An early entry for the April challenge under the banner of “build or assemble something”. This was not my planned entry, details of which will follow later in the month, this one was an accident. Let me explain.
For quite a while now I have wanted to attempt a plastic kit. I reckon it must have been the best part of 45 years ago when I last did one. Why? Because I loved the look of some them all those years ago, as indeed I do to-day, but I simply don’t enjoy making them. My willingness to have another go was fuelled by my desire to try to encourage my model club who are well into such kits to base them, even simply as is the case with this one. The passage of time also helped, it couldn’t have been that bad all those years ago could it? Alas it was and readers of earlier posts will be aware that this little project was in danger of going tits up and being abandoned altogether. Then the April challenge got me refocused on getting it done. I figured if I was going to do it then I might as well kill two birds with one stone.
Pictures of the completed piece appear below and the eagle-eyed amongst you might notice that there are no “in progress images”. There is a reason for this.
As I have mentioned previously I am not a vehicle kit person chiefly because me and glue simply do not see eye to eye. I was dreading the build rather than looking forward to the challenge that lay ahead. Nevertheless I was determined to complete the exercise come hell or high water but had no desire to record this momentous step by taking progress photos of deformed plastic covered in blobs of glue.
So how did it go? Better than I thought but not great. Were my worst fears justified? Not the worst ones but the ones just below the worst ones.
The first issue I had was shortly after I opened the box and started to assemble the kit. It turns out this Rubicon kit can be assembled into one of four configurations. Being a man I don’t tend to read instructions so this point initially passed me by. However, I got lucky. I wanted to build the US version and without realising it this is the one I had started on when I discovered all the additional parts that I couldn’t work out what to do with. Score – 1.
After eventually reading the instructions, assembly to be fair was pretty straight forward and the fit of parts were good, not that I have much previous experience on which to judge this. I even managed to think to paint areas before assembly and to add things like mud to the wheel arches before fixing the wheels themselves in place. Score + 1.
Unfortunately some things hadn’t changed, I’m still heavy-handed with glue. As light a touch as I might have with a brush the complete opposite is true with glue. Alas trying to apply super glue with a modelling brush which would be the ideal solution for me is simply a way of ruining a brush. So, crucially glue everywhere, Score – 10!
I had hoped the figures would be my saving grace and although they were OK the faces left a lot to be desired. I’ve been lucky of late in that a lot of the miniatures I have been working on have been superbly sculpted and the expressions on the faces have been simply awesome. As a consequence I have been able to get away with my painting skills. Unfortunately the faces of these figures were plain, very flat and featureless and although I felt I made the most of them the end result still left a lot to be desired. Score + 1.
Final assembly of the kit including the figures went together better than I had hoped but for one error. I’m not sure if the error is with the kit or with my assembly. Having googled some images of completed kits done by others I think I can be certain the error is mine but quite where I went wrong I’m not sure. The error in question is with the rear sitting down soldier and the way he is holding his rifle. He’s holding it far to low down and although I was aware of this at the time I simply couldn’t get it higher and get the figure sitting in the back of the jeep. Still that’s why I’m The Imperfect Modeller! Score – 1.
On to something positive, the base work. Now there is nothing much to the base, it’s all pretty basic and that was the intention, to keep it simple as a demonstration piece for presentation at the club. However, if there is one thing I have learnt, albeit with room for improvement, it is how when creating dioramas and vignette bases to cover up errors! With a considerable effort I pretty much managed to conceal excess glue thanks to some weathering, decals, ground work and opting to lay the windscreen flat to the point where the overall model just about looks OK. Score 10 – not entirely merited but brings the overall score to 0 which feels just about right.
In summary, did I enjoy the experience? No. Will I venture into a kit build again in the future? Only if the wife is present to tell me to read the bloody instructions or if I can learn how to better apply glue!
Conclusion? Never say never but if I did embark on another kit then I would only do so if I was drunk!