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    • Mike

      Switched Identities   18/06/17

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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. Tempest II Upgrade Sets (for Special Hobby) 1:32 Eduard The second kitted variant of the Mighty Tempest in 1:32 released by Special Hobby has been equally well received as the earlier Mk.V release, and Eduard have been working away in the background to create a number of upgrade sets that will make your model even better, which if you already have the Mk.V sets will be very familiar (they're as close to identical as can be). 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. You can pick and choose what you want from the following sets. Interior Set (32905) This set contains two sheets of PE, one of which is nickel-plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. It improves on the kit detail in the cockpit by adding items to the sidewalls; replacing chunky styrene details on the turtle-deck behind the pilot; adding sill details to the cockpit sides; detailed new side consoles with throttles, levers (with a little added colour this time around) and switches; replacement foot pedals for the rudder; a complete re-skin of the instrument panel with multi-layered pre-painted PE plus a more detailed compass mount; a complete new pilot seat with masses of extra detail, and using the kit mounting brackets, and finally a few small details on the rear wheel yoke. Zoom! Set (33165) This reduced content set just includes the pre-painted and nickel plated sheet as seen above, for those that are primarily interested in the cockpit's instruments. The reduced price also makes it more attractive for many reasons. Seatbelts STEEL (32906) These new belts are just what the Medical Officer ordered, and work very well in this scale. They are still PE, but on a very thin steel base, which is extremely flexible and gives you the ability to create a realistic drape of the belts over the seat. Landing Flaps (32402) The kit's flaps are moulded into the wing, so if you wanted to show them dropped, you'll need this set, which is surprisingly simple once you get past the preparation stage. You first need to remove the flaps from the underside of the wing, then the narrow section that's visible in the upper wing, taking care to thin the very edge of the remainder, which is shown in a scrap diagram for your ease. The flap bays are made up from one main part each, with a number of hinge-guides along their length, and a small wedge-shaped part just past half span. The flaps are made up using one main part which has all the tapering ribs attached, each one having a small fold at the base before twisting them round to glue them. You need to slide a piece of 1.6mm styrene (or brass) rod through the loops in the forward end, and add a small number of ancillary parts for inner and outer flap sections, and once done they are glued against the hinge-guides installed in the bay earlier. Masks (JX199) 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 number of masks for the various light lenses, and a set of hub masks for the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Hello Mike, Very nice one, would look fine beside my USMC Sherman Thank for the review. Sincerely. Corsaircorp
  4. Su-34 Upgrade Sets (HobbyBoss) 1:48 Eduard The 1:48 Su-34 was greeted by a huge buying frenzy, and it's now surprisingly difficult to find one for a decent price in the UK, so it has clearly sold well. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner. 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. Interior (49824) Two small 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; ejection seat details; throttle quadrant; HUD framework with acetate film glazing; rear-view periscope and canopy internal structure also supplied. Oddly, a number of external parts are added, such as a number of sensors and AoA probe in the nose; static wicks on the wings and tail, and chaffe and flare racks in the stinger between the engine exhausts. Zoom! Set (FE824) 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 (49825) 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. As well as the belts and cushion pads, you also get a set of pull-handles between the pilot's knees that gets him out of there in case of an emergency. Exterior (48921) This larger bare brass set contains some important upgrades, such as delicate new afterburner rings, with concise instructions on how to achieve the correct shape with them; a replacement to the rear face of the engine that slots over the bullet fairing in the centre; a substantial upgrade to the detail in the highly visible nose gear bay that also acts as crew access, with the ladder also getting new treads and the mudguard being fitted with a new flexible rubber section (in brass of course). Finally, the intake inner walls are skinned with more detailed panels, which will need blending in with the styrene at the edges for a more realistic look. Masks (EX550) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, which are solid masks for each pane. In addition you get a set of ancillary masks for the sundry lights, allowing you to paint your model with little concern for them. Review sample courtesy of
  5. US Marine with Flamethrower M2A1 – Iwo Jima 1945 1:35 CMK from Special Hobby By 1945 Allied forces were using Flamethrowers to root out the tenacious Japanese soldiers that simply wouldn't surrender, but would fight to the death, inflicting heavy casualties during each Island clearance. The US Marines did much of the drudgery, often being the first in and last out, and used the flamethrower extensively. The original M1 was developed in 1940, and improved until the M2 became prevalent later in the war. Containing only seven seconds worth of flammable napalm, it could project this lethally sticky burning liquid some 40 metres with a good wind behind it, although the wearer was weighed down by over 60lbs/30kg when full. They were also vulnerable targets and a round penetrating their fuel tank must have been their worst nightmare. With the introduction of flamethrower tanks, the man portable packs were withdrawn from service, with many destroyed. A similar design was also used in the Korean War, as well as later in the Vietnam War after more improvements. The set arrives in a clamshell box, with the resin parts safely cocooned within, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card behind. Inside is one figure (our photo shows the rear of the figure too for illustration purposes), separate head and arms, with the leading hand also separate to give flexibility of pose. The propellant bottle (nitrogen), hosing and the gun are all separate parts to add extra detail, and give the modeller the facility to change the pose, using hot water to manipulate the resin hose, or replace it with flexible tubing or wire. CMK's figure sculpting is excellent, and coupled with the ability of resin to depict undercuts in the mould, the cloth, belts and straps all appear very life-like. With careful painting, an impressive figure should be the result. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Last week
  7. ICM

    I-153 Winter Version 1:72 ICM The Polikarpov I-153 Chaika (Seagull, for all you Chekhov fans), was the ultimate incarnation of the biplane fighter to find its way into VVS service. The aircraft was of mixed wood and metal construction, with a gull wing, manually retractable undercarriage and armed with four shKAS machine guns. It entered service in 1939, and was first blooded in the border skirmishes that took place between Soviet and Japanese forces that year. The combination of biplane maneuverability and modern fighter performance made the I-153 a competitive design, albeit hampered by an unreliable supercharger design and the lack of a firewall between the fuel tank and the cockpit. The type soldiered on into the 1940s, mainly due to the lack of modern alternatives in sufficient numbers. Inside ICM's typically robust box is a large sprue of grey plastic which holds all of the main parts of the diminutive fighter, as well as a much smaller sprue which holds the new parts for the landing gear skis. A tiny clear sprue, instructions and decals complete the package. Moulding is clean and crisp, with plenty of fine detail. There are 85 parts in total, although one or two (wheels) aren't used in this boxing. Construction on the cockpit begins with the internal framework, onto which the instrument panel, four-part seat, control column, rudder pedals and floor all fit. The oveall impression should be reasonably good for the scale, which is just as well as the cockpit is not enclosed by glazing. The whole sub-assembly fits onto the single span of the lower wing, which in turn fits into the two halves of the fuselage. The engine and propellor are comprised six parts, with an optional spinner hub. As with the lower wing, the upper wing is a nicely-moulded solid piece of plastic, onto which the two sturdy struts fit. Alignment shouldn't be a problem, as the gull wing section fits directly onto the front upper fuselage. The horizontal stabilisers are solid parts. The undercarriage legs and skis are accurately represented, with the same excellent level of detail as the rest of the kit. Each leg is made up from six parts, while the tail skid is a single part on its own. There are partial covers for the redundant main gear wheel wells. A surprisingly good selection of ordnance is included, with a choice of eight rockets, four small bombs or four larger bombs. The rigging is fairly simple and should therefore be within the capabilities of even the biplane averse. Decal options include: I-153, Red Army Air Force, Winter 1939-40 I-153, Finnish Air Force, LeLv 14, April 1940 I-153, Finnish Air Force, LeLv 14, March 1942 I-153, Finnish Air Force, 3/LeLv 6, November 1942 The decals look nicely printed, but the finnish swastikas have to me made up from the provided strips of blue decal. Conclusion ICM's I-153 is a well-regarded kit, which makes this new edition complete with skis a very welcome addition to the range. Detail is good, while construction is not overly complex. Overall, it looks as though this should be an enjoyable and rewarding build. Review sample courtesy of
  8. MiniArt

    Nice review Mike. It is great to see that MiniArt are going from strength to strength and giving us some really interesting subjects. There is another version of this kit with the full interior which is kit number 37004. MiniArt have done this with most of their recent releases, which is an approach that I like. The difference in price is around £14, which is a decent saving if you aren't going to display the interior. I hope the concept catches on. Eduard give you Profipack and Weekend editions of kits and Meng have upgrade options for their King Tiger. Being able to pick and chose makes good sense and also makes the kits more accessible for people who might be put off by high parts counts, photo-etch, movable tracks etc.
  9. Slybirds A Photographic Odyssey of the 353rd Fighter Group During the Second World War Fighting High Publishing - Via Casemate UK With their black and yellow chequered markings the 353rd Fighter Group was one of the Eighth's more colourful groups. They were assigned to the Eighth Air Force on 7 June 1943. The group flew P-47 Thunderbolts, and from October 1944, P-51 Mustangs; as escorts for bombing missions across occupied Europe, and to strafe targets on the ground. Tactical missions included strafing and dive-bombing targets during the Allied invasion of Normandy, and also during the airborne assault of Holland. For these latter missions, between 17 and 23 September 1944, the Group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation .They were based first at Goxhill, then Metfield and finally Raydon. The group consisted of; 350th Fighter Squadron 351st Fighter Squadron 352nd Fighter Squadron Headquarters (353rd Fighter Group) 2125th Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon The book features over 450 photographs, many unpublished, and some in colour. It features not only the Aircraft, pilots and ground crew, but how they lived, spent their free time, and even pets they had. The book shows aerial victories, aces, and those pilots who were shot down. There is a list of POWs and a roll of honour for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The book has been written by renowned Eighth Air Force Historian Graham Cross and is A4 Landscape in format with a quality printed feel. . Conclusion. The book gives a comprehensive look at the 353rd Group, and a unique look at the men and machines which made up this formidable fighting force, Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  10. T-54-2 Mod 1949 (37012) 1:35 MiniArt The T-54's gestation and transformation into the T-55 was long-winded and complicated by constant changes to an as yet unsatisfactory performing vehicle. Production of the T-54-1 was halted due to production and quality issues, and an amalgamation of all the alterations were incorporated into the re-designed T-54-2, which saw the fender machine guns removed and replaced by a more modern bow-mounted single gun, the tracks widened, and the turret design changed to closer resemble the eventual domed shape of the T-55. The -2 didn't last all that long before the -3 replaced it, eliminating the shot-traps on the turret sides, but retaining the more modern gun and sighting improvements that had been made to the dash-2 toward the end of production. The requirement for survival of tactical nuclear blasts led to the eventual introduction of the similar looking, but significantly different T-55 that we know so well. The Kit We reviewed the T-54-1 here recently, and although this kit bears a striking resemblance, there are a large number of parts that are different in minor ways, and although the interior is included in this boxing too, the engine parts are no-longer there, and the kit isn't billed as an "Interior Kit", perhaps indicating that interest in that area wasn't sufficient to justify providing the complete internals. Who knows? The quality of moulding is identical (i.e excellent) to the earlier kit, and inside the box are forty eight (yes, 48) sprues in mid grey styrene, a clear sprue, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small decal sheet and a glossy bound red and white booklet that mimics the striking design of the box. Construction is almost identical to the earlier boxing, excepting right at the beginning with the engine omission. The lower hull has some minor differences, and the sidewalls require a little modification at the top to introduce a chamfer at the very top, and the ammo storage area is omitted, but sufficient detail will be seen through the opened hatches if you decide to go that way. The engine compartment is of course empty, but with the access panels fitted it wouldn't be seen anyway, which is a similar story to the other omitted internals. The running gear is identical, as are the individual links provided on 10 small sprues, while the upper deck is different in shape, but constructed in the same manner, from individual sections at the front, turret ring area, and the engine deck. The fenders are different due to the removal of the gun "emplacements", with stowage and spare track links taking their place. The turret is a new moulding, and has reduced levels of detail, omitting such things as the ready-ammo, reduced detail on the main gun breech etc., but as this isn't the bells & whistles boxing, you are still getting plenty, such as the coax machine gun, a highly detailed cupola and of course the Dushka (DsHK) on the upper surface. Finally the driver's "hood" that fits over his hatch for inclement weather operations can be posed stowed or in situ for that comedy look. If you are stowing it, there are some PE straps to tie things down on the bustle. Markings The decal sheet consists of predominantly white digits, with a couple of diamonds that have black backgrounds, so registration although minimal is in good, colour density and sharpness being similarly so. From the box you can build one of the following, all of which are in Russian Green: Soviet Army 50 Years – white 649 with black diamond and Roman III in the centre Soviet Army 50 Years – white 003 Soviet Army 50 Years – white 332 Soviet Army 50 Years – white 84 Soviet Army 50 Years – white 534 Soviet Army 50 Years – white 415 Not the most inventive decal choice, but as they're all Russian Green anyway, it's not the end of the world. Some of the options show the Dushka, while others do not, so take care if you are going for accuracy. Conclusion It's another great early T-54 from MiniArt, without the mass of additional parts on the interior, so it should be a quicker build than its stablemate. Detail is first class, and symptomatic of MiniArt's continued growth as a company constantly striving for excellence. Highly recommended. http://www.britmodeller.com/reviews/graphics/bin.jpg Review sample courtesy of
  11. Eduard

    As things stand today, the Fokker Triplane is the sole WW1 model in my collection of completed models. I have a particular admiration for Werner Voss who was killed flying F.1 103/17 at the end of September 1917, so I was quite pleased to find Eduard focusing on the 2 F.1 models with this kit. I'm sure, like most Eduard kits, it's a well-planned offering that will make a great kit. I was pleased to see from the instruction pamphlet that they'd included both styles of tail plane, one with a slightly curved leading edge as used in 102 & 103 and one with a straight leading edge as they were with all Dr.1 models, which I suspect means this kit will form the basis of other Dr 1 models to follow The curved form, as I understand it, was derived from the V.4 and V.5 prototypes, but I guess the straight leading edge simplified production and therefore reduced costs, always at the forefront of Anthony Fokker's mind. What appears to be a surfeit of opinion isn't my own since it derives from careful examination of Paul Leaman's book on the Fokker Triplane, which I would recommend to anyone interested in the design and history of this short-lived, but iconic development of early fighter technology. This book also highlighted for me the other variation between the F.1 and Dr.1 models that Eduard seem to have chosen to ignore. The cowlings on the 2 F.1 models had a slightly different face plate compared with the production models. While the horizontal base of the front face of the latter is a straight line, as in the Eduard kit, the 2 F.1 pre-production a/c had an additional section of aluminium that angled backward from the bottom horizontal line and followed the angled curved section of the cowling. This variation is particularly clear in some pics of Voss' 103/17 where the "Kaiser" moustaches curve over this additional plate. Detail is always a small thing and I guess Eduard chose not to inlude a 2nd such cowling in the interests of economy on this weeken addition. I spent hours modifying a Revell 1:28 scale Dr.1 to imitate Voss' 103/17, armed to the teeth with Paul Leaman's book, so the cowling was one thing I managed to replicate with minor changes to the kit cowling. I must admit though, I bottled out when it came to judging the right curve for the tail plane leading edges,since I couldn't find any plan views that showed this. Eagle-eyed viewers of my post on this (Revell 1:28 Scale Fokker Triplane) haven't so far spotted this even though it's evident from the pics if you're aware of the difference. Hopefully, not too anoraky! Paul
  12. ICM

    The exhausts were particilarly fiddly to fit.
  13. Firstly, great review Paul. I'm looking at replacing my suction fed Paasche as I'm sick of the paint drying/clogging inside irrelevant of how much I've thinned it, and then if I up the pressure, I get the overspray. I can rarely get through a small half cup of paint before having to strip and clean the thing. I'm sure it's me, but I get the impression the gravity feeds are the better option, and subsequently more reliable with less air going through, there's less opportunity to dry the paint. Duane, You will indeed need a compressor, and likely will also need an adaptor from the compressor to the hose for the airbrush. I would also recommend a moisture trap if the compressor you buy doesn't come with one. Finally, whatever you do, try and get one with a tank (the large the better). The tank holds the compressed air, which means that you get a more even flow of air, and additionally means the compressor is running less often than if you were just pumping the air straight to the airbrush.
  14. ICM

    ICM kits now come in a fully closing cardbox with a hinged lid, a flimsy outer covering goes on top of this. The new boxes are really sturdy. As said with kits, boxes, decals, instructions they are well ahead of where they were. Julien
  15. ICM

    I have the 1/48 Eduard kit, and old Revell 1/72, So will be looking forward to this kit. Always liked Revell decals and the instructions are miles better now, not keen on the boxes, flimsy. ICM, issuing some great subjects, long may it continue 😊
  16. ICM

    One of my favourite aviation subjects. I'm normally a 1/72 person, due to lack of space. However, the I-16 doesn't take a lot of space in 1:48. Time for my Hobby Craft kit to go, this one to take its place TonyT
  17. ICM

    ICM have come on in leaps & bounds over the last couple of years. I've been more and more impressed with each release
  18. ICM

    I agree with the last three posts. ICM kits used to be a bit but the new ones are good - and certainly nothing wrong with the price.
  19. ICM

    We'll have to agree to differ there, as I find old Revell instructions horribly busy, and the newer ones only marginally better. The ICM instructions however are clear, concise, in colour, and in English as well as Cyrillic in case you can read Cyrillic. There's also nowt wrong with the decals or the price.
  20. ICM

    There is nothing wrong with ethier the decals, or instructions from ICM. As for price point they come in £5 to £7 less than the Eduard kits at a full price online retailer. A good package all round I think. Julien
  21. ICM

    I found the Eduard kit really fiddly and as I think ICM kits are great, I am seriously tempted by this kit.
  22. ICM

    when Revell issue this kit, nice decals, good instructions and maybe good price, we all be Tempted, bit of Advice, use that fantastic box art from your 60s, 1/72kit, Revell.
  23. Already on my shopping list. Dan Hagedorn + Tom Cooper => Must buy
  24. The 100 Hour War The conflict between Honduras & El Salvador 1969 Helion & Company - Via Casemate UK In July of 1969 while most of the world was looking to the upcoming moon landings the Central American States of Honduras and El Salvador would go to war in what the media would coin "The Soccer War" due to hostilities coinciding with rioting at a World Cup qualifying match between the two countries. On the 14th of July 1969 El Salvador invaded its neighbour Honduras. This was the culmination of long standing land reform in Honduras effecting immigration and demographic issues with El Salvador; there being some 300,00 Salvadorans living in Honduras by this time. Neither side had what could be called a "modern" military at the time with civilian aircraft being used to carry explosives and an assortment of ex US military aircraft being used by both sides such as F4U Corsairs and P-51 Mustangs. After only 100 hours the Organisation of American States negotiated a ceasefire between the two sides. In the 100 hours El Salvador lost over 900 dead most of which were civilians, and Honduras would loose 250 combat troops and over 2000 civilians. The 300,000 Salvadorans living in Honduras would be displaced. Despite peace treaty in 1980 the dispute continues on with further sabre rattling as late as 2013. This book is the culmination of 20 years of research into this little know conflict. As well as the complicated background the book explores the military actions in the air, and on the ground taken by both sides. This was the last time the world would see dog fights between WWII era piston aircraft. As well as an impressive collection of photographs the book features colour profiles and markings of the aircraft used along with maps of the region to show how the fighting progressed. Conclusion. The book does concentrate on the air war, however the ground operations are covered along with the build up, and reasons for the conflict. Recommended if you like researching & modelling the smaller conflicts of the world. Review sample courtesy of
  25. ICM

    Yes, review now edited. The decal instructions are in English and Cyrillic and I duplicated one of the Hungarian examples. Thx Julien
  26. ICM

    I guess you have make a mistake. This is not box with "Hungarian Air Force" Fw-189, but Axis, because it contain 2 sets for Hungarian planes, and one for Bulgarian Air Force.
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