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Showing topics in Aircraft Reviews, Kits, Aftermarket (updates/conversions), Decals, Reference material, Armoured Fighting Vehicle Reviews, Kits, Aftermarket, Diorama & Accessory, Reference Material, Kits, Aftermarket, Reference Material, Vehicle Reviews, Sci-fi & Real Space Reviews, Figure Reviews, Locos, Trains & Layout Reviews and Tools & Paint Reviews posted in for the last 365 days.

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  1. Today
  2. Mirage F.1 EQ/ED - 1:72 Special Hobby

    Thanks, Julien. Certainly one of the best looking jets, ever. By the way, ED stands for Libya, Qatar owned EDA. Despite obvious efforts by SH, I'm still a bit disapointed by the range of weapons/pods/tanks offered, considering the F1 capacity. Lets hope we'll soon find more on the aftermarket. Also, EQ is a bit vague. Looks like its an EQ4?
  3. Yesterday
  4. Mirage F.1 EQ/ED (72386) 1:72 Special Hobby The Dassault Mirage F.1 has been a successful point defence fighter for over thirty years, and was developed initially as a private venture by Dassault as a replacement to their ageing Mirage III fighters. It is a single-engined, single-seat fighter aircraft with a high-mounted delta wing and capability of reaching mach 2.2 in short order. Power was provided by a single SNECMA Atar turbojet providing about 7 tonnes-force (69 kN; 15,000 lbf) of thrust. Dassault soon found an eager customer in the shape of the French Armée de l'air, who bought various versions over the years starting on 1974. The French retired the Mirage F.1 in 2014. The ED is the export version for Qatar, and the EQ the version for Iraq. Its worth noting that private military contractors in the US are buying large surplus stocks of Mirage F.1s to use in the adversary role. The Kit This is a reworking of the superb new tool kit from Special Hobby. This boxing has extra plastic parts for this version being the tail and large centre line tank. There is also some small resin parts for the "lumps & bums", and a resin Exocet Missile for the Iraqi version. The parts are crisp with engraved panel lines deep enough not to disappear under a coat of paint, but not trench like. From the parts break down on the sprues it is evident more versions are on there way. Construction starts conventionally enough in the cockpit area. The instrument panel and coaming is built up and attached to the front of the cockpit, the rear bulkhead is attached, and the control stick added in. For some strange reason step 3 in the instructions has you placing the cockpit inside the fuselage and closing it up; and step 4 has you adding the front wheel well and exhaust into the fuselage. I would safely say that it's best to reverse these. On the subject of the exhaust, it is a three part affair and the quality of the kit parts is very good. Once the exhaust, front wheel bay, and cockpit are in the main fuselage can indeed be closed up. Once the main fuselage is together the correct nose can be added for your chose decal option. Various nose antenna are added along with the front airbrakes which are moulded in the closed position. The engine intakes are also added at this stage. Next the main wings are added which are of conventional upper/lower construction. Once these are on the rudder, tail planes, and ventral strakes are all added as well. Once the main aircraft is built it is time to switch to the landing gear. All three units are built up and added along with their respective doors. The undercarriage is quite detailed but has been moulded to be in as few parts as possible. The main legs along with their retraction struts are one part, with only a single small section needed for each of the mains. The wheels are one part each and have nice relief for painting. It is then a quick re-visit to the cockpit to build the ejection seat. For the scale this is quite detailed with 4 parts making up the seat. There is a choice of seat back/cushion however no indication of which to use for which option. It is suspected these options are time frame based, and the modeller should check their references. The penultimate step is to add the pylons. A single centre line pylon is added along with wing pylons, &chaff dispensers. Thankfully this time the instructions show which should be added for each decal option. The instructions show only fuel tanks to be attached, although the sprues do contain a nice selection of French weapons to be deployed as the modeller sees fit,. Lastly the canopy and front screen are attached. Markings There are four decal options on a sheet from Cartograf so there will be no issues there. 1. F.1EQ No.79 Sqn Iraqi Air Force (Sand / Grey scheme). 2. F.1EQ-5 No.81 Sqn Iraqi Air Force (Dark Sea Grey Scheme) - Fitted for Exocet. 3. F.1EQ-6 No.102 Sqn Republic Of Iran Air Force (Grey / Blue Scheme). 4. F.1ED Libyan Peoples Air Force (Aircraft which defected to Malta) Conclusion It is great to see more versions of this new tool from Special Hobby becoming available. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Star Wars Name Placards (A-Wing, Slave 1, AT-ST) GreenStrawberry We've all had the situation where someone has extended a finger at one of our creations with a quizzical look on their face and uttered the immortal words "What's that then?". Forcing down the urge to roll your eyes and sigh, with some retort such as "Don't you know anything about Sci-Fi?", you dutifully explain what it is, which film it was in, and how many hours you put into its creation. Well now you don't even have to open that slot under your nose, as you can pop one of these rather attractive and "in theme" placards in front of your Star Wars models, and you're not just limited to the new Bandai kits, but any that you've made over the years, or even ones you have bought ready-made! I'll give you a moment to process that fact that some people buy things you don't have to build. Ok, now you've recovered from the shock, here are a selection of these handy, attractive and useful placards/name badges, call them what you will. They all follow the same format, have the same design cues etc., so will look rather splendid once you've been around putting them on all your bases, or in front of their stands. They arrive in a flat resealable package, with piece of card protecting the contents against bending, and the instructions sandwiched between. The two Photo-Etch (PE) sheets are of a thicker gauge for strength, and there are just three parts to each set. The placard itself, which has a fold-over edge all round that gives it a 3D latticework look, a flat base onto which is fixed the fold-up stand that the label can be glued to, soldered together or just stood on, holding it at an angle for ease of viewing without breaking your neck. Each one has the commonly used name of the model in large letters, with the technicalities and additional information in a smaller text above and below. The lattice-work structure around the edges gives it a bit of strength as well as making it look Sci-Fi like, as do the motifs found to the left of each one. With some careful painting, even a little weathering maybe, they should look rather nice. They are of course unconstrained by scale, but if you're displaying it in front of a 1:144 A-Wing, you may have trouble seeing the model behind it! I quickly knocked together one of them with super glue as a demonstration, and they're quite quick to build. Using the proper tools is important to fold the thick brass concisely at the bend-lines, and the upstand parts become delicate when you're midway through the folding, so take care not to twang one of the arms like I did. Splash some Star Wars appropriate paint on, put a contrasting colour in the low-spots of the letters and symbols, and it will look great. Jango Fett's Slave 1(04418-N/A) Boba Fett's Slave 1 (04518-N/A) AT-ST (04618-N/A) RZ1 A-Wing (04718-N/A) Conclusion A good idea well executed. You can lie them down, stand them up, but most importantly, people will know what your model is without having to ask and they add a certain something to your builds! Review sample courtesy of
  6. Fokker D.VIII - Profipack Edition (8085) Eduard 1:48 The parasol winged Fokker D.VIII was the last of this companies aircraft to enter service before the end of the Great War. Originally designated the Fokker E.V. it was an agile little machine with a parasol wing and rotary engine, much like some of the early machines from the start of the Great War. It might have had greater success, had it not suffered from poor manufacturing standards. After barely two weeks service in August 1918, The E.V. had to be withdrawn due to failures causing the wing to disintegrate in flight. Badly made wings and poor materials were found to be the main cause. Examination of several sets revealed such things as incorrect wing spars, and nails that secured the plywood skinning completely missing the ribs it was supposed to attach to. Redesigned wings were manufactured under more stringent quality control, and the aircraft resumed production with the new designation of Fokker D.VIII. Surviving E.V.s were retro fitted with the new wing, and it seems were also then referred to as D.VIII's. Re-entering service in October, it did not much have much time to prove itself before the 11th November armistice brought the conflict to a halt. The kit. Not a new kit, as It has been issued before, but it is making a welcome return. Inside the box are three plasic sprues, one etched fret of details, a sheet of pre-cut masks, two decal sheets, and a full colour instruction booklet. The cockpit is well detailed, with the typical Fokker steel tubework well represented by finely moulded frames. Smaller details such as throttle and compass are provided, with the option of using alternatives from the pre printed etched fret. The seatbelts also come from this fret, and interior lozenge is provided on the decal sheet. The fuselage halves are closed around the completed cockpit unit, and the forward coaming attached to form the basic fuselage. The Etched sheet contains the forward underside panel, which helps to enhance the look of this area. The instructions show it being fitted after the wing is on, but personally I would fit it before. The little Oberursal engine also gets enhanced with an easy to fit 'spider' of push rods, to add to the finely moulded crankcase/cylinder unit. For most finishing options it will probably be best to leave the engine & cowling off until final painting and decalling is done. Various little etched footsteps, rings, filler caps etc are offered, all of which go to enhance the final look of the model. The Spandau machine guns can be fitted as solid plastic items, or you can remove the cooling jackets and replace them with finely etched alternatives. This is always worth doing as the slotted etched versions are far superior. Two wings are provided, which at first look may seem odd. The reason is that one is provided with a perfectly smooth finish, whilst the other has a lightly 'rippled' look that D.VIII's sometimes showed. The choice of which to use is up to you. Fitting the wing requires care, but is not as difficult as it may look at first glance. After painting or decalling the fuselage, clean out the locating points for struts C2, C6, C7, C10 & the pair of C31's on both the fuselage and wings. A fine drill is best for this. Glue the forward pairs of C2+C10 and C6+C7 first, and check that they dry fit and locate correctly into the upturned wing. Let it dry overnight, and then attach the wing to the strut ends. Add the C31's at this point and leave it all to set. This whole task is easier to do with the wing and fuselage upside down. Finishing off sees the undercarriage attached, along with control horns (etched or plastic), cable exits (etched only) and struts for the tail group. Decals Five options are provided. Four of them are D.VIII.s, but I assume that the Jasta 6 example dated August 1918 is an E.V. Two decal shhets are provided, the larger of them holds all the individual aircraft markings and is sharply printed with good colours and minimal carrier film. The second sheet contains a full set of upper and lower four colour lozenge fabric, applicable to four of the five options. Lozenge colours are always controversial, and personally I think these are on the bright side. I would tone them down after application with a brown 'glaze' as was often done in real life. Tamiya X-19 'Smoke' lightly airbrushed is ideal for this. Others may prefer to replace them with their favoured aftermarket brand. The instuctions show the wings being painted in Fokker 'streaky olive drab', which may well be the case. However it is now thought likely that they were painted in brown & green on top, with blue & violet undersides. Conclusion. This is a lovely little kit, I have already built two of them from previous releases. The moulding is very fine and free of flash, and all parts fit together with precision. There are no problems with its construction, the wing strutting is actually easier to do than most biplanes and there is virtually no rigging. Eduards 1:48 First World War aircraft are the best you can get in this scale, and this one deserves a place in any collection. Recommended. Review samples courtesy of One I completed a couple of years ago from a previous release of this kit;
  7. It's all relative, like most things that cost money. You could also give them away free with a bag of crisps and someone would still complain they're the wrong flavour
  8. Two-Seat T-Harrier (T.2/T.2A/T.4/T.4N/T.8) 1:48

    Completely agree. Look at the current price of Hasegawa Phantoms for example. Then add in the stuff you have to buy to correct the cockpit and bring it up to a modern standard. Judging by how fast they are selling I think most people agree.
  9. Last week
  10. Around £40 for a new tool 1.48 kit is not expensive. Julien
  11. Two-Seat T-Harrier (T.2/T.2A/T.4/T.4N/T.8) 1:48

    It looks great, but is far too expensive.
  12. Sea Hurricane Mk.IIb Upgrades (for Airfix A05134) 1:48 Eduard Airfix's Sea Hurricane is a minor re-tool of their popular and still fairly recent Hurricane kit, which was well received on launch some while back. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner, and many of the parts will be familiar if you have the sets for the kit it is based upon. Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Detail Set (49873) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. A complete set of new layered instrument panels and side consoles are the primary parts on the painted set, with new rudder pedals; a brand new metal seat with details; sidewall instrumentation; radiator surface panels and rear vent-flaps; ammo feeder details; gear bay parts; rudder actuator and trim actuator rods, edging and access panels to the gun bays, and canopy handles are also supplied. Zoom! Set (FE873) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL (FE876) In case you don't already know, these belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. landing flaps (48940) Eduard landing flaps use an ingenious technique to achieve excellent true-to-scale flaps using few parts, and requiring the modeller to simply remove the retracted flaps from the lower wing, plus scrape the upper wings to accommodate the thickness of the completed bays. Each half of the two flap sections (bay and flap itself) is constructed, the flap by twisting and folding over the attached ribs to create a 3D shape, with extra parts added along the way. The bays fold up simply and glue to the inside of the upper wing and the flap attaches to the rear wall of the new bay. Repeat this for the other side, and you're almost done. You'll around 120mm of 1mm rod cut into four sections to act as the hinge-point of each of the flap sections, so make sure you have some on-hand. Masks (EX571) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, one for each pane of the canopy and windscreen. In addition you get a set of hub masks for all the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Review sample courtesy of
  13. KM Bismark - 1:700 Meng

    KM Bismarck 1:700 Meng Laid down in July 1936 by Blohm and Voss of Hamburg, the Bismarck was one of the largest and most powerful battleships to see action during the Second World War. She, along with her sister ship Tirpitz, represented the epitome of German warship technology. Weighing in at 50,900 tons deep load, the Bismarck’s design prioritised stability and protection over firepower; her broad beam of 118ft making her a very stable gun platform even in heavy seas. On 21 May 1941, Bismarck left the Kjorsfjord in Norway to embark on her first raiding sortie, accompanied by the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen and three destroyers. Three days later she sighted and engaged the Royal Navy warships HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales, sinking the Hood and damaging the Prince of Wales. Having suffered damage herself in the engagement, Bismarck disengaged and attempted to make for St Nazaire. Eventually spotted by a Catalina flying boat, her rudder was then jammed by torpedoes launched from the Swordfish of HMS Ark Royal. Left unable to manoeuvre, she was battered by HMS Rodney and HMS King George V and was soon reduced to a burning hulk by their heavy guns. She was finally sunk by torpedoes from HMS Dorsetshire before she could be scuttled. Pretty much every major manufacturer of warship kits has produced a Bismarck at some point. Aoshima, Revell and Trumpeter have all produced kits of the famous warship in this scale, but none have been as colourful as Meng's new kit. The kit has been moulded from styrene in four different tones, each appropriate to the parts represented. The lower hull is moulded from dark red plastic, the deck is moulded in teak-coloured plastic and the rest of the kit, save for a few parts moulded in black, is moulded from battleship grey plastic. The kit is well packed into a sturdy box adorned with evocative artwork. All of the plastic parts are nicely moulded, but the big difference between this and other kits of the Bismarck is the fact that the parts are all snap-fit. In line with this simplified approach to construction, stickers are included instead of decals. Construction of the kit is fairly conventional, notwithstanding the fact that the parts snap together rather than requiring glue. Bearing this in mind, I would advise against test fitting the parts prior to final construction, as snap together rarely means snap apart again - at least not in the same shape! The build begins with the lower hull and fitting the propeller shafts, propellers and rudders. The hull itself is made up of three parts, although you can omit the lower section if you wish to finish the kit in waterline configuration. Once the hull is complete, construction moves on to the deck. The, er, deck coloured parts fit onto a grey part which contains a number of structural parts such as the bases for the turrets. This means you don't need to worry about painting a lot of fiddly deck features, even if you intend to pain the parts anyway. The decks themselves are nicely detailed, with chains and planking moulded in place. The rest of the build is completely conventional, save for the fact that you don't need to use glue (although I suppose you can if you want to make sure the parts are properly welded together). The superstructures, funnels, masts and rangefinders all look just as good as any other conventional kit of the Bismarck. Perhaps the only compromise is the small calibre weapons, which are pretty basic compared to what you get in a Trumpeter kit. Even the ships boats are good enough to pass muster in this scale. Construction of the main turrets is fairly straightforward. While the eight 15 inch guns are not independently posable,they do at least have blast bags moulded in place. Finishing details include the secondary armament, masts and anchors. The display stand will be handy if you wish to finish your model in full hull configuration, although my personal preference would be for the waterline option. The colour scheme is printed in black and white and shows the ship as she appeared at the time of her engagement in the North Atlantic. AK paints are recommended by Meng, in what appears to be a commercial arrangement (their logo is emblazoned on the side of the box). The aforementioned stickers can be used if desired, but I can't imagine many enthusiast modelles will chose to use them. Conclusion While the level of detail is pretty good and the multi-coloured plastic is appealing, I can't say this is the best kit of the Bismark in this scale. It isn't the cheapest either, which is curious given the snap together nature of the kit. There's no doubt that snap together kits have their place, but they don't normally cost north of £30. It's not that the kit is a bad option for those wanted to build a Bismarck, but I'm struggling to see why it would be a better option than the Trumpeter or Revell kits. Nevertheless it is a nice thing and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to review it. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Markgraf WWI German Battleship 1:700 ICM The SMS Markgraf was the third of four König Class battleships, all of which served in the Imperial German Navy during the First World War. Laid down in 1911, the Kronprinz was launched in 1913 and commissioned the following year. She was armed with ten 30.5cm (12 inch) guns and was capable of just over 21 knots. She participated in a number of engagements during the War, most notably the battle of Jutland, during which she sustained significant damage at the hands of the British fleet. In common with most other capital ships of the High Seas Fleet, she was interned at Scapa Flow following the signing of the armistice in November 1918 and scuttled on the orders of Admiral Ludwig von Reuter. Unlike most of the other ships at Scapa, she was never raised for salvage as she sank in a deeper part of the bay. She remains submerged to this day, although some examples of her radiation-free steel have been removed for scientific purposes This is the fourth and final installment of ICM's König Class battleships, following König, Großer Kurfürst and Kronprinz, and represents another addition to the small surge of WWI-era models that have been released during the 100th anniversary of that conflict. Inside ICM's typically robust (read: almost impossible to open) box are five frames of grey plastic, as well as a couple of red plastic parts for the lowe hull, a black display stand, full colour instructions, decals and self-adhesive name lables. Moulding is clean and crisp, with plenty of fine detail. Construction begins with the lower hull. The instructions suggest that the outermost propeller shafts and the trio of propellers be added to the lower hull prior to joining it with the upper hull. Personally I would add the propellors at the end, as they are bound to get damaged during the build, but of course it's your choice. You can omit this stage altogether if you want to finish the model in waterline configuration. Once the hull is complete, construction moves on to the deck. The casemate for the secondary armament, along with the fourteen gun turrets, has to be fitted to the underside of the forecastle, before the forecastle can, in turn, be joined to the main deck. The decks themselves are nicely detailed, with chains and planking moulded in place. Construction of the turrets is fairly straightforward, with each of the ten 12 inch guns independently poseable. The squat superstructures are fairly straightforward too, although you'll need to remember to add the tertiary armament casemate before fixing the bridge superstructure to the forecastle. Finishing details include funnels, searchlight platforms, stairways, davits, masts and anchors. A full completment of boats is included, and very nicely detailed they are too. The display stand will be handy if you wish to finish your model in full hull configuration. The colour scheme is perfectly adequate and includes a very basic rigging diagram. The decals are the same generic set that were included with the other three kits in this series, but are nicely printed nonetheless. Conclusion We've seen quite a few WWI-era battleships released to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the conflict, so this kit is already in good company. While a nice set of photo etch will be required to bring the kit up to competition standard, ICM have done a great job of providing a platform to work from. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. CASA C-212-100 (72344) 1:72 Special Hobby The CASA C-212 Aviocar is a medium cargo aircraft with a short field capability designed by Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA or CASA of Spain. The aircraft is a boxy fuselage with a high mounted wing and twin turbo prop engines. The cabin is not pressurised. In the 1960's the Spanish Air Force was looking to modernise as at the time it was still relying on a mix of C-17s and Ju-62s for its transport requirements. The SASA 212 was a proposed 18 seat transport aircraft which could fill a few different roles. The aircraft first flew in 1971 and the Spanish Air Force would acquire them from there. 477 Aircraft were built over 42 years, with the last -400 with a glass cockpit by then being built in 2012 when Airbus Military decided to discontinue production. Production continues though under license in Indonesia. The aircraft has been used by many military and civil users all over the world The Kit This is a new toolkit from Special Hobby. The kit arrives on five sprues of plastic and a clear spure. From the look of the unused parts on the sprue a maritime/patrol version is planned at some point. Construction starts with adding the instrument panel in at the front. Instruments are supplied as decals. The windows are put into the main fuselage halves from the inside at this point, as well as the side cockpit glazing. The main fuselage doors and inserts at the front are then added. The rest of the cockpit is then built up, this can then be added and thee main fuselage closed up. Its worth noting there in no interior for the main cargo cabin and the ramp is moulded closed. Next up the undercarriage is made up and the main sponsons added. The nose is added along with the main cockpit glazing. The tail planes are made up with separate control surfaces. The instructions advise to add nose weight but omit how much is needed. The tailplanes ad rudder are now added to the main fuselage, along with the tail plane fairings. The wings are made up next. There is a single part upper and left/right lowers. 4 flap actuator fairings are added to each side. The two engine nacelles are made up and added along with the fronts and propeller assemblies. These can then be added to the wings. Two trim tabs on the wing need to be removed. The wing is now fitted to the fuselage along with various antennas and sundry parts. As these differ in the varietals attention will be needed to select the correct ones. Markings There are printed by Eduard and should pose no problems, three options are provided; Spanish Air Force. Paracute school Murcia Alcantarilla AB, 2009 - Overall Grey. Chilean Army, Santiago de Chile International, 2009. Two Greens/tan over grey. Colombian Navy 2005. Two tone grey. Conclusion It is great to see this over looked small transport aircraft now being injection moulded in 1/72. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Delta 1D/ E US Transport plane (72329) 1:72 Special Hobby The Delta was designed by Jack Northrop alongside the the Gamma in 1932 when the Northrop Corporation was set up with as a joint venture with The Douglas Aircraft Company. The Gamma was to be a mail plane where the Delta was to be a passenger transporter. It was a low wing monoplane with a fixed undercarriage. The wings were common to both aircraft with the Delta having a wider fuselage for the passengers with the pilot being seated upfront behind the engine fighter plane style. Space behind was for 8 passengers. The Delta flew in 1933 but suffered from a change in the regulations in the USA which prohibited single engined aircraft from carrying passengers at night, or over rough terrain. Only three aircraft were made before this regulation came into place with the first being used by TWA, the second by Pan-Am's Mexican subsidiary and the third to AB Aerotransport of Sweden. A single example was built for the US Coastguard and 7 more were built as executive transports. Of these three were purchased by the Spanish Republicans for use in the civil war there. Two of these were captured by the Republicans and used by them. The third was later used by the Republican Airline LAPE until the end of the war when it was also handed over to the Air Force. In addition to the US Built examples the Delta was built under license by Canadian Vickers where it was used as a photographic survey aircraft by the RCAF. The first example was supplied to Vickers by Northrop part assembled, and 19 examples were then built by them. This would be the first all metal stressed skin aircraft to be built in Canada. These aircraft were capable of being used with wheels, skis and floats although the latter was not a success due to corrosion issues. Delta were used for anti-submarine patrols in early WWII, but were withdrawn to training roles by 1941. The Kit The kit was first released in 2017 under the Azur FFROM label. The kit has 4 main sprues of injected plastic , and a clear sprue. The plastic is more limited run than main stream, the parts are well moulded with restrained panel lines, however there are a lot of ejector pins to clean up, all though on unseen surfaces. Construction starts without any surprises with the cockpit. The single cockpit for the pilot sits in the middle of the fuselage slightly higher than the main cabin floor. The rudder pedals are moulded to the cockpit floor, the side consoles are added along with the pilots seat. The instrument panel is then added along with the control column. Next up the 8 passenger seats are added to the main cabin floor. The cockpit and main cabin floor can then be added into the main fuselage along with the rear cabin bulkhead. Lastly before closing up the main fuselage the cabin windows need to be added. Once the main fuselage is together the engine is added to the front of the fuselage. The wings can now be added. These have a main full span lower wing with left & right uppers. Once the main wing is on the tail planes can also be added. The Spats and enclosed wheels are then built up and added to the main wing. To finish up the exhausts, tail wheel, aerial, pitot tube and propeller are added. Markings Decals are printed by Aviprint and look in register with good colour density. There are are three markings in the kit 1. Aircraft purchased for use in Elsworth's Antarctic flight of 1936, then bought by the Australian Govt for war use. Earth & Foliage Green Camo. 2. Ex US Coast Guard Aircraft used by the US Corps of Engineers in Eritrea 1942. Dark Earth & Olive Drab camo 3. The previous aircraft as a US Coast Guard machine. Conclusion It is great to see more boxings of this esoteric aircraft being released. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. 1/72 WWII US bomber pilot and two gunners 1:72 CMK Here we have pilot and two gunners/crew representing what looks the USAAF in WWII Conclusion These will enhance any diorama or scene. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. AGM-154A/C Block I & AGM-154C1 Block II (648383 & 648384) 1:48 Eduard Brassin The AGM-154 is a medium-range cruise missile, or Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) that is air-launched from a distance that saves the launching aircraft from having to engage with the target position's defences. It glides to its target from up to 17 miles at low-level launch, and 68 miles at high altitude launch, with a 1,000lb payload in a compact form factor. The wings fold back for storage and carriage, and deploy once launched to improve the weapon's glide-slope to the aforementioned levels. The A variant uses GPS and inertial navigation throughout its flight, and carries a cluster of smaller submunitions that are armour piercing incendiaries that are designed to penetrate and destroy armoured targets. The C variant adds infrared for terminal guidance and carries a single two-stage warhead that improves penetration by a fraction of a second so that the 2nd charge blows through the initial damage. The C1 has avionics and cost-saving upgrades to the original C specification. As usual with Eduard's larger resin sets, they arrive in the oblong Brassin box, with the resin parts safely cocooned on dark grey foam inserts, and the instructions sandwiched wrapped around, providing extra protection. AGM-154A/C Block I (648383) There are two missiles in the box, with 24 resin parts in total, plus a small sheet of decals for the stencils. The wings are separate, so can be posed open or closed, and they are then covered by a top-section, which has one of the two suspension lugs added into the depression on the top. The horizontal stabilisers are added to each side into depressions in the missile body, and the four diagonal vanes fit into similar depressions for a good snug fit. The colours are called out in Gunze codes as usual, and decal placement is detailed on the painting diagram for your ease. AGM-154C1 Block II (648384) If you were expecting something vastly different, you're in for a surprise because they're not massively changed, just the odd panel line and fastener here or there, as the major changes are inside the fuselage of the missile. You get exactly the same number of parts, and they build up in exactly the same manner. They also use the same stencils, so the two are interchangeable. Review sample courtesy of
  19. 8V-92TA-90 Diesel Engine & CLBT-150 Transmission (SPS-055) 1:35 Meng Model If you've been reading my review of the new Meng M911 C-HET with M747 Semi-Trailer, (and if not, why not?) you'll know that the kit supplies just the lower portion of the engine and transmission, which is all that's visible with the hood/bonnet down. That'll do just fine for a lot of folks, but if you want to throw open the covers and show off the engine, this resin set will be of great interest. Arriving in a small and unassuming card box with a line-drawn diagram of the engine and its catchy title on a sticker affixed to the top, you'll find three bubble-wrap bags inside. Within those are the parts that go to make up a complete (apart from wiring) engine to replace the kit parts, with detail that you couldn't hope to achieve in styrene. There are fifteen parts in dark grey resin, and each part is cast on a separate block, with sensibly petite attachment gates that help to minimise clean-up. There aren't any instructions in the box however, but the isometric drawing on the lid should give you plenty of clues on how it builds up, but you can see a couple of 3D renders that should end any doubts here, or just by scrolling down. Still, it would have been nice to have instructions, and those pics took a little tracking down. As to painting of the engine, you'll have to do some research and track down suitable pictures, which will also help with the weathering, showing where dirt, oil and grime accumulate on these big units. Clean-up should be a doddle, but wash the parts either in an ultrasonic cleaner with a suitable cleaning solution, or warm soapy water, remembering that too much heat will render the resin flexible again and could ruin your engine parts. Washing the parts in warm water will also improve the adhesion of paint by removing any remaining moulding release agent on the parts. Use CA to attach the parts together, and as usual with resin, take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding resin, as the tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in. Conclusion Detail is fabulous, the casting is of the highest quality, and sensible moulding blocks make the task of creating this power-pack a relative pleasure. The lack of instructions is a minor pain, but if you follow the 3D renders, there should be little room for error. Very highly recommended. Currently sold out, but check back for a restock. Review sample courtesy of
  20. US M911 C-HET (8x6) & M747 Heavy Equipment Semi-Trailer (SS013) 1:35 Meng Model Any army requires transporters for their heavy equipment, and in the US this is abbreviated to HET, which stands for Heavy Equipment Transport, so you hear the use of the phrase applied to a number of heavy-haulers. Tank transport is particularly heavy, with your average M1 Abrams weighing in around 60 tons. The M911 tractor unit was a product of the 70s and was initially paired with a trailer that had previously been used with the M746 that the M911 replaced. During the Gulf War the M911 saw extensive use pulling Abrams tanks from battle to battle, which exposed weaknesses in the tractor's mechanicals that led to its replacement by the M1070, from the same Oshkosh stable. The easiest way of telling them apart is the more streamlined grille of the M1070, versus the square shape of the M911. The Kit This is a completely new tooling from Meng, and given their reputation for detail this is a god thing. It arrives in a large box that possibly could have stood a slightly thicker cardboard stock, and once you open it up, you're greeted by a pretty comprehensive package: 15 sprues in sand coloured styrene 1 sprue in clear styrene 2 frets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass 2 sprues of poly-caps 13 flexible styrene tractor tyres (large) 17 flexible styrene semi-trailer tyres (small) 6 flexible styrene pneumatic shock-absorbers 1 sheet of reflective foil for mirrors 1 sheet of pre-cut masks 4 metal axles (long) 2 metal axles (short) 1 red insulated wire 1 blue insulated wire 2 braided cable There's still a little room in the box for stashing any aftermarket you might buy, but it's a well-rounded complement. The detail is of course excellent throughout, and there are lots of clever techniques used in the build, as well as the moulding of the kit. Construction starts with the ladder chassis of the tractor, which consists of two outer rails/i-beams onto which the cross-members and transmission equipment are added, along with a number of tanks for the pneumatic systems. Once the frame becomes a ladder, you can use the jig that is built into the runners of sprue C (see below), but go easy with the glue if you're not taking off the parts first, as you might accidentally drip and mar the surface of them. A chunky-looking transmission box and short drive-shaft are fitted at about the half-way point, with the seriously large leaf-springs and their twin axles added next, linked by more drive-shafts, as every wheel on the tractor is driven. The front springs are only slightly less beefy, and these are also joined by their axle and drive-shaft in due course. In between the front axle and the twin rear axles is a pneumatically-operated fourth axle that can be raised or lowered to spread the weight further. This is referred to as the Pusher Axle, and uses the included flexible shock-absorbers during construction. At this point you choose whether to have this up or down, as the construction process is different for each option. Steering gear for the front axle plus a host of ancillaries throughout the other axles are added, followed by the lower part of the V8 92TA-90 diesel powered engine, and its transmission. If the lower half isn't good enough for you because you wanted to open up the hood/bonnet, then Meng also have you covered with their resin upgrade set SPS-055 (reviewed here), which unsurprisingly gives you the full engine and CLBT-150 transmission. In common with almost everything about this kit, the fuel tanks are massive, with one large one on one side, and a smaller one on the other – a description that can also be applied to the stowage boxes that hang off the ladder chassis. Now for some wheels! Each hub is constructed from the main hub, separate flange, and a poly-cap hidden behind a central boss, that is then (once dry and possibly painted) fitted to the flexible styrene tyre, which should be of the large variety, as the smaller tyres are for the trailer wheels. The rear axles have double tyres, which are constructed differently, with two poly-caps hidden between the two inner faces of the hub. The pusher and the front axles are single tyres, and all wheels can be removed at will thanks to the inclusion of the poly-caps, which makes painting and weathering much easier. The winch station is built up next on a trapezoid base that installs over the front-most of the twin rear axles, and has a pair of cable drums that have the braided cable wound around them during assembly. A plastic eyelet is added to the end of the cable, and the twin motors and control wires are fitted pointing aft. The hydraulics box sits forward of the cable drums, which doubles as a spare tyre bracket, and has a small drive-shaft to take off power from the transmission, as well as pipes and corrugates hoses to transfer the fluid. The winch control box fits between these two assemblies with lots of old-fashioned levers sat atop the box, with a PE front panel, and some decals for stencils near the controls. Turning briefly to the engine again, the large front-mounted radiator and side-mounted air intake and filter are fitted first, and then left while the 5th wheel/9th wheel and its guide plates are fitted to the rear. A pair of pneumatic hoses are wound round a narrow rod to give the impression of the flexible connectors that are typically fitted for quick-disconnect of trailers, with a scrap diagram showing where they should be routed. The large branded mudguards are glued to the ends of the i-beams, and on the side the spare wheel is sited on the bracket on the hydraulic tank. The cab is next, and operations begin with the front bulkhead/firewall, which has the windscreen aperture moulded-in, to which you fit the clear part. There are two quarter-lights that also have glazing panels, and inside you fit the dashboard with decals for the dials and sun visors on each side. The driver gets a separate seat, while the other two crew have to share a similarly upholstered bench seat, which fits into the rear part of the cab, with moulded-in anti-slip ribbing to the floor, which angles up at the front to accept the pedal box, the steering column and other drive controls, which a few nice decals for stencils here and there. At the rear there are three small rear glazing panels added, then the front bulkhead is mated to the rear to form the major part of the cab, to which the support structure is added under the floor. The doors are made up of inner and outer skins that sandwich the clear part between them, and inside a couple of stencils can be added plus the handles and window winders. The right door also has a glazed "cat flap" in the bottom, presumably for judging kerbs etc. The big cowling at the front of the cab is a single part if you ignore the badge at the front of the top, and to the very front you have the radiator grille, which is PE, and needs to be folded. Fret not however, as Meng have thoughtfully provided a two-part jig that will do all the heavy-lifting for you. You position the flat PE grille on the bottom part of the jig, with a lug in each corner locating in corresponding grille holes, then you apply the top part and press down firmly and evenly. This slides down on four turrets so that it doesn't go out of line, and the edges apply pressure to the grille, resulting in nicely curved corners. You mate the finished part to the cowling with some super glue and then add the doors (open or closed) and the roof, remembering to paint it before you do. Another jig is supplied to roll the exhaust's perforated heat-shield, which is then glued on around the styrene muffler, with its feeder pipe leading into the engine cowling past the cab door. With a couple of vents and lights for the roof you can glue the cab onto the chassis, then add the protected bull-bars that also incorporate the front light clusters. The wing mirrors are attached to a frame that goes over the roof, with braces against the cab sides, another pair that are separate, and most interestingly, a set of self-adhesive mirror stickers that you can apply after completion to give a realistic reflection to the viewer. Air horns, rear lamps, towing shackles and another mirror on the front of the engine cowling with its own foil sticker finish off the tractor unit. The semi-trailer is begun by putting together the frame that sits at the rear between the main I-beams of the trailer's chassis, supporting the rear axles. A number of cross-beams are fitted before the undersurface of the trailer can be installed, which has the goose-neck and fifth-wheel attachment point moulded-in, which is strengthened by a sub-assembly of beams, while fillets are added along the length of the chassis to provide additional width to the flat-bed. A stowage are is fabricated on the top of the A-frame by adding a number of panels, with pioneer tools fitted to the exterior, and at the rear, the aft bulkhead is made up, with a large pulley attached inside, and a pair of outrigger beams back at the front of the bed. The flat-bed is fitted with stiffeners along its edges before attachment, and an additional section is then fitted to the goose-neck and A-frame, then the assembly is flipped over to install a number of distinctly Toblerone-like parts under the bed. More parts are fitted to the edges, and a set of large air tanks are made up and fitted into the forward underside of the trailer, with a scrap diagram showing their correct location and orientation. Bump-stops and flexible pneumatic shock absorbers are installed under the bed in anticipation of the rear axle pair, which is made up from straight axles with brakes and massive supports, dropping onto the shock-absorbers to give it some flex. The second pair of axles are fitted to a single-point rocker and clipped around short beams that were glued in place earlier, and have hubs attached to each end, with all axles then getting a pair of wheels apiece, using the same pair of poly-caps trapped between the hubs. The flexible wheels slip over the hubs, and before long you have 16 (more) wheels on your wagon. The trailer's front steadies are able to be fitted extended or retracted by varying the point at which you clip them into the frame parts, which are all PE, so may not stand up to constant changing of stance. It would be wise to pick up or down and stick with it to avoid disappointment when they break from fatigue. Fitting the skids to the pivot point finishes those off, and then attention turns back to the rear for the assembly and fitting of the big loading ramps. Each one is a mirror image, so uses some different parts, so take care to keep track of which is left and right, although it should become obvious when it comes to fitting them, as they'll only fit one way. They are secured in transit by chains, which are styrene in this case, and the diagram shows the correct hooking point for these delicate parts, and some may wish to replace the plastic with real micro-chain which is available in suitable sizes online. The spare wheel and various "greeblies" are fitted to the A-frame along with some hand-holds, with load handling equipment such as stoppers, jack pads, spacers and even a jack fitted into the spaces between the frames. Linking the trailer to the fifth-wheel socket and connecting up the two curly "pneumatic" wires completes the build phase. Markings Despite this being a big model, it has a teeny-tiny decal sheet, mainly because AFVs and softskins seldom have many markings other than number plate, unit and theatre markings, plus the occasional stencil. You get two options from the box, one in generic NATO tricolour green/brown/black camo, the other in desert sand with markings for Operation Desert Storm in Iraq, January 1991. Colour call-outs are in AK Interactive colours, and the schemes are shown in five-view colour profiles printed on glossy paper, separately from the main instructions. Conclusion Awesome! It's not a pocket-money kit by any stretch of the imagination, but the effort, attention to detail and care that has gone into the design makes it a worthy addition to your stash. Even if you don't do the obvious this and plonk an Abrams on top, you've still got a very impressive model. It's a shame Meng haven't yet done an early Abrams that would be suitable for this period, but their M1A2 SEP with TUSK I/II is still worth drooling over as an aside. Just perfect for that long narrow space in your cabinet. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Dornier Do 17Z-2/3 (14463) 1:144

    Update: Sun Details(Aircraft detailing) have produced a set of vacform canopies for Mark1 Model's Dornier Do-17z. They can be obtained from Hannants. Mike
  22. That would be great. I have a few of Special Hobby's Zephyrs and the new Model Decal sheet also. Julen
  23. Thanks Julien. I've just seen Zéphyr N°28 land at LFLO, but he didn't stay long enough for me to walkaround. I'm sure I'll be able to at the airshow in september.
  24. Yeah, the one with the zebra stripes right? That'll be an interesting challenge to paint that...
  25. Thanks for the review! Bought mine a couple of weeks ago.
  26. P-40 Mainwheels 1:72 CMK for Special Hobby Kit Here there are three different types of main wheel provided, Block tread, Cross tread & Diamond tread; These are just a drop in replacement for the kit wheels. The resin allows much greater detail including the tread. Conclusion These will enhance the already great little model from Special Hobby. Recommended. Block Tread Diamond Tread Cross Tread Review sample courtesy of
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