Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tamiya Model Magazine International 09/2014

Back in TMMI Issue 220 (February 2014) we featured an extraordinary amphibious assault diorama by Japanese master-modeller, Mr Kase. The work was created to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Operation Urgent Fury, the US assault on Grenada and now, with the 70th Anniversary of Operation Overlord, the landing of Allied liberation forces on the beaches of Normandy on June 6th, 1944, he has created another breathtaking scene in 1:35. It depicts an LCT landing craft disgorging its load of six Sherman tanks onto the beach, alongside a GPA 'Seeps' and a pair of LCVP 'Higgins' boats, all set within highly realistic waves breaking on the shoreline. It's an astonishing scene, made all the more impressive as the LCT(5) is a full scratchbuild, not a commercial kit. It took Mr Kase around two and a half months to complete the model, a remarkably short period of time considering how much work was involved! As mentioned, the Landing Craft Tank (LCT) was scratchbuilt; there were many variations of this vessel type and the simplest design was chosen to ease the scratchbuilding process. The LCT was painted with a mixture of Tamiya Acrylics XF-50 Field Blue and XF-Ö2 Ocean Grey, in a ratio of 50:50, using wartime colour photos as references (see pages 26 to 28 this issue).

Military Illustrated Modeller 09/2014

The first time I had the pleasure of seeing a Harrier, I must have been no more than ten years of age, but the impression that it left on me resulted in an abiding love affair that has persisted to this day. Over the intervening years I've built many models of this aircraft, from Airfix' Superkit 1:24 GR.l through to an odd little Crown kit in 1:144. I must have built dozens, most of which have ended up in the bin, given away, or stored in boxes in the loft. Several years ago, Airfix released the first of what was to be a series of Harriers, offering the modelling world a couple of Sea Harriers (FRS.1 and FA.2), before tackling the GR.7/9. A very fine kit, this finally allowed me to add this second generation Harrier to my collection and once completed, the decision was made to build the same aircraft for an expanding group of 1:48 modern jets, this time using Revell's reboxed and carefully reworked, Harrier GR.7. Revell's kit replicates the GR.7 and as such, offers decals for three aircraft, two from No.41 Squadron and one from No.4 Squadron. Though these options were interesting, it was decided that something a little different would be more fun and so we chose a Harrier GR.9 fitted with a 100% LERX (the kit offers only the 65% LERX panel) and as many modern fittings such as Sniper and DJRP as we could find, along with some additional weapons which would be decided upon as the build progressed.

AirForces Monthly 09/2014

THE UK has agreed to purchase Storm Shadow cruise missiles at a cost of £120 million, according to an announcement made by the Defence Secretary Philip Dunne at Farnborough International Airshow. Storm Shadow, which provides long-range air-to-surface capabilities and is capable of defeating various targets, including bridges, airfields, harbours and parked aircraft, will be integrated onto RAF Typhoons. The agreement, announced on July 17, was signed between the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency, on behalf of the partner nations, and Eurofighter GmbH. The missiles, produced by MBDA, have previously been deployed on Tornado GR4 aircraft during operations over Iraq and Libya. These will now be fitted onto Typhoon Tranche 2 and 3 aircraft, ready to enter operational service with the RAF in 2018. The first Typhoon/Storm Shadow integration trials began lastyear. I nitial flight trials to demonstrate that the missile can be safely carried on Typhoon began on November 27. They are taking place at the Alenia Aermacchi Flight Test Centre at Decimomannu Air Base in Sardinia, Italy, usingtrials Typhoon MM.X614 (Instrumented Production Aircraft 2-IPA2), which has been updated to the Phase 1 Enhancement standard. Storm Shadow is due to be added to the Typhoon's arsenal as part of the aircraft's Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) programme, which introduces several new combat capabilities. Although integration testing is well underway, it is could be another year before deliveries to the RAF begin.

AFV Modeller Issue 78

That's right, it's Haubitze time and with its massive gun and purposeful stance the Panzer Haubitze 2000 is an undeniably impressive vehicle and another interesting choice by the Meng design team. The vehicle itself is used by German, Dutch, Greek and Italian forces and has seen action in Afghanistan with both the German and Dutch ISAF forces so there is plenty to inspire you. The kit provides the variations to allow you to model a choice of German, Dutch and Greek vehicles with markings for a choice of three German vehicles with one Dutch and one Greek scheme. The kit comes with a turned aluminium gun barrel and stunning individual link tracks as well as a choice secondary MG armament and a choice of muzzle or protective cover. Two photoetched frets are provided for the various grilles and a clear sprue with all the periscopes, light clusters and warning beacon. Its all ready to go and so we dived straight in!

Aviation News 09/2014

The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, attracted a sell-out crowd of 140,000. This year there was a slightly different format with a Red Arrows' Pit Day organised for the Friday (July 11) to mark the RAF team's 50th display season. The idea enabled people to get closer to the Red Arrows as well as some other teams. Access was also made available to part of the Showground and in the morning ticket-holders were able to watch aircraft arrivals. There was also a flying display from 13:00 to 17:00, the highlight of which was a flypast by the Red Arrows accompanied by the team leaders' aircraft from each of the Patrouille de France, Frecce Tricolori, Breitling Jet Team and Patrouille Suisse. Unfortunately, the much-anticipated overseas debut of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II didn't happen due to the fleet being temporarily grounded after an engine fire on a USAF example on June 23. It was also noticeable that the effects of sequestration on the US military are still taking a toll, as its participation was limited to an F-15E Strike Eagle and KC-135R Stratotanker from Lakenheath and Mildenhall respectively. The US Navy was represented by a P-8A Poseidon making the type's RIAT debut, and an F/A-18F Super Hornet. This VFA-106 aircraft was only displayed on the Saturday and was being demonstrated by Boeing.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Airfix 1:24 How to Build Hawk Typhoon

In my very early teens, I asked for the Airfix 1:24 scale Spitfire Mk.l for Christmas. This was without a question the wonder kit of its day. It was released in 1970, followed by a 1:24 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 E, a Ju 87 B Stuka and a Hawker Hurricane. A 1:24 scale Hawker Harrier joined this large-scale lineup too. These kits boasted accurate outlines and admirably restrained recessed surface detail. Instructions were comprehensive and the boxes were adorned with evocative artwork by the legendary Roy Cross. And of course, they were big! Yet in other ways, these kits were a product of their age. They were burdened with workable features, including retractable undercarriage and removable cowlings, which impinged somewhat on detail accuracy and scale. Detail was pretty basic too, especially in the Spitfire's engine bay and wheel wells. Even so, these kits loom large in the memories of those who built them in the 1970s or any of the subsequent decades in which they have been regularly re-released. During 2009, Airfix breathed new life into their 1:24 scale series with a very nice Mosquito - long rumoured and well received. This was a major improvement over the original releases, but still looked like a scaled-up model in some areas. The brand new 1:24 scale Hawker Typhoon stands apart from all those that have gone before it. This model radiates quality. Surface texture is positively daring with its rippled oilcan effect and the combination of raised and recessed rivets. Detail is dense, just as it was on the original aircraft. In fact, this kit conveys the rugged core of this aircraft so completely that there is very little to add.

Civil War Time 10/2014

To get a different perspective on Civil War battlefields—and get some great exercise while the weather is still good—many historic travelers participate in bicycle tours. Gettysburg's GettysBike Tours, for example, sets up customers with licensed battlefield guides (check out At some sites, such as Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, you can either bring along your own bike to use on monthly tours (the last one of the season at Chickamauga-Chattanooga is scheduled for October 18) or hop on a loaner bike at no charge—though reservations are required to borrow one (go to to find out more). Most short battlefield tours are leisurely and not too challenging in terms of terrain, with plenty of opportunities for breaks, as well as question-and-answer sessions with the guides. But there are also some options for serious cyclists, such as the Baltimore Bicycling Club's G vil War Century rides, scheduled for September 6: five scenic tours ranging from 25 to 103 miles, and incorporating visits to up to three battlefields (visit for details).

Vietnam Magazine 10/2014

For me, 1965 was the year of my high school graduation, my first job and the Vietnam War. My final grades wouldn't get me into any college, and having a low draft number, I considered joining the sendee. The local Air Force recruiter in Arlington, Virginia, told me that if I chose to join I would be part of the 18th anniversary commemoration of the Air Force: I would be one of 18 recruits who were 18 and would be sworn in on the 18th of the month. He assured me that I could find something in either art or photography. I said, "Let's do it ." For the swearing in, the 18 recruits went to Washington, D.C., and Secretary of the Air Force Eugene Zukert gave us our oath. He shook hands with us, offered congratulations and said, "If there's anything I can do for you, just ask." I shipped off to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas for basic training and then Shepard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. I tested high in mechanical aptitude, and though I'd never owned a car or changed a spark plug, the Air Force decided I'd make a great aircraft mechanic. Not having been schooled yet in the "chain of command," I sat down and wrote Secretary Zukert to ask him if I could swap to another occupation. Needless to say, my letter raised the ire of my unit, but in the end I was assigned as a visual information specialist. As an illustrator and graphic designer, I illustrated every engine part, wiring diagram, electrical circuit and hydraulic gadget for every manual, training aid, slide show and Hip chart at Shepard.

World War II 09-10/2014

As a Cold War U.S. Navy pilot, Jerry Mason chased Russian submarines, which fascinated him. Now retired to Victoria, British Columbia, Mason is translating the logbooks of German U-boats and posting the results at U-boat radio operators strained to hear encoded Morse transmissions from headquarters, transcribing dits and dahs, then feeding their work into Enigma machines that rendered the content into German for entry into the boat's Kriegstagebuch ("war diary.") Entries can be terse to the point of obscurity, or show a skipper's facility with language. At first Mason relied on friends who knew German to handle the translations, but submarine jargon defied their skills. So he works on his own, counting on the fact that most skippers were "trying to say as little as possible," frequently recycling technical terms to fill out the pages. He has translated 200 logs, including the day book from U-96, made famous by the 1981 hit film Das Boot Transmissions sometimes show a human touch. Admiral Karl Dönitz, the subsurface fleet's commander, personally informed skippers of family events on open circuits—only boats' transmissions were secure—so good news like a baby's birth reached all of the tight-knit U-boat fraternity. On occasion skippers broke into verse.

Classic Military Vehicle 09/2014

Being a War and Peace 'virgin' it was a totally new experience for me; fascinating, fun, exhausting - and, of course, totally addictive. Indeed, having stayed on into the evening on most days trying to grab a few more snaps, I always felt a pang of sadness as I left the showground to wearily make my way back to my B&B in Hythe. The atmosphere was incredible... Billed as 'the greatest gathering of military vehicles on the planet' there's no doubt, in my mind at least, that this year's show must surely have lived up to that claim. However, in the various discussions that I got into with visitors, there was still a certain amount of hankering after its former venue at the Hop Farm in Beltring, where the War and Peace show had been held for the past 25 years. The inaugural War and Peace Revival (W&PR) was held at the Folkestone site last year and although the organisers have worked hard to overcome the issue of distance between attractions by laying on special transport courtesy of Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, there were still comments about just how spread out everything was. As I understand it, at Beltring the arena was more central, with everything radiating off it, which not only made flitting between one section and another far easier but also provided a 360 degree view of what was going on in the way of mock battles.

Jets Magazine 09-10/2014

During the early post-war years, investigations into faster flying took many different directions. In September 1948, Britain's Air Council placed an order with Reid and Sigrist Ltd, based at Desford, Leicestershire, for a single aeroplane to examine the pros and cons of accommodating the pilot in a prone position. A prone-cockpit layout particularly for future fighter aircraft, had two particular advantages worth exploring. For some time it had been recognised that a prone pilot could endure greater G force during tight turns and was less likely to black out than in an upright attitude, vital as jet fighters became able to manoeuvre at ever faster speeds. Also, the prone arrangement could help reduce future interceptors' frontal area, thereby decreasing drag. Reid and Sigrist came up with a small two-seat twin-engined monoplane named the RS.4. The aircraft was converted from their earlier RS.3 Desford and christened the Bobsleigh, a reference to the second pilot's experimental position. Powered by two 130hp de Havilland Gipsy Major engines, the 34ft span aircraft (registered VZ728) first flew in its modified state on June 13, 1951. A conventional cockpit was retained and an extended, largely transparent nose added to accommodate the prone pilot.

America In WWII 10/2014

Back when the Marvel universe first came to be, the Angel was on the job. Debuting in 1939 alongside Timely Comics' Human Torch in Marvel Comics No. 1, the Angel beat Captain America to the crime-fighting scene by a good two years. But it is the star-and-stripes-clad Captain America, not the Angel, whom people remember. The Angel, a.k.a. Tom Hallowav, didn't have powers to speak of, apart from a cape that allowed him to fly when he bothered to use it. Raised in prison by his warden father after his mother died, and trained in everything a growing boy needs to become a crime-fighter, Halloway became a detective. Then he strangely donned a snazzy red, yellow, and blue costume with wings emblazoned on his chest. Sporting an atypical (for a superhero) Errol Flvnn-like mustache, with no mask to hide his identity, the Angel turned up in numerous series and had a few significant WWII exploits. One of the Angel's most bizarre war adventures came in Human Torch No. 5 in the fall of 1941, when he teamed up with the Sub-Mariner to battle Nazi operatives disguised as zombies. The "Nazombies" were infiltrating Bermuda and striking fear into everyone's heart. But the two heroes uncovered the subterfuge— after the Angel temporarily became the Nazombies' captive—and sent the fake undead soldiers packing. The Angel crusaded for the Allied cause throughout the war, with the help of other heroes or solo, even falling prey to a Japanese brainwasher who nearly turned him into an Axis assassin. He appeared more than 100 times in multiple titles and was retroactively considered a member of the wartime All- Winners Squad.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

AIR Modeller Issue 55

The uniqueness of this subject led this modeller to a different thinking in relation to the construction that was to follow. First, at a wingspan of 23", the model had to be robust enough so as to withstand the inevitable mishandlings during its construction. Its sturdiness, when finished, must ensure a long life in the showcase. Second, and more important, the construction had to be designed in a way of leaving an unobstructed cabin interior into which all details would be installed. All the weight of the wings had to be carried by the fuselage skin and not by reinforced bulkheads, as there weren't any on the real thing... Considering the above, the construction of the Calcutta deviated a little from the traditional scratchbuilding using styrene, as it will be shown in the paragraphs that follow. As usually happens with flying boats drawings, a major design line called "the base line" is drawn below the hull, to serve as a starting point for all measuring and dimensions to be determined. The base line is horizontal, and when looking at the side profile of the drawing, it allows for all design angles, except for the dihedral (which can be seen from the front), to be determined. On the Calcutta (see photo 1), the wings angle of attack is 2.5 degrees (angle a) with the engine nacelles "thrust line" (orange line) set at 0 degrees, that is, parallel to base line (red line). The hull's top profile (green line) rises at 3.0 degrees (from bow to tail- angle b) so the horizontal stabilizer is set in line with the nacelles thrust line. The result is that the wings are mounted onto the hull at an angle of incidence of 5.5 degrees (angles a + b).

AIR Modeller Issue 54

In 1961 the Swiss Air Force decided on a serious upgrade of their aerial defence capabilities and ordered the Marcel Dassault Mirage III. With the Doppler terrain following radar, Mach 2 capability and the IBIS fire control system the Mirage was cutting edge technology in 1961. 100 of these supersonic fighters were ordered in 1961 but they had to be customised to fit special Swiss requirements. These alterations were structural and so extensive that the Swiss Air Force received a very different version, which was known as the MIRAGE III S. The changes included a complete new radar and fire control system, the HUGHES TARAN 18, which could fire the AIM 26B Falcon and the SIDEWINDER missiles instead of the French MATRA 530. Further alterations included an extendable nose gear, strengthening of the airframe, leading edges, landing gear and the adaption of JATO bottles. The original Doppler radar had only limited use in a mountainous region and takeoffs and landings in this environment put a special strain on the airframes and landing gear. The aircraft also were stored in mountain caverns and the extended nose gear helped in lowering the tail fin in order to pass the low entrances of these caverns. Once in service however, the Swiss Mirages performed outstandingly, were loved by the pilots and remained in Service until 1988. In 1980 all aircraft underwent an extensive midlife update, which featured the addition of canard wings and the adoption of a two tone Low-Viz grey paint scheme as the most recognisable features. Beside the MIRAGE III S the Swiss Air Force also operated the Recon version III R with the camera nose and the III B trainer version, in total 61 machines, of which only three were lost due to accidents.

AIR Modeller Issue 53

We begin with the cockpit and there is an immediate choice of parts between the fully plastic moulded instrument panel or the version with photoetched panel sections. I am normally a bit sceptical about the photoetched versions as they can lack the required depth but when I glued the etched parts onto the plastic backing part the finished effect with the fine panel gaps persuaded me to go with this version. The cockpit tub is well handled but the restrictions of the moulding process mean that there is no horizontal strap detail on the fuel cells, only the vertical straps. The kit provides a nice set of photoetched seat harnesses which were soft enough to just bend into a natural sagged position in the seat tub. Once shaped these were painted with Vallejo acrylics and Mr Metal Color Chrome Silver for the buckles. It is well worth keeping the pilot's seat separate from the bulkhead until you have the seat belts painted and fitted. The various parts of the cockpit all locate together precisely to form a very solid tub. I replaced the moulded oxygen hose with a flexible resin tube from the MDC range for a more natural look. With the cockpit bulkhead and floor tub joined I also added the pair of fuie lines that run between the bulkhead and the fuel cells using lead wire to make these.

Military Machines International 09/2014

Welcome to this month's issue of Military Machines International, and after my personal disappointment of not being able to attend the D-Day commemorations in Normandy last month due to my workload and the timing of the production schedule (as mentioned in last month's editorial), I have at least been able to get out and about to some of my favourite shows around the UK now that the show season is underway, and so far at least the weather has been very kind to us. At the time of writing it is mid-July, and despite the fact that you will be reading this issue of the magazine in August, I have yet to attend some of the major shows in the UK such as the War & Peace Revival, but judging by the way 2014 is shaping up so far, there could well be some interesting vehicles waiting in the wings along with a few surprises. In other news, the eagle-eyed amongst you may well have spotted a new face on this page, and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome a new contributor onboard the Editorial team, namely John Blackman, who is already a familiar face to many thanks to his work within the world of military vehicles and publishing. John will be taking on the role of Contributing Editor at MMI, bringing with him a wealth of experience and some exciting new features for inclusion in the magazine, all of which will no doubt enable the magazine to go from strength to strength. Anyway, that's enough from me, and we'll be back next month with more features and another round of show reports from the 2014 season, but for now I'll leave you now to enjoy this month's feature-packed issue - Ed.

Classic Military Vehicle 08/2014

You could be forgiven for thinking that, beyond the obvious military connection, the M561 Gama Goat, Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer, and Volvo Laplander have little in common. But, amongst others, all three were considered for the role eventually allocated to the Land Rover 1-tonne forward control... Land Rover's first 100% purpose-designed military vehicle production until the Wolf appeared in the early nineties. Work on this project had started back in the sixties when the Ministry of Defence (MoD) identified what it described as a 'serious gap in the future vehicle range between the Land Rover, with a capacity of 0.5 to 0.75 ton, and the 4-ton Bedford MK/ MJ trucks.' Most pressing was a specific and immediate need for a heli-portable artillery tractor and ammunition limber for the new L118 105mm light gun, which was too heavy to be towed by existing Land Rovers. It was also believed that a vehicle that could satisfy this particular role would also be suitable for a range of other needs for which 'existing smaller vehicles were inadequate [but for which] larger ones were either too expensive or tactically unacceptable.'

Combat Aircraft Monthly 09/2014

THE USAF AWARDED Sikorsky Aircraft a SI.28-billion engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract to develop a new Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) on June 26. Based on the US Army's UH-60M Black Hawk, the type will replace the USAF's current fleet of HH-60G Pave Hawks. Although the effort includes the delivery of four EMD airframes and seven aircrew and maintainer training systems, the USAF plans to purchase up to 112 new Combat Rescue Helicopters at a cost of $7.9 billion. Compared to the HH-60G, the CRH will feature increased fuel capacity and more cabin space. While Sikorsky will build the helicopters, Lockheed Martin is the major sub-systems supplier and will install the mission planning system, defensive systems, data links, mission computers and adverse weather sensors, and carry out integration of all mission-unique sub-systems. The first two helicopters will be delivered to the USAF in 2018 and a second pair will follow in 2019.

FlyPast 09/2014

With its distinctive red, white, blue and orange roundels, the Royal Netherlands Air Force Historic Aircraft Foundation s Spitfire IX MK732 has been a well-known participant on the European airshow circuit for over two decades. The Dutch colour scheme reflects MK732 s second military career; its first was with the RAF, with which it notched up a very distinguished combat record, including operations on D-Day itself. Built at Castle Bromwich in the UKs Midlands in early 1944, MK732 was issued to 485 Squadron RNZAF in April, based at Selsey, an advanced landing ground in Sussex. Initially it was painted with the codes 'OU-Q', but when the moment came to apply the black and white 'invasion stripes' on the eve of D-Day, its individual letter was changed to U'for-Uncle. The Operations Record Book for 485 Squadron lists several pilots, including Fg Off M C Mayston, Fit Lt K J Macdonald, Pit Off H W B Patterson and Wg Cdr P J Simpson, that flew MK732 on beach patrols between June 6 and 8, 1944. During D-Day the 'Kiwi' unit had 24 pilots on strength, sharing 18 Spitfires. More often than not, Patterson would fly MK732, and it was named Baby Bea K after his fiancee, Beatrice.

Model Military International 09/2014

World War I, the "Great War", was the first mechanized war in history. The development of smokeless gunpowder and the fully-automatic machine gun in the late 19th century had changed the conditions for infantry combat, but the invention of the internal combustion engine, the automobile and truck, and the caterpillar tracked tractor would change forever the very nature of modern ground warfare. At the beginning of the war in 1914, horses and mules far outnumbered motor vehicles, and many armies had only started to investigate the use of cars and trucks to assist in, and then take over, the task of transporting troops and supplying them in the field. The development of useful motor vehicles was aided by the needs of the various military forces, and by the beginning of World War I, there were available several hundred makes of cars and trucks, several of the latter being four-wheel-drive models with useful cross-country capabilities. Tests conducted by the US Army before the war had proven that automobiles and trucks were capable of hauling troops and supplies much farther and faster than horses and mules could.

Airfix Model World 09/2014

I've had some interesting correspondence since my last editorial, which highlighted the strengthening strips on the upper wings of the Spitfire. The subject was ripe for discussion due to Steve Budd's build of Airfix's new Spitfire Mk.Vb in the same issue, especially because Steve removed the strips on his rendition. One particular reader exclaimed that Steve had "ruined" the model by omitting the strips. Overly harsh I felt, especially as the aircraft in question modelled by Steve, 'Buck' McNair's AB264/GN-H, couldn't have had the strips fitted at the time of the scheme depicted, because Airfix's decals are for March 1942. This mod, it seems, was indeed a wartime addition but wasn't fitted until July 1942 and, as it was deemed 'Class 4 and on repair', this precluded user units from carrying it out in the would have been done on the production line or during lengthy repairs. Regardless, the subject will undoubtedly confound modellers due to the huge lack of photos of Spitfires actually fitted with the strips. Tamiya's old 1/48 Spitfire Mk.Vb has the strips moulded on its wings, but the instructions in my boxing demand that they be removed. Ultimately, a period photo of the aircraft to be modelled is the Holy Grail.

Finescale Modeler 09/2014

Greg Hanchuks 1/35 scale Xact Scale T-80U looks every bit the part of a Russian main battle tank in the middle of a military exercise. That s the result of a step-by-step process that layers paint and weathering. For the major painting, Greg used Tamiya acrylics thinned with 91 percent isopropyl alcohol to the consistency of milk. "Sometimes I have to go back and add more alcohol, or sometimes more paint," he says. "It just depends on how it is shooting." Using a compressor with a moisture trap and regulator, he sprays at 15-20 psi. "Sometimes more, sometimes less," he adds. "It s not rocket science. Practice with your airbrush and get a feel for it." Greg got his first airbrush at 10, a Paasche H single-action he and his older brother scraped money together to buy. He's been a Paasche user ever since, including a VL double-action and his current Talon, which suits his needs. "It can spray a very fine line but can also be used for larger areas. Plus, it s easy to clean," he says. Greg primed the model with flat black, citing four reasons: First, it covered the different materials well. Second, it revealed flaws and imperfections needing correction. Third, the black got deep into nooks and crannies, so any spot missed later became a dark shadow. Fourth, Tamiyas paint provided great "tooth" for subsequent colors.