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Shar2

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Shar2 last won the day on November 5 2012

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About Shar2

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    Wibble!
  • Birthday 27/08/65

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    Sunbury, Middx
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    Maritime and AFV modelling.
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  1. Bloomin' fish'eds clogging up the forum
  2. Strange, I've not had this problem myself with Trumpeter kits, except with the 1:350 Saratoga, which was an interesting build. Although they do seem to make a habit of getting the hull shapes wrong, yet the 1:350 Hood is one of their best, but then they actually called upon the Hood Association for help, and boy does it show, when compared with the 1:200 kit. Tamiya kits are great, but not always accurate, the best Bismarck and Tirpitz are actually the 1:350 ones from Revell, they go together well and are pretty accurate.
  3. Along with the mine vehicle Trumpeter have also announced the S-300V on a tracked vehicle to go alongside the quad wheeled version.
  4. AS-90 Side Skirt set 1:35 Tetra Model Works This is the second set for the venerable Trumpeter 1:35 AS-90 155mm SPG from Tetra Model Works. This set contains a single sheet of relief etched brass and a sheet of rubberised plastic. The purpose of the set is to completely replace the kits side skirts. In addition to the skirts, which come with the illusion of separate hangers, for which you have to be very careful in folding along the whole length, you also get the front and rear mudguards. Now you can either use the brass mud flaps or the rubberised plastic, or even a combination of the two. Using both together means you can have a strong and bendable unit with just the lower edge able to flap like the real things, or if you use just the rubber material you can fold them away, in the case of the rear flaps. All the hooks, brackets and clips are also included and there are rubber parts for the front and rear end sections of the skirts, making the model even more realistic. Conclusion This is a superb and very useful set which can be used in conjunction with the large detail set, reviewed HERE, or on its own. The addition of the rubber parts gives the model that extra bit of detail not normally seen on a model, allowing even the most intermediate of modeller to achieve a great look. Review sample courtesy of
  5. AS-90 155mm SPG Detail set 1:35 Tetra Model Works The Trumpeter 1:35 AS-90 155mm Self Propelled Gun has been out for nearly 15 years now, so it’s good to see that it’s still getting attention by the aftermarket companies. This set is for the general detail; the other set released alongside it will be reviewed separately HERE, and contains two sheets of relief etched brass. What sets this detail set above some others is the beautifully laid out and easy to read instructions, which show exactly where the completed parts are meant to be fitted, unlike some other companies. Whilst the majority of parts on the sheets are for the smaller items, such as brackets, headlight guards, latches, clamps and hinges, there are some important additions. The thing that most modellers moaned about with the kit si the lack of stowage basket on the rear turret roof, well this in included in this set, along with new stowage boxes, ID box and grille for the rear of the turret, new lids for the turrets side bins. Then there are the engine intake grilles, air conditioner grille, smoke discharge plate and brackets, new ammunition stowage for the GPMG boxes, which also receives a new ammo box and ammunition, and the faces of all the viewing ports. There doesn’t appear to be much of the kit detail to be removed for the PE, mainly due to the fact the parts weren’t included in the kit so fitting is pretty easy. That said, some of the folding is a little fiddly as it is in most PE sets, and some parts need to be indented by use a ball point pen in one side, particularly the louvers on the grilles over the air conditioner box. Conclusion Given that the AS-90 kit has been out some time now, it’s great to revisit it with the release of this very nice set from Tetra Model Works. With very few complex bends or folds it should be useable by all but the newest modellers and would be a good introduction to the art of using etched brass. The details contained in the set do help to improve the somewhat clunky look that of the styrene parts, plus adding some that was completely missing, and will help make a good looking model into a great one. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Vickers 0.50 Quad Machine Gun Mounts 1/350 Tetra Model Works Sometimes, when building a model there are items that you’d love to add that extra bit of detail or change only a small part of the kit parts that you feel would be better in brass, without having to go to the expense of buying a full set for which you’d only use a few parts. Known for their super large sets for complete ship kits, Tetra Model Works have released this small set of Vickers quad .50 Machine guns. There are four complete mountings included and whilst looking very well produced, you will need some serious magnification on your optivisor as the parts are very, very small. Once built however, they will be mini masterpieces. There are sixteen etched brass parts and four turned brass barrels per mounting, giving you an idea of the detail included. Large ships usually had four mounts, although the Ark Royal had mounts, so you will need two sets, Cruisers and destroyers had two mountings. Conclusion Since the Royal Navy used these mounts on most ships until they were superseded by the 20mm Oerlikon this set will be very widely used. You will need to do your research to see whether the ship you are building still had them fitted during period you are building it, as they were generally withdrawn from general use around 1941/1942. Other than that they are really great little items and will give an extra dimension to you model. Review sample courtesy of
  7. MaxxPro MRAP Ampersand Group The International MaxxPro is Navistar Defence’s Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle and incorporates the latest design in armour technology. Extensively tested by the military and used in theatre today, the MaxxPro features a V-shaped hull and other design features that greatly improve survivability. With so much protection, it’s the vehicle that every crew wants when they’re out in the field. The MaxxPro MRAP is built to withstand ballistic arms fire, mine blasts, IEDs, and other emerging threats. Its V-shaped hull helps deflect blasts out and away from the crew and its armour can be customized to meet any mission requirement. The book is printed in a similar fashion as the old Squadron Publications standard, in a landscape format with a short, two pages worth development history of the type. The rest of the book is dedicated to the very detailed walk rounds of various vehicles, and when I say detailed, they are really very detailed, with every part of the exterior being covered, even the smallest part of the suspension. Unfortunately, due to the operational nature of the vehicles there are no interior photos, with only glimpses of the interior when the rear ramp is down. There are several types of MRAP shown in the book, with various types of additional armour fitted to them, bar armour, FRAG 6 Block armour or the latest anti-RPG netting. Notes that accompany each photograph are very descriptive and useful for the modeller in identifying what each piece of equipment is. In addition to the equipment usually found on the MRAP there are pictures of the various weapons fits, such as M2 50cal machine gun, or 40mm grenade launcher and other items such as the mine roller system fitted to the front of the vehicle. Lastly there is a small section at the rear on the M1249 MRV, (Mine Resistant Vehicle), which is basically the MRAP cab fitted to a large double axle wrecker crane style body which is fitted with a rotating crane jib. This vehicle is used to lift MRAPs, recover damaged vehicles, and lift concrete barriers or other heavy items in theatre. Conclusion This is a superbly produce and very interesting book. Not only are the photographs clear and sharp, but the information they and the noted provided will prove very useful to the modeller to get even the smallest detail correct on their model. Review sample courtesy of
  8. WW2 Russian Field Weapons & Equipment Helion Company Data File It’s surprising how much equipment the Soviet forces had during WWII and this book brings them into sharp detail. Most people know about the sheer numbers of tanks and men involved in the Great Patriotic War, but there as so many other pieces of equipment used by the soldiers in the field. Much like the book on German Field Equipment reviewed HERE, this book combines interesting facts alongside the very nicely rendered 3D drawings of each piece of kit. I’m sure that not every piece of equipment used is in this book, but there is an awful lot that is. Every from pistols, weapons case, rifles, and sniper rifles, machine guns right the way up to the big guns and tanks. All the drawings on the one hundred and fifty three pages are in full colour giving the modeller good research material for their models and dioramas. Whilst there are the familiar pieces of kit shown, there are also quite a few unusual pieces that I certainly didn’t know about, such as the concrete tanks and the various mobile pill boxes. The In Enemy Hands section is interesting in that it shows what modifications the Germans carried out to their captured Soviet equipment, usually involving the venerable T-34. Conclusion This is another great and very interesting book. Not only are the rendering superb, but the information they and the notes provide will prove very useful to the modeller who wants to get everything just right. Review sample courtesy of
  9. French Pre-Dreadnought Danton Trumpeter 1:350 Although the Danton-class battleships were a significant improvement from the preceding Liberté class, especially with the 3,000-ton displacement increase, they were outclassed by the advent of HMS Dreadnought well before they were completed. This, combined with other poor traits, including the great weight in coal they had to carry, made them rather unsuccessful ships, though their numerous rapid-firing guns were of some use in the Mediterranean. Danton was laid down at the Arsenal de Brest in February 1906, launched on 4 July 1909, and commissioned into the French Navy on 1 June 1911. The ship was 146.6 meters (481 ft 0 in) long overall and had a beam of 25.8 m (84 ft 8 in) and a full-load draft of 9.2 m (30 ft 2 in). She displaced 19,736 metric tons (19,424 long tons; 21,755 short tons) at full load and had a crew of 681 officers and enlisted men. She was powered by four Parsons steam turbines with twenty-six Belleville boilers, the first French warship to use turbines. They were rated at 22,500 shaft horsepower (16,800 kW) and provided a top speed of around 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph). Coal storage amounted to 2,027 t (1,995 long tons; 2,234 short tons). Danton's main battery consisted of four 305mm/45 Modèle 1906 guns mounted in two twin gun turrets, one forward and one aft. The secondary battery consisted of twelve 240mm/50 Modèle 1902 guns in twin turrets, three on either side of the ship. A number of smaller guns were carried for defence against torpedo boats. These included sixteen 75 mm (3.0 in) L/65 guns and ten 47 mm (1.9 in) guns. The ship was also armed with two 450 mm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes. The ship's main belt was 270 mm (10.6 in) thick and the main battery was protected by up to 300 mm (11.8 in) of armour. The conning tower also had 300 mm thick sides. In May 1909, at the launching ceremony for Danton, socialist activists prevented the ship from leaving the stocks. The ship was eventually launched on 4 July 1909. A week after she was completed, she was sent to the United Kingdom in honour of the Coronation of George V in 1911. Upon her return to France, Danton was assigned to the 1st Battle Squadron, along with her sister ships and the two powerful dreadnoughts Courbet and Jean Bart. In 1913, while off Hyères in the Mediterranean, Danton suffered an explosion in one of her gun turrets, which killed three men and injured several others. Danton served in World War I in the French Mediterranean Fleet. At the outbreak of the war in early August 1914, she was assigned to guard convoys bringing French soldiers from North Africa, to protect from attack by the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben and light cruiser SMS Breslau, which were operating in the area. At the time, she remained in the 1st Battle Squadron alongside her sister ships, under the command of Vice Admiral Chocheprat. By 16 August, the French naval commander, Admiral de Lapeyrère, took the bulk of the French fleet from Malta to the entrance of the Adriatic to keep the Austro-Hungarian Navy bottled up. Danton, commanded by Captain Delage, was torpedoed by U-64, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Robert Moraht, at 13:17 on 19 March 1917, 22 miles (19 nm; 35 km) south-west of Sardinia. The battleship was returning to duty from a refit in Toulon and was bound for the Greek island of Corfu to join the Allied blockade of the Strait of Otranto. Danton was carrying more men than normal, as many were crew members of other ships at Corfu, and had been zig-zagging to foil enemy submarines. The ship sank in 45 minutes; 806 men were rescued by the destroyer Massue and nearby patrol boats, but 296, including Captain Delage, went down with the ship. Massue attacked U-64 with depth charges, but the U-boat successfully evaded her attacker. In February 2009, it was made public that in late 2007 the wreck of the ship was discovered "in remarkable condition" during an underwater survey between Italy and Algeria for the GALSI gas pipeline. The wreck lies at 38°45′35″N 8°3′30″E, a few kilometres away from where it had been thought she sank, sitting upright with many of her gun turrets intact at a depth of over 1,000 metres (550 fathoms; 3,300 ft). The Model This is the first Pre-Dreadnought release of the year, with at least three more to be released this year and a very welcome release it is too, with the hope that there will be many more to come. Packaged in the standard style of box Trumpeter use for their ship kits, it is somewhat smaller than most. Inside there are thirteen sprues of light grey styrene, and one separate deck section. There is also a small black stand, three sheets of etched brass, a length of chain and a smallish decal sheet. All the parts are very nicely moulded with some very fine details, particularly on the deck and superstructure. The parts are all cleanly moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections, but there are quite a few moulding pips, mainly on the small parts. The exceptions being a couple of the loose parts, where they have become detached from the sprue and will need the a bit more cleaning up. The instructions are well printed and very clearly mark the positioning of parts and sub-assemblies along with a nicely printed painting guide. Construction begins with the fitting of the two hull halves between which are two bulkheads and the rudder. There are two, two gun casements fore and aft and two four gun casements, one on each beam, these sub- assemblies are then fitted into their appropriate positions in the hull. The main deck section and the quarterdeck section are glued into position once a couple of holes have been drilled out in the main deck. The hull is then turned upside down, so that the bilge keels, four propeller shafts, A frame supports and propellers can be attached. Before continuing the main build, several sub-assemblies need to be built up; these are the main capstans, and the folding of the inclined ladders. The capstans, bitts, chocks and roller chocks are fitted to the foredeck and quarterdeck, whilst the inclined ladders are fitted in their appropriate positions as are the PE casement doors which can be posed in either the open or closed positions. The anchors, anchor chains, ensign staff, jack staff, midships mounted winches, several deckhouses and four searchlights are then glued to the deck, whilst along each side there are more PE doors, vertical ladders and plastic boat booms are glued into position. The bridge structure is assembled next with the base being fitted with the bridge deck which includes the bridge wings. Under the wings and bridge front there are fifteen PE supports to attach. The after superstructure is also assembled with the deck mounted on sixteen supports, and fitted with a small deck house. The main bridge is then fitted with the armoured hood and another deck house, followed by another deck and four light guns, two rangefinders, four vertical items, which I cannot identify, the binnacle and the navigation lights. The bridge, aft structure and upper deck structure aft of the bridge are attached to the main deck. The aft structure is then fitted with four light guns, binnacle and four upright items. The turrets are then built up, two main turrets and six secondary turrets, each made up form a turret base, two guns on a single trunnion, two trunnion mounts, turret top, and sighting top. The two masts are also assembled at this time each with separate yardarms, platforms and their associated railings. The masts are then glued into position, along with nine ventilators and several deck houses, plus three chimneys. The most obvious identification for this ship is the five funnels, each is made up form two halves, then fitted with two piece funnel tops and PE grille, along with PE vertical ladders and railings. The two boat cranes are built up from seven plastic and seven PE parts. The completed funnel and crane assemblies are then glued into position. The two PE boat cradles are folded to shape and attached to the main deck, followed by a set of railings and a selection of PE inclined ladders. There are ten rowing boats and two steam launches to assemble. The rowing boats have thwarts fitted and the steam launches a funnel, they could do with some etched oars, rudders and propellers, but other than that they look ok. Once assembled, the ships boats are then fitted to their respective cradles. The kit does come with a full ships complement of railings which are now attached, followed by the turret sub-assemblies, PE accommodation ladders, boat davits and boats, side anchors and small cranes, completing the build. Decals The small decal sheet provides the French national flags in straight and wavy forms; ships name plates and a white funnel band. They are nicely printed with good opacity and in register. The ship is painted in Dark Sea Grey overall, with the option of having green or red antifouling. Conclusion At last, we are seeing the promised release of the pre-dreadnoughts. This is great looking kit and from the research I did for this review it looks pretty accurate, although the middle side turret extension may not be correct, depending on which pictures you view. I’ll let you decide on that one, but to me it’s not quite the right shape. Other than that, it should be an enjoyable build and I’m sure the aftermarket people will be releasing some more etch for it. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Yakovlev Yak 3 detail Sets Eduard 1:32 The Special Hobby Yak-3, reviewed HERE is a great kit in its own right, but there is always room for improvement, and Eduard always seems to find that room. They have now released three individual sets to adorn the kit with extra and improved detail. As with most sets of this type some of the kit details will need to be removed before the etched parts can be added. Detail Set (32891) Contained on two sheets of relief etched brass, both about the same size as each other, one is unpainted whilst one comes pre-painted. The unpainted sheet contains items The pre-painted sheet provides the modeller with a variety of coloured knobs, levers and trim wheels complete with separate chains, new auxiliary instrument panels, plus replacement dials for the side panels. The main instrument panels are also pre-painted complete with the instrument faces on the back plate. A little dab of aqua clear will give them the appearance of glass fronts. Also on this sheet are a couple of foot plates, cable from the joystick and additional sidewall detail. The unpainted sheet contains brake hoses of the main undercarriage legs, along with a new bracket and gland, new panels for the main gear door interiors, new cabling for the main gear bays. The tail wheel doors are replaced with etched items, although you will need to provide a small length of plastic rod for each door. The radiator outlet door is replaced, the etched part being fitted with two brackets and also requires two plastic rods from the modellers supplies. The two large grilles are fitted to the front and rear bulkheads of the radiator bath to represent the radiator itself. Seatbelts (32892) This small fret of brass comes pre-painted and only contains three parts, the shoulder straps which are joined at the top and the tow separate lap straps. Being made of very thin etched steel, they are easily manipulated to shape and require no further assembly, just fit them to the seat and away you go. Flap Set (32394) This single sheet set is to be used to completely replace the kits flaps and the flap bays. You will need to carry out a fair bit of surgery in the kits flap bay area to remove all the detail and thin the skin down. The bays include the roof and forward bulkheads, all the ribs, and flanges as well as the multiple flap tracks. The flaps themselves are also detailed with ribs which need to be carefully folded into position, along with the outer skin panel. The end plates are then attached and the flaps fitted into position. Conclusion This is certainly a fairly comprehensive array of details for what is already a very nice kit. With plenty of care and patience they will make a great kit into super kit. The advantage of have separate sets is that the modeller can pick and choose how much, or how little detail they wish to add. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Republic P-47 Thunderbolt detail Set Eduard 1:32 Eduard have recently released their big 1:32 P-47 Thunderbolt, and rather unusually, have also released an etched detail set for it. I would have thought they would have included it in the kit, especially seeing as the kit is so expensive, but there you go. Detail set (32396) Contained on a single large sheet of relief etched brass the set contains parts for both internal and external areas of the model, but mainly external. The only items for the cockpit are for the four piece seat raising and lowering mechanism, for which you’ll have to provide a length of styrene or brass rod, and the foot plates for the rudder pedals. Other internal parts include the internal trunking for the exhausts, the hinge mechanisms for the cooling gills, rocker cover plates and the interior faces of the undercarriage doors. Externally there are new fin boxes for the bombs, along with nose and tail arming vanes, interior pylon fitting, and crutches. The wing drop takes receive the same interior pylon fixture and crutches, whilst the centreline tank is fitted with new a similar fixture, but with attachment hook and crutch plates. The rear fuselage mounted intakes are completely replaced, both internally and externally with brass parts that will need some careful folding and rolling to achieve the correct shape. The rudder trim tab control rod cover and attachment is fitted and a similar arrangement is fitted to the port elevator. The scissor links on the main undercarriage legs are replaced as is the lower outer door along with their respective hinges. Lastly the interior of the flap bays are fitted with a new liner. Conclusion This is very nice set, which although not the most complex will give the kit some useful additional detail. It’s just rather strange that it wasn’t included in the kit. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Steel Seatbelt Sets French WWI, IJAAF WWII, Mig-21, F-4. 1:32 Eduard Continuing with their releases of steel seatbelts, Eduard have sent four more to BM Towers for us to look at. As with the previous releases, these are also pre-painted and appear to be remarkably flexible, and even with quite rough handling the paint adheres to the metal really well.They are still made from 0.1mm sheet with the resulting etch is thin at around 0.06mm and have the same details printed on them, such as the webbing, stitching, and shadowing. Unlike some sets, all the buckles and clasps are etched as part of the strapping, so there is no fiddly work required to assemble each belt. [32889 – French WWI] – There are five sets of belts included on the single sheet. There are five pairs of lap belts covering the different styles used throughout the war. These are very well painted and very colourful. [32890 – IJAAF WWII] – In this set there are twelve lap belts, four for Nakajima aircraft in leather, and four in cloth, plus four for Kawasaki aircraft also looking like leather. Each buckle, on the left hand belt section also has a protective pad fitted beneath it. [32895 – Mig-21] – Naturally this set only contains one complete seat set of belts. It includes the back fixture, shoulder straps, leg straps and a very nice ejection handle.The straps do have some very nicely done shading on the parts. [32896– F-4 Phantom] – This twin seat set contains all manner of straps for you big Phantom seats. They include straps for the headrest, and backrest. Then there are the shoulder and lap straps, and finally the leg restraints. You will have to check your references when using this set as I don’t know if all F-4 seats were the same. Conclusion Those who build in the larger scales generally try to add greater levels of detail into their models, showing much skill and technique. Now, those of us who aren’t endowed with super skills can at least have some nice looking seatbelts fitted to our models, with very little skill needed, other than a bit of bending and gluing. Of course the belts can still be weathered more if required. Review sample courtesy of
  13. USN Radar of WWII Eduard 1:350 This single sheet set of relief etched brass continues Eduards policy of releasing useful sets to add detail to parts of a model that seems to be forgotten. This set, for US WWII Radars is really quite comprehensive. The radars included are:- CXAM Early made up from only two parts, but needs a piece of styrene rod for the base. YE Aircraft homing beacon, also made from two parts and requiring a styrene pole to be fixed on. Mk3 Main battery fire control radar, made from five parts and also requiring the styrene base. 2 x Mk4 Secondary battery fire control radar, made from eight parts. SC-1 Surface search radar array, made from nine parts and utilises the kit base. CXAM-1 Surface search radar made from twenty five parts and requires a styrene base. SC-2 Surface search radar array, very complex twenty two piece unit which uses the kit base and transmitter probe. 2 x Mk22 Height finding radar for detecting low flying aircraft, made of three parts and a piece of styrene rod to attach it to the Mk4 or a Mk12 director array. 2 x Mk12 Secondary fire control radar, a seven piece unit which requires some complex folding and shaping. Fitted to the top of a Mk37 director from 1944 onwards. Conclusion This is a very useful set as it covers the entire selection of radar arrays used throughout the war. All you have to do is carefully build each array and fit to your model. Of course you will need to do some research to determine what array was fitted when on your particular subject. Review sample courtesy of
  14. International Flags Eduard 1:350 Quite a few maritime kits these days provide a selection of flags and pennants that are printed on paper. These can look ok, but generally always have a tired well worn look, like they’ve been left in the sun for a few months. Eduard have now countered this look with the release of this pre-painted steel set, which supersedes the etched brass set previously available. The forty five flags and ten pennants are beautifully painted and will look great either as a coded message from a halyard or two or even on a ship dressed overall, although it would have to be modelled for a calm day as, even though the metal is quite thin I doubt you’d be able to replicate a flapping flag too easily. To use, just cut the chosen flag from the sheet and wrap it around your favourite rigging material. Conclusion This is a very nice and easy to use set which would add a dash, or even a lot of colour depending on how many you use. Review sample courtesy of
  15. US CBU-105 Bombs 1:32 Brassin (632-095) - If you’ve fancied some more interesting ordinance on your finished models than dumb or laser guided bombs, then we have just the thing for you here. The CBU-105 sensor fused weapon, although banned now, was used to great effect in the second Gulf War, where the M-108 Skeets proved to be devastating against both tanks and soft skin vehicles. Arriving in the pretty standard cardboard box used for more fragile items the set has parts for six complete bombs. The casting is up to the usual standard, with some very fine details, such as the bomb lugs moulded onto the bomb casing. Unfortunately, even in the packaging they come in, some of the lugs on the review samples have broken. So be aware and open the ziplock bag carefully as they can be glued back on if required. Assembly is nice and simple, as once the fins and bodies are removed from the casting blocks and cleaned up it’s just a matter of joining them together painting, (any colour as long as it’s olive drab or test white it seems), adding the supplied decals, and weathering as required. Conclusion As is becoming the norm for Brassin these bombs are really well manufactured. Great moulding, good attention to detail and an excellent addition to any modellers armoury. Review sample courtesy of