Sunday, August 12, 2018

New video: Tamiya Sand Scorcher in action on sand, mud and dirt

I've been a bit quiet lately, as I've been flat out at work (horror week, don't ask...) - so first up sorry for the radio silence from this end. In the very little spare time I've had, I have been playing with running the Sand Scorcher, and it has been a lot of ridiculously juvenile fun.

I've had it on a beach, on sand in its natural environment.

Tamiya Sand Scorcher in action on sand, mud and dirt

I've belted it through muddy puddles.

Tamiya Sand Scorcher in action on sand, mud and dirt

And I've spun many, many circles in dusty dirt.

Tamiya Sand Scorcher in action on sand, mud and dirt

It's been a helluva lot of fun!

Tamiya Sand Scorcher in action on sand, mud and dirt

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Tamiya Sand Scorcher in action - on sand, mud and dirt



Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Having a rough week

This whole "real world full time work" thing really gets in the way of modelling time. 

This week I'd love to get out there on a beach and run the Sand Scorcher. Or make a start on my next model, a WingNut Wings WWI Fokker monoplane.

Instead, it is currently 10pm on a Tuesday and I am working on real, full-time paid work stuff.


How do you guys manage to make time for modelling? Got any tips on how to make the real world of earning money take up less of your time?



Friday, August 3, 2018

New video: taking the Tamiya Sand Scorcher for its first drive

I took the Sand Scorcher for its maiden voyage.  All I will say is I'm glad I took some still photos before I left the house, because it's never going to look that good again...

Taking the completed Tamiya Sand Scorcher for its first drive

All I will say here is the following things may have occurred:

  • It may have been driven under a closed gate - the size of the gap between the ground and the bottom of said gate may have been less than the height of the car.
  • It may have hit a stone wall.
  • It may have hit a stone wall so hard at the front bumper that the licence plate at the back of the vehicle fell off.

One thing I can confirm as a definite: I'm looking into how much replacement body shells cost on ebay...

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Taking the finished Sand Scorcher for its first drive



Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Sand Scorcher is finished, and ready to run!

The Tamiya Sand Scorcher is done. It's rather nice to have finished a build in six weeks, rather than ten months like the last one! And more importantly, I get to have a little juvenile fun with this one now that it's built!

Tamiya Sand Scorcher racing buggy 1/10 scale
Looking good.

I'm happy with how the Sand Scorcher has come out. The decals replicating the original 1979 decals look good, I love the heat-stained tailpipe, and even though there are some imperfections in the two-tone colour scheme where I had dramas with paint seeping under masking tape, I'm pretty happy with the final result.

Tamiya Sand Scorcher racing buggy 1/10 scale
Look at the driver, and the spotless windscreen. Don't pay any attention to the masking of the blue paint...
Tamiya Sand Scorcher racing buggy 1/10 scale
I'm very pleased with my personalised 1979 license plates.

Tamiya Sand Scorcher racing buggy 1/10 scale
Oooh, shiny!

Tamiya Sand Scorcher racing buggy 1/10 scale

Putting on those final details like the two wing mirrors and the windscreen wipers was pretty damn satisfying. They're fragile, so fingers crossed they stay on. I read someone writing online about the Sand Scorcher who mentioned that these little details are "the first things to fall off when you roll your Sand Scorcher (and you will)".

I'm planning to take it to the park tomorrow and give it a trial run. Can't wait!



Wednesday, August 1, 2018

New video: How to make a scenic prop bird for scale model dioramas out of old spare sprue

Here's a video I recorded while I was finishing up The Seahorse. I needed a small prop for the diorama - a little something natural which would help give a sense of scale, and would also fill in some otherwise empty sea in the ocean wave basework.

The solution? Make a 1/35 scale seagull out of some spare plastic sprue.

It's not the most utterly convincing seagull you'll ever see, but it's good enough to tell a little story and add some verisimilitude to the diorama scenery.

Plus it was just kinda fun to make.

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
How to make a scenic prop bird out of old plastic sprue



Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Aftermarket details: 1970s style racing sponsor logo decals and a 1/10 scale fire extingusher

I've finally gotten to the stage of applying decals to the Sand Scorcher. For a quick, fun build it's been a long time coming!

I decided that even though I was building a modern re-release, I really wanted to replicate the original 1979 issue as much as possible. The original Sand Scorcher was all about replicating the Baja racers in the 1970s, so it had authentic 70s logos plastered all over it. When Tamiya re-released the Scorcher in 2010, they updated the decals to avoid copyright issues - they look similar, but instead of the real-world "Jackman Wheels' they designed a very similar logo for the fictitious "Joker Customs".

Not for me. Hell, this whole thing is a serious nostalgia trip, so modern fakey sponsors are a no-no.

So I purchased a set of aftermarket decals from MCI Racing in Canada - link here. These replicate the original decals, which are now pretty much impossible to find.

I'm very happy with them - if you are considering MCI Racing decals, I would wholeheartedly recommend them.

On a less positive note, I bought a 1/10 scale fire extinguisher from a random Chinese seller on ebay. It cost less than AU$3, including postage to Australia - all I can say is you get what you pay for. The extinguisher has a massive gap where the two halves meet, and there is a big fingerprint in the red paint. Very disappointing...

That's a big ol' thumb print in the paint there.

And that's an even bigger ol' seam gap...

It's satisfying to finally see the end in sight. I have my LiPo batteries charged and ready to run - hopefully this weekend!



Friday, July 20, 2018

New video: A perfect glossy paint finish is really hard to achieve!

In my latest video I show you just how badly I'm doing trying to achieve a beautiful, glossy, flaw-free finish on the paint job for my Sand Scorcher. It's pretty damn frustrating.

Painting gloss paint on models is really hard to do!

I hope that this video doesn't come across as self-pitying or whiney. I tried to be humble and show that even self-appointed "YouTube experts" still stuff things up sometimes! Plus I have a total new respect for automotive modellers.

I would love to say I have the solution - that I can give you hints and tips on how to achieve the perfect gloss paint coat for your scale model cars... But I can't. I have had no luck at all.

Have a look and feel the frustration..

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Painting gloss paint on scale models is REALLY hard to do!



Friday, July 13, 2018

New video: How to make custom decals for scale models using plain paper (not decal paper)

In my newest video I show you how to make your own custom decals using plain white printer paper - no expensive decal paper for me! It's a great technique to have up your sleeve for when you only have one or two little decals and don't want to waste an entire sheet of decal paper, or for when you want a particularly weathered looking decal.

How to make custom decals for scale models using normal paper (not decal paper)

Now I'll say up front: there is a trade-off involved. There are pros and cons.


  • Cheap - almost free!
  • Less waste if you only need a couple of decals
  • Fast and easy
  • Gives a pre-weathered effect
  • Kinda fun to experiment with


  • Not as perfect as a waterslide decal
  • Some fading, less vibrant colours
  • Method #2 will have a raised edge, so only use that when you can hide the edge of the decal/sticker

The results are not perfect like a normal waterslide decal. But it's a good trick to have up your sleeve and it might be just the thing to get you across the line some day. Plus it's just cool to know and play around with.

It does assume you are able to design your own decal and then reverse it - I recommend Photoshop, but I'm sure there are many free design programmes out there if you don't have access to Photoshop.

I also show you a second technique in the video, which is much more like producing your own thick stickers rather than fine decals. Again, there are pros and cons involved, but it's good to have in your repertoire.

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
How to make custom decals for scale models using normal paper (not decal paper)



Thursday, July 12, 2018

Amazing submarine model maker

It's not often I post other model makers' videos on my blog, but when I find something extraordinary I love to share it. This model maker's submarine dioramas are most definitely worth sharing.

Lee Hon-Wei makes the most incredible dioramas of subs I've ever seen. Check out his methods in the embedded video below.



Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Masking the Sand Scorcher for painting

I've been busy masking off areas of the Sand Scorcher to paint its complex blue and white colour scheme. The body shell is currently all painted in Tamiya TS-26 Pure White, and now it's time to start layering on the French Blue sections. There are some pretty complex curves that need masking - it's easily the most boring part of the entire build so far...

Luckily I recently bought some Tamiya 5mm masking tape. It's really pliable and hugs the curves well. If I was trying to do this just with plain old buff masking tape, I'd be in a world of pain.

That white roll is the Tamiya masking tape.

Almost ready to paint. Now I just have to cross my fingers that none of the blue seeps under the masked off areas, as I imagine trying to remove any stray blue from the pure white areas would be an absolute nightmare.