most common scale for WWII aircraft

I am thinking about "going out on a mission" to a local hobby shop, to check and see if Ernie has any cool looking kits of wwII airplanes. Please bear in mind that I'm new and extremely inexperienced, and that I have not put paint to brush and built a kit in probably 30 years plus. So, here are the questions:

  1. what's the most common scale for wwII aircraft.
  2. what are some of the names I should look for, and which should I stay away from.
  3. on the assumption that I am building a run of the mill plain vanilla kit say from Revel, what is the best type of paint to work with. I have only used enamels, and have no experience with acrylics.
  4. I am extremely tempted to invest in an airbrush and would appreciate any tips pro and con with the assumption that I'll be...most likely starting out with enamels unless I find that the group has a marked preference for acrylics in which case, I would be interested in an airbrush that "likes acrylics" Here again, I must plead ignorance, on the face of it, one would think that an airbrush is an airbrush, (with my luck that's probably faulty logic) and as long as the paint has been thinned to the proper viscosity it shouldn't matter. Common sense seems to point to acrylics on the working hypothesis that they are easier to clean up and maintain than tools used with enamels. Sorry friends. I try real hard to keep my posts down to a reasonable size, but there is soooo much to learn. It is not my intention at all to monopolize the groups time and resources, RMS has been my sole source of information about a hobby that I gave up (active pursuit) when I went into the navy....and Hey, I was busy taking pictures of the planes taking off and landing on the intrepid and maintaining my darkroom to do models. Most likely one of the marines would have used one of my prizes for target practice (Semper FI, it's in jest friends.) Thanks to you all for being so kind and willing to help, it's most appreciated. Bruce
Reply to
Bruce W. Apple MA, NCC
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1/48 and 1/72 seem to dominate the shelves. I prefer 1/48 for everything but large bombers, then I go 1/72.

Easy no filler needed builds...Tamiya D0-335, Me-262, P-47 razorback, He-219. Tamiya FW-190's, P-51's, P-47's, Corsairs, Mosquitoes, Spitfires are all good. Hasegawa Me-109's, Stukas, Hellcats and most prop kits are good. Anything by Accurate Miniatures is excellent and little or no filler needed. If you can live without a detailed cockpit the Hobbycraft ME-109's ar decent and cheap.

I prefer airbrushed acrylics myself, haven't liked enamels since they took out the benzene and the lead.

I use a Paasche H and have for 31 years. Acrylics are actually harder to clean up but the chemicals involved are much less toxic. The biggest cost is going to be a good airsource, con't even think of Propel cans. Email me if you need more on acrylics.

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You will now get 8000 different opinions (or some variation thereto). Might as well get mine in early.

  1. "Most common" is a difficult standard--it depends a lot on who's stocking the shelves. There are more kits of WWII aircraft available in
1/72 (or close to it) than any other scale, but this doesn't really define your choice. Mind you, I'm almost entirely a 1/72 aircraft modeler, but I have good reasons for that, and they might not match what you're looking for in the modeling experience. The availability of 1/48 aircraft is not as large, but it's still huge. The more detail you want in a kit, the more 1/48 might appeal to you. Conversely, the larger the size of the types of airplane that appeal to you, the better 1/72 might be, simply because of the space the built-ups will take. Granted, you can detail a 1/72 kit to the nth degree, and build even 4-engined bombers in 1/48; both scales are very maleable. I would not recommend other scales (1/144 and 1/32 come to mind), but I'm sure someone else will put in a good word for them.
  1. By names, I assume you mean kit brands. There are no guarantees. Every label has a dog or more; most labels have at least some fine kits. For a beginner, I'd limit my purchase of the first few kits to Tamiya, Hasegawa, Revell-Germany, Italeri, Accurate Miniatures or Academy, but even then, ask, because some of these companies' products are not best. I recommend these because they are the most likely to be good, fairly complete kits that will be easier to build with beginning skills (usually). The easiest thing to do is just post here with "What's the best P-51D in 1/48?" or whatever. You'll usually get some vigorous comments that will given you some direction.
  2. As between acrylic and enamel, I don't think there is a best type, and unless you're going for a gloss or natural metal finish, teh ¨nderlying nature of the kit isn't as important as doing the prep work right. If you're hand-brushing, Polly Scale is easier to use than Tamiya, but they're both acrylics. The small amounts of Testors enamel and Humbrol that I've used have also been nice. Vallejo acrylic paints come in a wide range and are especially good with a brush. If you contemplate airbrushing, you might find that your paint preferences change. The acrylics are less toxic, and to me less nasty-smelling, but unless you paint with inadequate ventilation, that should not be that much of an issue. Try acrylics on one kit, and enamels on another--see which you like better.
  3. Airbrushes are a religion unto themselves. I have only practiced the faith of Paasche, having used both the single-action H and the double action VL. The H is a workhorse--as long as you don't bend the needle, that thing will outlive you. Being single action, the H gives you less ability to do really fine lines, but for a beginner, masking off and painting areas is probably more of an issue. For this the H is great, and well worth it as a first airbrush. Futher, even if you 'graduate' to a double-action brush later, the Paasche will still serve a purpose. I use Polly Scale or Tamiya acrylics through my Paasche VL most of the time, and they work fine if properly thinned. They also dirty up the nozzle a lot faster than do enamels, but the end result is pretty much the same; the VL needs a thorough cleaning, preferably with a lacquer thinner or Diosol, at end of session, no matter what kind of paint you run through it. Enamels do work great through the VL. There are many other airbrushes that people here swear by (if not at)--it'll be interesting for you to try to get a grip on price, performance and reliability.

BTW, don't sweat the post size--it's nice to have one that's long AND on-topic throughout. Some people haven't quite figured out yet that the way to minimize OT posts is to run good topical stuff in front of the group. Some of what you asked is probably in the FAQ, but it's integrated with stuff that's not, like folks' opinions about certain things. Don't be afraid to keep asking questions. And don't be afraid to screw up a few really nice kits. Most of us learned fast at the expense of a lot of good, bad and indifferent plastic.

Mark Schynert

Reply to
Mark Schynert
1/72" most popular

As to manufacturers

Airfix - Lancaster, Mosquito, Halifax, Sunderland, Spitfire, Stirling, Hurricane are all good

Revell - most of their German stuff, & Wellington

Italieri Mustang and B25

Academy do a few as well

Reply to
Martin Imber
  1. 1/48 (more details) and 1/72 (less detail).
  2. Tamiya (better fit and more option) and Hasegawa. (go for the japanese brand for the better quaility)
  3. I use Tamiya. Use any paint that are comforable for you.
  4. Airbrush is easy to learn but difficult to master. Get at least two if you are really into modeling. Totally clean the airbrush after every three colors. Get those cheap compressor with an air tank, although noisy, but a full tank can give you half a day supply of air. Don't forget the oil and water filter. Water or oil in paint spoilt the finishes.
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Hi Bruce,

Mark has pretty much nailed everything.

I will back up his Paasche sentiments. I have a VL but mostly use the same H3 I bought in High School back in 1978!

As for a kit. Well after your long hiatus you probably are looking for something to learn on and bring your skills up to speed. Now if you have a large disposable income then sure go for the Tamiya kits. However if you are not looking to spend big bucks right away then there are some great kits in Revell Monogram boxes. Some old and some brand spanking, state of the art, that used to be in the Promodeler series. For instance in a Kalmbach book on modeling it suggests to pick a 1/48 single engine fighter to start out on and they even suggest the Monogram P-47. You should be able to find the Razorback or bubble top at any hobby shop and they are nice kits. If you want something real nice and only about 14 bucks (but a twin engine) find the Revell/Monogram boxing of the ME-110. This was a Promodeler release from a few years back and is a newer tool with great detail and recessed panel lines. Easily on par with much more expensive Hasegawa or Tamiya products. Look for the Promodeler 1/48 Corsair or Stuka for about 20 bucks. These are Hasegawa kits in a Promodeler box. Also still a decent kit but not new is the venerable Monogram P-51D. You can pick these up at Wal Mart for 8 bucks. Needs some putty work around the removable engine panel but nothing major. Still a nice looking model.

You may want to head over to Hyperscale or Aircraft resource center or pcmodeler or internetmodeler and check out some of the kit reviews.

Welcome back,

Max Bryant

Reply to
Max Bryant

There is when all is said and done only One true scale, and that is

1/48th. Why you ask , well the answer is simple. I do not have 1/72nd scale fingers. ......LOL

Just had to say that ..... sorry ...... LOL

... Carl ......

, Rama-Lama-Big-Borg ; BORG-TEMPLE N.Y. Central-Park-West ; Master Builder of blessed temple Kits ; Keeper of Secret Temple Decoder Rings -&- Bracelets Fluent-in-1st=96Degree=96TALK-to-the-HAND =96TEMPLE-ETTE=96Guards=96SIX=96&=96SEVEN=96 The=95=95=95=95WORLD=96WIDE=96WEB=95=95=95=95is totally jam packed with thousands of people who are Destined to be nothing more then a faded weatherbeaten -CHALK=96OUTLINE- alongthe-INFORMATION=96SUPER=96HIGHWAY- Introducing "SPOT" the Cat

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Well, I might as well throw in my thoughts here. Until just recently I built strictly 1/48 warbirds. However, after doing my best work to date on Hasegawa's 1/32 Bf-109G6 I've moved to that scale. It's easier on my forty-something eyes and hands, and the resin detail sets are very nice. Plus, I've discovered an added bonus. I'm currently building Hasegawa's 1/32 P-51D with the Verlinden cockpit set; after working on the kit for about a month now I've discovered I'm no longer a "panel line bigot". That kit has a mix of recessed and petite raised lines; I would have rejected it out of hand because of the raised lines just a few months ago. But, I suspect the Mustang will look very nice once done, and this opens a whole range of possibilities for me (eg. Revell Germany's P-47D with Rutman's detail set).

So, don't overlook 1/32. I'll be there awhile...


Reply to
David E. Young

Fortunate you! I can't imagine how small they'd be at that scale.

Bill Banaszak, MFE ;)

Reply to
Bill Banaszak

I can. Having just finished three 1/72 scale figures for a vignette, they are small, damned small!

At least I don't have to do fingernails!


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