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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 posted in the last 365 days.

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  1. Yesterday
  2. The hull sides of the two kits are different - this model has promenade deck open for it's full length whilst the Titanic kit correctly has the forward section enclosed. It was the main distinguishing feature of the two sisters. As for the rest of the kit I'm not surprised that Revell haven't accounted for the minor differences between the two ships. Mike.
  3. Horch 108 Type 40 with German Infantry 1:35 ICM The original 108 was a design that dated from 1937 for a light 4x4 vehicle for the Wehrmacht, which was updated in 1940 to include an internally mounted spare wheel. Due to reliability issues they were retired from production in 1942 to be replaced by the new Kubelwagen that was not only cheaper, but more robust and reliable too. The remaining vehicles were used until they could no-longer be repaired, but many made it to the end of WWII. The Kit This is a relatively new tooling from ICM, dating from 2015, but adding in a set of figures to improve the overall value. The box art has been redone to show a Panzer Grey example with a group of four figures, although the instruction booklet is from the earlier boxing and has a Sand Yellow vehicle stood alone. The instructions for the figures are given on the two additional sheets that have been slipped inside the main booklet, which makes a lot of sense from a layout and cost point of view. Inside the usual box-within-a-lid that ICM favour are nine sprues in sand yellow styrene, plus a clear sprue, a floppy sprue of black rubberised tyres, a small decal sheet and the aforementioned instruction booklet. The model is built up on its ladder chassis, including the engine, transmission, suspension with nicely moulded springs, plus body supports, brake hoses and exhaust system. Overall it's a very neatly detailed underside, with the engine being the focal-point. The hubs are split between inner and outer halves, which facilitates easy painting of the wheels and tyres separately, and installation of the tyres on the hubs without stuggle. The coachwork is assembled on the floor plate, which has the rear wheel arches moulded in and stops at the firewall, with spaces for the driver's pedals in the left footwell. The body sides are added, with moulded-in framework, and the dashboard is fitted between them to stabilise the assembly. The dash has a decal for the instruments, a handgrip for the co-driver, heater ducting and a lever beneath the steering column, which is added later. The front inner arches are glued to the underside of the body, and a rear load cover with moulded-in seatback is applied over the rear arches, after which the two rear doors and their handles are installed. A delicate (in this scale) framework is fitted between the rear seats and the driver's area, with the fifth wheel behind the driver, and two bench seats facing each other in the rear compartment, which also have delicate framework under their cushions. The front seats are individual, but of similar construction, and have space for the supplied KAR98 rifles between them, with two more pairs fitted in the rear compartment. The windscreen is of the flip-down type, and has two separate panes added to the frame, with no windows supplied for the sides, as it is modelled with the hood down. The doors can be fitted opened or closed, with their own separate handles inside and out. Once the chassis and body are mated, more of the underpinnings are added, and the radiator with cooling fan are attached along with the louvered bonnet and front bumper irons. At the rear the hood is constructed from four parts, sitting on top of the load cover in a folded state, as there isn't an option for a raised hood on this variant. Wing mirrors, pioneer tools, front headlights with clear lenses, and number plates are dotted around to finish off the build. Figures Two medium sized and one small sprue are devoted to the figure included in this boxing, depicting an officer discussing directions or tactics with one solider, while a machine-gunner carrying his MG34 and his ammo-man walk past, the latter laden down with two spare ammo cans, and the former draped with a length of ammo around his neck. The ammo is on the small sprue, and is so thin that it is flexible enough to form to shape, then tack with a trace of glue. All figures have gas mask containers, canteen, entrenching tool, daysack, pistol, MP40 pouches, binoculars (for the officer) and even bayonets included, which are all given detailed painting instructions on one sheet, while the main painting guide fills the other sheet with full colour printing. Markings Four decal options are supplied on the small sheet, with unit, number plate and tyre pressure stencils being about all that is to be seen. All options are from the Eastern front, with three shown in Panzer Grey, and one in the Sand Yellow scheme used later in the war. From the box you can build one of the following: 8.Pz.Div, Soviet Baltic, 1941 – grey Russia, Summer 2942 – grey Russian, Autumn, 1942 – grey KG 51, Russia, Summer 1943 – Dark Yellow '43 Conclusion A nice detailed model that benefits from the addition of the figures. A driver figure would have been nice to see, but as you're getting four well-sculpted chaps already, that feels a bit churlish. You can build it buttoned up, or with the bonnet, doors and tail-gate all hanging open, so it lends itself to inclusion in a diorama. Review sample courtesy of
  4. ICM

    I like the look of this one.
  5. MikroMir

    MikroMir are certainly doing some interesting stuff.
  6. What I can find out it is the Titanic kit just with new decals...
  7. Last week
  8. The crispness and detail of Hasegawa's 1/72 Mustang kits are still evident in the sprue pictures. The issues with the depth of the wheel well and the exhausts are not deal breakers IMHO. The remarks about pricing are notable though. Here in Australia I often see these double kits on hobby shop shelves - offering all the value of two kits for the price of...........two kits.
  9. Typhoon Mk.Ib Upgrades (for Eduard/Hasegawa) 1:48 Eduard Eduard's reboxing of the Hasegawa Typhoon has sparked renewed interest in the type, and to coincide with the number of them likely to be heading towards workbenches and stashes, they have released a couple of upgrade sets to add some detail to the kit. Exhaust Stacks with fairing (648315) As usual with Eduard's resin sets, they 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. There are two sets of exhausts in the box on one pour stub, which I have cut in half to show both sides of the stacks in one photo. When liberated from the casting block, the exhausts are a drop-in replacement for the kit parts, and includes the fairing around them, which sits over the slot in the side of the kit fuselage. 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. Washing the parts in warm water will also improve the adhesion of paint, as there may still be some moulding release agent on the parts when you receive them. Upgrade Set (48916) 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. This set builds on the PE included with the now out of stock Tiffie kit (1131), so is probably best mated with this or the Overtrees (1131X) to avoid confusion. It includes a replacement set of mesh for the intake scoop under the nose; cooling flap behind it; brake hoses, plus additional internal detail parts for the gear bays. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Beechcraft 17 (48031) 1:48 Iliad Design of Canada The Beechcraft Staggerwing was a pre-war design from the 30s, which saw a great deal of service with various military arms after most were taken into Government hands after the outbreak of hostilities. As it was a good aircraft their use was wide, and they ended up all around the globe. A pretty aircraft that saw a multitude of different schemes, which have perhaps been under-represented, even after the Roden kit in 1:48 came out a few years back. Iliad, our Canadian friends have come out with this new sheet that gives you six options with quite a significant variation in user and scheme, from wartime camo to bright red or white. With this sheet in hand, you should be able to make your Staggerwing stand out from the crowd. The set is supplied on one large sheet with two smaller ones providing a lighter shade of blue in the large stars-and-bars for the upper wings of one of the US options. The printer of the decals is undocumented, but has an air of Decals are by Cartograf, which is an indication of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Each option is split from its neighbour by a fine dotted line, and you will need to use a few of the kit decals such as the instrument panel, but as the Staggerwing wasn't festooned with stencils, this shouldn't be much of a task. From the sheet you can build any and all of the options depicted if you have enough kits, as follows: Beechcraft D17S flown by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands Beechcraft UC-43 from an unknown unit with tail code 895 around June 1944 Beechcraft UC-43 at Wright Field, July 1944 Beechcraft D17A in US Antarctic Service in 1940 Beechcraft D17R in Chinese Nationalist Government service as an air ambulance Beechcraft D17R in Chinese Nationalist Government service as an air ambulance, but camouflaged after losses The Staggerwing is an interesting and attractive design, and with the help of these decals and the accompanying information, you should be able to depict one that is perhaps less often seen on the tables at shows or in display cabinets. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. ICM

    Ju-88A-11 1:48 ICM (48235) The Ju-88 was designed as a schnellbomber in the mid 30s, and at the time it was faster than current fighter designs, so it was projected that it could infiltrate, bomb and exfiltrate without being intercepted. That was the theory anyway. By the time WWII began in the west, fighters had caught up with the previously untouchable speed of the 88, and it needed escorting to protect it from its Merlin equipped opponents. It turned out to be a jack of all trades however, and was as competent as a night fighter, dive bomber or doing reconnaissance as it was bombing Britain. They even popped a big gun on the nose and sent it against tanks and bombers, with variable success. The A series sported a pair of Jumo 211 engines in cylindrical cowlings producing over 1,000hp each, and was improved gradually up until the A-17, with the A-11 being the official designation for the factory produced tropicalized version. It was fitted with filters to protect the engine from dust and dirt, as well as a rescue kit for ditching and forced landings. The Kit This is a new variation on the original tooling of an A-5 that was release recently by ICM, with new parts added to make it version specific. There are new engine nacelles and props; new fin and rudder; changes to the cockpit mounted machine-guns, and different glazing options are chosen from the same clear sprue. The box is the usual top-opening with an inner lid style, and inside you will find eight sprues in grey styrene, one in clear, decal sheet and a glossy covered instruction booklet with spot colour inside, and the decal options in full colour on the back cover. If you have been lucky enough to see the A-5, you'll know that detail is right up there in terms of quality and crispness, with ICM really improving over the last few years, which has to be great news for modellers, as they aren't frightened of tackling what to us may seem niche subject matters. With the sprue-related excitement out of the way, work on the fuselage begins with the addition of sidewall details in the capacious cockpit area. Rear bulkhead, side consoles and seats are all added to the cockpit sides for a change, with an insert in the fuselage for the circular antenna and tail wheel added into the starboard side. The instrument panel is supplied with decals, and fits into the fuselage during joining. The missing floor is added to the lower fuselage panel that includes the lower parts of the inner wings and gives the structure some strength. It also receives the rudder pedals, control column, and the two remaining crew seats before being joined to the fuselage. The tail plane has articulated flying surfaces, and the wings are supplied as top and bottom, with the flaps and ailerons separate from the box, and neat curved fairings so they look good when fitted at an angle. The flaps include the rear section of the soon-to-be-fitted nacelles, which are added as separate parts to avoid sink-marks, and these and the ailerons run full-span, terminating just as the wingtip begins. This variant was fitted with the under-fuselage gondola, and each side has separate glazing panels inserted from inside, and a seam running vertically through its length. It is added to the hole in the underside of the fuselage, with the front and rear glazing plus zwilling mounted machine guns later in the build. At this time the landing gear is made up on a pair of upstands that are added to the underwing in preparation for the installation of the nacelle cowlings. The engines have to be built up first though, consisting of a high part count with plenty of detail, and a rear firewall that securely fits inside the cowling. Even though this is an in-line engine with a V-shaped piston layout, the addition of the annular radiators gives it the look of a radial, with their representation added to the front of the cowling, obscuring much of the engine detail. The side panels can be left off to show all that detail however, and I'm sure Eduard will be along with some in-scale opened panels in due course (there might be some in my inbox, thinking about it!). The cooling flaps around the cowling are separate, and the exhausts have separate stacks, which aren't hollow but are large enough to make boring them out with a drill a possibility. The completed nacelle fit to the underwing over the top of the main gear installation, securing in place with four pegs, two on each side of each nacelle. The props are made from spinner, backplate and a single piece containing all three blades, sliding onto a pin projecting from the engine front, which will require some glue if you want to keep them on. At this point the instructions recommend adding the canopy glazing, which consists of a choice of two faceted nose cones, and the main greenhouse for the cockpit aperture. The rear portion is made from two additional parts due to its double "blown" shape to accommodate the two rearward gun positions, so that the gunner's head isn't pressed against the canopy. The guns are fitted through the windscreen and the two circular ports on the rear, although no ammo feed is supplied. Under the wings the dive spoilers are added with four bomb crutches on aerodynamic mounts, with bombs supplied that have two of their fins moulded separately, along with the stabilising struts that fit into notches in the fins. While the airframe is flipped over, the two-part wheels and twin main gear bay doors are added, both having good detail and the former a radial tread. Addition of the canopy mounted antenna completes the build, but this is likely to be done long after main painting for safety's sake! Markings The kit includes two markings options from the relevant theatre, and the first page of the painting section details the application of the numerous stencils that are supplied in the kit. There are no Swastikas on the sheet, but the Balkenkreuz are included, with a portion separated into narrow sections to ease decaling the dive spoilers. From the box you can build one of the following: Junkers Ju.88A-11 3./LG 1, North Afrika, 1942 – Afrika Brown over Hellblau RLM 65 Junkers Ju.88A-11 I./LG 1, North Afrika, 1942 – Afrika Brown with Dunkelgrun RLM 71 patches over Hellblau RLM 65 The colours are picked out using letters that correspond to a table on the front page, which gives the names and paint codes in Revell and Tamiya ranges, so should be easy to convert to your paint system of choice. The decals are printed in-house and have good register, colour density and sharpness, with additional instrument dials included on a clear carrier film to help with cockpit painting. All of the stencils are legible, and overall they inspire confidence, with a thin carrier film cut close to the printing, with a few exceptions where lettering has film that could have been dispensed with to reduce the menace of silvering. Conclusion ICM's range of Ju.88s and Do.17s are a good example of how far they have come in recent years, adding value to their brand, and improving their reputation with each release. The kit is well-detailed and comprehensive in what it includes, and with a nice pair of decal options it says "build me". Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Thank you for the kind comments chaps! Andy, I'd not noticed that yet so thanks for the 'heads up'. It's another good idea from WnW! Cheers John
  13. 30021 4 Colour Upper Lozenge Decals & 30022 4 Colour Lower Lozenge Decals 1:32 Wingnut Wings Despite early propaganda the Great War was not ‘over by Christmas’ and instead the months passed and turned into years. Aviation was in its infancy, yet underwent rapid change and development during the four years of active conflict. After two years, by 1916 it was realised that some form of concealment for the aircraft was desirable; both while in flight and parked on the ground. Often this was achieved with paints or coloured dopes, but these carried the penalty of adding extra weight. The Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte (German air force) developed pre-printed fabrics that provided the colours without adding the weight. These were based on the polygonal patterns that had often been hand painted onto various aircraft, in an effort to visually break up their lines. Initially the ‘five colour’ fabric began to appear in 1917, followed later by a ‘four colour’ version. Both types had a ‘lower’ version consisting of light colours, and an ‘upper’ version with darker colours. Both types were in extensive use right up until the end of the war, one did not replace the other or supercede it. While the patterns are not in doubt, the actual colours have been discussed exhaustively over the last hundred years. With no contemporary colour photography, plus the effects of fading, oil, varnish, staining, and a whole host of other influences, it can be pretty difficult to come to absolute certainties. Wingnut wings have gone back to primary sources, I.e. surviving fabric samples, and done their own analysis. In their own words; “Wingnut Wings lozenge decals have been meticulously researched, the intricate patterns were traced from original lozenge fabric material we have examined in person. These same lozenge samples were used to colour match our decals under natural daylight conditions. We were very fortunate to have enough sample material to be able to match the colours to the un-doped and un-faded areas from where the edges had been folded over to sew the panels together. In conjunction with our decal printers, Cartograf, we printed multiple samples of each lozenge decal before we were completely happy that the colours matched or research findings. All of this ensures that our decals match the original colours of our samples as they looked in natural daylight conditions as they were applied to aircraft in the Great War.” The decals are printed on A4 sized sheets with seven ‘bolts’ of fabric on each, to the scale width they would have been. There is a very subtle ‘fabric’ look to them, the printing is razor sharp and the pattern repeats precisely . The colours look very impressive, they do actually start to blend together when viewed from a distance. There should be enough on the sheets to cover at least two Albatros sized aircraft, probably more if only the wings need covering. Plenty of useful information is contained within the instruction sheets, pointing out how aircraft were covered, use of rib tapes, and various anomalies that occurred. In the usual Wingnut Wings style, these are backed up with original photographs from the era. Comparison with an earlier Wingnut Wings decal from my stash (a Pfalz D.XII) in pre-shped format, shows the improvement that this latest research has produced. The earlier decal is a little harsher in the way the colours relate to each other, is probably too bright, and it doesn’t ‘blend’ as well as the newer sets. Lozenge camouflage is such a distinctive and noticeable feature on aircraft in this scale, that these sheets will be great to upgrade your unbuilt Wingnut Wings kits (they do a five colour set as well). And if you have any other manufacturers 1:32 WW1 German aircraft kits, they often have much poorer quality lozenge decals, you’ll definitely need a set of these. Highly reccomended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Yup superb! I am really looking forward to getting this kit on strength
  15. Brilliant John - thank you! Gary
  16. CMK

    Typ L3000S Light Truck ICM 1:35 From 1940 onwards the German army, by standardizing and simplifying the numerous types of trucks, tried to improve the procurement of spare parts and facilitate repairs. The result was the standard 3 ton truck, which all German manufacturer snow used as a basis for construction. This was also the basis on which the motor manufacturer in Cologne produced the "V3000S" from 1941 onwards. Various bodies and sets of equipment were available. A typical recognition feature was the oval radiator grille and one-piece windscreen. In total about 25,000 examples were built. The "V 3000 S" came to be used on all fronts in the Second World War and was indispensable for supplying the troops with goods of all kinds. The Model This is an all new tooling, replacing the rather complicated older releases. The model arrives in a strong box with a separate top sleeve with a nice artist’s representation of the vehicle on the front. Inside, within a large poly bag, are three sprues of light brown styrene and, in a separate poly bag, one clear sprue. On initial inspection the parts are really well moulded, clean, with no sign of flash. There are a number of moulding pips, some of which are on quite fragile looking parts, so care should be taken when removing. The sprue gates attaching items like the cover rails are also quite heavy and I can see these parts breaking if not careful. The build starts with the nicely detailed engine with the block and gearbox halves glued together followed by the addition of the rocker covers, starter motor, alternator, front engine mounts, cooling fan, air filter, cooling pipes, gear stick and other sundry items. The instructions then move on to the chassis rails with the addition of five cross members and rear chassis end piece, to which the towing eye, cover and pin are added. To the top of the main rails the two sub rails are added. The front and rear leaf springs are fitted along with the rear axle and transfer box. Turning the rails over the engine can now be fitted plus the exhaust system, which comprises of seven parts, and looks particularly fragile so it may be an idea to build in situ rather than as a separate assembly the instructions call for. The two driveshafts are then be added, as are the radiator/front chassis end piece. The steering rack assembly is built up using the four parts provided and, if the modeller chooses can be built up so that the front wheels are posable, although this may make it rather fragile, particularly the rear tie rod. After fitting the various brackets and supports as well as the front bumper and tow hooks, it’s onto the wheels, these come as single piece tyres plus inner and outer hubs. There are seven provided, singles for the front, doubles for the rear and a spare which fits on the chassis behind the cab and under the bed The building of the cab begins with filing off the ejection pins marks on the underside of the floor, before fitting the pedals, steering column, steering wheel and handbrake handle. The seat support and cushion is fitted to the floor, whilst the windscreen, instrument panel, with decal instruments, are fitted to the roof/front part of the cab. Onto the rear panel of the cab the seat back and rear screen are attached. The next assembly for the cab is the bonnet, which is made up of left and right hand parts, bonnet and radiator grille. The completed bonnet cannot easily be made to be posed either open, which is a shame. To finish off the front, the mud guards/foot plates are attached along with the doors, which are made of the external panels, door cards, clear parts, and door handles. Last details are the wing mirrors, lights, wipers; grab handles, spade, triangular roof marker, jerry can and its support bracket. The last assembly is the truck bed, with the bed itself being fitted with the side, rear, and front plank sections. On the underside, five lateral strengthening beams, and two longitudinal beams are fitted. The spare wheel is also attached, along with two storage boxes, two three piece Jerry can cages, complete with four piece Jerry can, and the two wheel arch attachment sections. A third storage box and the two wheel arches are then fitted and the assembly is ready to be attached to be attached to the chassis. To complete the build the windscreen wipers, wing mirrors, grab handles, pioneer tools, headlamps, hood ornament and convoy triangle are glued into their respective positions. Decals Apart from the instruments mentioned above, the small decal sheet gives the modeller four options. The decals are nicely printed, clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. The options:- Typ L3000S, Ukraine, Summer 1941, in Panzer Grey overall Typ L3000S, Russia, Summer 1942, in Panzer Grey overall Typ L3000S, North Africa, Summer 1942, in Africa Corp Brown Overall Typ L3000S, Italy, Summer 1944, in Dark Yellow overall with Olive Green stripey blotches. Conclusion This is another great truck kit from ICM and a much easier build than their previous releases. The details straight from the box are still good, and there is plenty of scope to add extra detail, particularly to the engine and the very empty cargo bed. Once built and weathered this truck will make a nice component to a multi-vehicle diorama, or on its own with a bit of imagination and some figures, one or two of which would have been nice to have been included in the kit. There doesn’t appear to be anything that would trouble anyone other than complete beginners, so I can quite happily recommend this nice and quite interesting truck. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Meng

    Here are some pictures of the Meng tracks. They are branded as 1/35 Supplies Series SP-038. The box: Instructions are on the reverse. Inside the box is the following: Replacement torsion bars 10x these sprues What I do like is that the mating surfaces are free from sprue gates and clean up should be fairly quick. Finally, two bags of pins: As you can see, these are seriously tiny! The instructions say that there are 100 pins in each bag and 100 lengths of track to put together. Which doesn't leave any margin for error. Now, I haven't counted the pins, so I can't say whether there are any spares in the bags. I would hope that Meng had added a few for the ham fisted modeller like myself! To assemble the tracks you need to make use of the jig in the kit (E1). I have cut a few lengths of the sprues and placed them together. I haven't pinned them at this point. They do look pretty good and went together relatively quickly, with the caveat that I haven't tried pinning them together yet. What they do lack is the weight of a metal track and I am not sure they are going to convert anyone who prefers the look and sag that metal tracks provide. I am happy to give them a go and think that with careful painting and weathering they will look pretty good.
  18. Thanks for the extra info Tim - I'll post the interior pics (we're expecting a set from @Creative Models Ltd), and a set of Zimmerit I picked up from @TIGER HOBBIESLIMITED, but if you could post up some pics of the tracks, I'm sure folks would be interested to see what's included
  19. Meng

    Nice review Mike. Having bought this kit on the strength of previous Meng products, it is noticeable that the instructions are very much a retrograde step, particularly the lack of colour paint schemes. I too, was irritated by the Zimmerit schemes, which are only referred to when you get to the paint options. I have the tracks and they come with replacement torsion bar suspension arms to make the wheels more poseable. The track pins are metal and come as an inside and outside. They are tiny and I predict much swearing from me when it comes to assembly. Let me know if you would like me to post some pictures. Star Decals have some interesting options for alternative schemes, although if you are a regular builder of WW2 German armour, you could probably cobble together the necessary serial codes form the spares box.
  20. Not only a fantastic review but great to see some quality builds! Those are stunning models. I have the original boxing in the stash and have just bought the Clerget engined Sopwith Camel. I am going to have to build at least one of them on the strength of this and the Camel review!
  21. Beautiful review, thanks for sharing it with us. Duncan B
  22. Cracking review John.
  23. The only thing I can say this kit suffer from is the shallow wheel wells and the thing that one have to install the exhausts from the inside of the fuselage halves. But glue some plasticard or plastic bits of the sprues on the inside of the fuselage where the exhaust are supposed to fit from the inside. This makes it possible to fit the exhausts from the outside after painting. The good thing with this kit is that it has both type of exhausts and propellers where the Airfix does not. So you could use this parts for the Airfix, tamiya or other Mustang kits as well! Clearly recommended P-51D Mustang! / André
  24. Fantastic review. And in case you didnt know, Wingnut Wings now have Sprue I of every one of their Fokker DVII kits for sale as an accessory. So now you can built ANY variation (bar the Austrian built ones) of this aircraft using this kit as a basis
  25. This is not the original old Revell kit but the old Frog kit from 1966. But the Frog kit is the better one... http://modelingmadness.com/review/axis/luft/cai219.htm /André
  26. Fokker D.VII (Early) 1:32 Wingnut Wings Introduction The Fokker D.VII first appeared over the western front in May 1918, as the Great War was entering its final phase leading up to the November Armistice. At first issued in small numbers to elite pilots, it proved to be a very capable fighter and began to build a formidable reputation. Production contracts were awarded to Fokkers' main rival, Albatros, such was the need to get production ramped as quickly as possible. In fact Albatros produced more D.VII's than Fokker themselves, and of better quality. The early machines revealed a tendency to engine overheating, so various attempts were made to increase the airflow around the engine bay, mainly by cutting vents and louvers in the cowling panels. The number and location of these vents can often be of assistance in identifying the age and manufacturer of particular D.VII's in old photographs. Much has been written about it, but it was an outstanding fighter often awarded the accolade of being the finest such machine produced by any side in the conflict. The Kit It was something of a surprise to see this kit announced on Wingnut Wings website a few months ago, but it is certainly very welcome. All their previously released versions of the D.VII sold out long ago, and have been fetching silly money on auction sites. As usual we start with the wonderful Steve Anderson artwork adorning the box lid, depicting a pair of Jasta 15 D.VII's in a clear blue sky. Opening the box reveals that it is packed from top to bottom with a host of individually shrink wrapped sprues, leaving no room far anything to rattle around. It is a good idea with any Wingnut Wings kit to carefully unpack it in sequence, putting each item in the upturned lid as you go. Then reverse the process to get it all back in, otherwise you might find you can't get the lid back on properly. There is that much packed into every kit! Wingnut wings have previously released four other boxings of the D.VII in Fokker, Albatros, OAW, and Fokker D.VII(F) forms. They naturally share a lot of common parts, with the individual variations being taken care of by other sprue(s) unique to the particular version. Construction starts with the cockpit, and here sprue A holds most of the parts. Pay attention to the instructions to make sure you select the correct ammunition tank and machine gun mounts. They vary in height according to early, mid, and late production. The etched fret provides seatbelts, which look very good once painted up and applied to the seat. Having made several of these kits already, I have a number of previous 'build' photographs that are useful here. The cockpit framework builds up very precisely, so you must ensure that you scrape any paint away from mating surfaces, and that you fit items like the firewall and ammo tank correctly. Any incorrect fitting will result in the finished unit 'bulging' and being too wide, which will then interfere with the fuselage sides closing around it. Several items have pins that fit into sockets on sideframes B10 & B11. It is a good idea to ream these out with a micro drill after painting. As usual, Wingnut Wings provide superb instructions, showing detailed colour photos of the interior of the Memorial Flight Associations meticulous replica. These are accompanied by coloured CAD drawings showing how it all fits together, with paint references. The engine bay is made up of several beautiful mouldings that replicate the welded steel tubing of the real thing. Take care with parts B14 & B15 when you remove them from the sprue. On my first build I inadvertently cut them at the front where the engine mounting plates end. But these 'spigots' that stick out are later used as radiator mounts. My fault, the instructions show them clearly but I wasn't paying attention! I absolutely love Wingnut Wings engines, they make super little models in their own right, especially if you go the extra step and wire up the magnetos to the plugs. Fine copper wire is ideal for this, and I often use a little bit of artistic licence and paint them in a light colour. After all, If I have installed all the ignition leads, I want them to be visible. Alternate air pumps, intake manifolds, and decals are provided for whichever of the five colour schemes you select. The Mercedes D.IIIa engine powered many different German aircraft, and thus features in several Wingnut Wings kits. This one was built for the initial release of Wingnuts Fokker D.VII. The fuselage halves are closed around the completed interior, but only the top seam is glued. Once dry, the bottom can be glued, and a strip of 'stitching' fitted in to a channel running along the underside. This works well, and is the only way the stitching can be replicated without having a join line right down its middle, which would then be lost as you sanded down the seam. The two LMG 08/15 Spandaus are provided with etched brass jackets, but if you are not confident optional full plastic ones are supplied as an alternative. Two styles of windscreen are on sprue C, which is typical of Wingnut Wings attention to detail. They are tiny and very similar, but you get both. Not all manufacturers would do this. Sprue I holds all the engine cowling panels, and it is this whole sprue that is completely different in the OAW and Albatros releases of the kit. Even within each kit there are multiple options for all the cowlings, such was the variation among early, mid, and late production from even the same manufacturer. As an early machine, the ones applicable to this kit are the plain ones, or those with only a few louvers - some of which have to be cut off anyway. The instructions make it all perfectly clear. The area is finished off by fixing one of two different styles of exhaust to the engine. Sprue D is provided in duplicate, with all those items that you require two of. Three different wheel hubs are present, but only one style is applicable to the Fokker built machines. The wings are simple to build and feature lovely rib detail. They can in fact be built, primed, painted, and decalled while the main construction of the cockpit/fuselage is going on. Final assembly involves beautifully moulded three-way cabane struts, parts B8 and B12. Use a drill to clear out their lower end mounting sockets at the top of the undercarriage legs. The tolerances are tight, so make sure nothing is clogged with paint. All the struts will fit precisely, and the bonus is that hardly any rigging is required. Markings and decals. Five different schemes are offered, with option C having a variation on the colour of the nose area, either red or yellow. A. Fokker D.VII, 262/18, Emil Thuy, Jasta 28w, mid-1918 (35 victories) B. Fokker D.VII, Rudolf Berthold, Jasta 15/JG2, mid-1918 (44 victories) C1.Fokker D.VII, Max Kliefoth, Jasta 19, October 1918 (3 victories) C2.Fokker D.VII, Hugo Schäfer, Jasta 19, October 1918. As above but with red nose area. D. Fokker D.VII, Reinhold von Benz, Jasta 78b, August 1918 (1 victory) E. Fokker D.VII, Bruno Loerzer, Jasta 26/JGIII, November 1918 (44 victories) Four A4/Letter sized decal sheets are supplied, with the first sheet containing all the individual markings for options A to E. As always they are close to perfection, with perfect colours, register, minimal carrier film and superfine detail. Some of the tiny data plates, shown at least double real life size, are completely readable. Produced by Cartograf, need I say more? Two sheets of lozenge decal accompany the main sheet, one of four colour lozenge and another of five colour. The five colour is especially interesting as it provides two types of underside lozenge. The 'normal' and an overpainted set, replicating where pale blue paint has been washed over the lozenge fabric. I have never seen this on a decal sheet, but it looks great. The lozenges are just visible underneath, and having it provided like this takes all the risk out of having to do it yourself. Options A an B both use it, the others use the normal four colour decal. An interesting variation is that Option A actually uses five colour underside lozenge on both wing upper surfaces, with normal upper five colour on the ailerons. Certainly a very interesting and attractive scheme. The decals themselves are in 'cookie cutter' format, designed and shaped to apply directly to the wing surfaces, complete with rib tapes. Be sure to paint the wings first, to give the decals something to 'bite' onto. Don't be tempted to think you can apply them directly to bare plastic. You can't, because they wont stick. The Fokker 'streaky' camouflage can be rather daunting to paint, but Wingnut Wings have made it simple by creating a full set of 'streak' decals for the fuselage. These are the same as provided in their original Fokker release, and found that they give an excellent result when applied over a pale green (or clear doped linen) painted fuselage. Again referring back to my earlier build; (flash photograpy does't 'arf make the colours look bright! It a lot more subtle in real life). Conclusion. Wingnut Wings other D.VII's sold out rather quickly, so don't hang about with this one. Another benefit is that this boxing contains all the plastic parts and options that were in the original (now out of production) Fokker D.VII release. So if like me, you have the original kit but wanted to build more than one option from it, then you now have everything to assemble an early, mid, or late production Fokker built D.VII contained within this box. But if you missed earlier Fokker built D.VII completely, now is your chance to fill that gap in your collection. Buy two and build an early version straight from the box, and use the other one with Wingnut Wings own decal sheet 30006 'Fighting Fokkers part 1', which gives options for some later Fokker D.VII's. Another absolute beauty from Wingnut Wings, very highly reccomended. Review sample courtesy of Previous builds; 32011 Fokker D.VII (Fok) 32027 Fokker D.VII (Alb) 32030 Fokker D.VII (OAW) with decal sheet 30009 Fokker D.VII (OAW) Fighting Fokkers part 4
  27. Julien nailed it, its the constant whinging about applied VAT and costs et al that is irratating, every one knows the rules. If one is savy, for those purchases outside the EU get the local VAT removed at source of purchase. Thomo.
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