Old Man Blog No.61 HORTEN episode 08

Would you like to build your plastic models more easily?

Hello everybody!

Mountains are tainted with autumn colors, and the last days of the season are finally coming. How are you doing there?

Oops! Right now you're busy building the SWS Horten?!

Oh thank you! Thank you for that!!

How is it? This is the SWS Horten kit, so it should have changed your modeler life, and you've probably never experienced anything like this before.
Please take your time and enjoy the Horten to the fullest, from its fuselage structure to its sophisticated mechanisms. No fuss, no muss.

Today I'm going to show my favorite tools that I use every day for my plastic models: "The Seven Tools" (this is an expression that we use in Japan to indicate one's favorite tools).

For the Japanese around my age, this is nothing new, but I guess fans from overseas have never seen something like this. Probably these things appear in front of their eyes for the first time.

All of these tools, instruments and articles are available at Zoukei-mura, so give them a try if you have any interest.

However, before introducing these tools, let me say something about the SWS Horten kit recently built by Master Kobayashi and exposed in a showcase at a Volks Store, where you can find all the SWS kits.

A beautifully finished Horten, which lets you admire its clear and painted version at the same time.

This work is currently exposed in Akihabara (Tokyo), in a showcase at the Volks Hobby Square (Radio Kaikan, 8th floor).

If you happen to be nearby, please take a close look at it. See with your eyes the marvel, the realism, the high-skill reflected by this model.


Here is the newly SWS Horten kit recently built by Master "Naoki Kobayashi"!!

■Eyes got stuck by the contrast between clear parts and camouflage!
Look at the completeness of the Horten, putting together both versions in a wonderful way!
This is Master Kobayashi after all. I may guess it will be hard to surpass this level even with the future SWS Horten that will be produced.
Surprised to hear voices around me saying: "perhaps I can build it even by closing my eyes".

■There is one thing that can explain this level of transparency!
I guess that you guys who have already bought the Horten know it: it's Master Kobayashi! He polished the kit for half a day, and finally reached such a clearness that the wing of the Horten looks like made of glass.
Nice, isn't it? Why don't you give it a try? The more you polish, the easiest it will be to admire the inner structure you had worked and nicely painted.

■Furthermore, every point are painted and represented according to historical documentations.
The huge front wheel and the landing gear. The body of the jet engine, the exhaust gas port and the smoke dirt: everything is reproduced with extreme realism. You can see how the Horten was an innovative airplane by looking at the design of the air brakes (resembling combs) in the back part of the fuselage.


The Old Man's best friends: The Seven Tools for modelling!

■ Hey, just the same as mine!
You, nodding over there, must be really a fan of modelling.

Here we go. These are my, the Old Man's "Seven Tools" for modelling.
These are all things that last for a life. From a long time ago, these tools have become a part of my fingers and are useful. There are actually plenty of pictures of others, but these are the ones I've chosen as the first-string lineup.

Let introduce you and comment each one of them.

■Cutting Nippers (for metalwork)

These nippers are made for cutting thick runners, big parts or for special metalwork.
You can also use them to cut copper wires or other metal wires. These cute nippers have been through hardships for many years.

With these nippers for hard metalwork, you can cut without any worry.

■Zoukei-mura Nippers (for plastic parts) Made in Japan.

Full length: 18cm. Width: 9cm

Nippers made just to cut plastic parts from the runner.
Put the blade on the gate of a soft part, cut gently and you'll see how beautifully and sharply you can cut the part off from the runner.

But don't even try to cut thick runners, metal parts, paper or wood with these nippers, even by mistake!! You may waste them at once.
As shown in the picture, use it to cut only plastic parts.

* If sharpness decreases, you can fix it by hitting the blade repeatedly with a whetstone.

■Shaping Blade for Plastic Models (edge obtained by forging) Made in Japan.

Full Length: 18cm among which 9cm is built-in (Blade width 9mm)

Made of steel and soft iron, it is forged with the same technique used as for the katana, the old Japanese shaping blade. The surface where the blade is attached is like a single edge, so you can cut and shape with incredible precision the parts you would like to finish in 90°. The angles of the blade can be sharpened (the way you prefer) with a whetstone; you can use this blade for big parts as well as soft parts. Once you try it, such an ease of use will make you want to work with no other shaping blade than this.

The blade is about 9cm long. Most of it is inserted in the wooden body. Polishing the blade again and again, the wooden body becomes smaller by the passing of time.
By the way, I've been happily using this shaping blade for over 20 years.
(This is originally meant to be a small blade used to create wooden sculptures).

* If sharpness decreases, you can fix it by hitting the blade repeatedly with a whetstone.

■Planer for Plastic Models (scraper to shape components) Made in Japan.

Full length: 19cm. Width: 8mm

Let it touch and slide on the surface of the part, it cuts so beautifully, just like a planer for woodwork; that's why I gave it this name.
This blade is also forged like a sword, using steel and soft iron. Once you've done a beautiful job on the parts surface, you'll see that waste is in fact extracted thanks to the planer itself.

* If sharpness decreases, you can fix it by hitting the blade repeatedly with a whetstone.

■Diamond File (used for metalwork on plastic models) Made in Japan.

Full length: 19cm . Diamond coated type file for metalwork.

Unlike the common files, rapidly clogging, iron made and losing sharpness because of steel use, you'll be using this excellent diamond File for a surprisingly long time (I've had it for over 10 years).
Even though it might be clogged because of plastic shavings, you just have to dip into some toluene and you'll be able to use it again. You'll be impressed by its functionality.

■Tweezers (stainless set for medical use)

Length: 13cm. Stainless, handmade (Japan).

Once you try these, you'll no longer be able to use other tweezers.
The delicate curve of its extremity makes it very easy to use; I don't know other tweezers that work so naturally in your fingers.
This is the best article that I want to recommend you.
Unfortunately, the man that created these tweezers, Mr. Koyama, passed away last year and we just have a few leftovers at our stores.
You're still on time. I strongly recommend you these tweezers that you'll be using for all your life. You won't regret it!!

■Pig-hair Toothbrush (for cleaning)

Among all the toothbrushes you may find, I love to use this one for its ease and delicacy on the parts.
After filing or planning, you may remove any little shaving or waste that you may see.
This will help you proceed with your work smoothly.

■Pin-vises (to open holes)

You'll be using a pin-vise to open holes from 0.5mm to 1.5~2.0mm.
I always keep five of these set together with drill blades of about the same size.
The rear part can be turned and it's very easy to handle.

■Instant Glue

All of us use these for the same purpose. I personally have 3 types for every use:
•Dry Glue •Mud Glue •Swelled Glue.
The one in the picture is the swelled glue available at Zoukei-mura stores.

■Glue for Clear Parts

This is the one to attach firmly and nicely the clear parts of your SWS Horten kit. From now on you can't miss this item for your next SWS kits. You'll see other kits with clear parts!!

■Glue for Plastic Parts

The one with the red cap is to glue common goods. The one with the green cap is the fluid type.
I use them according to the part I have to glue or stick.

On the right of the glue you can see the waterproof sandpaper. I always use sandpapers number 380 and 400 to shape parts. You need other types to polish or for the basic treatment before painting.

■Work Base (this is one of my other "finger" to work with single parts)

Length: 18cm. Height: 13cm. Width: 5cm (main body)

This one, that I have been using for many years, and created just for me, has been recreated this time by an English wood artist, named Gordon Wells, and it's finally here. When you shape parts, filing or doing anything else, you usually end up having a different distortion or angulation.
If you have this base, it will be so comfortable that you'll feel like if you have one additional finger.
It will become your indispensable companion! Give it a try!

So, how were these "Indispensable tools for modelling" that I have introduced to you?

You can get all the items you see here at Volks Website Store or Volks USA.

See you next time! Take care of yourselves until then.

Hideyuki Shigeta
Representative of Zoukei-mura, Inc.

Thank you!! Zoukei-mura booth in Telford was so fortunate!!!

■Thank you for all the presents you gave us at Zoukei-mura booth during the IPMS UK 2014 in Telford!

Wooow!! So many!

As you may see, all the members at Volks Headquarter enjoyed the presents our staff brought home from Telford.

Cookies, chocolates, candies, were the most popular!!
Of course, I also enjoyed Brandy, Whiskey and Vodka with my wife. They were so good!

These happy faces say it all!!

Thank you very much!!

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