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Modeling On The Run

by Floyd S. Werner Jr.


Floyd in the back seat of an AH-1F
over the Austrian Alps in 1995
in search of modeling supplies

With his current deployment to Bosnia being only the latest of many long stints away from home, Floyd Werner is well qualified to hand on some tips for modelling on the run!



Just a few lines to let you know what it takes to model on the run.

If you are like me you want keep up with that special project or start something new, even while on a trip. I have been modeling on the road for a few years and have picked up a few tips along the way.

To start with the choice of subjects is the first place to start. I try to choose something that will not require a lot of painting. If you are starting a kit, choose one that doesn’t have too many parts. Some likely candidates are limited run kits. They require lots of cleanup and sanding. The key thing is not necessarily to finish the kit while on the road, but to get it ready for the paint booth when you get home.

Typically, I will travel with a finishing tackle box. The length of time determines the correct size. My current deployment to Bosnia required a large tackle box capable of holding paints and solvents, as well as tools. Normally when I go for a weekend I take my fix it box that I use when taking my models to the shows. I can pack all the tools in it that I need. What tools? Glad you asked. Here is a list of some of the common tools that I take.


  1. Hobby Knife with extra blades
  2. Sand paper of various grits
  3. Something to hold water in for sanding
  4. Sanding sticks and refills
  5. Your favorite putty (Mine is Tamiya)
  6. I try to take a primer such as Mr. Surfacer 500
  7. I use Testors' Liquid Glue (this doubles as a glue and brush cleaner for the Mr. Surfacer)
  8. A brush (Doesn’t have to be a Grumbacher)
  9. A spatula for applying the putty
  10. Razor saw or equivalent
  11. Nippers (or whatever else you use to remove the parts from the tree)

From here you can add anything that is specific for the model your building. I take a small acrylic box for small parts so they don’t get lost. The boxes are available at Hobby Lobby for less than a dollar and come in various sizes. I also have a fluorescent light very small and battery operated that I take just in case the lighting is bad.

For those longer vacations or deployments (like Bosnia or NTC) I try to bring along the paints necessary to paint the interior or paint it prior to departure. Lets face it, if the interior is done before you leave you can put fuselage, wings and tail planes together with out any further painting. Just need primer to check them out. For this deployment, over six months, I brought a small air compressor and my three airbrushes with spare needles. I also brought scribing tools and templates just in case.

The key to modeling on the road is to set your sights realistically and plan the activities you can accomplish. Parts cleanup, seams, and joining parts are easily done on the road. A word of caution, don’t attach landing gear until you are at home or they will get broken off. I brought a couple of boxes with me to put the models in and get them home from here. Follow these simple rules and you too can model on the road. Remember the key is not finishing the kit while out but to RELAX. It is, after all, a hobby to enjoy - not only to compete.

Text and Image Copyright 1999 by Floyd S. Werner Jr.
Page Created 21 June, 1999
Last Updated 13 May, 2001

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