1:32 1:35 1:72 Airbrush Azur Diorama Kit Review And Build Military Modelling Model Airplane International RAF Aircraft Tamiya US Navy Verlinden VP


Last year will be remembered as a time of great change, when the COVID 19 epidemic swept the globe. Away from the horrors of that, it was also a year of modelling where commercial work and the start my 'Vintage' journey, jostled for attention. Here are the models that were created along the way...

Building the older kits that you see here (many of which are nearly my age!) has allowed me to take a step back in time, both in terms of the kits being built, but also the techniques used to finish each one.

With this year coming to a most welcome close, I thought that you might like to see all of my builds from 2020 in one place. 

As you can see, I began the year with aircraft for my day-job, before moving on to my ‘Legacy Collection‘ as the pandemic struck, only returning to aircraft in November with my build of the very impressive Italeri 1/32 Tornado GR.4.

Balancing out the old and new has certainly been a thrilling ride and one that has allowed a variety of techniques to come to the fore. Day work ensured the need for up-to date techniques that play well with the new kits that often find their way to my workbench. Necessary as they are and fun to carry out, the challenge there is always to keep on top of those ideas and in many cases, materials, to ensure that readers can see how the hobby is developing. 

The ‘Vintage Collection’ allowed a different approach. Building the older kits that you see here (many of which are nearly my age!) has allowed me to take a step back in time, both in terms of the kits being built, but also the techniques used to finish each one. Though I haven’t as yet gone the whole hog and worked with enamels as basecoats for instance, the simplification of many of the steps used to finish the models has allowed me to return to a time when my own work was not quite as complex as it is today. This has certainly been not only been enjoyable, it also allowed the models to be completed more quickly; sure, it’s fun to work on the minutiae of a weathered finish for as few days to create a wonderfully intricate result, but it’s just as much fun to build and paint a model in a day or so!

So here are the models as I finished them, last year. You will find out what each one is under the image with a little explanatory description where needed.

I hope that you enjoy seeing all of these once more and that you all have a wonderful day!

Academy 1/72 F-14A Tomcat. This model was featured in the April 2020 edition of Model Airplane International (see link below).
Italeri 1/72 Fokker F-27 Friendship
Monogram 1/48 CF-104G Starfighter. This model features in my new book on the Starfighter.
Azur/FFROM 1/72 Dassault Super Mysteré B.2. This model was featured in the May 2020 edition of Model Airplane International (see link below)..
Italeri 1/32 TF-104G Starfighter. This model is the centrepiece of my new Starfighter Book.
Italeri TF-104G Starfighter.
The first of my ‘Legacy Collection’ dioramas ‘Pinned Down.’ The diorama features the Tamiya 1/35 Sd.Kfz.251 Hanomag converted to a /10 with their little Pak 35/36. Tamiya’s German Grenadiers are the guys in need of help…

Tamiya 1/35 Sd.Kfz.251 Hanomag
Tamiya T-34/76, converted into an ARV. This model was built as part of one of my ’10 Day Challenges’ with my good friend Jonathan Mock, where we each had to build the same kit in 10 days, using only what was in the box and parts from a single, cheap accessory set. Scratchbuilding was allowed, but nothing else!
Tamiya T-34 ARV conversion.
‘Desert Raiders’ was a diorama built around the Tamiya Panzer II F/G and their classic SAS Jeep.
Tamiya Panzer II F/G
Tamiya 1/35 Flakvierling. This scratchbuilt scene features styrofoam structures and Verlinden Productions figures and accessories.
Not one of my models! This is a Befelspanzer I that was built from the Italeri kit by Francois Verlinden at the end of the 70s. Given to me in 2001, I waited until last year to build a scene around it, one that I hope is entirely in-keeping with his model and his earlier style of work.
‘Passing Through’. Perhaps the most involved diorama that I built last year, this one was built around the Tamiya 1/35 M4A3. The scene features a scratchbuilt garage building and wharf, as well as VP figures and accessories.
Tamiya 1/35 M4A3. In order to tip my hat to one of Francois’s earlier models, the stowage on the rear deck was copied accurately from his diorama ‘Breakout From The Normandy Bridgehead.
Another Verlinden model, this one was sent to me when I told Francois that I needed an original Tamiya M1 Abrams – little did I know that I would soon recieve such a famous build!
And here it is, fully restored. A huge amount of time was taken to ensure that the restored model was as close to the original as possible, all of the stowage and details being accurately copied and placed, using original parts from Tamiya and Italeri, with homemade tarps. Other than the repaired and replaced items, this model is exactly how Francois finished it in 1986.
Tamiya’s beautiful 1/24 Honda S600.
‘The Garage’ was built as my homage to Francois’s classic diorama ‘Knocked out‘.
Some of the detail I incorporated within my diorama…
Tamiya 1/35 T-34/85.
Tamiya’s 1/35 M247 Sgt. York. This model was detailed to create ‘What If‘ model of a vehicle that might have entered service. I’ve wanted to build this kit since it came out and now I have!
Tamiya 1/35 Pink Panther. I’d planned to build this from the box, but in the end went for quite a modified look with a whole raft of additional details, including kit backs and tarpaulins that were all sculped from Magic Sculp.

‘The Bedouin’s Prize’ features a Tamiya Flak 37 and an enormous amount of VP ammunition! The Bedouin and his camel are also from VP.
Francois Verlinden’s diorama ‘Of No Avail‘ is my all-time favourite. This is my cover-version of that scene…
Tamiya 1/35 Chieftain Mk.5.
A close-up of the weathering that was applied to the Chieftain. This was certainly the most degarded finish that I applied to a model last year.
Italeri 1/32 PANAVIA Tornado GR.4. The subject of a dedicated monograph published last year, this was my most involved project of 2020, all of the tricks being pulled out of the hat to build and finish it.

Links for those that wish to read more about some of these models:

Academy Tomcat – MAI April 2020


Azur FFROM Dassault Mysteré B.2 – MAI May 2020


I'm formerly the editor in charge of Military In Scale magazine and latterly, Model Airplane International. Editing duties to one side, I'm now a full-time modelmaker with Doolittle Media, working to supply modelling articles and material for a number of their group titles, including MAI and Tamiya Model Magazine International. I'm also an avid fan of Assassin's creed, Coventry City FC and when the mood takes me, a drummer of only passing skill. Here though, you'll find what I do best: build models and occassionally, write about them!

2 comments on “2020: A MODELLING DIARY

  1. Excellent work and truly in the Verlinden mould. If not slightly exceeding the great mans work.
    I am truly in awe.


  2. Simon Connell

    I love the Verlinden tribute work. I have a few of his books and I’d struggle to tell the difference. And a few also reminded me of old Tamiya catalogues of the same vintage.


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