August 31, 2016

Trench Runner Charles Oldaugh Reviews Mr. Black Scale Model Handbook-Figure Modeling 17

Mr. Black Scale Model Handbook – Figure Modelling 17 Review

As a recent convert from miniature painting to figure painting, I was very excited to get my hands on this book. After flipping through it a few times I realized that there were words in there as well as gorgeous photos. Eventually I tore myself away from the models and started reading the articles to see what I could glean.

There are nine articles in this book written by seven different painters. Each painter has a different approach than the others, so the articles aren’t redundant. The size of the figures range from 50mm to 180mm and the time periods ranges from Ancient Rome to World War 2. Whatever your interest, you will find something to peak it in this book.
A different technique is highlighted in each article, ranging from skin, to animals, to cloth, and more. The techniques are clearly explained with detailed step by step photos and lists of the paints and materials used at each step.

My favorite aspect of the book is seeing all of the color mixes that the painters use. Unexpected colors pop up in highlight and shadow mixes in each of the articles. The color choices are much more advanced than the normal three color shadow, midtone, and highlight that we tend to see in painting articles.

If I had to choose, the 1/35th scale WW1 and WW2 vignettes are my favorite articles in this edition. They combine great painting and wonderful scenery with good instruction. Each article covers a host of different objects and how to paint them as well.
In the end, this is a very informative book for novice and advanced painters alike. I know that I learned a lot from it, and can’t wait to start my next diorama!
Charles Oldaugh
View & Order in our web store HERE
Sample pages from no. 17


TRENCH RUNNER REVIEW: Steven Lowenthal Takes a Look at AK Interactive's Gauzy Glass Coat and Intermediate Agent

Gauzy Agent Glass Coat Review

Before modelers had a plethora of companies and products dedicated to the hobby, we had to be resourceful and repurpose regular household products for many of the tasks required to build our kits. My vote for the most popular of these non-specific products is Pledge Floor Wax or Kleer, as it is known outside the U.S.. Over the years it’s become the go to gloss coat for modelers. In order to add some clarity and hide minor scratches, aircraft modelers would dip the canopy in the liquid.  It worked well enough, that no company has made a dedicated product of their own to challenge it. That is, until now.

Gauzy Intermediate Shine Enhancer
AK Interactive has created a new, two product, gloss coat line called Gauzy and they are intended to be used in the same manner as Pledge. With both products tailored to specific tasks. Gauzy Intermediate Shine Enhancer, can be applied by either airbrush or hand brushed. It can be used for gloss coating prior to decaling or just to add a shine or to protect any painted surface; including metallics.  The other, and focus of this article, is meant to cater to the canopy dippers. Gauzy Glass Coat Agent, is a liquid of milky consistency and comes in a 100ml, wide mouth plastic tub with a screw on lid. The package is designed to facilitate dipping the canopy directly into the jar without having to decant it. 

Now I know what you’re thinking; why use this since Pledge already does the job? I was thinking the same, so in order to gain a proper understanding of what AK has produced, I conducted a basic test. Scrounging a canopy from an old 1/48 Corsair kit. One where the clear sprue was packaged, unprotected, in the same bag as the other sprue trees. So over the years, the canopy became covered in scuffs and minor scratches. In addition, it is very thick and has some distortions. For the purpose of this test, I used it as is, without any prep work. I wanted to see exactly what the Gauzy could do and not confuse it with any cleanup work.

Gauzy Agent Glass Coat 
You’ll notice the jar doesn’t tell you to shake it before use. I know it’s habit for most people, myself included, but not shaking is important. Doing so will create so many tiny air bubbles; it will look like a freshly poured beer. They will take quite a while to dissipate and if you dip it, you’ll transfer bubbles to the canopy. Getting them off is a near impossible task and once dry, will leave marks.

Leaving a piece of sprue attached to the canopy to act as a handle, I dipped the kit part in and took it out in a slow deliberate manner to ensure I created few air bubbles. The first thing you’ll notice is the Gloss Coat Agent is thicker than Pledge. It lingers on the canopy like a leggy wine does when you swirl your glass. This makes wicking the excess off a little harder than with Pledge and even more important. I found it took a while to get the majority of the excess off. Not just a wipe or two. I found it worked best when I held the canopy at an angle so I could wick the bulk off of one corner. Since it is so thick, it will take longer to dry than Pledge does. This is good as it aids in self leveling. However, if you don’t remove all of the excess, it will dry unevenly. I placed the part on a piece of paper towel to help draw off any extra that continued to flow as it dried and covered it to keep the dust off. I let it sit overnight before I checked on the results. 

I have to say, when I took the cover off, I liked what I saw. The translucent liquid dried crystal clear and the scuff marks were gone. It had a noticeably brighter shine than Pledge does. In addition, the distortions are somewhat better too. Probably due to how the product refracts the light. 
Gauzy Glass Coat Agent worked as advertised. It filled the imperfections and self leveled to a smooth surface. One pass in the liquid gave a satisfactory result and didn’t require additional treatments like Pledge sometimes does.

Pledge/Kleer can be hard to find in some areas or just too expensive when you do. If you feel it’s time for an alternative or just want to try something that may work better for you, AK Interactive’s Gauzy Glass Coat Agent is worth trying. 
Steven Lowenthal 

Gauzy Intermediate Shine Enhancer

View the AK Interactive Gauzy Agent PDF Tutorial HERE

View & Order in our web store HERE

August 29, 2016

MTSC TIPS & TRICKS: ISM Guide on How to Use Photo-Etch & The Tools Involved

A excellent video tutorial about photo etch and what tools are recommended for different types of photo etch construction.  Thanks to International Scale Modeller channel on YouTube for this great video.

Be sure to visit our You Tube channel for more great how-to and S-B-S videos

August 27, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Gator's Grip Acrylic Hobby Glue

Gator's Grip Acrylic Hobby Glue is a home brewed acrylic glue that is non-toxic and water soluble. It has become 'the go to glue' used by modelers worldwide for attaching photo-etched (PE) to plastic. It can also be used to attached PE to resin and plastic to resin. It’s got a surprisingly tenacious bond and is exceptionally resilient to sheering forces. Hit that antenna, and it’ll go sideways, but fixing it is just a matter of tweaking it back to where it was. While sold as a photo etch glue it works on various other medias such as plastic to plastic, plastic to resin and metal to metal with great results. For PE it only takes a small dab applied with a toothpick to quickly grab the part and yet still gave some time to position it that most CA glues do not give. Another nice application is on clear parts as it dries clear and does not craze the parts. Unlike Cyanoacrylate adhesives (CA), you can reposition with Gator, that is... while the glue is still uncured. Once cured, the part is stuck quite well! The glue does begin to cure very quickly, and the warmer the air temperature, the faster the process.

Gator's Grip very closely resembles the look and consistency of standard white glue (PVA), but that's where the similarity ends. There's no need to hold in position, as the glue, just like the motto says, "bites" upon touch, and holds securely. The glue dries transparent, to a smooth, sandable finish. Clean up is a breeze, as it water soluble.

Application is easy, use either a brush or a toothpick, the thinner you apply the glue, the better the instant works equally as well "contact cement" style, coating each part, allowing to cure for a few minutes, then assemble as necessary. 

The newest Gator's Glue is Gator's Grip Thin Blend

Here is how it came to be from Kenny ‘Gator Grip’ Loup himself…
Unlike the original, Thin Blend was a happy accident.  When ordering ingredient to make a batch of original blend, I ordered the wrong ingredient.  I didn't realize this until my order arrived at the house.  Being curious, I decided to make a small batch to see what would  happen.  After I mixed up the ingredients, I noticed that it was thinner.  Okay, that may not be too bad.  Now to give it the Gator Grip test.  I glued a strip of styrene to a 4" x 4" piece of flat styrene and let it dry.  I checked on it every so often and noticed it was drying faster, another plus.  Once dry and set, I gave the piece of styrene strip the flick test. What is the "flick test"?  You know, when you hold the tip of your middle finger with your thumb and flick your wife on the forehead.  Okay, that maybe too much information. But  anyway, when I flicked the piece of styrene, the glue joint held.  Not even a crack.  So, now I have this hybrid Gator's Grip Glue that dries faster, is thinner but holds as strong as the original. I tried it with some photo-etch and realized that this may be the best PE glue yet! Okay, I'm getting carried away, but it is a great blend for PE.

Note: If it has been a while since you used your glue, please take time to stir it up. The ingredients will try to separate over time and stirring it before use will take care of that problem.

So in summary
Gator's Grip Acrylic Hobby Glue offers
- No fumes
- Water based, you can thin it even further by adding water
- Fast drying time, yet long enough to allow for corrections (about 20 sec)
- Dries clear with a subtle satin, almost flat finish 
Strength similar to other glues
- No fogging of clear parts
View listings to purchase HERE

View Gator's Grip Glue in use The Museum Modeler

August 26, 2016

Fridays with Farley...a Dose of Useless Tidbits

From Figure Painter Magazine publisher Robot Pigeon Publishing comes an all new gaming magazine. Initiative Magazine is a new digital publication focusing on boardgames, RPG's and Skirmish and Wargames and the miniature figures that accompany them.

Initiative Magazine Issue 2 is now available for download
from the publisher..
We have another fantastic tutorial from Andy Wardle, this time on blood splatter effects. Sean Fulton continues his Back to Basics series and Marko has another fantastic terrain article for us. Kyle continues to explore the excellent Rubicon Kits, alongside a tutorial on how he paints his. Our Gamezone this month looks at Twisted and we have event reports from Gencon and Agram 2016. Alongside this we have some other excellent articles for you. I do hope you enjoy this issue, we certainly have in putting it together.

Don't Miss!
World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous
Oct. 1-2, 2016 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

Commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I in Europe as one of the nation's premier historical aviation events brings the excitement and adrenaline of early air power to Ohio. The World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous features vintage original and reproduction WWI aircraft, radio-controlled models, era automobiles, period re-enactors, educational activities and a collector's show. This flying event is offered by the museum and the Great War Aeroplanes Association. FREE admission and parking. More Info HERE

Can't Wait!
A new video  game for Xbox & PS4 is coming this fall from EA...

The press release...
While many video games are pushing their stories toward the future, the classic franchise Battlefield is stepping back to revisit the past. Publisher Electronic Arts announced Battlefield 1, the latest chapter in the military action series that will take players to the battlefields of World War I. It 
launches October 21 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Battlefield 1 takes you back to The Great War, WW1, where new technology and worldwide conflict changed the face of warfare forever. Take part in every battle, control every massive vehicle, and execute every maneuver that turns an entire fight around. The whole world is at war – see what’s beyond the trenches.

Found on FaceBook!
Plastic Toy Soldier Collectors International...
As the name implies this is a  group of collectors posting all kinds of figures, images of their collections, news & views and all kinds for neat stuff to feed your plastic passions!
Find them HERE

Sneak Peek Quickies
RFC Pilot in WW1 1/10th Scale Resin Bust- Fall 
1/35th scale Plastic GIs- Fall

American Civil War Union Infantry 28mm plastic figures from Perry Miniatures- Fall
It's Friday & that means..IT'S THE WEEKEND!!
Cleaning up and goin' out on the town! Then over to Michigan Toy Soldier for a fix!

August 25, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Woodland Scenics Revolutionary Shaper Sheets for Layouts, Dioramas & Displays

Woodland Scenics has produced  a revolutionary product for making terrain quickly and easily. This innovative material is called Shaper Sheet and comes in two sizes. Use this unique material to model all types of terrain. The strong, pliable sheet can be shaped and reshaped to create any level of detail and it holds its form without any understructure. This material is formulated to mechanically bond with the plaster to create a thin, hard shell ready for landscaping and Woodland has come up with Shaper Sheet Plaster which offers an extended working time and turns Shaper Sheet into a permanent, hard surface. The longer working time makes Shaper Sheet Plaster ideal for covering large projects. Shaper Sheets and Shaper Sheet Plaster are ideal for layouts, dioramas, displays and arts & crafts.
Available to order on our website by clicking HERE

Products Also Released in these Categories 
Building Contours: A complete system of products that work together to build lightweight understructure and model mountains, valleys, waterways, caves and any other land surface feature. You can shape, texture and carve even the most detailed terrain features. 
Tools & Adhesives
Complete Terrain System: The Terrain System includes all the products you need to model realistic terrain. These products all work together to make it easy to build any type of terrain for your layouts, displays and other projects.
Terrain Details: A wide range of options for detailing terrain.


"I'M SAYIN' WHAT?" Contest #22 Winner + This week's teaser for "I 'M SAYIN' WHAT?" #23

"I'm Sayin' What?" #22 WINNER
It's Thursday so...we have a winner for last weeks “I’m Saying What” contest. Batman...I mean Howard Stonestreet has snagged one of the most coveted prizes on earth...which is of course is a $25.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier.

"I'm Sayin' What?" #23 Teaser
Here's our image for this weeks contest. All you have to do is come up with the wittiest quote for the word bubble and you will win a $25.00 gift card from Michigan Toy Soldier Company. Just think... you get free stuff and you get show off your comedic charms that will fly around the world via  ‘Over The Top’ ‘News From The Front’ Google+ & Facebook pages. We will post the winning entry right here next Thursday.

Email your entries to:
FYI- Have a cool image you'd like to get captioned? Send it to us at and we will give you $25.00 gift card for any images used.

August 24, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT RELEASE NEWS: The Summer releases of 1:72 scale figures from Germania Figuren, Nikolai and Munich Kits have arrived

New & Restock on 1/72nd scale figures by Germania, Nikolai, Munich and Hecker & Goros have arrived from Germany.
See the New Releases HERE

Munich Kits has added two new World War 1 resin sets to their range... 
MKG-FHEW08 WWI German Supply Soldiers 
MKG-FHEW09 WWI German Landsturm + Peasants 

Nikolai Exclusive Modeling has three beautiful sets of wolves 
NIK-ANI12 Walking Wolves 
NIK-ANI13 Standing and Lying Wolves 
NIK-ANI14 Running and Hunting Wolves 

From Germania Figuren we have two new ACW Confederate Cavalry sets and seven new Austrian Cuirassier sets from the 7 Years War.

GMF 72-9051 American Civil War- Virginia Cavalry Set 2 
GMF 72-9052 American Civil War- Virginia Cavalry Set 3 

GMF 72-7240 7 Years War: Austrian Cuirassiers Set 1- Command Group I on Standing Horses 
GMF 72-7241 7 Years War: Austrian Cuirassiers Set 2- Command Group II on Standing Horses 
GMF 72-7242 7 Years War: Austrian Cuirassiers Set 3- on Standing Horses 
GMF 72-7243 7 Years War: Austrian Cuirassiers Set 4- Command Group I On the March (Trotting) 
GMF 72-7244 7 Years War: Austrian Cuirassiers Set 5- Command Group II On the March GMF GMF 72-7245 7 Years War: Austrian Cuirassiers Set 6- On the March (Trotting) 
GMF 72-7246 7 Years War: Austrian Cuirassiers Set 7- On the March, Saber on Shoulder (Trotting)

August 19, 2016

Fridays with Farley...a Dose of Useless Tidbits

Came across this neat look at panoramic paintings also called cycloramas By Eric Grundhauser on  the Atlas Obscura website...
360 Degrees of War: 6 Panoramic Paintings That Make You A Part of the Action. Before 3D movies or the Oculus Rift, the only way to really immerse someone in a virtual scene was to just surround them with imagery. To create this proto-VR, circular panoramic paintings ringed by miniature dioramas (also called cycloramas) became hugely popular during the 19th century. Of course many of these artworks depict famous battles ranging from the conflicts of the October War to the Battle of Gettysburg. Because reenacting a war is a pastime that long pre-dates Call of Duty. Gear up for six battles you can relive via analog VR technology.

Included are 
1. PANORAMA 1453 MUSEUM Istanbul, Turkey
4. GETTYSBURG CYCLORAMA Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
6. ATLANTA CYCLORAMA Atlanta, Georgia
Have a Look HERE

1/72nd scale diorama of the Battle of Gettysburg by Dennis Norris 

This was my first diorama project. I started it in 2005. It was set up on a 4'x 6' board set up in my basement.  The scale is 1/72. The photo editing was my first attempt ever. Since then I have continued to add to the diorama and it is now more than 20' x 12'. My more recent efforts are detailed at Gettysburg Diographics. There you can see a portfolio of 20 prints of action in the Wheatfield and Peach Orchard areas. 
Have a look HERE and also check out Dennis's Gettysburg prints of the diorama HERE

Keep on hunting....The stuff is still out there! I scored this long sought after model kit at a local garage sale for $5.00 after losing countless auctions on eBay for it over the years!

Ya gotta love this guy...
Usain Bolt is a one-man theatre show expressing not just athletic supremacy but an elemental quality which draws us in. Like a beautiful face, we have no choice but to look, to stare, to bow, to accept that this creature before us is all that we are not nor ever could be.

Against a background of flawed behaviour, of base practice, of drug abuse, of cover ups and lies, Bolt sweeps away the detritus, washes the world clean by doing nothing more complicated than running fast.

Summertime and the living is easy...

August 18, 2016

"I'M SAYIN' WHAT?" Contest #21 Winner + This week's teaser for "I 'M SAYIN' WHAT?" #22

"I'm Sayin' What?" #21 WINNER
It's Thursday so...we have a winner for last weeks “I’m Saying What” contest. Trent Chlepas has snagged one of the most coveted prizes on earth...which is of course is a $25.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier.

"I'm Sayin' What?" #22 Teaser

Here's our image for this weeks contest. All you have to do is come up with the wittiest quote for the word bubble and you will win a $25.00 gift card from Michigan Toy Soldier Company. Just think... you get free stuff and you get show off your comedic charms that will fly around the world via  ‘Over The Top’ ‘News From The Front’ Google+ & Facebook pages. We will post the winning entry right here next Thursday.

Email your entries to:
FYI- Have a cool image you'd like to get captioned? Send it to us at and we will give you $25.00 gift card for any images used.

August 15, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT RELEASE NEWS: Flexway Paving Sheets by Juweela

Click images to enlarge
The latest from Juweela of Germany is the Flexway Paving system. Flexyway is a sheet of bricks/pavers for modeling much like the tiles on backing sheets used for tiling bathrooms and the like. The sheets are backed with a flexible, pliable carrier material. The joints between the stones are continuous and therefore sheets can be used together to create areas without visible seams between the segments. Paver joints can be filled with a special material (grout) Juweela has developed. 

With Flexyway ruts, holes, craters, uneven roads are no problem - not even for beginners! To replicate damaged, simply remove some bricks/pavers, chip, score, drill the ceramics tiles. 

Flewxyway is available in 1/32, 1/35, 1/87 and 1/45th scales and  each "herringbone" sheet is approximately 2” x 2 1/2” (51mm x63mm). 

Click images to enlarge
Debris (Rubble)
Two colors, brick-red and brick-red/grey rubble & debris are now available in 1/35th and 1/72nd scales, packaged in 50, 75 and 100g bags and contain many different sizes of stones, wall parts, bricks and rubble.

View our current Juweela offerings HERE

August 13, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT RELEASE NEWS: The Latest Strelets 1/72nd Plastic Sets for Summer 2016

No Less then eight new 1/72nd scale plastic sets have arrived from Strelets...
View our listings to Order HERE

Strelets Mini
STL-M052 Turkish Army Crimean War
STL-M108 Pretorian Ranks 
STL-M109 Pretorians Ceremonial March STL-M111 WWII New Zealand Troops 
STL-M112 WWII US Navy & Anti-Aircraft Machine-Gun 
STL-M113 Early WWII American Soldiers Set 2
Strelets R
STL-115 Lawrence of Arabia 
STL-138 Roman Senate 2 
STL-026 Russian Terek Cossacks (Reissue) 

Coming Later in 2016
Strelets "Big Box"
909 - Hastings 1066: Norman Army- Norman Army Camp (4 sets incl. old no. 128, 070, M039 + new exclusive Set)
910 - Hastings 1066: Norman Army
911 - Stamford Bridge
912 - Hastings 1066: Anglo-Saxon Army
Streets Mini
M054 - Bashi-Bazouk
M116 - WWII Japanese Infantry in Winter Dress
M117 - English Longbowmen
M118 - English Foot Soldiers XIII-XIV century