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The Learning Modeller's Manifesto

Repetition is a Key to Your Development

n by Rafi Ben-Shahar

Repetition is the highway to perfection. This is at least the way I feel. Many modellers may feel a bit tepid with respect to trying new techniques and approaching the building process with bold and revolutionary methods. Here is a way that I found that may work to add satisfaction from your work.

The Learning Modeller's Manifesto

Here is my Learning Manifesto - six practices which will speed up the development of your modelling skills.

An example

As frequent readers of this magazine might recall I often build models in series, applying the six practices of the manifesto. For this article, I chose the Dragon 1/48 Junkers Ju-88G Series as an example of how to perfect your work. The Dragon Junkers Ju-88 series is a favourite topic of mine because of its versatility, many available colour options, variations and most of all in that the completed models look very much like the real aircraft. It is also easily available and can be obtained at a modes cost (see rule 3)

I have built many models from the same basic kit (see also Rafi's article Nachtjäger - FuG Installations on Early Ju-88 Variants  - Ed.), which should serve as a good example of applying rules 1, 2 and 6 on my list.

The Ju-88G-1 that already shows its age (time for revamping), was built out of the box (see rule 4).

With the following Ju-88G-6 I was still very conservative albeit applying a colour scheme suggested in one reference although I was not sure that it was indeed accurate.

The third Ju-88G-7 is a representation of an aircraft tested by the Allies that appeared in the reference photographs with an FuG 240 Berlin radar. I chose to model the aircraft with its likely older FuG 220 radar (no aftermarket items and no excessive detailing). Decals were prepared from spare sheets.

Comparison between the latter two models shows that I was much bolder with the weathering process (which was intentional, see rule 5). Here I went about weathering the model even before applying the first paint coat. I took advantage of the original plastic colour, which resembles the final light RLM 76 and pre-shaded the exhaust and oil stains. As the stains accumulate over time, I weathered again and again with the application of the camouflage to replicate the appearance of stains as dirt layers. For this, I had to scratch the plastic surface and smear the stains with my fingers. Believe me, you need nerves for such a job because it does not look right up to the very end of the process (rule 5 again).

Improvement in weathering and simulating exhaust stains.
Click to enlarge

The bottom line of my reasoning is line is that lengthy superdetailing projects, fun as they might be, do not offer enough repetition to accelerate your learning curve.  I believe that my manifesto does.


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