You are browsing the archive for René Hieronymus.

Grumman F9F-3 Panther with Emerson turret BuNo.122562 Patuxent River 1953 1:72

March 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

Hi there
well my job is keeping me busy and due to this I cannot spend that much time with other work, so I hope you’ll understand that I reserve my precious free time for building models. Fortunately I still have some couple of finished articles in my files and if time allows I will post some of them here from time to time.

I first saw a photo of this one of a kind aircraft a couple of years ago and as you can imagine, I was really interested in this strange and exotic machine. Short time later someone posted a photo of this one again and as a result I immediately ordered the Sharkit to recreate this aircraft.

I received the conversion kit within a few days and it looked quite good to me. The kit consists of 3 resin parts, the nose cone and a little plug which goes inside the nose and the gunsight for the cockpit. Additional 4 brass barrels for the machine gun are provided. To whole affair looks be fairly easy to build and shouldn’t take much time. They recommend the Hobby Boss Panther kit in 1:72 for starters.

So far so good but as soon as I got the kit unpacked I decided to convert the conversion to be fully workable. Actually this was easy done. I drilled a large whole inside the plug-part and inserted a small piece of cylindrical hard wood. In this I drilled 4 tiny holes, perhaps the hardest part was to make sure all those holes were perfectly aligned. The nose cone received another axle and a washer plate at the end, Finally all I had to do was to put the whole thing together and attach it to the nose of my meanwhile finished HB Panther which went together beautiful and without a hitch.
Some color, some decals and here it is, a fine model of the one and only Grumman Panther with a fully operational (well at least its rotating and traversing) Emerson turret.

I can only recommend both, the HB Panther as well as the Sharkit conversion for this unusual aircraft.


Hellcats, Hellcats nothing but Hellcats

December 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

Hi there,
a few days ago it seemed as if all Hell had broken loose, nothing but Hellcats were seen right here. So I thought let’s wait a little while until hey all think there are safe again and then…. BANG!
here they are back again, Hellcats straight outa Hell!

As you can imagine I have quite a soft spot for this kitty. So far I have build over 40! of them all in the same scale of 1:72 and I’m going to show them all to you, so let’s start with this batch here.
First is a very early F6F-3 Hellcats which can be recogized by its paint job and the 6 stars placement. For this conversion I used the fantastic Eduard kit, and modiified among other things the fairings around the guns.
Next in line is another F6F-3 with the red surounded insignia. Otherwise nothing specail about this Hellcat which received a little modification in its port wing.
Next is what I call the heavinly Hell Cat, a F6F-5 in Blue Angel livery. This is no mistake or a WIf, the Hellcat was indeed the very first Blue Angels aircraft.
Next in line is a brand new looking F6F-5 of VF-24 aboard the USS Santee. Once again based on an Eduard kit with only a handful alterations.
Next is a F6-5K Hellcat Drone or what I call “a go to hell-Cat”
add to this another quite colorful bird, a F6F-5 in the role as a Target Tow aircraft.
And snce cats always love to prowl in the night, a Night fighting Hellcat is an absolutely “must have”, so here we go, a F6F-5N in the markings of VMF (N)-542
Finally my famous “Super Hellcat” the infamous F6F-7 “one hell of a Cat”
Ups, I almost forgot the most important of them all! The prototype which started all this mayhem, so here she is the XF6F-1 Hellcat or should we say Mommy Hellcat?


p.s.just to make sure I have at least another 2 dozens of them so beware of the Cat!

No place for mistakes

November 27, 2016 in Diorama

Hi there
well it’s about time for me to post some pictures of one of my latest projects. This is a rather big project where I took photos from the very start till the finish and finally my good friend Albert took several photos in his little studio.

The story behind this dio is a rather tragic event which happenend on July 14th, 1955.

While approaching the landing deck of CV-19 USS Hancock, LCDR Jay T. Alkire pilot and commanding officer of VF-124, got way behind the power curve of his Vought Cutlass F7U-3. As a result he crashed violently into the round-down, a classic ramp strike. In the progress, the Cutlass spewing bits, pieces and large ammounts of fuel which instantly ignited, careened down the port edge of the flight deck. After about 300ft, the aircraft finally crashed into the catwalk and broke up into several pieces. The entire cockpit section with the pilot still strapped into his ejection seat, broke off and fell into the sea.

While LCDR Jay T. Alkire was killed in this accident, seven arrestor gear people escaped with minor injuries, the LSO Ted Reilly just barely made it into safety while running across the flight deck from the imminent crash. The other LSO sharing the platform with him leaped into the net and rolled into safety as well. The hook spotter/talker jumped over the side and was picked up by the plane guard destroyer. The fire was quickly brought under control and extinguished.

The whole idea for this dio came (once again) from a photo, somewhat later I found out that this particular photo was only one of an entire series which were taken on that fateful day.

So when I started the work, everything went beautiful. Within a few weeks the hull was done and the detailing began. I used simple wooden frames for the hull covered them with plywood and 2 layers of plastic sheet. Onto this went several details like rivet bands and all kind of small parts to recreate the ships hull. The hangar is not highly detailed on the inside even though I had originally the plan to put at least part of an aircraft and perhaps a few figures in there so that one could see some parts of it through the partly open hangar doors. I even put some LED lights in there as you can see on the photos of the finished model but somewhere while building on this dio I simply forgot about that detail and before I even noticed the hangar deck was closed and to reopen it would have required some major work.
When I started to work on the details of the ship one of my ideas at that time was to buy the guns and directors via one of those 3D printing technique companies. They sure look good but when I saw their prices, well I would have to spend easily more than 300,–€ and upon closer inspection I decided: I can do that! And finally I built everything myself, the twin 3” guns as well as the 5” guns and the Mk56 gun director too. Most of the detail work went into the gallery on the fantail directly below the flight deck and the catwalks. I wanted these parts the ship as highly detailed as possible, most of all because this area would be in the focus of any photo and anyone who will take a look at my model. So I went as far as I could with the details. The flight deck itself which is a very prominent part of the whole model was made by planking it with real wooden veneer stripes, somewhere around 800 of them were glued piece by piece and finally sanded down a lot of work and a lot of time went into this portion of the model but I think it was worth every minute
For the water I used my old and trusted technique of toilet paper and wall paper glue but since I always want to try something new and improve my own techniques a bit I went another step further. After the paper-glue was dry and rock hard I colored it as usual with acrylics, let it dry again and then I applied a thin layer of white glue, when dry it was colored with Tamiya clear blue, green and smoke and sometimes a bit of white all in various shades, this whole process was repeated at least 7 times after which I achieved a real “deep” look of the water surface. Meanwhile I came up with just another idea how to do this, which I will try on one of my next dioramas. For the aircraft I used the Fujimi Cutlass kit which was extensively modified to depict an aircraft being ripped to pieces. I opened up the whole belly and inserted two look alike engines with a lot of tubing hanging out, do I have to say that you can’t see a thing of them? But other damages are more prominent and can easily be seen, for this I recreated several parts from thick aluminum foil. The aircraft itself was covered with bare metal foil while the entire ship was colored the classic way by using acrylics, in various self-mixed grey shades with various filters and washes. I also used some pastels for weathering; to be honest I have no “catalogue or instruction sheet” for doing this I simply start doing it and if something new or additional comes into my mind, I simply try it, if it works it stays, if not you can imagine…

For the explosion cloud I used cotton and some chicken wire. I formed 2 “baskets” of the wire and put a somewhat larger LED bulb into each of them, Additional I used some Christmas deco with almost 200 tiny LED’s on some wire which I also covered with some cotton. This whole structure was colored with several layers of mostly yellow a bit of orange and some black. A s a fact if the lights are out the whole things looks more like a toy and not really spectacular but as soon as you turn on these LED’s…Holla die Waldfee!
I put only 3 figures on the whole dio, the pilot of course, the LSO and the Teller, according to the story the LSO who realized that this landing was going to end in disaster ran across the flight barely escaping the inferno, the assistant LSO jumped into the safety net around the LSO platform and rolled into safety and out of sight of my dio, the hook spotter/teller decided wisely this is the wrong place to play hero and jumped overboard and if you look closely at my dio you might even see him (he was later picked up by the plane guard destroyer)
The whole dio took me only 300 hours to build and I enjoyed every second d of it.
The final thing to do was to ask my friend ALBERT MOSER to do his magic and take some photos of it. So he spent a whole afternoon taking these pictures and all I can say is: every single one of them is simply fantastic!
I really hope you all enjoy them like I do and finally there remains only one question: What’s next?


See you in Telford….

November 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

It’s only 2 more days until I will start this years tour to Telford, which is about to start next Saturday.
Since I’d like to put some models on display and since I live in Salzburg/Austria this is quite a trip. By car from Salzburg, to Zeebrugge in Belgium, onto the ferry to Hull and from there a few more miles till Telford.. Thank God for Red Bull and a few pit stops we willl make the entire trip in just 2 days a mere 1600 miles to go, so Teford take cover here we come!

Don’t forget to drop by and say hello and if you manage to come there on Saturday noon, the beer is on me!

In the photos you can see 2 of my latest builds that I will bring to Telford.



Oooh S**t!

August 28, 2016 in Diorama

Something like this can ruin your whole day…
Scale 1:72 nothing else matters

I think the title for this little dio doesn’t need any explanation
The inspiration for this build came once again due to a picture which I found in a book. To be exactly, there were 2 photos; one showed a Wildcat careening down a wooden flight, with its tail high up in the air and its propeller creating a shower of splinters before coming to a rather hefty stop. The second pictures showed the same aircraft type being stopped by the barrier after its entire tail, including the tail hook was ripped of its fuselage right behind the cockpit. My first intention to create a combination of these 2 photos was only stopped by the fact that I could not find any solution how to create that cloud of wooden splinters around the aircraft. So in the end I settled for the second phot with the ripped of tail section.

Creating this dio was straightforward, first of all I had to build a small carrier section where the action was going to a happen.
For this I started with a construction made from plywood, a simple build to which I added some details like the catwalk a fuel line and some other parts. For the flight deck I used wooden veneer to plank it and some self-made PE parts for the tie down tracks, the arrestor wire and the Davis barrier. Inside the catwalks came some additional details like floater nets, a MK51 gun director and 3x Oerlikon 20mm guns. After some figures from my spare box were added it was time to concentrate upon the main character in this dio, the FM-2 Wildcat.

For this I used the Hasegawa kit. It needed only a few alterations, like the opened cowl flaps, the damage to the wing tip and of course the separated tail section. For this I I sanded the plastic of the fuselage as thin as I dared and then added several stringers to create the internal structure. Needless to say that it is more than helpful if you got several detail pictures of this section. To recreate the dynamic of these forces I tried my best to make this ripped out parts look as irregular as possible, the snapped off antennae is such a little touch to give the spectator a certain feeling of this action. Finally I added a poor pilot into the cockpit and a prop blurr PE part which really makes that prop look as if it is still turning.

All together I spend about 80 hours building this dio and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.



“Almost at home” Vought Corsair F4U-1A, 1:72

July 24, 2016 in Aviation

Hi there

The idea for this little dio came up when I ran across a product called „prop blur“, a photo etched propeller, depicting nothing else but a rotating props. AA very simple but veeeeeeery clever product, I just loved it (and I still do). When I saw this little gimmick, I knew instantly I had to build this dio and due to the fact that I had just recently made my own photo etched parts for US Navy flight decks, the whole project only took a couple of days to complete. The base was made of wood (mostly) depicting no specific USN Navy carrier deck. The wooden strips for the flight deck are nothing else but wooden veneer, (nothing can simulate wood as good as real wood) and the cat walk was made of some plastic sheet and a few of those self-created PE parts. I added some figures and a few extra details and finally all that was missing was the Hasegawa Corsair F4U-1A which was built mostly out of the box with the exception of a few more details, like the pilot figure and this wonderful little prop.For coloring I used acrylics as usual and for weathering the salt technique to achieve that special look,

Have fun

Grumman F6F-5 Target Tow “One Hell of a ride Cat”

July 17, 2016 in Aviation

Here is my next cat, this time I’ve chosen a Hellcat in a rather unusual livery. During WWII several Hellcats, mostly refurbished models were used in the most exciting role as a traget tow aircraft. To give their pilots a chance for not being mistaken as the target these aircraft were given a very bright paint job, just to make sure that all those trigger happy “wannabe aces” hit the right target. Allthough I’m pretty sure that the pilots of these machines had one hell of a ride and some mixed feelings.

Anyhow, the paint shop makes for an extraordnary looking brd and I had to built one. For this particular version I used once again the nothing but excellent Eduard kit in 1:72. Some minor modifications were made, like deleting the armament and adding some selfmade exhaust stacks, plus a few more details around the landing gear. The weathering was done using the salt-technique plus additional washes and pastells.
Have fun


Grumman XF6F-1 Hellcat, the “Copycat” 1:72

July 10, 2016 in Aviation

Hi there,

this week I will start with a little series of one of my favorite aircraft, the Grumman Hellcat.
During the years I have built several versions of this aircraft and I will show you a few of them, that is if you like. And which one would be better suited to start with than the Hellcat prototype. Due to its great resemblance to its predecessor the F4F Wildcat it was sometimes referred to as the “Copycat”. The main difference between this early version and later Hellcats: this one features a slightly modified cowling, cuffed propeller with a spinner as well as different main gear doors as well as few other minor details.
I started this from an Eduard Hellcat kit, perhaps the best kit in 1:72 available at the moment. Until today I have built over 40 Hellcats, mostly in different versions and I will show you quite a few of them during the next week

Have fun with this little beauty and if there are any questions, just let me know.



Grumman A-6E Intruder VA 36

July 4, 2016 in Aviation

Hi there again,

I want you to show another model of my growing collection. This time it’s the Italeri A-6E kit in 1:72. It took me about 3 weeks to finish this beautiful kit. With the exception of those 2 bang seats all extra parts are self-made. The cockpit is actually completely new, as I thought the one provided with the kit as not good enough. The main and the nose landing gear also received a lot of attention and the opened avionic bay is scratch built as well. Coloring was done with Gunze Acrylics and several washes with oil colors. For the final weathering I used various pigments, nothing special. A little wooden base, the tractor, 3 figures and some other details, that’s it. It was a fun to build this kit and I’m pretty sure this will not be the last Intruder for my collection.

As usual if there are any questions please let me know.



Curtiss XF14C-2 1:72

June 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

Oh the joy of building a model – or welcome to the dark side!

You all know the story of how bad vacu kits or other short run kits can be but today I can tell you, I have seen the worst nightmare you can imagine, that is if it comes to building model kits. These little kits are worse than bad, they define what ‘s bad and what is even worse. And believe me this kit is very bad!

All the small parts are simply worthless, the faster you dump them the more nerves you will save. So dump them right away, don’t even try to use them as templates, they will be most likely wrong too. In this particular kit I only used the fuselage and the main wing and even these parts were only useable after significant improvements were done to them. The resin quality is horrible, it’s brittle like hell, I mean it will start to break if you only take a close look at those parts and the surface is so rough it looks as if the molds were made from clay, really did I say they’re bad? What you really need is a good set of plans, half a pound of putty and lots of time to build this kit. Some detail parts like wheels and a landing gear are useful too or if you haven’t got one you’ll have to build one of your own. Oh yes the clear canopy isn’t that good either, I made a new one, using a resin plug as a template which was provided with the kit.

The fuselage is made from 4 pieces which you have to make to fit to each other and that is, as you can imagine no easy task. You also have to add a cockpit floor where you can install anything you have made by yourself, because there are no parts provided with the kits. After a lot of sanding and after these 4 parts finally fit I made some changes on the engine/cowling/forward part of the fuselage by adding some of the cowl flaps. This certainly enhances the overall appearance of the model. The spinner and some prop blades were included but while the spinner was a clunky piece of plastic, the props were either broken or misshaped so I dumbed them altogether. The spare part box provided some substitutes for this task. So was the landing gear which was shortened and then installed. Before starting coloring I completely rescribed the model that way adding some more details. There are some decals provided with the kits but I restraint to use them because I was afraid of their quality and I did not want to ruin the otherwise fine model by using them.

Just to make sure I’m pretty glad that there companies like Unicraft which make such models of things you otherwise will never see from any other main stream company. But even then one should expect some parts which have an at least acceptable quality to be used as a starting point. But the parts in this kit are simply horrible and definitely not worth their price, sorry for that. I have spent quite some money on kits and parts but to be honest I have never regret to do so, until now.