Model Aircraft Construction

This section covers the construction of scale model aircraft of all types, both military and civilian, for static display only. I can produce your model in any scale for which a suitable plastic kit is available and finish it in the colour scheme of your choice. I can also provide a number of options to help you to display it effectively, from simple display bases to complete dioramas; see the Display Options page for more details.

The rest of this page gives detailed information about my model construction service with specific reference to model aircraft. Some of the more general aspects of my service are only summarised here, and described in detail on the Modelling Services introduction page. Also see the How To Order page for full details of how to order your model(s) from me, and if you have a specific model in mind, please enquire or request a quotation for further information about what I can do for your specific model.

Build Options

Many kits are supplied as standard with options to construct them in different ways. For example, additional parts may be supplied for fitting as alternatives in order to cover different prototypes, or parts or sub-assemblies maybe fitted in different positions. The range of options is then extended in many cases by the availabilty of accessories and/or conversion kits from other manufacturers (or sometimes the same manufacturer), either to increase the range of different prototypes covered, or to improve on the level of detail for the standard kit.

Some kits also provide features or panels that are intended to be moveable or removable in the finished model, for example to reveal additional internal detail. Such features inevitably result in excessively large gaps around them in the closed or covered state, or unsightly hinges. Therefore, if you do not wish to retain the (re)moveability of such features in your finished model, I can improve its appearance by permanently fixing them in the closed/covered position, and then fill the gaps to match the rest of the model.

Some kit manufacturers represent the joints (gaps) between panels in the prototype as raised ridges rather than recessed grooves. I can therefore improve the appearance of the finished model by carefully removing the moulded ridges, then restoring the panel detail by scribing appropriate grooves into the model's surface.

Beyond these 'standard' build options, if the model that you want is not covered by readily available kits and accessories, I may also be able to produce it by combining parts from two or more standard kits.

Where your model is based on commercially available models and/or accessories, you also have the option of purchasing them yourself, and supplying them to me for construction, or I can purchase them on your behalf. The latter option has the advantage that I can contact the supplier directly should there be a problem with missing or damaged components, while the former option will allow you to examine the instructions to help you select which build and finishing options you want me to implement.

You will need to specify exactly which options you wish me to use before I start working on your model. You should also give an indication of which options you are likely to require when requesting a quotation, particularly where these will have a significant effect on the amount of work I will need to put into constructing your model. In some cases I may not be able to give a firm quotation until I have the kit(s) and accessories in my possession. In these cases I will give you a provisional quotation, then firm it up (and request your approval) just before starting work.

Some of the more extensive or non-standard modification options (such as those for which a commercial conversion kit is not available) may require considerable preliminary research to find candidate commercial models and/or accessories to work with, and assess the feasibilty of modifying or combining them. If you are unable to do this, you are welcome to commission an initial research project from me; see the Modelling Services introduction page for details.

Finishing Options

Just as many kits include options for constructing them in different ways, even more provide instructions and decals or transfers for painting and finishing them to represent different specific prototypes. The range of finishing options is further expanded by the availability of alternative decal sets from other manufacturers, either for specific kits or as generic sets, for example for a specific railway company at different periods. You will therefore need to specify which colour scheme and decals you want me to apply to your model. Although I don't need precise details in order to produce a quotation, I do need an indication of the complexity of the colour scheme you are likely to choose, since highly complex schemes will take a lot more time to produce than simple ones.

In addition to the basic colour scheme, I can also apply a final finish to your model to represent the degree of use the prototype being modelled has seen. This can range from a pristine, 'straight out of the factory' finish, through to a heavily-used, extremely dirty, grimey and rusty, even damaged in some way. The degree of such 'weathering' you require for your model will significantly affect my price: the heavier the weathering, the more time it will take to produce. You should therefore specify this when requesting a quotation. A pristine or lightly weathered finish is likely to be most appropriate for a model that is intended for display on a simple base, whereas heavier weathering is likely to be necessary for a model to realistically fit into a complete diorama.