Ebbro 1/20 JPS Lotus 72E

Eric Larson once described himself to me as a ‘meticulous modeller’ and my experience of his beautiful models, over a number of years, reinforces that as a fair description. It’s therefore, with much pleasure that I introduce his latest creation – a subject for which the necessity to indeed be ‘meticulous’, is a given, the iconic JPS Lotus.

Hand in hand with that, it was Eric that first drew my attention to the resurgent Airfix Model World magazine and he has been a contributor since the re-launch of the title. It was Eric’s involvement that first made me consider an application to join the ranks so, ‘thanks Eric!’

This then, in Eric’s own words:

“I’m primarily an aircraft modeler but for literally decades a 1970’s era Lotus Formula 1 car in the John Player Special livery has been on my modeling bucket list.

A couple months ago I decided it was finally time to check that one off the list and chose the Ebbro 1/20 JPS Lotus 72E as my subject. This particular kit was a limited “deluxe” edition that included an extra decal sheet for the JPS sponsor markings and finer pin striping.

Gunze Mr. Color Gloss Black thinned with Mr. Leveling Thinner was the primary paint with several coats of MC Super Clear used to seal the decals. Gentle polishing with Novus #2 and a coat of Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze wax finished the job.”

Lawrence of Arabia

I have, in recent times, become convinced that where painting and finishing is concerned, figure modelling is at the pinnacle of current achievements, ahead of other genres. The jaw-dropping skill I see coming out of Europe and the Far East, astounds me. Some of it is now tantamount to ‘photographic’ in its realism and I greatly admire all those who practice in this area.

Coupled to that, if I have a modelling regret, it’s the domination of the hobby by men, with too few women by far engaged in it.

So, it is with great pleasure that I have the privilege of featuring the stunning talent of Maria Alberta Iaia who has kindly offered ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ for my guest models slot. Maria is currently honing her already advanced skills under the tutoring of Emilio Rajani and hopes to achieve ‘Master’ status by the end of this year. I have no doubt she’ll more than achieve her aim and I look forward to what comes next from the MAI stable.

This, in Maria’s own words:

“I have always had the passion for modeling since I was little, basically I started with LoTR in 1999 when I was only 6 years old. Then, I started painting seriously recently on 2016 with Warhammer: Skaven, Sylvaneth and Orks. Since 2017 I have decided to take lessons and began painting both historical and fantasy with my master Emilio Rajani.”

In reference to her WIP images:

“I only use acrylics and black primer with the ultra matte varnish of AK.
As you can see I always start with the eyes, they will give me a more wide vision of the model itself and its expression for the future steps. Then I start to paint the skin using the layering technique, not the blending one. The black primer helps me with the shadows as they are already there, all I have to do is to keep layering from bottom to top many times, slowly shortening and shrink the lights.

Once the face is done I can continue my project with the turban (which I decided to make red) and the garment with white and yellow stripes. Even here I used the same layering technique, in the first step I could set the first lights then increasing them with brighter colours until pure white.

I mainly use Vallejo colours, only the red I chose two tones from Andrea Colours which are Blood Red and Prussian Blue. Once the garment and turban are done the only thing to do is to make some details, as you can see, I decided to follow the box art and make some seam on the shoulders and darker lines on the white stripes to emphasise the creases of the vest.”


Finished images.




Bad Wolf


Academy 1/72 F/A-18A Hornet

Andy Firth’s models have caught my eye for all the right reasons, over quite a period of time and their quality, tied to Andy’s quite forthright manner, have endeared me to both ever since. It’s a privilege to feature Andy’s ‘Bug’ here. The base is via Coastal Kits.

To quote Andy…

“This is Academy’s 1/72 F/A -18A+ built for a feature on the Kitmaker Network website. Built straight from the box as I’d burnt myself out superdetailing other projects and needed something simple to play with.

I have to say, it single handedly saved my modelling hobby as it was a dream to build. The best modelling experience I’ve had in quite some time.”

Airfix 1/72 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I

Mask-meister Mal Mayfield joins the guest list today with his diminutive Spitfire Mk.I from the Airfix revised tooling. Mal has championed the cause of masks over decals for many years and can be rightly considered the hobby’s number one choice for custom masks.

His top drawer skills are married to his preferred choice of masking material, a closely guarded secret for its ability to be cut in fine, intricate patterns, without shrinkage (a common problem with other vinyl options). Mal has created many bespoke masking sets for modellers that appreciate being able to apply the finishing markings just as they were created on the full size originals. Of course, it’s one thing to have the mask creation aspect sorted, you also need instructions…and Mal’s must be among the most explicitly clear and comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

I’ve used home spun masks myself in 1/72 and am long since sold on the inherent superiority of paint over decals. With several of Mal’s sets in the bunker, I can’t wait to re-visit the pleasure they provide, when you sit back and enjoy the results.

In Mal’s own words.

“Spitfire Mk I, K9998 QJ-K, the 211th Spitfire built out of the first order for 212. Pilot was Geoffrey Wellum, the youngest pilot to fly spitfires during the Battle of Britain and this was the first Spitfire that he flew. All markings are painted on (of course).

Geoffrey Wellum lives just up the road from me and I have had a conversation with him about this spitfire and I am currently building a 1/32 scale version which will incorporate the details that he has told me about. Actually it will be the second one that I have built as the first one is wrong; that one resides in the Mullion heritage centre.

This aircraft still had the pole type antenna, so this model is wrong in that respect, it also still retained the pump up undercarriage mechanism. Geoffrey Wellum mentions this in his book, “First Light” which is a great read and I have a signed copy.”


Bad Wolf

Tamiya 1/48 P-47D ‘Razorback’

When I conceived the notion of a ‘Guest Models’ slot in the blog there was no manner of means that would see Paolo Portuesi left out, short of his declining to participate. Happily, he willingly consented and I’m extraordinarily pleased to share five images with you of his exquisite 1/48 Tamiya P-47D ‘Razorback’.

The kit is a perfect foil for Paolo’s comprehensive skill set which, coupled to his refined style, just drips with Italian flair.



1/48 Zoukei-Mura McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II

Chris is a fellow Airfix Model World (AMW) contributor and as you can see, a great modeller! ‘Crisp, controlled and characterful’ define builds from CJ’s stable and his delicious Phantom is a prime example of that.

It’s a privilege to call him friend and I recommend you look out for him in future editions of AMW!


Bad Wolf

1/48 Hasegawa Hawker Typhoon

Jon is a great friend and a wonderful guy. He’s also a very accomplished modeller with a wide clientele of loyal commission purchasers and this, coupled to his amazing output, means he’s also very practiced.

Given a predilection towards experimentation, Jon has given himself huge opportunity to explore what he likes and to push the boundaries with commission subjects he might not otherwise have covered. It’s been a sincere joy to see his abilities and the quality he produces just go skywards and that looks set to continue, as he incorporates aspects of the ‘Spanish School’  of finishing into his models. Here’s one I really love from his current crop – a quarter scale Tiffie in the European scheme.

The other thing I particularly enjoy about this build, is that it was underpinned by the human element and involved (during the commission process), research into the pilot, Squadron Leader Patrick Glynn Thornton-Brown of 609 Squadron and his ultimate fate.

Here’s the link to Jon’s page and the other images – 609 Squadron

I do hope you enjoy this and Jon’s other lovely models.


Bad Wolf