”Rommel’s Taxi”

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  • Last reply 4 months, 4 weeks ago
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  • Paul Barber said 5 months ago:

    For you, David A.T. my ‘not-quite dio’ will reference God.

  • Paul Barber said 5 months ago:

    Michel, as I tell my students – who are always looking for a debate – the existence of one mustn’t mean the non-existence of the other. They are reasonably incomparable systems.

  • David A. Thomas said 5 months ago:

    Thank you, Paul. Eternally grateful…

    Michel, I am reminded of the Belgian-born priest Julius Nieuwland, who made significant advances in the development of synthetic rubber–certainly a matter that should concern us all given our interest in the Second World War. By the time I attended Notre Dame as an undergraduate art student, the building where he carried out his experiments had been transformed into the new art building; I did my painting and sculpting in the very chambers where the scientist-theologian did his work. Now, there’s some right and left brain synergy in that story, let me tell you!


  • Michel Verschuere said 5 months ago:

    How about it: I learn everyday here about the achievements by my fellow countrymen from Dr Thomas across the pond! Thanks David!

  • Paul Barber said 5 months ago:

    Ok back to business. Here are some more updates!

    On the real Storch there is a clear gap in between tail and stabilisers. The tab that holds the stabilisers in place actually appears in that gap in the kit. So I have removed it in the name of not having a glaring inaccuracy.

    Next some priming in my go to Vallejo Black

    And then Vallejo white as preshade. I think this will be a fairly weathered aircraft given the conditions!

    I’ve decided to bite the bullet and try to freehand the more difficult of the camo schemes. I will be practising a lot – so next a hiatus to try to master that, before commiting to the final paint job. And a couple of figures to paint.

  • David A. Thomas said 5 months ago:

    Looks great, Paul! You’re up to it!

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:

    Just a request, Paul. If there’s any chance you could put up a few posts with your camo experiments it’d be great just to see your thinking and what works/doesn’t work.



  • Michel Verschuere said 5 months ago:

    Very nice work Paul! Keep us all posted!

  • Paul Barber said 5 months ago:

    Happy to show the experiments David. Tom Cleaver once said that you have to be brave and if it all goes wrong there is always the bin, and another go. I think I’ve come too far with this for the bin! But the odd restart wouldn’t phase me! Thanks for the encouragement gents!

  • Tom Bebout said 5 months ago:

    Give it a go buddy, I’m sure it will come out well.

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:


    Let me tell you a story about me and the Revell 1/32 Ju88. A cautionary tale, if you will, but like the faerie tales of old, it does not have a happy ending. The kind of story that old crones in the Russian steppes tell their children huddled around a winter fire, to keep them in check and safe from the dangers that undoubtedly range afoot in that harsh and unforgiving land.

    Now, I don’t know if you’ve seen this kit, but it is beautiful. I spent a long, long time on this aircraft, even making hand made little blackout curtains (?!) for the cockpit, for heaven sake. The camouflage was a rare four colour pattern (see below) that you can imagine, took a lot of masking, shading, and blending.

    You know I’m prone to humour, but I don’t have any sense of hubris. If anything I can be quite self deprecating. But the work I did on the camo scheme on this bird was exquisite. Really.

    I returned from work one day to find that my two youngest children (12 and 9 years old at the time) had an argument and knocked the model off my bench. The result was a broken irreparable undercarriage. Now, I’m a calm person. I chided said children, made them understand how much work had thus far gone into this airplane, and they were suitably guilt-ridden. I repaired what I could and made a lovely stand to pose the Zerstorer ‘in flight’, replete with beautiful self made ‘blur props’. If anything she now looked even better.

    This is not the point of my story. No.

    After all this, I was at last ready to coat her in matt varnish and she looked like an impossibly beautiful bride ready for her ultimate day of days. I debated on whether to make my own wash or go with the Humbrol ‘dark grey’ wash I had on the shelf. I went with the Humbrol. I gave the Ju a coat of wash and then set about tidying up the excess. At this point even my wife said, “why are you covering the plane in all that gunk? It looked lovely” (for my wife to use this adjective in connection with a tool of war is unheard of).

    Anyway, you can tell where this is going. The ‘wash’ didn’t. Wash, I mean. The wash stuck. Stuck in a way that you’d be proud of if you were replicating sludge all over your prize T-34 that had fought to a standstill in the mud of Stalingrad.

    There was nothing I could do. I tried various concoctions of thinners, water, alcohol (both applied to the model and to myself). Nothing worked.

    I took this thing of beauty, this expression of countless hours of my time made manifest and real, and laid her gently in the bin. Well, after thoroughly crushing her to bits.

    So, when you think of the bogey man, that monster in the dark, the Keyser Soze, that whispers in your ear when you are trying your hand at finessing camouflage, saying, “just slap that wash on, what’s the worst that could happen?” Just think, ‘David’s Ju88’ and take a piece of styrene, and experiment.

    And then stick it in a post and share your learning with us all, lest anyone makes that horrible, fateful mistake.

    1 additional image. Click to enlarge.

  • Paul Barber said 5 months ago:

    Beautifully written David (and I’ll say it quietly and with heavy heart – your wife was absolutely right about the Junkers). One of those moments when you don’t know whether to laugh and cry at the tone of the tale – but you instinctively choose ‘cry’. Oddly enough I was painting the Hellblau layer this evening (it is heading to midnight to be honest), and I found a piece of styrene sheet and gave it a coating. I know my issue – avoiding ‘runs’ as each squiggle of ‘camo’ pattern starts. I have a cunning plan. But I need to practice a little first. If it flies or if it fails I’ll share it (the only way to learn, really).

    Thanks to your cautionary tale (and I read my two Hillaire Belloc quite often – they are the kind of boys that need a dose periodically) I now stand prepared not to destroy Rommel’s Taxi with a ‘final touch’. My plan is to use a very light ‘dust’ wash in some places – and pastels in general. There are few panel lines given the nature of the beast, so that should help prevent any overcooking. In any event I will think of ‘the bride’ and ask myself “Who is Keyser Söze?” at regular intervals.

    I also need to register my admiration for your restraint at merely raising levels of contrition in your offspring for such a massive transgression – if mine dare jog the table while I am performing model-related shenanigans, they know to scatter like roaches, in mortal fear!

    (Disclaimer – they have had the odd ‘rollocking’ for that – but to be honest that previous paragraph is mostly hyperbole – I promise).

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:

    I did warn you there was no happy ending.

    Please do share your work. 118 posts and counting on an excellent build, Paul.

  • Louis Gardner said 5 months ago:

    What a tragic ending to a wonderful build of a huge Ju-88. I think we all have had things of this nature happen to us at one time or another.

    I was thinking about how to paint these “squiggles”………. You may be able to spray on a base coat of dark green (if this is the “squiggle” color), Then use some poster wall mount adhesive and roll it into thin strips. Apply these strips in the pattern you want your “squiggles” to be. Spray on a top coat of RLM 79 (again using this color as a guess). When you remove the little rolls of adhesive, the pattern should be OK. I have an older Hobby Craft BF-109G-2 that I painted in overall RLM 79, and was thinking about giving it a “face lift” sometime in the future………. This is how I was going to try and do it.

    119 posts and still going strong…………….. This is some excellent work indeed.

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:

    Louis, I put a part of my soul into that Junkers. The good news is I seem to have redeemed it during subsequent projects.

    The experimenting seems to be going well, Paul. I have the feeling this is going to look a very special aircraft when she’s ready.

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