.

Most fascinating to me is the afforementioned clutter that some collegues surround themselves in, yet produce the most amazing pieces of modelling art you can imagine! Others keep their workspaces so clean that open heart surgery could be performed right on top of the bench with no ill effect on the unfortunate patient.

Recently i have read an article of a more scientific nature discussing exactly this phenomenon. It was concluded that people with messy desks tend to be more bold in risk taking and more likely to be creative than people who keep their benches immaculate. These people tend to follow strict rules and take less risk. Wether that impacts creative output i will leave up to my esteemed reader to decide. All i know is that i see pure works of genious come forth from both types of work space.

The cluttered league has many famous and admired members. A few examples:

Albert Einstein.(scientist)

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Mark Twain (writer)

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Mark Zuckerberg (Mr. Facebook)

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So you see it can be argued to your lovely spouse or partner or room mate that next time you leave your bench messy and you get a stern talking to, you can point them to my blog post.

Let me assure you that personally i am in no way a genious scientist, nor am i a master builder….. i am however a messy son of a b***. At least i have that going for me. I wouldnt dare to try to give you the impression my name can be mentioned in the same list as the people i just mentioned! I wouldn’t argue with you though…… But alas, im just a frog with a hobby.

Whenever the topic comes up i like to show my collegues a picture of my own retreat as it was just as i had set it up the first day, in all its cleanliness and organised appearance:

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This topic, along with the need to be honest with you compels me to show you the very same space as it is just a day before i am writing this post. This is the more true to life depiction of “kermit’s Bench”:

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But you know what? That’s MY mancave, arranged carefully and tastefully as i like to have it and i love working here. I am very fortunate to have a bench i can leave as messy as i like!

Academy Su-30MK 1:48 – Part 1: Introduction

As the thunderbolt is being decalled and the end is in sight i have started my next project: Academy’s Su-30 two seat russian fighter jet.

Being part of the Su-27 Flanker family i think we need little introduction here. As the russians continued developing and improving the original Flanker the wall fell and Russia faced hard times financing their development program. This Su-30 MK version is the result of the need to create an export version of their two seater. Countries like India, China, Angola and Algeria have purchased these jets and are currently operating them, thus opening up funding for further development by the Sukhoi company.

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Traditionally, a two seat aircraft is a modified single seater, forcing the developers to compromise in terms of capability and performance in a combat situation. In this case the aircraft retained virtually all of the Su-27’s manouverability and in some cases, such as long endurance flights the two seater variant is preferred by the pilots. The Su-30 is also equipped to direct other fighters in a combat situation with the squadron commander in the back seat. Equipped with modernised avionics and thrust vectoring exhaust nozzles it is a extremely manouverable platform.

Academy’s kit is based on their older 1994 Su-27UB mold and has added parts in order to create their SU-30 kit such as the forward cockpit section and larger vertical stabilisers. It also has a small PE fret included that offers you screens for the intakes and such. A nice addition are the cartograph decals that should eliminate the usual Academy decal problems.

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The critics have pointed out some weak points of this kit such as the nose cone being to bulbous and the cockpit area being sub par but the demanding modeller can easily get their hands on aftermarket gear to correct and spruce up what they want. Academy’s kit remains the only player in the field, quite surprisingly i might add… I must also add that this kit comes without the canards such as the ones on the SU-30MKI. I have seen pictures of scratched canard equipped models though

Being mostly an OOB builder i have to say that, up to this point my only real letdown are the seats as they are quite basic:

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The sidewall detail and instrument panels are…ok. Not good not bad in my opinion and will most likely do for my intended closed canopy finish. Nice thing to note is that Academy have offered IP’s without dials so one could use a decal or PE parts without having to sand:

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One part of the build that might intimidate the less experienced modeller is the fact that the newly added parts are more of a conversion kit; you will have to do some cutting and grafting along the way to make this into an SU-30:

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Lastly i must say i was struck by the size of this kit. The finished model will be over 45cm long! (almost 18 inch). I made a picture of the fuselage minus the nose with a lighter for size comparison:

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As i said on the facebook page, i intend to model the boxart version as i was bent on having the awesome blue tone camouflage scheme standing on the shelf. The other two options the kit offers are both more uniform grey. Maybe not the most original/ unusual choice but still a looker once finished:

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As always i do hope you will enjoy following the build and ofcourse i am more than happy to receive comments and feedback as i go along!