Thursday, December 1, 2011

Barracuda Studios December Update!

We now carry the new ADH book on building the Tamiya 1/32nd Mustang!

Hi there, fellow modelers.

I am back from the UK Nationals and working hard to get some stalled projects finished up so you guys can have some new stuff to tempt you. A lot is happening, and all at the same time, but it's all good news after some frustrating delays.

To start with, we have decided to carry the new ADH on building the Tamiya 32nd Mustang, as I am one of the contributing authors to the title. While you are browsing 32nd Mustang accessories, you might want to add the book to your pile. I can even deface it for you! By that, of course, I mean I can personalize it if you wish. Just note in the comments section when you place your order that you would like it signed, and how you would like your name written. There is no charge for this, as I'm not sure if anyone would be silly enough to pay for it!

This book is up on the site and to ship right now. Look under the books tab.

Speaking of Mustangs, the question that seems to be on everybody's mind is: What happened to Kim Kardashian's marriage? How on earth did it manage to last as long as it did? OK, the OTHER question that seems to be on everybody's mind is: Where the heck are the Mustang resin detail sets?

The answer is that they are coming pretty soon. They have been delayed by what I can only explain as a Gypsy curse. I don't recall incurring the wrath of any Gypsies recently, but I must have. Aside from the large amount of work necessary in the last few weeks to get the final details of the Hellhawks book finished, and the trip across the pond for the IPMS UK national Convention at Telford back a few weeks ago (and you would not believe how much crap I have to do to prepare for a show like this!), there was also the week or so it took me to get back on my feet after coming home. Was not feeling all that well for about 6 days.

The curse part has to do with some inexplicably long delays with the photoetched parts that are included in two of the new sets. I have worked with the etchers many times before in the old Cooper Details days. The guy who designed my etched parts is the same guy who designed them before. Yet, somehow, this time, a perfect storm of technical and communication problems turned this somewhat straightforward job into a morass of frustrating delays that seem to have been no ones fault that I can find.... hence my theory about the curse.

More on the Hellhawks book shortly.

The upshot of all this is that the etched parts arrived yesterday afternoon after a scare in which UPS reported to have delivered the package to my doorstep at 3:26PM. When I checked outside less than 10 minutes later, it was nowhere to be seen. I scoured the property looking for it, but came with bupkis! A call to UPS yielded the same information. Delivered at 3:26 to my door. Called the etchers and asked them to launch an investigation.

Long story short (ish): Package showed up at my door as if by magic less than 2 hours later. Crisis averted. Completing the sets could not be done until I had the etched parts in hand. I have them now, and they look really great. I am working now on finishing up the sets and getting them into production. I have learned not to give hard deadlines until the work is done, so for now, let me just say that it's soon, and I'll let you know by early next week a hard order date.

In other news: BC32009, the 32nd P-51D Mustang Part 1 decal sheet is almost sold out. I have 3 or 4 sheets left, so if you have been waiting to order this one, time is just about up. I am considering reprinting the sheet, but can't promise anything at this point.

Speaking of decal sheet stock levels, three 1/72nd decal sheets are getting very low on stock.
  • BC72005 P-40s of 112 Sqdn part 1
  • BC72009 P-51D Mustangs part 1
  • BC72010 F4U Corsairs part 1
Not sure if any of these will be reprinted, so get em while you can.

That's all for now. Have to get back to the workbench to get the Mustang sets finished up. Thanks for stopping by.

Happy modelling! Roy

Stop the presses! Another surprise, out of the blue, yet very cool product will be debuting later today or tomorrow. As in, available for sale on the website. Watch for another blog post very soon with the official announcement.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Telford 2011: the aftermath.

I am sitting in my cousin Juliet's living room, near Banbury and not too far from Telford, recovering from the show. I slept nearly eleven and a half hours last night! I never sleep that long!

I have been a little technologically challenged the past few days, as my cellphone is on the Verizon network, which is CDMA, and therefor useless outside of the USA. Frustrating! The Internet works, but finding an open wifi network has been a challenge.

It was a great show and it was good to catch up with many old friends and make some new ones. I will post more soon, but it is a little slow going on my phone, and it's dinner soon.

Happy modelling! Roy

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Leavin on a Jet Plane...

Hi Guys,

It has been business as usual here at Barracuda Studios since my last post. Read: busy as heck.

Just have a few minutes to bang out a quick post on the old blogaroonie (being that I am writing this at 3AM, forgive the weirdness, if you can!) before I hit the hay for a very few short hours before I get picked up for my trip to the airport.

I'm off across the Atlantic Ocean for the IPMS/UK national Convention in Telford, England. Its a smallish town just Northwest of Birmingham. Its a long trip with 3 flights, so I will catch up on my sleep on the planes.

Just a quick note to my faithful and patient customers that Barracuda Studios will be closed for the next week, and no orders received will be shipped until later next week.

The good news is that the new book " Thunderbolts of the Hellhawks" is in its very last stages and should be sent to the printer before the week is out. Its been a crazy few weeks wrapping up all the loose ends.

If you will be attending the Telford show, please stop by and say hello, and buy lots of BarracudaStuff!

OK, off to bed now. If I can find time and a wi-fi connection, I will try to post quick reports from the show.

Happy modelling! Roy

Thursday, October 27, 2011

365th Fighter Group book progress report.

A sneak peak of the final cover art of the book. The Red, Yellow and Blue segments represent the colors of the 3 squadrons that make up the 365th FG.

Its been a while since I have updated you on the progress of this book, and some of you may have thought the project had died on the vine. Far from it. In fact, VERY far from it!

First off, the book now has a title. The previous working title lacked a little in the sexiness department. Thunderbolts of the Hell Hawks has a lot more punch to it, don't you think?

Don Barnes, the man who's baby this project is, has dug deeply over the last 2 years, and has come up with a vast treasure trove of never before seen photos and personal stories. He has tracked down over 20 pilots that are still with us, and has become good friends with almost all of them. He has collected a staggering 800 unpublished photos from the personal photo albums of the pilots and crew members.

The book contains about 600 photos, of which about 20 have been published in other books. The rest have languished unseen in photo albums for the past 66 years. Many of the images will be printed full page. The range of subjects is quite varied, showing life in the Hell Hawks in great detail, with many images of the Thunderbolt's they flew, the pilots and ground crews, quarters, airfields and support equipment, even a selection of captured aircraft and destroyed targets. The vast majority of men in the photographs are identified by name.

To make this even more impressive, Don has fully documented and illustrated ninety two P-47s that were attached to the unit in detailed color profiles. Before this, the only documented aircraft from the unit was "Coffey's Pot".

John Crump has spent hundreds of hours researching and writing the history of the unit. I wrote the first few chapters, but I had to back out, as I did not have enough time to devote to the project. John stepped in and did a terrific job of bringing the story to life. I am very proud to be a part of this project, but my contribution is small compared to what Don and John have done.

This book is in the very final stages of layout. Some last minute photos and stories have slightly delayed the process, but it will result in a better and more comprehensive book. We expect it to go off to the printers in the next week.

What started life as a book with about 140-150 pages has grown with each passing month into an impressive 320 pages. If you have read Jones' and Dorr's book Hell Hawks, you will find that Thunderbolts of the Hell Hawks has very little overlap, and it will add a lot of depth and background to what is a fascinating book and a great read. They are complimentary. Reading both will give you a very detailed and rich understanding of what life was like for these brave men. Its a story that has been largely overlooked up til now.

More news on the book will be coming in the next few days.

Happy modelling! Roy

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mustang Madness 2: The gathering storm!

Here's an image showing the port sidewall of the new Tamiya P-51D, tricked out with our new Mustang cockpit stencils. Click on the above image to see it in more detail.

I know I promised to post a new blog entry a few days ago, but a family situation took me away from my blogging duties. Its been an extremely weird year for me; its certainly had its ups and downs. I'm back and here to make good on my promise.

Again, most of you may already be aware of this, but BarracudaCals has released a new decal sheet for the Tamiya Mustang;
BC32010 P-51D Mustang Cockpit Stencils and Placards in 1/32 Scale.

This sheet is comprised of over 100 separate decals that replicate nearly every stencil or placard in the cockpit of the P-51D. Yes, this will take a bit of time and care to install, but the results, as you can see in the image above, will be well worth it.

As with the P-51D Part 1 decals announced in the previous entry, these stencils are well researched, fit to the actual kit parts, and beautifully printed by Cartograf. Clear carrier film is kept to a bare minimum, and they really suck down over detail very well, as they are commendably thin.

Once you see a 1/32 Mustang cockpit with these little babies installed, you will find it hard to build yours without! All part of my little plan. World domination? Noooo! Don't be silly! Not at first... Now, I've been asked more than once if these cockpit stencils will be made available in 1/48th scale. To which, I reply "Hey! No fair peeking!"

Once you see a 1/32 Mustang cockpit with these little babies installed, you will find it hard to build yours without! All part of my little plan. World domination? Noooo! Don't be silly! Not at first... Now, I've been asked more than once if these cockpit stencils will be made available in 1/48th scale. To which, I reply "Hey! No fair peeking!"

Now, I promised you an announcement about the forthcoming resin sets for the Mustang in 32nd scale. Here is a breakdown of the sets to be released. They are still in the works, but they should be released in about two weeks. Once they are finished , I will post images of the parts and the sets will become available for preorder.

BR32012 P-51D Mustang Cockpit Sidewalls
Super detailed, accurate cockpit sidewalls directly replace the Tamiya
kit parts. Much extra detail such as wiring, refined switches, and separate parts add to the realism. Resin castings supplimented with photoetched parts, including perforated canopy rails and uplocks for the gearbays.

BR32013 P-51D Mustang Instrument Panel
A super detailed resin instrument panel, with high quality etched parts and super crisp and petite film dials, directly replaces the Tamiya kit panel. This will yield a much more authentic look. May be adapted to fit other 1/32 Mustang kits.

BR32014 P-51D Mustang Cockpit Upgrade
Super detailed resin cast radio, battery, stick, gunsight and throttle quadrant for the Tamiya P-51D. All parts are highly visible in the finished model, and will add that extra touch of realism to your masterpiece. May be adapted to fit other 1/32 Mustang kits.

BR32015 P-51D Mustang Mainwheel Tires
Resin cast tires directly replace the soft rubber Tamiya kit tires. The advantage being that the mold parting seam on the kit tires is very difficult to remove and the tires are dust and dirt magnets. While they can be painted, the paint adhesion is not good. Resin tires have none of these drawbacks. Clean, seamless castings need little work to be ready to install.

BR32016 P-51D Mustang Paper Droptanks
Resin cast nose and tailcones for the 108 gallon paper tanks replace the kit parts, which are smooth and scribed. The real tanks were made of paper mache, and the nose and tailcones were scalloped and slightly irregular. Just saw off the front and rear of the kit tanks and attach these new resin parts. The saves on weight, as well as allowing plastic cement to be used to hang the tanks.

Now, please read this part carefully! These sets ARE NOT available yet. They are coming soon. I have not added them to the website, and will not be accepting pre-orders yet. I just want to be sure that everyone understands this to avoid disappointment. I will post pictures later this week. I will also be sure to get the press release about the release dates to all the major sites as soon as I am convinced they will be ready to ship on time. They will also be announced here and on the Barracuda Studios website as well.

The second half of 2011 is certainly a great time to be a Mustang mad modeller!

Off to bed now, its super late again.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mustang Madness!

The much anticipated Tamiya P-51D Mustang kit in 1/32nd scale has been released, and the jury is in!

And the verdict is: Tamiya found Guilty! Guilty of making a kit so superb, it may have edged out their recent Spitfire series as possibly the best plastic model airplane ever made.

I have also been found guilty. Guilty of not blogging in months, but, to be fair, its partly YOUR fault! You guys have been keeping me working long hours, trying to keep pace with demand.

While this might be old news to most of you, some might just be returning from an around-the-world cruise or stranded on a desert island for the last 3 months. Barracuda Studios has responded to this release with 2 new products. The first of which is a new decal sheet featuring 5 schemes for this new kit.

Rest assured that these sheets were designed to fit the actual kit parts, so there should not be any ugly surprises when going to actually use them! They are, like all but our earliest decal sheets, printed by the masters at Cartograf in Italy. The sheet features a full suite of stencils, and the stencils are accurate for the D model Mustang. Most previously released sheets feature stencils that are not really accurate for a P-51D. If the stencils on a decal sheet have the fuel filler caps on the upper wing surrounded with a ring of text, the stencils aren't really right for the D.

A LOT of research has gone into this sheet. The correct green color (a dark green, probably British Dark Green) has been printed for the checkers on the "Millie G" of the 55th FG. They have always been shown before as a bright green color. The name is also given in the correct red with a green drop shadow. "Alabama Rammer Jammer" and "Double Trouble Two" are both new schemes never available before in decal form. Lou IV is represented accurately for the first time, complete with full, correct pilot and crew names forward of the canopy, as well as properly sized codes (The Tamiya decals in 48th and 72nd give you these codes, but they are much too small) The name Athelene on the Starboard cowl is also provided.

The last scheme on the sheet is Chuck Reager's "Amorous Len III". This is a fictional scheme, but intrepid modelers can modify the markings to recreate a different aircraft with what is included on the sheet. A sad state of affairs that this is necessary, but its not a perfect world.

This sheet has also been released in both 1/72nd and 1/48th scale, and all three are available now on the website. I hope you find something to your liking on this new sheet.

I also have scaled down and released the new F4U-1 Corsair Part I sheet to 1/72nd. Those modellers tired of the same old Corsairs will have 5 never before available schemes to play with. My good friend Johnathan Strickland has been researching Corsairs for years, and this sheet is a product of his fine work. Note the inscription on the nose of the well worn Birdcage from this sheet. How this one got past the wartime censors is anyone's guess.

Lieutenant Colonel Donald K. Yost's Corsair, a very colorful and striking aircraft, from the USS Cape Gloucester is featured on this sheet, as is 2nd Lieutenant Kenneth Walsh's Birdcage named "Viva!". 1/72nd scale modelers are not getting a lot of new decals these days. I continue to bring you new releases in this scale, but please note they are printed in very limited numbers. Once they are gone, they are GONE!

One thing I forgot to mention about the two new 1/72nd scale sheets. They are an even greater value, because they both contain 2 complete sets of stencilling! As with the 32nd and 48th scale Mustang sheets, the 72nd sheet includes the first ever accurate P-51D stencil suites in decal form. Note that the decal set comes with two half sheets taped together. This is not a packaging error. You need two sheets to have enough national markings and other major markings, such as codes and serials. Its a little confusing, but trust me, that's how its supposed to be!

Look for another blog installment tomorrow. Lots of news, and I will list the 5 new resin sets coming for the new Tamiya Mustang in 1/32nd scale. Glad to be back here on the blog, and I will really try to keep a more regular schedule. I enjoy doing it, and hope you find it a worthwhile way to spend a few minutes.

Happy modelling! Roy

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Gallery Section is Launched!

Finescale Modeler bigwig Paul Boyer built all three P-47s in 1/72nd scale from BarracudaCals BC72002. We love this kind of submission. It's just too cool!

We are pleased to announce that the long promised Gallery section of the BarracudaCals website is now up on the Barracuda Studios website. Follow the link at the end of this post to take you there.

The Gallery section has been up for almost a week now, and there are already 11 features on it. I have at least another 5, and they will be rolled out every few days, so stop by once in a while and check it out.

I am actively looking for submissions. The rules are pretty simple for inclusion. Your model needs to have utilized a Barracuda Studios product. Models featuring Cooper Details products are also more than welcome. You do not have to be a modelling god for inclusion. Just get the decals on the right side up, and a nice clean build, and you are in!

Jens Haakon Brandl has done a great job converting and accurizing the Hasegawa Spitfire IX into a FR. IX in the special pink scheme. Bet those pilots never got razzed for flying pink airplanes!

The most important aspect of your submission is decent photography. A solid color background is helpful, but not absolutely necessary. Good lighting and in-focus images are the only thing I insist on. You can get some pretty decent images with a large sheet of colored paper or cardstock, a pair of swing arm lamps, and a point and shoot digital camera with a macro function are all you really need.

Remember to adjust the camera settings to match the light source you are shooting. If you are shooting indoors with tungsten light, set the camera to tungsten lighting, and you will avoid the red cast that is common to pictures taken without changing this setting. Shooting out doors will give you tons of light usually, but be careful not to shoot on windy days. We don't need action shots! Again, remember to set the color balance for where you are shooting.

All that said, the images do not have to be award winning! In-focus is about the only real criterion that must be met. If you are not Ansel Adams, don't sweat it. We can crop and color correct and stuff like that. Most important is that we want to see your models!

Gallery images do not have to be of finished models. See the existing galleries that show cockpits in progress. Modelers love to see how its done. And you can certainly send an update later on, with shots of the completed model. We will be happy to add them to your Gallery.

Closeup shots are great, especially when it reveals hard to see details. Jereon Veen's nicely built and painted Spit IX cockpit in 1/32nd scale.

So, shuffle on over to BarracudaTown (not an actual website) and check out the new feature. I hope you will find it inspirational. Send your submissions to :

Please send a few sample images first, so I can check out the quality of the photos first. No need to send a lot of pictures if they might need to be reshot. Along with the photos, I will need a least a paragraph describing the subject and any notes about building the model. If you want to rave about how great our products are, we may be a little embarrassed, but will not stop you! We also need the scale, kit used, your name and city, state, and country where you currently reside.

In particular right now, I am looking for a gallery on a 1/48th scale Airfix BAC Lightning built using our stencil sheet, more P-47s, and any P-40 variants, either USAAC or British, in any scale.

Hope you enjoy this new feature. You can click on the link below to take you there right now. Please fasten your seat belts and return your tray tables and seat backs to the upright position. Thank you for flying BarracudaAir...

Happy modelling! Roy

Monday, May 2, 2011

1/32nd Spitfire Cockpit Upgrade Status Report

Hi Guys,

Just a quick blog entry in response to a number of questions I have gotten recently regarding the status of BarracudaCast set number BR32003, the Spitfire Cockpit Upgrade set.

It has been out of stock for a few weeks now. The reason behind this is that the decal sheet that is included in the set that supplies you with all the stencils and placards for the cockpit is out of stock. I somehow overlooked the fact that they were running low. I went to get more in order to package up a new batch of sets, and discovered that they had indeed sold out. The problem is that they need to be printed on a sheet with another project, so there has been some delay in getting everything done. The sheet is just about finished, and should go out to the printers very soon.

The good news is that I took the opportunity to revise the sheet somewhat, to include a number of stencils not found on the original sheet. The cockpit door stencils have been added, as have stencils for the oxygen cylinder, the radio selector box, the remote contactor (found in the new Starboard Sidewall Set), the morse key, and the windshield de-icer tank. A number of generic small white text stencils are also included as a bonus.

I will let you know when the sheets have arrived and shipment of the upgrade sets can resume. It will be worth the wait. I will also be announcing another cool little product at the same time. It's something that has been strangely missing for a very popular kit for a long time!

Above, you can see an image of the revised decal sheet. I think you will find it have been worth the wait.

Happy modelling! Roy

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Still alive and well!

"Every now and then I know its kinda hard to tell, but I'm still alive and well" is a line from a classic Johnny Winter song from his 1973 album "Still alive and Well".

Johnny, a master of rock blues guitar and one of the best slide guitar players ever, was one of my major influences as a guitar player growing up in the 70s.

It applies here because for the last 5 months or so, its been pretty quiet on the Barracuda Studios front. More on what has been keeping me busy in a future post, but tonight, a quick update on what is going on here these days.

New stuff has arrived! Five new resin detail sets were released on April 18th, and it has been very busy here since then, packaging product and filling orders. We are back, baby! Three additional sets in 1/32nd scale for Tamiya's superlative Spitfire VIII, IX, and XVI kits. These first of these is a new resin starboard cockpit sidewall with all of the plumbing and wiring molded in (see image at the top of the page). Also new are both 4 and 5 slot mainwheels fitted with Z-Block treaded tyres. These tyres were fitted to many Australian Spitfires, and impart a very different and mean look to any aircraft so fitted. A wash of dried dirt or mud will pop out the very detailed and authentic tread pattern on these bad boys.

1/48th scale is back in the mix with two new products designed for the later mark Gloster Meteors as kitted by Classic Airframes. This is admittedly a reasonably esoteric product, as these kits have been out of production for a number of years now, but they are pretty cool nonetheless! The small and large bore seamless Meteor intakes are a quick and easy way to make a big improvement to your CA Meteor kits that are lying patiently in your stash, waiting for you to get to them (hellllllooooo? remember me?). The kit nacelle fronts are reasonably accurate, but are completely hollow. The lack any kind of intake throat, and leave you with a big nasty internal seam to try to address. These parts are designed as a drop fit replacement and have an accurate intake throat molded seamlessly inside them. They should install very quickly, without any grinding, scraping, or thinning. Just align them, attach them with CA, and with some reasonably minor sanding, should have you moving on to other tasks very quickly.

Anyway, just a quick hello to let you know we are back. much more to come! Go to the website:

to see great closeup shots and read detailed descriptions of the new sets. More new stuff is in the works right now, and you can expect new releases to be announced in the next 2 weeks or so!

Happy Modelling! Roy