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Everything posted by Mike

  1. Ukraine KRAZ-6446 Tractor 1:35 Takom The KrAZ 6446 is a Ukrainian designed and built heavy-duty semi-tractor with three axles used locally as well as other Eastern European countries in both military and civilian form. In military guise it is used in conjunction with the catchily named ChMZAP-5247G semi-trailer, allowing it to carry heavy vehicles with a towing load weight of 11.4 tonnes. It is powered by a turbocharged diesel engine that outputs a surprisingly low 330hp, but thanks to its gearing is still able to cope with off-road travel thanks in part to the 6-wheels on the tractor, and a further eight in pairs on the trailer, all of which are shod with an aggressive tread patterned balloon tyre. The trailer is also used with other vehicles, and has substantial loading ramps at the rear to cope with the weight of armoured vehicles clambering aboard over the rear axles and onto the dropped load area, which helps to reduce overall height. The Kit This is possibly Takom's largest issue to date, and was released along with the very similar KrAZ 260 (reviewed here). The box is substantially bigger however due to the inclusion of its trailer, and everything is moulded in the by now usual Takom style with plenty of detail, judicious use of slide moulding, and their useful punched-out sprue marker tags (I do love them so!). The box is pretty full, sporting nine large sand coloured sprues, plus two trailer chassis pieces in the same colour, seventeen soft styrene wheels in black, a clear sprue, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet, instruction manual and two pages of separately printed full colour painting and decaling instructions. There is a length of copper wire noted in the instructions, but my review sample didn't seem to have one in, or I lost it before I noticed it. Not to worry – I'll find some from somewhere else. The first thing of note is that this kit shares five sprues with the KrAZ 260 that we reviewed here, plus the clear sprue, one of the PE frets, and eight of the wheels. It seems that there are more variants afoot, so expect to see some more big Ukrainian trucks with commonality of parts in the near future. At the front of the instruction booklet, a Mr Ernest Beck gets some sincere thanks from the designers at Takom for his assistance with the project, which is nice to see. Construction begins with the ladder chassis of the trailer, which is just over 12" long even before you add the A-frame and fold-down ramps at the rear. The underside part has the vertical sides moulded-in, and after some smaller constructional parts are added, the top deck is installed along with some of the copper wire that you cut and bend to a template. PE upstands that prevent the load from slipping sideways are added to the inside edge of each runway, with strengthening plates added from more PE. The two sturdy ramps have four verticals each for strength, with a single top-section, and a small flat panel as the "foot", back plate, control box and grab handles for manual handling. A pair of decals are supplied for the ends with chevrons, and their hinges are made up in such a way that they should remain mobile if you're careful with the glue. They fit to the rear of the deck on the round-down behind the back axles, as you'd expect. The A-frame that carries the fifth-wheel is made up next with a top panel that has supports added to the underside, and two huge curved girders attaching to the sides, the front of which is boxed in to accept the articulation gear later. First the frame is finished off with small parts, mud-guards, and support legs to prop the nose up when uncoupled. The finished article is fitted to the main bed later in the build, held in place by substantial slots and tabs, plus two large diagonal webs that should prevent any problems once it is loaded with your choice of AFV. The rear axles are paired up one each side, with a wheel either side of the large suspension unit. The back hubs of the wheels are attached first with a locking pin, with one of the rubber tyres (type B – to avoid confusion) slipped over the axle body, and trapped in place with the front of the hub, which is made from three parts for extra detail. Moulding of the tyres is nicely done with plenty of tread detail, and they have a quite realistic drab grey/black colour that could pass muster as a new tyre without any paint. The completed axles are added to their attachment points under the rear of the load bed at the same time as the lower halves of the front props, which are large as you could imagine. Two spares tyres are supplied with hubs and clamps, both of which are added to the top of the A-frame near the fifth-wheel. Moving to the tractor part of the kit, the engine is built up from a substantial number of parts that results in a fine basis for painting & detailing with wires & so forth, and it is soon installed between the two main chassis members, which have to be cut down slightly to fit this variant. A scrap diagram shows the correct cut-point, which coincides with a vertical flange, so clean-up will be a doddle. The two-part radiator core sits right at the front on a couple of mounting pegs, while the engine has two extra cylindrical pegs added to suspend it from the chassis. At the rear of the chassis a linking girder is added, which has a cut-out in the top to allow the drive-shafts top pass through. The front axle is then made up, has its leaf-springs pinned in place by a pair of long C-shaped clamps just like the real thing, and the hubs are added to the ends, which consist of a surprising six parts each, two of which remain unglued (you hope!) to allow the wheels to turn. This assembly is then added to the bottom of the chassis below the engine with some control linkages and a towing beam installed under the radiator. A transmission box is placed on mounts within the chassis behind the engine, with a drive-shaft into the rear of the engine, and another providing drive to the front axle. Turning the chassis over you're tasked with filling in a quartet of cut-outs that are only used for another variant, after which a large curved beam is added aft of the engine block. The rear axles are large, and their bodies are split horizontally, due to them having a large flat riveted section on the top to which the transmission boxes and drive-shafts attach. The assembly begins on a large bogie to which deep leaf-springs are pinned, plus various additional small parts and damper rods that link the bogie to the tops of the axles by large mounts. Simpler three-part hubs are added to each axle end, and the whole assembly is added to the rear of the chassis with a long drive-shaft that enters the back of the first transmission box, plus another pair of dampers linking the axles to the chassis cross-member. Another cross-member is added at the back to take the rear towing hook, and this is first reduced in height by a third to fit into the shortened chassis. Fuel tanks, stowage and tool boxes, plus a large frame for a spare wheel are added, along with a number of smaller boxes and tanks, after which the fifth-wheel assembly is mounted to the chassis, and mud-guards with their tubular mounting frames are installed over the rear wheels. The cab starts with the front firewall and windscreen frame, to which are added the two panes of the screen and separate windscreen wipers. The simple dash with instrument panel (with decals) and steering wheel slot inside, and a simple pedal box is added to a groove in the footwell. The rear of the cab has an oval-cornered rectangular window added before the two ends are joined with the doors, which can't be posed open because of their structural nature. They do however have nicely detailed door cards and window panes added to them before they are closed up forever. The roof and a small searchlight should firm up the shape, and a pair of tiny bumps are cut off a portion of the sprue and added the valance in front of the windscreen to portray cleaning water jets, which were perhaps an omission noticed on the original parts at the last minute. The inside of the cab is built up on the floor panel, which also projects into the engine compartment to form its curved lower sides. You might want to paint it the same colour as the engine bay in that case, and give it a dose of weathering. The passengers get a simple bench seat on a raised platform, but the driver gets a very fancy mount that consists of eight parts (plus seat) to keep him insulated from the movement of the chassis over rough ground. Each seat is made from two parts, and have horizontal lines moulded in that will scream "vinyl seats" to anyone over a certain age. This is then covered over by the cab body, and has handles and wing-mirrors added. Thinking of which, there doesn't seem to be a rear view mirror in the cab, but I can't see one in any of the photos I've seen. The engine compartment is shown built up separately from the cab, and there doesn't seem to be much chance of avoiding this, so placing it on the chassis with the cab before the glue cures would be wise. The grille has a small PE centre strut added inside, and the two side panels fit on lugs, with another layer (the opening part) added above. The bonnet/hood is then added to the top, and the two fenders for the front wheel fit on lugs at the bottom. Indicators/blinkers are added to the fenders, and a pull-handle is added to the bonnet just under the company logo at the front, which reads KPA3 to a non-Russian speaker like me. A pair of PE mudguards are installed to the rear of each fender, and this and the cab body are added to the model. The front bumper has a PE treadplate section folded and added atop it, plus clear repeaters on the sides, and headlamp lenses at the front. The final act involves making up seven wheels from type A tyres and two hub-halves, installing six of them on the axles, and adding the last one to the cage on the right hand behind the cab. Clip the two assemblies together, and you have your finished model that is now crying out for some cargo. Markings The painting and decaling instructions are on separate sheets, as previously mentioned, with the profiles provided by Mig Jiminez's new company AMMO. There are three schemes for the tractor, but only one for the trailer, which is Russian Green. Colour call-outs are in AMMO paint codes, as expected, although some mixing is requires on one scheme. Decals are few, consisting of number plates for the three colour choices, plus the aforementioned instrument decals and chevron warning patches for the ramps. They are well-printed with close-fitting satin carrier film, good register and colour density. Conclusion If you're a fan of Soviet armour, or just like tank transporters, this will probably appeal to you. It's a really nicely done kit, and once finished will take up an impressive amount of space in your cabinet, but with the addition of an AFV on board, it will look great. Good work from Takom. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  2. Mig-25RB Foxbat 1:48

    Mig-25RB 1:48 ICM In an attempt to fulfil the perceived need for a supersonic interceptor that could take off, climb to height and attack an incoming bomber stream, which at the time was the most efficient method for delivering the newly invented nuclear warheads, The Mig-25 Foxbat was created. It managed the job to a certain extent, but as it never truly achieved its goals, it was left to its successor the Mig-31 Foxhound before the task was handled competently, by which time the role of ICBMs was about to make the primary role redundant. The Mig-25's inadequacies were hidden from the West however, until the famous defection of a Soviet pilot to an airfield in Japan revealed that the Foxbat wasn't as high-tech and all-conquering as we had been led to believe, having many steel parts instead of the high-tech alloys that the investigators were expecting. The prototype flew in 1964, and was constructed primarily of stainless steel, and reached service at the turn of the decade, although it had been seen before that, both in reconnaissance photos of the West, as well as at some parades. The West assumed that the large wing was to aid manoeuvrability, when in fact it was a necessity due to the aircraft's enormous weight, which made it a fast aircraft, but changing direction was a chore due to all that momentum wanting to carry on in the direction it was travelling. It was also lacking in the avionics department, especially in one crucial aspect. It had no capability for targeting aircraft that were lower than itself, which coincided with the change in tactics to low level attack by the Western Allies, so a lack of look-down/shoot-down capability was a serious deficiency. Nevertheless, several hundred were made, with the last one rolling off the production line in 1984 with a number of export orders into the bargain. The RB was the earlier reconnaissance variant of the RBT, both being based upon the original R, with cameras ELectronic INTelligence (ELINT) gathering equipment, but incrementally improved, as well as given the capability to carry bombs with addition of the Peleng automatic bombing system, which themselves went through some growing pains during implementation before they reached the Peleng 2, which was deemed more satisfactory all round. Although it suffered from some serious deficiencies, it held a number of speed and altitude records, and was theoretically capable of Mach 3, so could give an SR-71 a run for its money, probably at the expense of significant damage to its engines however. Attempts to improve the Foxbat were unsuccessful, and the Foxhound was its eventual replacement, and delivered everything that was expected of its forebear, staying in service until it is replaced by the Pak-Fa at some point in the near future. The Kit This is the second edition of the Mig-25, the first being its younger sibling the RBT, so this is a minor retooling of the original moulds, the review of which you can see url=http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235016497-mikoyan-mig-25rbt-foxbat-148]here[/url]. The new box is the usual box-within-a-box style that ICM favours, with new artwork of the RB from a low angle that gives a good sense of its size. Inside are nine sprues of grey styrene, three of which are new, and one has been changed from the original boxing, plus a clear sprue, two sheets of decals and a colour printed instruction booklet with painting guide to the rear. The clear parts are bagged separately from the rest of the sprues, and both are secured with resealable tape in case you prefer to keep your kits in the bags. The decals are inserted between the pages of the instructions, and have a waxy cover sheet lightly adhering to each sheet. As already mentioned, the changes have been made to one of the existing sprues, to give the correct "hump" fairing under the nose, and adding a new sprue with the shorter intake toppers, the bow-shaped para-brake fairing between the engines, and the relocated nose from the original RBT boxing, so that the RB nose fairings are in the correct place, as are those for the RBT, which should hopefully ship with the revised sprue for new batches of the RBT. Several parts will remain unused for this boxing, and these are helpfully marked with a transparent red overprinting on the sprue guide, which includes the huge centreline tank, the intake tops, the bullet-shaped para-brake housing, and a couple of small fairings. Construction follows pretty much the same pattern as the RBT kit, and from experience the interior builds up nicely, although I'm still not sure why a clear set of instrument dials is supplied to fit behind the panel. The intakes build up identically too, as do the wheel bays, all of which fits inside the lower fuselage "floor". With the bulkheads and assemblies in place the sides of the fuselage are added, the nicely detailed exhausts constructed, slid inside and covered by the upper fuselage, to which the new shorter intake tops are glued, completing the earlier style intakes. The tails are fitted along with the rear side fuselage section, which gives them good strength, and a choice of either the RBT-style pointed fairing, or the new earlier bow-shaped fairing for the para-brake between the engines is glued into its recess. The short wings are constructed next, with a cover on the outer pylon, and the new super-skinny pylon for a 500kg bomb on the inner. The almost completed airframe is given a choice of bumps on the nose, again depending on the version you are modelling. The reconnaissance camera pack fills the rear of the void with some clear lenses, and you are advised to put 25g of nose weight in to keep the nose wheel on the deck. It is added to the fuselage, the well-detailed gear bays are given similarly well-done doors, and the two-part (balloon-like) main wheels are slid onto the axles, as are the twin nose wheels. The canopy, pitot probe and another probe to the right of the canopy are the final fittings unless you are adding some bombs. The full complement of bombs for the RB was eventually tallied up to around 4 tonnes, which meant a stash of eight 500kg bombs could be carries, two under each of the wings, and four under the fuselage in packs of two, for which you will need to drill some 1mm holes in the places notes on the instructions. Markings At first glance it looks like there are only two decal options, but there are in fact four, but as they are all grey it gets a little confusing until you focus. From the box you can build one of the following: Mig-25RB 154th Independent Ait Detachment, Cairo-West (ARE), May 1974 – marked blue 57 with no national markings. Mig-25RB, Soviet Air Force, late 70s – Marked Blue 55 with Soviet red star. Mig-25RB, 63rd Independent Air Detachment, United Arab Republic, 1971-72 – UAR flag on the tail, with roundels on the wing. Mig-25RB (late production), Iraqi Air Force, 1980 – Iraqi flag on the tail, triangular "roundel" on wings and fuselage. The decals are printed with ICM's logo and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are printed on a separate sheet, are legible and their locations are called out via a page in the instructions so as not to clutter the profiles with too many arrows. The centres of the UAR roundels are spot on in the centre, which is always a risk when designing decals, as any offset is easily spotted. Conclusion It might seem a fairly minor re-tooling to the uninitiated, but it has been eagerly anticipated, and the new parts show that ICM have been diligent in researching the differences, as well as changing out the early nose fairing for future releases of the RBT kit too. Detail is excellent, the panel lines are restrained, and construction follows a logical process. Just take care with the location of the internal assemblies to make sure that they are correctly placed, and the outer skin should fit well. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. New Ultimate Sanders Ultimate Products You might be getting a bit of déjà vu here, but I can assure you that you are reading a whole new review, as Ultimate have revised their sanders a tad, now adding the word waterproof into the description, and colour coding them, which would be useful if I had any form of memory. There are two shapes – the thinny sanders have a long narrow section that is very useful for detail sanding, with a shorter handle that is approximately three times the width, and allows sanding of larger areas without having to change sticks. The others have a roughly rhomboid form factor, and I say roughly because one side has sharp angles, while the other is gently curved. One of the sharp ends are rounded and the other is square, so you have plenty of different shapes to play with. They are easy to use, and flexible enough to allow you some degree of latitude when handling them. The thinnies have a tapered tip, which means you can get into even smaller places, and with their now documented waterproof nature, you can wet-sand with impunity. I have used the older ones wet, and they stand up pretty well, although occasionally some of the abrasive would peel away under prolonged use. This shouldn't be a problem now, even though it was only a little one. The thinnies come in packs of 6 and the thickies(?) are sold in packs of 3, with the thinnies having the same grit on both sides and the standard ones having two grits per stick. The samples arrived weeks ago, but because of the lack of modelling time I've had, they had to wait until I'd had time to use them before I could get the review done. They've been my primary finishing sticks now since they arrived, and have been useful as well as capable. When they clog during dry sanding (I was sanding resin at the time) they can be washed clean, which extends their lifespan, so they should last well. Now I just need a set of waterproof coarser sticks to complete the set. Thinny Sticks 800 & 400 (6 packs) 800 grit x 6 400 grit x 4 Sanding Sticks 400/800 x 3 Review sample courtesy of
  4. Battle of Britain Day today

    Amen I was watching the documentary on Movies4Men a bit ago.
  5. Models R Go - closing down discount voucher

    Hi John, Got my paints this AM, and thanks for the bottle of H040, a nice parting gift I also appreciated the colour copy of their chart - I've been using a B&W one for years now, which is hopelessly out of date. It's now in the bin & I've marked off my collection in the nice shiny new one Good luck with the fostering, and once you're finally shut down, just tip me the wink and I'll shut down your sub forum. Are you going to be doing any modelling, or just focusing on the kids?
  6. STEEL Seatbelts (Various) 1:48 & 1:72 Eduard Here's the latest batch of the newish STEEL seatbelts from Eduard. In case you don't already know, they 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. Seatbelts Italy WWII Fighters (FE826) Contains two sets of belts including the twin shoulder and single lap belt, with optional rear section. Seatbelts Italy WWII Fighters (SS594) in 1:72 Confusingly labelled as both 1:72 and 1:48 on the package, when in fact the 1:72 labelling is correct. This set contains three sets of belts including the twin shoulder and single lap belt, with optional rear section. Seatbelts France WWII (FE839) Three sets of four-point harnesses are included, with an optional central fifth point with buckle and alternate left lap strap minus the buckle found on the 4-point version. SE.5a Seatbelts Early (FE843) Two sets of belts for the famous WWI fighter, with diagrams showing where the laces attach on the airframe. Seatbelts Soviet Union WWII Fighters (FE846) Two sets each of Yakovlev and Lavochkin designed seatbelts for their respective fighters, each with four-point harness and buckles. Seatbelts France WWI (FE852) During WWI three types of belt were used up until 1916, with two of each type supplied. Two other types were used throughout the war, and again, two of each type are included, totalling 10 sets of belts, which is quite generous. You will need to supply the thin wire that connects the belt loops to the airframe, which is described in a scrap diagram in the instructions. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Ignore

    I won't, don't worry
  8. Ignore

    There's novel... a snippet with no foul language in it! knowing the show, I just had to watch it to make sure, y'know
  9. Ignore

    Most definitely I'm Mr Meeseeks, look at me!
  10. test ImageShack

    Ah, I meant for you to use the "Report Post/topic" button in the top right of each post. That sends a notifcation that all the Mods can see, and flags it until we've dealt with it. It also sends us a link to the content in question, which is very helpful and saves us having to hunt for it, then running the risk of deleting/editing the wrong thing. Report both your topics, but tell us which one is for deletion, and which you need our help with. You get chance to send us a message with your report IIRC
  11. Westland Sea King HAS/R 5

    You're gonna need to get a wriggle on fella
  12. test ImageShack

    Looks nice that Laurie - still want it deleted? To save me missing it, just report it for deletion instead
  13. Paint conversion chart

    Is that site even curated anymore? I'm sure there was a thread somewhere that gave me the impression that he'd left it up but wasn't spending any more time on it. I could be wrong though
  14. Paint conversion chart

    Are you talking about http://www.paint4models.com/ or is there another site? I googles paint4conversion and got nowt
  15. test ImageShack

    All you need is the URL - ditch all the code around the bit that says: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/640x480q90/924/CT1DsN.jpg Paste that in, press Enter and you should get this: Look for a "direct" option to copy the URL (web address) instead to cut down on the number of steps
  16. Mig-25RB Foxbat 1:48

    Looks that way, although ours came directly from the good folks of ICM in the Ukraine That's correct. They're black No decals though, but I managed to fix that with my Airscale Russian Jets decals easily enough (and no-one but the absolute purist would notice my application wasn't 100% accurate)
  17. Another Hero gone

  18. Hello from Bastogne in Belgium

    aboard Jean-Charles - good to have you here
  19. Vosper 72' 6" MTB

    As the topic starter, you can go in and edit your first post. As Admin, I can just long-click in the title and change it (which I have). Not sure if you can do that as the topic starter, but if you can it's a bit more convenient
  20. New Forum Software Update

    I've just installed a little security update, so if you received something that looked like an "error message", which was in fact the standard "Update in progress" message, you can cease fretting, as it was just routine ma'am
  21. Hey guys, I've just finished updating the forum to the latest version, which adds a number of new bits of functionality to the basic package, as well as the usual bug fixing and so forth. A few of the new features are a bit fancy, so once I've had time to muck about discovering how they work, I'll write up a little article on how they work and what you can use 'em for. A couple of the more impressive additions are as follows: Clubs functionality to allow us to manage little forums within forums on behalf of clubs and associations. Could be fun! Device management. You can remove old devices from your login list, log devices out remotely, and generally have a better interface with your various devices. There's lots more, but my mind's a blank at the moment cos I've just been doing MySQL stuff in the control panel Caches have been cleared to prevent the usual weirdness that follows an upgrade, but the search indexing is being redone, which will take a while, so don't be surprised if search results turn up fewer results than you were expecting. I wonder if the "Russian Hackers" who seem to so much time on their hands that they can watch us full-time will commission another DDoS attack post-upgrade to try to spoil our fun this time?
  22. Our sample has landed, and I'm looking at it (out of the corner of my eye so as not to affect my typing) at the moment. I'm also looking forward to the 2-seaters. They're so ugly it hurts, but I want one
  23. Hello guys

    Bonjour Pierre-Alain and to the forums
  24. Models R Go - closing down discount voucher

    Sorry to hear you're closing, but you're focusing on something very worthwhile. I've put a little order for some paints through, cos I just don't have enough! Good luck with the fostering
  25. Ignore

    Can I just take a moment to advise you chaps to seek medical help at your earliest course please?