Monday, 11 December 2017

Pam Wheat - gold medal winner at world kettlebell championships

My wife, Pamela Wheat, won a gold medal at the IUKL Kettlebell Lifting World Championship at the Seoul Olympic Park stadium on 18 November 2017. She is my model!


This is a 1:43 scale metal model from C.D.C. Detail Cars of the Jaguar XJR-S sports car.

As it is a die cast pre-painted metal body it will not compete in contests. It will be a gift to a car lover.

The photo-etch set comes with seat belt buckles and windshield wipers and the tiniest markings for the word Jaguar on the boot. The decal sheet comes with all instrument panels and plates. There are fuzzy floor mats, and metal sun visors.

It was a two weekend project because I could not bring myself to do all the photo-etch parts in one day.

Note the metal Jaguar emblem on the bonnet

Note the metal Jaguar name on the boot

Sunday, 10 December 2017


Over 1100 of the D51 class steam locomotive (1-4-1) were built by various Japanese factories from 1936 until 1945. It was the most mass-produced locomotive in Japan. 170 remain, and three are known to be operational.

The model is a very odd "Scale Shorty Train Model" from Bandai in 2008 meant only for the Japanese home market. Although I bought it over the counter, I saw these for sale in vending machines. The kit is amazingly well engineered. The shorty series of trains are meant to be run on 1:150 N-scale track, but each car is exactly 60 mm long regardless of the length of the original train car. The only minor exceptions are locomotives, it seems. The D51 with tender is 90 mm long.

The plans show options for various versions of the D51, but only 1019 is in the box. There are a very large selection of decals for the kit, including a complete interior of the car showing the firebox and controls. The running gear and drive arms are pre-painted in silver.I weathered away the bright silver with engine grime paint.

The whole thing goes together as a snap kit, but I glued it all for extra strength. It took less than an hour, even though I stopped a lot to photograph the build. Weathering is from Vallejo powders.

Thursday, 7 December 2017


This is the 1:1 scale Academy model of the Da Vinci clock.

I bought it from a model dealer in the toy wholesale district in Seoul in November.

No glue and no paint (but I did paint on the gold numbers). It works and can be done in under an hour. This is a great kit for families and a wonderful learning experience. Who knew basic clocks could work with so few gears?

The device runs for about 5 minutes before the weight reach the ground. Mounting it on the wall and adding more string would give it ten minutes. Adding more weight might also help.