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Mike

Root Admin
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Everything posted by Mike

  1. Just a bit! As has your choice of aftermarket. My ghast was well and truly flabbered when I discoevred how things had moved on. Not good for the wallet
  2. aboard Steve - Tamiya's paints are ok, but better airbrushed. You fit the standard profile. Grew up modelling discovered girls & booze (probably at the same time), came back once settled down to see if it's as much fun as you remembered. it is
  3. So 1:6 Yoda for Das Boy's shelf, and 1:12 Yoda with my dad's hair (or my nostril hair) for my shelf.
  4. IMHO yes, I confirm I seem to recall reading something to the effect of what I said above once upon a time. It might have changed slightly over the years, but it's a good system that saves bandwidth, so I doubt they'd chuck it all out
  5. Fiat CR.32 Freccia/Chirri 1:48 Special Hobby The CR.32 was an evolutionary development of an earlier Fiat Biplane fighter, and was thrown into the Spanish Civil War on the side of the Nationalist forces against the i-16s of the Republicans. It was renowned for being nimble, and its aerobatic prowess meant that it stayed in service longer than it perhaps should have, as it could still shoot down more modern monoplanes if handled by an experienced pilot. A product of the early 30s, it was already obsolete by the beginning of WWII, but it remained in service with the Italian Regia Aeronautica until well into the way, although its deployment was away from the leading edge of technology, where it still managed to hold its own. Eventually, the remaining airframes in Italian service were relegated to training duties, replaced by modern al-metal monoplanes such as the Folgore. Spain license produced a number of airframes named Chirri, which were essentially the same aircraft with some minor differences, and these fought alongside the Italian-build Freccis, and the remaining airframes were later converted to two-seat configuration and used as aerobatic trainers until the early 50s. The Kit The origin of this kit lies with Classic Airframes in the 1990s, and is now being released under the Special Hobby banner with revised decals and packaging. Inside the box are two sprues of shiny grey styrene, which are showing some signs of age, and could do with a little tidy-up before you commence construction, especially the wings, which seem to have picked up some artefacts over the years. None of this is too taxing however, and the shiny surface shows up any blemishes nicely. Also included is a bag of resin parts that are nicely detailed, although a few had come loose from their casting blocks due to the kicking it probably received in the Christmas post. A couple of the vanes around the nose have been damaged too, but I’m confident that they can be repaired with a little care. A single clear part is provided in its own bag, and the final bag contains the decal sheet, plus two small sheets of Photo-Etch (PE), one of which is nickel-plated and pre-painted. The instruction booklet is A5 on glossy paper and in full colour, with the decaling and painting guide to the rear. First impressions are a little mixed, due to the short-run nature of the Classic Airframe (CA) moulds, and the wing parts being in comparatively poor shape compared to the fuselage, plus the good quality resin parts. That said, this is probably the most mainstream kit of this little fighter now that it is under the Special Hobby name. Construction begins with a choice of tail, with two options requiring the modeller to cut the rudder off the fuselage halves, and both have elevator slots that need opening out before you can proceed. Attention then turns to the cockpit, which is mostly a mixture of resin and PE parts, which should result in great detail when painted sympathetically. As well as the sidewalls being detailed with PE parts, the seat gets a harness, and in the footwell there are a set of PE rudder pedals included. A pre-painted instrument panel lamination is installed at the front of the cockpit tub, which builds into a rounded box that fits between the fuselage halves. The nose is missing from the fuselage halves, and is provided as a single resin part that has excellent detail, especially around the radiator fins and intake. The elevators have their pins to hold them in place, and optional fin-swap is a butt-joint that could benefit from some reinforcement. The lower wings are also butted against their root fairings on the fuselage, so a little judicious pinning would be a sensible option, all of which speaks of the short-run origins of this kit. The windscreen, sighting devices and cabane struts are added to the top of the fuselage, after which the upper wing can be added, with one camo option needing 3.5mm removing from the "nose" at the wing centre. PE actuators for the flying surfaces are supplied all-round, and the small aerofoil-like balances on the ailerons. The wheels, gear legs and spats are all styrene parts, as are the two-bladed prop and spinner, but the under-nose radiator and a pair of small bombs on their carriers under the fuselage are resin, with additional detail possible because of this. Finally, there is no rigging guide included with the kit, but as there is minimal used on this aircraft, a few pictures from different angles should suffice to allow you to plan the process. Markings Four camouflage options are possible from the box, and all of them have some quite complex camouflage, as was often seen on anything Italian during that period. Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. From the box you can build one of the following: Fiat CR.32 Freccia 163-10/MM 3518, 163 Squadriglia, Rhodes, June 1940. Fiat CR.32 Freccia V-105 (C.No.315) 1/1. "Ijjázs" vadászszázad (1/1. Squadron "The Archer") early 1939. Fiat CR.32 Chirri 3-61 (C.No.111) Capitán Angel Salas Larrazábal, Leader of Escuadrilia 2-E-3 Aviación Nacional (Franco's rebel air force), Zaragoza, August 1937. Fiat CR.32 Quarter Freccia 160-10/MM.4666, pilot capitano Duilio Fanali, 160 Squadriglia, 12° Gruppo 50° Stormo D'assalto, Tobruk T2 base, July 1940. Conclusion It's an old kit, but it still has the potential to become a good representation of this last-gasp of the biplane age that fought in many combat zones, with a number of well-known pilots. Recommended to the more experienced modeller. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Your browser won't download the same pic on a page more than once, but will instead re-use the cached data as many times as necessary, if that's what you're saying Antoine. Yes - huge photo quotes with a teeny-tiny reply beneath them, or even worse, buried in the middle is a nightmare
  7. aboard Stian - glad to have you here. Norway is a lovely country, although I only ever saw the sticky-up white bits in the winter
  8. It's handy, isn't it? Saves going through the post winnowing out the less relevant stuff, doesn't it?
  9. A lovely clean build, and for the tail masking. Top photography too Almost forgot... to the forums
  10. It's a nuisance that seems to have decreased a little with this new forum software, which must be partly due to the new layout. I remember being new to this forum software, and the nearest Reply button was the one that quoted people, so it often happened that every post would be a quote of the last post, even if it wasn't germaine to the last post The new Reply box at the bottom of the page is much more useful, and separates the Quote and Reply buttons far enough to make accidental quotes less likely. I find that people aren't using the Quote This option enough though, where you can highlight parts of people's posts, such as a particular photo and accompanying text, and as you let go of the mouse button, you get a small "Quote This" bubble pop up. Click that and you selectively quote. A powerful little tool I think some of it is people can be too focused on making a post, without first familiarising themselves with the software. Granted, the software is a means to an end, but if you read up on how best to use it, you can become more effective with your posts. Sounds silly on the face of it, but with some practice you can get more done in less time. Version 4 is the best, most powerful forum software I've used... I'm a big fan
  11. That's a lot bigger than I first thought Nice job of conveying a hard-working, battle-scarred Cylon. Away from the norm without being too jarring
  12. Updated to the current de rigeur resolution of 1080p - 1920 x 1080 px. How time marches on
  13. Photo Threads I've noticed that there's a growing trend of people posting their photos in "parts", i.e. part 1, part 2, part 3, etc. I don't know about you lot, but I find this a bit annoying on two fronts. For one it clogs up the View New Posts listing & pushes other threads off the front page The second reason is that we might not see ALL of the photos, as we may not see all of the threads I viewed Robban's thread this morning, and he's got the method down pat.... post your first bunch of pics in the thread, then immediately posting the next batch in the same thread. That way everyone can see all the pics in one place, without hunting through the whole forum.... make sense? If you think you might be jumping in too soon with a reply, check the bottom of the thread, and if the original poster is italicised and with a dotted underline, it means he's posting some more. It'd also be helpful if the OP would put a comment such as "More to come" at the bottom of his unfinished thread. Robban - sorry for picking you out for praise matey Picture size... Posting too big a picture in a thread is a pain, as it breaks the format of the thread window, forcing people to scroll horizontally... it makes the threads difficult to read, especially if you've only got a smallish screen resolution. Out of courtesy for other users, could people keep their pics to 1280 pixels wide by a maximum of 850 px please? If people want higher resolution pics, they could ask the OP for copies 1280 px will allow space for the borders and the poster's details column, without making it difficult to use on a 1080p screen. That might change as we start to see the UHD screens appear, but it's fair cater to the (by now) lowest common denominator. My screen res is 1080p across in the house, and 1280 px pic works nicely, without being too small on any larger screens. Quoting and Pictures... Quoting a post and repeating all of the pictures is annoying when scrolling through a thread, especially for those members using tablets or smart phones. If you are going to quote a post, please remove the repeated photos, its the polite thing to do. Thanks for listening
  14. OT head for me too. You can always glue on some grandad hairs onto his scone to replicate Henson's work
  15. Tempest Pilots & Armament Set 1:32 Special Hobby With the Hi-Tech boxing of the new Tempest II that we reviewed recently, here, included a port armament set amongst the generous box of resin, so it makes sense to release one for the other side, to give people the option of opening them both up. Aircraft often look more "human" with a crew figure to give it a sense of scale too, and here comes a couple just for you. As usual with Special Hobby's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar clear-fronted yellow box, with the resin parts safely cocooned inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the rear header card. Starboard Armament Set (5109) This resin and Photo-Etch (PE) set is used in adding a pair of cannon and their ammo feeds in the port wing, which requires a T-shaped portion of the upper wing to be removed, the resin bays to be constructed and painted in the suggested colours, and inserted from below with PE supports for the edges, and resin panels that can be left nearby to give a more candid appearance to the scene. It is a complete mirror-image of the port bay, as you’d imagine. Tempest Pilot Climbing out of Cockpit (F32317) A beautifully sculpted pilot figure that could equally be climbing into his cockpit as climbing out of it. He has separate arms and head, with an unbuttoned leather flying helmet on his head, and parachute pack bumping the backs of his legs, with one leg on the sill of the cockpit, the other on the wingroot and his hands steadying himself as he enters or exits. A painting guide is also given on the rear of the instructions, using Humbrol codes. Note: the pictures of the figure on the website (link below) seems to show an earlier sculpt of the figure, as the production mould has much improved crispness than the main photo, which also shows the right hand in an unusual position. Tempest Pilot Sitting in Cockpit (F32316) Another fine figure that is moulded to a replacement seat with harnesses in situ, to best reflect the pilot in a seated position. The arms and head are separate, giving some room for personalising the pose, such as turning the head to the side. As with the other figure above, the finished mould is more crisp than the pictures shown on the website, and once painted should look superb. Conclusion Both figures need minimal clean-up, and the attachment points for the casting blocks have been hidden away nicely for the most part, with the head attached on the smooth dome of the helmet to aid tidying up. 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. Review sample courtesy of
  16. I think more users need to complain to PhotoBucket. If the service they're providing is poor, don't feel bad for doing so because it's "free", because it's far from free, YOU are the commodity to be sold advertising to. Moan at them, and maybe if there's enough others taking the time out of their day, they'll do something about it. If not, vote with your feet and try one of the many alternatives that have already been mentioned in this thread
  17. F-20A Tigershark 1:48 Freedom Model Kits In a programme spanning two decades and costing $1.2 billion, Northrop's F-20 was perhaps one of their most expensive failures, mostly due to policy changes and political pressure. They were looking for a replacement to the lightweight and low-cost F-5 Freedom Fighter that would keep costs low while giving much improved performance to keep pace with the Mig-21s that were being exported to Soviet aligned nations at the time. Eschewing the twin engine format of the original, it had a large GE F404 engine installed in a suitably reshaped rear fuselage, while the wings, forward fuselage and empennage stayed very similar to the original. Under the Carter regime it was decided that leading edge technology shouldn't be included to prevent it from falling into Soviet hands, but after the Reagan administration took over, policy soon changed to giving allies modified versions of the F-16 and even the F-15, which rapidly eroded its market. Add to that the total lack of interest in selling the aircraft by the Government, and the customer base dwindled away until in 1986 the project was finally cancelled whilst circling the drain. As an aircraft? It was well-liked, well-tested and although two of the prototypes crashed killing their pilots, it was found that both were due to the pilots losing consciousness from excessive G-forces, leaving the aircraft's reputation unblemished. With one prototype left intact and another only partially completed, the remainder was shipped off on cancellation to Los Angeles where it hangs in the California Science Centre. It seems to have been yet another Cold War Warrior that got the first three of the four dimensions right, but fell foul of the important fourth – politics. The Kit Freedom Models announced their intention to release a kit in 1:48 of this dead-end development of the F-5 some time ago, and they have been fine-tuning their tooling with the assistance of the modelling community until they were satisfied with their work. The box that arrived has a nice satin finish with a dramatic painting on the top, and inside you will find four larger sprues and eight smaller ones all in the same mid grey styrene that is reminiscent of a KittyHawk pressing. Perhaps they use the same factory? There are also two small sprues of flexible black grommets, a clear sprue, a tiny nickel-plated sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) metal, two decal sheets, fan-fold instruction booklet and separate fan-fold colour markings guide. Apart from the rather flimsy bags that protect the sprues, the overall impression is of a quality product, and the detail that is moulded in backs this up. Addition of the removable pylons via the wing-mounted grommets is a nice touch, as is the addition of PE parts, although the sheet is very small. The two decal sheets should provide plenty of grist for a What-Iffer's mill too, having lots of markings from many nations. The cockpit tub is a single part, into which a nicely detailed ejection seat is added, although no belts are included. The main instrument panel is well detailed, and there is similar detail on the side consoles, with decals supplied for them all. Rudder pedals sit behind the panel, and the control column slots into the floor, after which it can all be fitted within the nose section of the fuselage. The nose gear bay is a single part, but nicely moulded given the constraints, and when you fit this to the nose, there is a scrap diagram to guide you in its correct orientation. There are a couple of holes needed in the nose if you are fitting some RWR sensors, and then the nose section can be closed up. Oddly, there are some panels on the inside wall of the nose that are shown but not referred to, and these seem to imply that it was the original intention to allow these to be opened to show the bay inside. It looks like this was later canned, as there is just a single T-shaped insert added to the top of the nose with the cannon troughs moulded in, to which some stub barrels are added. The coaming is a drop-in part onto a slot in the top of the nose, and you can then decide whether you want to model the prototype with the long nose or the short – the long one being seen on the first prototype before it was lost. The instructions then flit to the engine, which is made up from two halves of the exhaust trunk, plus a depiction of the rear of the engine. With that done, the inner halves of the intake trunking are made up, with a small insert on the backside, and three PE strips inserted into grooves on the splitter plate. These are then inserted into the lower wing halves, which also contain the lower fuselage. A long plate and two grommets are also inserted on the centreline for the pylon that is fitted later. Two more grommets per pylon are added to each wing after drilling 1mm holes where indicated. With two pylons per wing, you'll need eight holes and a corresponding number of grommets, but take care because the two sprues of grommets are of differing thickness, with the shallower ones used on the outside pylons where the wing is thinner. Get this wrong, and the fit of your top & bottom wings will be testing! The exhaust is trapped between the two rear fuselage halves, and the outer intake trunking is added on each side, then mated to the lower wing/fuselage section along with the separate vertical fin. The exhaust is also added, and is a little thick on the outer lip, which when compared to photographs should be wafer thin. Perhaps an aftermarket F404 exhaust from an F-18 could be adapted to fit if this bothers you. The cores of the wings are now completed, but flaps and slats need to be added to the leading and trailing edges, all of which are individual parts, so can be posed according to your wishes by leaving the hinge tabs or cutting them off. The tail-planes are also single parts, and you'll need to drill out the some 1.2mm holes to accept their stubs. A pair of missile rails are added to the wingtips, and these were sometimes fitted at a slightly downward angle to the wing as shown in the scrap diagram, so check your references. Now you can fix the front and rear halves of your Tigershark together, at which point it starts to look like an aircraft. The landing gear are next on the agenda, and nicely detailed they are too. The nose gear leg is in three parts with a separate yoke-half to allow you to add the single-part wheel, and an optional extended oleo that changes the sit of the aircraft to a nose-up position. The main nose door can be posed open or closed by removing the hinges, while the smaller door must remain open while the gear is down. The main gear legs are single parts with the slim brake discs moulded in as the rear hub, to which some small PE linkages are added before the two-part wheels are added and they are glued in place at the wingtip end of their bays, which are moulded into both the lower and upper wing halves due to their shallow nature. A retraction jack is situated inboard on each leg, and the outer bay doors are captive to the leg, resting against them in positions described in a scrap diagram. The inner bay doors can be posed open with the addition of retraction jacks, or closed by leaving them on the sprues and using two different door parts. The rest of the work under the fuselage includes a profusion of aerials and sensors, the belly mounted air brakes and the arrestor hook with its aft fairing. A small scrap diagram shows how the airbrakes are fitted in the open or closed position. The canopy is crystal clear, and the windscreen fits to the edges of the coaming with the addition of a tiny piece of PE that is best added using clear gloss rather than glue, while the opening mechanism of the canopy is built from a different set of parts for open or closed, and it then attached to the rear of the canopy, with a set of PE rear-view mirrors fix to the front horseshoe. As a nice extra, there is a two-part crew ladder provided that could be used to give the aircraft a more candid look in your cabinet. At this point your built may well stop if you're planning on portraying one of the prototypes bereft of weapons, but if you want to depict the weapons test aircraft or go down the hypothetical in-service aircraft route, there are plenty of choices supplied in the box on the small sprues. As well as additional fuel tanks, there are a variety of weapons, as well as the appropriate pylons for ach, all of which press-fit into the wings, care of the grommets within. In the box are the following: Weapons: 2 x AIM-9L Sidewinder 2 x AIM-9M Sidewinder 4 x AIM-120C AMRAAM 2 x AIM-7 Sparrow Launch rails: LAU-115/B/A pylon LAU-115C/A pylon LAU-127 dual launch rail LAU-127 single launch rail A table shows which weapons and tanks fit to which pylons, but you'll need to check your references to get an idea of what constituted a realistic carry for the prototypes, or what was likely to be carried in action for the What-If route. The weapons themselves are nicely detailed with slide-moulding used to good effect on the exhausts and launch rails, and separate fins adding to the detail. The fins are a little thick, but that's to be expected with injection moulded parts at this scale. Markings There are two decal sheets as previously mentioned, but the smaller of the two is devoted entirely to different roundels/flags to assist the Whiffer, with countries such as Great Britain, Australia, Canada, Turkey, South Korea, Taiwan, Latvia, Spain, Japan, Singapore, USA, and Germany featuring, some of which are in lowviz as well as hiviz styles. The main sheet holds the decals for the prototypes, with a large proportion taken up by the cheat-lines used on the most colourful scheme used at the Paris Airshow in 1983. From the box you can build one of the following: First Prototype at Paris Airshow, 1983 – Red/white with black pinstripe demarcations. First & second prototypes 1983-1985 – FS36375 grey over light grey with grey anti-dazzle panel. First, second & third prototypes 1984-1986 – All over dark blue (FS16076). The FS code stated seems quite elusive outside the Gunze range, and is stated as Engine Grey, with a different FS code FS16081. Xtracolor 128 uses the same name and FS code however, if enamels are your thing. The decals are printed on pale blue backing paper to a good standard with registration, colour density and sharpness up to standard, and the stencils legible under magnification. While banding is included for the weapons, there are no stencils, which will be difficult to source by other means. Conclusion If you aren't interested you'll probably have sloped off chunnering about how they should have done a "insert favourite neglected subject in any scale here", but you're still reading, which is good. While hardly an important dead-end, the Tigershark was a good-looking aircraft, and will make an interesting end-point for any collection of the various F-5 derivatives. It is nicely tooled with raised and engraved rivets making an appearance, and enough detail included to satisfy most modellers. A set of crew belts on the PE sheet would have been welcome however. Highly recommended. Review samples courtesy of
  18. Calm it down lads... the last thing we want is to have the swearing thread locked because of filth!
  19. I've just finished catching up with the Boy looking over my shoulder, and we both think it's coming along great
  20. It probably depends on which server you're on Simon, as I've seen this many times where one person is unaffected but others are, not just with PhotoBucket. Yet more evidence of PB being a spent force, throwing away their previous market dominance by being crap
  21. I have seen an excerpt from that "show", and it was deeply uncomfortable to watch.
  22. Link or it didn't happen
  23. Nice tidy work on the removal of the canopy blanking - are you planning on putting anything inside to imply a cockpit?
  24. That's how rumours start!
  25. Go do your rounds Dave... there's burglars that need frightening or summit ....and you're older than me, so if you're jesting about my age, just add a few (6) years and you're there