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Accurate Model Aircraft Detailing

Accurate Model Aircraft Detailing First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2008 Title Accurate Model Aircraft Detailing
Presenter Angus Creighton Publisher Compendium Films
Published 2008 Format DVD, one disc
MSRP (USD) $24.95

First Look

I don't know about you, but I enjoy watching the 'DYI' (Do It Yourself) shows on television. Reading about how to do something from DYI books can be very useful, but like the old saying goes, one picture is worth a thousand words. DYI videos can really convey a lot of information in a very short time.


Here is an interesting DYI from Compendium Films. This covers accurate model aircraft detailing, and I didn't know what to expect when I first popped the disc in the computer. First you are watching talented modeler Angus Creighton going through a list of 'must know' topics that tend to get glossed over in the average DYI articles. When he started talking about the merits of cyano adhesives over liquid styrene cements, I was fascinated as he prefers cyanos whilst I prefer cements. Actually, I do use cyanos in special cases, but I'm always careful not to accidentally bond myself to my projects. It was with morbid curiosity that I watched to see how he avoided such pitfalls. After a few minutes however, you could see how he was achieving these results without much fanfare.

The title covers a number of detailing areas that should be of interest to the modeler wanting to take their work to the next level. Accurate Model Aircraft Detailing

The chapters/techniques presented in this DVD set are:

  • Scribing and Rescribing
  • Leading Edge Slats
  • Undercarriage Details
  • Aerials
  • Navigation Lights

In addition, there is a section 'DVD Extras' that contains:

  • Additional Techniques
  • Angus Creighton Profile
  • Model Panorama
  • Sources & References
  • Recommended Products

One good example of this video's utility is the section on dropping the leading edge slats of the Tamiya 1/48 Me 262 kit. These are molded closed in the kit, but these aerodynamically controlled (spring-loaded) slats were typically open on the ground and at low airspeeds. Angus shows you how to scribe-cut the slats off of the kit wing, reshape these into slat profile, use card stock styrene to build the front edge of the wing under the slats, how to use strip styrene for the slat actuators, and how to achieve the results shown in the image above, step-by-step.

As you watch the different segments of the video, some techniques you'll be familiar with, but some are not. We've mentioned in past articles that there are many different ways to do your own modeling, and no one way is the only way. Watch the segment on navigation lights and how he extensively uses cyano on the clear parts. You'll be amazed at the techniques and the results. I certainly was.

This is a great DYI video to get you focused on the details. If you're competent at seam lines and the basics of modeling, this is the next step in your development process to be able to achieve the stunning results that you see on contest tables. The best part of all of this is that the presenter doesn't rely on aftermarket details to achieve these results, rather he keeps a supply of common materials to do his own detailing which ends up as nice as (if not better than) aftermarket parts. Take a look at those landing gear struts in the image above - both are stock styrene parts, one has been filed, drilled, and fitted to create that nice result!

I definitely recommend this video to all aircraft modelers. Like similar modeling how-to videos we've seen, I would also strongly recommend that IPMS chapters buy copies for their club libraries to help educate new modelers.

My sincere thanks to Casemate for this review sample! I hope you'll be doing more!