Category: Hobby Musings

A quick look at a Daban 1/144 Jegan ECOAS and Base Jabber Type 89

I thought it’d be interesting to take a look at some bootleg kits from Daban. They go for a fraction of the price of the originals so are they worth the savings? None withstanding the ethics of getting bootlegs, it’s a mixed bag.

They look OK from a distance but up close, flaws do appear particularly the Jegan ECOAS.

  • Clear parts aren’t really clear like the originals. They aren’t as shiny either.
  • Parts generally have a a light oily feel
  • Polycaps are harder and not as maleable which makes it difficult to pose the kit
  • Molding/detail of the parts are not as sharp in general
  • Instructions come in Chinese although there are still Japanese here and there. They are also folded without a proper crease
  • Sprues come in 1 big bag and most of the parts are scratched
  • The plastic feels more brittle
  • Some inconsistent fitting issues. I ended up trimming off many of the male connectors to ease fitting

The fitting issues are more prominent on the Jegan with major gaps even after trimming the connectors. The neck also flops around.

The Base Jabber on the other hand, fits very well and is pretty much trouble-free.

Obviously, 2 kits aren’t big enough of a sample size to draw any concrete conclusions. But the Jegan will definitely require some elbow grease to fix the issues so I don’t think it’s worth the savings. On the other hand the Base Jabber is quite problem-free. I’m not planning to buy another Jegan kit just to see if the fit issues are different but it’s probably safe to say that problems depend on the kits you buy. Bootlegs are definitely an affordable option to use as parts for a diorama/vignette and perhaps for kitbashing though. So, YMMV.

Painting a 1/72 modern pilot

I thought I should get as much figure painting practice as I can so I decided to paint up this 1/72 pilot figure from Hasegawa to use as size comparison for my future builds.

Colors I used:

  • Lifecolor UA003 Olive Drab
  • Mig AMMO 203 Light Compass Ghost Gray
  • Vallejo Game Color 72036 Bronze Fleshtone
  • Vallejo Game Color 72043 Beasty Brown
  • Vallejo Model Air 61056 Black Grey
  • Vallejo Model Color 60815 Basic Skintone
  • Vallejo Model Color 60879 Green Brown
  • Vallejo Model Color 60885 Pastel Green
  • Vallejo Model Wash Brown
  • Vallejo Model Wash Dark Grey

I then made a clear base made out of a blister pack. The figure is glued with white glue to the base which will dry transparent.

I think I’ll try to get a 1/72 scale WW2 figure painted too. Oh and also their 1/48 counterparts. Looks like much more practise ahead.

Hobby Kulture : All good things…

“Well it happened. As per my previous post, Hobby Kulture closed, the last day being 30 July 2016.

While the owners didn’t really talk to me about it, I’m pretty sure the closure is due to the usual reasons: declining revenues, rising costs, and more people leaving the hobby than joining (which leads to point 1). Hobby Kulture also particularly suffered from uneven operating hours due to being run part-time.

Anyway, from what I’ve heard, Kulture might be back in a different form. Fully online only perhaps? Who knows at this point. But I’m going to miss the times I got to hang out there to just talk plastic with like-minded folks. And I wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

Words to live by…

My good buddy Max helped me get this from The M Workshop in Singapore.

Upcoming : A tale of 2 ‘Cats (Tamiya and AMK)

Wow… there sure is a lot of hate being hurled right now at Tamiya ever since they announced their 1/48 F-14A Tomcat at Shizuoka Hobby Show 2016. Personally it does look like an F-14…

And since it’s a Tamiya kit, we can pretty much be assured that it fits better than most other brands (I’m looking at you Hasegawa) and will probably be more accurate than others (ahem, Hobbyboss). Apparently it has been rumored for years that Tamiya would release an F-14 in 1/48 scale. So finally everyone’s wish has come true right? But then the sprue shots turned up online too. And the rage began. It seems like the wings will all be one piece. No options for flaps and slats to be down. No options for the nose gear to be down either so there’s no way you can do this kit up in a nice catapult launch shot. Both of which are available as options in the Hasegawa kit. But while I did finish one before, it is generally known that the Hasegawa F-14 is a bear to assemble. It has major fitting problems with the cockpit, fuselage and intakes. It’s also an old kit so it’s pretty much safe to assume that the Tamiya one will probably be more detailed.

I like the fact that the wings will be one piece since to save space, I pretty much always display swing-wing kits with their wings swung in. It will also make assembly less complicated. But I can understand why some folks will want the ‘all down’ option. What’s more mind boggling is that the weapons will be a separate option (addendum: the weapons are now included)! Tamiya kits are already expensive, and I expect this kit will be more expensive than even the Hasegawa. And now the weapons (which look very good) are an option for additional money. Yeesh. This also looks to build up only as an early F-14A and looking at Tamiya’s track record, there’s no guarantee they will ever release all the other versions (still no 2 seat F-16s for instance).

Oh in the meantime, Avantgrade Model Kits (AMK) announced in October last year that they will also have an F-14 in all 3 variants out in 2016. They’ve been getting a lot of kudos for it even though they haven’t released any additional information or even a photo ever since. It’s weird seeing the treatment the 2 companies are getting right now.

A 1/48 F-14 was one of my first ever properly done model kits so I have a soft spot for the subject. I also already own quite a few F-14 kits in various scales but at this point in my modeling life, I’ll take pretty good engineering, good detail with good fit over great engineering, great detail with challenging fit any day. I think depending on the price I will probably end up owning one of the these…

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