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Found 31 results

  1. HMS Hood 1:200 Eduard Continuing their releases of etched sets for the huge 1:200 HMS Hood from Trumpeter, Eduard have released the next three sets. The first, (No.3) covers the ships railings, the second, (No.4), is for the ships life rafts and boats, the final one for this review, (No.5), ships deck fittings. Part 3 (53-189) – Ships Railings. This single large sheet contains a complete ships complement of railings, including all decks and platforms, some of which will need to be modified to accept the PE parts. The prominent quad of inclined ladders and their landings are also included, as are several braces for the smaller platforms Part 4 (53-190) – Ships boats and rafts. This two sheet set is for all the ships boats and not only provides details of the kit life rafts, but includes addition rafts as well. This is a very comprehensive set covering each boat with a multitude of new or replacement parts. Each of the motor boats receives new decks, deck gratings, cabins, handrails, breakwaters, internal bulkheads, seats, stern rails, bow rails, propellers and rudders. Some of the boats have up to twenty two PE parts to add. The story is the same for the cutters, but with slightly fewer parts. Each has new thwarts, deck gratings, rudders, and a plethora of oars. Even the ships dinghy is given the PE treatment with new centre board case, gunwhales and grating. The ships davits are also provided for with the griping spar, davit span, lifelines, block and tackle for each end, including lines, and jumping nets. Of the ships main boats, the motor boats, motor cutters and cutters etc. there are a complete set of cradles, each made from for pieces of PE. For the life rafts there are new paddles and gratings, and there are some new rafts in the form of square two piece rafts, of which there are twenty. Part 5 (53-193). Deck. Another large two sheet set which covers a multitude of areas with items such as a new breakwaters, complete with all supports and fittings, new anchor plates, and new capstan details. Then there are the enormous number of new deck hatches and watertight doors, some of which even have separate dog clips. A lot of kit detail will need to be removed first, before the PE can be glued into place, but the effort is worth it. The set also includes new doors for each of the ready use lockers, hatches for the deck skylights and a range of different sized cable reels, for which you have to make the drum from plastic rod. There are also several platforms and fittings for B and X turrets, but you will have to check your references to see if they fit in with your build dates. Finally each of the mushroom ventilators has a grille to be fitted, as do the vertical vents. Conclusion Although the prices of these sets seem to inexorably rise, they are perfect for super detailing this mighty kit. At least the modeller has the option of how much detail you wish to add, rather than buying one large set. The railings are probably the most important set you could buy as without these, most models just don’t look right. Review sample courtesy of
  2. IJN Pre-Dreadnought Mikasa 1:200 Hobbyboss History Mikasa is a pre-dreadnought battleship built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in the late 1890s, and was the only ship of her class. Named after Mount Mikasa in Nara, Japan, the ship served as the flagship of Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō throughout the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, including the Battle of Port Arthur on the second day of the war and the Battles of the Yellow Sea and Tsushima. Days after the end of the Russo-Japanese War, Mikasa's magazine accidentally exploded and sank the ship. She was salvaged and her repairs took over two years to complete. Afterwards, the ship served as a coast-defence ship during World War I and supported Japanese forces during the Siberian Intervention in the Russian Civil War. After 1922, Mikasa was decommissioned in accordance with the Washington Naval Treaty and preserved as a museum ship at Yokosuka. She was badly neglected during the post-World War II Occupation of Japan and required extensive refurbishing in the late 1950s. She is now fully restored as a museum ship and can be visited at Mikasa Park in Yokosuka. Mikasa is the last remaining example of a pre-dreadnought battleship anywhere in the world The design of Mikasa was a modified version of the Formidable-class battleships of the Royal Navy with two additional 6-inch guns. Mikasa had an overall length of 432 feet, a beam of 76 feet, and a normal draught of 27 feet 2 inches. She displaced 15,140 tons at normal load. The crew numbered about 830 officers and enlisted men. The ship was powered by two vertical triple-expansion steam engines, each driving one propeller, using steam generated by 25 Belleville boilers. The engines were rated at 15,000 indicated horsepower, using forced draught, and designed to reach a top speed of 18 knots although Mikasa proved to be faster during her sea trials in December 1901. The ship reached a top speed of 18.45 knots using 16,341 indicated horsepower. She carried a maximum of 2,000 tons of coal which allowed her to steam for 9,000 nautical miles at a speed of 10 knots. Mikasa's main battery consisted of the same four Elswick Ordnance Company 40-calibre twelve-inch guns used in all of the preceding Japanese battleships. They were mounted in twin-gun barbettes fore and aft of the superstructure that had armoured hoods to protect the guns. The hydraulically powered mountings could be loaded at all angles of traverse while the guns were loaded at a fixed angle of +13.5°. They fired 850-pound projectiles at a muzzle velocity of 2,400 ft/s. The ship's secondary armament consisted of fourteen 45-calibre 6-inch quick-firing guns mounted in casemates. Ten of these guns were positioned on the main deck and the other four guns were placed above them at the corners of the superstructure. They fired 100-pound shells at a muzzle velocity of 2,300 ft/s. Protection against torpedo boat attacks was provided by twenty QF 12-pounder 12 cwt guns. Lighter guns consisted of eight 47-millimetre three-pounder Hotchkiss guns and eight 2.5-pounder Hotchkiss guns. The ship was also equipped with four submerged 18-inch torpedo tubes, two on each broadside. The waterline armour belt of Mikasa consisted of Krupp cemented armour that had a maximum thickness of 9 inches over the middle of the ship. It was only 4 inches thick at the ends of the ship and was surmounted by a six-inch strake of armour that ran between the barbettes. The barbettes were 14 inches thick, but reduced to six inches at the level of the lower deck. The armour of the barbette hoods had a thickness of 8–10 inches. The casemates protecting the secondary armament were 2–6 inches thick and the deck armour was 2–3 inches in thickness. The forward conning tower was protected by 14 inches of armour, but the aft conning tower only had four inches of armour. Mikasa, like all the other Japanese battleships of the time, was fitted with four Barr & Stroud FA3 coincidence rangefinders that had an effective range of 8,000 yd. In addition the ships were also fitted with 24-power magnification telescopic gun-sights. The Model Originally released by Merit International in her 1905 fit, Hobbyboss have now released her as she was completed in 1902. The large top opening box with a very nice painting of the ship at anchor, contains 19 sprues, and four separate parts, all in a light grey styrene, one black stand, five sheets of etched brass, a length of chain and a smallish decal sheet. Whilst not having the Merit kit to compare it with I have checked the hull and fittings with my book on Japanese Battleships by R A Burt. From what I can see Hobbyboss have the hull correct, which makes a nice change, as their Trumpeter colleagues seem to have a problem with this area in their ship kits. The mouldings are superb, especially for what is still quite a large model, there is no sign of flash or other imperfections and a fair few moulding pips to clean up. The only real problems appear to be the masts and the yardarm positions in particular. The kit calls for the lower yardarms to be attached above the lower platforms, whereas all the pictures and photos show these were fitted below the platforms, easily remedied during the build. Talking of the build, construction begins with the gluing the two hull halves together, along with the three bulkheads, rudder and lower gun deck. This all produces a really strong hull and certainly won’t collapse when handled. The ten 6” mounts on the gun deck are then fitted, each pinned into place, while four two piece 3pdr guns, each with PE gun shield are also fitted to their respective positions, two forward and two aft. The three piece main deck is then added and the model turned over to fit the two bilge keels, four propeller shafts with separate A frames and the four propellers. Each of the PE guns shields around the 6” and 3pdr guns are made of PE, they come in alternate parts and can be posed open, (three parts) or closed up, a single part). The main deck is then fitted out with a variety of winches, skylights and decks houses, as well as the two funnel bases. The multitude of large ventilators, each made from six parts are the glued into their respective positions around the midships section, followed by more skylights, hatches and smaller winches. The lower front, lower rear and two centre sections of the main superstructure are then fitted, after which two mote 6” guns are fitted fore and aft of the upper deck and eight 3pdr guns amidships. Each of the openings for the guns are shielded by PE parts much like those on the lower gun deck and are also able to be posed open or closed. Two mezzanine decks are fitted with nine support columns then glued into place over the gun mounts. The upper front and rear sections of the upper deck are then attached. For the myriad of ships boats there are fourteen cradles made of plastic and four of PE, these are all positioned within the well that the upper gun deck bulkheads created. Four more large ventilators are assembled and fitted in the same area. Each of the eight boats are made up of multiple parts, the rowing boats can be assembled open or with canvas covers fitted, they are also fitted with PE rudders. The steam launches have separate boilers and masts, but can also be assembled with a canvas cover in place, whilst the steam pinnaces are fitted with three ventilators mast and PE rudder. The boats can be attached to their cradles later in the build to allow easier access to the boat deck. There are lots of deck furniture to fit next, these include hatches, windlasses, anchor chains, haws pipe covers, (PE),storage boxes, raised deck hatches with PE grilles, cleats, bollards, Jack staff, Ensign staff, and breakwaters. With these all in place, it’s onto the bridge and the armoured conning position, including separate roof and rear screen, also on the lower bridge deck are three small deck houses, two flag lockers and two, two piece 3pdr guns. On each side there two support frames for the upper bridge deck wings. The upper bridge deck is then fitted with ten support columns before being glued into position. The single piece command bridge is then attached, along with four mast stay blocks. The same procedure is carried out for the aft positioned auxiliary steering position. The bridge and aft positions are then fitted with searchlights, binnacles, rangefinders, and PE cross braces for the outboard wing supports. The two bridge decks are also fitted with their respective railings, and inclined ladders, all made of PE. The main gun turrets are assembled next, each being made up from a turret base, onto which the four separate trunnion mounts and two guns are fitted. The turret is then slid over the guns and glued to the base, being finished off with three unidentifiable parts to the roof. The two masts are then assembled, each should be the same, but remember to fit the lower yardarm beneath the lower observation/gun platform. They are each made up from three mast sections, two platforms several PE support braces, two yardarms, a gaff, and a 20m boat handling crane. The lower platforms are fitted with two 3pdr guns, while the upper platform has a single searchlight. The two funnels are next to be assembled. Each one is made up from two halves into which the inner top section is sandwiched. Two steam pipes are fitted to the forward funnel, while the aft has three. The forward funnel also has a platform attached to its forward face to which two pipe are attached from below and two horns are fitted to the upper surface which is surrounded by a PE railing. Both funnels have a PE ring which needs to be rolled to shape before being attached, followed by the funnel cap grille. Both are then glued to their bases, before being attached to their respective positions on the boat/upper gun deck. The masts and main turrets are also fitted at this point. The mezzanine decks are fitted with eight 3pdr gun assemblies before the main railings are attached. The main deck railings are also fitted at this point, along with the main anchors in their stowage areas, their handling cranes. There are several derricks on each side of the hull which I presume are for handling the anti-torpedo netting which is provided in folded form in PE, as well as their associated storage decking which is also PE. Life-ring containers are folded to shape and a lifering added before being attached to their locations on the main hull. Four boat davits are fitted wither side of the boat deck and eight anti-torpedo net booms attached to the low down, near the waterline. Either side of the quarterdeck are four more davits onto which are attached four more of the ships boats. As with the previous boat assemblies, these can be assembled either open or with their canvas covers fitted. The two PE accommodation ladders are folded to shape, assembled and fitted either side of the quarterdeck and lastly, but by no means least, the prominent three piece covered walkway is added to the stern, and fitted with the ships name plate. Above the walkway is a small PE platform which, once attached completes the build, with the exception of painting and all the rigging has been added. The kit comes with a large black plastic stand, a name plate backplate and the name plate in etched brass, which is a nice touch. Decals The smallish decal sheet contains two Ensigns, one straight, the other as if flapping in the breeze. Not quite sure why they have done this, but in their infinite wisdom Hobbyboss have made the flags quite complex in that the sun, and the sun’s rays on either side have been printed separately which could be fun to get right. I presume it’s to prevent bleed through but I’ve not seen any other manufacturer do this. The other decals on the sheet include the prominent funnel bands and the ships name. Conclusion The last pre-dreadnought in existence deserves it’s place in maritime lore, and it’s great to see this ship given the 1:200 treatment, as it’s the perfect scale for what is in fact quite a small ship. Once built, it will look superb in any collection, but I suggest you invest in a nice case to keep the dust off it. There are a number of upgrades for this ship produced by the likes of Mk1 Design if you wish to take it to the next level, but with all the etch that’s included some modellers may feel that is a little extravagant, That said, it could certainly do with a wooden deck and turned barrels, such as those reviewed HERE. Review sample courtesy of
  3. IJN Pre-Dreadnought Mikasa Gun Set 1:200 Master Models As the number of 1:200 scale warships increases so does the number of sets that Master Models release. This set is for the Merit International IJN Pre-Dreadnought Mikasa, but should also be ok to use on the recently released Hobbyboss kit. They are well up to the standard we’ve come to expect from Master Models. [200-009] This set is a combination of turned brass and aluminium barrels, the larger items, such as the four 305mm and the fourteen 152mm are aluminium, whereas the twenty 76mm and twelve 47mm are in brass. The 305mm main guns also have brass trunnions, which are inserted into the hole near the rear of the barrel, these then fit into the kit trunnion mounts. All the barrels are so cleanly machined, so it’s quite unusual to find any swarf or imperfections, although there are one or two of the 152mm barrels in this particular set that will need some swarf to be cleaned off before use, fortunately this is only found around the joining pin, so doesn’t affect the look of the barrels. Conclusion Even in this large scale, injection moulding cannot always get the look and size of the barrels quite right, and this is where these amazing sets come into their own. Being meal they also have that “weighty” look that is difficult to explain, but you know when you see it. Review sample courtesy of Piotr at
  4. HMS Hood 1:200 Eduard The huge 1:200 HMS Hood from Trumpeter has been out for a while now, but it was only a matter of time till Eduard got it in their sights. So, here they are; well, the first two sets at least from a total of six. The first covers the AA weaponry and rocket launchers, while the second deals with the radars. Part 1 (53187) – AA Guns and Rocket Launchers. This two sheet set contains, naturally everything you’ll need to super detail all the AA weaponry, this includes the 4” turrets. Each of the different weapons are covered to a greater or lesser degree, but all will benefit from having the extra parts. The quad 50 call mounts receive new seat, foot rests, shield, sight and ammunition canisters. The RP mounts get a replacement rocket cage, new side panel, interior detail and armoured door, which can be posed open to show off the new interior. The 4” turrets, receive a completely new gun shield, elevation gears, elevation guides, seats, control wheels, shell handling trays, breech handles, and many other details, amounting to a total of forty five parts. The octuple PomPoms ammunition trays are assembled next, all eight of them. The only kit parts used in the construction of the PomPoms are the mounting base, barrel block and elevation end plates. All the rest is replaced or added to in PE. There are total of forty one parts, just for the mounting, without the ammunition trays. Part 2 (53188) – Radars. Although called the radar set, it’s a bit of a misnomer as is also includes new details for the six searchlights, including new body, grille, grille crosspieces, mounting plate, support yolk, hand wheels, sights and hinge plates. The secondary directors need to be carefully hollowed out, before a new interior can be fitted, along with a new sight port, sight doors, and pedestal mounted electrical boxes. There are new arms for the two semaphores and new grilles for the two aldis lamps. The air defence observers, (ADO), pedestal mounted binoculars, are provided with new mounting fixtures, while the pedestal is given new mounting plates, the six searchlight sights, (SLS) are each made up entirely of new PE parts, some of which have to be carefully rolled to shape. The air lookout observers, (ALO), are completely replaced with PE parts, mounting, upright, binocular mount and seat. The captains sight, (CS) is given three PE parts to give it a better look. The main armament director is fitted out with the two main aerials for the Type 284 radar. Each array is made up of support frames, the curved radar backplane and the gridded, front plate, a vertical access ladder to the director roof is also added. The Type 279 radar array that is fitted to the main mast uses the kits mast head pole, to which the two aerials are slid on to with the supports between them and the wave guide attached to the base. The PomPom directors are fitted with no less than thirteen parts, leaving just the central pedestal from the kit. The compass and bridge platforms are also given the Eduard treatment before the various ALO, SLS, ADO, PPD and CS assemblies are fitted into their respective positions. Conclusion There have been a number of large, very detailed sets released for the might Hood kit, but these are very expensive and out of reach for some modellers. These sets and the four yet to be released will give the kit a much need boost in detail, yet suitable for those on a smaller budget. They also give the modeller choice on exactly how much extra detail they want to add. Review sample courtesy of
  5. HMS Hood Splinter Shields Scalewarships.com 1:200 The set also includes the raised shields either side of the main turret mounting, bridge shields, bridge windows, and also replacement bridge overhangs, should you damage them whilst fitting the bridge shields. As with the degaussing cable set reviewed HERE, this set also goes to replace the incorrect parts of the ship that are most noticeable. In this case it’s some of the splinter shields. Namely the ends of the mid shelter deck 4” gun turret shield, the aft quarter shields, and three areas of the aftermost shield, also on the shelter deck. The offending kit mouldings will need to be carefully shaved off and replaced with the PE parts, which also include the inner face supports. Conclusion This is another very useful and cheap way to improve on this epic kit, along with the degaussing cable and the new funnel set, due in time for Telford, this is great way for the budget conscious modeller to improve their model.
  6. HMS Hood Degaussing Cable Scalewarships.com 1:200 The release of the Trumpeter 1:200 scale HMS Hood was met with great excitement, even the gestation period before release seemed interminable. Unfortunately there are a few faults with the kit, on being the degaussing cable doesn’t go where it should. To that end Robin at Scalewarships.com has produced this set just to replace the errant kit item. The single sheet of relief etched brass contains enough cable to go round the whole ship with the correct routing around the hawse pipes. Naturally, being 1:200 it’s still quite a large sheet yet will take some care and patience to fit correctly. You will need to read the instruction carefully as there is a particular order to fit the cables. The diagram in the instructions shows you what’s what, so stick to it. Each of the anchor fairings is handed, the shorter one being fitted to the port side. There are number of supports included that need to be added to the inner face of each fairing and the cat heads and pulleys, also included in the set, to be added. Conclusion This is a very nice and easy to use set which would add some much needed detail to this great kit and correct the slight flaws in the kit items. It is also considerably cheaper than buying the big sets out there, some of which aren’t accurate themselves. So if you just want to correct the most glaring mistakes, this and the next two releases will be the way to go.
  7. HMS Hood. 1:200

    HMS Hood Trumpeter 1:200 HMS Hood (pennant number 51) was the last battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy. Commissioned in 1920, she was named after the 18th-century Admiral Samuel Hood. One of four Admiral-class battlecruisers ordered in mid-1916, Hood had serious design limitations, though her design was drastically revised after the Battle of Jutland and improved while she was under construction. For this reason she was the only ship of her class to be completed. As one of the largest and, ostensibly, the most powerful warships in the world, Hood was the pride of the Royal Navy and, carrying immense prestige, was known as ‘The Mighty Hood’. She was involved in several showing the flag exercises between her commissioning in 1920 and the outbreak of war in 1939, including training exercises in the Mediterranean Sea and a circumnavigation of the globe with the Special Service Squadron in 1923 and 1924. She was attached to the Mediterranean Fleet following the outbreak of the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. When the Spanish Civil War broke out, Hood was officially assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet until she had to return to Britain in 1939 for an overhaul. By this time, advances in naval gunnery had reduced Hood's usefulness. She was scheduled to undergo a major rebuild in 1941 to correct these issues, but the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 forced the ship into service without the upgrades. When war with Germany was declared, Hood was operating in the area around Iceland, and she spent the next several months hunting between Iceland and the Norwegian Sea for German commerce raiders and blockade runners. After a brief overhaul of her propulsion system, she sailed as the flagship of Force H, and participated in the destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir. Relieved as flagship of Force H, Hood was dispatched to Scapa Flow, and operated in the area as a convoy escort and later as a defence against a potential German invasion fleet. In May 1941, she and the battleship Prince of Wales were ordered to intercept the German battleship Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, which were en route to the Atlantic where they were to attack convoys. On 24 May 1941, early in the Battle of the Denmark Strait, Hood was struck by several German shells, exploded and sank. Due to her perceived invincibility, the loss had a profound effect on the British people. The Royal Navy conducted two inquiries into the reasons for the ship's quick demise. The first, held very quickly after the ship's loss, concluded that Hood's aft magazine had exploded after one of Bismarck's shells penetrated the ship's armour. A second inquiry was held after complaints that the first board had failed to consider alternative explanations, such as an explosion of the ship's torpedoes. It was more thorough than the first board and concurred with the first board's conclusion. Despite the official explanation, some historians continued to believe that the torpedoes caused the ship's loss, while others proposed an accidental explosion inside one of the ship's gun turrets that reached down into the magazine. Other historians have concentrated on the cause of the magazine explosion. The discovery of the ship's wreck in 2001 confirmed the conclusion of both boards, although the exact reason the magazines detonated will always be a mystery since that area of the ship was entirely destroyed in the explosion. The Model I think I’m right in saying this is one release that maritime modellers have been really looking forward to. Since Trumpeter started their 1:200 scale product line, the Hood was one ship that was always mooted to be included. Well, here she is in her beautiful, enormous glory. Arriving in a huge box with a great painting of the mighty Hood at sea on the front the sheer size of the box gives a hint at what is inside. Once the lid has been prized away the modeller is confronted with three smaller boxes and a flapped area which covers the single piece hull, the mould for which must be amazing to see. The hull is well protected by two cardboard supports and foam pieces at each end to ensure the delicate bow and stern aren’t subject to transportation damage. Inside the other three boxes are four separate deck sections, three for the main deck and one for the shelter deck, twenty sprues, eight separate superstructures/deckhouses and four separate propellers, all in a grey styrene. There are also seven sheets of etched brass, four metal rods, a length of chain, and a smallish decal sheet. As with most Trumpeter kits the moulding of all the parts is superb, with no signs of flash or other imperfections, which is quite amazing considering the size of some of the parts, although there are quite a few moulding pips which will require extra cleaning up and the propeller blades have a slightly annoying tag on their outer edges, as you will see in the accompanying photographs. Unfortunately, also as with a lot of Trumpeter kits there are some really annoying inaccuracies, which is strange, since they did so well with their 1:350 scale kit. Whilst some are easily handled, like the rubbing down of the rather too prominent hull plates, although the hull itself is generally correct, there are also those which are a bit more difficult to rectify, namely the different sized funnels where they should be the same. Hopefully someone will release a fix for this, or it may be time to try some scratch-building. Over it is pretty accurate though, with a few minor problems, which are best noted in the excellent review by the HMS Hood association, HERE Construction begins with the fitting of the six strengthening braces into the hull; topped off with the fore deck, centre deck and quarterdeck. On the underside the propeller shaft exit glands are attached, followed by the metal shafts, A frames, propellers, ensuring you have the correct propellers on each side as they are handed, and the single rudder. Turing the hull the right side up, six parts of the rear superstructure are attached to the rear of the centre deck, along with four cable reels which are a combination of PE and plastic, followed by a selection of vents, hatches and upper deck supports. The large, single piece shelter deck is then fitted atop of the superstructure parts, also covering the join between the foredeck and centre deck. The lower bridge structure is fitted with bottom sections of the mast supports, a pair of three piece paravanes, six boat booms, four Carley floats and some small platforms, before being glued into position. The shelter deck is then fitted out with numerous ventilator mushrooms, inclined ladders, and derricks, whilst a large boat boom is fitted to either side of the hull amidships. The cradles for the ships boats are then added to the shelter deck, followed by yet more ventilators, chimneys and a pair of large ammunition hatches. The sixteen small ready use lockers and seventeen cable reels are then assembled and glued into position, followed by the thirty five large ready use lockers. On the foredeck, the anchor chain windlasses, four smaller windlasses, and main breakwater are attached, along with the breakwaters either side of B turret. Then more mushroom vents, windlass, lockers and chain pipes are fitted, followed by the large vents around both B turret barbette and the armoured control tower base, which also has three winches fitted to the deck around it. The four piece anchors are then assembled and fitted to the hawse pipes, followed by two lengths of chain and two deckhouses attached to the rear of the main breakwater. The quarterdeck is similarly fitted out with mushroom vents, although not quite so many, winches, large vents around X turret barbette and the prominent inclined ladders either side of the rear superstructure, as well as the square scuttles sited nearby. Back on the foredeck there are several derricks fitted, along with the Jackstaff, cleats, and bollards. Similar fittings are attached to the quarter deck, along with the Ensign staff, as you can see the instructions bounce around a little. The build then moves onto the superstructure, with the assembly of the sundry parts fitted to the rear funnel base, as well as Carley floats, winches and two of the smaller ships boats, a smaller tower structure is attached, and fitted with two, two piece wireless arms. The after tower structure at the end of the shelter deck is a single piece item and is fitted with a number of platforms and their associated supports, the after main armament director, made up from nine parts, two large intakes, two six piece searchlights and one of three, eleven piece AA directors, one large and two small Carley floats. The two structures are then glued to their respective positions. The shelter deck is then fitted with more hatches, intakes and five deckhouses. The four searchlight platforms, two either side of the aft tower and two alongside the aft funnel are fitted along with their searchlights, whilst the aft PomPom platform and two quad machine gun platforms along with their seven piece mounts are glued into position. The base of the bridge tower is attached to the tops of three deckhouses, behind which the four flag lockers are fitted on either side of the forward shelter deck there are two observers binoculars, and aldis lamp, a large signal lamps, a semaphore pole and a quad machine gun mount. Two large and two small directors/rangefinders are also fitted near the signal lamps. The armoured tower and deck structure are then glued into position, followed by the tower roof and the large six piece director/rangefinder. Onto the deck, three deckhouses are fitted, along with four inclined ladders and a vertical ladder. The bridge itself is a single piece part, and is fitted out with sixteen observers binoculars, two AA directors, two searchlights, three further decks the lower mast supports, foremast, the complex PE foremast starfish structure, top mast, lower yardarm, inclined ladders, vertical ladders, and main armament director. The funnels are next on the assembly line, and whilst the rear funnel is the wrong size, most modellers will probably overlook this and build the kit straight out of the box. Each funnel is in two halves, which are then glued to the base, and fitted out with PE hand/foot rails, internal platform, spacers funnel cap and grilles, followed by the numerous uptakes fitted to the outside of each funnel. The main mast is next up and whilst the mast itself is a relatively simple build, the various fittings for the boat crane are PE parts, as is the complex starfish platform. The upper mast is attached to the platform and topped off with the Type 281 radar array. The crane is a single piece jib, PE hook assembly and PE cable assembly. Once complete the funnels, foremast and mainmast assemblies are glued to their respective positions, as are two smaller boat cranes fitted one each side of the rear funnel. There are thirteen large ships boats provided in the kit, a mixture of cutters and motor boats and each is made up from multiple parts, including propellers, propeller shafts, rudders, etc, but strangely the rowing boats are not provided with any oars. They may have been stored elsewhere when cruising, but it would have been nice to have some for interest. The completed boats are then attached to their respective cradles. Finally we come to the armament. There are four, six piece UP mountings, with the option of using PE or plastic parts to build them, six, seven piece four inch secondary turrets, and three, eighteen piece octuple 2pdr PomPoms. The main turrets are very nicely moulded, although perhaps a little deep. Each turret is made up from the turret, turret base, trunnion mounts, and two slide moulded gun barrels. Each turret is then fitted with a four piece rangefinder mounted to the rear, but only B turret is then fitted with a UP mounting platform that sits astride the rangefinder and X turret is fitted with two platforms that are attached to the starboard side of the turret roof. The completed armament is then fitted to the model. To complete the model, a full ships worth of railings is provided in PE, as well as four accommodation ladders, four Jacobs ladders and a pair of lifering quick release racks. Oh and of course the rigging and painting to the modellers taste. Decals For the size of the model, the decal sheet is actually quite small and contains only the ships two nameplates for the rear quarters and a selection of Union Jacks and White Ensigns in different sizes and in straight or wavy form along with two Vice Admiral’s pennants. They are nicely produced and appear to have a nice thin carrier film and to be in register. Conclusion It’s been a little while since this kit has been released, and its popularity has meant that we have only now been able to get hold of it. Overall impressions are very good, with the hull and most of the structure being pretty accurate overall. It’s just a shame that Trumpeter, once again, have snatched defeat from what would have been a great victory with the difference in funnel sizes even without the smaller discrepancies. It’s still a wonderful kit and with a super detail set from the likes of Pontos, who look like they are including a new resin funnel, and Mk1 Designs you can relatively easily produce an amazing, museum standard model. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  8. Colleagues: I am starting a new WIP on the recently-released Trumpeter 1:200 BB63, Missouri. I am using the opportunity offered by the release of this model, the Pontos PE and Trumpeter aftermarket parts, to try to improve my modeling skills. I am not an expert in any sense, but I am an amateur in the best sense. I love modeling and am at a place in my day job, my income, and my blood pressure that I can relax a bit more and devote time to what has been a very long hobby. I Live in Colorado, work in IT networking in a global association, and am just impressed as all get-out by the quality builders, the civility, and the class of the people on this list. Their patience with me (I was posting photos of my WIP in the middle of someone else's WIP...what a newbie goober I am!) is impressive--people on the 'net today don't usually tolerate any mistakes. I have my hull built and am working out the armament builds with the Pontos PE, and i am going to Best Buy to pick up a better camera. I welcome all your feedback, and am looking forward to being corrected lots of times--I learn best that way. I will ask questions, share frustrations, and I know this will take a while....my deadline inside is a few months, but I know I would like it ready for seasonal competitions/displays in the summer of 2015. Best regards, Rick Bauer
  9. HMS Rodney. 1:200

    HMS Rodney Trumpeter 1:200 HMS Rodney (pennant number 29) was one of two Nelson-class battleships built for the Royal Navy in the mid-1920s. The ship was named after Admiral Lord Rodney. The Nelsons were unique in British battleship construction, being the only ships to carry a main armament of 16-inch (406 mm) guns, and the only ones to carry all the main armament forward of the superstructure. As her superstructure was located aft of midships like RN fleet oilers whose names carried the ...'ol' suffix, she was sometimes derisively referred to as "Rodnol". Rodney was laid down on 28 December 1922, the same date as her sister ship Nelson. Construction of the ship was carried out at Birkenhead by Cammell-Laird shipyard, Launched on 17 December 1925 by Princess Mary Viscountess Lascelles after three attempts at cracking the bottle of Imperial Burgundy. Ship trials began in August 1927 and she was commissioned in November 1927, three months behind Nelson. The construction cost £7,617,799. The commissioning Commanding Officer in 1930 was Captain (later Admiral) Andrew Cunningham and Chief Engineering Officer was Lieutenant Commander (later Admiral) George Campbell Ross, son of Sir Archibald Ross, a marine engineer and pioneer of shipbuilding. From commissioning until World War II broke out in September 1939, Rodney spent the entire time with the British Atlantic Fleet or Home Fleet. In 1931, her crew joined the crews of other ships taking part in the Invergordon Mutiny. In October 1938 a prototype type 79Y radar system was installed on Rodney's masthead. She was the first battleship in the Royal Navy to be so equipped. In 1940 the type 79Y radar was replaced with type 279 and UP AA rocket projectors were fitted to 'B' and 'C' turrets, but removed in 1941 after concern about their safety and effectiveness. These were replaced by 35 single 20 mm Oerlikons over the next three years. Following the sinking of armed merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi on 23rd November 1939 by the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, Rodney hunted the enemy ships but developed serious rudder defects and was forced to return to Liverpool for steering gear repairs until 31st December. Rodney was damaged by German aircraft at Karmoy, near Stavanger on 9th April 1940, when hit by a 500 kg (1,102 lb) bomb that pierced the upper deck aft of the funnel, but did not explode and exited sideways after striking the armoured deck. On 13th September, she was transferred from Scapa Flow to Rosyth with orders to operate in the English Channel when the German invasion of Britain was expected. In November and December, Rodney was assigned convoy escort duties between Britain and Halifax, Nova Scotia. In January 1941, Rodney joined the hunt for the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, without success. On 16th March, however, while escorting a convoy in the North Atlantic, contact was made with the German battleships, but no battle followed, as the German ships turned away when they realised that they were facing superior firepower. In May 1941, while commanded by Captain Frederick Dalrymple-Hamilton, Rodney was ordered to sail to Canada, along with the ocean liner MV Britannic and four destroyers. Rodney was intended to travel on to the United States for repairs and refits; the ship carried a number of passengers, as well as additional materials, such as boiler tubes and anti-aircraft guns intended for use in her refit. Britannic was taking civilians to Canada and would be bringing Canadian troops and airmen back to Britain. It was during this run on 24 May that she was called on by the Admiralty to join in the pursuit of the German battleship Bismarck, leaving the destroyer Eskimo to escort Britannic and taking Somali, Mashona and Tartar with her in the search. Despite Admiral Sir John Tovey in the battleship King George V heading north-west due to a misinterpreted signal from the Admiralty, Dalrymple-Hamilton and his own 'Operations Committee' consisting of Captain Coppinger (newly appointed captain of the battleship Malaya, which was undergoing repairs in New York); Navigator, Lt.Cmdr. Galfrey George Gatacre RAN; USN Naval Attaché, Lt.Cmdr. Joseph Wellings; and Executive Officer, Cmdr. John Grindle, decided that Bismarck was, most likely, headed to Brest and so set course to the East to head Bismarck off, 'at some stages exceeding her designed speed by two knots', despite her engines being in need of an overhaul. On 26 May, she joined up with King George V, as Admiral Tovey had realised his mistake and doubled back. Tovey then sent the three remaining destroyers home because they were low on fuel, and had Rodney fall in behind King George V for the battle against Bismarck the next day. Early on the morning of 27 May 1941, along with the battleship King George V and the cruisers Norfolk and Dorsetshire, she engaged Bismarck, which had damaged rudder machinery due to a torpedo launched by the aircraft carrier Ark Royal's Swordfish bombers the day before. Unable to manoeuvre and listing to port, Bismarck scored no hits before her forward guns were knocked out, after which Rodney closed with Bismarck until she was firing on a virtually flat trajectory, and spotters could actually follow the shells to the target. One 16-inch shell was tracked from the gun to where it hit the face of Bismarck's turret Bruno and exploded, blowing out the back of the turret, with the resulting splinters killing most of the crew on the bridge. Rodney fired 340 16-inch shells, some in 9-gun broadsides, and 716 6-inch shells during the battle, scoring many hits from a range of under 3,000 yards (2,700 m) and inflicting most of the damage suffered by Bismarck, whose stern was blown off. During the battle, Rodney also fired twelve 24.5-inch (622 mm) torpedoes at Bismarck whilst zig-zagging across her bow; most of the torpedoes missed, but one hit Bismarck and exploded amidships on the starboard side, making Rodney the only battleship in history to have torpedoed another battleship, although Bismarck survived the hit by Rodney's torpedo. Rodney and King George V finally broke off the action; Dorsetshire was then ordered to finish Bismarck off with torpedoes. Rodney and King George V, running short on fuel, were ordered home, and were attacked by Luftwaffe bombers, who sank Mashona, but missed Tartar, with whom the battleships had rejoined. In September 1941, Rodney was stationed with Force H in Gibraltar, escorting convoys to Malta. In November, she returned home and was stationed in Iceland for a month and then underwent refit and repair until May 1942. After the refit, she returned to Force H, where she again escorted Malta convoys and took part in Operation Torch, the invasion of Northwest Africa. She was subsequently involved with the Invasion of Sicily and Salerno. From October 1943, she was in the Home Fleet, and took part in the Normandy invasion in June 1944, where she was controlled from the headquarters ship HMS Largs off Sword Beach. Her tasks included a 30-hour operation firing an occasional shell 22 miles (35 km) inland, to prevent a Panzer division from crossing a bridge. She also destroyed targets at Caen and Alderney. On 7th June 1944 a collision between Rodney and LCT 427 resulted in the loss of 13 Royal Navy seamen. In September 1944, she performed escort duties with a Murmansk convoy. During the entire war Rodney steamed over 156,000 nautical miles (289,000 km) with no engine overhaul after 1942. Because of the frequent machinery problems and the fact that Rodney had not been upgraded to the extent of her sister Nelson, starting in December 1944 she became the flagship of the Home Fleet based at Scapa Flow and rarely left her mooring. HMS Rodney was scrapped at Inverkeithing, starting on 26 March 1948 The Model The kit comes in a very large box with an artists impression of the ship at sea in its distinctive camouflage. In side all the sprues and other parts are contained in four additional boxes, each with a line drawing of the ship on the tops, whilst on side of the main box contains the large single piece hull held in place by two card supports and covered in a cardboard flap. As anyone who has seen this series of ship kits from Trumpeter will testify, they are big, really big. Even this kit of HMS Rodney, not the largest battleship by any means, is still over a metre in length. Although very similar, naturally, to the earlier HMS Nelson kit in the same scale it does feature the specific features of the original. The nicest addition is the catapult on C turret and the superb looking model of the Supermarine Walrus aircraft that sits on it. The ships crane is also a distinguishing feature when comparing the two ships; one is straight, whilst the Rodney's one has a cranked jib. The single piece hull and deck mouldings are pretty darn impressive and must take one heck of a mould to produce. Whilst both parts are nicely detailed, the hull plating is still a little too prominent, as with the Nelson kit, and the deck planking too symmetrical. The first is easily overcome with a little sanding, and once you have some primer and paint on the effect with be further diminished. The planking though, is something you will either have to live with, or buy one of the superb wooden decks that will surely be released for this kit shortly. The rest of the kit comes on twenty two sprues of medium grey styrene, with an additional six parts that are packed separately. There are also ten sheets of etched brass, two lengths of metal rod, a length of chain and a decal sheet. All the parts are beautifully moulded, with no signs of flash or other imperfections, but there are a fair few moulding pips which will add to the cleaning up of parts. Whilst the mouldings for the main and secondary armament have been produce using slide mould technology, the addition of turned brass or aluminium would have been something that could have been included. Theres not even an add-on set that includes these items, as produced for the USS Missouri and the forthcoming HMS Hood releases. Im sure it wont be long before the aftermarket companies will take up the challenge of producing them though. Construction begins with the drilling out of the holes in the main deck that are required to add the different parts required to build the Rodney, rather than the Nelson. Then its onto the assembly of the four searchlights, two light AA directors, six eight barrelled 2pdr PomPoms, ten winches, ten ammunition ready use lockers, two quad .5 machine gun, thirteen 20mm Oerlikon mounts and six 4.7 mounts. Each of these sub-assemblies is made up from a mixture of plastic and brass, some parts of which are still tiny, even in this scale, so patience will still be a virtue during the build. The build then moves onto the two Walrus aircraft, with each one being assembled from twenty one plastic parts plus six brass parts which make up the rigging wires. The six ships boats are also made from both plastic and brass parts with the exception of the two 32ft motor cutters, followed by the two main armament directors, and nine cable reels. The secondary armament, consisting of six twin 6 turrets are now built up, each from separate turret, turret base and two barrels, and then detailed with a variety of vertical ladders and Carley floats. The aircraft handling crane is built up from no less than twenty three parts and is probably as detailed as any plastic assembly can be, with the only PE part being the access ladder and platform. The catapult fitted to X turret for the most part is also all plastic, with the centre section being made up from fifteen parts, the aircraft cradle from an additional six parts and only the folding ends each being made up form two brass sections folded to shape. The big main armament turrets are next to be assembled, with each of the trunnion mounts, the three gun barrels and the trunnion bar being fitted to the turret base along with a bulkhead that sits behind the guns, followed by the fitting of the turret itself. This is then detailed with PE ladders, the rangefinder caps and in the case of B turret a Pom Pom mount, and C turret with the fitting of the catapult, two ships boats and a Walrus. Before fitting the main deck to the hull, there are three bulkheads fitted, to give both strength to the hull and some more support for the deck. With the hull upside down, the two bilge keels, single rudder, two shaft supports, the two metal shafts and the propellers are attached. Turning the hull over, the modeller then fits the multitude of windlasses, cleats, bollards, cable guides onto the foredeck, and ventilation trunks around the front of the B turret barbette. The main breakwater, three two piece anchors, secondary breakwater are then attached, whilst the ventilator trunking for around the rear of B turret barbette are fitted with PE grilles before being glued into position, followed by the third breakwater sections either side of B barbette. The fifty six small mushroom vents, are then fitted around the foredeck, followed by thirty five large vents, two 20mm gun tubs, and numerous deck hatches and lockers. Staying on the foredeck, the torpedo handling mast and two davits are fitted just aft of the first breakwater, followed by the jack staff, eight boat booms, two either side of A turret, two either side of C turret, eight cables reels six winches and two Oerlikons are fitted into the respective positions. Moving right aft, the procedure of fitting the various bollards, cleats, and mushroom vents continues, although there aren't quite so many of them. There is a chimney fitted between X turret and the superstructure and the Ensign staff at the stern. The Queen Annes Mansions, or bridge structure to most of us, is made up from a single piece main section, to which the side platforms, internal bays, four aldis lamps and six binocular stations are fitted. The next bridge level is attached, along with its six supports, and aldis lamp platforms. Some etch details are then added to the tower, with the addition of two inclined ladders, railings, and platform supports, followed by several sub-assemblies, including two Oerlikons, the two AA directors and two more aldis lamps. On the top of the bridge structure, there is a small tower, made up from three plastic parts and six PE parts. There is a tub at the top into which the seven piece Type 284 radar mounting. The tower is further detailed with the fitting of a two piece office to the rear, with associated railings and two other unidentifiable parts to the front. The foremast is the attached to the office platform and fitted with a gaff, railings and topped out with the forward Type 281 radar aerial. The main and secondary fire control directors are then attached to their respective mounts and fitted to the bridge roof, whilst to the rear, two more blocks and support beams are fitted. Further detail, such as the two .5 quad machine guns, yardarms, navigation lights, PE vertical ladders and railings are also attached. The build now moves onto the funnel, which is made from two halves, and internal structural part, base and funnel top surround, onto which the two piece PE funnel cap is attached. Near the funnel base, there are two lookout posts, each with PE support legs , whilst further up there is a double searchlight platform, with searchlight sub-assemblies, fitted to the rear of the funnel, a walkway to the front and then further enhanced with various vertical ladders, railings and the auxiliary exhaust chimneys. Moving further aft and the construction of the main mast begins with the fitting of the two rear legs to the main pole, between which a double platform is fitted, followed by another double platform glued to the rear of the twin support legs. The star platform is mainly plastic, with all the support braces in PE. This is then fitted to the top of the pole along with a large yardarm, two 0.5 quad machine guns, and two searchlights. The top mast is then attached and fitted with the rear Type 281 radar aerial, vertical ladders, and the Type 272 radar lantern, for which you will need to carefully role the PE parts to shape. The build now moves to the superstructure elements, with the fitting of 02 deck to 01, followed a lot more of the smaller, medium and large mushroom ventilators. The aft director block is assembled and topped out with two of the secondary directors and several vertical ladders before being glued into position. To the rear of the superstructure a Type 282 radar array is mounted, whilst in the centre section the cradles for eh ships boats are fitted. On 02 deck, yet more mushroom vents are fitted, along with five large engine intake screens, followed by the mainmast assembly which is finished off with the addition of a large PE inclined ladder. The large inverted cones in the kit are in fact the mountings for the forward pair of eight barrelled PomPoms and are fitted, along with the gun mounting bases and centrally fitted support structure, between where the funnel and bridge assemblies are fitted. The aft PomPom structure is more conventional and is fitted with a director tower before begin attached just forward of the Type 282 array. At the fore end of 02 deck the armoured director hood and control block are glued into position along with two more lookout stations on either side of the bridge position. The bridge and funnel assemblies are now glued into place along with two more intake screens and the large boat handling boom, which is fitted to the mainmast. A smaller deckhouse is fitted to eh aft Pompom platform and topped off with a double Oerlikon platform, whilst to the front of 02 deck three more Oerlikon tubs are fitted. Several areas are now fitted with PE railings. Four of the 4.7 guns, four PomPoms, and eight Oerlikons are fitted, along with the rear main armament director. The ship boats are fitted to their respective cradles and the various Carley floats are attached, as well as the two flag lockers on the bridge. More Carley floats are then fitted around 01 deck, plus ready use lockers, vent hatches and railings. The superstructure is then fitted to the main deck, although the build described above is the way the instructions tell you how to do it, I might add the superstructure first then add all the parts, but its entirely up to you how you build it. With the superstructure in place there are still plenty of smaller items to add, such as more vents, inclined ladders, hatches, the ships dinghy on its support cradle on the port side of the bridge structure, two more Oerlikon tubs and their guns, the rear mounted splinter shield for the aft 4.7 guns and the splinter shield mounted right aft for the rear PomPom. The rear 4.7 guns and PomPom are glued into position, along with two more chimneys, five ready use lockers and two more winches. Finally the 16 turrets are fitted into their respective barbettes foreward, and the 6 turrets fitted to theirs aft. The sturdy display stand provided in the kit comes with a nice name plate with raised lettering which will look great when painted up. Decals For the size of the model, the decal sheet is actually quite small and contains decals that are mostly for the two Walrus aircraft with roundels for all positions along with the fin flashes. The ship only has the two nameplates for the rear quarters and a selection of Union Jacks and White Ensigns in different sizes and in straight or wavy form. They are nicely produced and appear to have a nice thin carrier film and to be in register. Conclusion Well, what can I say, apart from the fact that I never thought wed see a Nelson and Rodney produced in anything other than 1:700 scale, we now have both in 1:200 and the prospect of having both in 1:350 too, soon. This kit has either been produced by Trumpeters A team, or by the likes of Merit International, as they seem to have got the hull shape and details pretty much spot on from what I can see from researching through my R A Burt books, amongst others. Yes the hull plating is a little overdone and the main deck planking doesn't look right, but these are fairly easy to overcome with a bit of elbow grease and a nice wooden deck. You shouldn't need to buy anything else for it, unless you are a real detail masochist like me, and will wait for the new Mk1 Design release specifically for the Rodney, which is due out pretty soon or something from one of the other detail manufacturers. You are limited to building her form the period of 1942 to the end of 1943, after which the catapult was removed and the 4.7 guns had shields fitted, (although, saying that, the shields are in fact included in the kit, just not mentioned in the instructions), but she never got the upgrades that her sister-ship received. Overall though, this kit will build into a superb looking model, that wont look out of place in a museum or collection, particularly with its spectacular colour scheme, if built with a bit of care and attention of course. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  10. Good evening all, First of all, apologies about the photos-they're not the best.... Secondly, being a rather large Vulcan fan I thought why not try the Cyberhobby 1:200 kit, I would have never thought of buying one, but it was on Ebay for £5. And oh, my. What a kit! The panel lines are crisp, the decals are outstanding and the options available (shrike, blue steel, gear up/down, open crew hatch, etc, are quite varied. It even includes parts for the instrument panel and ejection seats-which shockingly also include control columns!!! A brilliant kit- the one issue being that the pressure needed in order the keep the upper and lower wing sections mated together while gluing is fairly substantial-requiring a clamp to get a good fit. Furthemore, it doesn't come with a bomb bay, so I've scratchbuilt a fairly crude bomb bay and managed to squash that into the aircraft. -Painted using an airbrush and Vallejo "Model Air" colours. Scratchbuilt bomb bay- including hand painted VTTS logo and a sponsor's logo inside (very messy, i know!) So, that's pretty much it from me, Thanks for having a look around Sam
  11. Hi This is my first finished model in at least 9 months. It was a 24-hour blitz-build, which presented no real construction challenges. The model has a wing span of 26cm. I spayed it with Alclad Dull Aluminium followed by a couple of coats of Alclad Gloss Klear Kote, prior to decalling. I had some frustrations with the walkway decals, but apart from that, a pleasurable weekend build to break my lengthy hiatus! One obviously can't describe it as a tail-sitter, so "wing-sitter" will have to suffice!! This is from Wikipedia: "The Northrop YB-49 was a prototype jet-powered heavy bomber aircraft developed by Northrop Corporation shortly after World War II for service with the U.S. Air Force. The YB-49 featured a flying wing design and was a jet-powered development of the earlier, piston-engined Northrop XB-35 and YB-35. The two YB-49s actually built were both converted YB-35 test aircraft. The YB-49 never entered production, being passed over in favor of the more conventional Convair B-36 piston-driven design. Design work performed in the development of the YB-35 and YB-49 nonetheless proved to be valuable to Northrop decades later in the eventual development of the B-2 stealth bomber, which entered service in the early 1990s." Photos of a not so distant relative taken by me at RIAT: And finally, a couple of shots with my only other 1:200 model, the same manufacturer's XB-70 Valkyrie: Thanks for looking.
  12. Royal Navy Crew. 1:200

    Royal Navy Crew Eduard 1:200 With Trumpeter having started producing Royal navy ships in 1:200 scale, it’s natural that they will need some crew to man them, and once again Eduard have come to the rescue with this set of crew dressed in standard Atlantic No 3’s dress. The single sheet of what looks like tinned etched brass on which several rows of figures are attached. Each crewmember is pre-painted and self adhesive, making it a lot easier to produce each crewman just by the act of folding the two halves together. As with the 1:350 scale crew sets, these do still look rather flat, perhaps more so given the increase in scale, but at least they have some depth to them. There are several pose included, such as crouching, leaning on the railings, standing at ease, standing with hands on hips, (probably a Chief Petty Officer), and in a climbing stance for use on vertical ladders. There are other poses, one with what look like binoculars, and a couple that look like they’re manning a gun. There are sixty four crewmen in total, so with only a couple of sets you could really make your model look more alive. Conclusion As with the other sets I still have reservations with the thickness of the individual crew, but if you can overlook that, or you have some really fit/skinny crew on your ship then this really shouldn’t be a problem. The ease of use is superb, especially after you’ve spent months creating your masterpiece these will add the finishing touch. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. HMS Nelson detail Set Mk1 Design 1:200 The release of the big 1:200 HMS Nelson by Trumpeter was a bit of a shock, but a very pleasant one. While the kit is superb out of the box, both in size and detail, but there was bound to be at least one company to take up the challenge of producing a details for it. Just such a company is KA Models within their Mk1 Design brand. The set comes on a large flip top opening box with a sleeve on which a listing of the contents on the front and a picture of the built, but unpainted model, showing off all the brass. Talking of which, there is a LOT of brass. The statistics speak for themselves, twenty sheets of relief etched brass, one of which is pre-painted, seventy turned brass parts, eighteen turned aluminium parts, five wooden deck sections, ten resin parts and seventy centimeters of chain. This set is not to be taken lightly, there is some serious amount of work, and so all those of a nervous disposition should look away now. The Nelson kit is amazing, but with this set youre not going to just take it to the next level, but into the next solar system. Youll be looking at months worth of work, but the effort and amount of detail youll be adding will be so worth it. Being the DX set the instructions might appear to be slightly amusing, along with the duplication of etched sheet idents, but this is due to the fact that it is what Mk1 Design call the basic set, with all the other supplementary sets included. You will need to be careful identifying the correct part from the correct sheet. As with other Mk1 Design instructions it is really a series of photographs showing the location for where each part is fitted, along with more exploded views on each of the sub-assemblies are built up. They are very clear, but it would still be good practice to annotate on the kit instructions where the styrene parts are replaced with etch. That way you dont build something, then discovering it is mostly replaced with brass. There is so much in this set that it is difficult to know where to start describing what you get. So I will just go through the instructions and try to explain whats what. Firstly the masts are assembled. The main mast uses the kit parts to make up the lower tripod and lower platforms, although with new supports. This section is detailed with the addition of three, four part cable wheels for the boat crane boom, which is made up of a turned brass boom, five etched parts for the lower cradle, along with another turned brass part for the locating pin. The boom is finished off with the addition of the cable wheel and hook. The starfish platform is completely made up of PE including the twelve under platform supports, and upper platform railings. The Type 272 radar lantern is assembled from fifteen parts and will need some careful rolling to get to shape. Before the starfish is fitted to the mast, a large turned brass part needs to be attached to the top of the lower mast along with the lower yardarm and its three mast fixings. With the platform and lantern in place the ensign gaff and upper mast are fitted. The upper mast has three yardarms attached up its length and topped out with and another smaller gaff and the Type 279 radar array. The foremast is quite a bit simpler, consisting of the kit lower section onto which the turned brass mid and upper sections with a PE bracket connection the mid and lower sections and a platform separating the mid and upper sections. The platform is fitted with an ensign gaff, whilst both mid and upper sections are fitted with a yardarm. The mast head is topped off with a Type 281 array. The main gun directors are only given a small amount of etch treatment, in the form of new access hatches, ladders, and visor screen. The secondary armament directors receive the same amount to extra detail, whereas the High Angle Control System mounts are fitted with a completely new Type 285 array, with its five dipoles and the PomPom directors receive the Type 282 with their two dipoles. The Type 284 gunnery director is fitted with a more boxy style of radar array to go with the new hatches and access ladders. With the radars and masts assembled, and with most of the hull already painted by this point, the wooden decks are laid. There is no best method for these, its pretty much what suits the modeller, but I would rub down the deck details so that the replacement deck looks to be fitted more naturally. With the wooden focsle, main and quarter deck laid you can start fitting the many new details. From the focsle aft these are the anchor cable deck plates, large deck hatch, main breakwater, (each breakwater is supplied with all their angled supports separately), complete with large deckhouses, boat boom storage, second breakwater, with associated lockers, cable reels, (with resin centres), windlasses, and windlass controls. Alongside A turret there are more boat booms and their cradles, whilst around B turret barbette there is another breakwater, two deck hatches, four new cable reels, new ventilator grilles and two winches. Between B and C turret there are another pair of winches, five deck lockers and four more hatches. All the kit deck lockers and ready use lockers are provided with new doors, some of which can be posed open should you desire as are all the watertight and armoured doors. The set also provides a full complement of inclined and vertical ladders which festoon the superstructure and masts. The funnel is given a lovely interior that only goes down a third of the way from the top, but gives the impression that the ladders and platforms go all the way to the bottom. Outside the funnel is fitted with new vertical ladders, hand and foot rails, new platforms, foghorns and a large slab or armour plate on either side. The ships crane that comes with the kit is completely replaced with an all etched brass item which will look great once it has been fitted with cables which the modeller has to provide. The paravanes are also completely new units, with a turned brass body with etched fittings, cradles, fins and cable cutter. With 01 deck has been fitted with the wooden deck, etched ships cradles and their bases can be fitted. The main bridge structure is fitted with new platforms, aerial supports and the aerials themselves. Each of the ships boats are all detailed with etched brass, and for this some of the kit details need to be removed. The motor boats receive new cabin structures, railings, jack and ensign staffs, and propellers. The cutters and whalers all receive new gratings, thwarts, rudders and oars. Some of the smaller boats are stored on top of larger ones and the cradles for these are provided as well. The davits in which some are kept are given extra detail that included the turned brass boom, etched straps and scramble nets. The various sizes of Carley floats are all given replacement gratings before being fitted into position and fitted with the supporting straps and paddles. The largest selection of both etched and turned brass parts is naturally dedicated to the ships armament. The three main gun turrets are each witted with new etched trunnion mounts, turned alluminium trunnions and turned aluminium barrels. The main openings for each of the guns need to be opened up further, so Mk1 Design have included and brass template to help with this. They all have the various gun hatches, rangefinder hatches, walkways, rear mounted ventilation hatches roof panels and access ladders. The roof of each turret differs depending on what light AA weapons are mounted, so pay careful attention in fitting the right roof to the right turret. The secondary 6 turrets are only lightly detailed, with ladders to the turrets roof, rear mounted hatches and the turned barrels. The high angle 4.7" turrets get quite a bit more, as on top of the turned barrel, each mount is fitted with new trunnion mounts, along with several fittings on each one, elevation cog, electrical boxes, motor faces, ladder rungs of teach side, and sighting hatches, in either open or closed condition. The light AA weapons are well represented in the set and will probably cause most of the swearing and cursing throughout the build. The quad 40mm mounts arent too bad, with the styrene guns replaced with folded etched brass breech units, loading bins and trunnion mounts for each pair of guns. The mountings do actually use the kit parts, but with most of the detail removed. To each mounting the modeller fits, the trunnion bases, rear rails, main splinter shield, elevation guide, two three piece ring sights and, finally, the two pairs of guns. The octuple PomPoms are a different matter, in that almost the whole mounting is made up of etched brass parts, with the exception of the eight turned barrels and modified kit mounting base. In total, each of the six mounts comprises of seventy three individual parts. That should keep you busy for a while, although when finished, if they look anything like the pictures in the instructions, they will be amazing. Oh, and if the PomPoms didnt break you then the single 20mm Oerlikons may. Theyll certainly test yet more of your patience, as each of the sixty three mounts comprises ten parts, which include a turned brass barrel and pedestal, etched splinter shield, gun breech, pedestal ring, pedestal wheel, shoulder bars, sight, ammunition drum and shield/gun frame. The odds and sundries included in this set, and there are perhaps too many to mention, but Ill try, include items like the fabulous looking accommodation ladders, numerous life rings, boat boom Jacobs ladders, searchlight mounts, shields and elevation wheels. You even get five 6 shell and a couple of etched shell barrows, each made up of nine etched parts. Perhaps some of the nicest looking etched parts are those for the flag lockers whose front faces are pre-painted, showing all the signal flags nicely folded in their individual compartments. Of course no set is complete with the ships railings and this set has a full set for all decks, main turrets and platforms. Lastly and by no means least the set provides the ships name in individual letters for each quarter, and also a lovely representation of the ships bell. Conclusion Ive bought Mk1 Design DX sets before, but this one has got to be the best to date. The sheer amount of extra detail and the levels which the detail is taken is just amazing. Yes it is expensive, more than the original kit, but for the amount of work, and therefore modelling pleasure you will get, makes it a pretty good pound/hour rate. You will definitely need a lot of patience and plenty of previous experience with working with etch, resin and turned metals if youre thinking of buying it. Very highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  14. USS Hornet Detail Sets 1:200 Eduard Continuing their range of 1:200 scale ships Trumpeter released the USS Hornet in 2013, since then only the likes of Mk1 Design and Tetra have released detail sets, which are almost as expensive, if not more, than the kit itself. Eduard have now joined the fray with five individual sets for those who like to have more of a choice as to what areas they like to add detail, and on a more affordable budget. The five sets include items for the cranes, radar, life boats, Oerlikon, 5” guns and quad AA mounts. Part 1- (53-128) this single sheet set is designed to replace the two ships boat cranes situated on the port and starboard quarters and plus the jib and fittings on the deck crane aft of the island. The boat cranes are of an almost solid construction with a fixed jib and these are represented with a single piece of etched brass folded to shape. To this structure there is a large top box fitted to top of the vertical leg of the crane, which is missing from the kit and also some of the other add-on sets. The cranes are finished off with the fitting of the two hooks, assembled from the upper and lower wheels, hook and hook frames with the wheels joined by two lengths of wire of 0.2mm diameter provided by the modeller. The deck mounted crane uses the kits pole, to which the new jib, jib support, cable wheels, hooks brackets and the top mounted platform complete with railings. The crane is finished off with the attachment of the lower platforms, platform supports, and vertical ladder. Part 2 – (53-129). This radar set contains the main CXAM radar arrays which will need some careful folding to keep the square shape from becoming warped on the main array whilst the second array isn’t folded, but there are a number of small parts, well small for 1:200 scale, particularly the dipoles and mount. The set also includes detail for the Mk 33 Fire Control Director, which includes all the various doors and hatches for the director crew along with the two half Mk 3 radar arrays stacked vertically, their supports and framework. Part 3 – (53-130). Whilst this set is titled Lifeboats, it also contains some new gratings for the top carley float on each of the twelve stacks of three. Each stack is also provided with new support clamps and a pair of tie down straps. The 32ft cutters need to have a couple of areas removed from the thwarts section, before the new well is fitted, along with the new stern planking, footstep, bow hatch, cabin, and rear railings. There are new floor gratings fitted into the lower hull to complete the assembly. The motor boats are fitted out with a new internal cabin area, rear deck, centre console and decking, light fittings plus a complete set of railings and hand rails. Part 4 – (53-131) The kit 20mm Oerlikons are pretty basic and to this end this single sheet set is designed to not only add detail, but correct hem at the same time, all thirty of them. Each gun receives new shield, shield mount, shield mount cover, gunsight, traversing hand wheel, which will require a slug of 0.5mm plastic rod 0.5mm long, the inner and outer faces of the ammunition drum and the correct style of shoulder guards. The set also contains a selection of anti-slip foot plates that are fitted around each mounting. Part 5 – (53-132). The final set in this collection contains parts to detail each of the single 5” guns and the quad 1.1” mounts. The 5” guns receive new sights and sight mounting plate, railings, elevation wheel, traversing crew seat, and two parts for the circular mounting plate. Meanwhile the 1.1” mounts need several parts to be removed before the etched parts can be added. The extra detail includes two crew seats and their supports, ammunition hoppers and replacement gun sights and mounting brackets. The mountings themselves are fitted out with new anti-slip floor plates. Conclusion Whilst the kit is an amazing bit of moulding it does have a number of shortcomings and simple design in areas. This is where these sets come into their own. The etching is up the standards we have come to expect from Eduard and it’s good to see that some extra research has been done other than just from the kit parts. The idea of having individual sets rather than one huge one is great for those modellers who only want to add it to certain areas rather than having to do the whole ship, which to some just isn’t required. If the sets for the 1:200 Missouri are anything to go by these won’t be the last we see released for the Hornet. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. USS Missouri Detail Sets 1:200 Eduard Fourth in Trumpeters release schedule of famous battleships in 1:200, the USS Missouri kit is one to behold, particularly the size and detail held within the huge box. But as wonderful and detailed the kit is there are always ways to make a model finer and more detailed than even the kit manufacturers thought possible. Naturally Eduard have taken up the baton and released not one, but 10 etched sets for the modeller to bedeck their creation. The sets vary in size and complexity ranging from two to three large sheets down to one small sheet of relief etched brass. Of course the modeller doesnt have to use every set, but can pick and chose which suits their requirements best. Note that before using any of the sets, some of the kits details will need to be removed. Part 1- (53-113) this single sheet set is designed to detail the ships 20mm Oerlikon AA guns and mounts. Each gun receives new shield, shield mount, shield mount cover, gunsight, traversing hand wheel and the correct style of shoulder guards. There are enough parts to detail 58 individual weapons. Part 2 (53-117), this set, containing two quite large sheets of etched brass is designed to detail up to twenty 40mm quad mounts. The kits gun mounting plate needs to be quite heavily modified before you can use the set along with the removal of the twin barrels rear handles. Now, some careful bending is required to produce the curved elevation tracks fitted to each side of the replacement etched foot plate which is attached to the mounting plate. The mounts are then fitted with new railings and operators seats. The guns themselves are fitted with new sights and the whole mount finished off with the new splinter shield. Part 3 (53-118), This smallish sheet contains a surprising number of parts for the ships catapults and aircraft handling crane. Whilst the core of the catapults and crane are assembled from kit parts the rest is constructed from this sheet. The catapults receive new walkways, turntable, additional support brackets, cable wheels, panelling on the underside front, front and rear bulkheads. There are also two new aircraft launch cradles which are complex items in their own right. The crane receives additional internal crossbraces for the main boom new cable wheels, cable, hooks, access ladders and platforms. A couple of parts need to be made up from styrene rod, such as the guide wheel axles and a pair of large bollards that are fitted just aft of the crane on the fantail of the ship. Part 4 (53-119), Contains a selection of thirty eight floater net baskets in six different styles. Each basket comprises of the main netting which needs to be bent and rolled to shape, before the ends can be folded into position. The supports, three per net are then attached before the assembly can be glued into position on the model, for which there are clear diagrams on the reverse of the instructions. Part 5 (53-121), this is one of the larger two sheet sets, containing parts to detail the 40mm gun tubs. Each tub is fitted out with four layer ammunition racks that surround the insides and finished off with an access ladder for the crew to get over the splinter shields. One pair of tubs also receives a new etched floor. Part 6 (53-122), is designed to provide the ships railings for the main deck, although only the stanchions and tightening chain are provided, well, along with the templates for drilling the holes to fit each stanchion. Wire is then fixed to each stanchion ate three heights, although no wire is provided and no instruction on what gauge to use either. This is definitely one for the masochist modeller, but if done correctly will look outstanding. Part 7 (53-123), this is the largest of all the sets with two large sheets and a medium sized sheet. The number of parts contained in this set is quite mind boggling, there seems to be additional or replacement parts for pretty much every part of the superstructure and the attending fixtures and fittings. The large parts include items such as the chain plates on the foredeck with added hawspipe gratings, mast platforms and their associated support structures, plus a replacement breakwater and its supports. The small and very small parts include such items as the vertical ladders, winch details, davit wires, boat boom cranes, which can be posed rigged, complete with Jacobs ladders, or folded away, capstan details, new floorboards for the carley floats and even the handles on the front of the searchlights. The 5 practice loaders are also super detailed with ten parts per unit, such is the level of detail Eduard have gone to. There are also numerous vents and intake grilles fitted around the main superstructure along with cable reels deck house lights, a host of new aerials and a couple of smaller radars. The funnel caps get a complete makeover which really will help with the scale look of these parts. Finally there are additional fittings and replacement parts for all the main and secondary turrets. Part 8 (53-124). Although this set is titled radars, it contains quite a bit more on the single sheet. Of course the main SK-2 radar array is completely replaced and whilst fiddly, even in this scale, it will look amazing when assembled. There are a lot of parts tot eh SK-2 and the assembly is almost like building the real thing, so special care will be required to ensure everything is aligned correctly. Each of the Mk37 gun directors are also given the Eduard treatment with the replacement of the radars with highly detailed Mk12 and Mk22 arrays and their support structures, in addition to new armoured sighting and access doors, ladders and handrails. The main rangefinder housing is provided with new walkways, railings, roof parts and completely new arm extensions which Trumpeter missed off. Part 9 (53-125). This small sheet contains the rungs for the ladders that are fitted to the hull sides. Using the templates provided, the modeller needs to drill 04mm holes in the specified areas before fitting the rungs. Yes it will be awkward and time consuming but the effect will be worth it. Part 10 (53-126). The final set in this extravaganza of detail provides the hull plates that are fitted along the length of both sides of the upper hull and missed off in the kit. Templates are provided for the correct positioning and its just a matter of measuring along the hull every 35mm placing the template and fitting the plates. Conclusion Well, what can I say, there is enough detail within these sets to keep even the most ardent detail nut happy for hours, if not months. The level of additional and replacement detail s quite overwhelming and you will really need your mojo set to high if you wish to add it all, which after all is the point. If, at the end of the build you have retained your sanity then you will have a truly museum standard model and one worthy of any collection. Of course, with the sets being separate you can buy and fit as much or as little as you wish, depending on say experience or time. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. DKM Battleship Bismarck detail sets 1:200 White Ensign Models Since the release of the big 1:200 Trumpeter DKM Bismarck many companies have released detail sets for it. Now, White Ensign Models have released their Ultimate set. The set actually comprises of eight smaller sets, each of which can be purchased separately, depending on how much detail the modeller wishes to add, so it’s the equivalent of Eduards Big Ed sets. Railings- (PE-2010) which, as the title describes is a medium sized sheet of railings. Since the kit comes with suitable railings for he main deck, this set just provides the railings for the upper deck and superstructures. I say just, but there are an awful lot of individual railings pre sized to fit their particular position. Naturally though the railings will need to be bent and folded to shape before fitting. Also included on the sheet are the foot and hand rails for around the funnel and around the turmmast tower. Boat Fittings (PE-2012). This is the largest of all the sheets available and provides parts for a comprehensive upgrade for all the ships boats. The 11m launches all receive new bench seat tops, bollard clusters, bench seat sides, steering wheel, canopy frames, canopy side frames, helmsmans seat, forward deck hatch, engine bay hatch, safety rails, well deck assembly, propeller and main deck, complete with gunwhales. The 11m and 9m Captains gig, receive new well deck and cabin sides, safety rails, forward box seats, cabin canopy, helmsmans seat, steering wheel, windscreen, bollard cluster, engine bay hatch, bench seat sides and top, well deck steps life belt, propeller and main deck. The 8m and 6m long boats are fitted with new thwarts, decking boards and rudders, plus a full complement of oars. All the boats are also fitted out with retainer straps, with and without buckles, boat tie down eyes and boat lifting eyes. Aircraft Handling Gear – (PE-2013). Once again the sheet description covers it, but this sheet, although one of the smallest of the set, is filled with detail. Firstly the catapults are fitted out with nue walkways and platforms fitted to each end along with the support stays over the main deck. The catapults are also fitted with new cable wheels, again at each end, whilst the aircraft launch cradles are also replaced with new PE items. Now the aircraft parts are where it gets really interesting. Not only do they get new deck handling trolleys, which look really nice and will certainly enhance the deck diorama, but they also receive a complete interior. Yes, you read that right, and interior for these 1:200 aircraft, although they should be a tad easier than trying to fit the 1:350 interiors WEM have released previously. The interior for the Arados include the fuselage internal framework, the central bulkhead with separate radioman/gunners radio sets, which, due to the thinness of the attachment point may need to have a bit of support from underneath. The pilot is provided with a new seat, control column and instrument panel, complete with rudder pedals, whilst the gunner is also given a new seat. The cockpit is finished off with the provision of the etched canopy framework, although the instructions are unclear whether this is meant to replace the kit canopy completely, or compliment it. Lastly the aircraft are fitted out it the access ladder prongs for the front struts and the main strut support braces. Radars – (PE-2014). You should know how this goes by now. This single sheet set contains the various radars Bismarck carried throughout her relatively short life. Each radar is a masterpiece on its own, when added to the model they will look pretty darn special. The types of radar provided include the following:- FuMo 23 FuMo 26 FuMo 27 FuMb 4 FuMb 7 FuMo 21 Each radar array comes some with items such as front and rear faces, individual dipoles, mounting rails, Sensor side bars, mounting brackets, antenna screens. Each antenna has been etched in such a way as to have all of its constituent parts in the same area, so there is no need to hunt around the sheet for each individual part. The instructions are nice and clearly written with information on when each array was fitted. AA Guns (PE-2015). Now the title of this set is a bit of a misnomer as although it provides parts to superdetail the ships 20mm, 37mm and 105mm guns there are also plenty of parts to add to the main and secondary turrets. Each main turret receives new rangefinder sight doors and lenses, turret sliding hatches and comms loop wires; just ensure that you use the correct wires for each turret. The secondary turrets also have their rangefinder doors, lenses and sliding hatches provided. The 105mm heavy AA mounts receive new breech plates, comms loop wires, and fuse setters. The 37mm and 20mm light AA weapons receive new mount fittings, pedestal mount fittings, and flak vierling fittings. The sheet also includes a number of spare grab handles and breach plates should the carpet monster grabs some. Doors and Hatches (PE-2016). This sheet provides a wide selection of doors and hatches for use throughout the model, (naturally). Each door and hatches is made up of a multi element folding parts which not only gives them a bit of depth, but allows them to be posed open or closed. There are a selection of vent grilles, oval access hatches of differing sizes, four types of watertight doors along with ammunition locker doors, storage locker doors, door opening bars, fire hose baskets and even lengths of fire hose, which although made of brass, once coiled up should look quite effective). Sea Chest Intake Grilles (PE-2017). Most, if not all detail sets for ship models concentrate on the superstructure and topsides. This is the first one I’ve seen, other than for large scale submarines, that provides parts exclusively for the underwater section of the hull. Some of the grilles can be fitted directly to the surface of the hull whereas with others the kit detail needs to be removed before adding the etched part. The instructions clearly show where and how to do this as well as parts placement. Platforms and extensions (PE-2018). The parts on this sheet are to replace the kit parts where a platform or catwalk is generally made of see through mesh. Due to the nature of injection moulding it is very difficult, if not impossible to replicate the mesh, even in this scale. At least with this set you will get a much nicer scale effect, (just try not to clog up the mesh with paint). The main items provided are the crane platform and support frame, funnel catwalk, catwalk underframe, AA gun deck overhangs, crane support brackets, funnel platforms, foremast platform, bridge wings, barbette catwalks, crane jib rests, hanger roof peak catwalks, as well as crane operators hand wheels and funnel platform hatches. Conclusion With the Ultimate set, it’s pretty safe to say that it’s possible to produce a museum quality model, even though WEM provide what they think is really needed. Which should mean you won’t have too much, if any spare parts left over and unlike some other sets where parts are replaced for the sake of it. Of course you don’t have to buy the ultimate set, as each of its constituent parts are available separately and you can pick and choose how much you want to add. Whatever you choose enjoy the experience as these sets look particularly easy to work with. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of John at
  17. DKM Bismarck Detail Sets 1:200 CMK The big Trumpeter 1:200 kit of the DKM battleship Bismarck has already seen attention from the big detail set manufacturers. Whilst they all appear excellent sets they sometimes don’t go far enough. This is where CMKs Maritime Line comes in. They have released nine packs of detail parts to provide additional detail to the big sets. There is only minor overlap, but even then CMK have given the modeller a choice on how much or little they would like to add. Each set consist of finely detailed resin parts, with the exception of one, in which there are also some beautifully turned brass barrels for the main guns. The way each set has been moulded means that there is minimal clean up required after the removal from the moulding blocks and for some the modeller doesn’t have to do anything other than paint and fit. Each set comes in either a blister pack or ziplock bag with a card header. The largest of all the sets, the Primary Armament set, (NS019) contains the turned brass barrels mentioned above, which in this scale are really quite impressive. Along with the barrels, the kit also contains the individual blast bags for each gun, with nicely moulded canvas folds, and the six rangefinders which were fitted to Bruno, Caesar, and Dora Turrets. The rangefinders originally fitted to Anton Turret were removed due to damage by heavy seas, so check your references, particularly in relation to the date for which the model is being built. Each rangefinder is deeply indented, allowing the actual rangefinder optical face to be seen. Also included is a small fret of etched nickel which contains the rangefinders protective/armoured doors. If you have turned barrels already, as they are included in a couple of the big detail sets then you might just want to buy the blast bags and/or rangefinders separately. Well, CMK have thought of this, and released two further sets with each of these items, Rangefinders, (NS021) and Blast Bags, (NS012). This also allows the modeller to get hold of the extra pair of rangefinders if an earlier build is attempted, of course you will end up with two pairs for the spares box this way. This set does also include the parts that are required for the two secondary armament turrets though. Again and etched sheet is included for the doors. Talking of the secondary armament, set (NS013) provides the blast bags for each of the twelve 150mm guns fitted to the six turrets. Each is nicely detailed with scale folds and the slight sag that each bag had. Making the whole model even more detailed, it’s the small items that can make the difference. To this end CMK have released two sets that comprise of parts to make up just the ships 2 x 8m, (NS014), and 2 x 6m, (NS015), cutters. Each boat has separate hull and gunwhales/thwarts and there are twenty one separate oars to fit them out with. Unusually the rudders aren’t included, but in the instructions the modeller is advised to use the Trumpeter kit part. In addition to the more obvious items CMK have also included a set of paravanes, (NS016). Each paravane, of which there are eight, is detailed up with etched nickel parts, some of which, even in this scale are very small, so care should be taken when cutting out and handling. As an aside, this set also includes ten liferings, which are moulded integrally with their brackets and just require painting before being fitted into position. The last of the ships sets, (NS017), contains nine hose drums with covers, 5 small and 4 large. The drum supports are made of etched nickel with the smaller drums supports being bipods whilst the large are tripod style. The covers are, as per the blast bags, nicely creased, and as such, suitable shading with really make them stand out. The last set is probably going to be the most popular as it contains the parts for two Arado 196 floatplanes. Each resin fuselage comes with separate outer wings, allowing them to be displayed folded, thus being able to be fitted in the hangers. The wings have the appropriate flaps and trailing edge sections moulded in the folded positions. The set also includes clear resin canopies, but, perhaps fortunately, no interiors, which, given these “models” will be displayed in the hanger may not be so important. The windscreens, floats, struts etc all come from the kit parts. Even though the blister pack gives the parts quite a lot of protection, the rudder on one of the review samples had broken off, but since it’s a clean break it will be pretty easy to repair. Conclusion CMK have done a fair few items for the maritime modeller and it’s great to see them release these sets, especially as they given even more options to the big Bismarck builder. The mouldings are very well mastered and will look great painted up and suitably weathered/shaded. Used in conjunction with the big etched sets they will be like adding the cherry on top of an already fabulous cake. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. US Navy Crew Figures Eduard 1:200 Having produced several crew sets for 1:350 scale ships, Eduard have now released three sets of US Navy crew figures in 1:200 scale. Obviously these are to be used with the already released USS Arizona or USS Missouri or the forthcoming USS Iowa. Each set contains different crewmen:- USN Sailors WWII (53-109) US Deck Crew WWII (53-115) USN Officers WWII (53-116) In each set there is a single sheet of what looks like tinned etched brass on which several rows of figures are attached. Each set is pre-painted, containing around 60 men and are self adhesive, making it a lot easier to produce each crewman. On the fret some of them do look like they’ve been on the jungle juice and doing crazy dances, but they make more sense when you read the instructions which show how they are meant to be posed, whether climbing ladders, leaning against the railings, or rather strangely walking with a stick etc. Unlike the smaller scale, where each man is made up of two halves these crewmen consist of four parts joined together and folded in on themselves, producing a more scale thickness to the torso. The still look a little undernourished and a small blob of PVA may give them a better look, although don’t overdo it, as you wouldn’t want them to look like they’ve eaten all the pies. This, of course, would mean that they would need to be repainted, but at least they are big enough to see what you’re doing. Conclusion Once again Eduard have released an interesting set of figures to man your ships with, but there’s still something that’s not quite right about them, there all a bit Lowry and matchsticky, unless altered as mentioned above. In this scale they would have been better produced in resin. But, if you want your ships to have some life to them they these sets will certainly give you that. Recommended Review sample courtesy of
  19. USS Arizona detail sets, part 2 Eduard 1:200 As wonderful the 1:200 scale USS Arizona is there’s always room to add a little detail, in the case of the sets from Eduard, a lot of detail. Having previously released three sets for the big ship, they have now released three more. Part 4- (53-110) is designed to add detail purely to the ships main top, the observation and control platforms on the main mast. Much surgery is required to remove all the platforms support beams and the large bins on the lower platforms. These are all replaced with etched brass parts and for once the instructions are pretty clear on where each individual part goes. Also requiring modification are the deck heads, through which the new inclined ladders pass through, by opening up the holes so that the ladders hand rails can fit without being squashed. Apart from the inclined ladders there are also the external access ladder which is affixed to one of the poles of the mast, a vertical escape ladder under the main starfish platform and a nicely detailed ranging clock which is fitted to the of the middle platform. The rest of the single sheet contains all the various railings, each designed to fit a specific zone, but most will have to be bent to fit the platform deck layout. Part 5- (53-111) is designed to add the ships railings. There are several different types included, and each of those fitted to the upper decks and platforms are designed to fit a specific part. The main deck railings, however, are made up of individual strands of “wire” and separate stanchions, plus separate turnbuckles to attach the railing wire to the anchor points on the splinter shields. There are two types of stanchions, one just an upright, the other is fitted with a bracing strut, these are fitted alternately along the side of the main deck. The whole process of fitting the main deck railing looks really complex, but may, once all the lengths have been cut out and the stanchions fitted prove to just be an exercise in extreme patience. Part 6 – (53-112). Although stating this set is for the superstructure it contains much more than just a few inclined and vertical ladders. There are fine details such as grab handles, doors, ladders and stowage boxes for the main battery directors, support struts, armoured doors and rear detail panel for the main rangefinders, clamping ring, operator seat/supports and foot pedals for the main searchlights. The 5” guns receive training and elevation hand wheels, seats, loader stand, and railings plus a breech lever and replacement turntable mounting. The armoured bridge receives a new outer skin, whilst the superstructure behind it is fitted out with new armoured doors. The foremast platforms are fitted with new deckhouse, and a new secondary platform. On the main deck the hatches can be posed open with the use of the provided supports and several eyelets are replaced. The foredeck winches are provided with new control wheels and there are a number of cable reels, for which the modeller needs to provide the drum out of plastic rod, and the hawsepipes are fitted with cover grilles. Apart from the deck vents being fitted with new tops there are several hatches and boom sockets fitted along the top of the armoured belt along with boat mooring eyes and individual rungs for the ladders down the side of the ship. Conclusion So now we have the full six sets of etch details, at least I believe these are the last sets as they complete the various sections of the ship. As with the previous sets Eduard are really playing catch up with other manufacturers in providing details for the big Arizona. They are very nicely done and provide a wealth of detail but could it be too late? Obviously Eduard don’t think so and if you haven’t treated your kit to some etch, you can’t go far wrong with these. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  20. Well, I realise it's a bit late in the day to start a WIP on this one, but technically it's not finished yet, so here goes. I picked up this kit quite cheaply from Creative Models and I am quite pleased with it. 1/200 is not a scale I've built in before, but for aircraft of this size it still gives a fairly sizable model. On the whole, this is a good kit - fit is generally very good, with a couple of minor exceptions (wing halves). It looks pretty accurate to me, and unlike the Zvezda/Revell version includes separate parts for the Trent 1000 and GEnX engines (although to be honest the differences are quite subtle). The only error I have noted is the APU intake being moulded on the wrong side of the fin. Panel lines are a little on the heavy side, particularly on the fuselage. I had originally planned this as a LOT Polish Airlines aircraft, but having got two sets of decals (both laser printed) wasn't really all that happy with the resolution (being particularly picky really), so I've gone with the kit decals. Coincidentally, I also saw this aircraft when it visited the Farnborough Airshow back in 2010 when it did a flypast with two Spitfires (http://www.airliners.net/photo/Boeing/Boeing-787-8-Dreamliner/1745320/L/&sid=a9351297298616bba1b5f732614e8323). This is meant to be a quick (for me) build, so I've dispensed with the landing gear and done it in flight. It's painted in Tamiya acrylic spray and Alclad laquers for the leading edges/APU exhaust. Engines and stabilisers are still to be done, and it's still awaiting a clear gloss coat of some description: Untitled by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr Untitled by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr Untitled by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr Untitled by Caution Wake Turbulence, on Flickr I still need to tidy up the tail decals a little. The kit decals are alright, if a little thick and on the matt side. Hope you like it! Cheers, Andrew
  21. With the growth of 1:200 scale model ship kits becoming available I thought it might be worth advising you of the availability of 1:200 aircraft models. Some of these could be used with the ship models, most likely the aircraft carriers but also for larger warships with aircraft carrying capabilities. Here is a link to the TOTS SITE (The One True Scale) which shows kits, photos and builds of 1:200 scale aircraft. Mike
  22. USS Arizona detail sets Eduard 1:200 It’s been quite a while since the Trumpeter 1:200 USS Arizona was released and there have been some terrific builds seen here on Britmodeller and at shows, usually using another manufacturers aftermarket parts. Eduard seem to have been a bit slow with their additions to the Arizona aftermarket scene, and have only just released the first three sets for the ship. Each set comes in their large zip lock style packaging and includes are single large sheet of relief etched brass. The design and detail are well up to the usual standard we have come to expect from Eduard and the instructions seem quite a bit better, in that they are clear and easier to read than their normal fare. Some parts of the kits details will need to be removed before the etched parts can be added. Part 1- (53-099) is designed to add detail to the ships cranes, but also includes quite a few new parts for other areas of the ship. To begin with the main turret barbettes have new armoured rings attached to the top of each mounting. These will need to be carefully rolled to shape before the fixing struts are folded in and affixed to the mounting. The turrets themselves receive new turret roofs, railings, mantle opening surrounds, ladders, rangefinder doors and tampions that look like they will need special care in shaping and gluing. The funnel receives new hand and foot rails around the funnel top, plus new railings, guards and window frames for a number of the platforms. The crane jibs utilise the kit parts which are then clad top and bottom with etched sheets. The upper sheet also has the railings included thus making them easier to fit as one unit rather than faff around trying to fit a separate set of railings. The each side of the jib are fitted with three extra plates whilst the styrene cable roller housings on top are removed and replaced. The crane hooks are all new and include two sizes of hook and their respective cable wheels. Lastly the king post is fitted out with new vertical ladders and railings around the platform top. Part 2- (53-100) is designed to almost completely replace the ships catapults and uses only very few of the kits detail parts. Not only will the modeller be required to carefully fold each and every part in this set to shape, they will also need to add some styrene rod from their own supplies. Each catapult starts off with the main frame and track. To these, the cable wheels, accumulators, railings and control boxes are all attached. The quarterdeck/fantail catapults turntable is taken from the kit and further details added. The set also comes with separate launch cradles for the kit aircraft to sit upon and in the case of the turret catapult the additional support structure and access ladder for fitting to X turrets roof. The kits Kingfisher aircraft will need to have surgery to remove the pilots and observers canopies and the inside of the fuselage thinned down. These need to be done to accept the internal cockpit structures, which include the rear machine gun, shoulder height shelf and mounting rail, instrument panel, cockpit tub and seat. Externally the aircraft receive new float cross bracing and struts, ignition harness for the engine, access ladder, plus the aerial mast and weapons pylon. Part 3 – (53-104), contains details for the ships lifeboats and is pretty comprehensive even though it’s all contained on just one sheet. The motor boats receive a new grating for the central open deck which also includes a new steering console, steering wheel, gear stick, hand rails and railing bow and stern. The complex cradles and their respective support will look really good when assembled. The rowing boats are fitted with new railings to the rear, bitts, hawse pipes, oars, and tillers. Once completed, the boats can be mounted to their new cradles, which are also provided. The details are very well done and they really make the lifeboats stand out, rather than being overshadowed by the rest of the ship. A nice touch is the inclusion of the two main accommodation ladder and its upper and lower platforms. There is another platform that the instructions call to be fitted adjacent to B turret on the starboard side, which I can only presume to be some sort of lookout point for when navigating in harbour. Conclusion So the first three sets out of how many? If the 1:200 Bismarck is anything to go by we should expect quite a few. The details included are excellent, the instructions are easy to follow and they should help transform the standard kit, but I just can’t help feel Eduard have missed the boat so to speak. The kit has been out quite a while now and the other manufacturers got their sets out soon after release so I’d imagine there are quite a few kits in stashes already paired up with etch etc. Still, I guess it allows more choice for the discerning maritime modeller. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  23. Kawasaki C-1 Hasegawa 1:200 The Kawasaki C-1 is a twin-engine cargo/transport aircraft built solely in Japan for the Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF). The Japanese were still using outdated World War Two era Curtiss C-46 Commando transports as late as the mid-1960's and a replacement was needed to modernise the Japanese air force's airlift capability. A new aircraft requirement was issued to the major aircraft building companies and a consortium came forward with designs for a modern, short-range military cargo/transporter; which would also have the capability for air drops by having wide cargo doors. The consortium was the Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation (NAMC), consisting of Mitsubishi, Fuji, Shinmeiwa and Kawasaki aircraft building companies. The final design was given to Kawasaki as the main contractor; with the other companies supplying various major components, to supply two prototype aircraft and one static test airframe. The two prototypes were designated the XC-1 and first flew in November 1970 The first operational aircraft entered service with the JASDF in 1972 and a total of 31 aircraft were constructed as the C-1. Of these, four have been lost (ser: 58-1009, 68-1015, 58-1010 and 88-1027) and one has been converted to an AEW/ELINT (ser 78-1021) and is currently in use as to train EW crew. Some, if not all of the C-1's had an upgraded avionics set fitted (SKE fit) which was a rectangular unit with a small radome added above the cockpit immediately in front of the front of the wing (see box image above). The SKE provided all-weather navigation capability and enhanced accurate cargo-drop and parachuting. A further test aircraft, designated C-1FTB, was produced to provide Short Take-Off and Landing facilities (STOL) and this had four over-wing engines fitted. The Kit(s) This is a re-release of a 1990's issue but Hasegawa has produced this model as a "Combo" set, and consists of two kits of the C-1 Transport. At 1:200 scale 'The One True Scale' (TOTS), this is a diminutive model with the length only measuring 145mm (5.6in) however the detailing is nicely defined as the image of the sprue below shows. Panel lines are nicely engraved, almost discretely due to the model size, but this detail may possibly get lost if the kit is brush painted, especially if a primer is also applied. An interesting feature is that the nosewheel doors are integral to the fuselage piece and moulded in the open position. Any build to be finished as an in-flight version would need these to be removed and a piece of plastic sheet fitted. I can understand the logic here though as most aircraft tend to be built wheels down plus such small (tiny) parts could get lost or damaged if they were separate components. Two variants can be built from the kit, a C1 and a C-1SKE; the latter by fitting the small rectangular part in the lower left of the sprue below. the real thing has a lowering cargo bay ramp, plus two clamshell doors to provide the wide access/egress of the plane but these are all one part on the fuselage. Any requirement to have these open in a loading scenario would require a fair amount of cutting and the scratchbuilding of a new ramp and clamshell doors. The next sprue, or sprues as there are two identical sets, contain the engines, engine holding braces, the main and nose wheels. There are also turbofan blades which fit in the front of the engine openings and they look quite detailed for such small items. This is a small kit so there aren't many parts, 44 grey and 1 clear canopy. There are window openings in the fuselage sides but the kit does not come with any clear parts for them. A suitable clear glue/fill medium could possibly be used to represent the glass section. The decal sheet is very nicely produced and is quite full of, mostly, serials. Of the 31 Kawasaki C1's produced there are 25 complete sets of serials available on the sheet. Considering that 4 aircraft were lost and one converted to the EC-1 then I think there are enough serials two make any of the remaining flying airframes. A special set of decals is included which represents aircraft of 402 Hakkai (Squadron) for their 50th Anniversary, an example being 10-1007 as shown on the box art above. There are also 7 sets of squadron tail emblems, although the C-1's were only allocated to 402Sqn, at Iruma, and 403Sqn, at Miho, and these are decals number 29 for 402Sqn and 39 (or 31) for 403Sqn on the sheet below. Also adorning this packed decal sheet, remember how small this kit is, are walkway markings, Hinomaru's (red disk, national markings), fuel points, rescue/warning symbols etc., etc. A very comprehensive set indeed. Conclusion Although this is a very small model, or two of them, the detail appears to be very detailed an crisp. The instruction sheet is in international picture-view layout and is comprehensive, however the sheet is quite small and it can be difficult to identify exactly where the placement of decals should be. I would recommend scanning or photocopying the instructions to a more viewable size for this. The build is quite simplistic and shouldn't be an issue and I would think the best part will be to apply the intricate 3-tone camouflage patterns, depending on which formation and era you choose to build them. I plan to build an early C-1 plus a later C-1SKE. These are nice kits and they are attracting me to other models in 1:200, if they are as good as these. Highly recommended to those who find pleasure in building and collecting small scale model aircraft. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for .
  24. Bismarck Barrel Sets Master Barrels 1:200 Just arrived at BM Towers are these three sets for the huge Trumpeter 1:200 Bismarck. As is usual the stand of manufacture is superb with even the smallest barrel detailed with various strengthening rings etc. The sets provide enough barrels to arm the complete model. You get eight 15” in set SM-200-006, twelve 5.9”, sixteen 105mm in set SM-200-007 and sixteen 37mm, twelve 20mm C/30, 8 20mm C/38 in set SM-200-008. Both the 15” and 5.9” barrels are produced in turned aluminium making them surprisingly light which won’t strain the glue attaching them to their respective barrels. The smaller barrels are all done in turned brass and really do bring a finesse that injection moulding cannot hope to reproduce. Conclusion You really can’t go wrong with using these barrels for such a wonderful kit. Although some might say that the kits 15” barrels are already good enough, there is something about have a metal barrel that seems to give a model a lift in the detail stakes. Of course you don’t have to buy all three sets which is why Master Models have released them separately to give the modeller a choice. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Piotr at
  25. DKM Battleship Bismarck 1:200 Etch sets Eduard Eduard have now released the last of their sets for the big Trumpeter 1:200 Bismarck. These are sets 7 and 8 plus a set of Kriegsmarine officers. Set 7 is in the large format, with the fret being about 210mm x 134mm, whilst the other two are have smaller frets of 140mm x 78mm and 114mm x 70mm. Part 7- (53-086) provides fittings for the ships AA guns, including the 105mm, 37mm, both types of single 20mm and the quad 20mm mounts. The 105mm mounts receive new hand rails all over, new fittings for the fuse setting machine and details for the breech block. The 37mm cannon receive new footplates, traversing and elevating wheels. The amount of detail for the 20mm varies, the single standard 20mm mount receiving replacement pintle magazine rack, expended cartridge basket, hand wheel, sight and shoulder guards, whilst the flak 20mm C/30 style mount has replacement hand holds, hand wheels and ammunition box holder. The quad flakvierling C/38 20mm mounting receives a new gun shield, cross bracing on the top and a new gun sight. The set also includes crew for each gun with the exception of the quad 20mm, the majority being for the 37mm guns with two men manning the mount whilst two men carry shells to load the guns. The single 20mm guns each get an operator and there is a spotter with a pair of binoculars. Part 8 – (53-090), this set consists of just one of the larger format sheets and provides all the railings for use on the superstructure for the upper deck and above. Some are plain whilst others have a canvas dodger fitted. They up to the usual high standard that Eduard seem to consistently achieve and will add greatly to the look of the completed model. Kriegsmarine Officers (53-087), is another small fret of pre-painted self adhesive figures which will help with populating the ship along with the deck crew set. They still look very odd on the fret, but once they are folded and stuck, at least they will have some scale thickness, although as mentioned with the deck crew set I still not convinced of their effectiveness. Conclusion With these sets Eduard have now completed the releases for detailing and manning the mighty Bismarck kit. How much the modeller uses is entirely up to them, although you will need to buy at least three or four sets for a reasonable job. I may be a bit cynical with the way Eduard have approached this in releasing so many sets, none of which can do the job on their own. I would have liked to have seen more targeted and fewer sets, which may have been larger, but the modeller would only have needed to buy one set to achieve their desired level of detail. They may do this in the Big Ed series. I can still recommend them highly as they are really well produced and will make quite a difference to the completed model, even though the workload will go up exponentially. Review sample courtesy of
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