Model Expo – Presidents Report

Another Model Expo is done and I must start with a huge thank-you to club members for their support with the display. A final tally of 32 display models was beyond expectations and pre-commitments so such a strong turnout was a brilliant result.

I had the opportunity to meet and discuss modelling and future projects with Richard Alexander from Wingnut Wings and Neil Yan from HK Models. It was a pleasure to talk to these guys and see how passionate they are and not simply businessmen looking for a quick profit. Both companies have established a reputation for quality products and I look forward to planned future releases. The Sopwith Camel is a classic that will have me purchasing multiples when Wingnut Wings release theirs soon and although I have nowhere to put a completed kit, I absolutely must have the upcoming 1/32 Avro Lancaster from HK Models. The HK Models 1/32 B17 on display at the Metro Hobbies and was jaw-dropping!

I also had a great chat with Kevin Futter from Large Scale Planes fame. Make sure you check out the great work on the website with one of the most civil and informative modelling forums out there. Check it out at

A huge turnout of competition kits, great club displays, the ever-present retailers and a Swap & Sell that was more Sell than smell made for a thoroughly enjoyable long weekend.

The Expo Committee should be suitably proud of the show and from what I could see and hear, was one of, if not the best yet. Roll on Expo 2017.


Warbirds President Martin Reid with Richard Alexander from Wingnut Wings


Martin with Kevin Futter, Administrator of the Large Scale Planes website and forum, and Neil Yan from HK Models. Martin embedded an idea with Neil and is hoping it will eventuate in the not too distant future!


Martin Reid

Club President


Model Expo 2016 Update

Model Expo is over for another year and Warbirds once again demonstrated our diversity when it comes to club displays and member contributions. This year our members built an array of kits to fit in with our theme of ‘Stormbirds’. The only requirement was that the subjects name had to relate to weather patterns – hence the theme name.  The response was very pleasing and raised some lovely kits that graced our nominated display table.

I was one of attending members at the table and was happy to see people walking up and asking questions, taking photos and really enjoying what we have presented. As a tribute to John Xigalatas, who recently passed away, we thought it was fitting to include a small plaque along with the two models that he produced and sold through his Melbourne store ‘Showcase Models’. This was well received and helped to round off what was a very successful display and a very successful event.

I would like to thank all our members for the effort involved and is something to be proud of!

Click here to view additional photos


Tyabb Air Show Report


I was really looking forward to going to the Tyabb Air Show but for some reason have had a bad track record of getting there. Or should I say navigating that way without a GPS and having to rely on printed instructions and the memory of a 50 year old.

I did all the pre checks the night before like camera ready and battery charged, money sorted and those nasty directions of how to get there. The bag was ready to go and the biggest challenge was to convince my 14 yo son that there is a big blue world out there and that life away from the Play Station can be fun after all.

The day finally came and I was up at 8:00am and Luke was all set and looking forward to spending a day with his dad. The car was packed and in we went and left home base at 10:00am sharp. The boys from Warbirds were scheduled to meet at around 11:30am but not sure where, just somewhere I guess!

Ok, my printed maps worked just fine and made perfect time to the general area and found that the road leading to the airfield was well sign posted and basically led directly to the designated car park. As we were driving in there were cars everywhere and at the end of a long dusty road there was a huge open paddock where attendants were directing traffic. Out of the car, collected bag and child and headed over to the shuttle bus pickup point. So far really good and managed to get on the first bus and made it to the airfield drop off point only to join a long line.

Left for cash and right for card, two long lines but they were moving rather quick so back on track. Made it to the card payment tent and we were in – YIPPEE!

This was my first time to Tyabb Airfield and I could see many hangers and spotted the tail of the Corsiar sticking out, which was inside a larger area designated for aircraft parking.  Inside the pen I could see a Boomerang, Grumman Avenger, P-51 Mustang, 2 x Spitfires and a P-40 Kitty Hawk all next to each other, and what a sight it was.

The crowds were gathering as these babies were stealing the show and one couldn’t help take lots of photos and look in awe at these classic aircraft. There was still no sign of the boys so Luke and I headed over towards the airfield and snapped open the fold out chairs with a perfect view of the runway, and just in time for the opening show. Here we were watching a small flight of Wirraways taking off and performing some aerobatics which was really nice to see. This set the stage for a whole bunch of flying demonstrations, more aerobatics and some plain old fun.

I did have a schedule of sorts inside a brochure that I picked up at the gate, but due to the nature of these mechanical beasts not all was in exact order – but who cares anyway there was so much going on anyway.

To see and hear those radials fire up and then to see them in the sky with all the different sounds and visuals, it really was just an awesome day and one I will remember for a long time. Since December 2015 with my trip to NZ I have managed to see a short list of aircraft such as a Zero, Spitfire, Corsair, a dozen or so flying replica WW1 aircraft and now all these wonderful examples.

I have really enjoyed actually seeing real examples of the kits I have built or only seen in books or on the screen. To see these aircraft up close puts a whole new perspective into the hobby and fires up some new inspiration and drive to tackle these in kit form.

My son Luke enjoyed the day and more importantly gave us some much needed quality time and a day that can be added to the memory banks.

I have added a batch of the best images from my collection but other members will follow as soon as they are available – click here.


Michael Tabone

Vice President


Bayonet Model Comp 2015

Warbirds attended the Annual Bayonet Model Comp 2015 which was recently held on 14th November on a perfect sunny day. For those who are not familiar with this event it is held at the B-24 Hanger in Werribee where there is a classic B-24 under going some pain staking restoration. This event had a number of tables dedicated to swap and sell and an additional section containing the competition tables and club display area. There were a host of categories with 1st, 2nd and third places awarded to some lucky entrants, with the real draw card being this amazing aircraft and the fact that all the tables are dotted around it. All in All it was a great day and hats off to the organisers and the lovely people to manage the site and allow this event to take place in these surroundings.

Click here for some pics of the day and hopefully you might come along to next years event.


SAPMA 2015

The Weekend of October 10/11 saw the running of the Annual South Australian Plastic Modellers Association (SAPMA) Expo. This was the first year the event was held at Immanuel College near Glenelg. It was a smooth transition, the hall itself is well lit for great model viewing and carpeted to make pleasant hours of walking around the model tables as well as the traders and club displays.

SAPMA invite modellers to put their works on display regardless of whether they wish them to be judged or not which is a great idea. This is in addition to an array of club and private displays. A large cross-section of teh modelling art was on display with something for everybody.

A few Warbirds members made the trip across the border to meet up with some of our South Australian members. The Galland’s Wish display made it safely with all 13 Spitfires present, a big thank-you to all members for making their kits available. The display was well received and as at Melbourne, some puzzled faces soon had smiles on them once the display boards were read and the intent understood.

Thank you to the SAPMA team who made us feel so welcome and congratulations on another great Expo!

Check out the pictures from the tables including an array of club displays.

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!!!