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Mike last won the day on July 3

Mike had the most liked content!

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About Mike

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    Proud dad
  • Birthday 09/05/67

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    Chester, UK
  • Interests
    Aircraft, AFVs & Sci-Fi

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66,950 profile views
  1. Greetings!

    A belated Barrie. Better late than never
  2. Introdution

    To the site Steve. Good to have you here.
  3. Their first reply to that pic with the kinked wings and narrow windscreen was that they're aware, and will be building another one once they're done, which will hopefully show up the changes I'm looking forward to being able to send my Testors kit to a new home
  4. Air Carried Missiles & Bombs for Post War Jets 1:48 Meng Model Supplier Series You can't have too many weapons in hand when you're building something relatively modern (post WWII) from the Allies with jet engines, as you can almost guarantee that at least some of the items you want to add to your load-out won't be in stock. Most people keep any weapons they don't use for future reference, but sometimes that's not enough, and you have to resort to aftermarket. The old Hasegawa weapons sets are long in the tooth now, and hard to find, and resin isn't suitable for everyone's skillset or pocket, which is why I guess Meng decided to round out their recent Supplier range with three sets of US weapons. These are broken down between missiles of short range, missiles with long range, and guided bombs, all of which are in styrene, which will appeal to a wider audience due to everyone's familiarity with the medium and its reasonable cost. Each set comes in a satin-finish Meng figure sized box, with a delightful end-opening box that everyone loves so much. The front of the box shows diagrams of each item in the box, with construction diagrams on the back, and finally the painting and decaling details on the sides, called out in AK Interactive colour codes. US Short-Range Air-to-Air Missiles(SPS-043) This box contains a selection of short range missiles from the early Falcon to the increasingly capable Sidewinder that is used by so many countries today. In the box you get the following: 4 x AIM-4C Falcon 4 x AIM-4F Falcon 4 x AIM-4G* Falcon 4 x AIM-4D* Falcon 4 x AIM-9B Sidewinder 4 x AIM-9E* Sidewinder 4 x AIM-9NP* Sidewinder 4 x AIM-9D* Sidewinder 4 x AIM-9M* Sidewinder 4 x AIM-9X* Sidewinder with adapter rail Each missile body is a single part, with two fins from each set moulded-in, and the others as separate parts. The weapons marked with an asterisk also have a clear seeker head part, and the AIM-9X had an additional exhaust part for added detail to this latest version. The stencils for both missile types are included, and differ between variants, as do their colours. The earlier AIM-4s have at least a portion of their bodies painted bright red, while the AIM-9s are all grey or white. US Long/Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (SPS-044) This set contains the larger missiles with greater range, which are intended to keep the enemy at arm's length and make dogfights a thing of the past. The Sparrow, AMRAAM and the Phoenix missiles are all included, plus training, ECM and instrumentation pods. The box contains: 2 x ACMI Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation Pod 4 x AIM120B AMRAAM Missile 4 x AIM120C AMRAAM Missile 4 x AIM-7M Sparrow Missile 4 x AIM-7E Sparrow Missile 4 x AIM-54A Phoenix Missile 4 x AIM-54C Phoenix Missile 2 x AN/ALQ-188 training pod 2 x EML8222 Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) Pod Again, the Sparrow and AMRAAM missile bodies are single parts with some fins moulded-in, and others as separate parts, plus small adapter rails. The larger Phoenix missiles that were used solely on the F-14 Tomcat are supplied in halves, with a separate tail and two of the fins. The ACMI pod is a single delicate part, while the others are build from separate halves with additional sensors added to the sides or ends. Colours and stencils are copious, and detailed on the box sides, so remember not to throw them away. The AIM-7M hasn't been given part numbers on the instructions, but by a process of deduction we can tell you that they are on sprue B. US Satellite-Guided Bombs (SPS-045) The final set has a raft of different smart bombs of varying sizes, plus the more recent Small Diameter Bombs that have become popular due to the reduced collateral damage from the smaller explosive yield. A pair of laser targeting pods are also included, as follows: 2 x GBU-31-V1 JDAM with Mk.84 payload 2 x GBU-31-V3 JDAM with BLU-109 payload 2 x ANAAQ-33 LANTIRN targeting pod 2 x GBU-54 laser JDAM with Mk.82 payload 8 x GBU-53 precision-guided glide bomb 8 x GBU-39 precision-guided glide "bunker-buster" bomb 2 x BRU-61 that can carry 4 x GBU-53 or -39 The bombs all have two-part bodies, with separate fins and in the case of the GBU-39, separate winglets and tail unit. The construction of the BRU-61 bomb carriers are correctly designated, but when shown mated with the bombs it is incorrectly called out as an AIM-54A. It is also a little frustrating that there sufficient bombs to fill 4 racks, yet only two are included in the box. As with the other sets, the painting and markings guide are shown on the sides, and some complex masking will be needed around the "shroud" that the larger GBUs wear. Review sample courtesy of
  5. One more returnee

    aboard Guy. Good to have you here
  6. I couldn't believe my ears

    I'm going to close this down, as things are clearly heading down a path I don't want to go... night all
  7. A Heng Long King Tiger whenever I get my backside in gear and start/finish painting him
  8. Hannants?

    Weird. Which browser are you using? Did you also reboot your router?
  9. I recognise this guy! I've got his brother on my workbench wearing primer
  10. How do I post Pictures?

    The problem lies with the URLs not being of the standard format .com or .co.uk and so forth. Often they're http://village.photos and some gibberish, which confuses the automatic system. Instead, link them via the Insert Other Media > Insert Image from URL, which instructs the system that this is DEFINITELY a picture URL.
  11. How do I post Pictures?

    You'll have to use some form of photo hosting service to be able to share them with the folks. Village Photos seems to be a new favourite after the Photobucket debacle, unless your internet service provider gives you some webspace?
  12. F-35A Lightning II 1:48

    There's a recent inferrence here reported by Janes, and with the C model being the most expensive, we're likely to go for the A, as indicated here too
  13. F-35A Lightning II 1:48

    F-35A Lightning II 1:48 Meng Model Probably one of the (if not the) most contentious and publically berated projects since the beginning of aviation over a hundred years ago, the F-35 in its three guises has been a marathon journey from proposal to production and testing, with the first few going into service this decade. Initially named the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), there were three variants proposed, all of which shared the same overall configuration and look, as well as borrowing technology from the now in-service F-22. Combining a stealthy surface with internal weapons bays, supersonic performance and an in-depth sensor-fusion that provides the pilot with excellent situational awareness and a broader "sense" of the whole battlesphere, the software alone has been a mammoth task. Coupled with the new technologies utilised, and the number of contractors/countries involved, it has gone over time and budget on a number of occasions, with frequent threats and calls to cancel the project in favour of other options. Various customers have also opted in and out of the end-of-project purchase, and numbers of airframes have been chopped and changed by various customers as political wrangling and budget-balancing became involved. Irrespective of the political back and forth, the engineering side of things has progressed through the hurdles, and at the end of 2006 the maiden flight of an A variant was made, followed two years later by the STOVL B variant with its controversial lift fan. Fast-forward to 2015 and the US Marines were happy enough to call it suitable for initial operations. The navalised F-35C will join the fray in 2018 after many issues are resolved around carrier operations. The A variant is the smallest of the three airframes and is aiming to replace the F-16 eventually, although it will have a monster of a job replacing the Falcon in the hearts of aviation enthusiasts, as well as the differences in cost. Great Britain will be taking a number of A and B variants amongst its purchase for "synergy" between forces. Don't you just love management speak? No, me neither. The Kit We've had a couple of kits in this scale of the F-35, with a fairly recent release from another company that I suspect is about to be eclipsed by this brand new tooling from Meng, who have an excellent reputation for quality products. The kit arrives in one of Meng's usual high class boxes with their trademark satin finish, and a handsome painting on the top. On the sides are profiles of the decal choices, as well as an announcement of their collaboration with AK Interactive on new paints specifically to depict the tricky colours of the Radar Absorbent Material (RAM) coatings applied to these and other modern jets. Inside the box are thirteen sprues and two fuselage halves in a dark blue/grey styrene, a clear sprue, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) parts, decal sheet, a diminutive instruction booklet, and a colour painting and decaling guide in the same narrow portrait format. First impressions are that unlike the companies that issued F-22 kits in this scale a few years back, Meng have got the balance of raised detail about right, with neither too much nor too little, all of which should look good under paint. Speaking of paint, we'll be reviewing a new set of masks for this kit's complex RAM coatings from Galaxy Model soon, so watch this space. I'll put a link to it when it's live. Parts breakdown seems logical, detail is good, and a set of PE belts are included for the cockpit, which is always nice. Construction begins with this area, with a six-part ejection seat plus the aforementioned belts fitting into the cockpit tub, with only rudder, the two sticks making up the HOTAS control system, plus the instrument panel and coaming added last of all. There is an instrument panel decal for the digital panel that takes up most of the room, which should look good once set within the deep coaming. The gear bays must be built up next, as they will be closed up within the fuselage once complete. The nose gear bay is a single part into which the completed single-wheeled nose gear leg fits, with the scissor-link and retraction jack being separate parts, as well as two more that complete the detail. This can be left off until after painting, happily. The main bays are two-part assemblies, and the main gear legs have separate retraction jacks, links and scissor-links, totalling 6 parts each. Whilst these bays should suffice for a great many, a little additional detail would have been appreciated, as they seem a bit simplified on closer nspection. The weapons bays are both 6-part assemblies that depict the large tubing that runs their entire length, and while they too could be considered a little simplified, once you install the supplied GBU-53 small diameter bombs and their pylons in the bays, you'll probably see very little. The intake trunking is full depth, with the two intakes joining in front of the single fan of the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, which is a separate part with the fan face moulded in. The exhaust is relatively short, with a one-piece cylindrical trunk with the rear of the engine at the bottom, into which there are two PE mesh parts added, hiding most of what would otherwise be visible. The exhaust petals have excellent detail and finesse, and should be fine for all but the most detail-conscious, slipping over the end of the trunk and locking within the fuselage bottom on two lips. The port and starboard weapons bays, main bays, nose bay and intake trunking all attach to the lower fuselage half, with only the cockpit tub fitting into the upper half. Two pairs of small holes are drilled through the top in the aft section and then the two halves are brought together, with a few small panels added to recesses in front of the cockpit and on the spine, with the option of open or closed refuelling receptacle. Although the airframe has blended wings, they are separate parts, with a healthy overlap on the topside providing excellent strength of the finished article. Leading edge slats and flaps are added to the two-part wings, with holes drilled out for the pylons if you intend to fit them. Breaking the stealthy configuration allows the carriage of more munitions on the two underwing pylons, with a smaller outer pylon able to take addition air-to-air defensive armament of either AIM-9 or AIM-120 missiles. The elevators can be posed at a 10o droop, or in line with the airframe by using one of two inserts on the booms at either side of the exhaust, into which the completed two-part assemblies fix. The twin fins are also two parts each, with the stealthy lumps hiding all the machinery within. Under the fuselage the built-in laser-designator and various other lumps are added, after which you can choose to close up or leave open any combination of bays by adding or leaving off the hinges on some, or choosing the appropriate closed parts for the nose gear. There are a LOT of doors due to the internal weapons carried, but take your time and it'll all come together. In addition, a pair of AIM-120s can be fitted to the main weapons bays on a small pylon adapter, which deploys the weapon as the doors open. The F-35's canopy is quite heavily tinted with a golden hue, and that tint is sadly missing from the kit part. It isn't difficult to replicate however, simply by adding some clear acrylic yellow (or food colouring) to the Klear/Future that you dip the canopy into. There are numerous tutorials online, and I did just this with my Mig-31 Foxhound build a while back. Don't be tempted to sand off those fine canopy frame lines, as they're supposed to be there, and you'd have a devil of a job doing it because they're on the inside of the part! Clarity of the canopy is excellent, and Meng's inclusion of a piece of self-cling foil to the sprue certainly helps keep it that way until you are ready for it. There is an internal plastic frame part that glues inside the clear part, and this should be painted in anticipation of installation, as should the fine framework mentioned earlier. Masking is the way to go here, and while you are working in the area, you might as well paint the inside of the canopy for further realism. Fitting the canopy in the closed position is simply a case of applying glue to the part and pressing it home, while an open canopy requires the installation of four parts in the coaming, as the whole canopy tilts forward for pilot egress. With that the model is ostensibly completed, apart from adding any exterior stores that you might wish to depict. If you don't use the two AIM-120s in the belly, these can be used on the outer wing pylons, as can a pair of AIM-9Xs that sadly aren't included. The main wing pylons are wired for bombs such as the GBU-13, -39, -53 or -54, all of which are detailed in the final diagram that shows their probable location even though these items aren't included in the kit. There is however a new range of aftermarket styrene weapons sets coming from Meng, which may go at least some way toward explaining the dearth in the box. Markings I can almost hear a chorus of "boring grey jet" from some readers (if they haven't tuned out already), and you wouldn't be wrong about the grey part, to an extent at least. Both decal options are painted a dark grey, with some of the raised panels a lighter grey, both of which weather out a little lighter with use, as can be seen on the F-22 that has now seen some active service. Masking those areas would be a chore, and could drive a modeller insane, so look out for my upcoming review of the Galaxy Models mask set in due course. From the box you can build one of the following: F-35A 13-5071 34th FS, 388th FW, USAF piloted by Lt. Col. George Watkins, Hill AFB, 2016 F-35A 11-5033 33rd FW, USAF, piloted by Lance Pilch, Eglin AFB, 2015 The colours are called out in AK Interactive codes, as well as Acrysion Water Based Color, which is a new issue from the Mr Hobby range that dries faster than their existing colours. Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion If you've got this far, you're clearly in the market for a model of an F-35A, and in my humble opinion this is now the one to get if fit and finish is key to your modelling enjoyment. Casting my eyes over the parts in the box, this is a typical Meng product, so will please many. Of course they have gone into competition with another previously released modern tooling of the subject, but Meng have built up a following by providing excellent kits of sometimes unusual subjects, and I for one am a fan. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Westland Sea King HAS/R 5

    A putty seat cushion makes quite a difference to things, doesn't it?
  15. Hannants?

    This is a minor necro-thread incident. Would have been nice if @Britman had come back with a resolution to his issue though, just so we know