1st Meeting for 2016

Our first meeting of the year took place today with our new start time of 1:00pm coming into effect. We were once again greeted with a fine selection of boxed WingNut Wings kits as well as a selection of member completed and in progress builds. The year ahead looks to be a busy one which will include a new format build-a-bitch member event, our annual BBQ and several club displays to be scheduled throughout the year. There is much anticipation for the fast approaching modelling shows such as Wings & Tracks and Model Expo 2016, which bring with it the usual rush and excitement of model preparation. We have some lovely projects on the go or nearing completion so I am sure the competition tables will be filled with some high quality kits.

As a point of interest our meetings are generally co-run by Martin and Laurence who between them have a very broad mix of modelling and historic knowledge. While we do follow a semi formal process there are many points where a meeting will become a mini history lesson, or you will pick up some valuable tips or information that may change your approach to modelling.

Here are some images of member in-progress and completed builds taken at our meeting toady.


Michael Tabone

Vice President



The Vintage Aviator Museum – New Zealand 2016

Almost every year my wife takes off to New Zealand to visit family and every now and then I go along, so I took this opportunity to add in some extra must visits to make this trip extra special.

NZ has a number of excellent military museums and aviation exhibitions, but the one I was very keen to see is based at Masterton (North Island) at the Hood Aerodrome. The fighter collection can be viewed inside the showcase Hangar of The OId Stick & Rudder Company. This museum has the largest collection of flyable replica WW1 aircraft in the world so I was very excited to get there, and to experience these aircraft up close.

I did have the luxury of a hire car and so began a 2 hr road trip with my son to finally arrive at the Hood Aerodrome. The aerodrome itself is nothing fancy but does have a number of hangers and workshops as you would expect. Upon entering the hanger you pass through the small shop where entry is only $15.00 and from there you gain access to the collection. Incidentally the moment we got there we were able to join a tour which had just started. From there a very knowledgeable guide took us around the exhibits providing background information covering not only individual aircraft, but also the technologies and impact they had on aerial warfare at the time.

I was completely in awe at what I was seeing and could only think of the wonderful WingNut Wings kits that are on offer to build one of these replicas. The camera went crazy and as much as I tried to plan my images and how I would take them I just lost all control. As a visitor you just take pics of what you see, but as a modeler you take more detail shots so my head was in two places.

The collection can be seen in flight to mark events during the year such as Remembrance Day, ANZAC Day or for general public viewing such as Wings Over Wairarapa and the Omaka Airshow held at Blenheim (South Island). Details for all these events can be found online or by clicking on the link below:


Click on the image below for pics of the holy grail of WW1 aircraft. I will definitely go back, but only this time to visit the workshops to see how they build these things.




Michael Tabone

Vice President


Wings & Tracks 2015

Wings & Tracks 2015 was held Sunday March 22nd at the Copland Room, Ashburton Library, the very place we have our club meetings. The great weather brought out a nice selection of models and modellers for the viewing public and competitors. Run by IPMS, this annual event seeks to bring together aircraft and AFV modellers in a fun environment where the competitive can strive for victory and the not so competitive can take in the hard work of their fellow military modellers. A number of traders were on hand to empty modellers wallets also!

A healthy turnout of warbirds and warmachines hit the tables with Warbirds members Larry d’Argaville taking out the Golden Wing award for this years theme aircraft, the Mitsubishi Zero and Vice-President Michael Tabone took out the Golden Sprocket for the theme AFV, the Panzer III and derivatives. Both subjects were to be built to IPMS out of box rules.

Congratulations also to IPMS for a well run event and congratulations Larry and Michael and here’s a small selection of what was on the table – check the gallery for photos of the event.

IMG_0523Larry d’Argaville’s superb captured A6M5 Zero taking out the Golden Wing award


Michael Tabone’s 1/48 Panzer III winning the Golden Sprocket award

Timber Finish for the Horten 229

Last year’s release of the 1/32 Horten 229 by Zoukei-Mura created quite a stir in the modelling world. While we’ve become accustomed to their exciting releases, this kit was particularly interesting in that the subject matter was one of the mysterious late war What-Ifs that actually had a substantiated base with a captured prototype. Also of keen interest was the ability to do something special with the wooden finish.


Uschi from Germany have released a set of wood grain decals that will also be released soon under Zoukei-Mura branding. While the art of replicating wood-grain has become somewhat of an art-form driven by the Wingnut Wings phenomenon, this is one subject that as wonderful as it looks in natural wood may not actually be all that realistic based on the research at the Smithsonian on their example of the aircraft.

The team at the Smithsonian have exhaustively been analyzing the aircrafts structure and materials working out how to preserve and restore the Horten. Interestingly it appears the wood was treated with a semi-transparent green coating. While the grain is visible, it may mean natural timber panels, while stunning to look at are not truly representative.

Here’s a link to the research done by the Smithsonian on the wooden structure:


And here are some specific panel samples

Belly Panel After Cleaning

Horten H IX V3

Horten H IX V3 Acrylic

And here’s a view on the metal coatings, it appears to be a similar colour!

Painted Metals

So perhaps as nice as the natural wood and metal finish looks, it may not be all that accurate based on how it appears they intended to produce the Horten Ho229?

You be the judge!!!

Photo Collection by Stephen Keogh

Sorry it’s taken a while to commence the 2015 updates to the website but we start the year off with a Gallery of an array of Stephen Keogh’s wonderful aircraft. Stephen has become well known for his own personal group builds often tackling multiple kits of the same subject to get through the markings he’s keen on at the time.


As a professional jeweller, Stephen’s eye for detail is obvious in the gallery of subjects as is his overall build quality. Look out for future galleries with more detailed photos of some of the featured subjects as well as some of Stephen’s amazing dioramas.