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James H

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    www.modelshipworld.com

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    Horwich, Lancashire, UK
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    Foreign cuisine, Japan, travel in general, modelling in timber and plastics, photography.

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  1. Cutter/Mitre Tool RP Toolz Catalogue # RP-CUTR Available from RP Toolz for €85,00 RP Toolz’ Cutter Tool (or Mitre Tool) isn’t really a new idea. There are of course a few manufacturers out there who produce fairly similar tools, and I used to have one of them myself, so when RP Toolz announced that they were releasing their own, I was pretty keen to see it for myself. A mitre tool is designed so that the modeller can produce mitred plastic junctions of specific angles on strips of either flat styrene or shaped section stock, or indeed thin strip wood. If you’ve ever tried to make a 90-degree angle frame, you’ll know how difficult it is to get right if you don’t have the correct tools. The Cutter Tool is designed to ease all of your woes. This tool is packaged into a robust, corrugated box with a colour product label on the lid. You’ll also notice the weight. There’s some heavy metal in here, and some of the best you’ll see from a tool manufacturer. Unlike some contemporaries who may mould their cutters in some form of plastic, this one is precisely CNC-machined from a very hard grade aluminium, which has also been given a tough matte red anodised finish. The box fits the tool almost perfectly, with an insert used to support the cutter arm. A hex key is provided for changing the blade, as is a second blade with a finer cut. The tool is fitted with a 0.3mm thick blade for regular cutting tasks, with a slightly thinner (0.25mm) blade for something a little finer. The first thing you notice when exploring this tool is that there is no playin any of the parts. That is, there is no looseness or wobble in either the arm pivot or the two adjustable fences. Those fences are also neatly engraved with degree graduations and the base is marked with a reference point too, in order to align the fences. The bottom edge of the fences is also marked, but in centimetres, with ZERO being at the actual cutting point of the blade. With the fences in their neutral position, an end stop can be positioned so you can cut precise and equal straight-edged lengths of strip. This stop can be removed of course so the fences can be adjusted. It can also be switched to the opposite side of the cutter for maximum flexibility. The stop and both fences are tightened using plastic thumbscrews that cover the metal fixing bolt. Now, a cutting area really needs a cutting mat, and this is what is fitted to this tool. A self-healing and graduated mat, sits flush with the upper surface of the tool, and proved a hard yet non-damaging surface to the cutting blade. I made a small number of cut tests with this tool and found it both precise and effortless. Conclusion RP Toolz’ arsenal of quality modelling tools is certainly expanding, and like those before it, the sheer quality of this really does demand the price asked of it. This is no flimsy or inaccurate tool, but one with which you can work with total precision in producing either angled lengths of styrene, or equal, multiple lengths too. If you like to scratch-build or even just improve on what a kit supplies, then this could well be of interest to you. This is the very best of the mitre cutting tools that I have ever seen, without a doubt. My sincere thanks to RP Toolz for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of the article.
  2. Probably a couple of weeks yet as I'm dressing the interior walls and building sink units 😎
  3. Double Punch & Die Storage Box RP Toolz Catalogue # RP-WB2 Available from RP Toolz for €22,00 RP Toolz make some of the best Punch & Die sets that you can buy. These include the regular large, small and hexagonal sets. When you buy these products, they are packed into a small cardboard box, with a plastic bag containing the punches and hammer. Whilst it’s hardly an elegant solution, this is fairly typical of the market, but RP Toolz has realised that you may want something a little better and organised, especially if you have multiple sets of punches hanging around on your workbench. To this end, they have now released a number of laser-cut plywood boxes that are specifically designed to hold the components for their own releases. Today, we take a look at the twin punch storage box. The old look! The Double Punch & Die Storage Box is flat-packed into a large zip-lock sleeve with a product label attached. Inside the box, there are NONE laser-cut parts of creamy-pale ply, and a single sheet of instructions. This set has also been designed so that the laser-numbered parts are assembled in part number order, which is a nice touch. A sliding lid, emblazoned with the company logo, will keep your punches nice and dust free. First of all, we need to remove the parts indicated in yellow on the instructions sheet. These are several discs and the ends of one of the die storage slots. A scalpel makes clean work of this. Part 1 (base) is now glued to Part 2 (side panel), using Titebond adhesive. Make sure the side panel is square to the base using a right-angle tool. Part 3 is now located into the notched side panel and glued in position. Part 4 simply sits on top of Part 3 and is glued into position. Make sure you get the orientation correct with regards to the large/small punch sides. Part 5 is the last internal floor and again sits in the side wall notches. Again, I glue this in place. Parts 6 & 7 are the side panels with the routed slots. These fit nicely together with a little push (and a few spots of glue) Part 8 is the last side panel and has a scalloped top edge to make it easier for your fingers to slide out the lid (Part 9). That is it! So simple to build. Here you can see what a difference it makes to have all your punches in order. It certainly helps those of us who like a little order in our lives. Conclusion A very nicely designed and produced box that is easy to assemble and really helps to restore karma to an untidy tool storage area I have. These are keenly priced and, in my opinion, very much worth the investment. Functionality and beauty rolled into one. My sincere thanks to RP Toolzfor the review sample seen here. To order directly, click the link at the top of the article.
  4. Planet Working Bench Amati Catalogue # 7396 Available from Cornwall Model Boats for £10.58 Having worked in plastic modelling for a while now, where I’m having to remove casting blocks from larger components but doing that either on my cutting mat or between my fingers, a tool like this appears to be very useful. When it comes to ship modelling too, the ability to be able to lay some small timber sheet flat whilst you use a fine saw on smaller components, without sawing tracts into your worktop (ask me how I know!), definitely helps. Amati’s Planet Working Bench is a tool that is designed for work on small components and materials, helping you hold items whilst you saw, file and drill. Let’s take a closer look. Amati’s Planet tool is packed into an attractive, sturdy and glossy box with an image of the tool clamped to a desktop. The back of the box is a little more illustrative, with examples of how this tool can be used with your work. All writing is in Italian, but we can grasp what’s happening fairly easily. Although Amati are generally known for their wooden model ships etc. this tool can of course be used for other areas of modelling where basic tools such as saws, files, and drills, are used. Inside the box, two thick plastic sleeves contain the components. In the largest is the Planet Working Bench itself, complete with two small aluminium bollards plugged into it. These bollards have a rubber O-ring fitted to them to prevent the metal scuffing any delicate work that you will use with the tool. The main part is moulded from a very tough plastic that still does have a little give in it, but it certainly rigid enough for the tasks that it’s designed for. It also has various channels moulded within in as well as holes to reposition the bollards, and a series of small, numbered holes which I’ll come back to very soon. The front slot is there to help you cut into materials, without a risk of cutting into your actual workbench. Just be careful not to start sawing into the Planet itself. The second wallet contains the two clamps which will secure the Planet to the desk. These are formed from two angled, threaded rods onto which a locking nut and the part which forms the lower side of the clamping jaw. To fit these to the Planet, you insert them from the underside and lay the angled part of the metal rod in the moulded channels. Slacken the nut off and then fit to the edge of your workbench, securely tightening the nuts to lock everything in place. Now, those small numbered holes. These refer to a moulded sleeve in the underside of the Planet, into which you will fit a wooden dowel or metal rod into which you wish to drill a hole centrally within the diameter. The hole of course aligns with the dead centre of the sleeve into which you will plug the wood or metal rod. Conclusion This is a very handy little gadget for working on those small model parts, but sold as it is, the full potential of the tool isn’t realised. To really get your money’s worth from it, I really do advise that you also purchase the small clamps which are designed to plug into it. These is called the ‘hand vice’ on Amati’s catalogue page and contains one single unit. Better still, a couple of these would be immensely useful. The Planet itself is very reasonably prices, nicely constructed and is a cinch to fit to your bench. I’ve already started to use it whilst building my Amati Orient Express Sleeping Car. My sincere thanks to Amati for sending this tool out for review. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  5. James H

    Review Area Guidelines

    That's an admin/moderator power, but we can add them for you, as Mark says. Just drop us a message.
  6. I'll have another order going in soon for more workshop modules for my models ship building. I love their stuff.
  7. Airbrush Painting Clips Holder HobbyZone Catalogue # HZ-AC1 Available from HobbyZonefor £13.54 (at current rates) Modellers tend to be quite resourceful and innovative folks, from scratch-building parts, to fabricating things to make their hobby a little easier. One such fabrication, for me, is a polystyrene foam block with cocktail sticks to hold parts whilst I airbrush them. I also stick parts to steel rules that have been covered in masking tape, plus I’m always using bits of Blue-Tack to mount parts to whilst I paint. It just seems to be the way I’ve always worked. Doubtless, you do the same, or have your own bespoke solution. HobbyZone have quite a nice solution to this that you may just be interested in. I’ve actually been sitting on this review for a couple of months now, pending the release of this new product from HobbyZone. Today, they asked me to publish it for you. The concept is very simple. It’s essentially a magnetic box with a series of holes in the lid. Into these will fit stiff wires that are furnished with a shrouded crocodile clip on one end. You pop your model part into the jaws and then paint. Whilst drying, you can stand the wire upright in the lid. After your work, all the wires sit neatly in the box, out of the way. This product, like all those from HobbyZone, are machine cut from MDF, and require assembly. This one is packed into a sturdy corrugated box with a simple product label. Upon opening the box, you’ll note that all parts are protected with a covering of bubble-wrap. Upon removing that, you’ll note that the box itself is built up from five layers of MDF. These form the base with a white plastic outside coating, and two frame parts, one of which glues to the base, and another recessed frame which glues to the top of this. The two-part lid then sits in this and is held via magnets. To complete the package, a series of nine neodymium (rare earth) magnets are included, as are nine croc-clip wires and a set of instructions. The instructions are nice and simple to follow and I had no issue with understanding them at all, but for the ease of explaining this product to you, I’ve built this up as a guide for you. Here we go! 1. I start with the lid. Using TiteBond adhesive, I run a line of this around the non-recessed face of this part, and add some spots between the holes, being careful not to put too much glue there, or get too close to the holes. 2. The white, plastic-coated lid is now fitted to the previous part and held with clamps until fully cured. 3. The base is now clued to the lower frame section (the one without the holes) and clamped until fully set. 4. Now we can glue the upper frame in situ, being careful of alignment. Again, clamps hold this until filly set. Note the frames are slightly scalloped on each of the long edges. This is to give your fingers something to hold whilst you remove the lid. 5. Now, this part is VERY important. We need to ensure that the magnets all fit into the holes, so the same pole is facing upwards on each one. This is dead easy. Keeping the stack of magnets upright, and keeping the same orientation, remove two of them and push into the one of the corner holes. Do the same with the others, again, without changing the orientation of your stack of magnets. These push in quite easy, but you know they won’t come out afterwards! Now fit the lid to the box so that the magnets align with the holes in the lid. Push firmly down, and if necessary, gently tap the lid into place with a small hammer, being careful to protect the surface of the product. That’s it! The lid will now come off with magnets and will reattach in the same way. Job complete! 6. After your work, store the wires/clips in the box and replace the lid. There’s plenty of room in there for more, in case you want to make your own clip holders. Conclusion A superbly simple idea, carried off very nicely. As with all of HobbyZone’s products, this is designed to keep your workbench in tidy order, and of course, this has the functionality added to it. I’m quite a fan of HobbyZone, with my workshop being fitted out with all of their various storage modules, so I’m more than happy to stay true to the brand and its style/quality, with this addition. My sincere thanks to HobbyZone for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of the article.
  8. Hi all, I recently reviewed the HMS Terror kit from OcCre, here: If you are on Facebook, and want to try your hand at winning one of these lovely kits, then head to this link: Have fun!!!
  9. 1/72 Brockley Combe, 1938 Cargo Ship Navarino Models Catalogue # B721 Available from Navarino Models for €299,00 Brockley Combe was a British cargo shop which was built by Hill Charles & Sons in their Bristol shipyard, in 1938. She was a typical example of a dry load cargo ship of the age and was 56.2m long. Her power came from a diesel engine. Information on Brockley Combe is scarce at best, with me only being able to pull a single image from an online search. Her career came to a sad end on 15thDecember 1953, when she broke up and sank after running aground south of Jersey, on the islands known as Minquiers (known as "the Minkies" in local English). Thankfully, no one perished in the sinking, with all of her crew being rescued by the Jersey lifeboat. The kit Navarino Models generally produce models of ancient and traditional Greek vessels (being a Greek company), so this particular model stands out a little in their catalogue. Their instruction manual says that the lines of this vessel were found in a book that ironically deals with scratch-building ship models without kits. Navarino took the lines and developed this 2016-release kit of this little-known vessel, sharing her with us and allowing us to recreate a 1930s cargo ship. This is no small venture either, with the model being roughly 730mm in length when complete. Navarino’s kit is packed into a very sturdy, single-piece corrugated box with a colour image of a completed Brockley Combe model on the lid. The lid is tabbed so you just pull this out to unlock the contents within. After removing the two instruction booklets and two plan sheets, your construction materials are uncovered. What you’ll immediately notice is that there are no actual sheets of parts from which to remove the individual components. Instead, all the various bulkheads, false keel, bulwarks etc. are pre-removed and, in some cases, bagged for a little extra security. Unlike many kits these days, the parts in this have been routed on a CNC machine, so there are no black/char edges to clean up before use. There are some slightly fuzzy edges on some parts, and you will need to tickle them with sandpaper to sharpen them up, but that, and regular hull/frame sanding is about the only waste material you’ll create when building this model. No empty wooden frames to dispose of at all. The false keel in this model, like the bulkheads, is machined from a good quality 6mm ply. It also comes in two parts that you will need to glue together and reinforce with the supplied pieces. A quick text of the fit shows that I’ll need to remove a small amount of wood from one joint, so the keel bottom and deck height are even. All slots are evenly machined and also very, very accurate. Test fitting the bulkheads shows not only a very snug fit, but also that they fit at the correct 90° angle to the keel parts. Note also that the bulkheads also have other slots too, into which two 4mm x 4mm longitudinal stringers locate, further helping keep things true and rigid. As an aside note, all parts in this kit are numbered with what appears to be a laser. There are a wide range of 1mm ply components in this kit, and they are all bagged in a clear sleeve. These include the bulwarks with their pre-cut portholes and scuppers, cabin fascias, doors, various deck parts (5 main sections), bulwark cap strips. Also worthy of mentioning are the marked positions on some decal parts, for the deck structure locations. Deck parts are also accurately notched to receive the 6mm bulkheads. Another bag of ply parts contains some 6mm ply sections that glue into the stern and bow areas to create a solid block that you will then sand to profile before planking commences. More 6mm ply forming the false keel reinforcement plates, and forecastle and main loading hatch structures. This little bundle are the parts for the loading hatch profiles, with their curved roof sections. All nicely machined and held together with elastic whilst in the box. When it comes to planking this hull, 60 strips of superbly cut limewood are supplied, each measuring 500mm x 1.5mm x 8mm. You may feel the need to halve that width when you plank around the fairly tight curve that exists on some of the bulkheads. Timber quality really is very nice, with this material being creamy and homogenous in appearance, with nice, sharp edges. Another bundle of wood contains more Ramin and lime strip wood, as well as Ramin dowel. Again, all materials here are of high quality. This material is for the deck planking and to me, it looks like Sapele due to the grain pattern and resin spots. Some edges are a little fuzzy, so it would be an idea to gently sand each edge before fitting to the decks. A smaller bag of ply parts are included for the rudder, and numerous other structural and superstructure areas. No matter how smooth you get that hull, the final planking will be achieved using 0.15mm aluminium sheet, cut into 20 strips of 25mm depth. It would appear that these need to be divided further into their correct lengths and then a riveting tool used to add that important detail to them. This material should form well around the hull but check how this would be laid out in pattern with regards to the bow and stern. You’ll need to fit these with cyano or contact adhesive. A small cardboard box contains various fittings and rigging. In there, you’ll find two small plastic launches with a clinker hull, brass and copper wire, rope, copper and brass rod, brass tubing, brass nails, stanchions, portholes, anchors, rigging rope spool, and other various fittings. Two plastic sleeves hold the parts for the staircases (pre-machined), rigging blocks and copper eyelets. A set of ship name decals is supplied, as are flags, printed on stiff paper. The last bag of components are all cast from a creamy yellow resin, save for one metal cast part for the mast. Here are all of those important detail features that you will scatter around the decks and superstructures. These include funnels, life preservers, bitts, winches, cleats, hatchways, doors, boxes and the single, large funnel. Most parts will need some form of clean-up, as you would expect with resin, and I would also recommend that you wash them first to remove any traces of mould release agent that could prevent paint adhering properly. A set of simple but useful colour illustrations are included in one of the manuals, but the text is in Greek. Another copy of this is included in black and white, but with English text. It also has a table of parts to reference. I think the instructions supplied are adequate for the model as most of it is straightforward and can be referenced on the two plan sheets. Both plan sheets have the charm of being hand-drafted and annotated. This takes me back to my days of school woodwork, but the illustrations are easy enough to follow and should provide a competent builder with no problems. Conclusion This is the first Navarino kit that I’ve seen, and I do really like the way things go together, the quality of materials and those little quirky things like not having to remove parts from frames. Brockley Combe is truly a multimedia kit, with not just timber, but also metal, resin and a little plastic too. Materials quality is excellent. Whilst I couldn’t recommend this kit to a raw beginner, I do think that someone with a model or two under their belt could do this some real justice. Some experience with resin could be useful, but not necessary. In all, a lovely model of a classic cargo ship of yesteryear, and one with character too! My sincere thanks to Navarino Models for sending this kit for review on Model Ship World. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  10. Very neat. 2500 tiles and you're still sane?
  11. Sterling work. Despite the work and relative monotony, that is a very sweet set of completed guns.
  12. James H

    Hello from Slovenia

    Welcome to MSW. Sorry to hear of your health. Time for some modelling therapy?

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