Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Dakar Race Teams In Paper

One of the best sites for Dakar models is Volker Preikschat's Volker's Dakar models are a recent development for him, Volker is known for his excellent designed DTM and F1 models, his Dakar models rival the quality of those models. One of the most exciting releases from Volker will be all the Car Winners from the first to the most recent Dakar races. The first release will be the 1980 winning car, the VW Ilits. I was planning on doing this similar thing in plastic, but I like this option alot better. If like me, you want to follow the releases, visit Volker's Dakar site.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

10th International Paper Model Convention

It is that time of the year again to drool over what others have built.

I am talking about the 10th Annual International Paper Model Convention.
Held this year at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dulles Virginia, USA.
The date for the main attraction is November 11th, we will be displaying what we have built from 10am to 6pm(18:00 for our miltary and non US friends)

Some of the biggest names of the hobby will be in attendance, A.G. Smith of Dover Publications, Digital Navy, Fiddler's Green, and many others.

This year I will be providing a live webcam feed of the event, which can be accessed at IPMC Webcam feed

I will also be posting some videos and stills of the event when time allows, maybe a few days after the event.

If you are curious as to what fun we have, you can check out My 2004 photo album or if you need more info check out IPMC 2006 website

Hope to see you there

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Polish Trucks in Dakar

Having written about Czech trucks and my history in The Netherlands.
I wasn't too surprised to see that some Polish teams decided to compete in the Dakar.

Two truck makes have competed in the Dakar, Star and Jelcz.
Both brands started competing in the race in 1986.
It seems that Star had better results, but I don't have a model of the Star race truck.....

I do have a copy of the Jelcz S 442, published by Mikrus, which from what I learned from Krys from that Jelzc owns Mikrus.

This kit is very rough, printed on thin chipboard(think the board in a dress shirt package)
The printing is not very sharp, lots overprinting, and some shifting of the ink.
The kit does have some good build diagrams, and the thin paper parts are printed properly.
One of the quaint(Sorry Scotty) things of this kit is the handdrawn nature of the model, reminds me of some of the ABC/Czech kits which I own.
The scale of this kit is bigger than the czech kits I have, 1:25 versus 1:32, all vehicle kits from Poland are in that 1:25 scale, brings me back to when I was building cars and trucks in that scale in plastic.

Not that it is much of a stretch, I have a 1:50 truck model, and I know of two other kits by Mikrus, one a bus, and the other a city square or statue kit, both of the vehicles are Jelzc machines. It is a cool concept, I wish more companies would do this, or contract with established designers or publishing houses.

I need to finish some models for the Paper Model Convention...Back to the Mat.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

From Fan to Designer

One thing that I have been struggling with when building paper models is the inability to repaint a model to some version I want.
I understand how the technology works but I have a hard time with the control, the layers, blending and the like.

This repainting is how Roman Hruska possibly started with his repainting/designing career.
Roman started repainting a couple of simple models of Tatra trucks which competed in the Dakar.
Roman's claim to fame is a beautifully detailed Tatra 815, the truck competed in the 1988 Dakar, and is a 6x6 model.

The kit itself is is 8 pages long, with Czech and English instructions, and construction diagrams, and is 1:32 in scale
The cool thing about this kit is the 1:100 Minibox clone, and the 1:300 model.

Roman is working on a 1:32 model of the massive looking Tatra 8x8 truck.
Visit the build here Roman's 8x8 Tatra

In between these models Roman has released, what I would term, One Nighters, models on one page, and you could do it in one night.
Most of the models are truck models, but Roman has also a free standing model of the engine which is in the 6x6.
Visit the downloads here Roman's Downloads

I guess I need to spend time with Photoshop Elements if I want to repaint a model, but then when do I have time to build that model???.......

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Puzzling Situation?

Well..... not exactly, but close. It is made of paper, and it has a design printed on it, is it a model, not exactly. It is a jigsaw puzzle, not one but two. To me jigsaw puzzles are another form of escape, just like making models. Mom asked me last year, what did I want for Christmas, so I went looking for something Dakar related. I stumbled onto two puzzles, one with 500 pieces and the other with 1500. The 500 piece puzzle I bought myself, couldn't wait, the 1500 piece monster, I asked for that one. The 1500 piece puzzle was drawn by Blauchon, a European artist, who does alot of comedic drawings, lots going on, all in one picture, and is published by Heye, a French puzzle company.
The 500 piece puzzle, published by Nathan, another French puzzle company, depicts a temple of some kind, in Africa. The photo was taken by the official Dakar photographer, Maindru, it's their Toyota in the image.
These are the only two jigsaw puzzles which are Dakar themed, which I am aware of, so if you find one, let me know.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Pictorial Evidence...

So you will be able to see what I say is not a figment of my over active imagination.
I have started to use PicasaWeb, a free photohosting site, along the lines of image shack or photobucket.
PicasaWeb is powered by Picasa and Google, and is in beta now.

Jul 24, 2006 - 3 Photos

Here is my Dakar album, over time I will be posting more and more pictures of the models I will be building and hopefully finishing.

I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures, as much as I had building the models in them.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

An Obsession with Sand?

After a few posts you might ask yourself, why this preoccupation with Dakar?

Isn't Dakar, the capital of the African country Senegal on the west coast of the continent?
Yes it is, it also the finish line of the off road race, nicknamed Le Dakar, the starting point used to be Paris, France, more recently Barcelona, Spain, and Lisbon, Portugal.
Just to shake things up, one year, the organizers started in Dakar, and finished in Paris.

My first exposure to The Dakar, I was maybe 12 or 13 years old, Jan De Rooy competed with "De Koffer"(The Trunk). He finished 3rd in the truck category, and after that I was hooked.

I mean, come on, the biggest racing vehicles ever conceived bouncing around in the World's largest sandbox, this is the stuff dreams are made of.

4x4, 6x6 and even the massive 8x8 trucks racing each other in the Sahara Desert.

Baja it isn't, but Baja buggies and trucks are permitted to race the Dakar, but they have to adhere to certain technical specifications.

When I came back to the US, in 1987, I fell out of touch with the whole Dakar history, but since Speed TV used to carry coverage, and now OLN/Versus carrying it, I have gotten back to following the whole circus that is the Last Road Trip, The Legend.
The models, and the variety of news sources have just fueled my passion for this event, all available over the internet.

I invite everyone to experience The Dakar, and as they say Entrez La L├ęgende Enter the Legend........

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Cloning, The ultimate form of flattery?

I guess the title does say it all.
I have heard of people changing themselves to look more like their favorite Stars, but this might be a bit more novel.

I previously wrote about Minibox, and the popularity of the models.
Which in turn has spawned a whole bunch of fans to design their own versions, cars, trucks, farm equipment.
Some months ago, I came across, these guys are good, lots of great looking designs, and subjects.

Ivan Chmely, the designer of the Paper Case line, was the first person I started to collect and build, he released 3 Dakar models, and has a 4th listed.
This led me to try to find more models, one of the lines of models which has me drooling is the LBS System .

These models rival the detail I have seen on the bigger 1:32 models I have.
There are about 14 models on the site, He also has a Liaz truck from the Munich to Marrakesh rally, and a Tatra 8x8 Kolos from the Truck Trial competition, I will expand on that topic in a future post.

The LBS System models need to be printed on A4 sheets, I tried it on Letter size, lets just say that it sucks doing it that way.

This is LBS' version of the 1988 Tatra 8x8 truck, one of the more recognizable vehicles in Dakar history.
Roman Hruska is working on a 1:32 version of this truck too. Almost like all those BF/ME-109 models that are out there...

Friday, July 07, 2006

Minibox models

Minibox, no, not mini boxes, Minibox. Minibox, is a line of models designed by Milan Weiner, his models have been featured in the Czech kids/general knowledge magazine, ABC. 
The scale of the models are 1:100, making most of the models 2 to 2.5 inches long, saves space for sure. 
The models are usually one sheet, maybe a bit more, but allow for various levels of detail. 
The basic version can be made up from one part or up to 3 or 4 parts. 
Whereas the adult version can be detailed with doors and hatches, and even wheels. 

Milan has designed 8 models with a Dakar bent, the first two models were models of two czech trucks which competed in the 1989 edition of the race. One of the trucks was the truck in which Clay Reggazoni challenged the race in. The Marlboro truck for those who were wondering :P. 
Over the years, ABC has released and re-released some of the models. In July 2005 , they re-released the Mercedes Benz 1963AK, I am not sure of the original release date.

The first one Minibox model I did, just happen to be a Dakar, go figure right? The model I started, and ultimately finished was the Tatra T815 8x8. 
I wrote a build review over at, visit it here 
I have in the work bins one of two trucks which were released by WDS, Milan's design company, the trucks themselves represent the trucks which competed in the 1992 Paris Le Cap race, from what I read, and I need to do more on this version, the racers started in Paris, and finished down in Cape Town, South Africa. 

The 8x8 and the Le Cap trucks are the only two sets of models which where published and sold in retail channels, the others, the 3 above and one unmentioned and the two published kits did see light in issues of the ABC magazines. The Minibox line of models, range from the Dakar models mentioned above, to vans, cars, a snow-mobile, and tractor trailers, even a few double decker buses from London. 

There is also a line of 1:300 models, one of the model kits represents a town in the Czech Republic, Podskali, there are also parts which make up the airport in Slatina. 

I must admit that I did print the image of the two trucks and build both of them, I can only wish that ABC re-releases those models so that those who missed it, can get a copy.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I hate when that happens

I Suck, I know, I shouldn't have said that, but it is true in this case.
After I posted my first entry I did a search on ebay and google to see how far I was off on my plastic kit count, and I was off, boy was I off. There were kits I remember wanting, forgot about them, and then there are kits I didn't know which were released.

I said in my first post that there were 9 kits, I should have doubled that number and added 2.
Of the 20 kits that I have recalled, found, and have, I have 5 kits, to finish that part of my collection, I only need 15 more, not that bad a number, but I can only imagine what the cost would be.
And I haven't even started with the resin kits from Europe, then again, I never could get into resin as a modeler, but then again, nothing tried nothing gained.
Only major problem I see with me even starting to build these kits, is the massive outlay in paints, glue, filler and what ever else I do not have anymore. Maybe I have to wait until I have my own house, that way I won't choke or get high off the fumes, one of the bennies of paper modeling :)

I need to recount the preprinted kits that I have in my collection, maybe I am off on those also?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Dakar in Paper.

I am actually glad to be a paper modeler, I have found and bought numerous Dakar themed models.

The lack of the theme in styrene/plastic is kind of disturbing, of the 9 kits I know which exsist, I have 4 of them.
Two of them are standard car model size, 1:24/25 scale, and the other two are 1:43, I used to have the Range Rover model which Heller released back in the middle '80's.
The ones I have are the two Tamiya kits, the 1989 and 1990 Peugeot 405 M 16 cars, the two 43 scale cars are the 1987 Peugeot 205 T16 and a 1988 Peugeot 405 M16.
Heller also released a Mercedes Benz Racing truck, but I lost that one in an ebay auction.

The newer ones, are 3 snap tite kits from Revell Germany, a Race Touareg from Team Red Bull Volkswagen, an X-5 from Team X-raid, and a Nissan pickup from the Nissan factory team. I have only seen the Race Touareg at the local hobby shop, might pick that up someday.

In comparison, the free paper kits available nowadays is mindboggling, I would estimate that the free ones out number the plastic kits 5 to 1.

The published kits in my collection, usually bought from Czech paper model retailers, focus mainly on the Czech truck teams, which of course stands to reason.
I have all but two that I have noticed might be released soon, might need to place an order soon.