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Gengriz Scale Modelling Website

My virtual Display shelves - 50+ years of model building!

December 2021

To finish 2021, another “less than vintage” year, I have built the Valom kit of the Blackburn Firebrand TF.5.  Valom make some nice kits of interesting subjects, but they are definitely “short run” and need some care in assembly.  

This one wears the markings of a Firebrand TF.5  of 827 Squadron, based at RN Air Station Ford in Sussex and onboard HMS EAGLE.  The kit  suggests a colour scheme from 1951 in dark sea grey topsides, but  I have gone  with a profile from Scale Aircraft Modelling that shows the temperate sea scheme.

My best wishes for the Christmas season and the New Year.

September 2021

Slightly later than planned, I have spent the last few months trying to finish this Heller kit of the Canadair CL-415 Water Bomber, inspired by a visit I made 4 years ago to their base in Marseille.  

This is the Heller issue of a French Securite Civile aircraft. - It’s not  a difficult kit, but that yellow is a bit of a challenge !  

October 2021

After last month’s challenging “yellow-fest”, I have come back down to earth with a simple but good looking AFV model from Dragon.

This is the M1296 Stryker Dragoon, a throughly modern kit that was a pleasure to build. And provides an interesting comparison with my 2012 Academy Stryker model.  

November 2021

Unfortunately, its been another slow modelling month for me, with a lot of distractions in the real word, including a dose of Covid in the house (not me, fortunately) and a full migration of this website to a different hosting package and SSL certificate, which I hope has passed without problems.  

Nevertheless, I have actually been building and next month should have a much better naval aircraft model to show!  

My only completion for the month is another AFV, this time the ACE 1/72 FV632 Stalwart ammunition carrier.  A fairly complex kit, that needs some care in assembly.  

January 2022

So here we are in 2022 and its all looking a little too familiar.  So let’s keep calm and keep modelling….. Happy New Year. I think….

Over the Christmas break I decided to follow up on December’s build with the Valom kit of the Blackburn Firebrand TF.II, powered by an in-line Napier Sabre engine instead of the radial Bristol Centaurus of the Mk.V.   

This one wears the markings of an evaluation aircraft, operated by 708 Squadron, based at RN Air Station Lee on Solent in Hampshire.

February 2022

Once again this month I have been pursuing a rather more complex longer-term model, so whilst that develops I have built a couple of AFVs to keep me busy.  

The Thales Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle has been in service with several nations since the early 2000s, seeing combat in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.  Dragon have produced a very nice set of models of two variants, a baseline Australian Army version and an up-armoured / up-armed British Army/SF version.

March 2022

This month sees a space/SF theme emerging as I have spent the time since Christmas building an MPM/Round Two 1/72 Eagle Transporter from the TV series Space 1999.  

This particular kit is satisfyingly large and makes a nice comparison with my 1/72 Star Wars Millenuium Falcon.   I decided to go for the red-striped “Rescue Eagle” seen in several episodes.

April 2022

This month I had planned to start building a Zvezda C-130 kit purchased at Telford.  

However, like most civilised people around the world, I have been disgusted by Russia’s unprovoked attempt to grab “lebensraum” in Ukraine and have no desire to build this or any other Russian kit in the foreseeable future.  Perhaps some day , Russia will find its way back to the civilised world.

With that out of my system, I have decided instead to pick up on a theme that has been brewing for a while - WW2 Japanese aircraft.  This sits well with my longstanding Fleet Air Arm theme and has introduced some new aircraft to me that I knew very little about.  It won’t be an exclusive theme this year, but let the fun begin with a bonanza build of 3 separate kits in a month!

Not of course, that the Japanese during WW2 were any better than today’s Russia, indeed their motivation and methods have much in common.  You would think we would have learned something from what happened to them…

First up then is this Airfix Mitsubishi A6M2b Zero of 202 Kokutai based out of Rabaul, PNG, in late 1942.  The Zero is perhaps the most recognisable Japanese aircraft fo WW2, deservedly, and Airfix have certainly produced a good modern kit.of this variant.

Alongside the Zero, the Nakajima B5N Kate was the  main carrier-based attack aircraft at the start of the war.  Airfix have also produced a modern and very nice kit of both major variants of the Kate    This decal option is the Nakajima B5N2 Kate of the Shokaku Carrier Air Group, as seen in combat over Pearl Harbor (oooh my spell-checker really doesn’t ike that) and during the Indian Ocean Raid against the RN Eastern Fleet in Ceylon.

Finally, the Aichi D3A1 Val was the Imperial Japanese Navy’s dive bomber at the start of WW2, leading the attacks at Pearl and over the Indian Ocean.  This aircraft type sank more Allied shipping than any other during WW2 including the aircraft carrier HMS HERMES.  

The Airfix kit, re-released this year as a “classic kit” is rather old and basic, but still good fun. To finish the month, this is an Aichi D3A1 Val of the Akagi Carrier Air Group  

May 2022

The horrors and atrocities perpetrated daily by Russian forces in Ukraine continue unabated. And for what? Seemingly, for one sick old man’s vanity and delusion.  

After last month’s Japanese binge, this month may persuade you that I have watched “The Final Countdown” a little too often as the month kicks off with an F-4N Phantom II of VF-111 “Sundowners” onboard USS CORAL SEA in 1975.

Then, sticking with the “treble ones” and Phantoms, an F-4M / FGR.2 of 111 Squadron “Tremblers” at RAF Leuchars in 1975.  

Both come from Fujimi’s excellent and highly recommended range of Phantom kits.

June 2022

“.. war is an absurdity in the 21st century. The war is evil. There is no way a war can be acceptable in the 21st century”

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, speaking just outside Kyiv, April 2022.

Back to my Japanese aircraft project with this Arii model of the G3M3 Nell Torpedo Bomber, of the Imperial Japanese Navy Genzan Air Group.  These fast and manoeuverable aircraft were a great shock to the Allies during the early part of the Pacific War and played a key role in the destruction of HMS PRINCE OF WALES and REPULSE in December 1941, operating at a range far beyond that which the RN believed was feasible.

July 2022

"It’s an enormously difficult, frustrating, and anger-making thing that one human being could have the power to go into another independent democratic nation and set about killing the population. It’s just obscene to an extent that is just beyond my belief.”  (David Gilmour).

I’m certain that a great many model makers in the free world will have these kits on their build desk at the moment.  This is ICM’s Mig-29 MU2 Fulcrum C, currently operated by the Ukrainian Air Force.   

The Ghost Of Kyiv may be “just” a legend, but it still represents the spirit, bravery and skill of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.  Half the proceeds fo the sales of these ICM kits, produced in Ukraine under wartime conditions, are being passed to the Ukrainain Armed Forces.  

August 2022

Five months on and Putin’s uneccessary war in Ukraine continues.  Both sides seem to have lost some of their original momentum, but despite Russian gains, Ukraine remains an independent country, although the horror continues for most Ukrainians.  

Once again I am trying to express my support for Ukrainians through my modelling and this month I have built a Mil MI-18 of Ukrainian Army Aviation, to represent one of the aircraft used for daring resupply flights into the besieged Azovstal Steel Works in April of this year. This is the Hobby Boss kit , with my own spare decals and a few scratch additions.