Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hobby shops, continued

Continuing my plan to encourage hobby shops wherever they might be, I dropped in on The Hobby Centre in Ottawa today (

Tucked in behind a Costco in a small strip mall on the south side, they support a keen community with weekly workshops; today the workshop focused on painting military figurines, but they are also tackling things like 3D printing (which has the potential to completely revolutionise this hobby once the resolution and plastic quality improve).

I picked up an obscure old Revell kit of a Mercedes-Benz 190 SL. When I was a kid, I knew an older gent with one of these and recall fondly getting a ride in it one summer evening with the top down. The kit is of the old-school variety where all the parts, including tires, are molded in colour styrene (in this case red), and where the body is assembled from an assortment of parts rather than being a one-piece molding as today. The amount of flash is substantial, and at least one dowel (joining the left side body structure to the engine bay) has already sheared off due to being completely embedded in flash. So a complex and challenging build.

The Revell part number is 00009, and the box proclaims it is a reissue with only 5000 examples made. Mr Google will tell you that 00009 was reissued about 5 years ago, and that 00008 was a nuclear sub. Most of the other reissues in this series were aircraft or ships; I am not sure what possessed them to make the 190 SL, a nice but unprepossessing roadster, the only car. (Release 00014 was a Rolls-Royce in 1:32 scale). I picked it up in part because of the recollection of the ride as a boy, but also to park it next to the 300 SL from Tamiya that is not advancing.

Separately I picked up a couple of AMT reissues at Udisco in Montreal last week. The Volkswagen Scirocco comes with some nice racer bits (although the fender flares look a little overdone); the Opel GT also comes with a range of bits for stock, street or drag. Being reissues of older kits, both use metal axles and include less than stellar chassis detail, but, like the 190 SL, feature small 4-cylinder motors. (The Opel has an optional Buick V6). I've got nothing against Chevy small-blocks, but after a while it's nice to tackle something different. 

Finally I ordered a resin kit of the 1969 Porsche 917LH that didn't win at Le Mans, from Profil 24. I now have three 917 kits, from three different kit makers: the 1969 which I haven't received yet; the devilishly complex 1970 917K from Model Factory Hiro, and the 1971 917K from Fujimi with the more detailed engine from Historic Racing Miniatures.

So the score this week is New Additions 4; Newly Completed Models 0. My completion rate having dipped below 40%, perhaps I had better stop writing and start modeling...

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