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Review Content

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.

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  1. Today
  2. I have noticed that someone liked this today but some of the links were broken. Although this review dates back to 2010, I feel this is still a nice little conversion set to make a C-2A Greyhound from the Revell E-2C Hawkeye kit. I have repaired the links so hopefully all the images are now visible again. Mike
  3. Yesterday
  4. That's how rumours start!
  5. Fw 190 A Balkenkreuze Decals 1:72 Eduard This sheet provides extra balkenkreuze decals for Eduard's rather excellent Fw190 series of kits. Presumably this is so you can make use of the extra marking options provided with the various iterations of the kit alongside the duplicate plastic parts available in the 'overtrees' edition of the kit. Either way, the sheet is well printed and details are crisp and clear. Review sample courtesy of
  6. That's kind of you Julien. I heard a rumour that they've been acquired by an oligarch and their next kit will be a 1:24 British Phantom, tooled for them by Tamiya
  7. As Paul has done such a good job of this review and the MiG-29 I think he should be offically in charge of ALL Mistercraft reviews from now on. Julien
  8. Yes it is errr something else completly...................
  9. Steel Seatbelt Sets French WWI, IJAAF WWII, Mig-21, F-4. 1:32 Eduard Continuing with their releases of steel seatbelts, Eduard have sent four more to BM Towers for us to look at. As with the previous releases, these are also pre-painted and appear to be remarkably flexible, and even with quite rough handling the paint adheres to the metal really well.They are still made from 0.1mm sheet with the resulting etch is thin at around 0.06mm and have the same details printed on them, such as the webbing, stitching, and shadowing. Unlike some sets, all the buckles and clasps are etched as part of the strapping, so there is no fiddly work required to assemble each belt. [32889 – French WWI] – There are five sets of belts included on the single sheet. There are five pairs of lap belts covering the different styles used throughout the war. These are very well painted and very colourful. [32890 – IJAAF WWII] – In this set there are twelve lap belts, four for Nakajima aircraft in leather, and four in cloth, plus four for Kawasaki aircraft also looking like leather. Each buckle, on the left hand belt section also has a protective pad fitted beneath it. [32895 – Mig-21] – Naturally this set only contains one complete seat set of belts. It includes the back fixture, shoulder straps, leg straps and a very nice ejection handle.The straps do have some very nicely done shading on the parts. [32896– F-4 Phantom] – This twin seat set contains all manner of straps for you big Phantom seats. They include straps for the headrest, and backrest. Then there are the shoulder and lap straps, and finally the leg restraints. You will have to check your references when using this set as I don’t know if all F-4 seats were the same. Conclusion Those who build in the larger scales generally try to add greater levels of detail into their models, showing much skill and technique. Now, those of us who aren’t endowed with super skills can at least have some nice looking seatbelts fitted to our models, with very little skill needed, other than a bit of bending and gluing. Of course the belts can still be weathered more if required.
  10. Something else altogether.
  11. I agree, the Smer Il2 is a good kit. Unfortunately the Mistercraft Il2 is a rebox of the ZTS Plastyk kit, which is... um...
  12. I'm not sure that the SH 22 is as well-regarded as the Airfix one but there are a couple of interesting schemes and a load of spare parts.
  13. If the Il2 is also the SMER tooling then he's lucky, it's a good kit, though not up to the Tamiya/Academy ones.. The only original SMER tooling that I know about.
  14. I think Mister Craft kits get handed out to review if you ruffle Mike...
  15. Freudian slip... Equilibrium is the great leveller in the reviewer's world. For every Eduard Spitfire Mk.IX, there is a Mistercraft kit to review I didn't get them all though. Julien has an Il-2 to review. I think everyone should send him a PM to remind him to review it Yes, that's what Scalemates says. I don't have the Heller kit, but I think the sprues may have a different arrangement of parts? Perhaps someone with the Heller kit can confirm or deny this.
  16. Hi, I think this is originally Heller kit from late '70's. Good kit of that time and now showing how much model industry has developed after that. Cheers, AaCee
  17. Paul, I was wondering.... Did you do something that bad in your previous lives to be in charge of Misercraft reviews???
  18. Me-262B-1a 'Doppelsitziger' 1:72 Mistercraft In April 1944, the Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe, or Swallow, became the first jet fighter to enter service anywhere in the world. It would have entered service even sooner were it not for problems with its Junkers Jumo axial flow turbojets. The Me 262 was a fast and highly effective fighter, with 542 kills claimed by its pilots. Its impact on the War was limited, however, due to a shortage of engines and fuel, as well as the fact that the Allies developed tactics to counter the new threat by destroying the aircraft on the ground or at the point of take-off or landing. The Doppelsitzsiger was, as the name suggests, a twin-seat trainer version. Unsurprisingly for a combat aircraft that has attained an almost mythological status over the years, most of the major manufacturers have had a bash at the Me 262. In 1:72 scale alone, Academy, Airfix, Hasegawa, Heller, Hobbyboss, Matchbox and Revell have all churned out variants of the type, as have Mistercraft. Don't be taken in by the rather bold suggestion on the box top that this kit is 'NEW', however. It is actually a re-pop of the Smer kit with new decals. I believe this is the first time that Mistercraft have re-boxed this kit. Hopefully it is an indication that Misercraft will get their hands on some of Smer's better kits and churn them out at attractive prices. This kit isn't great, but at the same time it's nowhere near as bad as their MiG-29. Panel lines are raised but fairly fine, and the overall level of detail is pretty crude but just about good enough to lift it off the bottom rung of the ladder. Construction should be straightforward. The cockpit is basic, but includes two crew seats, an instrument panel and control column. As I said, it's not brilliant but better than the MiG I reviewed last month. Before joining the fuselage halves together, you also need to fit the nose landing gear into the locating points. There is no nosewheel bay at all, but you could box it in if you've got nothing better to do and fancy the challenge. The engine pods are split vertically and include the characteristic bullet-shaped engine starter motor housings and exhaust cones. The wing is moulded in five parts, with the lower wing split into a central section which covers the area between the two engines and two separate outer sections. The tail surfaces are all solid parts. As with the nose wheel well, there is no detail at all inside the main landing gear bays. Finishing touches include the canopy and a couple of long-range fuel tanks. A generous four options are spread across three small decal sheets: Me-262B, Luftwaffe, Germany, October 1944; Me-262B, captured aircraft tested by the USAF, Germany, Spring 1945; Avia CS-92, Czech Air Force, Praha-Kbely Aviation Museum; and Me-262B, captured aircraft tested by the RAF, Farnborough, 1945. I'm not sure how well the decals are likely to perform, but they do look a little rough. The colours of the RAF roundels are far too bright in any case. On the plus side, a full set of stencils have been included. Conclusion Although it isn't particularly offensive, it is still difficult to recommend this kit. It is not the greatest Me-262 by a long chalk, and while it's cheap, so is Revell's two-seater. It'll do for a bit of fun, but for the last word in detail, you should look elsewhere. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  19. Last week
  20. USN Radar of WWII Eduard 1:350 This single sheet set of relief etched brass continues Eduards policy of releasing useful sets to add detail to parts of a model that seems to be forgotten. This set, for US WWII Radars is really quite comprehensive. The radars included are:- CXAM Early made up from only two parts, but needs a piece of styrene rod for the base. YE Aircraft homing beacon, also made from two parts and requiring a styrene pole to be fixed on. Mk3 Main battery fire control radar, made from five parts and also requiring the styrene base. 2 x Mk4 Secondary battery fire control radar, made from eight parts. SC-1 Surface search radar array, made from nine parts and utilises the kit base. CXAM-1 Surface search radar made from twenty five parts and requires a styrene base. SC-2 Surface search radar array, very complex twenty two piece unit which uses the kit base and transmitter probe. 2 x Mk22 Height finding radar for detecting low flying aircraft, made of three parts and a piece of styrene rod to attach it to the Mk4 or a Mk12 director array. 2 x Mk12 Secondary fire control radar, a seven piece unit which requires some complex folding and shaping. Fitted to the top of a Mk37 director from 1944 onwards. Conclusion This is a very useful set as it covers the entire selection of radar arrays used throughout the war. All you have to do is carefully build each array and fit to your model. Of course you will need to do some research to determine what array was fitted when on your particular subject. Review sample courtesy of
  21. International Flags Eduard 1:350 Quite a few maritime kits these days provide a selection of flags and pennants that are printed on paper. These can look ok, but generally always have a tired well worn look, like they’ve been left in the sun for a few months. Eduard have now countered this look with the release of this pre-painted steel set, which supersedes the etched brass set previously available. The forty five flags and ten pennants are beautifully painted and will look great either as a coded message from a halyard or two or even on a ship dressed overall, although it would have to be modelled for a calm day as, even though the metal is quite thin I doubt you’d be able to replicate a flapping flag too easily. To use, just cut the chosen flag from the sheet and wrap it around your favourite rigging material. Conclusion This is a very nice and easy to use set which would add a dash, or even a lot of colour depending on how many you use. Review sample courtesy of
  22. M10/Achilles A visual history of the US Army’s Tank Destroyer Ampersand Group via Casemate UK The M10 was developed on the chassis of the M4A2 Sherman chassis with a rotating open turret carrying a 76.2mm gun, with the name 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage M10. It was lightly armoured, had a poor turret motor which resulted in a very slow 80 seconds to turn completely around, which gave it a disadvantage in rapidly evolving battles, which the crew tried to reduce by hand-cranking it themselves. The open top made it a tempting target for a carefully thrown grenade in close combat, and the crew casualties from air-burst shells were frequent and plentiful. It reached service in 1942 after a redesign of the turret to remove the initial shot-traps that extended all the way around it, and production ceased in 1943, although it soldiered on in dwindling numbers through the rest of WWII. The Achilles is the name given to the 17-pounder equipped variant, which was much more successful against the then-new Panther with its improved armour, which the British used to good effect with their lend-lease vehicles. The extra punch of the bigger gun that went on to equip the Sherman Firefly was a godsend that helped avoid close-in engagements that put the Achilles at a disadvantage due to its relatively light armour. Even so, the driver appears to have been the safest member of the crew, despite being positioned out front in the glacis plate area. After WWII the surplus examples found their way to other countries, and were used by liberated Allies until they could restore their own armed forces after years of living under Nazi rule. The Book This book from Ampersand by the prolific David Doyle carries on the format of the Visual History series, with 128 pages of great photos from sources both contemporary and from preserved or restored vehicles that are now in the hands of collectors. The book contains over 450 photos in total, with many of them large and highly detailed. The pages are split between the A10 and the Achilles with a useful potted history given on both types in the introduction, although the larger part of the book is given over to the more numerous A10, which acquired the nickname “Wolverine” at some point in its career. While the contemporary photos are in black and white, the preserved examples are photographed in full colour, and the detail in which they are depicted would be an absolute boon to any modeller, especially those wishing to go for ultimate realism. The quality of the restorations is exemplary, and the author has documented the post-war additions where practical, such as rear-view mirrors and so forth. Conclusion Whether you have the models that you intend to use this book for reference, or have an interest in the subject, this book will give you all the reference pictures and some besides, as well as some inspiration for dioramas. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Victor B.2 Upgrade Sets 1:72 Eduard Since its announcement this kit was the source of much excitement, and now it is on general release it seems to be popular, with supplies selling out quickly. A good kit can always been improved however, which is where Eduard excel. They have released five new sets for the kit, and as always you can pick and choose which ones you want, or your budget dictates. 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. Eduard's resin sets arrive in the familiar Brassin clamshell box, with the resin parts safely cocooned on dark grey foam inserts, and the instructions sandwiched between the two halves, doubling as the header card. Interior Set (73578) Starting with adding a full set of crew seatbelts, this set consists of two nickel-plated and pre-painted frets, with all the instrument panels replaced with laminated panels with painted details. The seats also get ejection handles, headbox details and rear structural frame, throttle quadrants for the pilots, additional instruments where they are missed from the kit, and detail skins to the footwell at the crew exit. The sidewalls are also detailed with additional instruments for good measure. Zoom! Interior Set (SS578) Just the pre-painted and nickel-plated sheet (on the left above) is included in this budget set for those only concerned with the main instrument panel and the seats visible through the glazing. Exterior Set (72638) A large brass fret contains a full set of detail skins for the three gear bays and their bay doors, plus wiring looms to detail them further, and various additions to the gear legs themselves. This will require a portion of the moulded-in detail being removed beforehand, but this is fairly minor work and shouldn’t take too much effort. The final parts are some replacement/additional antennae and panels on the exterior of the airframe, plus a tail-cone insert that is inserted after removing the raised rim on the kit part. Resin Wheels(672143) Containing eighteen rein wheels (yes, 18!!!) plus a resin mudguard for the twin nose wheel, which once liberated from their casting block are a drop-in replacement for the rather detail-free and sink-mark prone kit items. The detail is superb, especially in comparison to what’s in the box, which seems to be a weak point of an otherwise godo kit. As well as the wheels you get a set of wheel masks to allow you to paint the hubs cleanly, and a small sheet of red decals that are applied to the rear of the mudguard part. Apologies for the stock picture, but I forgot to take a shot of the real thing before sending them to my colleague Paul for his build here. Masks (CX471) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort if you didn’t already replace them with the set above. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Su-76 on the Battlefield World War Two Photobook Series Volume 12 Peko Publishing The Su-76 was a Self-Propelled Gun developed from the T-70 light tank, but with an extra pair of roadwheels added to distribute the weight of the 76.2m main gun (or 34mm Anti-Aircraft gun) and crew of four, which started as having an enclosed casemate, twin engines and gearboxes, which were all found to be somewhat unsatisfactory, so a redesign was undertaken resulting in the Su-76M. This had a cut-away open top that helped dissipate fumes during extended firing, and the twin engines were mated to a single gearbox and final drive, saving weight into the process. In this guise the vehicle was much more successful, and coupled with an enlarged fuel tank that gave it additional range, it saw active service from the breaking of the Stalingrad siege to beyond the end of WWII, with over 12,000 manufactured. Many variants were proposed, but only the SPG and AA types were realised partly due to cost and the pressing need for tanks on the front-line at that stage of the war. Only outstripped in numbers in the Soviet inventory by the ubiquitous T-34, the Su-76, known initially by many cruel nicknames including “little Bitch” was a diminutive tank by comparison to its peers, with the driver in a separate compartment that was surrounded on both sides by the 70hp engines pumping out noise and fumes, making his job quite unpleasant. The rest of the crew sat in the main compartment with nothing but sky over their heads, and in winter only a tarpaulin to keep the cold and snow out of the tank. Some fitted insulation panels to the interior to prevent contact burns from the freezing metal, which can be seen in some photos. Lacking in internal crew stowage due to the 60+ rounds that it carried, the Su-76 was seldom seen free of kit lashed to the exterior, and when travelling it was usually festooned with footsore soldiers putting additional strain on the two motors. The Book This is the twelfth book from Peko's World War Two Photobook Series, and as the name suggests it is primarily a book of photos, but has a fact-filled and concise introduction to the type that covers four pages in each language. The photos are almost without exception full page, apart from a small section devoted to the captions, which was in Hungarian and English, and each one adds valuable information to the photo, which may not be immediately apparent without it. The English is natural, clear and unforced, but even though I don’t speak or read Hungarian, I would expect that the same is true there. The book is hard-covered, which should ensure it remains in good condition, and extends to 110 pages plus a few additional un-numbered pages that show the rest of the series as well as what’s up next. Written and compiled by Neil Stokes with assistance from a number of others that are credited on the inside cover, it contains a huge number of mostly candid photos of the Su-76 and Su-76M in the field at various points in its career. Of course the source photos are all black and white, and some are a little challenged by both the photographer's skill, equipment and the ravages of time, but the reprints are as high quality as is possible to obtain. It is nice to see such large prints too, as often crowding several photos onto one page results in postage stamp sized pictures that are little use as a source of detail. There are a few photos where the horrors of war are all-too apparent, which may upset a few, but war is hell and it shouldn’t be hidden away as we don’t want another one. With over 200 regiments equipped with the Su-76M, there were clearly plenty of photos taken and within the pages there are plenty of diorama inspirations, and see if you can spot the young Vladimir Putin lookalike loading the shells into the back of a filthy, winter-distemper covered Su-76M. it shouldn’t be too difficult. Conclusion Whether you are a history buff or a modeller, there's a lot to recommend this book, and with the solid binding, it should give you good service over the years. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. 22 "Hi-Tech" 1:72 Special Hobby When the prototype Spitfire took to the air for the first time on 5 March 1936, few involved in the design could have foreseen where the development of the type would lead. One of the ultimate incarnations was the F Mk.22. Although the relatively compact dimensions of the Spitfire were largely retained throughout its development (the wingspan of the Mk.22 was almost identical to the Mk.I, although it was 3 feet longer in the fuselage) the Mk.22 was a massive 60% heavier than the first of the mark. The sparkling performance was retained though, thanks to the 2000hp+ Rolls Royce Griffon engine. With more than double the power of the Merlin engine fitted to the Mk.I, the Mk.22 was capable of a maximum speed of 454mph. It had an enlarged tail and a laminar flow wing that was nearly 50% stiffer compared to early Spitfires. The comparatively light armament of the first generation of Spitfires was also upgraded a number times, culminating with the massive hitting power of four 20mm cannon. The Mk.22 flew for the first time in March 1945. 278 examples were built, although only one front-line squadron (73 Sqn) was equipped with the type, the rest going to RAuxAF units. Although the Spitfire has always been a popular choice for model kit manufacturers, there were so many unique variants that some have inevitably been kitted more often than others. Late model Spitfires have fared relatively well in recent years, particularly since Airfix released their 1:72 scale Mk. 22/24 a few years ago. Special Hobby of the Czech Republic has been filling in some of gaps with a range of late mark Spitfires and Seafires such as the Mk. 21 and Mk. 46. Now they have released a Mk. 22 of their own, complete with photo etched and resin parts to help it stand out from the crowd. This tooling is related to the Xtrakit Mk. 22, but as the layout of parts is completely different, it's probably best to think of the two kits as cousins rather than brothers. The kit looks pretty good on the frame, with plenty of detail and surface structures made up of fine, recessed lines and fasteners. The moulds are starting to show their age now though, and some clean up of parts will be required. Construction starts with a reasonably well detailed cockpit, made up of a floor, control column, individual rudder pedals, seat, seat armour and rear bulkhead. The instrument panel features raised detail and a separate gunsight, while the insides of the fuselage feature some nice sidewall detail. The overall impression is of a well detailed and suitably busy cockpit. Curiously, although a fret of photo etched parts has been supplied with the kit – and contains parts such as a replacement seat, harnesses and instrument panel – it isn't shown in the instructions other than the diagram showing the contents of the box. Most of the parts should be fairly obvious in terms of their application though. The lower wing is moulded in a single span, with separate port and starboard upper wing surfaces. The ailerons and flaps are all moulded in place, but surface details are nicely represented. Each of the main landing gear bays is made up of four separate lengths of plastic which effectively box in the wheel wells. Engineering the landing gear bays in this way makes construction more complex, but yields a fairly well-detailed result. The horizontal tails are moulded as solid pieces, but the rudder is a separate part. The prominent underwing radiators feature separate exhaust vents and radiator faces – also replicated with photo etched parts - and the distinctive bulges for the Griffon rocker covers are moulded as separate parts. The landing gear is quite nice and, as this is a 'Hi-Tech' boxing, a pair of resin wheels have been included. The five-bladed airscrew is moulded in seven parts, with each of the blades moulded separately. You will need to assemble these parts carefully in order to make sure everything lines up nicely. The engine exhausts have also been picked out in resin, which is a welcome little bonus. The canopy is moulded in two parts, so you can choose between open or closed position. The cockpit door is also moulded as a separate part. As this is a 'Hi-Tech' edition of the kit, a generous six decal options are provided: Spitfire F Mk.22 PK430/racing number 3, No. 610 Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, Cooper Air Race, Elmdon, July 1949; Spitfire F Mk.22 PK519, No. 615 Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, Biggin Hill, 1950; Spitfire F Mk.22 PK550, No. 615 Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, Biggin Hill, 1949; Spitfire F Mk.22 PK570, No. 603 Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, Turnhouse, 1949; Spitfire F Mk.22 SR65, No. 1 Squadron, Southern Rhodesia Air Force, Cranbourne, Southern Rhodesia, 1951-52; and Spitfire F Mk.22 681, No. 2 Squadron, Royal Egyptian Air Force, El Arish, Egypt, 1950. The decals themselves look great on the sheet and stencils are provided too. Conclusion Provided there are no surprises in terms of fit and finish, this kit should build up into a pleasing model. I've always found late mark Spitfires, with the socking great Griffon engine pushing the legacy of the design to the limit, so I'm looking forward to building this kit at some point in the future. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  26. US CBU-105 Bombs 1:32 Brassin (632-095) - If you’ve fancied some more interesting ordinance on your finished models than dumb or laser guided bombs, then we have just the thing for you here. The CBU-105 sensor fused weapon, although banned now, was used to great effect in the second Gulf War, where the M-108 Skeets proved to be devastating against both tanks and soft skin vehicles. Arriving in the pretty standard cardboard box used for more fragile items the set has parts for six complete bombs. The casting is up to the usual standard, with some very fine details, such as the bomb lugs moulded onto the bomb casing. Unfortunately, even in the packaging they come in, some of the lugs on the review samples have broken. So be aware and open the ziplock bag carefully as they can be glued back on if required. Assembly is nice and simple, as once the fins and bodies are removed from the casting blocks and cleaned up it’s just a matter of joining them together painting, (any colour as long as it’s olive drab or test white it seems), adding the supplied decals, and weathering as required. Conclusion As is becoming the norm for Brassin these bombs are really well manufactured. Great moulding, good attention to detail and an excellent addition to any modellers armoury. Review sample courtesy of
  27. Bazooka Launchers for P-47 1:32 Brassin Arriving in the cardboard box that are used for the more fragile sets in the Brassin range, this set consists of two complete launchers, four end plates, and four fixing arms. There is also a smallish etched sheet, containing the straps that go round each three tube launcher and a small resin fixture for the straps. Construction is relatively simple, just cut the moulding blocks off the launchers and launcher end sections, for which the modeller has the option of fitting one pair for armed or the other pair for empty launchers. Each of the upright fixtures is then glued to the top attachment points of the launchers. The tubes are then fitted with six straps which go round all three tubes, and a strengthening strap that is fitted between the aft attachment points to one of the binding straps. Conclusion Although Eduard probably expect this set to be used on their new 1:32 P-47, it can obviously be used on any manufacturers kits in this scale. It’s a great set and makes you realise how big these things were. Review sample courtesy of
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