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Pilots, In or Out?
md72
#439
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Washington, United States
Joined: November 05, 2005
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Posted: Thursday, June 03, 2010 - 08:59 AM UTC
Since I got back to building planes a few years ago, I stopped putting the pilots in my airplanes. The molds in 1/72 were pretty bad and they all seemed to be praying rather than flying.
What's everyone else do?
Any opinions about trying to paint them up to look like real people?
bdanie6
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Florida, United States
Joined: November 09, 2008
KitMaker: 615 posts
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Posted: Thursday, June 03, 2010 - 11:23 AM UTC
Mark, not in 1/72 scale. Pilots wear too much equipment to ever do them justice, and besides most moldings in plastic are just blobs with legs. Some of the newer moldings in 1/48 scale are pretty reasonable and with some fancy paint work just might make it. As a matter of fact I am debating right now whether or not to use Tamyia's new pilot in my P-51 campaign build. Resin, of course, is a whole other issue. You can find outstanding scultures in any scale. I just haven't found one that actually sits down in seat yet without major surgery!
jaypee
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: February 07, 2008
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Posted: Thursday, June 03, 2010 - 11:26 AM UTC
I got decent heads like, Eduards sets for RFC 1918 for example and affix them to those rubbish revell/airfix pilots.

Railway staff prob look like pilots too, could use them. Add wire for oxygen cables, glue for masks. look for Tim Prosser's threads for examples of what is possible in 1/72.
md72
#439
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Washington, United States
Joined: November 05, 2005
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Posted: Thursday, June 03, 2010 - 11:34 AM UTC
Thanks guys. One of the projects growing cobwebs on my bench is a Hawk 1/72 SBD-5. I've spent (learning exercise) a lot of time scratch building a cockpit for it. But ut was molded gear up, so I was going to put it on a stand. Just thinking it'll look silly 'flying' with no air crew. Almost the same with my P-51 for the P-51 campaign. The canopy is actually set up to be opened (seperate parts for windscreen, canopy and frame). Cockpit is crap, but there is a pilot. maybe he could hide the lack of details .
hellbent11
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Kansas, United States
Joined: August 17, 2005
KitMaker: 725 posts
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Posted: Thursday, June 03, 2010 - 07:48 PM UTC
I've had a heck of a time trying to find pilots or anything in 1/72 or 1/48 for that matter, not even counting looking good. I've gone to 4 different LHS and all didn't have a single one. My one guy told me that nobody carries them "because they sell like crap!"

Oh Well, Hellbent
Siderius
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Tennessee, United States
Joined: September 20, 2005
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Posted: Friday, June 04, 2010 - 10:21 AM UTC
Hi there Hellbent! What a name! Anyways, I don't include my pilots in my 1/72 scale aircraft, you can barely see the cockpit anyway. Just my two cents. Russell
hellbent11
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Kansas, United States
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Posted: Friday, June 04, 2010 - 04:29 PM UTC
Russell, I agree you can't see much but if you don't have them in a dio it just looks like a ghost town... Plus if you depict the plane flying or the engine running you have a ghost ship ooooooohhhhhhhhh (spooky howl)


Hellbent
Kilshaw
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England - West Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: June 13, 2010
KitMaker: 22 posts
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Posted: Monday, June 14, 2010 - 05:58 AM UTC
I made the Revell 1/72 Albatros D.III a couple of months ago, and although the pilot was terrible, I had to put him in because the seat and joystick was attached to him!

It was a very bad kit, but then it was only 3!

By the way, there was only 19 parts!

Kilshaw
armouredcharmer
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: June 09, 2009
KitMaker: 665 posts
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Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 09:49 PM UTC
Hi There,being a 1/32nd and 1/35th scale modeller i tend to leave my pilots out as it obscures some of the cockpit detail !.Having said that i lament the fact that there is a woeful lack of standing pilots and ground crew in this scale (unless you mortgage the wife/car/kids to buy aftermarket stuff ).
Still,with the likes of Mini-Art now bringing out some pilot sets perhaps my prayers are being answered !!
robot_
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United Kingdom
Joined: March 08, 2009
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Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 04:14 AM UTC
I've just got the Revell 1/72 RAF pilots set, and there are quite a few seated pilots included- and not too bad looking either- see my review here.

Take a look at Tim Prosser's work for how well even 1/72 pilots can look.

I was quite happy with the pilots that came out of the 1957 moulds of the Airfix Tigermoth.

I think it is sad that so many serious modellers seem to shun the inclusion of figures- I think they are essential to add an a human touch to models that allows you to relate to the model as a scale representation of a real machine.

As for painting, it is much trickier in 1/72 than in other scales. Don't try to paint the whites of the eyes, as at that size, eyes are actually only seen as dark sockets, no white would be visible. Everything else can be taken from from wargaming miniature techniques- see the Games Workshop website for tutorials on painting.

If working on 1/32 or larger, you can start to use oil painting techniques for the skin tones, to enable perfect blending of shading and colour.

I plan to have a few standing figures next to finished aircraft- especially when the cockpit has a lot of detail that I don't want to cover up.
md72
#439
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 09:30 AM UTC
Wow, I had to look at Tim's photos twice before I realized that they were models and not actual inflight photos. the pilots looked real and were even looking at the camera! I've got a 1/48 pilot for my Mustang, I'll start there.
CanDid
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Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: May 03, 2010
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Posted: Sunday, August 22, 2010 - 01:59 AM UTC
My opinion is that pilot, crew and ground crew is a vital part of modelling. There are so many really great builds out there that lacks the personality, if I may use that term, because they are just painted and 'parked'. A little like a car parked in the dealers showroom, one looks for the price tag.

I would like to see more aircraft dioramas with figures and equipment, I think that adds life to any aircraft in any scale. Personally I prefer the 1/32 scale for planes just for this particular reason, one can add more details and loads of stuff can be borrowed from the 1/35 scale. Even if I myself is not a very skilled modeller I try my best to add details.

When it comes to detailing figures in the smaller scales I figured out that the layering of paints is the key. Normally one add the details suck as belts an stuff last, but in smaller scales I prefer the other way around. The smallest parts to paint first, then adding larger (and often darker) colours areas later.

For faces I use a simple wash to give the face some character.